P-Bruins lay an egg against St. John's

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P-Bruins lay an egg against St. John's

PROVIDENCE, R.I. All good things must come to an end, and an eight-game point streak for the Providence Bruins fell to a crashing thud Sunday afternoon. The P-Bruins fell behind early and never truly got it together in a 4-0 loss to the St. Johns IceCaps on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

The Black and Gold skaters probably knew it wasnt going to be their night when IceCaps forward Aaron Gagnon tipped a puck past P-Bruins goalie Michael Hutchinson just 45 seconds into the game.

Things didnt get better from there.

We had two goals that went in off us right out of the gate and were not a team that really fills up the net, so those are going to be tough games for us, said Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy. We had our chances to come back, but that was the story of our day. We didnt finish all that well around the net. It wasnt the first time this year, and it wont be the last.

But Providence also had its chances.

Craig Cunningham had a breakaway in the first period that was turned away by St. Johns goaltender Mark Dekanich. Chris Bourque had his own golden scoring opportunity mere moments into the second period off a faceoff play, but he missed high with a shot targeted for the top corner. Those were the best among 40 shots amassed by Providence in the shutout loss, but it was to no avail.

Paul Postma finished off the first period with a power-play strike from the high point that pinballed off bodies in front before catching the back of the net. The power play came courtesy of Jordan Carons second minor penalty of the first period, and the second of three overall the Bs forward would take in the game.

With Christian Hanson off for a kneeing penalty in the middle 20 minutes, Kael Mouillierat jumped on a loose puck to make it 3-0 when Hutchinson couldnt cleanly glove a point shot through traffic in front of the net. A third period David Warsofsky turnover in his own end led to an unassisted Jason Gregoire goal for the IceCaps, and finished off an uninspiring shutout loss for the P-Bruins that dropped their record to 14-9-0-2 on the season.

Cunningham and Jamie Tardif led the P-Bruins with five shots on net apiece in defeat.

GOLD STAR: Defenseman Paul Postma had a solid day for St.Johns: he helped set up the IceCaps goal 45 seconds into the game and thenhelped St. Johns build a 2-0 lead on a rocket from the high slot during apower play that put Providence down by a decisive two scores. Postma finishedthe day with two shots on net and a plus-1 and was part of a St. Johns crewthat had a solid day top-to-bottom against the P-Bruins. Mark Dekanich getshonorable mention for a 40-save effort against Providence, but many of theshots were from the outside perimeter area. BLACK EYE: Jordan Caron finished with zero points and hasbeen stuck on five goals scored for quite some time, and took a hat trick ofthree minor penalties during the game. The IceCaps scored their second goal ofthe game after Caron took a high-sticking penalty in the first period, andthings never got better for the Bruins forward. It wasnt very shocking thatCaron was slapped with several penalties as his skating appeared sluggish andlabored for much of the game. It just wasnt a good night for a player thatsexpected to have an NHL spot waiting for him in Boston.

INJURY UPDATE: Ryan Spooner was out with an upper-bodyinjury suffered on Saturday night, and P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said theseverity or lack thereof hadnt been determined. Torey Krug still out witha lower body injury that might keep him out until the Christmas break. JaredKnight is skating while recovering from a hamstring injury, but also might beout until after the Christmas break. Bruce Cassidy said that defenseman GarnetExelby might be ready to return to action next weekend. 

TURNING POINT: A nifty play off the face-off freed ChrisBourque for a shot all alone in front of the St. Johns net during the openingseconds of the second period, but Bourque missed high with a top corner bid. Awell-executed shot could have brought Providence to within a goal with nearly40 minutes left to play in the hockey game, but the P-Bruins couldnt get shotsto fall on Sunday afternoon. Craig Cunningham and Max Sauve had their own GradeA scoring chances, but Dekanich stopped both of those cold during his firstcareer shutout with St. Johns.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7. That's the number of games since Jordan Caronhas scored a goal for Providence. Caron has one goal in his last 18 games forthe P-Bruins after a solid start to the season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: I think Hutchinson has really come around.All four were funny goals tonight. His game has been better. He hasnt playedback-to-back games in a long time, so starting him Sunday was kind of a gutfeeling. He played really well last night in Albany. I dont think today evengives a fair assessment of how hes been playing. P-Bruins coach BruceCassidy on goaltender Michael Hutchinson, who played in his first back-to-backgames since October.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

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Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Angels:

 

QUOTES

 

* “Missed opportunities -- that’s the story of this one. We did a fantastic job of, once again, putting guys on. But to cash in and complete the inning -- that base hit has been elusive . . . It’s been all or nothing it seems like this stretch that we’re through offensively.” Farrell said on Boston’s offensive play of late.

 

* “The first one wasn’t me. I had a lot of time off -- had a lot of things going on. The last one was more myself -- I fell like. Tonight, I made a bad pitch too (Albert) Pujols, walked a couple guys. But overall, I feel like I did a decent job.” Pomeranz on his first three starts in Boston

 

* “I’m just trying to put a good swing on a good pitch and fortunately I got one and it went over.” Mookie Betts said on his leadoff homerun.

 

* “It’s been a mixed bag.” Farrell on Pomeranz to trough his first threw starts for the Red Sox.

 

* “Overall he probably wasn’t as sharp as his last time out. And when they created damage against him it was early in counts . . . So it wasn’t like he got into too many deep innings.” John Farrell said Drew Pomeranz’s start.

 

* “It happens – it’s baseball. They capitalized on some chances and we didn’t.” Betts on the offense not taking advantage of early opportunities.

 

NOTES

 

* Mookie Betts’ leadoff homerun was his 21st long ball of the year, sixth to start off the game. He passed Dwight Evans (5 in 1985) and now only trails Nomar Garciaparra’s seven in 1997.

 

* Albert Pujols launched his 20th home run of the season, reaching that total for the 15th time in his career. He joins Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players to do so through at least 16 seasons.

 

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 33 straight games for the Red Sox after walking twice and finishing 1-for-2 in the loss.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in his second at-bat, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk.

 

* The Red Sox are now two games out of first place with Toronto finally moving into first place after defeating the Orioles 9-1 on Saturday.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Hector Santiago

Somehow, the lefty managed to scatter six walks and four hits -- including a leadoff homerun -- only giving up two runs in five innings of work against Boston.

 

2) Albert Pujols

Pujols’ two-run homerun gave the Angels the advantage after falling behind early, and proved to be enough for their pitching staff.

 

3) Dustin Pedroia

As much as Mookie Betts had the big fly, Pedroia reached base three times in four chances, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks.

First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

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First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

First impressions of the Red Sox 5-2 loss to Los Angeles:

 

Far too many missed opportunities for the Red Sox.

Hector Santiago somehow worked his way through five innings and only gave up two runs -- despite walking six batters and giving up six hits.

Somehow he’s flipped a switch in July after a rough start to the season. But Saturday night was not one of those nights.

Although the pitching wasn’t at it’s best, Santiago gave the Red Sox offense several easy chances at runs that they didn’t capitalize on -- including two instances where Bryce Brentz was punched-out.

 

Joe Kelly not the best guy to bring in with runners on.

The righty gave up a crucial double to start his appearance -- which would’ve been an amazing catch by Brock Holt.

Next leadoff batter he got out, but his last one reach on a line drive single up the middle.

So 67 percent of the leadoff batters got a hit off of Kelly.

A small sample size? Yes.

But when you’ve got a track record like Kelly’s, assessments like that are going to be made.

 

The return out west didn’t go as planned for Drew Pomeranz.

While Saturday was a Pacific Coast homecoming for the lefty starter, he wasn’t able to find his form.

It seemed like things would go well at first, but Pomeranz made some crucial mistakes in his second trip through the order.

Walking Yunel Escobar isn’t an option when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols follow him.

Furthermore, the cutter Pujols launched to left field was down the heart of the plate -- simply unacceptable.

 

Mookie Betts is making might be more valuable than Xander Bogaerts.

It became clear pretty early that Betts had the superior power.

While Bogaerts’ hands give bail him out constantly, they never move as quickly as those of the Boston leadoff hitter.

And while Bogaerts seemed to be the superior hitter for average, Betts is narrowing that gap, too.

The only case for Bogaerts being more valuable is that he’s a shortstop.

Other than that, Betts has shown he could easily be the face of the franchise when David Ortiz retires -- which is great for Boston, since he’s the one of the two who isn’t a Scott Boras client.

 

Red Sox fail to secure another series win against a bad team.

The Angels have no pitching. In fact, the Red Sox haven’t even faced their best pitcher.

And with the exception of Friday’s game, they’ve scored three runs in two LA games.

And the pitching was good until Saturday night -- so the offense has to get things going for Sunday.

Thuney stands out in first day of one-on-one work

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Thuney stands out in first day of one-on-one work

FOXBORO -- With the introduction of fully-padded practices typically comes the opportunity for linemen on both sides of the football to shine. Unfortunately for the Patriots offensive line, Saturday was sort of a rough day.

Guard Jonathan Cooper, who has been playing as the right guard on the first offensive line unit through the early portion of camp, had to be carted off the field with a foot injury. Center Bryan Stork left practice in the middle of the workout for an undisclosed reason. Guard Shaq Mason took off for some conditioning on a lower field soon after practice began. And, while healthy enough to be on the field, Marcus Cannon had difficulty trying to keep defensive ends Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard in check. 

One of the bright spots for offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia's group was rookie third-round pick Joe Thuney. The North Carolina State product has served as the left guard for the first-team offensive line thus far, and he more than held his own when the hitting commenced. 

He never appeared out of sorts next to left tackle Nate Solder, he blocked up to and through the echo of the whistle on a play-to-play basis, and he was one of the most impressive Patriots -- rookie or otherwise -- during the first one-on-one period for linemen during this year's camp. 

On his first snap, he was matched up across from last year's first-round pick Malcom Brown and held his ground against the team's top defensive tackle. Later, Thuney handled veteran free-agent pickup Frank Kearse. And on his final rep, he walled off second-year player Trey Flowers. 

For Thuney's part, those few minutes, encouraging as they might have been, had to be flushed from his memory quickly. 

"You can't think too much into one specific drill," he said. "You just gotta try and take it one play at a time and not put too much stock in one drill or one rep. If you have a bad one, just move past it. If you have a good one, move past that too and just go to the next play."

Thuney's aggressiveness and his understanding of the playbook to this point have to be as encouraging to the Patriots coaching staff as -- what appears to be, at least -- his sound technique.  

Mild-mannered in his interactions with reporters, Thuney was touted as a versatile and intelligent player coming out of college. He gushed about his college teammate Jacoby Brissett's leadership qualities soon after Brissett was drafted by the Patriots in May, and he's gone viral for his ability to slay the Rubik's Cube in a blink. 

He has some nasty to him, though. 

"I think inside every offensive lineman there's an inherent desire to play through the whistle," he said. "Obviously we don't want to play dirty or anything, but we try and play as hard as we can from whistle-to-whistle. And yeah...I do take pride in that." 

Thuney wasn't the only rookie lineman to play well on Saturday. When Cooper went down, it was sixth-rounder Ted Karras who began to see more work. 

Together, they caught the eye of at least one veteran defensive lineman. 

"They're physical," said defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. "That's a good start. Obviously they'll have to work on different techniques. Coming from college you have different terminology, a different playbook, a different style of game probably. 

"I try to help them out as much as I can even though we go at it. After the play if I feel something, I'll definitely share with them, whether [to] help them going up against myself or help them in the long run because we're all on the same team at the end of the day."

Whatever lessons Thuney's received thus far -- whether they're from coaches or from teammates on the other side of the line of scrimmage -- it looks like he's taken them to heart.