SALVADOR, Brazil -- The Netherlands thrashed the world champions 5-1 Friday in the World Cups first shocker, toying with an aging Spanish team that has dominated global football for the past six years and avenging a loss in the 2010 final. Emanuel King Jersey Store . Although Spain could still advance out of the group stage, the game may have signalled the end of the run by a generation of Spanish stars whose quick passing, "tiki-taka" style delighted the world and helped them win the last three major tournaments. Dutch strikers Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice, including Van Persies diving header off of an audacious 40-yard pass. The ball looped over hapless Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas as Van Persie slid on his stomach on the wet grass before running to the sidelines with his fists clenched to celebrate what is sure to be one of the goals of the tournament. Defender Stefan de Vrij also scored -- his first international goal -- in a dominating second half that had the orange-clad Dutch fans in Arena Fonte Nova on their feet the whole time. It was the worst loss for Spain in the games showcase tournament since a 6-1 defeat to Brazil in 1950. "This was a total disaster," said Spain striker Fernando Torres. "We need to focus on winning the next game." The victory was particularly sweet for Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, who was criticized for his decision to play five defenders. He insisted the formation had attacking potential as well as nullifying Spains fluent passing game. It did. And then some. Spains ball-control offence usually has other teams frustratingly trying to gain possession. This time, the Dutch fans were roaring "Ole" as their team passed the ball around and Spain chased them. Spain lost its first match in South Africa four years ago on its way to the title, and it could salvage tournament hopes with wins against Chile and Australia. But finishing second in the group, means facing the winner of Brazils group in a knockout game. Van Persie credited Van Gaals tactics of defending hard and firing long passes to Robben and himself. "We trained that way. And this is definitely down to him," the Manchester United striker said of the coach who will take over at his club next season. "If you see how he prepared us, and how he predicted the game would go, and you see how it went -- unbelievable." Van Gaal, in turn, highlighted his forwards performances. "With strikers like Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder behind them, things like this can happen," the coach said. It all started so well for Spain, with Xabi Alonso converting a 27th minute penalty. But it went downhill fast after Van Persie tied the game with a header shortly before half time. He connected with a perfectly weighted long pass by Daley Blind, one of a new generation of Dutch defenders flourishing under Van Gaal. "Unbelievable," Van Persie said. "For the whole Netherlands, this is a dream come true." The Dutch starting lineup included Toronto-born midfielder Jonathan de Guzman, who played 62 minutes and earned a yellow card before being substituted for Georginio Wijnaldum. Spain, which won the 2010 final thanks to an Andres Iniesta extra-time goal, exerted most of the pressure in the first half of the rematch. But they had no answer once the Dutch went ahead and continually hit them on the break. The final goal came after Robben weaved around Casillas -- who was crawling on the grass in desperation -- and fired into the untended net. His double was sweet revenge for Robben, who had a late chance saved by Casillas in the Johannesburg final and has struggled to live it down. It was tough keeping track of the second-half barrage of Dutch goals. Robben scored in the 53rd minute, reaching high to control another long ball from Blind, cutting inside Gerard Pique and firing past Casillas. De Vrij -- was called for the first-half penalty -- bundled home a Sneijder free kick at the far post 11 minutes later, and Van Persie scored his second in the 72nd in a clinical display of counterattacking football. Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque sat stony faced on his bench at full time, while Van Gaal walked onto the pitch to hug his players. "This is a very delicate moment for us, and all of us have to find a way to solve it," Del Bosque said. In addition to the 2010 world title, Spain won the 2008 and 2012 European championships. While Spain now has to regroup for its match against Chile on June 18, the Netherlands has to come back down to earth and then refocus for the next match, against Australia. "We dont have anything yet. Weve made a pretty start," Van Gaal said. "If you beat Australia, then youve made a good start." Brandon Jones Jersey Store .A. remained bitter for Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers on the long flight back home to New York. Don Wells Jersey Store .The Hamilton Tiger-Cat defensive back always has the required receipt. But he also walks around with a tangle of metal screws, rods and plates after breaking his neck in 2006 playing high school football in Louisiana.ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a quick reality jolt. Beltrans three-run homer sparked a seven-run third inning Thursday and the Cardinals got seven stingy innings from Wainwright to open their NL division series with a 9-1 rout of the Pirates. "To be able to get out on a good first step and play well today I think is big for our guys confidence-wise," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Gives us an opportunity to just take some momentum, and momentum is big right now when you talk about a five-game series." The first eight Cardinals reached safely in the third to chase A.J. Burnett, saddling the right-hander with the second-shortest outing of his career and putting Game 1 out of reach early. A sellout crowd roared and then settled in for an easy victory by the NL Central champions, making their third consecutive trip to the post-season. "Game 164 was rough," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "One of the things weve been good at is we dont overcook things." Lance Lynn (15-10) faces Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) in Game 2 on Friday. After a record 20 straight losing seasons, the Pirates are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1992. They entered their first best-of-five division series with plenty of momentum after beating Cincinnati in the wild-card game Tuesday, but Pittsburgh never threatened to rally against Wainwright and finished with only four hits. Pittsburgh also was sloppy in the field, committing three errors. St. Louis was sharp on defence, with reliever Carlos Martinez turning in the top play by slinging an off-balance throw to first to nip Russell Martin in the eighth. "What a play!" Matheny mouthed in the dugout. Third baseman David Freese prevented extra bases in the third with a diving catch on Clint Barmes low liner. Wainwright remained unbeaten in the post-season, going to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 14 games, five of them starts. He allowed a run on three hits in seven innings, striking out nine without a walk. The only damage came on a homer by Pedro Alvarez to start the fifth. The right-hander tied for the NL lead with 19 wins this year and was 4-0 in his last five starts. He thrives on expectations. "Id love to be that guy," Wainwright said. "Its important to have somebody go out there that you can count on for sure." Wainwright also started the Cardinals big burst with a leadoff, full-count walk. Beltran, who has never reached the World Series, reprised his roole as one of the games greatest playoff sluggers. Cedric Killings Jersey Store. His 443-foot drive to the distant second deck in right field put St. Louis ahead and was the second-longest shot by a left-handed batter at 8-year-old Busch Stadium. "I almost got caught up in the moment," said Wainwright, who had a perfect view from second base. "I threw my hands up in the air as soon as he hit it, I knew it was gone. "Then I realized I had to run." Beltran has 15 home runs, 10 doubles and 28 RBIs in 35 post-season games. He also has scored 40 runs and stolen 11 bases. Leadoff man Matt Carpenter called Beltran "Mr. October." "Hes like our secret weapon when it comes to the post-season. He steps up every time," Carpenter said. "Some guys just have a knack for a big game and hes one of them." Beltrans 13 career RBIs against Burnett are the most of any player. Beltrans homer got the Cardinals going, and Jon Jay later walked with the bases loaded. Freese added a two-run single that cleared the bases when right fielder Marlon Byrds throw to the plate deflected off Freeses leg for an error. Burnett was 3-1 against the Cardinals this season but has gotten rocked in his last two visits to St. Louis, also giving up five runs in three innings in early September. In five outings at Busch Stadium the last two seasons he has a 15.50 ERA. "Hopefully, we can turn it around and give me a chance to get that ball again," Burnett said. "I was not able to repeat a single delivery all day, thats the bottom line." Hurdle was non-committal on whether Burnett would get the ball if the Pirates make it to Game 5, again in St. Louis. "I do believe that hes capable of going out and throwing a gem the next time hes out there, wherever that may be," Hurdle said. While the Pirates may have had trouble at the plate and in the field with the shadows, the late-afternoon start didnt seem to bother the Cardinals. "Everybody was seeing the ball good today," rookie Matt Adams said. NOTES: Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon threw the first pitch in the dirt, with reserve Shane Robinson making a nice scoop. ... St. Louis OF Matt Holliday walked and doubled his first two trips and had reached base safely in nine straight plate appearances before grounding out to start the fourth. ... The Cardinals claimed OF Joey Butler on waivers, three days after he was designated for assignment by the Rangers. Butler spent most of the year at Triple-A Round Rock, batting .291 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs. ' ' '
The Toronto Blue Jays will send left-hander J. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey .A. Happ to the mound Wednesday afternoon looking to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a quick two-game series. Happ is 2-1 over his past three starts, charged with eight earned runs over that time. However, seven of those came in an 11-1 loss at Cincinnati on June 21. Happ then rebounded on Thursday to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-0 behind 7 2/3 scoreless innings of four-hit ball. The 31-year-old struck out eight, moving to 7-4 with a 4.29 ERA on the year. "The goal was to be aggressive, to force contact early, use all four quadrants and just be aggressive," noted Happ, who is 3-3 with a 5.93 ERA in his career versus the Brewers. The Brewers meanwhile, hope that starter Wily Peralta can get locked in on Wednesday afternoon. Though Peralta has won five consecutive starts, he has posted a 4.22 earned run average over that span, one in which Milwaukee has scored at least seven runs four times. The right-handers past two wins both came against Colorado, including Thursdays 7-4 decision at home. Peralta gave up all four runs on eight hits and two walks over six frames, striking out seven. While he improved to 9-5 with a 3.20 earned run average on the year, manager Ron Roenicke still thinks the hurler can improve on the mound. "I thought the last three outings, (Wily) has pitched well, but hes not locked in," said Roenicke. "Now hes struggling to get through the lineups." The 25-year-old Peralta has never faced the Blue Jays, who send left-hander J.A. Happ to the mound today. The Blue Jays halted a three-game skid by taking Tuesdays opener 4-1. Drew Hutchison yielded just one run over seven innings while striking out a season- high 10 batters in his first victory since June 13. Jose Bautista, starting for the first time since June 22 due to a strained left hamstring, and Colby Rasmus each homered for the Blue Jays. Starting as the designated hitter, Bautista hit his 16th homer of the year. Ryan Braun drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who have lost two in a row after winning four straight. Marco Estrada started for Milwaukee and suffered the loss, allowing two runs on six hits over six-plus innings of work. He struck out two and walked one, losing for the first time since June 15. "Things just started going south for me," Estrada said. "I just wasnt really locating. I really didnt know what I was doing, how I was missing and the way I was missing. I was just out there throwing the ball around." Milwaukee could be without outfielder Khris Davis today as he injured his left shoulder on Tuesday diving into second base. The Brewers, who are making their first trip to Toronto since 2005, are 7-3 against the Blue Jays since moving to the National League in 1998. Jason Smith Jersey . Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wild team that has a nice mix of proven veterans along with young, inexpensive talent on the rise. When the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, making a big splash in the summer of 2012, it set the franchise on a path to being more competitive, but a big reason that they have been so competitive is the contributions of young players who still have more to give. Stitched Pelicans Jerseys . The Pope greeted Klose at his general audience Wednesday and the pair had a long chat. Klose is German like the pope, although he was born in Poland. In Sundays derby, Lazio took the lead in the seventh minute after Maarten Stekelenburg brought down Klose, resulting in the Roma goalkeeper being sent off and a penalty that Hernanes converted.TORONTO - After an NBA playoff debut that didnt go as well as hed planned, DeMar DeRozan went home and put his feet up. "I sat in my room the rest of the day, I didnt leave the room," DeRozan said. "I didnt turn the TV on. I didnt watch any games. I just cleared my mind. Just understand it was my first playoff game." He fought the urge to go back to the Air Canada Centre for a late-night shooting session. "I thought about it. I really thought about it," DeRozan said. "About 1 a.m. I was going to come back, but I was like: dont put too much pressure on myself. Just get my rest, regroup. Weve got two days until we play, so just get ready. I try not to think so much or stress myself out — just relax." The 24-year-old all-star scored 14 points — well below his season average of 22.7 — in the Raptors 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Saturdays Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series. The player whose hot hand led the Raptors in their record run to the post-season went cold Saturday. DeRozan, who was the picture of post-season confidence earlier in the week, scoffing that the playoffs werent "rocket science," shot just 3-for-13 from the field. He missed all four of his three-point attempts. He insisted he wasnt nervous. "I think with as much energy was going on, it felt like things were going faster than they were," DeRozan said. While it wasnt the coming-out party any of Torontos playoff rookies had hoped for, they were all breathing a little easier Sunday morning, glad that Game 1 of their series was over and done with. "I think Game 2 is a whole different animal," coach Dwane Casey said. "I think the newness and the shiny part of the playoffs is worn off by Game 2. I think thatll help (DeRozan) tremendously. I think thatll help our whole team." Kyle Lowry, one of the few Raptors who looked unfazed by the playoff pressure in his 22-point performance, agreed. "I think the bright lights will dim a little bit for everyone, everything will calm down a little bit," Lowry said. "I think that first game is always tough at home, because of the excitement, and we have a bunch of young guys. But now its over. Now guys are ready to move on, now were ready to go." Game 2 is Tuesday in Toronto, then the series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday. The series was heated before it even began after the Nets seemingly tanked to fall to sixth-place, preferring to play the inexperienced Raptors. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri then threw gasoline onto the fire Saturday when he dropped an F-bomb when addressing the crowd in Maple Leaf Square, pairing the F-word with Brooklyn. New Yorks tabloid newspapers fought back. The headline on Sundays New York Daily News read: "Dont F*** With Brooklyn! Nets give foul-mouthed Raptors a spanking to take Game 1." The New York Posts front page was a picture of a grinning Paul Pierce with the headline: "After Toronto GM insults Bklyn, Nets shut up Raptors. F#@K YEAH!" The Raptors had put Saturdays drama behind them by Sundays practice at the Air Canada Centre. David Wesley Jersey . "This is about basketball," Casey said. "All that stuff has happened. Were very supportive of whatever Masai said. This is about basketball. I will say this, I thought our fans were fantastic (Saturday). They were great. Ive been in championship arenas, championship games, and this is as big-time as can be. "All the other stuff, what was said, its about basketball. Its about screening. Its about finishing plays. Its about executing defensively. I dont want to get off on another tangent." As for DeRozans less-than-impressive debut, Casey said he thought both DeRozan and Terrence Ross — also making his playoff debut — looked frustrated after they got in early foul trouble Saturday. Ross had just three points on the afternoon. "Young guys have to be somewhere learning to play in the NBA playoffs and this is a great start for (Ross), its a great start for DeMar," Casey said. "Theres no way Im disappointed in their performance. Their point-productivity, yes. But this is a great positive for our organization." DeRozan was asked if one game is enough to adjust to the pressure-packed playoffs. "I dont need a whole nother playoff round to get ready for it," DeRozan said. "I watched a lot of film. I understand. Im definitely not going to make the same mistakes twice. Its adjustments." His teammates are confident theyll see the best of DeRozan in Game 2. "Hes had rough games before. . . hes fine. Im positive hell bounce back," Lowry said. "Hes really focused. Yeah, a rough shooting night. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes the ball dont go in the hole." Why so positive? "Because hes an all-star," Lowry replied. "Theres a reason hes an all-star. He averages what he averages, hes a helluva player, and hes only going to get better." The Raptors are hoping the ACC fans — dressed all in white Saturday and waving white towels, thanks to a T-shirt and towel giveaway — remain as vocal as they were in Game 1. "It was live," Amir Johnson said. "I didnt get to see outside (where hundreds of fans gathered in Maple Leaf Square) but Ive seen pictures on the Internet. It was a pretty dope crowd. "Its big. We need them. We need everybody. The whole country." Saturdays shot-clock debacle should also be behind them. American sports broadcaster ESPN caused the shot-clock malfunction in Game 1, according to a Raptors official. Toronto had to rely on announcer Herbie Kuhn to count down the 24 seconds on each possession after the clocks above the baskets died with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment took blame for using the same power source for the primary and backup shot clocks. The damaged cables in the baskets were replaced and tested Sunday, and the primary and backup clocks are no longer using the same power source. ' ' '