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ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long did not practice and coach Jeff Fisher says he's questionable for Sunday's game at Atlanta with hip soreness.

Long, the second overall pick in 2008, has posted double-digit sack totals the last two seasons and has played in 81 consecutive games, the third-longest streak among defensive ends. He was limited on Thursday.

Also on the injury report Friday were cornerback Quinton Porter, ruled out with a thigh injury, and safety Darian Stewart was doubtful.

Friday, 13 September 2013 23:27
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo agreed on a seven-year, $45.5 million contract with a no-trade clause over the final three years, ending a brief holdout.

The deal was announced Friday, one day after the first practice of training camp. General manager Doug Armstrong said it was a strong signal that the Blues intend for the 23-year-old Pietrangelo, the fourth overall pick of the 2008 draft and one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL, to spend his career in St. Louis.

A news conference for Armstrong and Pietrangelo (Pet-TRANJ'-el-oh) was set for Saturday.

"What I said to him, 'This isn't a seven-year deal, this is just another steppingstone," Armstrong said. "I think he's excited to be here, I know we're excited to have him, get him in here and turn him over to the coach."

The Blues had hoped to get a deal before training camp but talks briefly broke down. Armstrong said negotiations resumed Thursday and "we were able to wrap up all the loose ends that were there."

Pietrangelo tweeted, "Really excited to be a part of Blues organization for the next 7 years."

He will average $6.5 million on a deal that will gradually escalate, making $5 million this season and peaking at $7.5 million in the final season.

"It's something that's ongoing because both sides wanted to get it done, and a lot of credit goes to ultimately Alex," Armstrong said. "As we said a couple days ago, Alex makes these decisions. Not his agent, not anyone else. Today, when I talked to him he was satisfied."

Players got the news coming off the ice.

Forward David Backes, the team captain, called Pietrangelo a "supreme talent" who is able to shut down the opposition's top forward without sacrificing offense.

"He's a top defenseman in this league, no question," Backes said. "To know that he's with us, we can knock that distraction off the list, kind of that peripheral noise. We know that we've got our guys together."

Pietrangelo led the team's defensemen with 24 points — five goals and 19 assists — and was among the league leaders with an average of 25 minutes per game. He's been a regular the past three seasons.

Armstrong said it had been a matter of when — not if — the parties agreed on a deal. Backes pointed out that Pietrangelo has "set some roots."

"You knew that he was going to be here long term, you just didn't know how much the business side was going to get in the way," Backes said. "In the end, there's a lot of happy people on both sides.

"After he takes a little bit of razzing from the guys for not being here, he'll be right back in the group and together with us like he should be."

Coach Ken Hitchcock didn't think it would take Pietrangelo long to catch up with the rest of the team. The Blues open the preseason Sunday at Dallas.

"We kept him up to date until we couldn't speak to him anymore," Hitchcock said. "He knows the last couple weeks what's going on ... players have kept him up to date."

Friday, 13 September 2013 23:23
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pete Kozma scored on catcher Mike Zunino's passed ball with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals retook the NL Central lead with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

The Cardinals lead the division by a game after Pittsburgh lost. They're 6-1 on a nine-game homestand.

Kozma entered in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner, later stole third base and scored the tying run.

In the 10th, Kozma singled with two outs off Chase Ruffin (0-2). Oliver Perez walked Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay to load the bases.

Zunino couldn't handle the first pitch to Matt Holliday, with the ball rolling free and Kozma scoring on a head-first slide.

Rookie Kevin Siegrist (3-1) worked around two hits in the 10th for the win. He has not allowed a run in 19 1-3 innings.

Zunino homered for the Mariners, who have lost a franchise-record 13 games in extra innings, including their last six in a row.

The Cardinals have won their last four extra-inning games. Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina helped them get there this time, throwing out pinch-runner Endy Chavez and Dustin Ackley when they tried to steal in the ninth.

Hisashi Iwakuma allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for Seattle.

Adam Wainwright allowed a run in eight innings. The 16-game winner was hurt only by Zunino's 435-foot homer in the fifth.

Seattle second baseman Nick Franklin dropped pinch-hitter Brock Peterson's towering pop fly in the eighth for a two-base error that helped the Cardinals tie it. Kozma and stole third on Carpenter's full-count walk, then scored on Jay's grounder off Charlie Furbush.

The Cardinals struggled against Milwaukee pitching the previous series, with Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada both carrying no-hit bids into the sixth. St. Louis also struggled against Iwakuma, and one of the biggest cheers came when the final score was posted for the Pirates' 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

Zunino had been 4 for 30 in 10 games since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a broken left hand that sidelined him more than a month. He connected for his third homer of the season and first since July 22.

NOTES: Iwakuma topped 200 innings for the season in the fourth. ... It was 70 degrees at gametime, a 25-degree drop from two days earlier. ... 2B Carpenter hit his major league-leading 49th double in the third and made the defensive play of the game in the seventh with a sliding stab in the outfield grass and throw to rob Zunino of a hit. ... A pair of rookies get the call on Saturday night, with Michael Wacha (3-0, 2.72) making his seventh career start for the Cardinals and James Paxton (1-0, 1.50) making his second career start for Seattle. ... Former Cardinals 3B Ken Oberkfell threw the ceremonial first pitch. ... Kyle Seager started his 100th consecutive game at 3B, extending his Mariners' franchise record. ... Mariners radio rookie play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith called a game in his hometown for the first time.

Friday, 13 September 2013 23:19
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A Blues holdout, is no longer a hold out. 

The team announced that they have agreed to terms with Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Below is the release from the team.

 

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on a seven-year contract.

“We’re excited to have Alex signed over the next seven years as he will continue be a key component of our franchise,” said Armstrong.  “He is an elite defenseman in this league and will be for years to come.”

Pietrangelo, 23, dressed in 47 games last season leading the Blues’ defense with 24 points including five goals and 19 assists while ranking 13th in ice time per game (25:06) among all National Hockey League (NHL) defensemen.  In the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pietrangelo posted two points (one goal, one assist) in six games while tying for second on the club with a +2 rating. 

Since his first full season in 2010, Pietrangelo is tied for sixth among all defensemen in points (118), ranks 10th in goals (28), tied for ninth in assists (90) and slots 15th in plus/minus (+34), while he became the youngest defenseman in Blues history to record back-to-back 40-plus point seasons in 2010-11 (43) and 2011-12 (51).  In addition, in 2011-12, Pietrangelo joined Al MacInnis as the only defensemen in club history to record six game-winning goals and six power play goals in the same season. 

Overall, the 6’3, 201-pound defenseman has appeared five NHL seasons accumulating 121 points including 29 goals and 92 assists to go along with 73 penalty minutes in 224 career regular season games, while tallying seven points (one goal, six assists) in 14 career postseason games. 

 Internationally, the King City, Ontario native has represented Canada on three occasions including winning the Gold Medal at the 2009 World Juniors and the Silver Medal at the 2010 World Juniors, while also appearing in seven games at the 2011 World Championships.  In addition, Pietrangelo recently participated in Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp in preparation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

 

Pietrangelo was originally drafted by the Blues in the first round, 4th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Friday, 13 September 2013 14:18
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Tyler Thornburg threw six solid innings and Sean Halton homered to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over St. Louis 5-3 on Thursday night, snapping the Cardinals' five-game winning streak.

St. Louis fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for the top spot in the NL Central. Both teams are 85-61 with 16 games remaining. The idle Cincinnati Reds are 2 1/2 back.

Milwaukee broke a three-game losing streak against St. Louis and beat the Cardinals for only the fourth time in 16 meetings this season.

The Cardinals are 5-1 on their nine-game homestand.

Thornburg (2-1), making his eighth career start, gave up two runs and three hits. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville, going 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts.

Thornburg struck out six and walked two. He has allowed two runs or fewer and gone six innings in all five major league starts this season.

Jim Henderson earned his 25th save in 29 opportunities.

Halton, who had three RBIs, hit a two-run homer off Joe Kelly (8-4) in the fourth to put the Brewers up 4-0. Halton also had a run-scoring single in the second.

Kelly allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in five innings. He won his previous five starts, and the Cardinals had won his last eight.

Matt Adams hit a two-out solo homer in the ninth, his 13th of the season.

The Brewers scored single runs in each of the first two innings. Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy singled in the first, and Gennett came around on a groundout by Aramis Ramirez.

The Cardinals pulled to 4-2 in the fourth on a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday and a sacrifice fly by David Freese. They also put two on with one out in the sixth, but Thornburg retired Carlos Beltran and Freese to end the threat.

Norichika Aoki tripled in Yuniesky Betancourt in the ninth.

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Trevor Rosenthal missed the game. His wife, Lindsey, was in labor awaiting their first child. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina missed his second successive game due to an illness to his mother, Gladys. General manager John Mozeliak said Molina could be back Friday. ... St. Louis 1B Allen Craig is making progress with his injured left foot. "We're still optimistic he'll play again," Mozeliak said. "He's feeling a lot better. It's one of those things where you're just going to have to let some time progress." Craig sustained a left mid-foot strain on Sept. 4. ... The Brewers begin a 10-game homestand Friday against Cincinnati. Kyle Lohse (9-9, 3.59 ERA) will face Reds RHP Mat Latos (14-5, 3.02) in the opener of a three-game series. ... St. Louis ends its homestand with three games against Seattle beginning Friday. Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9, 3.03) faces Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.97).

Thursday, 12 September 2013 22:31
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Blues opened training camp without restricted free-agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who is waiting for a new contract.

   Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday that discussions between the team and Pietrangelo's agent have reached an impasse "for now."

   The 23 year old Pietrangelo, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft, has been part of St. Louis' top defensive pairing the last three seasons. He is also the Blues' top scoring threat on the back line.

   Pietrangelo had five goals and 19 assists in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He had 12 goals, 51 points and a plus-16 rating in the 2011-12 campaign.

   A total of 53 players are expected to participate in camp with practices beginning on Thursday.

 
Thursday, 12 September 2013 02:04
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Adams had a two-run home run and the Cardinals broke open a tight game with four in the eighth to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals won their fifth consecutive game to maintain a one-game lead over Pittsburgh and a three-game advantage on Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates finished a three-game sweep at Texas and the Reds knocked off the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day.

Milwaukee has lost three of five.

Brandon Kintzler (3-2) gave up three runs on two hits and a walk while only getting two outs. He surrendered a game-tying hit in the seventh before loading the bases with one out in the eighth.

Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly off Michael Gonzalez scored Matt Carpenter to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. An error by catcher Jonathan Lucroy allowed Jon Jay to score and Adams followed with his 12th homer of the season.

Trevor Rosenthal (2-3) had a hitless eighth inning for the win.

The Cardinals broke through on an RBI hit from David Descalso. Matt Holliday led off with a single, the second hit against starter Marco Estrada, and moved to second on a two-out walk to David Freese.

Descalso sent Kintzler's second pitch down the left field line to score Holliday and tie the game at 1-1.

Estrada took a no-hitter into the sixth, losing it with two outs. Carpenter, who struck out in his first two at-bats, hit a liner that bounced just in front of the pitcher, nicked his leg and bounded to third baseman Aramis Ramirez. His throw pulled Juan Francisco off first base in what otherwise would have been a close play.

Estrada gave up two hits in 6?, struck out six and walked two. He's made six starts since returning in early August from the disabled list with a strained hamstring and has gone 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in that span.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn had one of his best outings in more than a month. He went six innings and struck out 10, the third time this season he's reached double digits and the sixth time in 61 starts. He also walked two, including Scooter Gennett in the second that led to the Brewers' run.

Carlos Gomez singled with one out and moved to second on Gennett's walk. On a successful double steal, Gomez came home when Tony Cruz's attempt to get Gennett bounced into centerfield.

Lynn lost his previous five starts leading into Wednesday's game as his ERA rose to 4.37 from 3.78. He last win came Aug. 4, when he gave up two runs in eight innings in a 15-2 victory at Cincinnati.

NOTES: St. Louis C Yadier Molina missed the game for "family matters," according to manager Mike Matheny. The Cardinals did not elaborate on the reason or say when the All-Star catcher would return to the team. ... St. Louis distributed 7,906 complimentary tickets to first responders and military personnel in honor of Sept. 11. ... Tyler Thornburg (1-1, 2.08) is scheduled to start for Milwaukee in the finale of the three-game set Thursday and will face Joe Kelly (8-3, 2.74). Kelly has won his past five starts. ... Hockey great Wayne Gretzky watched the game from the front row.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:59
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Holliday's two-run home run in the sixth inning stunned Wily Peralta with the St. Louis Cardinals' first hit and rookie Shelby Miller blanked the Milwaukee Brewers into the seventh inning of a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

Norichika Aoki of the Brewers struck out three times for the first time in the majors, the last against rookie lefty Kevin Siegrist with a runner on second to end the seventh. Aoki entered the game as the toughest batter to fan in the majors this year, averaging one per 17.2 at-bats.

Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams added RBIs in the seventh and eighth for the NL Central leaders, who are 4-0 to begin a nine-game homestand. After a day off, the Cardinals built on momentum from a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh.

The 22-year-old Miller (13-9) emphasized more off-speed deliveries to keep the pitch count down and allowed five hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 6 2-3 innings. He's 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts against Milwaukee, the other two wins coming on the road.

Peralta (9-15) was significantly improved over his first two starts against the Cardinals, both in May, in which he allowed 12 runs and 22 hits in 9 1-3 innings. In 6 2-3 innings he was charged with three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts.

The Brewers avoided getting shut out for a third time by St. Louis on pinch-hitter Logan Schafer's two-run homer off Edward Mujica in the ninth.

Peralta struck out five of the first seven hitters and the Cardinals had two baserunners the first five innings: a walk by Holliday in the fourth and first baseman Jonathan Lucroy's error on a dropped throw in the third. Aoki kept the no-hitter going with a sliding catch down the right field line that robbed David Freese of a hit opening the fifth.

Holliday fouled balls off his left foot or ankle three times the first two at-bats, near where he's wearing a guard from previous occurrences. Carpenter walked to open the sixth and Holliday saw just one pitch his third time against Peralta, hammering a fastball an estimated 424 feet to left-center for his 19th homer.

Siegrist, a 41st-round draft pick, has worked 18 consecutive scoreless innings and has held left-handed hitters to just four hits in 53 at-bats.

Rookie Scooter Gennett of Milwaukee had two hits and is batting .394

Brett Hull chucked a side-armed ceremonial first pitch, a day after the hockey Hall of Famer rejoined the St. Louis Blues as an executive vice president.

NOTES: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said there was "no timetable or any better guesstimate" on when Allen Craig might return from a sprained left foot. Craig is batting .396 against Milwaukee with two homers and 10 RBIs. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke picked the Cardinals to prevail in the Central because they're "probably the most well-rounded team," and also thought all three teams would be contenders for years to come. "And that's a tough thing for us," he said. "You don't have all these veterans who are going to be free agents and they're going to be losing all these guys." ...The Brewers played the first of 20 straight days, the maximum allowed in the collective bargaining agreement, to end the season. They'll use a six-man rotation the rest of the year, getting an extended look at youngsters Tyler Thornburg and Johnny Hellweg, the PCL pitcher of the year at Triple-A Nashville, and give extra days off to the rest of the rotation.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 22:38
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The United States clinched its seventh straight World Cup appearance, beating Mexico 2-0 Tuesday night on second-half goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan before a raucous red-white-and-blue-clad crowd that stood and chanted from start to finish.

After withstanding Mexican pressure for the first 20 minutes, the U.S. settled in the match and got the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Johnson outjumped defender Diego Reyes to meet Donovan's corner kick 8 yards out and head the ball past frozen goalkeeper Jesus Corona.

With Mexican shifting to an offense-minded 3-4-3 formation, the U.S. scored in the 78th following a throw in when Mix Diskerud threaded the ball across the middle. Clint Dempsey got the slightest of touches as he slid into the goalmouth, and Donovan poked the ball in from 2 yards.

The U.S. (5-2-1) moved into first place in the North and Central American and Caribbean finals with 16 points, one ahead of Costa Rica (4-1-3), which was held to a 1-1 tie at last-place Jamaica and also clinched.

"Obviously this is a huge, huge evening for all of us," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It's a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup."

The top three teams qualify, and the U.S. had to wait an hour after the final whistle to learn it was assured of a spot in the 32-nation field for Brazil next June. But when Honduras (3-3-2) held on for a 2-2 tie against Panama (1-2-5) in Tegucigalpa, the Americans had grabbed a berth with two games to spare.

"We're continuing the growth of the game here in the sport, we're improving, getting better and we've got to make sure we do well in Brazil to keep it going," Dempsey said.

Mexico (1-2-5) dropped into fifth on goal difference and seems likely at best headed to a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand.

U.S. players, many carrying large American flags on sticks, celebrated their win with a lap around the field, saluting the crowd the whole way. Then they went to the locker room to wait out the Honduras game. About 1,000 fans stuck around to watch on the videoboard, chanting for Honduras.

Following wins over Mexico in qualifiers by identical 2-0 scores at Columbus Crew Stadium in 2001, 2005 and 2009, the U.S. Soccer Federation picked the same venue for this year's match. The capacity crowd of 24,584 taunted the Mexicans with chants of "Dos a cero!" and "You're not going to Brazil!"

Fans were so loud during "The Star-Spangled Banner" that anthem singer Kayleigh Schofield was forced to alter her tempo to match that of the crowd.

Johnson nearly scored off Donovan's cross in the third minute of the second half, but the pass was just ahead of him.

A minute later, the U.S. took just its second corner kick of the match. Jermaine Jones and Johnson both broke in from behind the penalty spot, and Mexico was slow to react as Johnson scored in 12th goal in 21 qualifying appearances. He was mobbed by teammates near the U.S. bench as fans set off a smoke bomb.

Donovan's goal, increasing his national team record to 57, set off a nonstop singalong for the closing minutes of the match.

"I'm proud of this team. I'm proud to be a part of it," Donovan said. "These guys put in a lot of hard work over the last two years and to have an opportunity in front of a crowd like this to qualify is pretty special."

Dempsey missed a penalty kick in second-half injury time, just before the final whistle.

Dealing with an injury to midfielder Michael Bradley and yellow-card suspensions of defender Matt Besler, midfielder Geoff Cameron and forward Jozy Altidore, U.S. Klinsmann had to make several changes from Friday's 3-1 loss at Costa Rica.

Fabian Johnson shifted from midfield to the back line, and Clarence Goodson was among four new starters, joined by midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya, and forward Eddie Johnson. Fabian Johnson strained his left hamstring and was replaced by Michael Parkhurst for the start of the second half.

Mexico dominated the first 20 minutes of the opening half and the last five, forcing goalkeeper Tim Howard to make several sprawling saves.

The first came seven minutes in, when American left back DaMarcus Beasley scuffed a clearance and nearly put the ball in his own goal.

Howard made a diving parry on Christian Gimenez in the 19th, and then two minutes later pushed Gimenez's free kick over the crossbar. Howard was forced into another diving save on Giovani Dos Santos in the 44th, and then dived to knock a header over the line in injury time after Bedoya pulled down Dos Santos with a sliding tackle, earning a yellow card.

The first good U.S. chance was when Donovan's free kick was knocked down Omar Gonzalez in the 14th, and Jermaine Jones volleyed over the crossbar.

Eddie Johnson's header off Donovan's corner kick was saved by Corona in the 32nd.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 22:36
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   Blues legend, Brett Hull, is back with the team.  

   The Blues made the announcement at a 6:16 p.m. news conference Monday.  The time was selected in honor of Hull’s retired #16.  

   Hull was introduced to a crowd of around 500 fans as Executive Vice-President of operations.  His new job is to help get the team on firm financial footing, something the organization has struggle with for its 46 year history.

   Hull won two Stanley Cups after leaving St. Louis, but he told the crowd that he continued to daydream about "how wonderful it would be to be going down Broadway in a Stanley Cup parade."

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:04
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