Travis steals home as Blue Jays beat Mariners for fourth consecutive win

Kendrys Morales hit a solo shot in his first game back after missing three games with a strained left hamstring. But we got it done. Mike Bolsinger (0-1) will face the Atlanta Braves on Monday in place of injured Franciscio Liriano. “With that, and the fact that it was our guy Luke over there, it definitely surprised me. “Luis said ‘yeah, right now.’ So I did it. We’re all showing up here every day to work hard and get wins and we’ve been doing that lately.”Home runs were the Blue Jays’ bread and butter on their way to the American League Championship Series the past two years but with big guns Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list, Toronto found other ways to generate offence.“I’ve definitely [stolen home] before, but it’s not a play you see a ton,” said Travis. He gave up three hits and an earned run before giving way to lefty Dillon Overton, who pitched 1 1/3 innings.Overton was followed by Tony Zych, Nick Vincent and James Pazos out of the bullpen.Both teams wore alternate pink-trimmed uniforms and used matching bats and equipment in honour of Mother’s Day.Ezequiel Carrera’s RBI single in the third gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead, driving in Kevin Pillar from second. Blue Jays third base coach Luis Rivera was telling him to go for a double steal, with Travis targeting home plate and catcher Luke Maile sprinting to second, to try and add to Toronto’s lead against the Seattle Mariners.“I looked at first and it was Luke. “I’m just taking it one day at a time and hopefully I’ll continue to contribute. That was awesome.”Bautista was confident that Toronto had stolen home in some point in his nine and a half seasons with the team, but couldn’t put his finger on it. I saw the arm go and I took off.”

Travis didn’t move off third until Mariners catcher Carlos Ruiz threw to second to try to catch Maile. He wasn’t in the Blue Jays (16-21) lineup until after batting practice because manager John Gibbons and the team’s medical staff wanted to test out his legs before putting him back into action.“I’m just getting the good pitches and I’m not missing them,” said Bautista, who has three homers in his past four games. Jason Grilli, Aaron Loup, Dominic Leone, Joe Smith, Leonel Campos and Roberto Osuna gave up no runs in relief. Second baseman Taylor Motter fired the ball back home but Travis slid under Ruiz’s tag to score the final run in the Blue Jays’ 7-2 victory over Seattle on Saturday for Toronto’s fourth consecutive win.The rare play added some insurance for the Blue Jays an inning after Jose Bautista’s three-run homer broke the game open. Leone earned the win as the pitcher of record when Bautista homered.Ryan Weber had an abbreviated start in his season debut for Seattle (17-20), throwing only 55 pitches before leaving the game in the middle of an at-bat in the fourth inning with tightness in his right shoulder. And no offence to Luke, he can run pretty good for a catcher, but I turned around and said ‘right now?’ ” said Travis with a laugh. It was Carrera’s 17th straight game with a hit as a starter.Ben Gamel hit a double to score Jarrod Dyson and tie the game 1-1 in the fifth before Stroman, who had “Love you Momma!” written on his pink cleats, struck out Nelson Cruz to end the inning.Dyson gave Seattle the lead in the top of the sixth, singling in Danny Valencia from second.Morales answered for the Blue Jays, smashing a pitch over the right-field wall and bringing the 42,346 in attendance to their feet.Bautista hit his three-run homer into the second deck for a 5-2 Toronto lead.Pillar added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, plating Ryan Goins and setting up the double steal.Notes: Aaron Sanchez (0-1) will be activated off Toronto’s disabled list to start Sunday’s series finale. His suspicions were correct: Russell Martin did it on June 2, 2015, also in a double steal, in Washington.“If my memory was that good, I’d be frightened,” said Bautista.Marcus Stroman (3-2) gave up two earned runs but struck out nine over six innings. Devon Travis couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Arsenal makes late-season push for top-four spot in Premier League

The question is: Have they left it too late?Arsenal produced one of its best performances of the season to beat Stoke 4-1 on Saturday and move to within one point of the top four with two games remaining.If fourth-placed Liverpool fails to beat West Ham away on Sunday, Arsenal knows that victories over Sunderland on Tuesday and Everton on the final day will earn the team a place in the Champions League for the 20th straight season.It’s some turnaround from a month ago, when Arsenal lost at Crystal Palace 3-0 and Wenger’s future was looking bleak amid strong criticism from a section of fans.On Saturday, as he was making his way along the touchline toward the dressing room after the final whistle, Wenger gave a wave to Arsenal’s visiting supporters and they roared their approval.“At the moment, we have consistency,” Wenger said. Mahrez took it himself but slipped as he shot, kicking the ball against his standing foot and into the net. The wins and the goals are piling up. Arsene Wenger, a target of abuse for much of the season, was even greeted with rapturous applause as he walked toward the fans.Things are looking up for Arsenal as the team makes its traditional end-of-season charge for Champions League qualification from the English Premier League. The swagger has returned to their play. The referee disallowed the goal and awarded City a free kick, holding up two fingers to show that Mahrez took two consecutive touches.“The referee was so brave in making the decision,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. Even a draw probably won’t be enough for Hull because of its inferior goal difference.Swansea’s players paid for the tickets of the 3,000 away fans for the match, and the travelling contingent saw their team notch a third win in four games.BOURNEMOUTH 2, BURNLEY 1Josh King enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scoring his 16th goal of the season to win the game for Bournemouth in the 85th minute.Twelve of King’s goals have come since the middle of January and the Norway forward is the biggest reason why Bournemouth can celebrate securing the highest finish in its 118-year history.The south coast team is in 10th place, and is guaranteed to finish higher than last year’s 16th place.MIDDLESBROUGH 1, SOUTHAMPTON 2Southampton strengthened its chances of securing a top-half finish with this win, secured by goals by Jay Rodriguez and Nathan Redmond either side of halftime.Southampton climbed into ninth place with two games left of a season in which the south coast team also reached the final of the League Cup, losing to Manchester United.Shane Long blazed a penalty over the bar for Southampton, before Patrick Bamford reduced already-relegated Middlesbrough’s deficit with his first Premier League goal. Manchester United is on 65 points in sixth place, with a game in hand.Here’s a look at the other games on Saturday:STOKE 1, ARSENAL 4Olivier Giroud tapped in two close-range finishes, while Alexis Sanchez netted his 50th Premier League goal for Arsenal in the team’s fifth win in its last six games.Mesut Ozil also scored, finishing off a slick team move that showed the confidence Arsenal is starting to play with.Stoke’s reply came through substitute Peter Crouch in the 67th, which made it 2-1. Replays showed the striker punched the ball into the net, but the offence was missed by match officials.MANCHESTER CITY 2, LEICESTER 1City got two big breaks on its way to victory over the deposed champions.The team’s first goal, scored by David Silva, could have been ruled out as Raheem Sterling was standing in an offside position and directly in Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s line of vision when Silva took aim.Gabriel Jesus made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, Shinji Okazaki reduced the deficit with an acrobatic volley, before City’s second piece of fortune.Leicester was awarded a penalty in the 76th minute when Riyad Mahrez was fouled. “I’ve seen that happen before (but) a long time ago.”SUNDELAND 0, SWANSEA 2Swansea could be celebrating another season in the league on Sunday.This win, achieved courtesy of first-half goals by Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton, lifted Swansea four points above the relegation zone.Third-to-last Hull will join Sunderland and Middlesbrough in being relegated if it loses at Crystal Palace on Sunday. “Let’s finish well.”The pressure on Liverpool was ramped up even further by Manchester City beating Leicester 2-1 to move into third place, above the Reds.City has 72 points, Liverpool 70, and Arsenal 69.

Ricketts the hero as TFC tops Minnesota, extends record winning streak

Vanney delayed making his final substitution because he wanted to see the outcome of the penalty. But the tie was short-lived after a Bradley free kick deflected in off Ramirez after the striker was wrestling with Chris Mavinga at the far post.Edwards was penalized for handball off a corner, prompting the Molino penalty in the 62nd minute.Toronto failed to convert ties into wins in four of its first five outings this season but has been perfect since a 2-1 loss in Columbus on April 15.The last team to win six straight in one season was New England in 2015. Veteran centre back Drew Moor, who has been out since mid-April with an irregular heartbeat, is close to a full return, however, so a replacement is likely available if needed.Minnesota (3-6-2) likely deserved a better fate – at least a point. After a dreadful start (0-3-1) that saw the team leak 18 goals, Minnesota arrived on the back of a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City and had lost just once in its last four games (2-1-1).The Loons are 0-4-2 on the road, however.“The last few weeks they are starting to believe in what we are trying to do,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said. The Italian exited in the 44th minute as precautionary measure after feeling tightness in his quad. They kept matching our goals,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said.But Vanney took pride in the resilience of his league-leading team on the day and during a recent gruelling part of the schedule. Had it missed, he planned to throw on defender Justin Morrow. … That changed when a Benoit Cheyrou ball found Raheem Edwards streaking into the penalty box. “I think the most important thing, from our point of view, is that we are getting better.”Giovinco, returning from a heel injury, scored from the penalty spot in the 20th minute for his sixth of the season. in a way where there was only going to be one team walking away with three points,” said captain Michael BradleyThe injuries – and a second-half pushback from Minnesota – made for a wide-open final 45 minutes that produced four goals before 27,249 fans at BMO Field.“A little too entertaining for my liking. He would need them as the game unfolded.“I think we have an incredibly deep team with players capable of starting on a lot of teams around this league that don’t always get to start for us every weekend,” Vanney said.Added Bono: “The power we can bring off the bench is outstanding.”Toronto had most of the early possession but it did not translate into scoring chances. Ghanaian forward Abu Danladi bundled him down and Giovinco’s penalty found the centre of the goal in the 21st minute.Giovinco’s go-to penalty is to the goalkeeper’s right but he switched it up after seeing Nick Rimando save his spot kick in the season opener.Bono made a world-class save in first-half stoppage time, clawing a Miguel Ibarra shot from the edge of the penalty box over the bar.Minnesota pulled even on a fierce right-footed shot by Molino that left Bono rooted to the spot. “Even on a day when things weren’t perfect, we found a way to really push and really go for it … But once the game was tied, he elected for offence by introducing Victor Vazquez.Vanney had five of his starters from the 2016 MLS Cup final on the bench as well as Vazquez, who leads the league in assists. Toronto’s last five wins – Houston, Orlando, Seattle, Columbus and Minnesota – have come since April 28.“Guys are exhausted,” said Vanney. “They’ve put a lot into this stretch and exceeded any of our expectations over this (run) in terms of taking points in every game.”After the game, Bradley called on the league to improve its scheduling.The good news is the team doesn’t play again until Friday, but that kicks off another five-game, 15-day stretch.Hagglund’s knee injury appears the most serious on the day, requiring an MRI. The number six written large on the white board in Toronto FC’s dressing room said it all.Thanks to a 77th-minute Tosaint Ricketts header, Toronto extended its franchise-record win streak to six games Saturday with an eventful 3-2 win over expansion Minnesota United.Toronto (7-1-4) had to do it the hard way, losing Sebastian Giovinco and Nick Hagglund to injury during the game with Jason Hernandez subbed at halftime due to illness. He was replaced by Jozy Altidore.Altidore made the winning goal, fighting off Minnesota defenders before delivering a perfect cross for Ricketts, who was also the hero with two late goals off the bench in a 2-1 midweek win in Columbus.Kevin Molino scored for Minnesota in the 52nd minute only to see Toronto pull back into the lead on a Christian Ramirez own goal two minutes later.Molino tied it up in the 62nd minute, tapping in a rebound after Alex Bono saved his penalty.Hagglund had hobbled off prior to the penalty.

Senators dish out capital-city punishment in Game 1 OT win against Penguins

In fact, this loss marked the fourth loss in their past six games, even though they took the seven-game series from the Capitals.Finally, however, the Penguins caught a break. “One capital city down, one to go.”The Pittsburgh Penguins were nothing if not confident, @Penguins sending that cocky little tweet out earlier in the day.Before they send the Canadian capital packing along with the American capital, however, the Penguins are going to have to figure out how to win against a team that is, in so many ways, their polar opposite. “That’s all I’m trying to do.”The Senators approached overtime with as much confidence as the Penguins had shown earlier in the day.“After the third [period],” said Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur, “no one was edgy. Only once have they lost in extra time.“I was kind of lucky the puck found me,” Ryan said. He smothered point shots, deflected deflections and froze scrambles.Crosby, widely held to be the game’s best player, was hardly noticeable, his every attempt lost in a tangle of Ottawa sticks and bodies.“We know they have a good power play,” Pageau said. Pageau was ready for the ploy and snapped the puck in past Fleury for his eighth goal of the postseason.“If we mismanage the puck,” Pittsburgh centre Nick Bonino said, “they’re going to make you pay.”As is Ottawa’s custom, once they gain even a one-goal lead, they try to wrap the game in duct tape – sealing off the neutral zone, chipping pucks out and away, dumping in and barely bothering to chase. The Senators took a hooking penalty 3:43 into the match, but held on. 1 team in the league. He took a pass from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, carried the puck down the right side and cut hard to the net, faked a shot, shifted to the backhand and threw the puck past startled Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.Game 2 in this Eastern Conference final will be held here Monday evening before shifting to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.This opening game began with a magnanimous gesture, the sellout crowd belting out the words to O Canada in accompaniment of anthem singer Jeff Jimerson.Perhaps it was a salute to the last Canadian team standing in the playoffs. He has excelled, however, in the postseason, now with five key goals and six assists.“You just want to redeem yourself,” a relieved Ryan said. “This is the team that beat the No. “They’re pretty darn good hockey players.” Dull, but often effective, hockey.“We didn’t execute,” said Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan.The Penguins could not get their speed game going. Saturday night in at PPG Paints Arena, the plucky Ottawa Senators took a 2-1 victory on Bobby Ryan’s winning goal at 4:59 of the first extra period.Remarkably, it marked the sixth time in nine playoff victories that Ottawa has won in overtime. “I got fortunate that it found the back of the net.”The winger had struggled mightily all season and had become a favourite whipping boy of Senators fans for his expensive contract and low production. There’s a lot of things we have to be aware of.”Boucher said that his team’s concentration would be on “the first ten minutes of this game. Chris Kunitz took a shot from the left boards and Evgeni Malkin, pirouetting on his skates, managed to get his stick on the shot and change its direction just enough to elude Anderson.Then it was Ryan early in overtime, but the hockey team from the Canadian capital was still reluctant to turn the Penguins’ earlier tweet on its head: Two big market American cities (Boston, New York) down, one to go.“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” cautioned Ottawa defenceman Marc Methot. More likely, it was payback for the stirring rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner delivered by Edmonton Oilers fans earlier in the playoffs when the anthem singer’s microphone failed.The Penguins had every reason to be confident. Everything else above that, beyond that, we’ve never paid attention to, and we’re not going to start doing that right now.”Those first 10 minutes should have been a disaster for such a plan. They had just beaten the best team in the NHL this winter, the Washington Capitals, and were now, surprisingly, up against the upstart Ottawa Senators, who had reached the conference final by defeating the New York Rangers.The Penguins were coming in hot. They then took a bench minor penalty for too many men on the ice, giving the Penguins’ vaunted power play a two-man advantage for 45 seconds.But for a post back of Senators netminder Craig Anderson, Pittsburgh might have taken the lead on a Crosby pass out to Patric Hornqvist. Obviously, our best penalty killer was [Anderson].”“Andy stood on his head the whole game,” said Ottawa centre Kyle Turris.As for the Senators, they also rarely threatened during the stalled second period.Ottawa very nearly went ahead by two early in the third period, when Ryan carried the puck into the Pittsburgh end and dropped a pass back to Derick Brassard, who ripped a hard wrist shot off Fleury’s blocker-side post.The Penguins seem curiously disengaged. Captain Sidney Crosby, despite missing Game 4 with a concussion, had a personal nine-game playoff point streak going – four goals, 10 assists – and young Bryan Rust was fresh from becoming only the fourth player in league history to have his first three game-winning goals clinch series.“This is the Stanley Cup champions,” said Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher. And when they did threaten – especially during one chaotic stretch in the Ottawa end – Anderson was always perfectly positioned, impossible to beat. The guys are used to it.”Ryan’s goal was a thing of beauty in a game with rare sparkles. Hornqvist’s shot rang off the post.“I knew right off the bat when we took a couple of penalties we had to be on our game,” Anderson said.The Senators passed their all-important 10-minute mark intact and the Penguins rarely threatening.Then, at the 14:32 mark, Pageau, the hometown hero of the series win over the Rangers, was able to steal a puck and Ryan took it in behind the Pittsburgh net.In an identical set play to what the duo had worked in an earlier 4-1 Ottawa loss to the Rangers, Ryan sent a back pass to Pageau, reversing what seemed the natural flow of the play.

Dzemaili debut spoiled as Montreal Impact falls 3-2 to Columbus Crew

“There are too many games where we’re waiting to be punched before we wake up.“It isn’t good enough. “What made the difference was the mentality in the second half.“We got back in the game and scored two goals right away. Meram had another chance moments later but his header was gathered in by the goalkeeper.The Impact stormed back in the second half. Newly arrived designated player Blerim Dzemaili got a first-hand look at how the Montreal Impact have been struggling this season.He saw them play their usual slow, tentative first half and fall behind 2-0, then roar back to tie the game only to give up a late goal and lose 3-2 to the visiting Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Oduro rattled a shot off a post and, two minutes later, Dzemaili heard the Impact fans’ goal bell for the first time. We need to wake up now.”The Crew were coming off a loss at home to Toronto FC on Wednesday and were playing their third match in eight days.The Impact went into the game on a high from picking up a road win last week in Washington and promptly turned in perhaps their worst first half of the season.Evan Bush had to make two sharp saves early, only to see his defence allow Meram to run unimpeded up the middle. “Especially when you’re up 2-0 and you let them get back in and they have the crowd with them, to get that late one was great.”It was substitute Niko Hansen who set up Meram for the game-winner and his team-leading seventh goal of the season.Ignacio Piatti and substitute Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored for Montreal (2-4-4), which lost a second home game in a row after a 2-1 setback two weeks ago against Vancouver. Kyle Fisher blocked his pass but it went right back to the burly forward for a low shot inside the left post in the 14th minute.In the 28th, Meram blocked Hernan Bernardello’s sliding clearance attempt and followed in to tip the ball past Bush and tap it in. Piatti stole the ball from Jonathan Mensah, slipped it to the Swiss international, who fed Oduro to feed to an open Piatti for his fourth of the campaign.Dzemaili, who has taken over dead ball kicking, curled a free kick to the far post in the 77th where Jackson-Hamel was waiting to nod the ball in for his fourth goal.Coach Mauro Biello was not amused by the late goal.“It was two totally different teams,”he said. Enough. Montreal is 1-2-1 at Saputo Stadium this season and has another home game next week against Portland.Slow starts and conceding late goals have been repeated themes for the Impact.“We have to stop taking punches,” said forward Dominic Oduro. “We had a great reaction – it’s too bad we lost,” the former Bologna midfielder said after playing 90 minutes and helping to set up both Montreal goals in his first Major League Soccer game. The Impact donated one dollar for each of the 17,508 spectators to the Red Cross for flood relief efforts. We need that for 90 minutes. We’re better than that. “In the first half we were tentative.“In the second, we took the initiative and we dominated. It’s unacceptable.”Oduro had the logo of the City of Montreal shaved into his head for victims of recent flooding in the area. In the end, it’s the mentality that has to change. We can’t give up three goals at home. But we have to improve from that last minute. A point is better than losing.”Iraqi international Justin Meram was the hero for Columbus (6-5-1) when he completed a first career hat trick with a goal in added time after scoring twice in the first half.The Impact dominated after the intermission but, after scoring twice, kept pressing for the winner only to be burned on a Columbus counterattack.“It’s an amazing feeling getting your first,” said Meram. We had all the chances to score a third one too.