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Cardinals Outlast Rain, Pirates

Dexter Fowler's two-run triple sparked the Cardinals to an 11-7 comeback win over the Pirates.
 
With the Cardinals trailing 5-4 with one out in the seventh inning, Fowler tripled down the right field line off reliever Joaquin Benoit to give St. Louis a 6-5 lead.
Yadier Molina followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5 and chase Benoit (1-6), who allowed three runs on three hits in a third of an inning. Benoit has surrendered nine runs in six games for the Pirates since being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 31.
 
St. Louis added four more runs in the ninth inning before Pittsburgh answered with two in the bottom half.
 
Fowler went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, scored three runs and walked twice in his 10th game since getting off the 10-day disabled list with a wrist injury.
 
Righty Sam Tuivailala (3-1) pitched one scoreless inning for the win. He allowed three hits but escaped trouble withtwo strikeouts.
 
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright lasted just three innings for the second time in his past three starts while allowing five runs on seven hits.
 
Pirates left-hander Jameson Taillon was lifted after rain halted play following the fifth inning. He surrendered four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.
 
Carlos Martinez (9-9, 3.56) could win a third straight start when he takes the mound against the Pirates on Friday. He surrendered a combined five runs in two consecutive wins, 11-3 over the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 7 and 6-5 over the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 12.
 
Trevor Williams (5-5, 4.19) will look to bounce back from losing his last start when he faces the Cardinals on Friday. He allowed four runs - three earned - in six innings in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 12.

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Reds Outslug Cubs

Phillip Ervin hit a two-run homer to snap a tie in the seventh inning and had four RBIs in his first major league start as the Reds rebounded from blowing a nine-run lead to defeat the Chicago Cubs 13-10 on Thursday.
 
Ervin also had a single and double in four at-bats.
 
Joey Votto lofted a three-run homer in a nine-run, second-inning rally as Cincinnati raced to a 9-0 lead against Cubs starter Jon Lester on a warm day with the wind blowing out.
 
Ian Happ hit two solo shots and a sacrifice fly, and Alex Avila went deep and had three RBIs for the Cubs, who used six homers to erase a nine-run deficit for the first time since August 1989 versus Houston.
 
Drew Storen (4-2) pitched a scoreless sixth for the win, then Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 23 chances. Justin Grimm (1-2), who gave up Erwin's homer and was the second of five Cubs relievers took the loss.
 
Happ, Avila, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez homered in the fourth as the Cubs went deep four times in an inning for the first time since June 2008 to cut it to 9-6.
 
Kyle Schwarber homered to lead off the fifth, then Anthony Rizzo and Avila drove in runs with doubles against Michael Lorenzen to tie it at 9.
 
The Reds sent 13 men to the plate in the second. Eugenio Suarez and Ervin each had a single and a double in the eight-hit outburst.
 
Lester was pulled with left lat tightness with two outs in the inning and saw a doctor after the game.
 
Lester was charged with nine runs, seven earned, and was replaced by Mike Montgomery after facing 11 batters in the inning and Cincinnati leading 8-0.
 
After Chicago tied it 9-all in the fifth, Ervin put the Reds back in front 11-9 in the seventh. Happ's sac fly in the bottom half made it 11-10.The Reds added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth.
 
Jake Arrieta (12-8, 3.73) takes the mound against Toronto LHP J.A. Happ (6-8, 3.63) in the opener of a three-game set at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Arietta is 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts since July 2. Happ, 20-4 last season, has won three straight with a 1.45 ERA after getting off to a 3-8 start.

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Rangers Outslug White Sox

Nomar Mazara had five RBIs, including a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning, and the Rangers held on to beat the Chicago White Sox 9-8 on Thursday night.
 
The Rangers (60-60) reached .500 for the first time since July 15 with their fourth straight win and seventh in eight games. The defending AL West champs, out of the division race behind Houston, pulled 1 1/2 games behind the idle Los Angeles Angels for the AL's second wild card.
 
Mazara's 16th home run capped the Rangers' second four-run inning, which included two injury replacements on the mound for the White Sox in their fifth straight loss. Chicago, carrying the AL's worst record, dropped to 7-24 since the All-Star break.
 
The White Sox twice pulled within a run late after trailing 8-5, including in the ninth on Jose Abreu's 23rd homer, a solo shot. But Alex Claudio finished a two-inning save for the left-hander's sixth of the season.
 
Chris Beck replaced starter Reynaldo Lopez in the fifth and took a sharp comebacker from Adrian Beltre off the back of his right shoulder. The right-hander stayed in the game without getting checked and allowed Mazara's high drive to right-center.
 
After a trainer finally came out, Beck exited with a right shoulder bruise. Lopez (0-1) was removed because of soreness on his right side in his second start since coming up from the minors.
 
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2) retired all five batters he faced after starter Tyson Ross walked a season-high six and allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Chicago pitchers walked a season-high nine.
 
Rangers backup catcher Brett Nicholas had his second homer in two starts, a two-run shot in the third, and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. Mazara had a two-run single later in the third. He finished one RBI shy of his career high.
 
Avisail Garcia was scratched from the lineup with left wrist soreness.
 
James Shields (2-4, 5.90) is winless (0-3) with a 7.54 ERA over his past seven starts. He is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in his career against the Rangers.
 
Andrew Cashner (7-9, 3.32) had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to Houston in his last start, allowing two runs in seven innings.

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Cubs Outlast Reds

Javier Baez scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to cap a wild 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds, in which the Cubs almost squandered a grand slam by Anthony Rizzo in the first inning and another strong start by John Lackey because of three home runs allowed by the bullpen.
 
Baez opened the bottom of the ninth with a double off Wandy Peralta (3-3) and pinch-hitter Jon Jay walked. Then, Ben Zobrist moved the runners with a groundout, but only after manager Joe Maddon was ejected during the at-bat.
 
Reliever Blake Wood came in and struck out Albert Almora Jr. But on the first pitch to Kris Bryant with two outs, Wood threw a breaking pitch that got away from catcher Tucker Barnhart, ending the game.
 
The Cubs are 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee and 2 1/2 ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals.
 
Cincinnati's Joey Votto had his streak of reaching base at least twice in a game come to an end. Votto did reach once but he fell one game shy of tying Ted Williams' record of 21 straight games.
 
Wade Davis (3-1) pitched a perfect ninth, redeeming the bullpen, which surrendered a five-run lead.
 
The third grand slam of Rizzo's career came after both teams loaded the bases with their first three batters of the game.
 
The Reds managed just one run in the top of the first, while Rizzo regained the lead for Lackey with an opposite field blast, his 28th of the season.
 
Cincinnati put on seven baserunners in the first two innings against Lackey, but got just the one run in his six innings.
 
Lackey allowed one baserunner over his final four innings, retiring the final 10 without allowing a ball out of the infield. He had six strikeouts and walked three. Lackey is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA since the All-Star break after going 5-9 with a 5.20 ERA in the first half. He was trying for a career-best sixth straight win.
 
Bailey allowed six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, waking five and striking out 10.
 
Phillip Ervin became the first Reds player since Juan Francisco in 2009 to homer on his first career hit when his solo shot off reliever Hector Rondon made it 6-2 in the seventh inning.
 
Two batters later, Zack Cozart's home run off Rondon made it 6-4, forcing Maddon to insert Brian Duensing in the game. He got Votto to ground out, ending the rally and Votto's chance at history.
 
The teams will close the four-game series Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field with LHP Jon Lester (8-7, 3.99 ERA) pitching for the home team against RHP Scott Feldman (7-7, 4.43).

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Red Sox Edge Cardinals

Mookie Betts lined a two-run double off the Green Monster with two outs in the ninth inning, capping a three-run rally that lifted the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
 
Xander Bogaerts opened the ninth with a solo homer for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who won for the 12th time in 14 games and maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees.
 
Zach Duke (0-1) struck out a batter and walked one before John Brebbia gave up Betts' hit after he laid off a pair of tough sliders, with Jackie Bradley Jr. beating a relay home with a headfirst slide for the winning run as catcher Yadier Molina dropped the throw.
 
Bradley didn't see Molina drop the throw as he slid past the plate without touching it. He had to reach back after he stopped.
 
Molina was arguing with Segal before Matheny came out.
 
Kolten Wong had three hits, including an RBI single in St. Louis' four-run second inning, and Lance Lynn held Boston's offense down with six solid innings before the Red Sox rallied.
 
It was just the third loss in 11 games for the Cardinals, who were swept in the two-game series, their first visit to Fenway Park since the 2013 World Series.
Craig Kimbrel (5-0) pitched one hitless inning for the win.
 
Lynn allowed two runs and seven hits, walking and striking out three.
 
Eduardo Rodriguez gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Adam Wainwright (12-5, 4.87 ERA) is set to face Pittsburgh RHP Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.50) Thursday. Wainwright has won his last five decisions.

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Dodgers Rally Past White Sox

Trailing 4-2, Yasiel Puig's two-run double drove in the tying and go-ahead runs to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Wednesday night for the Dodgers' second comeback win in two games.
 
Leury Garcia, Nicky Delmonico and Jose Abreu homered off Yu Darvish, who gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. The Japanese right-hander struck out a season-low two and walked one in his third game for his new team since being acquired in a deadline deal from Texas last month.
 
Ross Stripling (2-4) got the victory with one inning of relief.
 
Chicago starter Carlos Rodon allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked four. He walked Chris Taylor in the third, ending a streak of 89 consecutive batters without a walk.
 
Reynaldo Lopez (0-0, 3.00 ERA) makes his second start for Chicago in Thursday's opener at Texas. He got a no-decision in his debut against Kansas City, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings.

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Wade, Bulls Expected To Reach Buyout

When the Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler for a horde of young talent on draft night, many wondered whether Dwyane Wade would be the next to leave town.
 
It appears their suspicions were correct, as ESPN's Nick Friedell reports that Wade and the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement in the near future.
 
Friedell reports quote - "Dwyane Wade isn't long for the organization's future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months."
 
The Bulls owe Wade nearly $24 million next season, the final year of his contract. Wade would likely insist on receiving a large portion of that sum in any buyout agreement. Once Wade clears waivers, he will become an unrestricted free agent, able to immediately sign with any team except for Chicago.
 
The Bulls are clearly building for the future around the young players they picked up for Butler: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 35-year-old Wade is not interested in being part of a rebuilding effort, so it makes sense for both parties to cut ties as soon as possible.

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Cubs Blast Reds

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers to cap a five-run fourth inning, and the Cubs continued their recent dominance of the Cincinnati Reds with a 15-5 victory Monday night.
 
Bryant went 2 for 4 with a walk and has reached safely in 16 of his last 20 plate appearances.
Jon Jay had three hits with an RBI and finished a home run shy of the cycle as the Cubs extended their NL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over idle St. Louis. Jose Quintana (3-2) allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings to snap a three-start winless stretch.
 
Scooter Gennett hit a two-run homer, his 20th, in the eighth for the Reds, who have five players with at least 20 home runs to tie a club record. Gennett also mopped up on the mound after beginning the game at second base.
 
Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco broke his left foot when he was hit by a pitch in the second.
 
Joey Votto went 3 for 5 to set a Cincinnati mark by reaching base at least twice in 19 consecutive games. It's the longest streak in the majors since Barry Bonds did it in 20 straight in 2004.
 
Reds starter Asher Wojciehowski (3-2) appeared to settle down after a rough first inning, but couldn't get the final out in the fourth.
 
With Jason Heyward at first and two outs, Jay tripled into the right-field corner to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. Tommy La Stella followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2. Bryant then cracked a two-run homer and Rizzo followed with a solo shot for a 7-2 edge.
 
The Cubs scored six times in the seventh - highlighted by reliever Mike Montgomery's two-run double and Rizzo's two-run single - to make it 12-2.
 
After the Reds scored three times in the eighth, Javier Baez hit a two-run homer off Gennett in the bottom of the inning.
 
The game marked the beginning of a stretch of 24 straight for the Cubs against teams currently with losing records.
 
Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.70 ERA) faces rookie righty Luis Castillo (2-5, 3.73) in the second game of the four-game series Tuesday. Hendricks is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five career starts against Cincinnati.

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Jake Arrieta won consecutive starts for the first time since early April, Javier Baez and Ian Happ hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Sunday.
 
Bryant put the Cubs ahead when he scored from second on a wild pitch from Zack Godley in the first inning on strike three to Victor Caratini. The reigning NL MVP added his 21st homer in the ninth inning, reaching for the 13th time in 15 plate appearances during the three-game series.
 
Chicago grabbed the rubber game of its weekend series in Arizona to take a one-game lead over the second-place Cardinals. St. Louis lost 6-3 to Atlanta, ending an eight-game winning streak.
 
Paul Goldschmidt hit his 28th homer in the ninth, but Arizona, bidding for an NL wild card, lost for the sixth time in eight games.
 
Arrieta (12-8) allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Coming off a 5-3 win over San Francisco.
 
Godley (5-5) had three wild pitches and four walks in 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out eight. He struck out four in the first inning, the first Diamondbacks pitcher to fan four in a frame since Oliver Perez in September 2014.
 
Baez's three-run homer off Jake Barrett, a drive into the second deck in left, came after an intentional walk to Jason Heyward and put the Cubs ahead 5-1. Happ, pinch-hitting for Carl Edwards Jr., homered three pitches later.
 
Jose Quintana (2-2) starts for the Cubs on Monday in the opener of a four-game series against Cincinnati. The Reds are one of four teams Quintana has yet to face.
 
>>Royals Down White Sox
 
Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high five runs, and the Kansas City Royals pounded the Chicago White Sox 14-6 on Sunday.
 
Drew Butera had four of Kansas City's 16 hits, helping the Royals climb back over .500 at 59-58. Jorge Bonifacio hit his 15th homer, and Lorenzo Cain had two hits and two RBIs.
 
Merrifield needed a double for the cycle when he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. But he popped out on a shallow foul ball to right fielder Avisail Garcia.
 
Jason Vargas (14-6) worked six innings to match his career high for wins set in 2012 with Seattle. The left-hander allowed three runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked two.
 
The Royals won the last two games of the weekend set after dropping five in a row and 10 of 12. They remain in the mix for the second AL wild card.
 
Tim Anderson hit a two-run homer for AL-worst Chicago, and Garcia added a two-run double.
 
White Sox left-hander Derek Holland (6-12) lasted just two-plus innings in his shortest start of the year. He was charged with seven runs and seven hits.
 
Kansas City grabbed control with four runs in the second and four more in the third. Bonifacio led off the third with a drive to left and Merrifield made it 8-0 when he went deep against Mike Pelfrey.
 
Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85 ERA) faces Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.37 ERA) on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Wood has won three straight since his only loss this season.
 
>>Braves Double Up Cardinals
 
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer to back R.A. Dickey, and the Atlanta Braves stopped the Cardinals' season-high, eight-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory Sunday.
 
Phillips connected in the fifth for his 10th home run this season and the 17th of his career against St. Louis. Phillips is still booed by Cardinals fans for his part of a bench-clearing brawl when he played for Cincinnati in 2010.
 
Dickey (8-7) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. The 42-year-old knuckleballer has given up one or no earned runs in eight of 23 starts.
 
Atlanta stopped a five-game losing streak, beat the Cardinals for the first time in six meetings this year and avoided getting swept in the season series for the first time.
 
Arodys Vizcaino pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since Aug. 5 and his sixth in eight tries.
 
Michael Wacha (9-5) gave up four runs and five hits in eight innings, just the second time in 10 starts he has allowed four or more earned runs.
 
Mike Leake (7-10) starts at Boston in the opener of a six-game trip. Leake last pitched at Fenway Park on May 7, 2014, allowing two runs over seven innings in a no-decision.

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K Aguayo Signed By Bears

Roberto Aguayo's time in Tampa Bay came to an abrupt end on Saturday, but he's not out of chances in the NFL yet. One day later, Aguayo found his new home. According to ESPN's Field Yates, the Bears claimed Aguayo off waivers on Sunday. 
 
A second-round pick a year ago, Aguayo struggled in his rookie season, connecting on just 71 percent of his field goals. He was last in the league in field goal percentage. On kicks of 40 yards or longer, he went 4 of 11. He missed two extra points.
 
This offseason, the Buccaneers brought in outside competition for Aguayo in long-time Jets kicker Nick Folk. After Aguayo missed two kicks in the Buccaneers' preseason opener, they decided enough was enough. 
 
He won't be guaranteed a roster spot in Chicago, though. Instead, he'll be forced to beat out the incumbent, Connor Barth, who replaced Bears kicking legend Robbie Gould last season. Barth wasn't great last year -- he made 78.3 percent of his field goals, which ranked sixth-worst in football. So, Aguayo does have a chance. 
 
Aguayo took the Buccaneers' starting job from Barth last year.

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Kyle Larson Wins At Michigan

Kyle Larson slipped between cars on an overtime restart and won Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The victory capped a busy stretch for Larson after team owner Chip Ganassi allowed him to go to Iowa to compete in the Knoxville Nationals on Saturday.
 
He finished second at that sprint car event before returning to Michigan and earning his fourth career Cup victory.
 
Martin Truex Jr. was in the lead, about a second ahead of teammate Erik Jones, before a late caution came out because of a spin by Michael McDowell. That forced overtime.
 
A red flag for oil on the track only added to the drama, and when the race restarted for the final time, Larson — who hadn't led at all to that point — drove to the right of Jones and passed to the inside of Truex.
 
Larson has won the last three Cup races at MIS, the first driver to do that since Bill Elliott, who won four straight from 1985-86. This was Larson's third win of the season and ended a mini-slump in which he had finished out of the top 20 in three straight races.
 
Truex and Jones finished second and third for Furniture Row Racing.
 
Keselowski, the pole winner, led for 105 laps, but finished 17th. He is now winless in 17 Cup races at his home state's track.
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has two wins at Michigan, finished 14th in his final race at MIS before he retires at the end of this season.
 
The race was originally scheduled for 200 laps and 400 miles. It ended up being 202 laps. 
 
The Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for a race Saturday night.

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Clinton Girls Basketball Association Holding Tryouts Next Week

Girls entering grades 3-6 are encouraged to come out and be a part of a three day tryout next week.
Starting Wednesday August 16 to Friday August 18, tryouts will be held at Clinton Jr. High School in the gym from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. 
 
The season opens in September and runs to December. 
 
The cost is $125 for girls that are selected to the teams.
 
For more information contact Kris Filkin at 309-530-9061 or Lacey Schick at 217-638-1756.

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16U Travel Baseball Holding Tryouts This Weekend

Boys 16 years old or younger are encouraged to tryout for the Central Illinois Revolution this weekend.
 
A tryout is set for Sunday at 2 pm at Clinton High School's varsity field. The tryout is for the 2018 season.
 
For more information contact Nate Ennis at 217-433-2174.

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Cardinals Stay Hot, Sweep Royals; White Sox Sweep Astros

Dexter Fowler helped the St. Louis outfielder cap off a career-high five-RBI night as the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 8-6.
 
Fowler helped St. Louis tie a season-high with its sixth straight win.
 
Kansas City has lost four in a row and six of seven.
 
St. Louis climbed within one game of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
 
Fowler broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with his 15th homer of the season. He ripped the first pitch from Neftali Feliz for his third career slam.
 
Lorenzo Cain had four hits for the Royals, who lost all four games in the four-game, home-and-home set.
 
Fowler ripped a run-scoring double to trigger a three-run outburst in the sixth inning that helped erase a 3-0 deficit.
 
Trevor Rosenthal recorded four outs to pick up his 10th save in 12 opportunities.
 
Pinch-hitter Brandon Moss brought the Royals within 7-5 with a two-run, bases-loaded double in the eighth that came within a foot of clearing the wall. 
 
Whit Merrifield followed with a sacrifice fly. But Rosenthal got Cain to fly out with the tying run on third.
 
Tyler Lyons (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Lance Lynn, who surrendered two earned runs in six innings.
 
Mike Minor (5-4) took the loss.
 
Melky Cabrera gave the Royals a 3-0 lead with a two-run triple in the fifth.
 
Kansas City starter Jason Hammel gave up two earned runs and three hits over five-plus innings. He has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last seven starts.
 
Cain tied a career high with his four hits. He has 15 hits in his last 29 plate appearances.
 
Adam Wainwright (11-5, 5.00) takes on RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-6, 3.94) in the opener of a three-game set against Atlanta in St. Louis on Friday.
 
>>White Sox Sweep Astros
 
Rookie Yoan Moncada homered to tie the game in the ninth inning and then drove in the game-winnerwith a single in the 11th to lead the White Sox to 3-2 win Thursday night, completing an improbable series sweep of the AL's best team.
 
In the 11th, Leury Garcia led off with a single past diving second baseman Jose Altuve that was then bobbled by right fielder Josh Reddick, with Garcia advancing to second on the error. Altuve dove again for Moncada's hit off Francis Martes two pitches later but could only watch as the White Sox celebrated moments later near his spot in the infield.
 
Earlier, Moncada homered in the ninth with one out against Astros closer Ken Giles for his second career home run.
 
It was the third blown save of the season for Giles, who has converted 22.
 
Martes (4-2) took the loss after striking out all three batters he faced in the 10th inning, and then allowing the two singles in the 11th.
 
David Holmberg (2-3) got the last out of the 11th to earn the win. Carlos Rodon threw his third straight quality start without earning a win.
 
Rodon, a left-hander, tied a career-high with eight innings pitched, striking out four and allowing two runs on nine hits. Jake Petricka, Tyler Clippard, Brad Goldberg and Holmberg combined to hold the Astros scoreless over the last three innings.
 
Houston right-hander Brad Peacock struck out five and gave up one run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
 
Jake Marisnick hit a home run and Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI double for the Astros, who have lost seven of their last nine games.
 
The Astros (71-43) still have a comfortable lead in the AL West.
 
Kansas City comes to town for a three-game series, starting Friday with Royals LHP Danny Duffy (7-7, 3.48) taking on RHP Reynaldo Lopez, who is making his season debut.

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Packers Rout Eagles in Preseason Opener

Quarterback Carson Wentz had a perfect preseason debut for the Philadelphia Eagles under less than ideal conditions against the Green Bay Packers.
 
The ball was a little slick because of the humidity on Thursday night. Players on both sides were shaking off the rust in their first preseason game of the season.
 
But Wentz still managed to go 4 for 4 for 56 yards and a score on his first series, eluding a potential sack and burning the Packers on third and fourth downs in Philadelphia's 24-9 loss on Thursday night.
 
Aaron Rodgers was a healthy scratch for Green Bay.
 
Backup Brett Hundley started at quarterback for Green Bay with Rodgers sitting out. Hundley picked up the pace after a sluggish start as the Packers defense started forcing turnovers.
 
Hundley pump-faked before finding Jeff Janis in stride down the right side of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead with 8:25 left in the second quarter. The Packers capitalized after cornerback LaDarius Gunter forced tight end Trey Burton to fumble at the Eagles 40.
 
Hundley finished 8 of 15 for 90 yards before sitting out the second half.
 
Eagles DE Derek Barnett, the 14th overall pick in the draft out of Tennessee, had two sacks in the first half.
 
Packers rookie WR Malachi Dupre was taken off on a stretcher after fumbling on a reception following a hard hit to the chest by Eagles safety Tre Sullivan with 14:14 left in the game. The Packers said that Dupre had movement and feeling in his arms and legs. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, and McCarthy said initial testing was positive.
 
CB Damarious Randall left in the first quarter with a concussion after getting blocked by Eagles WR Bryce Treggs. McCarthy said he did not have a good view of either it, but that the team would review them.

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Loaded Leader Board at PGA Championship

Good conditions did not make Quail Hollow play any easier, as the regular PGA Tour stop showed some teeth during the first round of the 2017 PGA Championship. 
 
Only 25 of the 156 golfers in the field posted a score under par. The "Green Mile" -- holes 16, 17 and 18 -- all played nearly a half-stroke over par on average and players all over the leaderboard were left grinding after posting big numbers on a day when the average score for the field was just shy of 75.
 
No one was a better example of that grind than Rickie Fowler. Still in search of his first major win, Fowler fell way back early with a triple-bogey on the 5th hole only to battle back with four birdies in his next nine holes, finishing the day just two strokes off the lead. 
 
After coming in 10th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Thorbjorn Olesen (-4) has kept that fine form rolling at Quail Hollow. This isn't his first time making noise at a major, but it's been a while since he finished sixth at The Masters (2013) and ninth at The Open Championships (2012). 
 
T1. Kevin Kisner (-4) started with three-straight birdies on 6, 7, 8 and then birdies on 14, 15 and 18 to finish in a tie for the lead. Kisner was one of the last ones on the course Thursday, so he'll get the first crack at the course tomorrow, possibly before the worst of potential inclement weather. 
 
Brooks Koepka (-3), he U.S. Open champion, clocked in with better than 70 percent averages on driving accuracy and green in regulation while recording a driving distance average of 313.9 yards. 

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Trubinsky Sharp in Bears Preseason Loss

Mitch Trubisky threw for 166 yards and led three scoring drives after Mike Glennon struggled for Chicago, before the Denver Broncos scored two long touchdowns in the closing minutes to beat the Bears 24-17 in the preseason opener on Thursday night.
 
Denver's Trevor Siemian did nothing to hurt his standing as the leader for the starting quarterback job, while Paxton Lynch did little to close any ground.
 
Third-stringer Kyle Sloter threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie with about six minutes left in the game, and De'Angelo Henderson ran for a 41-yard score with just under two minutes remaining to put the Broncos on top 24-17.
 
Trubisky replaced veteran Mark Sanchez late in the second quarter and completed his first 10 passes while leading Chicago to touchdowns on his first two possessions and a field goal on the next one. That gave the Bears a 17-10 lead.
 
Glennon had a rough time in his first appearance for Chicago. Signed to a three-year contract after the Bears parted with Jay Cutler, he was 2 of 8 for 20 yards with a zero QB rating. Chris Harris Jr. intercepted an overthrown pass on the game's third play from scrimmage and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
 
The Bears visit Arizona on Aug. 19.

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NBA Releases Part of Schedule

The NBA champion Golden State Warriors will headline two of the biggest days on the calendar for the 2017-18 season as the league released its opening week and Christmas Day schedules Thursday. 
 
Starting a week earlier then usual this season, the first regular-season games will tip off on Oct. 17 with a TNT doubleheader featuring the Boston Celtics against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the early game and the Houston Rockets taking on the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the nightcap.
 
Each of the next three nights will also feature national TV doubleheaders, including the new-look Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 18 and Lonzo Ball making his NBA debut against the Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 19.
 
As for Christmas Day, there will once again be five games, with the festivities tipping off at noon ET at Madison Square Garden, where the New York Knicks will host the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers. 
 
A rematch of the past three NBA Finals, as the Cavaliers travel to Oracle Arena to take on the Warriors on ABC, which will be followed by the Celtics and Washington Wizards continuing their budding rivalry. 
 
In the night games we'll see the Rockets clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder in a battle of two redesigned squads, while the Timberwolves will head to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in the finale.

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Cardinals, White Sox Win; Cubs Lose

>>Rally Cat, Molina Spark Cardinals To Fifth Straight Win
 
Yadier Molina blasted a grand slam into the left field seats one pitch after a cat ran onto and across the field in the sixth inning, helping the Cardinals rally to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5.
 
The win was the third straight for the Cardinals against the Royals and the fifth straight overall. The Royals have lost eight of their last 10 overall.
 
The Cardinals loaded the bases off Royals relievers Brandon Maurer and Peter Moylan. Molina was at the plate, with two outs, when the cat came onto the field and ran toward the center field wall.
 
On the next pitch, Molina drilled his 14th homer of the season into the left field seats for his fifth career slam.
 
Melky Cabrera hit his 15th home run, a two-run shot that had given the Royals a 5-4 lead in the fifth.
 
Whit Merrifield had four for the Royals, who opened the game with four straight hits off Mike Leake and took a 2-0 lead on an RBI double from Lorenzo Cain and RBI single by Cabrera.
 
Merrifield made it 3-0 when he scored on Molina's throwing error in the second.
 
The Cardinals scored twice in the second, on an RBI sacrifice bunt from Leake and an RBI single from Matt Carpenter, and then tied the game on Jedd Gyorko's RBI single in the third.
 
Jose Martinez gave St. Louis a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning with his ninth homer.
 
Leake, the Cardinals' starter, allowed five runs on 11 hits in five innings. Royals starter Trevor Cahill lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and walking five.
 
Matt Bowman (3-4) earned the win. Maurer (1-5) took the loss.
 
Trevor Rosenthal closed out the ninth inning for his ninth save.
 
Jason Hammel (5-9, 4.73 ERA) is 4-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 12 career starts against St. Louis. He's 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts at Busch Stadium.
 
Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.12 ERA) has a 1.21 ERA since July 8, the lowest among MLB pitchers during that span.
 
>>White Sox Topple AL Leading Astros For Series Win
 
Tim Anderson homered and drove in three runs, Miguel Gonzalez tossed eight strong innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-1 on Wednesday night, their second straight win over the team with the best record in the AL.
 
Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez each had two-run singles as Chicago won consecutive games for just the second time since last month's All-Star break.
Gonzalez (6-10) allowed one run on five hits to record the 50th win of his career. He bounced back after getting shelled for seven runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings against Boston last Thursday.
 
Derek Fisher homered leading off the eighth for Houston's only run. George Springer went 1 for 4 in his return from the 10-day disabled list. The Astros have dropped three of four overall and four straight on the road.
 
Chicago rookie Yoan Moncada went 1 for 2 with two walks and has reached safely in 14 of his last 25 plate appearances.
 
Houston starter Colin McHugh (0-1) escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning, but Chicago broke through for four runs in the fifth.
 
Nicky Delmonico led off with a single and Anderson followed with a homer to make it 2-0. The next batter, Omar Narvaez, kept the rally going with a single and one out later Garcia hit a ground-rule double to put runners on second and third. Sanchez then singled to left to score both runners for a 4-0 lead.
The White Sox tacked on three runs in the sixth - highlighted by Anderson's run-scoring double - to knock out McHugh. He allowed seven runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Astros righty Brad Peacock (10-1, 3.20 ERA) will be matched against lefty Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.66) in the series finale on Thursday night. Peacock got the win in his last start against Toronto despite allowing seven runs in six innings. Rodon tied his season high with 11 strikeouts against Boston on Aug. 4.
 
>>Giants Down Cubs
 
Madison Bumgarner allowed four hits over seven innings to win for the second time since returning from the disabled list, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Cubs 3-1 Wednesday and complete a winning homestand for only the second time this season.
Bumgarner (2-5) struck out seven, walked one and gave up five hits - including a third-inning home run by Albert Almora Jr. 
 
Hunter Strickland pitched a one-hit eighth and Sam Dyson completed the six-hitter with a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
 
Joe Panik hit an RBI single in the second, Jarrett Parker had a tiebreaking single in the seventh against Brian Duensing (0-1) and Hunter Pence hit an opposite-field homer to right-center in the eighth against Pedro Strop.
 
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks gave up one run, five hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
 
Willson Contreras left in the eighth inning with a hamstring injury sustained running out a ground ball. He is to have an MRI in Arizona on Thursday.
 
John Lackey (9-9) will start Friday's series opener against Arizona. The 38-year-old is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break.
 
>>Indians Acquire Jay Bruce From Indians
 
The Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Michael Brantley on the disabled list due to a sprained ankle. They didn't wait long before finding a suitable replacement.
 
According to the teams, the Indians have acquired New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce.
 
Bruce, a free agent at season's end, entered Wednesday hitting .258/.324/.524 with 29 home runs. Bruce figures to take over in left field for the time being,
 
The New York Yankees were reportedly in the running for Bruce, too -- though they balked at eating what remains on his contract (more than $4 million).
 
In exchange, the Mets added right-handed reliever Ryder Ryan. A 30th-round pick in 2016, Ryan has spent the season in Class A, accumulating a 4.79 ERA and 2.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did not rank in MLB.com's top 30 prospects for the Indians.

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Another Five Star Propsect Joins Mizzou For 2017-18

Jontay Porter, a five-star prospect from the Class of 2018, officially announced Wednesday what he told CBS Sports last month it was "safe" to assume he would eventually do -- i.e., reclassify to 2017 so that he can play for Missouri this season.
 
Porter is a 6-foot-10 forward and the younger brother of Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. -- otherwise known as the projected No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. Their commitments -- along with the commitments of four-star prospects Jeremiah Tilmon and Blake Harris -- helped Cuonzo Martin secure a top-10 recruiting class less than two months after leaving California for Missouri and create genuine excitement on campus despite the fact that the Tigers went 8-46 in SEC games during the past three seasons.

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Cardinals, White Sox Win; Cubs Lose

>>Cardinals Blast Royals
 
Yadier Molina, Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk each went deep, and the Cardinals pounded out 14 hits in a 10-3 victory - the fourth straight for the suddenly serious NL Central contenders.
 
Michael Wacha (9-4) allowed a three-run double to Cheslor Cuthbert but otherwise kept the Royals in check, surrendering six hits over six innings to win for the sixth time in seven decisions.
 
Grichuk and Gyorko connected off Vargas (13-6) to highlight the six-run fifth , when the scoreboard at Kauffman Stadium suddenly went dark. It remained that way until the seventh, when about half of it blinked back online and the Cardinals were tacking on runs.
 
Grichuk homered to begin the fifth for St. Louis, and Vargas hit Matt Carpenter before allowing a single to Tommy Pham. Vargas also threw two wild pitches to put runners on second and third, then he walked Jose Martinez before giving up Molina's go-ahead single.
 
Dexter Fowler doubled to right to chase Vargas from the game, but reliever Mike Minor was unable to stop the cascade of runs. Gyorko pounded his 2-2 pitch an estimated 420 feet over the left-field bullpen to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead and close the book on Vargas's latest miserable outing.
 
The Cardinals send RHP Mike Leake to the mound and the Royals counter with RHP Trevor Cahill when the series shifts to St. Louis on Wednesday night. Cahill has struggled in his first two starts for the Royals since arriving in a trade with the San Diego Padres last month.
 
>>White Sox Power Past Astros
 
Kevan Smith had a home run and drove in four runs and Adam Engel provided a highlight-reel catch as the White Sox ended a six-game losing streak by topping Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros 8-5 on Tuesday.
 
Derek Holland (6-11) earned his first win since June 13, despite issuing seven walks in 5 2/3 innings. He had been 0-5 in eight starts and one relief appearance since beating Baltimore.
 
Chicago (42-68) won for the fourth time in 23 games after a rebuilding sale continued to strip the team of much of its veteran core.
 
Keuchel (9-2) allowed a season-high eight runs and 10 hits in four innings for Houston (71-41). He had a 1.67 ERA when he went on the disabled list for the second time with a neck injury, on June 8. The All-Star left-hander has a 10.50 ERA in three starts since his return.
 
Avisail Garcia and Yoan Moncada had RBI singles in the first inning as the White Sox took a 3-0 lead.
 
Alex Bregman hit a bases-loaded triple in the second, but Chicago opened up a 6-3 lead in the third on Smith's two-run double and Adam Engel's single. Smith added a two-run homer in the fourth.
 
Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel had solo home runs in the seventh off Jake Petricka.
 
Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth in his first save chance since the White Sox acquired him from the New York Yankees on July 18. He gave up two hits and struck out two.
 
Engel made the play of the night in center field, robbing Brian McCann of a home run in the fourth inning by jumping foot-first into the fence, which he used as support as he extended his glove above the wall.
 
The teams will be back at it Wednesday as RHP Miguel Gonzalez (5-10, 5.15) of the White Sox will take on RHP Collin McHugh (0-0, 3.24), who is making his fourth start of the season.
 
>>Giants Double Up Cubs
 
Buster Posey's first-inning three-run home run provided a nice early cushion to Ty Blach, who won his second straight start as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Tuesday night.
 
Replay showed Posey's drive to left-center had just enough to clear the wall and left fielder Jon Jay's outstretched glove before being caught by a fan.
 
Blach (8-7) hit an RBI single to help his cause and the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak to the Cubs with just their third win in the last 10 against Chicago, which rallied to win Game 4 of the NL Division Series and eliminate the Giants last October on the way to a World Series title.
 
Blach also beat the Cubs again after a May 22 win at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings Tuesday with three strikeouts and a walk.
 
Brandon Crawford added an RBI single in the eighth after Joe Panik drove in a run on a seventh-inning groundout, then Sam Dyson closed it out for his seventh save.
 
Ian Happ had an RBI double and sacrifice fly as Chicago lost for only the second time in its last 14 road games dating to July 2.
 
Cubs starter Jose Quintana (2-2) allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one.
 
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.81 ERA) is coming off a season-high tying seven innings last Friday against the Nationals. He also tossed seven innings in beating San Francisco on May 24 but has never won at AT&T Park.
 
Madison Bumgarner (1-5, 2.88), who makes his sixth start since coming back from nearly three months off recovering from an April 20 dirt bike accident, is 8-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 career starts against the Cubs and 5-0 with a 1.74 over his last six vs. Chicago.

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White Sox Notes

>>White Sox Garcia Activated From DL, Davidson To DL
 
The Chicago White Sox have activated All-Star outfielder Avisail Garcia and placed third baseman Matt Davidson on the 10-day disabled list because of a bruised right wrist.
 
The White Sox announced the moves before Tuesday's game against the AL West-leading Houston Astros.
 
A first-time All-Star, Garcia had been sidelined since July 25 because of a strained ligament in his right thumb. He was batting .303 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs.
 
Davidson was hurt when he got hit by a pitch from Toronto's Marcus Stroman on Aug. 1. He has 22 home runs and 51 RBIs to go with a .238 average.
 
>>White Sox Lopez To Start Friday Against Kansas City
 
The White Sox plan to recall right-hander Reynaldo Lopez from Triple-A Charlotte and start him Friday against Kansas City. 
 
General manager Rick Hahn said Lopez, part of the December trade that also netted prospect Lucas Giolito from Washington for Adam Eaton, will take Mike Pelfrey's spot in the rotation while the veteran works out of the bullpen. 
 
Lopez, 23, is rated as the No. 59 prospect in baseball by MLB.com. He was 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts last season with the Nationals. Lopez is part of a youth movement that is highlighted by top prospect Moncada, who was called up on July 19.

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Former NHL Star Olczyk Diagnosed With Colon Cancer

Former NHL forward and coach Eddie Olczyk has been diagnosed with colon cancer.
Olczyk, who turns 51 on Aug. 16, had surgery last week, and Chicago Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry says he "will be undergoing further treatment in the coming weeks, including chemotherapy." Olczyk is a color analyst for Blackhawks games and nationally for NBC.
 
Olczyk played 16 seasons in the NHL, helping the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994. He also coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2003-04 season and part of the 2005-06 season.
 
Olczyk says he expects to return to the broadcast booth after he completes his treatment. He also thanked his family, the Blackhawks, NBC Sports and his friends and fans for their support.

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NBA To Limit DNP By Adjusting New Schedules

The NBA has sent a memo to teams with the league's plans for approaching this season's schedule, and it includes plan to curtail marquee names resting during national broadcasts.
 
For years, rest has become a hot-button issue. It was never more noticeable than a Spurs-Warriors game on national TV last season in which nearly every marquee name sat out with injury or for rest.
 
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the NBA plans to eliminate back-to-back games preceding national TV games. The league has also removed instances of teams playing four games in five nights, and playing 18 games over the span of 30 days. The season will start a week earlier than usual, giving the league more space to spread out games.
 
There have also been some other minor changes:
 
Reduction in number of back-to-backs to 14.9 per team, down from 16.3 per team. In all, 40 back-to-backs have been eliminated from last season.
 
Reduction of single-game road trips by 17 percent.
 
Reduction in single-game road trips over 2,000 miles by 67 percent; there are only 11 of them on schedule.
 
Increase in weekend games from 549 to 568, much of the boost coming on Saturdays. Previously the NBA avoided Saturdays and Sunday afternoons during football season to dodge conflicts.
 
The NBA schedule should be finished sometime this week and released shortly thereafter. 

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PGA Championship Round 1 Pairings Announced

The first and second round tee times and pairings have been released for the 2017 PGA Championship, and there are some great ones. The last three major winners will play together over the first two days with Sergio Garcia (Masters), Brooks Koepka (U.S. Open) and Jordan Spieth (British Open) in a group.
 
1st Tee:
 
1:25 p.m. -- Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner
1:35 p.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler
1:45 p.m. -- Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker
 
10th Tee:
 
7:45 a.m. -- Hideki Matsuyama, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter
8:15 a.m. -- Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Paul Casey
8:25 a.m. -- Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth
8:35 a.m. -- Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson

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Cardinals, Cubs Win Monday

>>Cardinals Blast Royals
 
Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer in St. Louis' six-run fourth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.
 
Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong also connected for the Cardinals, who returned to .500 at 56-56. Carlos Martinez (8-9) pitched eight innings of two-run ball for just his second win in his last nine starts.
 
St. Louis also got some help from Kansas City during its outburst in the fourth. Ian Kennedy (4-8) walked No. 9 hitter Greg Garcia on five pitches with the bases loaded, and shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Drew Butera each committed an error.
 
Butera made an errant throw while trying to pick off Fowler at third, allowing the speedy center fielder to score.
 
Five pitches later Carpenter hit a drive to right with Wong and Garcia aboard.
 
Wong added a two-run shot in the eighth, and DeJong belted his own two-run homer in the ninth.
 
Kennedy was charged with seven runs, six earned, and six hits in six innings.
 
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss homered for Kansas City, which has dropped six of eight.
 
Michael Wacha is 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his past seven starts.
 
Jason Vargas registered a 7.23 ERA in four July starts after having a 2.22 ERA on June 30.
 
>>Arrieta, Baez Lead Cubs Past Giants
 
Javier Baez hit an inside-the-park homer to back Jake Arrieta's 11th win and Chicago beat the Giants 5-3 on Monday night in the champion Cubs' first visit to AT&T Park since rallying to eliminate San Francisco in Game 4 of the NL Division Series last October.
 
Baez's 16th homer took a tricky bounce off the low wall in right-center and deflected past oncoming right fielder Carlos Moncrief nearly 100 feet back in the direction of the corner in right. Moncrief eventually chased down the ball and Baez used a headfirst slide to beat a pretty one-hop throw home and catcher Buster Posey's tag attempt.
 
The NL Central leaders moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee, which lost 5-4 at Minnesota.
 
San Francisco rookie Ryder Jones hit his first career home run with a two-run shot in the sixth off Arrieta (11-8).
 
Arrieta hardly felt his best physically, but still struck out five and didn't walk a batter in 6 1/3 innings. The nine hits he surrendered matched his second-highest total of the year.
 
Wade Davis got three outs for his 24th save in 24 tries.
 
Anthony Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. each hit RBI singles in the fifth as the Cubs added on, but they left the bases loaded in the eighth.
 
Matt Moore struck out seven in six innings but gave up five runs and lost his fifth straight decision. He is winless in seven starts since beating the Braves on June 20.
 
Jose Quintana (2-1, 4.13 ERA with Cubs) faced San Francisco only once previously, taking a loss on Aug. 13, 2014, at AT&T Park, while with the White Sox.
 
Ty Blach (7-7, 4.24 ERA) looks to follow his win against the Cubs on May 22 at Wrigley Field when he tossed seven strong innings.

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Former Manager, Player Don Baylor Dies of Cancer

Don Baylor, the 1979 AL MVP with the California Angels who went on to become manager of the year with the Colorado Rockies in 1995, has died. He was 68.
 
Baylor died Monday at a hospital in Austin, Texas, his son, Don Baylor Jr., told the Austin American-Statesman. His wife, Rebecca Baylor, confirmed the death in a statement posted on Major League Baseball's website. He battled multiple myeloma for more than 10 years.
 
Baylor played in all 162 games in 1979 and finished with career highs in homers (36), RBIs (139), hits (186) and runs (120) while helping the Angels to the American League West title before they lost to Baltimore in the AL championship series.
 
He was the first manager of the expansion Rockies, leading them to their first playoff appearance in the franchise's third season. He also managed the Chicago Cubs.

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Cardinals Option OF Piscotty To Memphis

The Cardinals optioned struggling outfielder Stephen Piscotty to Triple-A Memphis. 
 
After hitting .305 as a rookie in 2015 and belting 22 home runs last season, Piscotty is batting .232 with six homers in 75 games this year.
 
''I still see some things that indicate that he's getting close, so hopefully he'll be able to get it put together quick and we'll see him back here,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

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Bears OL Kush Out For Season

Chicago Bears guard Eric Kush will miss the season because of a torn hamstring.
 
Coach John Fox says Kush tore the hamstring from the bone late last week. He was placed on injured reserve Monday and is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.
 
Kush had been struggling with hamstring pain. But Fox says the tear actually happened in a different area of the muscle.
 
Kush made a career-high four starts and played in eight games last season, his first in Chicago. He then signed a two-year contract with the Bears in February.
 
Chicago signed undrafted rookie Brandon Greene on Monday. He played at Alabama from 2012 to 2016 and appeared in 54 games as an offensive lineman, a tight end and on defense.

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, White Sox Lose Sunday

Jose Martinez hit his first grand slam during a nine-run fourth inning , and St. Louis overcame Adam Wainwright's rough return from the disabled list, beating the Cincinnati Reds 13-4 on Sunday.
 
The Cardinals took two of three in the series, moving them to 55-56. They've been stuck near the break-even point for since the start of July, unable to get on a streak in large part because of poor clutch hitting.
 
Problem solved for one day. St. Louis matched its season highs with 16 hits and eight extra-base hits. Every starter except Wainwright had a hit, and seven players drove in a run.
 
St. Louis sent 13 batters to the plate for nine runs in the fourth, matching its biggest inning of the season. Martinez connected off Homer Bailey (3-6), who gave up a career-high 10 runs in only 3 1/3 innings. Bailey has been hit hard in his return from surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow last February.
 
The Cardinals went 9 for 19 with runners in scoring position, their best clutch hitting of the season.
 
The big offensive showing overcame a rugged first inning by Wainwright, who had spent the last 12 days on the DL with a stiff back. Joey Votto hit a three-run homer , and Wainwright threw 39 pitches before retiring a batter. Wainwright left after three innings and 88 pitches.
 
Brett Cecil (2-4) allowed three hits in three innings for the win, dropping the Reds to 6-17 since the All-Star break.
 
Carlos Martinez (7-9) faces Jason Vargas (13-5) in the opener of a two-game series in Kansas City. The Royals then visit St. Louis for a pair of games. St. Louis is 3-8 in interleague play this season.
 
>>Nationals Rally Past Cubs
 
Matt Wieters hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Carl Edwards Jr. in Washington's five-run eighth inning, helping the Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 9-4 on Sunday.
 
Bryce Harper started the go-ahead rally with a one-out infield single against Mike Montgomery. Ryan Zimmerman doubled against Edwards (3-3) and Daniel Murphy was walked intentionally to load the bases.
 
Edwards' next pitch hit Anthony Rendon, tying it at 4, and Wieters followed with a drive over the wall in center for his third career grand slam.
 
Edwards (3-3) has allowed at least one run in each of his last three appearances.
 
Wieters tied a career high with five RBIs and Rendon also had a run-scoring double for NL East-leading Washington, which improved to 36-22 on the road. Brian Goodwin homered, drove in two runs and robbed Jon Jay of a hit with a terrific diving catch on a sinking liner to center in the seventh.
 
The Nationals (65-44) faced the Cubs without their three best starting pitchers. Max Scherzer was pushed back after he left his previous start with neck spasms. Gio Gonzalez is on the paternity list, and Stephen Strasburg is on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow injury.
 
Willson Contreras hit two more home runs for Chicago (58-52), which stayed a half-game ahead of second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Cubs closed out a 2-4 homestand against NL contenders Arizona and Washington
 
Contreras led off the fourth with a drive to the back of the bleachers in left for his 20th homer. He connected again in the sixth, and Kyle Schwarber followed with another homer off rookie Erick Fedde for a 4-1 lead.
 
But that was it for Chicago, which couldn't get anything going against Washington's bullpen after Fedde lasted 5 1/3 innings in his second major league start. Brandon Kintzler (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning for his first win since he was acquired in a trade with Minnesota.
 
Jake Arrieta (10-8, 3.88 ERA) faces Giants LHP Matt Moore on Monday night. Arrieta is 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA over his last six starts, showing flashes of the form that helped him win the NL Cy Young Award in 2015. Moore (3-11, 5.80 ERA) is trying for his first win since June 20.
 
>>Red Sox Double Up White Sox
 
Chris Young hit two homers, including a tiebreaking three-run shot after the batter in front was walked intentionally, to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
 
Inserted into right field by Farrell with All Star Mookie Betts getting the day off, Young added an RBI double and had a solo homer off starter Mike Pelfrey to help the AL East-leading Red Sox complete a four-game sweep of the White Sox.
 
Chicago lost its sixth consecutive game, and 23rd in its last 27. The White Sox were swept in a four-game series in Fenway Park for the first time since July of 1988.
 
Doug Fister (2-5) allowed three runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven for his second straight win. Craig Kimbrel, the third reliever, pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
 
Pelfrey (3-10) gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He's 0-5 with a 7.78 ERA in his last eight starts.
 
The White Sox opened the second with four straight hits to take a 3-2 edge. Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson had consecutive RBI singles before Alen Hanson's sacrifice fly.
 
Derek Holland (5-11, 5.29 ERA) is set to start when they open a three-game home series against AL West-leading Houston on Tuesday. He's 1-8 with a 7.96 ERA in his last 12 starts.
 
>>Cubs Place Russell on DL
 
The Chicago Cubs have placed shortstop Addison Russell on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained right foot.
 
An All-Star last season, Russell is batting .241 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. The Cubs announced the move before Friday's game against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
 
Chicago also called up left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa. Zastryzny made one appearance for the Cubs in May and pitched in eight games for them last season.
 
Russell thinks he will be able to return when he is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list next Sunday. 
 
''It's something where I feel like I could try and play through, but really all it takes is just one kind of play to make it worse than what it already is,'' he said. ''So taking the precautions and doing the treatment now.''

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Cutler Agrees To Contract With Dolphins

A person familiar with the situation says free agent quarterback Jay Cutler has agreed to terms on a contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Cutler is expected to compete with Matt Moore for the Dolphins' starting job while Ryan Tannehill remains out with a left knee injury that could sideline him for the entire season. The deal with Cutler signals the Dolphins anticipate a lengthy recovery for Tannehill.
 
Dolphins coach Adam Gase was offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears when Cutler had a career-best quarterback rating with them in 2015. Gase joined Miami in 2016, and Cutler parted with Chicago in March after eight seasons.

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Matsuyama Runs Away With Bridgestone Classic

Hideki Matsuyama's Sunday round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was a reminder that he has a gear few others on the planet possess. 
 
After a range session CBS Sports' Dottie Pepper called "one of the worst" she's ever seen, Matsuyama went out and burned down a leaderboard that included Thomas Pieters, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler with a 9-under 61.
 
Matsuyama, who now has five PGA Tour wins, heated up early as he chipped in for eagle on the second hole. He went out in 30 with birdies at Nos. 3, 6 and 9.
 
With the course record of 61 in his sights down the stretch, Matsuyama closed with three straight birdies, none of them on putts longer than eight feet. Matsuyama joined Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal as the only golfers to drop 61s on this course.
 
Co-54-hole leader Thomas Pieters shot just a 1-over 71 in the final round, and he lost by eight.  
 
In his warm-up bid for history next week with the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, Jordan Spieth was good early and late but not so much in the middle. He finished 45th in putting this week and wasted a top 10 tee-to-green performance in his bid for three wins in a row. A T13 is nothing to be concerned about, though, even if Spieth tabbed Rory McIlroy as the favorite next week at Quail Hollow.
 
It was a strange week for Rory McIlroy (T5) who shot all four rounds in the 60s. He finished second in driving on the week and in the top five in strokes gained around the green. He also finished in the top 40 in putting, which is usually plenty good enough for him to win a golf tournament. But his approach shots let him down, and he lost strokes to the field in two of the four days, finishing well outside the top 50 in the field in this category.
 
D.J. (T17) only had one round north of 68, but unfortunately for him it was a 75 in the second round. Johnson finished an astounding sixth in the field in putting and couldn't crack the top 15. 
 
One quirk that was mentioned on the broadcast by Jim Nantz is that now either Johnson or Matsuyama has won each of the last five WGC events. 
 
Johnson won this one last year, Matsuyama won in China, Johnson won in Mexico and the WGC-Dell Match Play. And now Matsuyama again. 
 
That's a pretty wild oddity considering only three golfers have more than two WGC wins in the history of the event.

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Race Notes

Martin Truex held off a charging Matt Kenseth on the final lap and won the NASCAR Cup race on Sunday at The Glen, stretching his fuel to the triumphant end. It was the second road course victory of his career.
Truex gained the lead when Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Ford and Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers were forced to pit in the final three laps.
 
Trailing by 3 seconds after saving fuel for several laps, Truex assumed the lead in his No. 78 Toyota when Blaney ducked into the pits as the white flag was about to fly. Despite a bobble and locking the brakes as Kenseth challenged on the last lap, Truex won for the fourth time this season.
 
Daniel Suarez was third, the best finish of his rookie season, followed by Denny Hamlin and Bowyer. Pole-sitter Kyle Busch was seventh.
 
Truex boosted his playoff points total to a whopping 34, nearly double that of second-place Jimmie Johnson (18) as his best season shows no signs of tailing off.
 
>>Kyle Busch Wins XFINITY Zippo 200
 
Kyle Busch recovered from a spinout and a pit road penalty and survived a late restart to win the Zippo 200 on Saturday, his first triumph at Watkins Glen International in the Xfinity series. 
 
It also was the first Xfinity victory at Watkins Glen for Joe Gibbs Racing and the company's 139th win overall in the series, breaking a tie with Roush Fenway for the top spot.
 
Busch topped the Penske Racing duo of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and easily beat them on a restart with three laps to go for his 90th series win.
 
Logano was second in his bid to win this race for the third straight time from the pole and Keselowski was third, followed by Justin Allgaier and Paul Menard.
 
Busch started second, quickly passed Logano for the lead and led the first 16 laps before wheel-hopping his No. 18 Toyota and spinning out on the first turn, a 90-degree right-hander that points downhill, on lap 17.
 
It was his second NASCAR victory in a week — he won his first Cup race of the season last Sunday at Pocono.

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Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox Lose Thursday

>>Brewers Edge Cardinals
 
Keon Broxton drove in the go-ahead run and saved a run with a leaping catch, Matt Garza made a strong start in his return from the disabled list, and Milwaukee beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1.
 
Broxton, who robbed Jose Martinez of a homer in the second when he stretched his glove atop the center field wall, gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead with a single in the fifth off reliever Brett Cecil (1-4).
 
Garza (5-5), making his first start since July 21 because of a right leg strain, gave up one earned run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to give second-place Milwaukee its first home series win over St. Louis since July 2012. The Brewers, trying to stay close to first-place Chicago in the NL Central, won for just the fifth time in their last 17 games.
 
Kolten Wong missed a tying home run by a few feet when his drive to right-center bounced off the wall in the eighth. He was stranded at second when Anthony Swarzak retired Tommy Pham on a groundout and Matt Carpenter on a flyout.
 
Corey Knebel worked the ninth and struck out Greg Garcia with runners on first and second to earn his 20th save in 25 opportunities.
 
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha allowed one run on five hits in four innings. With the game tied at 1 in the fifth and runners on first and third, manager Mike Matheny pulled Wacha for pinch-hitter Luke Voit, who hit into an inning-ending double play.
 
Wacha's only blemish was Jesus Aguilar's homer to left in the third. Aguilar's drive was his 11th this season, and he homered in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
 
Mike Leake (7-9, 3:29) opens up a three-game set Friday at Cincinnati. He is 0-4 against his former team.
 
>>Red Sox Jump White Sox
 
The Boston Red Sox tagged Chicago for 15 hits and the Red Sox beat the White Sox 9-5 on Thursday night.
 
Rick Porcello (5-14) was winless in his last six starts, losing four straight before the Red Sox capitalized on the White Sox's woes with seven runs in the first two innings. He allowed five runs and seven hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer in the first inning for Boston and Mookie Betts added a two-run shot in the second. Andrew Benintendi went 3 for 3, scoring twice and driving in a run as the Red Sox won their third straight. Benintendi reached base all five times he batted, getting hit by a pitch and walking once to go along with two doubles and a single.
 
Nicky Delmonico hit his first career homer, a three-run shot in the third, for the White Sox. Chicago lost its third straight and fell to 3-15 since the All-Star break.
 
Miguel Gonzalez threw 53 pitches without making it out of the second inning. He allowed seven runs, seven hits and hit a batter, before he was replaced by Gregory Infante with two outs in the second.
 
2B Yoan Moncada returned to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised knee. Moncada hurt the knee Monday in a collision with OF Willy Garcia, who has a broken jaw and could miss 4-to-6 weeks after surgery.
 
Carlos Rodon (1-4, 5.23 ERA) makes just his seventh start of the season, which he began on the DL with left biceps bursitis.
 
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.16) is 1-0 at home this season and the Red Sox are 4-1 in his five starts.
 
>>Diamondbacks Outlast Cubs
 
Paul oldschmidt snapped a tie in the ninth inning with his third long drive of the game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled out a rain-delayed 10-8 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
 
The Diamondbacks first baseman hit a 3-2 pitch from Wade Davis (2-1) deep into the right-center bleachers with one out. J.D. Martinez followed with another solo blast off the Cubs closer.
 
Willson Contreras hit two home runs and had a career-high six RBIs for Chicago, which lost consecutive games for the first time since the All-Star break. The Cubs' NL Central lead over Milwaukee slipped to 1 1/2 games.
 
Jake Barrett (1-0), Arizona's fifth reliever, got two outs in the eighth for the win. Fernando Rodney worked around two walks in the ninth to earn his 24th save in 29 chances.
 
Jake Lamb singled in two runs in the eighth to put Arizona back ahead 8-7 after blowing a five-run lead. Chicago's John Jay tied game at 8 in the bottom of the inning when he bounced into fielder's choice with the bases loaded and Jason Heyward scored.
 
Jose Quintana was hit hard in his fourth start with the Cubs, allowing up six runs. The lefty had not permitted more than three runs in three starts since moving across town in a July 13 trade with the White Sox.
 
Arizona starter Zack Greinke allowed a season-high six runs in six-plus innings.
 
Contreras has 13 of his 18 homers since June 19 and is batting .343 since July 9.
 
The game started 90 minutes late because of storms and then was interrupted for 35 minutes in the second and 30 in the ninth.
 
Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.80) makes his third start since being activated from the DL on July 24 and faces Washington RHP Tanner Roark (8-7, 4.93) in an afternoon game. Hendricks allowed one earned run in five innings in a no-decision last Saturday at Milwaukee.

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Former Illini Star Leads At Firestone With Stars Looming

Rory McIlroy had his best friend on the bag and his best start on American soil in 18 months. For Jordan Spieth, it was more of the same with two long putts and another comment filled with bravado directed at his caddie.
 
Both of them opened with a 3-under 67 at the Bridgestone Invitational, leaving them two shots behind Thomas Pieters of Belgium.
 
Pieters, playing only for the sixth time since he challenged briefly at the Masters this year, holed a 30-foot birdie putt on his final hole at Firestone to finish a day of good scoring with a one-shot lead over Russell Knox.
 
The opening two rounds were moved up to the morning because of a forecast of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
 
McIlroy split with J.P. Fitzgerald, his caddie of nine years, after the British Open. He decided to use Harry Diamond, who played amateur golf for Ireland and was the best man at McIlroy's wedding, for the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship next week.
 
It didn't have much bearing on McIlroy's game, which was fine. McIlroy won at Firestone the last time he played it in 2014.
 
Spieth got back into range of the lead with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 5 and a 50-foot birdie putt on the next hole that got him to 3 under. But he was in trouble at No. 8, well right of the fairway with trees blocking his view of the green. He couldn't punch under them because he had too much rough to cover with a punch shot beneath the branches. But he did see about a 3-foot gap way up in the trees.
 
Spieth rehearsed his swing with a pitching wedge and pulled it off.
 
Dustin Johnson did his part with a 68. He hasn't won since the Match Play just two weeks before his staircase injury that knocked him out of the Masters.
 
Bubba Watson, also showing signs of getting his game turned around, was also in the group at 67 that included Kevin Kisner and Jon Rahm.

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'Bama No 1 in Preseason Coaches Poll

The 2017 preseason Coaches Poll was released Thursday afternoon.
 
There's nothing all that unexpected from the first Coaches Poll of the year as Alabama begins the season at No. 1. As for defending champion Clemson, it opens at No. 5 despite the fact it received more first-place votes than any other team besides Alabama. Ohio State is in at No. 2 over Florida State (No. 3) with USC (No. 4) helping round out the top five.
 
The Big Ten has four teams in the top 10, while the ACC and Pac-12 both have two, and the SEC only has one. Of course, the SEC can take some solace in having more teams in the top 25 (six) than any other conference. The ACC and Big 12 rank second with five each, followed by the Big Ten and Pac-12 (four each) and AAC (one).
 
Here's the complete Coaches Poll:
 
1. Alabama (49 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Florida State (4)
4. Southern California
5. Clemson (7)
6. Penn State
7. Washington
8. Oklahoma
9. Michigan
10. Wisconsin
11. Oklahoma State
12. LSU
13. Auburn
14. Stanford
15. Georgia
16. Florida
17. Louisville
18. Miami
19. Kansas State
20. West Virginia
21. South Florida
22. Virginia Tech
23. Texas
24. Tennessee
25. Utah

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, White Sox Lose

>>Molina Leads Cardinals Past Brewers
 
Yadier Molina hit two solo home runs, Kolten Wong added a two-run double, Luke Weaver pitched into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
 
Molina homered in the fourth and then crushed the first pitch from Brent Suter (2-2) leading off the sixth over the wall in left for his 12th of the season and fourth career multi-homer game.
 
Molina doubled in the second and advanced Jedd Gyorko to third. He scored on Luke Voit's ground out with the bases loaded and tied the game.
 
Weaver (1-1) made one mistake in the first and Eric Thames hit it for his 25th home run of the season. Weaver regrouped and held the Brewers scoreless until Hernan Perez's one-out RBI single in the seventh.
 
Weaver allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked two over 6 1/3 innings in his first road start of the season and second for Adam Wainwright (mid-back tightness). He took a 4-0 loss to Arizona in his first start on July 27 after being recalled for the second time this season.
 
Jeremy Jeffress, who made his first appearance since being reacquired Monday in a trade with the Texas Rangers, took over for Suter with runners at first and second and one out in the sixth. One out later, Wong drove in the final two runs of the inning.
 
Suter struck out seven, walked one and allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Jesus Aguilar hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer off John Brebbia in the eighth. Trevor Rosenthal got the last four outs for his seventh save.
 
1B Matt Carpenter was scratched from the lineup with right hip discomfort.
 
Michael Wacha (8-4, 3.71 ERA) brings a 4-0 career mark (4.81 ERA) in nine games (eight starts) against the Brewers in his 20th start of the season. He's been one of the best in the NL over the span of his last six outings. He is 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA.
 
>>Blue Jays Power Past White Sox
 
J.A. Happ had a season-high 10 strikeouts in seven innings, matching his longest start of the season, as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 on Wednesday.
 
Happ (4-8) gave up a run and six hits while walking one to get his first win since July 4. He last got through seven innings in his first start of the season on April 5.
 
Justin Smoak extended his hitting streak to nine games and reached base three times for the Blue Jays, who won two of three in a matchup of last-place teams. Steve Pearce and Josh Donaldson added solo home runs.
 
Happ struck out the side in his final inning and the Blue Jays won for the second time in his last eight starts and also won for the third time in four games.
 
The Toronto bullpen struck out the side in the eighth inning around two walks, as Dominic Leone, Aaron Loup and Joe Biagini preserved the lead. Roberto Osuna entered with two on and nobody out in the ninth inning, and set down three straight batters to earn his 27th save.
 
The Blue Jays were playing for the 20th straight day since the All-Star break and have a day off Thursday before a three-game weekend series against the AL-leading Houston Astros.
 
Derek Holland (5-11) gave up two runs and five hits with four walks in six innings. The left-hander came into the game with a 9.46 ERA in his past 10 starts.
 
Leury Garcia had an RBI single in the sixth inning for the rebuilding White Sox, who lost for the 19th time in 23 games.
 
Miguel Gonzalez (5-9, 4.59) starts Thursday in the opener of four-game series at Boston against Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3 4.16).
 
>>Godley, Dbacks Blank Cubs
 
Zack Godley pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Jake Lamb drove in all the runs, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the surging Chicago Cubs 3-0 on Wednesday night.
 
The loss was just the fourth in 18 games since the All-Star break for the NL Central-leading Cubs. The defending champions got shut down by Godley after pouring on a season-high 16 runs in Tuesday's romp.
 
Lamb hit a two-run double against Jake Arrieta in the sixth and an RBI double off Justin Wilson in the eighth.
 
Godley (5-4) was every bit as stingy after tossing seven scoreless innings in a win at St. Louis last week.
 
Godley struck out five and walked two. In his past two starts, the right-hander has allowed seven hits while striking out 12 and walking four.
 
Godley and three relievers combined to retire the final 19 batters, with Andrew Chafin, Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney each working an inning. Rodney got his 23rd save in 28 chances, and the Diamondbacks came away with the win after dropping three of four.
 
Jake Arrieta (10-8) allowed two runs (one earned) and three hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked two. 
 
Jose Quintana (2-1, 2.37 ERA) makes his fourth start since the Cubs acquired him from the White Sox, while Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (13-4, 2.84) looks to extend his unbeaten streak. He is 5-0 in his past six starts.

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Bridgestone Classic Opens Today

The PGA Tour heats back up this week after a low-key Canadian Open last week as it hurtles towards a frenzied finish that includes a WGC event, major championship and the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Most of the sport's stars return post-Open Championship for this pre-PGA Championship appetizer.
 
The biggest story going into Quail Hollow is whether Rory McIlroy can upend Jordan Spieth's bid for the career Grand Slam on a course where the former has had loads of success. 
 
Spieth has two straight wins and could add two more to it in the next two weeks (McIlroy won The Open, the Bridgestone and the PGA Championship consecutively in 2014).
 
Spieth could join McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Dustin Johnson as the only golfers this century to win three or more consecutive events.
 
Bubba Watson has played some more consistent golf in the last month. He's made the cut in four straight tournaments and even got involved in the Open Championship leaderboard for a while. Watson has a strong history here, finishing top 20 in three of the last five years including a runner up in 2015.
 
Dustin Johnson is the reigning champ at Quail Hallow and enters the weekend with 9-1 odds while Spieth is the favorite with 8-1 odds.
 
McIlroy is 10-1 odds while Rickie Folwer is 16-1 and US Open Champ Brooks Koepka is 18-1 favorites.

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Jon Lester hit his first major league homer and struck out nine to reach 2,000 for his career, helping the Chicago Cubs to a runaway 16-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. But he was pulled in the fifth inning.
 
Anthony Rizzo went deep twice and Ian Happ and Javier Baez also connected as Chicago kicked off a six-game homestand with its 14th win in 17 games since the All-Star break. Rizzo, Baez and Albert Almora Jr. each drove in three runs, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras had two RBIs apiece.
 
The World Series champions stayed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. Hector Rondon (3-1) got five outs for the win, and Mike Montgomery pitched three innings for his third save.
 
Adam Rosales had two hits and two RBIs in his first game with Arizona after he was acquired Monday in a trade with Oakland. Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock contributed two hits apiece, but the Diamondbacks were unable to overcome Patrick Corbin's worst start in weeks and a rough performance by their bullpen.
 
Corbin (8-10) lasted just three innings in his shortest outing of the season. He allowed eight runs, seven earned, and 10 hits after going 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA over his previous four starts.
 
Arizona lost for the third time in four games and fell a half-game back of Colorado for the top spot in the NL wild-card standings.
 
Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (10-7, 4.03 ERA) tries to build on an impressive July when he starts the second game of the series Wednesday night. Right-hander Zack Godley (4-4, 3.06 ERA) pitches for the Diamondbacks. Arrieta went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts last month. Godley pitched seven sharp innings in a 4-0 victory at St. Louis on Thursday.
 
>>Brewers Edge Cardinals
 
Jimm elson finally beat St. Louis with six strong innings in the Brewers' 3-2 victory.
 
Nelson (9-5) entered 0-8 with a 7.01 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) against the Cardinals. This time, the right-hander overcame his division rival by allowing just two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.
 
The Brewers' bullpen kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard for three innings, including Anthony Swarzak striking out the side in the eighth after Josh Hader issued a leadoff walk.
 
Left fielder Ryan Braun and shortstop Orlando Arcia collided and allowed Stephen Piscotty to reach on a single with one out in the ninth, but Corey Knebel worked around the miscue to earn his 19th save.
 
The Brewers scored their three runs in the first inning off Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (7-9) and had just two infield singles the rest of the game.
 
Eric Sogard scored on a groundout by Braun, and Domingo Santana snapped Milwaukee's 0-for-33 skid with runners in scoring position with a two-out RBI single up the middle. Manny Pina followed with a double to center to plate Santana and make it 3-0.
 
A two-out RBI single by Yadier Molina and another by Tommy Pham in the fifth pulled St. Louis within 3-2.
 
Nelson worked out of the inning by getting Paul DeJong to fly out with two on and then pitched a scoreless sixth.
 
Martinez settled in to get through five innings. He escaped further damage in the fifth by inducing a grounder to third base by Santana with the bases loaded.
 
Martinez has a 6.55 ERA (16 runs in 22 starts) in opening frames.
 
Luke Weaver (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will make his second start of the season in place of the injured Adam Wainwright. He allowed four runs in five innings in a 4-0 loss to Arizona on July 27.
 
Brent Suter (2-1, 2.40 ERA) will move up in the rotation to start on regular rest Wednesday. Since joining the Brewers rotation July 3, Suter is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts.
 
>>Blue Jays Double Up White Sox
 
A heated exchange between Toronto's Marcus Stroman and Chicago's Tim Anderson was one of the few tense moments in a rather routine win for Toronto.
 
Justin Smoak hit his 31st homer, Josh Donaldson homered and drove in three runs, and the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 8-4 on Tuesday night.
 
Smoak and Donaldson each connected for the second straight night and third time in five games. Donaldson also had a sacrifice fly and RBI double.
 
Stroman (10-5) went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He was winless in his previous three starts despite a 1.89 ERA in that stretch.
 
Stroman exchanged words with Anderson as he batted leading off the seventh. They continued to go at it as Anderson walked back to the dugout after striking out.
 
The situation quickly cooled after both benches and dugouts emptied. Anderson was restrained, but there were no ejections. 
 
Chicago's Kevan Smith hit a two-run homer batting for injured designated hitter Matt Davidson in the sixth. But the White Sox lost for the 18th time in 22 games.
 
Donaldson connected in the first and added a sacrifice fly in the third to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
 
Chicago's Omar Narvaez tied it with a two-run double in the fourth, but Smoak's two-run drive just beyond a leaping center fielder Leury Garcia with two outs in the fifth made it 4-2.
 
The Blue Jays added three more in the sixth while chasing Mike Pelfrey (3-9) after he retired the first two batters. Russell Martin hit a two-run, bases-loaded single off Gregory Infante, and Donaldson drove an RBI double off the center-field wall to make it 7-2.
 
Pelfrey gave up six runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
 
Toronto and Chicago wrap up a three-game series, with J.A. Happ (3-8, 4.15 ERA) starting for the Blue Jays and Derek Holland (5-10, 5.42) pitching for the White Sox in a matchup between left-handers. A 20-game winner last season, Happ is 0-3 in his past four outings. Holland has an 8.54 ERA in his past 11 starts.

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White Sox Place OF Willy Garcia on DL with Concussion

The Chicago White Sox have placed outfielder Willy Garcia on the seven-day disabled list because of a concussion he suffered during a frightening collision with top prospect Yoan Moncada.
 
Chicago also purchased infielder/outfielder Nicky Delmonico's contract from Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday.
 
Garcia was injured attempting a sliding catch in shallow right field against Toronto on Monday.
 
He and Moncada were chasing Darwin Barney's bases-loaded blooper when the second baseman kneed a sliding Garcia in the head. The ball trickled out of Garcia's glove for a three-run double.
 
Moncada put no pressure on his right leg while he was helped to a cart by Jose Abreu. The team says X-rays on Moncada were negative, and the second baseman is day to day with a bruised knee.
 
Garcia walked off on his own power.

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Weber Extended at K-State

Kansas State and coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year extension on his contract, the school announced Tuesday. The new deal slots Weber as the Wildcats coach through the 2020-21 season.
 
Weber is entering his sixth season with the program; he's made the NCAA Tournament three times in the past five seasons and is coming off a 1-1 showing in the Big Dance in March, when the 11th-seeded Wildcats defeated Wake Forest in the First Four before losing to Cincinnati in the first round. 
 
Fans have pushed back on K-State's administration in recent years, particularly after the Wildcats failed to make the NCAAs in 2014 and 2015. But Weber eked into the Big Dance last season, and getting a win there obviously helped ignite the extension on his contract. This deal likely takes him off the hot seat for 2017-18, where he'll make $2.15 million. 
 
Weber has a 100-68 record in Manhattan, and is one of five coaches in school history to make it to three NCAA tourneys. The Wildcats lose NBA pick Wesley Iwundu heading into this season, in addition to vital scorer D.J. Johnson. Kansas State returns starters Barry Brown and Kamau Stokes. 

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Illinois Football Opens Training Camp

Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini football team hosted their first practice of training camp Monday afternoon. On the Campus Recreation Fields east of Memorial Stadium at Florida Ave. and Goodwin Ave. in Urbana. 
The squad practiced for almost 3 hours on a hot, humid evening in Central Illinois.
 
Smith, who is in his second year as head coach, said quote - "Opening training camp is always pretty hard. You're not in pads so you can't go full speed and everybody wants to win the job the first day. But, the excitement was good. We had the chance to at least get the guys out there and go through the routine."
 
The Fighting Illini continue practice Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The first 18 practices of training camp, through Saturday, Aug. 19, are free and open to the public. 
 
 
 
[Story courtesy of fightingillini.com]

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ISU Opens Training Camp

With three-straight trips to the FCS playoffs in its rearview mirror, the Illinois State football team will begin its journey towards a third Missouri Valley Football Conference title in the past four seasons when the Redbirds begin fall training camp Monday, July 31, at Hancock Stadium.
    
Players will report to the first practice of the fall Monday at 8:30 a.m. 
 
Today is media day at camp.
 
The Redbirds will practice Monday through Saturday from 8:30-11:30 with Sundays serving as a mandatory off day, before camp officially comes to an end Saturday, Aug. 19, with the annual Red-White Scrimmage at 4 p.m. as part of Redbird Fan Fair. 
 
Illinois State advanced to the FCS Playoffs for the third-consecutive season in 2016, marking the first such streak in program history. The Redbirds return 14 starters in 2017, including eight on defense, as they to extend the playoff streak to four seasons. The Redbirds are led by head coach Brock Spack, who begins his ninth season at the helm of the program (62-35) and has guided the 'Birds to eight winning seasons and four total playoff appearances.
 
The 2017 squad returns 14 starters (six offense, eight defense) from last year's team and features five players who were selected to the MVFC preseason team. 
 
Illinois State opens the 2017 season at Hancock Stadium Saturday, Sept. 2, against Butler at 6:30 p.m.
 
 
 
 
[Story courtesy of goredbirds.com]

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White Sox Walk Off Blue Jays; Moncada Injured

Matt Davidson singled in Leury Garcia for his second game-ending hit in as many days, and the White Sox rallied to beat Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Monday night after losing Moncada to a right knee injury.
 
Adam Engel sparked the winning rally with a one-out single against Roberto Osuna (3-2). Leury Garcia was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second.
 
After Tyler Saladino struck out swinging, Jose Abreu tied it at 6 with a single to right. Davidson followed with another base hit into center , and then was mobbed by his teammates as he ran around the infield.
 
Chris Beck (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, helped by right fielder Alen Hanson bringing in a foul popup tipped into the air by first baseman Abreu.
 
Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Justin Smoak homered for Toronto, which lost for the third time in four games. Darwin Barney got a three-run double on a frightening play in the sixth, and Marco Estrada pitched seven sparkling innings.
 
With two outs and the bases loaded, Barney hit a fly ball into shallow right field. A sprinting Moncada tried to pull up as Garcia went for the sliding catch, but he kneed the right fielder in the head and the ball trickled out of Garcia's glove.
 
Moncada, who is widely regarded as one of baseball's top prospects, put no pressure on his right leg while he was helped to a cart by Abreu. The Cuban slugger patted his countryman on the back of his head before he was zipped away.
 
The team said X-rays on Moncada were negative, and the second baseman is day to day with a bruised knee. Garcia, who walked off under his own power, has a head contusion and will be evaluated again Tuesday morning.
 
Toronto sent Francisco Liriano and cash to AL-leading Houston for outfielders Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. Joe Smith was traded to Cleveland for two minor leaguers.
 
The White Sox (41-62) had lost 17 of 20. After trading several veterans for more prospects in July, they were quiet on the final day of the month.
 
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.08 ERA) faces White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-8, 4.73 ERA) in the second game of the series on Tuesday night.
 
Pelfrey is 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA in his last seven games, six starts.

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Dodgers, Yankees Make Trade Deadline Splashes

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired ace right-hander Yu Darvish for minor-league infielders Willie Calhoun and Brendon Davis, and right-hander A.J. Alexy, both teams announced after Monday's trade deadline had passed. 
 
The Rangers have been slipping out of the postseason race the last few days and weeks, and with Darvish due to become a free agent after the season, the team decided to cash him in as a trade chip. They figure to make a strong effort to re-sign him after the season.
 
Darvish, 30, has pitched to a 4.01 ERA and 3.29 K/BB ratio in 22 starts this season. He's down a bit on the run prevention front, but he's on pace to top 200 innings for the first time since 2013.
 
The Darvish blockbuster in addition to their Monday additions of Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani suggest the Dodgers are indeed committed to making the World Series this season. Los Angeles is title-less since 1988 and they've had some very disappointing postseason exits in recent years.
 
As for the Rangers, they acquired the No. 4 (Calhoun), No. 17 (Alexy), and No. 27 (Davis) prospects in the Dodgers' system, per MLB.com. The 22-year-old Calhoun is the ideal AL player because he can really hit -- he owns a .298/.357/.574 batting line with 23 homers in 99 Triple-A games this year -- but doesn't have a set long-term position. Alexy and Davis are lower level high-upside lottery plays.
 
>>Yankees Add Ace Gray from A's
 
The Yankees acquired right-hander Sonny Gray from the Athletics just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday afternoon. Both teams confirmed the deal with just under an hour to go before the deadline. 
 
Going back to Oakland are three prospects, OF Dustin Fowler, IF Jorge Mateo, RHP James Kaprielian.
 
The Yankees also got $1.5M in international bonus slot money as part of the deal. 
 
Gray, 27, is coming off a disappointing 2016, but in 2017 he's thus far enjoyed a strong bounce-back campaign. On the year, he's got an ERA+ of 122 with a K/BB ratio of 3.13 after 17 starts. 
 
Gray finished third in the AL Cy Young balloting in 2015, and of late he's looked very much like the ace he was during that season. He's not eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season, which no doubt contributed to his appeal on the trade market.

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Cubs, Cardinals and White Sox Win Sunday

>>Cubs Rally Late For Win Over Brewers
 
Victor Caratini hit his first career home run, a solo shot that broke a 2-all tie in the seventh and backed John Lackey's solid six-inning start in 4-2 Cubs win on Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers.
 
Kris Bryant added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homer off the left-field pole for the Cubs, who took two of three games in an important road series. Now 13-3 since the break, Chicago increased its lead in the National League Central over the second-place Brewers to 2 1/2 games.
 
Lackey (8-9) struck out seven and allowed five hits over six innings, including Domingo Santana's game-tying, two-run homer in the sixth that just landed beyond outfielder Jason Heyward's outstretched glove in the right-field corner.
 
Caratini gave the Cubs the lead for good an inning later after homering off a 1-2 fastball from Zach Davies (12-5) with one out in the seventh for a 3-2 lead. A bevy of Cubs fans who made the trek north from Chicago celebrated in the stands as if they were home at Wrigley Field.
 
Chicago starters are 11-1 with a 2.53 ERA since the All-Star break.
 
Davies allowed seven hits and three runs over an otherwise effective seven innings. The right-hander struck out seven and gave up his first earned run since July 14 on Willson Contreras' infield single with two outs to open the scoring in a two-run sixth.
 
Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth for his 22nd save.
 
After a day off, LHP Jon Lester (8-6) opens a three-game series at home on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lester is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.
 
>>Cardinals Outlast Diamondbacks
 
The subject of numerous trade rumors, Lance Lynn threw six strong innings and Jose Martinez homered and drove in three runs as the Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Sunday for their fifth win in seven games.
 
Lynn (9-6) gave up two runs and four hits. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts.
 
Lynn retired the last eight batters he faced in improving to 5-0 lifetime against Arizona.
 
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his sixth save in eight opportunities.
 
Martinez hit a two-run drive in the fourth to tie it, then had a sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored Jedd Gyorko with the go-ahead run.
 
Taijuan Walker (6-5) allowed three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 10.
 
Arizona, in prime position for an NL wild-card spot, is 2-2 on its 10-game road trip.
 
Yadier Molina singled Gyorko to third base in the sixth. Molina also singled ahead of Martinez's home run.
 
Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman induced Paul Goldschmidt to ground out with a runner on second to end the seventh.
 
Ketel Marte doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Iannetta in Arizona's two-run second.
 
Arizona second baseman Chris Owings fractured the middle finger on his right hand during a bunt attempt in the second inning. The ball appeared to hit his bat as well as his finger.
 
Carlos Martinez (7-8. 3.52) begins a three-game series at Milwaukee on Tuesday. He will be opposed by RHP Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.38). The Cardinals are 1-5 in Martinez's last six starts.
 
>>White Sox Down Indians
 
Matt Davidson hit his first career walk-off home run, Carlos Rodon had his longest start of the season and the White Sox beat Cleveland 3-1 to end the Indians' nine-game winning streak.
 
The White Sox snapped a seven-game home losing streak and won for just the second time in 16 games. The team also traded fan favorite Melky Cabrera to Kansas City shortly before the first pitch as part of a roster overhaul.
 
Jose Abreu got the ninth-inning rally started with a double off Bryan Shaw (4-5) to set up Davidson's heroics, his 21st home run of his rookie season.
 
Tyler Clippard (2-6) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win, the first for the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field since July 2. 
 
Rodon allowed one run and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. He has 20 strikeouts over his last two starts.
 
Josh Tomlin threw four innings of no-hit ball before being removed from the game because of left hamstring tightness. He allowed two baserunners.
 
Nick Goody relieved Tomlin and struck out the first five batters he faced until allowing a home run to Leury Garcia with two outs in the sixth, tying the game at 1.
 
With two runners on and two out in the seventh, Rodon gave way to Jake Petricka, who retired Lindor on a flyout. Petricka has stranded all eight runners he's inherited this season.
 
James Shields (2-3, 5.86) will pitch against Toronto in the opener of a three-game series against RHP Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.43). Chicago is 20-10 against the Blue Jays since 2013.

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Cubs, White Sox Make Moves Sunday

>>Sox Move OF Cabrera To Royals
 
Looking to bolster their offense for a run for a playoff spot, the Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Chicago White Sox on Sunday for two minor-league pitchers.
 
The Royals entered the day three games behind the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians. Kansas City holds the second wild-card spot by 2½ games over Tampa Bay.
The Royals had their season-high nine-game winning streak snapped by Boston on Saturday night - 9-8 in 10 innings.
 
The 32-year-old Cabrera was batting .288 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs for the White Sox. He's also is tied for the majors' lead with nine outfield assists.
 
In his 13th season in the majors, Cabrera, who also with the Royals in 2011, is a switch hitter. He's second amongst active switch hitters with a .286 career average.
 
Kansas City sent a pair of Single-A pitchers in the deal: 22-year-old right-hander A.J. Puckett and 23-year-old left-hander Andre Davis. The White Sox also sent Kansas City cash considerations in the deal.
 
Puckett was the club's second-round selection in 2016 and Davis was picked in the eighth round in 2015.
 
>>Cubs Add RP Wilson, C Avila
 
The Cubs acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers in exchange for third baseman Jeimer Candelario and minor-league shortstop/third baseman Isaac Paredes, multiple reports indicate -- including Jon Morosi of MLB.com and every Cubs beat reporter. 
 
The assumption is that the teams are waiting until Monday morning to officially announce the deal.
 
Wilson, 29, is in the midst of a great season for the Tigers. He took over as closer and has saved 13 games in 15 tries with a 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 55 strikeouts against 16 walks in 40 1/3 innings. 
 
Wade Davis remains the closer, but Maddon has a bevy of guys he employs in late-inning, high-leverage situations, including Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara, Hector Rondon and lefty Brian Duensing. Mike Montgomery is a lefty like Duensing and Wilson, but he remains the long guy. Justin Grimm may be in trouble of being designated for assignment here, as he's the likely guy squeezed out the presence of Wilson. 
 
The look of the Cubs' bullpen was already strong. The stable currently boasts a 3.34 bullpen ERA, which is good for fourth (tied with the Yankees, actually) in the majors, trailing only the Indians, Dodgers and Red Sox. 
 
Even more bonus for the Cubs is that Wilson isn't hitting free agency until after 2018. 
 
Avila, 30, is hitting .274/.394/.475 with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 32 RBI in 264 plate appearances this season. Youngster Willson Contreras is firmly entrenched as the starting catcher, so Avila will presumably be used in order to rest Contreras. Keep in mind that Contreras can handle left field, too, if the Cubs wanted to use him out there with Avila behind the plate. 
 
Rookie Victor Caratini will be sent back to the minors to make room for Avila. 
 
Candelario, 23, is a career .136/.240/.250 hitter in 50 major-league plate appearances. He's hitting .266/.361/.507 with 27 doubles, three triples and 12 homers in 81 games for Triple-A Iowa this season. He's considered a high-upside prospect and was ranked as the number 96 prospect in baseball heading into the year by MLB.com. 
 
Paredes is an 18-year-old shortstop and third baseman currently playing in Class A. Through 91 games, he's hitting .261/.341/.399 with 25 doubles, seven home runs, 49 RBI, 49 runs and two stolen bases.

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Clinton Travel Baseball Holding Tryouts This Weekend

Baseball players 12 years old and under are encouraged to try out with the Central Illinois Revolution this weekend.
 
The travel program has set a tryout date of Sunday at 2 pm at Clinton High School's JV field.
 
The tryout is for the spring and summer 2018 season.
 
For more information, contact Nate Ennis at 217-433-2174.

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Schwarber Powers Cubs Past White Sox; Cardinals Blanked By DBacks

Kyle Schwarber homered twice and drove in four runs, and the rolling Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Thursday night for their third consecutive victory.
Anthony Rizzo also connected and Jon Lester pitched seven effective innings as the Cubs improved to 11-2 since the All-Star break. The NL Central leaders also increased their advantage over the second-place Brewers to 1 1/2 games ahead of their big series this weekend in Milwaukee.
 
Lester (8-6) allowed two runs and four hits in his third straight win.
 
Jose Abreu homered twice and Willy Garcia also went deep for the lowly White Sox, who have lost seven in a row at home for the first time since 2011 and 12 of 13 overall. Mike Pelfrey (3-8) was tagged for five runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. each had two hits for the Cubs, who improved to 8-7 in interleague play after going 15-5 against the American League last year. Contreras walked twice and scored two runs, continuing an impressive July for the young catcher.
 
Jose Quintana (6-8, 4.22 ERA) makes his third start with the Cubs on Friday night at Milwaukee. Brent Suter (1-1, 2.84 ERA) gets the ball for the Brewers.
 
Derek Holland (5-9, 5.12 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Cleveland on Friday night. RHP Danny Salazar (3-5, 4.79 ERA) pitches for the AL Central-leading Indians.
 
>>Diamondbacks Blank Cardinals
 
J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam and Zack Godley pitched seven innings as the Diamondbacks beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 on Thursday night.
 
The Diamondbacks won their third game out of four, improved to 59-43 and snapped the Cardinals' three-game winning streak.
 
Godley (4-4) reversed a trend of two poor outings, in which he allowed 10 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings, with the best performance of his 14-start career. Only three Cardinals advanced into scoring position as Godley struck out seven.
 
Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney each pitched an inning in relief for the Diamondbacks, who had their first shutout since May 30 at Pittsburgh.
 
Paul Goldschmidt had two singles, walked and scored on the grand slam.
 
With the loss the Cardinals, who were shut out for the first time since May 26 at Colorado, missed the opportunity to reach the .500 mark for the first time since June 2. St. Louis fell to 50-52.
 
Weaver (0-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis after Adam Wainwright (back) was placed on the disabled list, was burned by two walks immediately in front of the Martinez grand slam, which were the only runs he gave up in his five innings.
 
Paul DeJong was the only Cardinal to reach safely more than once, with two singles and a walk. 
 
Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.15 ERA) is fourth in the National League with 149 strikeouts. In nine road starts (eight quality) he is 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA.
 
Michael Wacha (7-4, 3.93 ERA) has a 2.20 ERA in his last five starts. He is 0-1 with a 4.37 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.

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Steelers RB Bell Absent From Training Camp

There was a fire truck and a Rolls-Royce at Steelers training camp on Thursday, but unfortunately for Pittsburgh, there was no Le'Veon Bell. 
 
The Steelers running back was nowhere to be seen as the team reported for training camp in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Bell, who was hit with the franchise tag this year, didn't report for camp because he's unhappy that he wasn't able to work out a long-term deal with the Steelers before the July 17 deadline given to all franchise players. 
Without a long-term contract in place, Bell will be forced to play the 2017 season under a one-year franchise deal that will pay him $12.12 million. 
 
However, Bell hasn't yet signed his one-year franchise tender, which means the Steelers can't fine him for missing training camp. 
 
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called the situation with Bell "unfortunate."
 
After the franchise deadline passed on July 17, Bell said he wouldn't be in any hurry to sign his tender, which might've been his way of hinting at the fact that he wasn't going to show for the beginning of training camp. 
 
Bell recently told former Steelers teammate Ike Taylor that he was seeking a deal worth roughly $15 million per season. According to Taylor, Bell wants to be paid as a No. 1 running back and a No. 2 wide receiver. 
 
Although Bell wasn't in camp on Thursday, the Steelers did avoid another possible holdout when they reached a deal with left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva, who was only scheduled to make $615,000 in 2017, signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the Steelers on Thursday morning. 

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White Sox Send LHP Jennings To Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired help for an inconsistent bullpen, obtaining left-handed reliever Dan Jennings from the Chicago White Sox for minor league first baseman Casey Gillaspie.
Jennings was 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 48 appearances for the White Sox this season. He is expected to join the Rays in New York for the start of a four-game series Thursday night.
 
Tampa Bay cleared room on the 40-man roster by designating right-handed reliever Diego Moreno for assignment. A corresponding move to the 25-man roster will be announced before Thursday night's game.
 
The Rays also say rookie right-hander Austin Pruitt has been added to the taxi squad. He will start Friday against the Yankees, filling in for injured right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

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Thunder Offer Westbrook $200-Million Contract

Russell Westbrook did things no NBA player has ever done last season during his MVP campaign, and now the Thunder want to reward him handsomely.
 
Westbrook, who set the NBA record for triple-doubles in a season, has been offered a five-year extension by Oklahoma City that would likely pay him more than $200 million on top of the $28.5 million he's owed for next season, according to Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript.
 
The deadline for Westbrook to sign the extension is Oct. 16, the day before the 2017-18 season begins. No other team can offer Westbrook as much money or as many years if he chooses to become a free agent at the end of the season.
 
Despite going 47-35 last season, the Thunder have become a legitimate Western Conference contender in some people's eyes because of the addition of All-Star forward Paul George.
 
If Westbrook doesn't sign the extension, however, the Thunder will play the entirety of next season with the possibility that George and Westbrook could choose to walk next summer.

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Cubs Designate LHP Anderson For Assignment

The Chicago Cubs have cut left-hander Brett Anderson.
The 29-year-old Anderson had been sidelined by a lower back strain. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list before Wednesday night's game against the White Sox and then designated for assignment.
 
Anderson signed a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Cubs over the winter. He went 2-2 with an 8.18 ERA in six starts.
 
Anderson, who has been hampered by injuries throughout his career, is 40-45 with a 3.99 ERA in 133 games with the Athletics, Rockies, Dodgers and Cubs.

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Cubs Beat White Sox; Cardinals Win

>>Arrieta Continues Strong July As Cubs Roll White Sox
 
Arrieta pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 to move into first in the NL Central.
 
After a disappointing start to the season, the Cubs (53-47) are roaring again. The reigning World Series champions moved a season-high six games over .500 and a half-game ahead of Milwaukee after trailing the Brewers by 5 1/2 games just two weeks ago.
 
Anthony Rizzo had three hits and four RBIs, helping the Cubs improve to 10-2 since the All-Star break. Jon Jay drove in a run and robbed Melky Cabrera of a hit with an outstanding diving catch in left-center.
 
Top prospect Yoan Moncada hit his first career homer and Alen Hanson also went deep, but the White Sox lost for the 11th time in 12 games. 
 
Third baseman Yolmer Sanchez committed a costly error for the South Siders, and James Shields (2-3) lasted just four-plus innings.
 
With no outs and runners on first and second, Sanchez misplayed Kris Bryant's grounder for an error that loaded the bases. Rizzo followed with a drive to the base of the wall in center, making it 4-0 with a three-run double.
 
Arrieta (10-7) departed after Moncada's solo shot made it 6-2 with two out in the seventh. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner struck out five and walked two while improving to 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five July starts.
 
Kyle Schwarber singled in Rizzo in the fourth, and the Cubs broke it open with four runs in the fifth at Guaranteed Rate Field.
 
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester and White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey face off in the series finale. Lester (7-6, 3.95 ERA) is trying for his third straight win since he recorded only two outs in the shortest start of his career July 9 against Pittsburgh. Pelfrey (3-7, 4.46 ERA) is looking for his first victory since he pitched six effective innings in a 5-2 win against Toronto on June 17.
 
>>Cardinals Outlast Rockies
 
Carlos Martinez hit a run-scoring single to right to tie the game 4-all, kick-starting a five-run fourth-inning that turned a two-run deficit into a 7-4 lead en rout to a Cardinals' 10-5 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.
 
Rookie Paul DeJong continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his eighth of the month and set a franchise record for a rookie in July. His 14th homer of the season, in just 49 games, ties him for the team lead with Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham and Jedd Gyorko.
 
Randal Grichuk went 4 for 5 with successive singles in his final four at-bats. Rookie Harrison Bader, in his second major league start, added three hits.
 
Martinez (7-8) struck out eight and gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings for his first win since June 16.
 
Nolan Arenado hit his 23rd homer for the Rockies who are 18-34 in St. Louis since the start of the 2010 season.
 
Gerado Parra gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead with a two-run double in the third.
 
St. Louis took the lead for good at 6-4 on a two-run double by Carpenter in the fourth.
 
Yadier Molina added a two-run double in the sixth to push the lead to 9-5.
 
Luke Weaver will be called up from Triple-A Memphis to start tonight against Arizona. Weaver will take the spot of Adam Wainwright, who was placed on the 10-disabled list on Tuesday with back stiffness. Weaver is 9-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 13 starts at Memphis. 

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White Sox Notes

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired reliever Anthony Swarzak in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.
 
The 31-year-old Swarzak is 4-3 with a career-low 2.23 ERA in 41 games this year. The right-hander got four outs for his first career save in Chicago's 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
 
The Brewers are fighting with the Cubs for the NL Central lead.
 
The rebuilding White Sox received minor league outfielder Ryan Cordell in Wednesday's deal. The 25-year-old Cordell, an 11th-round pick by Texas in 2013, is batting .284 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 68 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs this year.
 
AL-worst Chicago has been one of the majors' most active teams ahead of the July 31 non-waiver deadline. It traded Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs and shipped infielder Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees.
 
>>White Sox Place OF Garcia On DL
 
White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has a right thumb injury that will sideline the All-Star slugger for a couple weeks.
 
Garcia complained of continued discomfort in his thumb after the White Sox lost 7-2 to the Cubs on Tuesday. He got an MRI on Wednesday that revealed a strained ligament.
 
The 26-year-old Garcia has been one of Chicago's bright spots during a difficult season. He is batting .303 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs in 88 games.
 
Alen Hanson got the start in right field Wednesday night against the Cubs. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he isn't sure exactly how he will fill the position while Garcia is sidelined.

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Arizona, Indiana Working on Series Starting in 2019

Arizona and Indiana are planning a three-game series beginning in 2019, according to a report from Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. 
 
Although dates and times for the series have yet to be finalized, the series -- which would pit Wildcats coach Sean Miller against his younger brother Archie, the newly named Hoosiers coach -- would draw plenty of interest nationally for the two bluebloods, should it come to fruition.
 
Sean Miller told All Sports Tucson on Monday that an agreement isn't yet in place, but a series has been discussed.
 
The report from Rothstein says Arizona will host the first game of the series in the 2019-20 season and the Hoosiers will host in the 2020-2021 season in Bloomington, with the final game of the series scheduled as a neutral-site game at Madison Square Garden in the 2021-2022 season.
 
Archie Miller, who was tapped to replace Tom Crean at Indiana this spring, previously served as an assistant to his older brother at Arizona from 2009-2011 before a successful six-year run at Dayton where he led the Flyers to four NCAA Tournament appearances. Sean Miller, who enters his ninth year at Arizona in 2017, has taken the Wildcats to six NCAA Tournament appearances, and is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017.

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Cardinals Prospect Scores Winning Run In Big League Debut; Cubs Win

Willson Contreras drove in four runs and Carl Edwards Jr. provided some timely relief, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Tuesday.
 
John Lackey hit four batters, including three in one inning. Carlos Rodon matched a career high with 11 strikeouts, and was gone after four innings. Javier Baez struck out five times, and Kris Bryant was handed his first career ejection.
 
Ben Zobrist reached four times from the leadoff spot as the North Siders won for the ninth time in 11 games since the All-Star break. 
 
The AL-worst White Sox were unable to overcome a strange performance by Rodon (1-4) in their 10th loss in 11 games. The left-hander struck out the side three times and smacked a two-run double for his first career hit, but struggled with his command in his third straight loss.
 
Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, was charged with four runs and seven hits.
 
The Cubs carried a 4-2 lead into the sixth, but Lackey was pulled after the White Sox put runners on second and third with no outs.
 
Edwards came in and struck out Tyler Saladino before making an athletic play on Melky Cabrera's comebacker for the second out. Edwards then struck out Jose Abreu to end the inning.
 
Omar Narvaez went 2 for 2 with two walks for the White Sox, who went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
 
The five strikeouts for Baez were a career high. The Cubs struck out 17 times overall, their most in a nine-inning game this season.
 
The home-and-home series moves to the South Side for the next two games. Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.11 ERA) faces White Sox RHP James Shields (2-2, 5.79 ERA) on Wednesday night. Arrieta is 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four July starts. Shields is winless over his last three outings with a 9.60 ERA.
 
>>Cardinals Prospect Scores Winning Run In Big League Debut
 
Harrison Bader doubled to lead off the ninth inning and scoring on Jedd Gyorko's short sacrifice fly in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
 
It was Bader's big league debut.
 
Bader got the news of the surprise call-up on Tuesday morning when the Cardinals decided to place Dexter Fowler on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left wrist. 
 
Greg Garcia sacrificed as Bader took third, and Gyorko hit a fly near the right-field line that Carlos Gonzalez caught 248 feet from the plate. The speedy Bader slid across jubilantly as Gonzalez's one-hop throw went slightly up the third-base line.
 
Lance Lynn, who may be traded before Monday's deadline, allowed one run and three hits over six innings. The 30-year-old right-hander is eligible for free agency after this season.
 
Rockies starter Jon Gray gave up two runs and eight hits in five innings.
 
Cardinals rookie Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer in the first, his 13th of the season and seventh in July. 
 
Gerardo Parra had a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Kevin Siegrist, and Trevor Story tied the score in the eighth against Matt Bowman with his 14th homer.
 
Trevor Rosenthal (3-4) pitched two scoreless innings.
 
Jeff Hoffman (6-2, 5.10 ERA) is to start Wednesday. He allowed seven runs in three innings against Pittsburgh in his last start but is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five road starts this season.
 
Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.34 ERA) enters Wednesday 4-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 10 home starts this season.

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North Dakota State Favorites in Missouri Valley in 2017

Perennial Football Championship Subdivision power North Dakota State sits atop this year's Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll, but narrowly.
The Bison received 21 first-place votes and 380 total points to edge South Dakota State, which got 19 first-place votes and 379 total points. The two schools were conference co-champions last season.
 
The poll is conducted by league coaches, media and sports information directors. The No. 3 spot is held by Youngstown State, which reached the FCS title game last season.
 
Northern Iowa and Illinois State round out the top five, followed by Western Illinois, South Dakota, Southern Illinois, Missouri State and Indiana State.

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Study Shows Most Football Players Have Brain Disease, CTE

Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.
 
It's the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease that can cause a range of symptoms including memory loss.
 
The report doesn't confirm that the condition is common in all football players; it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players' repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before they died.
 
It's also uncertain if some players' lifestyle habits — alcohol, drugs, steroids, diet — might somehow contribute, according to Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuroscientist.
 
McKee said research from the brain bank may lead to answers and an understanding of how to detect the disease in life, "while there's still a chance to do something about it." Currently, there's no known treatment.
 
CTE was diagnosed in 177 former players or nearly 90 percent of brains studied. That includes 110 of 111 brains from former NFL players; 48 of 53 college players; nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players and three of 14 high school players. The disease was not found in brains from two younger players.
 
The new report was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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White Sox Hold Off Cubs; Cardinals Top Rockies

Adam Engel and Matt Davidson homered and the White Sox snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over their crosstown rivals in their North Side ballpark on Monday.
 
Miguel Gonzalez (5-9) allowed one run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings to end a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in 11 decisions.
 
Engel lined his third homer of the season off reliever Justin Grimm (1-1) into the wind and several rows into the left-center bleachers to snap a 1-all tie in the sixth. Davidson led off the eighth with his 19th homer, which sailed over the left-field stands and onto Waveland Avenue.
 
Jose Abreu had two hits and doubled in a run for the AL-worst White Sox, who ended their longest slide in four years.
 
The Cubs lost for just the second time in 10 games following the All-Star break to fall a half-game behind idle first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. 
 
Monday's game was the first of four consecutive this week between the Cubs and White Sox.
 
In his first start since June 4 because of tendinitis in his pitching hand, Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed a run and eight hits.
 
Hendricks struck out five and walked none.
 
White Sox reliever Anthony Swarzak got four outs for his first career save in eight chances. After Kris Bryant's infield single and a walk to Anthony Rizzo with two outs in the ninth, he struck out Willson Contreras looking.
 
Jon Jay had four hits, including a double, for the Cubs, but they left 12 men on base.
 
Carlos Rodon (1-3, 5.75) makes his fifth start since returning from left biceps bursitis. The Cubs counter with righty John Lackey (6-9, 5.04) in the second game of the series, another matinee at Wrigley Field. Games 3 and 4 are at Guaranteed Rate Field and start at 7:10 p.m. local time.
 
>>Cardinals Beat Rockies
 
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer, Mike Leake pitched seven scoreless innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 8-2 on Monday night.
 
Leake's six-strikeout performance was his best June 30. 
 
Kevin Siegrist pitched the Cardinals out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth by getting Gerardo Parra to strike out and Mark Reynolds to fly out. Tyler Lyons struck out the side in the ninth.
 
The Cardinals improved to 20-5 against the Rockies at home since the 2010 season. Colorado fell to 3-14 in its last 17 road games.
 
Grichuk's two-run homer off Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela (10-4) gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the fourth, extending his home run streak to a career-high four games. He is the 11th player in the major leagues to have such a streak this season.
 
Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham each hit solo home runs in the seventh off Chris Rusin to make it 6-0. 
 
Senzatela lasted just four innings.
 
Pat Valaika's third career pinch-hit home run in the eighth was the Rockies' offense, as Zach Duke failed to record an out in relief of Leake.
 
Jon Gray (3-1, 6.19 ERA) allowed a career-high nine earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in his lone career start against St. Louis on May 19, 2016. He is 3-1 with a 7.32 ERA over his past four starts.
 
Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.30 ERA) has held opponents to two runs or less in 14 starts this season. He is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in six career starts against Colorado.

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Big Ten Announces New TV Deal

The Big Ten Network will triple its prime-time national TV exposure during football season and add more basketball games in the time slot, thanks to new deals with broadcast partners FOX, ABC/ESPN and CBS.
 
Commissioner Jim Delany made the announcements at the kickoff of the conference media days event Monday.
 
The FOX and ABC/ESPN football deals run for six years, as does the basketball agreement with CBS.
 
The conference network extended its joint venture with FOX through 2032. BTN President Mark Silverman said ratings were up 5 percent last season, when the network showed more live events and studio hours than ever before. He also announced that former Big Ten stars Braylon Edwards of Michigan, James Laurinitis of Ohio State and Corey Wooton of Northwestern will join the broadcast team.
 
The deals had been in the works for some time. Delany said a variety of issues had dragged negotiations out longer than anticipated, among them "pushback" from high school coaches and administrators over the conference's own Friday night telecasts.

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Jacksonville State Favorite in Ohio Valley, EIU Picked Fourth

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks are expected to keep dominating the Ohio Valley Conference as they have the past three seasons.
 
OVC coaches and sports information directors have voted Jacksonville State as the overwhelming favorite to win the league title a fourth straight year in voting released Monday at media day.
 
Jacksonville State last year became the first team in OVC history to go unbeaten in league play for three straight seasons. The Gamecocks' lone loss of the regular season came in overtime to LSU. The Gamecocks picked up 16 votes and 128 points in voting, finishing ahead of UT Martin, which collected the other two first-place votes.
 
Tennessee State is expected to finish third, followed by Eastern Illinois,

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Bears LB Freeman Saves Man's Life at Airport

Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman saved a man from choking at a Texas airport over the weekend.
 
Freeman tells the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/2vPjxr8 ) that he was eating at a restaurant in the Austin airport while awaiting a flight to Chicago on Sunday when he noticed a man frantically running around a neighboring table. A woman recognized the man was choking and tried the Heimlich maneuver, but Freeman says she wasn't forceful enough to dislodge the food stuck in the man's airway.
 
Freeman says he rushed in like he was "ready to make a tackle" and successfully performed the maneuver.
 
The man told him his name, Marcus Ryan, before the pair posed for a picture that Freeman posted on Twitter.

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Cubs Beat Cardinals, Win 8th In Nine Games Since All Star Break; White Sox Lose 9th Straight

Willson Contreras hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, handing another victory to Jose Quintana, and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday night to move into a virtual tie for first in the NL Central.
 
Kyle Schwarber also connected as the Cubs won for the eighth time in nine games since the All-Star break. The World Series champions improved to 51-46, just a few percentage points ahead of Milwaukee after the Brewers (53-48) lost 6-3 at Philadelphia.
 
With one out and Kris Bryant aboard after a leadoff double in the sixth, Contreras drove a 3-1 pitch from Michael Wacha into the bleachers in left-center for his third homer in his last four games and No. 15 on the year.
 
The 25-year-old Contreras also threw out Yadier Molina trying to steal second ahead of Paul DeJong's solo homer in the fourth. He is batting .339 (21 for 62) in July.
 
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who closed out a 4-6 road trip with their fourth loss in five games. Paul DeJong also went deep.
 
Wacha (7-4) was charged with five runs and six hits in six innings in his first loss since May 30. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his previous four starts, including a three-hitter in a 5-0 victory against the Mets on Tuesday.
 
Quintana (6-8) struck out seven in six innings in his first home start since he was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the White Sox on July 13.
 
Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards Jr. each got three outs before Wade Davis finished for his 20th save in 20 opportunities, breaking the club's single-season record for most consecutive saves.
 
The Cardinals pulled Matt Carpenter in the second inning with right quad tightness, but the first baseman said he doesn't think it's serious. Carpenter reached on an error in the first and was thrown out at home when he tried to score on Jedd Gyorko's two-out double to left-center.
 
Kyle Hendricks makes his first start since June 4 when the Cubs host the crosstown White Sox on Monday afternoon. Hendricks, who won 16 games last season and led the majors with a 2.13 ERA, was sidelined by pain in the middle finger of his right hand - quite possibly from overuse.
 
Mike Leake pitches Monday for the first time since he acknowledged after his last outing that he is struggling to maintain optimal body strength between starts. The issue traces back to last year, when Leake was sidelined by shingles and lost some weight and strength.
 
Leake is 1-6 with a 5.04 ERA in last 10 starts.
 
Leake (6-8, 3.39 ERA) gets the ball against Colorado in St. Louis' first home game since July 9. RHP Antonio Senzatela (10-3, 4.67 ERA) pitches for the Rockies.
 
>>Royals Beat White Sox
 
Brandon Moss hit a game-ending double off Tyler Clippard that lifted Kansas City over the White Sox 5-4 Sunday, extending Chicago's longest losing streak in four years to nine games.
 
Whit Merrifield, Jorge Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer hit consecutive home runs off Derek Holland in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead, and Merrifield hit another solo shot in the eighth off Dan Jennings to tie the score at 4.
 
Mike Moustakas singled off Gregory Infante (0-1) leading off the ninth and pinch-runner Lorenzo Cain advanced when Infante bounced a slider to Alcides Escobar for a wild pitch. Infante hit Escobar on the left hand, Clippard relieved in his second appearance since he was acquired from the New York Yankees, and Moss doubled.
 
Kelvin Herrera (3-2) struck out two in a perfect ninth, extending the scoreless streak by the Royals bullpen to 18 innings over five games. Kansas City has won five straight following a skid of seven losses in eight games and went 6-4 on its homestand.
 
Chicago had not lost nine in a row since Aug. 30-Sept. 7, 2013.
 
Holland allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings, throwing 87 pitches. He is 1-6 in his past 10 starts,
 
Royals starter Travis Wood gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. 
 
Adam Engel hit a three-run double in the fourth and scored on Jose Abreu's double for a 4-3 lead.
 
The White Sox open a four-game series against the Cubs opens Monday at Wrigley Field. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-9) is to start for the White Sox and RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-3) for the Cubs.

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Blackhawks F Wingels Recovering From Broken Foot

Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels broke his left foot during offseason training, but is expected to be ready for training camp.
 
The 29-year-old Wingels, a suburban Chicago native, agreed to a one-year deal with the Blackhawks on July 1. He had seven goals and five assists for the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators last season.
 
The Blackhawks announced the injury on Friday.

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Ohio State Big Ten Favorites For 2017

The Big Ten doesn't do an official preseason poll like other Power Five conferences at their respective media days. So it's been up to to votes tallied through Cleveland.com to do the conference's work instead. 
 
This year's preseason poll has a familiar team at the top: Ohio State. 
The Buckeyes are overwhelming favorites to take the Big Ten East title and win the conference championship game. 
 
Ohio State garnered 34 first-place votes for the East and 29 votes for the Big Ten championship over three different opponents. 
 
Penn State, last year's Big Ten champion, had seven first-place votes for the East, while Michigan received a single first-place vote.
 

Wisconsin is the big favorite to win the conference's West division with 259 total points and 31 first-place votes. Northwestern and Nebraska were the only other teams to receive first-place votes. 
 
Illinois was picked to finish last in the West. 

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Jordan Spieth Wins Open Championship

It wasn't simple, but Jordan Spieth sealed the deal late and won the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale by three over Matt Kuchar on Sunday. Spieth finished at 12 under with a 268. The Open is Spieth's third career major (Masters, U.S. Open) and gives him three of the four legs of the Grand Slam, which he will go for next month at the PGA Championship.
 
The 23-year-old joined Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to win three of four major championships before his 24th birthday (Spieth will turn 24 next week). He's the youngest Open winner since Seve Ballesteros won at 22 in 1979.
 
Spieth got loose early in Round 4 and made bogey on three of his first four holes to fall back into a tie with Kuchar. It got worse before it got better. There was a wild, sideways saga at the 13th hole where Spieth took an unplayable and had to hit a shot off the driving range. He was 4 over in his first 13 holes after going under par in that range over each of his first three rounds.
 
Spieth nearly aced the par-3 14th, made an outrageous eagle at the par-5 15th and followed those with another long birdie putt at the par-4 16th to more or less put Kuchar away. He closed with another birdie at the 17th and played his last five holes in 5 under for the win.
 
Rory McIlroy stormed up the leaderboard with a 67 Sunday to finish in a tie for fourth at at five-under.
 
Brooks Koepka finished four-under and in a tie for sixth for the tournament.
 
Zach Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama were in a group tied for 14th at two-under.
 
Rickie Fowler shot even par for the tournament and tied for 22nd. 
 
Jason Day and Bubba Watson finished one-over for the tournament and Dustin Johnson finished four-over after a disappointing 77 on Sunday.

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Cubs, Cardinals Square Off At Wrigley This Weekend; White Sox in Kansas City

The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs have won six straight since the All-Star break and are only one game out of first place -- a 4 1/2 game pickup on the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers -- as they open a three-game weekend series with division rival St. Louis (46-49).
 
Chicago (49-45) will also show off its newest acquisition -- left-hander Jose Quintana -- with a Sunday start in his Cubs home debut.
 
First up is a Friday clash in which Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) will oppose Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36).
 
Martinez, who pitched two innings in last week's All-Star Game, makes his 22nd career appearance (12th start) against the Cubs. He is 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA against Chicago.
 
Martinez is 1-0 in two starts vs. Chicago this season, most recently tossing 6 2/3 innings against the Cubs while striking out seven in a 5-3 victory on May 13. He needs one strikeout to reach 600 for his career.
 
Kyle Hendricks rejoined the club after a six-week stay on the disabled list caused by tendinitis in his pitching hand. He tossed five perfect innings in a Monday rehab outing at Double-A Tennessee.
 
St. Louis is 4 1/2 games behind Milwaukee and is 3-4 on its current road trip -- including a 3-2 Thursday loss as the New York Mets rallied with single runs in the eighth and ninth.
 
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant's status is uncertain for the Friday game after he sprained his left pinkie finger Wednesday. Bryant caught the foot of Atlanta's Johan Camargo while sliding head-first into third base.
 
>>Surging Royals Host White Sox This Weekend
 
Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.32 ERA) is unbeaten in his last seven starts, with the Royals going 6-1. He is 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA in the seven starts, going at least six innings in six of those games as he'll get the ball to open a three game series Friday night against the Chicago White Sox.
 
Chicago will counter with ex-Royal James Shields (2-2, 5.10 ERA). He is 7-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 career starts against the Royals, holding them to a .237 batting average.
 
The buzz around the White Sox is second baseman Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect in baseball. The White Sox acquired Moncada, a 22-year-old from Cuba, as the centerpiece in a Dec. 6 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. Moncada made his White Sox debut Wednesday.
 
While the Royals trail the Indians by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central, the White Sox have lost six straight and are 1-9 in their past 10 games. They are 38-54, the worst record in the American League.

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Spieth In Front After First Round of The Open

Jordan Spieth was locked in. Spieth shot a 5-under 65 to take and hang on to an early co-lead with U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka at the 146th Open.
 
After making par at the first, Spieth pull-hooked his drive into some bumpy gorse off the second tee. From there, he hit an off-balanced approach that landed about 12 feet from the cup. He poured that in for birdie and never looked back.
 
Nobody shot a bogey-free round the last time the Open was here in 2008.
 
Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Ernie Els were in a group at two-under.
 
Adam Scott and Jason Day each finished the first round one-under while Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy each finished at one-over after the first 18. 
 
2:41 a.m. -- Ernie Els, Ross Fisher, Bernd Wiesberger
3:03 a.m. -- Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia
3:25 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Paul Casey
4:47 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel
5:09 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari, Marc Leishman
9:48 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Si Woo Kim, Jordan Spieth
9:59 a.m. -- Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas

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Mets Walk Off Cardinals

Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal was late covering first base on a grounder by Jose Reyes that turned into a game-winning single with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the New York Mets over St. Louis 3-2.
 
A leadoff walk and T.J. Rivera's single put runners on the corners with two outs. Reyes then hit a grounder up the first base line, and Matt Carpenter fielded it cleanly well behind the bag.
 
Rosenthal (2-4) was slow to leave the mound, and Reyes easily beat him to the base with a headfirst dive.
 
Reyes' fourth career walkoff RBI gave the Mets a split of the four-game series.
 
Addison Reed (1-2) pitched a perfect ninth.
 
Tommy Pham drove reliever Erik Goeddel's 3-1 changeup into the lower deck in left field to give the Cardinals a 2-1 advantage in the eighth. It was Pham's 13th home run of the season and third against the Mets.
 
Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores homered in the bottom half off Brett Cecil to tie it.
 
Seth Lugo tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball behind a career-high 103 pitches.
 
Lugo did not allow a hit until two outs in the fifth, when Greg Garcia lined a double into the right field corner.
 
Lance Lynn allowed one run on three hits in six innings.
 
Lucas Duda homered into the Cardinals' bullpen to lead off the second, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead and snapping Lynn's scoreless streak at a career-high 14 1/3 innings.
 
After Carpenter worked a one-out walk in the sixth, Pham hit an RBI double.
 
St. Louis will open a three-game set at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. RHP Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA) faces RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) in the series opener. The Cardinals have lost Martinez's last five outings, despite three of them being quality starts.

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Mike Montgomery hit his first career home run and allowed two hits and one run in six innings to lead streaking Chicago to an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
 
Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Chicago, which hasn't lost since the All-Star break. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Braves.
 
The mood might have been spoiled if not for an encouraging report on Kris Bryant, the Cubs' 2016 NL MVP who left the game with a sprained left little finger in the first inning.
 
Tommy La Stella, who replaced Bryant, also homered and Addison Russell drove in two runs with four hits, including two doubles.
 
The Cubs came to Atlanta only one-half game ahead of the Braves in the NL wild-card standings. Now they're bearing down on NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
 
The Braves loaded the bases with three singles off Koji Uehara in the eighth. After Pedro Strop replaced Uehara, Matt Kemp grounded into a double play to end the inning.
 
Montgomery (2-6) earned his first win since June 20. The only run he allowed came on a sixth-inning leadoff homer by Ender Inciarte . It was Montgomery's best start since throwing six scoreless innings in a 4-0 win over San Diego on June 20.
 
Tyler Flowers led off the seventh with a homer off Justin Grimm.
 
Montgomery reached the second level of the right-field seats with his homer off R.A. Dickey (6-6) in the fifth inning.
 
Following an off day on Thursday, Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17) will face St. Louis on Friday in only his seventh home start of 20 overall this season.
 
>>Mets Down Cardinals
 
Staked to an early lead on Wednesday, deGrom (11-3) pitched into the seventh inning and won his career-best seventh straight start as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3.
 
A night after being shut out by St. Louis' Michael Wacha, New York jumped on Mike Leake (6-8) for seven runs in the first two innings and cruised from there behind deGrom to snap a three-game losing streak.
 
DeGrom settled down after a 25-pitch first inning, allowing seven hits and striking out three. He was pulled with two outs in the seventh after Luke Voit's double scored Greg Garcia for the Cardinals' first run.
 
The Mets sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning and strung together three straight run-scoring hits with two outs, capped by Wilmer Flores' RBI single.
 
The Mets added four more runs off of Leake in the second, only one of them earned. Third baseman Jedd Gyorko's throw sailed into right field when second baseman Kolten Wong and shortstop Paul DeJong convened at the bag on what could have been a double-play grounder by Asdrubal Cabrera. Jay Bruce followed with an RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes doubled to right to make it 5-0.
Jose Reyes drove in two more runs with a single to center, and Leake, who came in with the sixth-best ERA in the National League, was pulled after two innings.
In the eighth, St. Louis loaded the bases with two outs and Magneuris Sierra drove in two runs with a single off Jerry Blevins. 
 
Addison Reed struck out Voit to end the threat and retired the Cardinals in the ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances.
 
Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.40) starts Thursday afternoon in the season series finale against Mets RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 4.50). Lynn, who has won his last two starts, is 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in six career starts (eight appearances) against New York, but holds a 0-3 record with a 3.55 ERA in two starts (three appearances) at Citi Field.
 
>>Dodgers Roll White Sox
 
The MLB-best Dodgers slugged their way to a 9-1 victory Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game, winning their 11th straight and spoiling the White Sox debut of Yoan Moncada.
 
Kike Hernandez homered in his first two at-bats, breaking out of a 1-for-23 slump and helping the Dodgers to their 31st victory in 35 games. The game was called in the top of the eighth inning after a 37-minute delay.
 
Chicago starter Carlos Rodon (1-3) allowed home runs to his first batter, as Chris Taylor led the game off with one, and his last, as Corey Seager's two-run homer in the fourth chased him.
 
After Taylor's home run, Melky Cabrera answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the first to tie the score.
 
Moncada, a second baseman acquired in December as the main piece in a trade with Boston for ace Chris Sale, batted sixth and was hitless in two at-bats. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance for the White Sox, then grounded out in the fourth inning and flied out in the sixth.
 
Rodon allowed three walks and struck out four.
 
Kenta Maeda (8-4) allowed one run and five hits in five innings, striking out three. Reliever Ross Stribling threw two scoreless innings, retiring the final six batters he faced.
 
Chicago will head to Kansas City for three games starting Friday as RHP James Shields (2-2, 5.10 ERA) faces his former team against RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.32 ERA).

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Bears, Packers Notes

>>Packers WR Alison Suspended
 
The NFL has suspended Green Bay Packers receiver Geronimo Allison without pay for the season opener on Sept. 10 against Seattle for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
 
The league said in a statement on Wednesday that Allison would be eligible for all preseason practices and games. He would be eligible to return from his Week 1 suspension on Sept. 11.
 
The Packers declined comment, citing confidentiality.
 
Allison was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession last September stemming from a traffic stop in Manitowoc County. He reached a plea deal with prosecutors in April, paying $330 to settle the charge after it was amended to a local violation.
 
Allison had 12 catches for 202 yards and two scores last season, with eight catches over the final two regular-season games.
 
>>Bears Ink QB Trubisky
 
The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, their first-round draft pick and the No. 2 overall selection in April.
 
Trubisky started all 13 games for North Carolina last season, setting single-season school records for passing yards (3,748), passing touchdowns (30) and total offense (4,056) while completing 68 percent of his passes.
 
He is not expected to start this season. Veteran Mike Glennon was signed in the offseason to take over for the departed Jay Cutler, and he gives the Bears time to develop Trubisky.

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Maui Invitational Includes Wichita State, Notre Dame

On Tuesday, the Maui Invitational announced the top half of the bracket will feature matchups between Marquette and VCU, and Wichita State facing California. 
 
The bottom half of the bracket will showcase Notre Dame against local Chaminade, and Michigan squaring off against LSU and its new-look program under head coach Will Wade, who left VCU this offseason and could wind up playing his former team if the chips fall right.
 
The tournament will take place Nov. 20-22 at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui.

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The Open Tee Times Set

The third major championship of 2017 is here, and the pairings for Thursday and Friday's rounds have been released. There are some gems, and if history is any indication, the eventual winner will come from one of these great groups. Birkdale has almost exclusively produced winners who eventually ended up in the Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Tee No. 1, Thursday:
 
2:52 a.m. -- Jason Dufner, Branden Grace, Bryson DeChambeau
4:47 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Si Woo Kim, Jordan Spieth
4:58 a.m. -- Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas
5:09 a.m. -- Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood
8:04 a.m. -- Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia
8:26 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Paul Casey
9:48 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel
10:10 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari, Marc Leishman

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Cardinals Blank Mets

Michael Wacha threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 5-0 on Tuesday night.
 
Despite a slow start that has them one game under .500, the Cardinals were able to move within 3 1/2 games behind the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers thanks to Wacha, who won his fourth consecutive start, and Matt Carpenter, who had four hits.
 
Wacha struck out eight and walked one in his 99th start, allowing only three runners to reach second base.
 
Wacha and the Cardinals capitalized on a shoddy Mets defense that let down starter Rafael Montero (1-6) with three errors. Montero allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings. New York has lost three straight and eight of 11.
 
Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom (10-3, 3.48) starts Wednesday night against Cardinals RHP Mike Leake (7-6, 3.14 ERA). DeGrom has won a career-best six straight starts with a 1.53 ERA dating to June 12. He's struck out 47 and walked nine during that stretch.

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