Saturday, April 7, 2018

Rockies beat Braves on game-ending walk in 10th inning

A game that featured superb pitching and dazzling defense came down to a walk-off walk.
Tony Wolters drew a four-pitch bases-loaded walk off Arodys Vizcaino with two outs in the 10th inning, sending the Colorado Rockies to a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
"I was just looking middle-away, trying to get my pitch, put a hit out in the outfield," Wolters said, "and I never got that pitch."
He got mobbed by his teammates just the same.
"It's pretty cool having all my teammates come out and throw everything at me," said Wolters, who was doused with water.
After Carlos Gonzalez doubled down the left field line with one out, Vizcaino (1-1) struck out Ian Desmond and intentionally walked Gerardo Parra. The runners advanced on a wild pitch before Vizcaino walked Trevor Story to load the bases.
"I just knew that he didn't have a good feel with his fastball," Wolters said. "And once I saw that he was coming back with his fastball, I was like, `I'm going to take until I get two strikes and just feel him out because he doesn't have good command.'"
Facing Wolters with the bases full was "obviously a difficult situation," Vizcaino said. "Make any mistake and the game's over. Just one of those things. Pitches weren't falling in the zone."
"He kind of got out of whack and was having a hard time regrouping himself," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I thought with the breaking balls, when he walked the hitter before, maybe he was trying to get him to chase, get himself out. He kind of got out of whack there and it's kind of a tough spot to try to work your way back. He started out firing the ball really good and it kind of got away from him."
Wolters looked at four straight pitches out of the strike zone, making a winner out of Adam Ottavino (2-0). The right-hander escaped a jam in the ninth when shortstop Story leaped to snare a two-out line drive by Nick Markakis that otherwise would have brought home Ozzie Albies from third.
Albies also flashed some great defense late in the game.
After Ryan Flaherty tied it with a single in the ninth off Rockies closer Wade Davis, Atlanta's second baseman saved the game - momentarily - with a diving catch of DJ LeMahieu's line drive up the middle for a rally-snuffing double play. Wolters, who might have scored the winning run, instead was doubled off second base.
"That's the beauty of the game," Rockies manager Bud Black said of the pair of defensive gems by middle infielders. "You don't know what's going to happen - and we saw a walk-off walk."
Chad Bettis stood to get the win after giving up just one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings, but the Braves rallied against Davis in the ninth to erase a 2-1 deficit. It was his first blown save in five chances but he did limit the damage to give the Rockies a chance to win it.
COOLED OFF: The Braves went into the game with the major's most productive lineup, averaging eight runs a game and leading the majors with a .298 batting average and a .381 on-base percentage. But they were stifled by Bettis and the Rockies' refurbished bullpen until rallying in the ninth.
STILL UNBEATEN: Anibal Sanchez is unbeaten in six career starts against the Rockies. He allowed two runs and seven hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked a pair of batters before leaving with Atlanta trailing 2-0 after five innings.
Story homered for the second straight game, sending a fastball into the left field seats in the fourth, one inning after Nolan Arenado singled in a run .
Freddie Freeman's RBI double with two outs in the sixth made it 2-1 and chased Bettis.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Braves: 3B Johan Camargo (right oblique strain), who went 0 for 4 Friday while playing shortstop for Class A Florida, will move his rehab to Triple-A Gwinnett after DHing Saturday. "He feels good, health is not an issue," Snitker said. "It's just about wanting to see some pitches."
Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon battled through a stiffening back and was replaced by defensive sub Mike Tauchman to start the 10th.
UP NEXT
Atlanta sends LHP Sean Newcomb (0-1) to the mound Sunday in the series finale, and Colorado counters with LHP Kyle Freeland (0-1).

DAVIS PUTS UP 90 POINTS TO WIN ROUND 2 IN SIOUX FALLS

In front of a sold-out crowd, 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) won Round 2 of The 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Invitational at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Saturday night. 
With just his second 90-point ride of the season, Davis rode Nailed (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) for 90.25 points. The No. 9 ranked bull rider in the world standings is a mere 750 world points behind current world leader Ramon de Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
The round win was Davis’ first since winning the championship round in Chicago in January. For his effort, he earned 100 world points and a $3,580 paycheck.
Brennon Eldred (Sulphur, Oklahoma) brought the crowd to its feet with an 89-point ride aboard Twinkle Toes (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) for the second-place finish. The ride pushed him two spots higher in the world standings from No. 19 to No.17. Eldred earned 60 points toward the world standings and $2,750. He is one of only three riders to have covered both bulls so far in Sioux Falls.
Claudio Montanha Jr. (Ribeirao dos Indios, Brazil) took third place on Saturday night with an 88.5-point ride. The Brazilian cowboy rode Stunt Man Ray (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) to move him from No. 4 in the world standings to tie for No. 3 with Cody Nance (Paris, Tennessee). Montanha Jr. took home 50 world points and $2,000.
Canadian Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan) electrified the arena with an emotional ride for 87.5 points. He earned 40 world points and $1,300 aboard Clover Mountain Beau (J&C Cattle Company). Buttar’s fourth-place performance helped him climb two spots from No. 18 to No. 16 in the world standings.
In a tie to round out the Top 5, Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil), three-time World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) and two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) recorded identical 87-point rides. Aparecido rode Coopers Comet (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) to maintain his hold at No. 5 in the world standings, while Alves covered Catfish John (Dakota Rodeo- Chad Berger/Clay Struve/ Miller) to maintain his rank at No. 25 in the world. The arena erupted as Mauney made the eight aboard Rocket Man (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) to climb two spots in the world standings to No. 27. Each bull rider took home 16.66 world points and $633.33.
The best bull riders in the world will return to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Sunday, April 8 for Championship Sunday and Round 3 of the First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Invitational.
25th PBR: Unleash The Beast - FIRST PREMIER BANK/PREMIER BANKCARD INVITATIONALDenny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, SDEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 89-0-0-0-89.00-100 Points.
(tie). Cooper Davis, 0-90.25-0-0-90.25-100 Points.
3. Brennon Eldred, 85.25-89-0-0-174.25-62.5 Points.
4. Jess Lockwood, 87.75-0-0-0-87.75-60 Points.
5. Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-88.5-0-0-88.50-50 Points.
(tie). Nathan Burtenshaw, 86.75-0-0-0-86.75-50 Points.
7. Kaique Pacheco, 86.25-84.75-0-0-171.00-40 Points.
(tie). Dakota Buttar, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-40 Points.
9. Emilio Resende, 85.75-0-0-0-85.75-30 Points.
10. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-87-0-0-87.00-16.66 Points.
(tie). Silvano Alves, 0-87-0-0-87.00-16.66 Points.
(tie). J.B. Mauney, 0-87-0-0-87.00-16.66 Points.
13. Fabiano Vieira, 85.5-0-0-0-85.50-15 Points.
14. Lucas Divino, 85.25-85.5-0-0-170.75-2.5 Points.
15. Ramon de Lima, 84.75-0-0-0-84.75
(tie). Valdiron de Oliveira, 0-84.75-0-0-84.75
17. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 82.75-0-0-0-82.75
(tie). Juan Carlos Contreras, 0-82.75-0-0-82.75
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Tanner Byrne, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Antonio Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Joao Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Marcilio, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Tye Chandler, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Campbell, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Lindomar Lino, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ueberson Duarte, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Rubens Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Stormy Wing, 0-0-0-0-0.00

Padres 1B Hosmer overruns popup in 10th, Astros win 1-0

Four-time Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer charged in, called off the other infielders, and camped out to catch an inning-ending popup.
Before the ball even hit the ground, he knew he'd screwed up.
Hosmer overran the towering popup, allowing the ball to fall without being touched and giving the Houston Astros a bizarre 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
"Just overran it," Hosmer said. "I put my head down trying to make up some ground. By the time I looked up, it was past me. It's on me."
A single by Brian McCann and a steal by pinch runner Derek Fisher - ruled safe after a video review flipped the call - set up the unusual ending.
Alex Bregman hit the pop, and Hosmer, signed to a rich free agent deal by the Padres this offseason, ran in to make the play.
But with reliever Phil Maton and third baseman Christian Villanueva staying out of the way, Hosmer suddenly realized he was in trouble and had no chance to catch it. The ball plopped onto the grass a few feet behind him, between the plate, mound and first base.
Fisher scored without a throw on what was scored as a single.
"That's one of the good things about this team - we don't take anything for granted," Bregman said. "He was busting his butt from second base. He could have easily jogged and said whatever, but that's not how we play here. We play hard and Derek did a great job."
Bregman had flung his bat aside in disgust after popping up with a full count and two outs.
"I thought that I had just missed it and I should've crushed it," Bregman said.
Last October at the same park, Bregman lined a single that scored the pinch-running Fisher from second in the 10th inning to lift Houston over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series.
"That's been a pretty good combo for us," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I'd rather win the game a little earlier, but there's some comfort when Bregman is up to bat and Fisher is on second."
Chris Devenski (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win. Robbie Erlin (0-1) took the loss.
Gerrit Cole struck out 11 in seven sharp innings for Houston, giving up five hits and walking none. Since being acquired by the champion Astros, he has given up one run in 14 innings and fanned 22, a franchise record for the most strikeouts through the first two starts.
The Padres struggled to make contact with Cole's offspeed pitches. For a second straight start, Cole had at least 20 swinging strikes. In his Astros debut against the Rangers, he had a career-high 21 swinging strikes and had 20 on Saturday night against San Diego.
"I thought the curveball was good, but sometimes the slider was better than the curveball," Cole said. "We had both sides of the plate with the fastball, which is kind of what sets everything up."
Padres starter Bryan Mitchell worked around six walks in 5 2/3 innings, allowing three hits. The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth, but Bregman flied out to end the threat.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Padres: Reliever Kirby Yates exited the game with ankle discomfort after throwing just one pitch in the eighth. ... RHP Dinelson Lamet played catch up to 90 feet and will likely do the same again on Sunday as he continues to make progress in his recovery from elbow soreness that started in late March.
Astros: Houston activated RP James Hoyt from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Fresno. ... 1B Yuli Gurriel, on the disabled list after breaking his hand in February, was given an off day but will play the next three games on his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi.
THEY SAID IT
Hinch on the bizarre nature of the game's ending: "If you see enough games, I guess you see everything. I had never really seen that before. That wasn't very predictable."
UP NEXT
Padres: Tyson Ross (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will start for San Diego in the final game of the three-game set. He earned a win in an 8-4 victory over Colorado this week.
Astros: Charlie Morton (1-0, 0.00) allowed just three hits and two walks in a strong season debut where he blanked the Orioles in six innings. He's 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight starts against San Diego.

BUTTAR AND BYRNE RIDE WITH HEAVY HEARTS IN SIOUX FALLS

Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational Saturday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Buttar and Byrne ride with heavy hearts
Dakota Buttar finished Round 2 in fourth place with his 87.5-point ride on Clover Mountain Beau, but the 25-year-old’s thoughts were with his native country north of the border.
Buttar lives only 3.5 hours from Tisdale, Saskatchewan, which was the sight of the tragic Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus crash on Friday night that has left 15 dead.
The hockey community, as well as all of Canada and most of the world, has been left saddened and in mourning after the bus carrying a team of 29 players, ranging in age from 16 to 21 years old, and coaches was struck by a semi-trailer as the team was on its way to Nipawin for a playoff game. Fourteen people were also injured.
“It is pretty sad that many young kids have been killed,” Buttar, who played minor hockey until he was 18, said. “It has been hard to go on social media and see that. Everyone is talking about it. So many young lives that had bright futures ahead of them.”
Tanner Byrne, who was bucked off by Rebound in 5.97 seconds, posted his support on his social media accounts late on Friday night and on Saturday afternoon.
Byrne said before Round 2 that he doesn’t believe he knows anyone directly on the team, but that the crash certainly strikes a chord to him as he grew up playing hockey in Saskatchewan and traveling to hockey games on similar buses.
“It is terrible man,” Byrne said. “The accident was just outside of Tisdale, which is an hour-and-a-half from my house. Growing up being a hockey player, and playing developmental hockey, we were in those buses all the time. Anyone from Saskatchewan or Canada that is a hockey player knows most of your hours are spent on that bus.”
The crash reminded him of the one that his friend and former NHL hockey player and PBR supporter Sheldon Kennedy was a part of on Dec. 30, 1986, that took the lives of four players from the Swift Current Broncos.
This weekend was also was another harsh reminder to Byrne how quickly a life can be taken away from someone.
“To hear news like that is an utter tragedy,” Byrne said. “Those kids were 16 to 20 years old and had their whole futures ahead of them. It was cut down. It makes you realize anything can happen and to hold your loved ones close. You never know what can happen in life and that is evidence of it.
“I can’t imagine what the families and everyone is going through up there. It is brutal. A brutal accident.”
Davis wins Round 2 with first 90-point ride in 83 days
It had been 83 days since 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis surpassed the 90-point threshold. He had also only posted one qualified ride on the 25thPBR: Unleash The Beast during that same timeframe.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see Davis let out a sigh of relief as he pumped his fist into the air following a sensational 90.25-point ride on Nailedto win Round 2.  
“It is night and day compared to what it has been,” Davis said. “It has been zero. To be 90 on my first ride back, man it feels good.”
Davis nearly lost his bull rope leaving the bucking chute and had to regain position in the opening 2 seconds.
“I was kind of fighting to get back to the middle the whole time and I figured while I was doing that i would go ahead and throw my leg up in the air,” Davis said. “I don’t know. It felt really good.”
Davis earned 100 points for the round win and the No. 9 ranked bull rider trails world leader Ramon de Lima by 750 points heading into Round 3.
The Jasper, Texas, bull rider has drawn Wild Side (4-1, PBR UTB) for championship Sunday. Wild Side bucked off Colten Jesse in 4.34 seconds in Round 1.
Davis could have easily been in the event lead if not for his 7.6-second buckoff against Fire & Smoke
“Naturally, I would like to make the whistle,” Davis said. “But I felt good and that was something I hadn’t felt in a while. Feeling good is the main thing. Being confident in myself, I can’t take it as a loss.”
Another rider that let out a sigh of relief was Claudio Montanha Jr.
The No. 3 bull rider in the world standings rode Stunt Man Ray for 88.5 points and 50 world points.
Montanha is only 154.17 points behind Lima in the world standings and will face Sitting Bull (3-2, PBR UTB) in Round 3. Sitting Bull bucked off Stormy Wing in 4.82 seconds in Round 1.
Eldred leading heading into championship Sunday
Davis is chasing Brennon Eldred in the event standings as Eldred continues to prove this weekend that his partially torn MCL in his right knee won’t slow his mojo.
Eldred finished second in the round and is leading the event average after riding Twinkle Toes for 89 points.
“That bull is kind of tricky,” Eldred said. “He is kind of tricky and hops, skips in the front and tries to get you down. Man, that felt really good.”
The 23-year-old began his weekend with 85.25 points on Embers in Round 1.
Kaique Pacheco (2-for-2, 171 points) and Lucas Divino (2-for-2, 170.75 points) are the only other two riders perfect in Sioux Falls.
Pacheco has ridden six consecutive bulls after riding Line Me Up for 84.75 points in Round 2.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Round 2 behind Davis, Eldred, Montanha and Buttar was a trio of PBR veterans. Eduardo Aparecido (87 points on Cooper’s Comet), Silvano Alves (87 points on Catfish John) and J.B. Mauney (87 points on Rocket Man) each picked up 16.66 world points.
Eldred, though, is the man to beat heading into Championship Sunday.
He earned 60 points toward the world standings on Saturday and his first event win Sunday would potentially push him inside the Top 10.
Eldred has ridden six of his last eight bulls and has drawn Milky Jones (19-5, PBR UTB) for Round 3.
“I am tired of waiting on that gold buckle,” Eldred concluded. “It is not going to come and get me, so I guess I better go get it. I am tired of saying, ‘Oh, I will get it next year. Oh I will get it next year.’”
Injury Updates
Emilio Resende did not compete in Round 2 and is out for the remainder of the weekend because of his dislocated left shoulder from Round 1.
Matador Jerky bullfighter Shorty Gorham’s X-rays on his right foot came back negative and showed no fracture. Gorham is out for the remainder of Sioux Falls, but he hopes to return for next weekend’s Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires.
Behind the Chutes: Sioux Falls Round 1 (4-6-18)
Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the First PREMIER Bank PREMIER Bankcard Invitational Friday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Lockwood returns with second-place finish in Round 1
It was a night of multitude of successes for reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood.
Not only did the 20-year-old feel little to no pain during his 87.75-point ride on Smoke Signals, but he also successfully landed on his feet with his get-off and walked away unscathed and a second-place finish in the round.
“I felt awesome, and, shoot, I even landed on my feet,” Lockwood said. “That is a rare sighting for me. If you land on your feet that is going to prevent injuries for everything.”
The third-year pro earned 60 points toward the world standings in Round 1 to move up to 11th in the world standings.
“I knew that bull was going to be good, but second jump out I was like, ‘Holy crap he is going right,’ and he swapped it back around the left hard. Then I was like, ‘Alright, give it to him.’
“I ride better when I spur bulls, and I let him have it.”
Lockwood had missed the Ak-Chin Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, two weeks ago because of a bone bruise and sprained ligaments in his riding hand.
“I am excited my hand didn’t hurt,” Lockwood said. “On Wednesday, my ring finger and middle finger started cramping, and Dave (Edwards of PBR Sports Medicine) told me that is good because that means the other part is healed. My muscles had been compensating for the other one being hurt for so long. Now that the other one is feeling good, I can feel I was compensating and it was like I over-worked the others and it was cramping.”
Lockwood made his PBR premier series debut in Sioux Falls three years ago with a seventh-place showing.
So far he is off to a good start this weekend in front of the Lockwood-friendly crowd at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
Lockwood will face I Always Stand (37-7, PBR UTB) in Round 2 on Saturday night. 
It is a great matchup for Lockwood, who rode I Always Stand for 92 points in Bismarck, North Dakota, during summer of 2016 Velocity Tour event.
“Heck, any event is awesome to win,” Lockwood said. “But it makes a difference when you are up north when family can come. I have my dad, my mom and my new girlfriend here. I just feel great.”
Leme continues to rack up round wins
Jose Vitor Leme’s mental clock went off around 3-4 seconds on Friday night, and once that happened he knew it was time to really turn things up a notch.
Leme got aggressive and churned out a round-winning 89 points aboard Red Bandana to win himself a PBR-best seventh round win of 2018.
“For sure, it is great when you feel like at about 2-3-4 seconds you have the ride and you have a good seat,” Leme said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “I really try to do something different just to create more points. It is really good when you feel that way. You know it is already over and are just having fun.”
Leme has been almost dominant when bull’s turn into his left riding hand. Once Red Bandana did that Friday night, it was lights out.
The Ribas Do Rio Pardo, Brazil, bull rider has ridden seven of his last 10 bulls with four round wins.
Leme earned 100 world points with his ride on Red Bandana and now trails world leader Ramon de Lima by 375 points.
Lima is sitting in ninth place in Sioux Falls after riding Check Mate for 84.75 points in Round 1.
The 27-year-old takes on Moto Moto (20-7, PBR UTB) in Round 2, while Leme will look to continue his march to the top of the standings when he faces Stretch (2-1, PBR UTB).
Burtenshaw rolling on full cylinders
Team Australia coach Troy Dunn has yet to announce his roster for the upcoming Global Cup in Sydney, Australia, but it will be no surprise when Nathan Burtenshaw is named to the team.
The highest-ranking Australian bull rider in the world continued to roll on Friday by riding Aristokat for 86.75 points.
“That was a little bull away from my hand,” Burtenshaw said. “Usually I ride better away from my hand, but I don’t know. I think I am just starting to settling in a little bit. I am not getting freaking worried about anything.”
Burtenshaw has now ridden four consecutive bulls dating back to his career-best, 3-for-3 third-place finish two weeks ago in Glendale, Arizona.
He has earned 320 points toward the world standings with those four rides to move from 36th in the world standings to 23rd.
The 23-year-old has also put together his best run to date on the premier series despite a left groin injury.
“It is sore now, but it is getting better slowly,” Burtenshaw said. “I have been doing therapy on it with an ultrasound twice a week.”
Burtenshaw is slated to face Livin’ Large in Round 2.
It will be a rematch between the two athletes after Livin Large knocked Burtenshaw out after the 8-second whistle three weeks ago at the Ty Murray Invitational. It appeared as if Burtenshaw had made a great bull ride, but an instant replay review of the ride showed Burtenshaw to have slapped the bull when he was leaving the bucking chutes.
Rounding out the Top 5 behind Leme, Lockwood, Burtenshaw was Kaique Pacheco (86.25 points on Red Sails in The Sunset) and Emilio Resende(85.75 points on Chute Boss)
Injury Updates
Resende will likely be unable to compete on Saturday night after dislocating his left shoulder during his ride on Chute Boss. The 30-year-old is doubtful for Round 2 according to Dr. Tandy Freeman.
In other injury news, Matador Jerky Bullfighter Shorty Gorham may have sustained a broken right foot after being stepped on by Sarah’s Terror. Gorham is out for the remainder of the weekend and will need to get X-rays to determine the extent of his injuries.
Sioux Falls draw: Eldred looks to pick up where he left off (4-4-18)
Brennon Eldred went from being 8 seconds away from winning his first career premier series event three weeks ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to being sent home with a partially torn MCL in his right knee.
Eldred now hopes to regain the momentum he lost from bucking off two-time World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser when he returns to competition Friday at the First Premier Bank Premier Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“It is not 100 percent, but it feels better,” Eldred said. “I have been riding the bike and stuff. The way it is progressing, by the end of the week it will feel pretty good.”
The No. 19 ranked bull rider in the world had ridden his first three bulls at the Ty Murray Invitational in impressive fashion before bucking off Bruiser. Eldred had ridden White Omega (87.75 points), Mac’s Barbeque (88.25 points) and Chocolate Shake (86.75 points) before selecting Bruiser with the top selection of the championship-round draft.
Eldred, who was recently named to Team USA, had entered the event 6-for-23 on the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast after struggling with a torn groin from the 2017 Global Cup event in Edmonton.
The 23-year-old admitted it was frustrating to have to sit out a week after finally feeling like he was healthy again.
“It sucked for sure,” Eldred said. “Coming off the groin injury at the first of the year, and finally getting over that and finally starting to feel good. It is not the first time I have been hurt. I definitely know how it goes and what can happen. It is just part of it.”
Eldred had surgery on his right knee four years ago to repair a torn ACL and meniscus.
The Sulphur, Oklahoma, native is slated to face Embers (0-1, PBR UTB) in Round 1 on Friday night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. Fans can watch the event exclusively on RidePass beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Also returning from injury in Sioux Falls is World Champions Cooper Davisand Jess Lockwood, as well as Emilio Resende and Stormy Wing.
Wing is down to his final guaranteed event on the premier series before being relegated to the PBR’s developmental tours.
The eight-time PBR World Finals qualifier needs to pick up 245 world points to crack the Top 35. He is 0-for-15 on the premier series and has missed the last two events.
There are eight additional alternates also trying to earn full-time spots on tour – No. 38 Cody Campbell (-26.67 points behind No. 35 Juan Carlos Contreras), No. 39 Colten Jesse (-30 points), No. 40 Paulo Lima (-44.17 points), No. 41 Lindomar Lino (-55 points), No. 42 Wallace de Oliveira(-57.5 points), No. 43 Ueberson Duarte (-77.5 points) and No. 44 Rubens Barbosa (-88.34 points).  
Contreras is holding onto that No. 35 ranking with 285 world points. He has drawn Heat Wave (6-0, PBR UTB) for Friday night.
Still out of competition because of injuries or personal decision is No. 2 Luciano de Castro (torn right MCL), No. 6 Dener Barbosa (broken right foot), No. 8 Cody Teel (broken left ankle) No. 10 Ryan Dirteater (torn right meniscus), No. 11 Derek Kolbaba (torn right ACL/MCL), No. 12 Guilherme Marchi (fractured sternum/broken rib/right sternoclavicular sprain), No. 16 Gage Gay (right reconstructive knee surgery) and No. 28 Fraser Babbington (ineligible).
World leader Ramon de Lima will try to break out of his 3-for-11 slump when he squares off vs. Check Mate (0-0, PBR UTB) in Round 1.
Check Mate is making his PBR debut after going 13-0 on the rodeo trail. He bucked off four-time PRCA champion Sage Kimzey at the NFR last year in 3.4 seconds.
Chad Berger’s bovine athlete was marked 47.5 points, according to ProBullstats, at the San Angelo, Texas, rodeo last month for disposing of Cody Rostockyj.
World No. 2 Bull Pearl Harbor is slated to compete in the championship round, while 2017 World Champion Bull contender TLW’s Big Cat is making his season debut in Round 3.

Minor freezes up Jays for 1st win as starter since '14

Mike Minor didn't think about Saturday's significance until his parents texted him after the game.
Minor pitched two-hit ball over six innings to win a start for the first time since 2014 and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 in one of the coldest games ever at Globe Life Park.
The 30-year-old Minor hadn't started and gotten a victory since Aug. 24, 2014, while with the Atlanta Braves. He missed the 2015 and '16 seasons with a torn labrum and was a reliever last year with the Kansas City Royals.
He didn't realize it had been that long until he got the text from his parents.
"It was a big feat," Minor Said. "At the time, I wasn't thinking about it."
It was 42 degrees when Minor threw the first pitch, and he froze up Toronto's hitters throughout the game. Minor (1-1) took a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing a one-out triple to Kevin Pillar. Steve Pearce homered an inning later for Toronto's final hit of the game. Minor had seven strikeouts and two walks.
Texas scored four two-out runs in the fifth inning, all charged to Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (0-1). Joey Gallo pulled a two-run double past first base, then scored when Jurickson Profar doubled to right in the next at-bat. Juan Centeno singled to right to break open what had been a 1-0 game.
The coldest start to a game at Globe Life Park was 38 degrees on April 7, 2007, when Texas beat the Boston Red Sox 8-4. The weather required Minor to essentially abandon his fastball, which he had little feel for, and rely on his breaking pitches and changeup.
"He stuck with what was working for him," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "It was electric stuff."
"He was pounding the zone on a cold night for the most part," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Minor walked two of his first three batters. Yangervis Solarte then hit into a double play started by Profar, who played third base in place of Adrian Beltre - Banister said the 39-year-old Beltre in part because of the cold.
Stroman allowed five runs, six hits and five walks.
"I'm the last one to ever blame anything on the weather," he said. "I wasn't good today."
Kevin Jepsen and Jake Diekman closed out the game for Texas by combining for three hitless innings.
TAKING THE FIFTH
Gallo drew two walks after getting just one previous free pass this season. Gallo hit fifth in the lineup after hitting second in Texas' previous nine game.
"Joey did a great job tonight taking some pitches, seeing some pitches and getting himself in some hitter's counts," Banister said.
HONORING HUMBOLDT
Stroman wrote "HUMBOLDT BRONCOS!" and "SK" on his cap to honor the victims of the Canadian youth hockey bus accident Friday that killed 15. A moment of silence was held before the game. Stroman said he will auction the cap.
SHORT HOPS
Profar got his first two hits of the season after starting 0 for 7. ... Randal Grichuk went 0 for 3, extending his hitless streak to a career-long 22 at-bats. ... Elvis Andrus, with two singles, has hit safely in nine of 10 games.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Blue Jays: SS Aledmys Diaz (back) played the entire game after leaving Tuesday's game and went 0-for-3.
Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette (back) returned to the club after making back-to-back rehab appearances Thursday and Friday with Double-A Frisco. He is eligible to be activated at any time.
UP NEXT
Blue Jays: LHP Jaime Garcia (0-0, 1.50 ERA) allowed one earned run in six innings in his season debut Monday against the White Sox.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.38) has 18 strikeouts, which led the American League going into Saturday's play.

Suarez powers Reds past Pirates 7-4

The Cincinnati Reds have struggled to come up with big hits in key situations so far this season.
Eugenio Suarez stepped up Saturday night.
Suarez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Reds cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 7-4 victory.
"When you win a really good game like this, everyone feels good in the clubhouse," Suarez said. "Personally, I felt great. I was trying to find some holes and I put good swings on some balls and just tried to help us win."
Pittsburgh opened the season with six wins in seven games and then jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Cincinnati in the second. But the Reds chipped away at the deficit before Suarez finished the job in just their second victory.
Joey Votto hit a sacrifice fly in the third, and Jesse Winker added an RBI single in the fifth. Suarez then tied it at 4 with a two-run single off Dovydas Neverauskas with two out in the sixth.
"The elusive two-out, multi-run base hit," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "We've been waiting for some of those. The big one was certainly the home run, but the two-run single was a big one, too, because it enabled us to get to our bullpen with a tie game and those guys did a great job."
Suarez came up again with two on in the eighth and drove a 0-1 fastball from George Kontos (0-1) over the wall in left. He finished with three hits.
Wandy Peralta (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Raisel Iglesias worked the ninth for his second save.
"I thought they pitched really well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It wasn't about our approach, it was that the pitching was really hard to hit from my perspective."
Cincinnati right-hander Sal Romano allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out one and walked one.
Corey Dickerson hit a two-run double for Pittsburgh in the first. Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly in the second, and Adam Frazier had an RBI single.
But Cincinnati's pitching tightened up after that, retiring 16 straight Pirates from the third through eighth innings.
Chad Kuhl struck out seven in five innings for Pittsburgh. He was charged with two runs and five hits.
ANOTHER SHOT
Pirates left-hander Steven Brault will remain in the starting rotation after pitching five effective innings in a 5-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday. Brault made a spot start in place of injured right-hander Joe Musgrove.
The Pirates are off Tuesday, and could have gone with a four-man rotation until April 15, but Hurdle wanted to give Brault another shot.
"This is a guy that we believe is going to be a starter," Hurdle said. "Right now, he's got an opportunity to do it."
THINKING OF HUMBOLDT
Reds first baseman Joey Votto, a Toronto native, had "Humboldt Broncos" written on his cleats in honor of the victims of the fatal bus accident Friday involving Saskatchewan's Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.
TRAINING ROOM
Reds: OF Scott Schebler (right elbow) missed his fourth straight game after being hit by a pitch Sunday against Washington. The impact did damage to the ulnar nerve in Schebler's elbow and he is dealing with a lack of feeling in his hand as result. The Reds are still contemplating a move to the disabled list.
Pirates: RF Gregory Polanco was a late scratch with right foot discomfort after fouling a pitch off his foot on Friday night. He is day to day. Frazier replaced him in the lineup. ... Musgrove (right shoulder strain) will begin throwing next week in Chicago.
UP NEXT
Reds: Tyler Mahle (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will pitch the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Mahle, 23, will be making just his sixth career start, but it'll be his third against Pittsburgh. He made his major league debut against the Pirates last August.
Pirates: Jameson Taillon (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will make his second start of the season. He tied a career high with nine strikeouts against the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

McClutch! McCutchen HR in 14th lifts Giants over Dodgers 7-5

Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer to cap a 12-pitch at-bat in the 14th inning, giving him a career-high six hits and the San Francisco Giants a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
McCutchen fell behind Wilmer Font 1-2 before fouling off seven pitches. He then turned on a 2-2 pitch and drove it into the seats in left field, scoring Kelby Tomlinson and Joe Panik, who both singled off Font (0-2).
McCutchen drove in four runs and raised his batting average from .083 to .258. The 2013 NL MVP got a hearty ovation from Giants fans for the walk-off blast, his first big moment with San Francisco since being acquired from Pittsburgh in an offseason blockbuster.
"Finally showed up today. Finally," McCutchen said. "It's only what, Game 7, but when you're not getting hits, it feels like it's forever. Feels good to show up today and do the job."
Buster Posey also homered for the Giants, who wasted leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3 before winning on McCutchen's shot. Panik added three hits and Austin Jackson had two.
Roberto Gomez retired three batters for his first major league win. The Giants emptied their bullpen by using nine relievers.
"They kept us in the ballgame," McCutchen said.
The Dodgers had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the 14th when Logan Forsythe singled in Yasiel Puig.
The game lasted 5 hours, 16 minutes after beginning two hours later than originally scheduled due to heavy rains that forced the postponement of Friday's game. It was the sixth rainout in AT&T Park history and the first since 2006.
Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts was down to one reliever when the game ended. Roberts also used two starting pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, as pinch hitters.
Chase Utley homered, Corey Seager had two hits and reached base five times, and Cody Bellinger added a pair of singles for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are 2-6, matching their worst start since 1976.
Utley homered in the seventh, his first of the season.
Posey's home run off starter Rich Hill was the first of the season for the Giants cleanup hitter and first since Aug. 8, 2017.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Dodgers: RHP Josh Fields pitched a scoreless inning after being reinstated from the paternity list before the game. RHP Zach Neal designated for assignment after originally being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The change was made after the team claimed RHP Alec Asher off waivers from Baltimore.
UP NEXT
LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 2.25) of the Dodgers faces LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 5.79) on Sunday in a rematch of opening day starters. Kershaw lost the first round despite allowing one run over six innings while Blach owns a career 1.41 ERA against Los Angeles.