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PITTSBURGH -- Russell Martin swatted at Jonathan Broxtons 96 mph fastball and watched as Carlos Gomez gave chase. Adam Redmond Jersey . When the ball cleared the fence just out of Gomezs reach, the Pittsburgh Pirates catcher thumped his chest as he rounded first base after providing the latest lightning bolt in a season full of them for one of baseballs most resilient teams. "Its hard to be happier than that," Martin said. Buried in May, the Pirates are streaking toward October. Martins three-run blast off Broxton with one out in the eighth inning ignited the Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night and gave Pittsburgh a 4 1/2-game lead in the race for the second National League wild card spot with just nine days left in the regular season. Its a spot that seemed impossible in the spring. At one point Pittsburgh trailed Milwaukee by 9 1/2 games. Now the Pirates have all the momentum. Pittsburgh has won a season-high five straight and 12 of its last 14. Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth for his 31st save. John Holdzkom (1-0) earned the win in relief for his first major league victory. Pittsburgh spent seven innings getting overpowered by Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo, who struck out 11 before finally exiting after 112 pitches. Broxton (4-3), acquired on Aug. 31 to bolster a bullpen in anticipation of a playoff push, quickly gave it all away. Starling Marte led off the Pittsburgh eighth with an infield single. Neil Walker singled with one out to set the stage for Martin, who had two ugly check swings before taking a 1-1 pitch and sending it into the second row of seats in right-centre field for his 11th homer of the year and by far his most important. "I was trying to go down-and-away," Broxton said. "I dont know where it was. I dont watch the videos." Probably a good idea after the Brewers -- who led the NL Central for 149 days this year -- watched their playoff hopes take another devastating blow. Rickie Weeks hit his seventh homer of the season off Pirates starter Jeff Locke and Jonathan Lucroy added an RBI-single, but Milwaukee lost its third straight. The Brewers let a 2-0 lead get away late on Thursday night against St. Louis and fell in extra innings. They arrived in Pittsburgh at 4 a.m. on Friday morning hoping to revive their season against a team they have dominated for years, including an 11-5 mark this season. Now they likely need to sweep the final two games of the series to have any reasonable chance of catching Pittsburgh. "When you go to late innings, were used to putting games away," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "Weve been really good all year in finishing out games, and were not doing it right now." Gallardo did his part. He escaped early trouble and then settled down, retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced before giving way to Broxton after 112 leave-it-all-out-there pitches. The Pirates stranded six runners in the first four innings against Gallardo with nothing to show for it. Still, they remained upbeat after Gallardo tired. "Were a team that has a pretty good offence. When you have somebody that neutralizes you, its frustrating," Martin said. "But we believe in each other and we believe when we get to the bullpen we can make things happen." Ike Davis added an RBI single later in the inning off Jeremy Jeffress to give Melancon a little extra cushion he wouldnt need. TRAINERS ROOM Brewers: Milwaukee 1B Mark Reynolds was back in the lineup on Friday, going 0 for 3 less than 24 hours after a rare mental mistake opened the door to a late St. Louis rally. "This guy, instinctually, is unbelievable," Roenicke said. "Thats why when you see those things happen, its surprising. And, you know, why couldnt you do it in a game that didnt matter? Or a month ago, when maybe we were winning 6-0 in a game and you make a mistake? Its just when he made it that was so tough." Pirates: RHP Charlie Mortons return from the disabled list may be short-lived. Pittsburgh pulled Morton from his next scheduled start on Sunday after he felt discomfort in his groin and midsection late in his five innings of work in a victory over Boston on Tuesday. The pain intensified during a bullpen session on Thursday. Vance Worley will take Mortons spot in the rotation when the Pirates wrap up the series with Milwaukee. UP NEXT Brewers: Matt Garza (8-8, 3.74 ERA) will make his third start against the Pirates this season. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 6.55 ERA versus Pittsburgh. He is coming off six solid innings in a victory over Cincinnati last Sunday. Pirates: Edinson Volquez (12-7, 3.27 ERA) will search for his fifth straight victory when he faces the Brewers on Saturday. The 30-year-old is 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts against Milwaukee this season. Tavon Austin Jersey . The 41-year-old Northern Irishman has proved a perfect fit at Liverpool since taking over from Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 2012 and steered the team to an unexpected title challenge in the Premier League last season. Deonte Thompson Jersey . On Thursday, they signed former Browns linebacker DQwell Jackson. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. http://www.cheapcowboysjerseyssale.com/?...ersey-sale . "First, I would like to offer my deepest and sincerest apologies for any harm I have inflicted on University of Missouri defensive lineman, Michael Sam," the statement read.Scott Cullen has some post-Olympic notes on Martin St. Louis trade rumours, Team Canada in 2018 as well as NHL Olympic participation in Pyeongchang, South Korea (and beyond). 1. The Internet was abuzz, following the Olympics, about the possibility of the Tampa Bay Lightning dealing leading scorer Martin St. Louis to New York for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. This was my initital reaction. That isnt to say that the Lightning might not deal St. Louis because, if hes really unhappy after the whole Olympic team selection fiasco, then that might be the impetus for movement. However, the Lightning are in third place in the Eastern Conference, which means they arent just going to give him away, and there are several issues at play with regards to St. Louis future with the team. First, since St. Louis has a no-movement clause, the Lightning are at his mercy should they decide to trade him. If St. Louis says that his preferred destination is the Rangers, because he lives in nearby Connecticut, then you can expect the Rangers to avoid paying fair market value, instead paying closer to monopolistic value, not unlike the Pittsburgh Penguins offered to the Calgary Flames for Jarome Iginla last season. Additionally, if the Lightning are going to shop St. Louis, wouldnt it make much more sense to do it in the offseason, when they might be able to get a better quality return, or perhaps open the trade talks to more than one team (its not like Manhattan is the only NHL location relatively close to Connecticut)? Whatever the deal ends up being, there is little reason for the Lightning to deal St. Louis, straight-up, for an inferior winger with an expiring contract. Maybe Callahan plus works, but it would definitely depend on the plus. The reigning scoring champion cant just be peddled out of town at a cut-rate price if a franchise is going to be seen as legitimate. Considering how torn Lightning GM Steve Yzerman must have been throughout this process, its no wonder that hes had enough as Team Canada GM after back-to-back Olympic gold medals. 2. The 2014 Olympics were barely finished before Mike Johnson was tasked with projecting Team Canada for 2018. Obviously, this requires a lot of projection, going four years ahead of time, but here are some 2014 players that are likely due to be replaced because of age: Roberto Luongo, Mike Smith, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Sharp, Martin St. Louis, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, all of whom are 29 or older this season. There could easily be more turnover, but filling those 8-10 spots seems a reasonable starting point. In net, I would add Jonathan Bernier (who I would have taken in 2014) to Carey Price. As the number three goaltender, I lean to a younger player like Braden Holtby, even if hes going through some tough times this season. On the blueline, with the right side staying the same -- Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, along with Duncan Keith and Marc-Edouard Vlasic onn the left -- that leaves room for a couple of new faces. Tony Dorsett Jersey. Today, Ill go with Ryan Murray and Travis Hamonic ahead of Morgan Rielly and Brenden Dillon. Up front, after bringing back Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, John Tavares, Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene and Patrice Bergeron, I add Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin, Taylor Hall, Claude Giroux, Logan Couture and Nathan MacKinnon to get to 14 forwards. It pains me to pass over Blue Jackets C Ryan Johansen, but hes one that I find intriguing. The debate will surely rage, but maybe we can put it aside for at least three years before getting caught up in it too much. 3. One other twist, as it pertains to participation in the Olympics, and was mentioned by Gord Miller, is that the NHL could go with the under-23 model that soccer uses in the Summer Olympics. The sticking point, to me, in this plan is that teams arent going to want to continue playing their schedule without some of these top-calibre players. Here are some of the best 22-and-under players in the NHL this season. Can we really expect a team to go forward and play games for a couple of weeks without players of that calibre? Imagine the Colorado Avalanche without Ryan OReilly, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, or the Winnipeg Jets minus Evander Kane, Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba. Those would be devastating to those particular teams. The other tweak to the option is that NHL teams could decide which players can go which, given previous experience with the World Junior tournament, would pretty much eliminate the participation of NHL players, which begs the question: why impose an age limit at all if NHLers wont be participating? By most accounts, the players always seem in favour of the experience. Those that are playing enjoy it and those that dont enjoy getting some time off during the season. As it stands now, NHL owners and executives have taken the position that they arent so interested in participating in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and that could be their legitimate stance, especially after some teams had players suffer injuries while playing in Sochi. At the same time, its also the kind of position that a negotiator would take if they wanted to extract more favourable compensation from the International Olympic Committee. Theres no leverage if you state that youre unequivocally in love with the current relationship. Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who has hardly been regarded as being tight with the players, told the New York Times, "I know the importance of competing in the Olympics to many of our players — they are our partners and if it is important to them it should be important to us." That doesnt sound like the door on NHL Olympic participation has been shut altogether. At least not yet. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Nike Baseball Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Authentic Cheap NHL Jerseys Canada Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China NCAA Jerseys Cheap Nike NHL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Football Jerseys Store Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Jerseys NCAA China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys ' ' '
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