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Rodgers aims to maintain momentum

first_img “It’s early stages but it keeps the momentum going and in the next couple of weeks we have one of the best strikers in the world coming back. “You can’t look too much at it (being top). But you’d rather be there than be at the bottom and what it does is that the more you are up there the more aggression and will and desire you have to stay there. “It’s only four games in, but we’ve had four tough games and we have only lost once in the last 16 odd games so we are getting a level of consistency and that was the biggest thing for me. “Coming here there was no consistency in the performance and now we are just churning out wins and if we can’t win we are drawing games with resilient performances like in the last 25 minutes here. “But I believe we will get better and more fluent as the season goes on so we are happy to be there and it gives us the fight to stay there.” For Swansea, the meeting with Liverpool kicked off a testing week which includes a Europa League trip to Valencia and Sunday’s league visit to Crystal Palace. But Rodgers believes his former club can cope with the demands of fighting in four separate competitions. He said: “It is a tough ask but the one thing I’d say Swansea have which we did not have last year is a strong squad. Monday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea, dominated by Jonjo Shelvey as the former Liverpool midfielder had a hand in all four goals, sent the Reds back to the summit of the standings by a single point as the Merseysiders continue the fine run of form they put together towards the end of last term. Few are expecting the Anfield side to launch a fully-fledged title assault, but Rodgers believes they have shown they can keep themselves in the picture with Uruguay international Suarez returning from his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic later this month. Press Association “Our squad was very thin last year and we were trying to operate on four fronts. You look through this squad and there is a strong squad here and some of the players have been here for a while and others that are new in. “The Europa League certainly tests your squad. It will be a tough game against Valencia but I am sure Michael will want to do well in the competition, but then they come back and have got another tough game at the weekend. “But I am sure they will cope. They have got a good squad and I hope they do well.” Swans boss Michael Laudrup is well aware of the demands his team face, but felt their performance against Liverpool was an encouraging start to a congested run of fixtures. He said: “The second half was our best performance so far this season. It was very important for us to produce that as it is the first of seven games in less than three weeks. “We have the four Premier League games, two in the Europa League and a Capital One Cup game as well. So to start like this with a good result against a good team and an excellent performance is great for us to build on.” Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side are capable of maintaining their challenge at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, particularly with Luis Suarez close to a return to action.last_img read more

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Kenley Jansen serves up ninth-inning grand slam as Padres walk off with win over Dodgers

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The next batter, Wil Myers, made it two bunt hits in a row when his rolled untouched through the grass on the third-base side of the pitcher’s mound as Seager went to cover second base, Turner third and Jansen broke slowly from the mound.Good Wil bunting loaded the bases.“I’ve got to get to my responsibility and make sure we get an out,” Turner said. “They have their 7 and 8 hitters coming up. Get an out there and let Kenley pitch his way out of it.“It wasn’t a great bunt. But my responsibility there is to make sure we get an out.”Jansen nearly did work his way out of it anyway. He struck out Greg Garcia and got Francisco Mejia to pop out, moving an out away from escaping with the win.“Oh, man – that’s the suck part of it because I visualized myself out of it,” Jansen said.Renfroe came off the bench to pinch hit and took a called strike down the middle from Jansen. The second pitch was another cut fastball over the heart of the plate, only slightly higher.Renfroe didn’t hesitate. He drove it deep into the left-field stands, tossing his bat away and throwing his arms in the air before starting his victory lap.“Second pitch I tried to go up and up,” Jansen said. “I tried to climb the ladder but the ball stayed a little down and he put a good swing on it.“Sometimes stuff like that is going to happen. … Things happen. You can’t question yourself. How about that perfect bunt Margot put down? JT thought that was going to go foul. It stayed fair. Stuff like that is going to happen sometimes. This sucks right now. At the same time, I fought well out there.”Renfroe’s slam was the fourth home run Jansen has given up already this season (after giving up 13 last year, the most by any reliever in the NL). But it was the paper cuts that lingered.“You know, if that’s the way they have to beat me, I’ll take that,” Jansen said of the bunt singles by Margot and Myers. “It’s a compliment for me. Two perfect bunts, that’s how they beat me today.” PreviousThe Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, reacts with teammate David Freese, right, after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres’ Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting a walkoff grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres’ Hunter Renfroe, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a walkoff grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe San Diego Padres’ Wil Myers, bottom left, scores off a sacrifice fly by Francisco Mejia as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, top, is late with the tag during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his two-run home run hit during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy rounds the bases to score on a two-run home run hit by Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) celebrates with teammate Max Muncy (13) after hitting a two-run home run as San Diego Padres catcher Francisco Mejia looks on, right, during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor hits a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The San Diego Padres’ Franmil Reyes, front left, is greeted by teammate Manny Machado, right, after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda hits a single during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres starting pitcher Nick Margevicius works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda stretches before facing his first San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda points up as San Diego Padres’ Ian Kinsler fouls out during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting a walkoff grand slam during the ninth inning of a game against the Dodgers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda runs to third from first off a double by the Dodgers’ Corey Seager during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Members of the military watch a fly-over by an Air Force C-5 aircraft before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, reacts with teammate David Freese, right, after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres’ Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting a walkoff grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)NextShow Caption1 of 19San Diego Padres’ Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting a walkoff grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)ExpandSAN DIEGO — The Dodgers spent the weekend in San Diego with their outstretched arm planted firmly on the Padres’ forehead, letting them swing away only to come up short.The Padres connected Sunday afternoon.Hunter Renfroe’s pinch-hit grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave the San Diego Padres an 8-5 walkoff win Sunday afternoon and prevented a Dodgers sweep of the sold-out series at Petco Park.The series drew 133,456 fans (a lot of them wearing Dodger blue), a record for a three-game series at Petco Park and prompted questions about the “rivalry” between the two teams – questions Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joked he seems to get in every city the Dodgers visit.center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season After a miserable first month to the season (he was batting .162 three days ago), Taylor came to life in San Diego. He was 7 for 13 in the series with two home runs, a double and four RBI.“He’s getting opportunities to go out there and play,” Roberts said, alluding to the five consecutive left-handed starters the Dodgers faced this week. “I think he’s taking better swings. When he does get a ball in the strike zone, he’s getting it going forward and not fouling it off or swinging through it.“And when you start to get some hits it breeds confidence – even a couple balls that were softly hit. You see an ‘H’ on the board and you start to get a little more confidence.”Starter Kenta Maeda and relievers Pedro Baez and Ross Stripling retired 14 consecutive Padres – seven in a row on strikeouts at one point – through the bottom of the eighth and handed the one-run lead to Jansen who saved each of the first two games in this series.But Jansen gave up a leadoff single to Eric Hosmer then Manuel Margot dropped a bunt down the third-base line. Justin Turner had no play, instead hoping it would go foul. It didn’t.Related Articles “That one hurts, for sure,” Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said. “We’re down all game, come back to get the lead. That stings. But we won the series and that’s what matters.”They did, despite leading after just three innings, one each day.“They’re hungry. They want to beat us,” Jansen said after Sunday’s loss. “Everyone wants to beat us in this division. Everyone wants to beat us in the National League. We’re two-time National League champions so every game we’re going to play against teams it’s going to be their ‘A’ games.“They’re hungry to beat us. But I can’t let this beat us. A situation like this happens. I’ve got to turn the page on it.”For the third consecutive game, the Dodgers spotted the Padres an early lead and seemed poised to ruin their day. Max Muncy hit a three-run home run in the fifth to make it a one-run game, 4-3, then Chris Taylor gave the Dodgers a 5-4 lead with a two-run home run in the eighth inning. 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Tiger Woods accepts reality after another bad PGA round: It’s getting harder for him to win majors

first_imgTiger Woods conceded he was running out of time to win major titles after falling out of contention at the PGA Championship on Saturday.The 44-year-old American shot a 2-over 72 for a second successive round, which left him with little to play for leading into the final day at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. TIGER ON SUNDAY: How to watch his round at the PGAThe tournament will represent another opportunity missed for the reigning Masters champion in his bid to equal Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories. Woods has managed 15 over a 24-year professional career, but only one since 2008.”There’s not as many [opportunities to win] as when I first started playing,” Woods said after completing his round. “The reality is that the golf courses are getting bigger. They are getting longer. The margin between making the cut and the lead is a lot smaller than it used to be. Used to be sometimes 12 to 15 shots.”Now we had, what, nine shots here? It’s just different. It’s getting tighter and it’s getting harder to win events, but you look at the leaderboard of most major championships, you see the same guys.2 birdies.4 bogeys.4 fairways hit.12 greens in regulation.31 putts.Tiger Woods cards a 2-over 72 in Round 3 of the PGA Championship. He’s +2 for the tournament. pic.twitter.com/cG7XCaJfUH— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 8, 2020“May not be always the same winners, but you see the same handful of guys are there. They understand how to win major championships, how to win the big events, how to plod their way along, how difficult it is to win these big events.”Putting again proved a problem for Woods as he failed to make a birdie until the 16th hole. Though well behind the contenders, Woods said he had a clear goal in mind for the final round.”You just keep fighting, no matter what,” he said. “Whether the rounds are shooting 61s or shooting 81s, the intensity should always be there, the effort should always be there. I keep fighting until the end [with] pride in what I do. I love to compete. Unfortunately I didn’t do my job today.”At the end it clicked and hopefully I can get something going tomorrow and get into the red for the tournament.”last_img read more

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