(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays are about to enter the Alex Rodriguez circus. Jim Eisenreich Jersey . New York enters this twin-bill on the heels of an emotional win in Boston on Sunday that saw the Yankees score four times in the sixth inning in a 9-6 win. Brett Gardeners three-run triple highlighted the big frame, while Rodriguez homered and finished 3-for-4, as the Yanks won for the sixth time in their last eight games. Earlier in the contest Rodriguez had been hit by Ryan Dempster (6-9), resulting in both benches clearing briefly and New York manager Joe Girardi being ejected from the game after both teams received warnings. "Whether you like me or hate me, whats wrong is wrong. That was unprofessional and silly," Rodriguez said. "Today kind of brought us together." New York finds itself eight games back of the Red Sox in the division and is 6 1/2 back of the wild card. Getting the call for the Yanks in game one will be right-hander Ivan Nova, who is 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA. Nova picked up the win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings. He also struck out six without walking a batter. Nova has been magnificent over his past seven starts, posting a 1.89 ERA with 50 strikeouts to 12 walks over 52 1/3 innings. Phil Hughes will go for the Yanks in the second game after a solid outing his last time out. The right-hander, who has pitched to a 6.03 ERA at Yankee Stadium, is just 2-10 with a 5.23 ERA over his past 16 starts overall. Hughes lost to the Angels on Thursday, but pitched well, giving up three runs and six hits in six innings. Still, he fell to 4-12 on the year to go along with a 4.97 ERA. "It was obviously better; it was hard to pitch much worse than I had been," Hughes said. "It felt like the results werent exactly what I wanted, but I felt like I threw the ball OK. But at the end of the day, its a loss, which is not what we set out to accomplish today." Toronto, meanwhile, lost two of three over the weekend to Tampa Bay and has dropped five of its last eight. The Jays are in the midst of 10-game road trip and are 26-35 away from home this season. Theyll hand the ball to righty Esmil Rogers in the first game on Tuesday. Rogers did not get a decision on Wednesday in an emergency start against Boston, but was terrific, allowing just a run and five hits in six innings of his teams 4-3 win. He is 3-7 on the year with a 4.91 ERA and is winless in his last 10 appearances. Getting the ball in the second game for Toronto will be lefty Mark Buehrle, who has won his last four decisions. Buehrle beat the Red Sox on Thursday, limiting them to a run and 10 hits in seven innings to push his record to 9-7, while lowering his ERA to 4.29. The Blue Jays have won each of Buehrles last five starts and he is 4-0 over that span with a 2.36 ERA. "Im just trying to get on a roll right now," Buehrle said. "I dont care if were out of the playoffs, or in the playoffs, if were in the thick of it. I go out there and try to win every start. No matter what the situation is, Im going out there trying to compete and trying to win." New York, though, has given him fits over his career. Buehrle has already lost twice to the Yankees this season and is just 1-10 lifetime against them with a 6.28 ERA in 15 starts. The Yankees have beaten the Blue Jays in eight of nine matchups this season, including all six in the Bronx. Stitched Royals Jerseys . Will Venable and Ryan Ludwick drove in a run each for the Padres, who have taken six of their last seven contests and clinched their third straight series win after winning the first two in this set. Clayton Richard (4-9) allowed five hits and a pair of runs over seven innings, while fanning five. Brad Keller Jersey .Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have fired receivers coach Ike Hilliard.PHILADELPHIA – One year ago at the NHL draft in Newark, the Maple Leafs picked Frederik Gauthier with their first selection, a hulking centre with likely third-line potential and a low offensive ceiling. They swung for a much higher fence with the eighth overall pick on Friday night, landing the "electrifying" William Nylander from Sweden. A speedy, highlight-reel winger, he is the son of longtime NHL centre Michael Nylander and the first European Toronto has drafted in the first round since Jiri Tlusty in 2006. Nylander is also the first draft pick of the Brendan Shanahan era and an injection of homegrown game-breaking ability, long-starved within the Leaf organization. "Hes got high, high-end skill," gushed general manager Dave Nonis, shortly after the pick was made. And that fills a need within the prospect ranks of the organization, considerably deprived over the years. Though hopeful that the likes of Carter Verhaeghe, Connor Brown and Andreas Johnson may eventually make an impact of sorts with the big club, the Leafs simply did not boast a game-breaker with Nylanders ceiling beyond the NHL club (and have not historically). They havent landed many at all from the draft. Vincent Damphousse, picked sixth overall in 1986, was the last homegrown player to register at least 80 points in a season as a Leaf. Toronto has, additionally, sent only two homegrown players to the All-Star game in the past 20 years, neither of whom was a forward (Tomas Kaberle and Felix Potvin). Dealing first round picks – as they did five times from 2003-2011 – certainly didnt help the matter. Nylander may or may not make it, but he, at the very least, represents the kind of high upside, homegrown talent the organization has mostly lacked, especially up front – Nazem Kadri, who scored 20 goals as a 23-year-old last season, was a recent exception. Nonis wouldnt go as far as to say that adding skill was a priority, but labeled it "an area of weakness". "He might be the most skilled player in the draft," said the Leafs GM of Nylander. Nonis saw that skill firsthand at the Under-18 tournament in Finland this past April. Nylander, playing for Sweden, led all players with 16 points in seveen games, notching six goals along the way. Vince Coleman Jersey. As a teenager, he spent part of last season in Swedens top league, totaling a goal and seven points in 22 games – notable given his age and size (5-foot-11, 169 pounds). "He has NHL speed, NHL hands, an NHL shot right now," Nonis said. "Its whether or not the rest of his game can catch up." Unwilling to pay Dale Tallons price for the first overall pick and rights to draft Aaron Ekblad, Nonis said he actually considered moving down if one of two players – Nylander among them – wasnt there to be had with the eighth pick. Nylander grew up around the NHL, his father totaling 920 NHL games for seven different teams. That kept the younger Nylander in North America until the age of 14 when he moved to Sweden, eventually playing alongside his 40-year-old dad last year (with Rogle in the second-tier league). "I like to score goals and make plays," Nylander said, projecting an aura of confidence and cool, noticeably unfazed by all that surrounded him. A free agent and thus able to come to North America next year if he and the organization so choose, Nylander will audition for the Leafs in the fall. "Hell definitely have a chance to make our team," Nonis said. "[But] I really dont care how skilled you are, its very difficult to make the NHL as an 18-year-old. I think itd be a long shot for him to do that, but hes going to be given that opportunity and if hes good enough to stick and play and contribute then we would keep him. If not, well decide at that point whether its best to keep him over in North America or to have him go back to Sweden to play in the Elite League." Nylander boasts a "VERY high ceiling" according to Mark Seidel, chief scout for North American Central Scouting, but has been trailed by attitude questions, something Nonis brushed aside as outward confidence. Like most draftees, the new Leaf prospect will have to get bigger and stronger before he is likely to make the leap to the NHL, additionally requiring some acclimation to the North American ice surface. "It may take him a month to acclimate, it might take him over a year – I dont know that," said Nonis. "But the skill-set is very high end." ' ' '
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6 déc. 2019
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