রবিবার, ৩০ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০১২

Orioles beat Boston, gain tie for AL East lead

BALTIMORE (AP) ? The Baltimore Orioles tied atop the AL East with the New York Yankees with four games left, a scenario that might cause a team unaccustomed to being in a pennant race to stumble under pressure.

Not these guys.

After Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Saturday night to earn a share of first place, Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds described the mood of the team as "a quiet confidence."

"Calmness," Reynolds said. "We're playing with house money. We're not supposed to be here. We're just a bunch of kids having fun. We go out every night believing we're going to win the game, no matter what the situation and no matter who we're facing. It's just fun to be a part of."

Chris Davis hit his 30th home run and rookie Manny Machado lined a go-ahead shot in the seventh inning for the Orioles. After finishing in the division cellar in each of the previous four seasons, Baltimore (91-67) is tied with a team very much accustomed to finishing in first place.

The Yankees lost to Toronto before this game started, so the Orioles knew they would earn a share of the lead with a win. Baltimore went ahead 3-0 in the fourth, then let Boston pull even before Machado homered, a liner into the second row of the left-field seats off Felix Doubront (11-10).

Machado has been a major leaguer for all of 47 games after being summoned from Double-A Bowie on Aug. 9.

"I'm just trying to play the game," he said. "Obviously, it's bigger than any other games I've played before. I'm just going to try and go out there and give everything I can to help this team win."

It was another tight victory for the Orioles, their trademark in this unimaginable season. Baltimore is 28-9 in one-run games and 72-0 when leading after seven innings.

"It's an honor to sit there and watch it and marvel at what these guys can do, especially when certain things start snowballing," manager Buck Showalter said. "And you create your karma. These guys have done a good job of doing that, and they're expecting good things to happen."

Tommy Hunter (7-8) pitched two innings, Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day shared the eighth and Jim Johnson got three outs for his 49th save.

A sellout crowd of 46,311, a majority of them clad in Oriole orange, brought Camden Yards back to a time when the home team was a force in the AL East and the ballpark was packed on a nightly basis.

The fans got to cheer a Baltimore great before the first pitch, too. A statue of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson was unveiled during a ceremony in the flag court beyond the center-field wall.

The Orioles' goal is to capture the division, but if they win two more games they are at least assured of their first trip to the playoffs since 1997 ? their last winning season before this year. Baltimore now is 41-27 in the division and New York is 37-31, so if Baltimore wins one more game, it will have home-field advantage if there's a playoff to decide the AL East title.

"The pressure's on both of us," Reynolds said. "Four games left, dead heat. I guess there's a possibility of two playoff games. It's what we play for, and it's fun."

In addition to hitting two homers and limiting Boston to five hits, Baltimore also played well defensively. Machado, the third baseman, ranged far to his right in the fourth inning to start a double play, and Reynolds tumbled over the tarp roll and got wedged behind it after catching a foul pop. Endy Chavez, who entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth, made a sparking diving catch of a sinking liner to right field.

"They just keeping doing what they have to do," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of the Orioles. "Buck knows what he's doing. He puts in a defensive replacement and he makes a diving catch. They've done a great job with that young third baseman. He beat us tonight. He played excellent defense all year."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for the Red Sox, who fell into last place with their 15th loss in 21 games. Boston has not finished in the cellar since 1992.

Doubront allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out 10, walked one and hit a batter.

Red Sox leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury went 1 for 4 after being sidelined since Sept. 20 with an unspecified injury. Ellsbury has only four homers and 26 RBIs after finishing second in AL MVP voting last season.

"I didn't see him play that way this year," Valentine said before the game. "He did not quite hit his stride this year."

Orioles rookie Steve Johnson took a three-hitter and a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning but was lifted after giving up a single and a walk. Hunter got Dustin Pedroia to hit a force at second, but a run came home when Cody Ross hit a sacrifice fly to right field that Davis dropped after Adam Jones drifted over from center and called for the ball. Hunter avoided further damage by getting Mauro Gomez to bounce into a double play.

Baltimore went up 1-0 in the second when Machado singled in a run after Doubront hit Davis with a pitch and Reynolds reached on a slow roller to third.

In the fourth, after Jones reached on a throwing error by shortstop Mike Aviles, Davis drove a 1-0 pitch far over the right-field wall for a 3-0 lead.

Saltalamacchia hit his 25th homer in the fifth after Gomez drew a leadoff walk.

NOTES: The Robinson statue stands alongside the team's five other Hall of Fame members, all of whom were in attendance: Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. ... Joe Saunders will pitch for the Orioles in the series finale Sunday. Zach Stewart will pitch for Boston. ... Baltimore claimed OF Steve Pearce off waivers from the Yankees. He will join the team in Tampa Bay on Monday. ... Boston has lost 17 of 24 to Baltimore since September 2011.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/orioles-beat-boston-gain-tie-al-east-lead-020501937--mlb.html

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Philippines sends more troops to guard disputed islands

West Australian Sunday 30th September, 2012

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines has deployed 800 more Marines and opened a new headquarters to guard its interests in the disputed Spratly islands, which China also claims, a senior military official said Sunday.Straddling vital shipping lanes and believed sitting atop vast reserves of mineral deposits, including oil, the Spratlys chain in the South China Sea has long been considered a flashpoint for conflict in the region.Apart from the Philippin...

Read the full story at West Australian

Source: http://www.philippinesnews.net/index.php/sid/209631344/scat/0267775d6f1c3971

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Egypt?s top military commander promises army overhaul

A policeman stands guard in front of a graffiti with Egypt?s former president Hosni Mubarak, former Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo, September 26, 2012. ? Reuters pic

CAIRO, Sept 30 ? Egypt?s most senior military commander has promised better training and more modern weaponry for the army in an apparent effort to satisfy officers? demands for change, which have multiplied after an uprising last year.

Commander-in-Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is also the defence minister, was appointed by the country?s first Islamist president Mohamed Mursi only last month and is under pressure to shake up a military which until recently had held the balance of power in Egypt for decades.

Addressing troops last week during the first military drill in a series to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel, Sisi reassured troops that change was on its way despite the fact that the drill was being conducted using old arms like the Soviet BM-21, a rocket launcher in use for 40 years.

?We will devise a comprehensive programme that develops real training for the forces in all military branches to maximise the performance of individual officers and soldiers during my time here,? he said, according to a live recording of his speech obtained by Reuters.

Addressing troops participating in the drill, which took place along Egypt?s western border with Libya, Sisi, 57, acknowledged that Egypt?s military capabilities trailed those of other armies.

The army would replace some of its arsenal within 3-6 months and was working to extend the range of a missile system known as ?Saqr? to 45-kilometres, he said.

?Regarding the status of our military equipment, we may feel that some of it is modest but we must work with what arsenal we have.

?We will not be able to change all of our hardware completely. What we can do is achieve the highest standards of shooting and efficiency.

?This will compensate for the modest equipment we are gradually trying to replace,? he said.

Egypt receives US$1.3 billion (RM4 billion) in military aid annually from the United States but officials say that is not enough for the country to keep up with rivals such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Officers have said the US money benefits American arms manufacturers as it forces Egypt to buy outdated weaponry.

Pressure over Sinai

Sisi?s comments appeared to be aimed at army officers who have said they view Egypt?s revolution ? which toppled veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak last year ? as their own chance to win better salaries and improved conditions and training.

Sisi is also under pressure to tighten up security in the Sinai Peninsula, a desert area which borders Israel, and to crack down hard on Islamist militants operating there.

President Mursi sacked Sisi?s predecessor, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi last month along with other senior military and police officials after an attack blamed on Islamist militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards in the area.

Israel, which has repeatedly urged Egypt?s new rulers to tackle the Sinai problem is looking on nervously and is uneasy that Egypt is now being governed by Islamists.

Israeli troops used to occupy the Sinai Peninsula, the scene of several conflicts between it and Cairo, but withdrew in 1982.

To many officers, Sisi?s words were a break with previous senior commanders who had been criticized for not developing the army?s capacities.

Unlike previous drills, Sisi organised a discussion between lower ranking officers and commanders to try to ensure that lessons were learned and that the concerns of officers were heard.

One commander later remarked that Sisi ?had introduced a new approach? to communications between officers and their superiors.

Officers say Sisi?s elevation to the country?s most senior military role upset many senior commanders who had a longer and richer record of service than him.

Earlier this month, Sisi ? in coordination with Mursi ? issued a list of long-serving generals who he said would retire, opening the door to more promotions, local papers reported. ?? Reuters

Source: http://world.rss.themalaysianinsider.com/c/33362/f/567637/s/23f66046/l/0L0Sthemalaysianinsider0N0Cworld0Carticle0Cegypts0Etop0Emilitary0Ecommander0Epromises0Earmy0Eoverhaul0C/story01.htm

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