Mariners lost Olivo with a right groin

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Haloti Ngata Womens Jersey . — Theres no secret about what the NFLs second-ranked defence wants to accomplish over the second half of the season. Its the same list of things the first-place San Francisco 49ers got done on that side of the football during their first eight games. “As a defensive unit, the way we play speaks for itself,” outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks said Friday. “Were an aggressive D, and we want to shut guys out.” Nobody in the league does that better than the 49ers, who have allowed fewer points than any team and rank either first or second in the NFL in seven defensive categories as they prepare for their first game since their bye on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. The long layoff — San Francisco will be playing just its second game in 24 days — gave the 49ers some time to reflect on a defensive performance that was dominant during most of the seasons first half. The 49ers, who returned all 11 starters from last season, have matured as a veteran unit, building on what they accomplished in 2011 when San Francisco ranked fourth in the NFL in total defence and led the league in rushing defence. “Its a veteran group of talented players, and you see upward trajectory really in all their play,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I dont see anybody thats falling off or decreasing in their effort or their performance on the field. And then how theyre playing together as a group — all those things — were seeing good improvement at a high level.” The 49ers (6-2) have played at the highest level keeping opponents away from their goal line. San Francisco has allowed a NFL-low nine touchdowns, including a league-low six through the air. The 49ers have not allowed a touchdown in four of their past five games, and their opponents have scored just 12 total points in those four victories. San Francisco shut out the New York Jets in September and is allowing just 12.9 points per game, which would be a franchise record if it holds to the end of the season. San Franciscos lone shutout last season came against St. Louis at Candlestick Park, where the 49ers will be looking to shut down the struggling Rams (3-5) again and extend their 11-game home winning streak against NFC West opponents. Thats the longest active streak in the NFL. “You want to be good at everything, but the biggest thing is keeping teams out of the end zone,” Harbaugh said. “Number one is keep the other team from scoring, as few points as possible.” The 49ers also have made strides this year defending against the pass, which has made them a complete defence. San Francisco ranks second in the NFL in pass defence after finishing 16th in that category last year. San Francisco is the only NFL team not to allow a passing touchdown of more than 20 yards this season, and the 49ers have allowed only nine passing plays of 25 or more yards, the third-fewest in the league. Defensive co-ordinator Vic Fangio has lauded the improvement of his starting secondary, which includes Pro Bowlers Carlos Rogers and Dashon Goldson, and also nickel cornerback Chris Culliver, who has become a regular part of San Franciscos defensive packages. “Little strides in a lot of areas equals a big difference,” Fangio said. One area where the 49ers would like things to be different the rest of the season is creating more turnovers. The Niners led the NFL in takeaways (38) and turnover differential (plus-28) last season, but at midseason this year theyve produced only 12 turnovers and their turnover differential stands at plus-3. But theres still a half season to work on improving those numbers. “We were looking at that turnover-ratio chart the other day,” Brooks said. “Last year, we were at the top of that chart. Were going to have to boost that up. But well just keep doing the same things weve been doing all year, the same things we were doing last year, just trying to go out there and dominate the other team.” Ray Lewis Elite Jersey . The Bolton midfielder was fighting for his life after his heart stopped beating during last months FA Cup match at Tottenham, but he was able to walk out of hospital earlier this week and return home. “For 78 minutes I was dead and, even if I lived, was expected to have suffered brain damage,” Muamba told Sundays edition of The Sun newspaper. Marshal Yanda Jersey . The Padres recalled shortstop Everth Cabrera and second baseman Alexi Amarista from Triple-A Tucson, and both were in the lineup for Thursday nights game against the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres have the worst record in the NL, 14-24. . This week they discussed Cory Boyd in Edmonton, the effect of Khalif Mitchells suspension, and the sudden quarterback dilemma that is facing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Dennis Pitta Pink Jersey . Brandon Jennings added 17 points for Milwaukee, Samuel Dalembert and John Henson each had 12, Monta Ellis finished with 11 and Mike Dunleavy had 10. Andre Drummond scored 19 points for Detroit before fouling out, and Corey Maggette added 14. Corey Graham Super Bowl Jersey . Tevez spent the bulk of last season on strike but has settled his differences with the club and is now back to his best form, scoring for the fourth straight game this campaign and his 50th in the league for City. The Argentina forward also set up the other two goals, by Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko, as the team joined surprise packages West Bromwich Albion and Swansea on seven points from three games. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays wrapped up the second-most successful April in team history with another one-run victory. Filling in for the injured Evan Longoria, Elliot Johnson twice failed to deliver with men in scoring position before hitting an RBI single in the 12th inning to give the AL East leaders a 3-2, comeback victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night. “I was just trying to hit the ball where someone wasnt playing one time,” Johnson said following the first walk-off hit of his career. “I was just trying to put a nice easy swing on it, and luckily I didnt hit it too hard.” Playing before a crowd of just 9,458 — smallest at Tropicana Field since September 2007 — the Rays twice rallied from one-run deficits before winning it against Brandon League (0-2), who failed to hold a 2-1 lead the Mariners took on Jesus Monteros homer in the 11th. J.P. Howell (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning for the win. Ben Zobrist drew a one-out walk in 12th, moved to second on Carlos Penas single and scored when Johnson lined a 1-0 pitch that fell in front of Mariners left fielder Chone Figgins. B.J. Uptons two-out, broken bat RBI single in the 11th wiped out the short-lived lead the Mariners took on Monteros homer off Wade Davis, the fourth of five Tampa Bay pitchers. “I didnt do what Im capable of doing, which is getting the ball on the ground,” League said. “I missed with location, especially to Upton.” The Rays improved to 5-1 in one-run games, the second best record in the majors behind Clevelands 6-1. “We keep battling back,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said after his team won for the eighth time in nine times, taking sole possession of first place in the division. “Thats what I love about these guys.” Tampa Bay, which has made the playoffs three of the past four seasons, finished April with 15-8 record. They went 17-6 in the opening month of the season in 2010 and have the best April record in the majors over the past three seasons at 47-26. “Its a great place to be at the end of April,” Maddon said. “Now weve just got to keep pushing forward.” Miguel Olivo homered off Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson for Seattles first run. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez struck out nine and walked four in eight innings while limiting Tampa Bay to Sean Rodriguezs second-inning RBI single and five hits overall. Longoria left the game with what the Rays described as left knee soreness after sliding into second base on an attempted steal that end the third inning. The three-time All-Star remained on the ground before climbing to his feet and walking to the dugout without assistance. Maddon said Longoria will be evaluated on Tuesday. His status is day to day. Johnson struck out twice with runners in scoring position before coming up again with a chance to put his team ahead in the 10th. Teammates mobbed him in between second and third base after the winning hit. “It was fun being the guy getting dumped on and almost de-pantsed,” Johnson said of the celebration, “but thats thee way we do it around here.Michael Oher Super Bowl Jersey. quot; The Mariners lost Olivo with a right groin strain in the ninth, when the catcher picked up Uptons dribbler in front of the plate and threw awkwardly to first base before falling to the ground. Hellickson, bidding to join James Shields and David Price in matching Tampa Bays record for victories in April, scattered six hits over seven innings, walked none and struck out seven. Shields and Price both won four times during the opening month, tying the franchise mark set by Andy Sonnanstine (2008) and Matt Garza (2010). Olivo hit his third homer of the year to give Seattle a 1-0 lead in the second. The Rays countered with Rodriguezs RBI single off Hernandez in the bottom half. The Mariners caught a break in the fifth when Hernandez walked Zobrist and Pena hit a drive to deep centre that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Zobrist would have easily scored from first base on the hit, however he was ordered back to third. The score remained 1-all after Johnson, Longorias replacement, struck out to end the threat. Hernandez pitched through another jam after walking Pena and Johnson with one out in the eighth, escaping when he fanned Luke Scott for the third time and got Matt Joyce to ground to second base. The Mariners threatened in the ninth against Rays closer Fernando Rodney, getting the potential go-ahead run as far as third base with one out on singles by Kyle Seager and Olivo. Tampa Bay wiggled off the hook when Rodney fielded Michael Saunders safety squeeze bunt and threw pinch-runner Munenon Kawasaki out at the plate, then got pinch-hitter John Jaso to line out to centre field. Seattle manager Eric Wedge said the squeeze bunt wasnt called from the dugout. “He did it on this own, and he shouldnt have. Ive talked to him already. I asked him his reasons for it, and he had good answers, but its still not what we wanted to do right there,” Wedge said. “If were going to do that right there, its going to come from me. Everybody is going to be aware of it, so theres a level of awareness that allows Kawasaki to get home, quite frankly.” The crowd was the smallest at Tropicana Field since Sept. 4, 2007, when the Rays drew 9,112 against Baltimore. NOTES: The Rays signed OF/DH Hideki Matsui to a minor league contract, and the two-time AL All-Star will report to extended spring training in Port Charlotte on Wednesday. Manager Joe Maddon said there is not a definitive plan for when Matsui might be ready to play. … With Rays LF Desmond Jennings not starting because Maddon wanted him to have the day off, Zobrist batted leadoff. Jennings wound up entering the game as a defensive replacement in the 10th. … The Mariners are struggling at the plate with runners in scoring position. They are 0 for their last 25 in those situations, including 0 for 3 on Monday night. … Tampa Bay has a successful April despite not getting any wins from heralded rookie LHP Matt Moore (0-1, 4.68 ERA), who starts the second game of the series on Tuesday. The Mariners will counter with Hector Noesi (1-2, 8.83) ‘ ‘ ‘

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