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- Anthony Gose ran all over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, and in doing so helped

Posted by winnie 
- Anthony Gose ran all over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, and in doing so helped
January 14, 2014 07:46AM
DETROIT - Matthew Stafford led a victory-lap parade around the perimeter of Ford Field, high-fiving fans that have been waiting since 1999 for the Detroit Lions to make the playoffs. With the crowd chanting "Play-offs! Play-offs!" as the final few minutes ticked away, Detroit clinched a post-season spot thanks to Staffords three touchdown passes in a 38-10 win over the San Diego Chargers on Saturday. Stafford appeared to be touched by the face-to-face interaction with fans hanging over the railing to reach his raised right hand. "You could just get a sense of how much it meant to them," Stafford said. "It was fun to give them that kind of joy." The Lions (10-5) have won three straight after a seven-game slump to earn an NFC wild card, turning around the franchise after it was bad enough just three years ago to become the leagues only 0-16 team. It was coach Jim Schwartzs idea to reach out and touch the fans. "Theres going to be a time that we dont celebrate getting to the playoffs, but its not going to be tonight," Schwartz said. "Its been a long time coming." No one has been waiting longer than owner William Clay Ford. Ford, whose first season leading the franchise was in 1964, was handed a keepsake in the jubilant locker room. "We gave him the game ball," said centre Dominic Raiola, who endured a string of miserable seasons after Detroit drafted him in 2001. After Raiolas post-game news conference, he gave Stafford a bear hug. "Im excited for them, more than for myself and some of the other young guys," the 23-year-old Stafford said. Music blared in Detroits locker room, where players hugged teammates and anyone else who crossed their paths. Smiles mightve outnumbered beads of sweat after a lopsided win that ended San Diegos playoff hopes. According to the Chargers (7-8), they were eliminated from playoff contention. San Diego will miss the post-season for a second straight year after making it five times in a six-season stretch. And, that might cost coach Norv Turner his job. "Ive been concentrating every week as well as I can on getting this team ready to play and doing the things we need to do," Turner said. "We all know thats something thats discussed at the end of the year." San Diego stayed in playoff contention deep into December by winning three straight games, but couldnt overcome its mid-season losing streak. "When you lose six in a row in this league, youre probably not going to the post-season, but we fought our way back in it," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. "Youre hanging your hat on running the table, and going to beat playoff teams on the road, its tough." Knowing they could move into the post-season simply by winning, the Lions held San Diego scoreless until midway through the third quarter, when Rivers threw an 11-yard pass to Malcom Floyd to make it 24-7. Detroit, though, closed strong to restore the rout. The Lions and Buffalo Bills started the season with the leagues longest playoff droughts at 11 seasons. Detroits wait is over because a decades-long search for a franchise quarterback ended with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. "Thats probably the key to a franchise is having a good quarterback and well hold onto him for a while," Schwartz said. Coming off the leagues only 0-16 season, Detroit selected Stafford and kept him healthy for the first time this season. Stafford was almost perfect in the first half against San Diego, completing 21 of 26 passes for 260 yards with three TDs. He capped the first drive with a 7-yard pass to Brandon Pettigrew, threw a 3-yarder to Kevin Smith in the second quarter and connected with Calvin Johnson from 14 yards just before halftime to give the Lions a 24-0 lead. "His numbers at halftime were outrageous," Raiola said. "Hes the real deal." Stafford finished with 373 yards passing to give him 4,518 this year, breaking Scott Mitchells single-season team record from 1995. Perhaps not coincidently, that season marked the last time the Lions had double digits in wins. The Lions will go for their 11th victory and try to improve their playoff positioning on Jan. 1 against Green Bay, a team they havent beaten on the road since 1991. The Chargers needed to extend their winning streak to four games to keep their post-season hopes alive, but the loss and Cincinnatis victory dashed them. They had chances to come back. Eric Weddle recovered an onside kick after San Diego finally scored in the third quarter, but the Chargers stalled inside the Lions 5. Cornerback Chris Houston broke up a pass in the end zone and the Chargers had to settle for Nick Novaks field goal and a 14-point deficit. Detroits potent offence quickly gained 48 yards on a third-quarter drive with passes to Nate Burleson and Johnson, setting up Smiths 6-yard TD and a 31-10 lead. The Chargers then drove to the Detroit 2 and turned over the ball on downs, firing up its sideline and the fans who have been waiting a long time for a season like this one. Its the first time the Lions have made the playoffs since Ford Field opened in 2002. "This is an accomplishment," Schwartz said. "Its a big step for our team and our organization." San Diego, meanwhile, has taken another step back. Rivers was 28 of 53 for 299 yards with a too-late TD and two interceptions, the second of which defensive end Cliff Avril snagged with his right hand and returned 4 yards to make it 38-10 late in the game. Antonio Gates had four receptions to give him 588 in his career, breaking the Chargers record of 586 set by Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner, in his hometown of Detroit in front of family and friends. "They were all here," Gates said. "Its just disappointing that we couldnt get a victory along with me crossing that milestone." NOTES: Johnson matched a single-season team record with 15 TD receptions. ... Chargers LB Nail Diggs, who had trouble defending Pettigrew, left the game in the third quarter with cramps in his right leg. Richard Sherman Super Bowl Jersey . - Bob Baffert is back in the winners circle at Churchill Downs. OBrien Schofield Super Bowl Jersey . The V-Reds (23-5-0 regular season / 4-1 playoffs) received all 17 first-place votes from the national media panel in the new poll for a total of 170 points. The Redmen (24-2-2 / 6-1) earned 144 points. The Alberta Golden Bears (19-6-3 / 2-0), the reigning University Cup champion Saint Marys Huskies (18-9-1 / 2-2) and the Western Ontario Mustangs (20-3-5 / 6-1) once again round out the top 5, while the Calgary Dinos (17-8-3 / 2-1) leapfrog the St. http://www.seattleseahawkssuperbowljersey.com/Super-Bowl-Paul-Mcquistan-Jersey/ . Doctor Ricard Pruna, who was in charge of the operation, says the 35-year-old club captains cyst was extracted Wednesday in a 35-minute routine operation. Breno Giacomini Super Bowl Jersey . The game was originally scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday at Montreals Saputo Stadium, but will now take place at 12 p.m. ET at the same venue on Sunday, the league said in a release Friday night. J.R. Sweezy Super Bowl Jersey . -- Anthony Gose ran all over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, and in doing so helped the Toronto Blue Jays steal a 3-2 victory to extend their spring training winning streak to 10 games.BOSTON -- Canadian Adam Loewen did something as a hitter Wednesday he never did as a pitcher -- beat the Boston Red Sox. "Im very aware of that. They got me," he said after his two-run, eighth-inning single against Daniel Bard lifted the Blue Jays to a 5-4 victory. The native of Surrey, B.C., came up to the majors as a pitcher and started four games against the Red Sox for Baltimore, going 0-1 with a 6.63 earned-run average in 2006 and 07. "I think the best chance I had was against (Josh) Beckett in our place," Loewen said. "I came out of the game (ahead) 2-1 in the sixth and they ended up winning it in the top of the ninth." Loewen last pitched in 2008, when he retired and decided to make a Rick Ankiel-like switch. He then worked his way up through the Toronto system, this year hitting .306 with 17 homers and 85 RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas. He was brought up the Toronto and got his first major league hit, off the Red Sox, last week. He hit his first big league home run against the Orioles last weekend. In Tuesdays 18-6 loss, playing centre field because of the teams injuries, Loewen took a home run away from Carl Crawford. "Its been crazy," he said. "I didnt think Id be playing this much but I come ready to play everyday, whether Im in the lineup or not." Loewen is 5 for 14 as a major league hitter. His hit Wednesday made a winner out of Ricky Romero (15-10). "Amazing. Its crazy," said Romero, who went eight innings to beat Boston for the second time in less than a week. "Just to make that transition from a pitcher to a position player, you never really see that and hes done a tremendous job for us." Just 3-10 in September, the Red Sox remained four games ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card race. Boston led the AL East at the start of the month and was nine games ahead of the third-place Rays, who lost 6-2 at Baltimore on Wednesday night. After getting swept in a three-game series at Tampa Bay last weekend, Boston hosts the Rays in a four-game series starting Thursday night. Boston led 4-2 in the eighth before Toronto came back against the hard-throwing Bard (2-8), who entered and walked Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson. Mark Teahen bunted, and Bards throw to first pulled Lars Anderson off the bag for a throwing error that loaded the bases. J.ddddddddddddP. Arencibias RBI ground out cut the lead to 4-3, with third baseman Kevin Youkilis bobbling the ball and throwing to first. Loewen followed with a single to centre. Romero allowed four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in eight innings. He improved to 8-1 in his last 10 starts. Frank Francisco pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances as the Blue Jays won for just the third time in nine games at Fenway Park this season. Red Sox starter John Lackey gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first on consecutive run-scoring singles by Encarnacion and Johnson, but Boston tied it in the second when Ryan Lavarnway reached on a run-scoring error by Canadian third baseman Brett Lawrie and an RBI grounder by Jason Varitek. Marco Scutaro hit a sacrifice fly in the third after Jacoby Ellsburys triple, and Adrian Gonzalez homered into the Red Sox bullpen for a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Lawrie, from Langley, B.C., was tagged out by Varitek in the sixth inning. Varitek held on and tagged out Lawrie, who came crashing in with his forearms while trying to score from third on Loewens bouncer to second with the infield in. Varitek flipped over backward from the impact but kept the ball in his glove. NOTES: Gonzalez left with left calf tightness after his homer. ... Lawrie left with a bruised knee. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz missed his second straight game with muscle spasms in his back. "He really wanted to play today," manager Terry Francona said. "He woke up this morning and was real sore, but hes moving around better." ... The Red Sox honoured RHP Tim Wakefield with a brief on-field ceremony after he became the 108th player in major league history with 200 career wins in Tuesdays 18-6 victory over the Blue Jays. ... Francona was also honoured on the field for being elected to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year. ... Toronto SS Yunel Escobar missed both games in Boston because of a bruised left arm. ... The Blue Jays have a day off Thursday before they attempt to stop the Yankees CC Sabathia (19-8) from winning his 20th game. Brett Cecil (4-9) is scheduled to pitch for Toronto. ... Kyle Weiland (0-1) opens the series against the Rays Jeremy Hellickson (12-10) on Thursday. ' ' '
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