Houston Rockets’ new coach, GM say goal remains the same for franchise: NBA championship

After an offseason of major change for the Houston Rockets, the team’s new general manager and head coach emphasized that the franchise’s primary goal remains the same: Chase a championship with a roster that features perennial MVP candidate James Harden as the franchise centerpiece.

“For the last eight years or so, our goal has been to win a championship because we had James Harden,” general manager Rafael Stone, a longtime Rockets front office employee promoted after Daryl Morey’s resignation, said during a virtual news conference to introduce recently hired head coach Stephen Silas. “We’ve still got James Harden. Our goal is still to win a championship, and if you’ve got him, you’re halfway there.

“It’s incumbent on me and Stephen and the whole team to figure out the rest of the whole, but the key piece is there.”

Silas, 47, whose two decades of experience as an NBA assistant coach include most recently serving as Rick Carlisle’s offensive coordinator with the Dallas Mavericks, was selected from a pool of candidates the Rockets interviewed to replace Mike D’Antoni.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

D’Antoni, who opted not to attempt to return to the Rockets after his contract expired at the end of the season, left Houston with a franchise-record .682 winning percentage, having gone 217-101 over four regular seasons. The Rockets won at least one playoff series in each season under D’Antoni, advancing to the 2018 Western Conference finals.

Silas, who confirmed that former head coach John Lucas would return to the Rockets’ staff after being a finalist in Houston’s head-coaching search, embraces the expectations that come with inheriting a roster that features a pair of recent MVPs in Harden and Russell Westbrook.3

“For me, it being my first head-coaching experience and being in a win-now situation, that’s great,” Silas said. “I’m a win-now coach. To not have to deal with growing and all that type of stuff, to think championship right away, is exciting for me. And I’m prepared for it and ready for it.”

Silas, who had discussions with Harden and Westbrook as part of the interview process, said he plans to make “tweaks” but not major changes to Houston’s unique offensive system. The Rockets rely heavily on isolations — bucking the leaguewide trend — primarily because Harden is arguably the best one-on-one player in NBA history.

According to NBA.com, Harden has had more isolation plays than any other team in each of the past two seasons. He averaged 14.1 isolation possessions per game last season — the Rockets (22.6) and Portland Trail Blazers (11.2) were the only teams to average double-digit isos per game — and produced 1.12 points per possession on those plays. Westbrook (7.4 isos per game, 0.87 points per possession on those plays) ranked second in the league in isolation usage.

“They were sixth in offense, and for me to come in and make wholesale changes, that doesn’t make sense to me,” Silas said, referring to the Rockets’ rank in offensive efficiency with an average of 112.5 points per 100 possessions. “What I will do is try to make it a little bit easier on those guys, put in a few little actions that will make the defense have to make decisions and make them a little bit harder to guard. Be a little bit more versatile on the offensive end and, again, let those guys to their strengths, but make tweaks here and there so we can make that jump from the sixth-best offensive team to first [or] second-best offensive team. Hopefully, playing up the floor, letting those guys pass ahead and attack defenses before they’re set, getting defenses on the move early in possessions and keeping them on the move, that sort of thing.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“Not so much kind of stand around and iso kind of stuff, even though there will be that and there will be times for that, because that’s what [Harden and Westbrook] do well. I’m not going to take away from what they did well as a group. I’m just going to add to it and enhance it.”

Stone said he anticipates a roster with “more optionality” entering next season after the Rockets played exclusively small ball following the four-team trade in February that brought forward Robert Covington to Houston at the price of center Clint Capela and a first-round pick.

“We’re definitely not going into this offseason saying, ‘We don’t want anyone over 6-7,'” Stone said. “We want really good basketball players.”

Stone said the Rockets didn’t necessarily plan to play small all the time last season, but they ended up there because they prioritized talent. Sources have told ESPN that the Rockets hoped to trade for a backup big man after dealing Capela and committing to 6-foot-5 P.J. Tucker as their starting center and were particularly optimistic regarding ultimately fruitless talks with the Oklahoma City Thunder about Nerlens Noel, a free agent this offseason.

Deshaun Watson: Would’ve been hell if Texans traded Will Fuller

The Houston Texans took offers for wide receiver Will Fuller V before the Nov. 3 trade deadline but ultimately did not find a deal that suited them, with interim head coach Romeo Crennel saying the speedy playmaker wouldn’t be traded “for peanuts.”

If Fuller had been traded, it wouldn’t have sat well with the Texans’ most important player: quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“It would have been hell if they would have did that, for sure,” Watson said. “Honestly. I’m glad to continue to play with Will. We’ve been making a lot of big, big plays since I came into this league, [and we’re] going to continue to do that as we continue to go the rest of this year and hopefully the rest of our careers.”
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Fuller and Watson’s impressive chemistry was on display Sunday in the Texans’ 27-25 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watson’s trust in Fuller led to a 77-yard touchdown, on which the quarterback lofted the ball down the right sideline and trusted his playmaker to go get it. Fuller did, as he often has when the two try to connect for a big play.

Sunday marked the sixth straight game in which Fuller has caught a touchdown. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Fuller’s streak is the longest of the season and the longest streak by any player since Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass in eight straight games in 2018.4

Fuller, who is playing on his fifth-year option, said “it really sucked” to be “shopped around like that.”

“Just giving this organization my all, coming to work every day, very unselfish player, do everything they ask, and then, just to be shopped around … I did feel a certain type of way,” Fuller said. “But like I said, I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to play with Deshaun and continue to try to get wins with this organization.”

When the pending free agent was asked whether he wants to stay in Houston, he said, “I’m just focused on staying healthy and helping my team win.”

Midway through the season, Fuller has 36 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns. He already has more touchdowns this year than he had in either of his past two seasons.

Watson and Fuller have had tremendous success when on the field together, but Fuller has dealt with injuries throughout his NFL career, missing 22 games in his first four seasons. Fuller has played in all eight of the Texans’ games this season.

All along, Crennel stressed that while the Texans would listen to trade offers, he wasn’t interested in letting Fuller or any other player go for “peanuts.” After Fuller caught five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown Sunday, Crennel reiterated his stance on trading the receiver only for a “deluxe-nut package.”

“I think we saw today why I would only take deluxe nuts for Will Fuller,” Crennel said. “Because he makes tremendous plays, he’s a tremendous athlete, tremendous receiver, and I’m so glad that we have him.“china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Longtime Milwaukee Brewers base coach Ed Sedar moves to advisory role

After working as a Milwaukee Brewers first-base or third-base coach for the last 14 seasons, Ed Sedar is moving into a new role as an adviser to the team’s coaching staff.

That move marked the biggest change as the Brewers announced manager Craig Counsell’s 2021 coaching staff Wednesday.

Sedar had been the Brewers’ first-base coach from 2007-10 and third-base coach from 2011-20. He also has worked in the Brewers organization as a minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator (1992-2006) and minor league field coordinator (2002-06).nike cheap nfl jerseys

“Eddie’s still going to have the responsibilities of helping us down in spring training, he’ll be around the major league team, in uniform before home games, and really just continue to serve as a resource for Craig and the rest of our staff,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said.3

Quintin Berry will take over as a base coach next season after working as the Brewers’ minor league outfielder and baserunning coordinator from 2019-20.

Counsell said Berry’s responsibilities in Milwaukee also will include baserunning and outfield instruction.

“Immediately as he took the coaching role in our player development system, it was obvious he was going to become a big-league coach,” Counsell said. “He’s knowledgeable about his area. He has a presence that allows him to affect players. And he has a great energy about him.”

Hitting coach Andy Haines, pitching coach Chris Hook, bullpen coach Steve Karsay, bench coach Pat Murphy and assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz are returning to the same positions they had this year.

Jason Lane, a first-base coach this season, will be a base coach again in 2021. Walker McKinven is back as associate pitching, catching and strategy coach.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Counsell said he hasn’t yet determined which base coach will handle first and which will be at third.

The Brewers will have two new bullpen catchers next year in Nestor Corredor and Adam Weisenburger. Marcus Hanel had been a Brewers bullpen catcher for the last 21 seasons.

“Marcus was certainly an important part of us for a long, long time,” Counsell said. “This is a physical job. It’s largely a physical job. And so it was time for just someone new to do it.”

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has some advice for ‘young Patrick’

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wants to cringe when he looks at video of some of the passes he tried early in his career. Mahomes looks at decisions he made in his first few games as a starter and shakes his head. Now 25, he refers to that 2017 and 2018 version of himself as “young Patrick.”

That’s one sign Mahomes is growing up as a quarterback, but another is his decreasing interception rate. In 2018, his first full season as a starter, Mahomes threw an interception on 2.1% of his pass attempts, which was 15th best in the NFL.

Last year he threw a pick on 1% of his throws, which was third in the league. This season, he has thrown one interception on a league-best 0.4% of his passes. He’s still on pace to throw 42 touchdown passes and for more than 4,600 yards.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Earlier in my career there are some throws I wouldn’t have made [this season] because they were dumb decisions at the time,” Mahomes said. “There were some throws I hope I still do make. It’s kind of playing with that fine line of being as aggressive as you possibly can but not being overly aggressive. I try to look back on every experience and learn from it. I think there’s a lot of positives along with some negatives that I can learn from.4

“It’s a battle that I have with my nature. I want to throw it and take the risk every single time. But games like [recently against the Denver Broncos] when we were up a lot of points, you’ve got to realize you don’t have to take that risk whenever your defense is playing like they are and special teams is doing what they do.”

Mahomes’ big pass plays were down until Sunday’s 35-9 win over the New York Jets. He had his second career game with 400-plus passing yards and five touchdowns and had five completions of more than 25 yards.

Mahomes had only 11 completions of 25 or more yards in the first seven games. Instead of forcing throws into coverage, he was mostly content to take shorter passes that opposing defenses were offering.

“He’s fine with that,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. “If those guys are going to play in the back end and play deep, he’s the first one to tell you, ‘You know what? They’re not covering them [on shorter routes]. Everybody’s playing deep so I’m going to find an open man [underneath].’

“He’s a gunslinger. He wants to go out there and show exactly what he can do. But … he’s doing a better job of taking what is given. [Defensive opponents] are playing far beyond what we expected sometimes. One thing he’s doing, he’s just finding the open guy. Those short- to medium-range [passes], we’ve got some guys that can catch and turn it up and make some special things happen. That just comes with maturity. It also comes with a growth process in understanding what we’re doing but also understand how teams are lining up and playing against us. So kudos to Pat. I’m very proud of where he is right now.“cheap nfl nike jersey

Mahomes’ QBR (85.4) and passer rating (115.0) are the highest of his career, another indication he’s having his best NFL season.

“You look at the quarterback rating and that and it’s always high for him,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s doing a great job there, really managing everything, and I’m proud of the progress that he’s made in so many areas. But I don’t think he worries about all that. He’s OK if the run game works. As long as we’re winning, he’s real good with that. And he’s still going to end up with … the [big] numbers.”

Miami Dolphins trade WR Isaiah Ford to New England Patriots

The Miami Dolphins traded Isaiah Ford to the wide-receiver-needy New England Patriots for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft, per the NFL’s transactions wire.

Ford, 6-foot-2, 194 pounds, has been the Dolphins’ starting slot receiver for much of the season and a favorite of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With a knack of being at the right place at the right time and coming up big in clutch moments, he has 18 catches for 184 yards this season. He had seven catches for 54 yards in the Dolphins’ season-finale win over the Patriots in 2019.

This is the first trade between the Dolphins and Patriots since Miami shipped Wes Welker to New England in March 2007 for second- and seventh-round draft picks.

The Dolphins made another deal right before the deadline buzzer, acquiring running back DeAndre Washington from the Kansas City Chiefs for a swap of conditional draft picks between the teams.cheap nfl nike jersey

The Dolphins sent a 2021 conditional sixth-round draft pick to Kansas City in exchange for a 2021 conditional seventh-round pick, along with Washington, from the Chiefs.

Ford, a 2017 seventh-round pick, should provide experience for a depleted Patriots receiver group, and he has the versatility to play both outside and slot receiver. The Patriots have been in need of reinforcements, as Julian Edelman (knee) is on injured reserve and N’Keal Harry missed Sunday’s loss against the Buffalo Bills. They have elevated undrafted free agent Isaiah Zuber from the practice squad four different times this year.3

Against the Bills, all four of the team’s available receivers had entered the NFL as undrafted free agents — Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Damiere Byrd and Zuber.

For the Dolphins, Ford has been a stopgap option at slot receiver, but they have a trio of young players they would like to evaluate there the rest of the season: rookie third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr., rookie seventh-round pick Malcolm Perry and practice squad receiver Antonio Callaway, who saw his NFL suspension expire this week and is a likely candidate to be elevated to the 53-man roster soon.

Bowden and Perry are both converted quarterbacks who have played sparingly so far this season while learning the slot receiver position. Callaway, the most accomplished of the group, had 43 catches for 586 yards during his rookie season (2018). He was suspended 10 games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy in 2019, a suspension that leaked over into this season, when he was suspended for an additional four games.

The Dolphins are taking a reclamation shot on him being able to contribute for a receiver group that could use more explosive weapons for new starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Washington has been buried on the Chiefs’ running back depth chart, particularly after the addition of Le’Veon Bell, so he is set to get a larger opportunity in Miami. He has three carries for 5 yards in one game for the Chiefs this season, but he’s had some success in the first four seasons of his NFL career as both a runner and receiving back — including 679 total yards with the Oakland Raiders last season.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Dolphins have been leaning on second-year running back Myles Gaskin in their backfield for much of the season, but they rank 28th in rushing yards (98 yards per game) this season. Gaskin has a knee injury and is expected to miss some time, a source told ESPN, confirming a report by the Miami Herald.

Free-agent signing Jordan Howard has been a disappointment, totaling 18 carries for 14 yards in the early portion of the season before being a healthy scratch over the past three games. They also acquired Matt Breida via a draft day trade, but he hasn’t made the most of limited opportunities, either. The Dolphins now have six running backs on their active roster (Gaskin, Breida, Washington, Howard, Patrick Laird, Salvon Ahmed).

Fulham beat West Brom to climb out of bottom three

Fulham chalked up their first Premier League win of the season and climbed out of the relegation zone after first half goals from Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Ola Aina helped them to a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

The result lifted Fulham two places up to 17th on four points from seven games, while winless West Brom dropped one place to 18th on three points after yet another lacklustre performance.

“I’m happy to score my first Premier League goal,” 27-year old British-born Jamaica forward De-Cordova-Reid said.cheap nike nfl jersey

“It was vital and I’m just happy I was able to help the team to get a lead that we could build on and try to be comfortable.

“It was a very important win for the club. It has been a difficult start to the season, we needed this to build momentum.”4

Fulham dominated the opening half and ran out deserved winners at Craven Cottage, although the visitors nearly drew first blood in the second minute when Conor Townsend hit the woodwork with a cross-turned-shot from the left.

De-Cordova-Reid gave Fulham a 26th-minute lead when he nodded the ball past goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from close range after Aleksandar Mitrovic headed an Antonee Robinson cross from the left across the face of goal.

Right-back Aina, who is on loan at Fulham from Serie A side Torino, doubled the home side’s lead four minutes later with a spectacular goal as he unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner with his weaker left foot from 18 metres.

Fulham could have added a third in the 80th minute as the visitors twice cleared the ball off the line in quick succession while West Brom failed to trouble keeper Alphonse Areola at the other end.

Visiting coach Slaven Bilic was disappointed with his team’s performance.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“We only played for 25 minutes,” said the Croatian. “They were better than us in everything, and I’m extremely disappointed. It all starts with the work rate, it was nowhere near good enough.”

Vibrant Leicester go second with 4-1 win at Leeds

Jamie Vardy inspired and Youri Tielemans scored twice as Leicester City enjoyed an impressive 4-1 win at Leeds United on Monday which moves them up to second in the Premier League.

The Foxes, who have now won all four away games this season, grabbed the lead in the second minute when Vardy intercepted a poor back-pass from Leeds defender Robin Koch and set up Harvey Barnes to slot home.

Brendan Rodgers’ side doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Marc Albrighton whipped in a cross and Vardy’s low header struck Leeds keeper Illan Meslier in the face and fell to Tielemans to fire home.cheap nike nfl jersey

Leeds came out strongly after the break and pulled a goal back three minutes after the restart when a deep cross from Stuart Dallas went through a crowded box and into the far corner of the net.

Pablo Hernandez then hit the bar for Leeds with a fine effort from the edge of the box but Leicester restored their two goal advantage with a beautifully worked third goal.3

Substitute James Maddison found Cengiz Under who showed great finesse to pick out Vardy who slotted home.

Maddison was involved with the fourth goal, in stoppage time, when Mateusz Klich challenged him from behind and after a VAR review, referee Andre Marriner awarded a penalty which Tielemans confidently converted.

“I thought my players were brilliant. We had to be tactically disciplined and then play when we had the ball,” Rodgers said. “If we get to March, April and we are in that position [second], then it will be nice, but there is a long way to go.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Leicester are on 15 points, just one point behind leaders Liverpool.

Leeds are 12th on 10 points and their Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa struck a self-critical tone.

“In the first 30 minutes we defended poorly and after we didn’t create enough danger. That is one of the main responsibilities of the manager,” Bielsa said.

“I am not taking the blame, just stating the players were not correctly distributed. The players are disappointed.”

New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton to keep remaining $218 million in deal

Giancarlo Stanton is keeping the remaining $218 million and seven guaranteed years in his New York Yankees contract rather than opt out after a pair of injury-decimated seasons.

The designated hitter, who turns 31 on Nov. 8, hit .266 with 38 home runs and 100 RBIs in his first season with the Yankees in 2018. He batted .288 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 2019, when he was limited to 18 games by a left biceps strain that sidelined him from April 1 to June 18 and a right knee strain that kept him out from June 26 to Sept. 18. He hit .250 with four homers and 11 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, limited to 23 games by a strained left hamstring that sidelined him from Aug. 9 to Sept. 15.nfl cheap jerseys nike

He rebounded to become the Yankees’ best offensive player in the playoffs, hitting .308 (8-for -26) with six homers and 13 RBIs in seven games.3

A four-time All-Star with Miami, Stanton agreed to a $325 million, 13-year contract with the Marlins in November 2014. He hit .281 in 2017 and led the major leagues with 59 homers and 132 RBIs, then was traded to the Yankees in December 2017 for second baseman Starlin Castro, right-hander Jorge Guzman and minor league infielder Jose Devers.

Stanton is due $29 million in each of the next two seasons, $32 million annually from 2023 through ’25, $29 million in 2026 and $25 million in 2027. The deal includes a $25 million club option for 2028 with a $10 million buyout.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

As part of terms of the trade, because Stanton did not opt out, the Marlins will send the Yankees $30 million to offset part of what remains in his contract: $5 million each on July 1 and Oct. 1 in 2026, 2027 and 2028.

Los Angeles Rams’ defense powers bounce-back win over Chicago Bears

The Los Angeles Rams’ defense dominated from the opening kickoff, the offense picked up the pace as the night wore on, and special teams even made its presence felt as punter Johnny Hekker kept the Chicago Bears at bay.

The Rams earned their first win over a team with a winning record when they defeated the Bears 24-10 on Monday night at SoFi Stadium. The Rams improved to 5-2. The Bears fell to 5-2.

The victory proved the Rams’ ability to bounce back after they fell last week at the San Francisco 49ers in their first division game.

“The players came out, they performed, they were ready to go from the jump,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after Monday’s contest. “I thought it was reflective of the urgency that we had in the week of practice.”

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald kept the pressure on Bears quarterback Nick Foles, as the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year anchored a physical effort that held the Bears to a season-low 10 points and 279 total yards of offense.cheap nike nfl jersey

“Defense just kind of suffocated them all game,” said Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds, who caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Foles completed 28 of 40 passes for 261 yards with two interceptions.4

Donald and defensive tackle Greg Gaines combined for a sack in the first half, and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd took Foles down twice. The Rams finished with four sacks.

“I wanted to be calm but with high intensity to go out and execute at a high level,” said Floyd, whom the Bears released in the offseason, despite exercising the fifth-year option on his rookie contract a year earlier. “We proved that we was the better defense today.”

The Rams’ defense, which first-year coordinator Brandon Staley implored throughout the week to play physical after it missed several tackles in Week 6, didn’t stop with an aggressive approach up front.

In the third quarter, cornerback Troy Hill tipped a Foles pass in the end zone, and safety Taylor Rapp intercepted the ball to halt a scoring threat with the Rams ahead 17-3. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey picked off a Foles pass late in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

“I was pleased with everything that they did,” said McVay, who awarded game balls to Floyd and Staley, who served as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach in 2018 under Matt Nagy. “I thought they flew around. I thought we were great really in every area of the game.”

Facing a stout Chicago defense, Rams quarterback Jared Goff overcame a sluggish start and remained poised after Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack forced a strip sack on the opening drive of the second half.

Goff rebounded by leading two consecutive touchdown drives that gave the Rams a 24-3 lead with 1:39 to play in the third quarter, before the offense effectively ran time off the clock.

“We did well. That defense is tough,” said Goff, who completed 23 of 33 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. “There was a couple careless errors by me that we got away with, but that’s the game. I thought we were able to distribute the ball pretty well and make some plays.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

On special teams, Hekker pinned the Bears at or inside their 10-yard line five times, the most in his career and the most in a game this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Hekker’s final punt, which was downed at the Bears’ 5-yard line, drew an on-field celebration that included a chest bump from Donald.

Cody Bellinger back in center field for Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series Game 5

Cody Bellinger was set to return to center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday, and second baseman Brandon Lowe moved up a couple of spots in Tampa Bay’s batting order.

The roof will be closed Sunday night because of dreary conditions and an increasing chance of rain into the night.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Bellinger, a National League Gold Glove finalist, was listed in center field for Game 5 after he was a late switch to designated hitter a night earlier because of back stiffness.

The wild game-ending play Saturday night, on which the Rays scored two runs to win 8-7, began on Brett Phillips’ softly hit ball that was misplayed by Chris Taylor in right-center. Taylor had started the game in left, but finished in center after Joc Pederson entered as a pinch-hitter for A.J. Pollock, who had started in center instead of DH as planned.3

Against Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow in Game 5, Pederson was slated to start in left and Taylor at second base. Will Smith, the catcher Saturday night, was listed as the Dodgers’ DH, while Austin Barnes would catch lefty ace Clayton Kershaw.

The top six in the Dodgers’ batting order where unchanged: right fielder Mookie Betts, shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Max Muncy, Smith and Bellinger, followed by Taylor, Pederson and Barnes.

Tampa Bay, despite facing a left-hander for the second game in a row, moved Lowe up from fifth to third in the batting order after he hit his third opposite-field homer in the Series on Saturday night. The only position change was Joey Wendle at third base instead of Mike Brosseau.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

As for Tampa Bay’s batting order, leadoff hitter Yandy Diaz, DH Randy Arozarena were again in the top two spots, with left fielder Manuel Margot still in the cleanup spot. The rest was changed from Game 4, with left fielder Hunter Renfroe batting fifth, ahead of Wendle, shortstop Willy Adames, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Mike Zunino.