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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs, Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo also went deep to back Jose Quintana, and the Cubs pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-3 on Wednesday night.
 
Chicago tied a season high for runs set against Philadelphia on Saturday and banged out 20 hits to match its highest total since May 12, 2014, at St. Louis. The Cubs (72-60) outscored the Pirates 27-5 in a three-game sweep and moved 12 games above .500 for the first time this year. They also remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
 
Happ helped stake Chicago to a 5-2 lead with an RBI single in the first and two-run drive off Ivan Nova in the third. Happ also had an RBI double.
 
Rizzo hit his 31st homer, scored three runs and drove in two. Schwarber came through with his second multihomer game of the season, with two-run drives in the fifth and seventh.
 
Javier Baez became the first Cubs player in seven years to steal home .
Quintana (5-3) held Pittsburgh to three runs and four hits in six innings. He retired 14 in a row after giving up two runs in the first and also had an RBI single.
 
Nova (11-12) lasted just three innings in his shortest outing of the year, allowing five runs (four earned) and three hits after getting roughed up in Cincinnati last week.
 
Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.45 ERA) goes to the mound as Chicago opens a four-game series against Atlanta. LHP Sean Newcomb (2-7, 4.36) starts for the Braves.
 
>>Brewers Outlast Cardinals
 
Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar homered in the sixth inning, and Keon Broxton made a leaping catch over the wall for the final out in the Milwaukee Brewers' 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
 
Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 30th save. He allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina, struck out the next two batters, and then watched Broxton snag Randal Grichuk's deep blast to end the game.
 
Chase Anderson (8-3) gave up two hits - both homers - in six innings, three earned runs, struck out six and walked two to improve to 4-0 in nine starts at Miller Park this season.
 
Santana hit his 22nd homer of the season and Villar's was his 10th, giving Milwaukee a franchise-record nine players with at least 10 homers in a season.
 
St. Louis fell 2 1/2 games behind the second-place Brewers in the NL Central despite two home runs from Tommy Pham, who has 19 on the season.
 
Carlos Martinez (10-10), who entered the game 3-0 in his past four starts, allowed 10 hits, six runs - three earned - and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
 
Milwaukee won for the 10th time in its past 15 games by scoring three times in the sixth. 
 
Grichuk hit his 17th homer in the fifth.
 
Michael Wacha (9-7) takes a three-game losing streak into his start at San Francisco.
 
>>Twins Power Past White Sox
 
Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice as the Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox 11-1 on Wednesday night.
 
Berrios (12-6) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. He walked one and gave up just four hits to win his seventh straight start at Target Field.
 
Chicago's only real threat came in the fourth, when Berrios hit Jose Abreu with a pitch, gave up a broken-bat single to Avisail Garcia and walked Omar Narvaez to load the bases with two outs. Berrios struck out Tim Anderson on three pitches, the last a 96-mph fastball, to escape the jam.
 
Mitch Garver and Ehire Adrianza each had three hits for the Twins. Adrianza tripled twice and drove in four runs, while Garver scored three runs and was a home run short of the cycle.
 
Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.30) has given up just four earned runs in his last 28 innings, cutting his ERA by nearly a full run. In his only start against the Twins this year he held them to two runs in six innings in a White Sox victory on April 8.
 
Twins RHP Bartolo Colon (6-10, 6.35) is 4-1 with a 3.21 ERA in five August starts.

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Cubs SS Russel Has Setback On Rehab Assignment

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was called back to Chicago to be examined after experiencing a setback in his recovery from a right foot injury.
 
Russell was scratched from a rehab game with Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday after experiencing soreness. The 2016 All-Star has been sidelined since early August after straining the foot.
 
"Tough one," manager Joe Maddon said. "You look at the shortstop position. Of course, Javy (Javier Baez) is doing a wonderful job. But after that, it becomes different. We were counting on this to happen, Addy to get back quickly. Hopefully, it's not going to be anything prolonged. That's such an important position."
 
The news on ace Jon Lester (left lat tightness and shoulder fatigue) was more encouraging. He is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Atlanta after his 50-pitch bullpen session Wednesday went well.

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Cardinals Trade SP Leake To Seattle; Lynn Not Happy With Front Office

The St. Louis Cardinals have sent starting pitcher Mike Leake to the Seattle Mariners for minor-league infielder Rayder Ascanio.
 
The 29-year-old Leake, who signed a five-year deal with St. Louis before the 2016 season, waived the no-trade clause in his contract.
 
He was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA this season, but lost 10 of his previous 12 decisions after getting off to a 5-2 start.
 
Leake was scheduled to pitch at San Francisco on Friday, but it appears the Cardinals will bring up a prospect from Triple-A Memphis to take his place.
 
>>Cardinals SP Lynn Not Pleased With Front Office
 
The Cardinals on Wednesday completed a surprise trade with the Mariners that, most notably, sends veteran right-hander Mike Leake to Seattle in year two of the five-year, $80 million contract he signed with St. Louis. 
 
While the Cardinals have on balance been a pretty middling team in 2017, they're still alive in the NL Central and in the race for one of the two NL wild card spots. 
 
As such, trading away a near-term asset like Leake probably isn't hugely popular with the veterans on the team. 
 
One of those veterans is right-hander Lance Lynn.
 
The Cardinals will save a good bit of cash in shipping off Leake (they're reportedly kicking in $17 million of the roughly $55 million that Leake is still owed), and that's led to some speculation regarding that newfound payroll flexibility.
 
Via Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, here are Lynn's pointed comments about a possible extension with the Cards:
 
ou can't say that. There's been no talks. There's been zero communication, whatsoever.
 
"I'm sure whenever the time comes — when the World Series is over and five days after, I'm sure somebody will talk to me. I just don't know who it is. They've had a whole season. Five days isn't going to matter.
 
"But I just work here."
 
Lynn in his walk year -- which is also his comeback campaign from Tommy John surgery -- has pitched to a 3.14 ERA/136 ERA+ and 2.16 K/BB ratio in an NL-leading 27 starts. 
 
For his career, the 30-year-old owns an ERA+ of 116 across parts of six big-league seasons. Given Lynn's track record, his strong 2017 numbers, and the heated market for starting pitching each winter, he may be headed for a nine-figure payday. 

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FedEx Cup Continues In Boston

Ninety-six of the top 100 in the FedEx Cup will be at TPC Boston for a Labor Day affair where Rory McIlroy took the crown last season. There are only 216 holes of golf for the top 30 or so players this season, and based on what we saw last week, each and every one should be savored.
 
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth lit up The Northern Trust last week. Johnson outlasted Spieth in playoff to take the win. 
 
They are probably (along with Hideki Matsuyama) the best players in the world right now, and they're the favorites this week. This is a good field, but it will be without Henrik Stenson (knee), Brandt Snedeker (sternum), J.B. Holmes and Scott Piercy.
 
This will be one of the rare PGA Tour events that purposefully ends on a day other than Sunday. This is of course because of Labor Day and because of football, but it's still a slight quirk in the schedule that can make for finishes that feel like they lack a little punch. Interestingly, in the future, this might be the weekend the entire season ends on instead of stretching it for four more weeks.
 
Rory McIlroy has won the tournament twice since 2012, including last year, and enters with 16-1 odds. 
 
Rickie Fowler was the 2015 winner and also starts with 16-1 odds to win. 

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Goode Named Packers Long Snapper

Brett Goode has won the long snapper job again for the Green Bay Packers following the release of undrafted rookie Derek Hart.
 
Goode was re-signed on Aug. 12 after normally reliable kicker Mason Crosby had problems early in camp while Hart was the lone long snapper. Coaches said there were problems with the field goal operation.
 
Goode played the previous nine seasons in Green Bay, though the Packers initially decided to go with Hart in the offseason.
 
The team on Monday also released two other undrafted rookies, receiver Colby Pearson and running back William Stanback.
 
Green Bay wraps up the preseason on Thursday when the Los Angeles Rams visit Lambeau Field. Teams must cut rosters down to the 53-man limit on Saturday.

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Cubs, Cardinals Win; White Sox Lose

>>Weaver Sharp As Cardinals Rout Brewers
 
Matt Carpenter homered and Luke Weaver was shapr in five-plus innings as the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 Tuesday night.
 
Luke Weaver (3-1) gave up a solo homer to Eric Thames in the bottom of the third. The 24 year-old right-hander otherwise had another solid outing against the Brewers, striking out 10 while allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings. Weaver has a 3.00 ERA in four career starts versus Milwaukee, with 36 strikeouts in 24 innings.
 
St. Louis chased Matt Garza (6-8) with one out in the fourth. The right-hander walked five and allowed six runs, though only three were earned after the Brewers committed two errors in the third.
 
The loss dropped the second-place Brewers to 3 1/2 games back of the NL Central-leading Cubs, who won on Tuesday. The Cardinals remained in third, five games back of Chicago.
 
Yadier Molina was a late scratch because of right lower abdominal soreness.
 
Carlos Martinez (10-9) takes the mound needing nine strikeouts to match his career-high 184 from 2015.
 
Chase Anderson (7-3) looks for his first win in seven career starts against St. Louis. He is 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA versus the Cardinals, including no-decisions in two starts this season.
 
>>Arrieta, Cubs Cruise Past Pirates
 
Jake Arrieta continued his dominant second half with six innings of two-hit ball, Ben Zobrist homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1.
 
Arrieta (14-8) struck out four and retired the last seven batters he faced, leaving after 97 pitches with a 3-0 lead. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any of his nine starts since the All-Star break, going 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA during that span.
 
Anthony Rizzo went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Alex Avila had an RBI single and Jason Heyward added a sacrifice fly for NL Central-leading Chicago, which stretched its lead over second-place Milwaukee to 3 1/2 games.
 
John Jaso went 2 for 2 with a homer and reached in all four plate appearances for Pittsburgh.
 
Chad Kuhl (6-10) matched Arrieta through five innings but ran into trouble immediately in the sixth. His first pitch was a 95 mph fastball down the middle that Zobrist hit into the bleachers in right center.
 
Kyle Schwarber followed with a walk and Rizzo doubled one out later. After Tommy LaStella was intentionally walked to load the bases, Avila singled to score Schwarber.
 
Heyward stretched the lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly against reliever A.J. Schugel.
 
Jaso's solo homer in the seventh off Koji Uehara made it 3-1.
 
Rizzo gave the Cubs an insurance run in the eighth with his 200th career double.
 
That was enough support for Arrieta, who has turned around his season following a slow start.
 
Wade Davis got the final three outs for his 27th save in 27 chances to establish a new Cubs record for consecutive saves opportunities converted. Ryan Dempster saved 26 in a row from 2005-06.
 
Jose Quintana (4-3, 4.50 ERA) and Pirates righty Ivan Nova (11-11, 3.97) will be looking to bounce back from rough outings in the series finale Wednesday night. Quintana allowed six runs in five innings Sunday against Philadelphia, while Nova allowed seven runs (five earned) in five innings Sunday against Cincinnati.
 
>>Twins Power Past White Sox
 
Jorge Polanco homered twice, Ervin Santana struck out seven while pitching into the seventh inning and the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Tuesday.
 
Eduardo Escobar also drove in two runs for the Twins, who took a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels into the night in the crowded race for the second AL wild card. Santana (14-7) matched his highest victory total since he was a 17-game winner 2010 with the Angels.
 
Only six games are left on Minnesota's schedule against teams on pace for the playoffs. Including the White Sox this week, the Twins are facing six opponents in the other 26 games with losing records and a combined 70 games under .500 entering play on Tuesday.
 
Jose Abreu went 4 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs for the White Sox, who fell to 4-17 in their last 21 road games. Abreu's single in the ninth put the tying run at the plate, but Matt Belisle escaped for his fifth save.
 
James Shields (2-5) has not won for the White Sox in 10 starts. He's been better this month, thanks in part to an alteration of his arm angle, but this was a mediocre output with five hits and five walks allowed in five innings. He left with a 4-0 deficit.
 
Derek Holland (7-13, 6.05 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday. He beat Minnesota in Chicago last week with six innings and one run allowed.
 
Jose Berrios (11-6, 4.04 ERA) pitches the middle game of the series. He's won each of his last six home starts, with a 2.88 ERA over 40 1/3 innings.

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Packers Searching for Linebacker Depth

With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, the Green Bay Packers feel great about their starting outside linebackers.
 
The depth hasn't quite developed, though, which is why the team hosted free agent Ahmad Brooks on Tuesday. Brooks, a two-time second-team All-Pro, was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week.
 
Brooks is 33, which would make him the third-oldest player on a Packers roster that perennially has been one of the youngest in the league under general manager Ted Thompson.
 
However, Kyler Fackrell, last year's third-round pick, and Jayrone Elliott, a key special teams player, haven't seized the opportunities created by the free-agent departures of veterans Julius Peppers (Carolina) and Datone Jones (Minnesota).
 
Fackrell has no sacks and only one tackle despite seeing significant action in all three preseason games.
 
Rookie Vince Biegel, a fourth-round draft pick, remains sidelined following foot surgery in May. It's possible he will open the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, which would keep him out for the first six weeks.
 
The Packers will count on Fackrell, Elliott and the rest of their young backups in Thursday's preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
 
Matthews (groin tightness) and Perry (ankle) were knocked out of Saturday's preseason game, didn't practice on Tuesday and won't play on Thursday. Speaking before Tuesday's practice, coach Mike McCarthy said he didn't have any "long-term" concern about either of the injuries.
 
That's crucial because of the uncertainty behind that duo. Peppers and Jones played more than 1,100 snaps last season and Thompson added only one major piece to the position in the offseason in Biegel.

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Bears WR Depth To Be Tested After Loss of Meredith

The issue of who is throwing the passes has become secondary for the Chicago Bears to who is catching them.
 
When wide receiver Cameron Meredith suffered a season-ending torn left anterior cruciate ligament against Tennessee on Sunday, the Bears suddenly had a receiver problem only two weeks before the start of the season.
 
Mike Glennon appears to have solidified the starting quarterback spot over Mitchell Trubisky for opening day against Atlanta after a strong effort in Sunday's 19-7 preseason win over Tennessee.
 
So now it's the receiver spot the Bears must solve with the loss of Meredith, last season's receiving leader. Meredith stepped up last season when former Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery was plagued by injuries and a suspension, and he finished with 66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns.
 
It means 2015 first-round draft pick Kevin White must become the main receiving threat after he missed most of his first two seasons with leg injuries.
 
White caught 19 passes for 187 yards last season before a fractured leg ended his season during the fourth game. To this point, he hasn't been able to show the big-play ability he flashed at West Virginia before becoming the No. 7 pick of the draft.
 
Victor Cruz and fellow free agent acquisitions Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton appear next in line for consideration to play in the starting lineup at wide receiver in place of Meredith.
 
Cruz said he's healthier than he's been since suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2014.
 
The Bears could turn to the waiver wire at this position for help when roster cuts are made league-wide this weekend following Thursday's preseason finale with Cleveland.
 
Wright, a former Tennessee Titans receiver, has six preseason catches and has been playing ahead of Cruz through much of the preseason.

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Cubs Blast Pirates

Mike Montgomery struck out four and walked none and was pulled after Jordy Mercer snapped his 17 1/3-inning scoreless streak with a leadoff homer in the eighth leading the Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
 
Carl Edwards Jr. got three outs before Wade Davis finished the six-hitter as Chicago moved 2 1/2 games ahead of idle Milwaukee for the top spot in the NL Central.
 
Trevor Williams (5-7) hung in there with Montgomery, pitching five innings of two-run ball, but Pittsburgh lost for the 11th time in its last 16 games. Mercer went 3 for 3, David Freese had two hits and Andrew McCutchen singled for the Pirates.
 
Chicago was clinging to a 1-0 lead when Montgomery beat out an infield chopper over Williams' head for a leadoff single in the fifth. He advanced to third on Tommy La Stella's one-out single and scored when Anthony Rizzo's bases-loaded drive pushed McCutchen all the way back to the wall in center for a leaping catch.
 
The Cubs added three more in the seventh on Alex Avila's bases-loaded infield single and errors on second baseman Sean Rodriguez and catcher Chris Stewart. Rodriguez threw wide of first while trying to retire Avila, and Stewart threw the ball into center field to bring home another run.
 
Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl and Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta pitch in the second game of the series on Tuesday night. Kuhl (6-9, 4.52 ERA) is 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in five August starts. Arrieta (13-8, 3.49 ERA) has been on a roll since the All-Star break, going 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA in eight outings.

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Cubs On The Mend

Jon Lester threw 47 pitches to Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber during a simulated game. Lester, who is on the DL with left lat tightness and general shoulder fatigue, could need a minor league rehab start. 
 
''I think a lot of it will depend on how he feels tomorrow, how he feels like he came through today,'' general manager Jed Hoyer said. ''I thought he looked good. It looked like the ball was coming out well.'' 
 
Contreras (right hamstring strain) also took early batting practice. 
 
 
SS Addison Russell (right foot strain) and RHP Justin Grimm (finger infection) each made their first rehab appearance with Triple-A Iowa. Russell went 1 for 3 with a double, and Grimm allowed a run while pitching one inning.

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White Sox Win; Cubs, Cardinals Lose

>>White Sox Blast Tigers
 
Lucas Giolito threw seven scoreless innings to reach the milestone, and Matt Davidson hit a three-run homer to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-1 on Sunday.
 
Giolito (1-1) limited the Tigers to three hits in his second start with the White Sox after they acquired him in a December trade with the Nationals for outfielder Adam Eaton. 
 
Giolito struck out four to match his career high and recorded his first quality start.
 
Yolmer Sanchez had three hits for the White Sox, who have won four of five and took two of three from Detroit.
 
Ian Kinsler hit his 14th home run for the Tigers, who lost for the 16th time in 21 games.
 
Matthew Boyd (5-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings.
 
Matt Davidson hit his 23rd homer this season and his first since July 31 after missing three weeks with a right wrist contusion. The three-run shot put the White Sox ahead 5-0 in the third.
 
After an off day Monday, RHP James Shields (2-4, 5.63) will start the series opener Tuesday at Minnesota.
 
>>Hoskins Homers Again As Phillies Down Cubs
 
Rhys Hoskins went deep for the fifth straight game, and his stellar grab started a triple play in the fifth inning, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
 
Hoskins led off the eighth with a drive to left-center to give him 11 home runs in his first 18 games over 64 at-bats, becoming the fastest in major league history to reach 11 homers.
 
Nick Williams also homered for the Phillies, who have gone deep in nine straight games, hitting 20 homers over that span.
 
Nick Pivetta (5-9) allowed three runs on six hits in five innings to get the win. Hector Neris worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 19 chances.
 
Anthony Rizzo had a pair of RBIs for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who began play three games in front of Milwaukee.
 
The Phillies had a fifth inning to remember.
 
Rizzo walked and Tommy La Stella singled to begin the frame. Javier Baez then hit a sinking liner to left, and Hoskins made a diving catch.
 
Hoskins dropped the ball while transferring it out of his glove, but third base umpire Jerry Layne ruled right away it was a catch. Hoskins threw to second to double off Rizzo, who already was on third base, and second baseman Cesar Hernandez threw to first to get La Stella, who was caught in between first and second.
 
Chicago opens a seven-game homestand with the first of three against the Pirates on Monday night with LHP Mike Montgomery (4-6, 3.43) making his 10th start.
 
He will be opposed by RHP Trevor Williams (5-6, 4.40).
 
>>Rays Edge Cardinals in 10 Innings
 
Logan Morrison blasted two home runs to reach 31 this season, his second coming in the 10th inning to lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the Cardinals 3-2 on Sunday.
 
Sergio Romo (3-1) threw a scoreless ninth, and Alex Colome worked a scoreless 10th for his major league-leading 39th save in 44 chances.
 
All five runs in the game were scored on solo homers.
 
The win was the Rays' third in four games and fifth in seven as they attempt to chase down a wild-card spot. Tampa Bay improved to 8-5 in extra innings.
 
Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer allowed one run and five hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.
 
Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking three.
 
Morrison hit his 30th homer this season in the fourth. Brad Miller's homer in the seventh made it 2-0.
 
Kolten Wong went deep in the eighth to make it 2-1. It was his second homer in three games and fourth of the season.
 
The Rays loaded the bases in the eighth against three Cardinals relievers, but John Brebbia struck out Miller to end the threat.
 
Matt Carpenter tied it in the eighth with his 17th homer this season.
 
After an off day Monday, RHP Luke Weaver (2-1, 2.31) will open a three-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday. He struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings in his last start.
 
>>White Sox Moncada To DL
 
The Chicago White Sox placed rookie Yoan Moncada on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a bone contusion of his right shin.
 
The 22-year-old is hitting .188 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 30 games since being promoted to the major leagues last month.
 
Moncada missed two games last weekend with what was described as shin splints. He aggravated the injury Thursday night during a misstep on third base and left the game in the sixth inning.
 
"No one likes to be on the DL," he said through a translator. "You know what? I can't do anything about it. This is the best (move) for me. I have to rest."
 
To take Moncada's spot on the active roster, Matt Davidson (right wrist contusion) was activated from the 10-day DL. He is batting .238 with 22 homers and 51 RBIs in 88 games.
 
INF/OF Nicky Delmonico said his sprained right wrist is feeling better. He went on the 10-day DL Saturday.

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Bears Win, Packers Lose in Preseason

Mike Glennon capped an opening 96-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dion Sims as the Bears beat the Tennessee Titans 19-7 Sunday in the third preseason game.
 
Glennon was an efficient 11 of 18 for 134 yards passing despite losing starting wide receiver Cameron Meredith late in the first quarter. Meredith was carted off with a suspected left ACL injury, which Fox said must be checked by an MRI exam first.
 
Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick out of North Carolina, opened the third quarter with the Bears' starters. But Trubisky threw two incompletions as the Bears (2-1) went three-and-out. Trubisky also fumbled a snap on his next series, though he rebounded with a 45-yard TD pass to Tanner Gentry for a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
 
Chicago left 11 Bears at home, and the injury list only grew longer early in Sunday's game. The worst injury came late in the first quarter when Meredith, who led Chicago with 66 catches for 888 yards, hurt his left knee when tackled low at the end of a 16-yard catch . Trainers braced his leg and carted him off the field. The Bears already had left three receivers at home.
 
Cornerback Prince Amukamara played one series before leaving the game with an injured ankle, and the Bears also declared long snapper Patrick Scales out early in the second quarter with an injured knee. Both were on crutches after the game. 
 
Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd hurt a foot.
 
>>Broncos Down Packers
 
Jamaal Charles' impressive Denver debut included four rushes for 27 yards, two catches and a declaration afterward by coach Vance Joseph that he's in the Broncos' plans this season as Denver beat Green Bay 20-17 in the NFL preseason matchup Satudray. 
 
Aaron Rodgers played just ten snaps, finishing 3-for-5 with 12 yards. 
 
Backup Brett Hundley trotted out to hand off to Ty Montgomery for a touchdown plunge and a 10-0 lead.
 
Kyle Sloter replaced Lynch and threw a 17-yard TD pass to Hunter Sharp that made it 20-10.
 
Hundley's 6-yard keeper made it 20-17 early in the fourth quarter.

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Dustin Johnson Takes First FedEx Cup Event

It is fitting that the FedEx Cup Playoffs started with one of the great playoffs in recent memory. Dustin Johnson took The Northern Trust on Sunday in a one-hole playoff over Jordan Spieth by hitting two of the more memorable shots of his incredibly dynamic career.
 
Spieth, who came in having closed nine of his last 10 leads after 54 holes, opened a five-stroke margin on Johnson after leading by just three on the first tee box. Spieth birdied two of the first five holes, and it looked like he was going to dart away from the jungle cat before Johnson even had a chance to lick his lips.
 
A double on the sixth undid him, though, and Johnson never made a mistake. The now-four time winner this season did not make a bogey all day. After another bogey from Spieth at the ninth, Johnson let his prey come all the way back to him before pouncing.
 
Johnson birdied the ninth and 10th holes and the two were tied with nobody else in sight. Two birdies each over the next six holes set up a dramatic, if birdie-free, final two. Each blocked his shot on the lengthy par-3 17th into the sand, and each got up and down. But Spieth had to hit a 20-footer for his par. As Spieth is wont to do late in big-time tournaments, he nailed it.
 
Johnson had to lay up on the 475-yard par-4 18th because he pushed his drive in the rough. His third shot, from 86 yards, settled to just under 20 feet as well, and he knew he'd need that for par and to get into a playoff with Spieth, who had a tidy three feet for his own par.
 
Spieth won the lottery and hit first. With the adrenaline flowing, he pumped a 314-yard drive on a nice line. 
 
Johnson's drive left him with 94 yards into the 475-yard par-4 finishing hole. 
 
Johnson stuck his approach to three feet with a 60-degree wedge, and a last gasp from Spieth came up wanting. The inevitable Spieth steamroll had been reversed. Johnson chased him down with an outrageous putt in regulation and then he ran him over in the playoff.
 
Rory McIlroy tied for 34th, Rickie Fowler tied for 20th and Hideki Matsuyama missed the cut. 
 
The FedEx Cup Playoffs continue next week. 

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Week 1 Football Scores

Central Illinois Conference:

 

Shelbyville 64, Pawnee 0, F

Meridian 27, Argenta-Oreana 52, F

Decatur St. Teresa 25, Tri-Valley 20, F

Tuscola 36, Clifton Central 20, F

Central A&M 26, Arcola 19, F

Sullivan-Okaw Valley 0, South Fork 42, F

Warrensburg-Latham 57, Cerro Gordo-Bement 6, F

 

Illini Prairie:

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 14, Pontiac 7, F

Champaign St. Thomas More 7, St. Joseph-Ogden 54, F

Illinois Valley Central 8, Tolono Unity 41, F

Rantoul 8, Prairie Central 48, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Normal West 70, Peoria 46, F

Normal Community 43, Urbana 8, F

Peoria Manual 6, Bloomington 60, F

Peoria Richwoods 60, Champaign Central 33, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Normal U-Hight 21, Springfield 42, F

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 56, Jacksonville 14, F

Springfield Southeast 14, Chatham Glenwood 41, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Athens 35, Pleasant Plains 21, F

Auburn 55, Pittsfield 28, F

New Berlin 15, Maroa-Forsyth 32, F

Riverton 0, Williamsville 48, F

Virden North Mac 21, Petersburg PORTA 16, F

 

Non-Conference:

 

Cambridge Ridgewood 32, Peoria Heights 14, F

Champaign Centennial 14, Bradley-Bourbonnais 47, F

Charleston 13, Canton 26, F

East Peoria 6, Streator 40, F

LeRoy 0, Ridgeview 6, F

Lincoln 7, Macomb 6, F

Dee-Mack 36, Tremont 0, F

Metamora 44, Elgin St. Edward 26, F

Morton 40, Columbia 37, F

Mt. Vernon 6, Taylorville 42, F

Mt. Zion 47, Limestone 0, F

Nokomis 41, Blue Ridge 0, F

Oakland Tri-County 34, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 28, F

Palestine 20, Sangamon Valley 25, F

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 7, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 39, F

Rock Island Alleman 23, Peoria Notre Dame 6, F

Toledo Cumberland 0, Decatur LSA 16, F

Washington 41, Mahomet-Seymour 0, F

 

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Villa Grove Defeats Clinton Maroons in Opening Game

As heard on WHOW, the Villa Grove Blue Devils defeated the Clinton Maroons by a score of 20-15.
 
The Maroons were led by quarterback Christian Reynolds who had 9 of 14 passing for 60 yards and an interception. Ty Berter had 1 of 3 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown that went to Jacob Hospelhorn. Bryson Carson had 3 carries for 27 yards and 5 catches for 41 yards.
 
Maroons led 15-14 with a minute left in the game before Villa Grove connected on a 51 yard pass and then got a 9 yard touchdown run from Sophomore Chase Burwell to win the game.
 
For the game, Burwell had 15 carries for 19 yards and 2 touchdowns.
 
The Blue Devils were also lead by Senior Codie Baker with 6 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown and he was 21 of 40 passing for 225 yards.
 
The Clinton Maroons Player of the Game, brought to you by Country Financial's Brad James, was Dameon Baker who was one of the leads on Maroons defense with 2 quaterback sacks.
 
Tune in next week as Clinton takes on Reed-Custer with a 7:30 kick-off time on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

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Monticello Defeat Olympia

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages defeated Olympia by a score of 24-0 on Friday night.                                        

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Clinton at Villa Grove

In a game heard on WHOW, Villa Grove defeated the Clinton Maroons with a score of 20-15.

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Clinton Maroon Football Kicks Off, Monticello Sages Open New Conference

 
>>Maroons Visit Villa Grove in Week 1
 
The high school football season is here.
 
It's a new era for Maroons football as the squad welcomed first year head coach Nick Blackburn earlier this year. 
 
The Maroons, off a 4-5 season in 2016, visit Villa Grove to open the year. 
 
Kickoff is tonight at 7 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online dewittdailynews.com.
 
Non-conference Central Illinois Conference action:
 
Shelbyville at Pawnee
Meridian at Argenta-Oreana
Decatur St. Teresa at Tri-Valley
Tuscola at Clifton Central
Central A & M at Arcola
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at South Fork
Warrensburg-Latham at Cerro Gordo-Bement
 
>>Monticello Opens At Olympia in New Conference
 
The Monticello Sages open the 2017 football season tonight at Olympia.
 
The Sages finished last year a win short of  a state title appearance after a loss to eventual state champ IC Catholic.
 
With the Okaw Valley Conference no more, Monticello opens conference action in the Illini Prairie. 
 
The Illini prairie keeps former-Okaw Valley schools Champaign St. Thomas More, Unity, St. Joseph-Ogden and Rantoul while merging former Corn Belt conference members Bloominton Central Catholic, Illinois Valley Central, Pontiac, Prairie Central and Olympia. 
 
Kick off tonight is at 7 pm from Stanford. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Other Illini Prairie action tonight:
 
Bloomington Central Catholic at Pontiac
Champaign St. Thomas More at St. Joseph-Ogden
Illinois Valley Central at Tolono Unity
Monticello at Olympia
Rantoul at Prairie Central
 
Other action in opening week of high school football....
 
Big Twelve
 
NormalWest at Peoria
Normal Community at Urbana
Peoria Manual at Bloomington
Peoria Richwoods at Champaign Central
 
Central State Eight
 
Decatur MacArthur at Decatur Eisenhower (Sat.)
Normal U-High at Springfield
Rochester at Springfield Lanphier (Sat.)
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Jacksonville
Springfield Southeast at Chatham Glenwood
 
Sangamo
 
Athens at Pleasant Plains
Auburn at Pittsfield
New Berlin at Maroa-Forsyth
Riverton at Williamsville
Virden North Mac at Petersburg PORTA
 
Non-Conference...
 
Cambridge Ridgewood at Peoria Heights
Champaign Centennial at Bradley-Bourbonnais
Charleston at Canton
East Peoria at Streator
LeRoy at Ridgeview
Lincoln at Macomb
Dee-Mack at Tremont
Metamora at Elgin St. Edward
Morton at Columbia
Mt. Vernon at Taylorville
Mt. Zion at Limestone
Nokomis at Blue Ridge
Oakland Tri-County at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Palestine at Sangamon Valley
Paxton-Buckley-Loda at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Rock Island Alleman at Peoria Notre Dame
Toledo Cumberland) at Decatur LSA
Washington at Mahomet-Seymour

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Reds Double Up Cubs

Jose Peraza's long fly ball landed for a bases-loaded double in the eighth inning on Thursday night and rallied the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs that avoided a series sweep.
 
The Reds loaded the bases on a pair of hits and an intentional walk from Pedro Strop (3-4). Peraza was 0 for 4 off the bench this season when he pinch-hit and made solid contact on the first pitch, sending it high and deep to center.
 
The Cubs intentionally walked Eugenio Suarez to load the bases and bring up Peraza.
 
Strop let in another run with a wild pitch.
 
Michael Lorenzen (8-2) fanned three of the four batters he faced. Raisel Iglesias picked up his 24th save in 25 chances.
 
Happ - a star at the University of Cincinnati - hit a solo homer, and Arrieta gave another solid performance , allowing only one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings. Arrieta is 5-1 in eight starts since the All-Star break.
 
Kris Bryant was back at third base after missing one game. He was hit on the side of the left hand by a pitch on Tuesday night and got one day off. The National League's MVP set up Cincinnati's first run with a fielding error, and had a hand in the Cubs' go-ahead run. Bryant doubled in the sixth and came around on Javier Baez's single for a 2-1 lead.
 
Jose Quintana opens a series in Philadelphia, making his eighth start with the Cubs. He's 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA since moving to the Cubs from the White Sox. Jerad Eickhoff (3-7) starts for the Phillies.

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Padres Edge Cardinals

Carlos Asuaje's RBI single in the ninth inning gave San Diego the lead and Jose Pirela's sacrifice fly proved to be the game-winner as the Padres rallied to beat the Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday night.
 
Asuaje's hit, his third of the game, off Zach Duke scored Jabari Blash. Neither Duke nor Sam Tuivailala (3-2) recorded an out in relief in the ninth for a Cardinals bullpen that surrendered 12 runs in seven innings during the series.
 
Luis Perdomo gave up two runs in six innings, tying Jhoulys Chacin for the Padres team lead with 13 quality starts. 
 
Kirby Yates (3-4) pitched the Padres out of an eighth-inning jam and Brad Hand earned his 12th save in 16 attempts as the Padres won their first series at St. Louis since April 2011.
 
Just one of the two runs Carlos Martinez gave up through seven was earned. Martinez struck out six, including the side in the fifth on 10 pitches.
 
Jedd Gyorko's RBI single gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the fourth. It was Gyorko's 16th RBI in 10 career games against his former team and the ninth consecutive game with an RBI against the Padres.
 
Randal Grichuk homered in the ninth off Brad Hand.
 
Michael Wacha (9-6, 4.08 ERA) opens a three-game interleague series against Tampa Bay and RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 4.74 ERA). Wacha has received just one run of support in four of his last five starts.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox All Win

>>Cubs Power Past Reds
 
Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer in the ballpark near his home, Tommy La Stella added a two-run shot while subbing for Kris Bryant, and the Chicago Cubs kept their second-half surge going with a 9-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
 
Their eighth victory in 10 games moved them 11 games over .500 for the first time this season. They've also opened their biggest lead in the NL Central, 3 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.
 
Chicago trailed the Brewers by 5 1/2 games at the All-Star break.
 
Mike Montgomery (4-6) allowed four hits in six shutout innings, filling in for Jon Lester in the rotation. Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler homered in the ninth for the Reds.
 
Jake Arrieta (13-8) has made seven straight quality starts, allowing two or fewer earned runs each game. He's gone 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA during that stretch. He allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings on July 2 at Great American Ball Park during a 6-2 win.
 
Sal Romano (3-5) makes his eighth start since joining the Reds rotation after the All-Star break. He's never faced the Cubs.
 
>>Cardinals Beat Padres
 
Making his third start of the season, Luke Weaver struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings to help the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Wednesday night.
 
The Cardinals had lost three straight and six of eight following an eight-game winning streak, and had allowed at least five runs in each of the last 12 games.
 
San Diego's Jhoulys Chacin (11-9) allowed five runs - four earned - on six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out three, walked three and hit four batters.
 
The Cardinals' leadoff hitters reached and scored in four of the first five innings. Three of those runs scored with two outs.
 
Second baseman Kolten Wong, batting in the leadoff spot with Matt Carpenter unavailable, sparked the St. Louis offense with three hits, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
 
The Cardinals opened the first inning with back-to-back doubles, with Tommy Pham driving in Wong, and Pham scoring on Dexter Fowler's sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
 
Wong led off the third with a single and scored on Jedd Gyorko's two-out infield single. Greg Garcia scored on Chacin's two-out throwing error on an errant pickoff in the fourth, making it 4-0. Fowler scored on Chacin's bases-loaded wild pitch in the fifth.
 
Manuel Margot's triple off reliever Seung Hwan Oh in the eighth plated the Padres' first run, making it 5-1. Cory Spangenberg hit a solo home run, his 13th, off John Brebbia in the ninth.
 
Luis Perdormo (6-8, 4.93), a former Cardinals minor leaguer, will make his second career appearance against his former organization Thursday night.
 
Carlos Martinez (10-9, 3.57) is 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two career starts against the Padres at Busch Stadium.
 
>>White Sox Edge Twins
 
Tim Anderson singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Avisail Garcia from second base and give the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 comeback victory over the Minnesota Twins.
 
Chicago tied the game at 3 in the eighth inning on back-to-back one-out doubles by Leury Garcia and Yoan Moncada.
 
Avisail Garcia led off the ninth with a single and was sacrificed to second. Following an intentional walk to Yolmer Sanchez, Anderson - who was 0 for 3 before the ninth - produced the first walk-off hit of his career.
 
Jorge Polanco homered for the fourth straight game and drove in two runs for the Twins.
 
Danny Farquhar (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. Trevor Hildenberger (2-2) took the loss.
 
Minnesota starter Ervin Santana allowed two runs (one earned) and three hits in seven strong innings and appeared headed for his 14th win before Chicago rallied.
 
Jose Berrios (11-5, 3.99 ERA) faces LHP Derek Holland (6-13, 6.28) in the finale of the five-game series Thursday night. Berrios has 10 quality starts in 18 starts this season. Holland is 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA (14 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings) in his last two starts.

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Cardinals RP Rosenthal To Have TJS

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal will have Tommy John surgery. The team announced the decision Wednesday after moving the hard-throwing right-hander from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
 
Rosenthal, who had 93 saves in 2014-15, lost the closer's job a year ago to Oh, but reclaimed it this season after Oh struggled. Rosenthal recorded 11 saves this season, giving him 118 over the past four years.

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Bears Notes

>>Bears Ink OL Leno Jr. To Extension
 
The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. to a contract extension.
 
The Bears announced the extension Wednesday.
 
Leno started all 16 games at left tackle last year and is entering his fourth season with the Bears. Last year marked the second straight season in which Leno made 16 starts. He was one of two Bears offensive players to start every game in 2016.
 
He helped Chicago finish third in the NFL in rushing as Jordan Howard rushed for 1,313 yards, the most by a Bears rookie.
 
Leno, a former seventh-round pick from Boise State, has 30 career NFL starts.
>>Trubisky To Play With First Team
 
Mitch Trubisky took snaps with the Bears' first string in practice Wednesday and coach John Fox said the second pick of the 2017 draft will play with the starters to begin the second half of Sunday's third preseason game.
 
The third preseason game is usually a dress rehearsal for the season opener, and the Bears will play the first half at Tennessee with Mike Glennon at quarterback.
 
However, Glennon will not play into the second half, as the Bears have often done with the starter in the second half of the third preseason game. And Trubisky will play ahead of second-string quarterback Mark Sanchez with the starters.
 
Fox continued to stress Glennon is the opening day starter, and the team's plan is to get a better read on Trubisky because he may not have many more opportunities to play.
 
In two preseason games, Trubisky is 24 of 33 for 226 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 111.4.
 
>>Bears RB Carey Out Six Weeks After Surgery
 
unning back Ka'Deem Carey underwent wrist surgery and will be out six weeks, according to Fox. 
 
The wrist was bothering Carey in Saturday's 24-23 win over Arizona. 
 
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and defensive end Akiem Hicks (achilles) returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out last week's game. 
 
Tackle Charles Leno Jr. received a four-year contract extension. The 2014 seventh-round draft pick from Boise State became a starter at left tackle in 2015.

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Cubs Outlast Reds; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Anthony Rizzo play third base in the ninth inning, filling in while Kris Bryant went for precautionary X-rays on his hand, and the Chicago Cubs finished off a 13-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
 
Bryant's hand was fine - X-rays were negative, and he might miss a day. 
 
Ben Zobrist was in the original starting lineup, but couldn't make it to Cincinnati because he couldn't find a rental car in Nashville. The Cubs were off on Monday, and Zobrist was in a panic as he tried to get back from his home state.
 
Chicago loaded the bases with two outs. Javier Baez fell behind 0-2 against left-hander Wandy Peralta (3-4), worked the count full, fouled off a pitch and then singled to right for a pair of runs that tied it 6-6, his bat shattering on impact.
 
Chicago sent nine batters to the plate for five more runs in the eighth against Blake Wood, with Zobrist driving in another run.
 
The nine-run surge in the last three innings preserved John Lackey's streak of no losses since the All-Star break. He gave up six runs in five innings, including the first of Eugenio Suarez's two homers and Scooter Gennett's solo shot. The right-hander is 5-0 in his last seven starts.
 
Hector Rondon (4-1) escaped a bases-loaded threat in the sixth.
 
Reds starter Homer Bailey left after only three innings because he felt irritation in the back of his pitching shoulder. 
 
Mike Montgomery (3-6) moves back into the rotation, replacing the injured Jon Lester. It'll be his ninth start of the season and his third consecutive appearance against Cincinnati. On Aug. 17, he threw 4 1/3 shutout relief innings.
 
Asher Wojciechowski (3-2) makes his eighth start and second career appearance against the Cubs. He's 2-2 as a starter with a 7.39.
 
>>Padres Blast Cardinals
 
Yangervis Solarte homered and drove in a career-high six runs, Austin Hedges also went deep and the San Diego Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-4 on Tuesday night.
 
Solarte hit his homer a projected 455 feet over the right-field bullpen in the eighth inning to cap his career night. The Padres, who tied a season high for runs, had scored six runs over their previous four games combined, and Solarte had six RBIs over the last two weeks.
 
Solarte capitalized on starter Lance Lynn's lack of control with a three-run double in the second. Lynn needed 64 pitches to get through the first three innings. He hit two batters, including opposing starter Clayton Richard, ahead of Solarte.
 
Hedges' three-run homer off Zach Duke capped a six-run seventh inning that also included three runs off Matt Bowman (3-5). It was Hedges' first homer since Aug. 8.
 
Richard allowed three homers and four runs in 5 2/3 innings despite entering the game with the NL's best groundball percentage at 59.5 percent. Craig Stammen (1-2) got one out in the sixth for the victory.
 
Solarte doubled in the fifth to regain the lead for the Padres. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games.
 
Lynn struck out four through six innings. All three batters Bowman faced scored as St. Louis pitchers gave up at least five runs for the 12th straight game.
 
Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty hit back-to-back homers to tie it in the fourth. Gyorko's two-run blast was his seventh in seven career games against his former club, and it was Piscotty's first homer since June 18. It was the sixth time this season the Cardinals hit back-to-back home runs.
 
Yadier Molina's solo homer in the sixth drove Richard out of the game and tied it 4-4. He passed Ted Simmons for 12th on the Cardinals' career hit list (1705) and tied George Hendrick at 17th for homers (123).
 
Jhoulys Chachin (11-8, 3.98 ERA) has allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his last 13 starts. His 2.63 ERA during that span is the third-lowest in the NL and fifth-lowest in the majors (min. 13 starts).
 
Luke Weaver (1-1, 3.31 ERA) will be making his first career start against San Diego. He has allowed three runs or less in eight of his last 10 major league starts.
 
>>Twins Down White Sox
 
Kyle Gibson escaped early trouble for his best start of the season, Jorge Polanco homered for the third time in two days and the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1.
 
Gibson (7-10) struck out a season-high eight over seven innings, allowing one run. He entered the game with a 6.05 ERA and uncertainty about his spot in the rotation.
 
Gibson stranded the bases loaded in the second and third innings, getting three straight swinging strikeouts in the third after three White Sox reached with no outs.
 
Polanco led off the fourth inning with his sixth homer of the season after going deep in both ends of a doubleheader Monday.
 
Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario added home runs against rookie Lucas Giolito (0-1) in his White Sox debut. The Twins remained in playoff position with their sixth win in seven games.
 
Giolito, who came to Chicago from the Washington Nationals in an offseason trade for Adam Eaton, allowed six hits and four runs, striking out four.
 
Rookie Yoan Moncada hustled for a double on a slow ground ball through the infield in the first inning, moved to third base on a fly ball from Jose Abreu and then scored on a wild pitch to open the scoring.
 
Minnesota entered with a half-game lead for the second AL wild card and is attempting to hold off a pack that includes the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle, Kansas City and Texas, who all entered Tuesday within two games of the Twins.
 
Trevor Hildenberger retired all three batters in the eighth and Matt Belisle closed his fourth save.
 
Chicago's Nicky Delmonico walked in the third inning. The rookie has reached base in 19 of his 20 major league games and has hit six home runs in that span.
 
The five-game series continues Wednesday with a meeting of veteran right-handers Ervin Santana (13-7, 3.33 ERA) of Minnesota and James Shields (2-4, 5.72) of Chicago. The pair both pitched in 2013 with Kansas City.

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Cavs, Celtics Swap Star Guards

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have agreed to a trade that will send Kyrie Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas. Cleveland will also receive Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round pick in the deal. The Celtics announced the deal Tuesday night.
 
Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland last month, but the Cavs new front office -- at least up until Tuesday -- had yet to find a deal that would satisfy what they were looking to gain in exchange for the All-Star point guard in the prime of his career.
 
Last season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists in leading the Celtics to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Irving, only 25, averaged 25.2 points and 5.8 assists while playing second fiddle to LeBron James -- one of the main reasons he reportedly requested to be traded in the first place.

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Cubs, White Sox Win; Cardinals Lose on Sunday Night Baseball

>>Cubs Outlast Blue Jays
 
Alex Avila capped Chicago's three-run 10th inning with a two-run single, and the Cubs swept the Toronto Blue Jays with a wild 6-5 victory on Sunday.
 
With two outs and the bases loaded, Avila lined a base hit into right field against Roberto Osuna (3-4). Ben Zobrist scored easily and Javier Baez slid in safely just ahead of the tag attempt by Lopez.
 
Kevin Pillar also robbed Kris Bryant of extra bases with a spectacular leaping catch against the ivy-covered wall in center in the seventh, drawing appreciative cheers from the crowd of 41,459 at Wrigley Field.
 
Albert Almora Jr. hit a three-run double for NL Central-leading Chicago, which completed its fifth three-game sweep of the season. Kyle Hendricks allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
 
Chicago jumped in front on Almora's big hit in the third, but Toronto responded with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth, capped by Miguel Montero's second homer since the Cubs traded the catcher to the Blue Jays. After Jose Bautista flied out to begin the sixth, Montero drove Hendricks' next pitch over the wall in left-center.
 
Montero helped Chicago win the World Series last year, but was designated for assignment on June 28 after he blamed pitcher Jake Arrieta for allowing seven stolen bases in a loss to Washington. 
 
The Cubs added veteran catcher Rene Rivera to their roster and activated Uehara from the 10-day disabled list. Rookie catcher Victor Caratini and left-hander Rob Zastryzny were optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
 
Rivera was acquired Saturday on a waiver claim from the New York Mets. He used to watch the Cubs play with his grandfather when he was growing up in Puerto Rico.
 
Slugger Josh Donaldson played shortstop and Jose Bautista started at third base. 
 
John Lackey (10-9, 4.67) pitches Tuesday night at Cincinnati in the opener of a six-game trip. Lackey is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. RHP Homer Bailey (4-6, 8.44 ERA) goes for the Reds.
 
>>White Sox Edge Rangers
 
Miguel Gonzalez escaped early trouble to finish six scoreless innings and Minaya recorded the final out after giving up a two-run homer, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Texas Rangers 3-2.
 
Gonzalez (7-10) pitched out of one-out, bases-loaded jams in both the second and third innings.
 
Gonzalez tied his season high with six strikeouts, and gave up four walks and four hits, all singles. He's 2-0 in his last three starts, allowing two runs in 20 innings.
 
Minaya recorded his second save, both in the last three games, despite giving up Rougned Odor's 27th homer with two outs in the ninth.
 
Omar Narvaez stretched his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single and Tyler Saladino followed with a two-run double. Saladino had only six RBIs in his 53 previous games this season.
 
The White Sox host Minnesota in a Monday doubleheader to begin a five-game series. LHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.00 ERA) is the scheduled first-game starter, with RHP Carson Fulmer coming up from Triple-A Charlotte for his first major league start in the second game. Fulmer was 0-2 in 11 relief appearances for the White Sox last season, and is 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA for Charlotte.
 
>>Pirates Double-Up Cardinals from Williamsport, PA
 
Josh Bell homered and drove in four runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in the Little League Classic on Sunday night.
 
The teams played at renovated Bowman Field, a 91-year-old minor league ballpark located 5 miles from where the Little League World Series is taking place. 
 
Bell sent a pitch from Mike Leake (7-12) over the right-center wall for a two-run shot in the first inning. The rookie slugger added a two-run single in the third to give Pittsburgh the lead for good.
 
Adam Frazier homered for the second straight game and Andrew McCutchen added an RBI grounder for the Pirates, who were the ''home'' team and won their second in a row to split the four-game series. They snapped a six-game skid with a rain-delayed victory Saturday in Pittsburgh.
 
Ivan Nova gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh. 
 
Felipe Rivero got three outs for his 14th save in 15 chances. With runners on first and second, Paul DeJong hit a long fly to center field for the final out.
 
Jedd Gyorko cut Pittsburgh's lead to 3-2 with a two-run homer in the second, his 17th of the season. Wong had an RBI single for St. Louis in the sixth.
 
The Pirates' bullpen held the Cardinals to two hits after Nova's exit.
 
St. Louis is off Monday before Lynn (10-6) opens a six-game homestand against San Diego on Tuesday. Lynn, who struggled with a 5.68 ERA in June, has lowered that to 2.00 in three August starts.
 
>>Cubs Put Lester on 10-Day DL
 
The Chicago Cubs have placed ace left-hander Jon Lester on the 10-day disabled list with left lat tightness and shoulder fatigue.
 
Lester departed Chicago's 13-10 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday in the second inning. He is 8-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 26 starts after helping the Cubs win the World Series last year.
 
Reliever Justin Grimm also went on the DL on Friday with a finger infection. Pitchers Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny were recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
 
Mike Montgomery will step into the rotation while Lester is out. The versatile lefty is 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 35 games this year, including eight starts.
 

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Bears, Packers Win in Preseason

>>Packers Down Washington in Second Preseason Tune Up
 
The Washington Redskins didn't collect a first down until the opening quarter's final play and Kirk Cousins only produced a TD while facing defensive reserves on drive No. 6, while Aaron Rodgers made a surprise start for Green Bay and looked to be in midseason form in the Packers' 21-17 exhibition victory.
 
Washington's initial three drives resulted in an embarrassing total of 13 yards. Cousins was 2 for 6 for 9 yards in that span; running back Rob Kelley gained 4 yards on three carries behind a starting offensive line providing little push.
 
Rodgers, meanwhile, went 6 of 8 for 37 yards and a TD pass to new tight end Martellus Bennett — plus one of his trademark quick snaps to draw a penalty — on his lone drive.
 
Rodgers also completed passes to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.
 
RB Aaron Jones , taken in the fifth round from UTEP, caught a 5-yard TD pass from backup QB Todd Hundley in the second quarter. 
 
QB Taysom Hill, undrafted out of BYU, led a seven-play, 65-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter that included his 23-yard scoring scamper for the winning points. He's competing with Joe Callahan for the third QB spot.
 
>>Bears Beat Cardinals in Second Preseason Game
 
The Chicago Bears' came out of their second preseason game with a 24-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.
 
Mike Glennon, just 2 for 8 for 20 yards last week in Chicago's preseason opener, played the entire first half in Arizona, completing 13 of 18 passes for 89 yards.
 
Glennon was picked off by Tyrann Mathieu as the Bears were threatening to score but bounced back to throw his first touchdown pass of the preseason.
 
Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears' rookie who had an outstanding debut in the preseason opener, played most of the second half. He wasn't quite as spectacular this time but a solid 6 for 8 for 60 yards and a score. He was sacked once and had a would-be interception dropped.
 
The biggest play of the night came from Deonte Thompson, who returned a missed Arizona field goal 109 yards for a touchdown as the first half ended.
 
Carson Palmer was 9 for 14 for 67 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. 
 
With Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford out with injuries, rookie Tarik Cohen started at running back for Chicago and was impressive. The 5-foot-6, 181-pound fourth-round pick out of North Carolina A&T carried 11 times for 77 yards.
 
Robert Aguayo, a 2016 second-round draft pick released by Tampa Bay earlier in the week, missed a 49-yarder wide right in his first field goal try for the Bears.
 
>>Bears Add Free Agent LB Shephard
 
The Chicago Bears have signed veteran free-agent linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.
 
The team announced the signing Friday and also waived rookie linebacker Hendrick Ekpe.
 
Sheppard is entering his seventh season in the NFL. He had 50 tackles and made 11 starts for the New York Giants in 2016, a year after he had 105 tackles as a starter for Miami.
 
Ekpe was an undrafted rookie free agent from Minnesota.

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Kyle Busch Sweeps At Bristol

Kyle Busch swept the weekend for the second time in his career by winning the Monster Energy Cup Series race Saturday night. He also won in the Truck Series on Wednesday night and the Xfintiy Series on Friday night . He's the only driver to pull off the sweep, and he also did it in 2010.
 
Busch won for the 40th time in the Cup Series, sixth time at Bristol in Cup, and second time this season. All told, he's won 20 times across NASCAR's national series at the Tennessee bullring.
 
Jones settled for second, one spot short of his first career victory. He led a race-high 260 laps and felt it had been his best chance to date to win a Cup race.
 
Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth were third and fourth as Joe Gibbs Racing took the win and two other spots inside the top four, while all four drivers were in Toyotas.
 
Busch passed Jones for the lead with 55 laps remaining as the track changed and the top lane became the preferable spot. Jones' car didn't handle as well in that area, and he had Busch and Kenseth all over his bumper. It was Busch who moved from third to first, but Jones didn't relent.
 
He chased Kenseth after Kenseth moved into second, but Jones ultimately gouged Kenseth out of his way. It put Jones in the middle of a weird JGR sandwich. In front of him, Busch, the driver who launched Jones' career and future teammate, and Kenseth, the guy Jones is replacing next season who is looking for 2018 employment.
 
Hamlin eventually took position from Kenseth, but it was so obviously a night for Toyota.
 
Martin Truex Jr. finished 21st and did not clinch the regular-season title.
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a terrible weekend in what is being billed as his final stop at Bristol before retirement. He wasn't a factor in the Xfinity Series race, needed IV's on Friday night for dehydration, and was an uncompetitive 23rd in the Cup race.
 
NASCAR's top series is off next weekend for the final break of the season. The Cup Series resumes at Darlington Raceway for the Sept. 3 race that celebrates throwback eras of NASCAR.

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Cardinals Outlast Rain, Pirates

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

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Reds Outslug Cubs

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

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Rangers Outslug White Sox

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

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Cubs Outlast Reds

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

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Red Sox Edge Cardinals

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

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Dodgers Rally Past White Sox

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

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Wade, Bulls Expected To Reach Buyout

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

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Cubs Blast Reds

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

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

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

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K Aguayo Signed By Bears

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

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Kyle Larson Wins At Michigan

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

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Clinton Girls Basketball Association Holding Tryouts Next Week

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

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16U Travel Baseball Holding Tryouts This Weekend

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

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Cardinals Stay Hot, Sweep Royals; White Sox Sweep Astros

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

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Packers Rout Eagles in Preseason Opener

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

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Loaded Leader Board at PGA Championship

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

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Trubinsky Sharp in Bears Preseason Loss

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

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NBA Releases Part of Schedule

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

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Cardinals, White Sox Win; Cubs Lose

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

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Another Five Star Propsect Joins Mizzou For 2017-18

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

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Cardinals, White Sox Win; Cubs Lose

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

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White Sox Notes

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

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Former NHL Star Olczyk Diagnosed With Colon Cancer

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

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NBA To Limit DNP By Adjusting New Schedules

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

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PGA Championship Round 1 Pairings Announced

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

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Cardinals, Cubs Win Monday

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

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Former Manager, Player Don Baylor Dies of Cancer

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

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Cardinals Option OF Piscotty To Memphis

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

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Bears OL Kush Out For Season

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

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, White Sox Lose Sunday

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

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Cutler Agrees To Contract With Dolphins

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

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Matsuyama Runs Away With Bridgestone Classic

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

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Race Notes

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

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Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox Lose Thursday

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

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Former Illini Star Leads At Firestone With Stars Looming

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

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'Bama No 1 in Preseason Coaches Poll

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

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, White Sox Lose

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

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Bridgestone Classic Opens Today

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

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

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

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White Sox Place OF Willy Garcia on DL with Concussion

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

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Weber Extended at K-State

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

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Illinois Football Opens Training Camp

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

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ISU Opens Training Camp

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

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White Sox Walk Off Blue Jays; Moncada Injured

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

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Dodgers, Yankees Make Trade Deadline Splashes

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

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