PORT LUCIE, Fla. Dwight Powell Jersey . -- New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell threw batting practice Saturday, facing batters for the first time since his 2013 season was cut short by a neck injury. Parnell last pitched in a game on July 30. He missed the final two months of the season and had surgery Sept. 10 to repair a herniated disc in his neck. The right-hander threw 36 pitches to David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Eric Young Jr. "You work all off-season throwing bullpens with no batters in there and it seems like you cant miss a spot," Parnell said. "You throw a hitter in there and it becomes 100 times harder. It feels good to get out there and face some guys, face some hitters and find the strike zone with some intensity turned up. It was a nice feeling today." Parnell said he was able to keep the ball down and didnt feel any discomfort in his neck or right arm. "Ive been taking a lot of baby steps," he said. "I feel great, my arm feels good, neck feels good. Everythings going well. But as far as today, this feels like a big mental hurdle. I didnt know how I would react to balls coming off the bat and I felt strong out there. I felt good and felt like I had some reaction in the neck, so everythings good." The Mets are being cautious with Parnell, but he is currently scheduled to throw a second batting practice on Tuesday. He said hell throw at least one more batting practice session before getting into a game. Isaiah Roby Jersey .com) - American Madison Keys grabbed a first- round victory on Sunday in a rainy start to the Apia International Sydney tournament. Tyson Chandler Jersey . Wiggins, who had been seen as a contender for a podium finish in Paris, was one of about 20 riders caught near the back of the peloton with 38 kilometres to go in the 218-km flat stage from Le Mans to Chateauroux.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots needed help on defence so they added three experienced players at midseason.Turns out theyre also solid students.Linebackers Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas and defensive tackle Alan Branch dove into coach Bill Belichicks complex playbook then produced on the field.Were putting guys into play, right into the mix, Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis said Thursday. Im sure that can be a hassle coming from another team and then a whole new playbook is in front of you, but youve got to give credit to those guys.Now they can help the Patriots (10-3) clinch the AFC East title with a win or tie against the Miami Dolphins (7-6) on Sunday.A season-ending right knee injury to defensive captain Jerod Mayo in the sixth game left the Patriots thin at linebacker. So they made two trades.Before the eighth game, they obtained Ayers and a seventh-round pick in 2015 from Tennessee for a sixth-rounder that year. Before the ninth game, they got Casillas and a sixth-round pick in 2015 from Tampa Bay for their fifth-rounder that year.Then on Oct. 29, one day after the Casillas deal, the Patriots signed Branch. He had been cut by Buffalo on Aug. 24, the day after he was arrested on a drunken-driving charge, but the main factor was performance in the decision to release him, Bills coach Doug Marrone said.All three played less than a week after joining the Patriots.Ayers, a second-round draft pick by Tennessee in 2011, started 43 of the 48 games he played in his first three seasons. But he was inactive for five of seven games with the Titans this year when they switched to a 3-4 scheme.In his first game with the Patriots, just four days after the trade, he had a sack against Jay Cutler of Chicago. In the next game, he sacked Denvers Peyton Manning. And last Sunday night, his fourth start with New England, he iintercepted a pass by Philip Rivers in a 23-14 win at San Diego. Adrian Dantley Jersey. Just being able to move around sometimes and just being able to do different things on defence, I really enjoy it, Ayers said.Hes getting more comfortable with the system but still has a lot to learn.I just try to narrow it down as much as I can, he said. Im pretty much learning on the go and I understand Im going to make mistakes out there and there are going to be a few things that arent perfect, but (I) just know that I can fix those mistakes and try not to make them twice.Both he and Casillas also have produced on special teams.Casillas signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and started just eight games in three seasons with the Saints. He was a backup in Tampa Bay last season before starting three of his five games with the Buccaneers this season.His approach to a different playbook is simple.Its really no secret, Casillas said. If you care what youre doing, you just have to put the extra time in. Ive been putting in a little extra time with (linebackers coach) Pat Graham and even with Akeem.Branch was a second-round pick by Arizona in 2007 and started 13 games for Buffalo last year. But he didnt attend any of the Bills voluntary spring practices this year then failed his conditioning in training camp.They definitely helped me out with the cardio program they have here (to) just make sure Im able to compete with the other guys for longer than a couple of plays at a time, he said. Im definitely appreciative of the chance theyve given me.And he, Ayers and Casillas have given back.All three of those players have definitely helped us, both with their playing time, their performance and Id say the rapid pace at which theyve picked things up, Belichick said.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
The legend of Jose Abreu continues to grow, but the enormous early achievements for the rookie have yet to translate into an overall level of success for his Chicago White Sox. Air Force 1 Alte Just Do It . Abreu his and teammates shoot for back-to-back wins for just the second time since June 11 on Saturday as they battle the Toronto Blue Jays in the third of a four-game set. Trying to slow down Abreu for the Jays is rookie hurler Marcus Stroman, a product of Duke. The right-hander, making his first-ever appearance against Chicago, managed to break a minor two-game slide on Monday as he allowed just a single run on three hits, striking out seven, over eight innings against the New York Yankees at home. Stroman has appeared in four day games this season already, but the results have been somewhat hard to swallow, even though he has a record of 1-1 in such games. He is also carrying a lofty 5.65 ERA in those 14 1/3 innings. Chicago, which is alone in last place in the AL Central, has the second- highest team ERA in the league at 4.40 and is the only club yet to register a shutout on the campaign. Conversely, Toronto is second in the AL with 10 shutouts, although the Jays are 11th in overall ERA with a 4.09 mark. Chicagos first baseman posted two more home runs on Friday as the Sox slipped by Toronto in a 5-4 decision. The victory snapped a brief two-game slide for a Chicago club that is 10 games below .500 (16-26) on the road. Abreu, though, now has four multi-homer games through his first 67 contests, becoming the first player since Atlantas Bob Horner in 1978 to achieve such a feat. Abreu is also tied with Torontos Edwin Encarnacion and Nelson Cruz of Baltimore for the Major League lead in home runs with 25. "Im glad hes on my team," said White Sox starter John Danks, who picked up his seventh win of the campaign. "Im glad I dont have to face him." Danks made it through six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, two of those being home runs. A host of relievers handed the game to Jake Petricka who picked up his second save of the season by recording just a pair of outs in the ninth. Former Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey was saddled with the loss as he was hammered for four home runs, five runs overall on just five hits. The knuckleballer did strike out nine and walk only one through six innings, but it just wasnt enough. "I felt very good with it, tonight was a very bizarre outing," Dickey said. "I dont know how else to explain it, to give up five hits and four of them being home runs. To walk one guy and strikeout nine and leave the game after six innings giving up five runs, thats a bizarre outing." Encarnacion, who is second in the league in RBI with 65, delivered on his 25th home run, a solo effort, while Colby Rasmus and Dioner Navarro also went deep for a Toronto team which is still holding down first place in the AL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore entering play today. After missing almost the entire month of March, Chris Sale is now aiming to come up with his seventh win in eight decisions as he heads to the mound for the White Sox this afternoon. The left-hander pitched on Monday against Baltimore on the road but failed to earn a decision as Chicago was handed a 6-4 loss. Sale made it through just six innings for the second game in a row, permitting a mere two runs as he scattered a season-high 11 hits and struck out three. Now in his fifth season in the majors, Sale has pitched against Toronto four times previously but is still awaiting his first favorable outcome (0-2), although he has been credited with a save in one of those contests. Sf Air Force 1 Mid Nere . - Titans quarterback Jake Locker will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, leaving Tennessee trying to rally with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Air Force 1 Alte Premium .com) - Mike Conley scored 20 points with five assists to help the Memphis Grizzlies remain unbeaten with a 91-89 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Jayna Hefford scored the winning goal Friday as Canada survived a scare with a 4-3 win over Sweden at the Four Nations womens hockey tournament. The Swedes looked like they were on their way to an upset when they scored goals 20 seconds apart to take a 3-1 lead early in the second period. But Canada responded and was spared blushes as Natalie Spooner scored two straight goals, setting up Heffords winner. "We really dont feel like we played our game very well today and there was a bit of a struggle throughout," Hefford said. "But sometimes games are like that. You have to grind them out and chip away, and thats how we looked at it." Canada finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 3-0 record and advanced to Saturdays final against Finland (2-1), which stunned the United States 3-1. Meghan Agosta-Marciano also scored for Canada, while Shannon Szabados made eight saves on 11 shots. Sweden goaltender Valentina Wallner was outstanding, making 41 saves on 45 shots. Anna Borgqvist, Jenni Asserholt and Lina Backlin scored for Sweden, which finished the tournament 0-3. Canada brrought a younger squad to the Four Nations tournament, leaving several veterans, including talismanic leading scorer Hayley Wickenhiser, off the roster for a rest. Air Force 1 Alte Flax . Coach Dan Church said he welcomes the way the young squad battled through adversity. "Coming out and struggling in the first two periods today wasnt part of our game plan," Church said. "But the response form our group was good in the third period. "The young players have really worked hard over these last three games and that is what you want to see. Leaving some veterans at home is an opportunity for them to step up and play some more minutes and show some leadership." Noora Raty made 58 saves and Karolina Rantamaki and Susanna Tapani scored in a 9-second span in the second period to help Finland defeat the U.S. for the first time in the history of the tournament Megan Bozek had a power-play goal for the U.S. (1-2) in the second period to cut it to 2-1, and Tapani set up Jenni Hiirikoskis goal midway through the third period. Canada beat Finland 3-1 on Tuesday. The U.S. will face Sweden in the third-place game. ' ' '