Seven years after making his major league debut as an outfielder Sebastian Janikowski Jersey Seahawks , Eric Thames is getting reacquainted with the position for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Normally Milwaukee’s first baseman, Thames has started three straight games in the outfield — including two in a row in left — and has seen the bulk of his action there since returning from a 41-game stint on the disabled list earlier this month.
Manager Craig Counsell has Thames in the outfield as he tries to keep Thames left-handed power bat in the lineup alongside right-hander slugger Jesus Aguilar.
Thames will likely stay in the outfield Friday night as the Brewers continue a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
Thames played left field and drove in three runs as Milwaukee began the series with an 11-3 win on Thursday.
Aguilar took over as the everyday first baseman when Thames suffered a thumb injury April 25 and has thrived ever since. Aguilar is tied with Travis Shaw for the team lead with 14 home runs.
With the benefit of added offense also comes liability: Thames spent three years playing first base in the Korean League and made just 15 outfield appearances when the Brewers brought him back to the major leagues last season, so there is a little fine-tuning with Thames’ defensive skills.
“It’s not new for him but it is unfamiliar, and we recognize that,” Counsell said. “We understand this isn’t a regular position at this point. There’s going to be some rough edges there, but he’s shown that he can handle the basics.
“There was a ball he misplayed in Pittsburgh, but he came back and made two very nice plays. That’s what we’re going to get and that’s what we’ve got to be willing to live with.”
Counsell is willing to sacrifice a little on defense if it means getting the kind of pop Aguilar and Thames are capable of.
“I think having both of those bats in the lineup is reward enough for that,” Counsell said.
Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.89 ERA) will make a second consecutive start a day after the Brewers scored 10 runs or more. He’s hoping Friday turns out better than the last time, when Milwaukee followed an 11-run outburst against Philadelphia with a 4-1 loss.
Guerra pitched well in that outing. He allowed three runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings but took the loss for the second time in three starts and is looking for his first victory since May 14 despite posting a 2.67 ERA in the six starts since.
Guerra has already started two games against the Cardinals this season, and is 1-0 in those games while allowing just one run over 11 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 3-2 victory over the Cards on April 11. Guerra did not get a decision when he faced St. Louis on May 30 Authentic Richard Rodgers Jersey , although he pitched shutout ball in his six innings, and the Brewers eventually won 3-2.
He is 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals.
St. Louis has dropped eight of 11 after committing four errors on Thursday and will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.66).
Flaherty has allowed just one earned run over his last two starts, spanning 11 1/3 innings and has held opponents to no more than a run in six of his nine starts this season.
He held the Cubs scoreless over five innings his last time out on Sunday, striking out nine but didn’t take a decision in the Cardinals’ 5-0 victory.
“I was able to battle and execute when I needed to,” Flaherty said. “I threw a lot of pitches in a short amount of time. I was hoping to go deeper, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Flaherty is facing Milwaukee for the second time this season and the third time in his short career.
He made his first start against the Brewers in the 2017 finale at Busch Stadium, going five innings and giving up five hits and four runs and taking the loss. Flaherty made his 2018 debut at Miller Park back in April. He held Milwaukee to a run on six hits while striking out nine but took no decision in the Cardinals’ 5-4 loss.
Kevin Durant continues to deliver in the postseason for the Golden State Warriors.
He scored 37 points on Monday night to lead the Warriors to a 119-106 win in the long-awaited showdown with the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
But if it were up to him, he would have done even more.
Durant wasn’t happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench. Durant, who played just more than 40 minutes, was asked if he’d prefer to play the entire 48 minutes.
”Probably so Authentic Jaleel Scott Jersey ,” Durant said.
Kerr acknowledged that he should have left him in at that point and raved about his performance after his fourth 30-point game this postseason.
”This is why anybody would want him on their team … I don’t know what you do to guard him,” Kerr said. ”He can get any shot he wants.”
Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as 9 early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.
”We’re in the Western Conference finals they are going to come out with a lot of energy,” Durant said. ”We’re going to take that first punch and keep punching.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Eric Gordon opened the final period with a 3-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within 4, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.
Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open 3 to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left.
Harden scored 41 to lead the Rockets, who lost at home for the second time this postseason.
”You’re not going to come in and just knock them out,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”There were too many times where we had mental lapses. We didn’t switch properly Cheap Paul Worrilow Jersey , turned the ball over and missed too many layups. We need to do a better job of staying up mentally.”
Now the Rockets are left to regroup after losing their leg up in the homecourt advantage they worked all season for.
”It’s nice to have home court,” D’Antoni said. ”(But) we don’t have it. Now we’ve got to go get it.”
Steph Curry added 18 for the Warriors, who are in the conference finals for a franchise-record fourth straight time. It’s Houston’s first trip since 2015 when Golden State won the series in five games.
”I think he’s going to get even better as the series goes on, which is good for us,” Kerr said of Curry.
The Warriors, who are the second seed in the West, opened a playoff series away from Oracle Arena for the first time since 2014 when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 4-3 in the opening round.
Houston struggled to slow down Durant all night, and things got even worse when Trevor Ariza picked up his fifth foul with about 10 minutes left in the third with Golden State up by 3. Durant made two baskets for the Warriors around one by Chris Paul that left the Warriors up 73-68 a couple of minutes later.
”He’s one of the best scorers ever,” D’Antoni said of Durant. ”I thought he was extremely good. But we can withstand that. We can’t withstand turning the ball over and giving up so many wide open 3s.”
Gordon added a layup for Houston after that, but Golden State scored the next six points, with a 3-pointer from Thompson Cheap Customized Indianapolis Colts Jerseys , to make it 79-70 with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.
The Rockets rediscovered their offense after that, scoring the next eight points, powered by 3s from Gordon and Gerald Green, to get within 85-80 with about a minute left in the quarter.
Durant added two free throws to close out the quarter and leave the Warriors up 87-80 entering the fourth.
”Houston, they never stop,” Durant said. ”They are always in the game with 3-point shots. We try to get good shots every time down and defend on the other end.”
Warriors: Curry extended his NBA playoff record by making at least one 3-pointer in his 80th straight playoff game. … Draymond Green received a technical early in the first quarter when he pushed Harden after a shot. … Curry missed his first free throw of the playoffs in the third quarter after making all 19 attempts in the first two rounds.
Rockets: Paul added 23 points and 11 rebounds. … Clint Capela had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. … Gordon added 15 points off the bench.
THEY SAID IT
Draymond Green on getting the technical so early: ”I was a bit overzealous, a bit amped up, but I’d rather that any day than coming out flat.”
After Game 2 the series moves to Oracle Arena for games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.
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