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dddddThe Rangers left six runners on base in the first
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tipping off an NBA season isnt new to Frank Vogel, yet this year is different.The always optimistic coach is starting over with the Orlando Magic after being dismissed by the Indiana Pacers. He is intent on getting the Magic back in the playoffs for the first time since Dwight Howard was with the team.I want to see our guys succeed, Vogel said in an interview with The Associated Press. I want to see smiles on their faces when they get over this hump and they achieve what we all know they are capable of achieving. I want to see our fans embrace it and enjoy it. They deserve it.The Pacers let Vogel go after five seasons and he became one of the most sought coaches this offseason. He wasnt unemployed long. Two weeks after his firing, Vogel was introduced as coach of the Magic, who had been stunned when Scott Skiles quit in May after one playoff-less season in Orlando.Vogel is the ideal fit of the defensive-first profile Magic general manager Rob Hennigan was looking for in coach. While in Indiana, the Pacers were one of the top defensive teams in the league.Hes very genuine, Hennigan said. I think he believes in coaching but at the same time connecting with players. His general approach is to really treat guys not just with respect, but its really a collaboration in his eyes. I think our guys really respond to that approach.A one-time video coordinator for the Boston Celtics, Vogel rose through ranks as an assistant coach where building a connection with players is must. That approach never left Vogel as he went from fourth assistant to interim coach to head coach of the then-underachieving Pacers.Vogel proved the anti-Jim OBrien, who Vogel replaced in Indiana. Vogel attempted to reach his players and connect with them. Paul George, a rookie first-round pick coming off the bench during Vogels interim season, was one of the players Vogel connected with best.Jim OBrien is one of the hardest coaches to play for, George said. He was old school, hard-nosed. But Frank was the exact opposite of what he was -- real positive, open minded.Under Vogel, George became a perennial All-Star.We had a great six years together, George said. Hes kind of just been there throughout my whole growing up in this league. From my rookie year to fatherhood to the All-Star Games, hes been there.Despite his relationship with George and the playoff berths, Larry Bird felt it was time for a change.Bird, the Pacers president of basketball operations, didnt renew Vogels contract though the coach had a winning record in four of his five full seasons.I sensed some things over the last few years and took a lot of notes like I do every year, Bird said in a telephone interview with AP. When his contract was up, I just thought maybe it was time right then.Vogel had a 250-181 regular-season record and guided the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference finals still has accepted the move, even if he still doesnt completely understand it.Part of the business, said Vogel, who also 31-30 in the playoffs after taking over for fired Jim OBrien with 38 games to go in 2011. I still have a lot of friends there, including Larry, who was the one who chose to make the change. I will always be grateful for him.Im disappointed, I wanted to be there forever, said Vogel, a 43-year-old New Jersey native. I loved living in Indiana. I loved the organization, the Simon family. I loved everything about being the Pacers coach.Bird said building relationships with players is one Vogels strengths.The main thing is he is so positive -- positive energy, Bird said in a telephone interview with AP. You felt like he could the players to believe in his system, believe in him. I thought that was a great attribute he had.Vogel has brought the same approach to Orlando where he and Hennigan have reconfigured the Magic into the mold of his Pacers teams. The two men added power forward Serge Ibaka and free agent center Bismack Biyombo in the summer to bolster the interior defense.The first-year Orlando coach seems to be quickly winning over the Magic players.Hes a good guy, said third-year forward Aaron Gordon. We can tell he is genuine.The next step is to see if Vogels ability to connect with players translates into enough wins to get Orlando back into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Vogel predicted during his opening news conference that the team would be in the playoffs this season. After months on the job, he hasnt backed off that promise.I believe we are going to have a chance to go deep into the playoffs, Vogel said. I believe in this team. Dave Pacella Jersey Store . Darren Helm scored on Detroits sixth attempt in the shootout and then Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaws shot, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Frank Nesser Jersey Store . Belfort (24-10) needed just 77 seconds to down Henderson in the headlining bout of Saturdays "UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson" event at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. The fight served as a rematch of the pairs 2006 meeting, which Henderson won by decision. . The Browns coaching search remains incomplete. Larry Jordan Jersey Store .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. Walt Schupp Jersey Store . -- Ty Montgomery had 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Stanford held on to beat No. ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chi Chi Gonzalez had the longest outing by a Texas starter in six games, and still didnt make it out of the fifth inning while throwing 124 pitches as the Rangers set an undesired club record.For the first time in team history, Texas has gone six consecutive games without its starting pitcher finishing at least five innings.Gonzalez (0-2) was pulled after 4 2/3 innings in a 10-1 loss to the Twins on Thursday night, which came after the young right-hander recorded only two outs at Minnesota last Saturday to start the streak.Bottom line, weve got to be better, manager Jeff Banister said. Weve been really good in some stretches, we talk about, it all starts with starting pitching. ... We cant continue to cover four or five innings in the bullpen every single night.Even after their seventh loss in nine games, the Rangers (53-34) still have the American Leagues best record and a 6 1/2-game lead over Houston in the AL West.Texas has lost three consecutive games to the Twins (30-55), who have the ALs worst record. Before losing two of three at Boston, the Rangers lost at Minnesota last Saturday and Sunday.The first two Minnesota batters in the game had hits and scored, putting the Twins up to stay. Kurt Suzuki led off the second with his fifth homer, and it was 4-0 after Brian Dozier snapped an 0-for-13 slide with an RBI single.I was just grinding, from pitch one to the last pitch, Gonzalez said. It was a grind all game.Eduardo Nunez led off the game with a double before a single by Joe Mauer. Nunez eventually scored on a Max Keplers sacrifice fly -- a popup to shallow center field caught by lunging shortstop Elvis Andrus.Struggled throwing pitches, Banister said of Gonzalez. When he did get it in the strike zone, it was elevated. Clubs like this, when you work from behind, they make you pay.Gonzalez struck out five, but also walked five and allowed nine hits.Texas failed to take advantage in the first when Tyler Duffey (5-6) walked All-Star outfielder Ian Desmond with one out and hit Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder with pitches to load the bases. Juricksonn Profar then grounded into an inning-ending double play.ddddddddddddThe Rangers left six runners on base in the first three innings, but Duffey then retired the last nine batters he faced after Andrus had a leadoff single in the fourth.Duffey matched a career high with nine strikeouts while allowing two hits over six innings. He walked four and hit two batters.Texas didnt score until the ninth, when Rougned Odor had a one-out triple and scored on a single by Andrus.NOW PITCHINGOutfielder Jared Hoying pitched the ninth for Texas, giving up solo homer to pinch-hitter Kennys Vargas. It was the first professional appearance on the mound for Hoying, who said he pitched only two or three times in high school.It was the second Rangers position player to pitch in a week. Catcher Bryan Holaday threw last Saturday in Minnesota.SHORT HOPSThe Rangers failed to homer for the first time in 18 games. Their 17 in a row was the second-longest homer streak in the majors this season, and the fourth-best stretch in team history. ... Every Minnesota starter had a hit.TRAINERS ROOMRangers: Yu Darvish threw a 32-pitch bullpen session. The Rangers will see how he feels Friday before determining if the right-hander will make his next rehab start Saturday or Sunday for Double-A Frisco. ... 1B Mitch Moreland was out of the starting lineup for the fifth consecutive day because of a mild strain in his right calf. He is expected to play Friday.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-5) goes for third consecutive victory. He has gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts, including last Sunday at home to beat Texas.Rangers: All-Star LHP Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.93 ERA) makes his second consecutive start against the Twins, who had five runs and 10 hits off him in four innings Sunday at Minnesota -- his shortest start since being acquired by the Rangers last July. He still has a chance to become the first Texas pitcher in four seasons to get 10 wins by the All-Star break. ' ' '

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