April 26, 2015

Blues on the brink of elimination after 4-1 Game 5 loss to Minnesota

Game Five of the Stanley Cup Western Conference Quarterfinals Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis BluesDevan Dubnyk came up with a 36-save performance and four different players scored as Minnesota moved a step closer to advancing after recording a 4-1 decision over St. Louis in Game 5 of this Western Conference quarterfinal.

Marco Scandella, Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle supplied offense for the Wild, who shook off a 6-1 home shellacking on Wednesday night and can close out their rivals back home in Game 6 on Sunday afternoon.

“We said we learned our lesson from Game 4. Now is our chance to prove it,” said Wild head coach Mike Yeo. “Still, we have not won anything yet. I think we’re very aware that home ice has not been a huge advantage in this series.”

Vladimir Tarasenko posted the lone score for the Blues, who are in danger of being eliminated in the first round for the third consecutive season. Jake Allen stopped just 15 shots in the setback.

Dubnyk was under siege in a busy third period for the Blues, as the hosts outshot the visitors by a 12-3 margin deep into the frame, but the Vezina Trophy finalist held the fort and kept his club up by two scores. [Read more…]

Carlos Martinez tosses seven scoreless as Cardinals shut out Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers vs St. Louis CardinalsJason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta both hit solo home runs to back a solid start from Carlos Martinez as the St. Louis Cardinals downed the punchless Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 in the opener of a three- game series.

Martinez (2-0) lasted a career-high seven innings, struck out eight and scattered four hits and two walks to pick up the win.

“I tried to keep the baseball down because the ball here flies a lot,” Martinez said through a translator. “I feel really happy, really good.”

Yadier Molina plated a run with a groundout in the second inning, and Heyward and Peralta took Matt Garza deep in the third and sixth frames, respectively.

Garza (1-3) posted a quality start but got little help from his teammates. He was charged with three runs on seven hits over six innings.

“I threw the ball well, but not well enough,” Garza said. [Read more…]

Royals and White Sox game suspended at 2-2 after 8; will be completed Saturday

Royals

Royals

Though cooler heads prevailed in this matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox, Mother Nature wasn’t quite as cooperative.

Heavy rain forced Friday’s second installment of this tension-filled four-game series to be suspended after eight innings with the teams tied at 2-2.

The game will be resumed Saturday at 2:10 p.m. ET, with the regularly scheduled contest to begin following its conclusion.

Kansas City, which won Thursday’s brawl-marred opener in 13 innings, owned a 2-1 lead that its usually impenetrable bullpen couldn’t hold in the bottom of the seventh.

Chicago’s Adam Eaton golfed a pitch from Chris Young into the gap in left center and hustled his way to a leadoff triple before scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Melky Cabrera.

The run ended a stretch of 28 2/3 scoreless innings thrown by Royals relievers.

The Royals pushed home the game’s initial run when Paulo Orlando doubled off Chicago starter Jose Quintana in the third inning and crossed the plate on Alcides Escobar’s single. The White Sox then capitalized on a Kansas City error in the fourth to pull even. [Read more…]

Tarasenko scores twice as Blues rout Wild to even the series

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko  Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals, one of which will be on every highlight reel, Jake Allen made 17 saves and the St. Louis Blues routed the Minnesota Wild 6-1 in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Tarasenko put a slick move on Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk on a breakaway late in the second period. He used his speed to split the defense, cut to the left and reached back with one hand on his stick to tuck the puck in.

Kevin Shattenkirk collected three assists for the Blues, who evened this best- of-seven set at two games apiece.

“When we check, we score. It looks like we’ve joined the tournament now, and we’re dialed in,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. [Read more…]

Wong powers Cardinals to sixth win in last seven games

Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong hit his first home run of the season and doubled in the winning run in the eighth inning of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 7-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Jon Jay drew a one-out walk and Yadier Molina singled to put runners on the corners for Wong, who slapped a 2-1 Blake Treinen (0-2) offering down the left field line.

After Treinen fanned pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds and walked Matt Carpenter intentionally to load the bases, Jason Heyward struck out looking to end the inning. But the damage was done.

Seth Maness relieved Kevin Siegrist (1-0) in the eighth and got through the inning in just eight pitches. Matt Adams padded the lead with a solo blast to right in the top of the ninth and Trevor Rosenthal pitched a clean ninth to secure his fifth save.

Both starting pitchers got roughed up in this one, as St. Louis’ John Lackey and his counterpart Doug Fister each gave up five runs, but one of Fister’s runs was unearned. [Read more…]