Capitals

Rodriguez back in Yanks' lineup, dropped to 6th

201210121939707702880-p2.jpeg

Rodriguez back in Yanks' lineup, dropped to 6th

NEW YORK (AP) Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees' starting lineup for their AL championship series opener against Detroit on Saturday night, dropped to sixth in the batting order.

Rodriguez was 2 for 16 with no RBIs in the division series against Baltimore, going hitless in 12 at-bats against right-handed pitchers with nine strikeouts. Manager Joe Girardi pinch hit for him in Game 3 and 4.

``This is a guy we know can do a lot of damage,'' Girardi said. ``I talk about sometimes going with my gut and evaluating what I see and different things you take into account when you made the lineup up, talk to people, and I think he's raring to go.''

The 37-year-old third baseman had not hit as low as sixth since Joe Torre batted him eighth in the fourth and final game of the 2006 AL division series against the Tigers, according to STATS LLC. He went 0 for 3. A-Rod last hit sixth in Game 2 that year against Detroit, going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Detroit has four right-handers in its rotation. Rodriguez entered the series 1 for 9 in his regular and postseason career against Game 1 starter Doug Fister, 0 for 3 against Anibal Sanchez, 8 for 30 with three homers against Justin Verlander and 1 for 12 against Max Scherzer.

Rodriguez is 10 for 66 (.152) with no homers and six RBIs in postseason play over the last three years. He hasn't homered in 84 at-bats since Sept. 14.

``We need this guy to be Alex,'' Girardi said. ``That's the bottom line. If we want to make some noise, we need this guy to be Alex.''

Girardi picked Hiroki Kuroda to start Game 2 on Sunday, when Detroit goes with Anibal Sanchez. The 37-year-old Kuroda has never started on short rest in his big league career, STATS said.

``I'm not too concerned. I prepare myself as the next game that I'm going to pitch is my last,'' he said through a translator. ``I have always taken that approach, so I am just going to do the same for tomorrow.''

Phil Hughes is slated to start against AL Cy Young Award and MVP winner Justin Verlander in Game 3 on Tuesday in Detroit, with CC Sabathia down for Game 4 the following night against Max Scherzer. Kuroda could pitch on short rest again if there is sixth game.

Girardi decided not to pitch Sabathia on short rest in Game 3, but might bring him back on three days' rest for a seventh game on Oct. 21, which Verlander likely would start for Detroit.

``You want to bring him on short rest now? Or if you need to do it later, do you want to do it later?'' Girardi said.

NOTES: The Yankees added reliever Cody Eppley to their active roster and dropped INF Eduardo Nunez. Adding Eppley gives the Yankees 12 pitchers for the series. The 27-year-old right-hander was 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings over 59 relief appearances. Nunez was 1 for 5 in the five-game division series win over Baltimore, starting Game 2 as the designated hitter and coming into two other games off the bench.

Quick Links

Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Prior to their matchup against the Capitals, the Panthers honored the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Thursday night's game was the Panthers' first game on home ice since the shooting last week. BB&T Center, the home of the Panthers, is located about 20 minutes south of Parkland.

Both teams wore the school’s hat during warmups, and the Panthers will wear the school’s logo on their helmets and “MSD” patches on their jerseys for the rest of the season.

There was a was a moment of silence and ceremony prior to the game, during which the video board showed the pictures and names of all 17 victims.

Following the video Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who lives in Parkland, took the ice to give his own moving tribute. 

"It's time for us, as a community, to take action. Enough is enough." Luongo commended the school's teachers and said of the students, "You guys are an inspiration for all of us. You guys are giving us hope for the future." 

"When I'm done playing hockey, I want to spend the rest of my life in Parkland," Luongo said. "I love that city."

In addition to the ceremony and uniform tributes, the Panthers hosted a blood drive beginning at today noon and lasting through the second intermission of the game in an effort to replenish local blood banks.

Quick Links

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

ap_977435999414.jpg
Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS