OAKLAND, Calif. Bobby Hebert Jersey . -- Jeff Samardzija arrived at the ballpark nearly five hours before making his first start with his new ballclub. The right-hander left having secured a four-game sweep for Oakland with a performance that showed exactly why the Athletics were so eager to get him in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Samardzija pitched seven strong innings to win his Oakland debut and the As beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday. "First impressions are always important," said Samardzija after lowering his overall ERA to 2.74. "Like I said yesterday, they didnt need me here. They were doing just fine without me. I dont want to come in and change anything and change the atmosphere. I just want to come in and add and do my part," he said. He did just that, giving up four hits and one run with five strikeouts and one walk while earning his first win since June 7. With the Cubs, Samardzija was 2-7 despite a 2.83 ERA. He was voted to the NL All-Star team but wont pitch and will spend the game in the AL dugout. "He was excited as you could be," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "It was great to get him off to a good start like that. Terrific performance." Samardzija, acquired a day earlier, received several standing ovations. He was cheered during pregame warmups and again after striking out the side in the seventh. The veteran pitcher was equally excited after receiving some early run support, something that was scarce in Chicago. The Cubs scored two runs or fewer in 11 of his 17 starts in the NL this season. Oakland had no such issue. Jed Lowrie had two hits and scored twice, and leadoff hitter John Jaso added a pair of hits and an RBI for the As, who won their fourth straight after getting swept in three games at Detroit. Stephen Vogt singled and tripled to help the As complete their first series sweep of the Blue Jays since taking a three-game series in 2000. Oakland hadnt swept a four-game series from Toronto since May 22-24, 1981. "It was beautiful, man, that was awesome," Samardzija said. "Just getting one early run as a pitcher is the best thing ever. You can go out and pound the zone and understand if a guy gets on base so be it. And the way (the As) take at-bats is outstanding." Nate Freiman and Craig Gentry also drove in runs for the As. Lowrie doubled and scored in the second, then Oakland added two more in the fourth to extend their majors-leading record to 55-33. Pinch-hitter Derek Norris added an RBI double in the eighth for Oakland. Steve Tolleson had a pinch-hit home run off As closer Sean Doolittle in the ninth for the Blue Jays, who have lost six straight on the road. Doolittle got his 13th save. Toronto got a stellar outing from starter Drew Hutchison but for the fourth straight game had little success offensively. The Blue Jays went 0 for 18 with runners in scoring position during the series. They didnt have many opportunities against Samardzija and two relievers. Toronto managed just four baserunners over the final eight innings and had only two get past first base. "We got shut down big time," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons after his club was outscored 14-4 in the four-game sweep. "Were just not very good right now. Were just not producing." Oakland general manager Billy Beane got Samardzija and pitcher Jason Hammel for a package of prospects that included the two most recent first-round draft picks by the As. Samardzija pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by getting cleanup hitter Jose Bautista to ground into an inning-ending double play. "That was probably one of the biggest pitches of the game for me," Samardzija said. "It allowed me to relax and then to come out and put a few on the board. I was able to relax and pound the zone." Samardzija retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced until Jose Reyes singled with one out in the sixth. Munenori Kawasaki followed with a double and Melky Cabreras groundout scored Reyes. Hutchison (6-7) struck out four and walked two in his first career start against the As. The punchless Blue Jays went into the game shorthanded. Edwin Encarnacion strained his right quad legging out an infield grounder on Saturday and was held out of the lineup. The Toronto slugger underwent an MRI before the game, though the results were not disclosed. NOTES: Cole Gillespie went hitless in three at-bats for Toronto after being claimed off waivers. ... Oakland OF Brandon Moss underwent an MRI on his injured left ankle. Results were not immediately known. ... Toronto OF Brad Glenn was designated for assignment. The Blue Jays also claimed OF/DH Nolan Reimould off waivers from Baltimore. ... As RHP Jesse Chavez will pitch the series opener against San Francisco on Monday. ... Blue Jays LHP JA Happ (7-4) takes the hill in the opener against the Angels. Krishawn Hogan Jersey . At a news conference Tuesday where it was thought that the fiery Schallibaum may be shown the door after a dismal finish to the Major League Soccer season, team president Joey Saputo said no decision has been made on whether the Swiss Volcano will be back in 2014. Jermon Bushrod Jersey .com) - Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has been selected as the NHLs Rookie of the Month for December, the league announced Friday.The NBA Finals will resume tonight in a presumably much more comfortable AT&T Center when the San Antonio Spurs welcome the Miami Heat. You can watch the game live on TSN and TSN GO or listen to the action on TSN Radio 1050 at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. The Spurs grabbed a 1-0 series lead Thursday night in the sweltering heat of a late spring San Antonio night. Of course, it didnt help that the AT&T Centers air conditioner malfunctioned and didnt work through the course of the game. As temperatures soared into the mid-90s, the Spurs emerged with a 110-95 victory, but the busted AC unit played a major role. LeBron James was forced to leave the game midway through the fourth quarter due to cramping. James has faced cramping issues in the past and the four-time MVP was unable to move Thursday following a layup to get the game within two. "My body just shut down, basically my body said, okay, enough jumping for you for the night. Youve had enough," James said after practice on Friday. "Nothing I could do about it." That didnt stop social media from exploding, questioning James toughness. "I really dont care what people say about me," noted James. The two-time Finals MVP, the Heat, the Spurs and frankly anyone in attendance Sunday night should feel relieved. The AT&T Center staff fixed the problem and it should be very comfortable for Game 2. "It will be fine. Weve been assured of that," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. The extreme conditions played a role in Game 1, but were the same for both squads. When James had to be carried back to the bench, the Spurs finished the game on a 31-9 run witth six minutes to go. Pierre Thomas Jersey. Danny Green, who set an NBA Finals record with 27 made 3-pointers last year, caught fire late in Game 1. He drained three long balls during the decisive run and finished with 13 points. Tim Duncan contributed 21 points and 10 rebounds, Tony Parker poured in 19 points and handed out eight assists, and Manu Ginobili totaled 16 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who shot a scorching 14-of-16 from the floor in the fourth, including a perfect 6-of-6 mark from long distance. Tiago Splitter added 14 points and Boris Diaw pulled down 10 rebounds. The Spurs shot 59 percent for the game and 52 percent from long range. "Were not as good as we used to be defensively. So if thats going to diminish, you need to do something at the other end of the floor to make up for it," explained coach Gregg Popovich. "We changed our pace, and the way we approach things at the other end of the floor to make up for what were going to lose defensively. Thats the bottom line." James paced the Heat with 25 points and six assists, while Wade and Bosh supplied 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the setback. "We have to finish the game better, no matter who is on the floor," Wade said, referring to the absence of James. Ray Allen provided a spark off the bench with 16 points, while another veteran, Rashard Lewis, scored 10. The Heat have won 12 straight following a loss in the postseason and theres no reason to panic. Miami lost the first game in each of the last two Finals and went on to win the series. The series shifts to South Beach for Game 3 Tuesday night. ' ' '
DETROIT -- Doug Weight recalled his father putting him on skates at the age of 2 because he could barely walk due to a childhood condition that relegated him to wearing braces on his legs. Vlade Divac Jersey . "He started putting me on the ice to strengthen them at the suggestion from a doctor," he said. Weight said it wasnt a pretty sight at the rink in St. Clair Shores, Mich. "I looked like Forrest Gump," he joked. Four decades later, Weight was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time NHL All-Star was inducted Monday night at the Motor City Casino -- in the city where he grew up. "Its ironic," the Detroiter said. "Pretty special." Weight was honoured along with former teammate Bill Guerin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time All-Star. "Its very special, three different NHL teams and nine teams in all," Weight said about the number of times he teamed up with Guerin. "Its a pretty incredible run together. "Its icing on the cake to go in with Billy." Weight and Guerins wives and children have become friends over the years, going on vacations together and sharing holidays as families. "It couldnt have worked out any better," Guerin said. Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, former college coach Ron Mason and Cindy Curley, one of the pioneers in womens hockey, also were inducted. USA Today Hockey Writer Kevin Allen was also given the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S. at the event. Weight and Guerin began their friendship before they were in the NHL and grew closer while playing together for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders. They also teamed up to play for their country on more than once occasion, including the 2002 Winter Olympics when they helped the Americans take the silver medal. Weight, who won a Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, had 278 career goals and 1,033 points from the 1991-92 season through the 2010-11 season. He is an assistant coach for the New York Islanders. Guerin hoisted Cups in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The native of Massachusetts had 429 goals and 856 points in his career that started during the same season as Weight and ended one year earlier. Guerin is a player development coach for the Penguins. Karmanos fell in love hockey when his children began playing the sport, but laments that a lot of kids cant afford to play the game. He said ice cost about $40 an hour when his children were growing up and now costs $300 for the same period of time. Sticks and skates, he said, also are much more expensive. "One of the things that holds us back as a sport is it costs too much," Karmanos said. "Were pricing a lot of people out of the game." Mason led Michigan State and Lake Superior State to national titles and also coached at Bowling Green. He also was an athletic director for the Spartans. "This isnt something you dream about," he said. "If youve put a lot of years in, like I did, as a player and a coach and of course AD, its nice to be rewarded at the end of it." Curley had a record 23 points in the International Ice Hockey Federations first world championship for women in 1990. "The womens game is way behind the mens game and it hasnt been around as long," she said. "We are all, as women, patient for the opportunities that the guys have had. The fact that the Hall is considering women is exciting to me. I know theres so many great players that deserve to be in here that will be. Im just honoured that they considered me." DaQuan Jeffries Jersey . Mike Babcock has turned to the Montreal Canadiens goalie over Roberto Luongo, who backed Canada to a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, for Canadas final preliminary round game against the ailing Finns. Francisco Garcia Jersey . The Hockey Canada Foundation is donating $50,000, with Hockey Quebec contributing $15,000. Hockey Canada also announced it will hold a skills camp for all levels of minor hockey in Lac-Mégantic during the 2013-14 season. Representatives from Hockey Canada, the Hockey Canada Foundation and Hockey Quebec were on hand Tuesday night at a meeting of the AHM de Lac-Mégantic to make the announcement and presentation.MANCHESTER, England -- Valencia and PSV Eindhoven slumped to humiliating home losses as the Europa League threw up some early surprises in the opening round of group-stage matches on Thursday. Languishing near the bottom of the Spanish league, Valencias woes deepened by losing 3-0 to Swansea in Group A, sparking a brief walkout by a section of fans midway through the match in protest at the teams poor performances. Swansea secured its greatest ever result by capitalizing on the 10th-minute sending-off of Valencia centre back Adil Rami to score through Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman at the Mestalla. "I am so pleased for everybody because now they know they can play against the biggest clubs in the biggest stadiums without any problem," said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who fielded six Spanish players in his lineup -- more than Valencia. Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets Razgrad provided a second upset of the night by scoring twice in the final half hour to win 2-0 at PSV, which was European champion in 1988 and also won the UEFA Cup 10 years earlier. Tottenham, among the favourites this season having embarked on a summer spending spree, restored some normality by cruising past Tromso 3-0 thanks to two first-half goals by Jermain Defoe, while Fiorentina beat Pacos Ferreira 3-0, Lazio defeated Legia Warsaw 1-0, two-time former champion Sevilla won 2-1 at tournament debutant Estoril, and Real Betis drew 0-0 with Lyon. All 48 teams were in action across 12 groups in Europes second-tier competition, but there was no doubt where the standout scoreline was. Valencia went down to its biggest home loss in Europe since a 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan in 2004, adding another chapter to Swanseas remarkable rise from a financially troubled fourth-tier club in the English league 10 years ago to a first major trophy (last seasons League Cup) and then this famous European win. The writing was on the wall as soon as Rami was given a straight red for pulling back Bony when the striker was through on goal. Swansea toyed with the hosts at times with its easy-on-the-eye passing game and Bony finished off a flowing move in the 14th minute to put the Welsh team ahead. Clyde Lovellette Jersey . A group of Valencia supporters emptied the stand in the bottom tier behind one of the goals for 10 minutes at the start of the second half in protest, returning just in time to see Michu -- one of Swanseas Spanish contingent -- add a second in the 58th from compatriot Ajejandro Pozuelos through-ball. De Guzman completed the scoring with a fabulous, curling free kick from long range in the 62nd. "I am the same as the players," said Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic, whose club has sold many of its best players over the past couple of seasons. "I am responsible for the situation, it is not just about the players. The performance was not good enough." Valencia, traditionally one of the biggest clubs in Spain, has lost three of its first four matches in La Liga to lie 16th. It was a good night for English Premier League clubs, with Tottenham able to rest a number of its leading players but still easily overcome Tromso at White Hart Lane in Group K. Defoe started ahead of Roberto Soldado, who left Valencia over the summer, and made the most of a rare opportunity by chipping the goalkeeper for the first goal in the 21st minute then sliding another good finish into the corner in the 29th. Substitute Christian Eriksen curled a 20-yarder brilliantly into the top corner for a late third but the win was tarnished by injuries to Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose. Gonzalo Rodriguez, Ryder Matos and Giuseppe Rossi were the scorers for Fiorentina, which wasnt too hindered by the absence to injury of prized striker Mario Gomez, while fellow Italian side Lazio relied on Brazilian midfielder Hernanes goal in the 53rd minute to see off Legia at home. Kevin Gameiro scored Sevillas winner in Portugal after Bruno Miguel cancelled out Victor Machins opener for the visitors. Eintracht Frankfurt crushed Bordeaux 3-0, Genk won 1-0 at Dynamo Kyiv and there were also victories for Salzburg, Rubin Kazan and AZ Alkmaar. ' ' '