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career," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Strong guy, ph

in Richard Burns Rally 01.06.2019 15:34
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie Danny Santana had another big game and Kyle Gibson pitched well at home again. On Saturday, that formula added up to an impressive win. Santana drove in five runs, Gibson pitched seven strong innings and the Twins beat the Houston Astros 8-0. Santana, who hit his first major league home run on Friday night, flied out to lead off the first inning. He then got hits in his next four at-bats, raising his batting average to .373. "Dannys a good player. Hes electric," Gibson said. "He puts a lot of pressure on the defence, and being a switch-hitter and being as versatile as he is on defence as well makes for a great player to have up here." Santana is normally an infielder, but he also has played centre field this year. The last two games, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has written Santana into the lineup at designated hitter. It doesnt seem to matter where hes playing, however -- hes valuable wherever the Twins put him. Santana hit a two-run single in the second, helping to chase Astros starter Scott Feldman (3-4). He added a two-run double in the fourth as the Twins broke it open with four runs against reliever Paul Clemens. Santana also had a pair of singles off Jerome Williams and drove in another run in the seventh. Thats four hits off three different pitchers -- not bad for a player with 67 career at-bats in the major leagues. "Hes taking his swings," Gardenhire said. "He doesnt know these pitchers so hes making some adjustments. He sees the breaking ball the first time and then hes ready for it the next time." The Twins have played the last two days without another rookie, slugging right fielder Oswaldo Arcia, who sprained his ankle on Thursday against the Brewers. Hes been available only to pinch-hit, and his absence has been noticed by Gardenhire. "You lose a guy like Arcia out of your lineup and you think, Wheres it going to happen now?" he said. "But somebody else just has to pick up the slack." Gibson (5-5) scattered three hits and three walks while striking out five, allowing only one runner to reach second base. He pushed his home record to 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA this year, but he remains searching for an answer for his road numbers -- 1-4, 7.39. "I dont know what it is. Im just comfortable throwing here," Gibson said. "Im definitely comfortable on the road as well, and I dont think the numbers really get in my head -- Im still making pitches on the road. Maybe just not as many in big situations like I do at home." He was especially effective at keeping the ball on the ground -- he induced 12 ground ball outs, including the last nine batters he retired. Feldman was chased in the second inning as the Twins jumped to a 3-0 lead. After a perfect first, Feldman hit Josh Willingham leading off the second. Trevor Plouffe followed with a grounder that third baseman Matt Dominguez misplayed for an error. A walk to Kurt Suzuki loaded the bases with one out, but Feldman appeared to be on the verge of escaping when he struck out Eduardo Escobar. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez bobbled Aaron Hicks grounder up the middle and a run scored. Santana hit a two-run single to right to put the Twins ahead 3-0, and Feldman got yanked after walking Brian Dozier to load the bases. "Brutal," Feldman said of his outing, which matched the shortest of his career. "I needed a pitch, (but it) just never happened. " "It was one of those days, back-to-back guys struggle to command the strike zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Give Minnesota credit, they took pitch after pitch after pitch and put themselves into some good hitting counts. We didnt help ourselves by allowing them to extend innings." Clemens retired Joe Mauer on a fly ball to end the inning. But Clemens walked five batters in the fourth inning as the Twins scored four more runs. NOTES: The Twins promotional giveaway on Saturday was the "Gardy Gnome," a figurine depicting a gnome-like version of Gardenhire kicking a hat. "I told the promotions people, Whatever you want to do, go ahead," a slightly sheepish Gardenhire said. ... The Astros had won their previous six road games before Saturdays loss. Authentic Green Bay Packers Jerseys .The Hamilton Tiger-Cat defensive back always has the required receipt. But he also walks around with a tangle of metal screws, rods and plates after breaking his neck in 2006 playing high school football in Louisiana. Cheap Green Bay Packers Gear . The International Ice Hockey Federation says Pavlovs avoided a two-year sanction because he acted "without significant negligence in failing to verify the safety of the supplements he was taking. http://www.packerscheap.com/ . The team said Saturday that the 36-year-old Robidas is expected to miss four to six months, jeopardizing his return this season. He was injured when he slid hard into the boards in the second period of a 2-1 shootout loss to Chicago on Friday. Custom Packers Jerseys . On the day the club activated Casey Janssen from the 15-day disabled list, his return from a strained oblique that cost him the first six weeks of the regular season, it announced Sergio Santos would be placed on the disabled list on Monday with discomfort in his right forearm. Stitched Green Bay Packers Jerseys . Having won the first leg 1-0 in Barcelona, Madrid entered the match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium already in control and quickly sealed its place in the semifinals when Jese Rodriguez scored in the seventh minute.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Isaac Sopoaga celebrated his 32nd birthday nearly two months ago. The massive defensive tackle feels like he received a belated gift this week when the New England Patriots acquired him from Philadelphia at the trade deadline. "Today is my daughters fourth birthday, but I feel like yesterday and today is my birthday," he said Wednesday, a day after the deal. "The Patriots, you know, its like a dream come true, to be honest. Respect these guys the last 10 years. They won (the Super Bowl) three times. Its just an awesome feeling." The proven run stopper, who started seven of the Eagles first eight games this season, was brought on to bolster the Patriots depleted defence thats struggled recently against the run. Sopoaga spent the first eight years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and played in the Super Bowl earlier this year before being signed by Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent in March. The 6-foot-2, 330-pounder recorded 10 tackles for the Eagles. He has started in 87 of 133 career games with 465 tackles, 7 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. "Hes basically played defensive tackle and nose tackle throughout his career," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Strong guy, physical guy." Sopoaga sure has some big shoes to fill — as well as some developing gaps. New England (6-2) has been without starting defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly for the past three weeks. Wilfork, the heart of the defence the last 10 years, was placed on season-ending injured reserve Oct. 3 with a torn right Achilles tendon, and Kelly has been sidelined for the last three games with a knee injury. Middle linebacker and leading tackler Jerod Mayo also was lost for the season, place on injured reserve two weeks ago with a torn pectoral muscle. The Patriots are now preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) with a vastly different defensive cast than they started with in training camp. "Its great to have all your players and be at full strength.dddddddddddd The reality of it is thats usually not the case. Every team in the league goes through the same thing somewhere along the line," Belichick said. "All the players that are on the team have a role and they have to be ready when theyre called on to perform that role. "We have to be able to adjust during the game when those situations occur or during the week or during the year if its a long-term thing." The Patriots have acclimated to life without their stalwart linemen by leaning heavily on rookies Chris Jones and Joe Vellano. They also signed 34-year-old defensive end Andre Carter last week in the hope the 12-year veteran can rekindle some of the success he experienced in his lone season with the team in 2011, when he registered 10 sacks. In addition to their veteran leadership, Carter and Sopoaga both will be counted on to shore up a rushing defence that ranks 31st in the league at 130.8 yards per game, ahead of only winless Jacksonville. Prior to the losses of Wilfork and Kelly, the Patriots were allowing 105 yards rushing per game and had permitted just one touchdown rushing through the first four games. Over their last four, including both losses, they are yielding 156.5 yards rushing — much of it up the middle — and three touchdowns. The second half of the season appears to be getting brighter, though. Kelly returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since getting hurt Oct. 6 against Cincinnati, and Sopoaga is eager to get started with the team he was shocked to be traded to. "When I found out yesterday, I was with the Eagles and then after I had to drive to South Jersey so I could pack my stuff and then get ready," Sopoaga said. "On the highway, even though it was like a 50 (miles per hour) speed limit, us Samoan people, we go double the speed limit. "I was surprised, and something Ive got to live with, Ive got to do, Ive got to face, and you know, got to win." 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