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and she went on to win the French
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TORONTO – The debate over chemistry, whether it exists in baseball and, if so, to what degree it matters, will likely never be completely settled. Sie sind nicht berechtigt Links zu sehen. Registrieren oder Einlogin um Links zu sehen. . The question gets asked often these days, whether these Blue Jays get along better this year than they did in 2013. The assumption seems to be that they do because theyre winning more than theyre losing. J.A. Happ, who along with Mark Buehrle are the only two current Jays to take part in an on-field world championship celebration, summed it up. “You just feed off each other,” he said. “The musics better. The jokes are better. Everythings better when youre winning. Thats kind of the way it goes. People start getting louder. You feed off that. You feed off peoples personalities.” Its a chicken and egg deal. Winning is the egg, which begets the chicken that is chemistry. More to the point, manager John Gibbons has settled into a number of roster combinations that are producing results. Helping him in this endeavour is a cadre of players who began the season at Triple-A Buffalo. “Weve got a handful of them,” said manager John Gibbons. “We brought [Steve] Tolleson up to be the second baseman against left-handers. Hes doing a great job with that. Of course Gose and Pillar, filling in for Colby, have been a pretty good combo there. Kratzys been up and down a couple of times, but hes fit in. Theyre all contributing.” Juan Francisco, signed off the scrap heap when the Milwaukee Brewers decided late in spring they didnt want to pay him despite an 18-home run season last year, is hitting .280/.370/.602 (.973 OPS) with eight home runs. Anthony Gose entered Mondays action with a slash line of .296/.457/.407. Three of his eight hits are doubles. Hes walked seven times against eight strikeouts, a small sample size, but a great ratio nonetheless. Gose has two stolen bases, but anyone whos watched him play knows hes created runs with his speed and prevented runs with his defence. After a slow start, Kevin Pillar looks up and sees a .304 batting average. Erik Kratz has three home runs in just 45 at-bats. Tolleson, in a small sample size, is hitting better than .300 and has posted a .946 OPS. Gibbons has also established batteries for all three of his catchers. Kratz has become J.A. Happs personal catcher. Josh Thole serves the same role for R.A. Dickey. Dioner Navarro is behind the plate for every Mark Buehrle start. “Hes able to give Navarro a little bit of a breather,” said Gibbons of Kratz. “Against left-handed pitching you can DH (Navarro). Thats where we feel were strongest.” Against right-handed starting pitching, Francisco plays third base and Lawrie second base. Lawrie heads over to third base, where hes most comfortable, when the opposition starts a left-hander. Tolleson plays second. The Jays have a fearsome late-game bench when the opponent starts a lefty. Adam Lind and Francisco are lingering, waiting for their names to be called. “As the game goes on, the only place youre vulnerable, you get to a certain point of the game theyre always going to have that lefty ready,” said Gibbons. “Teams that have enough lefties (in the bullpen), youre waiting on Lind or Francisco. But I think it makes us stronger.” The bullpen has settled down since the return of Casey Janssen, whos converted all seven save opportunities since his return from a strained oblique muscle. Gibbons is most pleased with the progress hes seeing from the rotation. “It all revolves around starting pitching, you know,” said Gibbons. “If starting pitchings good, youve got a chance. If its not, its tough. I dont care what kind of offence youve got, what kind of defence youve got - thats the key to any team in baseball. Check the May ERA of the four rotation mainstays to see the improvement. Drew Hutchison (including Monday night): 5 starts, 3.94Mark Buehrle: 2.16R.A. Dickey: 2.73J.A. Happ: 3.20 RASMUS PROGRESSING On the disabled list since May 13 with tightness in his right hamstring, Colby Rasmus is sprinting his way toward a rehab assignment. “He was out there running and shagging during early BP,” said Gibbons. “Well see in the next few days what happens.” Rasmus sprinted the infield cutout on Saturday and the warning track on Sunday. While hes eligible to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, Rasmus will be sent out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the Blue Jays. SANTOS PLAYING CATCH Sergio Santos played catch for the third-straight day on Monday afternoon. Hes recovering from a strained right forearm. “He feels pretty good,” said Gibbons. “No soreness at all. So like Colby, we dont know how long its going to be for him. Hes got to build up a little bit, of course.” Santos can be activated off the disabled list at any time - hes been out since May 10 - but hell throw at least two bullpen sessions before heading out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. Theres no timetable for Santoss return to the Blue Jays. Sie sind nicht berechtigt Links zu sehen. Registrieren oder Einlogin um Links zu sehen. . Dancevic won his singles match on Friday, defeating Go Soeda 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-1, to even the best-of-five series at a game apiece. World No. 18 Kei Nishikori defeated Peter Polansky in the opening match, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Sie sind nicht berechtigt Links zu sehen. Registrieren oder Einlogin um Links zu sehen. .S. Olympic hockey management team have been making what he called "ghost rosters" since August. Sie sind nicht berechtigt Links zu sehen. Registrieren oder Einlogin um Links zu sehen. .com) - Maria Sharapova reached her 10th career grand slam final after beating Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets at the Australian Open on Thursday.ROME -- Novak Djokovic is going to the French Open with a big clay-court victory in his pocket. And a heavy heart. Djokovic extended his recent dominance over Rafael Nadal by rallying for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory Sunday to win the Italian Open for the third time -- then dedicated the title to his flood-hit native Serbia by carving a heart on the clay with his racket. "This heart on the court is for you," he told the fans in Italian during the victory celebration. "Its also a special dedication to my country, which is suffering a lot right now. My heart is with them." In the womens final, Serena Williams kept the crowd from being a factor in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 10th-seeded home favourite Sara Errani to win her third Rome title. Errani was bidding to become the first Italian to win the tournament in nearly 30 years but the top-ranked Williams quickly took control in both sets and Errani was slowed by a left thigh problem. Williams had a left thigh problem herself last week that prompted her to withdraw before her quarterfinal match at the Madrid Open but now she appears back on track for the French, which starts next Sunday. "Im not 100 per cent but Im just kind of going on adrenaline," the top-ranked American said. Djokovic found his motivation from a different source. Authorities say 25 people have died in the Balkans because of the worst flooding in a century after three months worth of rain fell on the region in three days this week. Tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity or drinking water. "Im trying to contribute in my own way," Djokovic said. "These are very critical times for our country and our people. But were being united and this win and this trophy is dedicated to them." Having also been beaten in Monte Carlo and Barcelona recently, it marked the first time in a decade that the top-ranked Nadal has lost more than two matches on clay in the same year. Nadal was pushed to three sets in four out of his five matches here. "When he hit the first ball good a lot of times it was very difficult to arrive to the ball and change the dynamic of the point," Nadal said. "I didnt have enough energy to hit the first shot with the right intensity.. Sie sind nicht berechtigt Links zu sehen. Registrieren oder Einlogin um Links zu sehen.. " The second-ranked Djokovic has now won four straight matches against Nadal -- the previous three in straight sets -- and takes the psychological edge to Paris. "It gives me a lot of confidence winning against Rafa in the finals of a big tournament on clay," he said. "Its definitely a confidence booster. Its an ultimate challenge and Im very happy with my game so far and hopefully I can carry that into Roland Garros." The French Open is the only Grand Slam that Djokovic has yet to win, with his best result a runner-up finish in 2012. Nadal has won the tournament eight times. Djokovic was able to dictate play by stepping inside the baseline. "I tried to be aggressive from the start to the end," said Djokovic, whose other Rome titles came in 2008 and 2011. "I know that the only way to win against him is to be aggressive." Earlier, Errani left the court for an injury timeout while trailing 5-3 in the opening set and came back with her thigh bandaged. On the final point before she left the court, Errani pulled up and let a shot from Williams pass by her without even attempting to get to it. "Im sorry. You were unbelievable all week," Errani told fans during the victory ceremony, as she brushed back tears. "I tried to do my best and stayed on the court only for you." Williams other Rome titles came in 2002 and last year -- and she went on to win the French Open on both occasions. "Im also sorry for Sara today," Williams told the crowd in Italian. "She really played great all week." Organizers attempted to whip up patriotic fervour by having the Italian anthem sung before the players walked out onto the court, and fans continuously chanted "Sara, Sara" to try and encourage Errani in an atmosphere that more resembled a Davis Cup or Fed Cup setting. But Williams jumped out to a 3-0 lead and while Errani had a few chances to get back into the first set, Williams overpowered the Italian with her serve -- she had seven aces to Erranis none -- and overall attacking game. Still, Errani could console herself by becoming the first Italian finalist in the tournament since Raffaella Reggi took the 1985 title in Taranto. ' ' '
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