PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have won eight games in a row, and fans are starting to notice. Asics Gel Kayano 20 Womens . After all, the Pirates own the best record in all of baseball. Pittsburgh beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Saturday night in front of its fifth straight sellout crowd at home. The Pirates have never had that many consecutive capacity crowds since moving into their new ballpark in 2001. Long the third-most popular team in a three-team town behind the NFLs Steelers and NHLs Penguins, the Pirates are suddenly becoming a hot ticket. "The energy of the crowds has been unbelievable and weve been soaking it all up," said Pirates closer Jason Grilli, who earned the save. "You absorb it and try to use it to your advantage. Were playing for ourselves but were also playing for about 40,000 people in the stands and an entire city. "People are dusting off their Pirates shirts and coming out in droves, and were trying to give them what they want to see." Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones homered, and Francisco Liriano pitched six strong innings to lead the surging Pirates. Alvarez hit his 20th home run with one out in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and help the Pirates to their longest winning streak since 2004. Pittsburgh, which has endured 20 consecutive losing seasons, is a major league-best 50-30. Jones hit a drive to the shrubbery in straightaway centre field, his seventh homer, to lead off the fourth inning and increase the Pirates lead to 2-0. That was enough for Liriano (7-3), who improved to 4-1 in five home starts this season. "Were having fun, were playing hard and were giving everything we have," Liriano said. Liriano gave up one run and seven hits in six innings with one walk and six strikeouts. Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Grilli each pitched one scoreless inning of relief. Grilli recorded his 27th save in 28 opportunities. "Frankie, for as efficient as he was in giving up one run, there were only about six or seven sequences where he threw back-to-back strikes," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But when he needed to make a pitch, he made a pitch." Grilli was pitching for the first time in six days after having his worst outing of the season. He gave up three runs against the Los Angeles Angels in a non-save situation last Sunday before the Pirates held on for a 10-9 win. "Hes our guy," Hurdle said. "He was well-rested and I wasnt the least bit nervous about going to him." Donovan Hand (0-1) allowed both home runs but turned in a solid five-inning performance in his second major league start. Hand was pleased with his outing, except for the home run to Alvarez that cleared the right-field stands, hit a tree and bounced into the Allegheny River. "I tried to go up and in and left a fat pitch over the middle in his hot zone, and he crushed it," said Hand, who pitched 4 2-3 scoreless innings in his first start June 28 against Atlanta. "I was aggressive, which is exactly what I wanted to do, just building off of the last start because they swing it a lot." Hand has made a good impression on Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "I thought Donny threw the ball really well," Roenicke said. "He understands how to pitch. He understands how to throw strikes." Carlos Gomez had two hits for the Brewers, who lost their fifth straight game. He singled with one out in the sixth inning and scored Milwaukees run on Yuniesky Betancourts single with two outs. Brewers shortstop Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to 11 games, but second baseman Rickie Weeks run ended at a career-best 13 games. Pittsburgh has won four straight games against Milwaukee and eight of 10 after losing nine in a row. "Were playing good baseball," Hurdle said. "Its nice to get to 50 wins but were just trying to meet the demands of the game, honestly self-evaluate and get better every day. There is still a long way to go." NOTES: Milwaukee LF Ryan Braun (bruised left thumb) is scheduled to a swing a bat Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list, retroactive to June 10. ... Pittsburgh LHP Wandy Rodriguez (strained left forearm) wont make a scheduled rehab start Monday for Triple-A Indianapolis after experiencing discomfort in his forearm Friday during a bullpen session. ... Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (strained right calf) is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Tuesday. That could be the last step before he is activated from the disabled list. ... Brewers RF Norichika Aoki didnt start for the first time since May 30 as Roenicke decided to rest him. Aoki pinch-hit in the ninth inning and flied out. ... The three-game series concludes Sunday with Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (3-6, 3.69) facing Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.81). Asics Gel Saga Australia . World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won the gold medal with 237.71 points, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch followed at 208.45 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia were third at 187. Asics Kayano 21 Womens Sale . And when it opened, every player was at his stall. Thats a sure sign that a team is in a slump and is searching for answers. "Its embarrassing to be at home and play the way we did," said defenceman Josh Gorges. http://www.cheapasicsonlineautralia.com ... ralia.html
. The Lightning are 2-0 so far on a four-game road trip, giving the club five straight wins as the guest and improving Tampas away record this season to 11-8-2. MIAMI -- LeBron James could not sleep after Game 6. Imagine, then, how frayed his emotions will be going into Game 7. So much is at stake. Legacies, for so many players, James included. The NBA championship. Whether the season was a success or a bust. How he will be portrayed over the next few months. How history will judge a Miami Heat team that won 27 straight games in one stretch, 66 games in the regular season and now 81 games overall. Although the Heat will insist otherwise, the common belief is that it all hinges on James shoulders. And the four-time NBA MVP wouldnt have it any other way when his Heat take on the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. "I want to go down as one of the greatest. I want our team to go down as one of the greatest teams. And we have an opportunity to do that," James said. "Hasnt been many teams to win back-to-back championships. Its so hard. Its the hardest thing. I said last year it was the hardest thing Ive ever done, winning my first. Last year dont even come close to what weve gone through in this post-season and in these Finals." James was so weary afterward that he had trouble pulling himself up from the chair where he conducted postgame interviews. But on Wednesday, even after a night of no sleep -- "everything goes through your mind after a game," he said -- James said he was already feeling more spry than he was the night before. More rest, more treatment, some time at home with family and friends and a scheduled 9 p.m. date to watch SpongeBob with his kids, James figured that was the right formula to get ready for Game 7. His second ring is 48 minutes away. If it comes, it will be earned. "First of all, Im blessed, man. I dont even know how I got here," James said. "I wasnt supposed to be in the NBA, if you go by statistics and things of me growing up where I grew up. Every time I go into my locker room and see the James on the back of an NBA jersey, Im like, Wow. No criticism can deter me from playing this game because of that. Im not supposed to be here." He means that in a more broad sense, but in simplest terms, that also applies to Thursday night. The Heat probably arent supposed to be there. They were down by five points with less than a half-minute to go in regulation of Game 6. The championship celebration was being readied, literally around them. The Spurs were about to get their hands on the Larry OBrien Trophy, and the Heat were about to slink off into another off-season of utter disappointment. Until, of course, none of that happened. James made a 3-pointer to get Miami within two, and after the Spurs gave Miami life by missing a free throw, Ray Allen sent it to overtime with another 3-pointer. In the extra session, James and the Heat found a way to pull out a 103-100 win, one that left Miami exhausted and San Antonio devastated. They collide one last time on Thursday with all eyes on James, who strugglled for much of the game and still finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Onitsuka Tiger Buy Online. "He had an off triple-double," Heat guard Mike Miller said. "I cant have an on triple-double." In James lifetime, only four franchises -- Chicago, the Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit and Houston -- have won consecutive championships. Miami can be the fifth, and even though Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is cautioning his team to not think about the potential prize, James said "human nature" dictates that he has to at least daydream a little bit about what might be looming. "I will play Game 7 in my head from now until tomorrow night," James said. "Its just who I am, how I am. But I wont be too serious. I wont go into a bunker when I get back home. But I will be mentally sharp, mentally focused and mentally driven tomorrow night." For the most part, the Spurs have found a way in this series to keep James under some sort of control, and thats even with him dropping two triple-doubles on them in six games so far. They wont change their approach for Game 7. And the Heat dont expect James to change his, either. In fact, some say hell set the tone long before the opening tip. "I expect LeBron to be LeBron," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "Hes going to be loose. Usually, in shootaround, he does some dunks that would win any dunk contest if they were televised. Thats his way of saying, OK, Im ready to go. Hes going to come here, hes going to listen to his music and hes going to do what LeBron does. If theres one guy we dont have to worry about, its LeBron." James has kept his phones off during the playoffs. Hes stayed away from social media. He has tried to limit how much he hears of what the Heat call the noise, all the constant analysis of a team that has alternated wins and losses for the last month -- and now needs one last two-game winning streak to wrap up their second title. "I dont know how it is possible," Miller said of James turning off the outside world, as much as he can, at this time of year. "I tell him all the time, I wouldnt want to be in his shoes. Its not always fun being the greatest player on the planet. But he handles it about as good as Ive ever seen anyone." It could be a great deal of fun for James on Thursday night. If Miami pulls this off, a second straight Finals MVP award will likely be his, to go with the four regular-season MVPs. Hell be a two-time champion, to go along with his two Olympic gold medals. Others have won more titles and more MVPs, but poking holes in James resume will become a considerably tougher task, even for his biggest naysayers. "We cant worry about what the history books say. Thats why its history," James said. "We have to live in the present. We have to live in the moment. And we have to do whatever it takes to bring that trophy -- or to keep that trophy -- here in Miami." Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '