the first round in the draft
It isn’t very often that Alex Bregman whiffs on two straight fastballs Authentic Lamar Jackson Jersey , so when he did so in the ninth inning on Wednesday it left Houston’s third baseman a bit
Fortunately for the Astros, he took out that aggression on the next pitch, connecting for a two-run homer that completed a big rally to lift Houston
to a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was Bregman’s third straight game with a homer and it capped a huge comeback for the Astros, who trailed 5-0 in the middle of the first inning
after a terrible start by Dallas Keuchel.
The Astros trailed by one when Tony Kemp singled off Ryan Tepera (5-3) with no outs in the ninth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then with one
out in the inning, Bregman sent a fastball to left field, where it bounced off the wall above the Crawford Boxes, to give Houston the victory.
”That was the first guy I’ve swung and missed two straight fastballs on this year I think besides (Luis) Severino,” Bregman said. ”So it kind
of ticked me off.”
Manager A.J. Hinch wasn’t surprised that Bregman came through for his team.
”For him to be able to stay calm in the moment, we’ve seen this – Alex Bregman, game on the line Brandon Parker Color Rush Jersey , ice in his
veins,” Hinch said.
Bregman also doubled twice on Wednesday after hitting a homer and doubling three times in a win on Tuesday night.
”I don’t know how many hits Bregman had this series but he had too many,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Will Harris (3-3) allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for the win.
Gibbons was frustrated that his team let this one get away.
”That’s probably my low point this year because you’ve got it right there,” he said. ”Those are the teams you want to beat. I think what
magnifies that is anytime you get a 5-0 lead that’s what gets you.”
After the Blue Jays took a 5-0 lead in the first, Houston scored three in the bottom of the first to close the gap and got within one Evan Gattis‘
RBI double in the fifth. But Kevin Pillar singled and scored on an error in the sixth to make it 6-4.
Marwin Gonzalez snapped an 0 for 23 slump with a solo shot to the bullpen in right-center off Tyler Clippard with two outs in the eighth inning to cut
the lead to one.
The Blue Jays jumped on Keuchel immediately a day after being shut out for the fifth time this season in a 7-0 loss. Randal Grichuk hit a leadoff
double followed by a walk by Teoscar Hernandez. Yangervis Solarte made it 1-0 with an RBI double before Keuchel walked Steve Pearce.
Hernandez scored on a sacrifice fly by Kendrys Morales before Pillar made it 3-0 with a run-scoring single.
Another RBI single, this one on a grounder by Aledmys Diaz, pushed the lead to 4-0 before Luke Maile’s sacrifice fly made it 5-0.
Toronto starter Marco Estrada allowed seven hits and four runs – three earned – in five innings.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner who hadn’t allowed an earned run in his past two starts, gave up seven hits and six runs in 5 1/3
Evan Gattis doubled twice and drove in three runs to give him 30 RBIs this month, which is a franchise record for RBIs in June.
Keuchel settled down after his terrible first inning Josh Sweat Color Rush Jersey , allowing just one baserunner over the next four innings. But Pillar, who singled in the third
inning, hit another single with one out in the sixth before a single by Diaz.
Keuchel walked Maile to load the bases and Toronto extended the lead to 6-4 when Devon Travis reached and Pillar scored on an error by Jose Altuve.
”Just a tremendous job of staying the course. Not getting too mad at himself. Not getting too frustrated and just putting up zeros to allow us to
make it a game,” Hinch said.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa sat out for the second straight day with a sore back. Hinch said the problem isn’t serious but he wants to give him time to
rest. … RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) threw a bullpen on Wednesday and will likely begin a rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
Gibbons managed his 1,500th game on Wednesday. He’s managed the second-most games in Blue Jays history behind the 1,764 games that Cito Gaston
managed. He is 757-743 in his career, which leaves him in 11th place for wins among active managers.
Gibbons, who is in his second stint as Toronto’s manager, has been at the helm since 2013.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off on Thursday before opening a four-game series against the Tigers on Friday with Marcus Stroman (0-5 http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rashaan-gaulden-jersey , 6.80 ERA) on the mound. Stroman allowed six hits in
five scoreless innings in his return from the disabled list in his previous start.
Astros: Lance McCullers (8-3, 3.82) will start for Houston in the first of four games at Tampa on Thursday night. McCullers allowed four hits and
three runs while fanning nine in six innings in his previous outing.
The Tennessee Titans won more games inside the AFC South, won the franchise’s first playoff game in 14 years and reached the divisional round for
the first time since 2008.
Being embarrassed by the Patriots 35-14 has only reminded the Titans of how big a gap remains.
”We have a lot of work to do if we want to take the next step,” coach Mike Mularkey said Sunday.
Mularkey took a team that finished 3-13 for the No. 1 pick in the draft just two seasons ago to back-to-back 9-7 seasons and a 22-21 wild-card win in
Kansas City before the ugly loss in New England on Saturday night.
Yet a statement from the team’s controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk a week ago has not ended speculation over Mularkey’s job security.
The coach said Sunday he has spoken with Strunk about the season and the future. He would not discuss if they talked about an extension with 2018 the
last year on his contract, but he anticipates no changes on his coaching staff.
”We’re moving forward full speed ahead,” Mularkey said.
Mularkey also defended his offensive coordinator, saying Terry Robiskie did a ”very good job.” Mularkey also says he’s happy with the
development of his quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Mularkey says inconsistency was his offense’s biggest issue, and he believes Mariota will benefit from an offseason focused on football and not
recovering from an injury.
Mariota finished the season on the field for the first time in his three seasons in the NFL, but he was limited after straining a quadriceps muscle
early against the Patriots. He threw four touchdown passes with only one interception in the playoffs after throwing more interceptions (15) than TDs
(13) in the regular season.
Here are some things to watch from the Titans this offseason:
WHITHER **** LEBEAU
The defensive coordinator turned 80 in September and has been on a year-to-year basis with the Titans. Mularkey hasn’t talked to LeBeau yet. If he
returns for the 2018 season, it would be LeBeau’s 60th season in the NFL as a player and coach overall.
The Titans led the AFC and ranked fourth in the league in rushing defense and fifth with 43 sacks in the regular season.
But the Titans finished 17th in points allowed per game and 25th against the pass after adding two new starters to the secondary in cornerback Logan
Ryan and safety Johnathan Cyprien.
DeMarco Murray Kalen Ballage Color Rush Jersey ,
the three-time Pro Bowl running back, finished with the worst season of his career with 659 rushing yards. He missed the final three games with an
injured right knee.
Murray, who turns 30 on Feb. 12, still has two years left on the deal the Titans reworked when trading for the running back in March 2016. But Murray
is due $6.25 million in 2018.
Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, struggled running in two of his three starts without Murray.
But he ran for a career-high 156 yards in the Titans’ comeback win in Kansas City , and Henry still has two years left on his rookie contract.
The Titans invested heavily in the draft trying to give Mariota help. But Corey Davis, the fifth pick overall out of Western Michigan, didn’t catch
his first TD pass until the playoff loss to the Patriots after injuries cost him significant practice time.
Mularkey says he wants to see Davis and fellow rookie receiver Taywan Taylor benefit from an offseason in the weight room and on the field. Davis
finished with 34 catches for 374 yards, while Taylor had just 16 for 231.
BOLSTER OFFENSIVE LINE
The Titans slipped from a year ago when they blocked for the AFC’s top rushing offense and tied for seventh in the league for fewest sacks allowed.
The Titans ranked 15th in rushing and gave up more sacks (35) than a year ago.
Right guard Josh Kline will be a free agent http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mark-walton-jersey , and left guard Quinton Spain dealt with injuries that kept
him out of two games this season. They’ll likely start training camp with right tackle Jack Conklin on the physically unable to perform list after
he tore his left ACL in New England .
The Titans have fewer holes, but not pressuring Tom Brady makes clear they need someone on defense who can make a difference. They will have the 25th
pick in the first round in the draft.
They also have plenty of salary cap space with only a handful of pending free agents in defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, linebacker Avery Williamson,
kicker Ryan Succop, receiver Eric Decker and linebacker Erik Walden.