Say good morning to baseball's new home run leader

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Say good morning to baseball's new home run leader

From Comcast SportsNet Monday, August 29, 2011
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Even without Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, the New York Yankees still pack a wallop. Curtis Granderson hit two of New York's five home runs, rookie Ivan Nova won his 10th straight decision, and the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 Sunday night for a split of a day-night doubleheader. Granderson hit a three-run drive in the third inning and a solo shot in the seventh to take over the major league lead in homers (38) and RBIs (107). "It's incredible what he's done this year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There's a lot of talk about MVP, and that will all be settled later. He's been unbelievable for us." In the first game, rookie Zach Britton allowed four hits over seven innings to lead the Orioles to a 2-0 victory. It was Jeter's 2,402nd game with New York, breaking a tie with Mickey Mantle for most in a Yankees uniform. But Jeter fouled a ball off his right knee in the third inning, and although he shook off the pain to finish the game, the Yankees captain was a late scratch in the nightcap with a bruised knee. "We iced it between games and afterward, and it swelled up and became a challenge," Jeter said after the second game. X-rays were negative, but Girardi expressed doubt about Jeter's availability Monday night for the finale of the four-game series. Rodriguez also watched Game 2 from the dugout with a sore left thumb. "We just felt it wasn't in our best interest in playing him, either," Girardi said. The second game was tied at 3 before New York hit three straight homers in a four-run sixth. After Robinson Cano connected with a man on, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones also went deep. It was the first time the Yankees hit three successive homers since May 20, 2009, against Baltimore. Despite the power surge, Girardi hates the idea of being without Jeter and Rodriguez. "We need to get them healthy," he said. "It is somewhat of a concern." Nova (14-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings, striking out seven and walking two. The right-hander has won seven straight starts and is 10-0 in 11 outings since June 3. Brian Matusz (1-7) allowed six runs and six hits -- including three home runs -- in 5 1-3 innings. Adam Jones had two RBIs for the Orioles, whose six-game winning streak ended. Baltimore led 2-0 before Granderson hit his first homer. He has 11 career two-homer games, including four this season. Granderson still doesn't consider himself to be a slugger. "It's one of those freak things," he said. "I was thinking about the home run guys, those that can do it, they hit mammoth shots. Mine, as long as they get over the fence, that's great." In the first game, Britton allowed four singles, struck out five and walked one before being pulled after throwing a career-high 120 pitches. It was a vivid contrast from his previous start against the Yankees, when he yielded nine runs and got only one out in a 17-3 loss July 30. "I wasn't thinking about getting revenge or anything," Britton said. "You have to have a short memory." Britton (8-9) has given up only one run over 12 innings since coming off the disabled list (strained left shoulder) on Aug. 22. Before going on the DL, he surrendered 23 runs in three starts. "Not only was it like a break for me physically, but mentally, too," Britton said of his time off. The game was scoreless until the seventh, when Nick Markakis doubled and Vladimir Guerrero singled. Baltimore added a run in the eighth when Mark Reynolds led off with his third hit and scored on a two-out single by J.J. Hardy. Jim Johnson pitched a perfect eighth and Kevin Gregg worked the ninth for his 19th save, getting Rodriguez to hit into a double play after giving up a one-out single to Mark Teixeira, who had three hits. Cano went 0 for 3, ending his 17-game hitting streak. He had also hit in 18 consecutive games at Camden Yards. The Yankees failed to get a runner past first base in their first shutout loss since June 13. Bartolo Colon (8-9) gave up two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings. He had a two-hitter through six innings before faltering. He has lost his last three starts and is 2-6 in his last eight decisions. But he considered this effort to be a breakthrough. "I feel very happy. Thank God that everything is back together," he said through a translator. "We'll see how far we're going to go." NOTES: The nightcap was rescheduled from Saturday's doubleheader rainout. The other game will be made up on Sept. 8 at 1:05 p.m. ... Britton's 120 pitches were most by an Oriole this season. ... New York intends to activate RHP Freddy Garcia (cut index finger) from the DL to start in Monday's series finale. Alfredo Simon (4-6) will pitch for the Orioles.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 3-0 loss to Sounders

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 3-0 loss to Sounders

BOX SCORE

What a difference a week makes.

The San Jose Earthquakes entered their two-game, coast-to-coast swing of road games in playoff position. 

But now, after a 5-1 loss to the Red Bulls in the middle of last week and on Sunday, a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, the Quakes are in seventh place in the Western Conference -- on the outside looking in. 

Here are five takeaways from defeat number nine on the season:

-- For the first 53 minutes there, it looked like San Jose had corrected what ailed them against the Red Bulls. They bent but did not break. 

But Christian Roldan opened the flood gates in the 54th minute, capitalizing on a defensive miscue and then it didn't take Seattle too much longer to put the game out of reach -- and make the Quakes look completely out of place. 

Roldan scored again in the 56th minute and Kelvin Leerdam, starting in his first game for the Sounders, scored nine minutes later. 

Roldan came inches away from his hat trick -- hitting the post in the 79th minute. 

-- Again, it's tough to criticize the play of one player, but in both Roldan goals -- that came within a minute of one another -- Andres Imperiale looked like the target of Seattle's attack -- he got caught flat footed on the first goal and on the second, the Argentinean was beat in the air. 

His defensive partner Victor Bernardez was victimized on that second goal too. 

It's probably not a coincidence then, that the Quakes signed Swiss defender Francois Affolter during the week. 

-- Speaking of Affolter, we've yet to see him at Avaya Stadium. And just like Jesse Fioranelli's other signing, little is known of the international player. Yet, at this point, with injuries and a deep run in the U.S. Open Cup tournament, the Quakes are in need of able bodies. 

Affolter, a center back, does have five international caps and over 200 caps in the Swiss Super League and German Bundesliga. 

-- After losing to New York last week, the Quakes moved below the magic red line in the Western Conference. Sunday's loss to the Sounders is critical -- with 21 games played, the Sounders not only creeped ahead of the Quakes, but are now four points clear of their Western Conference rival for that sixth (and last) playoff spot.  

Over a two-match stretch, the Quakes went from fifth and in the playoffs to seventh and knowing the latter part of the season (13 games) will be an uphill climb. 

-- San Jose got another look at Vako. The midfielder scored against the Red Bulls but, after checking in during minute 62, Vako did not figure into the attack. 

And, in the interest of the aforementioned able bodies, it was positive to see Quincy Amarikwa put in another shift ... and almost score in the 83rd minute.

Reports: Former Warriors center agrees to one-year deal with Magic

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USATSI

Reports: Former Warriors center agrees to one-year deal with Magic

After one season with the Clippers, free agent Marreese Speights is headed back to the state of Florida.

The former Warriors center has agreed to a one-year deal with the Orlando Magic, according to USA Today Sports.

News that the two sides were closing in on a deal was first reported by David Pick.

The deal is reportedly worth the veteran's minimum of $2.1 million.

In his lone season with the Clippers, Speights averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 82 games.

Speights played three seasons was the Warriors and was part of the 2014-15 championship team.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Speights was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and played his college ball at the University of Florida.

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