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It might have been worse if not for Gordons 14 points in th

NEW YORK -- Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. Jared Crick Jersey . He couldnt remember all the details of the first save of his professional career. After 123 starts during seven seasons in Major League Baseball, the 33-year-old right-hander was turned into a reliever by the New York Mets when they brought him up from the minor leagues on April 16. Eight days later, manager Terry Collins took a chance -- a roll of the Dice-K? -- and Matsuzaka responded with a perfect ninth inning Thursday to cap a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. He hadnt saved a game since May 2000, his second season with the Seibu Lions of Japans Pacific League, when he struck out four during the final three innings of a 9-0 win at the Chiba Lotte Marines. "Its definitely different," he said through a translator, "but I think Im starting to get used to going from the bullpen." Chris Young homered to start New Yorks comeback from a 1-0, fifth-inning deficit, slumping Curtis Granderson singled in a run as a pinch hitter and Daniel Murphy drove in two runs. Bartolo Colon (2-3) allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked none, sending Lance Lynn to his first career loss in April. Matsuzaka, who completed a four-pitcher, four-hitter, was a rookie of the year in Japan in 1999, MVP as his national team won the first World Baseball Classic in 2006 and was given a $52 million, six-year contract by the Boston Red Sox after they paid Seibu $51,111,111.11 for his rights. Matsuzaka went 15-12 in his first season with the Red Sox and 18-3 in his second, but he injured a hip during the 2009 WBC and was never the same, hurting his arm and eventually needing elbow ligament-replacement surgery. He was just 50-37 for the Red Sox and signed a minor league contract in February 2013 with Cleveland, which released him in August. Then he joined the Mets, started seven games and signed a minor league deal with New York, which initially sent him to Triple-A Las Vegas this spring. But when Bobby Parnells season ended with a torn elbow ligament on opening day, the Mets had to scramble to restock their bullpen. Jose Valverde struggled as the closer and Kyle Farnsworth took over the role. Manager Terry Collins wanted to give the 38-year-old Farnsworth a rest after three appearances in four days. "I just said this is a good opportunity to see how Dice handles it," Collins explained, "and he did well." In a 15-pitch outing, Matsuzaka retired Allen Craig on a lineout to right after falling behind 3-1, struck out Daniel Descalso in an eight-pitch at-bat and got Peter Bourjos on a game-ending foulout to the catcher. "Before, I never really thought I would be able to pitch out of the bullpen because I just take so long to prepare," Matsuzaka said. "I think I just have to keep pitching well to gain full confidence from the team, but I think having had a few opportunities in tight situations definitely is encouraging." Collins said Farnsworth, who has two saves, remains his first-choice closer but Matsuzuka may receive more ninth-inning opportunities. His preparation, which includes lengthy stretching, will have to change. "If hes going to pitch the back end of the game, be it the eighth, the ninth, somewhere in there," the manager said, "I dont want him to wear himself out in the fifth inning, at 8:15. I want him to kind of save something." Dice-K said its as much mental as physical. "Just to comfort myself, I think I throw more than I probably have to," he said. New York also gave 40-year-old right fielder Bobby Abreu hit first big league start since July 25, 2012. Abreu went 1 for 3 with an opposite-field double to left in the fifth -- his first hit with the Mets. "Its been a long time," he said. "It was kind of exciting. At first I had to calm down my emotions and just go out there and play the game." New York took three of four from the defending NL champions and has won four of five overall. St. Louis lost for the sixth time in nine games and has gone 291 at-bats without a home run since Allen Craig connected at Milwaukee off Wily Peralta on April 16. Lynn (4-1) had been 12-0 through April in his big league career, including one March victory. But given a fifth-inning lead, he allowed the Mets to tie the score in the bottom half and go ahead 2-1 on Murphys RBI double in the sixth, a ball that dropped just in front of diving centerfielder Jon Jay. Lynn was chased in a two-run seventh after Eric Young Jr. bunted and reached on a two-base error when the pitcher threw off first baseman Matt Adams glove and into right field. Granderson had been 2 for 20 against left-handers this year before he greeted Kevin Siegrist with an RBI single, and Murphy singled in the final run. "Weve been home six days in the past 2 1/2 months," Lynn said. "I think a lot of people are looking forward to getting home and sleeping in their own beds." NOTES: With hitters on both teams complaining about plate umpire Alan Porters wide strike zone on a blustery afternoon, New York batters struck out 10 times, raising their total to 213 and passing Miami (203) for the major league lead. ... Zack Wheeler (1-2) starts Fridays series opener at home against Miamis Henderson Alvarez (1-2). Brian Dawkins Jersey . After missing 20 games as a rookie a year ago, Valanciunas - like the Raptors as a whole - has been fortunate to be in good health this season. As he spoke about it, the Raptors sophomore centre scanned the room for wood to knock on. "It is disappointing because we lost today so thats the worst part of the day," said Valanciunas, who left Tuesdays game with a lower-back sprain in the third quarter, missing the rest of Torontos 118-113 overtime defeat at the hands of the Hawks. Paxton Lynch Jersey . Of course that doesnt mean hes ignoring it. Thats actually rather impossible given the behind-the-scenes access to the Toronto Maple Leafs the network is getting. http://www.thebroncosstoreonline.com/Youth-Domata-Peko-Jerseys/ . This has become the Raptors mantra as they embark on a new era with a new regime and, in the not-so-distant future, a new image.NEW ORLEANS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points, Monta Ellis added 23 and the Dallas Mavericks sent the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans to their fourth straight loss, 107-90 on Friday night. Vince Carter added 14 points and Jae Crowder 12 for Dallas, which never trailed. The Mavericks led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter before cruising against a Pelicans squad minus starting point guard Jrue Holiday and leading scorer Ryan Anderson. Holiday missed his first game with a stress fracture in his right shin. Anderson went down last week with a herniated disk. Eric Gordon scored 27 points for New Orleans, while Anthony Davis added 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. That wasnt nearly enough to keep pace with the Mavs, who hit 14 of 28 3-point shots and shot 52.6 per cent (41 of 78) overall. Dallas broke open the game with a 27-6 run that spanned from late in the second quarter until Brandan Wrights layup made it 76-53 with 3:35 to go in the third quarter. Nowitzki scored nine of his points during the run, including one of his four 3-pointers. Brian Roberts started in place of Holiday, but was limited by early foul trouble and finished with nine points. Austin Rivers had 12 points. But the Pelicans turned the ball over 18 times, setting up 25 Dallas points. Meanwhile, Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans sat out the second half with a sore left ankle after missing his only ttwo shots and turning over the ball twice in the first half. Derek Wolfe Jersey. The Pelicans struggled to keep pace with Dallas from the outset, and the Mavs led by as many as 12 in the second quarter when Samuel Dalemberts dunk made it 40-28. It might have been worse if not for Gordons 14 points in the first quarter, and 19 in the opening half. Gordons 3 and driving floater on successive possessions capped a 10-0 run that pulled New Orleans to 40-38. The Pelicans were still as close as 49-47 with 3:16 left in the period, but with Nowitzki and Dalembert returning to finish the quarter, Dallas pulled away again. Nowitzki had 14 of his points in the opening half, and his 18-foot jumper ignited a 13-2 run to close second quarter. During the spurt, Ellis twice converted layups set up by New Orleans turnovers, giving Dallas 19 points off of 11 first-half turnovers. Jose Calderon and Ellis both added 3s as Dallas took a 62-49 lead into halftime. NOTES: The teams play each other again Saturday night in Dallas. ... The Mavs 62 points at halftime were the most allowed in a first half by New Orleans this season. ... In the past 10 days, New Orleans has allowed 60-point first halves three times, giving up 61 to Minnesota on Jan. 1 and 61 to Washington on Jan. 8. ... Since Dec. 28, Dallas has eclipsed 60 first-half points five times in its last eight games, with a high of 70 first-half points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 3. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '