<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:54:33 -0400 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:54:33 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Chalmers Questionable For Game 2 With Bruised Knee]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:25:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/464398975.jpg

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers is questionable for the second game of the playoffs set for Wednesday due to a bruised knee, according to the Miami Herald.

Chalmers bruised the knee during Sunday's playoff opener with the Charlotte Bobcats in the first quarter. The injury wound up limiting the action that Chalmers saw in game one and also kept him out of the team's practice on Tuesday. Chalmers' participation in the team's shoot-around on Wednesday could end up being the deciding factor on his status for game two.

“He still has that bruise on his knee and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” head coach Erik Spoelstra told the Herald.

If Chalmers is unable to start, the job would likely be given to Norris Cole or Toney Douglas with the duo splitting minutes during the contest. During the regular season, Douglas grabbed 17 starts while filling in for an injured Dwyane Wade but was mostly ineffective. Cole meanwhile started six games during the regular season and averaged 24.6 minutes per game.

The Bobcats are also dealing with an injury as their star Al Jefferson battles a strained plantar fascia. The foot injury which forced Jefferson to miss some time during game one could possibly keep him from playing at all in game two, per a report from the Charlotte Observer. Losing Jefferson would be a critical blow for Charlotte and could prove to be a fatal one in the best of seven series.

Game two is set for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday and will be broadcast nationally on TNT.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fernandez Matches Career High With 14 Strikeouts in Win]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:24:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/486148109.jpg

Jose Fernandez was at his best Tuesday striking out 14 in eight innings in a 1-0 Miami Marlins win over the Atlanta Braves.

Fernandez matched a career high with the 14 strikeouts and fell only two short of the franchise record held by Ricky Nolasco. In that record setting game in 2009, Nolasco was also pitching at Turner Field. The Marlins' ace allowed no runs on three hits and walked none but was lifted due to his pitch count which ballooned to 109 in the eighth. Fernandez threw 77 of his pitches for strikes showing exceptional control once again.

Fernandez was visibly upset when he returned to the dugout after the eighth and was greeted by manager Mike Redmond with a handshake. That gesture signified the end of his night and prompted Fernandez to walk to the other end of the dugout and throw a baseball to the ground. Steve Cishek entered in the ninth inning and earned his fourth save of the year along with his 33rd consecutive conversion overall.

Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to lead off the game. The lone run for Miami came in the fourth inning on a Casey McGehee RBI single which followed a double by GIancarlo Stanton. The double was the sixth of the year for Stanton and was one of only four hits for Miami in the game. The Marlins were 1-1 with runners in scoring position cashing in when they had their only chance of the game. The team struck out a combined 11 times against Alex Wood who was nearly as dominant as Fernandez. 

The Marlins will look to win the series on Wednesday when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for a noon start.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Focus On Bosh As Heat Prepare For Game 2]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:46:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Chris-Bosh-January-23-2014.jpg

If the Miami Heat wants to make it to the NBA Finals for a fourth-straight season and capture a third-straight championship, the team will need a lot more out of center Chris Bosh.

The Heat’s big man struggled from the field in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bosh shot 31 percent from the field and had just 13 points and four rebounds in the 99-88 win.

Bosh may get a bit of a reprieve in Game 2. According to NBCSports, Charlotte center Al Jefferson has a strained planter fascia in his left foot that could hurt his play in Game 2.

ESPN reported Jefferson received two injections to kill the pain in his foot and left the AmericanAirlines Arena in a walking boot.

Bosh has scored more than 20 points in a game just three times since March 12. He hasn’t scored a double-double since February 23. However, in his last 10 regular season games, Bosh had a positive +/- in seven of the ten games.

While the offense will continue to run through LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, if Bosh can find his shot soon, it will make every Heat players job a lot easier and make a four-game sweep of the Bobcats more likely.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Super Mario Out in Game 2?]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:20:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chalmers477863751.jpg

The Miami Heat may be without starting point guard Mario Chalmers when the team takes the court again on Wednesday for Game 2 of the first round playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats.

According to The Miami Herald, Chalmers is listed as questionable for Game 2 after suffering a knee bruise in Game 1 on Sunday. Chalmers played 25 minutes in Game 1 despite the injury.

If Chalmers can’t go in Game 2, backup point guard Norris Cole or Toney Douglas would get the starting nod from Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Heat has had its way with Charlotte all season long. Miami averaged 104.6 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field against the Bobcats through four regular season games and Game 1 of the playoffs.

Miami will tip-off Game 2 against the Bobcats on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena.



Photo Credit: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) ]]>
<![CDATA[Marathon Winner's Family Celebrates]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:52:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/marathon+winner+204.JPG

Meb Keflezighi’s parents and sister huddled around a small computer screen inside their Chula Vista home.

They watched Meb take a big lead in one of the world’s premiere running events, the Boston Marathon, only to see it dwindle down to a gut-wrenching eight seconds approaching the last mile. The family prayed hard enough to be felt 2,500 miles away from the San Diego County city.

“My heart was beating and oh God, oh God, help him, help him,” said Meb’s father Russom. “I was praying and when he made it, I was excited.”

At his home in Scripps Ranch, Meb’s brother AK also watched and prayed.

“I was kneeling down, praying, sending him positive energy,” said AK Keflezighi. “'God, help him push that last mile because I know he deserves it. I know he wants it. Nobody works harder than he does.'”

Born in Eritrea, Keflezighi became a U.S. citizen in 1998 after his family fled war to establish a new home in San Diego in 1987.

The San Diego High School and UCLA alum has won four NCAA titles, the New York City marathon in 2009, and an Olympic silver medal in 2004

Even with his record of past wins, the family knew very well the symbolic meaning of Monday’s Boston Marathon. It was more than just a race. It was a chance for America to ease the pain of last year’s tragic bombing.

“He’s a humble guy. I’m sure he was thinking of the victims that lost their lives last year,” said AK Keflezighi, Meb’s brother.

AK said that his brother wrote on his bib the names of the three victims who lost their lives near the finish line, and also the name of the security guard killed as police closed in on the bombing suspects.

“It was absolutely a glorious day. He was fantastic. From early on, I knew it was going to be special,” AK said.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Fight Back But Fall to Braves]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:09:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485955929.jpg

The Miami Marlins came back to tie Monday’s game in the ninth inning only to fall in the tenth by a final score of 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves.

Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a two-hit day which continues to pace the big leagues. Yelich also stole his fourth base of the season and remains perfect in his career in stolen base attempts. Garrett Jones smashed his third home run of the year in the second inning for the first Miami run of the day. In the top of the ninth, the Marlins mounted a rally against All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and tied the game via a pinch-hit RBI double courtesy of Derek Dietrich. With men on second and third with one out, Miami was unable to take the lead however.
 
Tom Koehler continued his terrific start to the season with 6.1 innings of work in which he allowed two runs on five hits. Koehler struck out eight and walked two before being lifted with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh inning. Mike Dunn entered and allowed one of the runs to score before A.J. Ramos ended the rally with a strikeout. Due to Dunn’s ineffective outing, Koehler was charged with the second run on his line despite only allowing one while on the mound. Ramos stayed in for the eighth and provided a perfect inning of relief to keep the deficit at one.
 
Carlos Marmol worked the bottom of the ninth inning following the rally by Miami in the top half. Due to two walks and a double, the erratic reliever loaded the bases but escaped and eventually sent the game to extra innings. Arquimedes Caminero took the mound for the bottom of the tenth and gave up the game winning home run to Evan Gattis.
 
Miami continued their success with replay challenges by winning one in the eighth but could not take advantage of the opportunity. Under the transfer rule, an out call originally made at second base was changed and created a bases loaded situation with one out. The Braves would go on to retire the next two batters however.
 
The Marlins will try and even the series on Tuesday with Jose Fernandez scheduled to start.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Start Title Defense With 99-88 Win Over Bobcats]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:57:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485759827.jpg
The Miami Heat’s journey for a third straight title got off to a good start on Sunday with a 99-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
 
It wasn’t an easy win for the Heat, but when it was needed most Miami was able to put together a run and maintain their home court advantage in the series. The big story in this one was James Jones who wound up with 12 points in 14 minutes and hit multiple critical shots in the second half to help the Heat build a lead. LeBron James wound up with 27 points to go along with one assist and eight rebounds. Dwyane Wade had a big game scoring 21 points with 5 assists in 34 minutes of play. Chris Bosh had a tough day only shooting 4-13 on his field goal attempts for 13 points. 
 
Things started a little slow for the Heat with the Bobcats outscoring Miami by four in the first quarter. In fact, at one point the Bobcats held a 21-12 lead before the Heat turned the tables. That nine point lead for Charlotte wound up being their biggest and it fell apart shortly after Al Jefferson was forced to exit due to a strained left plantar fascia. With Jefferson being tendered to in the locker room, the Heat cut the deficit to two before his return in the second quarter.   
 
Even though he returned, Jefferson was clearly not at his best and the Heat took advantage of that going up by ten towards the close of the half. Kemba Walker’s buzzer beating three-pointer made it a seven point game at the half instead but that would prove to not matter in the end. One of the more surprising moments of the first half was a layup by Jones with 1:21 left in the second quarter. Jones who did not see much action during the regular season as a whole, almost exclusively lives on the perimeter. After the layup, Jones also sank two of three free throw attempts following a foul from behind the arc. 
 
The second half started off about as rough as the first half for Miami when the Bobcats opened up the half on an 8-0 run to give them a quick one point lead before the two minute mark even hit. The Heat called a quick timeout but Charlotte maintained control and still led five minutes into the half due to Walker’s electric play. The guard had eight points in the first four and a half minutes of the third quarter. With about two minutes to play in the third quarter, Jones picked up another layup in what was part of a turning point in the game. That layup followed a three-pointer from James who added a layup of his own shortly after. Jones would then go on to sink a three moments later before James drained another tough three-pointer at the buzzer. In the blink of an eye, the Heat opened up a seven point lead to close out the quarter which put them right back where they started at the beginning of the half.
 
In the fourth, the Heat continued to keep their foot on the pedal with Jones adding another three-pointer in the early minutes before taking a break. The Heat extended their lead to ten points and never looked back. Wade took and made a rare three-pointer with 6:50 left in the game to make the lead 15. Following a Charlotte timeout, the Heat continued to build up their advantage ballooning it all the way to 20. The extension of the lead took place with James resting on the bench and featured a lot of Wade who did not appear rusty. The Bobcats put together a 9-0 run as the clock ticked down to two minutes but the Heat were able to put a stop to it and complete the win.
 
The second game of the series is set for Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on TNT as the Heat will look to go up 2-0 before heading to Charlotte for a pair of games.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Come From Behind To Complete Sweep of Seattle]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 16:13:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485755093.jpg

The Miami Marlins came from behind for a 3-2 win on Sunday to complete a sweep of the Seattle Mariners. 

Adeiny Hechavarria’s sacrifice fly to right-field in the eighth inning proved to be the difference in this one. With the bases loaded and one out, the Marlins’ shortstop hit a fly ball just deep enough to score Giancarlo Stanton for what was the second run of the inning.  Christian Yelich extended his major league leading hitting streak to 14 games with a double earlier in the inning. It was the fifth double of the year for Yelich who went on to score the tying run after the Marlins won a replay challenge. The home plate umpire originally ruled Yelich out at the plate on a force, but replay showed that Yelich clearly slid in safely ahead of the ball.

Kevin Slowey made his first start of the year after spending the first part of the season in the bullpen and he turned in a good effort. Slowey wound up going five innings in which he allowed two runs on three hits while walking none. The veteran also struck out three including the first two hitters of the game. Due to his time in the pen, Slowey has not built up the arm strength of a starter and was lifted after 57 pitches with 42 of them going for strikes.

Arquimedes Caminero was the first arm out of the bullpen and gave the Marlins 1.1 scoreless innings of work. Caminero who had not appeared in a game since April 14th struck out one and allowed a hit. Daniel Jennings and Carlos Marmol worked the rest of the seventh inning with the latter cleaning up a mess left behind by Jennings. The young left-hander walked two and allowed a hit to load the bases before Marmol entered to strike out the only batter he saw. In the eighth, Mike Dunn turned in a perfect inning of relief to keep the deficit at one. Steve CIshek worked a scoreless ninth for his third save of the year and his 32nd consecutive save chance converted overall.

The Marlins will look to win their first road game of the year on Monday when they open a series in Atlanta with Tom Koehler set to make the start.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alvarez Leads Marlins To Second Straight Win]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 11:09:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485680685.jpg

Henderson Alvarez appears to be a fan of interleague after a two-hit shutout on Saturday in a Miami Marlins' 7-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Alvarez ended the 2013 season with a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers in interleague play, and this was his first chance at an American League squad since then. In all, Alvarez went 14 straight interleague innings before allowing a hit dating back to that no-hitter. In this one, not only did Alvarez not allow a hit to the sixth but he was perfect until Dustin Ackley laced a line drive into center-field. Alvarez would go on to allow a double in the ninth for his only other blemish. Alvarez struck out four and walked none while lowering his E.R.A to 2.66 on the year.

The offense did a good job of scoring early, adding on in the middle and further padding the lead towards the end of the game. The Marlins had ten hits in all with one home run coming courtesy of Marcell Ozuna into the pool in left field. Ozuna's three-run blast was his third of the year and was part of a 4 RBI day for the center-fielder. Ozuna also singled in the game and he was one of three Miami hitters to have a multi-hit day. Adeiny Hechavarria had three hits himself with one going for his fourth double of the season. Donovan Solano was 2-4 in what was a rare start for the second baseman. Also of note was Christian Yelich who picked up his fourth double and extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

The Marlins will look to complete the sweep on Sunday when they send Kevin Slowey to the mound. This will be Slowey's first start of the year as he takes over the rotation spot previously held by Brad Hand.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[90 mph Fastball Hits Player in Face]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:27:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/041914+DeShields+Twitter.jpg

A player on the Corpus Christi Hooks, a minor league baseball team in Texas, is nursing a nasty bruise after suffering a serious blow to the face. 

On Friday, Delino DeShields, Jr. was struck on the right side of his face with a fastball traveling 90 mph. 

The ball ended up fracturing his cheek but DeShields insists he will be back on the field soon.

“I can go right now,” said DeShields.
 
The 21-year-old center fielder was up at bat against the Frisco RoughRiders when he got hit with the fastball.
 
“The pitch that hit me got on me kind of quick, and next thing you know I was on the ground,” he added.
 
He said he didn’t feel pain, just swelling. He eventually got up and walked off the field.
 
“I am a very strong individual. I have a football mindset. That is what got me to walk off the field yesterday,” said DeShields, who was a 2010 first round pick for the Houston Astros and is the son of former major leaguer Delino DeShields.  
 
“He is quite a young man. He is quite an individual,” said Keith Bodie, manager of the Corpus Christi Hooks.
 
DeShields even had a message for the pitcher that hit him with the ball.
 
"I said, "Tell the pitcher I am good, no hard feelings.' I know it just kind of got away from him. And just tell him I am all right,” DeShields said.
 
DeShields isn't planning to stay off the field for too long. He said he has no fear of facing a pitcher again.
 
“Whatever it takes to get me back on the field I will be ready to go,” he said.
 
“Knowing Delino he is going to be ready shortly; this is not a 6 to 8 week deal,” Bodie added.


Photo Credit: Delino DeShields, Jr. Twitter page]]>
<![CDATA[Stanton Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam To Give Marlins 8-4 Win]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:52:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485147207.jpg

Giancarlo Stanton blasted a walk-off grand slam to give the Miami Marlins an 8-4 win on Friday night over the Seattle Mariners.

Stanton now has 26 runs batted in on the year which leads all of Major League Baseball to go along with six home runs. The long ball was hit to center field and came with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth after Miami won their first replay challenge ever. Prior to the at-bat, Marcell Ozuna had seemingly grounded into the first out of the inning on a bunt attempt. However, manager Mike Redmond challenged the call when Mariners' third baseman did not have proper control of the ball on a transfer to his throwing hand. The umpires back in New York saw evidence of just that and reversed the call setting up the bases loaded, nobody out situation for Stanton.

It was a moment of redemption for the Marlins' slugger who had misplayed a ball that led to two runs earlier in the game. It was Stanton's second error of the year was costly at the time as it tied the game at two. Still despite the error and even before the blast, Stanton had a big game reaching base four times. The right-fielder was intentionally walked twice and also singled twice with the first hit coming on what appeared to be an unintentional-intentional walk by Seattle. The pitch Stanton hit was outside but close enough to take a swat at.

Other hitters chimed in for Miami in a 13 hit barrage for the team with Jarrod Saltalamacchia sending a blast of his own out earlier in the contest. The Marlins' catcher put a ball into the upper deck in right field which is territory not visited often at Marlins Park. It was Saltalamacchia's second home run as a Marlin and his first at home. Christian Yelich also had a big day picking up another three hits to lift his average to .338 on the year.

Nathan Eovaldi started the game for Miami and turned in a quality start allowing only one earned run in his three innings of work. A total of three runs did score off Eovaldi but those other two were on the aforementioned Stanton error. Eovaldi struck out four and walked two to go along with seven hits allowed.

The Marlins will try to make it two in a row on Saturday when Henderson Alvarez takes the mound.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Golfer Flees Hornet Attack on Course]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:35:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Larrazabal.jpg

A Spanish golfer jumped into a nearby lake to escape a swarm of hornets then continued on despite his stinging injuries.

Pablo Larrazabal was in the fifth hole's fairway during the Maybank Malaysian Open when he swatted away a stray hornet, which then prompted a swarm to attack him. The golfer attempted to fight them off, but had to run to the lake to escape the angry wasps.

“They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time,” Larrazabal said in a statement to ESPN. “I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.”

The scene could have been reminiscent of Chris Farley's character fleeing a bee attack in the 1995 film "Tommy Boy."

Larrazabal suffered more than 20 stings and had to receive medical attention. He described the encounter as the “scariest moment" of his career.

However, he returned to play his last five holes in a borrowed shirt, reversing his luck by finishing the 14th hole – the same one where he was attacked – with a birdie putt and finishing overall with two under.

He later tweeted out thanks to supporters and joked that golf is a dangerous sport.
 



Photo Credit: Ian Walton/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service Threatened to Shoot Mr. Met: Book]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:11:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mr-met-cohen.jpg

A Secret Service agent once threatened to shoot Mr. Met if he approached the president during a baseball game at Shea Stadium, according to a man who once worked as the baseball-headed mascot.

AJ Mass, who was the Mets’ mascot from 1994 to 1997, said a member of former President Bill Clinton’s security detail told him they’d “go for the kill shot” if he tried to pal around with the then-commander-in-chief at a Mets-Dodgers game on April 15, 1997. The account comes from an excerpt of Mass’ new book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” published on Sports Illustrated’s website this week.

Mass wrote that he had planned to make his way to see Clinton, who was at the game commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major-league appearance, calling the photo-op "the holy grail for all mascots."

Before he could make it to the president’s box, Mass wrote, he was stopped by an agent in a dark suit and a businesslike demeanor.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent told Mass. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

Then the agent, who Mass wrote was staring into the mouth of Mr. Met’s head to make eye contact with the man inside, repeated himself.

“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” the agent said to Mass. “ARE-WE-CLEAR?”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McNabb Spends Day in AZ Jail ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:12:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mcnabb+arrested+mugshot+background.jpg

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has been released from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.

Records released by Maricopa County Justice Court show that 37-year-old McNabb served his time Wednesday and was released Thursday morning.

Court administrator James Vance tells NBC10.com McNabb was stopped on Dec. 15, 2013 in his gray Land Rover LR4 along an Arizona freeway -- Route 101 near East McDowell Road -- on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He was then arrested for driving under the influence and cited for speeding.

McNabb's blood alcohol content (BAC) was not available for release, but Vance said while the state's legal limit is 0.08, a person could be considered impaired with a BAC of 0.04 or higher.

The former Eagle pleaded guilty on March 27 and nine days of his sentence was suspended in exchange for undergoing alcohol screening and treatment. Vance says that is a pretty standard judgment.

McNabb then reported to the Maricopa County Jail on Wednesday, was booked and served the one day sentence.

Once the alcohol treatment is completed, the sentence will be suspended, Vance says.

NBC10.com reached out to McNabb's attorney, Stephen Benedetto, for comment. We have not heard back.

Our sister station, KPNX in Phoenix, Ariz., obtained a booking mugshot of McNabb from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler, spent 10 years with the Eagles and took the franchise to five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. He currently hosts a show on NBC Sports Radio.

A spokesman for the radio network said, "Donovan has no comment," on the matter.



Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Heat to Take on Bobcats in First Round of Playoffs]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:34:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/463585371.jpg

The Miami Heat will begin their quest for a third straight title on Sunday at home against the Charlotte Bobcats when the NBA playoffs get underway.

The Heat entered the last day of the year secured as the two seed in the Eastern Conference and awaited news of which team would be the seven seed. The Washington Wizards could’ve easily been headed to Miami instead but it will be Charlotte after the results of Wednesday’s games. The Heat have defeated the Bobcats 16 straight times including four games during the 2013-14 season.
 
The first contest this season between the teams was on November 16th in Charlotte when the Heat came away 97-81 winners. In that game, LeBron James had 30 points and ran the show in a slow day for both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The next time the two teams saw one another was December 1st in Miami with the Heat narrowly winning 99-98. That game was highlighted by Chris Bosh draining a trifecta of three-pointers in a 79 second span to lead Miami to the victory.
 
On January 18th, a third meeting took place with the Heat winning in overtime 104-96 in Charlotte. With Wade missing the game, both James and Bosh had big games. James had 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Bosh tallied 25 points of his own to go along with seven boards. Ray Allen also contributed in a big way picking up 12 points and nine rebounds of his own. The last game on March 3rd featured James’ 61-point explosion in a lopsided 124-107 Heat victory. Wade missed that contest as well and James played with a protective mask due to a fractured nose.
 
A year ago, Charlotte finished 21-61 which was one of the worst records in the entire NBA. It was a different story however this season. The Bobcats had a decent year going 43-39 for their second playoff appearance ever and the first for Charlotte since the 2009-10 season. Led by Al Jefferson, the Bobcats finished strong with eight wins in their final nine games. Charlotte also features point guard Kemba Walker who is a potentially budding star in the NBA.
 
The first game of the series will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday from the American Airlines Arena.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Blast Away Marlins With Late Power Surge]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:57:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485147187.jpg

The Miami Marlins had a 3-0 lead but it fell apart in a hurry as the Washington Nationals came away 6-3 winners on Wednesday.

Jose Fernandez was pitching brilliantly until a bad pitch to Jayson Werth in the sixth inning. In the blink of an eye, a 3-0 shutout turned into a 3-3 game. That would turn out to only be the beginning of the story. Fernandez wound up with ten strikeouts across seven innings of work with no earned runs. The Marlins' ace walked none and allowed four hits. The home run followed a pair of errors by Jarrod Saltalamacchia which extended the inning. With the no decision, Fernandez remains 2-1 on the year to go along with a 2.66 E.R.A.

Mike Dunn's tough season continued in the eighth when the left-hander allowed two runs on a hit and a walk without retiring a batter. One of those runs was a lead-off home run to quickly put Miami behind 4-3. Dunn now has a 9.53 E.R.A this season and has been ineffective in several outings. A.J. Ramos had a rare poor outing allowing a run on two hits in his inning following Dunn's effort.

Derek Dietrich provided all the runs for Miami in this one with a three-run home run which was his third blast of the young season. The home run was a laser off the facade of the upper deck in right field and gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Marcell Ozuna stayed hot with a two-hit game including his third double of the season.

The Marlins are off on Thursday before they begin their first interleague series of the season on Friday. The Seattle Mariners are set to visit Miami and take on Nathan Eovaldi.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron and Bosh To Sit in Finale For Heat]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:54:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/115950701.jpg

The Miami Heat announced that they will rest stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh on Wednesday in their regular season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers with their playoff position locked.

The Heat will be the number two seed in the Eastern Conference with a win or a loss on Wednesday; the only mystery remaining for the team is who they will face. That answer is out of their hands as well which leads to the finale being a meaningless game for Miami. With that in mind, finding an extra day off for two of their big stars was likely an easy decision. James and Bosh also sat out Miami's previous game on Monday against the Washington Wizards for rest.

The Heat may still have one star on the court with Dwyane Wade likely to play, albeit possibly in limited action. Wade missed several games due to various injuries and could benefit from keeping sharp more than he would from rest like his teammates. It's unlikely Wade will see his normal allotment of minutes as the team will try to limit potential injury risk in a meaningless game.

Another name to keep an eye on tonight is Greg Oden with the team listing him as a game-time decision in a tweet. Oden has not played since March 26th against the Indiana Pacers and is currently battling a stomach virus after a bout with back spasms. Oden still remains a possibility for playing time in the playoffs, but his extended absence likely altered plans to have him as a member of the starting five.

The Heat will begin the playoffs this weekend at home against either the Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats. Their opponent will be determined on Wednesday.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Koehler Dominates Nationals as Marlins End Eight-Game Skid]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:15:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/182047134.jpg

The Miami Marlins finally returned to the win column on Tuesday with a decisive 11-2 victory over the Washington Nationals to end an eight game losing streak.

Tom Koehler pitched more like an ace than the fifth starter he is listed as by holding Washington to only one hit across seven innings of work. Koehler struck out three and allowed five hits while holding the Nationals scoreless. Koehler is now 2-1 with a 1.89 E.R.A on the season and thoroughly outpitched Stephen Strasburg in this win. Dan Jennings allowed a run in the eighth though the run was un-earned as it was due in part to a Marcell Ozuna throwing error. Jennings would go on to allow one more run in the ninth on a solo home run.

The Marlins tallied their 11 runs on 14 hits in an explosive display against Strasburg and the Washington bullpen. The scoring started early with Giancarlo Stanton blasting a three-run home run in the first inning. The Marlins’ slugger now has five home runs on the year and also leads Major League Baseball with 21 runs batted in. Stanton added his fifth double later in the game as well in what was 5 RBI day for him. Ozuna had a huge day himself going 4-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. 

Adeiny Hechavarria who was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday added a triple which was his second of the year to go along with two runs scored. Casey McGehee who had a tough road trip went 3-5 with two RBI to lift his average back over .300 on the season.  Every starter in the lineup outside of Koehler had at least one hit in this game, with four of the hitters having multi-hit games.

The Marlins will look to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday when Jose Fernandez takes the mound, trying to rebound from a loss in Washington last week.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Three Losses Away From Franchise Record ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:01:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482071493.jpg

The Miami Marlins opened the year with a 5-1 record but they have not won since, and have now lost eight times in a row to inch them close to franchise history.

The Marlins in their history have lost 11 times on three separate occasions. Those previous times were April 1-12, and May 26 - June 7 of 1998 along with June 11-20 in 2011, per the team's media guide. 1998 was famously the worst season in Marlins' history and came off their first World Championship when the team lost 104 games overall. During the 2011 streak, manager Edwin Rodriguez even stepped down from his position, which opened the door for the return of Jack McKeon who quickly oversaw a win.

There is no reason to think that current skipper Mike Redmond is looking to go the Rodriguez route but the frustration can be seen in his face following each mounting loss. The Marlins' showed a lot of promise in the first week and have been having difficulty in multiple facets of the game ever since. Pitching has faltered, defense has been abysmal at times, and situational hitting has taken a step back. The Marlins as a team are finding ways to lose and are making it difficult for Redmond to get them back in a winning groove.

There are some positive signs still even in the midst of this streak that can give the team a little confidence. Despite the skid, the Marlins overall are still near the top in several offensive categories of the National League. Coming into the year, their biggest question mark was expected to be offense so that is a welcome sign for the team. The power is there as Miami is seemingly sending at least one ball over the wall in each game. That is something the team simply didn't come close to seeing in 2013. 

It may only take one win for the Marlins to turn things back around, and that could come as soon as Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. It won't be easy though with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, who struck out 12 Miami hitters last week. Ace Jose Fernandez is set to get the ball on Wednesday and he could be looked at as the streak stopper after having a rare poor effort in his previous start.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[White Hot Heat Week Kicks Off With Car Decal Event]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:28:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/heat+mascot.jpg

The Miami Heat are getting fans pumped for the playoffs with the 2014 White Hot Heat Week kicking off Monday with their car decal event.

Fans who stop by the American Airline Arena between 6 and 10 a.m. can get a free Heat window decal.

Heat mascot Burnie and the Heat dancers will be on hand to help and give away free Heat fan kits.

The Heat have just two games remaining in the regular season before their begin their begin their run for a Three-peat in the NBA playoffs.

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<![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested For False Bomb Threat]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:59:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was taken into custody by police at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday following an encounter with a TSA agent, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 25-year-old Smith from San Jose, Calif., was arrested at LAX after making a bomb threat. He was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail Sunday evening and was not charged on Monday, as is standard for out-of-custody defendents, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

According to the police statement, Smith was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening at about 2 p.m.. Smith "then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."

Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with Smith at the gate, where he was identified as the person in question. Once again, Smith became uncooperative and was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and transported to LAPD and booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - false report of a bomb threat.

Additional eyewitness accounts support the accusation.

An airport employee said that he witnessed the confrontation at the gate between Smith and police.

"I could hear him saying bomb, and then I looked and noticed who it was," an LAX employee who said his name was "Garet" told NBC Bay Area. "He was taking money out of his pocket and throwing it on the ground saying, ‘It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right.'"

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed police at the airport said it appeared Smith may have been drunk earlier in the day. He was belligerent, but he was not charged with being drunk in public, police said.

The airport said it did not run or request any blood alcohol tests because alcohol was not a factor in the arrest.

TMZ Sports was first to post footage of police officers at LAX taking Smith into custody. Smith can can be heard in the video saying he did nothing wrong.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement saying the team is "disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith." He declined to comment further, citing a "pending legal matter."

This is the fourth criminal case against Smith in the last two years.

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Some 49ers fans said they were not surprised Smith has had yet another brush with the law.

"You would think he’d get his act together after getting caught after having that DUI crash in San Jose but he’s young, he’s not learning," 49ers fan TJ Duran said.

"I would be shocked if he has a future with the team," football fan Sean Smith said.


Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.

 

Information from Bay City News was used in this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricanes Show Off New Look Prior to Spring Game]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:34:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/new+hurricanes+uniforms.jpg

The Miami Hurricanes played their spring game on Saturday, but there was even bigger news prior to it when the school unveiled a new look for the football team.

Before the defense took the spring game 61-60, the Hurricanes stood on the field at Sun-Life Stadium and gave the world a view of how they will take the field going forward. In all, there are four overall uniforms and they are named "Juice," "Storm Trooper," "Surge" and "Smoke". 

"Juice" is an all-orange home look on the torso and legs along with green sleeves. Present on the sleeves is the beak of the Ibis mascot. Incorporating the Ibis into the new look appears to have been a priority. "Storm Trooper" as can be expected is an all-white look for away games. The Ibis logo can be found on the sleeves here as well. "Surge" and "Smoke" are two alternate uniforms for the school. The former is all-green while the latter is an all-gray look. Once again the Ibis logo can prominently be seen on the sleeves.

It was announced back in February that the Hurricanes would be donning new threads, but details were kept secret until the unveiling. The change is major and noticeable, but it also pays tribute to the previous look. The new uniforms were designed by Nike with input from Hurricanes' coach Al Golden, equipment manager David Case, and athletic director Blake James, according to The Miami Herald.

“The uniform comes at the right time for the right team,” Golden told the Herald. “These young men, who unselfishly guided us through some very dark days, now display a renewed attitude and spirit! These new uniforms capture that outlook."

The new look will be available to purchase by the public in early July.

Watch the players' reactions to the new uniforms in this video below:

 



Photo Credit: Courtesy hurricanesports.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hernandez Associates Indicted on Murder Charge]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hernandezq.jpg

Two associates of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez were indicted Friday on murder charges, in connection with his alleged fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player last year.

A Massachusetts grand jury charged both Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace with murder in connection with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass., NECN reported.

Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., will be arraigned on the new charge in Fall River on a date that has yet to be determined.

Ortiz and Wallace had both pleaded not guilty to their previous charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murdering 27-year-old Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

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<![CDATA[Kaepernick Rips Report]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:11:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/461570031.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed media reports that he is being investigated by Miami police for sexual assault.

In a series of three tweets first sent at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, Kaepernick wrote:

"The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong," he tweeted.  "They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but  I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced."

TMZ on Thursday first broke the news about Kaepernick, saying in its headline that he was being investigated for a sexual assault.

Later in the day, the Miami police department released a report filed April 3 by a woman who said she is a former lover of Kaepernick's. In the report, the woman said that she partied with him and two other NFL players, passed out at the Miami Viceroy hotel on April 2, and wound up at a hospital later without having any idea how she got there.

The report alleges no specific crime.

According to the police report, the woman -- who, according to the police report, had a previous sexual relationship with Kaepernick -- said she went to visit Ricardo Lockette, 27, at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy in downtown Miami on April 1 about 9 p.m. Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

Miami police said they are investigating the report, as is standard when someone files one.

Wisconsin-based XAM Sports, which represents Kaepernick, also issued a statement to CSN Bay Area in support of their client on Friday.

"We stand by Colin 100% and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Agent Scott Smith represents Kaepernick, who is in line for a lucrative contract extension.

General manager Trent Baalke said recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., the 49ers hope to have a new deal in place before the opening of training camp. And 49ers CEO Jed York said Kaepernick deserves to be paid like a top quarterback.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Fan Wins $1,000 Shopping Spree With Birdman ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/176*120/170992000.jpg

A Miami Heat fan took a trip to the store she won't soon forget, leaving an area Winn-Dixie with a cart of free groceries and memories of a shopping spree with Chris "Birdman" Andersen.

"This is the best experience I've ever had," Daisy Moore said. "I will never forget it."

The single mother won $1,000 in free groceries as part of the first Dr. Pepper Mountain Dew Shop with the Player Program. She snagged the prize by proving she is a big Miami Heat fan.

"I work overnight so I always DVR the games," said Moore, adding that it can be hard to make ends meet.

Moore was able to shop for family favoites like yogurt and Cheez-Its with the cash. Andersen even flew out to the parking lot to lend an assist with all the bags.

"Being a single mom it's hard at times, but this will save me a lot," Moore said. "I'm very grateful."

Andersen said the experience meant a lot to him, too.

"Giving back to the community is very special for us," he said.

 

 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Probed in Hotel Incident]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:57:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP8942224809.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by police in Miami in connection to an incident that allegedly involves a woman who passed out inside a luxury hotel room.

The report released by the Miami Police Department on Thursday does not charge Kaepernick with any specific crime.

A woman told authorities she partied with Kaepernick -- and two other NFL players -- and ended up in a South Florida hospital room without any recollection of how she got there, according to the police report.

The alleged encounter happened at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami the evening of April 1.

Along with 26-year-old Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, and 23-year-old 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is entering his second NFL season, are both mentioned in the incident report. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports Kaepernick and Lockette forged a tight friendship during Lockette's time on the 49ers' practice squad in 2012.

Police in Miami are continuing to investigate whether Kaepernick and the two other NFL players mentioned are responsible for any wrongdoing.

“There is not much we can say about it, other than it is an open investigation for all three of these men,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The report was taken by Miami police on April 3, when the unnamed woman walked into the department's central station.

According to the police report, the woman said she went to visit Lockette at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy on April 1 about 9 p.m. Patton and Kaepernick were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

The woman told police that she and Kaepernick had a sexual relationship in the past.

San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the media Thursday morning, which said:

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts.”

TMZ first broke the news. TMZ's report says any investigation is in the "beginning stages," according to law enforcement sources.

Niners cornerback Tramaine Brock said he thinks the investigation "must be a hoax."

Kaepernick has apparently been training in South Florida during the offseason. Less than week ago, the 49ers QB posted to Instagram a photo of himself hashtagged "#Miami."

Attempts to reach the players named in the report or their attorneys have been unsuccessful.

It's been a rough year for 49ers players off the field.

Chris Culliver is facing one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after a March 30 hit-and-run involving a bicyclist in San Jose. The 25-year-old cornerback was charged with felony possession of brass knuckles, which carries up to a three-year prison sentence. He also was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run with injury as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run, which have one-year maximum sentences.

All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana in San Jose. In October, the 24-year-old was charged three felony weapons assault charges, stemming from a June 2012 house party he hosted. In September, he was charged with a DUI. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty.

Both Smith and Culliver, who are still under contract with the 49ers, are scheduled to make separate appearances in Santa Clara County court on Friday.
 

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and NBC 6 South Florida contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Blow Five Run Lead, Fall For Third Straight Time]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 23:09:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/483642345.jpg

The Miami Marlins dropped a third straight game on Wednesday with a long wild 10-7 loss to the Washington Nationals.

The game took nearly four hours and saw the Marlins let an early five run lead slip away. A second lead was lost in the eighth inning as well. Errors have been a problem for Miami this year as the lead Major League Baseball with eleven miscues. Three of those came in this game including one in the eighth inning that led to the eventual game winning runs for Washington. That error was committed by Derek Dietrich who was playing third base at the time. It was the fifth error of the year for Dietrich and it was followed by an intentional walk and then a grand slam off the bat of Jayson Werth. 
 
Derek Dietrich and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both went deep for the first time this season. Dietrich hit his in the second inning as part of Miami’s route to the early 5-0 lead. The home run was originally ruled a triple but was overturned to a home run upon review. Saltalamacchia added his in the seventh inning to tie the game after the Nationals had taken the lead in the sixth. Christian Yelich stayed hot with a three-hit game including his second double of the season. Yelich also walked twice to reach in five of six plate appearances. Adeiny Hechavarria also kept his bat going with a two-hit day that featured his first triple of the year.
 
Garrett Jones picked up what looked like it’d be his biggest hit as a Marlin thus far with a run scoring double in the eighth inning to put Miami ahead at the time. Giancarlo Stanton tried to score as well on the play but was ruled out and confirmed as such on a review of a possible block of home plate. That review was the third of the game after two home runs were replayed earlier in the contest. 
 
Brad Hand made his first start of the year as he took the place of Jacob Turner who was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day. Hand threw 85 pitches in only 3.1 innings of work and was battling with rallies by Washington at nearly every turn. Hand escaped most but he couldn’t avoid a three-run home run by Bryce Harper. Hand allowed three runs on four hits while walking two. The left-hander also struck out four along the way. It is likely that Hand will remain in the rotation while Turner is out but the Marlins have yet to confirm that. 
 
After Hand’s day came to an end, Kevin Slowey stepped in and worked 1.2 innings in which he allowed three runs on three hits. Miami was likely looking for more innings from Slowey in order to save the rest of the bullpen but the veteran did not have his best stuff in this game. Dan Jennings who took over next did not fare much better giving up two hits while only retiring one hitter. Jennings also misplayed a ball back to the mound leading to a run. With the bases loaded and one out, manager Mike Redmond brought in Arquimedes Caminero who had been recalled earlier in the day to take Turner’s roster spot. Caminero promptly retired the two batters he faced to end the inning and then stayed in to pitch a scoreless seventh inning as well. In the eighth, Carlos Marmol entered and had a tough outing giving up four runs on two hits in the inning due to the aforementioned Werth slam.
 
On Thursday, the Marlins will send Tom Koehler to the mound as they try to salvage one game in the series.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Batkid Throws 1st Pitch, Draws Praise, Criticism ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/batkid6.jpg

He won the hearts of San Francisco five months ago, when the city morphed into Gotham City to lift the spirits of a 5-year-old battling leukemia.

And Batkid still evoked strong emotions when he took the mound at the Giants home opener at AT&T Park on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The tiny superhero, aka Miles Scott of Siskyou County, threw the first pitch at the game, where the Giants were victorious, 7-3. An especially poignant image was when the little boy dressed all in black held hands with pitcher Matt Cain on the field.

Some took to social media to criticize all the attention Miles - who is remission from his cancer - is still getting. The city of San Francisco and 12,000 volunteers pitched in on Nov. 15 to make the boy's dream come true: Allowing him to be his favorite superhero for the day. But some believe that the boy's 15 minutes is up.

On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, some posters were critical of all the attention he was getting. "There are plenty of other kids out there that could use support or even a couple hours of fun," one person wrote.

But it's also safe to say that Miles has become a symbol of hope for many, especially those in the cancer community, who see that the boy battled his disease.

"Omg!," a poster named Dana Hernandez wrote. "This was so cool! It gave me the chills."

And in a Wednesday morning interview on NBC Bay Area, Giants commentator Mike Krukow called the "blanket of love that everyone" threw Batkid's way, was just "amazing."

"It was the start of a perfect day,"Krukow said during his weekly segment "Kruk on Skype." "And Batkid had a lot to do with it."


Miles Scott, left, dressed as Batkid, throws the ceremonial first pitch next to Batman before an opening day baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool).



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Place Turner on Disabled List ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:38:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482316057.jpg

The Miami Marlins placed starting pitcher Jacob Turner on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain according to MLB.com.

The move is retroactive to April 4th and reliever Arquimedes Caminero was recalled from AAA New Orleans to take the roster spot. Following Tuesday's game, the Marlins scratched Turner from his scheduled start on Wednesday but waited a day to make the disabled list transaction. Brad Hand is set to take the ball in Washington D.C. and will in all likelihood keep the rotation spot until Turner's return. In Turner's one start this year he struggled, but the team eventually picked up a comeback win.

The injury occurred during batting practice prior to Tuesday's tilt against the Nationals per a report by the Sun-Sentinel. It is commonplace for the next day's starter to take part in batting practice as to not overwork himself on the actual day of his start. With a young pitcher such as Turner, Miami is always going to lean on the side of caution. A shoulder strain far too often becomes a much bigger injury if not rested properly.

As for Caminero, he had an excellent spring but lost out on making the team due to roster rules. The team can only carry 25 players with 12-13 being pitchers normally. Caminero also had a minor league option remaining which allowed him to be demoted without being exposed to other teams. Even at the time of the demotion, it was apparent that his time in the minors could be short and that he would likely be given the first big league chance amongst the minor league options. That day has now arrived and it's plausible that Caminero remains on the roster the rest of the way if he is successful. In AAA this year, the 26-year old has had success in limited action.

Hand and the Marlins will take on the Nationals at 7:05 p.m on Wednesday night looking to end a two-game skid.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UMass Basketball Player Announces He's Gay]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ncaa_h3.jpg

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.

Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.

"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."

The sophomore was the Minutemen's fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.

In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of gay bar.

"I just wanted to run and hide somewhere," he said. "I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry."

Gordon was also inspired by spending time with several gay people in the world of sports in March, according to the Outsports article, and decided to come out to his family and then the Minutemen.

Once he opened up to his teammates, they were encouraging. In the ESPN interview, he recalled that they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."

Coach Derek Kellogg told ESPN that he could already see a newfound happiness in Gordon.

"I haven't felt like this. Ever," Gordon said in the Outsports interview. "It's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I can finally breathe now and live life happily."

On Twitter on Wednesday, he expressed similar levels of relief at his decision, saying he is "the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living."

Collins made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next month's NFL draft.

Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and we're all proud and rooting for you."

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>