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The Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff seems to have found a solution to the Los Angeles Angels this weekend Clayton Geathers Jersey , and they will try to keep their offense quiet again in the finale of their four-game series Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

After giving up eight runs in the series-opening loss on Thursday, the Blue Jays have limited Los Angeles to a combined three runs over the past two games.

Toronto (35-41) has been especially tough on Mike Trout, the best hitter for the Angels, who is 1-for-9 in the series with six strikeouts to drop his average to .327.

Luis Valbuena’s third home run of the series in the eighth inning tied the score at 1-1 and ended a scoreless streak of 14 innings for the Angels (41-36), who saw a three-game winning streak stopped.

Steve Pearce answered with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth for Toronto, his second game back after missing seven weeks with an oblique strain.

The starting pitchers for the series finale opened their seasons in the bullpen.

The only difference is Toronto right-hander Sam Gaviglio had experience as a major-league starter last season, while Felix Pena made his first major-league start earlier this week for Los Angeles.

Gaviglio (2-2, 3.75 ERA) will make his seventh straight start after originally moving into the rotation when Marcus Stroman went down with shoulder fatigue in mid-May.

Stroman returned Saturday night and threw five shutout innings, but fellow starters Aaron Sanchez (right finger contusion) and Jaime Garcia (sore left shoulder) were placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday, opening the door for Gaviglio to remain in the rotation.

Gaviglio threw seven shutout innings in a 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees on June 6 but hasn’t gone past the fourth inning in his past two outings.

He allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in four innings on Sunday against the visiting Washington Nationals, but due to official scoring rules, he was ineligible for the win in the 8-6 victory that completed a three-game sweep.

Since his last start, Gaviglio also spent three days on the paternity list to be with his wife, Alaina, for the birth to their first child on Tuesday, a girl.

Gaviglio has made one appearance against the Angels in his career, allowing three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings as a member of the Seattle Mariners last July. The Mariners lost 4-0 and he was traded to the Kansas City Royals later that month.

“He’s never going to wow you with his stuff, but he’s a pretty good pitcher Jabaal Sheard Jersey ,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told the Toronto Sun after Gaviglio’s latest start.

Pena (0-0, 5.40) made 38 career relief appearances before making his first start on Tuesday against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pena allowed one run and two hits in four innings and Los Angeles won 5-4 to end a three-game losing streak.

“Starting isn’t the same as relieving, but I didn’t feel any different,” Pena told MLB.com following his starting debut.

Pena’s only experience against Toronto came when he struck out the side while with the Cincinnati Reds last August.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays were a wobbly 34-40 on June 20, but have pitched their way back to .500 mostly without true starting pitchers.

On Saturday, five relievers combined to outduel Justin Verlander in a 5-2 victory, and as the series wraps up Sunday, the Rays are on even footing with the pitching-dominant Houston Astros on the mound.

“It’s pretty remarkable what they’ve strung together here as of late, and today was no different,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after Saturday’s win.

The Rays turn to their best starter of the first half in Blake Snell, who looks to be a first-time All-Star with a 10-4 record and a 2.31 ERA.

Snell has taken only one loss in his last eight starts, and was superb against the Astros on June 19, throwing seven innings and holding a potent lineup to one run and three hits in a 2-1 victory. He managed to survive seven walks, including three in one scoreless inning, getting key double plays to work his way out of predicaments.

In his last seven starts, Snell has a 1.27 ERA. He is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in four career starts against Houston.

The Rays, who have been above .500 for only three days all season Margus Hunt Jersey , face a stiff challenge Sunday in Astros right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton (10-1, 2.54) hopes to continue a career resurrection since coming to Houston. Before arriving, he was 46-71 in his career. Since joining the Astros, he’s 24-8 in two seasons with a career-low ERA this year and a career-best strikeout rate of 11.5 per nine innings.

Morton is 3-0 in his last four games, with three earned runs allowed in his last 19 innings and none in his last two starts. He faced the Rays on June 20 and dominated, throwing six innings and holding Tampa Bay to two hits and one unearned run. He was even better in his last start, holding Toronto scoreless in seven innings while striking out 13, one off his season and career high.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch doesn’t like playing at Tropicanaa Field, and his team’s bats have been stifled in all three games, including Thursday’s 1-0 victory. The Astros have lost eight games this season with Verlander starting, and in six of those losses, they’ve scored a total of five runs.

“I hate the results at this ballpark, if you look back at what we’ve done,” Hinch said. “Those are facts. It is what it is. We have another game (Sunday). We need to figure it out before then.”

Astros standout Alex Bregman said the stadium has given Houston problems, but some of the credit should go to Rays pitchers, who have given them fits this weekend.

“I don’t know if it’s the ballpark. I think they just have a good staff,” Bregman said. “They have been playing really good ball as of late.”

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  • ARLINGTON Christian Dvorak Jersey , Va. (AP) Philipp Grubauer will start Washington’s playoff opener against Columbus, the first Capitals goaltender not named Braden Holtby to start a postseason series since 2011.The 26-year-old German started 10 of the final 16 games of the regular season, going 7-3-0 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Grubauer’s 2.06 GAA and .933 save percentage are the best among NHL goalies since Oct. 27.”I just think that Grubi deserves the opportunity,” coach Barry Trotz said Tuesday, a day after telling Grubauer of his decision. ”It sort of evolved all year. There wasn’t a date or anything like that. It just evolved and Grubi got more games and a bigger body of work.”Grubauer called it a privilege to start after spending the past three full seasons as the backup to Holtby, who won the 2016 Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender. It could be a short-lived privilege if he struggles because Trotz said his decision is only for Game 1 on Thursday night and the Capitals are going ”game by game.”The opener will be Grubauer’s second career start in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Grubauer started a game against the New York Islanders in the first round in 2015 when Holtby was sick and entered in relief once in 2017.”It doesn’t change how we go about our business,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. ”We’re just concerned about our game.”Grubauer led Windsor to the Ontario Hockey League title and won the Memorial Cup in 2010. He also helped Germany qualify for the 2018 Olympics. But it’s this recent stretch that gives him the most confidence going into the playoffs.”It helps playing more and more,” Grubauer said. ”The more you get on the ice, the more experience you get. You see different situations and different teams. If you sit on the bench, you can get good from watching, but you’ve got to get the experience.”He will likely see a lot of Columbus captain Nick Foligno, who is back after missing the final six games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. Foligno gives the Blue Jackets some net-crashing presence and will be in and around the crease often.”I honestly feel great,” Foligno said after centering Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson in practice on what is now the deep Blue Jackets’ third line. ”I’ve played this game long enough to know how you have to prepare during an injury to make sure you’re feeling good mentally and physically when you get back.”Holtby has never sat on the bench for a Stanley Cup playoff game. Michal Neuvirth started all nine games for Washington in 2011 before injuries to him and Tomas Vokoun pressed Holtby into duty in 2012.The 28-year-old has started 59 of the past 60 Capitals playoff games. But his struggles down the stretch – a 3.75 GAA and .886 save percentage in his final 17 appearances – cost him the ability to go into another postseason as the guy even after showing improvements following his four-game ”reset.”Trotz said Holtby was a pro and told him: ”If you put me in the net, my job is to stop the puck. If I get that opportunity, I’ll stop the puck.” He was similarly gracious after practice about the demotion.”My job is just to focus on my game, getting it the best it can get to,” said Holtby, who closed the season 5-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA and .911 save percentage . ”Coach’s decision who plays or not doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’ll just focus one practice at a time, trying to be a positive influence around the team and go from there.”Holtby said in March it was good to ”clear the team’s head with that kind of stigma that’s kind of going on with me in net.” With Holtby and Grubauer splitting time down the stretch, the Capitals won 12 of their 15 final games.”I think we have two good goalies who can play,” defenseman Dmitry Orlov said. ”Grubi was good for us all season. It’s not easy to be second goalie and not play some games. You need to always be prepared in practice. I think he did a good job like a professional player, and I think he’s got confidence right now.”NOTES: Capitals C Jay Beagle, who missed the final three games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, did not practice Tuesday but skated afterward. Trotz is calling Beagle day-to-day. … Capitals RW T.J. Oshie said he feels great after resting a nagging lower-body injury and expects to be in the lineup for Game 1.—AP Sports Writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio, contributed.— OTTAWA http://www.officialcoyotes.com/authentic-adidas-clayton-keller-jersey , Ontario (AP) Nikita Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning are back atop the NHL.Kucherov had two assists to reach 80 points this season and Tampa Bay defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Thursday night.Tyler Johnson, Victor Hedman, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point scored for the Lightning (41-17-3), who leapfrogged expansion Vegas to regain the top spot in the overall standings with 85 points. Louis Domingue earned his third win by stopping 33 shots.Kucherov, the NHL’s leading scorer, has 32 goals and 48 assists in 61 games.Ryan Dzingel, Mark Borowiecki and Derick Brassard scored for the Senators (21-29-10), who are 0-2-1 in their last three games. Craig Anderson made 20 saves.The loss snapped the Senators’ five-game winning streak on home ice. And with Monday afternoon’s trade deadline quickly approaching, Ottawa players are finding it difficult to stay focused.”There’s definitely a little bit of anxiety in here,” Borowiecki said.”You’d be foolish to say that it’s not playing a bit of a role. I’ve been here four years now and this is the most rumors I’ve seen for a lot of guys, a lot of core guys in here, and you really do your best to cut it out, but we’re all humans. At some point it’s going to creep in a little bit.”Brassard made it a one-goal game by scoring on the power play with just more than two minutes remaining, but the Senators were unable to complete the comeback.Brassard is one of a handful of Ottawa players who has been mentioned in trade speculation and he said it’s hard to ignore the talk.”We have a couple of days before the deadline, but we have to play, we have to do our job and we have to play for each other and the rest will take care of itself,” Brassard said.”We all have phones and social media, and even on TV. It’s part of the business. I’ve been there before and there’s nothing you can do. You try to block it and try to play. We’re still trying to get better as a team and still trying to push. We just have to come here and basically play and whatever is going to happen Monday is going to happen and you just move on after.”Ottawa made it 4-2 midway through the third as Borowiecki, with his third of the season, had a wide-open net after catching Domingue out of position. The goal was initially waved off due to goaltender interference, but the Senators challenged and upon review it was ruled a good goal.The Lightning took a 3-1 lead three minutes into the second as Kucherov fed Namestnikov, who was able to break in alone and beat Anderson.Ottawa had a number of chances to try and close the gap, but couldn’t beat Domingue.Tampa Bay made it 4-1 with less than a second left in the second period when Point was left all alone in front and scored his 24th of the season.The Lightning opened the scoring midway through the period as Johnson beat Anderson high from long range. Chris Kunitz got his 600th career point with an assist.Ottawa tied the game at the 14-minute mark as Dzingel showed off some sweet stick work and tucked a puck in behind Domingue for his 16th of the season.Less than two minutes later, the Lightning regained the lead as they hemmed the Senators in their own end and Hedman beat Anderson through the legs from in close.Bobby Ryan returned to the Senators’ lineup after missing 10 games with a hand injury.NOTES: LW Max McCormick and D Fredrik Claesson were healthy scratches for the Senators. … Tampa Bay D Andrej Sustr and C Cory Conacher were healthy scratches.UP NEXTLightning: Saturday night at Montreal.Senators: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.—
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