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Raiders GM: DeAndre Washington a ‘complete back’

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Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talked all offseason about finding a running back to pair with Latavius Murray Jerseys.

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Oakland waited until the fifth round to address the position, but McKenzie believes he’s found an answer in DeAndre Washington out of Texas Tech.

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“DeAndre, he’s more than just a third-down back,” McKenzie told KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, via the cheap wholesale team’s official website. “He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is.”

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While just 5-foot-8, Washington “is short but compact and certainly does not lack the toughness to transition into the NFL,” per NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein.

We asked on Tuesday’s Around the NFL Podcast if the Raiders did enough to complement Murray, whose 4.0 yards per carry was a full 1.2 yards off his 2014 numbers. Murray brings size and speed to the game, but his 266 totes from last season aren’t something the Raiders want to duplicate again, with McKenzie saying in March: “The way this league is with the pounding you’re taking, you can’t just have one guy getting beat up all year.”

With only Taiwan Jones Jerseys, George Atkinson and Roy Helu Jerseys behind Murray, Washington has the chance to make an impact as a rookie.

“We think he’s a complete back, and when he gets out in space, he can make you look silly.” McKenzie said. “He can catch the ball, but he can run between the tackles as well as bouncing it outside. We think he’s the total package as a runner. We really like him.”

If Washington can carry his own, the Raiders have added another weapon to an offense that boasts quarterback Derek Carr Jerseys, wideout Amari Cooper and one of the league’s finest offensive lines. The optimism in Oakland is real.

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Cardinals rally in Michael Wacha’s first start

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Anthony Garcia hit a go-ahead two-run homer, while Randal Grichuk, Matt Adams and Aledmys Diaz each doubled for the Cardinals in a 5-3 win over the split-squad Twins on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.

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Garcia, an outfielder who split time between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis last year, connected on a two-run blast off lefty reliever Logan Darnell Jerseys in the sixth inning. It was the first homer in Grapefruit League play for St. Louis.

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The Cardinals scored a run in the fifth on an RBI single from Diaz, who is one of three internal shortstop candidates, along with Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia, the Cardinals could consider as a replacement for Jhonny Peralta, who sustained a torn left thumb ligament on Saturday. Diaz, who has yet to reach the Majors, went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, including one in St. Louis’ two-run ninth.

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Right-hander Michael Wacha made his first start of the spring for the Cardinals, allowing one cheapjerseys run on two hits over two innings. The lone run he gave up came in the first, when Brian Dozier Jerseys and Eduardo Escobar opened with consecutive singles before Joe Mauer grounded into a run-scoring double play.

Mauer later doubled off right-hander Luke Weaver in the fourth and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Kennys Vargas.

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco Jerseys, who is competing for the final spot in Minnesota’s rotation, started for the Twins and tossed three scoreless frames. He allowed three hits, including two doubles, but was helped by two double plays and four strikeouts.

“I was filling up the zone pretty good, but I need to get better command of my fastball,” Nolasco said. “The ball is running a lot this spring, but I need to start it out a little farther away to get used to that.”

Up next for the Cardinals: Right-hander Mike Leake, who signed a five-year deal with the Cardinals in December, will make his organizational debut on Wednesday when the Cardinals take on the Marlins in a 12:05 pm CT game, live on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Leake is expected to throw about 40 pitches in the outing. Catcher Yadier Molina, who is recovering from offseason thumb surgery, may draw his first spring start, though he would not take any swings.

Up next for the Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone Jerseys makes his second start of the spring for the Twins on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. CT against a Phillies split squad at Hammond Stadium. Milone, competing for the final spot in the rotation, gave up one run in two innings his last time out. Closer Glen Perkins Jerseys is also scheduled to see action.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments