Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

HR-robbing catch ends Mets loss

NEW YORK — Centerfielder Ender Inciarte robbed Yoenis Cespedes of a winning homer for the final out, and the Mets were handed another costly defeat by last-place Atlanta when the Braves rallied for a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.

With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cespedes launched a drive to deep right-center. Inciarte raced a long way to the wall and timed his jump perfectly, catching the ball just above the orange line atop the fence.

He held up his glove in excitement as Cespedes turned and walked slowly off the field. Some fans in the stunned crowd of 32,187 at Citi Field still had their hands on their heads as they filed up the aisles toward the exits.

New York remained tied with the Cardinals in the NL wild-card race, a half-game behind the Giants pending San Francisco's late game at Dodger Stadium. The teams began the day in a three-way tie for the league's final two playoff spots.

Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia failed to protect a three-run lead for the Mets in a late-season thriller. An error by normally sure-handed first baseman James Loney helped Atlanta tie the score with an unearned run in the eighth.

Inciarte had an RBI groundout against Familia in the top of the ninth, sending the Braves to their fifth straight victory. They completed their second straight three-game sweep at Citi Field, including one in June.

NATIONALS 8, MARLINS 3: Max Scherzer pitched 62/3 solid innings to help visiting Washington end a four-game losing streak and lower its magic number to three to clinch the NL East. Scherzer's eight strikeouts gave him 267, most in the majors and nine shy of the career high he set last season.

ROCKIES 11, CARDINALS 1: Nolan Arenado hit a grand slam, former Rays prospect German Marquez pitched five solid innings in his first major-league start and host Colorado slowed St. Louis' playoff chase.

CUBS 9, REDS 2: John Lackey pitched seven strong innings for host Chicago, which reduced its magic number to two for clinching homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs.

PIRATES 4, BREWERS 1: Former Ray Sean Rodriguez hit a home run and a two-run single and Andrew McCutchen also homered for Pittsburgh, which won its sixth straight at Miller Park and sixth in seven overall.

INDIANS 4, ROYALS 3: Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber pitched 61/3 strong innings as host Cleveland eliminated the reigning World Series champions from the AL Central race and reduced its magic number for clinching the division to five. Kluber went into the game third among AL pitchers in FanGraphs' wins above replacement and outpitched both ahead of him, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale and Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka.

MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 1 (12): Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning as host Seattle avoided a sweep and prevented Toronto from extending its wild-card lead. The Mariners won for the second time in six games to remain on the edge of the playoff chase.

RED SOX 5, ORIOLES 1: Visiting Boston scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning after a throwing error by first baseman Chris Davis and padded its AL East. Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who will seek to complete a four-game sweep tonight.

ANGELS 5, RANGERS 4: MVP candidate Mike Trout homered and Jered Weaver pitched six innings for his 150th career victory for visiting Los Angeles. Texas' magic number to win its second straight AL West title remained at two.

ASTROS 6, A'S 5: Evan Gattis homered twice, catcher Jason Castro threw out a runner to end the game and visiting Houston completed a sweep.

Around the league

ANGELS: Outfielder Mike Trout on Tuesday reached 10 wins above replacement according to baseball-reference.com, making him the first player to do so since he finished with 10.8 bWAR in 2012. Trout and Barry Bonds are the only players since 2000 to reach 10 bWAR more than once.

ASTROS: Outfielder Preston Tucker, a former Plant High standout, will need right shoulder surgery and won't be able to pick up a bat for a few months. He's expected to be ready for spring training.

GIANTS: Right-hander Johnny Cueto could miss his next scheduled start because of a groin strain.

Comments
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Thursday, saying that reports that Win...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

A month ago, the Gators and Florida State were both on track to land top-10 recruiting classes.Less than a week before the inaugural early signing period begins, both are on pace to land their worst classes of the Rivals era, with the crazy coaching ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls swim teams

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls swim teams

Hillsborough County Swimmer of the Year: Morgan Tankersley, Sr., PlantTankersley defended her state title in the 500 free (4:44.75) and placed second in one of the countryís fastest 200 free races in 1:46.75, 2.07 seconds behind Buchholz junior Isa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay boys swim teams

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay boys swim teams

Hillsborough County Swimmer of the Year: Brendan Driscoll, Jr., JesuitDriscoll was the only boys swimmer from Hillsborough County to win an individual state title this year and he did it with emphasis, taking gold in the 500 free in 4:29.50, almost...
Updated: 4 hours ago
When you think youíve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think youíve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. ó Center Brayden Point is the Lightningís calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Pointís soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "Iíve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Updated: 4 hours ago
How to optimize your college football bowl-watching experience

How to optimize your college football bowl-watching experience

Game-day guide to watching bowl games over the next few weeks: Five locals to watch Toledo WR Diontae Johnson (Lennard High): Only two players in the country average more yards per touch than Johnson (19.1), who could light up Appalachian State in ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has injury updates on Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy and a nostalgic trip through the Bucsí history on Monday night, including the current three-game win streak and yes, that infamous 2003 Colts game where the Bucs were u...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

Why the Bucs need a Dungy more than a Gruden

TAMPA ó The worst week of Dirk Koetterís life rolls on.Itís Gruden Week, just like Shark Week, only with smaller teeth and a bigger playbook. Itís the big build-up to Grudenís induction into the Buc Ring of Honor this Monday night, with the accompany...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Updated: 10 hours ago