From Comcast SportsNetCLEVELAND (AP) -- Rafael Soriano and the New York Yankees dodged their way to an important win.Curtis Granderson hit his 200th career homer and Soriano shook off getting hit on the side of his right hand by a line drive as the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 Sunday."It feels fine right now," Soriano said after getting struck in the ninth inning by a shot by Jason Kipnis that was headed right at his head. "It hit my glove or my hand, I'm not sure which one first."Soriano recovered to get the ball and make the out, then the right-hander the next batter, Asdrubal Cabrera, on a soft liner for his 33rd save in 35 chances since replacing the injured Mariano Rivera as closer.The Yankees have battled injuries all year and after being swept in three games in Chicago, felt the Tampa Bay Rays closing in on their AL East lead."We're really fortunate," manager Joe Girardi said.New York took two of three from the Indians to open a four-game lead on the idle Rays."These are important games down the stretch," Girardi said. "We need wins and to win series. That's the way to do it, win series."The Indians, meanwhile, keep losing. Kipnis had three hits and three stolen bases for Cleveland, which has lost nine of 10 and is 5-23 since July 26."We pitched OK, which made for a decent ballgame," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "That makes it easier to take than when you're trailing by a ton of runs and it sucks the energy out of everybody."They did trail quickly, however, when New York took a 3-0 lead in the second off Ubaldo Jimenez (9-13). Granderson's 33rd homer in the sixth made it 4-2 and gave the Yankees a record eight current players with 200 or more career homers."It's cool to accomplish that," said Granderson, who had champagne in a bucket of ice awaiting him at his locker, where his nameplate was changed to read "200"."When you see the list of names, all the guys together on this club, it speaks to what the organization is doing."Boone Logan (5-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win as Girardi turned to his bullpen early."They were well rested," Girardi said of Soriano, Logan and David Robertson, who worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings.Nick Swisher had three hits as New York improved to 26-15 in series finales, including 10-5 in the deciding game of three-game sets.Swisher and Ichiro Suzuki had RBI singles in the Yankees' second and Derek Jeter also drove in a run with a groundout.Jeter went 0 for 5, but still leads the majors with 173 hits.A large group of Yankees fans chanted "Der-ek Je-ter" each time New York's captain came to the plate. Indians fans responded with a resounding boo -- and each side turned up the volume throughout each at-bat.Cleveland's fans cheered the loudest when Jeter bounced into double play to end the ninth against Esmil Rogers.Garcia worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third, getting Carlos Santana to pop a 3-2 pitch to right. Garcia thought he had Santana struck out on the previous pitch, stomping around the mound after plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called ball three.The right-hander wasn't as fortunate in the fifth after getting two quick outs. Kipnis singled, Garcia hit Cabrera with a pitch and then walked Shin-Soo Choo. This time, Santana grounded a two-run single up the middle to make it 3-2.Logan came on and retired Michael Brantley on a groundout with runners on first and third.Later, Robertson stared in at Cederstrom and Girardi quickly met Cederstrom at the plate for a chat."I went out as peacemaker," Girardi said.Granderson homered off reliever Tony Sipp. It was the 195th homer this year by the Yankees, who have gone deep in 40 of their last 45 games.Garcia struck out six over 4 2-3 innings. He failed to go the necessary five innings for a starter to get the win and remained 5-1 in daytime starts this year.Jimenez fanned four over five innings, yielding eight hits and three runs. The right-hander dropped to 1-6 with a 7.96 in nine starts since July 14.NOTES:Ohio native John Glenn, the former U.S. senator and astronaut celebrating 50 years since his historic space flight, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Girardi expects updates on 3B Alex Rodriguez, out since July 25 with a broken left hand, and LHP Andy Pettitte, sidelined since June 28 by a broken left ankle when the team returns home. Rodriguez could take regular batting practice before the Yankees play Toronto in New York on Monday. ... Granderson joined Rodriguez, Jeter, Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones in the 200-homer club. ... Cleveland went 1-5 against the Yankees this season.
SACRAMENTO -- The news couldn’t be any worse for the Sacramento Kings. A 106-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers sent the Kings to their sixth loss in seven tries on the homestand. But an injury to Rudy Gay had the locker room as quiet as it’s ever been.
“Somber, very somber,” Garrett Temple said of the team’s mood. “We have a team of good character guys. Guys that have the right mindset and it’s tough to see people get hurt, especially a guy like Rudy. I’m going to be praying for him and hopefully he can bounce back stronger than before.”
Gay, 30, went to the floor hard in the late third quarter after trying to make a move on the baseline. He laid on the floor for a few seconds before slapping the ground in disgust. Eventually he had to be carried off the court by Willie Cauley-Stein, Omri Casspi and the team’s medical staff.
The initial report is a torn left Achilles tendon. An MRI is set for Thursday morning, but CSN California has learned the diagnosis is correct. There is no timeline for what comes next for Gay, but surgery is required for the team’s second leading scorer.
“Rudy’s a good guy and for him to go down like that this time of year, in this point of his life is kinda tough,” Lawson said. “I’m probably one of the closest to him on the team. It kind of hurt my soul.”
It was a non-contact injury for Gay and the veteran appeared to know the severity of the injury right away.
“Once I seen him on the ground, I felt sick, I felt like something in me just dropped,” Lawson added.
Gay made his way into the locker room while media was still present. He wore a dark hoodie and a walking boot and moved with the aid of crutches. He grabbed his belongings and left without speaking to the media.
The veteran forward has had issues with his Achilles in the past and even underwent shock wave treatment over summer on the area to prepare himself for the upcoming season. He missed time over the previous two seasons with Achilles tendonitis.
Gay was set to opt out of the final season of his three-year contract extension signed in November of 2014 and become an unrestricted free agent. If he opts in, he is owed $14.4 million next season by the Kings.
Even before the injury, the Kings had began to sputter. After leading by as many as 22 early in the game, Indiana had cut the lead to ten at the point of the injury and momentum had clearly shifted the Pacers way. Without Gay on the court, All-Star Paul George scored two points to end the third and another 11 in the deciding fourth quarter to finish the night with 24.
DeMarcus Cousins tossed in a 25-point, 12-rebounds, 10-assist triple-double, but he shot 0-for-9 in the second half as the Pacers collapsed on the All-Star center.
After falling to 1-6 on the seven game homestand, Sacramento is scheduled to hit the road for a brutal stretch away from Golden 1 Center beginning Friday in Memphis.
“We’ve got an eight game road trip, we’ve got to come together closer and closer, not drift apart,” Lawson said.
The Kings will play eight games in 12 night’s including three sets of back-to-backs. Gay is clearly out of action, but the team may be without forward Omri Casspi on the trip as well.
Casspi was injured in practice earlier in the week and underwent an MRI on Monday. Tests revealed a strain to his right plantaris tendon and he is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.
“It’s tough, other players are going to have to step up that weren’t playing,” Lawson said. “Hopefully everybody’s been working hard to be ready for this moment.”
With the loss, Sacramento fell a season-high nine games under .500 at 16-25, but they remain just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.
“Guys are going to have to step up, next man up, next man up,” Temple said.
OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.
Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.
He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.
Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.
“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.
“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”
Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.
“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”
It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.
Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.
Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.
Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.
“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”
Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.
“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.
“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.
“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”
The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.
Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.