Orioles

Arkansas eyes winning streak after Auburn win

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Arkansas eyes winning streak after Auburn win

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) John L. Smith's positive outlook has never wavered this season, even as Arkansas' preseason hopes crumbled under the weight of a four-game losing streak.

The Razorbacks coach's eternal optimism spread to his players on Monday, two days following the team's streak-snapping 24-7 win over Auburn.

A win, any win, was exactly what Arkansas (2-4, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) needed in the worst way. That it was the Razorbacks' first this season against an FBS opponent didn't matter in the least for a team that's fallen from the preseason top 10 to one just hoping to earn a bowl berth.

``You kind of see that belief back in people's eyes,'' quarterback Tyler Wilson said.

That belief came in the face of more disheartening news: Smith said leading tackler Alonzo Highsmith is out for the season with a foot injury sustained against the Tigers, another blow to an already thin linebacker corps.

Highsmith, who began the season at outside linebacker, leads the Razorbacks with 54 tackles. He was moved to middle linebacker two weeks ago after Tenarius Wright, who missed the Auburn game with a shoulder injury, was moved back to his natural position of defensive end.

Smith said Wright was set to have an MRI late Monday to determine his status for this week's game against Kentucky (1-5, 0-3).

``It's a big blow,'' Smith said. ``Because you're without your two middle linebackers that you were hoping to start the season with and continue on with. But it's just something that we have to do, and I think our football team realizes that. We've had to adjust for other guys missing time, and whoever's there has to step in and play and go make plays.''

The Wildcats enter the week reeling with injuries of their own. Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said Monday that freshman quarterback Patrick Towles will miss Saturday's game after sustaining a high right ankle sprain last week against Mississippi State.

Arkansas is all-too familiar with injury woes this season. In addition to Highsmith and Wright, the Razorbacks' secondary has been decimated with injuries to safety Eric Bennett and cornerbacks Tevin Mitchel and Kaelon Kelleybrew. Starting fullback Kiero Small and backup Kody Walker also have been lost for the season with injuries, and tight end Chris Gragg missed the win against Auburn with a bone bruise in his leg.

Despite the setbacks, Smith is now hopeful Arkansas can reel off a different kind of streak - a winning one - and re-enter the bowl picture. It's a possibility Smith said is ``definitely'' on his mind, one that starts with this week and is followed by a bye before facing another team that's winless in the SEC in Mississippi.

``Maybe we can sit back and relax and take a breath and get healthy, or more healthy,'' Smith said of the looming bye week. ``I don't know that we can ever get totally healthy.''

For Wilson, the possibility of a winning streak of any kind seemed anything but possible leading into the Auburn game. The Razorbacks had lost their first two conference games to No. 1 Alabama and Texas A&M by a combined score of 110-10, but their much-maligned defense had eight sacks against Auburn.

Wilson was 22 of 29 for 230 yards passing against the Tigers. The senior didn't throw a touchdown in the game, though he didn't mind in the least.

``I'll take that and throw no touchdowns with a win any day of the week,'' Wilson said.

More than anything, Wilson said the win was a relief for Arkansas. The Razorbacks returned to practice Sunday evening, doing so with an added bit of motivation.

``It's like night and day in confidence,'' Wilson said. ``And everybody's mind in the locker room, on the plane, wherever you're at, guys feel better about themselves. Consequently, they practice harder. They have belief in what we're doing, what we're trying to accomplish as a team; all that helps you.''

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

Nicklas Backstrom tipped in a Dmitry Orlov shot in overtime, and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 5 to take a three-games-to-two series lead in their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

Washington can now clinch the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night in Columbus.

The Capitals gave up the first goal in the game for the first time in the series. But the Capitals had an answer. The Capitals then took the lead. But the Blue Jackets had an answer. The Capitals took the lead again in the second period, but the Blue Jackets tied the game in the third.

But Nicklas Backstrom had the answer in overtime.

Tarik El-Bashir's 3 Stars of Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Game 3 

1. Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom delivered the Caps’ biggest goal of the season 11:53 into the extra session by knocking a point shot by Dmitry Orlov down and past Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the Blue Jackets’ best player in overtime.

The goal was Backstrom’s first of the series.

He also recorded an assist.

2. Matt Calvert, Blue Jackets

The third line winger scored nine goals in the regular season. After popping a couple in Game 5, he’s now got three in this series.

And Saturday’s was a doozy. After T.J. Oshie mishandled the puck at the blue line, Calvert was off to the races. He whiffed on his wrist shot but still managed to get the puck (and himself) in the net to even things, 2-2, early in the second period.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuzy was arguably the Caps’ most active forward.

Early in the second period, the smooth-skating center finished a three-on-one with a sneaky wrister that slithered through Bobrovsky’s pads. Kuznetsov also nearly set up Alex Ovechkin at the doorstep with a ridiculous slap pass. Alas, Ovi was turned by Bob, who went into the full splits to get a piece of the puck.

 

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