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at covers 96 games and 111 years. Stanford has also beaten USC three times within the last calendar year.We dont

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PITTSBURGH -- After seeing rookie Jameson Taillon and newcomer Ivan Nova put together gems the previous two nights against the Houston Astros, the Pittsburgh Pirates hoped to get the same from Gerrit Cole.Pittsburghs struggling ace couldnt deliver.Cole went just five innings and the Pirates fell to Houston 5-4 Wednesday, their fifth loss in six games.Cole (7-9) allowed five runs in five innings. He has a 6.07 ERA through five August starts.Ive been trying to look at approaches and maybe see how I can use my stuff better. I thought today there were some good steps in the right direction: some good sliders, some good curveballs for strikes, he said.Miss over the plate, and Im getting punished. Thats the bottom line, he said.Trailing 5-1 entering the fifth, Pittsburgh scored twice in the fifth and once more in the seventh. The comeback bid ended as Ken Giles closed the ninth for his fifth save.The Astros won the interleague matchup between wild-card contenders for their fifth victory in six games. Houston finished 5-2 on its road trip that began in Baltimore.Evan Gattis hit his 20th home run and Carlos Correa got two hits and scored twice, helping Collin McHugh earn his first win since July 23. McHugh (8-10) gave up three runs in five innings, ending an 0-4 rut in his last five starts.Gattis homered in the second, connecting after a single by Correa.Correa reached on an infield single in the fourth and scored on a triple by Marwin Gonzalez.George Springer singled to begin the fifth and Alex Bregman followed with a double, setting up sacrifice flies by Jose Altuve and Correa for a 5-1 lead.Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Coles inconsistency has led to his recent dip in performance.I hate to sound simplistic. The overall command is coming and going, Hurdle said. Thats just the way its been. . Some balls elevated in the middle of the plate. Then you see some sequences that are sharp. Were not getting the balls in the area we want to get it often enough or with consistency to minimize opportunities to score.Jordy Mercer homered in the Pittsburgh third.The Pirates closed to 5-3 in the fifth on RBI singles by Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.Polanco, who hit two home runs Tuesday, tripled home Marte in the seventh.Hes continued to find a way to plate runs for us. Using all of the field, doing some nice things, Hurdle said. It speaks to his mentality to hit the ball hard where its pitched. Hes not just up there trying to yank or drill something into the water. Hes up there trying to do some damage, trying to hit the ball hard and hes been doing it quite frequently lately. Hes been hitting it hard where it has been pitched.UP NEXTAstros: Following a day off, Houston will begin a three-game series at home against Tampa Bay on Friday. After allowing one run through seven innings in his last outing, RHP Mike Fiers (9-6, 4.48) will try to repeat that performance against Tampa Bay.Pirates: Will travel to Milwaukee for the start of a four-game series against the Brewers on Thursday. RHP Chad Kuhl (3-1, 3.62) will look to bounce back from his first major league loss. Wholesale NBA Jerseys Free Shipping . -- Matt Ryan needed one of the best games of his career to lead the Falcons and their depleted offence out of their three-game losing streak last week. Cheap NBA Store . Collaros, 25, was solid last season, posting a 5-2 record as the starter while incumbent Ricky Ray was injured. Collaros also started Torontos 23-20 regular-season finale loss to Montreal — Ray didnt dress because the Argos had already clinched first in the East Division — but was one of three quarterbacks to play that day. http://www.cheapnbajerseysusa.com/ .35 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Plouffe batted .254 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 477 at-bats last season, his second as a regular in the lineup. Cheap NBA Jerseys From China . -- The St. Johns IceCaps weathered a wild first period with the help of goaltender Jussi Olkinuora, before finding offensive inroads in the second. Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys . No. 13-seeded John Isner and No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber were among six players who dropped out of the tournament on Tuesday, joining No. 12 seed Tommy Haas and two other players who withdrew on Monday. STANFORD, Calif. -- This was typical Stanford. A heavy dose of methodical mashing, a bit of everything from Christian McCaffrey and a couple little wrinkles that caught Southern California totally off guard.McCaffrey slipped out of the backfield for a 56-yard touchdown reception and dived over the pile for a 1-yard score as the seventh-ranked Cardinal beat USC 27-10 on Saturday night.The Cardinal (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have now won seven of nine against the Trojans, the best nine-game stretch for the Cardinal in the history of a rivalry that covers 96 games and 111 years. Stanford has also beaten USC three times within the last calendar year.We dont use anyone but us to set our standards, Cardinal coach David Shaw said.McCaffrey, the AP player of the year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2016, had a routine 260 all-purpose yards. Stanford ran it 47 times for 295 yards, threw 15 passes and held the ball for 34:14.The Cardinal drew most of the USC defense into the box with a steady dose of inside runs before receiver Michael Rector went 56 yards for a touchdown on a reverse with 3:26 left in the third quarter to make it 27-10.I thought (the Trojans) were chasing, said Shaw, adding that he told Rector: Stay wide and run fast. Great, brilliant coaching by me.At that point, the Cardinal played the keep-away game they love so much.I think our MO is pretty much set in stone, Shaw said. If we get a two-score lead in the second half, were going to run it. Were going to be physical. We talk about intellectual brutality, were trying to end the game with the ball in our hands.USC (0-1 Pac-12) is 1-2 for the first time since 2001, when the Trojans started 1-4 in Pete Carrolls debut season as coach. The Trojans werent as thoroughly dominated as they were in the opener against Alabama, but in the end they have been outscored 79-16 by the Crimson Tide and Cardinal.I hope we play that team again, I really do, USC coach Clay Helton said about a possible rematch in the Pac-12 title game. This is going to be a good football team. Weve played two very good teams and we need to find a way to win those games.ddddddddddddTHE TAKEAWAYUSC: The Trojans look like the antithesis of Stanford, a team still trying to find an offensive identity and lacking creativity. Their best player, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, had three catches for 34 yards. Max Browne (18 for 28 for 191 yards) was solid, but the Trojans did little to stretch the field and played it safe on several third-and-longs. Mobile freshman quarterback Sam Darnolds only extended playing time came late in the fourth quarter.We spread the ball around, Helton said. I can never be right. I can throw to one guy or throw to the guy who is open.Stanford: The Cardinal pounded away against a USC defensive line that lacks depth and experience. McCaffrey was the workhorse between the tackles, carrying 30 times for 165 yards.We had a couple of missed assignments, but their offensive line works for him, USC linebacker Cameron Smith said.McCaffrey went over 200 all-purpose yards for the eighth straight game.Sometimes when the games on the line, were OK getting 5, 5, 5, 12, 5, 4 yards a pop if thats what it takes to win and thats what theyre giving us, he said.POLL IMPLICATIONSOnly one team lost in front of Stanford so expect a modest gain for the Cardinal in the AP Top 25. Frankly, beating USC at home just doesnt warrant that big of a bump.UP NEXTUSC: The Trojans have a short week of preparation to get ready for another road game against a smash-mouth team. USC plays at Utah on Friday night.Stanford: This was the start of the toughest stretch of the season for the Cardinal. UCLA is up first next week. Stanford has owned the Bruins lately, winning eight straight meetings. After that, Stanford has its own quick turnaround road game on a Friday night at No. 8 Washington.---Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP---AP College Football: http://collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '

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