NCAA

Pirates re-sign reliever Grilli to 2-year deal

Pirates re-sign reliever Grilli to 2-year deal

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed free agent reliever Jason Grilli to a two-year contract worth $6.75 million.

The 36-year-old Grilli has enjoyed a career renaissance in Pittsburgh since originally signing with the Pirates in July 2011. He went 1-6 with a 2.91 ERA in 64 games in 2012 and struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings, fourth-best in the National League.

The signing also gives the Pirates some flexibility in the bullpen next year in case it ever decides to part ways with closer Joel Hanrahan.

Grilli has spent the majority of his career as a middle reliever but has struggled staying healthy until arriving in Pittsburgh. He has been a mainstay in the seventh and eighth innings with the Pirates because of his ability to get strikeouts in key situations.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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