SPORTS Wednesday, September 17, 2003 — Page 27 Freel, Reds pound Pirates By The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Ryan Freel would much rather hit than sit. Freel, who missed 12 games with a strained right hamstring, had a career-high four hits, and Aaron Harang limited Pittsburgh to four hits over five innings in his first start in almost two weeks as the Reds beat the Pirates 12-4 on Tuesday night. "It was miserable being out," said Freel, 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs as part of the Reds' 17-hit attack "I got a couple of good pitches to hit, and it worked out pretty well. Every day, I'm just thrilled to be able to put a jersey on. I'm still living it up." Harang (4-2), who hadn't pitched since straining his lower back Sept. 5, retired 10 consecutive batters before being lifted after feeling some tightness in his back. "I thought he gave us five solid innings, especially after missing as much time as he had," manag- er Dave Miley said. "We talked to him after the fifth inning and just felt that we didn't want to push him." Brian Reith earned his first career save with 2 1-3 scoreless innings. D'Angelo Jimenez added three hits and drove in three runs, and Wily Mo Pena homered for Cincinnati, which had lost five of its previous six road games. The Pirates made it 5-4 in the seventh, but the Reds scored four runs off reliever'Mark Corey in the eighth and added three more runs in the ninth. Pittsburgh starter Oliver Perez (4-9) allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings. "I couldn't seem to put the ball where I wanted to," Perez said. "My job is to help the team win, and I didn't do that tonight." Freel hit .278 while starting 10 consecutive games before being injured in a game in Milwaukee. He said he felt nervous Tuesday, but it certainly didn't show as he singled in his first two at-bats Paterno looks on bright side Reefs manager Dave Miley kicked up a fuss over a close call at the plate in the seventh inning and was ejected by umpire Eric Cooper, right. and homered off Perez leading off the fifth inning. "That's what he's capable of doing, and it's what he was doing (AP photo) before he got hurt," Miley said. "It was like he didn't miss a beat. He and Jimenez did a heck of a job." Braves clinch postseason berth By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. AP Sports Writer This season has gone so well for the Atlanta Braves that good things happen even when they lose. The Braves became the first' team this season to clinch a playoff spot on a night when their bullpen blew a three-run lead and Greg Maddux was denied his 15th victory. "It's not about me or any other one guy here," Maddux said after the Braves' 5-4 loss to the Montreal Expos onTuesday night. "It's about what we do in the next two weeks to get ready for the postseason— period." That's something the Braves are accustomed to. Atlanta (94-58) will be making its 12th straight trip to the postseason. The Braves were assured of at least the NL wild-card berth when Los Angeles lost to Arizona 3-2. Florida (83-67) and Philadelphia (83-68) cannot both match NL roundup for clinching their 12th consecutive division title is two. The Expos won on Orlando Cabrera's run-scoring double in the 10th off Roberto Hernandez (5-3). Maddux (14-11), who is trying to become the first pitcher to win 15 or more games in 16 consecutive seasons, allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. Maddux is tied with Cy Young with 15 straight 15-win seasons. Rocky Biddle (5-8) pitched the lOdi, striking out Andruw Jones and retiring pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa on a groundout to escape a bases-loaded jam. Chipper Jones homered and drove in three runs to give him 101 RBIs. He tied an NL record with his eighth straight 100-RBI season, joining Mel Ott, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa. Phillies 14, Marlins 0 At Philadelphia, Mike Lieb- Atlanta in wins because "they.j u .ecthalhijfa gr|uid slam and drove,, have five games -against each in six runs, and Vicente Padilla^ other. The Braves' magic number (14-10) allowed five hits in eight innings. The Phillies closed within a half-game of the NL wild card- leading Marlins, who had won eight straight against Philadelphia. Astros 14, Rockies 4 At Houston, Richard Hidalgo hit three homers and drove in five runs as the Astros, who have won 10 of their last 12, remained 1V4 games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central. Adam Everett added a three- run homer, and Jeriome Robertson (15-7) set a Houston rookie record for wins. Jeff Kent and Morgan Ensberg also hit solo homers for the Astros. Cubs 3, Mets 2 At Chicago, Sammy Sosa homered for the first time in more than a week, and Mark Prior struck out 13 in 8 2-3 innings. Sosa drove in all of Chicago's runs, including a two-run homer in the third off Jae Weong Sep (8- .:,d2):;that put;,the Cubs ahead., '.' Prior 'irripfo'veld to 8-1 since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 4. Cardinals 6, Brewers 5 At St. Louis, Albert Pujols had three hits to increase his major league-leading total to 202 as the Cardinals remained 4'/a games back in the NL Central. Sterling Hitchcock (3-1) improved to 9-2 against the Brewers. Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 18th save. Giants 4, Padres 2 At San Francisco, Barry Bonds hit liis 656th homer, his 43rd this season and third in four days. Rookie Jerome Williams (7-4) pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, and Tim Worrell got three outs for his 35th save. The Giants lowered their magic number for clinching the NL West to two. Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2 At Los Angeles, Arizona's Curt Schilling (8-8) won for the first time since Aug. 17, allowing one run and eight hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts. Junior Spivey drove in two runs u.,as Arizona left the Dodgets.2i&- games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race. By DAN LEWERENZ Associated Press Writer STATE COLLEGE — For Penn State coach Joe Paterno, it's not Nebraska's 337 rushing yards that stand out. Nor is it the average 246 rushing yards being put up by Penn State's opponents. Instead, Paterno points to the four rushing touchdowns Penn State has given up in three games. "Our rush defense has been pretty good, really, when you look at points," Paterno said Tuesday. "Nebraska got one touchdown on the rush. Boston College, we gave them die ball" on the 1-yard line. For the third time in four years, the Nittany Lions (1-2) find themselves with an early losing record, trying to right their season before the Big Ten Conference season even begins. But instead of dwelling on the negatives — inexperience on the offensive and defensive lines, wide receivers who can't seem to catch the ball when (hey need to and a tailback position that has yet to find a front-runner — Paterno is focusing on the tilings Penn State has done well: • Unlike in 2000 and 2001, when some Penn State teams appeared to give up, this year's Nittany Lions are not getting down on themselves. The Nittany Lions scored two touchdowns after falling behind 24-0 against Boston College, and at Nebraska they were driving in Cornhusker territory when Zack Mills' final pass fell incomplete on fourth- and-15. • The Nittany Lions had just one penalty against Nebraska, "and even that... penalty is very dubious," Paterno said. Penn State was penalized just once Torrid Twins defeat White Sox By The Associated Press AL roundup Now the Minnesota Twins are putting pressure on the Chicago White Sox. Last week, the White Sox won the first two games of a four- game series in Chicago, dropping Minnesota two games back in the AL Central. Since then, the Twins have won three in a row against their division rival, opening a I'/z-game lead as Brad Radke led them to a 5-2 win Tuesday night in the series opener at the Metrodome. "We've got to win the next two games," White Sox meager Jerry Manuel said. "No doubt about it." Radke (13-10) allowed eight singles over seven innings, giving up one run as he won his fifth straight decision. Minnesota has been alone in first place for con- ' secutive days for the first time since June 22-23. And after the final two games of the series, the Twins play seven of their final nine games against lowly Detroit. "Driver's seat? Oh, my," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just want to come out and try to play. We don't worry about the driver's seat." At Minnesota, Esteban Loaiza (19-8) pitched with the flu and gave up four runs, four hits and five walks in 21-3 innings. "He was different tonight than what I usually see," White Sox shortstop Jose Valentin said. "You could see him looking for help. He wasn't the same Loaiza he was all year." Torii Hunter and Indiana's Michael Ryan each had two hits for the Twins. Blue Jays 9, Tigers 6 Frank Catalanotto singled home the go-ahead run in a four- run seventh at Detroit. The Tigers (38-112), who have dropped four straight, moved within five of the AL record for losses, set by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics (36-117). They need five or more wins in (heir last 12 games to avoid the post- 1900 major league mark, set by the 1962 Mets. "That's our goal right now," catcher Brandon Inge said. 'And sad as it may be, that's what it's come to: win five games." Yankees 6, Orioles 3 Roger Clemens (15-9) moved into a tie for 17th place on the career victory list with Moss Rad- bourn at 308, allowing three runs — two earned — and seven hits in seven innings at Camden Yards. Alfonso Soriano hit his third homer in two nights and Hideki Matsui drove in three runs for the Yankees, who maintained their 5'/2-game lead over second- place Boston in the AL East. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 38th save. New York went up 4-1 with a three-run sixth against Jason Johnson (108). Red Sox 3, Devil Rays 2 Pedro Martinez (13-4) pitched a six-hitter at Fenway Park for his 100th win with Boston, which opened a 2'/4-game lead over Seattle in the wild-card race. Martinez, in his sixth year with • the Red Sox, struck out six and walked one in his second complete game this season. With the score 1-all in the eighth, Nomar Garciaparra doubled off Travis Harper (4-8), David Ortiz hit an RBI single against Joe Kennedy and Bill Mueller added a sacrifice fly. Rangers 10, Mariners 5 Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 44th homer, his fifth in six games, and rookie Laynce Nix homered twice at Texas. Hank Blalock had a three-run homer for the Rangers, who opened a 9-0 lead in the fourth. Seattle has lost three straight and is 6-8 in September. Royals 12, Indians 8 Joe Randa and Rondell White hit three-run homers for visiting Kansas City, which led 6-0 in the second and remained 3'/4 games back in the AL Central. The Royals' Angel Berroa had a career high five.hits, going 5-for- 5. Angels 6, Athletics 5 Scott Spiezio hit a three-run homer off Jim Mecir (2-3) in the ninth at Anaheim, ending Oakland's seven-game winning streak. The A's maintained their 4 l /:-game lead in the AL West over Seattle. Derrick Turnbow (1-0) got his first major league victory with a scoreless ninth. Debate rages over proposed rules Continued from page 23 Mowry also noted Pennsylvania doesn't require non-hunters to wear orange while in the woods during hunting season. State Rep. Robert Godshall, R- Montgomery, opposes the idea of turkey hunters having to wear any orange, but said the current regulations are too confusing. An avid hunter, Godshall said he asked what could be done to simplify them after arriving at a hunting camp a couple of years ago where a friend asked how much orange he needed to wear. Though Godshall admits he should have known, he didn't, so he called the Game Commission, where a staffer told him he'd have to check, too. Mowry said he doesn't think the current requirements are difficult. As it stands, fall turkey hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest and back. The orange may be removed while a hunter is stationary if 100 square inches of orange material are placed within 15 feet of the hunter. However, hunters in management areas restricted to using bows and shotguns only have to wear 100 square inches, visible from all directions, while moving and none while stationary. Spring turkey hunters must wear 100 square inches of orange while moving, but may remove it while stationary. The proposal would allow spring turkey hunters to move about wearing only a solid orange hat, but they wouldn't have to wear any orange once in position. Fall turkey hunters would have to wear 250 square inches of orange at all times. Isabel curtails NASCAR's schedule at Dover DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The expected path of Hurricane Isabel has prompted NASCAR to cancel the on-track activities at Dover International Speedway scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Cancellations include qualify- ingfor both the Winston Cup and Busch series, as well as the Busch North Series race, none of which will be rescheduled. . .' < The 43-car fields for the Winston Cup and Busch races will be determined by owner championship points, the same as any normal rain situation. That means Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be at the front of the field in Sunday's MBNA America 400 Cup, while Kevin Harvick and David Green will be on the front row for Saturday's Stacker 200 Busch Series race. "After listening to the latest forecast regarding projected weather conditions in Delaware and discussing contingency plans with state officials as well against Temple and four times against Boston College, giving up just 35 penalty yards so far this season. • Despite having just one returning starter on the offensive line, Penn State has allowed only three sacks all year and didn't give up a single sack to Nebraska. "I thought the offensive line hung tough in there, and Zack did a good job of getting rid of the football," Paterno said. "Sometimes he had to get rid of it, maybe, when he didn't want to, but he didn't take the loss." All of those good qualities, though, may not help Penn State in the win column unless the Nittany Lions can find a way to stop die run. Each team Penn State has played has had a 100-yard rusher — Nebraska had two of them — and teams have consistently been able to exploit Penn State's young defensive line. With Kent bringing a mobile quarterback to Saturday's game — Josh Cribbs is the team's second-leading rusher at 56 yards per game — "I definitely believe we have to get better," linebacker DeryckToles said. "This week, the offense that we're playing has a talented quarterback, things like that, so there will be a big emphasis on trying to contain him, not letting him run all over the place," Toles said. But Kent won't have that chip on its shoulder that so drove the Cornhuskers. Last year Penn State humbled Nebraska 40-7. "I thought Nebraska was on a mission and played really well," Paterno said. "I'm not happy with the loss, but I'm sure not discouraged with the football team." Bowden catching up with Paterno STATE COLLEGE (AP) — After back-to-back losses on the field, Penn State coach Joe Paterno is losing ground to Florida State's Bobby Bowden for the most wins in major college football. OK^ .-..-. :-.. Bowden got his 335th victory Saturday with a heart-stopping 14-13 victory over Georgia Tech, leaving him just two games behind Paterno. Still, the 76-year-old Paterno seems unconcerned. "Is he creeping up on me? That sneaky litde son of a gun," Paterno joked on Tuesday. "He's not supposed to sneak up on me, he's supposed to run right by me." Paterno tied Paul "Bear" Bryant's record of 323 wins on Oct. 20, 2001, when Penn State beat Northwestern. One week later, Paterno took over first place on his own when Penn State beat Ohio State, 29-27. But ever since then. Bowden's been gaining ground. Paterno reached 337 on Aug. 30 when Penn State won its home opener against Temple the .same.day Florida State beat North Carolina. But while Bowden added wins against Maryland and Georgia Tech in the last two weeks, Penn State was beaten by Boston College and Nebraska. "Bobby's a great guy and a good friend, and what happens happens. I can't worry about that," Paterno said. "If it happens, I'm glad it happens to a guy I like and admire." Paterno is in his 38th year as head coach at Penn State. Bowden, 73, is also in his 38th year as a head coach, his 28th at Florida State after six seasons 'at West Virginia and four at Sanford. Porter might play Sunday at Cincy as officials at Dover, we felt it best to cancel on-track activities set for Thursday and Friday," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "Obviously, these schedule adjustments are based on current weather predictions. We will continue to monitor trie situation and, hopefully, no further 'adjustments will be necessary." PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter is listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Cincinnati, and coach Bill Cowher hinted Porter's chances may be even better than the 50 percent chance of playing that the term implies. "He's not real happy he's questionable," Cowher said. "In his mind it's not even a question." Porter was shot in the upper right thigh by an unknown assailant in Denver in the early hours of Labor Day. He missed the first two games of the regular season, but had been given hope last week when Cowher listed him as doubtful, a step below questionable in league-mandated injury descriptions. Porter didn't play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but worked out during the week and felt no residual effects from the wound. "He's had some tests done and everything looks good at this point," Cowher said. "It's just a matter of watching him work, watching him hit, watching him run and accelerate, and move when he has to not think about it. He has to react. So I'm sure he'll be upgraded at some point." Porter has been replaced in the lineup by Clark Haggans, and in the dime defense by James Farrior. Farrior leads the Steelers with 25 tackles and Haggans is second with 19. In comparison, two- time Pro Bowl linebacker Jason Gildon has four tackles. Cowher would not commit to starting Porter if he is healthy enough to play. "I want to see where he's at by the end of the week," Cowher said. "He probably would start. How much he plays at that point? I don't know. Clark's played pretty well in his place. A lot of it might be more from a conditioning standpoint. He's been out a couple weeks now. A lot will have to do with how he feels." Porter would certainly help a defense that allowed 41 points to the Chiefs last Sunday, but the Steelers made a roster move designed to help a running game that ranks 27th in the league. They added Dante Brown off the practice squad and released linebacker Erik Flowers. Brown joined the Steelers last April as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Memphis and led the team in preseason rushing with 106 yards on 24 carries. He's been added to the roster as insurance in case third-down back Verron Haynes can't play. Haynes is listed as questionable this week with a knee injury. The only other healthy halfbacks are Amos Zereoue and Jerome Bettis on a Steelers team that gained only 50 yards on 17 carries against the Chiefs. After two games, the Steelers are averaging 74 yards per game, or nearly 100 below their league- leading average of 173.4 in 2001. "We're striving for balance, just like when we were running the ball and everybody wanted us to throw the ball more," Cowher said. "Yes, we recognize we need to be more effective running the ball." Cowher warned that it's too early "to suddenly try to make changes."
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