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Torres belts two homers, leads Yankees to win over Blue Jays – Sportsnet.ca

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TAMPA, Fla. — Gleyber Torres belted a pair of home runs as the New York Yankees downed the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 in pre-season baseball action Saturday.

Torres, who also hit a double in the game, opened the scoring with a solo shot off Jays starter Anthony Kay in the bottom of the third and opened a 4-0 lead with a two-run homer off Kirby Snead in the bottom of the fourth.

Mike Ford capped the scoring for New York with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh.

Toronto got one back in the top of the eighth when Joe Panik’s ground out scored Forrest Wall.

Kay gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings to pick up the loss.

Luis Garcia pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jhoulys Chacin to earn the win.

The Blue Jays face Detroit on Sunday in their second-last spring-training game.

Toronto opens its regular season April 1 on the road against the Yankees.

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Brady throws two TD passes, Buccaneers beat Eagles – TSN

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep losing key players and stockpiling victories.

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette ran for two scores and the Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 on Thursday night.

The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (5-1) lost another cornerback when three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, but their depleted defense held on after Jalen Hurts rallied the Eagles from a 28-7 deficit.

“It’s tough to win on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best so we have to get back to work … We got to get better.”

Playing with an injured thumb, Brady came out firing. The 44-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion tossed TD passes on Tampa Bay’s first two drives while going 11 for 12 for 121 yards.

His best play came after Hurts’ second TD run and a 2-point conversion pulled Philadelphia within six points with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter.

Facing a third-and-7 from Philadelphia’s 45, Brady rolled away from pressure and threw a perfect pass to Antonio Brown for a 27-yard gain to extend the drive and the Bucs ran out the clock.

“It was a great route, hell of a throw as Tom got out of the pocket,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. ″Couple times this year he slipped out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”

Brady finished 34 of 42 for 297 yards and an interception. He insisted his thumb, which was taped, is fine.

“I feel great, awesome,” he said. “It’s football season. I feel good. Really do.”

The Eagles (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni. They heard boos at halftime but fought back to make it close.

“We were bad in the first half. Put that one on me,” Sirianni said. “There’s no doubt our offense needs to be better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Brady’s 2-yard TD pass to O.J. Howard gave the Buccaneers a 7-0 lead. The Eagles answered on Hurts’ 5-yard scoring pass to Zach Ertz. Brady then hit Brown for a 23-yard TD pass to make it 14-7.

After two straight three-and-out series, Brady led the Bucs on another scoring drive with Fournette running in from the 2 to extend the lead to 21-7. Tampa increased its lead to 28-7 when Fournette walked in from the 1 in the third quarter.

Fournette ran for 81 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards.

“Having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” said Fournette, who signed with Tampa Bay shortly before last season after he was cut by Jacksonville. “The sky’s the limit for me.”

Brady was 19 of 22 before missing three straight passes late in the second quarter, including a deep ball intercepted by Anthony Harris that ended his streak of 227 passes without a pick.

The Buccaneers were already missing cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting and safety Antoine Winfield before Sherman went down on Philadelphia’s first drive. Sherman was quickly ruled out. Arians wasn’t certain the severity of the injury.

“We just have to keep playing with the guys we have and see how long the injury is. Next man up,” Arians said.

Still, against a patchwork secondary, Hurts struggled throwing the ball. He was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD and one interception. Hurts ran for 44 yards and two scores.

“I haven’t executed enough to win, clearly,” Hurts said. “The ball is in my hands every play and I enjoy that and I like that. I have to be better. I’m not doing enough to win. I’m not doing enough to start fast. I will be better.”

LOOK OUT, TROUT

Hurts fired the ball toward the stands after running into the end zone for his second TD, causing a security guard to duck and three-time AL MVP Mike Trout to flinch in his front-row seat. Trout, who grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey, is a huge Eagles fan.

HONORED

The Eagles inducted left tackle Tra Thomas and right tackle Jon Runyan into the team’s Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony. The duo started 134 regular-season games together from 2000-08. During that span, the Eagles reached the playoffs seven times, won five NFC East titles, reached five conference championship games and one Super Bowl.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs), Winfield (concussion) and LB Lavonte David (ankle) were inactive.

Eagles: TE Dallas Goedert (COVID protocol) and RT Lane Johnson (personal) were inactive.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Host Chicago (2-3) on Oct. 24.

Eagles: At Las Vegas (3-2) on Oct. 24.

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/robmaaddi

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Dodgers beat Giants in Game 5, advance to NLCS – TSN

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and prized midseason acquisition Max Scherzer came out of the bullpen for his first career save, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants 2-1 in a thrilling winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night and into the NL Championship Series.

Bellinger’s big hit decided a scintillating NL Division Series between talent-laden teams with lofty win totals — the latest exciting chapter of this storied rivalry.

And the dramatic finish came with a controversial call: With a runner on, Scherzer struck out Wilmer Flores on a check-swing to end it. First base umpire Gabe Morales rang up Flores on appeal — but on television replays, it certainly didn’t appear he swung.

No matter, the Dodgers rushed out of their dugout to celebrate on the Giants’ home field. Meanwhile, fans threw beer cans and debris onto the diamond in disgust.

“The umpire said it was a swing, so it was a swing,” Bellinger said.

Mookie Betts had a postseason career-high four hits and will lead the next step for the defending World Series champions at Atlanta for Game 1 of the best-of-seven NLCS on Saturday night.

Los Angeles came back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Braves in last year’s NLCS, taking Game 7 by a 4-3 score on the way to its first title since 1988.

“It’s going to be another good one. It’s not going to be easy,” Bellinger said. “We played each other a few times the last few years. So we kind of know what each other’s got, and really looking forward to it.”

Camilo Doval plunked Justin Turner with one out in the ninth and Gavin Lux then singled before Bellinger delivered his most meaningful hit in a scrutinized season.

“You really do want to be in that moment,” Bellinger said.

Scherzer, the Game 3 loser who came over from Washington at the trade deadline, closed out a best-of-five series certain to go down among the several classics these franchises have played — right up there with the 1951 and ’62 clubs that each matched up in three-game tiebreakers for the NL pennant that the Giants won each time.

In the 24th and final meeting between these so evenly matched rivals who knew everything about each other by this stage, it was only fitting they split at 12 apiece. The 107-win Giants edged the Dodgers for the NL West title on the final day, Los Angeles winding up a game back with 106 victories.

The Dodgers already won once facing elimination, topping the Cardinals last week in the wild-card game 3-1. And manager Dave Roberts’ bold Game 5 gamble paid off: 20-game winner Julio Urías pitched out of the bullpen instead of starting as originally planned. Urías entered in the third inning and gave LA four innings of relief with five strikeouts.

“I think that you can’t do a job for fear of failure or potential criticism,” Roberts explained. “I think that you have to do your job given whatever you feel is the best way to win the game.”

Betts had the Dodgers’ initial three hits with singles at the top of the lineup before Corey Seager’s RBI double in the sixth as the Dodgers finally got to Game 1 winner Logan Webb.

Then Darin Ruf’s first hit of the series for San Francisco after starting 0 for 9 was a tying home run in the bottom half. The 452-foot drive is the longest of this postseason.

Webb was done after seven more brilliant innings, allowing one run on four hits, striking out seven and walking one as he once more delighted a sellout crowd of 42,275 with their swirling orange rally towels and those deafening “Beat LA!” chants.

The 24-year-old right-hander and two relievers shut out the Dodgers 4-0 here last Friday, and Webb’s Sierra Elementary School to the north in Rocklin held a day in his honor earlier this week.

Betts led off the game with a single but the Giants got out of it with an inning-ending double play and Webb faced the minimum through two.

Right-hander Corey Knebel opened for the Dodgers and gave up Buster Posey’s two-out double in the first, then pumped his fist striking out Brandon Crawford in a seven-pitch at-bat.

“Sometimes there’s things that you can’t really explain. It’s kind of like that `It’ thing. I feel like we have it,” Betts said.

BETTS’ BAT

Betts is only the second batter with three hits in a game against Webb this year, joining San Diego’s Eric Hosmer on April 30.

The LA right fielder also is the first player in Dodgers history with four hits in a winner-take-all postseason game.

SCULLY SAYS

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who retired following the 2016 season after 67 years calling Dodgers games, weighed in on the magnitude of this Game 5 matchup in the clubs’ storied histories.

“To my knowledge, tonight’s game between the (at)Dodgers and (at)SFGiants is the most important game in the history of their rivalry. With nearly identical records, and so much at stake, I believe this to be the case,” Scully posted on Twitter. “Many of you might consider the 1951 game for the NL pennant to be bigger. Perhaps, but that was more about the greatest moment with Bobby Thomson’s game-winning home run.”

Roberts was told before the game of the 93-year-old Scully’s remarks.

“Now I feel pressure, gosh darn it, man,” Roberts said with a grin.

FOSSE REMEMBERED

A moment of silence and a thoughtful big screen tribute were held for two-time All-Star catcher Ray Fosse, who died Wednesday at age 74 after a 16-year battle with cancer. He had worked earlier this season as a broadcaster across the bay for the Oakland Athletics.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Scott Stinson: Watch Alphonso Davies score this audacious goal. This isn't the same old Canadian team – National Post

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World Cup quality, his slick steal of the ball from under Panama’s feet has already gone down as historic

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Wait, the Canadian men’s national soccer team is good now?

This is a thing that has not happened in my lifetime, and I have teenage children, one of whom is technically an adult now. World Cup qualifying campaigns are generally a time for the team’s humiliation and regret. Canada, a big wealthy country, sends its best men to a small, impoverished nation in Central America and gets embarrassed on a dusty pitch that features 18 blades of grass and is surrounded by a moat. Somewhere along the way they get drubbed by Mexico and the United States. A manager is fired. So it goes. The Canadian men have made just one World Cup, in Mexico in 1986.

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But something remarkable happened Wednesday night in Toronto. Tied in a crucial qualifying match against Panama, Canada’s Jonathan David looped a hopeful ball up toward the centre of the pitch and his teammate Tajon Buchanan. It looked promising for a moment, but then skittered away toward the sideline. The moment seemed gone.

Except Alphonso Davies, the 20-year-old bolt of lightning from Edmonton, raced toward the ball from deep in his own end. He reached it at full speed, pulled it inside with his right instep — almost a back-heeled pass to himself — and then reoriented before bursting toward the Panamanian goal. The shot that followed almost had to go in: any move that audacious, that brilliant, deserves a finish. The play made it 2-1, Canada.

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A crowd of more than 26,000 roared, partly at the spectacular goal and partly out of relief. This was a game we had to win. The home side was on their way to three big points, following two draws in this qualifying window, and, most important, holding on to one of the top spots in their group on the way to Qatar 2022.

It was a wild night for the Canadian men, an arrival as a team that is not yet close to being a world power but is turning into an honest-to-goodness threat. Panama made the World Cup in 2018, and after Davies sliced them open, his teammates Buchanan and David added goals on the way to a 4-1 final. Job done.

But it was that Davies goal that will go down in Canadian soccer lore. His incredible pace, the deft touch at the sideline — it is not hyperbole to say that very few players in the world could have pulled off that combination of athleticism and skill in a blink.

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“It was pretty cool,” said Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, in a tremendous bit of understatement.

Davies said he was just concentrating on digging toward the ball, and once he had kept it in bounds, he knew he wanted to cut past the Panamanian defender. “In my mind, I was just like, ‘Shoot the ball’,” he said. The picture he painted, it must be said, does not at all live up to the action on the field.

The moment felt like a defining one: all those failures of the past? They were not authored by players like this.

It is not just that the men’s team hasn’t made a World Cup since Glass Tiger was on the airwaves. It’s that the team has struggled to be even  the least bit relevant on the global soccer stage. Other than a shocking Gold Cup win 20 years ago, the Canadian men have all but lurched through World Cup qualifying cycles with painful regularity. And in the rare moments when they have achieved a spot of success to give themselves a decent chance at advancement, they have been smacked down in a dispiriting loss.

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In qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, they needed just a draw against Honduras in San Pedro de Sula to move on, but lost 8-1. On the way to the 2018 tournament, they pulled a record crowd of almost 60,000 to a match against Mexico in Vancouver in what was setting up to be a landmark night — and were promptly spanked 3-0. The years since haven’t been much kinder, with the team shuffling through managers before eventually bringing in John Herdman, the Englishman who had led the Canadian women’s national team to such great effect.

Herdman finally has the team clicking. Buoyed by the addition of spectacular young talent such as Davies, David, Buchanan and Cyle Larin, this is a group that seems capable of setting a whole new Canadian standard. They tied Mexico in Azteca Stadium last week, an extraordinarily rare feat for a visiting team. Canada’s goal in the 1-1 draw was the first it had scored on that storied pitch since 1980. A 1-1 draw on the weekend in Jamaica wasn’t as impressive, but it kept the undefeated streak alive in the qualifiers and set up a match at BMO Field, in front of a big home crowd for the first time in forever, that gave them a chance to reach an excellent position in their group after six games.

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The Canadian men celebrate with Alphonso Davies after he scores a goal in the second half during their match against Panama.
The Canadian men celebrate with Alphonso Davies after he scores a goal in the second half during their match against Panama. Photo by Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images

But when Panama scored early, off a counter-attack in the fifth minute that felt like the first time the visitors had touched the ball, there was an uncomfortable familiarity to it all. Canada had ushered in a new era with dazzling stars — and then thrown up a little on themselves just at the worst time.

Except this time really was different. As the Panamanians celebrated their goal in the corner, the men in red took their positions and Davies was raring to get going in the centre circle. They had conceded a shocker, but they looked anxious to get it right back. And they almost did.

A beautiful sequence of passes sent David rushing toward the Panamanian keeper, but the forward made one pass too many, directing the ball backward instead of trying a shot. Canada attacked in wave after wave, with Davies in particular flashing dizzying skill on the ball.

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Though it was late at night back in Munich, if his coaches with Bayern were watching they were probably having a serious rethink about playing the kid, as they do, as a fullback. The eventual equalizer came when Davies blasted a series of swinging corner kicks and the third eventually spilled in off a defender. It was a wholly different Canada, playing with flair and skill and, in every way but the score, running their guests off the pitch.

It would be Davies who eventually did the literal running that sent Canada on its way, and ultimately sent all those red shirts out, fat and happy, into a warm fall night in Toronto. This is a thing that, for this program, just doesn’t happen.

But this team is here now, and as they try to make it to Qatar, they are going to be a problem for anyone.

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