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Matt Ellis and Matt Moulson also scored for the 
By krstking2 on Jun 26, 2014 07:22 AM
TAMPA Mark Buehrle spun a gem on his 35th birthday, pitching as if he had evening plans to celebrate. cheap jerseys usa . "Go home, drop the family off at the airport so time to go home and clean up the house and get it ready for getting stuff shipped," said Buehrle of what will be a quiet night. Buehrle made his noise on the mound, tossing 6 1/3 innings of seven-hit, one-run ball against a Yankees lineup that featured every starter save for an injured Jacoby Ellsbury. He threw 94 pitches, 59 for strikes and was his usual efficient self, issuing no walks. He didnt strike out anyone, either. The Blue Jays won 3-1. "Hes looked a little different this spring," said manager John Gibbons. "Everythings just right. His locations on. I think hes popping the ball a little bit better. Of course I saw him last year, I hadnt seen him in any spring before that but I know hes feeling good and I think hes a little bit surprised about how good he feels and thats a good thing." Buehrle hadnt pitched in a Grapefruit League game since March 7. On that day, he threw 31 of 44 pitches for strikes and was insistent that his changeup was the best it had been in any game in three years. In between, Buehrle made two starts in minor league games. Cognizant of his opponent, Buehrle threw fewer offspeed pitches on Sunday, focusing on his fastball. "We face these guys a lot so I came out and just said, hey, lets work on a lot of fastballs, location," said Buehrle. "I dont want to say trick them because obviously Ive been in the league for 12, 13 years so they know what I throw but just didnt want to show them everything." The plan is for Buehrle to start on Friday night in Montreal, the first of two exhibition games the Jays will play against the New York Mets at Olympic Stadium. Pitching coach Pete Walker draws up the assignments and didnt give Buehrle the choice of traveling or staying back in Florida to throw in a minor league game. Thats just fine with Buehrle, whos looking to pitch in front of a large crowd, in a large stadium, this close to opening day. "It definitely helps out," said Buehrle. "You get in that atmosphere, the adrenaline pumps a little more, theres a bigger crowd even coming here, everything just kind of clicks and it just becomes real once the game starts." Fridays start wont be Buehrles first at the Big O. His only previous outing came on June 18, 2004, an 11-7 White Sox win over the Expos. Buehrle pitched six innings but, as he put it, he got his "ass kicked." He allowed seven runs on 10 hits and got a no-decision. Reyes Update Jose Reyes wasnt in the Blue Jays lineup on Sunday, one day after leaving Saturdays win over the Tigers in the fourth inning with stiffness in his left hamstring. "It feels a little better," said manager John Gibbons. "We still dont think its a big deal." Reyes is listed as day to day. The Second Catcher Erik Kratz and Josh Thole are in a battle for the second catchers job behind Dioner Navarro. Its going down to the wire. "The number one job is going be able to catch Dickey," said Gibbons. "You want some offence but the number one thing (is) theyve got to be able to catch Dickey." Navarro played in 89 games for the Cubs last season, far and away his most since appearing in 115 games for the Rays in 2009. With that in mind, the Jays anticipate the second catcher having to play more. Kratz offers more offence but Dickey is most comfortable pitching to Thole. Dickeys thrown 565 2/3 career innings with Thole as his battery mate. Henry Blanco, at 127 innings, ranks a distant second. "I think theyve both done a good job so its a tough call," said Gibbons. Dickey, as he did last spring when the decision was made to take Blanco over Thole, insists he doesnt have, and insists he doesnt want, input in the process. Timeline for Roster Finalization Gibbons hopes to have his final roster determined before the Blue Jays leave for Montreal, where theyll play two exhibition games versus the Mets on Friday and Saturday, before the club departs on Thursday evening. "Well have a good idea before that what the roster is going to look like," said Gibbons. "Of course, well bring some extra guys with us anyway but well know in the next couple of days; with the catching, anyway." Cheap Jerseys . Coincidentally, it only took two summers for Tyler Ennis to prove he could make the jump, during which, Rana witnessed a maturation in the Brampton, Ont. native, that makes his standout play leading the undefeated Syracuse Orange (18-0) a logical progression rather than a surprise. Wholesale NFL Jerseys . Both non-imports were set to become free agents in February. "Both of these individuals exemplify solid Canadian talent for us," said Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters. TORONTO -- Like it or not, the Toronto Maple Leafs are well-versed in the shootout. And unlike last season, thats actually a good thing for them. On Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre the Leafs made it through three periods and overtime yet again and managed to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 for their league-leading ninth shootout victory of the year. It was Torontos third straight win, and three of their past four overall have come via the shootout. Some how, some way, they keep getting there and have it to thank for a playoff position 49 games in. "I think if our team had a choice, wed try to end the game a bit earlier," said defenceman Morgan Rielly, who scored his first home goal this season. "But I think thats just an aspect of hockey nowadays. It just turns out that were pretty good at them." Only the Washington Capitals have gone to the shootout more times than the Leafs (24-20-5), who have showed a penchant for at least forcing overtime. They have just three regulation victories in their past 28 games, yet are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race. "Obviously were fortunate this year that our record in the shootout is a real, strong positive for our hockey club," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Theres been a lot of extra points gained by it. If we can continue to find a way to get points, thats what our job is." Whereas the Leafs went 0 for 5 and rued shootouts during last years lockout-shortened 48-game season, they keep getting the job done this season. Against the Sabres on Wednesday night, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak all scored and goaltender James Reimer stopped one of two attempts. Whether its Reimer or Jonathan Bernier, those shooters have experienced a lot of shootout success, so it has made sense for assistant coach Greg Cronin -- who fills out the lineup -- to keep going back to them. Lupul is six for seven, van Riemsdyk is six for nine and Bozak is three for five. "Think were confident in the guys that we can send out there to score goals and confident in our goalie," van Riemsdyk said. "We seem to have guys that are confident going in with their moves and the goaltenders are confident in the net. It makes it a good matchup in the shootout." The Sabres (13-27-6) dropped to 6-3 in shootouts this season but were thankful to get there thanks to Cody Hodgsons early-third-period, power-play goal and a strong penalty kill in overtime that included a good scoring chance for defenceman Tyler Myers. "That was huge," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said of the penalty kill. "I thought Tyler Myers, his first game back was probably one of his best games all season long. He played with a little pizzazz. He played with some energy, and he was very aggressive." Goaltender Ryan Miller, who could again be the U.S. starter at the Sochi Olympics after leading the Americans to silver in Vancouver, was strong before the shootout in making 36 saves in regulation and overtime. He gave up goals to Olympic teammate Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin and Rielly. Kessels was a pure goal-scorers goal, a perfect shot that went five-hole on Miller. Wholesale Jerseys. "He made a nice shot," Miller said. "I didnt see. Good for Phil. Get him going for the Olympics, I guess." In addition to Hodgson, Matt Ellis and Matt Moulson also scored for the Sabres. Moulsons goal at 6:34 of the second wasnt reviewed, though it took several replay angles to show it clearly went in the net. "It went in," Carlyle said. "It hit the webbing on the top. When it hit the bar, it went up and it went into the webbing and then came back down. The angle that the camera had made it difficult to determine if it actually crossed the line because the camera angle was at a bad angle to (see) it. But when you looked at it from where he was shooting it, from behind him, you can see the top of the webbing of the net went up, so that usually indicates its got to be in then net." Just before that, Buffalos Zemgus Girgensons had a quality chance on a second-period penalty shot, which Reimer stopped in what turned out to be more practice for the shootout. Not that Reimer needed it, as he improved to 4-0 in the shootout this season. "Personally Im not a huge fan of shootouts," Reimer said. "Its something I try to practise most days as much as I can. Shootouts are important points, and theyre huge come the end of the year. Obviously regulation wins are most important, but those points are priceless." Theyre especially valuable considering the thin line between the Leafs being in a good position nearing the Olympic break and having to play catch-up in late February, March and April. This was the 16th time Toronto got to at least overtime, which is a boat load of points earned before the game is even over. The Leafs have played 72 minutes and five seconds of overtime, more than an entire extra game. Torontos knack for surviving past the 60-minute mark is hard to explain. "Thats a good question," van Riemsdyk said. "Theres some games where we seem to get a lead and end up losing that lead or games where you battle back and go to the shootout. Its part of the game, and you just come with whats given." So while the Leafs have taken what theyve earned in shootouts, Miller and the Sabres were left to wonder about a point lost. "Unfortunately, I wasnt very good in the shootout," Miller said. "Thats the difference." Being so good in the shootout has made a major difference in the Leafs fortunes this season. "When you win them its a positive, when you lose them its a negative," Carlyle said. "Thats the bottom line. Thats what you play the game to gain points and to win, and a shootout gives you a win." NOTES -- Enforcer Colton Orr returned to Torontos lineup after missing Tuesdays game in Boston with the flu, which has affected several players. Frazer McLaren was scratched to make room for Orr. ... Sabres forward Matt DAgostini left the game early in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. DAgostini skated just three shifts for 2:19, and Nolan said he expects him to be out for "a little while." ... This was the fifth and final meeting between the Leafs and Sabres this season. ' ' '
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