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After launching 10 home runs in their first two games against the
Ansah Jersey , the Dodgers kept it in the park and still won their fourth
in a row.
Rich Hill earned his first victory in three months, Yasmani Grandal and Chris Taylor drove in three runs apiece, and Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh 6-4 on
Wednesday night to sweep the Pirates for the second straight year.
The Dodgers outscored the Pirates 31-8 in the series, the first time they’ve totaled 30-plus runs and 20-plus extra-base hits in a three-game series since
1950, when the Brooklyn Dodgers had 47 runs and 22 extra-base hits also against
the Pirates, according to Stats LLC.
”It’s been fun. Everybody seems to be swinging the bat well,” Taylor said. ”It seems like it’s a different guy every time. We know we can manufacture runs.
It just happens we’ve been scoring most by the homer.”
Hill (2-3) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings for his first victory since April 1, when he won his season debut against the Giants. The
left-hander, who had been sidelined by blister issues, struck out five and
It was the first time the Pirates walked in the series.
”The mechanical things we worked on a month ago I look forward to keeping the rest of the season,” Hill said.
Hill left the game with a stiff neck after an ill-advised head-first slide into home plate in the fourth.
Kenley Jansen earned a five-out save, his 23rd of the season. Pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson singled with two outs in the ninth, putting the potential tying
run at the plate, but Austin Meadows struck out to end the game.
Daniel Hudson, who relieved Hill, was ejected in the sixth by first-base umpire Jeff Nelson. Hudson gave up a one-out single to Elias Diaz and then
appeared to be yelling in Nelson’s direction before getting tossed. Hudson gave
a dismissive wave of his right arm before retreating to the dugout.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Nelson had cautioned Hudson that his hand was carrying the ball, although Roberts said the delivery wasn’t out of the
”He wanted Daniel to have the hand available for the runner to see,” Roberts said. ”Nelly interpreted it correctly.”
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was hit by a pitch from Tyler Glasnow in the fifth, but stayed in the game. The ball grazed his shoulder first before
striking part of his helmet.
”It kind of shook him up,” Roberts said.
Grandal gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the first. His two-run RBI double put them back in front in the
Quin Jersey , and Taylor followed with an RBI single to chase Clay Holmes
(0-1) and make it 4-2.
Taylor’s RBI single in the fifth extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-2.
Gregory Polanco’s two-run homer off Edward Paredes in the eighth left Pittsburgh trailing 6-4.
The Pirates briefly led 2-1 on Starling Marte’s two-out RBI double just inside the left-field line in the third.
Pittsburgh lost its third in a row and went 4-5 on its nine-game trip to New York, San Diego and Los Angeles.
”The game shows you where you need to improve,” manager Clint Hurdle said. ”It gives you immediate feedback.”
Holmes gave up four runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings of his first major league start. The right-hander struck out two and walked three, all in the first
inning when he needed 35 pitches.
”I made some good pitches,” Holmes said. ”But they had some good takes and made me work a little extra in the first.”
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture) is set to throw a simulated game in Anaheim on Sunday. That session should end his rehab and he
will return to the club. … RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (left groin strain) will go to
spring training camp in Arizona while the Dodgers are on a seven-game trip to
Anaheim and San Diego. Ryu will be joined there by RHP Pedro Baez (right biceps
tendinitis), LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain) and RHP Josh Fields (right
ADVENTURE IN BASE RUNNING
Hill notched his first hit of the season with a perfectly placed bunt single in the fourth and his first since Sept. 27, 2017. That launched his adventure on
the base paths. He advanced to second and third on wild pitches. Hill slid home
head-first only to get tossed out on a double-play ball by Max Muncy. ”Sliding
head-first into home plate for a pitcher is no-no,” Taylor said. Hill said he
would get treatment on his neck. ”I just need to learn how to slide feet-first,”
Pirates: Off on Thursday before RHP Trevor Williams (6-6, 4.22 ERA) starts at home Friday against Philadelphia. He has lost his last two starts.
Dodgers: After an off-day, RHP Kenta Maeda (5-5, 3.36) starts the series opener Friday in Anaheim. He is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts against
Of all the people glued to their TVs rooting for the Buffalo Bills to finally – and mercifully – end their 17-season playoff drought last weekend, one
curiously stood out: former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck.
Wycheck is forever remembered in Buffalo for throwing a lateral on a kickoff return to give Tennessee a 22-16 playoff win over the Bills in a play dubbed the
“Music City Miracle,” one of the wildest finishes ever to an NFL postseason
game. The much-debated play in the January 2000 wild-card playoff propelled the
Titans to the Super Bowl.
It’s a memory that still stings in Buffalo 18 years later, enveloped in the lingering pain from what grew into the longest playoff drought in North
America’s four major professional sports.
”People were kind of bringing it up that that’s the reason why they haven’t made the playoffs because of that play,” Wycheck told The Associated Press by
phone from Nashville, Tennessee.
”I don’t want to put the responsibility on me,” said Wycheck, who now serves as a radio host and Titans broadcast analyst. ”But it was so long ago, too. I’m
just glad they made it and I was happy for them.”
He doesn’t feel directly responsible for the Bills’ woes in the bungling years that followed.
Robinson Jersey , Wycheck said if there was some kind of curse on the
Bills sparked by the ”Music City Miracle,” it’s time it was lifted.
Add another member to the Bills bandwagon as Buffalo travels to play AFC South champion Jacksonville in a wild-card playoff on Sunday.
The sentiments surprised key players from Buffalo’s storied past, and even some fans didn’t quite know how to react when Wycheck tweeted his congrats to
the Bills for making the playoffs.
”Are you kidding?” said Rob Johnson, the Bills quarterback at the time who started the game over Doug Flutie. ”Does he feel bad?”
”Wow. Really?” said Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas. ”Oh, that’s freaking awesome, man. That you could still in a way, even though it hurt us,
that you could root for us, that’s great.”
Wycheck’s name has been dragged through the mud – and worse – across western New York long enough for a play most refer to as ”The Home Run Throwback .”
Everywhere that is, except Buffalo – where it’s always been called ”The Home Run
Throw Forward,” and ”The Immaculate Deception.”
Johnson, minus a shoe no less, completed a 9-yard pass to Peerless Price to set up Steve Christie hitting a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo ahead 16-15
with 16 seconds remaining.
What followed was pure and utter disappointment for the Bills.
Tennessee’s Lorenzo Neal caught the ensuing kickoff and handed the ball to Wycheck, who ran to his right. He then spun around at his own 25 and threw the
ball across the field to Kevin Dyson, who sprinted up the left sideline to score
with 3 seconds left.
The 75-yard touchdown stood up after a lengthy video review, and the stunning loss spawned what became a playoff drought that tied for fifth-longest in NFL
Just like its start, the Bills’ drought ended in dramatic fashion last weekend.
Buffalo did its part with a 22-16 win at Miami . The Bills then clinched the AFC’s sixth and final playoff berth when Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton converted a
fourth-and-12 in the final minute to hit Tyler Boyd for a touchdown, beating
Thomas noted that Buffalo’s win over the Dolphins matched the same score as the 2000 loss to Tennessee – the running back’s last game in a Bills
”It’s been a long, long time,” said Thomas Nevin
Lawson Jersey , who wept in joy after the Bills clinched their playoff
After spending many of these last 17 years answering questions about the drought, and wondering if the Bills might in fact be cursed, Thomas is relieved
everyone can finally put it behind them.
”The fans are living it now. Enjoy,” said Thomas, who was on the Bills teams that reached and lost four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early
1990s. ”It’s time to create some other memories.”
Even former Bills players who never earned a chance to enjoy a playoff appearance in Buffalo celebrated.
”I’m trying to live vicariously through them because I didn’t get to live it,” said punter Brian Moorman, who played for the Bills from 2001-13. ”I always
said that place would go nuts if we got in the playoffs. I would’ve loved to
have experienced that.”
Johnson, who eventually won a Super Bowl as a backup in Tampa Bay in 2003, was excited for the Bills and yet still carries some lingering resentment for
what happened against Tennessee.
”They do all that scientific stuff now, I wonder if they ever proved that was a lateral,” he wondered. (Don’t try to convince some Bills fans, but it was
studied thoroughly, including with rendered animations that showed the pass was
almost perfectly horizontal but going ever so slightly backward.)
When reminded that it was ultimately the officials who made the call on Wycheck’s throw being legal, Johnson snorted.
”It wasn’t his fault, heh, it wasn’t his fault,” he said.
Wycheck insists his toss didn’t go forward and said the most disappointing development was learning of the Bills decision to fire special teams coach Bruce
DeHaven following the season. He called it unfair to lay the blame on one
That didn’t stop Wycheck from
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