Francisco Lindor returns home with a bang as Cleveland Indians beat Twins, 6-1, in Puerto Rico

It was a sound that crowds usually don’t make. It was if nearly 20,000 voices sucked air deep into their lungs and then exhaled in a giant whoosh. customized nfl jerseys cheap It almost popped the eardrums.

When Francisco Lindor came to the plate in the fifth inning Tuesday night, he wasn’t playing around. And he wasn’t trying to punch one through the right side of the infield against Jake Odorizzi at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. There were two out and Bradley Zimmer had just hit his second straight double. Lindor was going for it all.

He took a called strike and then swung hard, finding nothing but air, on the next pitch. Lindor calmed down and took three straight balls. But on Odorizzi’s next pitch, he swung from the soles of his specially-designed cleats for the Puerto Rican Series – they bore the colors of island (red, white and blue) – and hit a curveball over the right field wall to lead the Indians to a 6-1 win over the Twins.

“Not really,” he said. “Not being in fronbt of the Puerto Rican crowd like that. Yeah, it could happen in the States, and I love the Cleveland Indians fans. They support us big time, but this is where I grew up. These are my people. It’s extremely special.”216

Then, after the fuse had been lit, the Indians started to hit and didn’t stop. Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley started the sixth with homers. It was the first time the Indians have hit consecutive homers this season. Ramirez hit a 3-2 pitch into the right field seats and Brantley followed with a first-pitch homer in the same location.

It ended Odorizzi’s night after he opened the game with four scoreless innings.

“Our goal is to win,” said manager Terry Francona, “but it was pretty cool to see Frankie come through like that and to see how the fans responded. cheap nfl jerseys china And to see how genuinely excited he was about it.”

The Indians made it 5-0 in the seventh on three consecutive two-out singles by Jason Kipnis, Ramirez and Brantley. Kipnis scored on Brantley’s single.

Shohei Ohtani Exits Due to Blister on Throwing Hand; Expected to Make Next Start

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani exited early from Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, leaving after just two innings.

The team announced he developed a blister on his hand during the game.custom nfl jerseys cheap

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects Ohtani to make his next start, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Scioscia also said Ohtani will be the designated hitter Thursday against the Red Sox.

The rookie had struggled before he was pulled, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks, including a leadoff home run to Mookie Betts.

Injuries are never good, but Los Angeles would feel the impact twice if Ohtani were sidelined. Not only would the Angels miss the 23-year-old’s presence in the rotation, they would also miss his bat.215

Even after his struggles Tuesday, he has a 3.60 ERA and 0.80 WHIP plus 19 strikeouts to just four walks in 15 innings as a pitcher. He is batting .367/.424/.767 with three home runs and 11 RBI.

Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton and Zack Cozart have the bats to keep the offense going without Ohtani, but the unit ranks first in batting average and runs scored in part thanks to the phenom.

The rotation might feel an absence by Ohtani more, as it would have to make do without his stuff every sixth day. Angels starting pitchers rank 16th with a 4.08 ERA even with the Japanese star. And JC Ramirez and Matt Shoemaker are already on the disabled list.

Ohtani’s versatile skill set made him the offseason’s most coveted player. Now, customized nfl jerseys cheap the Angels will hope they don’t have to find ways to make up for his absence.

Holiday party: Pelicans hold off Blazers, take 2-0 series lead

Several times during the three days between the New Orleans Pelicans’ Game 1 road win over the Trail Blazers on Saturday and their Game 2 matchup on Tuesday,shop nfl jerseys online Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was asked if he worried that his team would be complacent after stealing home-court advantage in the series. Gentry had no such concern.

Why would Gentry worry when he had Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday on his side? While the Blazers found solutions for their shooting struggles in Game 1, they couldn’t find a way to stop New Orleans’ stars in a 111-102 Pelicans victory that gave New Orleans a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading home for Games 3 and 4.

Although Davis was his usual double-double self (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo finished an assist away from a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists) in another strong playoff performance, this night belonged to Holiday. When the Blazers were able to get their sellout crowd going, it was Holiday to whom Gentry turned to slow down the Pelicans’ usual fast pace and ensure a good shot.
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“He’s so underrated as a guard that can do things on the floor,” Gentry said. “He can get to the basket against just about anybody there is, and his outside shot has really improved.”

Taking advantage of New Orleans’ strong floor spacing, Holiday got wherever he wanted off the pick-and-roll,wholesale nfl jerseys china repeatedly reaching the paint to either finish himself or find an open teammate. According to ESPN Stats & Information tracking, Holiday’s 19 drives yielded 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting by himself and seven points on 3-of-4 shooting by teammates. Holiday scored 20 of his 33 points in the restricted area, shooting 10-of-14 on those attempts, and he handed out nine assists.

 

Bradley Beal still has support of John Wall, Wizards after sluggish start

After Bradley Beal missed his fourth 3-pointer, the Washington Wizards All-Star shooting guard passed on attempting another 3 and took it strong to the rim, nfl shop jerseys authentic only to watch Serge Ibaka swoop in and emphatically reject his shot.

This pretty much summed up Beal’s frustrating night, during which he spent most of it in foul trouble before being limited to nine points and 3-for-11 shooting in a 130-119 Game 2 loss to the Raptors.

But it doesn’t take stats to see that Beal was out of his normal smooth-shooting rhythm, especially when the game was on the line. Though he shot 8-for-17 and scored 19 points in Game 1, he went 3-for-11 from behind the arc combined in the first two games in Toronto. In the fourth quarters of this series so far, the Raptors have held Beal to a total of two points on 1-for-7 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.203

“I really won’t know what to say, that is up to Brad to tell you,” Wizards point guard John Wall said when asked about what might be wearing on Beal. “He’s been our MVP this year, he’s held it down a lot while I have been out. He is not going to make excuses about playing the most minutes [of his career] or being fatigued.

“We have to do a better job, and me as a point guard, of getting him involved and trying to find him shots to make it easier on him. And I know he will be very tough on himself; he is definitely going to get in the gym and get up extra shots and find ways to be more aggressive. We definitely need his scoring and his ability to create for others to make our team better and compete against this team.”

After averaging a career-high 36.3 minutes this season and playing 82 games for the first time in his six-year career, the 39.3 percent career 3-point shooter could shop nfl jerseys online be feeling the effects of trying to keep Washington afloat while Wall was out for two months due to knee surgery. Beal averaged 22.6 points and career highs of 4.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds this season.

Beal deflected any excuses for his Game 2 performance, which certainly got off to a bad start after he picked up his second personal foul with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter. Wall already had been whistled for his second foul with 7:42 left in the first quarter, when the Wizards were down by 11. Without those two All-Stars, Washington would fall behind 37-15 before entering the second quarter trailing 44-27.

Ravens’ Joe Flacco intends to hold throwing sessions to build trust

At the start of the Baltimore Ravens’ offseason workout program, quarterback Joe Flacco said he plans to hold extra throwing sessions with new receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown this summer between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp.

This comes after coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome both publicly nfl jersey wholesale talked about the value of additional workouts and how they help a quarterback and his receivers mesh. Ravens fans have also been clamoring for Flacco to throw to his receivers beyond the team’s practices.

“There’s no doubt, that stuff is important and that we’ll do it,” Flacco said Tuesday. “I’ve already talked about it with John and Mike about it. I think sometimes those things are just as much or more about developing a relationship with those guys and developing that trust, and for those guys to see that I really like who they are as football players and for them to see hopefully they like who I am as a football player. I think when you can get that relationship going, that’s going to help your football team out a ton.”192

Flacco has only scheduled these private workouts once in his 10-year NFL career, and that was seven years ago during the NFL lockout.

There has been an increased need for the extra throwing sessions after Baltimore revamped its supporting cast around Flacco. To improve the NFL’s 29th-ranked passing game, Baltimore parted ways with its top two wide receivers (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin) as well as its leading pass-catcher (tight end Benjamin Watson). There’s only one player currently on the roster who caught more than 30 passes last season, and that’s running back Buck Allen.

Flacco’s top targets this season will likely end up being Crabtree, Brown, another veteran free agent, and highly drafted rookies at wide receiver and tight end.

Some quarterbacks have already worked with their receivers this offseason. nfl jerseys cheap authentic New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning annually meets with teammates at Duke in early April, and new Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has been throwing to receivers at a high school.

Micah Hyde suggests NFL fine QBs when receivers sustain helmet-to-helmet hits

Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde has a creative solution to curb the number of dangerous hits that receivers take over the middle of the field: Fine the quarterback.

“Those bang-bang plays, it’s tough,” Hyde said Tuesday. “Start fining the quarterbacks. nfl authentic jerseys They’re the ones who are throwing the ball right there. It’s tough for us [defensive players] to be able to adjust last second to get our head to one side, the other side — up, down. We’re trying to make a play like the receiver is. It’s the sport of football.”

Hyde’s suggestion came as part of a discussion about a change to the NFL rulebook enacted at the league meetings last month in which a player — on offense or defense — will be penalized 15 yards and potentially ejected any time he lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.191

“Hopefully they go back and realize it’s not going to be a functional rule that’s going to make sense,” he said Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard on the refs, because they already have enough rules to call. Now, do they call it every single play, which they can do?

“It’s definitely going to be hard [as players], because our heads are at the top of our body. You play with forward lean. Even if I’m coming in with a shoulder, if [the offensive player] drops his head a little bit, it’s slight helmet-to-helmet. It can be called every single play. I just don’t think it was well-thought-out. The intention of the rule is great, but we have to understand at some point, this is a collision, contact sport. And I think that’s some of the allure to it. Everybody is not built to play this game. You can’t legislate out every injury. Then we wouldn’t be playing football. At that point, it changes to something different. If the fans and the owners are OK with that, then we’ll have to live in that new world.”

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has played in the NFL since 2006, agreed with Alexander’s opinion of the rule change.

“I understand the old rule of targeting and launching, but this seems to incorporate all contact, nfl jersey wholesale including incidental contact, which I think is a huge problem for players,” he told ESPN. “There is a risk that comes with playing the game, generally speaking. You can legislate out the flagrant attempts to use the helmet as a weapon, but the reason we wear helmets is because of incidental contact and just the nature of the game.”

Plateau United dumped out of CAF Confederation Cup

Reigning NPFL champions Plateau United have been eliminated from the CAF Confederation Cup after being thumped 4-0 in Algeria by USM Alger on Tuesday evening.

Having won the first leg 2-1 in Nigeria, nfl authentic jerseys United were in pole position for the return clash at the Stade du 5-Juillet-1962 this week.

However, having capitulated away in Tunisia, at Etoile du Sahel, in the First Round of the Champions League when they conceded three goals in eight minutes, they were again exposed defensively in North Africa as the hosts scored three in quarter of an hour.

Oussama Darfalou opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark to level the tie on aggregate, before Kaddour Beldjilali fired home two minutes from the pause to give USMA the advantage.180

The impressive Darfalou then added his second in the 48th minute to leave Plateau with a mountain to climb, and Mohamed Benkhemassa secured a 5-2 aggregate win in the 81st minute.

Despite United’s elimination, the Nigerian top flight still has three representatives still standing in the Confed Cup, with MFM FC, Enyimba and Akwa United all in action on Wednesday.

Also in Algiers, Ivorians ASEC Mimosas held Algeria’s CR Belouizdad 0-0 to secure their progression following a 1-0 victory in Abidjan in the first leg.

Komlan Agbegniadan was the hero when the two sides met at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny earlier in the month, and his strike – coupled with a resolute defensive display in North Africa – ensures ASEC can keep dreaming of adding another continental title to their crowded trophy room.

It wasn’t a vintage display by the Green Eagles, who had been held away in the first leg, nfl jerseys cheap authentic but the 2-1 aggregate triumph gives them time to improve and, having flexed their offensive muscles against Green Buffaloes earlier in the competition, will fancy their chances of causing a group-stage upset.

Bayern Munich’s Sven Ulreich a ‘godsend’ this season – Jupp Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes chose to hail the “exceptional” goalkeeping of “godsend” Sven Ulreich as Bayern Munich cruised into the DFB Pokal final with a thumping 6-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen.

The outgoing Bayern manager also called the game a “footballing masterclass” as his reebok nfl jerseysTreble-seeking side took the lead after only 125 seconds when Robert Lewandowski got a faint touch on Javi Martinez’s drive from just outside the box.

Bayern’s top scorer grabbed his second inside the opening ten minutes — his 38th goal in 42 games this season — with a composed finish after fine play from Franck Ribery on the left flank.

However, Leverkusen hit back through a Lars Bender header seven minutes later and Ulreich had to be at his best to deny an equaliser to German internationals Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi (twice).

“We were the dominant team but occasionally there were times when Sven Ulreich had to save us — as he has so often this season,” Heynckes told German broadcaster ARD.179

“Sven has been exceptional and is reaping the rewards for his hard work. In October when I took over, Sven had no self-confidence and little recognition. He is now realising his massive potential and has been a godsend while Manuel Neuer has been out injured.”

Heynckes added: “Overall, we produced a top performance against a good opponent who have picked up some great results recently. For long periods we put on a footballing masterclass.”

Bayern, who have won 18 of the 22 cup finals in which they’ve player, nfl authentic jerseys will face the winners of Wednesday’s semifinal between Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 19 in Berlin.

“We were extremely motivated and focused, we really wanted to progress to Berlin tonight,” Heynckes said. “The players that have been there before know what a great occasion and experience it is.”

Albert Pujols is feeling good and hitting well for the Angels

Although Pujols may be down the Angels current depth chart of stars, he is nonetheless showing encouraging signs of bouncing back from the declining numbers of the past couple years.

Pujols had his fourth multi-hit game in the past five on Friday night. Over his previous 10 games,nfl jersey wholesale he has hit .341 with two homers and an .892 OPS. The hot start has him already within 13 hits of the 3,000-hit milestone.

The Angels had been operating under the belief that much of his trouble in 2017 — a career-worst .672 OPS — was because of two years worth of injuries to his feet. Not only did that cause discomfort, but the injuries interrupted his workout regimen and caused his conditioning to deteriorate.

Pujols, however, did not have any issues over the past winter, and a result he reported to spring training saying he had lost about 15 pounds.

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols follows through on a foul ball to left in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, April 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols follows through on a foul ball to left in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, April 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The logical assumption is that his early season hot streak is related to his physical condition.

“I’m feeling great,” Pujols said after Friday’s game.

Added Manager Mike Scioscia: “I just think you are seeing him comfortable in the batter’s box. That could be related to a lot of things. He always works hard on things. He’s always trying to get his swing where he wants, and right now he has it there. He’s swinging the bat very well.”

Pujols’ health is vital to the Angels on two fronts. Besides being more productive at the plate, nfl jersey for cheap Pujols has been able to play first base more. He’s already started nine times at first, more than the six he started all last year.

 

Mike Trout homers as Angels extend winning streak in snowy Kansas City

Mike Trout, a well-known weather aficionado who enjoys following the progress of winter storms back home in New Jersey, apparently doesn’t mind playing in the cold.

Or snow.

Trout belted his league-leading sixth homer in the Angels’ 5-3 victory over nfl authentic jerseys cheap the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

“It brings me back to my high school days,” Trout said. “We’d have been snowed out, though. We wouldn’t have played.”

The Angels, though, likely don’t want anything to interrupt their roll. They have won seven in a row, improving to 13-3 for the first time in franchise history. This game, however, will probably be remembered more for the snow flurries that fell for the last few innings of the game.

With a first-pitch temperature of 42 degrees, several players on both teams came out wearing ski masks under their caps, leaving only their eyes exposed.

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout (27) celebrates with Zack Cozart after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (27) celebrates with Zack Cozart after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“I love snow, but it was tough,” Trout said. “It was cold. The biggest thing is the wind. The snow in your face. When that wind changed a little bit and it was blowing in your face at the plate… there were a few pitches in my last AB that I couldn’t even see.”

Aside from the brutal weather, the Angels also had to contend with Royals right-hander Jake Junis,nfl jersey wholesale an up-and-coming pitcher who hadn’t allowed a run in 14 innings in his first two starts.

Luis Valbuena took care of that streak with a 429-foot homer in the third inning. An inning later, Justin Upton belted his fourth homer of the year.

In the fifth, Trout got a slider from Junis and he crushed it, 439 feet to straightaway left, to put the Angels up 4-0.