Ex-NCAA investigator takes stand in Todd McNair defamation trial

After two full days of testimony in former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair’s defamation trial against the NCAA, just two witnesses have appeared before the court.

The tedious, slow-moving pace of the trial — which is expected to last a few weeks — falls in line with how the case has progressed since it was filed in June 2011 and already appears to be testing the patience of members of the jury. On Tuesday, the first day of testimony, multiple jury members appeared to have trouble staying attentive and one, who at one point appeared to fall asleep, was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.

Overanalyzing is exactly what will happen given the Capitals’ recent and franchise-long playoff history. But maybe the Capitals are better off focusing on the positives, and coach Barry Trotz expects things to click back into place for Game 2 on Sunday.

“It was a little bit of a kick in the stomach,” Trotz said Friday. “We had a couple kicks in the stomach in the first round with Columbus, and you saw the response that we had. I know our group, I know the strength of our group, I know the resiliency. This group will battle back.”

Manny Machado hit his team-leading ninth home run and added an RBI single in the eighth. Richard Bleier pitched a perfect eighth before Mychal Givens closed out the ninth.

Tillman provided a much-needed performance for the Orioles (7-19), who are enduring the second worst 26-game stretch to begin a season in franchise history. The team started the 1988 season 0-21 before winning two of their next four games.

After two batters reached in the first inning, Tillman retired 10 straight before allowing a four-pitch walk to Victor Martinez with two outs in the fourth. He did not allow a hit until Jose Iglesias lined a one-out double in the fifth.

Mike Fiers (2-2) allowed three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings for the Tigers, who have lost three straight.

Machado gave the Orioles the lead in the first with a solo homer to center. Fiers retired 12 in a row before Alvarez homered in the fifth. Fiers had allowed two homers in his previous three starts.dolphins_120

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