Lester sharp in final spring outing


Lester sharp in final spring outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. In his final outing before facing the Tigers on Opening Day in Detroit, Jon Lester pitched four scoreless innings in a minor league game Saturday morning at the Red Sox complex. With general manager Ben Cherington, manager Bobby Valentine, and pitching coach Bob McClure looking on, Lester faced 16 batters, giving up three hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. Lester threw 57 pitches, 41 strikes, including first-pitch strikes to 12 batters, in the Triple-A game against the Twins squad.

Lester had been scheduled to pitch five innings, but was satisfied with his outing after four.

I think we just went off of how it went, he said. Was able to work on a lot of different things and throw some changeups and curveballs. Had a good feel for everything so there was really no point in just keep running out there. So that was kind of what Mac and I talked about at the end and just decided that was good.

Lester will be on a normal five-day schedule before facing the Tigers on Thursday.

He will be making his second consecutive Opening Day start. Last season in Texas, Lester went 5 13 innings against the Rangers, giving up five runs on six hits, including three home runs, and a walk with no strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision, a 9-5 loss.

Heading into this Opening Day has a different feel for the left-hander.

Just the experience of knowing what to kind of expect, he said. I think theres a learning curve to pitch Opening Day that a lot of people dont understand and its just something that you have to experience to kind of get better at. And hopefully this yearll go a little bit better than last year.

HEISMAN: Lousiville's Lamar Jackson wins College Football's highest award


HEISMAN: Lousiville's Lamar Jackson wins College Football's highest award

NEW YORK -- Lamar Jackson leapt over a loaded field of Heisman Trophy contenders early in the season and by the time he slowed down nobody could catch him.

The sensational sophomore quarterback became the first Louisville player to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, beating out preseason favorite Deshaun Watson of Clemson despite some late-season struggles.

Baker Mayfield finished third and Oklahoma teammate and fellow finalist Dede Westbrook was fourth. Michigan's Jabrill Peppers was fifth.

For more clicke here . . .

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs


Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins.