WASHINGTON -- Denard Span was in the middle of discussing his 26-game hitting streak when cheers, claps and whoops erupted from out-of-sight sections of the Washington Nationals clubhouse. "I think Gomez must have robbed a homer," Span said. "OK, thats good for us." That would be Milwaukee Brewers centre fielder Carlos Gomez, who kept Jay Bruces drive in the park in the ninth inning of a tied game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers went on win, a result that combined with the Nationals 11-2 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday to trim Washingtons deficit to 4 1/2 games for the NLs second wild-card berth. Jordan Zimmerman (18-8) scattered two runs and seven hits in seven innings for his NL-best 18th win, and Wilson Ramos had four hits and five RBIs on the day he became the 2013 version of the iron man catcher. The Nationals have won eight of nine and 25 of 35. "Id trade all those wins," Zimmermann said, "for a shot in the playoffs." Put Ramos near the top of the list of reasons for the Nationals late surge. He started his 23rd consecutive game, passing St. Louis Yadier Molina for most starts in a row behind the plate in the majors this year. He tied career highs for hits and RBIs, and he has 49 RBIs in 54 games since coming off the disabled list. "Hes been hitting the heck out of the ball, catching good, throwing people out. Hes hard to take out of the lineup," Johnson said. "Weve missed him for two years, so were going to ride him." Ramos tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last year and was hindered this season by a bothersome right hamstring. Hes been close to being tagged with an injury-prone label, so his recent streak has answered at least a few of the questions about his durability. "That was very important for me," said Ramos, who has 14 homers and 50 RBIs in only 67 games. "Thats a good test for my knee, for myself, to show everybody that I can play every day." The Nationals other noteworthy games-in-a-row watch continued when Span singled up the middle in the third, putting him one shy of Colorados Michael Cuddyer for longest hitting streak in the majors this season. Washington took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth off Tyler Cloyd (2-5), starting with back-to-back doubles by Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond. Harper added his third outfield assist in the three-game series when he caught Darin Ruf trying to stretch a single off the left-field wall into a double in the sixth. Washington added five runs in the seventh off Joe Savery and Mauricio Robles. The Nationals recent run has come in a soft part of the schedule. Next comes at three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, who have a chance to clinch the NL East at Washingtons ballpark. "We dont want that," Johnson said. The Nationals are 4-12 against the Braves this season. "We need to at least send a message these next three days that were better than them," the manager said. The Nationals long day came at the expense of Cloyd, who allowed five runs and 10 hits. "He has to be real good with his command, and it seemed like today as the game got into the fourth it looked like balls started to be elevated a little bit and caught a lot of the plate," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "And against that lineup, and the way theyre swinging the bat, its a tough combination." NOTES: Every player in the Nationals starting lineup had at least one hit. ... Washington went 9 for 13 with runners in scoring position; the Nationals began the day with a .239 RISP average, 25th in the major leaguers. ... Phillies LF Domonic Brown, returning from a right Achilles tendon injury, doubled and scored in the second inning in his first start since Aug. 30. He came off the bench Friday and Saturday. ... The Nationals 18 hits tied their season high. ... The Phillies have not won a series on the road since the All-Star break. ... A pigeon wandered near the pitchers mound, shortstop and second base for several innings. During warmups at the start of the eighth, the bird had a staredown with first base umpire Jim Wolf on the edge of the outfield grass. The crowd cheered whenever the pigeon attempted to fly, but the bird appeared to be injured and couldnt stay airborne for more than a few yards. "You could walk right up to him, and he wouldnt budge," Nationals 2B Steve Lombardozzi said. Custom Atlanta Hawks Jerseys
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. Those cheers seemed more special this time because the captains run on Broadway could soon be over. The adoration surely sounded much nicer to Callahan than all the recent trade talk.MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic reached a fifth Australian Open final, avenged a long and arduous loss to Stan Wawrinka and ensured hed renew an old rivalry with Andy Murray. Watch the match on TSN at 3am et/Midnight pt. The top-ranked Djokovic was so absorbed in the moment, he lost track of the score during Fridays semifinal. His mental lapse after the third set probably cost him the fourth, but the four-time Australian Open champion recovered with three service breaks in the fifth set to beat defending champion Wawrinka 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Sometimes these things happen, you get carried away by a moment, Djokovic said, trying to explain his perplexed expression after hed taken a lead of two sets to one. I was very confused when I saw the security on the court. The circumstances, obviously playing Grand Slam semifinals against the defending champion ... a lot of emotions going around. Sometimes you cant keep track of the score. Djokovic has a 100 per cent winning record in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam here in 2008 and winning three straight titles from 2011 before losing in the quarterfinals last year to Wawrinka. Only Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg had reached five mens finals at the Australian in the Open era. The previous two meetings between Djokovic and Wawrinka at the Australian Open had gone to five sets and lasted a combined nine hours. Fridays match lacked that kind of intensity and memorable moments. Strange, Wawrinka said. Not the best. At times Wawrinka got on top of Djokovic, who sometimes looked lethargic. Despite dropping serve in four of the five sets, Djokovic kept his composure in the 3-hour, 30-minute match as Wawrinka blasted 42 winners but offset that with 69 unforced errors. The momentum shifted suddenly in three of the five sets, with both players struggling to turn service breaks into big leads and wasting breakpoint opportunities. Djokovic hit 27 winners — none in the fourth set — and finished with 49 unforced errors. The battle was great ... in terms of fighting from both sides, Djokovic said, but the level of performance was not where I wanted it to be. It was good enough to increase his career record to 17 wins in 20 matches against Wawrinka, who won his first major title here last year. The Swiss player didnt advance past the quarterfinals at his next three Grand Slam events, and will drop to No. 9 when the next rankings are released. Theres no pressure for that, Wawrinka said of the burden of defending a title. But, no, for sure we hadd some great battles here last two years.ddddddddddddToday was strange match. He was there playing good enough to win and he deserve to win and play the final. Murray is moving in the other direction, restoring his position in the so-called Big Four of major winners that includes Djokovic, No. 2 Federer and No. 3 Rafael Nadal, who dominated the Grand Slam titles for so long. Sixth-seeded Murray, who has lost three Australian Open finals, moved into the championship match with a fiery four-set win over No. 7 Tomas Berdych on Thursday night. Djokovic has beaten Murray in seven of their last eight matches and is 15-8 overall, but theyre level in Grand Slam finals with two wins apiece — Djokovic in Australia in 2011 and 13 and Murray at the 2012 U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 2013. And then theres the question of fitness, and whether Djokovic can rebound quickly and with one less day to prepare. Theres no question about it. Some points of the match I did struggle physically to recover for the next one, Djokovic said of his semifinal. I didnt have many free points on the first serve as I did throughout the tournament, so that was a significant change. But, you know, nothing that will worry me. You know, Im sure that Ill be fit and ready for finals. Once youre on the court, you really forget about being exhausted or, you know, sick or something like this. Top-ranked Serena Williams had to re-schedule a practice session ahead of Saturdays womens final against No. 2 Maria Sharapova. Ive been sick with a cold all week, and I got better, then I got worse the morning, said Williams, who has won 15 in a row against Sharapova, has won all five Australian Open finals she has contested and is chasing a 19th major title. She was feeling well enough to return to the practice court in the afternoon. Mixed Doubles Daniel Nestor and partner Kristina Mladenovic will play for the Australian Open mixed doubles title for a second straight year tonight when the duo face seventh-seeded Swiss-Indian pair Martina Hingis and Leander Paes. The defending champions ousted top seeds Sania Mirza of India and Bruno Soares of Brazil 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the semifinals on Friday. No. 3 seeds Nestor and Mladenovic blasted six aces and hit 28 winners to 14 unforced errors in a very close duel. With a victory, 42-year-old Nestor will have won at least one Slam title for a ninth straight year. He and Mladenovic will be aiming for their third major trophy together, to go alongside their 2014 Australian Open and 2013 Wimbledon hardware. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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