PHOENIX -- Ian Desmond likes to be aggressive early in the count, often swinging at the first pitch. Discount Nike Shoes . Facing a side-arming right-hander, one who had not allowed a run in 19 games, Desmonds approach worked out quite well for the Washington Nationals. Desmond and Tyler Moore each lined two-run singles off Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning, helping the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Wednesday to salvage what started as a difficult road trip. "Hes really good, has some good numbers over the past few years, has been effective," Desmond said of Ziegler. "I just wanted to make sure I got something up in the zone and let the hands do the work." Washington had a hard time solving Brandon McCarthy, who locked into a pitchers duel with Doug Fister for the first seven innings. Ziegler (0-1) hadnt allowed a run in 18 1-3 innings, so pulling off another late-inning victory appeared to be a daunting task. Denard Span got it started with a gritty at-bat, drawing a walk after fouling off four straight pitches. The Nationals loaded the bases and Desmond came through, lining a single through the left side. Moore followed with another two-run hit, breaking his bat on a single up the middle. Jayson Werth homered and Tyler Clippard (4-3) tossed one scoreless inning for Washington, which took two of three from Arizona after being swept in Oakland. "We needed this one," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "It salvages the road trip. It started off really bad and its nice to get this one and head home on a positive note." The Diamondbacks had just come off a solid road trip and McCarthy put them in good position to win four straight series for the first time in nearly three years. Arizona lost to Washington in the ninth inning Monday night, and then had a surprising meltdown in the series finale by one of baseballs best relievers over the past few seasons. Aaron Hill homered and made several spectacular plays at second base for the Diamondbacks. "I had a lot of swing and misses over the top and a lot of balls chopped foul," Ziegler said. "I felt like I had decent stuff. Just didnt execute pitches that well." Fister was sharp after a rough debut for the Nationals. Acquired from Detroit in an off-season trade, the right-hander spent the first six weeks on the disabled list with a back strain. He returned Saturday against Oakland and was hit hard, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. Fister worked around a couple of baserunners the first three innings until Hill, swinging on a 3-0 pitch, hit a drive to left for his fourth of the season. Fister allowed five hits and struck out six before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. "Great job by Doug," Desmond said. "After his last start, Im sure he needed that one. He did an excellent job of keeping the ball down, using his sinker a lot." McCarthy was hit hard by the White Sox on Saturday, giving up seven runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. The veteran right-hander was sharp against the Nationals. Keeping them off balance with big breaking curveball, McCarthy was perfect until Desmond led off the fifth inning with an infield single up the middle. Washington had a runner on third with one out in the sixth after an error on Arizona shortstop Chris Owings and a sacrifice bunt, but Hill saved a run with a diving stop in the hole on a hard-hit ball by Anthony Rendon to end the inning. Hill nor anyone else had a chance to reach Werths tying homer in the seventh inning, a screaming liner to right-centre that got out in a hurry. McCarthy continued to get outs after that and got some more help in the eighth from Hill, who dived and scooped the ball in the same motion on a slow roller by pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen. McCarthy allowed two hits and struck out seven in eight innings. "Some of the changes I wanted to make off last week I felt I was able to execute and do a better job, and make it a high priority," McCarthy said. "The results kind of followed after that." NOTES: Arizona LHP Randy Wolf exercised the out clause in his contract and was granted his release. The 37-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks after missing last season due to reconstructive elbow surgery. ... Washington leads the majors in run differential from the seventh inning on at plus-38. ... Arizona has Thursday off before RHP Wade Miley opens a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday. ... Washington has Thursday off and has yet to announce a starter for the start of a three-game series against the New York Mets on Friday. Cheap Nike Shoes Authentic . Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford each scored 19 points, Bass added 15 points and had a game-saving block in the closing seconds Saturday, and the Celtics held on for a 103-100 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cheap Nike Shoes From China .C. -- Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe is resigning after 13 seasons at the school.ST. LOUIS -- The longest winning streak in Saint Louis history ended Thursday night with a surprising loss at home to Duquesne. That was hardly the most disappointing part of it as far as forward Dwayne Evans was concerned. "The streak didnt really mean much to us," Evans said. "Its a tough loss because theres a championship on the line, not just because it broke the streak." Micah Mason had 22 points and Jerry Jones added 19, leading Duquesne to a 71-64 victory. Saint Louis (25-3, 12-1 Atlantic 10) had won 19 straight since dropping a 70-65 decision on Dec. 1 to unbeaten Wichita State, now ranked No. 2 in the country. With a win, the Billikens could have clinched at least a tie for the Atlantic 10 regular-season title. But it was the Dukes who looked like title contenders Thursday. "They did a really nice job and we just didnt play well enough," Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said. "Weve played well and weve been fortunate. Tonight, we didnt play well enough. "We have no license that were going to win. One teams going to win and one teams going to lose. Whoever plays the best (wins). Thats how it is, and they played better than us." Mason, who entered leading the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.554), hit four of five from behind the arc for Duquesne (12-15, 4-10), which beat a top-10 opponent on the road for the first time since defeating No. 6 Bradley 73-72 on March 5, 1962. Duquesne improved to 5-28 on the road against top 10 teams. The Dukes, who were 14-point underdogs, are 25-55 overall against teams ranked in the top 10. Although it looked like a mismatch on paper, Jones said he and the Dukes could feel this one coming. "Really, this team was ready to get beat and I just wannted to be a part of it and so did everybody else," he said. Wholesale Nike Shoes. Evans had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Saint Louis. Mike McCall Jr. led the Billikens with 18 points, while Jordair Jett (13 points) and Rob Loe (12 points) also were in double digits. Saint Louis will try to rebound Saturday when it visits VCU. Crew said the team will not vary its approach after losing for the first time in nearly three months. "We do the same thing whether we win or lose," he said. "We just try to clean up what we did wrong. We address those things we did wrong, we keep working on our fundamentals and try to get better and move on with the next team. It doesnt make a difference win or lose. Our routine is pretty much the same." The Billikens appeared to be in good shape after Jetts layup with 13:44 remaining gave them a 42-35 lead. But the Dukes took command with an 18-2 run capped by a 3-pointer and then a layup by Jones that made it 53-44 with 7:41 left. Saint Louis fought back and had a chance to cut it to a one-possession game with under a minute remaining. Loe, however, missed a free throw and that led to Jones layup at the other end with 52 seconds left that made it 63-57. The Dukes played Saint Louis tough in their first meeting, losing 76-72 at home on Jan. 22. Duquesne was up for the challenge again Thursday and showed it early as Mason hit his first two shots from behind the arc to help the Dukes grab a 13-8 advantage. Mason was called for his second foul shortly thereafter and went to the bench, and the Billikens began to take advantage of his absence. Saint Louis went 1 for 7 from 3-point range in the first half, but Jake Barnetts 3 with 44 seconds left gave the Billikens a 29-25 halftime lead. 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ST. Hoyt Wilhelm Jersey . JOHNS, N.L. -- Jason Jaffray scored 52 seconds into the game, and Eddie Pasquale made 36 saves to lead the St. Johns IceCaps over the Manchester Monarchs 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Friday. "We got off to a good start and scored that early goal," IceCaps forward Adam Lowry said. "Then we got back on our heels a bit in the third period. We did a good job keeping their shots to the outside in the third." Despite being outshot 18-7 in the third period, partially due to having to kill three penalties, Pasquale kept the IceCaps in the game. Head coach Keith McCambridge was happy with the teams penalty kill. "In the third period especially, our penalty kill was tested," McCambridge said. "The foundation for all penalty kills is making sure your goaltender is the best guy (out there). I thought Eddie (Pasquale) made some huge saves for us to be able to keep momentum." One player who is making the most of his penalty kill opportunities, according to McCambridge, is Adam Lowry. "Hes really good and hes been good all season," he said. "He possesses long range and takes up a lot of ice, and he is able to read well on the forecheck. Lowry is a player that has a lot of intelligence on where to be on the ice and hes been key for us." Lowry is happy to have an expanded role with the IceCaps, which allows him to be killing penalties and learning from veterans. "Its good any time your role is increased with the team, you want to make the most of it," Lowry said. "(Patrice) Cormier and Jaffray have helped me out a lot on the penalty kill and knowing where to be." Jerome Samson scored two goals, and John Albert had one for the IceCaps (20-15-3), who won their second in a row. Nick Deslauriers replied for the Monarchs (25-11-6). Jaffray opened the scoring when he tapped in a rebound off an Andrew Gordon slapshot. Albert made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal when he cut across the net and beat Jean-Francois Berube with a backhand shot at 7:56of the second period. Samson got his first goal of the game on the power play at 11:20 of the second, to make it 3-0. The Monarchs got on the board at 14:17 of the second period when Jordan Weal tipped a pass across the crease to Deslauriers, who scored into a practically empty net. Samson added an empty netter for the IceCaps with 14 seconds left. Berube made 27 saves for Manchester. St. Johns was 1 for 4 with the man advantage, and the Monarchs were 0 for 5. Frank Robinson Jersey . -- Jonathan Vilmas season is over and his future on the football field is in doubt. Tippy Martinez Jersey . -- The Washington Redskins coaching staff distanced itself from other coaches Thursday by siding with ownership -- and not the players -- in the NFLs labour dispute.OKLAHOMA CITY - Tony Parker is dinged up again, and his status is unclear heading into the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs All-Star point guard did not play in the second half or overtime of the Western Conference finals-clinching win over Oklahoma City on Saturday because of a sore left ankle. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich doesnt know what shape Parker will be in for Game 1 on Thursday in San Antonio. "I have no idea," Popovich said Saturday night. "I dont know what the deal is." Popovich said Parker sprained the ankle in Game 4 and aggravated it in Game 5. Popovich considered starting Manu Ginobili at point guard in Game 6 against the Thunder because Parker was having trouble during pregame. At halftime, Popovich made the decision to hold him out. "He came to me about eight minutes on the clock (before the second half) and said he couldnt go," Popovich said. "He couldnt cut. He was limping on it. He couldnt cut sideways or forward really." Popovich said he thought playing Parker in the second half would have hurt the team in the long term. "I didnt want him to be a hero because he was 50 per cent or less, we thought," Popovich said. "Thats probably bad for the team if you think about it. It was a tough decision to try to figure out whether to play him, and if you lose the game and it affects him for Monday night, then youre going to feel like you made an unwise choice." Parker has been plagued by injuries this year. He averaged 16.7 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the field during the regular season, but he missed 22 games. He strained his left hamstring in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals aagainst Portland and did not return. Anthony Santander Jersey . The Spurs won that game easily to clinch the series. Once again, his teammates bought him some rest. Had the Spurs lost Game 6, they would have faced an elimination game at home Monday against the Thunder. "We didnt know how much Tony was hurt in his ankle," forward Boris Diaw said. "But we didnt want to go to Game 7, and we didnt know if he would be ready to play if we did or if he would be 100 per cent, so we tried to get it over with tonight." Still, the Spurs have proven all season they can win without key players, posting the NBAs best record despite a series of injuries. "We have to continue to play basketball regardless of who is on the floor and our reserves did a great job - Cory (Joseph), Patty (Mills) - they stepped in and continued to run the offence and push the pace and playing good defence on their guards as well," guard Danny Green said. Joseph started the second half of Game 6 against Oklahoma City and helped engineer a 37-point third quarter. "Cory was very good," Ginobili said. "I mean, its hard to play when you dont have many opportunities to play in close games and stuff. But he did very well in Game 3 and 4 here. He always brings the juice, aggressiveness, competitiveness. He attacks the rim well. I think he made a few key plays." The Spurs said they excel without their stars because they are about a system, rather than individuals. "We have been doing what we did the whole year, which is passing the ball to each other, getting some movement, getting pace and getting into a good rhythm," Diaw said. "Always trying to set up a good shot for a teammate." ' ' '