Nationals

Robinson hasn't had room to run against Mich State

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Robinson hasn't had room to run against Mich State

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has racked up 10,000-plus yards and 90 touchdowns in his spectacular career.

Michigan State, though, has made the dual-threat quarterback look very ordinary in the rivalry, handing him lopsided losses in his two starts.

Robinson and the 23rd-ranked Wolverines (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) will have chance to end a four-game skid against the Spartans (4-3, 1-2) Saturday at the Big House.

Robinson insisted the matchup doesn't mean any more than any other game that helps the team reach its goal of a Big Ten championship.

``Every game should be personal,'' he said Monday.

Robinson did acknowledge that losing three straight times to the Spartans, including when he was a freshman serving as Tate Forcier's backup, has bothered him.

``It's a feeling that you can't get over, nobody likes losing,'' he said.

In last year's two-TD loss that Robinson didn't finish, he was 9 of 23 for 123 yards with a TD and an interception and four sacks led to him being held to an average of 2.3 yards on 18 rushing attempts for a total of 42 yards. He threw a pass that pulled Michigan within a TD with 9:49 left and had an interception returned for a touchdown that sealed the loss with 4:31 to go.

Soon after, Robinson was knocked out of the game and the trainers wouldn't clear him to return.

``Any time you put fear in a quarterback's eyes, it's a good thing,'' former Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy said after last year's game. ``You could see him getting fidgety.''

Robinson look rattled by the rough play, which included defensive end William Gholston twisting his face mask after his teammates had already tackled him to the ground. The Big Ten suspended Gholston for throwing a punch at a Michigan lineman on another play.

In Robinson's first start of the series, his breakout season was stunted by Michigan State in 34-17 win. He entered that game two years ago with 1,000-plus yards passing, seven touchdowns and one interception along with 900-plus yards rushing - 9.2 yards per carry - and eight TDs. The Spartans shut him down, intercepting three of his passes and holding him to a relatively modest 86 yards rushing and a score on 21 carries for then-coach Rich Rodriguez.

Entering his second game as Michigan's head coach against Michigan State, Brady Hoke said he and his staff will study what the Spartans have done to slow down Robinson.

``You always like to see what people have done and see if it's worked,'' Hoke said. ``If it's worked, then you want to find some ways to maybe attack it a little bit differently.''

Robinson doesn't necessarily agree.

``I think you have to focus on what they're doing this year - it's not last year,'' he said.

Michigan has had success the past two weeks, routing Purdue and Illinois, in part because the game plan included asking Robinson to run first and pass second. He hasn't thrown an interception since throwing a career-high four in a loss to Notre Dame.

``There is growth in Denard in what he's been doing,'' Hoke said.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage

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Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

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Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3

ATLANTA -- Josh Donaldson's bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning lifted the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday night after Luke Jackson allowed a tying, two-run homer to Victor Robles in the top half.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who had three hits, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk off Rodney (0-3) and took second on Dansby Swanson's single. Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches, loading the bases.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez brought in left fielder Juan Soto as a fifth infielder, including three on the left side against the right-handed hitting Donaldson.

Donaldson hit a 2-0 pitch over Robles to center-field warning track, and the Braves boosted their NL East lead to 6 games over the second-place Nationals. Atlanta had lost its previous five home games against Washington.

Robles' homer went 446 feet to left, giving Jackson his seventh blown save in 24 chances.

Julio Teheran gave up one hit through five scoreless innings and retired 14 consecutive hitters before pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra singled with one out in the sixth. Anthony Rendon chased Teheran with a two-out RBI single.

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin couldn't win on his 30th birthday while paired with catcher Yan Gomes, who turned 32. Corbin and Gomes became only the second pitcher-catcher tandem to start together on their birthdays since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Chicago Cubs pitcher Dave Hillman and catcher Jim Fanning did it against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 1957.

Corbin allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out Ozzie Albies with the bases loaded in the first and fanned Albies to end the fifth with two out.

Albies hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Austin Riley's double. Freeman was 2 for 20 in his career against Corbin before his RBI single in the fifth.

Acuna's RBI double against Tanner Rainey gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer, on the 10-day IL since July 10 with an injury originally announced as a mid-back strain, was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday to address inflammation in the bursa sac under his right shoulder blade. Scherzer still has some discomfort and must throw a bullpen session before cleared to pitch in a game. With Scherzer unavailable, RHP Austin Voth is expected to start in Sunday night's series finale.

Braves: RHP Patrick Weigel, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his major league debut Saturday. RHP Wes Parsons also was recalled from Gwinnett. RHPs Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint were optioned to Gwinnett.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.71) is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season against the Braves, his former team.

Braves: Rookie RHP Mike Soroka (10-1, 2.24) will try to win his sixth straight decision on Saturday night. The 21-year-old right-hander became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to be selected an All-Star.

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A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

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