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een primarily an eighth-inning setup man since comin

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een primarily an eighth-inning setup man since comin

Postby kaisy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:45 am

ASPEN, Colo. -- Austrias Kathrin Zettel held off teammate and training partner Marlies Schild to win a World Cup slalom Sunday, skiing a blazing second run on a course on which she is much at home. Zettel finished in a combined time of one minute, 42.46 seconds to edge Schild by 0.67 seconds. Tina Maze of Slovenia was third in a race Lindsey Vonn skipped as she recovers from an intestinal illness. Schild was seeking her 34th career slalom win, which would match the discipline record of Swiss great Vreni Schneider. She looked on her way, too, after a swift second run through a challenging course. But Schild was eclipsed by Zettel, the last skier of the afternoon. "She was pretty tough to beat," Schild said. Theres something about the Aspen hill that suits Zettel. She also finished second in the giant slalom the day before, making it a highly productive weekend. She now has eight career podium finishes at this venue. "I dont even know what to say," said Zettel, who won her first slalom race since 2010. "Aspen is a great place for me." Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. was in the lead for a few skiers before winding up seventh. Still, it was another solid showing for the 17-year-old whos from down the road in Vail. Very rapidly, Shiffrin is making quite a name for herself. "Im just trying to establish myself as a competitive racer with all these other guys," she said. Shiffrins definitely succeeding, with some referring to her as skiings next prodigy. "I dont know what I am. I just know I love to race, love to ski and love to go fast. I guess let people think what they want," Shiffrin said. "But its very flattering." Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., was 13th with a total time of 2:02.47, Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., was 23rd in 2:03.10. Vonn is still regaining her strength after a bad stomach bug recently landed her in the hospital. She competed in the giant slalom Saturday -- finishing 21st -- but was clearly winded at the end. She collapsed in the snow after her final run. Her plan all along was to skip the slalom. The four-time overall champion is conserving energy for next weekends races in Lake Louise, Alberta, a venue Vonn has typically dominated. She won all three speed races there last season. Vonn will have some ground to make up with Maze jumping to a big lead in the overall standings. Maze finished runner-up to Vonn last season. So far this season, no one is skiing any better than Maze, who already has two wins, along with third- and fourth-place finishes. "Im feeling fit and strong," Maze said. "Everything is going well for me." Torry Holt Jersey . -- Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into weekend play in the Navistar LPGA Classic. Janoris Jenkins Jersey . -- Jered Weaver dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension, and the Los Angeles Angels ace will miss an upcoming series against the New York Yankees. ... sg-93.html . Cleveland took Gordon in the second round of the NFLs supplemental draft Thursday. He was the only player selected; the Browns must forfeit their second-round pick in the 2013 draft. Trumaine Johnson Jersey . Louis Cardinals activated first baseman Lance Berkman off the disabled list before the second game of their series against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. Isaiah Pead Jersey . Valentin Zykov broke a 1-1 tie at 7:46 of the third period for the Drakkar, who lead the best-of-seven third-round matchup 1-0. Baie-Comeaus Jeremy Gregoire opened the scoring just 1:06 into the first period while Petr Straka picked up a single assist to move into second in playoff scoring. MILWAUKEE -- One day after his worst outing in a difficult season, Canadian John Axford lost his job as the Milwaukee Brewers closer. Manager Ron Roenicke said before Tuesday nights game against St. Louis that Francisco Rodriguez will be handling ninth-inning duties while Axford, from Simcoe, Ont., tries to get his confidence back in lower-pressure situations. "Its always difficult when youre talking about a guy that we feel the way we do about Ax," Roenicke said. "We still remember what he did last year for us. So yeah, its always hard to do. But it is the right thing to do, so I didnt feel bad about doing it. I felt good about doing it, because I feel like this is the best way to get him back." Handed a two-run lead against the Cardinals on Monday night, Axford allowed three runs in the ninth inning and the Brewers lost 3-2. Axford has 16 saves in 22 chances this season, struggling to find the dominant form he showed in 2011. "It was a decision I kind of expected after yesterday, yesterdays performance," Axford said. "Its frustrating the way things have been going this year, so maybe itll be a breath of fresh air to step back a little bit, try and get back into the swing of things the way I was last year." Axford said he wasnt surprised by the decision and didnt try to talk Roenicke out of it because he wanted to put the team first. And Axford acknowledged that his recent struggles have shaken his confidence. "Id be lying if I said it was the same as its always been," Axford said. "Today was actually one of the rougher days Ive ever had. Generally, Im pretty good about letting go after blown saves or losses or anything like that. But yesterday, just because I couldnt feel anything -- I literally, as I told (pitching coach Rick) Kranitz, it literally seemed like I was pittching with new mechanics and never threw a curveball before.dddddddddddd." Axford played a critical role in the Brewers run to the NL championship series last season, saving 46 games in 48 chances. Axford had 49 consecutive saves between April 24, 2011 and May 4, 2012 -- the fourth-longest streak in history. But Axford has struggled since then, and his control issues were at their worst in Monday nights meltdown. "He was at a point where he was really frustrated," Roenicke said. "He said that was the worst he has felt on the mound as far as having a feeling where the balls going. With the fastball or the breaking ball, he had no idea where it was going." Rodriguez, who has 292 career saves, has been primarily an eighth-inning setup man since coming to the Brewers in a trade last season. He is 2-4 with a 3.67 ERA this season with one save -- April 10 at Chicago. He has not allowed a run in his past five appearances. Roenicke said Rodriguezs fastball has been "really good," while hes still trying to throw his slider as consistently as he has in the past. And Rodriguez knows how to close. "Its certainly what he wants to do," Roenicke said. "And he is -- hes a closer. Hes a great closer. I think Frankies such a professional that whether I have him setting up or whether I have him closing, he knows how important he is to our team to win." While the Brewers scramble to try to get back into contention, Roenicke doesnt want Axford to be seen as a scapegoat. "I didnt think about it that way, and I dont want him to think about it that way," Roenicke said. "Because hes not. Thats not all thats going on with us. Weve been inconsistent with every phase of the game. So its a little part of it we need to fix, and weve got a great guy to try to fix it with." ' ' '
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