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Toronto lead to 7-1 in th

SPARTA, Ky. T. J. Warren Jersey . -- The questions during NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying Friday were how many drivers would raise Kentucky Speedways record and by how much. Dale Earnhardt Jr. provided the answer of the eight that broke it, clocking 183.636 mph to wrest the mark from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson and the pole for Saturday nights race. Earnhardts speed was nearly 2 mph faster than Johnsons 181.818 mph last June, which he needed to keep Johnson from keeping the record. Minutes before, Johnson had a lap at 183.144 mph to hold off Ryan Newman (182.254). Earnhardt set the standard in the No. 88 Chevy soon after and survived several furious attempts to unseat him before coming away with his 12th career pole and first at Kentucky. Carl Edwards (183.306 mph) eventually grabbed the outside front in the No. 99 Ford. Johnson settled for third with Kyle Busch (182.593) fourth in a Toyota. Marcos Ambrose (182.587) qualified fifth in a Ford and will start alongside Denny Hamlin, whose No. 11 Toyota ran 182.340 mph. The final two over 182 mph were Newman and defending race winner and Cup champion Brad Keselowski (182.192). "I thought we had a good car in practice," Earnhardt said, "and we got some cloud cover. That gave us an opportunity to run a good lap." Drivers felt as if a track record was possible with NASCARs new Gen 6 car, even on Kentuckys bumpy surface. Anticipation grew even more with cooler-than-expected temperatures and intermittent clouds, and several drivers gave chase to Johnsons mark early in the session. Johnson, the series points leader, promptly raised the bar higher with a speed that seemed to put the pole and the record out of reach even with two-thirds of qualifying remaining. Newman gave chase and briefly had the second spot before settling for a solid berth in the field. "I feel good," said Johnson, who checked his No. 48 Chevy for damage after hitting one of the trucks bumps and going airborne. "I felt (turns) one and two went really well. (Turns) three and four, I thought maybe I could have been a little faster through there." Earnhardt, sixth after the final practice, soon grabbed his up-front view and the record as all the elements fell into place for his first pole since September at Richmond. "The cloud cover at least gave us a bit of speed," said Earnhardt, who joked that getting a haircut between practice and qualifying might have made him more aerodynamic as well. "Of course, cooler track temps gives the car more grip and we definitely had the better situation of anyone in practice with that scenario. "There were some clouds in the qualifying session, but not quite the extent that we had. I did think the lap was really good." Wholesale Pacers Jerseys . Messier, who had been a special assistant to Rangers general manager Glen Sather, announced Thursday in a statement that he is resigning in order to "expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. Roger Brown Jersey . -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres.TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman took care of the Kansas City Royals in the top of the first. The Toronto Blue Jays potent offence took care of the rest. Stroman, the 23-year-old Blue Jays first-round draft pick in 2012, was solid in his first Major League start and the Toronto offence scored early and often in a 12-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. "It feels great," Stroman said. "Anytime you get that kind of run support, its fun to pitch." After retiring the Royals in order in the first inning, the final two on strikes, Stroman sat as the Blue Jays scored seven runs in the bottom of the inning. The first eight Toronto batters reached base, a new club record. The Blue Jays stretched that lead to 11-1 after four innings in emphatically ending a two-game losing streak. "Its hard," Stroman said of the wait between his first and second inning. "But obviously youre not going to turn down seven runs. However long it takes the offence to keep mashing, Ill sit there all day. "This offence is so special. This lineup is like playing a video game." Stroman, who earlier in May made five appearances out of the Blue Jays bullpen, improved his record to 2-0 and saw his earned run average fall from 12.79 at the start of the day to 7.30. Stroman gave up five hits, struck out six and didnt issue a walk over six innings before 31,652 fans. Recalled from triple-A Buffalo Friday, the five-foot-nine right-hander threw 94 pitches, 63 of those for strikes. "I thought he was terrific," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Stroman. "He got a bunch of strikeouts. He was attacking the (strike) zone, working fast. Doing all those things we expected. "That was his first start of the year and he showed us something. Were pretty impressed. It was a good bounce-back win for us." Juan Francisco had three hits and four runs batted in, Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., had two hits and three RBIs and Adam Lind added three hits and two RBIs as the American Leaguee East-leading Blue Jays pounded out 14 hits off four Kansas City pitchers. Gus Johnson Jersey. . The Blue Jays (33-24) had won a season-high nine straight games before the Royals (26-29) won the first two games of the series Thursday and Friday. Toronto finished May with an American League-best 21-9 record. "Its been a huge month," Gibbons said. "In 2008, we won 20 games and had the best record in baseball and I got fired three weeks later," he quipped. "I always enjoy a good month but it means absolutely nothing in June." The Blue Jays, who were 0 for 10 with men in scoring position and stranded 14 runners in a 6-1 loss Friday, wasted few opportunities in the first inning against Kansas City right-hander Aaron Brooks. Brooks was making just his second career start and first since being recalled from triple-A Omaha. The Blue Jays, who lead Major League Baseball in home runs, scored all their runs without a homer Saturday. Toronto sent 12 men to the plate in the opening inning, the first eight of them reaching base. Each of the first five hitters scored and seven were in before Brooks (0-1) was given the rest of the afternoon off, getting just two outs and yielding five hits, three walks and two hit batters. Jose Bautista doubled in the first run and Franciscos ground-rule double plated two more to make it 5-0. Other than those two extra-base hits, the Blue Jays scored via small ball -- two RBI singles and a pair of bases-loaded walks -- to turn the game into a laugher before all the fans had settled into their seats. "It was good to let (Stroman) take a deep breath and just do what he does and throw all his pitches and let him relax a little bit," said Lind. After Kansas City cut the Toronto lead to 7-1 in the second, Lawries second RBI of the day made it 8-1 in the bottom of the inning. Lind, Lawrie and Francisco drove in runs in the fourth to make it 11-1. Todd Redmond gave up one run over three innings in relief of Stroman to earn his first save of the season. ' ' '
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