Wakeup call: Say hello to your (tied for) first-place Orioles

770412.jpg

Wakeup call: Say hello to your (tied for) first-place Orioles

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, September 5:

BASEBALL
Derek Jeter describes blowing a 10-game lead in 47 days as "scuffling a little bit". (AP) Yeah, we've been scuffling a little bit up here, too, Jetes.

Meanwhile, the Orioles -- as in, the tied-for-first-place Orioles (yes, it's still okay to shake your head in disbelief) -- are "just having a good time," says Mark Reynolds. (AP)

And now just about everyone in baseball is looking forward to the four-game series between the Yanks and O's this weekend at Camden Yards. (CSN Baltimore)

Pitching in the major leagues at age 50? Even Roger Clemens thinks that's a stretch. (NBC's Hardball Talk) But at 51 . . . ?

Keith Hernandez and his mustache are back in the news. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Stories are seeping out about Billy Gillispie, and none of them are good. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Yo, Steve Sarkasian: It's just their nickname. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Notre Dame isn't done punishing Allen Pinkett just yet. (College Football Talk)

USC didn't cover the 40-point spread against Hawaii -- the Trojans only won by 39 -- so the AP voters promptly replaced them with Alabama at the top of their poll. (AP)

Defending itself in the Jerry Sandusky scandal has cost Penn State 16.8 million . . . and counting. (AP)

GOLF
Now that we know who's on the Ryder Cup team, let's take a guess at the pairings. (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY
Wayne Gretzky's lifelong dream was to play a game in Russia. Sort of a strange dream if you ask me, but he's finally getting the chance. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

We'll talk, say the players. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Well, talk amongst yourselves then, say the owners. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Dwyane Wade says he's ahead of schedule in his rehab from knee surgery. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
On the day of the season opener, the Patriots are ranked No. 3 in NBC's Pro Football Talk's power rankings.

Having already notched Tom Brady, Wes Welker (sort of) and Rob Gronkowski (also kind of sort of) on his belt, Bernard Pollard is taking aim at A.J. Green. (CSN Baltimore) So much for the kinder, gentler NFL.

Redskins receiver Josh Morgan thinks RGIII is a hybrid of Michael Vick, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. (Pro Football Talk) And just imagine how good he'll be after he actually plays a couple of games, eh, Josh?

The Vikings will decide Saturday whether or not to play Adrian Peterson in the season opener. (AP)

The NFLPA is investigating Drew Rosenhaus. (Pro Football Talk)

And it won't let Bountygate die. (AP)

Yes, that's Chad Ochojohnson refusing to give up the ghost. (Pro Football Talk)

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

red_sox_mookie_betts_082516.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals

QUOTES:

"We continually do a great job in creating opportunities and I'm confident that (the struggles with men in scoring position) will turn.'' - John Farrell

"When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that's a tough deficit to overcome.'' - Steven Wright.

"That's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes, we score when we're not expecting to and then when we need to score, sometimes it doesn't happen.'' - Mookie Betts on the team going 4-for-15 with RISP.

 

NOTES:

* The loss was just the third in the last 13 series openers for the Red Sox.

* The game marked the first time in 20 home games in which the Sox never led.

* Boston was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

* The first four hitters in the order were 13-for-19 (.684). The fifth-through-nine hitters, however, were just 2-for-21 (.095).

* Mookie Betts (five hits) leads the majors with 55 multi-hit games.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.

* David Ortiz's double was the 625th of his career, passing Hank Aaron to move into 10 place in MLB history.

* Ortiz leads the A.L. in doubles (41) and extra-base hits (72).

 

STARS:

1) Eric Hosmer

Hosmer cranked a three-run homer into the Monster Seats four batters into the game, and the Royals were off and running with a five-run inning.

2) Ian Kennedy

The Royals starter wasn't dominant, allowing nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he bailed himself out of a number of jams and limited the Sox to just two runs.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had his first career five-hit night and knocked in two of the three Red Sox runs, though he also got himself picked off first base.

 

First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

red_sox_steven_wright_082616.jpg

First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Steven Wright recovered nicely after the first inning, but the damage was done.

Wright's last five innings featured just three hits allowed -- one in the infield. But the first inning did the Red Sox in -- two walks followed by a three-run homer, then a single and a two-run homer.

Whether this was a matter of rust for Wright -- who last pitched three weeks ago Friday night -- or an early inability to command his knuckleball is uncertain.

The fact is, Wright dug an early hole for his teammates, and he had the misfortune to do so against a team with the best bullpen in baseball.

To his credit, Wright kept the game somewhat within reach thereafter, but the five-run head start proved too much of a jump.

 

It's time to worry a little about Jackie Bradley.

Bradley was just 7-for-40 in the just-completed road trip, and things didn't get any better on the first night of the homestand.

In the first, he came up with two on and two out and struck out swinging to strand both baserunners. In the third, he came to the plate with runners on the corners and, again, struck out swinging.

We're seeing the same kind of slump that Bradley fell into in previous seasons, where even contact is hard to find, with nine strikeouts in the last 16 at-bats.

Problem is, with Andrew Benitendi on the DL, there aren't a lot of options for John Farrell with the Red Sox outfield.

 

Trying to get Fernando Abad and Junichi Tazawa back on track in low- leverage mop-up didn't work.

Tazawa had a perfect seventh, but gave up a monster shot into the center field bleachers to Lorenzo Cain to start the eighth.

Abad entered, and while he did record a couple of strikeouts, also gave up a single, a walk and threw a wild pitches before he could complete the inning.

Getting some work for the two was the right idea, given that the Sox were down by three runs at the time. A good outing might help either regain some confidence and turn the corner.

But not even that could be accomplished Friday night.