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SAN DIEGO - Sometime soon, a baseball will be getting a prominent spot among the trophies on Justin Verlanders mantle. Its the ball he hit up the middle for a single in the second inning Saturday night, the one that will forever shut up his teammates. Verlander had the first two hits of his career and recovered from throwing 31 pitches in the first inning to pitch seven strong innings and lead the Detroit Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. "It felt great. Its been a long time and I can finally get all these guys off my back ...," Verlander said. Verlander had been 0 for 26 with 15 strikeouts in his career when he stepped in against Ian Kennedy in the second inning and singled up the middle. When the ball came back to Kennedy, he tossed it to a ball boy near the Padres dugout. Home plate umpire Seth Buckminster motioned for the ball boy to throw it to the Tigers dugout. "I think the Padres and probably Ian didnt know that I had never had a hit," Verlander said. "Its been nine years in the big leagues now. They probably werent thinking about that but I sure as heck was. I was watching that ball like a hawk." The last time Verlander had a hit? "High school. Its been a long time," he said. "I guess I have no more leverage," catcher Alex Avila said. "Were all happy for him. It was fun to watch." Verlander cited a list of times when he came close to getting a hit. "I think its kind of been an anomaly that I havent had one yet," he said. "I feel like Ive probably hit five or six hard that have been caught." Verlander singled to right in the fourth, although he had to hustle to avoid being thrown out by Chris Denorfia. "I hit it pretty hard, too. It was a bang-bang play but I beat it out, thank goodness," said Verlander, who eventually scored on Torii Hunters two-run single. The sight of Verlander (1-1) on the mound at Petco Park was another reminder of how the Padres flubbed the top pick in the June 2004 amateur draft. Not wanting to pay a big signing bonus, the team passed on players such as Jered Weaver, Stephen Drew and Verlander in favour of local shortstop Matt Bush. Bush, who signed for $3 million, never reached the big leagues and had numerous off-field problems. In December 2012, he was sentenced to four years and three months in a Florida prison for a drunken driving hit-and-run crash. Verlander was taken by the Tigers with the second pick. He has thrown two no-hitters and came within two outs of a third, won the AL MVP and Cy Young Award in 2011, was voted AL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and is a six-time All-Star. Verlander allowed two runs and eight hits, struck out eight and walked one. He improved to 2-0 against the Padres, having also beaten them at Petco Park in 2008. "Hes a guy who obviously has that power arm when he needs to," San Diegos Yonder Alonso said. "He works his way into the game and if he feels like hes in trouble, hes going to attack. He made some good pitches but we just missed a lot of guys on base." The Tigers had plenty of offence one night after being held to one hit by Andrew Cashner in a 6-0 loss. Austin Jackson hit a two-run double one batter after Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases in the ninth; Hunter, who missed the previous two games with a bruised left knee, hit a two-run single; and Cabrera and Ian Kinsler each had an RBI double. Rajai Davis scored three runs. San Diego got its runs on Jedd Gyorkos sacrifice fly and Yasmani Grandals RBI single. Kennedy (1-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one. NOTES: A candidate in the Padres in-season contest to find a new public address announcer committed a big flub in the first inning. As Cabrera, the two-time AL MVP, walked to the plate, he was announced as Austin Jackson. Cabrera turned and looked up at the booth. Frank Anthony, the Padres PA announcer since Petco Park opened in 2004, was fired in January so the team could hold open tryouts as part of the 10th anniversary of Petco Park. ... The series concludes Sunday when reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (0-0, 1.20 ERA) is scheduled to face Tyson Ross (0-2, 4.35). Cheap Air Jordan Outlet Store . On Wednesday night, they showed that stellar defence and a little small ball can get the job done too. With pinch-runner Kevin Pillar aboard after Dioner Navarro opened the bottom of the ninth with a single, Anthony Gose dropped down an excellent bunt along the first-base line. Air Jordan From China .J. -- Kevin Gilbride retired Thursday as offensive co-ordinator for the New York Giants. http://www.airjordanoutletsale.com/.ca Fantasy Editor Scott Cullen, NFL Editor Ben Fisher, and Isaac Owusu discuss three hot fantasy football topics. Cheap Air Jordan Free Shipping . Fans can also watch the game on the newly launched TSN GO (currently available to Bell TV and Rogers customers), which gives TSN subscribers the freedom to live stream the networks programming from their smartphones, tablets, and computers at no additional charge – just as they would watch Canadas Sports Leader on TV at home. The following week, MLS ON TSN is at BMO Field in Toronto to deliver live coverage of TFCs home opener vs. D.C. United on Saturday, March 22 at 4:30 p. Wholesale Jordans . Yahoo! Sports columnist Marc Spears says that the Boogie Smooth album may have been an elaborate April Fools prank.EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Universitys football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nations first union for college athletes -- a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday it will hear an appeal by Northwestern challenging the decision from a regional NLRB director who ruled the players are university employees and thus have the right to unionize. The board said the ballots will be impounded at least until it issues its decision later this year. If the case lands in court, it could be a far longer before the results of the vote are known. The vote comes one day after leaders at the NCAA endorsed a dramatic proposal to give its biggest and most powerful member schools the autonomy to make decisions for its athletes, including more robust funding of scholarships, the ability to address health concerns and other key areas. Union supporters say they are seeking guaranteed coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players. There have been no raucous rallies or demonstrations on the 19,000-student campus just north of Chicago, just official notices about the vote posted near the Wildcats locker room. But there has been plenty of lobbying in the form private meetings, calls and emails, and everyone from coach Pat Fitzgerald to NCAA President Mark Emmert has called for a "no" vote. The 76 scholarship football players eligible to cast ballots know the spotlight is on them, said Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, which would represent the players at the bargaining table if the pro-union side prevails. Some of the pressure they feel stems from dire Northwestern claims about the consequences of unionization, he said. "Theyre looking at anything and everything to invoke fear in the players," said Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and longtime critic of the NCAA. "We feel like some of the tactics are scare tactics." Northwestern, which is required by law to let the vote proceed, denies applying undue pressure on players to vote "no." However, it recently sent a 21-page question-and-answer document to the players outlining the problems with forming a union. In it, Northwestern said it hoped unionization would not lead to player strikes in the event of a dispute -- but if it did, replacement players could be brought in to cross picket lines. "The tension created in such a situation would be unprecedented and not in anyones best interest," it said. The school also said divisions could emerge between scholarship players eligible for union membership and walk-ons, coaches and staff. "There is no question but that the presence of a union would add tension in terms of creating an us versus them feeling between the players it would represent and those it would not," it said. Northwestern did not release the document publicly, but The Associated Press obtained a copy and a spokesman for the universitys athletic department, Paul Kennedy, verified its authenticity.dddddddddddd Alan K. Cubbage, the schools vice-president for university relations, dismissed Humas suggestion that the school was using scare tactics "I would say strongly that Northwestern has conducted an election campaign ... according to the procedures and the rules of the NLRB," he said. When outgoing Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter announced in January that he would lead the drive to unionize, helped by CAPA and the United Steelworkers, he said nearly all of his fellow teammates were behind him. Safety Davion Fleming said his teammates slowly began to understand the issues arent clear-cut. "When the union talk initially started, it wasnt very clear what was going on," said Fleming, who cant vote because his eligibility is exhausted. "I think they didnt understand the implications." Huma said Northwestern seemed to be intentionally misconstruing the facts, and said the schools "subliminal messages" included the suggestion that a "yes" vote could throw their amateur status into question. "No one is taking about striking," he said. "They are trying to rattle players." The fight has been noticed by incoming recruits, too. "I went there for many reasons, more than just football," said Justin Jackson, a running back recruit from Carol Stream. "Theres no possible way that it would have deterred me from signing back in February." Like the players themselves, recruits and their families have a long list of potential questions should a football players union become a reality. One of the biggest issues is whether scholarships would be counted as taxable income. "I dont feel that were really in the position to get involved in anything like that with it yet," said Phil Jackson Sr., Justins father. "But it does obviously would have an impact on the students as far as the scholarship not being a grant but actually being considered income, yeah, that definitely would be a concern. "But at the same time we also understand theres some important issues that need to be hashed out and were kind of letting the process play itself out for right now." Trevor Siemian, who is expected to replace Colter as the starting quarterback, has said he will be voting against a union. "Ill say theres a significant number of guys on the team who feel the same as me," Siemian said earlier this month. Fleming also said doesnt support unionization, though he said the drive has prompted a much-needed debate about conditions for players. After weeks of both sides vying for votes, he said he detects a common sentiment among players. "They just want this to be over -- and to focus on football," he said. ' ' '

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