Nationals

Late homers propel O's over Jays

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Late homers propel O's over Jays

BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Thursday night, completing a three-game sweep with their fourth straight victory.

Jones ripped the first pitch from Casey Janssen (1-1) into the first row of the left-field stands, barely eluding the leap of Eric Thames. It was his sixth homer of the season.

Darren Oliver replaced Janssen after Jones' home run and allowed Matt Wieters' single before Chris Davis hit a two-run homer to right-center.

Darren O'Day (2-0) pitched two perfect innings in relief of Brian Matusz, who might have saved his spot in the rotation with a strong outing. Luis Ayala worked the ninth for his first save.

The Blue Jays have lost three straight and are 1-5 against the Orioles this season.
Baltimore's Ryan Flaherty had two hits and an RBI, the firsts of his major league career.

Drew Hutchison, making his second major league start, held the Orioles to two hits through four innings before Baltimore went ahead 1-0 in the fifth.

Davis worked the right-hander for a leadoff walk and Mark Reynolds lined a single to center. Davis moved to third on Nick Johnson's fly to right and Flaherty hit a sacrifice fly.

Toronto went ahead in the sixth on an error by Johnson at first base that allowed two runs to score.

Yunel Escobar led off with a single and Jose Bautista drew a one-out walk. One out later, Thames hit a 1-2 pitch from Matusz down the first base line and past Johnson, who missed an attempt to backhand the bouncer, the miscue letting both runners score.

The Orioles tied the game in the sixth, taking advantage of Escobar's error at shortstop.

Nick Markakis doubled and Jones hit a grounder into the hole. Escobar fielded the infield hit but threw wildly to first, allowing Markakis to score the tying run and Jones to advance to second. Luis Perez relieved and got Wieters to ground into a fielder's choice, with Jones erased at third.

Hutchison worked five-plus innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

Matusz, attempting to snap a career-high 12-game losing streak, yielded two runs -- none earned -- and four hits over six innings. He walked two and fanned three.

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Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

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USA Today

Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

Jacob deGrom could've been a unanimous Cy Young award winner Wednesday. Instead, he won with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

The only voter who chose not to give deGrom a first-place vote was John Maffei of the San Deigo Union-Tribune

"What is stunning to me is the blowback from the fans, especially in New York," wrote Maffei. "Dozens of emails — some venomous — ranging from 'hey dumbass,' 'incompetent,' 'idiot,' 'moron' and 'clown.' Several called for my head, my job."

Shocking. Keyboard warriors furiously typing out their frustration and overreacting to something they didn't like.  

Maffei joined Steve Somers of WFAN in New York as well, which ended up being the shortest interview in the history of interviews.

Maffei points out that he chose to vote for Scherzer over deGrom for many reasons. One being, despite a 1.70 ERA over 217 innings, he had 10 wins and nine losses.

After he talked with other baseball experts, looked at Scherzer's 2.53 ERA and his historic 300-strikeout season — making him one of only 17 pitchers to do that since 1900 — Maffei says his vote was swayed in the direction of the Nats' ace.

One thing's for sure, Maffei may not have made any friends in New York, but he's made plenty of new ones in Washington. 

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Austin Rivers wants to interview Jay-Z and Barack Obama; still cant John Wall on his podcast

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USA Today

Austin Rivers wants to interview Jay-Z and Barack Obama; still cant John Wall on his podcast

Just one episode into his new podcast 'Go Off,' Wizards guard Austin Rivers is already learning plenty about the media world. With plans to become a television analyst when his playing days are done, Rivers is gaining a new appreciation for what it takes to speak at-length without stumbling over his words.

He's also starting to realize one of the biggest pain points for a media member: waiting on guests. Rivers has tried to line up interviews with his teammates and it's been much easier said than done.

Rivers is set to have Dwight Howard on as his first guest, but the original plan was point guard John Wall. Wall, though, has been giving him the runaround.

"That's the hardest thing is getting guests to show up," Rivers said. 

"It's impossible to get John on my podcast. At this point, I just don't expect it anymore. He says he'll do it next week and then the week comes. John has like 15 things to do a day. I don't know what these guys do. I play in the league, too. I know how un-busy my life is outside of this. And I've got a kid. John has a brand to run. He's a different level. Sorry, you can see the frustration on my face with not getting John on my podcast, man."

Rivers hopes to have many of his teammates on. He mentioned Kelly Oubre Jr. and how an interview with Oubre "might be a little out there." He also gave a hint about what his conversation with Howard will be like.

"I'm definitely gonna have some interesting topics to bring up with Dwight. I told him 'listen, you might want to check with your publicist before coming on my podcast.' We only talk about real conversations on here," Rivers said.

Rivers says he plans to start with fellow NBA players and then work in special episodes with guests outside of the league and even outside of basketball. He hopes to record an episode with financial advisors to talk about money and investments. He wants to take a deep dive into the AAU circuit and how it can be fixed.

Eventually, Rivers wants to aim very high with his guests. He gave a list of his dream interviews and there are some big names.

"Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. Dwyane Wade is my favorite player. I'm gonna get Dwyane Wade on my podcast, for sure. I'm gonna go ahead and put that out there," Rivers said.

"Off-the-court, I would love to get Denzel Washington on there. That would be my dream... I want to do a podcast with me and my dad and Jaden Smith and Will Smith. I think that would be really dope, talking about parent-to-son success and how he related to his son to have a work ethic and how my dad did it to me."

Rivers went even higher. He wants to interview a president.

"I guess if I could go the highest, I would go Jay-Z or [Barack] Obama. But let's be realistic, here," Rivers said.

"[Interviewing Obama] would be incredible, bro. I would be so nervous. I'm not there yet, I'll be honest. I need like six or seven or eight more podcasts before I can get Obama on there because I'm gonna be stuttering. I can't do it with Obama yet. I don't know if I could handle Denzel right now."

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