Minus Jeter, Yanks and Tigers scoreless in Game 2


Minus Jeter, Yanks and Tigers scoreless in Game 2

NEW YORK (AP) Hiroki Kuroda struck out seven while retiring the side in order through three innings, and the New York Yankees pressed ahead without injured captain Derek Jeter and were scoreless with the Detroit Tigers on Sunday in Game 2 of the AL championship series.

Jeter was off getting scans, a day after breaking his left ankle in the 12th inning of the opener, which the Tigers won 6-4 despite closer Jose Valverde allowed two-run homers to Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez in the ninth. Jeter was replaced at shortstop by Jayson Nix.

Since the ALCS became best-of-seven in 1995, 19 of 22 teams with 2-0 leads have gone on to win the pennant. After a day off, the series resumes Tuesday in Detroit with AL MVP Justin Verlander starting for the Tigers and Phil Hughes for New York.

Kuroda, a 37-year-old right-hander pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his big league career, dominated with a mix of fastballs, sliders and splitters. Anibal Sanchez was nearly as efficient in the first three innings, allowing a pair of hits.

New York's slump at the plate continued early.

Robinson Cano grounded out in the first and third innings and is hitless in 24 at-bats. Alex Rodriguez took a called third strike on a changeup in the second, dropping to 2 for 20 with no RBIs in the postseason, including 0 for 16 with 11 strikeouts against right-handers. Curtis Granderson fanned, falling to 3 for 24 with 12 Ks.

Mark Teixeira doubled with two outs in the first and hot-hitting Raul Ibanez walked. Russell Martin had a soft comebacker that Sanchez gloved behind his back before throwing to first.

Nick Swisher reached with two outs in the second on an infield hit, a liner that second baseman Omar Infante dived for but allowed to squirt out of his glove. Nix flied out to the left-field warning track on a ball Quintin Berry at first misjudged.

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.