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Mitch's Sports Report: Emotional Gesture To Lost Teammate Precedes Home Run; Sox Magic Number At 1

The Boston Red Sox can secure the American League east division title with a win tonight, thanks to some help from the team they'll be taking on in the Bronx. The NY Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 last night to avoid a four-game sweep, and they took out their frustration over the past few games by turning the tables on their north of the border hosts with late inning heroics to tie and then win the game.

Trailing 3-2 going into the ninth, Mark Texiera, in the final road game of his career before he retires at the end of this season, launched a one out solo home run to make it 3-3, and he added some uncharacteristic flair, flipping his bat Jose Bautista style to punctuate the blast. The bat flip has never been Texiera's thing, but given that there were two bench-clearing incidents in the first two innings of the game, the lefty first baseman clearly had revenge on his mind. Four Yankees players and coaches were ejected from the game, including starter Luis Severino, who hit Justin Smoak with a pitch in the second, following some brush back pitches to he Yankees' Chase Headley courtesy of Toronto starter AJ Happ.

The Yankees went on to score four more runs after Texiera's blast in the ninth, capped by an Aaron Hicks home run. The Jays tacked on two in the bottom of the ninth but it wasn't enough to avoid the loss, and now the Red Sox are poised to take advantage. One more win for Boston over the remaining six games they have, or one more loss by the Blue Jays, and the division title is theirs, meaning they can avoid the anxiety of a one-game, winner take all wild card playoff. The Jays, meanwhile, still have a one game lead over Baltimore for the first wild card spot. The Orioles were idle last night. Tonight at Yankee Stadium it'll be David Price going for the Red Sox against Luis Cessa for the Yankees.

The NY Mets were facing a team still grieving the loss of their friend and teammate when they took on the Marlins in Miami last night, and given how popular and respected Jose Fernandez was around the league, it's fair to say a lot of the Mets players were in a state of mourning themselves. Wearing jerseys adorned with Fernandez' number sixteen, the Marlins took an emotional 7-3 win over the Mets, on the strength of fourteen hits and a first inning home run by Dee Gordon that will long be remembered for the symbolic gesture before it was hit. Gordon was leading off the game, and is a left handed hitting batter. But when he came to the plate, he stood in as a righty, a nod to his fallen right-handed teammate who died in a boating accident on Sunday. He took one pitch from Bartolo Colon, then switched back to his normal left-handed batter's position, and launched a 2-0 offering into the stands for a home run as emotional for fans and teammates as any that's ever been hit. Gordon was crying as he rounded first base, and sobbed as he embraced his teammates back in the dugout. Mets catcher Travis D'arnaud admitted that he, too, could not stop the tears from falling as Godron began his home run trot. Grab some tissues and take a look here:

Fernandez had been scheduled to start this game, and Adam Conley filled in, pitching three scoreless innings before the bullpen took over for the win. The loss does open the window a bit wider for two teams chasing the Mets for the first wild card berth in the National League, with the San Francisco Giants now a half game behind New York and the St. Louis Cardinals one game off the pace, currently the odd team out.

In Monday Night Football the Atlanta Falcons won a high scoring shootout against the New Orleans Saints in the Crescent City last night, a 45-32 win highlighted by three rushing touchdowns from Tevin Coleman. Matt Ryan threw for two more Atlanta touchdowns and the defense got in on the scoring as well, with Deion Jones returning a tipped pass interception of a Drew Brees throw 90 yards for a score. Brees had three TD passes on the night but it wasn't enough as the Saints remain winless at 0-3 on the year while the Falcons improve to 2-1.

Some fall stove hockey news, the Boston Bruins have made sure Brad Marchand will be in the Black and Gold for a very long time, inking the talented winger to an 8-year, $49 Million deal yesterday. Marchand had a break out year last season, scoring 37 goals for the B's, and has been tearing it up at the World Cup of Hockey, playing on a line with his Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron and some guy named Sidney Crosby. This is decent news for Bruins fans who will not have much of it this coming season as the Bruins did next to nothing to address their most glaring deficiencies in the off season, especially on defense, and are going to be one of the worst teams on ice. Mark those words down and save them in the fridge, as I would be only too happy to eat them later, but I wouldn't count on it.

Meanwhile the World Cup finals begin tonight with undefeated Team Canada taking on the Cinderella team of the Tournament, Team Europe in the first of a best of three series for the Cup. Team Europe was not even expected to get out of group play, much less reach the finals, but here they are.


A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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