#1 huge improvements; we have won on von carrie201918 25.05.2019 09:33

CLEVELAND -- The Kansas City Royals believe they are in the American League playoff chase to stay. They might start convincing others, too. The Royals gained ground in the wild card race on Wednesday with a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Kansas City took two of three in the series between clubs that are in contention for the second wild card spot in the AL. The Royals, who entered Wednesday trailing Tampa Bay by three games, moved a game closer to the Indians. Cleveland came in 1 1/2 games behind the Rays. "To come in here and win a series against a tough Cleveland team was huge for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Especially considering where we are at this point of the season. Losses hurt now. Youve got to try to really keep them at a minimum if you can." Alex Gordon homered on the games first pitch, and James Shields dominated after a shaky first inning for the Royals, who have won 13 of 18. "These guys have developed a lot of experience this year," Shields said. "Weve gone through so many ups and downs this year that weve been through every situation you can think of almost. These guys know what it takes. They know how to win." The Royals had a home run, a triple and a single within the games first seven pitches to take a 2-0 lead. Kansas City added another run in the first inning. Shields (11-9) gave up two runs, two hits, and hit a batter in the bottom half before he took control. Michael Brantley had a two-run single in the first, but Shields didnt allow another hit until Jason Kipnis leadoff single in the ninth. He retired 16 of 17 going into the ninth, but was removed after allowing singles to Kipnis and Carlos Santana. Shields allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one. Greg Holland retired the last three hitters for his 42nd save. Gordon jumped on a 90 mph fastball from Scott Kazmir (8-8) and lined it into the seats in right field for his 13th career leadoff homer. "Its not my first rodeo, so Ive done it before," Gordon said. "Sometimes youve just got to mix it up, especially with Kazmir with his electric stuff." "He said he was going to do it," Yost said. "He picks his spots." Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain added RBI singles. The Indians won the first game of the series and finished 5-4 on their homestand, but failed to gain ground in the playoff chase for the second straight day. Cleveland will begin a seven-game trip in Chicago on Thursday. The Indians and Royals meet again in Kansas City next week for a three-game series. "Theyre a good team," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Theyre right where we are. Theyre a real good team." Kansas City went 26-18 in a stretch of 44 games in 44 days. Emilio Bonifacio followed Gordons homer with a triple, and Hosmer singled to centre to make it 2-0. Kazmir retired the next two hitters, but Justin Maxwell singled, and Cain lined a single to centre for the third run. Shields also struggled in the first. Michael Bourn walked and Mike Aviles was hit by a pitch. The runners moved up on a groundout, and Brantley singled to centre with two outs. Shields got the start following his shortest outing of the season, a start against Detroit on Friday in which he matched career worsts by allowing 10 runs and 14 hits in 3 2-3 innings in a 16-2 loss. He bounced back Wednesday and improved to 2-5 in 13 career starts against Cleveland. After the first, Shields pitched like the ace the Royals envisioned he would be when they acquired him from the Rays for outfielder Wil Myers, one of baseballs top prospects. The right-hander leads the AL with 207 2-3 innings pitched. "James comes off his arguably worst start of the year and has arguably his best start of the year," Yost said. "He just put us on his back today and carried us." Shields biggest problem came with his own defence when he made two errors in the third. He dropped a throw from Hosmer at first base, allowing Kipnis to reach safely. He then threw wildly to first trying to pick off Kipnis, but retired Santana to end the inning. Kazmir allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings. He struck out a season-high 12 over six scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory over the New York Mets in his last outing. NOTES: The Royals will skip LHP Danny Duffys next start, which was scheduled to be Friday in Detroit. LHP Bruce Chen will pitch that game instead. Right-handers Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie will pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively. ... Indians 1B Nick Swisher wasnt in the lineup. He is batting .167 (8 for 48) with 15 strikeouts against Shields, including three hits in his last 25 at-bats. ... SS Asdrubal Cabrera, in a 3-for-27 slump, was also out of the lineup. He pinch-hit in the ninth and struck out. ... Kansas Citys off day on Thursday is its first since Aug. 19. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber (8-5) faces LHP John Danks (4-12) in the series opener against the White Sox. 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As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened their main training camp Sunday, Kuale is one of the newcomers brought in to bolster a sagging defence that ranked overall where the Bombers finished 2013, in the CFL cellar with a league high 585 points against.With emotions over Saturdays tentative five-year collective bargaining agreement between the CFL and the Players Association running high, the union has decided to act in an attempt to cool any tension. Sources tell TSN that union executives travelled to select CFL cities Monday to open dialogue with players and answer questions. After the tentative deal was reached Saturday night, several players posted messages of frustration and disappointment on social media - and that carried over into Sunday on both the web and the field. One source emphasized the purpose of the executives trips wasnt to convince players to vote for the tentative CBA, but for executives to "show face" with players in the hopes of, "bridging a gap in communication." On Saturday, the Players Associations team representatives held a conference call to measure the emotions of players across the league. "Personally, I think the right move is to ratify [the tentative deal]," Hamilton Tiger-Cats representative Peter Dyakowski said Monday when asked how anxious he was for a ratification vote. "However, Ive seen a lot of people disagree with that." The ultimate goal of the executives outreach, whether explicitly stated or not, is to secure a majority "Yes" vote in ratification, which is set to take place in the coming days. TSN has learned that the Players Association is trying to expedite the process of obtaining a physical copy of the tentative deal in the next couple of days to pass it along to its members, who can then read it over and ask any questions to clarify concerns. Right now, legal counsel for both the league and the players are reviewing and solidifying language in the potential agreement. The earliest the players hope to hold a ratification vote is Wednesday, and the union would require six of the leagues nine teams voting in favour - with players on each team voting 50 per cent-plus-one to ratify the agreement - for the tentative CBA to pass. All players, rookies included, will be allowed to cast a ballot. TSN has also learned that prominent CFL agents are encouraging their clients to accept the tentative CBA. "But a vote to reject the tentative CBA is not a vote to strike," a player with knowledge of the ratification process told TSN. Strike ballots from all nine CFL teams have been counted already, with a majority of players across the CFL voting in favour of a strike. If the tentative CBA is rejected, the union wwill notify the CFL and attempt to reopen negotiations with the league.dddddddddddd "I think if we look at this deal through the lens of what some teams are making, and what our new TV deal is bringing in, and what we see the future holding for us, it doesnt seem like a fair deal, or a just deal," Dyakowski said. "But if you look at it compared to our last two CBAs, in a vacuum, and look at the numbers we have made huge strides." In the last year of the CFLs previous CBA, the salary cap was set at $4.4 million and the minimum salary was set at $45,000. In the first year of the tentative CBA, the salary cap would be set at $5 million and increase annually by $50,000, with minimum salaries rising to $50,000. Also included are the elimination of the team option year in non-rookie contracts, and a ratification bonus of $7,500 for veterans and $1,500 for rookies. The CFLPA will reportedly control the disbursement of the bonus, and set a veteran scale that could potentially award players whove played six-plus years in the league $12,000. "We have made huge improvements; we have won on a lot of football-related issues, a lot of player safety issues," added Dyakowski. "There are a lot of good things in this deal being realistic, being pragmatic. I believe this is a good deal, without any bloodshed." According to reports, Roughriders union representative Brendon LaBatte feels Saskatchewans locker room will vote to ratify the tentative agreement. But LaBatte knows of vets in the room willing to sit out the season and miss pay checks because they feel the possible deal isnt good enough. And again, there was vexation over social media, as one player in particular took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the union executives team visits. "Just wasting more of our Union Dues...Aint nobody in Saskatchewan wanna see them, hope they bring their own security," tweeted Ricky Foley of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The defensive lineman tweeted later, "I am voting YES to accept the deal & NOT strike...cause weve been backed in2 a corner & I have no confidence in our execs or legal counsel." Although he knows how his locker room feels, Dyakowski isnt sure how players across the league will vote when its time for them to cast their ballots. "I feel in my gut that [the tentative CBA] will be ratified in Hamilton," the offensive lineman said. "Thats all I can say." 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