inks before meeting Barber. She said he declined her offer of a drink. The two did not exchange money, the report said.Arbitrator Ross Dumoulin wrote in h | Forum

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The first time the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays met this season, each teams situation was a lot different than it is now. Discount Baseball Jerseys .The Athletics were on a roll. When they beat the Blue Jays 8-5 on the opener of a three-game series at Rogers Centre on April 22, they increased their winning streak to six games to go to 10-7 and they were 7-0 on the road.The Blue Jays dropped to 8-10 as they were slow out of the gate in defense of their American League East title.Sonny Gray was the winning pitcher that night. He has not won since, and emerges from the All-Star break at 3-8. The losing pitcher was Aaron Sanchez, who has not lost since and his 9-1 record earned him an appearance in the All-Star Game.The Blue Jays won the next two games of the series in April and hold a 2-1 edge on the season series when they visit the As for a three-game series on Friday.Toronto right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-4, 4.89 ERA) will oppose Oakland right-hander Daniel Mengden (1-4, 4.54 ERA).The Athletics left Toronto and lost 12 of their next 16 games. They lost seven of their final 10 games before the All-Star break and sit at 38-51 and are 15 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers in the American League West.I feel that the best of this team is yet to come, As third baseman Danny Valencia said. We havent played our best baseball yet.The Blue Jays still stalled around the .500 mark before entering the All-Star break on an 18-7 roll and were 51-40 at the break, third in the AL East and only two games out of first place. They currently occupy a wild-card spot and are 24-20 on the road,Our goal is still to win the division, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson said. We feel very comfortable. I think we were seven back at the break last year and now we are just two back. We feel like we are just now starting to play our type of baseball and feel very comfortable with the position we are in and moving forward.Donaldson is in his second season with the Blue Jays. The Athletics traded him to Toronto before the 2015 season and watched from afar as he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award.In 36 games since June 1, Donaldson has hit .376/.506/.722 with 10 homers and 34 RBI.This will be his second visit to his former home ballpark.Last year when the Blue Jays visited Oakland, he was 5-for-13 with a home run, two doubles and five RBI.As first baseman Yonder Alonso has batted .307/.367/.439 with three homers and 12 RBI in 36 games since June 1.Im very optimistic and I definitely feel were not that far away, Alonso said. With that being said, weve got a lot of work to do.I think we have a chance to be a lot better in the second half, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. We have guys back now as far as health goes. If we can stay healthy, we have the potential to have a lot better half than we had in the first half.While the As may be talking a good game of optimism, the Blue Jays have genuine hopes that they will continue their surge because they have accomplished what they have so far while Stroman has often struggled. They also have been without right fielder Jose Bautista, who has been out with turf toe since June 17 and is expected to return in late-July,Stroman has shown signs of regaining the form that made him the Opening Day starter. He is 5-4 with a 5.04 ERA in his past 15 starts but has made some adjustments and the results have been encouraging. He held the Kansas City Royals to three hits, one walk and two runs in eight innings in winning on July 6.That was as good as youre ever going to see him, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. He had everything working, really sharp. A really good breaking ball, you name it. He had starts in which he struggled, but the last two or three have been really good. I know he feels good about that, thats what weve been looking for.Stroman has faced the As once in his career, in 2014 at Oakland when he allowed three hits, three walks and no runs over seven innings. He struck out seven in the no decision and Oakland won 1-0 in 12 innings.Mengden, a 23-year-old who was called up on June 11, will get the start in the opener, replacing Rich Hill who was scratched because of a blister.Mengden will be making his seventh start. He allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings last Friday in a no-decision at Houston. Cheap Nike Baseball Jerseys . Speaking to the Chicago Tribune at baseballs Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Boras called the former home of the Expos a "tremendous environment" for baseball. Cheap MLB Jerseys USA . The defence is doing its part, too. Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half and the guys on the other side made sure that was enough, sending the Saints to a 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. . Radwanska, making her debut in the Seoul tournament, hit eight aces in a match that lasted 1 hour, 4 minutes at Olympic Park tennis stadium. "It was definitely a very good match -- I was playing really good tennis," Radwanska said.OTTAWA, Ontario -- Star Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber tested positive for cocaine before the Rio Olympics following a tryst with a woman he met on Craigslist.The 2015 world champion was permitted to compete in Brazil after it was determined he inadvertently ingested trace amounts of the banned substance through kissing. Barber called the positive test a complete shock.The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada made its decision Aug. 11, four days before Barber competed in Rio de Janeiro, where he finished 10th. The report wasnt released until Thursday.It was quite an ordeal going into the Olympics, but everything worked out the way it was supposed to, Barber said during a conference call.The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport proposed a four-year competition ban. Barber wasnt suspended but was stripped of his 2016 national title.This has been a learning experience for Shawn, Athletics Canada, the nations governing track and field body, said in a statement. He is a young athlete learning how to compete on the field of play, and prepare away from it.According to the report, Barber used cocaine July 8, the night before he won the Canadian title in Edmonton, Alberta. He had posted in the casual encounter section of Craigslist for a professional person to engage in a sexual rendezvous as a way to relieve stress. He specified he wantedd a woman who was drug- and disease-free, the report said. Cheap Baseball Jerseys Online. The woman, referred to as W in the report, testified that she consumed cocaine before she met Barber and then again in the bathroom of his hotel room. She said at his hearing he could not have known shed used the drug, and she felt horrible about what happened.The woman also said she had consumed a 26-ounce bottle of vodka that night and had four or five drinks before meeting Barber. She said he declined her offer of a drink. The two did not exchange money, the report said.Arbitrator Ross Dumoulin wrote in his decision that the encounter was a pre-meditated effort by Barber to have a sex with a stranger in a hotel room. Exercising utmost caution would require him to have made inquiries to satisfy himself that there was no cocaine involved, he added.Barber was a strong hope for a medal at the Rio Olympics after winning the 2015 world title in Beijing. But he struggled in the rainy conditions in Rio.Last fall, Barbers father, George, was banned by Athletics Canada. George Barber had acted as Shawns coach until the governing body learned of his 2007 criminal conviction on charges of having sex with a student while employed at a U.S. high school. ' ' '