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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jake Westbrook pitched 6 1-3 innings of two-run ball and contributed three hits, All-Star Matt Carpenter continued his strong season with three hits and three RBIs, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 9-6 on Friday night.

A career .116 hitter, Westbrook had never had more than one hit in a game. The right-hander, who scored twice and had an RBI, surpassed his hit output for the year with two singles and a double in his three at-bats. That raised his batting from .100 to .217.

On the mound, Westbrook (6-4) scattered eight hits while striking out one and walking four.

After rookie Carlos Martinez allowed three runs in the ninth to make it a three-run game, All-Star Edward Mujica got the last two outs to record his 27th save in 29 chances.

Fellow All-Stars Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina each drove in two runs for the Cardinals, with Beltran contributing two sacrifice flies and Molina a two-run double in the seventh.

St. Louis reached a season-best 22 games over .500 (58-36) and owns the best winning percentage in the majors (.617).

The Padres' lone All-Star representative, Everth Cabrera, drove in two runs with a two-run single off Westbrook in the seventh. San Diego, which lost 18 of 22 to conclude the first half, fell to 15-32 on the road and 74-149 in St. Louis (6-19 at new Busch Stadium).

Former Cardinal Jason Marquis (9-5) lost his third straight. Marquis, who has not won since beating Arizona 6-4 on June 15, was touched for six runs on eight hits and three walks.

Marquis blanked the Cardinals the first two innings before Westbrook led off the third with a single to center. He later scored on Beltran's sacrifice fly to center.

Two innings later, Westbrook started another rally when he doubled over right fielder Will Venable's head to begin the fifth. Carpenter followed with an RBI double to the gap in left center and he scored on Beltran's sacrifice fly one out later that made it 3-0.

The Cardinals broke it open and chased Marquis by scoring three times in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Westbrook coaxed a single through the middle to drive in Matt Adams. Carpenter then drove home two more with an RBI single to center.

Notes: Edinson Volquez (6-8), who set a new career high by making 20 starts in the first half, pitches his first game in the second half when he faces the Cardinals' Lance Lynn (11-4) Saturday night. . . . San Diego started a 10-day, 10-game road trip Friday. The Padres were 1-9 on their last 10-game trip. . . . Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday missed his fourth straight game due to a lingering right hamstring issue. . . . Padres outfielder Jedd Gyorko was 0-for-12 since coming off the DL before singling in the fourth. . . . Molina double in the seventh was his 28th, matching his output last year.

Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:48
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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues and the National Hockey League have released the 2013-14 regular season schedule.

The Blues will open the season at home on Thursday, October 3 against Nashville, which begins five consecutive games at Scottrade Center. Florida Panthers (Oct. 5), Chicago Blackhawks (Oct. 9), New York Rangers (Oct. 12) and the San Jose Sharks (Oct. 15) will complete the home stand.  The Blues’ first road trip consists of back-to-back games on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18 against Chicago and the Winnipeg Jets, respectively. The Blues fan friendly schedule features a total of 15 home games on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Under the National Hockey League’s recent realignment, the Blues will play in the Western Conference’s Central Division along with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville and Winnipeg.  St. Louis plays five games against Chicago, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville and Winnipeg, while they face Colorado four times. The Blues face each of their non-Division Conference rivals three times and play a Home/Away series with each Eastern Conference team.

2013-14 St. Louis Blues Regular Season Schedule

(All Times Central Standard Time)

DATE                           OPPONENT      TIME                DATE               OPPONENT      TIME

*Sun. Sept. 15               At Dallas           6:00PM             *Sat. Sept. 21   Dallas               7:00PM

*Wed. Sept. 18              At TB (Orlando) 6:00PM             *Wed. Sept. 25  At Minnesota     7:00PM

*Fri. Sept. 20                Tampa Bay       7:00PM             *Fri. Sept. 27    Minnesota        7:00PM

*Preseason Games

Thu. Oct. 03                 Nashville          7:00PM             Tue. Jan. 07      At Edmonton    8:30PM

Sat. Oct. 05                  Florida             7:00PM             Thu. Jan. 09      At Calgary         8:00PM

Wed. Oct. 09                 Chicago           7:00PM             Fri. Jan. 10        At Vancouver    9:00PM

Sat. Oct. 12                  N.Y. Rangers    7:00PM             Tue. Jan. 14     Phoenix           7:00PM

Tue. Oct. 15                  San Jose          7:00PM             Thu. Jan. 16     Los Angeles     7:00PM

Thu. Oct. 17                  At Chicago        7:00PM             Sat. Jan. 18      Anaheim          7:00PM

Fri. Oct. 18                    At Winnipeg      7:00PM             Mon. Jan. 20     At Detroit          6:30PM

Fri. Oct. 25                   Vancouver        7:00PM             Tue. Jan. 21      At New Jersey   6:00PM

Sat. Oct. 26                  At Nashville       7:00PM             Thu. Jan. 23      At NY Rangers 6:00PM

Tue. Oct. 29                  Winnipeg         7:00PM             Sat. Jan. 25      At NY Islanders 12:00PM

Fri. Nov. 01                   At Florida          6:30PM             Tue. Jan. 28     New Jersey       7:00PM

Sat. Nov. 02                  At Tampa Bay   6:00PM             Fri. Jan. 31        At Carolina        6:00PM

Tue. Nov. 05                 At Montreal       6:30PM             Sat. Feb. 01      Nashville          7:00PM

Thu. Nov. 07                 Calgary            7:00PM             Tue. Feb. 04     Ottawa 7:00PM

Sat. Nov. 09                  Pittsburgh        7:00PM             Thu. Feb. 06     Boston             7:00PM

Tue. Nov. 12                 Phoenix           7:00PM             Sat. Feb. 08      Winnipeg         1:00PM

Thu. Nov. 14                 Colorado          7:00PM             Wed. Feb. 26    At Vancouver    9:30PM

Sat. Nov. 16                  Carolina           7:00PM             Fri. Feb. 28       At Anaheim       9:00PM

Sun. Nov. 17                 At Washington 5:00PM             Sun. Mar. 02     At Phoenix        7:00PM

Tue. Nov. 19                 At Buffalo         6:00PM             Tue. Mar. 04     Tampa Bay       7:00PM

Thu. Nov. 21                 At Boston         6:00PM             Thu. Mar. 06      At Nashville       7:00PM

Sat. Nov. 23                  Dallas               7:00PM             Sat. Mar. 08      At Colorado      2:00PM

Mon. Nov. 25                Minnesota        7:00PM             Sun. Mar. 09     At Minnesota     7:00PM

Wed. Nov. 27                At Colorado      8:00PM             Tue. Mar. 11     Dallas               7:00PM

Fri. Nov. 29                   At San Jose      3:00PM             Thu. Mar. 13     Edmonton        7:00PM

Mon. Dec. 02                At Los Angeles 9:30PM             Sat. Mar. 15      At Nashville       7:00PM

Thu. Dec. 05                 N.Y. Islanders 7:00PM             Mon. Mar. 17    Winnipeg         7:00PM

Sat. Dec. 07                  Anaheim          7:00PM             Wed. Mar. 19    At Chicago        7:00PM

Tue. Dec. 10                 At Winnipeg      7:00PM             Sat. Mar. 22      At Philadelphia 12:00PM

Thu. Dec. 12                 Toronto            7:00PM             Sun. Mar. 23     At Pittsburgh     12:00PM

Sat. Dec. 14                  At Columbus     6:00PM             Tue. Mar. 25      At Toronto        6:00PM

Mon. Dec. 16                At Ottawa          6:30PM             Thu. Mar. 27     Minnesota        7:00PM

Tue. Dec. 17                 San Jose          7:00PM             Sat. Mar. 29      Dallas               7:00PM

Thu. Dec. 19                 Montreal           7:00PM             Tue. Apr. 01     Philadelphia     7:00PM

Sat. Dec. 21                  At Edmonton    9:00PM             Thu. Apr. 03     Buffalo             7:00PM

Mon. Dec. 23                At Calgary         8:00PM             Sat. Apr. 05      Colorado          1:00PM

Sat. Dec. 28                  Chicago           7:00PM             Sun. Apr. 06      At Chicago        6:30PM

Sun. Dec. 29                 At Dallas           5:00PM             Tue. Apr. 08     Washington      7:00PM

Tue. Dec. 31                 At Minnesota     5:00PM             Thu. Apr. 10      At Minnesota     7:00PM

Thu. Jan. 02                 Los Angeles     7:00PM             Fri. Apr. 11        At Dallas           7:30PM

Sat. Jan. 04                  Columbus        7:00PM             Sun. Apr. 13     Detroit              2:00PM

Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:40
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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has re-signed forward Chris STewart to a two-year contract.

“We’re excited to have Chris signed for the next two seasons,” said Armstrong.  “He led our team in scoring last season and is entering the prime of his career.  We are expecting big things from him as he continues to grow with our club.”

Stewart, 25, dressed in all 48 games this season leading the Blues with 36 points, 18 goals and six power play goals while tying for the team lead with three game-winning goals and tying for fourth with 18 assists.  In the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stewart posted one assist and tied for second on the club with 17 shots in six appearances. 

Stewart appeared in his first game with the Blues on Feb. 19, 2010 vs. Anaheim and became just the 5th player in franchise history to score two goals in his debut.  In addition, he posted six goals in his first five games with the Blues marking the best start to a career in franchise history.  Since entering the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2008, Stewart is one of 12 players with at least 200 points and 300 penalty minutes. 

Overall, the 6’2, 231-pound forward has appeared in five NHL seasons accumulating 202 points including 100 goals and 102 assists to go along with 329 penalty minutes in 319 career regular season games while tallying six points (five goals, one assist) in 19 career postseason games.

The Toronto, Ontario native was originally acquired by the Blues along with Kevin Shattenkirk from Colorado on Feb. 19, 2011.  He was drafted by Colorado in the first round, 18th overall, of the 2006 Entry Draft.

Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:38
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The Blues have released their schedule for next season.

The Note kick off the season October 3 against the Nashville Predators. Then on October 9, the Blues play host to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams meet up a total of five times this season with four of the matchups being played at Scottrade.

The NHL's realignment, puts the Blues in the Western Conference’s Central Division along with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville and Winnipeg.

Friday, 19 July 2013 15:15
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GULLANE, Scotland (AP) -- By the time Tiger Woods finally made his way up to the 18th green, the bleachers were half empty and long shadows crept across the fairway. If Woods needed to be reminded how long this day was, the clock on the giant yellow scoreboard read 7:37 p.m. - more than five hours after he teed off.

The major championships are usually grinds, but for anyone playing in the afternoon Thursday the first round of the British Open proved more of a test than ever. The wind was blowing harder than expected, the golf course was drying up by the minute, and anything around par was a score to be respected.

And there was Woods, feeling awfully good about a 2-under 69 that had to give him hope his five-year drought in the major championships might come to an end this week on a golf course playing like it is in the middle of a drought.

"It was tough," Woods said. "The golf course progressively got more dried out and more difficult as we played. I'm very pleased to shoot anything even par or better."

A day that began with a near catastrophe off the first tee ended with a six-footer that found the center of the cup on the 18th green. Hardly surprising since Woods had 10 one-putts as he scrambled his way around the links course for one of the better scores of the afternoon.

He was three shots off the lead set by Zach Johnson, who was part of a morning surge of players who took advantage of easier conditions to set the pace. More importantly, perhaps, Woods has a morning tee time of his own Friday on a course that at least for the first day was set up to favor the early players.

"The guys that played early had a huge, huge break," Phil Mickelson said after shooting a 69 himself in the morning. "Because even without any wind, it's beyond difficult."

That Woods managed to break 70 in the afternoon was impressive enough. That he did it after nearly snap hooking a 3-wood out of bounds on his opening tee shot and having to take an unplayable when the ball nestled in a deep clump of unruly grass was doubly so.

"When I got over that tee shot I was (thinking), if I hammer it, this 3-wood is in that bunker," Woods said. "So maybe I should take something off it. Maybe I should hit 5-wood. Hence I hit a flip hook left and there she goes."

Woods somehow managed to make a bogey five on the first hole even with a penalty shot by hitting his third into a greenside bunker and getting up-and-down. It set the pattern for a day of one-putts that not only prevented the round from getting away from him, but put him in prime position going into the second round.

"We're supposed to get a different wind tomorrow," Woods said. "It will be interesting to see what the course setup is."

Just how tough was Muirfield in the afternoon? So tough that the threesome Woods was playing in became a twosome when former champion Louis Oosthuizen withdrew on the ninth hole with an apparent injury after going 4-over-par through eight holes.

So tough that his other playing partner, Graeme McDowell made two double bogeys and shot a 75 despite feeling he played well.

So tough that Woods was 1-over at the turn before one-putting the next four holes to spark a 3-under 32 on the back nine.

"Tiger played phenomenally well for his 2-under par," McDowell said. "Really ground it out well, did what he did best."

Playing well early in majors hasn't been the issue for Woods in recent times, though. Closing it out on the weekend has been, the main reason why he's still stuck at 14 major championships and hasn't won one since beating Rocco Mediate on one leg in the 2008 U.S. Open.

Last year he opened the British with a pair of 67s only to fade to a tie for third place behind Ernie Els. This year he was in the mix at the U.S. Open before shooting 76-74 on the weekend.

He came here well rested and healed up from a strained elbow that was acting up at the U.S. Open, his last competitive event. He also came with the knowledge gained from years of playing links style golf on this side of the pond, including his two wins at St. Andrews and his other win at Hoylake near Liverpool.

"They're so different, so different," Woods said. "I mean, this is almost - it's about as fast as Hoylake was. But there's knee-high rough here. And plus this golf course changes directions a lot. This is a totally different setup."

Not so different, though, that Woods doesn't like his chances of winning a fourth claret jug.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Friday, 19 July 2013 07:05
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GULLANE, Scotland (AP) -- Another sunny day along the Scottish coast. Another perilous test on the links of Muirfield.

Not that it was bothering Lee Westwood.

The 40-year-old Englishman surged up the leaderboard at the British Open on Friday, putting up a blistering 5-under 31 on the front side to climb within one shot of first-round leader Zach Johnson.

Westwood, who opened with a 1-over 72, started the second round with two straight birdies to get into the red numbers. He also birdied the eighth, and took advantage of both par-5s to push his overall score to 4 under.

The last English golfer to win the British Open was Nick Faldo in 1992.

Tiger Woods was trying to break a drought of his own. The most recent of his 14 major titles came at the 2008 U.S. Open, but he's 0-for-20 since then. Despite taking a bogey at the fourth, where he lipped out a 2 1/2-foot putt, he approached the turn still even on the day, 2 under for the tournament and solidly in the hunt to get his name on the claret jug for the fourth time.

The weather has been unseasonably warm and dry, the fearsome wind not much more than a gentle breeze, and it was expected to stay that way through the weekend. Even so, there weren't many chances for going low, not on a course that is more brown than green, with pin conditions that some players complained were downright unfair.

Even though he opened with a 2-under 69, Phil Mickelson was concerned about some hole locations being too close to the edge of slopes. He pleaded with the Royal & Ancient to let go of its ego and "just set the course up the way the best players can win."

Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Open champion, countered that he's played in much tougher conditions, perhaps emboldened by a surprising 67 that left him just one stroke behind Johnson. But the course bit back on Friday, sending the 56-year-old tumbling out of contention. He lost his ball at No. 6, leading to a double-bogey, and staggered to the finish with a 78.

Jordan Spieth also felt Muirfield's bite. The 19-year-old, who last weekend became the PGA Tour's youngest winner since 1931, made only two bogeys through his first 32 holes and was 3 under. Then, a double-bogey at the 15th, followed by a bogey at No. 16.

Just like that, the youngster was back to even par.

Then there was Darren Clarke, the surprise Open champion in 2011 but mostly an afterthought since then. The Northern Irishman made four birdies on the front side. Unfortunately for him, all that good work was wiped out by one bad hole - a quadruple-bogey 8 at the sixth.

Johnson, who had an afternoon tee time, had not been atop the leaderboard at any major since he rallied to win the Masters six years ago. He took advantage of kinder conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 66, helped along by a 45-foot eagle putt. He made only one bogey despite trouble lurking around every pot bunker.

"Anytime you shoot under par in an Open - or a major, for that matter - you have to be putting at least somewhat decent," said Johnson, who lost to Spieth in a playoff at the John Deere Classic after making bogey on the 72nd hole. "And I putted great. I made some nice birdie putts and obviously that one for eagle. But I struck some really nice, solid par putts. That's what you've got to do to stay in it."

It was an eclectic group setting the early pace, from major champions to players making their British Open debut. What they all had in common was finding a way to get through a firm, fast and frightening setup that figures to get even harder if the R&A doesn't put some water on the course.

"I haven't seen anything like this," said Brandt Snedeker, among those who opened with a 68. "This is completely new to me - foreign to see a 2-iron going 300 yards. You have got to be wary of how you're shaping your golf ball, and what shot selections you're using on the greens."

Snedeker could find things even tougher on Friday, when he was set to tee off in the afternoon. Rafael Cabrera-Bello (67), Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) and Dustin Johnson (68) also had later start times.

As for Rory McIlroy, it doesn't seem to matter when he plays. He struggled to a 79 in the opening round, his highest score at the Open since that 80 in the vicious wind of St. Andrews in 2010. The former world No. 1 has been in a baffling slump since his runaway victory at last year's PGA Championship, and it looked as though he'll be spending another weekend at home.

At least he had some company.

Luke Donald, another former No. 1 player in the world, shot 80. Faldo celebrated his 56th birthday with a 79 on the links where he won two of his three claret jugs.

Ninety-eight players in the 156-man field had at least a double-bogey on their scorecards after Day 1. Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover might have summed it up best when he took to Twitter after opening with an 80.

"Muirfield 1, Me 0." ---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at WWW.TWITTER.COM/PNEWBERRY1963 © 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Friday, 19 July 2013 07:23
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NEW YORK (AP) -- The great ones get the stage to themselves.

Mariano Rivera was held in the bullpen out in right-center field until Neil Diamond had sung the final words of "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the eighth inning during Tuesday night's All-Star game.

And then the opening notes of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" - his Yankee Stadium theme song but unfamiliar on the road - rang out over the public-address system as the greatest reliever of all-time jogged toward the mound. The record crowd of 45,186 gathered at Citi Field on this humid summer night rose and cheered, knowing this was a moment people will remember much more than the American League's 3-0 victory.

Quiet, reserved and understated during nearly a quarter-century in a sport that took him from Panama to the pantheon of pinstriped pitchers, Rivera was being honored with that rarest of baseball tributes - a solo bow.

As he reached the brown circle in the center of the green diamond, Rivera realized he was the only person on the field.

Sinatra. Springsteen. The Mick - Jagger and Mantle. They all got to stand in the spotlight alone. And now it was Rivera's turn.

He took off his cap, waved it to all sides of the ballpark. He touched his hat to his heart.

His AL All-Star teammates stood by the third-base dugout rail and applauded, just like the fans. So did his NL opponents on the first-base side. With no other players in fair territory, he finally started tossing his warmup pitches to catcher Salvador Perez.

Like Ted Williams at Boston's Fenway Park in 1999 and Cal Ripken Jr. at Seattle's Safeco Field two years later, one man transcended all the rest of the gathered talent.

"You're supposed to know your team is behind you," Rivera said. "I didn't know what to do. Just keep throwing the ball, I guess, because it was so weird."

And then, after a 90-second standing ovation, eight AL position players came on the field. Normalcy resumed. Rivera threw 16 pitches - all cutters - and retired Jean Segura, Allen Craig and Carlos Gomez, sending the side down in order the way he has so many times before.

"He still can pitch for three or four more years. He's the best," Gomez explained. "After I got to the dugout, I say I'm going to be history because I'm the last guy Mariano got out in the All-Star game."

Rivera then walked to the dugout to another standing ovation and was given a hug by Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

"It's kind of surreal for me," Verlander said. "I just wanted to give him the respect and the respect that he deserved, I just happened to be standing out there and I was the first one he came to. That's something that I will never forget."

AL manager Jim Leyland decided to pitch Rivera in the eighth instead of the ninth, worried that if the NL somehow rallied Rivera might not get into the game.

"I just couldn't take any chance," Leyland said. "You know, I'm probably not the most popular manager in baseball. I wanted to make sure I got out of here alive."

Rivera has never allowed an earned run in nine All-Star innings. The only older pitcher to appear in an All-Star game was 47-year-old Satchel Paige 60 years ago, according to STATS. At 43, Rivera was the oldest All-Star since Carlton Fisk in 1991.

Of course, he was selected the All-Star MVP. Never having had a chance for a talk, Mets star David Wright pulled Rivera aside at baseball's red-carpet event before the game.

"Before it was too late, I had enough courage to kind of go grab him and just tell him how much I appreciate his body of work, the way he carries himself, how great of an ambassador he is to this game," Wright said. "Forget about the numbers. Forget about being the greatest closer of all-time. The way he carries himself and the way he goes about his business is special."

After the game, still smiling, sometimes laughing, Rivera spoke in the interview room as his family stood behind him.

"It was tough. It was special," an emotional Rivera said. "Seeing the fans sharing and both teams standing out of the dugout, managers, coaches, players - priceless."

Jose Bautista's fourth-inning sacrifice fly off loser Patrick Corbin stopped a 17-inning scoreless streak for the AL that dated to Adrian Gonzalez's homer off Cliff Lee two years ago in Arizona. J.J. Hardy added an RBI groundout in the fifth, and Jason Kipnis doubled home a run in the eighth off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel.

Rivera and nine other pitchers combined on a three-hitter, with Chris Sale getting the win. Joe Nathan worked the ninth, handing the final ball to Rivera as the AL ended a three-game losing streak and regained home-field advantage in the World Series.

So even when the Mets hosted the All-Star game for the first time in 49 years, the spotlight fell on a rival Yankee.

Hours after the game, a video board at Citi Field reminded people the All-Stars will gather next year at Minnesota's Target Field.

But the great Rivera won't be among them.

"It's been a privilege," Rivera said to the crowd, speaking on the field after the game. "You guys almost made me cry."

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 07:11
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NEW YORK (AP) -- One by one they came out of the bullpen, hard throwers on a mission to shut down many of baseball's top hitters.

Max Scherzer and Chris Sale. Felix Hernandez and Matt Moore.

Heat and more heat.

Even with its own studs such as Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw, the National League couldn't match up. The AL's 3-0 victory at Citi Field on Tuesday night was an arms showcase.

"We all came tonight and we brought it," Scherzer said. "You got guys who just can absolutely light up a radar gun, but not only that, throw multiple offspeed pitches for strikes."

It was just the third shutout for the AL, following 1946 at Boston's Fenway Park and 1990 at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Scherzer, throwing at up to 99 mph, pitched a 1-2-3 first. Sale followed with a pair of perfect innings, reaching 96 mph.

Six up. Six down.

Against baseball's best.

"I don't think I've been a part of a baseball experience like that in my entire life," Sale said.

The rest weren't shabby either, with Greg Holland topping out at 97 and Grant Balfour at 95. Matt Moore, Steve Delabar and Joe Nathan all reached 94, Brett Cecil 93 and Felix Hernandez 92, throwing sinkers on nine of 13 pitches.

Mariano Rivera threw 16 pitches, all cutters ranging from 89-91, in a perfect eighth remembered for his introduction, when the other All-Stars left the field to him alone during a 1 1-2 minute ovation.

The NL managed three hits and one walk for four baserunners in all. And these weren't just any batters, but All-Star sluggers with shining colored spikes and enough honors to fill two dozen trophy dens.

"It's not fun," said David Wright of the host New York Mets. "You think of the broad spectrum of being an All-Star and it gets you excited. And then when you get down to the nitty-gritty and you look in there and you've got to face those pitchers, it's like, `OK, maybe this isn't as fun as I thought it was going to be.' Every guy comes in throwing high 90s with good secondary pitches. And this is difficult."

Carlos Beltran's one-out single to left-center in the fourth against King Felix gave the NL its first baserunner, and pinch runner Andrew McCutchen was stranded on third base when Wright grounded out.

Hernandez isn't used to warming up in the middle of a game.

"It was pretty weird. I don't feel that comfortable that way," he said.

Michael Cuddyer reached on a leadoff walk against Balfour in the sixth, Wright singled softly to center against Greg Holland in the seventh and Paul Goldschmidt doubled to deep right off Nathan in the ninth.

"That's a good lineup we threw out there, a lot of great hitters," NL manager Bruce Bochy said. "They shut us down."

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 07:06
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The New York Yankees are America's most valuable sports franchise but European soccer clubs are the world champs, including a team that will be playing here in St Louis next month. 

ABC News reports Spain's soccer powerhouse Real Madrid can boast of one more trophy. According to Forbes its now the world's most valuable sports franchise - worth $3.3 billion.

Manchester United is in 2nd place Barcelona third .The New York Yankees come in 4th.  NFL teams have the most Facebook and Twitter followers in the the US. Forbes says the 30 top teams have 60 million fans. But Barcelona's soccer club has more than that by itself.

Spain's soccer powerhouse Real Madrid will be playing in an exhibition game against Inter Milan August tenth at the Edward Jones Dome. 

 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 08:31
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GULLANE, Scotland (AP) -- Tiger Woods said his ailing left elbow is "good to go" for the British Open, and he insisted Tuesday there's no loss of confidence despite the longest stretch of his career without a major title.

Woods held his regular session with the media ahead of the British Open at Muirfield, where he resumes his quest for a 15th major title. Once considered a lock to break Jack Nicklaus' record, he hasn't won one of golf's biggest events since the 2008 U.S. Open.

"I feel very good about my game," Woods said. "I feel very, very good going into major championships. I've had a pretty good year this year so far - won four times. Even though I haven't won a major championship in five years, I've been there in a bunch of them where I've had chances. I just need to keep putting myself there and eventually I'll get some."

The biggest question mark for Woods at this major is his health.

He strained his elbow at last month's U.S. Open, playing in visible pain while struggling to a 32nd-place finish. He hasn't played since Merion, even skipping his own tournament to give the injury time to heal.

"The elbow feels good," Woods said. "It's one of the good things of taking the time off to let it heal and get the treatment and therapy on it. The main reason was that coming over here, the ground is going to be hard, obviously. And I'm going to need that elbow to be good. And just in case the rough was, well, reports were it was going to be high, and it was going to be lush. I needed to have this thing set and healed. And everything is good to go."

Woods has dealt with several injuries, a swing change and major distractions in his personal life since winning at Torrey Pines five years ago.

Not like he hasn't been in contention. Woods has eight top-10 finishes in the majors since his last victory, but he hasn't been able to break his drought. Now he's returning to a course where he shot his worst round as a professional, an 81 in miserable conditions during the third round of the 2002 British Open.

"It's just a shot here and there," he said. "It's making a key up-and-down here or getting a good bounce there, capitalizing on an opportunity here and there."

Woods is again the world's top-ranked player, and no one comes close to his 13 PGA Tour victories over the last five years. But he knows better than anyone that major titles are what will determine his legacy. These are the tournaments he gears his entire season around, the ones he wants more than any others.

In his eyes, it's just a matter of time before he wins another one.

"It's not much," Woods said. "It could happen on the first day, it could happen on the last day. But it's turning that tide and getting the momentum at the right time or capitalizing on our opportunity. That's what you have to do to win major championships."

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at WWW.TWITTER.COM/PNEWBERRY1963

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013 06:00
Published in Sports
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