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six hits in seven innings

  • TORONTO - If things dont work out for Masai Ujiri as president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors, he could have a career in motivational speaking. Nike Air Force 1 07 Homme Pas Cher . Ujiri followed an uplifting speech from his boss, Tim Leiweke, with one of equal - perhaps even greater - passion on Friday night when the Raptors hosted an event for season ticket holders. His message to the fans in attendance at the Air Canada Centre and to those watching online: "we need your help." "We have to make this place a living hell for [opponents] to come play here," he told them, standing centre stage in the middle of the ACC court. "And you guys can do it." "When you come play here on [a] Sunday at 1:00, guess what, youre getting your ass kicked. Thats what we need to do here. Thats how we need to build it here. When you come here, play here on a Friday night, youre getting your ass kicked." For over 30 minutes Ujiri held court. He preached, he joked and he shared a story or two. One such story occurred when he visited Toronto as GM of the Denver Nuggets three years ago. It started off with an anecdote about having dinner at the house of Bryan Colangelo, playing him and his kids at ping pong and kicking their butts (he also challenged the crowd to take him on). When he returned to the team hotel, the Four Seasons, at 1am he ran into 10 of his Nuggets players who were just about to head out on the town 12 hours before their Sunday matinee with the Raptors. They were not worried. "We will win tomorrow," they told him. That cant happen going forward, Ujiri insisted. Opposing teams shouldnt be able to get away with taking the Raptors or their fan base lightly. Ujiris third-seeded Nuggets were recently upset by Golden State in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. The difference, according to Ujiri, was the advantage the Warriors had at home thanks to their fans and the environment at Oracle Arena. Thats the impact he believes home-court advantage could have in Toronto. "You know you guys can win us five, you can win us 10 more games, do you guys know that," he asked. "You can. You can. Weve got energy that you guys give us and we have to do it here." This was the first time the Raptors have ever hosted a "season preview" event in which the teams high-powered executives were able to address and interact with some of its most loyal fans face-to-face. The goal for the organization, per Leiweke and Ujiri, is to strengthen the teams relationship with its supporters. Friday nights meet and greet was the first step. "This crowd, everybody talks about it around the league," Ujiri told following the event. "How do we get their support even more? Thats what were trying to encourage." "When there are hard times Im going to interact with them, when there are good times Im going to interact with them. For me thats the nature of the business and there are going to be hard times, we have to be patient here but we have to be spirited, I think, as an organization." It all starts with honesty and respect, Ujiri explained. Although he acknowledged there is always going to be certain information that cannot be shared with the public, he stressed the importance of being up front and avoiding false promises or expectations. "For me theres no spin to it, I dont believe in all that, for me everything is from here," he said pointing to his heart. "You say what your plan is, you say what your direction is and you go execute. We have to be accountable and thats what [fans] want, thats what I think we are supposed to do." "These are the people that pay, these are the people that support the team, these are the people that fight for these guys and we have to be accountable, I truly believe that. Ujiri, like Leiweke before him, thanked Raptors fans for sticking it out through hard times but promised to deliver change. The caveat: it may take some time for the results to reflect that change. This year the measurement will not be wins and losses, the Raptors GM told the crowd, instead success will be contingent on growth. Accordingly, the plan will be determined based on that growth. "We have to figure out our team and evaluate everything and that evaluation starts October 30," Ujiri explained. "Is there chemistry? Is there growth? Are we moving in the right direction? Are players getting better? Are we giving them the right opportunity?" "You try that and when you see that doesnt work, then well figure it out. Trust me, well figure this thing out." For at least one night, the Raptors brass had fans drinking the Kool-Aid. Whether it was Leiweke taunting a fan for wearing a Celtics jersey - "How is the preseason going for you," he joked - or Ujiri regaling us with a tale of executive VP Jeff Weltman attempting to fleece him in a trade a few years back, they put on a show. The culture around this organization has certainly changed, but when will the results follow suit? The answer to that question could go a long way in strengthening the relationship this new regime is working to build with an already restless fan base. "Were one team, one country," Ujiri preached to those fans. "Together, one team, one country. We dont care what the 29 other teams think of us. Were here and Im telling you its going to take patience [but] were going to win. Were going to build it here, were going to work and were going to work hard and build this team." Nike Air Force 1 07 Soldes . -- What Anthony Jennings lacked in experience, LSU more than compensated for with a talented supporting cast in the Outback Bowl. Air Force 1 Basse Homme .35 million, avoiding arbitration. Davis led the majors last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs, both career highs. He earned $3.CHICAGO -- It took a hard slide for the Kansas City Royals to end their skid. Mike Moustakas scored the tie-breaking run when he jarred the ball out of the catchers glove in the ninth inning and the Royals beat the White Sox 2-1 Wednesday to take the three-game series. Kansas City was victorious for the 12th time in their last 14 starts at U.S. Cellular Field. They also won consecutive games for the first time since July 2-4. They are 5-10 since then. "I feel a lot better leaving Chicago than I did after the first game in Chicago," manager Ned Yost said. "After the problems you run into, you cant lose faith. You cant start panicking. You cant think the ship is sinking. Youve got to stay positive, because these guys have the ability to fight through it and get themselves out of it." Moustakas triggered the decisive rally with a lead-off single off Zach Putnam (3-2), the last of four White Sox pitchers. Alcides Escobar bunted him over before Nori Aoki hit a flare to centre field. Adam Eatons strong throw beat Moustakas to the plate, but catcher Tyler Flowers lost control of the ball upon contact. Flowers was charged with an error on the play. "With the (new) rules, you kind of have to obey them," said Moustakas, who was at a four-inch, 30-pound disadvantage in the matchup. "You dont really think about trying to truck anybody. Thats a big boy behind home plate there. Its probably not a good idea to go that route." Flowers said he thought he had the ball. "The replay looked like his knee on impact was literally straight into the webbing of the glove," Flowers said. "I wish I could have hung onto it, but theres nothing I could do different." Yost liked the jump off second base as much as the slide itself. "(Moustakas) got a tremendous read on Noris base hit," Yost said. "If he doesnt get the read that he had, he doesnt have the opportunity to score." Wade Davis (6-2) pitched one scoreless inning and Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth inning for his 26th save in 27 tries. After the teams traded runs in the first inning, starters James Shields and JJose Quintana matched each other for six scoreless innings. Nike Air Force 1 Just Do It Blanche Pas Cher. Neither was overwhelming, but both were able to get key outs when necessary. "(Shields) has the ability to make big pitches in crucial situations," Yost said. "Thats why hes our ace." Shields allowed six hits in seven innings He walked one batter and struck out seven. "I just try to go out there every five days and pitch my game no matter where Im at," Shields said. In seven innings, Quintana gave up seven hits and two walks and struck out three batters. He remained winless (0-5) against the Royals in 11 career starts. The no decision was the 36th for Quintana since the 2012 season, the most in the majors. Chicagos Adam Dunn singled to tie the score at 1-1 in the first inning. The hit scored Jose Abreu, who had doubled with two outs. Abreu (sore back) was back in action after a one-game layoff. Eric Hosmers sacrifice fly gave the Royals a 1-0 lead. NOTES: No sooner did Hosmer return to the line-up after a two-game absence than he aggravated his bruised hand on a checked swing and left the game. His status was listed as day to day. ... Davis has not allowed an extra-base hit in 42-2 innings this season. .... Four hitless at-bats left White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham with a .132 batting average since June 9, when he was at his high point (.298) of the season. ... White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo was a late scratch because of tightness in his left hamstring. Moises Sierra replaced him in right field. ... White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper (vertigo) did not accompany the team to Minneapolis for the start of a seven-game road trip. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen assumed his duties for the third consecutive game.... White Sox OF Avasail Garcia (shoulder surgery) will accelerate his workout routine on the road trip. No timetable has been set for a rehab assignment. .... In his professional debut, White Sox first-round draft pick Carlos Rendon allowed one run in one inning of relief in the Arizona Rookie League on Tuesday. . . . Wednesday marked the five-year anniversary of Mark Buehrles perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field. ' ' '
      January 3, 2020 7:04 PM MST