VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Lions believe they are a better football team than their 6-4 record indicates. The Lions realize a win against the Montreal Alouettes Sunday at BC Place Stadium would help give some credence to that belief. But the players also know the road to proving themselves isnt going to get any easier as the CFL season progresses. "We can talk until were blue in the face but at the end of the day we know that numbers are the only thing that dont lie," defensive end Keron Williams said Saturday after B.C. held a light practice. "We cant keep going up and down the slope. We have to stay on an even keel ... to get on top of that mountain. Its not going to happen with us wavering and teetering." The Lions, who were beaten 37-29 by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last weekend, have lost two of their last three games. In their last meeting against Montreal on Aug. 22, the Lions blew a 27-1 half-time lead and lost 39-38. Nickleback Korey Banks said the Lions have been their own worst enemy. "Everything that possibly could go wrong went wrong," said Banks, who was involved in a fight with teammate Khreem Smith during practise this week. "Our quarterback is getting hit. Were messing up on every phase of the game at certain parts of the game. We havent played a full game yet." Coach Mike Benevides said his team must "find a level of consistency." "Now that we are in the second half of the season, we really need to assert ourselves as to who we are and what we want to be," said Benevides. Football players like to say their next game is the most important of the season. This week its more than a cliche for the Lions. Only two of B.C.s wins this year have come against teams with winning records. The Lions are third in the West behind the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Heading down the stretch the Lions play Saskatchewan three times and Calgary twice. "This is the biggest game of the season," said veteran halfback Ryan Phillips. "Im not saying that because its the next one. Im saying that because of the scenario that we are in. "We are behind two teams. These next games are important before we go into that stretch run against those two teams. Its very important for us to take care of the next few games. That way we are on the right track and go into that stretch with confidence. One player anxious to make a contribution is tailback Andrew Harris. After rushing for 1,112 yards last year, Harris has seen his production drop recently. He had just five carries for 10 yards in the loss against Hamilton. In his last four games Harris has carried the ball 35 times for 123 yards and no touchdowns. "The last four games have been the worst of my career as far as numbers," said Harris, who has rushed for 582 yards on 118 carries this season. "Its frustrating. "You want to bounce back and make an impact. Thats something I havent done the last couple of games." One reason Harris isnt seeing the ball as much is hes been asked to block for quarterback Travis Lulay. Defences have been exposing weaknesses in the B.C. offensive scheme, resulting in the Lions giving up 26 sacks this year compared to 30 all last season. "We have stuff in place to counteract that stuff," said Lulay. "Its going to be a matter of recognition and execution early in the game. "Its a group effort in beating that stuff." Montreal (4-7) is coming off a tough 37-30 loss to Toronto last week but still can climb into a second-place tie with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with a win over the Lions. "I expect a very tough ball game," said Jim Popp, Montreals coach and general manager. "Both teams are better than their records and both teams are still trying to find themselves." With quarterback Anthony Calvillo still sidelined with a concussion, Tanner Marsh will make his third CFL start. Marsh had a Cinderella performance when he threw for 329 yards after coming on in relief in the comeback win over B.C. Against Toronto last week, the clock struck midnight when he was intercepted three times. "They (Toronto) took us out of things that worked the last time, like the run game," said Popp. "We still made some big plays, just not consistently. Were still working on that. Theres still too many turnovers." Marsh took the Lions by surprise the first time the teams met. Phillips said that element of surprised is gone. "When you have film on people you get a better indication of what makes them successful and it gives us opportunities to make big plays on defence," said Phillips, who is tied with Banks for the lead among active CFL players with 37 interceptions. "You can play toward some peoples tendencies and things like that. You get a better read now that they are trying to do things and things they are comfortable doing." Montreal has chosen a tough place to try to avoid going 4-7 for the first time since they re-entered the league in 1996. The Als are 11-1 in their last 12 visits to Vancouver. cheap jerseys
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.Y. -- Bernhard Langer topped the leaderboard at 7 under when first-round play in the Dicks Sporting Goods Open was suspended because of rain Friday.ARLINGTON, Texas -- That extra time the Texas Rangers gave Yu Darvish after his last start made a huge difference. Darvish was in command again, matching his major-league high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings as the AL West-leading Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Friday night. "This time off, which was very positive for me, I was able to kind of reset my body and be able to pitch the way I want," Darvish said through his translator. "And going forward, I want to continue to have this type of production." After Jordan Schafers infield single to start the sixth, Darvish (8-4) struck out eight of the last 11 batters he faced -- including the side in the eighth against the heart of the Astros order. "The early part of the game, I was very careful throwing strikes and just feeling the rhythm of the game," Darvish said. "The second half, I gave it all and just went after them." The Japanese right-hander was given an extended break between starts after walking six and allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings in a 7-1 loss at Oakland eight days earlier. He was 1-3 with a 6.53 ERA his previous four starts with 18 walks in 20 2-3 innings -- all against teams he was facing for the second time in the majors. Darvish walked only two against Houston. He scattered seven hits and gave up two runs while throwing 76 of his 110 pitches for strikes. "He was aware of what was going on, how erratic he was," manager Ron Washington said. "Hes a very smart kid, hes been successful all his life. ... The time that he had off, thats what he worked on, commanding his fastball." Darvish is 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA in six starts at Rangers Ballpark. Take out the first two innings of his debut -- when he allowed five runs in what wound up being an 11-5 victory over Seattle -- and that home ERA dips to 2.13. He is the only pitcher in the majors with at least three starts at home to win every one of those games. Joe Nathan worked the ninth in a non-save situation, allowing a hit with two strikeouts. David Murphy lined a two-run single in a five-run fifth off Jordan Lyles (1-3), when the Rangers had two popups fall for hits after an error and a hit batter started the rally. The Rangers have won 12 of the last 16 games in the interleague series against Houston, which soon will be a division rival. The Astros are moving next season from the NL Central to the AL West, when they then face the prospect of seeing Darvish multiple times a season. "He throws a lot of pitches, throws his breeaking ball for a strike early in the count, spotted his pitches, spotted his fastball," Astros third baseman Chris Johnson said.dddddddddddd. Mitch Moreland hit his 10th homer for Texas, a towering solo shot pulled into the second deck of seats in right field in the eighth. Murphys liner to centre was the hardest-hit ball by the Rangers in their big inning. Ian Kinsler reached on a one-out throwing error by Johnson before Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch. The Rangers then had five consecutive singles, the first a soft liner by Michael Young that tied the game at 1. Adrian Beltre then hit a grounder out of reach of the shortstop to drive in the tiebreaking run. "You can call that inning my fault," Johnson said, referring to his error before all the bloops. "Thats baseball, if guys put the bat on ball, theyre going to fall in sometimes." Nelson Cruz hit a popup that dropped behind second base in front of a charging Schafer in centre field. Murphy lined a single up the middle before Yorvit Torrealba hit a blooper that dropped near the line in shallow right. "Although a couple of them were dunkers, in the box score, they look like line drives," Washington said. "Dunkers count too." Houston was ahead 1-0 in the third after Jose Altuve drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on a single by Jed Lowrie. Justin Maxwell hit a two-out solo homer, his seventh of the season, on the first pitch he got in the seventh. Lyles gave up five runs, three earned, and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander struck out one and walked two. "It was really too bad, because he said he doesnt feel like the games getting away from him," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "But he was cruising along so well and throwing the ball so well, and even some of those hits really werent stung, but they were still finding the holes." Notes: Darvish, who also struck out 11 May 6 at Cleveland, is the only Ranger to win his first six home starts. Only two pitchers in franchise have won more econsecutive home starts at any point in their carerhistory -- Fergie Jenkins (eight in 1975) and Rick Honeycutt seven in 1983). ... Texas slugger Josh Hamilton was out after being hospitalized for dehydration caused by an intestinal virus. ... The Rangers plan to purchase the contract of RHP Justin Grimm from Double-A Frisco before Saturdays game to start his major league debut. Rookie righty Lucas Harrell (6-4) goes for the Astros. ' ' '