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PITTSBURGH -- Edinson Volquez couldnt seem to find the strike zone in the first innin
PITTSBURGH -- Edinson Volquez couldnt seem to find the strike zone in the first inning of his start against the Philadelphia Phillies, throwing 11 of his 16 pitches for balls. Wilson Chandler Jersey . After escaping the jam unscathed, he got some advice from pitching coach Ray Searage. The rest of the way went smoothly with Volquez allowing a run over seven innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 3-2 Saturday. "He slowed me down," Volquez said. "I was too fast to the plate and everything was late with my hands to get the ball where I wanted." The adjustment worked. "I could see the strike zone a little closer to me and I felt like I could put the ball where I wanted," Volquez said. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first and Volquez (7-6) had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded in the second inning as the Pirates moved a season-high five games over .500 at 46-41. The Pirates couldve added to the 3-0 lead but Gregory Polanco Starling Marte each flew out with men on second and third. Volquez allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out five in his third straight win. "He battled," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a very, I thought, gritty performance by him today because he spent a lot of time out of the stretch again." McCutchen followed up Fridays game, when he was a home run shy of the cycle, with the big hit off David Buchanan. McCutchen connected to right after Polanco led off the home first with a single. McCutchen said it was nice to begin his day with a home run after he ended Friday with a ball that smacked the wall about 10 feet lower than necessary to clear it. "I got a little better swing on it," McCutchen said. "(I) got out in front of it a little more so I was able to get hands through the zone and put a little more backspin on it." Hurdle was pleased his team jumped on top early, similar to the way the Pirates scored four runs in the first inning Friday. "Its always nice to get in front," he said. "It does give you a sense of momentum coming out of the chute." Philadelphia dropped a season-high 13 games below .500 at 37-50. "We havent been able to bounce back from being down early in the game," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Its been different when weve scored early. Its something were going to have to try and do, score earlier in games." Buchanan (4-5) found his stride after the second and kept the Pirates at bay until he was lifted in the sixth. Philadelphias starter was charged with three runs and six hits and an intentional walk. "The biggest thing for me today was not walking anybody," Buchanan said. "If you throw strikes and make them put it in play then good things usually happen." Marlon Byrd stranded five men on base in his first two at-bats. He flew out in the first to leave men on the corners, then struck on four pitches to end the third with the bases loaded. Byrd homered off Pirates closer Mark Melancon in the ninth but even an attempt at starting a rally wasnt enough to appease the right fielder after his earlier at-bats. "I have to do a better job producing in the first at-bat, too," Byrd said. "Bases loaded and I struck out. My job is to produce." Melancon retired to next three batters he faced for his 16th save. Tony Watson worked a perfect eighth. Cody Asche homered in the fourth for Philadelphia against Volquez. NOTES Asches home run in the fourth inning snapped a 16-inning scoreless streak for Volquez. . In their last 14 starts, Pittsburghs starting pitchers have combined to post a 2.32 ERA. . Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer doubled twice and is batting .714 (10 for 14) in his last five games. . Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (1-1, 3.46 ERA) faces Phillies RHP A.J. Burnett (5-7, 3.92 ERA) when Pittsburgh and Philadelphia conclude their three-game series Sunday. Denver Nuggets Jerseys . The group of Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov, & Slava Kozlov were a dominant force for The Wings at one point in the 90s. Emmanuel Mudiay Jersey . While plenty of statistics illustrate Torontos turnaround in the second year of manager Ryan Nelsens tenure, stopping goals is not one of them. . Particularly when speaking in the stadium of Tuesdays opponent: Manchester City. "Maybe they dont fear us as before," Pique said on Monday, "because in the last two years we didnt win the Champions League.MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Its been a frustrating season for Chad Kackert. Injuries have forced the speedy running back to miss nine of Torontos 16 games this year. After sitting out two weeks with a shoulder ailment, Kackert returns Thursday night when the Argonauts (10-6) face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-13) at Rogers Centre. Kackert has been plagued by knee and shoulder (twice) injuries as well as a concussion this season. But heeding some friendly advice has helped the 2012 Grey Cup MVP put his struggles into proper perspective. "Its been frustrating but its been a learning experience," Kackert said. "When youre not playing you have too much time to think and thankfully I got some good advice from some friends back home and have been able to find some peace and make the most out of the circumstance." Kackert drew solace from English writer Rudyard Kiplings poem "If," an inspirational sonnet about character and integrity and remaining true to ones self. In fact, two lines from Kiplings composition -- "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same," -- are featured above the players entrance to Centre Court at Wimbledon. "It kind of talks about stuff you hear about every day but the way he words it is unique," Kackert said. "(The poem offers) perspective and that if I let anything get to my character, then Ive lost. "I kind of had to take that in and understand thats the one thing I do have that cant be taken away." Injuries have taken Kackerts big-play potential from Torontos offence for much of this season. The five-foot-eight, 206-pound Kackert has managed just 60 carries but is averaging a solid 6.7 yards per attempt. Kackert rushed for 112 yards and a TD on 10 carries in Torontos season-opening 39-34 win over Hamilton on June 28. He ran for a season-high 155 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries in a 34-22 victory over Edmonton on Sept 28. "Hes got that explosiveness," Argos quarterback Ricky Ray said of Kackert. "Weve seen it this year and last where he gets a crease and hes gone for a touchdown. "Thats a big game-changer. It changes momentum, it changes field position, it gets you going offensively. Just to have that big-play ability back in the lineup is going to be big for us." Argos head coach Scott Milanovich agrees. "Kack is fast . . . and when hes playing well hes very decisive, he hits the hole and then he goes," Milanovich said. "Thats what were looking for. "We dont want to see him out there dancing and being indecisive. We want him to get through that hole before they can close it and get north and south and run away from people." KKackerts returns at a good time for Toronto, which can clinch first in the East -- and home field for the division final -- with a win. Jameer Nelson Jersey. . An Argos victory would give them top spot for the first time since 2007 and just the third time since 1997. "I did," Milanovich said when asked if he told his players what was on the line Thursday night. "But theyre well aware of what the reward is." Toronto eliminated Winnipeg from playoff contention with last weekends 26-20 road victory. Kackert and the Argos know the importance of finishing strong. Toronto was 6-12 in 2011 but 3-1 over its final four regular-season games, momentum Kackert said the club carried into last season when it captured the 100th Grey Cup. "Weve been in their shoes before," Kackert said. "We just have to make sure were fighting for our goal more than theyre fighting for theirs. "At this point it might be easy to say we share a common goal where they might be fighting for their own jobs." Toronto has a CFL-best 7-2 road record but is just 3-4 at Rogers Centre. However, Milanovich said the Argos formula for success is a simple one, regardless of where they play. "The things we like to think weve built our foundation on are protecting the football, winning the field-position battle on special teams and winning the penalty battle," he said. "When weve done that, whether were at home or on the road weve won games. "Were just looking for some more consistency from all three phases." Winnipeg has a league-worst 1-7 road record but Milanovich isnt taking the Bombers for granted. "These guys are professional football players, theyre paid to do a job," he said. "I expect theyll play hard and play well, I dont know we can look at it any other way. "(When) youve got nothing to lose you can kind of come out and just let it all hang out and those kinds of teams can be very dangerous. Were going to have to be at our best, theres no doubt about it." NOTES -- Ray is a man with simple needs. He turned 34 on Wednesday and when asked what gifts he received, Ray said he got a set of headphones and ice cream cake . . . Argos slotback Andre Durie leads the CFL with 685 yards after catch. Thats the most ever since the league began compiling the stat in 2010 . . . Toronto safety Matt Black returns to the starting lineup Thursday night . . . Argos receiver Chad Owens has regained the lead in CFL all-purpose yards despite missing four games with a rib injury. Owens is attempting to win the combined yards crown for a record fourth straight year. Owens and Winnipegs Dave Raimey (1966-68) are the only players to have won it three consecutive years. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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