October 18, 2018
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Derek Norris wasnt too surprised to hit a three-run home run on a 3-0 count in the first inning. The Athletics catcher was only mildly shocked when he did the same thing the next inning, in nearly the exact same situation with the same count and on the same pitch. Norris hit a pair of three-run home runs off Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez to back Scott Kazmirs fifth win and Oakland beat Washington 9-1 on Sunday to complete a series sweep. "Theyve given me the green light a few times this year and it just hasnt really worked out the way it did today," said Norris, who drove in a career-high six runs. "Everyone knows (Gonzalez) has good stuff and you have to get on him early. It just happened to work out a little bit better than it initially was planned out to be, not once but twice." Both of Norris home runs came on identical two-out pitches from Gonzalez, who pitched four seasons in Oakland. The two players were part of a 2011 trade between the teams. In the lineup because of a left-hander on the mound, Norris blasted a 3-0 pitch from Gonzalez over the wall in left with two outs in the first. Oakland led 4-0 when Norris came up in the second, again with two runners on. Gonzalez (3-3) ran the count to 3-0 before Norris hammered the ball down the left field line for his fourth home run this season. "They had the same feel to them, same swing," As manager Bob Melvin said. "Obviously the two swings of the bat put the game in completely different context. He has that ability." Its the first multi-homer game of Norris career. The six RBIs are tied for the most by an Athletics catcher since 1914. That it came on Mothers Day and against his former team made it more memorable for Norris. "It was one of those special days," Norris said. "Ive never hit two home runs in a game. It still feels surreal." Nick Punto added two hits and three RBIs while Brandon Moss singled twice and doubled. Oakland has won four straight since dropping five of six against Boston and Seattle. Kazmir (5-1) bounced back from his first loss of the year to pitch seven scoreless innings while allowing only four hits. He struck out four and didnt walk a batter for the fourth time this season. The As completed their majors-leading fourth series sweep with another blowout of the Nationals. Oakland, which shut out Washington in the series opener, outscored Washington 21-4. Punto added an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the seventh. It was a rough return to the Coliseum for Gonzalez, who pitched for the As for four years and was making his first start against his former club. Washingtons left-hander laboured through 4 1-3 innings and gave up seven runs and nine hits. He struck out four and walked three in his worst outing in Oakland since giving up 11 earned runs to Minnesota on July 20, 2009. Gonzalez was also caught on TV yelling at a teammate in Washingtons dugout after the second. Earlier in the inning, the Nationals allowed a high pop-up by Yoenis Cespedes to fall to the turf and roll foul. Cespedes eventually walked before the next batter, Norris, hit his second two-out home run of the day. "Just couldnt find the strike zone," Gonzalez said. "Mistake pitches, left them up in the zone and good hitters made contact." Kazmir and the As bullpen did the rest. Joe Savery pitched the eighth and Jim Johnson worked the ninth to complete the seven-hitter. Before the game, Washington placed first baseman Adam LaRoche on the disabled list with a right quad strain. LaRoche, who has five home runs and 21 RBIs, joins Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and outfielder Bryce Harper on the DL. Without its top three hitters, Washington did little offensively. Kazmir retired the side in order five times in the first six innings, and the Nationals were on the verge of being shut out for the second time in three days until Zach Walters RBI single off Johnson with two outs in the ninth. NOTES: The Nationals swept a three-game series from Oakland at home in 2005, the only other time the two teams have faced one another. ... Washington called up 1B Tyler Moore from Triple-A Syracuse to replace LaRoche. Moore batted seventh and went 0-for-3. ... RHP Jordan Zimmerman (2-1) carries a 2.92 ERA into his start Monday at Arizona. ... Oakland RHP Jesse Chavez (2-1) pitches the opener against the White Sox and has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his seven starts. LaDainian Tomlinson Jersey .C. -- Only two Syracuse teams have won their first 20 games, and C. Jahleel Addae Jersey .com) - A top-10 showdown is on tap in at the McKale Center on Saturday, as the 10th-ranked Arizona Wildcats play host to the eighth-ranked Utah Utes in a key Pac-12 matchup. http://www.chargersauthenticsh.....ft-Jersey/ . According to various reports, the striker is about to sign a five-and-a-half year extension with Manchester United worth a reported 300,000 pounds a week that would see him at Old Trafford until 2019. Derek Watt Jersey . And fellow Leaf, Jake Gardiner, hiking in Whistler. Desmond King Jersey . The Big Man finished 3-1 in Week 19, and sits at 53-24 on the season. Now Schultz is ready for more action.Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Taking a break from the respective league schedules, Big Five rivals Villanova and Penn square off at The Palestra on Saturday night. Villanova is the fifth-ranked team in the country, as it has won 16 of its first 17 games, the lone blemish being a 66-61 setback at Seton Hall on Jan. 3 in its second Big East Conference game of the campaign. The Wildcats have won three in a row since, the latest being an 88-75 verdict versus visiting Xavier on Wednesday. At 4-1 in conference, Villanova is in first place in the Big East, although five teams sit tied for second at 3-2. Penn has played 12 games to this point, losing twice as often as it has won (4-8), and it has dropped its only Ivy League bout, falling at Princeton last Saturday in a 78-74 final. The Quakers, who bounced back to win at Niagara this past Tuesday to stop a three-game losing streak, are just 1-3 at home this season. Villanova owns a commanding 44-17 lead in the all-time series with its local rival, and that includes victories in each of the last 11 meetings. Villanova drained a season-high 15 3-pointers and converted 17-of-19 free throws to thwart the upset bid of the Xavier Musketeers earlier this week. Ryan Arcidiacono led the Wildcats with 18 points, while Dylan Ennis added 17 and Josh Hart contributed 15 points in the winning effort. With Arcidiacono and Darrun Hilliard being credited with six assists apiece, the Cats finished with a season-high 24 helpers on 28 field goals. They also committed a season- low five turnovers. While he wasnt one of the top few scorers for Villanova against Xavier, Hilliard continues to pace the team onn the season with his 13.dddddddddddd ppg. Ennis (10.8 ppg), Hart (10.4 ppg) and JayVaughn Pinkston (10.4 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for coach Jay Wrights club, although Daniel Ochefu (9.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Arcidiacono (8.9 ppg, 4.4 apg) are close to joining the ranks, as the Wildcats generate 77.8 ppg in hitting 47.6 percent of their field goal attempts, which includes a 36.1 percent showing beyond the arc. The teams defensive effort yields 61.4 ppg, with foes shooting just 40.8 percent from the floor, with only 29.8 percent of their long-range launches finding the bottom of the net. VU goads the opposition into 15.3 turnovers per contest. Tony Hicks scored 18 points, Greg Louis had a dozen and Matt Howard pitched in 11, all of which Penn needed to knock off Niagara earlier in the week. The Quakers shot just 40.8 percent from the floor, missing the mark on 11 of their 15 3-point tries, but they held the Purple Eagles to just 32.1 percent field goal efficiency, which included misses on 13 of their 17 perimeter shots. Penn won the battle on the boards, 41-33, while also converting 23 of its 28 free throws. Penn has had problems at both ends of the court this season, as it generates just 65.8 ppg while permitting close to 70 ppg. Hicks is netting 14.9 to pace the club, and his 42 assists also lead the way. Unfortunately, his 45 turnovers are nearly twice as many as his closest teammate, the team as a whole committing an unsightly 17.2 miscues per outing. Darien Nelson-Henry (11.2 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer for the Quakers at the moment, and he spearheads the teams rebounding effort with 6.3 rpg. 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