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Why Peter King thinks Jimmy Garoppolo key to 49ers making NFL playoffs

Jimmy Garoppolo has started and ended a season as the 49ers' (49ers super bowl rings for sale) starting quarterback, but never in the same year. He joined San Francisco in a midseason trade in 2017, ending the year on a 5-0 run and signing a lucrative contract extension the following offseason. He tore his ACL in Week 3 last year -- his eighth start with the 49ers -- and missed the remainder of the season.

The 49ers went 3-10 in Garoppolo's absence, turning to both C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens to fill the void for their franchise QB. Garoppolo is set to take the reigns under center once more, and NBC Sports' Peter King believes a healthy season from the quarterback is enough for San Francisco to end its five-year playoff drought.

"I think the 49ers are going to make the playoffs," King said Tuesday on "The Damon Bruce Show" on 95.7 The Game. " ... It's hard to say that in a vacuum. If Jimmy Garoppolo slips on a banana peel in September, they're not making the playoffs. But, I don't think you look at Jimmy Garoppolo [or Philadelphia Eagles quarterback] Carson Wentz necessarily and say, 'Well, they're doomed to a life of being injury-prone.'"

Because of last year's injury and his time backing up Tom Brady with the New England Patriots (cheap New England Patriots championship rings) for the first three-and-a-half years of his career, a 16-game season in 2019 would be a first for Garoppolo. In fact, Garoppolo has only started 10 regular-season games in his career. Five starts -- and six appearances -- for San Francisco in 2017 were enough for the 49ers to commit to Garoppolo long-term, but the sample size of his NFL career as a starter remains small. King noted that Garoppolo's torn ACL made him an outlier among starting QBs last season, given how much time he missed.

As long as Garoppolo remains healthy, King thinks the 49ers will learn a lot about him this season. "This is a golden year for the 49ers, in my opinion, because we're going to be able to see what Kyle Shanahan has in Jimmy Garoppolo, and what Jimmy Garoppolo can do over the long haul." King said. " ... To me, they were the outlier last season, and if they had Garoppolo for 16 games, I think they would've been knocking on the door in December."

The 49ers (cheap nfl championship rings) undoubtedly missed Garoppolo last season, but making the playoffs won't depend upon him alone. San Francisco addressed some of its defensive shortcomings in free agency and the draft, and a pass rush that accounted for the 22nd-most sacks in the NFL (37) looks much-improved on paper. There still are question marks in the secondary, however, after the 49ers allowed more passing touchdowns (35) than everyone other than the Raiders. In other words, the 49ers will have to worry about positions other than the one under center, whether or not Garoppolo hits the ground running.


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Indians beat Tigers 8-6, July 15, 2019

The Cleveland Indians (custom Cleveland Indians championship rings) wanted to bounce back from a disappointing series against the Minnesota Twins. Oscar Mercado made certain they did. Cleveland's rookie outfielder hit his second home run of the game -- a leadoff blast in the seventh inning -- and the Indians continued to dominate Detroit with an 8-6 win over the Tigers on Monday night. Mercado, who came into the game in a 1-for-25 skid, homered into the bleachers in left field off Victor Alcantara (3-2) to break a 5-all tie. Mercado also hit a solo home run off Detroit starter Daniel Norris in the fifth. The Indians have won nine of 10 against the Tigers this season, including eight in a row.

Cleveland (championship sports rings) dropped two of three to AL Central-leading Minnesota coming out of the All-Star break. The Indians lost the first two games of the weekend series before salvaging Sunday's finale and are six games behind the Twins. "After losing the first two games, obviously that put a lot of pressure on us," Mercado said. "Winning that game yesterday was absolutely huge. Going into this series, you take the first game and you definitely get back on track." The game was delayed for 54 minutes in the top of the seventh by heavy rain and strong winds. The grounds crew needed nearly a half-hour to clear the outfield warning track of standing water from the downpour.

Nick Wittgren (4-0) retired Jeimer Candelario with two on to end the inning before the Indians scored three times. Jose Ramirez had a two-run double following Mercado's homer. Mercado was dealing with his first extended slump since being called up on May 14. "I've got to thank my teammates for that one," he said. "They know what it's like. I've had a lot of conversations with them. They told me that's how it's going to go sometimes." Alcantara retired Francisco Lindor to end the sixth, but all four hitters he faced in the seventh had hits.

"He was fine physically, but he never hit a location one time," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It had nothing to do with the rain delay. He only threw two pitches (in the sixth) and he had to warmup, but he hadn't pitched since July 3 and obviously the results weren't good." Alcantara was making his first appearance since having a wisdom tooth removed.

Jordy Mercer homered twice for Detroit (cheap Detroit Tigers championship rings), including a leadoff shot in the ninth off Brad Hand. Victor Reyes singled, but Hand retired the next three hitters, including Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos on strikeouts, for his 25th save in 26 chances. Mercer, Candelario and Christin Stewart homered off Cleveland starter Adam Plutko. Norris left in the sixth with a 5-3 lead. Tyler Naquin's two-run double off Daniel Stumpf tied the game and ended Norris' bid for his first win since May 12.

Trevor Rosenthal, released by Washington last month, pitched the eighth for Detroit, striking out two, allowing a hit and throwing a wild pitch. He was pitching at Triple-A Toledo after signing with the Tigers (world series rings for sale). "He threw 99 (mph), had a good curveball, obviously missed a couple of pitches, but for the first time out, I liked what I saw," Gardenhire said.


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Bucks beat Celtics 116-91 to advance to East final, May 9, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (Milwaukee Bucks championship rings) found another gear after their first loss of the playoffs. Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics just couldn't keep up. Antetokounmpo had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Bucks routed the Celtics 116-91 on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference final. After sweeping Detroit in the first round, top-seeded Milwaukee struggled in Game 1 against Boston and lost 112-90 in one of its worst offensive performances of the season. But Antetokounmpo led the way as the Bucks responded with four straight wins by a combined 65 points. "I think our mindset changed," Antetokounmpo said. "In the first game, we weren't focused enough. We weren't ourselves. The next four games, we came out with a different approach, a different mindset."

The Bucks (championship rings for sale) used a balanced attack to close out the Celtics in Game 5, placing seven players in double figures. Khris Middleton had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe finished with 18 points. Next up for the Bucks is the winner of the Philadelphia-Toronto series. The Raptors are up 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Thursday night. It's the first Eastern Conference final for Milwaukee since 2001. "At the end of the day, we realize we've never been there before," Antetokounmpo said. "We're really hungry to achieve our goals. That's all we care about. As long as we play hard, we really don't care about what anybody has to say." Prior to the clinching win, several Bucks took turns speaking to the team. "Giannis' speech was, `A lot of us probably came from nothing and we have the opportunity to write our own story right now.' That's what everybody did," George Hill said.

The Celtics (custom Boston Celtics championship rings) clamped down on Antetokounmpo for most of the game, but Middleton, Bledsoe, Hill and Nikola Mirotic picked up the scoring to help rob the game of any drama in the final minutes. Hill finished with 16 points, and Mirotic had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon also had 10 points in his return to the lineup after being sidelined by plantar fasciitis. "Everybody was ready to play," Hill said. "Everybody was ready for the opportunity to put them away as quick as we can."

Irving scored 15 points for Boston, which shot 31.2% from the field. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris each had 14. "Not what we expected," Boston center Al Horford said. "Just disappointing for us. At the end of the day, really, you have to give Milwaukee credit. They're just a better team than us. That's a reality." Antetokounmpo picked up his third foul when Jaylen Brown drove to the hoop early in the second half, but he stayed in the game. He stole an Irving pass and slammed it home to make it 65-52 with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

Antetokounmpo, one of the front-runners for NBA (cheap nba championship rings) MVP, closed out the period with consecutive baskets, including a finger-roll layup that gave the Bucks an 80-62 lead. "They played like they wanted it," Irving said. Irving went 6 for 21 from the field in what might have been his final game with Boston. He is eligible for free agency in the offseason, and his future is one of the major questions facing the Celtics this summer. "I understand we didn't meet the outside expectations," coach Brad Stevens said. "We rode a roller coaster most of the year." Irving's only 3-pointer of the night trimmed Milwaukee's lead to 38-32 with 2:51 left in the second quarter. But Brogdon and Mirotic each connected from long range to help the Bucks to a 52-39 advantage at the break. Brogdon hadn't played since March 15. He also had four assists and three rebounds.


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Reynolds slugs Pirates past Yelich-less Brewers 6-5

Bryan Reynolds wasn't even in the conversation for playing time when the Pirates began their 2019 season. As the first half closes, he's established himself as a key contributor to a surprising Pittsburgh offense.

Reynolds hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to lift the Pirates (custom Pittsburgh Pirates championship rings) over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Sunday in their final game before the All-Star break.

Reynolds' estimated 403-foot shot cleared the seats beyond the fence in right-center field and bounced toward the Allegheny River. His seventh homer of the season came after Kevin Kramer walked and Adam Frazier singled off reliever Junior Guerra (3-2).

Reynolds also hit an RBI double in the fifth and is batting .342 with a .950 OPS.

The 2016 second-round pick, who came to Pittsburgh as part of the return for Andrew McCutchen in 2018, took advantage of playing time created by injuries.

"Sometimes, at the end of the year, those teams go to the playoffs, that win it all, there's some unexpected pleasures that happen along the way that you didn't have walking in the door," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Pirates (championship rings for sale) closed the first half by winning back-to-back series against Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs to close to 2 1/2 games back in the NL Central and 44-45 overall.

"This past week for us was big," Reynolds said. "We rattled off a bunch of wins. I'm just thankful I could help us tonight."

Brewers star Christian Yelich did not play and pulled out of Monday's All-Star Home Run Derby with a back injury. He said he plans to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

"I didn't think I was going to be able do that kind of volume of swings and what the Derby demanded," Yelich said. "If I wasn't going to be able to perform how I was supposed to and do it justice and give it the effort that it deserved, I didn't think it'd be a great idea to do it."

Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run drive in the seventh off Pirates starter Joe Musgrove that tied the game at 3. It was his second home run of the game and eighth of season. He also hit a solo shot to left off Musgrove in the fifth.

Francisco Liriano relieved Musgrove and finished the seventh to improve to 3-1. Felipe Vazquez worked a four-out save, his 20th of the season.

Milwaukee (MLB Teams championship rings for sale) rookie Keston Hiura hit a two-run homer in the eighth, also his seventh of the season.

Musgrove struck out five in six-plus innings, allowing five hits and three runs. His appearance was interrupted by a 40-minute rain delay in between the fifth and sixth innings.

It was the second start in a row for Musgrove that was hampered by the weather. He managed just three innings before the rain on July 2.

"That was my first time going through a delay and having a chance to go back out," Musgrove said. "That was a test for me. Something I haven't been through before. I felt really stiff going back out there."

Musgrove also contributed at the plate during a two-run second inning against starter Chase Anderson. Colin Moran tripled and scored on Kevin Newman's single to right. Newman and Jacob Stallings perfectly executed a hit-and-run that left Newman at third for Musgrove, who put a squeeze bunt down the right side for his first career RBI.

Anderson allowed two runs on five hits over four innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Orlando Arcia pinch hit in the fifth inning after a scary collision with Hiura on Saturday.

BIG DEBUT

Infield prospect Mauricio Dubon, recalled as insurance for Arcia, made his MLB (mlb championship rings for sale) debut as a pinch hitter in the eighth. Dubon is the first big leaguer born and raised in Honduras.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet, having been on a big league field, having a whole country watching you play," Dubon said. "We had a rain delay and everything, and I had a chance to check out my phone and look at how everything was going. The whole country was watching. It was special knowing that I have that support back home. It was really special."

He faced Vazquez in an eight-pitch battle and fouled off five straight before grounding out to first base.


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Another big hit from Edman lifts Cardinals past Mariners 5-4

Matt Wieters and Dexter Fowler homered, Edman came through with another key hit, and the St. Louis Cardinals (custom championship rings) rallied for a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.

Edman put the Cardinals in front for the second straight day with a two-run single in the seventh. Edman connected for a pinch-hit three-run homer during St. Louis' five-run ninth in a 5-2 win Wednesday night. He nearly went deep again, watching his drive down the right field line for a potential grand slam on Thursday hook foul at the last moment. Rather than be bothered by the long strike, Edman worked a nine-pitch at-bat and capitalized with a single to put the Cardinals in front.

"He sees the ball well, which is awesome. You know he's going to give you a professional at-bat," Fowler about Edman.

Wieters hit a solo shot in the third inning and Fowler added a two-run drive in the fourth. Daniel Ponce de Leon got his first major league win, and Carlos Martinez worked the ninth for his third save. The Cardinals took two of three in the rare interleague series.

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha was charged with four runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, but the Cardinals bullpen was solid for the second straight game. Ponce de Leon (1-0) allowed one baserunner in 2 2/3 innings. Andrew Miller worked out of a jam in the eighth before Martinez finished.

Ponce de Leon said he didn't have a good feel for his breaking pitches in the bullpen, but his fastball was sharp.

"The main thing is to get the fastball going. If I can get the fastball going I can survive out there," he said.

J.P. Crawford and Tim Beckham homered for the Mariners (mlb championship rings for sale), who have dropped six of seven. All-Star Daniel Vogelbach added a run-scoring single.

Seattle wasted a chance to tie the game in the eighth. The inning started with Mallex Smith hitting a liner that deflected off John Gant's leg for a base hit. Miller then replaced Gant, and a single by Domingo Santana and a wild pitch put runners at second and third with one out.

Miller escaped the threat by striking out Vogelbach and Omar Narvaez, and got a big assist from Wieters keeping a spiked pitch to Narvaez from going to the backstop.

"On TV, it was pretty amazing," said Cardinals (cheap MLB Teams championship rings) manager Mike Shildt, who was ejected in the fourth inning.

Seattle's Tommy Milone (1-3) was solid for five innings following opener Matt Carasiti, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Milone was lifted after a leadoff walk and one-out single, and Matt Festa walked Wieters to load the bases. Edman barely missed a grand slam earlier in the at-bat when a deep fly ball hooked late. On the ninth pitch, Edman lined a slider into right to give St. Louis the lead.

"For two innings there in the middle of the game, we'd take the lead then I'd give it back and that's definitely frustrating," Milone said.


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Toronto beat the Kansas City Royals 11-4, July 1, 2019

Backed by an offensive barrage, Blue Jays (cheap Toronto Blue Jays championship rings) left-hander Clayton Richard had a relatively easy time ending the longest losing streak of his career.

Freddy Galvis hit a pair of solo home runs, rookie Cavan Biggio had four RBI and Toronto beat the Kansas City Royals 11-4 on Monday.

Randal Grichuk had four hits and four RBI and Teoscar Hernandez added a solo home run as the Blue Jays won for the 15th time in 19 regular-season home meetings with the Royals.

Richard (1-4) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings to win for the first time since Aug. 18, 2018, when he beat Arizona while pitching for San Diego. He'd lost nine straight decisions since.

"It's huge," Richard said of earning his first win with Toronto. "That's why we play the game, is to win. It feels a lot better doing that than the alternative."

Richard has pitched six innings in back-to-back starts for the first time this season.

"That's all we can ask: five, six good innings, and he gave us again that today," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Wearing red caps and jerseys in honor of Canada Day, the Blue Jays scored in each of the first four innings and finished with a season-high 18 hits.

"I'm impressed with Toronto's (custom Toronto Blue Jays championship rings) team, their young crop of hitters," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They're going to be really a good group that's going to be able to put some runs on the board."

Biggio, who went 3 for 5, hit his first career grand slam in Saturday's 7-5 victory, the first time he had driven in four runs in a game.

Members of the Canadian Forces rappelled into the outfield from the open stadium roof before the game, before hundreds of servicemen and women unfurled a giant Canadian flag for the singing of "O Canada."

"I can see how much it means to so many people, and I feel honored and privileged to be a part of it," Richard said about pitching on Canada Day.

Royals (cheap championship rings) right-hander Glenn Sparkman (2-4) allowed career highs of nine hits and eight runs in three innings.

"I just really didn't have good command of anything and they jumped it," Sparkman said.

Ahead 2-0 after one, the Blue Jays scored five in the second, doing so for the second straight game. On Sunday, Toronto immediately surrendered five runs in the third and lost 7-6 to Kansas City (mlb world series championship rings) -- the Royals' only win in the four-game series.

Hernandez homered on the first pitch of the second, his eighth, and Galvis followed with a blast to center. It was the seventh time this season the Blue Jays have gone back-to-back.

Biggio added a two-run double and Grichuk capped the inning with an RBI single.

Galvis went deep again in the third, the third multihomer game of his career. He now has 14 home runs this season. Galvis doubled in the fifth and flied out in the seventh.

Jorge Soler, Cheslor Cuthbert and Humberto Arteaga hit consecutive RBI singles off Richard in the fourth, and Royals All-Star Whit Merrifield had an RBI single off David Phelps in the seventh.


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Segura's 3-run HR lifts Phillies over Mets 6-3

Jean Segura had no problem with three water coolers being dumped on his head after a big hit off his former teammate.

Segura ripped a three-run, walk-off homer against Edwin Diaz moments after Maikel Franco hit a tying, two-run shot against the closer in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Philadelphia Phillies (custom Philadelphia Phillies championship rings) beat the New York Mets 6-3 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.

New York's Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Hector Neris with one out in the ninth, but the Phillies rallied in the bottom of the inning -- their fourth straight win since utility man Brad Miller brought a bamboo plant into the clubhouse as a good-luck charm.

Diaz (1-5) walked Cesar Hernandez to start, and Franco followed with his third homer of the series. He hit go-ahead, two-run homers in each of the first two games. Pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez walked with one out and advanced to second on Scott Kingery's hard-hit, bad-hop single off Frazier's glove at third.

Segura then slammed his 10th homer into the seats in left. He leaped on his way down the first base line, got mobbed by teammates after circling the bases and was showered by sports drinks and water.

"I'll take 10," he said. "The guys are having fun so I'll take that."

Segura played for Seattle last season when Diaz had 57 saves for the Mariners.

"That guy last year was incredible," Segura said. "The fastball is his best pitch, so when you come to the plate, you look for his fastball."

It was Philadelphia's (world series rings) first four-game sweep against the Mets since Aug. 27-30, 2007. That season, they overcame a seven-game deficit with 17 remaining to edge the Mets on the final day of the regular season for their first of five straight NL East titles.

"This one stings the worst because it just happened," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said after his team dropped a season-worst eight games under .500 at 37-45.

Diaz has allowed at least a run in three of his past five appearances, and his ERA ballooned to 4.94. The All-Star closer is in his first season since being acquired from Seattle for a package of prospects. He's blown four saves this season, one shy of his career high.

"I was trying the best I could," Diaz said through an interpreter. "It seems like they were prepared for every pitch. Bad day for me."

Aaron Nola allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings but didn't get a decision. J.D. Hammer (1-0) got two outs for his first career win.

Pitcher Zack Wheeler's single off Nola leading off the sixth was New York's (custom championship rings) only hit until Michael Conforto got a single off Neris with one out in the ninth. Frazier then blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left. Amed Rosario's RBI groundout extended the lead to 3-1.

Bryce Harper crushed a 438-foot homer in the sixth for Philadelphia's first hit since Kingery lined a single on Wheeler's first pitch.

Wheeler gave up one run and two hits, striking out seven in six innings.

Nola, a 2018 All-Star, has allowed one earned run in his last 15 innings and is pitching more like an ace again.

"I'm feeling good, my body is healthy," Nola said.

The Phillies had lost seven in a row and 16 of 22 to fall out of first place before the Mets (New York Mets championship rings for sale) came to town.

"The group is confident, they're playing easy and there's some swagger in that room right now," manager Gabe Kapler said.


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Royals to 8-6 comeback win over Indians

For once, the Royals (cheap Kansas City Royals championship rings) mustered some late-game magic.

Hunter Dozier's grand slam capped Kansas City's five-run rally in the ninth inning off Hand, Cleveland's previously perfect All-Star closer, as the Royals rallied for an 8-6 win over the Indians on Tuesday night.

Hand (4-3) had been 22 for 22 in save chances and is likely on his way to being selected to represent the Indians when they host the All-Star game at Progressive Field next month.

But the left-hander did not record an out against the Royals, who entered the ninth down 6-3 before storming back.

"It was a fun comeback," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "It was an uplifting comeback. We always come to this place and it's just a handful for us here in Cleveland -- every time, I don't know why. I'd much rather play them at our park, but it is always a handful. To battle back and take this one here was nice."

The Royals (mlb championship rings) had been 0-42 when trailing after eight innings before recording their biggest ninth-inning comeback in two years.

Nicky Lopez had an RBI infield single before Kansas City loaded the bases and Dozier connected on Hand's first pitch -- a slider -- for his first career grand slam and 13th homer.

"Yeah," said Dozier, downplaying his big moment. "That was really cool."

Hand looked shaky from the outset, and was pulled after allowing five hits in just 13 pitches.

"He just proved he's human," Indians (custom championship rings) manager Terry Francona said. "He had been pretty much flawless. It hurts to lose a game, but to expect somebody to never give up runs is not realistic."

Hand offered no excuses, saying he wasn't tired despite pitching five times in the past six days.

"I felt physically good," he said. "I'd let him (Francona) know if something felt tired or whatever, but I felt good, just didn't make some pitches. I got ahead, was trying to bury a few sliders and left them up. Sometimes when you throw too many strikes, it comes back to hurt you. Just got ahead of a few of those batters and made some mistakes."

Kevin McCarthy (2-1) pitched the eighth and stumbled into a win, and Ian Kennedy worked the ninth for his 10th save, striking out Carlos Santana with a runner at second for the final out.

Tyler Naquin hit a two-run homer and Santana, Roberto Perez and Mike Freeman had solo shots for the Indians, who were three outs away from their fifth straight win before Hand imploded.

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One bright spot for the Indians (custom Cleveland Indians championship rings) was getting homers from their Nos. 7, 8 and 9 homers. Cleveland's offense has been steadily improving and a big reason for the club's surge in June.

"We did some good things offensively," Francona said. "It's just one of those nights where they came back and snatched one from us. We've done that before. It hurts."

CLEVELAND ROCKED

The Royals snapped a three-game losing streak at Progressive Field and improved to just 8-23 in Cleveland since 2016.

START AND STOP

Indians starter Shane Bieber stayed around for 5 2/3 innings, and was in position to get the win when he left, but was unsatisfied with his performance.

"It was kind of one of those days where maybe my stuff was OK, but it felt like I was out of sync and yanking some sliders and some curveballs and not as good of command as usual," he said. "Even then, I had a lot of opportunities to go deeper in the game."


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The Indians hung on for a 7-6 win over the Tigers on Friday night

Naquin made a diving catch in right field to start an incredible double play in the ninth inning, and the Indians (cheap Cleveland Indians championship rings) hung on for a 7-6 win over the Tigers on Friday night.

Detroit had already scored a run off closer Brad Hand to cut the lead to one and had a runner on first with nobody out. Naquin raced toward the gap and came up with a backhand grab of Nicholas Castellanos' sinking liner.

Naquin then jumped to his feet and threw to first to double off Christin Stewart.

"It's a rush," Naquin said. "It happened quick. Especially in that atmosphere, it's a good atmosphere to be able to make that play."

Naquin, who homered in the fifth with Cleveland (custom championship rings) down 5-2, credited teammates for alerting him that Stewart was rushing back to first.

"When I looked up, I could just see all those guys telling me and I just did what they told me," he said. "That's part of the teamwork that makes that play happen."

The crowd of 30,717 roared after the play. Miguel Cabrera popped out to end it, giving Hand his 21st save in 21 opportunities. Adam Cimber (3-2) retired two batters on six pitches in the eighth.

"I guess you can say that took the wind out of our tires," said Castellanos, who thought he had kept the rally going and possibly tied the game.

Hand feared the worst when Castellanos made contact.

"Off the bat I thought it was in the gap," Hand said. "He kind of came out of nowhere. That's the tying run on first base and nobody out. To be able to get two out of that play was pretty unbelievable."

Cleveland (world series rings for sale) took a 7-5 lead on a triple by Jason Kipnis -- a hit that was initially ruled a home run before the call was overturned -- and a sacrifice fly by Jason Bauers.

Jose Ramirez led off the eighth with a bunt single off Joe Jimenez (2-5). Kipnis drove a 3-2 pitch to center, and Jones attempted to make a leaping catch, but the ball bounced back into the field of play. Jones retrieved the ball and the Tigers relayed it to the infield, but second base umpire Adrian Johnson ruled it a home run.

Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire challenged, and replays showed the ball hit the yellow line atop the fence. After a review of 2 minutes, 17 seconds, Ramirez, who was running on the pitch, was awarded home plate and Kipnis was given a triple.

Cleveland rallied from a 5-2 deficit after Trevor Bauer was pulled without retiring a batter in the fifth, his shortest outing of the season.

Naquin homered to start the fifth, and Jordan Luplow began Cleveland's tying rally in the sixth with a home run. Roberto Perez's RBI single tied the game.

Bauer dominated the Tigers (custom Detroit Tigers championship rings) on Sunday, allowing four hits in the first complete-game shutout of his career, but the right-hander gave up five runs and 10 hits Friday.

Santana hit a two-run homer in the first, but the Tigers struck quickly against Bauer. Brandon Dixon homered in the second and Castellanos tied the game in the third with an RBI double. Gordon Beckham had a run-scoring double in the fourth.

Stewart homered to lead off the fifth. The next two hitters reached base and Niko Goodrum's RBI double ended Bauer's night after 91 pitches.

Detroit starter Matthew Boyd allowed five runs in six innings.


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Reds rally for win 3-2 for rare sweep of Astros

Gerrit Cole was in line for a rare win over Cincinnati. The Astros' (Houston Astros championship rings for sale) impressive streak of avoiding sweeps appeared safe once more.

With a pair of two-out swings in the ninth, everything changed.

Rookie Nick Senzel singled home the tying run, and Jesse Winker followed with another single that gave the Reds a 3-2 victory Wednesday and ended the Astros' long run of leaving towns with at least one win.

Houston hadn't been swept this season and had avoided a road sweep since September 2017 at Oakland. Roberto Osuna (3-1) couldn't close it out as the Astros lost for the first time this season when leading after eight innings.

"Not being able to complete it is frustrating," Osuna said.

The AL West leaders dropped all three in Cincinnati and have lost a season-high four in a row overall.

The Reds (custom championship rings) have finally found a little momentum. They've spent the season trying to dig out of their 1-8 start and last place in the NL Central. They moved ahead of the Pirates while putting together a four-game winning streak, matching their longest of the season.

Pulling off three straight one-run wins over the Astros amounted to their best moment of the season.

"I will say it was a lot of fun," Winker said. "That was our best series. We beat three really good pitchers and a really good bullpen. It was just a really good series."

Former American League MVP Jose Altuve returned to Houston's (mlb championship rings for sale) lineup after missing 35 games with a hamstring strain. He went 0 for 4 and grounded into a double play.

Michael Brantley's two-run homer put Cole in position for only his second career win over Cincinnati. Jose Peraza doubled in the ninth and came around on Senzel's hit. Winker finished it off with a single up the middle just out of Altuve's reach. Matt Bowman (1-0) pitched two innings.

Cole is 1-8 against Cincinnati with the Pirates and Astros, who have lost 12 of his 13 starts against the Reds. Even when he pitches well, he can't get a win over them.

"When it's all said and done, it just didn't go our way," said Cole, who limited the Reds (custom Cincinnati Reds championship rings) to Yasiel Puig's homer in six innings.

Cole gave up six hits and fanned eight . The major leagues' strikeout leader raised his season total to 148.

Brantley completed a productive series with his two-run shot in the sixth inning off Tyler Mahle, who was making his first start since complaining publicly about quick hooks from his manager. Brantley had three hits for the second straight game. He leads the majors with 31 multihit games.

Mahle was coming off his shortest start of the season, only 4 1/3 innings of a 7-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday. Afterward, he said manager David Bell wasn't letting him get deeper into games, saying "it's getting pretty ridiculous at this point." Bell spoke with him after the comments.

Mahle allowed four hits and one walk in a career-high seven innings.


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