With their loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night, the Toronto Blue Jays lost sole possession of first place in
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With their loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night, the Toronto Blue Jays lost sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time in 43 days. Not only were they bumped out of first in their division, but theyve also dropped out of a wild card spot, trailing the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners by a game going into Fridays match-up. Which brings the question with just over a week until the All-Star Break - is this team actually a playoff contender? Since their last World Series victory, the Blue Jays have been mired in a 20-year playoff drought. But it wasnt like they werent trying to change their ways. That blockbuster trade with the Marlins in 2012 produced just one more win last season than the previous one. They finished 23 games behind the John Farrell-led Boston Red Sox and 17 1/2 games back of a wild card spot. So where do things sit for this season? How did they stay atop of the division for such a long period of time? The offence has certainly been a factor. The team has had their fair share of home runs - especially in the month of May led by Edwin Encarnacion - but the small ball has been evident too. And it certainly has - until recently - a lot to do with a healthier roster. But the real question around this team making it to the postseason will depend on their ability to crawl back to a comfortable lead. They have a tough ten-game road trip prior to the All-Star break. In their first lengthy road trip of the season, they went a combined 3-7 in Baltimore, New York and Cincinnati. And over the past six seasons, Toronto has struggled hard on road trips of nine or more games. In fact, since their nine-game road losing streak in 2009, the Blue Birds have an abysmal 66-108 record over 18 road trips of nine or more games. Over those 18 road trips, they returned home with a winning record just three times. That all said, do you think the Toronto Blue Jays will re-take the division and make the playoffs this October or will are we looking at another disappointing season? As always, its Your! Call. Will Hernandez Giants Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Patrick Omameh Jersey . The Extreme Heat Policy was enacted at Melbourne Park just before 2 p.m. Thursday, suspending all matches on outer courts until the early evening and requiring the closure of the retractable roofs at Rod Laver and Hisense arenas before play could continue on the show courts. http://www.nygiantsfanatic.com/c-91-gia ... ersey.aspx. Heavily-criticized after allowing a dozen goals on 58 shots in two games in Boston, Luongo continued his dominance at home. Hes now allowed two goals in three home games in this series. New York Giants Jerseys .The rookie goalie made 36 saves to help the Calgary Flames blank their Pacific Division rivals 1-0 on Saturday following a 48-hour ordeal that included lost baggage, a cancelled flight and a new pair of contact lenses. Ray-Ray Armstrong Giants Jersey . -- The Vancouver Whitecaps remained unbeaten with a scoreless draw at the New England Revolution on Saturday.WINNIPEG -- New Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice had a message for the team after they swarmed the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night. "I went in and talked a little bit about what I saw, congratulated them on facing some tough adversity and winning, thanked them, and then proceeded to cancel the day off that they had tomorrow," he said after the Jets 5-1 victory that snapped a five-game losing streak. "It was good enough tonight but we cant rely on that being good enough in our next game. Weve just got to get better." It was his first night behind the bench after taking over from Claude Noel, who was fired as the Jets struggled lately to beat even teams below them in the standings. The Coyotes (21-15-9) dont fit into that category although they too have struggled recently after a strong start. They opened the season at 14-4-4, have gone 7-11-6 since and Monday was their third loss in a row. "It cant get much lower and we have to get better," said captain Shane Doan. "It seems that we find new ways (to lose) every time. We havent really had an issue with discipline so far this year with penalties and this time we did. You cant create much offence when youre shorthanded." Phoenix handed the Jets eight power plays, although with one of the worst records in the NHL with the man advantage Winnipeg only managed to capitalize on one of them. Fans who have been booing the lacklustre play of the home team lately were on their feet cheering and clapping for much of the game. They didnt even wait until the game started to show how they felt about the coaching change. Maurice got his first cheer during the national anthem when his face showed on the scoreboard. "Its a whole lot nicer being on the home bench when you win Im sure, but it was a very special moment for me in my career and Ill cherish it," said the coach. Olli Jokinen, Eric ODell, Blake Wheeler, Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi scored for the Jets (20-23-5), who outshot the Coyotes 38-19. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for Phoenix but it was the only shot Ondrej Pavelec would let in and he won praise for his play from his new coach.dddddddddddd "I felt safe with him," said Maurice. Ekman-Larsson scored on the power play at 12:16 but the Coyotes didnt have much time to celebrate. "They did the one thing that we had talked about," said Maurice. "That when adversity came to the door, that next goal was huge." Jokinen batted a behind-the-net pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Mike Smith at 12:52 to tie it up and then ODell scored his second of the season as he dashed in to snap in another at 18:00. Thanks to four power-play opportunities the Jets outshot Phoenix 12-7 in the first period but both their goals were even strength. Winnipegs power play is ranked 25th in the NHL. The Jets kept up the pressure in the second until Wheeler backhanded Mark Scheifeles rebound past Smith to make it 3-1. At the halfway mark of the period the Jets had outshot Phoenix 9-1. They finished the game ahead 38-19. Frolik made it 4-1 at 4:18 of the third when his angled shot beat Smiths glove. Winnipegs power play continued to be toothless until midway through the third when Setoguchi dropped to one knee as he slammed one past Smith and Byfuglien picked up his second assist of the night. "To a man we did a good job of being ready tonight and playing the right way," said captain Andrew Ladd. "I thought we did a good job of getting a lot of pucks to the net and keeping it simple." Setoguchi, who broke a goal-scoring drought that stretched back to Dec. 2, couldnt say whether the coaching change made the difference. "I think everyones work ethic was there and thats what gave us a chance to win the game," he said. Notes: This was only the third time the new Jets have played the old Jets since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, but with realignment they face each other twice more this season as part of the Western Conference. 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