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THE DAILY ASTORIAN • THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017
Gary Henley | Sports Reporter
Poyer ready to ‘rock it’ with Buffalo Bills
The Daily Astorian
Astoria’s Jordan Poyer makes his
official “game day” debut with his
new team tonight when the Buffalo
Bills host Minnesota at 7 p.m. EST at
New Era Field.
Poyer is going through his fifth
NFL training camp, and is expected
to play the first quarter of Thursday’s
game against the Vikings.
Poyer spent the last four years
with Cleveland, before signing with
the Bills in the offseason. He has not
played since suffering a lacerated kid-
ney in Week 6 with the Browns last
year, and spent the rest of the season
on injured reserve.
The 26-year-old Poyer still fin-
ished last season with 39 total tack-
les in just six games, just four short of
his career-high 43 tackles in 14 games
with the Browns in 2015.
Poyer is slated to be one of Buf-
falo’s two starting safeties this year,
as the Bills — looking to rebuild
their defense — signed Poyer along
with Green Bay’s Micah Hyde in the
Playing in the AFC East, Poyer
and the Bills will face Tom Brady and
the world champion New England
Patriots twice a season. Poyer’s only
West Coast appearance this year
will be Nov. 19 at the Los Angeles
In an interview on the Bills’ web-
site last month, Poyer said Buffa-
lo’s games with New England will
be “definitely something I’m looking
forward to. I’ve played them a cou-
ple times the last couple years. I’m
After graduating from Astoria
High School in 2009, Poyer played
four years at Oregon State before he
was drafted by Philadelphia in the
seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft.
He played three games with the
Eagles in 2013 before signing with
Poyer will wear No. 21 with the
When Poyer and Hyde signed with
Buffalo as free agents, they both had
to pick new numbers. They both wore
33 for their previous teams, and that
number is already taken on the Bills
by Colt Anderson.
“They had 21 and 23 available,”
Poyer said. “We both looked at each
other, which way are we going to go?
So I just said off the rip, I’ll take 21.”
Based on how he was feeling the
first time he had his full Bills uniform
on for a team photoshoot, Poyer was
happy with his choice.
“I’m going to rock it,” he said.
“No significance behind it. I’m happy
in a new place. New place, new num-
ber. In Cleveland I had 33. Philadel-
phia, I had 33. Putting that behind me.
It’s a new place, I’m excited about
being here. New place, new number.”
The Daily Astorian/File
Jordan Poyer visits with his mom, Julie, following Cleveland’s 2015
game at Seattle. Poyer signed with the Buffalo Bills in the offseason.
By TIM BOOTH
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz points skyward as he crosses home plate following his solo home run against the Oakland Athletics
during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday in Oakland, Calif.
Cruz homers twice to
power Mariners past A’s
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
OAKLAND, Calif. — Nelson Cruz wasn’t
nearly as impressed with his latest power dis-
play as Seattle teammate Kyle Seager was.
On a day when Seager hit a three-run
homer in the first inning to get the Mariners
off to a fast start, Cruz trumped him with two
towering 400-foot home runs to continue his
season-long feast on Athletics pitching.
Seattle beat Oakland 6-3 on Wednesday to
complete a two-game sweep.
“It’s cool being on deck when he gets hold
of one because he can do stuff that there’s not
a lot of guys can,” Seager said of Cruz. “He’s
a lot of fun to watch and you certainly want
him on your team. He’s incredible, the stuff
he can do.”
Robinson Cano had two hits and scored
twice while Ben Gamel singled and made
another sparkling defensive play to help Seat-
tle to its fourth win in five games.
The Mariners, who entered the day tied with
Kansas City and Tampa Bay for the second AL
wild card, finished 6-3 on their road trip.
Cruz hit a two-run homer in the third, his
25th, then added his 26th in the fifth. It’s the
second multi-homer game in four days for
the Mariners slugger, who has 22 RBIs in 13
games against the A’s this season — a Seattle
record against Oakland.
“I can’t explain it,” Cruz said. “You go to
all the ballparks and you don’t feel it. I guess
Seager homered in the first after Jean
Segura and Cano singled.
All three home runs came off Oakland
starter Jharel Cotton (5-9).
Khris Davis hit his 31st home run and Matt
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz drops his
bat as he hits a solo home run against
the Oakland Athletics during the fifth in-
ning of a baseball game Wednesday in
UP NEXT: MARINERS
• Los Angeles Angels (57-58)
at Seattle Mariners (59-56)
• Tonight, 7:10 p.m. TV: RTNW
Joyce also homered for the A’s, one day after
returning to the lineup following a two-game
suspension for using an anti-gay slur.
Emilion Pagan (1-2) pitched one-hit ball
over 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Yovani
Gallardo to earn his first career win.
Edwin Diaz retired three batters for his
Gallardo was knocked out of the game in
the fifth inning after allowing three runs and
The Mariners, who went into the day with
67 errors, made two defensive gems.
Gamel made a leaping catch while crash-
ing into the left-field wall to rob Marcus
Semien of a hit in the fourth inning, the latest
in a string a stellar plays from the rookie out-
fielder. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson also made
a leaping catch near the wall in center in the
“There were some subtle plays that kept
us down a little bit,” A’s manager Bob Mel-
vin said. “Our bats weren’t great in the mid-
dle of the game but if one of those breaks goes
one way or the other, now we’re looking at a
different ballgame. But they didn’t so it was a
Cotton, winless since June 23, allowed six
runs and eight hits over six innings.
Can’t go distance
The A’s have gone a franchise-record 154
consecutive games without a pitcher throwing
a complete game. The last pitcher to go the dis-
tance for Oakland was Kendall Graveman on
Aug. 19, 2016. The streak was the third-lon-
gest active drought in the majors entering the
day behind Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
RENTON, Wash. — Even though
he’s now a professional, Shaquill
Griffin is still receiving an intense
And in this scenario, Rich-
ard Sherman is one of the primary
“He’s mentally sharp. That’s
really, really unique for a rookie to
be that mentally sharp and mentally
on it,” Sherman said. “He’s incredi-
bly coachable. He does a great job of
just being coachable and when they
correct a mistake then he makes sure
he makes the corrections.”
There are very few questions sur-
rounding the starters for the Seattle
Seahawks when the season begins
Sept. 10 at Green Bay. The corner-
back opposite Sherman, though, is
one of those and perhaps the most
important to answer in the weeks
leading up to the regular season.
It became an issue when starter
DeShawn Shead suffered a torn ACL
in his left knee during Seattle’s play-
off loss to Atlanta. Shead needed
a small follow-up procedure that
delayed his return even further.
Enter the rookie Griffin, Seattle’s
third-round selection out of Central
Florida, who is competing with vet-
eran Jeremy Lane for the starting role
“I’m getting a lot of help from
Richard and you know, every now
and then I get the chance to move a
little faster,” Griffin said. “Now I’m
starting to get the hang of it. The
game is starting to slow down for
Griffin was a priority pick for the
Seahawks. There were other options
Seattle could have taken earlier in the
draft, but the Seahawks liked Grif-
fin’s mix of size at 6-feet and speed.
For all the certainty in Seattle’s
standout secondary, the spot opposite
Sherman has proven troubling since
Byron Maxwell left as a free agent
following the 2014 season. Cary Wil-
liams was brought in for the 2015
season, only to be benched and even-
tually cut later. Shead, a converted
safety, was more than adequate last
season while regularly getting picked
on as teams avoided Sherman, but his
knee injury altered Seattle’s plans.
Diaz has 12 saves since the All-Star break,
most in the majors. The Seattle closer also has
a scoreless streak of 18 2/3 innings on the road
dating to May 24.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-3, 2.70
ERA) pitches in the opener of a four-game
series against the Angels on Friday night in
Seattle. Paxton leads the AL and is tied for
second in the majors with 113 wild pitches.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Seattle Seahawks’ Shaquill Grif-
fin and Richard Sherman talk be-
tween drills at NFL football prac-
tice in Renton, Wash.