debut on Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays open

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(SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Buehrle tries to follow up a terrific season debut on Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays open a three-game set with the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. Buehrle turned back the clock on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, as the 35-year- old left-hander scattered four hits and struck out 11 over 8 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win. Remarkably, it was only the second time in Buehrles 15-year career he had double-digit strikeouts. It was a sharp contrast to his first few starts from a year ago which saw him allow at least five runs in five of his first seven outings. "He was really good; he might have found the fountain of youth," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said in a half-joking manner. "He said all spring training long that hes felt the best he has felt in a long, long time." Buehrles fast start could continue, as he was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in two starts against Houston last season. After taking two of three from the Rays to start the season, the Blue Jays dropped two of three to the New York Yankees and come into Tuesdays opener having lost three of their last four games. The offense has been the main culprit, as the team is hitting just .196 (9- for-46) with runners in scoring position through seven games. Still, Toronto has hit eight homers accounting for 12 of its 22 runs thus far. "Weve got a few guys in our lineup that are cold right now," said Gibbons. "Weve won a few games, gotten some pretty good pitching, so Im optimistic (wins will come) once they get going. It shouldnt be that far off. Too many of them have proven themselves in the past." That could be good news for 24-year-old lefty Brett Oberholtzer, who will be looking to bounce back from a loss to the Yankees his first time out. Oberholtzer gave up three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings of that one. Houston has lost four of five since winning its first two games against the Yankees. On Monday the Astros were walloped by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 9-1, in the finale of a four-game set at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are also off to a slow start at the plate this year, hitting .191 as a team through seven games. Nearly a quarter of their hits (10-of-41) have been home runs and they have nearly as many extra-base hits (20) as they do singles (21). Mondays setback was also third time in the last four games that the team managed to push just one run across the plate. Toronto was 4-3 against the Astros last season. Astros line-up Robbie Grossman 7 Jose Altuve 4 Jesus Guzman 3 Jason Castro 2 Chris Carter DH L.J. Hoes 9 Matt Dominguez 5 Alex Presley 8 Jonathan Villar 6 Brett Oberholtzer 1 Blue Jays line-up Cabrera 7 Lind DH Bautista 9 Encarnacion 3 Navarro 2 Lawrie 5 Rasmus 8 Izturis 4 Diaz 6 Buehrle 1 Sam Mills Youth Jersey .J. -- After getting permission from his 7-year-old daughter, New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl has retired after an 11-year career that included two Super Bowl championships. DJ Moore Jersey . Patty Mills scored 15 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes, and San Antonio trailed for only 11 seconds late in the first quarter of a 103-90 victory over Portland on Wednesday night. http://www.shoppanthersonline.us/panthe ... ue-jersey/ . The Wild, playing their first game since leading scorer Mikko Koivu broke his ankle Saturday at Washington, have won three straight for the first time since Nov. 1-5. Koivu underwent surgery on Monday and is expected to miss at least four weeks. Greg Olsen Youth Jersey . Trailing 4-1 in the final set, Sharapova steadied her erratic service game and took command again to beat the 56th-ranked American 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on clay at the Magic Box tennis centre. The ninth-ranked Russian looked to be cruising before McHale broke late in the second set to tie the match and then took her commanding lead in the final set after breaking Sharapova. Curtis Samuel Youth Jersey . The 27-year-old forward has informed the Leafs that he will be unable to play in Monday nights home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. LOS ANGELES -- There was no warm welcome back. No video montage of highlights that brought back the good old days. That didnt keep Dwight Howard from thoroughly enjoying his first road game against the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous season. Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Houston Rockets in 134-108 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night that extended the Rockets winning streak to eight games. "Were always going to have fun when were playing basketball. We love what were doing," Howard said. "Were playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible." The streak is Houstons longest since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08 under Rick Adelman. James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists. Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall had 20 points and 16 assists. The injury-ravaged Lakers remained tied for last place in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 18-36. "The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day. But I cant focus on the Lakers," Howard said. "My focus is on the Rockets and what were trying to accomplish." It was Howards third game against the Lakers since leaving the organization to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July. Los Angeles offered the eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year a five-year, $118 million deal to stay. "Hes having a great year there, but I felt he did the same thing here," Lakers guard Jodie Meeks said. "The numbers are almost identical. He had a pretty good year last year -- and for whatever reason, some people didnt think so." Howard played 76 games last season, averaging 17.1 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds despite residual pain from back surgery -- compounded by a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Howards only season in Tinseltown ended with a whimper -- a four-game sweep by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, when he was ejected from what would turn out to be his final game as a Laker for protesting a non-call. The sellout crowd booed Howard every time he touched the ball. It began during warm-ups about 45 minutes before the game, after a few of his ex-teammates came over to say hello at midcourt.dddddddddddd. The fans then drowned out public address announcer Lawrence Tanter before he could get Howards name out of his mouth during the introductions. Howard received a technical foul just 78 seconds into the game after dunking on Chris Kaman. "I think it was more emotion than anything," Howard said. "I dont know if the ref thought I was talking to Kaman, but one of my friends was sitting courtside and I was just looking at him and having some fun. It wasnt nothing toward the Lakers or any of their guys. I was just talking trash to one of my friends." Less than 90 minutes before tipoff, the Lakers dealt guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Coach Mike DAntoni was still talking about Blake in the present tense during his pregame session with reporters before the deal was consummated, and the trade left him with only eight players in uniform and his 28th different starting lineup due to injuries to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Nick Young. Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a sore hamstring, and Meeks was back in action after sitting out five games with a sprained right ankle. Harden helped the Rockets build a 64-43 halftime lead with 15 points in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break. Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds -- the 10th time this season that he had a double-double by halftime. NOTES: The Rockets were 18 for 35 on free throws, after attempting more than 50 in each of the previous two meetings. ... Bryant hasnt played in any of the games against Houston since he and Howard became ex-teammates. In fact, hes played in only six games altogether. The season series concludes on April 8 at Los Angeles. ... The Lakers have lost seven games by margins of at least 20 or more points. ... Harden scored at least 30 points in each of his previous four games against the Lakers. ... The Rockets began a five-game road trip that will end right back here at Staples Center against the Clippers. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '

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