NEW YORK -- Hard to imagine one day on the job was truly enough for new Mets hitting coach Lamar Johnson to make much of a difference. DeShawn Williams Jersey Store . It only looked that way. Juan Lagares drove in two runs, Vic Black gave the bullpen a boost and New York finally managed some timely hits Tuesday night in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. "We were hoping wed have a good homestand," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Weve played well. We just havent hit and driven in the big runs. To have a game like tonight I thought was important." Daniel Murphy doubled twice and No. 8 batter Ruben Tejada reached base all four times up to help the Mets win for only the fourth time in 13 games. The victory came one day after batting coach Dave Hudgens was fired and replaced by Johnson, who had been New Yorks minor league hitting co-ordinator. Black (1-0) got four big outs in his first major league outing this season, and Jenrry Mejia pitched two innings for his fourth save. With a runner on, Curtis Granderson made an outstanding catch in the right-field corner for the second out of the ninth. Mejia then walked Andrew McCutchen and retired Mets nemesis Gaby Sanchez on a game-ending grounder. "We lined out multiple times. Some nights, thats just the way it is," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. Starling Marte hit a two-run single for the Pirates, hurt by four wild pitches in losing for the second time in seven games. With the score 2-all, Tejada drew his second walk to start the sixth. He advanced on two wild pitches by Jeanmar Gomez (0-2) and scored when Lagares flicked a single over a drawn-in infield. Murphy followed with an RBI double to make it 4-2. "Lagares had a great at-bat," Murphy said. "Got some timely hitting and I think some really good baserunning out there as well, too, so its a good win." Black struck out Sanchez with runners at the corners to end the seventh. Pittsburgh had first and third again in the eighth when Mejia got pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez to ground into an inning-ending double play. "Now Im ready for any situation," Mejia said. Handed a 2-0 lead, Mets starter Jonathon Niese let it slip away. Normally a fast worker, Niese slowed his pace considerably as he walked three batters in the sixth. Martes bases-loaded single tied it, but Black struck out pinch-hitter Ike Davis with the bases loaded to end the inning. It was a matchup that pitted two players against their former teams. Black was acquired from Pittsburgh last August, and the Mets traded Davis to the Pirates last month. Black was expected to be in the Mets bullpen at the start of the season, but was shipped to the minors after a rough spring. The right-hander got called up as the roster addition for Sundays doubleheader against Arizona, then sent back down immediately after the games. He went to meet Triple-A Las Vegas in El Paso, Texas, but quickly turned around when the Mets recalled him late Monday to replace reliever Jose Valverde, who was released. Functioning on little sleep, Black took an early flight back to New York on Tuesday and showed up at the ballpark ready to pitch. "Vic got out of it for me and he did a great job," Niese said. "The way it started off, I felt like I could go seven or eight today, kind of save the bullpen. Thats why I was angry with the sixth." Pirates starter Edinson Volquez walked five and threw two wild pitches in five innings, extending his struggles on the road. "Thats what youre supposed to do, keep the game close. But I know walks killed me tonight," Volquez said. Murphy doubled in the third and scored on Bobby Abreus two-out single. Tejada and Lagares both doubled off the wall in left field in the fourth to make it 2-0. Lagares made a leaping catch of McCutchens drive at the 390-foot sign in right-centre to end the first inning. McCutchen returned the favour with a spectacular, diving grab to rob Lagares of extra bases in the third. "They kind of traded them, didnt they?" Hurdle said. "We just couldnt find gaps. Good plays by the centre fielders, as good as youre going to see." NOTES: Hurdle said hes looking to get a day off soon for 2B Neil Walker, who has started all 51 games this season. ... After a setback Sunday, Mets RHP Dillon Gee (strained lat) is headed to the teams complex in Florida to continue his rehabilitation. He said it will probably be a few days before he tries to get on the mound again. "Were going to go with the slow-and-steady approach this time," he said. ... Mets C Travis dArnaud (concussion) went 0 for 1 with a walk in a rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. He was scheduled to catch seven innings, but the game was suspended after two innings because of rain. As long as he got his work in and felt OK, dArnaud was expected to be activated Wednesday or Thursday. ... Rap star 50 Cent was comically off target with the ceremonial first pitch. Geoff Schwartz Jersey Store . According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, Brodeurs agent Pat Brisson has spoken to six teams so far regarding the veteran goaltender. China Jerseys For Sale . "This is my city," the Toronto native said upon his arrival Wednesday night. And the 35-year-old former league MVP says he is hoping to making 2014 a memorable year.LOS ANGELES -- Big, fast and physical, the Los Angeles Kings play a punishing brand of hockey. But its also a smart game. Theres more to the Kings than banging bodies. They take a toll mentally on their opponents. "Very opportunistic, first and foremost," Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh said of the Kings game. "They make something out of nothing a few times in the game and thats whats dangerous. "You feel like youve got them. You feel like youve got a simple battle in the corner, youve got numbers back. It doesnt matter, they find a way to get a puck towards the net and get a bounce, get the right body position. Youve got to maintain your discipline and your focus all the way through until your shift is done." Goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who faced 20 shots in the third period of the Rangers 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1, says the Kings can threaten from anywhere. "They like to throw pucks from the outside, go for rebounds," said the stylish Swede. "A lot of times you might not think theres a big chance, but a lot of times they create something from second and third chances, not necessarily from the first shot. "Its important that you dont relax even though you feel like you have everything under control maybe in the first sequence. Thats when they can surprise you a little bit." "They throw a lot of bodies, throw a lot of pucks on net," Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi summed up. The Kings certainly have the Rangers attention. New York coach Alain Vigneault has spent the last two days urging his team to dig deep for Game 2 Saturday. "If youre in the final, and your expectations are to win, you have to bring your best game to the table. Our guys are aware of that," he said. "Our guys are talking to themselves, between themselves about it. Were all looking for a better response (Saturday)." Both teams practised Friday -- the Rangers at Staples Center and the Kings at their practice facility in suburban El Segundo. There will likely be lineup changes on both sides. Rangers defenceman John Moore, eligible to return from a two-game suspension, resumed his normal spot in practice. And Kings coach Darryl Sutter said veteran defenceman Robyn Regehr, who has been out injured since Game 1 of the Anaheim series, will "probably" play. Vigneault says backup goalie Cam Talbot remains day-do-day with an undisclosed injury. Despite losing last time out, thee Rangers were as cool as ice Friday. Will Herring Jersey Store. The message has been to turn the page on Game 1, while turning it up a notch for Game 2. For the Kings, its stay the course. That means playing with discipline and putting their bodies on the line for the 105th time since the start of the regular season. It is to their credit that they can continue to play their game. "Our style is not easy to play for 82 games every night," acknowledged captain Dustin Brown when asked about the teams scoring lapses during the regular season. "Sometimes we get into a funk and everyone focuses on our goal-scoring. "There was a stretch of games (during the regular season) where we couldnt score but we were finding ways to win games because we played the right way on the other side of the puck. I think thats where a lot of our success comes from, is really the defensive side of the puck." Los Angeles ranked 26th in the league during the regular season with 2.42 goals a game. It helped that the Kings were first in goals-against average at 2.05. In the playoffs, they lead with 3.46 goals a game. They are in the middle of the playoff pack with 2.82 goals against. Asked how they have managed to add a gear in the post-season, Brown said champions find a way. "This time of year, good teams find that extra," he said. The Kings clearly take pride in the toll that their game takes on opponents. "When teams play against us and say that Man, these guys compete, they play hard. They battle for every puck. And yeah, to win four out of seven against these guys is going to take a lot," said defenceman Willie Mitchell. "If other teams are saying that, or people from the outside are kind of giving us that label, it means that were doing a lot of things here and well continue to do that." On Saturday, its the Rangers time to dig deep. "We have to expect theyre going to be a lot better," said New York forward Brad Richards. "We have to be better or youre going to be down 2-0 ... Its this time of year. You get one crack at it. You got to raise it. Theres no other option." Added Girardi: "We know in the room here that we have what it takes to get the job done." "Were going to be ready (Saturday)," said Vigneault. A good performance and the Rangers go home happy. "It would be really nice to have (the series) 1-1 leaving L.A.," said forward Carl Hagelin. ' ' '
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. ' ' '