McGrath on disorder charge

first_img The 53-year-old was arrested by gardai near the Tullamore Court Hotel in Co Offaly on Saturday afternoon after complaints were made that a man was being loud and annoying others in the area, a senior officer confirmed. McGrath was taken to a local garda station where he was charged under Sections 4 and 6 of the Public Order Act. Former Ireland international Paul McGrath was arrested at the weekend over alleged public order offences, it has been revealed. He was bailed and will appear at Tullamore District Court on July 17. The ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa defender has spoken openly about his problems with alcohol over the years. He played for Ireland 83 times and scored eight goals in a 12-year career, which included playing with the Irish squad at Euro 88 and the World Cups of 1990 and 1994. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Scott begins defence with birdie

first_img In contrast, playing partner Matt Fitzpatrick got off to a nightmare start with a double-bogey six, the 19-year-old US Amateur champion from Sheffield driving into trees and then pitching over the green with his third shot. Sweden’s Jonas Blixt was setting the early pace on three under par after 12 holes, with former US Open champion Webb Simpson making birdies at the first three holes before a double-bogey at the fifth halted his charge. Italy’s Matteo Manassero, who has struggled for form since winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last year, was two under par after birdies on the second and third. Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy was in danger of dropping a shot on the first after spinning his approach back off the green, but almost holed his pitch and was left with a tap-in to save par. Three hours earlier, Jack Nicklaus had been able to claim bragging rights after joining Gary Player and Arnold Palmer in getting the tournament under way. The trio formerly known as golf’s ‘Big Three’ – they have 13 Masters titles between them – continued their role as honorary starters by each hitting a tee shot on the par-four first hole. And it was six-time champion Nicklaus, 74, who produced the longest drive by around two feet from 78-year-old fitness fanatic Player, with both players splitting the fairway on a hole ranked the second hardest on the course last year. Palmer, who will undergo back surgery after the Masters, had also found the fairway with his drive, although the 84-year-old’s effort was comfortably the shortest of the three. Scott was fortunate to see his tee shot on the opening hole narrowly miss a deep fairway bunker, but made the most of his good fortune with a brilliant approach to within three feet of the hole. The Australian duly holed out for a birdie to kickstart his campaign to join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only men to win back-to-back Masters titles. Adam Scott made an ideal start to the defence of his title as the 78th US Masters got under way in perfect conditions at Augusta National on Thursday. Four-time champion Tiger Woods, missing the event for the first time following back surgery, wrote on Twitter: “It never gets old watching the honorary starters tee off. One of the oldest and best traditions in the game.” Fitzpatrick bounced back with a birdie on the par-five second, but Scott and McIlroy both missed out after finding the same bunker at the front of the green. McIlroy made amends on the third to get to one under par, three behind Blixt who failed to convert a seven-foot eagle putt on the 13th but tapped in for his sixth birdie of the day. The 29-year-old was two shots ahead of a chasing pack which featured veteran duo Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 54-year-old Couples picking up shots on the fifth and eighth and 50-year-old Jimenez making birdies at the second and sixth. The par-five 15th usually provides a good birdie opportunity but Blixt ran up a bogey six to drop back to three under and into a share of the lead with Jimenez and another veteran in Sandy Lyle. Jimenez, the oldest winner in European Tour history, had picked up another shot on the seventh while 1988 Masters champion Lyle, 56, had birdied the second, third and fourth. McIlroy and Scott were only a shot off the lead in a seven-strong group on two under, Scott having birdied the sixth and McIlroy the fifth. Press Associationlast_img read more

Sturridge back with a bang for Reds

first_img The 25-year-old had been missing for five months – 33 matches and 3,030 minutes of football in total – with thigh and calf injuries but showed he had lost none of his clinical finishing skills with an angled strike past Adrian to complete a 2-0 victory over West Ham. His short-term stand-in Raheem Sterling had scored his fifth goal in 10 matches, which is not a bad return for an only-recently converted centre-forward, to put the Reds on the road to victory but Sturridge applied the finishing touch to put the result beyond doubt. Striker Daniel Sturridge enjoyed the perfect return from injury as he scored within 12 minutes of coming off the bench to give Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions a timely boost. However, the West Ham defence could not get near the England forward for his goal six minutes after half-time when he slotted Coutinho’s brilliant through-ball past Adrian. It had all the hallmarks of a genuine striker’s cool finish and was a reflection not only of Sterling’s continued improvement in front of goal but also the growing understanding between himself and Coutinho, another of the Reds’ bright young things. Rodgers has frequently described the Brazil international as a “magician” and his ability to produce the trickery to unlock defences as tight as West Ham’s will be something Sturridge will relish as he makes his way back into the action. He certainly took full advantage after coming off the bench in the 68th minute. Having received a rapturous reception from an Anfield crowd starved of his goal threat for far too long he rewarded them with an angled strike after exchanging passes with Coutinho. It was almost like he had not been away but it was evident there was some rustiness when he snatched at the rebound from fellow substitute Jordan Ibe’s shot. Where Liverpool would have been now had Sturridge been fit for the majority of the season is a hypothetical debate but this result meant they moved ahead of their opponents, who have not won at Anfield since 1963. Where they are now is eyeing a Champions League spot, buoyed by the return of their first-choice goalscorer, with fourth-placed Southampton just points away, albeit with a match in hand. Press Association Sturridge’s 22-minute run-out, having replaced Lazar Markovic, could not have gone better and it ensured another England striker did not grab the headlines on his return to Anfield. Exactly four years to the day Liverpool signed Andy Carroll in a still staggering club-record £35million deal but having been unceremoniously dumped by Brendan Rodgers the big front man arrived with a point to prove. The only points he made in the first half, however, seemed to come from his elbow as he caught Emre Can in the mouth and Markovic in the face either end of the half. His first indiscretion, which left the Germany Under-21 international with a bloodied mouth, appeared to carry more intent than the second, accidental knock, but referee Andre Marriner saw nothing he felt warranted a foul. Aside from one header, easily saved by Simon Mignolet, at a corner that was the sum effort of his afternoon. After the break his clumsiness continued when he was booked for catching Emre Can with a late, sliding tackle. He appeared to injure himself and was replaced by Carlton Cole soon after. Liverpool showed many familiar traits; quick passing, neat build-up until the final third and a lack of threat inside the penalty area. Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana – back in the starting line-up for the rested Steven Gerrard – and Markovic (twice) had their best opportunities while Sterling wanted a penalty just before the break after Joey O’Brien appeared to haul him to the floor. last_img read more

Andy Carroll injured again despite West Ham changing training grounds

first_img “We have a situation with Andy Carroll in that he is feeling his groin,” the Hammers boss said. “We’re going to see but it looks like he’ll be off for the Swansea game, which is a big blow, but that’s it regarding injuries. “I think it will be one game only, that’s what the medical team has told me. It’s nothing major.” Carroll has endured a torrid time with injuries since moving to Upton Park and if he does miss the trip to the Liberty Stadium it leaves Bilic short of options in attack. He does have fit-again Enner Valencia available, while Nikica Jelavic could make his first start since joining from Hull in the summer. Bilic has backed the pair to step up and again refused to blame a run of six games without a win on the mounting injury list. “We have the choice of Valencia or Jelavic up front,” he added. “They are quality players, they are good players and they are different players. Maybe the two of them will play together. Press Association West Ham’s decision to move to their Rush Green training site may have been taken to prevent injures but it has not stopped Andy Carroll picking up a groin problem this week. Slaven Bilic and the club decided to move first-team training to their academy site, which is likely to undergo extensive renovations throughout 2016, after the surface at their Chadwell Heath base was identified as a major factor in a number of injuries to the squad. With Dimitri Payet, Winston Reid, Victor Moses, Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini already missing, the move was made to prevent further issues – although Bilic revealed on Friday morning that Carroll has since suffered another slight injury set-back. “We still have a couple of good strikers on our roster, even without Sakho and Carroll. “I am really pleased with the way we have coped without our injured players. “The bonding, the quality and the character we have showed are positive, of course, so I’m really confident for Sunday’s game. “If we keep that kind of team spirit when these players start to come back, it’s all very positive, but we have to go through this period of two or three games without them.” last_img read more

Two visions for USG

first_imgUSG Elections: Matt and Alex by Daily Trojan USG Elections: Kurth and Park by Daily Trojan MATT ARKFELD & ALEX CASCANTEMatthew Arkfeld and Alex Cascante are approaching the 2013 Undergraduate Student Government election with reform in mind, focusing their platform on internal USG operations.Arkfeld, a junior majoring in East Asian area studies, currently serves as senate speaker pro tempore. Cascante, a junior majoring in business administration, serves as a Greek senator.“Our main objective is to reconsider the traditional structure of USG and make changes that better serve the student body,” Arkfeld said.Ani Kolangian | Daily TrojanSince beginning his career at USC, two years ago as a spring admit, Arkfeld has joined several organizations, such as Phi Delta Theta and Spirit Leaders.“Throughout every semester at USC I’ve taken a leap of faith,” Arkfeld said. “I joined a new organization and met a new group of people. I’ve really been able to dive into the Greek community but not let it define me.”Cascante is in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, as well as the Accounting Society, and works with Hillel and other Jewish organizations on campus.Though this is their first year in USG, Arkfeld has written five resolutions –— the most resolutions for a senator this term — and both he and Cascante have worked on long-term advocacy projects.With their slogan “Think Different,” the two are most passionate about reforming USG’s budget. They want to use the funds that normally support USG internally and redistribute them to fund student organizations.“Matt and I are running because we see a problem and we want to fix it,” Cascante said. “It’s our responsibility, as student government, to fix the USG budget so we can support more student organizations and promote positive change on campus.”Both have vowed to cut the presidential and vice presidential salaries. They also want USG to reach out to students more effectively.“Nobody knows what student government does, but what [students] should know is that [students] give $57 a semester to [USG],” Cascante said. “It’s really informing them about what USG can actually do and what we can do for them.”Though Arkfeld and Cascante want to reform the advocacy side, they do not want to change Program Board, an organization under the preview of USG that plans events. In addition, Arkfeld said reviewing past candidates’ platforms demonstrates the need for change.“We saw one re-occuring thing: The same candidates were recycling old platform points and nothing was getting done,” Arkfeld said. “We’ve really gone out to focus on what we actually control: the budget.”Arkfeld said he looks forward to making positive changes for future Trojans.“I want to take this opportunity, grab it full swing and really give 500 percent,” Arkfeld said. “I care about making USC a better place for the next generation of students after myself.”center_img CHRISTIAN KURTH & RYAN PARK Christian Kurth and Ryan Park see their ticket as a continuation of Undergraduate Student Government’s current policies, and several of their platform points are policies that they began lobbying for in their current positions.Kurth, a junior majoring in accounting, and Park, a junior majoring in business administration, believe what sets them apart from their opponents is experience.“I’ve been involved in USG since my freshman year, so I’ve gotten three years of USG experience, which is more than the other ticket combined,” said Kurth, who is currently USG director of university affairs.Kurth said his involvement in advocacy gives him an advantage in accomplishing goals.Ani Kolangian | Daily Trojan“The president’s job is kind of like the head of the advocacy branch, which I’ve been involved with for three years,” Kurth said. “The advocacy branch’s essential job is to meet with administrators, cement those relationships and actually work on getting projects done and executing change — that’s what I’ve been doing.”Their platform contains 21 different points, which range from bringing Jamba Juice back to campus to increasing the acceptance of discretionary dollars at off-campus locations.“I love my USC mobile app [idea],” said Park of his favorite platform point. “When it happens, it’s going to be the most helpful [accomplishment], in my opinion, because it will be a centralized location for students to find out what’s going on on-campus.”The two have known each other since their freshman years, when they met as tour guides. Kurth and Park said they can achieve ambitious goals because of their chemistry.“In terms of compatibility, if this was an eHarmony situation, I think we’d be great,” Kurth said. “I’m more of a serious figure, and as a president, I think that’s what you need. He’s kind of more the goofball between us.”Both are involved outside of USG. Kurth is a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Latino Alumni Association and the Trojan Investing Society. Park is part of the Sigma Chi fraternity.Despite the fact that both Kurth and Park are in USG, belong to fraternities and serve as tour guides, neither sees their similarities in experience as a concern.“We have a lot of things in common but, to be completely honest, we have had a lot of different experiences in each of those things,” Park said.Kurth added that being Greek doesn’t define either of them because they are involved with other organizations.With voting beginning on Tuesday, Kurth and Park are campaigning hard for students’ votes. The two believe that they should win because of their commitment to the election.“I honestly believe that we have put in exponentially more hours and exponentially more time and passion into this campaign than the other ticket,” Park said.last_img read more

Nwanebu named top frosh yet again

first_imgOn Monday, USC freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third consecutive week and the fourth time this season.Making the grade · USC freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu has excelled so far this season and ranks second on the team with 174 kills. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanNwanebu’s performance was integral in leading the Women of Troy to sweeps in both matches against Oregon State and Oregon. On Friday against the Beavers, Nwanebu posted seven kills and a .286 hitting percentage over three sets. She also had three blocks to go along with her offensive outburst.Two days later at Oregon, Nwanebu surpassed her numbers from Friday and had a .273 hitting percentage, two digs, three blocks and a team-leading 11 kills. Across both matches, Nwanebu scored 3.50 points per set, hit .277 and had one block per set.Nwanebu has stepped up her game at a critical time in the season for the Women of Troy. Over the last three weeks, USC played its first six conference matches of the season. Not surprisingly, the squad has gone undefeated in those six games, posting their best start to conference play in seven years.Nwanebu is not the only USC freshman to pick up the award during this season. On Sept. 16, outside hitter Elise Ruddins was selected as Freshman of the Week after helping lead the Women of Troy to two wins in the USD Tournament. Ruddins was also named to the all-tournament team that week. The number of weekly honors for the team now stands at seven, as senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard and senior libero Natalie Hagglund won Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, one week ago.Only one player has ever won the honor more than four times since the award’s inception in 2011: USC sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio, who won the award five times last season.Assuming Nwanebu can keep up her current pace, she seems likely to surpass Bricio for most Freshman of the Week honors. USC will travel to Arizona State and Arizona this weekend to try to keep its 10-match winning streak alive. Follow Kurt on Twitter @legen_daryKurtlast_img read more

Preview: Tipperary versus Tyrone

first_imgThe Premier County can make history this evening when they take on Tyrone in Tipp’s first ever All-Ireland final at Under 21 level. O’Riordan says it’s important to have belief in their own abilities when they come up against their Northern opponents. Stephen Gleeson spoke to both O’Riordan and Bill Maher during the week about their decision to play football and today’s All-Ireland final.   Meawhile, Tyrone Captain Kieran McGeary says Tipperary are a very determined team and will be a tough task in today’s final. He praised his side’s stellar coaching staff, which includes Peter Canavan who captained Tyrone to two Under 21 All-Irelands in the 1990s. Tipp Under 21 Manager Tommy Twomey spoke to Tipp FM during the week. Tipp FM’s Football Analyst Brian Lacey previews today’s All-Ireland Final with Darren Hassett. Throw-in today is at 6pm and Tipp FM will have full live coverage in association with John Kennedy Motors, Main Toyota Dealer, Clonmel.last_img read more

Angels come from behind to beat Astros, snap losing streak at 6

first_imgThe Angels can head to Chicago feeling better about their slumping offense, with 11 hits and five walks helping them overcome a third-inning 4-1 deficit.Newcomers Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips each drove in two runs, including a homer apiece. It was Upton’s seventh homer with the Angels, his third in two days. The biggest hit came from Luis Valbuena, a two-run double in the seventh that capped an inning in which the Angels took advantage of some breaks.Albert Pujols hit a blooper that dropped just inside the right-field line. Phillips then hit a routine double-play ball, but third baseman Alex Bregman booted it. Andrelton Simmons then hit a ball that ricocheted off Chris Devenski’s foot and rolled into the outfield, for a single to load the bases.That brought up Valbuena, who battled Devenski through an 11-pitch at-bat. He capped it by yanking a changeup off the fence in right-center, driving in two.The Angels’ bullpen made the lead stand. Cam Bedrosian gave up a solo homer in the seventh, but then Yusmeiro Petit and Blake Parker worked scoreless innings. For Petit, it was a bounceback outing after he’d allowed three runs in each of his previous two games. Angels pitchers hadn’t had much experience pitching with leads in the last week.The Angels scored first, when Upton beat out a potential double play to drive in a run in third. It was just the second time in the past seven games that they’d taken a lead.Like the other time, though, it didn’t last long.Back on Thursday, the lead was gone by the first batter of the next half inning. This time, Tyler Skaggs managed to get two outs before it all went wrong.He hit George Springer with a pitch, gave up a two-run homer to Bregman, then walked Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. An Evan Gattis double completed the four-run outburst.Skaggs, however, tacked on two more scoreless innings, getting through five with just those four runs.The Angels took him off the hook for the loss before he was done pitching. Phillips homered in the fourth. In the fifth, the Angels loaded the bases with two outs, and Phillips and Simmons both drew walks to push home runs, evening the score at 4.More to come on this story. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img PreviousLos Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena reacts after hitting a two-run double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to second base after hitting a double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsHouston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, right, attempts a double play over Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. Justin Upton was safe at first, and Martin Maldonado scored on the play. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. retrieves the ball after Los Angeles Angels’ Martin Maldonado scored during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, steals second as Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve applies the tag during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (2) watches his two-run home run off Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa (1) reacts after scoring a run on Evan Gattis’ two-run double, as Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, back left, walks back to the mound during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, right, talks with catcher Martin Maldonado during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. walks to the dugout after being removed from the baseball game during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros’ Cameron Maybin, right, steals second past Los Angeles Angels’ second baseman Brandon Phillips during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick throws his helmet after flying out to end the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick throws his helmet after flying out to end the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena watches his two-run double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) points to Luis Valbuena after scoring on Valbuena’s two-run double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena reacts after hitting a two-run double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to second base after hitting a double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)NextShow Caption1 of 16Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to second base after hitting a double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)ExpandHOUSTON — For one day, the Angels stopped the bleeding.After losing six in a row and seeing their playoff chances fade, they beat the Houston Astros, 7-5, on Sunday night to restore a sliver of hope.Thanks to the Minnesota Twins’ fourth consecutive victory, the Angels are still 4-1/2 games back in the wild card race, with seven games to play.Any combination of three Angels losses and Twins wins will end it. Over the next few days, the Angels will have a chance to gain some momentum. They start a four-game series against the rebuilding Chicago White Sox on Monday, while the Twins have an off day before beginning a three-game series against the Indians in Cleveland.last_img read more

Shohei Ohtani picks up victory for Angels in his mound debut

first_img“I’ve been in Arizona for 14 spring trainings,” Maldonado said. “I know a lot of people who have trouble with split fingers and curve balls. I knew he had a good splitter.”Away from the thin, dry air of Arizona, Ohtani’s splitter and his slider were both on full display. His fastball also had the consistent velocity to match the reports of his work in Japan. He was consistently throwing 97-99 mph, and he topped out at 99.6 mph.“The ball jumps out of his hand and it’s hard to catch up to it,” said A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, who accounted for all three runs with a homer on a hanging slider. “He’s going to be a tough guy to face and we’re gonna face him a few times I’m sure.”Ohtani walked one and struck out six. He gave up three hits, two singles before the homer in the second inning.After that, though, he retired 14 of the next 15 hitters.Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Ohtani needed 92 pitches to get through his outing, including 63 strikes. It was actually a more pitch efficient outing that he’d had in the minors, when he topped out at 85 pitches. In his two longest minor league outings, he needed to have a few innings ended short of three outs to maintain his pitch count.Related Articles PreviousLos Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wipes his face at the end of the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols pops up a fly ball against the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, celebrates with Justin Upton (8) after scoring against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons connects for a two-run single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton swings for an RBI sacrifice fly during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks off the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, right, celebrates with Matt Joyce (23) after hitting a three run home run off Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, right, celebrates with third base coach Matt Williams (4) after hitting a three run home run off Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani covers his face with his cap after giving up a three run home run to Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman connects for a three-run home run off Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 1, 2018 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wipes his face at the end of the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)NextShow Caption1 of 18Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wipes his face at the end of the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)ExpandOAKLAND — Just like Shohei Ohtani and the Angels had been saying all along, spring training means nothing.Especially not spring training in Arizona, if you’re a pitcher.“For all pitchers,” Manager Mike Scioscia said, “they like to get out of Arizona. No doubt about that.”A rough spring prompted many outside the Angels organization to question whether Ohtani was ready to pitch in the majors, but he answered those critics with six innings in his regular season pitching debut on Sunday. Video: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani makes MLB history – and the Internet goes wild The first time through the order, Ohtani started eight of nine hitters with strikes. He finished with 14 of 22.“I don’t think he did that in spring training, getting ahead the way he did today,” Maldonado said. “He was throwing every pitch at any time.”The splitter, which Ohtani didn’t have full use of in Arizona, was also a devastating pitch. The A’s swung and missed at 10 of the 24 he threw.“I thought he had really good stuff, he showed really good command today and was able to move the ball in and out, up and down and we had a hard time getting consistent contact off of him,” Chapman said.Ohtani was able to pick up his first major league victory thanks to an Angels offense and an A’s defense that collaborated for seven runs.The A’s made one error, but they botched several other balls. Left fielder Khris Davis, normally the A’s DH, had trouble with a couple plays that went for doubles.In the seventh, when the Angels put the game away with three runs, a blooper dropped in center field and another ground ball got past Chapman, the normally sure-handed third baseman.Jefry Marte and Andrelton Simmons each had three hits, and Zack Cozart and Mike Trout each had two.Ohtani’s victory was in jeopardy in the ninth, when Blake Parker gave up a run on three hits before Keynan Middleton bailed him out, recording the final two outs. The victory was the Angels’ third in the season-opening four-game series, but perhaps the most significant because of Ohtani’s debut.“I’m really happy for him,” Simmons said. “It’s a good way to start. He still has a long ways to go, so I hope he doesn’t ease up and stays hungry.”center_img Ohtani allowed three runs — all on one bad pitch — in the Angels’ 7-4 victory over the Oakland A’s, finishing off his historic opening series.Ohtani started the first game as the designated hitter and the last game as the pitcher, the first big leaguer to start as a pitcher and non-pitcher within the first 10 games of a season since 1920.Ohtani had a hit in his first big league at-bat on Thursday, and then he struck out the first batter he faced as a pitcher on Sunday. Ohtani’s strikeout of leadoff hitter Marcus Semien, leading to a 1-2-3 first inning, demonstrated that he is major league ready.“Obviously I’m very happy,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I’m satisfied with my outing. I’m more happy the team got the victory.”Catcher Martín Maldonado, who had been Ohtani’s catcher for some of the rough moments in spring training, was not surprised. 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Blake Griffin back to starring for Clippers, but still seeks perfection

first_imgAt the beginning of the third quarter, Griffin made a sweet inside move that faked Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis into Chick Hearn’s popcorn machine.“He’s trying to assert himself, trying to put his imprint on the game and dominate; that was great,” teammate J.J. Redick said of Griffin’s 23-point performance on 10-of-21 shooting with zero turnovers in 37 minutes.It was Griffin’s fifth game back from elbow surgery, and his best and most assertive performance. He’s averaging 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the five games.His scoring is down some — he averages 22.2 on the season — but his rebounding is up over his season average of 7.6.Considering what he’s coming back from, not too shabby. But he’d rather not hear about how well he’s doing after missing 15 consecutive games with a staph infection in his right elbow. It will never be good enough, and it never is for those striving for superiority.“He is hard on himself,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, whose 46-25 team plays at 4 p.m. Wednesday at New York (14-57). “I jokingly told him in the game the other night, ‘Can I please yell at you first before you yell at you? Because it makes it a lot easier for me to yell at you than you yell at you.’“But that’s Blake. That’s probably why he’s really good because he is hard on himself. Great players don’t believe in shaking off the rust or, you know, kind of playing themselves back. They believe in when they play, they should be great. And that’s the problem.”Ask Griffin about his success since his return, he’d rather talk about where he still needs to get better.“Always taking care of the ball; I’ve done a poor job of that these past five games. Not as much yesterday, obviously, but taking care of the ball,” he said Monday. “Shooting just more confidently. I think that’ll just come in time. So, really just mixing up my attacks and knowing when to shoot the jumper, knowing when to put your head down and go to work inside a little bit.”Griffin admits he is rough on himself.“Yeah, absolutely,” he said.He’s seeking perfection.“Absolutely,” he said.Is that possible?“No, it’s not possible, but why not try for it?” Griffin said. “I never want to go into a game and be like, ‘Oh, I did good enough.’ I don’t think I’ve ever had a game like that. I’ve never had a game where I was like, ‘Yeah, that was the perfect game.’ So why not keep pushing for that?”Rivers digs that attitude.“Yeah, I think it’s always nice to be in pursuit of it,” Rivers said. “It’s a carrot that you will probably never get, but the more you run after it, the better you’ll play and the better you’ll become. And it’s a form of leadership, too.“When the other players see their best player is not satisfied, how can they ever be satisfied?”Griffin said although he’s had one day where his elbow was more sore than he expected, he has not had any setbacks since he came back March 15 against Houston. His elbow is, as expected, still a tad sore.But to say Griffin is excited to be back would be an understatement.“”It was tough (to be out), but it was great to see guys play so well,” said Griffin, whose team went 9-6 without him. “I mean, the games that hurt the worst were the games that we lost. But guys stepping up and guys playing the way they did, it’s encouraging to see and I think that’ll help us on down the road.”Meanwhile, Griffin will continue his search for the perfect game.“Yeah, if that ever happens,” he said, “I’ll let you know.” Clippers guard Chris Paul loved what he was seeing. “Man, it was great. I felt like a fan yesterday,” he said at practice Monday morning.Paul was talking about back-to-back baskets teammate Blake Griffin had Sunday, the second of which gave the Clippers a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in a 107-100 victory over New Orleans.“We ran an iso play for Blake, gave it to him and he just did what he does, went and got a bucket,” Paul said of Griffin’s 4-foot hook shot New Orleans’ Quincy Pondexter.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more