#1 The way they were playing, von MJL456 10.08.2019 17:41

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Late July for contending baseball teams can be a tricky time.Sundays pitching matchup between the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals is proof. Three days ago, the starters for the game were listed at TBA vs. TBA. Thats not a slight to either Texas starter Lucas Harrell or Kansas Citys Dillon Gee, but thats just the nature of the trade deadline.Harrell (2-2, 3.38 ERA) makes his Texas debut after the Rangers dealt for him as part of a three-player trade with Atlanta on Wednesday. Hell follow three strong starts from Cole Hamels, A.J. Griffin and Martin Perez as the Rangers look to complete the four-game sweep.Sundays start continues a rollercoaster last couple years for Harrell, who pitched in Korea in 2015, opened 2016 with the Detroit organization before catching on with Atlanta. After spending part of the season in Triple A, Harrell was called up and made five solid starts for the Braves.Now, the veteran is hoping to be a boost for a Texas pitching staff that is in desperate need of starting help because of the injuries to Colby Lewis and Derek Holland.Its been pretty intense but its been pretty awesome, Harrell said of the trade. It was fun to be part of this team, and just the game and the atmosphere here, its nice to see how serious they here about winning.While the Rangers acquired Harrell to provide a boost, hes not going to try to do too much. What hes done recently has been enough. Opponents hit just .234 against him in his five starts for Atlanta and he allowed either zero or one run in three of his five starts.Hes going to try and continue that trend Sunday.Im just going to be myself and give my team a chance to win, said Harrell, who has also pitched for the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros. Thats what Ive done wherever Ive been, no matter the situation. Im just out here to do my best and well see what happens.With the Royals slipping out of the American League Central race and the news Saturday that closer Wade Davis will have an MRI on his right forearm, deciding to give Gee another start made sense.Gee (3-4, 4.54 ERA) has bounced between the rotation and bullpen for Kansas City. While his overall numbers are decent, its been rough for him in the rotation as hes 2-4 with a 6.43 ERA in his six starts. He lasted only five innings in his last outing and was tagged for five runs on 10 hits.Still the Royals are confident Gee, who was born in nearby Cleburne, Texas, and played collegiate at UT-Arlington, can do the job to keep their fleeting playoff hopes alive.Theyll turn to him Sunday as they look to stop a streak of seven losses in eight games.Hes been throwing good, manager Ned Yost said. His last couple of times hes done everything weve asked him to do. 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WASHINGTON -- The San Jose Sharks used a tight-checking defense and solid goaltending to snap a three-game losing streak and get a lengthy road trip off to a positive start.Martin Jones stopped 24 shots and Brent Burns scored his fifth goal of the season to lead the Sharks past the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Tuesday night.Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Burns had second-period goals for the defending Western Conference champions, who scored only four goals during their three-game slide.That was a big win for us, just to kind of right the ship a little bit, Jones said. Weve had moments where weve been good, and today everything kind of came our way.It was Jones 14th career shutout and the first of the season for the Sharks, who were coming off a 5-0 loss at home to Pittsburgh.We defended really well. We didnt give up a lot of looks from the middle of the ice, which was huge for us, Jones said. That was a good bounce-back game for us.The game marked the beginning of a season-long swing through six cities for the Sharks.You always want to win that first one on the trip, start it off right, get the good mojo going, Burns said.Joe Thornton scored an empty-netter with 1:32 left, but by that time it was evident Washingtons five-game winning streak was done. San Jose blunted three power plays and has killed 27 of the last 28.I didnt think we played poorly at all, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. They did a really good job defending, so you had to really fight to get in the interior. I dont think we had the desperation we needed until the third period.Washington took 10 shots in the third period, none of which severely challenged Jones.We defended well, Jones said. The looks that they did get, those are the saves they expect you to make.It was the first shutout against Washington during the regular season since April 10.Vlasiic broke the scoreless duel at 12:23 of the second period, notching his second goal of the season with a shot that deflected off Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and past goaltender Braden Holtby.ddddddddddddurns made it 2-0 at 17:26 with a wrist shot from the right circle that whizzed inside Holtbys left shoulder. Burns had an unobstructed view of the net because Washingtons defense crowded low around Logan Couture, who passed to his wide-open teammate.The way they were playing, when they got that second goal I thought it would be a tough hole to come out of, Trotz said.That was more than enough backing for Jones, who came in with a 5-6 record and a 2.56 goals-against average. His last shutout came against Arizona on April 9.San Jose outshot the Capitals 9-4 during a first period in which each team failed to convert a power play. It was only the third time in 12 games that Washington didnt score in the first period.The Capitals were denied a chance to break on top with 11 minutes gone in the second period. Andre Burakovsky broke free down the right side and fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle that Jones trapped under his right arm.NOTESHoltbys four-game winning streak ended. He had a 1.98 GAA during the run. He made 20 saves in this one. ... San Jose improved to 25-9-2 against Washington. ... The Capitals fell to 5-2 against Western Conference foes. ... Washington star Alex Ovechkin was limited to four shots on goal. He had 12 points in his previous 14 games against the Sharks.UP NEXTSharks: Continue the road trip with a matchup against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.Capitals: Hit the road after a three-game homestand to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. ' ' '

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