MONTREAL -- Rachel Homan started defence of her Scotties Tournament of Hearts title in style. Homan and her Team Canada (1-0) rink from Ottawa scored four in the eighth end for an 8-3 victory over Manitobas Chelsea Carey (0-1) on Saturday night at the Maurice Richard Arena. "The team played really well in front of me," said Homan, the winner last year in Kingston, Ont. "It was a tough battle. It was 4-3 and then one big end kind of ended it. My team just really had it today." It was a nervy but successful start for Val Sweetings Alberta rink. The Sweeting team (2-0) with lead Rachel Pidherny, second Dana Ferguson and third Joanne Courtney scored three points in the ninth end for a comeback 7-5 victory over 20-year-old newcomer Sarah Koltun (0-1) of the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the opening draw. In the evening, Sweeting took the early lead, wasted it, and then scored two in an extra end for an 8-6 win over 22-year-old Kesa van Osch of British Columbia (1-1). Heather Strong (2-0) of Newfoundland used the shot of the day to edge the home team, Quebecs Allison Ross (0-2), 5-4 with a raised angle takeout on the final shot. Stefanie Lawton (1-0) of Saskatchewan downed Allison Flaxeys Ontario rink (0-1) 8-6. Koltun looked ready for an upset when she stole a point for a 4-1 lead in the fifth end to throw a scare into 26-year-old Sweeting, a youngster herself in only her second Scotties. "They were outplaying us for sure," said Sweeting. "We set up some good ends and she made some good draws to save them, but we stayed patient and had an opportunity in the ninth and took advantage. "Im happy to get out of that one with a win, but we definitely have to sharpen up. We knew we couldnt take them lightly. Its their first time here and they have nothing to lose." A miss by Koltun with her first stone in the ninth set up the decisive steal by Alberta. Sweetings rink kept the house clear in the 10th and left no chance for the Whitehorse skip to force an extra end. Koltun is the youngest skip ever to play in the Scotties and is the first to skip at the Canadian junior and Scotties championships in the same year. She went 5-4 at the juniors two weeks ago in Liverpool, N.S. with two of her three teammates at the Scotties. She skipped a record seven times at national junior championships and is considered among the rising talents in the sport. But she may have let one get away in her debut. "We were in control at the beginning and it was just that one bad end, but its our first game at our first Scotties so well take what we can from it," said Koltun. "We are happy to be here, but we want to contend and be competitive and I think we showed that in this first game by putting up a really strong fight." Quebecs Allison Ross had a disappointing start as she failed to score until she picked up one point in the eighth end. After scoring, Ross conceded a 6-1 victory to New Brunswicks Andrea Crawford. The Quebec side from Montreal curled only 64 per cent as a group, lowest of the day. She found her draw weight in her evening match against Strong, which had the crowd of 1,825 roaring, but fell short when the Newfoundland skip pulled off her winning takeout. "I was reading the ice better," said Ross. "Its a disappointing loss, but Heather made an amazing shot. You want to leave the other team a hard shot, and she made it." Strong had won the Hot Shots competition -- a pre-tournament skills exhibition -- on Saturday morning and it may have helped her against Quebec. "A lot of the (Hot Shots) are indicative of what you face in game, so I referred back to that a lot," she said. "I felt good when I threw it, but I was coming off missing the one right before it, so I was a little torn. "We were exhausted. It was late back home. There were the opening ceremonies, we were in the Hot Shots right through. It was a long day, so to pull off that second win was awesome." Strong had won her first match as she took a 6-2 lead after six ends, then had to hold off a charge from Nova Scotias Heather Smith (0-1) for an 8-5 victory. Van Osch needed an extra end to defeat Kim Dolans Prince Edward Island rink 7-4. The 22-year-old from Victoria admitted to feeling nervous in her debut match, but settled down as it went on against the veteran Dolan, who is in her 10th Scotties. Van Osch said she hasnt set any goals for the tournament. "Were a first-year team," she said. "It was a bonus just to make it to the Scotties this year. Were taking things as they come, game by game." There are three draws scheduled for Sunday, including Team Canada against both Ontario and Quebec. 23:04ET 01-02-14 Hassan Whiteside Jersey .com) - Rajon Rondo turned in a game-high 21 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists as Dallas claimed a 102-98 win over the Lakers on Friday. James Johnson Jersey . Thats how the Ravens won when Ryan was their defensive co-ordinator from 2005-08, and that is precisely the formula Baltimore used to beat Ryans New York Jets on Sunday. http://www.authenticbasketballshopheat.i...al-heat-jersey/. Others describe it as taking the parrot for a walk. Josh Richardson Jersey . - While he appreciates suggestions from Packers fans of remedies for his sore left calf, Aaron Rodgers is not necessarily going to listen to the advice. Edrice Adebayo Jersey . - The Denver Broncos kept rookie wide receiver Tavarres King from joining the Green Bay Packers by promoting him to their active roster Tuesday.CHICAGO -- The first two happened in a single game in Colorado. There was a fly ball that barely cleared the wall, and then a screaming drive to right-centre. Jose Abreu quickly hit two more home runs against Cleveland. He beat Tampa Bay with a game-ending grand slam, an absolute laser for his second shot of the game. Some 6,000 feet of homers in just six weeks, another successful mile in a well-travelled bridge from Abreus native Cuba to the Chicago White Sox. The big first baseman is punishing major league pitching while making a difficult transition to the United States look almost routine. "I come from a place where there is very good baseball, but theres nowhere you can compare that baseball to this one," Abreu said through a translator. "This is the best baseball in the world. But the only way to achieve this, to come here and be successful, is to be disciplined, to have a lot of discipline, thats the way you improve." Abreu looks right at home. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound slugger connected in Oakland on Wednesday to become the fourth player in major league history to hit 15 homers in his first 42 games, joining Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner. He is batting .271 with 41 RBIs heading into a weekend series at Houston. Abreu, who defected in 2012 and finalized a $68 million, six-year deal with the White Sox in October, is among the major league leaders in several offensive categories. Playing at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, he is a legitimate threat to become baseballs first rookie home run king since Mark McGwire for the Athletics in 1987. "Its just his strength, his power," White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "I mean hes just strong. You can do what he does with how strong he is, because he doesnt do a lot with his swing, his body to get ready to hit. He just drops the head of the bat on it and its gone." All that power has captured the attention of baseball fans across the country, but it is Abreus appreciative attitude that has quickly endeared him to his teammates. No small feat considering Abreus arrival pushed franchise icon Paul Konerko into a reserve role. "Hes such a good team person and you like to see stuff like this happen to people like him," manager Robin Ventura said. Abreu is the latest in a new wave of Cuban stars finding success all over baseball, and part of a long history of successful Cuban players in Chicago. Sluggers Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers are two of the majors most dangerous bats. Cincinnati left-hander Aroldis Chapman has blossomed into an All-Star closer. Miami right-hander Jose Fernnandez was the NL Rookie of the Year last season.dddddddddddd There were a record 19 Cuban players on opening-day rosters and inactive lists this year. "I think clubs are learning more and more how to do it," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. Cuban players often travel a dangerous road to the majors. According to court documents in a federal lawsuit in Miami, smugglers who helped Puig leave his country on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a boxer who says he defected with Puig. When they make it to the U.S., they face what can be an isolating transition to a completely different culture and the rigours of the majors. One of the biggest challenges is the language barrier, but they also have to work through changes brought on by a level of wealth and fame far beyond what they could have experienced in their home country. Major league teams are more careful than ever these days about creating a positive atmosphere for the Cuban players, making sure there is a translator in the clubhouse and help nearby when it comes to challenges on and off the field. The 27-year-old Abreu has three Cuban teammates; shortstop Alexei Ramirez, outfielder Dayan Viciedo and catcher Adrian Nieto. Lino Diaz, the manager of cultural development for the White Sox, also is around if Abreu needs any assistance. The White Sox have had 18 Cuban-born players in franchise history, tied with the Los Angeles Angels for fourth among all major league franchises, according to STATS. Minnie Minoso, regarded as baseballs first black Latino star, played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago and remains a team ambassador. Orlando Hernandez helped the White Sox win their last World Series title in 2005. Abreus fast start is drawing interest back home. The slugger is followed as closely as possible in a country where, despite the appearance of recorded major league games on state TV starting in March 2013, games featuring Cuban defectors are still not shown. Cubans with access to the Internet and bootleg versions track his career and often discuss it at the "hot corner," a spot in Havanas Parque Central where baseball fans gather to discuss international and Cuban players. "Abreu is a powerful hitter, he was really good here, but personally I think that with his major league results hes really exceeded expectations," said Jose Estrada, 55. "All over Cuba were following him much more than before because hes Cuban and he represents Cuba in the country with the best baseball in the world, the major leagues, and hes showing everyone the level of Cuban baseball." That level looks better than ever right now. 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