in at 7:38 for his 12th of the season. Kessel made it 7-3 at 8:35 with a quick shot from the slot for his 17th of the season. To

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PITTSBURGH -- The weary Chicago Cubs bullpen needed a break. LaDarius Gunter Packers Jersey . New manager Rick Renteria needed a win. Jason Hammel did a pretty solid job providing both. The veteran right-hander pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Cubs edged the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Thursday for their first victory of the season. "I didnt think it was going to be such a relief but it is quite a relief," Renteria said. "Its nice to win. These games were tough. Taking the last one was very gratifying." Particularly considering the first two were so draining. The Cubs lost in 10 innings on opening day and in 16 innings on Wednesday night -- actually, early Thursday morning -- in a 5-hour, 55-minute marathon that marked the longest Major League Baseball game (by time anyway) ever held in Pittsburgh. Hammel and four relievers needed only 2:39 to help the Cubs avoid their first 0-3 start since 1997, when the club lost 14 straight to begin the season. The 31-year-old Hammel allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. "He couldnt have been any better," Renteria said of Hammel. "He got to 97 pitches, got us into the seventh inning to help save the bullpen. He worked through a pretty good lineup pretty easily." The Cubs signed Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract in February hoping he can provide some stability in the middle of the rotation. He was sharp in his Chicago debut, allowing singles in the first and third innings but otherwise keeping the Pirates in check. "We played three great games here," Hammel said. "There is no reason to hang our heads because we only won one. We played great but it looks like were going to be one-run warriors. Youve got to win these type of games and we did. We got some timely hits, good defence and played well for 27 outs." Emilio Bonifacio went 2 for 4 and scored twice to continue his torrid start. The Chicago centre fielder hit 11 for 16 (.688) during the opening three-game series. Mike Olt hit the first home run of his career for the Cubs. Tony Sanchez hit a two-run single in the seventh for the Pirates but Pittsburgh couldnt put together its first 3-0 start since 2007. Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) struggled early in his first start in 10 months but settled down late. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after missing most of 2013 with tightness in his left forearm. "(Rodriguez) finished up very efficiently, very strong, a very good outing," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "A big confidence boost for him and a momentum builder." After slogging through 26 innings in the first two games of the series, things moved a bit more briskly on a cold, wet day at PNC Park thanks in part to a pair of pitchers who werent in the mood to nibble at the plate. Hammel left the seventh after walking Neil Walker with two outs. Pittsburgh took advantage of another shaky performance from Chicagos bullpen with Sanchez -- who provided the walkoff hit on Wednesday -- smacking a two-run single up the middle off Justin Grimm to pull the Pirates within a run. Pittsburgh put the tying run on base leading off both the eighth and ninth, but Strop got Sanchez to line into a game-ending double play. NOTES: Renteria said the club will wait to decide whether RHP Carlos Villanueva will make his scheduled start on Sunday against Philadelphia. Villanueva pitched 1 1-3 innings and took the loss on Wednesday night. ... The Cubs open the 100th season at Wrigley Park on Friday against the Phillies. Travis Wood starts for Chicago against Roberto Hernandez. ... The Pirates open a three-game series on Friday against defending NL Central champion St. Louis. Gerrit Cole, who took the loss in Game 5 of the NL division series against the Cardinals last year, starts for Pittsburgh against Shelby Miller. Randall Cobb Youth Jersey .3 seconds remaining, and No. 7 North Carolina held off a resilient No. 25 Virginia team, 54-51, on Saturday. John Henson contributed a double-double with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (25-4, 12-2 ACC), who have won five straight and 10 of 11. Dave Robinson Youth Jersey . Bach, a 59-year-old German lawyer, was elected Tuesday as president of the International Olympic Committee. He succeeds Jacques Rogge, who stepped down after 12 years. Bach, the longtime favourite, defeated five candidates in a secret ballot for the most influential job in international sports, keeping the presidency in European hands. http://www.packerssportsonline.com/super-bowl-xlix-randall-cobb-jersey/ . As the schedule flipped from November to December, they would go on to drop five straight, falling six games below the .500 mark before a franchise-altering trade turned them into an unrecognizable team.TORONTO -- Things looked bleak for the Maple Leafs, coming off a losing performance in St. Louis that coach Randy Carlyle termed "brain-dead" and with the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks in town. But the form sheet was thrown out the window Saturday as Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland each scored twice and combined with linemate Mason Raymond for 11 points to lift Toronto to a commanding 7-3 win over the Stanley Cup champions. Toronto lost 6-3 to the Blues on Thursday with the scoreline flattering the losers. Toronto had played a strong game the previous night but was still beaten 3-1 by the visiting Los Angeles Kings. A 5-2 home defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins started a three-game slide. "We really felt we needed a win," Lupul said of the Chicago contest. "Its a hard stretch for us, a lot of games in a short stretch of time so Saturday night at home with a day of rest, we came into the game feeling like it was pretty close to a must-win for us. Things were kind of starting to snowball the other way." Tied 1-1 after the first period, Toronto outscored Chicago 4-1 in the second to pull ahead for its first win in regulation time since Nov. 19, a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. The victory also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Chicago that dated back to February 2003. Jerry DAmigo, Nikolai Kulemin and Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto (17-14-3) before a season-high announced attendance of 19,603 at the Air Canada Center despite a cold, snowy night. Toronto outshot the opposition for just the fifth time this season, holding a 32-28 edge on the night. It was a welcome sharing on offence for the Leafs, who have had to count on their top line of Kessel, Nazem Kadri and James Van Riemsdyk in recent weeks. Lupul finished with two goals and two assists while Raymond had four assists and Holland two goals and an assist on a breakout night for the newly assembled Leafs second line. Patrick Kane, with two, and Brandon Saad replied for Chicago (23-7-5), whose league-best offence sputtered on the night. The Blackhawks had arrived riding a three-game win streak during which they had outscored the opposition 19-6. The Hawks were also 9-0-2 against Eastern Conference opposition. "We were not very good," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. "They were much better than us. We got what we deserved tonight. We still got ourselves back in the game, 1-1 at the start of the second period and put ourselves in a decent spot.... But basically we got what we deserved because we werent ready to play." The Leafs came into the game in a nose dive, with just two regulation wins in their last 19 outings. It was water under the bridge as they welcomed the Hawks with a season-high seven-goal scoring spree. The lack of pushback in the St. Louis performance had been a particular low for the Leafs. "They werent very proud of our performance. They knew we didnt do a lot of things that we set out to do," Carlyle said of the Blues game. "I thought our hockey club responded the way they needed to respond. They took responsibility for our actions and thats a good sign. The most encouraging thing for us tonight was our work ethic and we stuck to out system and played it." The game was Carlyles 100th as Leafs coach, improving his record at the Toronto helm to 49-40-11. Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for boarding Boston defenceman Kevan Miller. The Leafs revolving door kept turning, however, as forward David Clarkson was handed a two-game ban earlieer in the day for an illegal hit to the head of St. Clay Matthews Womens Jersey. . Louis forward Vladimir Sobotka. Finnish rookie Antti Raanta got the start again for Chicago in the absence of the injured Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin. He was pulled from his eighth career NHL game with the score 5-2 after two periods in favour of Kent Simpson, a 21-year-old from Edmonton making his NHL debut. "I think you could say that Chicagos goalies had a rough night ... and you have to take advantage of that when it comes your way," said Carlyle. It was a horrific start for the Blackhawks, who drew three straight penalties in the first period. But some indiscipline by the home team later in the period evened the score. Toronto was on its second power-play before Chicago got its first shot on net, some seven minutes into the game. Holland made the Hawks pay for the Andrew Shaw tripping call, tapping in a Lupul feed across the crease after a nice pass by Raymond at 7:14. "Not the start we wanted, getting the penalties and getting down a goal, then probably thinking too much offence as the game went on," said Kane. "The start wasnt good, especially the first 10 minutes. Three penalties kind of takes you right out of the game. "We tried to fight back and get ourselves into it but it was too little too late." Toronto faced a 58-second five-on-three after Raymond was called for tripping behind the Chicago goal while killing off a penalty to Holland. The Blackhawks scored 29 seconds later when a sprawling Phaneuf redirected Kanes pass from the side of the net past Jonathan Bernier into the goal at 16:14. It was his 18th goal of the season and marked the eighth straight game Chicago has scored on the power play. Kane, the leagues first star in the month of November, has collected points in eight straight games and 20 of his last 21. Van Riemsdyk could have made it 2-1 near the end of the period but, with a good portion of the Chicago goal empty after a pretty passing sequence, he couldnt connect on a Kessel feed that took a nasty bounce. Toronto had the first five shots of the game but the shot count was tied at 11-11 after 20 minutes. DAmigo made it 2-1 on the Leafs 13th shot just 42 seconds into the second period when he tucked in a Kulemin rebound that dropped out of Raantas glove. It was the first goal of his six-game NHL career. Both the puck and DAmigos stick will be displayed in a frame soon. "You guys cant see it but Im just going crazy inside here now," said DAmigo. A Chicago goal minutes later was called off for being directed into the goal by a Hawks hand (and then Phaneufs stick). Holland scored his second at 12:09 of the second period, left to finish all alone after taking a nice pass from Raymond. Kane replied at 13:30, snapping a wrist shot past Bernier after a Toronto turnover in the neutral zone. But Kulemin restored the Leafs two-goal advantage at 14:36, on a low shot from a Jay McClement feed. Lupul increased the lead to 5-2 on the power play, tipping in a Jake Gardiner shot from the point for his ninth of the season at 17:08. Simpson gave up a goal on his first shot when Lupul, just 28 seconds in, beat him from the faceoff dot after doing some good digging behind the goal. Holland had a chance at his hat trick but shot wide on a breakaway. Seconds later, Saad pulled one back for Chicago with a tip-in at 7:38 for his 12th of the season. Kessel made it 7-3 at 8:35 with a quick shot from the slot for his 17th of the season. Toronto heads to Pittsburgh next for a game Monday. The Hawks return home to host Los Angeles on Sunday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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