Nationals

NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content deal

NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content deal

NEW YORK (AP) NBC Sports and Yahoo are taking on the crowded sports media landscape with a partnership that fills in gaps for both companies.

NBC brings video and big-name broadcasters and Yahoo adds college coverage and fantasy games in the agreement announced Sunday. They hope their strengths will complement each other and attract more eyes to both as they vie with ESPN and other outlets for multimedia sports supremacy.

``It's just a natural fit,'' said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital media with NBC Sports Group.

Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group will maintain separate websites and newsrooms, but will work together on news and events coverage online and on the air.

Yahoo has looked to expand its reach in the last couple of years with partnerships with TV networks. The company had done smaller deals with NBC Sports in the past, and in June it combined with another NBCUniversal property - CNBC - for financial news. Yahoo also has an agreement with ABC News, but Cordella didn't expect any significant conflicts when the worlds of news and sports collide as they frequently do.

For Yahoo, the deal gives the website a major boost in its ability to offer video, especially live sports. It will link to the NBC Sports Live Extra video player, where fans can watch live streams of the network's NFL game on Sunday night and the NHL game of the week, when the league resolves its labor dispute. Yahoo and NBC also will develop online video programs that will appear on both websites and include notable names from NBC's lineup such as announcer Bob Costas and former NFL coach Tony Dungy.

``There's a lot of yin and yang to it,'' Cordella said of how the two companies' fortes will mesh together.

For NBC, the agreement greatly expands its college and recruiting coverage for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks through Yahoo's Rivals.com. Yahoo Sports also has drawn attention for its coverage of a handful of recent college sports scandals.

``We had a hole there,'' Cordella said. ``We didn't necessarily cover colleges as well as Yahoo and some of our other peers.''

And the deal can help drive Yahoo Sports' massive audience to NBCSports.com, a relative newcomer to the online sports arena.

The agreement also combines the fantasy news of NBC Sports' Rotoworld with Yahoo's extensive offerings of fantasy sports games.

``We think our users will love the result,'' said Ken Fuchs, vice president of Yahoo Global Media and head of Yahoo Sports and Games.

The deal for now does not include the Olympics, for which the two websites had competed for eyeballs in the past. Cordella said that as the two sides evaluate the success of this initial agreement, they might later add a partnership for other areas such as the Olympics and radio.

Yahoo stock has been languishing for years, but lately has been rising. Investors are betting its new CEO, Marissa Mayer, can engineer a turnaround. Mayer, a former Google executive hired in July, has vowed to fix up the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company by improving online services and rolling out more products tailored for smartphones and tablet computers. Mayer is the fifth CEO of Yahoo in five years.

The company is one of the Internet's top destinations but it's been losing out to rivals like search leader Google and the social network Facebook Inc. in the competition for advertisers.

The company has made a handful of small deals under Mayer's leadership, mainly to acquire personnel from small tech companies. Yahoo has also been buying back more of its own stock since she took the helm.

NBC is owned by Comcast Corp., the nation's largest provider of cable TV and Internet services.

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Jay Cohen reported on this story from Chicago.

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Williamson homers again, Giants top Nationals 4-3

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USA TODAY Sports

Williamson homers again, Giants top Nationals 4-3

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mac Williamson had to dust himself off after crashing into a low padded wall near the stands in left field while chasing a foul ball.

More frustrated than hurt, Williamson took it out on Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark a few moments later after undergoing a series of concussion tests in the dugout.

Williamson homered for the second straight night and third in five games, hitting a tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning to lead San Francisco to a 4-3 victory over Washington on Tuesday night.

"I got pretty lucky," Williamson said. "I felt fine then and I feel fine now. I'm sure once the adrenalin wears off later tonight, tomorrow we'll see how the body feels. I'm sure I'll be a little sore."

Brandon Belt hit his fifth home run in six games, Joe Panik added three hits and scored twice, and the Giants won their third straight and fourth in the last five.

One night after hitting a 464-foot homer in the series opener, Williamson hit a first-pitch solo shot to center off Roark with two outs in the sixth inning that bounced off the top of the wall and broke a 3-all tie. It wasn't as far as Monday's clout -- this one went 423 feet -- but was just as pivotal for the Giants.

"We've talked about what a shot in the arm he's been and he's more than that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He came through again tonight. Good for him because he's worked hard at it."

Williamson's deciding home run came one inning after he stumbled over the bullpen mound in foul territory and crashed into a low wall near the stands while trying to chase down Bryce Harper's foul ball. Williamson stayed down briefly as team trainers rushed out before getting to his feet.

"I tried to roll my neck a little bit and my head down a little bit when I started going down," Williamson said. "I think that helped break my fall. I was just a little frustrated I didn't come up with the play. I had it in my glove and it came out."

Belt hit a two-run shot off Roark (1-2) in the third.

Michael Taylor had a three-run homer for Washington, which has lost four straight and 14 of 20 since opening the season 4-0.

"It seems like that sixth inning's been biting us in the rear as of late," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We're swinging the bats. We just can't get the big hit with people on base."

Reyes Moronta (1-0) retired six batters for his first career win. Sam Dyson pitched one inning and Hunter Strickland worked the ninth for his fifth save.

The Giants got a run off Roark in the first but left the bases loaded when Evan Longoria struck out looking to end the inning. Belt homered on a 3-2 pitch from Roark in the second to make it 3-0.

Washington tied it on Taylor's three-run homer off starter Ty Blach in the third. Ryan Zimmerman walked and Moises Sierra singled before Taylor's deep drive into the right-field stands.

Roark went into the game 6-0 in seven career games against San Francisco but couldn't find a rhythm this time. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked two and hit a batter and threw a pair of wild pitches.

WHERE DID IT GO?

Panik hit a soft comebacker to Roark in the fifth that glanced off the pitcher's glove then bounced up on the top of his cap before falling to the turf. Roark initially couldn't locate the ball but found it in time to throw to first for the out.

AILING BLACH

Blach allowed three runs and four hits in five innings. After the game, Bochy said the left-hander suffered from food poisoning last week and was given an IV on Monday. "That was a really gutty effort that he gave us," Bochy said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Placed RHP Shawn Kelley on the 10-disabled list with ulnar nerve irritation in his right elbow. Infielder/outfielder Matt Reynolds was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and outfielder Rafael Bautista and infielder Adrian Sanchez were called up.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (4-1, 1.36 ERA) and Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 0.00) take to the mound for the series finale at AT&T Park on Wednesday. Samardzija is making his second start after beginning the season on the disabled list.

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Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

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Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays have to wait at least one more day before taking their swings against former teammate Alex Cobb.

Cobb, now with the Baltimore Orioles, was scheduled to face his old team on Tuesday night before the game was postponed by rain.

Thus, Cobb will start Wednesday in the delayed start of this series between the only two AL East teams with losing records.

The rainout will be made up as part of single-admission doubleheader on May 12.

It was the 27th major league game to be postponed this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner's office started keeping records in 1986. Detroit's game at Pittsburgh was washed out later Tuesday, raising the total to 28.

Cobb, 30, spent his entire career with the Rays before signing with Baltimore as a free agent on March 21. Over six years with Tampa Bay, the right-hander was 48-35 and one of the leaders of the staff.

"He was a crucial part to this organization's success," Rays starter Chris Archer said. "He's a big-game pitcher and somebody who's very consistent, very routine oriented. The competitive nature rubbed off on me and rubbed off on the other guys in this clubhouse as well."

Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, who will be counting on him to deliver the same kind of pitching and leadership in Baltimore.

Thus far, it hasn't gone well. Cobb got off to a late start because he missed most of spring training, and since his return he's gone 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA.

"Abbreviation has affected that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to get going here. Hopefully he can wait one more start before he does."

Brad Miller was down to bat cleanup for the Rays on Tuesday night before the game was called. Miller knew better than to chat with his old friend beforehand.

"Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days," Miller said. "Thought about maybe texting him just to rattle him a little bit, but ... ."

Miller won't know what to think when he sees Cobb wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"It's definitely going to be weird seeing him on the mound," Miller said. "I miss Cobb a lot. He was the ultimate competitor."

And that, Miller contends, is what sets Cobb apart from most pitchers.

"He's a bulldog. Really intense, kind of an old-school throwback starting pitcher," Miller said. "He's going to go out there and do anything he can for his team. So that, for me, is obviously his biggest trait."

The rainout came at an opportune time for the Orioles, who are hampered by injuries and have lost nine of 10 games to fall 11 games under .500 (6-17).

Baltimore's projected starting lineup did not include infielder Tim Beckham, who's been bothered by a groin injury and is expected to land on the 10-day disabled list.

With Beckham out and Trey Mancini playing with a tender right knee, manager Buck Showalter would have been operating with a short bench.

Help is on the way: Baltimore claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson on waivers from the New York Yankees. He's expected to arrive Wednesday.