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  • Randall Grichuk homered for the second straight game and the Cardinals broke out the bats again for an 8-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
     
    Grichuk, who was hitting .222 when he was demoted last month, is 4 for 10 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored since his recall on Sunday. His two-run homer in the fourth inning was his sixth of the season.
     
    The Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep with an 8-4 win over the Pirates on Sunday night. On Monday, a makeup from the April 29 contest that was postponed because of severe weather, they scored eight more runs on 13 hits.
     
    Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko each had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. 
     
    Gyorko's shot extended the Cardinals' streak to 15 consecutive games with a home run.
     
    Tommy Pham had two hits, walked twice, stole a base and scored three runs. Paul DeJong added three hits.
     
    Michael Wacha, who began the day with an 8.17 ERA over his last seven starts, limited the Reds to one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
     
    Brandon Finnegan (1-1) was activated off the disabled list after missing more than two months because of a shoulder problem. The lefty exited in the fourth with a strained left triceps, an injury he said was different than his previous issue.
     
    Finnegan gave up three runs in the first inning. He allowed three hits and four walks overall.
     
    Adam Duvall had a pair of sacrifice flies for the Reds.
     
    Carlos Martinez (6-6, 2.87) will open a three-game series at Arizona on Tuesday night. He is 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA in seven road starts this season.
     
    >>Cubs Hold On As Nats Rally Late
     
    The Washington Nationals scored four runs in the ninth before Wade Davis struck out big league batting leader Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to blunt a comeback bid, and the Chicago Cubs preserved a 5-4 victory in the opener of a four game series Monday night in Washington. 
     
    In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the Nationals' comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis became the Cubs' eighth pitcher of the game.
     
    With Washington down 5-3, Bryce Harper's single and third hit of the game loaded the bases with two outs. Davis threw a wild pitch that scored a run before striking out a swinging Zimmerman, who's hitting .344. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory.
     
    Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead.
     
    Gio Gonzalez (7-2) allowed a run and two hits, striking out eight over six innings in his sixth start.
     
    Chicago made it 2-0 on Albert Amora Jr.'s squeeze bunt single in the eighth. The Cubs scored three more in the ninth, capped by Javier Baez's two-run double. The shortstop struck out three times before singling and scoring on Amora's squeeze.
     
    Baez made two exceptional plays at short, diving to snatch Harper's liner in the third, then racing a long way into foul ground to make a sliding catch on Adam Lind's popup in the eighth.
     
    The series continues Tuesday when the league's last two Cy Young winners square off as Washington's defending NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (7-1, 2.96) and Cubs 2015 Cy Young winner and 2016 All-Star Jake Arrieta (7-5, 4.36) both go in search of their third win in June.
     
    >>Yankees Edge White Sox
     
    Jordan Montgomery matched his season high with seven solid innings and closer Aroldis Chapman shut down a ninth-inning rally just in time, lifting the Yankees over the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Monday night.
     
    New York led 6-1 entering the ninth, but Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve gave up a three-run homer to Tim Anderson and Chapman allowed an RBI double to Jose Abreu. Chapman retired Avisail Garcia and Todd Frazier to finish his eighth save and first since returning from the disabled list a week ago.
     
    Recently recalled outfielder Tyler Austin lined a solo homer and had a sacrifice fly for New York, which won for the third time in 13 games to keep pace with Boston atop the AL East.
     
    Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro returned to the starting lineup after getting a shot in his wrist Saturday, but strained his right hamstring running out a grounder in the third. He was replaced by Rob Refsnyder in bottom of the inning.
     
    Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes each drove in runs with sac flies.
    Montgomery improved to 4-0 over his last five starts. The 6-foot-6 left-hander allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked one.
     
    Todd Frazier hit a solo homer for the only run off Montgomery (6-4). New York took advantage of three Chicago errors to score four unearned runs off starter David Holmberg (1-2).
     
    The Yankees activated outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the disabled list and put him in center field. Out since May 24 with a concussion, he had a single in five at-bats and scored twice.
     
    Luis Severino (5-3, 3.30 ERA) will try to get back on track against Chicago LHP Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.69), who has won his past two starts. The 23-year-old Severino gave up a season-high six runs to the Angels in his last start and lost for the first time since May 1.

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  • The Colorado Rockies have traded for another left-hander, getting Zac Rosscup from the Chicago Cubs for righy Matt Carasiti.
    The Rockies made the deal Monday. They also put lefty starter Tyler Anderson on the disabled list.
     
    Colorado said Rosscup would be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. He was designated for assignment Thursday after making one appearance for the reigning World Series champions, getting two outs in a game May 22 against the Giants.
     
    Carasiti had been at Triple-A. He made 19 appearances last year in the only major league time of his career, going 1-0 with a 9.19 ERA with 11 walks and 17 strikeouts. At Albuquerque this season, he was 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 27 outings.

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  • Game 1 of the 2017 College World Series finals belonged to the Florida Gators, who bested the LSU Tigers by a 4-3 final. 
     
    The key for the Gators was starting pitcher Brady Singer, who struck out 12 batters across seven innings -- the most ever in a CWS game. Singer held the Tigers to two runs, allowing seven hits and two walks. His line required 105 pitches. Not bad for a sophomore.
     
    the Gators were paced by their Nos. 5-7 hitters, a threesome that collectively recorded three hits and drove in four runs. That included third baseman Jonathan India, who notched two RBI on a fourth-inning double. Left fielder Austin Langworthy and catcher Mike Rivera were responsible for the other runs batted in.
     
    LSU, meanwhile, saw Russell Reynolds and Nick Bush each pitch 3 1/3 innings. Left fielder Antoine Duplantis and right fielder Greg Deichmann supplied LSU's multi-hit games, while Duplantis, third baseman Josh Smith, and DH Beau Jordan drove in a run apiece. 
     
    The Gators and Tigers will play a potentially decisive Game 2 on Tuesday night. If the Gators win, they're national champs for the first time in NCAA history; if the Tigers win, there will be a winner-takes-all game on Wednesday. 

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  • At the NBA Awards show in New York, Russell Westbrook was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player after what might have been one of the most competitive MVP races ever.
     
    Westbrook wins the award over James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James, who was not nominated. All three were very deserving but only one is able to win it. At the end of the day voters couldn't help but be swayed by Westbrook's triple double numbers. 
     
    His raw production might have not been as efficient as Harden's, but what he did on a basketball court was truly impressive. The OKC superstar averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists while leading the league in scoring. 
     
    Furthering Westbrook's case was that he clearly carried the Thunder on a nightly basis. Oklahoma City just wasn't the same team when he left the floor and that may have been what sealed the deal for many voters. This is the Most "Valuable" Player award and carrying that roster to the playoffs is obvious value. 
     
    Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook (OKC)
    Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green (GSW)
    Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
    Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon (HOU)
    Coach of the Year: Mike D'Antoni (HOU)
    Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon (MIL)
    Executive of the Year: Bob Myers (GSW)

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  • The University of Illinois is getting an assist from the NHL and NHL Players' Association to evaluate the possibility of establishing men's and women's hockey teams.
     
    Athletic director Josh Whitman says initial research revealed several factors suggesting that hockey could be popular on campus. He noted there remain unanswered questions including funding programs, facility needs and Title IX considerations.
     
    Illinois sponsored hockey as a varsity sport from 1938-43.
     
    Illinois became the first of what could be as many as five schools to receive assistance with the money the NHL and NHLPA have committed to support growing the U.S. college game.
     
    Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula took part in the announcement after he donated $102 million to build an arena and establish hockey programs at his alma mater, Penn State.

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  • The Chicago Blackhawks have re-acquired forward Brandon Saad in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, parting with top young forward Artemi Panarin to complete the blockbuster deal.
     
    The 24-year-old Saad spent his first four seasons with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups. Concerned about their ability to re-sign Saad when he became a restricted free agent in 2015, the Blackhawks traded the rugged winger to the Blue Jackets.
     
    He had 24 goals and 29 assists in 82 games for Columbus last season.
     
    The Blackhawks also received goaltender Anton Forsberg and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick in Friday's trade in exchange for forwards Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago's sixth-round selection on Saturday.
     
    The loss of Panarin is a big blow for Chicago. He teamed with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov to form one of the NHL's most potent lines the past couple seasons.
     
    The Arizona Coyotes have acquired defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.
     
    The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson had spent his entire 10-year career with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. He had five goals, 13 assists and a team-high 181 blocked shots in 73 games last season.
     
    The Blackhawks received defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin in Friday's trade. The 24-year-old Murphy had two goals and a career-high 15 assists in 77 games with Arizona last season. Dauphin, 22, has appeared in 32 NHL games over the last two seasons.
     
    The trade comes with Arizona in a bit of turmoil. The team announced Thursday on the eve of the NHL draft that coach Dave Tippett was out after eight seasons.
     
    >>Blues Acquire C Schenn
     
    The St. Louis Blues acquired center Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers in completing two trades during the first round of the NHL draft Friday night.
     
    In exchange for the three-time 20-goal-scorer, the Flyers got the Blues' first-round pick this year, a conditional first-round pick in next year's draft and third-year forward Jori Lehtera.
     
    The Blues weren't done dealing. They traded back into the first round by acquiring the No. 31 pick from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. St. Louis also acquired rookie forward Oskar Sundqvist.
     
    The Penguins added toughness by acquiring seven-year veteran forward Ryan Reaves and the Blues' second-round pick, 51st overall.
     
    In Schenn, the Blues add a playmaker who had 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points in 79 games last season. Overall, he has 109 goals and 246 points in 424 games over eight NHL seasons.
     
    Schenn does carry a hefty contract, which represents a $5.125 million cap hit in each of the next three seasons.
     
    The Flyers used the Blues' pick, 27th overall, to select center Morgan Frost. Lehtera was selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. He had seven goals and 22 points in 64 games last year.
     
    >>Oshie Re-Ups With Caps
     
    So much for T.J. Oshie heading to the Chicago Blackhawks as a replacement for the jettisoned Artemi Panarin.
     
    The Washington Capitals have re-signed their 30-year-old right wing to an eight-year contract that will pay him $46 million, preventing No. 77 from testing the open market.
     
    Left unprotected in the NHL's recent Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft as a pending free agent, Oshie tallied a career-best 33 goals in 2016-17, totaling at least 51 points for the fifth time in six seasons. Now, with an annual salary cap hit of $5.75 million under his new deal, the former St. Louis Blues forward is set to remain in Washington until he's 38.
     
    Oshie had more than a solid year at age 30 and he's a proven contributor up front for a team that might or might not be looking to shift from dependence on Alex Ovechkin as it looks to snap an all-too-familiar streak of early playoff exits.

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  • Golf wunderkind Jordan Spieth gave his sport its highlight of the year and one of its best celebrations ever thanks to his unthinkably smooth, birdie-making greenside bunker chip-in to take the 18th-hole playoff over Daniel Berger in the Travelers Championship on Sunday afternoon.
     
    One that we may never see the likes of again. Spieth's shot popped up from behind the grassy wall and happily bounced a few times before strolling into the cup. 
     
    Spieth finished 12-under in regulation with the birdie from beyond giving him a 10th PGA Tour victory at age 23. It came in a more memorable sequence than he could have envisioned. With this trophy, Spieth is the second golfer since World War II to win at least PGA Tour events before his 24th birthday. Tiger Woods, of course, is the other (15). 
     
    The title vaults Spieth back to the front of the line for validation as the best golfer in the world. And this win, at this venue, in his first appearance at TPC River Highlands, gives birth a long-awaited mainstream moment for one of the PGA Tour's most underrated events. 
     
    Travelers hit big in 2017 by bringing in Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. The Ulsterman said Sunday that he'll definitely be back. The fact Spieth won in his first appearance here, the way he did, is beyond movie-making creativity.  
     
    Spieth's the third wire-to-wire winner in this event's history. This is his second wire-to-wire to win on American soil -- the other being the 2015 Masters. And it's the first time Spieth's taken a tournament title in his first appearance at a course.  
     
    Patrick Reed finished nine-under in a tie for fifth. McIlroy tied for sixteenth at six-under for the tournament after playing even par the first 54 holes. Defending Travelers Champ Jim Furyk finished five-under. Rookie Bryson DeChambeau finished five-under as well. 

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