Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cosmos Shut Out Strikers

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers surrendered three goals in the second half and fell to the New York Cosmos 3-0 at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. The Cosmos have won all three meetings against the Strikers since the 37-year rivalry was renewed last year.
     Fort Lauderdale(4-4) had numerous scoring chances in the first half. Cosmos defender James Nealis saved a ball on the sideline and fell down in the 20th minute. Strikers midfielder Shawn Chin then fired a shot from 35 yards away over the head of Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer who was 15 yard off his goal line, however the ball hit the crossbar and did not go in.
     Strikers forward Mark Anderson received a lead pass in the penalty area during the 25th minute and flicked a shot on the run from nine yards out which was blocked by Maurer. Chin hooked a shot with the left foot from the right side 16 yards away and that barely went over the net.
     Play was stopped when the stadium lights on the press box side lost power during the 50th minute and the game was resumed 15 minutes later after the delay. Strikers midfielder Darnell King crossed a ball from the right side and forward Marius Ebbers missed wide right on a 14-yard shot in the 53rd minute.
     The Cosmos picked up the momentum in the 63rd minute when forward Mads Stokkelien was tripped on the left side of the box by defender Rafael Alves and was rewarded a penalty kick. He converted it with a shot into the low left corner by Strikers goalkeeper Oka Nikolov for a 1-0 lead.
     New York(5-2-1) added to their lead during the 75th minute. Strikers defender Stephane Guillaume headed the ball out of the six-yard box and Cosmos defender Jimmy Ockford rocketed a ball from 15 yards out on the right side into the left side of net for a 2-0 margin. Cosmos midfielder Daniel Szetela gave his team a three-goal cushion with a goal in the 85th minute to put the game away.

Boynton Beach Pounds Village Academy

     The last spring high school football game occurred in Palm Beach County on Friday night as the Boynton Beach Tigers routed the Village Academy Tigers 50-8. Boynton Beach made the FHSAA playoffs last year and were eliminated by the Miami Central Rockets in the regional quarterfinal.
     In the first quarter, Boynton Beach scored on their first possession at 9:03 when backup quarterback Dieuly Aristilde scored on a touchdown run from eight yards away for a 6-0 lead. It was set up on a 45-yard run by running back Chauncey Mason to the Village Academy 20-yard line. Mason played for Park Vista in 2013 and transferred to Boynton Beach.
     Two possession later, quarterback Lamar Jackson entered the game and he did not disappoint as he ran down the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown at 2:40. Marcos Rodriquez kicked the extra point to make it 13-0.
     Village Academy responded with their only score of the game at 2:23 when Da'Vante Frazier returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards as he ripped by several defenders. Quarterback Torrell Jones ran around the right end for the two-point conversion and they trailed 13-8.
     Boynton Beach would score 23 points in the second quarter to put the game out of reach. Aristilde caught a 51-yard pass on a fly pattern from Jackson to the Village Academy five-yard line. Mason scored on the next play as he rumbled up the middle with 8:58 to go in the second to extend their lead to 20-8.
     On their next possession, Jackson sprinted toward the near sideline, avoided a tackle at the one-yard line and walked into the end zone to finish off a 17-yard touchdown run to give Boynton Beach a 27-8 lead with 5:23 left in the first half.
     On the ensuing kickoff, Frazier bobbled the ball when he tried to catch it at his own eight-yard line. He then tried to go around the Boynton Beach kick coverage as he backed into his own zone, however Stephenson Camille tackled him and was credited with a safety for a 29-8 margin at 5:12.
     Wide receiver Donte Sylencieux added to the rout as he caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jackson in the left side of the end zone to make it 36-8 with 3:33 left.
     Boynton Beach scored another 14 points in the third quarter and mounted 37 unanswered points against Village Academy. Both teams decided it was unnecessary to play the fourth quarter and ended the game.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Braves Slip By Marlins

     The Miami Marlins started off strong and were overcome by the Atlanta Braves 3-2 at Marlins Park on Friday night. The Braves jumped ahead of the Fish for first place in the National League East standings.
     In the first inning, Miami(28-26) picked two runs during their first time at the plate against Julio Teheran. Ed Lucas got a one-out single into right field then Giancarlo Stanton smashed his 16th home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch to center field.
     Tom Koehler held Atlanta(29-25) scoreless until the sixth inning. Justin Upton led off with a walk and Evan Gattis singled to right. Chris Johnson knocked in Upton with a base hit into right field and closed the gap to 2-1.
     The Bravos took the lead during the seventh inning. Teheran doubled to right and then scored on a triple by Jason Heyward to left-center field. B.J. Upton drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to left field.
     Teheran moved to 5-3 as he surrendered two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Koehler gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings as he fell to 4-5 this season.

NBA Finals Again As Heat Rout Pacers

     The Miami Heat won their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference championship with a 117-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 on Friday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat, who wrapped up the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series 4-2, will play next on the road Thursday night against the winner of the Western Conference finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
     Miami became the first team to appear in four straight NBA Finals since the Boston Celtics accomplished it from 1984 to 1987. The only other team since 1967 to also pull off that same feat was the Los Angeles Lakers from 1982 until 1985.
     The only time Indiana led in the contest was early when they were ahead 9-2 four minutes into the opening quarter. Miami responded with a 22-4 run and had a 24-13 lead after one period. The Heat outscored the Pacers 36-21 in the second quarter and had a 26-point cushion at halftime 60-34.
     Miami moved the margin up to 37 points as they extended their lead to 86-49 with 3:39 left in the third quarter on a 19-4 tear. The Pacers trailed 91-58 after three quarters. Indiana was able to chip away at the gap down to 22 points at 97-75 with 5:54 remaining in the final quarter before they pulled their starting lineup.
     LeBron James was the focal point for the Heat as he had 25 points and six assists in 32 minutes. Chris Bosh compiled 25 points and eight rebounds while Dwyane Wade added 13 points, six assists and six rebounds. Rashard Lewis dropped in 13 and Chris Andersen fell short of a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds.
     Paul George got a team-high 29 points and eight rebounds in 41 minutes for the Pacers. David West scored 16 points and Lance Stephenson popped in 11 points.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jake Rudock On Magazine Cover

     Former St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders quarterback and current University of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock will appear on the Big Ten Conference front cover of Phil Steele's College Football Preview this year. There is one catch to this item. He will not have his name on the magazine cover because he is being tackled by University of Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan.
     Rudock played for St. Thomas Aquinas from 2007 to 2010. He was with the freshman squad in his first year and backed up Ryan Becker on the varsity team in his sophomore year. He became the starting quarterback in 2009 and helped the team to a 14-1 record. He led the school to a 15-0 undefeated season, a FHSAA Class 5A state title and a national championship as a senior.
     He left the Raiders as the all-time leader with 5,082 passing yards, 73 touchdown passes, 301 completions and 467 passing attempts. Rudock also had single season school records with 2,827 passing yards, 36 touchdown passes, 157 completions and 242 passing attempts. He was redshirted at Iowa in 2011, saw no action in 2012 and started 13 games as quarterback for the Hawkeyes in 2013.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pacers Hold Off Heat

     The Miami Heat were unable to capture their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference championship as they fell to the Indiana Pacers 93-90 in Game 5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night. The Heat lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and both teams will face each other for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night in Miami.
     Indiana got out ahead 18-10 in the first nine minutes of the game and led 22-16 after one quarter. The Heat continued on a 17-2 tear at the start of the second and were up 31-24. Miami finished the period with a 9-2 edge and led 42-33 at halftime.
     The Heat extended their margin up to ten points at 45-35 with 9:12 remaining in the third on a Rashard Lewis three-point shot. The Pacers bounced back with a 16-2 run midway through the period to go up 57-52 with 2:15 left and went into the final quarter with the lead 64-57. Miami trailed by 11 points early in the fourth 77-66 until they scored nine straight points to set up a 15-4 spurt to tie the game at 81-81 with 3:50 to go. The Heat could not regain the lead down the stretch after that push.
     Dwyane Wade paced the Heat with 18 points, seven assists and eight rebounds in 40 minutes. Chris Bosh nailed a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Lewis had 18 points. Ray Allen came off the bench and popped in 15. LeBron James was in foul trouble throughout the entire game as he had five personal fouls and seven points in 24 minutes of play.
     Paul George put together a game-high 37 points and six steals in 45 minutes for Indiana. David West had 19 points and nine rebounds while Lance Stephenson scored 12 points. Roy Hibbert contributed a double-double with 10 points along with 13 rebounds.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Marc Benarzyk Gone From Charlotte

     Former local radio sports host Marc Benarzyk is no longer with WFNZ-AM in Charlotte. He will join Carl Dukes as an afternoon co-host at WZGC-FM in Atlanta as of June 2. Benarzyk had been an afternoon co-host with Taylor Zanzour at WFNZ since early 2011 under the name Marc James. Zanzour left the program last December to join SiriusXM Radio for his own show and Benarzyk had hosted solo since.
     Benarzyk was a sports host on 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM from April 2004 until May 2006. In his reign he began as a midday host and was shifted to afternoon drive following short stints by Dino Costa and then by Bob Page. He became the morning show host in early 2006 until the station flipped from a sports talk format in May 2006.
     Prior to his arrival in South Florida, he worked in several on-air host positions in Springfield, Massachusetts. After his work at 1400 The Fan, he joined Jim Grieshaber and co-hosted a nationally syndicated afternoon show on Sports Byline USA in 2006. He also worked for a short time as an afternoon co-host on Sirius Radio.
     His next stop was at WHBQ-AM in Memphis as a midday co-host. He then moved in April 2008 to Tampa where he worked at WHBO-AM as an afternoon host until August 2010.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Heat One Win From NBA Finals

     The Miami Heat remained undefeated at home during the 2014 NBA playoffs with a 102-90 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat are one win away from their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference championship. It has not been done since the Boston Celtics from 1984 until 1987.
     LeBron James compiled game-highs in three categories for the Heat with 32 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes. Chris Bosh put together 25 points with six rebounds and Dwyane Wade knocked in 15 points.
     For the first time in the series, Indiana had less than four of their starters in double-digit scoring. Paul George had a team-high 23 points along with seven rebounds while David West was able to get a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. George Hill drained through 15 points and Luis Scola scored 12.
     Miami was ahead in the game from the start until the finish. In the first quarter, they exploded out with a 10-2 edge and finished the period up 27-19. The Heat led by at least four points during the entire second quarter as Indiana trailed 49-44 at halftime.
     The Pacers were outscored in the third quarter 31-20 in the third and fell more behind 80-64. Miami extended their margin to 23 points with 7:41 left in the fourth at 94-71. Indiana got no closer than nine points from the lead at 99-90 with 1:29 remaining.   

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Heat Race By Pacers

     The Miami Heat came back from far behind to beat the Indiana Pacers 99-87 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at American Airlines Arena on Saturday night. The Heat remained undefeated at home during the NBA playoffs with a 6-0 record. The Pacers had won their previous five road games in the postseason.
     Indiana jumped out to a 19-5 lead in the first nine minutes of the game and led 21-14 after one quarter. Miami chipped at the gap during the second quarter as they closed the second on a 16-5 edge and trailed 42-38 at halftime.
     The Heat outscored their opponent 33-22 in the third quarter and were up 71-64 at the end of the period. The closest the Pacers came to take the lead in the fourth was went they were down 76-74 with 8:37 left. Miami went on a 23-13 run during the final stretch of the game.
     LeBron James led the Heat with a game-high 26 points and seven assists in 40 minutes of play. Dwyane Wade knocked down 23 points and Ray Allen added 16 . Chris Bosh and Norris Cole both contributed nine points.
     Four of the five Indiana starters had double-figure scoring. Paul George nailed in a team-high 17 points, Roy Hibbert dropped down 16 and David West had 13. Lance Stephenson contributed a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in 46 minutes.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Marlins Slip By Brewers

     There was limited scoring chances in this game as the Miami Marlins got by the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Saturday at Marlins Park. The Fish improved their best home record in Major League Baseball to 20-7.
     Miami(26-24) got the first run of the game in the second inning against Wily Peralta. Casey McGehee led off with a single to left field and scored two batters later when Jarrod Saltalamacchia smashed a double into right field.
     The Marlins put up an additional run in the bottom of the seventh with Tyler Thornburg on the mound. Adeiny Hechavarria picked up a base hit to right field and then stole second. Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker followed with a single into center field to score Hechavarria and made it 2-0.
     Milwaukee(29-21) held off being blanked until the eighth inning against A.J. Ramos. Ryan Braun came in from second as Jonathan Lucroy doubled to deep right field with one out.
     Jacob Turner pitched shutout ball for 6 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits to raise his record up to 1-2. Peralta moved down to 4-4 when he gave up one run on six hits in six innings.

Plantation Takes Stranahan

     A new era began for the Plantation Colonels as they edged the Stranahan Dragons 35-28 at P.A.L. Field on Thursday night in a spring football game. It was the first time for the Colonels in four seasons that Chris Lammons was not in charge as quarterback for the team.
     It seemed that was forgotten by Plantation as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. They scored on their first possession as running back Antwuan Haynes ran in a touchdown from 17 yards out at 8:10. Haynes added another touchdown from five yards away at 3:19. Quarterback Marquis Flowers made it a 21-point cushion with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle with 54.3 seconds left in the quarter.
     Stranahan scored the only points during the second quarter to make it 21-7. Quarterback Javonne Heastie went around the left end and dashed in for a 28-yard touchdown with 8:57 remaining in the first half.
     The Colonels struck back quickly at 9:47 of the third quarter. Haynes went down the left sideline on an 80-yard run for his third touchdown of the game.
     The Dragons get a touchdown with 2:53 to go in the third when Marvin Robinson caught a five-yard pass from Heastie for a score. They would make another similar play as Heastie connected with Robinson in the back of the end zone on a two-yard pass with 5:20 left in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 28-21.
     Plantation moved it to a 14-point margin when Flowers ran up the middle for a 62-yard touchdown with 4:17 remaining.
     Heastie gave Stranahan one last tally with 2:27 to go as he ran in his second touchdown of the game from 37 yards.

St Thomas Aquinas Spring Game

     St. Thomas Aquinas held their annual spring inter-squad game on Thursday as the offense defeated the defense 24-11 at Brian Piccolo Stadium. The Raiders will open their 2014 campaign on August 29 at Sun Life Stadium against the American Heritage Patriots.
     The first quarter belonged to the defense led by defensive tackle Nicholas Bozo. They stopped the offense on their first three drives, which included holding them to one three-and-out, and compiled seven points for a 7-0 lead.
     The Raiders offense then scored on their next three consecutive drives during the second quarter. Quarterback Jake Rizzo found slot receiver Sam Bruce on a curling pattern up the middle and he bumped off several tacklers to get into the end zone from 11 yards away with 5:52 left and tie it at 7-7.
     Running back Jordan Scarlett ran around the left end and sprinted in for a 58-yard touchdown with 2:40 remaining to give the offense a 14-7 lead.
     On the second play of their next possession, Rizzo connected with wide receiver Blair Barrow on a fly pattern behind the secondary for an 80-yart touchdown pass and the offense led 21-7.
     The only scoring in the second half by the Aquinas offense was a 42-yard field goal by Christopher Kirtley.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Marlins Defeat Phillies

     It started as a low-scoring game, but it moved along for the Miami Marlins with a walk-off victory over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 at Marlins Park on Thursday. The Marlins improved to a league-best 19-6 at home this season as they won the three-game set with Philadelphia.
     Pitching dominated in this matchup between both teams. Henderson Alvarez allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings. Cole Hamels, who at one time retired nine straight batters for the Phillies, surrendered three runs on six hits in seven innings pitched.
     A run was finally scored in the sixth inning by Miami(25-23) with a two-out rally. Ed Lucas doubled into left field and Giancarlo Stanton then got his Major League-leading 45th RBI as he knocked in Lucas with a base hit to right-center field.
     The Marlins struck quickly in the bottom of the seventh to gain a three-run margin. Jeff Baker led off with a single to left and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run homer to left-center field on a 0-2 pitch for his eighth home run this season.
     The shutout was broken by Philadelphia(20-24) in the eighth as they put up three runs and tied the game 3-3. Jimmy Rollins, who had a hit earlier in the contest to surpass Richie Ashburn for second all-time in Phillies history, got on base with a lead-off walk against A.J. Ramos. Two batters later, Chase Utley doubled to the right-field wall against Mike Dunn and Rollins advanced to third. Ryan Howard then drove in Rollins with a sacrifice fly to left field. Marlon Byrd helped them pull even on a two-run homer to straight center field on a 1-0 count for his sixth home run.
     In the ninth inning, Miami got the walk-off win with Jacob Diekman on the mound. Ozuna singled to right-center with one out and two batters later moved to second on a base hit by Jeff Mathis into left. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson loaded the bases with an infield single on the left side. Christian Yelich capped it with a single to center field as Ozuna crossed the plate for the game-winning run.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alex Collins And Duke Johnson On Magazine Covers

     Former South Plantation running back Alex Collins appears on the cover of Lindy's college football magazine on a SEC regional issue for the state of Arkansas. Collins played for the Paladins from 2009 until 2012 and joined the Razorbacks as a true freshman last year.
     University of Miami running back Duke Johnson, who once played for the Norland Vikings and led them to a FHSAA state championship, appeared on Sporting News and Lindy's magazines as a member of the Hurricanes in 2013. He will appear on the cover of the 2014 national edition of Lindy's for the second straight year.
     Many former South Florida high school players have made an appearance on the cover of national college football magazines over the last three years. Running back Tre Mason of Park Vista and Auburn University appeared on many regional magazine covers during 2013 which included Phil Steele, Athlon's and Lindy's. He eventually had a fine season where he led the Tigers to the SEC Championship, put them in the BCS national championship game against Florida State and was nominated as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
     The Florida Gators were well represented in 2012 with defensive Matt Elam from Dwyer and linebacker Jon Bostic of Palm Beach Central. Quarterback Geno Smith of Miramar and West Virginia showed up on the Big East magazine cover in 2011 and the Big 12 magazine cover in 2012.
     Two former St. Thomas Aquinas players appeared on different magazine covers in 2013 prior to Florida State capturing the BCS National Championship. They were defensive back Lamarcus Joyner on Lindy's national cover and wide receiver Rashad Greene on Athlon's ACC cover. Current Alabama and former Miami Northwestern wide receiver Amari Cooper also was seen on a state of Alabama magazine cover for Phil Steele last year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Heat Tie Up Series With Indiana

     The Miami Heat bounced back in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals with a 87-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night. The best-of-seven series is now tied at 1-1. Both teams will have to wait awhile for Game 3 which will be played in Miami on Saturday night.
     After trailing from wire-to-wire in Game 1, Miami kept in tow during the opening quarter. Indiana went on an 11-2 surge to go up 18-10 with 4:58 left, however the Heat had an 8-1 edge to close the period as they were down 21-20.
     Neither squad got ahead by more than five points for most of the second quarter. That was until Miami put in eight straight points to move ahead 41-33 with 1:09 remaining. They had a 41-37 margin at halftime.
     Indiana began the second half on a 12-5 spurt to take the lead. They stayed in front even after the Heat converted consecutive three-point shots in the final two minutes of the period and led 63-62 at the end of three quarters.
     In the fourth quarter, the Pacers had a four-point gap of 73-69 with 7:18 to go until Miami went on a 13-2 run which was capped by ten consecutive points to take an 82-75 lead with 2:19 left. Indiana got no closer than four points at 87-83 with eight seconds remaining.
     Dwyane Wade, who scored eight of the first ten points for the Heat, ended with a team-high 23 points, five assists and five rebounds. LeBron James compiled 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Chris Bosh pounded in nine points with six rebounds. Norris Cole dropped down 11 as a reserve.
     For the second straight game in the series all five Indiana starters scored in double digits. Lance Stephenson guided the team with a game-high 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 44 minutes of play. Roy Hibbert chalked up a double-double with 12 points along with 13 rebounds. David West put together 10 points with six rebounds while George Hill scored 13.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Heat Lose First Game To Pacers

     The Eastern Conference finals began on Sunday as the Miami Heat fell to the Indiana Pacers 107-96 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Game 1. There were no lead changes in the contest as Indiana led from wire-to-wire. Both teams will meet again on Tuesday night in Indianapolis for Game 2 of the best-of-seven-series.
     Dwyane Wade had a team-high 27 points for the Heat in 39 minutes. LeBron James finished with a double-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes while Chris Bosh added nine points. Reserves Chris Andersen put in 14 and Ray Allen scored 12.
     All five starters had double-digit scoring for the Pacers. Paul George got a team-high 24 points and seven assists while David West compiled 19 points and seven rebounds. Roy Hibbert fell short of a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds. Lance Stephenson dropped in 17 points along with a game-high eight assists and George Hill scored 15.
     Indiana ripped out the first seven points of the game as they led the entire first quarter and finished the period up 30-24. The Heat got within four points on four occasions the second quarter, however they trailed 55-45 at halftime. Indiana moved to a 19-point gap at 81-62 with two minutes left in the third. Miami got no closer than nine points with 10:30 remaining in the fourth quarter as they were down 83-74.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Giants Stomp Marlins

     The Miami Marlins finished their 11-game road trip with a 4-1 defeat to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday at AT&T Park. The Fish, who split the four-game series with San Francisco, ended 4-7 on their recent road string from Miami and now have a 6-17 record away from Miami. The Giants moved to 14-8 at home in 2014. 
     San Francisco(28-17) jumped up to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Jacob Turner. Gregor Blanco was hit by a pitch, stole second and went to third on a ground out to second by Hunter Pence. Buster Posey hit a sacrifice fly into center to score Blanco. Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse would both follow with singles. Tyler Colvin knocked in Sandoval with a base to left center to make it 2-0. Brandon Hicks then singled into left field which brought in Morse.
     Sandoval came to the plate with two out in the bottom of the fifth and crushed a solo home run to left-center field on the first pitch for his third homer of the year as the Giants pulled ahead 4-0.
     Miami(23-22) avoided a shutout during the in eighth inning against Jeremy Affeldt. Adeiny Hechavarria led off with a single to center field and Derek Dietrich followed with a double to deep right field. Hechavarria eventually scored on a ground out by Christian Yelich to short.
     Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven shutout innings, gave up five hits and struck out six to raise his record to 2-2. Turner surrendered four runs on six hits in six innings and struck out seven as he dropped to 0-2.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Marlins Shut Out Giants

     The Miami Marlins blanked the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on Saturday night at AT&T Park. The Fish have won three of their last four games and finish an 11-game road trip on Sunday. The Giants have lost three of the their last five.
     Miami(23-21) got a two-out rally during the second inning against Tim Lincecum. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna walked then Saltalamacchia scored on a base hit by Adeiny Hechavarria to right field.
     In the sixth inning, the Marlins extended their lead to 3-0. Casey McGehee led off with a double to deep center field and scored on a Garrett Jones triple to the center-field fence. Jones would then cross the plate on a sacrifice fly to left by Saltalamacchia.
     With David Huff pitching for San Francisco(27-17) in the top of the seventh, Giancarlo Stanton smashed a solo home run on a 0-1 pitch to center field with two out for his 12th homer of the season.
     The Fish capped the shutout in the ninth inning. Hechavarria reached second on an error by right fielder Hunter Pence and was driven in by pinch-hitter Jeff Baker on a base hit to left-center field.
     Tom Koehler pitched seven innings of shutout ball as he allowed four hits and struck out seven to move his record to 4-3. Lincecum dropped to 3-3 as he gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings and struck out six.

Marlins Escape Giants

     The Miami Marlins collected two runs in the top of the ninth to defeat the San Francisco Giants 7-5 at AT&T Park on Friday night. The Fish, currently 3-6 on the 11-game road trip, moved up to 5-16 on the road this year.
     It took the first batter for Miami(22-21) to get the lead in the top of the first. Christian Yelich smashed a lead-off homer against Yusmeiro Petit to center field on a 3-1 pitch for his fifth home run this season.
     In the bottom of the first, San Francisco(27-16) tied it at 1-1 against Henderson Alvarez. Angel Pagan led off with a single to left and three batters later Pablo Sandoval knocked him in on a double into left field.
     The Marlins added two more runs in the third inning. Yelich reached base with one out on an erroe by shortstop Brandon Crawford. Derek Dietrich came up and blasted a two-run dinger to right field on the first pitch for his fifth homer of the year.
     The Fish made it 4-1 in the top of the fourth when Adeiny Hechavarria got an RBI-sacrifice fly to center field to score Garrett Jones, who earlier his a one-out double earlier in the frame.
     The Giants cut the lead down to one run in the bottom of the fourth. Crawford hit a sacrifice fly to center for Sandoval to score and Brandon Hicks followed with an RBI-double into left as Michael Morse crossed the plate.
     Yelich would score again when Casey McGehee drove him in on a two-out base hit to center field in the top of the fifth for a 5-3 lead.
     A quick response was made by the Giants in the bottom of the frame. Pagan doubled to left-center field, advanced to third on a fly out to right by Hunter Pence and scored on a sacrifice fly by Buster Posey to right.
     San Francisco tied the contest 5-5 during the sixth inning. Morse scored from second with two outs as pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco singled into right field.
     Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth inning against the Fish. Yelich walked then went to second Dietrich when he singled to left. After Giancarlo Stanton struck out, McGehee knocked in the go-ahead run on a base hit to right for Yelich to score his fourth run of the game. Two batters later, Dietrich made it 7-5 as Jones picked up an infield base hit off Javier Lopez.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Heat Take Series Against Nets

     The Miami Heat finished the Eastern Conference semifinal with a 96-94 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 at American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night. Even thought the Heat were swept by the Nets 4-0 in the regular season, they won this best-of-seven series 4-1 and await the winner of the Indiana-Washington series in the next round. It will be the fourth consecutive appearance for Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.
     Brooklyn sprinted out 11-4 in the first three minutes of the first quarter, but Miami responded and were ahead 23-22 at the end of the period. Neither team led by more than three points for the entire second quarter until 32.8 seconds left when Joe Johnson hit a field goal to make it Nets 47-42. Brooklyn scored the last eight points of the first half and were up 49-42 at halftime.
     The Heat scored the first seven points of the second half to tie the game at 49-49, however the Nets roared back with a 10-2 tear and got a ten-point cushion 61-51 with 6:22 remaining in the third. Miami fell behind and trailed 75-66 after three quarters.
     The Nets had a 91-83 margin with 4:48 to go in the fourth quarter. The Heat would scored the next ten points and regained the lead 93-91 with 32 seconds left when Ray Allen drained in a three-point shot from the left corner. After Allen made two free throws with 21.6 seconds remaining, Johnson put in a three-point shot at 11.5 seconds to close the gap to 95-94. LeBron James converted one of two free throws with 9.5 seconds to go and made it 96-94. Miami finished the game on a 13-3 run and wrapped up the series.
     Dwyane Wade, who had 20 points at halftime for the Heat, ended with 28 points in 37 minutes. James fell short of a double-double with a team-high 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Chris Bosh scored 16 points and Allen had 13.
     Johnson compiled a game-high 34 points along with seven rebounds in 42 minutes for the Nets. Paul Pierce got 19 points while Deron Williams pumped in 17 points.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dodgers Rout Marlins

     The Miami Marlins bad fortune on the road continued as they were handled by the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Marlins, who extended their losing streak to five games, dropped to 3-15 away from Miami. The Dodgers look to go for a three-game sweep of the Fish on Wednesday.
     The game was scoreless until Los Angeles(22-19) got to Jacob Turner in the sixth inning. Dee Gordon doubled to right with one out then Yasiel Puig walked. Former Marlin Hanley Ramirez followed with a two-run double into the left-field corner to score Gordon and Puig for a 2-0 lead. Adrian Gonzalez came up and drove in Ramirez with a double to right. Matt Kemp then got a base hit into left field to bring home Gonzalez.
     Dan Jennings relieved for Turner and he gave up a single to Carl Crawford into right field which moved Kemp to third. Justin Turner popped a sacrifice fly to right for Kemp to cross the plate and make it 5-0.
     Miami(20-20) picked up their only run in the top of the seventh. Garrett Jones led off with a double to right-center field, advanced to third on a passed ball and would score on a sacrifice fly to right field.
     The Dodgers added a run in the bottom of the frame against A.J. Ramos. Pinch-hitter Chone Figgins was hit by a pitch and later stole second. After Gordon struck out, Puig knocked in Figgins when he smashed a double into deep center field.
     LA extended their lead to 7-1 during the eighth inning with Steve Cishek on the mound. Crawford doubled to right field with one out and scored two batters later on a Drew Butera base hit to left.
     Turner dropped to 0-1 as he surrendered four earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Beckett won his first game since September 30, 2012 as he allowed one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Miami Ratings April 2014

     104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM was the top rated sports radio station for the eighth consecutive month in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. It was a good month where all three competitors in the local media market showed improvement over the ratings period.
     Len Weiner joined 104.3 The Ticket as their new program director in late March and the station went from a 1.5 to a 1.6 in April. The station matched their highest rating ever which was done in June 2012. The regular season ended, the postseason started for the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat and there will more of a social buzz as the team gets further into the playoffs. Their lineup has remained consistent as the Dan Le Batard Show with Jon Weiner, a.k.a. Stugotz, has been the juggernaut at WAXY.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM upped their ratings from a 0.8 to a 0.9 in the month of April as it looks like they have a stable lineup for the first time since Jorge Sedano left last August. The addition of Marc Hochman along with sidekick Zach Krantz as the new afternoon show has certainly pushed the radio station as it was worth the four-month wait for Hochman to finish his non-compete clause with Lincoln Financial Media. The Florida Panthers were already eliminated from playoff contention and did not help.
     940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM began a new era in April as they remained flat at a 0.2 for the third straight month. Greg Likens took over as the afternoon host of The Finsiders from interim hosts John Congemi and Troy Stradford after coming over from WQAM. In addition, the program was increased another 30 minutes and moved up to a 4pm to 6:30pm slot while Andy Slater lost one hour of his mid-afternoon show. WINZ also began to broadcast Miami Marlins games as they became the new flagship station of that franchise.

Heat Slip By Nets

     LeBron James set a Heat franchise record of 49 points along with six rebounds as Miami edged the Brooklyn Nets 102-96 in Game 4 on Monday night at Barclays Center. The Heat now lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 3-1 and can wrap it up in Game 5 on Wednesday night at home.
     The Big Three also showed up for the Heat as Dwyane Wade had 15 points and Chris Bosh had 12 points. Reserve Ray Allen compiled 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Mario Chalmers put together eight points with seven assists.
     The five starters of Brooklyn also scored in double digits. Paul Pierce dropped in 16 points along with seven rebounds and Joe Johnson added a team-high 18 points. The Nets get a well-rounded game by Deron Williams with 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Shaun Livingston poured in 13 while Kevin Garnett contributed eight points and seven rebounds.
     Miami jumped out to a 10-3 edge three minutes in and led 27-22 after one quarter. Brooklyn was up 37-33 with 6:50 left in the first half until the Heat went on a 23-12 spurt at the end of the period to go ahead 56-49 at halftime.
     The Heat did not relinquish the lead during the third quarter and they led 79-76 at the end of the stanza. Neither team had more than a three-point lead throughout the final quarter until the final seconds of the game. Bosh made a three-point shot from the right corner with 57 seconds remaining to give Miami a 97-94 lead. Ray Allen moved it to a five-point cushion at 99-94 when he converted on free throws with ten seconds to go.

Monday, May 12, 2014

James White And Marcus Roberson In NFL

     Two more former players from the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders will be entering the NFL. Wisconsin running back James White and Florida cornerback were picked up by two different teams. They join fellow Aquinas classmates Lamarcus Joyner, Brandon Linder and Dez Southward who were selected on Friday night during the second and third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
     White players for Aquinas for four seasons from 2006 to 2009. He was overshadowed in the backfield during his time there first by Jeremiah Harden and then by Giovani Bernard who is now is with the Cincinnati Bengals. The team got to FHSAA Class 5A championship game in 2006 where they lost to Lakeland 45-42 in double overtime. He helped the school capture back-to-back Class 5A state titles with victories over Osceola in 2007 and Lakeland in 2008. His team was upset by Manatee in the 2009 state semifinal. The Raiders went 54-4 in his four years on the team and won a national title in 2008.
     He went on and join Wisconsin from 2010 until 2013. White was again overlooked as John Clay and Montee Ball got more carries from the backfield. He helped the Badgers get to three consecutive Rose Bowls. White was drafted in the fourth round with the 130th overall selection by the New England Patriots.
     Roberson played two seasons as a defensive back for St. Thomas Aquinas in 2009 and 2010 where the team went 28-1 during his time there. They were awarded the national championship in 2010 as they beat Plant 29-7 in the FHSAA Class 5A state championship. He was with the Florida Gators for three season from 2011 until 2013. Roberson signed as free agent with the St. Louis Rams where he will be a teammate of Joyner and former Park Vista running back Tre Mason.

Padres Get By Marlins

     Jeff Baker left the bases loaded with two out in the ninth inning on a fielder's choice as the Miami Marlins fell to the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Sunday at Petco Park. The Marlins have lost three straight games and now have a 3-13 record on the road. Next for the Fish is a three-game set in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
     Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez dropped to 2-3 as he gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings. Robbie Erlin pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings for the Friars, surrendered five hits and struck out seven to raise his record to 2-4. Houston Street held off the Marlins in the ninth inning to get his 11th save.
     It just took the first at-bat of the game for San Diego(18-31) to take the lead during the first inning. Will Venable ripped his first home run of the year as he took a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall.
     The Padres punished the Fish more in the fourth inning with four runs to make it 5-0. Chase Headley had a lead-off single to left, Yasmani Grandal flied out to left and Yonder Alonso walked. Alexi Amarista followed with a base hit into right field to score Headley. After Venable walked to load the bases with two out, Chris Denorfia then slapped a two-run single to left field as Alonso and Amarista scored. Seth Smith capped the frame with a RBI-single into center for Venable to cross the plate.
     In the eighth inning, Miami(20-18) bounced back with four runs as they made it a contest again. Christian Yelich blasted a lead-off homer against Dale Thayer to right-center field on a 3-2 count for his third home run of the season. Joaquin Benoit relieved Thayer after he allowed a base hit by Reed Johnson to center. Giancarlo Stanton singled to right then Casey McGehee flew out to right. Baker followed with a two-run triple to right field for Johnson and Stanton to score. Two batters later, Adeiny Hechavarria grounded out to second and drove in Baker.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Heat Lose First Game

     The Miami Heat lost their first game in the 2014 NBA playoffs on Saturday night as they fell to the Brooklyn Nets 104-90 at Barclays Center in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Heat were victorious in their previous six postseason games this year. They still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
     Only three players from the Heat scored in double digits. LeBron James compiled 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes. Dwyane Wade contributed 20 points and Chris Bosh scored 12 points.
     Joe Johnson was one of four Brooklyn starters that had double-digit scoring as he put together a team-high 19 points and six assists. Kevin Garnett had ten points with seven rebounds while Paul Pierce drained down 14 and Shaun Livingston poured in 12.
     Neither team led by more than five points during the entire first half. Miami was up 30-29 after one quarter and trailed 51-49 at halftime. The Nets went on an 18-7 run at the end of the third quarter and moved ahead 77-63. Brooklyn got their largest lead of the game which was a 20-point cushion at 95-75 with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lamarcus Joyner And Brandon Linder Drafted

     Three former St. Thomas Aquinas players were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft on Friday night in New York City. They were Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, Miami offensive lineman Brandon Linder and Wisconsin safety Dez Southward.
     Joyner played for Miami Southwest from 2006 to 2008 and transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas for his senior year in 2009. The Raiders were undefeated that season 13-0 until they lost on the road to Bradenton Manatee in the FHSAA Class 5A state semifinal. He then attended FSU where they won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2012 and 2013. Joyner was also victorious this past January in the BCS Championship game over Auburn University as the Seminoles went undefeated at 14-0 and captured the national title.
     He was chosen by the St. Louis Rams in the second round with the 41st overall pick. Running back Tre Mason was another local football player who was picked by the Rams on Friday night in the third round as the 75th overall pick. He previously played for the Park Vista Cobras and the Auburn Tigers.
     Linder was picked in third round as the 93rd overall selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was an offensive lineman for St. Thomas Aquinas on their varsity squad from 2007 until 2009 where they went 42-2 during that time. He contributed for the Raiders to win back-to-back FHSAA Class 5A state championships in 2007 and 2008. He moved on to the University of Miami and played in 49 games in four seasons for the Hurricanes from 2010 to 2013.
     Southward played only one season as a senior with the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders as a defensive back in 2008. He helped them go undefeated 15-0 as they won the Class 5A state championship over Lakeland and were also named national champions. After being redshirted as a freshman at Wisconsin, he was with the Badgers from 2010 to 2013 and played in three Rose Bowls. Southward was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round as the 68th overall pick.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Rams Draft Tre Mason

     Tre Mason was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the third round as the 75th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft on Friday night in New York City. He played high school football with the Park Vista Cobras for four years mainly as a running back from 2007 until 2010. His best season for them was in his senior year when he had 1,643 yards and 24 touchdowns. He started off as a kickoff returner at the beginning of the 2011 season for Auburn University.
      Mason was a junior with the Tigers in 2013 and one of six people nominated for the Heisman Trophy. He rushed for an all-time record of 304 yards in the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta over Missouri and received the MVP award. Mason had 34 carries for 195 yards and a go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the BCS Championship game in Pasadena. He broke a school record held by Bo Jackson as he rushed for 1,816 yards during the 2013 season.
     He will join a team that has several players with roots in the state of Florida. Former Florida State and St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Lamarcus Joyner was picked in the second round by the Rams. One-time Miramar and West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey, who was drafted in 2013, is also on the squad. They also have three former Miami Hurricanes with linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, defensive back Brandon McGee and offensive lineman Brandon Washington.

Padres Light Up Marlins

     The Miami Marlins returned to their woes on the road as they were routed by the San Diego Padres 10-1 at Petco Park on Friday night. The Fish, who had their season-high winning streak of five games snapped, are now 3-11 away from home this season. The Padres scored a season-high ten runs and improved to 10-11 at home this year.
     It would not be a good start for Jose Fernandez as San Diego(16-21) put up two runs in the second inning. Yasmani Grandal got to first on an error by first baseman Garrett Jones. Jedd Gyorko followed with a two-run homer to right field on the first pitch.
     In the sixth inning, the Padres pounded through with six more runs for an 8-0 margin. Everth Cabrera and Seth Smith both started with singles into right field. After Grandal walked to load the bases, Gyorko smashed a grand slam home run to left field on a 2-0 pitch for his second homer of the game and fifth this year. 
     Brad Hand came into the game for Fernandez and was unable to stop the long rally. Former Marlin Cameron Maybin got an infield hit and advanced to third on a double to right field by Yonder Alonso. Alexi Amarista then knocked in Maybin with a single into right. After Tyson Ross sacrificed Amarista to second, Alonso would cross the plate on a sacrifice fly to left field by Will Venable.
     Ross allowed his only run to Miami(20-16) during the seventh inning. Marcell Ozuna blasted a solo home run with two out to left field on a 3-2 pitch for his sixth homer this season.
     The Padres extended their lead to 10-1 as they picked up two runs in the eighth inning off Kevin Slowey. Amarista began with a base hit to center and went to second as pinch-hitter Kyle Blanks got an infield single. Three batters later, Smith drove in Amarista and Blanks with a double to the right-center field wall.
     Fernandez fell to 4-2 as he allowed five earned runs on six hits and struck out five in just over five innings of work. Ross moved to 4-3 as he surrendered one run on four hits in seven innings and had eight strikeouts. 

Kelvin Benjamin And Ryan Shazier Drafted

     The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft was dominated by many college athletes that previously played high school football in the state of Florida. They included Kelvin Benjamin from Glades Central, Ryan Shazier from Plantation and Teddy Bridgewater from Miami Northwestern.
     Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, whose brother Travis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns back in 2012, was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 28th overall pick. He was a redshirt sophomore at Florida State who scored the winning touchdown with 13 seconds left in the 2014 BCS Championship game against Auburn.
     He played high school football with the Glades Central Raiders in Belle Glade for four seasons. Like his college career, he caught a touchdown pass on his final play with the Raiders in a road win during the 2010 regular season against the Boynton Beach Tigers.
     After sitting out the 2011 season, Benjamin helped the Seminoles win two consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championships. He had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns during his sophomore year in 2013.
     Linebacker Ryan Shazier was picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 15th overall selection. He played three years with the Ohio State Buckeyes and helped them to an undefeated season as a true sophomore in 2012. He was named an All-American in 2013 as a junior when he started 14 games, had 144 tackles and seven sacks. Shazier played four years on defense with the Plantation Colonels in high school football.
     Teddy Bridgewater was selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the 32nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. He had high expectations on him as a sophomore in high school when he replaced Jacory Harris as the starting quarterback for the Miami Northwestern Bulls in 2008. They made it to the FHSAA Class 6A championship game in Orlando where they lost to Seminole 28-21. Bridgewater would play four seasons with Miami Northwestern and they eliminated by the Miami Central Rockets twice in the playoffs in 2009 and 2010.
     He played three years with Louisville as his passing numbers increased each season. In his junior year he threw for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns. The season concluded with the Louisville Cardinals victory over the Miami Hurricanes 36-9 in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. It was the same football field where Bridgewater avenged a 2008 high school football championship loss at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
     There were five other former Florida high school football players picked in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. They included Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles of Oviedo who was chosen third by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins of South Fort Myers who was picked fourth by the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack of Fort Pierce Westwood who was selected fifth by the Oakland Raiders, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor of Port St. Joe who was chosen 18th by the New York Jets and Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Edgewater and Dr. Phillips who was selected 21st by the Green Bay Packers.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Marlins Get Road Win Over Padres

     The Miami Marlins began a long eleven-game west coast trip on Thursday night with a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Fish, who are now 3-10 on the road this season, have won nine of their last ten games as they jumped to first place in the National League East.
     San Diego(15-21) scored in an unlikely way during the second inning against Jacob Turner. Their starting pitcher Ian Kennedy hit his first career home run with two out on a 2-0 pitch into left field.
     In the sixth inning, Miami(20-15) was able to even the game with a two-out rally off Kennedy. Christian Yelich doubled to deep left field and then scored on a base hit by Derek Dietrich into right.
     The Marlins would take their first lead of the contest in the top of the 11th with another two-out rally. Dietrich got to first on an error by second baseman Jedd Gyorko while Dale Thayer was pitching. Giancarlo Stanton came up and slammed his league-leading 11th home run of the season on a 0-2 count to right-center field.
     Turner allowed one run on five hits in six innings of work. Kennedy went seven innings for the Padres, struck out 12 and surrendered one run on four hits. Steve Cishek got his seventh save of the year as he pitched a hitless 11th inning.

Heat Take Second Game From Nets

     The Miami Heat still remained undefeated in the NBA playoffs with a 94-82 win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal on Thursday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won all six of their postseason games and lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. The Nets, who are now 1-10 all-time against the Heat in the NBA playoffs, will host the next two games in Brooklyn with Game 3 on Saturday night.
     Both clubs stayed close to each other as neither team led by more than three points in the opening quarter until the final two seconds when Brooklyn got a three-pointer from Mirza Teletovic to make it 21-15. The Nets got up 39-32 with 4:18 left in the second until the Heat scored seven straight points to tie the game. Miami ended up being down at halftime 46-45.
     In the third quarter, neither squads held more than a three-point lead in the period as the Heat were ahead 69-67 at the end of the stanza. Miami began to excel away with an 8-0 spurt to get their first double-digit margin at 87-77 with 3:50 remaining. Brooklyn was outscored 25-15 in the fourth quarter.
     LeBron James had a game-high 22 points in 39 minutes for the Heat. Chris Bosh contributed 18 points and six rebounds while Dwyane Wade added 14 points along with seven rebounds and seven rebounds. Ray Allen came off the bench for 13 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
     Nets reserve Teletovic shot great from outside range as he had 20 points in 26 minutes. Shaun Livingston put up 15 points while Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce both scored 13. Kevin Garnett compiled four points with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Marlins Sweep Mets

     The Miami Marlins pulled off a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 1-0 walk-off victory at Marlins Park on Wednesday. The Fish, who got their fourth walk-off win this season, won their fourth straight game and finished with their best nine-game homestand in franchise history as they compiled a record of 8-1. The Mets were blanked for the fourth time this year.
     The only run of the game was in the bottom of ninth by Miami(19-15). Giancarlo Stanton smacked a single through the left side with none out against Carlos Torres and he went to second on a walk by Casey McGehee. Garrett Jones then hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field and moved Stanton to third. New York(16-17) had Kyle Farnsworth come in and relieve for Torres. Stanton scored on a sacrifice fly to right-center field by Marcell Ozuna.
     Tom Koehler started for the Fish as he pitched eight innings and allowed no runs on two hits. Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler struck out seven and gave up no runs on two hits in six innings. Steve Cishek improved to 3-1 as he pitched the final inning for Miami.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Heat Blow Away Nets

     After losing four different times to the Brooklyn Nets in the regular season, the Miami Heat were working on all cylinders as they pounded their opponent 107-86 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. The Heat, who have not played a playoff game in the last eight days, now have a 9-1 all-time playoff record against the Nets.
     Four of the Heat starters scored in double digits. LeBron James nailed down 22 points in 36 minutes while Chris Bosh compiled a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Ray Allen added 19 points along with 14 points from Dwyane Wade and 12 point from Mario Chalmers.
     What might have been the biggest surprise was that Kevin Garnett, who played just 16 minutes, was held scoreless in a postseason game for the first time in his NBA career. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both contributed 17 points each for the Nets. Paul Pierce scored eight points in 29 minutes.
     Although Brooklyn began the game on a 7-2 edge, they were down 22-20 after one quarter. The Heat went on a 18-9 spurt at the beginning of the second quarter to get a double-digit margin of 40-29 with 3:30 left in the first half. The Nets responded with an 11-2 string and were behind 46-43 at halftime.
     A 24-9 run by Miami throughout most of the third put the Heat up 79-66 as they headed into the final quarter. The Heat made a 10-4 push at the start of the fourth and they had 19-point margin with 6:54 remaining.

Marlins Shut Out Mets

     Henderson Alvarez pitched a six-hit complete game shutout as the Miami Marlins held on to beat the New York Mets 3-0 on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. He had seven strikeouts and improved his record to 2-2. Bartolo Colon fell to 2-5 as he allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings pitched.
     Miami(18-15), who moved their home record to 16-5 this season, jumped on Colon in the first inning as they compiled two runs. After Christian Yelich grounded out to the pitcher, Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch. He scored on a double to deep center field by Giancarlo Stanton for a 1-0 lead. Casey McGehee followed with a base hit into right field to knock in Stanton.
     New York(16-16) fell three run down during the fifth inning as the Marlins got a two-out rally. Dietrich singled to left center and advanced to third on a base hit by Stanton into right. McGehee then drove in Dietrich on a single to center field.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Marlins Drop Dodgers

     The Marlins continued their winning ways in Miami as they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 at Marlins Park on Sunday. The Fish, now 14-5 at home, have won five of six games in their current nine-game homestand and will next host the New York Mets. The Dodgers are 4-2 on their nine-game road trip and head to Washington D.C. for their next three games.
     The first inning belonged to Miami(16-15) as they got two runs. After Christian Yelich grounded out to short, Derek Dietrich singled to right-center field. Giancarlo Stanton came up and slammed a two-run homer to right center against Stephen Fife on a 2-1 pitch.
     Los Angeles(18-14) put together a two-out rally during the third inning against Jose Fernandez. Dee Gordon walked and advanced to third on a base hit by Yasiel Puig to left field. Former Marlins Hanley Ramirez knocked in Gordon on a single into center field. Puig would tie the game at 2-2 as he scored from third on a passed ball.
     The Marlins would regain the lead on a Yelich solo home run with two out in the fifth inning as he smashed the ball to right field on the first pitch for his second homer of the year.
     The Dodgers stuck again with another two-out rally in the sixth inning to even the game 3-3. Adrian Gonzalez walked and went to second on a base hit by Matt Kemp into right field. Carl Crawford would drive Gonzalez in with a single to left field.
     Stanton homered to left field on the second pitch of the bottom of the seventh for his second dinger of the game and tenth home run of the season as the Marlins took a 4-3 lead.
     A.J. Ramos was called in to make his first career save in the top of the ninth, but he was unable to accomplish it. Chone Figgins got a pinch-hit lead-off walk and then scored on a double to right field by Andre Ethier.
     Jamey Wright entered the game to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers. Adeiny Hechavarria singled to right center and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Donovan Solano. Yelich then grounded to first as Hechavarria moved to third. Jeff Baker got a walk-off double as Puig bounced off the right-field wall when he tried to make the catch.
     Fernandez went seven innings, allowed two earned runs on five hits, struck out ten batters and threw a career-high 114 pitches. It was the 20th consecutive home start for Fernandez where he gave up two earned runs or less which tied a major league record set by former Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser in 1985 and 1986. Fife pitched six innings, gave up four runs on seven hits for LA.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Marlins Scrap Dodgers

     The Miami Marlins extended their home winning streak to seven games as they got a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on Friday night. The Marlins, who now have a season-high four game winning streak, moved to 13-4 at home this season which is the best in baseball.
     Tom Koehler went seven innings for the Fish, gave up no runs on three hits and improved his record to 3-2. Former Marlin Josh Beckett allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings as he dropped to 0-1.
     Jarrod Saltalamacchia celebrated his 29th birthday with a solo home run during the second inning for his sixth homer of the season. He hit a 1-0 pitch down the right-field line with one out.
     Miami(15-14) made it 2-0 in the fourth inning. Saltalamacchia singled to right with two out and scored on a double by Garrett Jones to the warning track in right field.
     In the seventh inning, the Marlins extended their margin with four more runs. Jones led off with a double into right field. Three batters later, he crossed the plate on a base hit to right-center field by Reed Johnson. Jose Dominguez would come in to relieve for Beckett after that at-bat.
     Christian Yelich then tripled to left center and drove Johnson in to make it 4-0. After Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch, Giancarlo Stanton followed with an infield single for Yelich to score. Casey McGehee finished the rally with an RBI-single to right field to bring in Dietrich.
     Los Angeles(17-13) broke the shutout during the eighth inning against Carlos Marmol. Justin Turner walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Dee Gordon to center. Following a stolen base by Gordon, Yusiel Puig knocked him in on a single into left field.
     The Dodgers picked up another run in the ninth inning off Marlins closer Steve Cishek. Miguel Olivo started with a triple to deep right-center field and scored on a ground out to second by Carl Crawford.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Marlins Roll Over Braves Again

     The Miami Marlins pounded the Atlanta Braves for the second straight game. This this they won 9-1 on Wednesday night at Marlins Park. The Marlins, who now have the best home record in baseball at 11-4, scored at least nine runs in back-to-back games for the first time since 2009.