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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Valtteri Filppula assisted on three of Tampa Bay's four goals, and the Lightning beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Friday night for their third NHL preseason win in three days.

Artem Sergeev, Brett Connolly, Ondrej Palat and Pierre-Cedric Labrie had goals for the Lightning (3-0), who will host the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Ben Bishop, who grew up in St. Louis, and Anders Lindback split time in goal for the Lightning. Bishop stopped 14 of 15 shots. Lindback made 13 saves on 15 shots.

Corey Locke had a goal and assist for the Blues, who were beaten by the Lightning 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday. Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie added goals.

Jaroslav Halak made his first preseason start in goal and played the entire game, making 19 saves.

 
Friday, 20 September 2013 23:34
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Markus Golden had trouble describing what went through his mind during one of the greatest moments of his college career.

But he still remembers how he forced Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens to lose control of the ball before snatching it in the air and sprinting 70 yards for a touchdown.

"I can't sit here and tell you exactly how I felt," the Missouri defensive end said, smiling. "But I know when I got to the end zone and set that ball down and looked at the crowd, it felt good."

His teammates felt good, too.

Golden's score increased the Tigers' lead to 24-9 over Toledo on Sept. 7 and gave Missouri its first defensive score against a Football Bowl Subdivision team since 2008.

It was Missouri's fifth interception of the year, and another by safety Ian Simon left the Tigers (2-0) with just one fewer pick than they had all of last season.

"There's nothing — nothing — in my business that determines winning or losing more than that stat," coach Gary Pinkel said. "Turnovers and turnover margin. There's no stat that comes close to that."

Pinkel said luck may be a factor with the interceptions, which obscure two bend-but-don't-break performances from his defense this season.

After Golden's return, the Rockets got two quick touchdowns to get within a point, but the Tigers stiffened and pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter to win 38-23.

In its opener against Murray State, the team trailed 14-13 after the first quarter before scoring the final 45 points of the game.

Part of the problem lies with the defense's struggles to apply pressure.

Missouri has failed to force a fumble and has three sacks, all against Murray State.

Last year, opponents fumbled 28 times and the Tigers ranked first in the Southeastern Conference with 16 recoveries. The team also had 21 sacks.

"We just want to get as much pressure back there as we can," end Kony Ealy said. "If we can get sacks, that's great. But we're not concentrating mainly on sacks, but just getting turnovers, three-and-outs, getting the ball back to our offense."

Pinkel attributes the issue to quick-throwing quarterbacks, part of a trend in college football. Missouri will face another high-octane attack this week at Indiana (2-1), which leads the Big Ten with 50 points and 571.3 yards per game.

Nothing that the Tigers aren't used to, however.

"I've seen their offense, and honestly, they're no faster than our offense, and we practice against them every day," cornerback E.J. Gaines said. "So the tempo shouldn't be that big of a deal."

While slowing the Hoosiers would be a difficult task on a normal day, Missouri will start without linebacker and last year's leading tackler Andrew Wilson, who is suspended for the first half after being ejected for targeting in the third quarter against Toledo.

The captain described his initial reaction as "shock," having never been forced from a game previously.

Although he has no complaints about how officials applied the rule, Wilson added, "It's not going to change the way I play."

And the Tigers aren't planning to change how they play defense despite the roller coaster ride they've already experienced this season.

The team has still forced a turnover in 32 consecutive games, but statistics aren't discussed in meetings. Rather, coaches concentrate on how players respond to big plays by opponents.

"For the most part, I think our guys have handled that, whatever adversity has come their way, and stiffened up when they've needed to," safeties coach Alex Grinch said. "And in other scenarios we haven't. And we need to do better at that."


 

Friday, 20 September 2013 23:31
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was released from jail Friday after his pickup truck apparently struck a tree and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, authorities said.

Smith later took to the practice field with his teammates Friday afternoon at team headquarters in Santa Clara. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4.

Smith declined to comment when reporters asked about his arrest.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Friday that he expects that Smith will play Sunday when the Niners host the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park.

"I expect Aldon - like today - he'll be back to work and playing on Sunday," Harbaugh said. "I anticipate that, yes."

Harbaugh said that any potential discipline will likely come from the NFL.

"There will be consequences. There always is," Harbaugh said. "Good or bad, we all have consequences."

Smith, 23, posted $5,250 bail and was released from the Santa Clara County jail late Friday morning, just hours after he was taken into custody by police responding to a single-vehicle crash that involved his truck in San Jose, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said.

San Jose police arrested Smith after officers received a call from a resident about the crash in the city's Silver Creek area around 7 a.m., Sgt. Heather Randol said.

Officers gave Smith breath tests and other tests after his pickup apparently struck a tree, hit a curb and left streak marks on a driveway and sidewalk.

"They conducted an investigation and determined he was under the influence," Randol said about Smith. "He was the only person inside the vehicle."

The linebacker, who helped the 49ers get to the Super Bowl last season, has 37 sacks in 34 career games and was selected to his first Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro last season.

Smith won the team's MVP award last season as he set the Niners' franchise record with 19 1/2 sacks. A first-round draft pick out of Missouri in 2011, Smith also set the team's rookie sack record with 14 that year.

His teammate, Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis, said Friday that Smith's arrest caught him by surprise as the team constantly talks about staying out of trouble.

"Some guys listen, some guys don't. You can take the horse to the water, but you can't make him drink. It's all about doing the right thing," Davis said. "I'm sure he'll come around. It's just a matter of time. Hopefully, he'll learn from this situation that he got himself into, and maybe it will come out positive instead of negative."

Smith, who turns 24 on Wednesday, has had other issues with the law as he was also arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Miami Beach in January 2012.

In addition, he's named in a lawsuit by a Northern California man who said he was shot during a party at Smith's house.

In the suit filed earlier this month in Santa Clara County Superior Court, David Kleczek, an attorney for Ronndale Esporlas, claims that Smith and former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker fired weapons illegally during a party at Smith's San Jose home on June 29, 2012.

The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink, the lawsuit said. Smith and Walker, who is also named in the suit, were allegedly intoxicated on Smith's balcony when they later fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party, the lawsuit said.

Kleczek said they then moved to the driveway where he alleged more shots were fired. Esporlas, 21, was shot twice in the leg while he was "caught in the crossfire between the two groups of people firing gunshots at each other," the lawsuit said.

As a result, Esporlas, "sustained serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries," the lawsuit said. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Attorneys for Smith and Walker, 29, who currently plays for the Tennessee Titans, have said Esporlas "freely and voluntarily exposed himself to all risks of harm" by attending the party.

They say injuries suffered by Esporlas, who was shot in the leg, were not caused by the defendants.

Santa Clara County prosecutors have said they are considering criminal charges.

 
Friday, 20 September 2013 23:29
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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Carlos Beltran's 10th-inning sacrifice fly lifted St. Louis to a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night and kept the Cardinals in sole possession of first place in the NL Central.

The Cardinals hold a two-game lead over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Reds downed the Pirates 6-5 in 10 innings to move into a tie for second place.

Former Brewers closer John Axford (7-7 ) picked up the win, while Carlos Martinez got his first save of the year for the Cardinals.

Beltran's fly ball to deep right field off Michael Blazek (0-1) scored Kolten Wong, who led off the 10th with a walk.

Matt Adams smacked a towering two-run, ninth-inning home run to give the Cardinals a 6-4 lead, but the Brewers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.

Jeff Bianchi hit a lead-off double and later scored on a single by pinch-hitter Logan Schafer. The Brewers added another run on Aramis Ramirez's slow roller off Axford, whom the Cardinals acquired from the Brewers earlier this season. Carlos Gomez grounded into an inning-ending double play to send the game to extra innings.

Adam's blast to right-center field came off Brewers' closer Jim Henderson, who walked Matt Holliday to start the inning.

The Cardinals jumped on Brewers' starter Johnny Hellweg for a run in the first inning on Matt Holliday's single.

Ramirez hit a three-run home run with one out in the Brewers' half of the first off Shelby Miller, who entered the game having given up just three earned runs over 25 innings in four previous starts against the Brewers this season.

Holliday's run-scoring single in the fifth cut the Brewers' lead to 3-2. Ramirez's sacrifice fly in the Brewers' half of the frame allowed Milwaukee to regain a two-run lead.

Matt Carpenter and Beltran connected for back-to-back doubles in the seventh to cut the lead to 4-3. Adams' run-scoring single tied the game.

The Brewers had a chance to regain the lead in their half of the seventh, but Beltran threw out Norichika Aoki at the plate as he tried to score from second on a single by Ramirez.

Hellweg gave up seven hits and two runs over in an erratic five-inning stint. He walked five, struck out one, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

Miller surrendered seven hits and four runs in six innings. He walked two and struck out four.

Aoki had four hits, a walk and scored three runs for the Brewers.

NOTES: The Cardinals ran their record to 7-1 at Miller Park this season and 13-4 overall against the Brewers. . Shelby Miller became the first St. Louis rookie pitcher to start 30 games in a season since Rick Ankiel in 2000. . With four strikeouts, Miller passed Harvey Haddix for third place on St. Louis' rookie strikeout list with 166. . St. Louis wraps up its final regular-season road trip with the three-game series in Milwaukee.

Friday, 20 September 2013 23:27
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- This was one time Andy Reid didn't mind being a big target.

The man in the bull's-eye so often when he coached in Philadelphia was easy for Chiefs receiver Donnie Avery to find. At the end of Kansas City's 26-16 victory over the Eagles in Reid's homecoming Thursday night, Avery gave Reid a Gatorade shower.

Reid already looked strange decked in all red on the visitors' sideline. Now, he was drenched, too - but smiling, even joking he was doing Gatorade promotions.

"Yeah, it was different," Reid said. "I was on the opposite side of the field than I normally am at. But I can't tell you that I was caught up in that part of it."

The result was similar to what he gave Philadelphia in his 14 years in charge of the Eagles, thanks to a dynamic Chiefs defense that forced five turnovers and sacked a harried Michael Vick five times. Vick even limped off after a late fumble - he said his ankle got rolled, but he was fine - but stayed around to hug Reid following the final play.

"It was great to see the players that are here," Reid admitted. "I had a chance to talk to them after the game."

Kansas City, which has not had a giveaway in opening 3-0, has won one more game already than it did in 2012 - after which it hired Reid days after he was fired on the heels of Philly's 4-12 finish.

"It's important," he said of the fast start, "but there's still a lot of season left. There no time to relax on what you have done."

The usually stoic Reid showed some fire to match his bright red outfit late in the first half when he thought the Chiefs got a bad spot. He came out to the hash mark to yell at the officials, then walked off at halftime still gesturing his displeasure.

That was far more emotion than he displayed when he entered the stadium with the Chiefs just before kickoff. Although the Philly fans gave him a warm ovation, some standing in tribute to the man who won 140 games and six division titles for them, Reid walked briskly along the sideline, never turning his gaze toward the stands.

But he later said he recognized the tribute.

"I appreciate the fans and the support they gave me," he said. "That was kind of them."

He certainly had to like much of what he saw on the field from his defense, particularly linebacker Justin Houston.

It was offensive master Reid's defense and special teams that set the tone and put his team ahead early, silencing the sea of green at the Linc. The Chiefs forced four first-half turnovers and Houston had three of their four sacks in the first half. He had another half-sack to start the second half, off a bad snap to Vick, and he forced Vick to fumble with 1:34 remaining. Houston has 6 1/2 sacks in three games.

"The defense, man - the DBs, the linebackers giving great coverage, the big guys in the middle pushing the pocket," he said. "When they're doing that, it's real easy for me to do my job."

Damaris Johnson's muffed punt return gave Kansas City the ball at the Eagles 8, leading to Ryan Succop's 33-yard field goal for a quick 3-0 lead. Derrick Johnson then deflected Vick's ill-advised throw into the flat and Eric Berry picked it off, going 38 yards with the first interception of the year for the Philly quarterback.

There would be more mistakes as Philadelphia (1-2) lost its eighth straight home game.

"I take full responsibility," Vick said. "I didn't get the offense going. I didn't get the tempo going. We didn't play well by any stretch. We didn't execute at all and we didn't play the way we're capable of."

But after falling behind 10-0, Vick got the Eagles' no-huddle, fast-tempo offense in gear with the longest run of his 12-year career. He burst up the middle, shook off two attempted tackles and sped 61 yards. Two plays later, it was his arm doing the damage. Under a heavy rush, he stood in and led Jason Avant perfectly in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score.

That three-play, 87-yard spurt epitomized the fast-paced offense coach Chip Kelly brought from Oregon in replacing Reid. But Kelly got cute, going for a 2-point conversion on tight end Zach Ertz's run that failed.

The takeaways kept the Chiefs in front. And after Avery turned a short pass into a 51-yard gain thanks to sloppy Eagles tackling, Succop made a 31-yard field goal. He kicked a 34-yarder moments later after another turnover, Sean Smith's interception, for a 16-6 halftime edge.

Avery had a big night, finishing with seven catches for 141 yards.

Alex Henery's 29-yard field goal was the only scoring of a sloppy third quarter, and when Jamaal Charles surged around right end for a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter, Reid's return was a rousing success. Not even LeSean McCoy's 41-yard TD run with 11:36 remaining could spoil that.

"This was definitely bigger than coach Reid, and he would be the first to admit that," cornerback Sean Smith said. "This was about us as an organization, as a team, to go out there and be 3-0, which is big in the NFL."

NOTES: The Eagles retired Donovan McNabb's No. 5 jersey at halftime. ... The Chiefs are the fifth team to go 3-0 after losing 14 games or more the previous season. ... Kansas City came into the game tied for the league lead in sacks and now has 15. ... Chiefs LG Jeff Allen injured his groin and CB Brandon Flowers aggravated a knee injury,

--- AP NFL website: HTTP://WWW.PRO32.AP.ORG

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Friday, 20 September 2013 06:32
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DENVER (AP) -- Shortstop Pete Kozma could see the situation coming, his chance in the 15th inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a hard-fought victory.

The Colorado Rockies intentionally walked Yadier Molina with one out and runners on first and third to load the bases for Kozma.

Batting against Rob Scahill, Kozma grounded into a double play. Corey Dickerson's RBI triple with one out in the bottom of the inning gave the Rockies a 7-6 victory in a marathon that lasted 5 hours, 9 minutes.

"He's a good sinkerball pitcher," Kozma said of Scahill. "Faced him a couple times in the minors. I was just looking for something to get up and drive. I had something to hit and didn't do anything with it."

What Kozma did was fire his helmet to the ground in disgust. He entered the game hitting just .218 but with a .324 average with runners in scoring position. It is rare for Kozma to show emotion, but this was not just any clutch situation.

"Game on the line," Kozma said. "The game lasts six hours or however long it lasted. Everybody was feeling something, especially at that point."

Charlie Blackmon finished with four hits and Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton homered for the Rockies in tying the second-longest game in Coors Field history.

Matt Holliday had three hits for the Cardinals, who had their NL Central Division lead over Pittsburgh trimmed to one game. The Pirates beat San Diego 10-1 on Thursday.

DJ LeMahieu started the winning rally with a one-out single to right. Dickerson then drilled a line drive into the right-field corner as LeMahieu rounded the bases. The relay from second baseman Matt Carpenter beat LeMahieu but catcher Molina couldn't control the ball as LeMahieu crawled to touch home.

It was Dickerson's second triple of the game and sixth of the season.

In the first inning, Helton tagged out Carpenter at first with the hidden-ball trick. After Roy Oswalt threw to first, Helton feigned a throw back to the mound and tagged Carpenter when he stepped off the bag to end the inning.

The teams traded late-game rallies.

Helton, who struck out with the bases loaded to end Wednesday's game, turned on Edward Mujica's fastball Thursday, drove an 0-1 offering into the Rockies bullpen to lead off the ninth and tie it at 6-all.

It was Mujica's fourth blown save in 41 chances.

Holliday hit his former team hard, going 8 for 21 with a home run, four walks and four RBIs in the series. He reached base in six straight at-bats Thursday and was poised to be the hero with his RBI single in the ninth before Helton tied it with his 14th home run of the season.

It was part of a back-and-forth that saw the Cardinals rally from four runs down but blow two late leads.

Trailing 4-0, the Cardinals got within a run in the fourth. Oswalt walked the first two batters, Carlos Beltran singled to score Jon Jay and Holliday came home on a sacrifice fly.

Tony Cruz doubled off the wall in left to make it 4-3.

Holliday tied it at 4-all with an RBI single in the fifth.

David Freese gave the Cardinals a 5-4 lead in the eighth with an RBI double to center, but Colorado tied it in the bottom of the inning on Dickerson's two-out triple.

Helton helped the Rockies take an early lead with a leadoff double in the second, his 588th career two-bagger. He moved to third on Charlie Culberson's infield single and scored on Yorvit Torrealba's blooper to right.

Culberson scored on a double play to make it 2-0.

Tulowitzki's two-run homer in the third made it 4-0. It was his 23rd of the season.

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha had a curious Coors Field debut. He allowed four runs and 12 hits but no walks with seven strikeouts in 4 2-3 innings.

"Plain and simple, I gave up too many hits," Wacha said. "And I didn't put our team in a good position to win a game. I feel it all starts with the starting pitcher, and I just wasn't able to get guys out there for a while and gave up entirely way too many hits."

NOTES: Cardinals 1B Matt Adams (right elbow soreness) did not start but came into the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth. He singled in the ninth and was replaced by a pinch-runner. ... Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer (left wrist, forearm) was out of the lineup but hopes to play Friday. ... RHP Shelby Miller (14-9) will open the Cardinals' weekend series in Milwaukee on Friday. ... RHP Jhoulys Chacin (13-9) will start the first game of Colorado's series against Arizona on Friday.

Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:33
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Adam Erne had two power-play goals and also scored in the shootout to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

J.T. Brown had two assists for the Lightning, who rallied back from a 3-0 deficit. Tom Pyatt also scored for the Lightning.

Dmitrij Jaskin scored twice for St. Louis and Jaden Schwarz had the other goal for the Blues, who missed both attempts in the shootout.

Both teams held out most of their star players.

Jaskin had a wraparound goal in the first period and was also alone on his second goal at 1:52 of the second period.

The Blues forward threw a seemingly harmless shot at the goal from just inside the boards that Lightning goalie Cedrick Desjardins let sail over his shoulder for a 2-0 Blues lead.

Kristers Gudlevskis replaced DesJardins in the middle of the period and allowed a goal to Schwartz on the first shot he faced to make it 3-0.

Erne deflected a shot from Mark Barberio late in the second period to cut the deficit to 3-1.

Erne struck again 1:31 into the third period, scoring from right in front of the net after a centering pass from Brown.

Pyatt tied the game with a sharply-angled shot from the left wing that surprised Blues goalie Brian Elliott.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 23:10
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DENVER (AP) -- Adam Wainwright pitched effectively into the eighth after a shaky start and helped himself at the plate with three hits as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Wednesday night to expand their lead in the NL Central race.

Wainwright (17-9) gave up two runs in the first and then found his groove to earn his 17th win, second-most in the NL this season.

He went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to help the Cardinals stretch their lead to two games over Pittsburgh after the Pirates lost 3-2 loss to San Diego. St. Louis also reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to three with 10 games to play.

Tyler Chatwood (7-5) allowed four runs in six innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Chatwood is rounding back into form after missing nearly a month with an inflamed right elbow.

The hard-throwing Wainwright allowed 10 hits and struck out eight before running into a jam with two on and two outs in the eighth. Reliever Trevor Rosenthal got Charlie Blackmon to ground out to end the threat. Edward Mujica pitched his way out of a bases loaded mess in ninth for his 37th save in 40 chances. He struck out Todd Helton, who's retiring at the end of the season, to quiet the cheering crowd and end the game.

Michael Cuddyer remains the NL batting leader, keeping his average at .331 after going 1 for 3 on Wednesday. Cuddyer left the game shortly after making an inning-ending diving catch in the sixth. The team announced he was day-to-day with a bruised right forearm.

Cuddyer, a career .271 hitter entering this season, has a slight lead in the batting race over Atlanta's Chris Johnson (.327).

St. Louis solve Chatwood in the third, stringing together four straight hits to tie the game at 2-all. Wainwright had an RBI double and Matt Carpenter followed with a run-scoring single. Carpenter now has 67 RBIs from the leadoff spot, the most by a Cardinals player since Lou Brock had 76 in 1967.

The Cardinals took the lead for good in the fourth when Yadier Molina led off the inning with a double and was brought home by Wainwright's single. He now has five RBIs this season.

The Rockies began the game with four straight hits off Wainwright, including a two-run single by Troy Tulowitzki. That was certainly more offense than the Rockies had off Wainwright in May, when the Cardinals ace took a no-hitter into the eighth and finished with a two-hitter during a 3-0 victory.

Wainwright escaped more trouble in the first by getting Helton to hit into a 3-6-1 double play. Jordan Pacheco followed by lining out to Matt Adams to end the inning.

This is Helton's last hurrah after announcing he was calling it a career after 17 years. Manager Walt Weiss said he plans to start Helton in each of the remaining nine games.

"I'm going to play him as much as he's physically able to do it," Weiss said. "Give the fans an opportunity to see him."

Helton had a double in the sixth, the 587th of his career.

Notes: Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly (right calf tightness) hopes to be ready for his next start. "Personally, I think I can go," Kelly said. "It's just something that you don't want to go out there and not be 100 percent and mess it up worse." ... Adams left the game in the seventh with right elbow soreness. ... Broncos DBs Omar Bolden and Duke Ihenacho were on the field for batting practice before the game. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez is visiting a hand specialist in Cleveland about his sprained right middle finger.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 23:08
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Washington got back to playing baseball and swept Atlanta to keep the Braves from clinching the NL East. Meanwhile, the AL wild-card race remained tight with Texas beating Tampa Bay. A quick look at baseball's playoff picture:

TIGHTENING RACE: Four of the six teams vying for the two AL wild-card berths squared off against a fellow contender Tuesday night. Texas topped Tampa Bay 7-1 to move into a tie with the Rays atop the wild-card chase. Cleveland moved a half-game out while Baltimore is now within two games. Kansas City and New York both lost, but are still in the hunt 3½ games back.

STAYING HOT: The Washington Nationals swept Atlanta in a day-night doubleheader to postpone the Braves' first NL East title since 2005. Washington has won 10 of its last 11 games to close within five games of Cincinnati for the NL's second wild-card berth. The first game was a makeup following shootings at the nearby Washington Navy Yard on Monday. Rookie Tanner Roark (7-0) remained unbeaten by allowing just two hits in seven shutout innings in the nightcap. Manager Davey Johnson even seemed to make up a word — "posure," apparently a cross between poise and composure — to describe his young star.

WELCOME BACK MATT: Matt Kemp went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in his first start since coming off the disabled list Monday to lead Los Angeles to an easy 9-3 rout of Arizona. With the victory, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch the division to two. They can clinch the NL West with a win Wednesday.

LOST PERFECTION: Boston closer Koji Uehara saw his run of 37 consecutive batters retired come to an end as the Orioles rallied against the Red Sox's star closer. Danny Valencia ended that streak with a triple to lead off the ninth and Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to give Baltimore the 3-2 win. Uehara fell four outs short of Bobby Jenks' major league record for a reliever of 41 consecutive retired batters set in 2007 and Mark Buehrle's mark for all pitchers of 45 in 2009. The run was the first off Uehara in 30 2-3 innings and ended a streak of 27 scoreless outings since July 9.

SLUMPING PIRATES: Pittsburgh can't wait for San Diego to get out of town. The Padres beat the Pirates for the second straight night, improving to 30-10 in Pittsburgh since the new ballpark opened in 2001. Pittsburgh fell a game behind St. Louis, which routed Colorado 11-4 to take the NL Central lead.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 06:56
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DENVER (AP) -- Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help the St. Louis Cardinals take over sole possession of the NL Central with an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals entered the night tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.

Joe Kelly (9-4) baffled the Rockies as he allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander has been one of the team's most consistent pitchers since becoming a permanent member of the rotation in July.

Juan Nicasio (8-8) struggled with his command, lasting just 2 2-3 innings and allowing eight runs, which tied a career high.

Holliday led an 18-hit night by the Cardinals, who had seven players with at least two hits. Holliday finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double and two-run homer against his former team. He drove in three runs and scored twice.

The Cardinals ran away with the game in the third when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times. Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in the decisive inning, while Holliday added a double and an RBI single.

Colorado's Michael Cuddyer finished 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to raise his average to.331, which is tops in the NL.

Kelly hardly seemed intimidated in his first start at Coors Field. He didn't allow a base runner to reach as far as third base until the fourth inning. He wiggled out of that jam when first baseman Matt Adams corralled Josh Rutledge's liner.

Once Kelly was out of the game, the Rockies went to work as they scored four runs off reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. But the bullpen shut down the Rockies from there, with Kevin Siegrist striking out pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco to end the game.

Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was frequently on base for the Cardinals, with two singles and a hit by pitch. He leads the league hits (187), doubles (51) and multi-hit games (60).

Yadier Molina gave the Cardinals a lead in the first inning with a two-out single to center. Molina is one of the top hitters in the league with runners in scoring position.

Todd Helton nearly tied the game in the bottom half of the first, but Holliday made a leaping catch against the fence in left field.

The 40-year-old Helton announced last weekend his decision to retire after his 17th season with the Rockies. He leaves as the franchise's leader in virtually every offensive category.

NOTES: Kelly is 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 starts this season. ... The only Cardinals starter without one was OF Carlos Beltran. ... St. Louis will send RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9) to the mound on Wednesday, while the Rockies counter with RHP Tyler Chatwood (7-4). ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado missed the game after aggravating his right thumb on Monday. "He may be down for a few days," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday. "His thumb is real tender." ... Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba replaced Wilin Rosario (right calf soreness) in the third inning.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 23:30
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - County officials could compile lists of residents with health problems under a Missouri bill intended to identify people in need of help during disast...

Texas man charged for hitting cyclist while driving dru…

ST. CHARLES, MO (AP) – A Texas man faces second-degree assault charges after allegedly striking a bicyclist while driving drunk.   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch repor...

Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments

Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) - GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) isn't attending a Republican dinner in Moline because he says he disagrees with past statements from a pa...

Mizzou journalism school trying to roll out journalism drones again

Mizzou journalism school trying to roll out journalism …

COLUMBIA, MO (AP) – The University of Missouri journalism school has modified its classroom use of aerial drones as a legal challenge to the FAA ban on commercial use of the fly...

Lawmakers approve changes to Missouri criminal code

Lawmakers approve changes to Missouri criminal code

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers gave final approval to the first comprehensive rewrite of the state's criminal laws in decades.   The House and Senate...

Craig Michael Wood pleads not guilty

Craig Michael Wood pleads not guilty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri youth football coach accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty   Forty-six-ye...

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