KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi knew he was putting young Chasen Shreve, just recalled from the minor leagues earlier in the day, into just about the most difficult spot possible.Protecting a one-run lead with the bases loaded in the 10th inning in the midst of a playoff chase.Against the reigning World Series champions, no less.Shreve responded by calmly striking out Kendrys Morales, then retiring Salvador Perez on a fly out, to preserve a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.I mean, it was really difficult, Girardi said of the mess Shreve inherited, which led to his first career major league save. He came in and really picked us up.The Yankees took the lead when Brian McCann and Chase Headley singled off Joakim Soria (4-6) in the 10th. Soria bounced back to strike out Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin, but then walked Brett Gardner before Jacoby Ellsbury lined a go-ahead single off the relievers leg for his fourth hit of the night.That was an easy ground ball right to me. I dont know if I slipped or something, but I ended up on the ground, Soria said. Its just one of those things.Dellin Betances (3-4) earned the win with two innings of relief.We had a lot of opportunities we didnt cash tonight and thats going to happen, Girardi said, but I thought winning this one was really big.Morales went deep for the Royals to spur their comeback, then provided the tying sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain also drove in runs for Kansas City.The Yankees built a 4-0 lead off Edinson Volquez on a two-run homer by Aaron Judge and RBI from Ellsbury and Headley by the third inning. But they watched it slowly slip away around a 59-minute rain delay that saturated the soggy turf at Kauffman Stadium.In fact, just about all that could slow down the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka was the rain.The right-hander mowed through the first eight batters he faced, extending the streak of 14 2/3 scoreless innings he had twirled in his last two starts. Tanaka didnt allow a hit until a single by Raul Mondesi, who later scored on Dysons triple off the top of the wall.Tanakas only other mistake came on Morales homer in the fourth inning.The rain began falling and the tarp came out after the fifth inning, and the delay was long enough to end Tanakas night. He allowed two runs and four hits while striking out four without a walk.Its tough. I had enough energy so definitely I would have liked to go out there, Tanaka said through a translator, but you cant do anything about the weather.The Royals got within 4-3 in the sixth inning when Cain slapped an RBI double off Adam Warren, then they coaxed across the tying run in the eighth against Tyler Clippard and Betances.Clippard walked Cain to start the inning. Cain promptly stole second off Betances, and the throw from catcher Gary Sanchez squirted into the outfield, allowing Cain to reach third. He trotted home to knot the game 4-all when Morales lofted a sacrifice fly to center.What these guys did, they fought to the bitter end, Royals manager Ned Yost said. We were down 4-0, battled back, tied the ball game under horrible conditions. It just wouldnt stop raining from the third inning on. We had the go-ahead run on second base. We just couldnt get it in.ROSTER MOVESThe Yankees optioned RHP Kirby Yates to rookie-level Pulaski and recalled Shreve from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Shreve joined the Yankees for the fourth time this season.TRADE COMPLETEThe Pirates sent OF Tito Polo and LHP Stephen Tarpley to the Yankees to complete their Aug. 1 deal for RHP Ivan Nova. Polo hit .289 with 16 homers between Class-A Bradenton and West Virginia, and Tarpley was 6-4 in 20 starts with Bradenton.TRAINERS ROOMYankees: 1B Mark Teixeira sat again with pain in his neck. From a health standpoint I have to watch him closely, Girardi said, but hes feeling better today than he was yesterday.Royals: RHP Wade Davis allowed one hit and struck out two in one inning at Triple-A Omaha. Davis is on a rehab assignment after a flexor strain but could rejoin the Royals soon.UP NEXTRHP Luis Cessa, the second Yankees pitcher since 2004 to win his first two career starts, returns to the mound for New York. RHP Ian Kennedy tries for his fourth straight win for the Royals. Brett Hull Jersey
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. Wall made the comment in a speech to a Regina business crowd that included Lesnar. The U.S. wrestler and retired mixed martial artist says he was visiting his brothers farm in Saskatchewan and decided he wanted to hear what the premier had to say. Bold, brash and unashamedly modern, Kent keeper-batsman Sam Billings embodies the new way for English cricketers. He speaks about his determination to make an England ODI spot his own, the IPL experience and where cricket goes next. Why limit what you can do? he says.Its four years since Billings announced himself by scoring a run-a-ball half-century in a televised one-day match for Kent against Warwickshire. His dexterity and range of strokes led Michael Atherton to tip him as an international player in the making, the former England skipper even suggesting the selectors should chance their arm and pick him immediately. While his Kent teammates Sam Northeast and Daniel Bell-Drummond had been identified as prodigious talents at an early age, Billings had seemingly come from nowhere.Im a late developer, Billings tells AOC as we sit in the sunshine outside the Lime Tree Café at the pretty St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury. Rob Key said to me the other day when we were playing golf: You were rubbish as a kid! Everyone knew about DBD [Bell-Drummond], everyone knew about Sam Northeast, and I was just this wiry little kid who turned up to practice and asked for a hit at the end of the day. He tells the story of when I went to Antigua on pre-season with the first-team squad. We had a practice game, Charlie Shreck was bowling bumpers at me and I smacked a fifty and all of a sudden Keysy said he realised there was something to work with.Billings had to bide his time though, and when no offer of a professional contract was forthcoming, he decided his best chance was through the MCC University system at Loughborough. He describes it as the best thing hes ever done.Growing up I was definitely a keeper first and a batter second. Id kept for England all the way through the age groups - Jos [Buttler] played as a batter - but I wasnt good enough to get a full county contract when I finished school. During my first year at Loughborough we had a camp for the England under 19s. All the boys were staying in the ECB lodges and I just stayed in my halls. I was one of only a few that didnt have a contract and I felt a bit on the periphery. It was only at Loughborough that I got an opportunity at the top of the order. My [first-class] debut was against Northants at Loughborough and I got a hundred, so Kent then knew I was good enough to play at this level.A year later Billings was established in Kents limited-overs teams and he followed that eye-catching performance in front of the Sky cameras by smashing 143 from 113 deliveries against Derbyshire - the highest one-day score by a Kent batsman at Canterbury. In the time since he has developed a reputation as one of the cleanest and most innovative ball-strikers in the English game and he made his ODI and T20I debuts in 2015. He also took part in the inaugural Pakistan Super League earlier this year, turning out for tournament winners Islamabad United, before representing Delhi Daredevils at the IPL.I just saw it as a huge opportunity, he says of his decision to put himself forward for the IPL auction. Andrew Strauss has encouraged as many of us as possible to go and play in franchise tournaments around the world. He sees it as an opportunity to improve as individuals and in the long run thats going to benefit English cricket as well. Even when youre not playing you learn just as much as when you are. Youve just got to soak it all up because it is a different world out there.I was actually na?ve going into it because I thought it was just cricket, there was training and you got plenty of time in between games. But there was something on every day! If youre not training youre doing photoshoots, youre singing in adverts, youre doing all sorts for the sponsors. I was quite lucky actually. They wanted the big guys faces on adverts and we had Brathwaite, Morris, Zaheer Khan, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock. They didnt have a clue who I was! They thought I was the physio.Billings had made his peace with the fact that in such a star-studded roster he might not get a game but midway through the tournament he got his opportunity against Kolkata Knight Riders. I was so nervous! The boys were taking the mickey out of me in the team meeting. Im sitting next to the big man, Carlos Brathwaite, and when my names read out all the lads started clapping, and then Carlos looked at me and burst out laughing. I had these massive sweat patches, just from the nerves. I was wearing a grey t-shirt - not a good option! He found it hilarious. It was only because you care so much and youre wanting to show the world what you can do. I think thats how youve got to look at it: its a great opportunity as opposed to shying away from it.The nerves didnt show as Billings scored 54 from 34 balls in a Delhi victory. He followed that with a quick-fire 24 in his next innings and finished the campaign with five matches under his belt. Hopefully if I get retained next year people now know what I can do. Theres not much more I could have done. It was a sensational, surreal experience. It was as much a life experience as a cricketing experience.So should we be trying to replicate that experience in England with our own city-based franchise model? Franchise cricket was fantastic but its a different beast over here, says Billings. Youve got the county system, which is so entrenched. The main thing from a players point of view is that we have to play T20 in a block. Weve had two spells this season where weve played six days out of eight in three different formats. Thats not good for us as players: trying to survive in red-ball cricket and then having to try and whack it out of the park on a Friday evening. As players we dont know whats going on. We just load our cars up and have all the kit there in case its T20 or whatever! But also as a fan, its so hard to track a competition or team, or how a particular players going.Billings isnt afraid to speak his mind on a number of subjects and admits he was bitterly disappointed to miss out on Englands ODI squad for the recent series against Sri Lanka. He was selected for the one-off T20I but feels ready for a run in the 50-over team and the stats bear that out.To be totally hoonest I was disappointed not to be in the ODI squad, he says.ddddddddddddAfter James Taylor was unfortunately forced to retire due to his health issues and then Ben Stokes was out injured I thought I might get a go in that middle order. But I think its a great strength of English cricket at the moment that weve got so many decent players and Ive just got to keep scoring runs. Ive topped the averages in List A cricket for the last two years, at a strike-rate of 140, average of 86 - as long as I keep doing that then hopefully that spot becomes my own.List A cricket is definitely my strongest format, simply because Ive played so much of it from a young age. Where I bat in T20, its so volatile as well. Its the strike-rate thats the key thing as opposed to the average. For England I just hope that I get a good stint at it. In that Pakistan series [last November] I got a fifty off 23 balls, the quickest fifty from an Englishman in an international T20. If I get a good run at it, Im sure that given a bit of time I can really go on and produce. J-Roy [Jason Roy] has had a good run at it and now hes starting to show how good he is. And Im so happy for him because he is that good. Youre not going to whack it out of the park every day straight away but given time I think you can definitely bed in, for sure.****Its a sign of the times that 40 minutes into our interview, were yet to discuss Billings red-ball cricket. Hes only played 40 first-class matches in his career so far and, remarkably, just two in the last 11 months. Hes batted once in that time.Young cricketers coming through in this country still generally proclaim Test cricket to be the pinnacle, almost as a reflex. But in the case of a player such as Billings, whose career thus far has been so focused on, and defined by, white-ball cricket, can that really still hold true?Theres something special about a Lords Test match. That is the purest form of cricket. But I think were very lucky to have a sport which has three formats that are so different. Theres not one thats more important than the other. Thats quite important I think. If you see it from my perspective, dont get me wrong I would love to play a Test match - putting on that blue Three Lions cap and walking out for a Test match would just be unbelievable - but its just different. I feel so far away from Test cricket because I just havent played enough four-day cricket in the last year. Its frustrating because I would love to play it, but its just finding a balance. Red ball and white ball cricket are two different games nowadays and people have got to realise that. Its just the way it is.Billings talks with real passion about the games future and given the opportunities available to him, its easy to see why. I think the games moving forward quicker than it ever has done, he says. The face of cricket is changing all around the world with different competitions popping up everywhere. Weve just got to keep growing the game.I think that ODI series against New Zealand [last summer] was actually one of the best, not only for the England team but for the whole cricket world because it had two teams just going out there without a care in the world. In the deciding ODI, Morgs [Eoin Morgan] came in against the left-arm spinner and tried to take him down. Thats the way you have to play nowadays, because 300s not good enough. Its that mindset of taking it on, whether its first ball or last ball: have no regrets and go with the flow. See 400 as a realistic option. It sounds ridiculous, but it is. The last 20 overs, you can get 200. Why not? And then youve 30 overs before that. I reckon we will see 500 one day. I should have brought one of my bats down. It is ridiculous. Its actually absurd. They are unbelievable but the game moves forward. Its going to push the standard higher. Batsmen are now paddle-sweeping fast bowlers. Why limit what you can do? Weve got one of the best bowlers in the world here [at Kent] in [Kagiso] Rabada, who for a 21-year-old is just phenomenal with the skills hes got. Hes come up with ways to combat a batsman. You have to. It will have that knock-on effect where the bowlers will catch up again.Gareth Andrew [the Hampshire allrounder] has a brilliant thing where he has the ball in his left hand while running up to bowl and as hes getting into his delivery stride he chucks the ball up with his left hand and catches it with his right. As a batter youre like: Whats he done? Why limit that? Thats great for the game. Gone are the days where you set a field and everyone knows where youre going to bowl. If youve got the field set for a yorker youre going to double bluff and hit the bloke on the head. If he top-edges it for four or six over third-man, then thats the game. Batsmen gamble, and bowlers have got to gamble as well now.****Billings immediate focus is on winning back a place in Englands ODI squad for the forthcoming series against Pakistan and cementing his spot in the T20 side. Hes going the right way about it. Given the plum role of No.4 for the England Lions one-day tri-series, he followed up a 34-ball 68 in a victory over Sri Lanka A with a career-best 175 against Pakistan A - 139 balls, 21 fours, four sixes (one of those a pull over mid-wicket from a left-handed stance). It was a role that Billings had discussed with England Lions batting coach Graham Thorpe during the winter tour of South Africa. Thorpey said they wanted me to bat four because if you have that adaptability where you can bat anywhere in the top six or seven, then as a coach or selector it gives you so much more, especially if you can hopefully be one of the better fielders and offer an option with the gloves as well. Im trying to offer as much as I can to the team in different situations.Its an offer that Englands 50-over team can surely not turn down for much longer. After years of inertia, England have finally woken up to whats possible in white-ball cricket. Billings has the skill and tenacity to help them achieve it.This article first appeared in All Out Cricket magazine. Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap Stitched Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys White NFL Jerseys Cheap
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