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early in counts to try to entice groundball
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MILWAUKEE -- Jason Hammel threw a sinker early in counts to try to entice groundball outs against an aggressive lineup and mixed things up with a fastball in the low 90s. It was an overwhelming combination for the short-handed Milwaukee Brewers. Hammel had a season-high seven strikeouts and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings, Starlin Castro hit two solo homers and the Chicago Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-0 win Sunday. Hammel, one of the few bright spots in a dismal April for Chicago, made his impressive work sound easy afterward. He hasnt given up more than five hits in each of his five starts. "I featured a pretty good sinker down in the zone early to get a lot of ground balls and just attacked the zone," he said. "So, thats really all it was today." Hammel (4-1) didnt allow a hit until Carlos Gomez doubled down the left-field line with one out in the sixth. He then got into trouble after walking Scooter Gennett and making an errant pickoff throw to put runners at second and third. But the righty got a strikeout before Aramis Ramirez bounced out to end the threat. "Great, great job. Mixed all his pitches well. Stayed down," manager Rick Renteria said. Chicago improved to 8-16, the last team in the majors to get to eight victories. Chicago scored twice in the second on Castros first homer and Darwin Barneys RBI fielders choice with the bases loaded off Brewers starter Wily Peralta (3-1). Castros second shot in the eighth off reliever Brandon Kintzler barely cleared the wall in the left-field corner. Castro had his second career multi-homer game in nearly three weeks, having going deep twice April 8 against Pittsburgh. His second-inning homer also just cleared the wall 400 feet away in dead centre and evaded the leaping Gomezs outstretched glove. On the mound, Peralta pumped his right arm in front of his waist in frustration. He thought the Gold Glove-winning Gomez might have had a shot at robbing the homer. "Always," Peralta said. "When GoGo runs back, you think he has a chance to make the catch." Gomez said he had the perfect timing, "but its not even close." He went 1 for 4 on his bobblehead day. Peralta, a right-hander with a 96-mph fastball had trouble spotting pitches in the second. Ramirez stepped on third for an out on Barneys grounder but his throw trying to get Nate Schierholtz at home bounced up the first-base line to allow the run to score. Despite not having his best command, Peralta still just gave up three runs on eight hits in seven innings. He struck out six. "If hes not going to be sharp and thats what he does, its pretty good," manager Ron Roenicke said. Having Ryan Braun and Jean Segura could have helped, but both Milwaukee stars missed the game with injuries. Braun sat with a slight chest muscle strain, while Segura had a partially closed right eye and bruised right cheek after being accidentally hit during a practice swing by Braun on Saturday. Segura said after the game he hoped to return this week during the Brewers seven-game road trip to St. Louis and Cincinnati. Braun might miss three to five days. The remaining Brewers were overmatched by Hammel, who stayed low and away from the Brewers remaining potent right-handed bats. Hammel was lifted after allowing pinch hitter Rickie Weeks single to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon held the Brewers hitless the final two innings. Notes: Despite the win, the Cubs lost the three-game series to the Brewers and extended the teams string of winless series to 13 dating to last season. Chicago last won a series after taking two of three from Cincinnati in September. ... C John Baker went 2 for 4 that ended an 0-for-18 stretch. ... Ron Roenicke said the club would hold off on making any roster moves while Braun and Segura continue to be evaluated. ... The Brewers travel to St. Louis to start a seven-game road trip, with Yovani Gallardo (2-0) getting the start Monday. Chicago begins a three-game set in Cincinnati and sends Jeff Samardzija (0-2) to the mound. Justin Abdelkader Jersey . -- Claudio Bieler hadnt scored since early September, and not from the run of play since mid-July. Andreas Athanasiou Jersey . As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature. http://www.redwingshockeyauthentic.com/l...ng-jersey/ . Cornet won six straight games to rally from a 2-0 deficit and take the first set. The 25th-ranked Frenchwoman broke back twice in the second set before Bacsinszky saved a match point at 5-4. Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey . - Even with a new coach, the Denver Nuggets still love to push the basketball. Bob Probert Jersey . You can see all the action on TSN2 beginning at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. Chicago won two of three games during its stay at the United Center. The club began the homestand with a 5-1 win over Pittsburgh on March 1 and fell to Colorado on Tuesday before posting another blowout win in Thursdays tilt against Columbus. EL PASO, Texas -- Brett Hundley shredded Virginia Techs fourth-ranked defence in the Sun Bowl. The UCLA quarterback had 86- and 7-yard touchdown runs and finished with 161 yards on 10 carries in the No. 17 Bruins 42-12 victory over the Hokies on Tuesday. "I guess he can run a little," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "He played well. He was poised." Hundley also completed 16 of 29 passes for 226 yards and two scores. "It was a special game," Hundley said. "We played well as an offence. We had to make adjustments. When we did, we got things going." Hundley and UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt shared MVP honours. Zumwalt had 10 tackles and returned an interception 43 yards to set up a touchdown. "Its the best game Ive ever seen him play," Mora said about Zumwalt. "He was unbelievable from start to finish. The Bruins (10-3) outscored the Hokies (8-5) 28-2 in the fourth quarter. After Virginia Tech cut it to 14-10 on Michael Branthovers 22-yard field goal with 3:53 left in the third quarter, UCLA answered with a 12-play, 85-yard drive, capped by Paul Perkinss 5-yard run early in the fourth. Hokies backup quarterback Mark Leal then threw a pass under heavy pressure that linebacker Myles Jack intercepted and returned 29 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-10. "In the second half we blocked things up better," Mora said. "We got back to doing what we do best. We played with great tempo. We were not as uptight." Virginia Tech, which lost starting quarterback Logan Thomas to an injury in the second quarter, got its final points when UCLA punter Sean Covington stepped on the end line for a safety with 9:38 left. Thomas, Virginia Techs career passing leader, left after taking a big hit along the UCLA sideline early in the second quarter. The hit resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the Bruins. "It was tough to miss time on the field, the worst feeling of my career," Thomas ssaid.dddddddddddd "I would have rather you guys talk bad about me than miss time on the field. We were doing some good things on offence. I thought we were right on the verge of doing some good things." UCLA pushed it to 35-12 on Hundleys 8-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Duarte with 7:31 to play. The Bruins stayed aggressive late, and Hundley fired a 59-yard scoring strike down the right sideline to Shaquelle Evans for another score with 5:49 remaining. It wasnt that easy early on, though, for UCLA, which led 14-7 at the half. Hundley had six carries for 168 yards in the half. He set the Sun Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback by halftime, even though he lost 7 yards in the second to finish at 161. The Bruins rushed for 202 yards in the first half, and finished with 197. The win in the first meeting between the teams allowed UCLA to post its first 10-win season since 2005, and helped the Bruins forget last seasons 49-26 loss to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl. Virginia Tech had its second-worst loss in a bowl game. Its worst was a 42-3 loss to North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl. The 42 points the Hokies allowed were the second-most in a bowl game behind the 52 they gave up in a 52-49 loss to California in the 2003 Insight Bowl. While the Hokies, making their 21st consecutive bowl appearance, were able to limit UCLAs running backs to 49 yards, they had no answer for Hundley, who repeatedly gouged them for big gainers on designed quarterback counters. "UCLA made the plays it had to and you have to give them credit," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. "I was disappointed that we didnt execute better. "When we recovered the fumble down 14-7, I had hoped we could have punched it in for a touchdown, but we had to settle for three and then UCLA comes back and scores to make it 21-10. That was huge. I thought about going for it on fourth down but we just wanted to get something on the board." ' ' '
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