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Andrew Luck Gets Biggest Deal in NFL History

Andrew Luck has signed a six-year contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts that will keep him with the team through 2021, the team announced Wednesday. Colts owner Jim Irsay was the first to report the news and later scooped everyone by announcing it was a deal worth $140 million over six years.

The Colts said for months they intended to lock up their franchise quarterback to a long-term deal, which Irsay said would be "shocking."

 

Even after Luck suffered a down season in 2015 after one of the best starts to a career in NFL history.

 

He played just seven games last year, dealing with multiple injuries, and threw only 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions a year after passing for a league-leading 40 touchdowns.

 

Luck averaged 4,319 yards through his first three season in the NFL but threw for just 1,881 last year.

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Decisive Game 3 of College World Series Postponed

On Tuesday night, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers pulled out a one-run victory against the Arizona Wildcats, thereby forcing a decisive Game 3 of the College World Series.

 

Game 3 was scheduled for Wednesday night. However, it has been postponed because of thunderstorms in Omaha, Nebraska. It'll be played Thursday, weather permitting, at 1:08 p.m. ET.

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Cubs, Sox Win; Cardinals Lose

>>Shields Picks Up First Win With White Sox

 

James Shields broke out of a slump with 6 2/3 innings against one of baseball's worst lineups, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 9-6 Wednesday night.

Shields (3-9) allowed one run and eight hits in his first win since he tossed seven scoreless innings for San Diego at Milwaukee on May 12th. The right-hander got hit hard after he was acquired by Chicago in a trade June 4, going 0-2 with a 15.80 ERA in his first four starts.

 

Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Tyler Saladino homered for the White Sox, who improved to 7-1 against the Twins after losing 4-0 in the series opener on Tuesday. Saladino and Tim Anderson each had two hits and two RBIs.

 

Ricky Nolasco (3-6) was charged with seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in his second straight loss.

 

Nate Jones got one out for his second save.

 

Tommy Milone of the Twins and Carlos Rodon of the White Sox face off in the series finale on Thursday. Milone (0-2, 5.33 ERA) is 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA in his career against the White Sox. Rodon (2-6, 4.09 ERA) is winless in his last five starts despite a 3.41 ERA for that stretch.

 

>>Cubs Sweep Reds

 

Anthony Rizzo legged out his first inside-the-park homer on Wednesday -and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 for a three-game sweep that got them back on solid footing after a rough week.

 

Rizzo drove in three runs in the first inning off left-hander Cody Reed (0-2) with the Cubs' first inside-the-park homer since 2011, when Tony Campana circled the bases against Cincinnati. Left fielder Adam Duvall cut in front of center fielder Billy Hamilton but couldn't get to the ball, which deflected off Hamilton's cheek.

 

Hendricks (6-6) gave up Duvall's 22nd homer and went 6 2/3 innings, throwing 117 pitches to rest a bullpen worn out from pitching and playing the outfield. He also drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.

 

John Lackey (7-4, 3.29 ERA) opens a four-game series at New York against the Mets.

 

>>Royals Outlast Cardinals

 

Alcides Escobar hit a go-ahead RBI double just inside the right-field line in the 12th inning and the Kansas City Royals outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Wednesday night.

 

Escobar drove in the first run of the game with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the eighth. His fly to shallow right off Seth Maness (0-2) fell just in front of Stephen Piscotty, whose homer leading off the 10th tied it at 2.

 

Chien-Ming Wang (5-0) worked two scoreless innings for Kansas City, which survived blown saves by Wade Davis and Joakim Soria, stranded 19 runners and used all of its bench players.

 

The Royals are 39-50 in the I-70 interleague series but 14-12 at 11-year-old Busch Stadium.

Whit Merrifield put Kansas City ahead in the 10th when a potential double-play grounder was booted by second baseman Matt Carpenter and Merrifield got an RBI. He also doubled with one out in the 12th.

 

Mike Leake (5-5, 4.25) lasted just 3 1-3 innings his last start, allowing five runs at Seattle.

 

>>Sox Melky Cabrera Dealing With Wrist Injury

 

White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera has a mild right wrist sprain that will keep him out of the lineup for a couple of days.

 

Cabrera originally hurt his wrist when he tried for a diving catch during a 13-2 loss at Cleveland on June 18. He aggravated the injury during Tuesday night's series opener against Minnesota and had an MRI on Wednesday.

 

The switch hitter is batting .294 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 74 games. He signed a $42 million, three-year contract with Chicago in December 2014.

 

Avisail Garcia got the start in left against the Twins on Wednesday night.

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Blues Sign Brodziak To 2-Year Extension

The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Kyle Brodziak to a two-year contract extension.

The 32-year-old Brodziak had two goals in the playoffs after totaling 11 points in 76 regular-season games leading the checking line.

 

The 11-year veteran also has played for Edmonton and Minnesota and has 239 points in 697 career games. He was a seventh-round draft pick by the Oilers in 2003.

 

The Blues also announced Wednesday that the Chicago Wolves, their American Hockey League affiliate, have named Craig Berube head coach. The 50-year-old Berube, former head coach at Philadelphia from 2013 to 2015, got a two-year contract.

 

Berube played 17 seasons with the Flyers, Maple Leafs, Flames, Capitals and Islanders.

 

>>Stamkos Stays With Lightning, Habs Move Subban

 

On a day that saw a couple of teams dramatically changed the look of their roster by trading franchise players, the Tampa Bay Lightning found out their franchise player is staying with the team after Steven Stamkos signed an eight-year contract.

 

The team has yet to announce the terms, but according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie, Stamkos' deal will be worth around $8.5 million per season.

Stamkos pretty much confirmed it himself on Twitter.

 

The 26-year-old Stamkos has appeared in 569 regular season games for the Lightning, scoring 312 goals. He is simply one of the best goal scorers of his generation.

 

He was the No. 1 overall pick by the Lightning in 2009 and has played his entire career with the team.

 

It's rare to see two franchise defensemen get moved, but even rarer to see them get swapped for each other. So, "blockbuster" doesn't even begin to describe the trade between the Montreal Candiens and Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

 

Montreal has traded former Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for captain Shea Weber in a straight one-for-one deal. In addition to being considered among the top defensemen in the NHL, both are among the highest paid.

 

Weber, who will be 31 when next season starts, is a three-time Norris Trophy finalist. He has 443 points in 763 games and has essentially been the face of Nashville's franchise for the better part of the last decade. He has topped 20 goals in three seasons including last year when he had 20 goals and 31 assists in 78 games.

 

Subban, who recently turned 27, is only heading into the third year of an eight-year contract that made him one of the highest paid players in the league. He has 278 points in 434 games and won the Norris Trophy in 2012-13. He also was a first-team NHL All-Star twice and has become one of the league's most popular players.

 

Subban notched his third-straight season of 50 or more points last year with 51 in 68 games.

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Cubs, Cardinals Win; Sox Lose

>>Cubs Outlast Reds

 

Kris Bryant singled home the tiebreaking run in the 15th inning and the Chicago Cubs used three pitchers in left field while beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Tuesday night in the longest game of the season for both teams.

 

With the Cubs out of position players, relievers Travis Wood and Spencer Patton (1-0) alternated between left field and the mound in the 14th inning, which ended with Patton getting the final out. Wood then finished it off with reliever Pedro Strop in left.

 

Bryant's only hit on Tuesday - a single off J.J. Hoover (1-2) - snapped the tie. Javier Baez added a grand slam in the 15th, the sixth career allowed by Hoover, which is a Reds record.

Eugenio Suarez singled home the tying run with two outs in the ninth off Hector Rondon, his third blown save in 16 chances, setting the game on its meandering course.

 

Ben Zobrist led off the game with a homer off left-hander John Lamb. Left-hander Jon Lester singled home another run and allowed only one hit until the eighth inning, when Billy Hamilton homered.

 

The National League's top team went 1-6 last week but has pulled out of the downturn by winning the first two games of a series against the Reds. The Cubs hit five homers - three by Kris Bryant - while taking the opener 11-8.

 

Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 2.76) is 1-5 with a 3.79 ERA in seven road starts this season. Cody Reed (0-1, 6.75) makes his third career start for the Reds.

 

>>Carpenter, Cardinals Double-Up Royals

 

Just about everybody in the Cardinals lineup contributed to the offense, while Michael Wacha (4-7) allowed four runs over six bumpy innings - he served up nine hits and three walks as the Cardinals picked up an 8-4 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night and evened their four-game, two-city series.

 

Matt Carpenter started the fifth with a homer to center and Matt Adams added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to make it 5-2.

 

Seung Hwan Oh loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before getting pinch-hitter Alex Gordon to pop out and inducing Eric Hosmer into a routine fielder's choice.

 

Yordano Ventura (6-5) allowed seven runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter in 5 1/3 innings for Kansas City.

 

Yadier Molina, Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia drove in runs for St. Louis.

 

Carlos Martinez takes the mound for the Cardinals while Kansas City counters with Edinson Volquez on the mound at Busch Stadium. Martinez is 3-0 in his last five starts.

 

>>Gibson, Dozier Lead Twins Past White Sox

 

Brian Dozier homered twice and drove in four runs, Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for his first victory of the season, and the Minnesota Twins blanked the Chicago White Sox 4-0 Tuesday night.

Dozier homered in his third straight game and extended his hitting streak to 10 games as the last-place Twins beat the White Sox for first time in seven tries. Gibson (1-5) struck out seven and walked one in his best performance since coming off the disabled list this month.

 

Ryan Pressly and Brandon Kintzler each got three outs to finish the six-hitter for Minnesota's first shutout of the season.

 

James Shields (2-9, 6.22 ERA) makes his fifth start for Chicago and faces Minnesota's RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 4.95 ERA) on Wednesday night.

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Jason Day Joins Growing List of Golfers To Skip Rio Olympics

Jason Day is the latest golfer to withdraw his name from consideration for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, citing concerns over the Zika virus.

 

In a statement Tuesday, Day said:

 

"It is with deep regret I announce that I will not be competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games this coming August in Rio de Janeiro. The reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wife's future pregnancies and to future members of our family. I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life."

 

Day joins the likes of Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen as members of the world top 15 to pull out of the Olympics this year. Day's absence will be a blow to both the appeal of the Olympics as a whole, being that he's the No. 1 player in the world, and to the Australian team that has already seen Scott and Marc Leishman (No. 39 in the world) pull out.

 

The news of Day's withdrawal from the Olympics comes just days after an IOC member suggested that golf should not be an Olympic sport if the best players in the world won't commit. Now, the best player in the world has decided not to play, which certainly won't help when it comes time for the IOC to vote next year whether to keep golf beyond 2020.

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Legendary Coach, Buddy Ryan, Dies at 82

The NFL lost one of its most colorful and innovative defensive legends on Tuesday morning as Buddy Ryan died at the age of 82.

Ryan, the father of Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Buffalo defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, was one of the most brash, bold men in NFL history.

 

The former Eagles and Cardinals coach was most notable for his stretch with the Chicago Bears -- Ryan was Chicago's defensive coordinator from 1978-1985, inventing the "46" defense and constructing perhaps the greatest defense in NFL history, the 1985 Bears.

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Bryant's Big Night Helps Cubs Overcome Arrieta's Struggles

Kris Bryant became the first major leaguer to hit three homers and two doubles in a game, and Jake Arrieta added a solo shot in the ballpark where he threw a no-hitter in April, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

 

The Cubs pulled out of their 1-6 slide behind a tandem that's had some historic moments in Cincinnati.

 

Arrieta (12-2) threw his second career no-hitter on April 21 during a 16-0 win over the Reds. Bryant led the way with a pair of homers in that game, including a grand slam that gave him a career-high six RBIs.

 

Arrieta struggled in his return to Cincinnati, giving up a season-high five runs in five innings, but Bryant drove in six runs again to help the right-hander pull through. Bryant's 16 total bases were a Cubs record, and his five hits marked a career high.

 

John Lester (9-3, 2.10 ERA) tries to become the second Cubs starter with 10 wins. He's 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six career starts against the Reds, including two this season.

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Duffy, Royals Get Passed Cardinals

After serving up Matt Holliday's two-run shot in the first, Danny Duffy settled in to go eight innings while striking out eight without a walk, sending Kansas City to a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a four-game, two-city series between cross-state rivals.

Kendrys Morales went 4 for 4 and drove in two runs, and Eric Hosmer also had a pair of RBIs as the Royals roughed up Adam Wainwright (6-5) to snap a four-game losing streak to the Cardinals.

 

The Royals scored all their runs with two outs.

 

Kansas City pulled ahead for good in the second, stringing together five singles and a double while batting through the order. Lorenzo Cain provided the lead with a sharp single up the middle, Hosmer extended it with his bounding double down the right-field line, and Salvador Perez added an RBI single to make it 6-2.

 

Wainwright began making better pitches eventually, retiring 10 of his final 11 batters. But the damage had been done, and he was pulled after five innings and 102 pitches.

 

Yordano Ventura (6-4) returns from an eight-game suspension stemming from a brawl in Baltimore to face Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (3-7) on Tuesday night. Wacha won for the first time in nearly two months his last time out against the Cubs.

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Hoiberg Says He Can Work With Butler

Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg insists he can still work with Jimmy Butler.

 

Hoiberg was adamant they can coexist even though the two-time All-Star guard called him out last season and did not embrace his offense.

 

Hoiberg said "absolutely, I can" when asked if he can coach Butler. He spoke Monday during a news conference to introduce first-round draft pick Denzel Valentine.

 

The Bulls missed the playoffs at 42-40 in a difficult first season under Hoiberg and traded 2011 MVP Derrick Rose to New York last week.

 

Hoiberg says he met with Butler and other players a few weeks ago in Los Angeles and saw him again in Chicago last week. Hoiberg says they have been in "constant communication" and Butler is "in a great frame of mind right now."

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USA Basketball Announces Final Roster

Confirming initial reports, USA Basketball announced the official roster for the 2016 U.S. Olympic men's team on Monday.

 

A well rounded roster that coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo are confident will bring home a third straight Olympic gold medal.

 

Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, Pacers forward Paul George are among a group that includes Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and DeMarcus Cousins.

 

Now that the roster is set, the 2016 Olympic team will go through a minicamp in mid-July and then go on a series of exhibitions games around the country before heading to Rio in early August.

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Arizona Opens CWS With Win Over Coastal Carolina

Arizona starter J.C. Cloney twirled a four-hit shutout (six strikeouts, three walks), and second baseman Cody Ramer reached base four times and scored twice.

Cloney's outing was particularly big since the status of Wildcat ace Nathan Bannister (forearm) is uncertain for the CWS final. So the bullpen got a much-needed night off.

 

The run-suppressing nature of TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha was apparently in the late innings, as a pair of Coastal Carolina deep drives that looked good off the bat wound up dying at the track.

 

The win puts Arizona on the brink of their second national championship in the last five years.

 

The two teams meet in an elimination game for Coastal Carolina tonight. Game 3 if necessary is Wednesday. 

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Cardinals, Sox Win; Cubs Continue Slide

>>Sale Sends Sox Past Blue Jays

 

Chris Sale pitched eight innings of two-run ball to become the majors' first 13-game winner, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Sunday.

Tim Anderson and J.B. Shuck homered to help Chicago take two of three from slumping Toronto, which has dropped five of seven. The White Sox returned to .500 (38-38) with their fifth win in seven games.

 

Sale (13-2) allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked two in his fourth straight victory. The ace left-hander matched his win total from all of 2015 when he was 13-11.

 

After a day off on Monday, LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.04 ERA) will try to win for the first time since May 8 when the White Sox open a three-game home set against Minnesota and RHP Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.05 ERA).

 

>>Cardinals Pound Mariners

 

Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham each homered twice as the Cardinals went deep six times in an 11-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Jedd Gyorko and Matt Holliday also homered for St. Louis, which tied a season-high with six long balls. Carpenter, Holliday, and Aledmys Diaz each had three hits as the Cardinals finished with 17 - including 13 for extra bases.

 

Kevin Siegrist (5-2) allowed one run on two hits in 1 1/3 inning to get the win.

 

Franklin Gutierrez tied the game at 6-6 with a three-run homer against Siegrist in the bottom of the sixth. A two-out single by Ketel Marte knocked St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia out of the game, and Gutierrez drilled a 1-1 fastball from Siegrist into the Mariners' bullpen in left field.

Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer, his 19th, to lead off the third and put the Mariners ahead 3-1. Cruz finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

 

Adam Wainwright (6-4) makes his team-leading 16th start of the season Monday as the Cardinals begin a four-game series against the Royals.

 

>>Fernandez Brilliant As Marlins Wrap Up Series Win vs Cubs

 

Jose Fernandez delivered another gem at Marlins Park, allowing one run in seven innings and striking out 13 Sunday to help Miami beat the faltering Chicago Cubs, 6-1.

 

The Marlins won three of four from the injury-depleted Cubs, who went 1-6 for the week but still have baseball's best record.

 

Fernandez improved his career record at home to 24-1 with a 1.48 ERA, and this year the right-hander has been pretty good everywhere - he's 10-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 138 strikeouts.

 

Giancarlo Stanton doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth for the Marlins, who went 7-3 on their homestand. At 41-35, they're six games above .500 for the first time since June 2012, their first season in Marlins Park.

 

Jake Arrieta (11-2, 1.74 ERA) returns to Cincinnati, where he threw a no-hitter April 21, when the Cubs open a three-game series there Monday.

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Cardinals Remove Rosenthal From Closers Role; Mets Officially Bring Back Reyes

The Cardinals started the frame up 3-1 on the Mariners, but closer Trevor Rosenthal's ninth went double, walk, walk-off homer. For the Cardinals and their rooters, this is a somewhat familiar refrain.

 

As such, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny met with Rosenthal on Saturday and let him know he'll be taking a break from closing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

 

Rosenthal's 2016 ERA now stands at 5.63. In 24 innings he's walked 21 batters, all unintentionally, and opposing hitters have an OBP of .429. More to the point, he's a closer who this season has on average allowed more than two base-runners per inning.

 

It so happens that the Cardinals have two ready replacements. Kevin Siegrist has been quite good when healthy and has manageable platoon tendencies as lefty relievers go. The more intriguing option is, of course, 33-year-old rookie Seung Hwan Oh (who's nickname is 'The Final Boss') , has been exceptional in his first stateside season and had a long record of success as a closer in Korea and then Japan.

 

For Matheny's part, the Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals plan on rolling with three options in the ninth inning: Siegrist, Oh and experienced closer Jonathan Broxton. However, there's the opportunity for someone to emerge, and it wouldn't be surprising for that someone to be The Final Boss.

 

>>Mets Officiall Bring Back Reyes

 

After being linked to Jose Reyes for some time, the Mets on Saturday announced that they have signed the veteran infielder to a minor-league contract. He'll report to the Brooklyn Cyclones.

 

Reyes was recently released by the Rockies, who put him on waivers following his return from a 51-game suspension under the league's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. That suspension stemmed from an incident last October in which Reyes was charged with physically assaulting his wife in a Hawaii hotel room. Charges were eventually dropped because Reyes' wife declined to cooperate with the investigation.

 

When and if Reyes returns to the majors, he'll play for the prorated major-league minimum. That means the more than $40 million he's owed on his contract will remain on the Rockies' books.

 

Reyes, 33, batted just .274/.310/.378 for the Blue Jays and Rockies in 2015. He spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Mets before leaving to sign a free agent contract with the Marlins prior to the 2012 season. With the Mets, Reyes was a four-time All-Star.

 

The injury to David Wright and his uncertain timetable has left the Mets in need of infield depth, hence their signing of Reyes.

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Bulls Likely To Lose Noah, Gasol to Free Agency

For years, the Chicago Bulls looked to be on the cusp of contending for a title as long as they could get Derrick Rose back to being himself. As they head into the summer of 2016, Rose has been sent to the New York Knicks and the Bulls may be losing the majority of their frontcourt. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times says the chances of unrestricted free agent Joakim Noah coming back to the Bulls seems highly unlikely.

While Bulls GM Gar Forman has given lip service of wanting to discuss re-signing Noah this summer, Cowley reports that's just him trying to win the press conference and not offering up a viable road toward keeping the former Defensive Player of the Year. Noah reportedly has no trust in the direction the front office has taken. Trading Rose away from the team probably just exacerbates that.

 

Noah wants to play for a winner and a place where he can both start and finish games. This past season under Fred Hoiberg, Noah saw his role change drastically from the Tom Thibodeau days. Noah only played in 29 games this season but in those games, he saw just to calls to the starting lineup. Hoiberg moved Noah to be a key reserve off the bench in the hopes of allowing the Bulls to have faster starts with their style of play. That didn't go well and eventually, injuries robbed the Bulls of making the playoffs.

 

He may not be the only big man the Bulls are going to lose. Pau Gasol doesn't seem likely to re-sign with the Bulls unless he decides to go with an overpay, which the Bulls would also have to want to offer. They may be looking to move Taj Gibson too. Forman oversaw the drafting of Gibson, but Cowley says the Bulls have talked to several teams about moving him and his $8.9 million deal for 2016-17.

 

If they do in fact send Gibson elsewhere, that would leave a frontcourt of Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio, and some serious money to spend.

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Blues Trade G Elliot; NHL Draft Notes

>>Blues Trade Brian Elliot To Calgary

 

The Calgary Flames were the one team really making a push to add a starting goaltender, and they did that Friday night. It just wasn't the goalie anybody expected them to get (Marc-Andre Fleury or Ben Bishop). It was Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues for the No. 35 overall pick in 2016 and a conditional 2018 third-round pick that is dependent on the Flames re-signing Elliott after this season.

 

The reason it is a win for Elliott is because now he is finally going to a team that will give him an opportunity to be the clear No. 1 starter. No matter how well Elliott played in St. Louis the Blues never really seemed to trust him to be anything more than a platoon starter along with any combination of Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Miller and Jake Allen.

 

>>Toronto Selects Auston Matthews No. 1 in NHL Draft

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hitched their wagons from a big center from Arizona of all places. Auston Matthews, the Scottsdale native who played professionally in Switzerland last season was indeed the No. 1 overall selection. He instantly becomes the centerpiece of the Maple Leafs' rebuild.

 

Matthews could be an instant impact player for Toronto and joins a vastly improved prospects system that also includes highly-talented forwards William Nylander and Mitchell Marner. The American-born talent should be on the opening-night roster and very well could be the team's long-term No. 1 center.

 

Matthews became just the seventh American-born player in the history of the NHL to go first overall in the NHL Entry Draft and the first since Patrick Kane went No. 1 to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007.

 

The Blues took center Tage Thompson from Orange, Connecticut with the 26th overall pick.

 

The Blackhawks probably couldn't believe their good fortune to see a former projected first-rounder fall into their lap at 39th. This seems to happen often for Chicago, like when they managed to nab Brandon Saad at 43rd overall in the second round back in 2011.

 

Alexander DeBrincat is a smaller forward at just 5-foot-7, but the size didn't prevent him from producing back-to-back seasons of 51 goals with the Erie Otters. The Blackhawks have plenty of skill in their system, but they just got better with this pick.

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Hurley Wins Quicken Loans National

A year after losing his father, 34-year-old Billy Hurley III earned his first PGA Tour victory at Congressional Country Club, not far from his hometown of Leesburg, Virginia, with a 69 on Sunday to finish at 17 under, three ahead of Vijay Singh.

 

Hurley, a local product, attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served for five years in the Navy before beginning his professional golf career. But this win meant so much more than just being his first. A year ago, at this very tournament, Hurley announced his father, who suffered from depression, had gone missing. His father was found only to die months later in August 2015 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

Any win on the PGA Tour for Hurley would have been a triumph of his strength but to get that win so close to home is even more special. Hurley's win is huge for his career moving forward as it earns him exemption on the PGA Tour for two years as well as spots in the 2016 Open Championship, 2016 PGA Championship and 2017 Masters as well as a few other big events on the PGA Tour.

 

Vijay Singh finished solo second and Ernie Els finished solo fifth as they turned back the clock with fantastic showings at Congressional. It was a good week to be a veteran, and they showed they still have the game to compete with the young guys.

 

Jon Rahm finished T3 in his first career PGA Tour event and earned a spot in the British Open. That's a nice way to start your career -- and a big paycheck. He'll learn from the weekend and has a very bright future.

 

Harold Varner III also earned a trip to the British Open in a few weeks with a seventh place finish thanks to a big par on the 18th hole. It's his first Open ever and only his second major championship.

 

Rickie Fowler looked like he was maybe turning the corner early in the week with back-to-back 68s on Thursday and Friday, but he wasn't able to carry that quality of play to the weekend with a 73-74 finish to end up T45 at 1 under. He's still fighting his game a bit and needs to figure out how to put together four straight quality rounds if he's going to factor into the conversation at the British Open.

 

It seems as though Bryson DeChambeau can take his game to another level for big tournaments, but he hasn't figured out how to grind on the regular events on the PGA Tour. In need of some good finishes to earn a temporary card, DeChambeau could only finish T64 at 2 over this week and is getting close to having to Monday qualify for events. 

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Stanton Leads Fish By Cubs

Giancarlo Stanton homered in the fourth inning and singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth, helping the Miami Marlins send the Chicago Cubs to their fourth consecutive defeat, 4-2 on Thursday night.

Stanton's two hits hiked his average to .216.

 

The Cubs still have the best record in the majors, despite their longest losing streak of the season. The game marked the start of a season-high 11-game trip for the Cubs.

 

Jon Lester allowed only two runs in seven innings, but Miami ended his streak of wins in five consecutive starts. The Cubs' David Ross led off the eighth with his sixth homer to make the score 2-all.

 

Christian Yelich started Miami's rally in the bottom of the eighth with a one-out walk against Pedro Strop (1-2). He advanced on a wild pitch and scored standing up on Stanton's opposite-field single. J.T. Realmuto followed with an RBI double.

 

Kyle Barraclough (4-2) pitched a scoreless eighth.

 

Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 2.94) is scheduled to start Friday for the Cubs against RHP Tom Koehler (6-6, 3.92).

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Red Sox Get By White Sox

Xander Bogaerts singled in the game-winning run in the 10th inning as the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 8-7 on Thursday and averted a sweep of their four-game series.

Chicago led 3-0, 4-1 and 7-5 before Boston sent it into extra innings with a run in the seventh and another in the eighth. The White Sox loaded the bases with nobody out in the 10th, but Craig Kimbrel (1-3) got J.B. Shuck on an infield popup and then struck out Tim Anderson and Adam Eaton.

 

In the bottom half, Matt Purke (0-1) walked two before Bogaerts lined one up the middle and Mookie Betts scored easily from second.

 

James Shields pitched his best outing since being acquired by the White Sox on June 4. Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer and Alex Avila had four hits for Chicago.

 

The White Sox open a three-game series at Toronto. Carlos Rodon will pitch against Aaron Sanchez.

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Bulls Take Michigan State Swingman Denzel Valentine in NBA Draft

The Chicago Bulls drafted Michigan State swing player Denzel Valentine with the 14th overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday.

The 2015-16 AP national player of the year, Valentine joins a team that traded former MVP Derrick Rose to New York on Wednesday in a blockbuster. The deal that brought one of the most successful and disappointing periods in the franchise's history to an end.

 

Valentine averaged 19.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.8 assists last season. But a lingering knee injury might have raised concerns for some teams.

 

Chicago also holds the 48th pick.

 

>>Simmons Goes No. 1 Overall To Philly

 

As expected Ben Simmons was drafted No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Brandon Ingram No. 2 overall.

 

Simmons was the clear No. 1 pick and should immediately make an impact in Philadelphia. Similarly, the Lakers were thrilled with their selection of Ingram as they envision him being part of their young and developing core of Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell.

 

The Celtics then did shake things up a bit by selecting Jaylen Brown No. 3 overall but there weren't any more real surprises until the Thunder traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for the No. 11 pick (Domantas Sabonis), Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova.

 

This year's NBA draft featured an NBA record of 14 international players being selected in the first round which caused players like Skal Labissiere, Dejounte Murray and Deyonta Davis to drop to the bottom part of the first round and into the second.

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Dismissed Ex-Illini Star Transfers To Oakland

Former Illinois standout Kendrick Nunn has accepted an offer to enroll at Oakland and play his final season of college basketball at the Horizon League school, Nunn's father, Melvin Nunn, told CBS Sports on Wednesday.

Nunn averaged 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds for Illinois last season. But the 6-foot-3 guard from Chicago was dismissed last month after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an allegation that he hit a woman in the head and pushed her to the ground in March.

 

Nunn will have to sit out the 2016-17 season, per normal NCAA transfer rules.

He's expected to debut for the Grizzlies in November 2017.

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Cardinals Complete Sweep of Cubs

Michael Wacha pitched into the seventh inning for his first win in nearly two months and the St. Louis Cardinals waited out Jake Arrieta before roughing up Chicago's bullpen in a 7-2 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday.

 

Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run home run, and Matt Carpenter had a two-run double in a five-run sixth after Arrieta (11-2) departed. The Cardinals won their eighth straight road game - their longest streak since 1982 - and completed their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field since 1988.

 

Arrieta was charged with two runs - one earned - and four hits in five innings as he struggled with control (four walks) and pitch count (106).

 

Wacha (3-7) allowed two hits until rookie Willson Contreras' one-out, two-run homer in the seventh ended his day as he snapped a seven-game skid.

 

Contreras replaced Miguel Montero an inning earlier after the catcher twisted his right knee.

After an off day, RHP Carlos Martinez (7-5, 3.17 ERA) looks to stay unbeaten in June in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle.

 

Jon Lester (9-3, 2.06 ERA) aims to win his sixth straight start Thursday night as Chicago opens a season-high 11-game trip in Miami. Struggling LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 5.22) will start for the Marlins.

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White Sox Rally Past Red Sox

Brett Lawrie hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning after Melky Cabrera had a tying, two-run shot, lifting the Chicago White Sox over the Boston Red Sox 8-6 on Wednesday night.

Cabrera went 4 for 5 with four RBIs and Todd Frazier hit his 21st homer - a two-run drive - for the White Sox, who have won the first three games of a four-game series that concludes Thursday.

 

Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBIs, and Hanley Ramirez hit a solo homer after being dropped in the order for Boston.

 

Dan Jennings (3-1) got four outs for the win. Zach Duke got the final three for his first save and third of his career.

 

Cabrera tied it with a drive into Chicago's bullpen off Koji Uehara (2-3).

 

Struggling recently acquired RHP James Shields (0-2, 21.81 ERA) is set to start the finale. He's the first pitcher since 2012 to allow six-plus runs in four straight starts, giving up 21 total over 8 2/3 innings in his three starts since coming to the White Sox from San Diego.

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Bulls Deal Rose; Pacers Acquire G Teague

>>Bulls To Send Rose To Knicks

 

The New York Knicks have acquired former NBA MVP Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls.

 

The Knicks sent center Robin Lopez and guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to Chicago in the deal that was completed Wednesday. New York also received guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick.

 

The Knicks have been seeking a point guard and Rose was one of the NBA's best before multiple knee injuries slowed the former No. 1 pick's career. He played in 66 games last season, his most in five years, and averaged 16.4 points.

 

>>Pacers Acquire PG Jeff Teague in 3-Team Deal

 

On Wednesday, Atlanta Hawks have traded Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers as part of a three-team deal, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. In return, the Pacers will send George Hill to the Jazz and the Hawks will receive Utah's No. 12 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

 

Teague has been in trade rumors since the end of Atlanta's season but was more linked to deals involving the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

The second-round picks are likely stash options and the Hawks are left with two picks in the top 21 when they traditionally haven't valued the draft too much.

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Kane MVP, Panarin Rookie of the Year; Blues vs Blackhawks in Stadium Series Confirmed

>>Patrick Kane Named NHL MVP, Panarin Rookie of the Year

 

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane took home the MVP and Ted Lindsay Award, while his teammate and linemate, Artemi Panarin, took home the Rookie of the Year award (Calder). Meanwhile, Kings teammates Anze Kopitar (Selke Trophy, Lady Byng) and Drew Doughty (Norris Trophy) also were big winners.

 

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby became the third different Capitals goalie to win the Vezina Trophy, while Barry Trotz took home the coach of the year.

 

Kane becomes the first American-born player to do so since Billy Burch (born in Yonkers, New York) all the way back in 1925 as a member of the Hamilton Tigers. He is the first Chicago Blackhawks player since Stan Mikita to win it.


Not only did Kane win it, he won in a landslide, collecting more than 120 out of the 150 first-place votes.

 

Kane finished the regular season with 106 points (46 goals and 60 assists), finishing 17 points ahead of Benn. It is only the second time in NHL history a player recorded at least 100 points in a season where no other player in the league recorded at least 90 points (Sidney Crosby also did it during the 2013-14 season for the Pittsburgh Penguins).

 

The runner-up for the award, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, had only 11. Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn finished in third in the voting with eight first-place votes.

 

Panarin finished the regular season not only as the leading rookie scorer, but also as the 10th leading scorer in the league among all players with 77 points (30 goals and 47 assists).

 

He is the first Chicago Blackhawks player to win the rookie of the year award since Patrick Kane in 2007.

 

Also Wednesday night, the NHL announced they would be expanding to Las Vegas. 

 

>>NHL Schedule Released: Blues, Blackhawks To Play Outdoor Game in St. Louis

 

The NHL announced the schedule for the new season Tuesday.

 

The NHL season will start on Oct. 12, 11 days after the final game of the World Cup of Hockey which runs Sept. 17 to Oct. 1. This will be the first season in which each team has an official bye week, during which teams will have a mandatory five days without games in the second half of the season. Those bye weeks come between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, except for the Anaheim Ducks, who will have a bye week from Feb. 25 to March 3.

 

One of the league's great rivalries will get the outdoor treatment as the St. Louis Blues will take on the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Chicago will be playing in their third Winter Classic, while the league's signature regular-season is played west of the Mississippi River (just barely) for the first time ever.

 

Heins Field in Pittsburgh, BMO Field in Toronto, and Investors Group FIeld in Winnipeg will be the sites of the other outdoor games next season.

 

The All-Star game is set for Los Angeles, California at Staples Center. 

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Rory To Skip Rio Olympics

Rory McIlroy released a statement on Wednesday saying that he will not play in the 2016 Rio Olympics even though he confirmed he would just three weeks ago.

"I've come to realize that my health and my family's health comes before anything else," said McIlroy in a statement. "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take."

 

As a result of McIlroy's actions here -- compounded with those of some of golf's other stop stars -- golf in the 2024 Olympics just took a major blow.

 

The sport, which is invading the Olympic Games for the first time in over a century, is only guaranteed a spot in the next two games through 2020. After the 2016 games, there will be a vote to determine whether golf will be in the Olympics beyond 2020. Now, its biggest global star has pulled out of Rio.

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College Football Notes

>>Georgia Superstar, Nick Chubb, Vows To Return for Opener

 

Any questions about Nick Chubb's health appear to have been answered. If all goes according to plan, the junior running back will be 100 percent in time for Georgia's season-opener against North Carolina in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend.

 

In a video taken from a previous interview aired by ABC/ESPN, Chubb says his return is going to "be something to see ... "I'm gonna be back for the opening game."

 

Chubb missed the second half of last season with a serious knee injury he suffered against Tennessee. The injury required surgery and limited him to no-contact drills during spring practice. Whether Chubb's prognosis is accurate or not, it at least represents the most specific timeline on his return date so far. Previously, coach Kirby Smart was vague about Chubb's return date, and SEC writer Tony Barnhart said last month he would be surprised if Chubb was ready by September.

 

If Chubb does return for the season opener, it would obviously be a huge win for the Bulldogs, who could be breaking in a new quarterback if freshman Jacob Eason ends up winning the starting job.

 

>>Alabama Punishes Two Players Over Arrests

 

Alabama tackle Cam Robinson and reserve safety Hootie Jones avoided charges when Louisiana district attorney Jerry D. Jones dropped drug and weapons charges against the pair this week, citing insufficient evidence.

Whether the two will get off lightly with head coach Nick Saban remains to be seen. It's not clear yet whether Saban will suspend either for any games this season. However, Alabama has doled out punishments for Robinson and Jones leading up to the season.

 

Per AL.com, both players have been suspended indefinitely. Additionally, the pair will undergo weekly urine tests, submit themselves to regular drug counseling, appear on monthly video appointments with a mental health consultant and meet twice a week with Tuscaloosa police for gun safety education.

 

On top of that, both will complete 20 hours of community service. Robinson specifically must complete 26 hours of ride-along service with the Northport Police Department. Jones has to spend 21 days in a drug rehab program.

 

Alabama has not commented officially. The Tide open the season against USC in Arlington, Texas.

 

Jones and Robinson were pulled over in May and arrested after an officer found a bag of marijuana in the car and a stolen handgun under the driver's seat. Robinson was charged with possession and illegal carrying of a weapon, both misdemeanors, as well as felony possession of stolen firearms. Jones was charged with the first two misdemeanors only.

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Former Dolphins receiver arrested, facing charges after standoff with police

Davone Bess, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2013, is once again facing 
 
legal issues. This time, his troubles stem from a "standoff" with police and a 
 
SWAT team, reports indicated Tuesday.
 
Bess was charged with one felony count each for endangerment, unlawful 
 
flight, and failure to stop for a police officer. He was released on $2,500 bond 
 
on Monday night.
 
On Sunday night, Bess was stopped in Gilbert, Arizona for failing to drive 
 
with his headlights on, per the documents of his charges. And that's when the 
 
situation escalated.
 
According to the report, Bess fled home, where he refused police commands 
 
and entered his home. Police then obtained a search warrant, and the SWAT 
 
team eventually entered his house and arrested him.
 
Bess entered the league in 2008 and spent the first five years of his career 
 
with the Dolphins. He later joined the Browns, but his time there came to an 
 
end after only one season. In his career, he caught 363 passes for 3,809 
 
yards and 14 touchdowns.
 

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Predators open 2016-17 slate with 2 straight against Chicago

The Nashville Predators will begin their 2016-17 season with two straight 
 
games against the Chicago Blackhawks.
 
Nashville hosts the Blackhawks in its Oct. 14 season opener. The two teams 
 
meet again Oct. 15 in Chicago.
 
The Predators released their schedule Tuesday.
 
All seven teams that Nashville faces in October reached the 2016 Stanley Cup 
 
playoffs. The Predators follow those two games with the Blackhawks by 
 
hosting Dallas on Oct. 18. The Predators then visit Detroit on Oct. 21 before 
 
hosting the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 22.
 
The Predators' schedule includes two five-game road trips as well as two 
 
four-game home stretches. The first of those five-game trips begins Oct. 26 in 
 
Anaheim.
 

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Cubs option Warren to Triple-A to prepare for start

The Chicago Cubs have optioned right-hander Adam Warren to Triple-A Iowa 
 
to prepare him for a major league start.
 
The Cubs also placed lefty Clayton Richard on the 15-day disabled list 
 
because of a blister on his left middle finger, selected left-hander Gerardo 
 
Concepcion's contract and recalled righty Spencer Patton from Iowa before 
 
Tuesday's game against St. Louis.
 
Warren is 3-1 with a 4.56 ERA in 25 games. He made 17 starts and 43 
 
appearances for the New York Yankees last season.
 
The Cubs plan to have him start two minor-league games and make one for 
 
them before the All-Star break. Warren might make another start after that.
 
Chicago will have played 24 consecutive days before the break. Stretching 
 
Warren will give the starters an extra day of rest.

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Illinois faces VCU, DePaul Temple in Miami basketball event

Both Illinois and DePaul are scheduled to be part of the second annual 
 
Hoophall Miami Invitational in December.
 
According to announcement by both schools, the Illini will take on Virginia 
 
Commonwealth on Dec. 3 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. That game will be 
 
followed by a matchup between Miami and Wofford.
 
On Dec. 10 DePaul will face Temple at the arena. Before that game 
 
Georgetown will play LaSalle.
 
The pair of doubleheaders at the AmericanAirlines Arena is sponsored by the 
 
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Sale first to 12 wins, White Sox beat Red Sox 3-1

Chris Sale became the majors' first 12-game winner while tying his season 
 
high with nine strikeouts, Tim Anderson led off the game with his first career 
 
homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1 on Tuesday 
 
night.
 
Todd Frazier hit his 20th homer and David Robertson got his 18th save for 
 
the White Sox, who won consecutive games for just the second time in June.
 
Sale (12-2) went seven innings, allowed four hits and walked one. Chicago led 
 
the whole way after Anderson homered to left on the first pitch from Clay 
 
Buchholz (3-7) in the right-hander's return to Boston's rotation after spending 
 
about a month in the bullpen.
 
Adam Eaton doubled on Buchholz's second pitch and later scored on a 
 
sacrifice fly by Melky Cabrera.

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Carpenter, Holliday homer as Cardinals beat Cubs 4-3

Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday homered to back Adam Wainwright, and 
 
the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Tuesday night.
 
The Cardinals won their second straight game after going 0-5 on their first 
 
winless homestand of at least two series since 1983. 
 
Carpenter and Holliday connected against Jason Hammel (7-3) in a three-run 
 
third inning that made it 4-1. Wainwright (6-4) pitched into the seventh and 
 
improved to 10-1 in 21 games - 16 starts - at Wrigley Field.
 
The Cardinals put themselves in position to sweep their first trip to Chicago 
 
since last year's NL Division Series, though it won't be easy with the major 
 
league-leading Cubs sending reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta 
 
to the mound.
 
Chris Coghlan scored two runs for the Cubs, whose longest losing streak is 
 
three games. Chicago hit into three double plays.
 
Wainwright allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

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Cardinals End Five Game Skid With Win Over Cubs

Brandon Moss and Jhonny Peralta homered against John Lackey, and the St. Louis Cardinals stopped a five-game slide by holding off the Chicago Cubs for a 3-2 victory on Monday night.

Aledmys Diaz added an RBI single and Jaime Garcia (5-6) pitched into the seventh inning as the Cardinals got back on track following their first winless homestand of at least two series since 1983. It was their first trip to Wrigley Field since they were eliminated by the Cubs in the NL Division Series last year.

 

Seung Hwan Oh got four outs and Trevor Rosenthal worked a shaky ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances. Catcher Yadier Molina made a great play to throw out rookie Albert Almora Jr. trying to take third on a ball in the dirt, and Jason Heyward popped out with runners on the corners to end the game.

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Abreu's Double Lifts White Sox Past Red Sox

Jose Abreu doubled home two runs off Boston closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the top of the 10th inning after Chicago escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth, lifting the White Sox to a 3-1 win over the Red Sox on Monday night.

Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the eighth time in 26 games. Boston has lost five of eight.

 

Zach Duke (2-0) wriggled out of the ninth to get the win. David Robertson worked the 10th for his 17th save.

 

Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright pitched nine innings, giving up only an unearned run and five hits. He struck out six and walked three while lowering his AL-best ERA to 2.01.

 

Abreu doubled to right-center off Kimbrel (0-3) after Avisail Garcia walked and J.B. Shuck singled.

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Cubs Place OF Fowler on DL

The Chicago Cubs have placed center fielder Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring injury.

Fowler got hurt while running out a grounder to third in the first inning of Saturday night's 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh. Fowler, who re-signed with Chicago in late February, is batting .290 in 64 games this year and was leading the NL outfield voting for the All-Star Game in the last update on Wednesday.

 

The DL stint for Fowler is retroactive to Sunday. The major league-leading Cubs also recalled right-hander Carl Edward Jr. from Triple-A Iowa before Monday night's game against St. Louis.

Rookie Albert Almora Jr. got the start in center for the series opener against the Cardinals.

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Big Ten Agrees With ESPN, FOX

Two months after it was reported that the Big Ten struck a deal with Fox that would see the network paying the Big Ten $250 million per year for half of its media rights over six years, the Big Ten has now reportedly sold the other half of its rights. That second half, according to the SportsBusiness Journal, has been sold to ESPN. The Big Ten's old friend will pay the conference $190 million per year for six years.

 

All of this is very good for the Big Ten -- and the Power Five conferences.

 

The Big Ten will easily have the most lucrative television deal in place once these new deals with Fox and ESPN kick in for the 2017 season. The rest of the Power Five has now been reassured that ESPN remains an active buyer for live rights, certainly a reassuring sight to the leagues and their never-ending addiction to TV money during chaotic times for the pay-TV industry.

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LeBron To Skip Olympics, Durant Keeps Commitment

According to multiple reports, Team USA's Olympic roster is starting to take shape but LeBron James may not be a part of the team.

 

Like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Paul, James will reportedly will opt for rest and withdraw his name from consideration from the USA Basketball player pool.

 

James has already played in three Olympics and won two Gold medals, and after winning the title for Cleveland, skipping out on Rio seems perfectly reasonable. Also, James just completed yet another lengthy NBA season and can use the summer to recuperate and recover, instead of adding extra miles on his legs by playing in the Olympics.

 

Despite James and other superstars like Curry not participating in this summer's Olympics, Team USA will still have plenty of talent. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Paul George are "locks" to be on the team.

 

The Undefeated's Marc Spears also reports that Warriors All-Star Draymond Green has already accepted an invitation to join Team USA, which means that there are still six or seven roster spots left. Others who will likely make the final cut are Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and perhaps Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond. But we won't know for sure until Team USA announces their official roster for their 2016 Olympic team at the end of June.

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NHL Notes

>>Penguins To Raise Stanley Cup Banner in October Against Capitals

 

The Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins open the 2016-17 NHL season at home on Thursday, Oct. 13, against the Washington Capitals.

They'll raise their fourth Cup banner to the rafters of Consol Energy Center against their rivals, who they beat in the second round of the playoffs.

 

Four games mark the start of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 12: the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Ottawa Senators, the St. Louis Blues at the Chicago Blackhawks, the Calgary Flames at the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings at the Western Conference-champion San Jose Sharks.

 

The season starts later because of the return of the World Cup of Hockey, which takes place Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto.

 

The rest of the schedule will be released Tuesday. It includes outdoor games in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto and Winnipeg.

 

>>Rangers Trade Yandle's Free Agent Rights To Panthers

 

The Florida Panthers are trying to get a head start on signing one of the top free agents available this summer.

On Monday evening the team acquired the rights to free agent defenseman Keith Yandle from the New York Rangers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2016 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017.

 

That pick is conditional on the Panthers being able to sign Yandle before he becomes a free agent on July 1.

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USGA Regrets 'Distractions' from US Open

Dustin Johnson won his first career major in impressive fashion on Sunday at Oakmont Country Club, clinching the 2016 U.S. Open by shooting a 4-under 276.

 

Despite Johnson's performance, the discussion for most of his back nine and the immediate aftermath of the event was the USGA's decision to tell Johnson on the 12th tee that he may incur a penalty for his ball moving on the fifth green seven holes earlier. The USGA also mentioned that the review would take place after the round.

 

This drew the ire of Tiger Woods as well as Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and other stars of golf who took to Twitter to voice their objections. The objections were both to the penalty being enforced and the decision to tell Johnson and the rest of the field about the review that would take place after the round.

 

On Monday, the USGA offered a statement on the matter:

 

"Upon reflection, we regret the distraction caused by our decision to wait until the end of the round to decide on the ruling. It is normal for rulings based on video evidence to await the end of a round, when the matter can be discussed with the player before the score card is returned. While our focus on getting the ruling correct was appropriate, we created uncertainty about where players stood on the leaderboard after we informed Dustin on the 12th tee that his actions on the fifth green might lead to a penalty. This created unnecessary ambiguity for Dustin and the other players, as well as spectators on-site, and those watching and listening on television and digital channels."

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Cubs Blast Pirates for Series Sweep

Prized prospect Willson Contreras crushed the first pitch he saw in the major leagues for a two-run home run, Kyle Hendricks struck out a career-high 12 in six innings and the Chicago Cubs completed a sweep of the fading Pittsburgh Pirates with a 10-5 victory Sunday night.

Contreras, called up from Triple-A on Friday, pinch hit for Hendricks in the sixth and sent A.J. Schugel's changeup an estimated 415 feet to center. The cheering crowd didn't let up until the 24-year-old Venezuelan catcher obliged with a curtain call.

 

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit consecutive home runs in the third and Javier Baez added a solo shot for the Cubs, all off rookie Jameson Taillon (1-1). Addison Russell hit a two-run shot in the seventh for the Cubs, who have eight homers in two games.

 

Josh Harrison's solo home run was the lone blemish off Hendricks (5-6), who walked none and allowed seven hits.

 

Contreras will catch RHP John Lackey (7-2, 2.66) in the opener of a three-game home series against St. Louis. LHP Jaime Garcia (4-6, 3.93) starts for the Cardinals.

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Rangers Rally Past Cardinals, Sweep Series

Jurickson Profar came through when he hit a two-run, bases-loaded pinch-hit single in the eighth, lifting the Rangers to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

 

With two outs in the eighth, Rougned Odor doubled off reliever Matt Bowman (1-2). He gave an intentional walk to Mitch Moreland. Elvis Andrus grounded to short and Moreland was called out at second. After a challenge, the call was overturned.

 

Texas swept the three-game series and has won six in a row and eight of its last nine games.

St. Louis scored two runs in the sixth to chase starter Martin Perez and take a 4-3 lead. Matt Holliday hit a one-out homer that hit the top the fence in the right-field corner and caromed over. Barnette later entered with the bases loaded. He struck out pinch-hitter Matt Adams but walked Eric Fryer to force in a run.

 

Normar Mazara led off the sixth with a solo homer for the Rangers for a short-lived lead.

Moreland's two-out homer in the fourth off St. Louis starter Mike Leake tied the game at 2-2.

St. Louis took a 2-1 lead in the third on a one-out, bases loaded sacrifice fly by Holliday.

 

Texas scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Mazara to drive in Ian Desmond. Desmond reached base on a fielder's choice, stole second and then went to third on an error by rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who mishandled the throw from home. It was the 14th error this season for Diaz.

 

The Cardinals tied it in the second on a leadoff home run by Stephen Piscotty.

 

St. Louis has lost five in a row - all at home. It was the first winless homestand of at least two series for St. Louis since 1983.

 

St. Louis heads to Chicago for a series of the top two teams in the Central Division. Jaimie Garcia (4-6, 3.93 ERA) will face Chicago's John Lackey (7-2, 2.66).

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Extra Innings Hit Sends Indians To Series Sweep of White Sox

Jose Ramirez's two-out single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning scored Rajai Davis as the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 3-2 win on Sunday.

 

Ramirez's hit off David Robertson (0-1) skipped past first baseman Jose Abreu and into right field for Cleveland's second last-at bat win of the series.

 

Cleveland won Friday night's game when Carlos Santana hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Nate Jones. The Indians, who lead the AL Central, are 7-2 against the White Sox, including six straight wins.

 

Davis doubled to start the 10th, his fourth hit of the game. Following Jason Kipnis' sacrifice, Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli were walked intentionally to load the bases.

 

After Santana fouled out, Ramirez came through with his winning hit.

 

Dan Otero (2-0) struck out Abreu with a runner on first to end the 10th.

 

Miguel Gonzalez (1-2) starts the opener of a four-game series Monday in Boston. He'll be making his eighth start of the season.

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Blackhawks Sign F Schmaltz

The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a three-year contract with forward Nick Schmaltz on Sunday.

 

The Blackhawks selected Schmaltz in the first round of the 2014 draft. The deal helps ease the sting from the loss of Teuvo Teravainen, who was traded to Carolina on Wednesday so the Hurricanes would take Bryan Bickell's contract off Chicago's hands.

 

The 20-year-old Schmaltz helped North Dakota win the NCAA title last season. He had 11 goals and 35 assists in 37 games.

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Cavaliers Close Out Comeback, Win NBA Finals

LeBron James delivered on a vow to his home state and brought the Cavs back from the brink as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 finals deficit, beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89 on Sunday night to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland.

James almost single-handedly carried the Cavs back into this series and finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Cavs gave their city its first major sports winner since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964. He also had three blocked shots, including a key one of Andre Iguodala on a fast break in the final minutes.

 

In a testy series of blowouts - and a few blowups - the winner-take-all Game 7 provided the thrilling finale with James as the finals MVP disarming two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry and his record-setting Warriors.

 

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points to cap his brilliant finals, including a 3-pointer over Curry with 53 seconds left.

 

Draymond Green had 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but the Warriors' record-setting season ended without the only prize the Warriors cared about.

 

Stephen Curry scored 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting, while Splash Brother Klay Thompson added 14 points while making 6 of 17 shots.

 

The Cavs staved off elimination twice to force Game 7 back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors went up 2-0 with a pair of lopsided wins to start this series.

 

Cleveland became just the fourth team to win an NBA Finals Game 7 on the road.

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Dustin Johnson Closes Out US Open For First Major

With a 69 in the final round at Oakmont Country Club, on Sunday Dustin Johnson claimed the 2016 re U.S. Open, his first major championship, and forever changed the narrative of his career.

 

One year after his gut-wrenching three-putt to finish second at Chambers Bay, Johnson rallied back from a four-shot deficit entering the final round to shoot an under-par round, while the rest of the leaders wilted under the pressure and difficulty of Oakmont.

Johnson's win was not without plenty of drama, because nothing can be easy for him at a major. On the fifth green, his ball moved as he was getting ready to putt. At the time, it was deemed not to be a penalty, and he moved on. However, on the 12th tee with a two stroke lead, he was approached by a USGA official who informed him they would be reviewing the tape with him after the round to see if he should incur a stroke penalty.

 

That decision stunned many and drew heavy criticism from stars of the game like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. It was a moment that could have derailed Johnson's round. He was 2 under for his round at the time and was entering the toughest stretch of holes at Oakmont, when all of a sudden he had to think about whether he might lose a stroke at the end of his round.

 

He made a bogey on 14 and was briefly tied for the lead with Shane Lowry, the 54-hole leader, but Johnson rallied back with some clutch par saves on 15, 16 and 17 before showing up to the 18th and demolishing the hole that only one other person had birdied on Sunday.

 

He piped a drive and then hit this approach from the fairway.

 

Johnson made his birdie putt to put an exclamation point on his round and leave no doubts about the result, no matter the USGA's decision -- which of course was to give him the stroke penalty, despite less than convincing evidence.

 

Jason Day finished the tournament at 2-over par, tied for eighth.

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Smith Bans Scooters For Football Players

When he got to campus back in March, new Illinois football coach Lovie Smith counted 50 or 60 Illini players who owned scooters. By August, Smith says they will be gone.

 

Smith has banned his players from riding scooters. He says he is concerned about player safety. He said few if any players wore helmets.

 

The veteran NFL coach points out that teams commonly restrict pro players' outside activities.

 

College athletes on many campuses have taken to scooters to get around. Photos of former Wisconsin basketball player Frank Kaminsky on a scooter with the team's mascot created a buzz.

 

Sam Selle's owns a scooter shop near campus in Urbana. He says the ban will not hurt his business. But he says he will miss seeing players come into the shop.

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Bears Sign TE Moeaki, DL Jackson

The Chicago Bears signed tight end Tony Moeaki and defensive lineman Marquis Jackson on Thursday.

The Bears waived defensive lineman Kenton Adeyemi and linebacker Don Cherry. Both joined the club this year as undrafted free agents.

 

Moeaki, who has battled knee issues in the past few years, got off to a fast start for Kansas City after being drafted in the third round in 2010. In 49 games over two seasons for the Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills in 2013, the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 and Atlanta Falcons last season, Moeaki has 91 receptions for 1,201 yards and six touchdowns. He missed the 2011 season with a knee injury.

 

Jackson, who attended Bears' minicamps this year, played in two games for the Portland Thunder of the AFL, posting 1 1/2 tackles, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

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Blackhawks Extend Affiliation With Rockford

The Chicago Blackhawks have extended their affiliation deal with the Rockford IceHogs of American Hockey League through the 2021-22 season.

The extension, announced Thursday, takes effect during the 2017-18 season.

 

The two teams began the partnership for the 2007-08 season, Rockford's first in the AHL. Over the following nine seasons, 67 players have dressed for both the IceHogs and the Blackhawks.

 

Twenty-two players have gone on to win the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks after playing in Rockford, among them are Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Corey Crawford, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Kris Versteeg.

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Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox Open Weekend Sets

After a day off for all three local professional baseball franchises, the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox will kick off the first a trio of three game sets.

The Cubs are home to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, who find themselves 12 games back of the division leading Cubs.

 

Jake Arrieta go for his 11th win this today, and will try to match his Chicago counterpart, Chris Sale, who picked up his league-leading 11th win earlier this week.

 

Francisco Liriano takes the hill for the Pirates at 1:20 pm central time.

 

Jon Lester faces Jon Niese Saturday night, and Kyle Hendricks tangles with Jameson Taillon Sunday night in the series finale.

 

The Cardinals stay at home for a three game weekend set with the Texas Rangers. At 35-30, the Cardinals are 8.5 games back of Chicago in the Central.

 

The Cardinals will send Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Mike Leake to the mound. Tonight's scheduled starter for Texas is Cole Hamels.

 

Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox open up, what could be a crucial three-game set at Cleveland.

The division leading Indians are just 2.5 up on the South Siders, who sit in 4th place in the AL Central. Jose Quintana opens the series for Chicago, opposite Trevor Bauer.

 

James Shields will look for his first win in Chicago when he faces Danny Salazar Saturday evening. The series wraps up with Carlos Rodon facing Carlos Carrasco.

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Cubs Recall Willson Contreras

The Cubs awill head into a weekend home series against the Pirates with an MLB-best 44-20 record. They've had unbelievable success the past few seasons in promoting position-playing prospects and now they'll attempt to add another to the list. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that catcher Willson Contreras will get the call before Friday's series opener.

Contreras, 24, was ranked as the 67th best prospect in baseball prior to the season and he's done nothing but increase his stock in Triple-A. Through Wednesday, Contreras was hitting .350/.439/.591 with 16 doubles, three triples and nine homers in 54 games for Iowa.

 

The 6-foot-1 Venezuelan really broke through last season in Double-A, hitting .333/.413/.478 with 34 doubles, eight home runs and 75 RBI. A signature the past two seasons is walking nearly the same number of times he strikes out. He had 62 strikeouts and 57 walks last year and so far is at 28 walks and 32 strikeouts this season.

 

It's unclear how much playing time Contreras will receive because the Cubs will now have three catchers on their roster. 

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Cavs Force Winner-Take-All Game 7

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have pushed the NBA Finals to their limit. Game 7 is necessary.

 

James scored 41 points, delivering another magnificent performance with no margin for error, Kyrie Irving added 23 and the Cavs sent the finals packing for California by beating the rattled Golden State Warriors 115-101 on Thursday night to even this unpredictable series and force a decisive finale.

 

James added 11 assists, eight rebounds and again outplayed two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who fouled out and was ejected in the fourth quarter.

 

Curry got tossed with 4:22 left after he was called for his sixth personal foul, cursed several times at an official and fired his mouthpiece into the front row, striking a fan. Curry finished with 30 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and Draymond Green, back from a one-game suspension, had 10 rebounds.

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World's Best Struggle Out of the Gate at US Open

The first round of the 2016 U.S. Open was suspended for the day just before 4 p.m. ET due to inclement weather. Play was stopped two times prior to the final suspension, which meant only nine players completed their first round play on Thursday and none of the afternoon tee times even got on course.

 

Among the 69 players that will have to come back on Friday to complete their first rounds are two of the pre-tournament favorites: Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

 

Spieth is in respectable position at 1 over thru 11 holes after starting on No. 10. He was as low as 1 under early in his round, making birdie on his third hole of the day, but has since made two bogeys and not posted another red figure. The defending U.S. Open champion is playing smart, safe golf, which would normally be the order of the day at Oakmont. However, with soft, calm conditions early on, he did miss a bit of a chance to make a move into red figures on Thursday, though he is still T16 for the tournament with seven holes to play in his first round.

 

While Spieth spun the tires on Thursday, McIlroy went backwards in his first 13 holes. McIlroy is currently T38 at 4 over with five holes to play and had back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13 to end his day. The 2012 U.S. Open champion had high expectations but has to be frustrated with his handling of Oakmont in conditions that lent themselves to lower scores.

 

He wasn't the only highly-ranked golfer to struggle on Thursday, though. Rickie Fowler's first round woes at majors continued on Thursday as he walked off the course at 6 over thru 12 holes. Fowler, who opened with an 80 at the Masters to knock himself out of contention after the first round, appears to be putting himself in a similar position at Oakmont.

 

It wasn't all black figures for golfers in the top 10 of the world golf rankings, however, as Bubba Watson had one of the best rounds of the day going at the time of suspension. Watson is 2 under thru 14 holes and got there in extremely Bubba fashion.

 

The rest of the favorites like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson were all part of the afternoon wave of tee times that have yet to begin their first round.

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Sale Wins MLB Best 11th In Win Over Tigers

Chris Sale allowed three runs in seven innings to become the first 11-game winner in the majors, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.

 

Rookie Tim Anderson had three hits and three runs scored, and Todd Frazier drove in the go-ahead run as Chicago won two of three in the series between AL Central rivals.

 

Sale (11-2) was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts after beginning the season by winning his first nine. He survived a shaky third inning in which he allowed all three runs and five of the six hits he surrendered.

 

Nate Jones worked a perfect eighth inning and David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.

 

Jose Iglesias had a two-run home run for the Tigers. Mike Pelfrey (1-7) allowed four runs in six innings.

 

Jose Quintana (5-7, 2.66 ERA) looks to snap a six-game losing streak Friday night against Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.69) in the opener of a three-game series at Cleveland.

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Nats Outlast Cubs in Extras

Jayson Werth singled in the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning, giving the Washington Nationals a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday long after starters Stephen Strasburg and Jason Hammel dueled to a scintillating draw.

 

Facing Adam Warren, Werth hit a liner off the wall in center field to score Michael Taylor, who hit an RBI single against Trevor Cahill (0-2) earlier in the inning.

 

Addison Russell had given the Cubs the lead with a run-scoring single off Yusmeiro Petit (2-0) in the top half.

 

A sellout crowd of 42,000, largest of the season in Washington, watched the deciding matchup of a three-game series between first-place teams.

 

Strasburg gave up one run in seven innings for the Nationals, and Hammel did the same for Chicago. After they departed, both teams received shoddy bullpen work.

 

After taking Thursday off, Chicago sends Jake Arrieta (10-1, 1.86 ERA) to the mound Friday afternoon against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

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Astros Rally Late To Beat Cardinals

George Springer had the go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, threw out a runner at the plate from right field and almost nailed a second with his arm in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals for a two-game sweep.

Tony Sipp (1-2) got the last out of the seventh, Carlos Correa's two-run single off Trevor Rosenthal made it a three-run lead in the ninth and Will Harris finished for his fifth save in as many chances.

 

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright worked seven innings of four-hit ball and Greg Garcia, batting for the pitcher in the bottom half, hit an RBI single off McHugh to open the scoring.

 

Yadier Molina started the two-out rally with a single, one of his three hits, and barely beat Springer's relay home from right.

 

McHugh allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

 

Michael Wacha (2-6, 4.91) has lost a career-worst six consecutive decisions since April 28 entering the opener of a weekend series against the Rangers on Friday.

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Blackhawks Ship Teravainen, Bickell to Carolina

The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for two draft picks.

 

Carolina sent a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, the 50th overall, and a third-round pick next year to Chicago, which saves significant salary-cap space.

 

Teravainen had 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in his first full NHL season. He had four goals and six assists during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run a year ago.

 

The 21-year-old Finn is considered one of the top prospects in hockey.

 

Bickell, who split time between Chicago and the AHL's Rockford last season, has one year left on his contract, at a cap hit of $4 million. He was considered a buyout candidate with the window opening Wednesday.

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Cubs Win; Cards, Sox Lose

>>Almora Lifts Cubs Past Nationals

 

Albert Almora Jr. drove in the go-ahead run with a ninth-inning double, Dexter Fowler had two hits and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Addison Russell led off the ninth with a walk from Sammy Solis (1-2) and was sacrificed to second before Almora, who entered the game in the eighth inning, lined a shot to left center.

 

Jason Heyward provided a two-run single for Chicago, which evened the three-game series between division leaders.

 

Washington, which had won four straight, tied it in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rendon off closer Hector Rondon.

 

Rondon (1-1) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for the win.

 

Washington was without closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain.

 

>>Tigers Hold Off Sox

 

Justin Upton doubled, tripled and drove in four runs; J.D. Martinez had three of Detroit's season-high seven doubles and the Tigers this time held on to a big lead, beating the skidding Chicago White Sox 11-8 on Tuesday night.

 

After blowing a 7-0 lead in a 12-inning loss a night earlier, the Tigers raced to a 10-2 edge in the fourth and overcame a second straight subpar start by Jordan Zimmermann (9-3) for their eighth win in 10 games.

 

Zimmermann allowed six runs - four earned - and eight hits in seven innings, but got plenty of help.

 

Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with two doubles for the Tigers, who had 16 hits and a baserunner in every inning.

 

Miguel Gonzalez (1-2) needed 91 pitches to get 10 outs, allowing seven runs and eight hits in Chicago's 23rd loss in 32 games.

 

>>Fister Leads Astros Past Cardinals

 

Doug Fister pitched effectively into the eighth inning and gave his team breathing room with a two-run single in the seventh in a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

 

Colby Rasmus hit his 150th career homer in his first game back in St. Louis since 2011.

 

Matt Adams and Brandon Moss homered for the Cardinals, whose season-best five-game winning streak ended. They totaled just five hits off Fister and three relievers.

 

Fister (7-3) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, his longest outing of the season, to win his sixth consecutive decision.

 

The Astros' 6-7-8 hitters were a combined 6 for 7 against Jaime Garcia (4-6). Rasmus also singled, Carlos Gomez singled and scored twice and Marwin Gonzalez singled and doubled with an RBI.

 

Fister retired 14 straight after Adams homered leading off the second, a streak that ended on Moss' 15th homer in the sixth that cut the Astros' lead to 3-2. Moss, among five left-handed hitters in the lineup, has four homers in his last seven games.

 

Will Harris worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

 

Adam Wainwright is 13-1 with a 1.57 ERA in his career against Houston, including seven victories his last seven outings. He had a season-high nine strikeouts last time out in a victory at Cincinnati.

 

Houston counters with Collin McHugh, who lasted just 3 2-3 innings his last start, allowing four runs in a loss at Texas. He has a 9.49 ERA in the first inning.

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Pete Rose Says Cubs Will Find a Way To Screw Up

Pete Rose has been in a news a bit of late due to Ichiro Suzuki approaching his career total -- though we need to use Ichiro's Nippon Professional Baseball, which is Japan's major league, in order to do so.

 

Rose said that some people are "trying to make" [Ichiro] the "hit queen." In somewhat related matters, Pete has a hot take on baseball's best team, the Chicago Cubs.

 

Via foxsports.com, Rose said the following on Fox Sports Radio:

 

"The Cubs will find a way to screw it up I think. They've got a good ball club, probably the best ball club in the league right now. They're playing like it, but again, they can be pitched to, their pitchers can be hit. It's just a matter of who's going to give them a fight at the end of the season, in the playoffs."

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Bulls Want Andrew Wiggins in Deal With Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly willing to give up the No. 5 pick in this year's draft in a trade for Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler. That's no surprise: Butler is one of the league's best when it comes to putting the ball in the basket and stopping others from doing so. He is also on a team-friendly contract that will keep him away from free agency until 2019 at the earliest. The Wolves already have the most promising young roster in the NBA -- adding Butler would seem almost unfair.

It turns out it is also unrealistic.

 

According to 1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson, the Bulls aren't interested in sending Butler to Minnesota -- and reuniting him with former Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau -- unless they receive Andrew Wiggins in return.

 

If the Bulls are serious about exploring the trade market for Butler, of course they would love to rebuild around Wiggins. Of course Minnesota would love to add Butler to its core. A swap, however, simply does not make any sense.

 

There is no reason for the Wolves to trade Wiggins, who just finished his second season in the league and is on the same developmental track as Karl-Anthony Towns. They want to let those two grow into the best duo in the NBA.

 

>>Disgraced NBA Official Accuses League of Conspiracy

 

Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy told Sports Illustrated that he thinks the NBA suspended Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green for Game 5 of the NBA Finals because the league wanted to prolong the series.

 

Via Sports Illustrated, Donaghy said quote:

 

"I think when you look at the overt acts that Green has committed before, they were definitely more severe than this act, and yet he's going to end up with a flagrant foul and suspension because of it. In the past, I believe it was disregarded because [the Warriors] were down in the series. Here, they're up in the series, so I think it's a situation where, with that, it gives Cleveland a better chance of prolonging the series."

 

He added quote - "Definitely indirectly with the tape sessions that took place and how they would show you plays that they wanted you to concentrate on in the game that. It was always a situation where the team down in the series was going to benefit from those calls."

 

Donaghy was fired in 2007 after betting on NBA games, and he went to prison for it. He has since accused the league over and over again of manipulating games with officiating. All along, he insisted that he never fixed games when he was a referee. Research from Henry Abbott and Haralabos Voulgaris suggests that this is, at the very least, a questionable claim.

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Pats TE Gronkowski Says QB Garoppolo 'Looking Good'

Unless Tom Brady's previously rescinded, currently reinstated four-game suspension is overturned again, the Patriots will open the regular season against a Super Bowl contender in Arizona sans arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the game -- all because of some deflated footballs used in a 45-7 game a year and a half ago.

Once again, Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo entered minicamp preparing as if he'll play during the first four weeks of the season. This time, after spending his second full season sitting behind Brady, he might be ready for the task ahead -- at least according to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who spoke about Garoppolo's development after Monday's practice.

 

"He's doing great, definitely," Gronkowski said, per MassLive. "You can see a huge development over the last two years in the way he handles the offense now. He's doing a great job going out there, listening to coaches and just working together with the whole team."

 

>>Broncos Sign LB Marshall

 

The Broncos spent the opening period of free agency getting gutted. On Tuesday, though, they ensured one of their top defensive playmakers will stick around in Denver for the foreseeable future.

 

As first reported by 9News' Mike Klis, the Broncos signed linebacker Brandon Marshall -- not the Jets wide receiver of the same name -- to a four-year extension that includes a $10 million signing bonus. Minutes later, Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirmed Klis' report and provided more financial details. According to Renck, it'll be a $32 million deal with $20 million guaranteed.

 

John Elway then provided his own confirmation via Twitter.

 

Marshall -- a former Jaguar and member of the Broncos' practice squad until Peyton Manning jump-started his career -- has turned into one of the team's most dependable defenders. He appeared in all 16 games last season and led the team in solo tackles with 77.

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Illinois Football Sets Start Times For Early Season Games

The Big Ten has set game times for Illinois' early-season contests against Murray State and Western Michigan.

The Illini will host Murray State in the teams' season opener at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 3. And Illinois' home game against Western Michigan on Sept. 17 will start at 3 p.m.

 

Both games will be broadcast on BTN.

 

The Murray State game will be the first for Illinois under new coach Lovie Smith.

 

Times now have been set for eight of Illinois' 12 games this fall.

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Sox Rally, Cubs Lose

>>Huge Rally Sends Sox Past Tigers

 

Adam Eaton hit a game-ending single in the 12th inning and the Chicago White Sox rallied from seven runs down for a wild 10-9 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

J.B. Shuck led off the 12th with a double down the first-base line and advanced to third on Tim Anderson's sacrifice. With the infield playing in, Eaton then bounced a grounder up the middle against Anibal Sanchez (3-7), lifting Chicago to an unlikely victory.

 

Zach Duke (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

 

The White Sox trailed 7-0 in the third, hurt by another shaky start from James Shields. They faced a 9-7 deficit in the ninth before they got to Francisco Rodriguez for two runs with two outs, snapping a string of 19 straight successful save opportunities for the veteran closer.

 

Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 3.30 ERA) tries to get back on track when he faces White Sox RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 3.57) on Tuesday night.

 

>>Scherzer Sends Nationals Past Cubs

 

Max Scherzer retired the first 16 batters he faced and threw seven innings of two-hit ball, striking out 11 in a pitching masterpiece that carried the Washington Nationals past the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Monday night.

Scherzer's bid for his third career no-hitter ended with one out in the sixth when Addison Russell hit a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats. The only other batter to reach against Scherzer (8-4) was Anthony Rizzo, who doubled in the seventh.

 

Facing the team with the best record in the majors, Scherzer became the 26th pitcher in baseball history to have 40 games with at least 10 strikeouts. He has won three straight starts, allowing only three runs over 22 innings.

 

Kyle Hendricks (4-6) gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Shawn Kelley got five outs for his first save.

 

John Lackey (7-2, 2.63 ERA) makes his 400th career start Tuesday night in the second game of the series. The Nationals counter with Gio Gonzalez (3-5, 3.93) who looks to break a four-game losing streak.

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Former Bears DL Bryan Robinson Dies at Age 41

Authorities are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to determine what caused the death of former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Bryan Robinson.

Robinson was found at a Milwaukee motel Saturday night. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says an autopsy conducted Monday found no trauma.

 

Robinson, of Gurnee, Illinois, was 41. He was with the Bears from 1998 to 2003 and also played for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.

 

Robinson had a game-saving blocked field goal in Green Bay six days after Walter Payton died in 1999. He preserved a 14-13 victory over the Packers by blocking a 28-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell in the final seconds.

 

The Bears say Robinson will be remembered for his determination and work ethic.

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Former Bulls Star Tries Out For Seahawks

For the past three months, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson has been insisting that he's going to play in the NFL in 2016. The only problem, which was kind of a big one, is that Robinson didn't have a team.

 

Well, that could change soon.

According to the Washington Post, the Seattle Seahawks gave Robinson a tryout on Monday. Although the team didn't sign him, the two sides did agree to "keep in touch," according to the Post.

 

The 5-foot-9 Robinson tried out for the team as a defensive back.

 

Although he's 32, Robinson says his NFL aspirations are no joke. The NBA veteran told ESPN.com in April that playing in the NFL is something he's always had his eye on.

"It's a big-time dream," Robinson said.

 

If Robinson somehow makes the team, he'd become just the second athlete ever to play in both the NBA and NFL. Former Vikings coach Bud Grant is the only athlete to have pulled off the feat. Grant played for the Minneapolis Lakers for two seasons (1949-51) before moving on to the NFL in 1951.

 

The three-time NBA slam dunk champion does have some football experience. Not only did Robinson play in high school, but he also played in 13 games during his freshman year at the University of Washington.

 

Although Robinson played both offense and defense in high school, the Huskies only let him play defense once he got to college. The former NBA point guard tallied two interceptions during his freshman year.

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Cavs Hold Off Elimination With Game 5 Win Over Warriors

LeBron James had 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, Kyrie Irving also scored 41 points and Cleveland capitalized on the absence of suspended star Draymond Green, staving off NBA Finals elimination with a 112-97 victory in Game 5 on Monday night.

 

James and Irving became the first teammates to score 40 points in an NBA Finals game as the Cavaliers pulled within 3-2 and sent their best-of-seven series back to Ohio.

 

James and Irving combined to shoot 33 for 54, while the Warriors went cold and finished 36.4 percent from the field. James also had three steals and three blocked shots.

 

Banned from the arena, Green watched from a baseball suite in the Oakland Coliseum next door, joined by Golden State general manager Bob Myers.

 

The All-Star forward was suspended Sunday for his fourth flagrant point of the postseason. He was assessed a retroactive Flagrant-1 for his swipe at James in the fourth quarter of Friday's Game 4.

 

Klay Thompson scored 37 points with six 3-pointers and Steph Curry added 25 points with five 3s, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. But as the game wore on, the Splash Brothers shot airballs and clanked 3-point tries off the front rim. The Warriors often failed to get a hand in the face of Cleveland's shooters.

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Tee Times Set For This Weekend's US Open

The 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, is this week and on Friday the USGA released groupings and tee times for the first and second rounds.

 

There are a number of highly entertaining groupings, headlined by the Rory McIlroy-Danny Willett-Rickie Fowler trio that will tee off of the first tee on Thursday at 8:24 a.m. ET. About half an hour before them, a group of Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed will go off of No. 1 at 7:51 a.m. ET.

 

Jordan Spieth is grouped with Zach Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau and they will tee off of No. 10 at 8:35 a.m. ET, which means there will be plenty of firepower on the course in the morning.

 

Of the afternoon groups the headliners are Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott, who will tee off of No. 1 at 2:20 p.m. ET. Just before them, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson will go off of No. 10 at 2:09 p.m. ET. Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are also in the afternoon wave, teeing off of the first at 1:36 p.m. ET

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ISU's Jean Ramirez Selected By Tampa Bay

Illinois State senior catcher Jean Ramirez was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Saturday afternoon.

 

Ramirez, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, was a standout member of Illinois State's baseball team the past two seasons. He was the 28th round selection of Tampa Bay, and the 840th overall selection in the draft.

 

Ramirez slashed .271/.329/.424 as a senior at Illinois State. He appeared in 52 games, all of which were starting assignments, and led the team with six home runs. Among his 55 hits were 18 extra-base hits, including 11 doubles. He tallied 27 RBIs and scored 21 runs.

 

As Illinois State's everyday catcher, Ramirez committed just one error and caught nine potential stealers during the 2016 season.

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Illini's Goldstein Goes in Ninth Round; Other Illini Drafted

Illinois senior catcher Jason Goldstein was selected Friday by the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round (No. 267 overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft. It is the second straight year Goldstein has been drafted after being taken in the 17th round of last year's draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Goldstein is Illinois' fifth top-10 round pick in the last two years, joining Tyler Jay (1), Cody Sedlock (1), Kevin Duchene (5) and David Kerian (9). It is the Illini's most top-10 round picks in a two-year span in program history.

Goldstein led the Illini in batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.402) and RBIs (29) in 2016.

 

Illinois senior relievers Nick Blackburn and J.D. Nielsen were selected Saturday on the third and final day of the 2016 MLB Draft.

 

Blackburn was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 16th round (No. 479 overall) Saturday in the 2016 MLB Draft. It is the second straight year Blackburn has been drafted, after he elected to return to school following a 22nd round selection by the New York Mets last year.

 

Blackburn, who features a fastball that sits in the low to mid-90's, saved 11 games in 2016, the third most in a single-season in Illinois history. He went 1-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 31 1/3 innings over 24 appearances in 2016 after going 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 21 1/3 innings in 2015.

 

Blackburn's 72 career appearances are the fifth-most in program history.

 

Nielsen was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 34th round (No. 1026 overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft. It is the first time the 6-6 reliever has been drafted.

 

Nielsen projects as a tough lefty-lefty matchup at the next level thanks to his sidearm delivery that is rarely seen from a left-hander with his size. Nielsen was second on the Illini in saves in 2016 with six and led the team with 29 appearances. He also picked up five wins in relief, good for tied for second on the team.

 

The Winterset, Iowa, native was one of the most used relievers in Fighting Illini history during his four-year career.

 

Cody Sedlock was a 1st round selection at No. 27 overall by the Baltimore Orioles Thursday night.

 

Illinois tied for third in the Big Ten with four draft picks. Only Ohio State (6) and Michigan (5) had more than the Fighting Illini.

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Cubs Route Braves

Jon Lester earned his fourth straight victory after allowing no earned runs in seven innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 13-2 on Sunday to win their final series at Turner Field.

Lester (8-3) has allowed only one earned run with no walks in three wins this month, lowering his ERA to 1.89. He gave up five hits to the Braves, his high mark of the month, with seven strikeouts.

Chicago outscored Atlanta 21-4 in winning the final two games of the three-game series.

 

Javier Baez hit a three-run homer off Chris Withrow to cap the Cubs' six-run eighth inning.

 

Anthony Rizzo drove in three runs with three hits. David Ross had two hits and also drove in two runs, one on a base-loaded walk from Alexi Ogando in Chicago's three-run seventh.

 

Kyle Hendricks (4-5, 2.90), who has allowed no more than two runs in four straight starts, will try to even his record when Chicago opens a series at Washington on Monday night.

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Cardinals Pound Pirates, Sweep Series

Mike Leake pitched seven effective innings, Matt Holliday homered and the Cardinals cruised to an 8-3 victory Sunday.

 

Randal Grichuk also homered for surging St. Louis, which has won five consecutive games and swept a series at PNC Park for the first time since August 2009. Holliday and Yadier Molina each had three hits.

 

Leake (5-4) won for the fifth time in six decisions, limiting the Pirates to two earned runs and six singles with no walks and six strikeouts. He also went 2 for 3 at the plate and scored during the Cardinals' three-run third.

 

The slumping Pirates have lost a season-worst five straight and fell a season-high 12 games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central.

 

St. Louis scored four times in the sixth, capped by Grichuk's solo homer to left field that ended the evening for Pirates starter Jonathon Niese. Grichuk snapped out of a 2-for-24 slump with the home run, his eighth.

 

Niese (6-3) lost for the first time since May 9. He was charged with season highs for runs (eight) and hits (11).

 

David Freese and Starling Marte each had two hits and an RBI for the Pirates.

 

St. Louis begins a stretch in which it will play American League teams 12 of the next 15 games, beginning with two games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Astros. LHP Jaime Garcia (4-5, 3.89 ERA), who allowed a career-high 13 hits in a win Wednesday, starts Tuesday against Houston RHP Doug Fister (6-3, 3.34).

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Ventura Rebounds After Brawl To Shut Down Sox

Yordano Ventura pitched seven sharp innings for Kansas City in his first start since he brawled with Manny Machado in Baltimore, and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Sunday for their second straight win following an eight-game losing streak.

Ventura (5-4) struck out a season-high 10 and walked one in his first win since May 17 against Boston, making the most of Kansas City's run-scoring singles in the first and second. Salvador Perez added a leadoff homer down the left-field line in the ninth.

 

The 25-year-old Ventura had been 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in his previous four starts. The right-hander was suspended for nine games by Major League Baseball after he hit Machado in the back with a 99 mph fastball in the fifth inning of a 9-1 loss Tuesday, leading to a benches-clearing fight. But he appealed the punishment and is allowed to pitch until the process is complete.

 

Shields (2-8, 5.06 ERA) is 7-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 18 career starts against Detroit. LHP Matt Boyd (0-1, 3.38) goes for the Tigers.

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Former Packers WR Not Happy Over NFL's Hoodie Ban

When the NFL reportedly banned players from wearing hoodies underneath their jerseys last week, only one player really felt the full effect of that rule change: receiver James Jones, formerly of the Packers and currently a free agent, who debuted the hoodie last season in an effort to stay warm.

 

Speaking with ESPN Milwaukee (540-AM) on Friday, Jones expressed displeasure with the new rule, saying the NFL has more important issues to fix. Still, Jones won't fight the ruling.

The hoodie is retired.

 

According to Packers News, Jones said quote-"It was strictly just to stay warm, but it became a little good-luck charm and it wasn't harming anybody," "If it's because the hoodie covers the name, like they say ... you know, there's a bunch of guys in the National Football League that have got long hair and (it) covers their name. So I don't know the real reason, but (Commissioner) Roger Goodell and them, (maybe) they do it for safety reasons. I'm not mad, but I am kind of angry that they attacked the hoodie."

 

Adding quote -"We've got bigger and better things in our league that need to be fixed. But at the same time, you've got to respect it. I've never gone against any rules so it's not like I'm going to run out there with a hoodie and take the fine. I've got babies to feed. So the hoodie is officially retired."

 

After getting cut by the Giants on the eve of the 2015 season, Jones responded by catching 50 passes for 890 yards, and eight touchdowns in his return to Green Bay.

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Daniel Burger Wins Final Tune Up Ahead of US Open

Daniel Burger put an exclamation point on his first year-and-a-half on the PGA Tour with a three-stroke victory over some big boys like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday.

Berger, who was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year last season and the only rookie to make it to the Tour Championship, shot a 67 on Sunday to touch off a week in which he was one of only two players who played every round in the 60s.

 

Berger's game was impressive as he was No. 1 in the field in strokes gained on approach shots, but his ability to stay grounded mentally was even more so. Berger made 16 pars or birdies to just two bogeys on a day in which he had several adversaries coming for him.

 

Mickelson, Koepka and Johnson were rising on the leaderboard, but Berger also had to deal with a weather delay and a course that has seen more balls go in the water than any other on tour over the last decade.

 

Johnson went 73-63 on the weekend which wouldn't make a lot of sense if it wasn't Johnson. This is what he does -- teases you with outrageous, world class talent and then shoots 73 on Saturday to pretty much take himself out of the tournament. The 63 on Sunday will likely goad folks into picking him to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

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Penguins Win Stanley Cup

Sidney Crosby set up Kris Letang's go-ahead goal midway through the second period and Pittsburgh won the fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 on Sunday night.

Brian Dumoulin opened the scoring with a power-play goal and Patric Hornqvist added a late empty-netter. Matt Murray made 18 saves to give the Penguins a championship seven years to the day after they beat Detroit for their third title.

 

Pittsburgh held San Jose to just one shot on goal in the first 19 minutes of the third period to preserve the one-goal lead. The Penguins sealed it when Crosby blocked a shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic that set up Patrick Hornqvist's empty-netter.

 

Logan Couture scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who were making their first trip to the final in their 25-year history. Martin Jones made 24 saves and was San Jose's best player for the series.

Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.

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Illini Ace Sedlock Drafted 27th Overall By Baltimore

Cody Sedlock was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the No. 27 overall pick Thursday in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Sedlock became the third player in Illinois program history to be picked in the first round, joining John Ericks (1988) and Tyler Jay (2015).

Sedlock is the third-highest drafted Illini, behind only Jay, who went No. 6 overall to the Minnesota Twins last year and Ericks, who was picked No. 22 overall by St. Louis in 1988.

 

Jay and Sedlock are the first teammates from Big Ten schools to be drafted in the first round of back-to-back drafts since Purdue's Sherard Clinkscales and Jermaine Allensworth went in the 1992 and 1993 supplemental first rounds.

 

Sedlock set Fighting Illini single-season records for strikeouts (116), innings pitched against Big Ten opponents (64.2) and strikeouts against Big Ten opponents (75) on his way to the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year award and first team All-American honors by Baseball America.

 

The 6-4, 210-pound right-hander features a 92-95 MPH fastball, a devastating slider that sits 82-84 MPH, an above average curveball at 77-80 MPH and a changeup. 

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Illini G Abrams Granted Sixth Year

The NCAA on Thursday approved a medical hardship waiver for Fighting Illini point guard Tracy Abrams (Chicago/Mount Carmel H.S.), granting him a sixth year of eligibility for the 2016-17 season.

 

Abrams missed all of last season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon in July. That was the second straight missed year of competition for Abrams, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in September 2014.

 

Abrams last competed during the 2013-14 season. He ranked second on the team in scoring that year as a junior, averaging 10.7 points while also leading the team in assists (3.2 apg).

 

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com

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Cardinals, Sox Win

>>Cardinals Down Reds

 

Adam Wainwright allowed only two hits in six innings, and Molina's bases-loaded single snapped a tie in the eighth on Thursday night, sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 and yet another series win in their lopsided NL Central rivalry.

Molina's third hit of the game led St. Louis to its fourth victory in five games.

 

Molina also doubled and scored a run in the second inning.

 

Seung Hwan Oh (2-0) pitched one inning in relief of Wainwright, who was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh with two runners aboard and the score tied. Trevor Rosenthal retired the side in the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

 

Matt Carpenter scored twice, including the go-ahead run after opening the eighth inning with a double.

 

St. Louis took two of three and has won 18 of its last 22 series with Cincinnati.

 

The Cardinals (32-28) are a season-high four games over .500, tied with the Pirates for second place, 10 games behind the Cubs.

 

Michael Wacha (2-6) tries to snap the longest losing streak of his career in Pittsburgh. He's lost six straight decisions since April 28. The last Cardinals pitcher to lose seven straight decisions was Kip Wells in 2007.

 

>>Sox End Five Game Skid With Win Over Nationals

 

Melky Cabrera doubled twice and drove in two runs, Miguel Gonzalez pitched six strong innings after securing a rotation spot and the Chicago White Sox beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 Thursday night to snap a five-game skid.

Gonzalez (1-1) won his first game with Chicago after losing seven straight decisions dating to last season with Baltimore. The right-hander retired the first 12 batters he faced, giving up three hits and a run.

 

The White Sox gave Gonzalez the No. 5 starting spot after designating Mat Latos for assignment before the game.

 

Brett Lawrie added an RBI double in a three-run first off Gio Gonzalez (3-5), who struck out 10 in 6 2/3 innings.

 

Daniel Murphy hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Nationals, whose three-game winning streak was snapped.

 

Chris Sale (9-2, 2.54), who hasn't won since May 19, faces Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy (4-4, 3.44). The Royals bring a seven-game losing streak to Chicago.

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Cubs, Sox Notes

>>Sox Cut Ties With Latos, Sign 1B Justin Morneau

 

The Chicago White Sox have designated veteran right-hander Mat Latos for assignment and signed veteran first baseman Justin Morneau.

 

The club immediately placed Morneau on the 15-day disabled list Thursday after he agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with incentives.

 

The White Sox purchased the contract of right-hander Tyler Danish from Double-A Birmingham on Tuesday to fill Latos' roster spot.

 

Latos' fortunes mirrored his team's season. He was 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA after his first four starts as the White Sox raced to a 23-10 start. But Latos had a 7.25 ERA over his last seven starts as the White Sox had dropped 20 of 26 games.

 

Latos gave up six runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-5 loss to Washington on Tuesday. He is 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 11 starts.

 

Morneau is a four-time All-Star and former AL MVP, but remained unsigned after offseason surgery on his left elbow.

 

>>Cubs Trade For Utilityman Coghlan

 

The Chicago Cubs have reacquired outfielder Chris Coghlan from Oakland for Arismendy Alcantara.

Coghlan was traded to the A's in the offseason after spending two seasons in Chicago.

Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, set career highs with 16 home runs and 47 extra-base hits last season. But the 30-year-old Coghlan got off to a slow start with Oakland, hitting just .146 in 51 games.

 

Alcantara has spent this season at Triple-A Iowa, where he hit .264 with five home runs, 21 RBIs and 21 steals.

 

Alcantara, 24, spent parts of the past two seasons in Chicago, where he hit just .194.

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HS OF Moniak No. 1 To Philly; Sox Take Two College Players; Cards Take 3

Thursday night, the Philadelphia Phillies selected high school outfielder Mickey Moniak with the first pick of the 2016 First Year Player Draft. Moniak hails from La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California.

 

The draft gurus at both Baseball America and MLB.com ranked Moniak as the fifth-best prospect in the 2016 draft class.

 

Moniak is the first high school outfielder selected first overall since the Diamondbacks took Justin Upton in 2005.

 

The Chicago White Sox took Miami (FL) catcher Zack Collins.

 

This draft class is light on impact college bats aside from Kyle Lewis (Seattle) and Corey Ray (Milwaukee), and Collins just might be the next best hitter after those two.

 

He's a lefty hitter with an ultra-advanced approach, so he'll take his walks if he doesn't get something to hit. Collins has power, especially to the pull side, but he's equally adept at taking a pitch the other way.

 

Behind the plate Collins is a rough defender who doesn't move or throw well. He's either going to have to improve his receiving considerably to stick behind the plate, or move to first base. Either way, he's a bat first player.

 

With the 26th pick, the White Sox took Louisville reliever Zack Burdi.

 

The Cardinals' closer heads into Super Regionals with 46 strikeouts against only seven walks in 28 2/3 innings. He's only allowed 15 hits (11 singles, two doubles, two homers) all season.

 

As would be expected in a big-time closer, he's a fireballer, sitting 95-99 and reportedly having hit 101 on the radar gun this year. The Downers Grove, IL native also uses a slider and changeup. With his plus-fastball, a quick rise to becoming a big-league reliever isn't out of the question.

 

With their first pick at 23rd overall, the St. Louis Cardinals selected shortstop Delvin Perez from Puerto Rico.

Perez is the first Puerto Rican player drafted in the true first round since the Astros made Carlos Correa the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 draft.

 

Perez is a long-term shortstop thanks to quick feet, soft hands, and easy velocity on his throws. His bat lags behind his glove, mostly because he's still learning the strike zone and how to read spin.

 

A right-handed hitter, Perez shows power in batting practice and has high-end bat speed. The tools are special, but he is quite raw.

 

It's worth noting Perez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug before the draft, causing his stock to fall.

 

With the 33rd pick in the compensation round the Redbirds drafted a high school outfielder from California.

 

Dylan Carlson was one of the youngest players in the draft class at 17 and he's the son of a long-time high school coach, so he's grown up around the game.

 

With a quick bat from both side of the plate, Carlson projects to hit for average and could grow into some power.

 

He's not a great athlete and may wind up at first base, but the outfield is also a possibility. Carlson draws rave reviews for his makeup and intangibles.

 

Follwing that pick, St. Louis took a Dakota Hudson from Mississippi State.

 

After pitching sparingly as a freshman and sophomore, Hudson emerged as an SEC ace this year and set a school record with a stretch of 34 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.

 

At 6-foot-5 and 205 lbs., Hudson throws downhill with a mid-90s fastball and a sharp upper-80s cutter that is his best pitch. The cutter moves so much it often looks like a slider. Hudson also throws a changeup and a curveball, and he did a much better job throwing strikes as a junior than he did earlier in his career.

 

He should climb the minor league ladder quickly.

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Bears Waive QB Blanchard, Sign Undrafted QB

The Chicago Bears have waived backup quarterback Matt Blanchard and signed QB Dalyn Williams.

Blanchard has not played in a regular-season game since he initially joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He returned to Chicago in 2015 after stops in Indianapolis (2015), Cleveland (2015), Green Bay (2015) and Carolina (2014).

 

Williams is an undrafted rookie from Dartmouth.

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Sharks Stay Alive in Stanley Cup Finals

Martin Jones turned aside 44 shots in a 4-2 victory for the San Jose Sharks over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday night.

 

Logan Couture had a goal and two assists while Brent Burns, Melker Karlsson and captain Joe Pavelski also scored for San Jose, which was outshot 46-22 but held firm after surviving a chaotic opening five minutes and playing capably after getting the lead in regulation for the first time in the series.

 

Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin scored for Pittsburgh.

 

The Sharks and Penguins are heading back west for Game 6. 

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Dustin Johnson Shot Off The Pace At St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson picked up on Thursday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic where he left off at the Memorial Tournament last week. Johnson shot a first-round 66 as he looks for his second title at this tournament in the last five years. His day was incredibly bumpy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week, but might be enough to get a win at this tournament.

 

Johnson, who has finished in the top five in four of his last five tournaments, made an eagle, seven birdies, six pars, three bogeys and a double at TPC Southwind on Thursday. That equals to probably an 88 next week, but was good enough for a 66 on this point-and-shoot track.

 

Seung-yul Noh, Tom Hoge, and Shawn Stefani are atop the leaderboard at five-under par.

 

Phil Mickelson shot an even par in the final tune up for the US Open next weekend.

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Cardinals Outlast Reds

Brandon Moss homered in consecutive at-bats, Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta added three-run drives and the Cardinals rolled over the Cincinnati Reds 12-7.

 

Moss broke a 4-4, fifth-inning tie with a two-run drive deep into the seats in right field, then lined a solo homer that barely cleared the wall in right in the seventh for his eighth career multihomer game.

 

Every St. Louis starting position player had at least one hit.

 

St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia gave up five runs and a career-high 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

 

Alfredo Simon (2-6) walked a season-high five, allowing six runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked the first two batters of the game, setting up Adams' three-run homer.

 

Peralta broke open the game in a four-run eighth with his first homer this season. Peralta was playing his second game after missing the Cardinals' first 57 games following left thumb surgery.

 

Adam Wainwright (5-4) is to make make his 300th career appearance in his start on Thursday at Cincinnati. Brandon Finnegan (2-4) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter in Thursday's series wrapup.

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Lackey Leads Cubs Past Phillies

John Lackey struck out eight in seven dominant innings, Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist hit homers and the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-1 on Wednesday.

 

Lackey (7-2) gave up three hits and extended his scoreless streak to 13 2/3 innings.

 

Phillies starter Vince Velasquez left the game after getting one out because of right biceps soreness. Velasquez threw two pitches and quickly left the mound when a trainer came out.

 

Brett Oberholtzer (2-1) replaced him and allowed one unearned run following his throwing error in four innings.

 

Bryant hit his 14th homer off Andrew Bailey in the sixth, a two-run shot out to left. Zobrist connected one out later to make it 4-0.

 

Following a day off, RHP Jason Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series at Atlanta.

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Nationals Spoil James Shields' Debut For White Sox

Ryan Zimmerman hit one of three home runs off James Shields in his miserable White Sox debut, Max Scherzer threw seven scoreless innings and the Washington Nationals routed reeling Chicago 11-4 on Wednesday night.

Zimmerman's two-run shot in a four-run first inning was followed by consecutive shots by Stephen Drew and Danny Espinosa to lead off the second.

 

Everyone in the Nationals lineup reached base safely at least once in two-plus innings off Shields (2-8), who was booed while giving up seven runs and eight hits three days after being acquired from San Diego.

 

Instead of jump-starting a club once 23-10, Shields failed to get out of the third inning for the second straight start. The White Sox lost for the 20th time in 26 games to fall under .500.

Scherzer (7-4) allowed five hits for the Nationals, who have scored at least 10 runs in three straight games.

 

Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 3.93 ERA) replaces Carlos Rodon (neck) in the series finale Thursday night. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 3.94) starts for the Nationals.

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Bears O-Lineman Manny Ramirez Retiring

Chicago Bears offensive lineman Manny Ramirez is retiring.

 

The Bears placed Ramirez on the reserve/retired list on Wednesday.

 

He signed with Chicago in March after 83 games with 65 starts over eight seasons with the Detroit Lions (2007-09, 2015) and the Denver Broncos (2011-14).

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Cavs Dominate Warriors in NBA Finals

LeBron James had 32 points and 11 rebounds, Kyrie Irving added 30 points and Cleveland, pushed for 48 minutes by a delirious, championship-starved crowd, hammered the Golden State Warriors 120-90 in Game 3 on Wednesday night to pull within 2-1 in the NBA Finals.

On their home floor, where they have been dominant all postseason, the Cavs recovered from a 33-point loss in Game 2 and yanked their season from the brink of disaster following back-to-back blowouts in the Bay Area.

 

They Cavs did it without starting forward Kevin Love, with little help from their bench and by keeping Stephen Curry penned in.

 

The league's MVP was mostly MIA, scoring 19 points - two in the first half - on 6-of-13 shooting. Harrison Barnes scored 18 and Klay Thompson 10 for the Warriors, who had won seven straight over Cleveland.

 

Irving bounced back from two rough games out West, J.R. Smith made five 3-pointers and Tristan Thompson did the dirty work inside, getting 13 rebounds for the Cavs, who improved to 8-0 at home and can even the series with a win in Game 4 on Friday night.

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Ohio State, Michigan Football Notes

>>Ohio State To Offer Beer At Football Games

 

Ohio State fans of age will be able to legally purchase and consume beer during football games this fall, as the Buckeyes join the growing number of Power Five institutions to offer alcohol sales at football games.

According to the school, revenue will be used to fund two new positions in the school's police department as well as go towards research done by the Ohio State University Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery. The school could do whatever it wants with the revenues, but allocating them to these causes will go a long way in justifying the presence of school-provided alcohol.

 

Plus, as Oliver Luck argued when he was athletic director at West Virginia, allowing alcohol sales legally in the stadium can help curb binge drinking among fans tailgating in the parking lot. West Virginia, Texas, Louisville and Minnesota are also among the growing list of Power Five schools with alcohol sales available to all fans while even more are still offering alcohol in its premium seating areas.

 

>>Michigan Coach Says There's Prejudice Against Football in America

 

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley believes satellite camps should be "instructional." Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has turned them (and everything else he does) into a spectacle.

 

Harbaugh's tours aren't just about getting in front of recruits and building Michigan's brand.

The NCAA is squarely in Harbaugh's cross-hairs.

 

Harbaugh said in a detailed piece recounted by CBS Sports' Jon Solomon quote-"They're making these rules up as they go along. It's really discouraging, but I think there's a real prejudice against football in this country -- at the pro level, the college level, the high school level, the Pee Wee level."

 

Harbaugh was referring to the NCAA's recent ban on photos and autographs during satellite camps, but there's nothing like pumping up the "us against them" storyline to roughly 100 middle schoolers and their parents. That was Harbaugh's crowd in Baltimore on Monday.

 

Harbaugh added quote-"Most of America right now, most of the parents don't let their kids play football. We're starting to recruit in Samoa and Australia because the American kids are getting scared, you know? So the odds could not be better for you to take advantage of everything football has to offer."

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Kansas Continues To Load Up Basketball Schedule

For the Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball program, the season starts on the first possible date of the 2016-17 campaign, Nov. 11 against Indiana in Hawaii for the Armed Forces Classic.

No team will have a tougher two-game start to the season than Kansas, because the squad will fly from Hawaii to the other side of the country -- and play four days later, in New York, against Duke for the Champions Classic.

 

KU's start to the season is anyone's guess. It's possible the team could go 0-2, 1-1 or 2-0. IU and Duke will both be very good next season.

 

Bill Self said quote-"With this schedule, once again we will rank at the top of the toughest schedules in the nation. We're playing 10 of our 12 non-league games against teams which went to the postseason last year, including four NCAA teams. This schedule, like in the past, will help us prepare for the always tough Big 12 season."

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Illini Pitcher Cody Sedlock First Team All-American

Cody Sedlock was named to the All-America first team by Baseball America, the publication announced Tuesday.

 

Sedlock was the only pitcher in the conference to finish in the top five of innings (1st, 64.2), strikeouts (1st, 75), ERA (3rd, 1.67) and opponent batting average (3rd, .188) during conference games. He finished the year with a 5-3 record, 2.49 ERA and a program-record 116 strikeouts in 101.1 innings.

 

Sedlock set career bests of 10.2 innings pitched and 14 strikeouts, also an Illinois Field record, against Ohio State on April 22. The outing earned Sedlock Illinois' first ever National Pitcher of the Week award.

 

The plant biotechnology major has one year of eligibility left, but is expected to be a high pick in the upcoming MLB Draft. 

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Harper, Nationals Beat Sox

Bryce Harper drove in three runs, Anthony Rendon homered and the Washington Nationals handed the White Sox their 19th loss in 25 games, beating Chicago 10-5 on Tuesday night.

 

While the NL East-leading Nationals won for the sixth time in eight games, the White Sox continued their stunning decline. A team that got off to a 23-10 start and spent 47 days in first place in the AL Central is now in fourth place, with Detroit beating Toronto.

 

Harper finally got a chance to hit in Chicago and took advantage of his opportunity. The 2015 NL MVP came through with a go-ahead two-run double in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in a four-run sixth after the Cubs walked him 13 times while sweeping four games at Wrigley Field last month.

 

Rendon hit a two-run homer off Mat Latos (6-2). Michael Taylor added a two-run double and reliever Blake Treinen (4-1) pitched two-hit ball over three scoreless innings after a shaky start by Joe Ross.

 

James Shields makes his White Sox debut after being acquired from San Diego, while RHP Max Scherzer (6-4, 3.87 ERA) starts for Washington. Shields was 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts for the Padres.

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Phillies Beat Cubs

Jerad Eickhoff threw seven impressive innings, Ryan Howard hit a solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Eickhoff (3-8) allowed one run and two hits, striking out eight. Jeanmar Gomez pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and got the final six outs for his 19th save in 20 tries.

 

Howard hit his ninth homer way out to right-center to make it 2-0 in the fourth. The 2006 NL MVP started for the first time since a fan threw a plastic beer bottle at him after Saturday's game. Rookie Tommy Joseph has replaced the struggling Howard at first base and started the previous six games.

 

Kyle Hendricks (4-5) gave up two runs and four hits, striking out six in five innings.

 

Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera had RBI singles for the Phillies, who lost the first four games against the Cubs this season.

 

John Lackey (6-2, 2.88 ERA) starts for the Cubs against Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.67) on Wednesday afternoon.

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Votto's Homer Lifts Reds Past Cardinals

Joey Votto homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals after they blew a five-run lead for the second straight game.

 

Votto connected off left-hander Kevin Siegrist (4-1) for his fifth career game-ending homer and Cincinnati's third homer of the game. The Reds have won five of their last six games overall.

 

Cincinnati pulled ahead 6-1 with the help of Adam Duvall's three-run homer off Mike Leake, his fourth homer in five games. The Reds got Duvall from the Giants as part of a trade for Leake last July, and the right-hander signed with St. Louis in the offseason.

 

Left-hander John Lamb shut down the Cardinals with his 65 mph curveball, allowing only one earned run in a career-high 7 1/3 innings. That's when the major leagues' worst bullpen let another late lead get away.

 

Blake Wood gave up Jhonny Peralta's bases-loaded double in the eighth, cutting it to 6-4. Matt Carpenter tied it with a one-out, two-run double in the ninth off Tony Cingrani (1-2), the Reds' 12th blown save in 19 chances this season.

 

Carpenter tried to stretch his hit to a triple, setting up a potential go-ahead run, and was initially ruled safe at third, but the call was overturned after a review.

 

Jaime Garcia is 10-4 career against the Reds, he'll toe the rubber tonight for St. Louis opposite Alfredo Simon for Cincinnati. 

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Lester Leads Cubs Past Phillies

Jon Lester pitched eight scoreless innings, Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs held off the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Monday night.

 

Lester (7-3) improved to 6-0 in eight career starts against the Phillies while lowering his ERA against them to 1.46. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed four hits.

Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler each had three hits for the Cubs, who won their 11th in 13 games while extending their best start since 1900 to a major league-leading 40-16 record.

 

Adam Morgan (1-5) gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings to lose his fifth straight start.

Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon combined to allow four runs in the ninth inning, but Rondon got Ryan Howard to ground out to end it and get his 11th save.

 

Jorge Soler left after singling to left field in the third inning. Soler injured his left hamstring while running the bases. He'll have an MRI on Tuesday, Maddon said.

 

Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 2.84) opposes Phillies RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-8, 3.93) in the second contest of the three-game set Tuesday night.

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Bears, Third Round Pick Buller Agree to Contract

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a four-year contract with third-round draft pick Jonathan Bullard.

A defensive end from Florida, Bullard was taken with the 72nd pick after posting 178 tackles, 12 sacks, 33 1/2 tackles-for-loss and five pass breakups over four seasons. His 17 1/2 tackles-for-loss in 2015 were the most by a Gator since former Bear Alex Brown had 18 in 1999.

 

With the announcement Monday, the Bears have no remaining unsigned picks.

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Penguins Take Commanding 3-1 Stanley Cup Finals Lead

Evgeni Malkin scored one goal and assisted on another, Matt Murray made 23 saves and the Penguins took a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Monday night.

Malkin helped set up Ian Cole's goal to open the scoring, then added one of his own on the power play to give Murray all the support needed.

 

Eric Fehr sealed it with a late goal after San Jose made a strong push in the third.

 

The Sharks were unable to build on their first win in the final, allowing the first goal for the fourth straight game and going more than nine minutes without a shot on goal during one stretch of the second period.

 

San Jose has yet to lead at any point in the series other than after scoring in overtime in Game 3.

 

Melker Karlsson scored the lone goal and Martin Jones made 17 saves for San Jose.

 

Murray stopped Patrick Marleau on a breakaway and saved a one-timer by Joe Pavelski early in the third before allowing his first goal. Karlsson beat him on a rebound of Brenden Dillon's point shot with 11:53 to play.

 

Two nights after allowing a soft game-tying goal to Joel Ward, Murray was steady throughout to put the Penguins one win from skating off with their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history. They can do it at home in Game 5 on Thursday night.

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Steph Curry Announces He'll Skip Olympics, Durant To Play

Whenever the NBA Finals come to a conclusion, it seems likely that will be the last we will see of Stephen Curry this summer. Curry is part of the pool of players that could be selected by USA Basketball to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has withdrawn his name from consideration.

 

Curry doesn't want to play mainly because he wants to let his right knee fully heal.

 

Outside of Curry, the Warriors have three other players in USA Basketball's player pool -- Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green. But according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, because of the looming threat of the Zika virus, which Pau Gasol has expressed concern about, Thompson and Iguodala may also withdraw their names from consideration. Green however, plans on playing if he is selected.

 

The MVP may be out, but the man who nearly put him out of the playoffs is all in.

 

Kevin Durant told ESPN Monday that he still plans to compete in this summer's Olympics for Team USA.

 

It's an interesting decision given Durant's free agency.

 

With so many big name stars out, Durant's presence will be important for Team USA, even in a year where the international competition is the weakest it's been in 16 years. With Durant back in the fold, the U.S. should be able to maintain its iron-clad lock on the gold, despite the absence of so many top players, with other declinations expected in the wake of South America's continuing crisis regarding the Zika virus.

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Come Back, Beat Giants

 

Aledmys Diaz, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina each had an RBI during a four-run sixth inning and the Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 on Sunday night.

The tiebreaking run came on an RBI fielder's choice with the bases loaded by Molina, who entered the at-bat in an 0-for-20 skid. Shortstop Brandon Crawford made an error on the play when he dropped the ball on the exchange trying to flip to second to start a double play.

 

Jarrett Parker hit a two-run homer for the NL West-leading Giants, who have lost two straight for the first time since May 8-10 when they dropped three in a row. Despite dropping the weekend series, the Giants are a major league-best 18-6 since May 11.

 

Carlos Martinez (6-5) allowed three runs in six innings and Trevor Rosenthal earned his 10th save in 11 chances.

 

Giants starter Jake Peavy allowed four runs in five innings.

 

Mike Leake (4-4, 3.82) makes his first career appearance against the his former team, the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday to start a six-game trip. He's 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA his last five outings.

 

>>Dbacks Down Arrieta, Cubs

 

Jake Arrieta's winning streak ended at 20 games when Patrick Corbin and the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday.

 

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had gone 24 regular-season starts without a loss since Cole Hamels pitched a no-hitter for Philadelphia at Wrigley Field on July 25. Arrieta did lose to the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series last season and was 2-1 in the playoffs.

 

Arrieta (9-1) lasted five innings this time, allowing three runs and nine hits. He threw 108 pitches and struck out a season-high 12 while walking one.

 

The Cubs lost for only the second time in 12 games and finished 8-2 on their homestand. Both losses came in starts by Arrieta after they won 23 in a row with him on the mound.

 

Jon Lester (6-3, 2.29) looks to remain unbeaten against Philadelphia when the Cubs start a nine-game trip against LHP Adam Morgan (1-4, 7.07) and the Phillies.

 

>>Tigers Beat Sale, White Sox

 

J.D. Martinez homered and drove in three runs, Mike Pelfrey ended an 18-start winless string and the Detroit Tigers beat Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 7-4 Saturday.

 

White Sox left fielder Jason Coats, making his major league debut, exited in the seventh inning after colliding with center fielder J.B. Shuck. Coats was bleeding from a cut in his mouth, was tested for a concussion and was listed as day to day.

 

Martinez hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth that helped Pelfrey post his first win since last Aug. 12. He allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in six innings, striking out three.

After Mark Lowe allowed two runs in the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez got the final out for his 14th save.

 

Sale (9-2) failed again to become the first 10-game winner in the majors. He allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings, and is now 0-2 in his last three starts.

 

Chicago is off on Monday before returning home for a three-game series against Washington.

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Warriors Drop Cavs, Take 2-0 NBA Finals Lead

Draymond Green had 28 points with five 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists, while MVP Stephen Curry scored 18 points despite foul trouble, and Golden State thoroughly overwhelmed Cleveland 110-77 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

 

The 33-point win was the Warriors' most lopsided ever in a finals game - and they have won the first two by a combined 48 points.

 

Once the Splash Brothers found their shooting touch, Cleveland couldn't keep up. Klay Thompson got hot after halftime to finish with 17 points as Golden State became the first team to go ahead 2-0 in the finals since the Lakers in 2009 against Orlando.

 

The NBA said Love experienced dizziness early in the second half and left for the locker room to be re-examined, then was placed in the NBA's concussion protocol. He hadn't exhibited any symptoms before then, even after taking an elbow to the back of the head from Harrison Barnes in the second quarter and going down for several minutes before returning following a timeout. He immediately made a baseline 3-pointer for the Cavs' first basket in nearly 5 1/2 minutes.

 

LeBron James scored 14 of his 19 points in the second and also finished with nine assists and eight rebounds, but seven turnovers - and he took the blame. James' teams had won nine straight postseason Game 2s after losing the series opener dating back to a loss in the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals to Boston.

 

Now, the series shifts to Cleveland, and James and the Cavs must show up for Game 3 on Wednesday in front of their title-starved fans down 2-0 to the defending champs and with forward Kevin Love dealing with a head injury.

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William McGirt Outduels Dustin Johns, Rory McIlroy For Memorial Win

William McGirt and Jon Curran (both of whom have been playing strong golf) held off the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar to duke it out in a two-hole playoff which McGirt won with an up-and-down par on the 18th at Muirfield Village. The final hole will get all the attention (as it should), but it was actually a bunker save on the first playoff hole that was McGirt's best shot in overtime.

This was McGirt's first PGA Tour win, which has become a theme at this tournament. He joins David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014) and Justin Rose (2010) as players who have gotten their first wins at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event.

 

The most fascinating part of McGirt's win might be how it happened -- with a packed leaderboard full of superstars late on a Sunday. Why is that fascinating for McGirt? He once had a conversation with Tiger Woods, who told him that he was an idiot for not looking at leaderboards.

 

McGirt took the advice to heart.

 

Rory backdooring a top 10 finish is among the most assured events in all of sports. He pulled it off again this week at Memorial despite making three bogeys on par 5s this week which for him is a borderline felony.

 

Jordan Spieth's worst finish up to this point at a tournament where he made the cut this year was a T21 at Pebble Beach. He finished T57 at the Memorial with a poor weekend of 74-73.

Jason Day shot a 71 on Friday but said it could have been an 80 and backed that up with something closer to 80 on Sunday with a 74. Still tied his all-time best finish here of T27.

 

Dustin Johnson finished third alone (one shot out of the playoff) and vaporized drives all week including one that flew 383 yards on the 71st hole of the tournament. He'll be a big story coming into the U.S. Open. He would have been anyway, but with the hot hand and abomination at last year's national open, Johnson will be tough to ignore at Oakmont.

 

Rickie Fowler missed the cut by two strokes on Friday after a poor showing on Thursday. That's three missed cuts in his last five events (including the Masters and Players Championship). He also sprinkled in a T4 at Quail Hollow.

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Illinois, Northwestern To Be Part of Chicago Twin-Bill

Illinois and Northwestern will be part of a basketball doubleheader in Chicago in December.

 

Illinois will face Brigham Young and Northwestern will take on Dayton on Dec. 17 at the United Center in the inaugural State Farm Chicago Legends.

 

Steve Skinner is CEO of KemperLesnik, the Chicago-based sports marketing agency producing the event. He said he hopes to turn the doubleheader into an annual event that celebrates Chicago's basketball heritage.

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Hendricks Leads Cubs Past Dodgers

Kyle Hendricks dominated over eight innings and the Chicago Cubs backed him with four home runs, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 Thursday for their eighth win in nine games.

 

Javier Baez, Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant connected against 19-year-old Julio Urias (0-1). Anthony Rizzo hit a leadoff homer against J.P. Howell in the eighth as the major league-leading Cubs took three of four from the Dodgers.

 

Hendricks (4-4) allowed two runs and three hits, struck out six and walked one. He pitched a complete game in his previous outing to beat Philadelphia.

 

The Cubs gave Hendricks all the support he needed after managing just four hits over the previous two games.

 

Urias was simply overpowered in his second career start. The top prospect gave up six runs and eight hits after lasting only 2 2/3 innings in his big league debut against the New York Mets last week.

 

John Lackey (5-2, 3.16) looks to continue his run of strong starts as the Cubs open a three-game series against RHP Archie Bradley (2-0, 6.11) and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Warriors Cruise Past Cavs in Game 1

Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, Shaun Livingston scored a personal postseason best of 20 and Golden State's bench came up big as the Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 on Thursday night to move three wins from a repeat title.

 

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson endured rare off nights totalling 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting, each knocking down a late 3-pointer.

 

Leandro Barbosa returned from a minor back injury to shoot 5 for 5 on the way to 11 points, while 2015 finals MVP Andre Iguodala had 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and some stingy defense on James.

 

James kicked off his sixth straight finals with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, but cold-shooting Cleveland went 38.1 percent from the floor. Kyrie Irving, lost to a devastating knee injury in a Game 1 overtime defeat last year, scored 26 points, 11 on free throws.

 

Kevin Love made an impressive finals debut with 17 points and 13 rebounds after missing last year's run with a dislocated shoulder that required surgery.

 

Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena.

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Baseball, Softball To Return to 2020 Olympics

Last June the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced that it had officially applied for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Thursday, the International Olympics Committee announced that it will recommend both sports be added in a vote by the general assembly in Rio de Janeiro this coming summer the night before the 2016 games begin.

 

According to The Associated Press, IOC vice president John Coates announced that baseball, softball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing were approved "as a single package" on Wednesday.

 

Baseball was an exhibition sport in the Olympics for years and then officially became a medal sport in 1992. It remained as such through the 2008 games before the IOC elected to do away with it.

 

While it was an official medal sport, Cuba won three gold medals compared to one each for the United States (2008) and South Korea.

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Dustin Johnson Leads Early At Memorial

Dustin Johnson rattled off an 8-under 64 at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday in the first round to take home the clubhouse lead after 18 holes. He's up one on Brendan Steele.

 

The only first round lower than that at this tournament in the last six years is the 63 Rory McIlroy shot to open the 2014 edition. He went on to finish T15. Hideki Matsuyama and Bo Van Pelt both shot 64 last year in the first round. Matsuyama finished T5. Van Pelt finished T40.

 

But Johnson looks primed to win for the first time this season and extend his PGA Tour-leading streak of consecutive seasons with a win to nine in a row.

 

Jason Day, Danny Lee and Matt Kuchar are in a group tied for third at six-under par. Phil Mickelson shot a four-under par 68 Thursday, good for a tie for 13th.

 

Jordan Spieth is two-under and tied for 44th.

 

Rory McIlroy is one-under and in a tie for 58th.

 

Bubba Watson shot even par Thursday while Rickie Fowler is three-over. 

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Cubs, Sox Win; Cardinals Lose

>>Lester, Bryant Lead Cubs By Dodgers

 

Jon Lester pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game of the season, helping the Chicago Cubs edge the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Wednesday despite another lackluster night at the plate.

The Cubs finished with just three hits against Mike Bolsinger and two relievers after they managed only one in Tuesday night's 5-0 loss to Los Angeles. But one of Chicago's hits was a long, two-run homer to center field by Kris Bryant in the third inning, and Lester (6-3) took over from there.

 

The left-hander struck out 10 and walked none in his second straight win, settling down quite nicely after Kike Hernandez's leadoff homer on his second pitch. He retired his last 15 batters and threw 113 pitches in his 13th career complete game and first since a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh on Sept. 15.

 

Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA) starts for Chicago on Thursday against Dodgers top prospect Julio Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA). Hendricks pitched a five-hitter in a 4-1 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.

 

>>Sox Get By Mets in Extras

 

Pitcher Matt Albers doubled leading off the 13th inning for his first hit since 2007 and scored the tiebreaking run, his first major league run, as the Chicago White Sox rallied past the New York Mets 2-1 on Wednesday, helped by Todd Frazier's major league-leading 17th homer.

Albers (2-4) relieved White Sox closer David Robertson to start the 12th and led off the 13th in his first at-bat since 2009. With the outfield playing shallow, he lined a 1-2 pitch from Logan Verrett (3-3) to left-center, and the ball rolled to the fence on two hops. Unaccustomed to baserunning, Albers didn't slide at second and steadied himself against second baseman Neil Walker to avoid coming off the base.

 

A 33-year-old right-hander who has spent most of his career in the American League, Albers had been 2 for 34 (.059) at the plate in his major league career and had not even batted since 2009. He chugged to third on a wild pitch that went to the backstop and scored standing up on Jose Abreu's sacrifice fly.

 

Carlos Rodon (2-4) is scheduled to pitch Friday's series opener at Detroit, which starts RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-2).

 

>>Brewers Drop Cardinals

 

Zach Davies had a career-high nine strikeouts over eight shutout innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers averted a three-game sweep with a 3-1 win over their NL Central rivals.

 

Davies (3-3) allowed three hits and retired 13 in a row to finish the longest outing of his young career before yielding to Jeremy Jeffress. The closer gave up a pinch-hit solo homer to Brandon Moss before retiring the final three batters for his 13th save.

 

The Brewers scratched out two runs in the first off Jaime Garcia (4-5) and added insurance with Martin Maldonado's solo homer in the sixth.

 

Garcia allowed five hits, three walks and two runs before departing after five innings.

 

Following an off day, St. Louis returns home on Friday to open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Right-handed ace Adam Wainwright (5-3) gets the start. He is 5-0 in his last seven games.

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Cubs Notes

>>NBA Personality, Criag Sager Throws Out First Pitch At Wrigley Field

 

Thanks in part to a complete game from Jon Lester, the first-place Cubs beat the Dodgers at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night (CHC 2, LAD 1). Kris Bryant's two-run home run was the decisive blow.

 

Before the game, NBA reporter Craig Sager tossed out at the first pitch. Sager, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, is well know for his quirky mannerisms and colorful suits, among other things.

 

Sager, 64, has been battling acute myeloid leukemia since 2014. He's been undergoing aggressive treatment that has included 21 bone marrow biopsies to date since the diagnosis.

 

Ken Berger of CBS Sports recently wrote about Sager and his battle with cancer, and the way it affects his work. Spoiler: He doesn't let it.

 

>>Cubs Dominating Early All-Star Voting

 

Wednesday it was the National League's turn at the first update on the National League All-Star Game fan vote.

 

The Chicago Cubs presently have locked down five of the eight starting slots, including first baseman Anthony Rizzo and his NL-leading vote tally. As well, the Cubs are within spitting distance in the outfield and at catcher. This is all as you would expect from a popular team that's played .700 ball thus far. Elsewhere, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is angling for his eighth straight All-Star appearance.

 

The 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot -- available exclusively via MLB.com, team sites and mobile devices -- will be accessible through June 30, at which point this phase of the voting will end. The 2016 All-Star Game is scheduled for July 12 in San Diego's Petco Park.

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Penguins Need Overtime To Get By Sharks, Take 2-0 Series Lead

Sidney Crosby's faceoff win helped set up Conor Sheary's perfectly placed wrist shot 2:35 into overtime, one that lifted the Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Crosby won the draw and dropped it to defenseman Kris Letang, who feigned a shot then slipped it to Sheary. The 23-year-old rookie zipped it over Jones' outstretched glove for his fourth goal of the playoffs and second of the series.

 

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun tied it with 4:05 left in regulation, but San Jose fell to 0-4 when pushed to overtime in the playoffs after getting largely outplayed for much of the night by the quicker, more nimble Penguins.

 

Phil Kessel scored his 10th goal of the postseason for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray made 21 stops. The Penguins have not trailed at any point while reeling off four straight playoff victories after falling behind in the Eastern Conference final against Tampa Bay.

 

Game 3 is Saturday night in San Jose.

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Cavs, Warriors Start NBA Finals Rematch Tonight

With the NBA Finals set to begin on Thursday, Las Vegas sportsbook Bovada released its odds on a number of different topics, including series winner and Finals MVP. And similar to our CBS Sports experts, Bovada favors the Warriors to win the Finals.

Bovada has the Warriors at 1-2 odds while the Cleveland Cavaliers are at 17-10.

 

And to no surprise, the Vegas sportsbook also favors the unanimous regular season MVP, Stephen Curry, to take home the NBA Finals MVP award.

 

The Warriors are the defending NBA Champs and beat the Cavs last year in six games. 

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