Orioles

With healthy Peavy, White Sox look to make jump

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With healthy Peavy, White Sox look to make jump

CHICAGO (AP) Jake Peavy has plenty to smile about these days, and it goes beyond the contract he signed with the Chicago White Sox or the national championship his beloved Alabama won.

He is healthy.

The 31-year-old right-hander is coming off his best season since 2008 and he thinks the White Sox are ready to compete in the AL Central following a late-season fade that led to a second-place finish behind Detroit.

``The motivation's there,'' he said at the team's annual fan convention. ``A lot of times, you learn twice as much in defeat as you do when you have success. Hopefully, that's the case here.''

The White Sox spent 117 days in first place, only to finish three games behind the Tigers in the division with 85 wins. But they also believe they're in position to challenge for the division crown with Peavy and Chris Sale leading a seemingly deep rotation and John Danks coming back from a season-ending shoulder injury.

If they're going to overtake Detroit, it won't be easy. Not only are the Tigers getting Victor Martinez back after he missed the season with a knee injury, they re-signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez and added Torii Hunter to their outfield after reaching the World Series a year ago.

The White Sox's biggest moves?

Well, they shuffled their front office, with Rick Hahn getting promoted to general manager and Ken Williams to executive vice president.

As for the roster?

Well, there were no blockbuster additions. There was one notable subtraction - A.J. Pierzynski.

One of their last links to the 2005 championship team, the White Sox let the veteran catcher sign a one-year, $7.5 million deal with Texas in part because they believe Tyler Flowers is ready to step into his spot and because they wanted to re-sign Peavy.

He had just bounced back after three injury-filled seasons by going 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts. His arm held up fine and he wound up pitching 219 innings, the most for him since he threw 223 1-3 in his 2007 NL Cy Young Award-winning season with San Diego.

He looked more like an ace than a guy who was on his way out, and he decided to stay put rather than become a free agent..

Peavy will earn $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons, and his contract includes a $15 million conditional player option for 2015.

``We felt that if Peavy was not added back - that given the nature of the free agent market right now (with) the starting pitching available right now, much less the price point that some of these guys were going for in this market - that we were going to be really challenged,'' Hahn said. ``We did not have internal options we felt could fill that void anywhere close to the level of Jake Peavy.''

Zack Greinke landed a $147 million, six-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that was the richest for a right-hander. Sanchez wound up with an $80 million, five-year contract, and Edwin Jackson wound up signing for four years and $52 million with the Chicago Cubs.

``We knew going into this thing that the free agent market would be like it was. I knew signing like I signed there was going to be a day where you watched Greinke and Edwin Jackson ... with huge paydays,'' Peavy said. ``That just wasn't what I was after. I was after being where I'm comfortable. There's a sense personally here for me and team-wise that there's unfinished business here.''

And that is?

``There's just no other place I would rather win and it would be any more special to do than here after the bittersweet ending last year,'' Peavy said. ``After what I'd been through injury-wise, to be a part of that here in Chicago on the South Side, would be the sweetest part of it.''

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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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