July 5, 2009 in Sports

In brief: Aardsma saves another for M’s

 

Baseball: Seattle closer David Aardsma is a lot like the rest of the Mariners. He wasn’t expected to do a lot this season.

Chris Woodward’s bases-loaded pop up in the ninth inning dropped behind a partially draw-in infield to score the go-ahead run, lifting Seattle to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

“We wouldn’t be in this situation without him,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said of his newfound closer. “But it’s a credit to him. He’s worked so hard. He started in spring training, bounced around from team to team a little bit and just came up on a mission this year. He’s found a home here.”

Aardsma’s not one of the bigger-named closers in the AL, but he pitched a perfect ninth Sunday to improve to 17 for 18 in save situations.

“This year I’ve been throwing a lot of strikes,” said Aardsma, who struggled with the Red Sox last season, going 4-2 with a 5.55 ERA before missing significant time with a strained groin. “Last year if I threw ball one it would have been like, ‘Oh, here I go again.’ This year it’s not a big deal.”

For more on Mariners win, see story, page C7

Presidential seal of approval

Basketball: Sorry, Kobe.

President Barack Obama was asked straight out last week: Kobe or Michael?

As in, who’s the best? Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, a four-time NBA champion? Or the basketball legend to whom he is most often compared, Michael Jordan, who retired as a six-time champ with the Chicago Bulls and is widely regarded as the best player of all time?

“Oh, Michael,” Obama answered in an interview with the Associated Press.

“I mean, Kobe’s terrific. Don’t get me wrong,” Obama said. “But I haven’t seen anybody match up with Jordan yet.”

Legion tourney wraps up today

Baseball: The Spokane Blue Devils will play Medicine Hat at 9 a.m. today at Al K. Jackson Field in the semifinals of the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Wood Bat Classic Senior American Legion tournament.

The other semifinal will pit the Spokane Bandits against Billings in a 9 a.m. game at Whitworth University.

The winners will play a championship game at 1:30 p.m. at Gonzaga University.

In the Junior American League portion of the tournament, Mead will take on Walla Walla at 9 a.m., followed by Pride (Bothell, Wash.) and Yakima Valley at 11:30. Both games will be played at McEuen Field in CdA.

The winners will play for the title on the same field at 2 p.m.


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