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    The countdown

    Jordan Zimmermann knew two things when he took the mound against Bartolo Colon on Friday night.

    He was going to have to be good to keep Colon from making history Josh Allen Jersey Bills , and the game wasn’t going to take long.

    Zimmermann came through, outdueling Colon as the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 in a game that ended four minutes after sunset at Comerica Park.

    ”I’ve hooked up with Bartolo a lot of times over the years, and he’s always good and the games are always short,” said Zimmermann, who struck out 11 batters in eight innings. ”He works fast, I work fast and we almost got out before 9 o’clock tonight.”

    Colon was trying to become the winningest Latin-American pitcher in major league history. He remains tied with Dennis Martinez with 245 career victories.

    He pitched well, allowing three runs – including homers by James McCann and JaCoby Jones – in an eight-inning complete game, but Zimmermann (4-0) was better.

    ”When I was young, a loss like this would bother me,” Colon (5-6) said through a translator. ”Now, I know games like this are going to happen. Tonight was good for us and not good for the hitters.”

    The Tigers right-hander allowed one run and four hits and struck out 10 or more for the first time since his no-hitter for Washington against Florida on Sept. 28, 2014.

    ”That might be the best slider I’ve had in my career, and when I can throw it like that Tarvarius Moore Color Rush Jersey , it makes my fastball and curve even tougher to hit,” Zimmermann said. ”I’m not going to give up many runs with that kind of stuff.”

    There were no walks in the game, and neither starter needed 100 pitches for their eight-inning outings. Zimmermann threw 96 pitches, and Colon 97.

    ”Those were two great veteran pitchers doing what they do best,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”They were attacking the zone, moving the ball all over the place and making the hitters chase their pitches.”

    Joe Jimenez pitched the ninth for his third save, helping the Tigers end a three-game losing streak by winning for just the third time in 17 games.

    At 45 years, 43 days old, Colon became the oldest pitcher to throw a complete game since Jamie Moyer (47 years, 199 days) on June 5, 2010. Tim Wakefield and Randy Johnson are the only other 45-year-olds to pitch complete games in the 21st century.

    ”That’s a tough loss for Bartolo, but both pitchers were great out there,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ”Zimmermann had his A-game going Jeff Locke Color Rush Jersey , and Bart was getting a lot of weak contact.”

    Colon first faced Detroit on May 10, 1997, allowing one earned run in six innings for Cleveland in a loss at Tiger Stadium. He’s the last active major league player to have played at Tiger Stadium, which closed in 1999.

    ”That old man took me to school,” Nicholas Castellanos said. ”He was moving the ball over the place and I didn’t know what was happening.”

    The Rangers took the lead on the game’s second pitch as Shin-Soo Choo hit a homer into the shrubbery beyond the center-field fence. The home run extended his on-base streak to 45 games, the longest in the majors this season.

    McCann put the Tigers ahead with a two-run homer in the second inning, but Zimmermann and Colon took over after that.

    The Tigers had the next significant threat, putting runners on the corners with two out in the fifth, but Jones grounded out to end the inning. Jones, though, homered off Colon in the eighth to make it 3-1.

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Rangers: Choo returned to the lineup after sitting out Thursday. Choo is limited to playing designated hitter because of a sore quadriceps, and Adrian Beltre started there Thursday after an emergency dental procedure.

    Tigers: Closer Shane Greene had tests on his sore pitching shoulder, and they showed no significant problem. Greene is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 12.

    FAST GAME

    The game ended at 9:15 p.m. http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com...goedert-jersey , forcing the postgame fireworks show to be held well before the sky was dark.

    UP NEXT

    The teams continue their four-game series on Saturday, with Cole Hamels (4-7, 4.05) pitching for Texas against Detroit’s Mike Fiers (5-5, 3.79).




    TAMPA, Fla. — A potential Stanley Cup Final preview will be on display Sunday as the league-leading Nashville Predators visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    A late-season surge by the Predators has them in front in the chase for the Presidents’ Trophy. Tampa Bay occupied that spot for most of the season before a mini-slump late in the season and is three points back.

    Nashville, coming off a 7-4 loss at home to the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, continues to pace the league with 111 points, running off a 16-3-2 record since Feb. 19 to bypass the Lightning in the standings.

    The Boston Bruins, who play at Philadelphia on Sunday, is two points behind the Predators and one ahead of Tampa Bay with a game in hand on both teams.

    “That’s a huge game (Sunday) obviously,” Nashville center Austin Watson told The Tennessean. “Everybody knows that. It’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back. I don’t know how much we’ll look at this, or we’ll just look to Tampa. That’s up to the coaching staff. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to get our minds right.”

    The Predators want to quickly put the loss to Buffalo behind them and avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the second time second time in the past 21 games.

    “We have to get our stuff together, last four games we need to play hard http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/a...walford-jersey , play much better than we showed,” Nashville center Mike Fisher told Predators’ television network following the loss to Buffalo. “Good thing is we have a big game (Sunday), and we have to get back at it and play our hockey. We still have a lot to play for, we have to show it.”

    The Lightning, meanwhile, have not only dropped out of the top overall spot in the league standings, they now trail Boston for the top overall spot in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings with a 4-5-0 record in the past nine games.

    While getting back on the right side of the ledger is something for Tampa Bay to focus on in the final four games, there are other areas the team is looking at as well.

    “I think we are focusing on some little things here and there,” Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. “Obviously we are in a funk and in a little groove right now we are trying to get out of, but we will. I think once playoffs start it’s a completely different thing and it automatically elevates wherever you are, and I have a lot of faith in our team and our group, so I’m not too worried about there.”

    Chasing down Boston is on the Lightning’s agenda heading down the final week of the season and is in the middle of a stretch of four emotionally charged games, including the matchup with Nashville. Tampa Bay hosts Boston on Tuesday.

    “We have gone in to a little bit of a lull since we clinched http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com...-martin-jersey ,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “I think these upcoming games, they bring the emotions out, especially with the distance in the standings between us and Boston and what it has been. You don’t know how these games are going to turn out but I would expect our guys to be fully invested for sure.”

    It will also be an expected matchup between Vezina Trophy favorites with Nashville’s Pekka Rinne likely facing Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

    Rinne has jumped to the forefront as the favorite thanks to a 22-3-1 run in which he has posted a 2.02 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in his past 26 starts. He enters Sunday with an overall record of 41-11-4, a 2.25 GAA, .929 save percentage and league-leading eight shutouts, but was victimized for six goals by Buffalo.

    Vasilevskiy was the runaway leader at the All-Star break and though he leads the league with 42 victories, which is a single-season franchise record, he has seen his GAA blow up to 2.60 after giving up three or more goals 15 times in 21 starts since the All-Star break.

    .

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