BC, Maine in Hockey East finals; Brown ousted

77981.jpg

BC, Maine in Hockey East finals; Brown ousted

HOCKEY EAST SEMIFINALS

Maine 5, Boston University 2: Senior Dave Wilson made 21 saves in his third straight postseasonvictory, leading Maine to a 5-2 victory over defending nationalchampion Boston University in the semfinal round of the Hockey Easttournament Friday night at TD Garden.

Joey Diamond. Brian Flynn, Robby Dee, Dave deKastrozza and Tanner House scored for the Black Bears (19-16-3).

Wilson, Maine's third-string goalie during the regular season,celebrated his 25th birthday by winning his third game in a week. He isstarting because No. 1 goalie Scott Darlin was suspended indefinitelyfor violating team rules, and backup Shawn Sirman is a freshman.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Vinny Saponari scored for Boston University (18-17-3).

Boston College 3, Vermont 0: Junior John Muse earned his second shutout of the season and JimmyHayes had a goal and two assists, leading Boston College to a 3-0victory over Vermont in the Hockey East semifinals Friday night.

Muse made 30 saves, including stopping Colin Vock on a short-handedbreakaway with just under a minute left in the second period.

Ben Smith and Chris Kreider also scored for Boston College.

Vermont (17-14-7) reached the semifinals by beating New Hampshire in a best-of-three series.

The second-seeded Eagles (24-10-3) advanced to their 14th Hockey Easttitle game. Boston College will try for its fourth title in six yearswhen it faces Maine in Saturday's championship game.

ECAC SEMIFINALS

Cornell 3, Brown 0: John Esposito had a goal and an assist asCornell beat Brown, 3-0, Friday in an ECAC Hockey League semifinalgame at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.RileyNash and Locke Jillson also scored, and Ben Scrivens stopped all 23shots he faced in his sixth shutout of the season for the Big Red(20-8-4), who advance to Saturday nights ECAC championship game against Union.Itis the second straight trip to the finals and seventh since 2000-01 forCornell, which last won the postseason tournament title in 2004-05.MichaelClemente finished with 24 saves for Brown (12-20-4), which upsetRensselaer Polytechnic Institute and regular-season champion Yale toadvance to the semifinals.-- Associated Press

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

red_sox_brian_johnson_052617.jpg

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

Remember that infield hit by Jonathan Villar of the Brewers off Craig Kimbrel on May 11 in Milwaukee?

Don't worry, nobody does. That's the last hit off the Red Sox closer. That's right. One hit this month.

How dominant has Kimbrel been? Going into Saturday, right-handed hitters don't have a hit off him in their past 39 at-bats. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Move the decimal point and 0.83 happens to be his season ERA, too, to go with 13 saves. 

Here's more via @SoxNotes:

Kimbrel, 28, has been one of baseball's best closers for years with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. His first year in Boston last season was solid with 31 saves and a 3.40 ERA, but his walks climbed (30 total and 5.1 per 9 innings, the second-highest totals of his career). He also struggled in non-save situations.

There's been no struggling lately. The last run Kimbrel gave up was a home run by Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays in the ninth inning on April 20 in Toronto that tied the score at 1 in a game won by the Red Sox 4-1 in 10. Kimbrel got the win and his only blown save of the season.

His three-out save Friday night was his first outing without a strikeout since a one-out save April 23. That followed his four-strikeout inning Thursday night.