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Bears Hold Off Giants

Mitchell Trubisky threw two touchdown passes and the Bears hung on to beat the Giants 17-13 on Sunday.

 

The Bears (2-0) chewed up New York early on, grabbing a 17-0 halftime lead, and withstood a big push a week after rallying from 17 down at Detroit for their first season-opening win in seven years.

 

The Giants (0-2) refused to go quietly even though they lost RB Saquon Barkley to a right knee injury on the opening play of the second quarter.

 

Limited to 6 yards on 15 attempts against Pittsburgh on Monday night, Barkley came up clutching his right knee when he was dragged down by Jackson at the end of a run. The 2018 offensive rookie of the year was taken for X-rays after being helped to the sideline and will be examined further on Monday.

 

New York's Dion Lewis made it a seven-point game when he plowed in from the 1 in the opening minute of the fourth.

 

James Bradberry then intercepted Trubisky when he ripped the ball out of Allen Robinson's hands, leading to a 37-yard field goal by Graham Gano that cut it to 17-13 with 7:43 remaining.

 

The Bears caught a break on fourth down at the New York 36 with just under four minutes left. New York's Blake Martinez deflected a pass intended for Jimmy Graham, and the ball ricocheted to tackle Bobby Massie for a first down. Cairo Santos missed wide left on a 50-yard field goal attempt, giving New York the ball on the 40 with 2:02 remaining.

 

The Giants drove to the 10 before Golden Tate got called for pushing off against Eddie Jackson near the goal line on an incomplete pass as time expired.

 

Trubisky completed 18 of 28 passes for 190 yards. He threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.

 

He hit David Montgomery for a 28-yard touchdown on the game's opening possession and added a 15-yarder to Darnell Mooney in the closing seconds of the first half to give the Bears a 17-0 lead.

 

Montgomery ran for 82 yards. Robert Quinn had a strip sack in the first quarter that led to a field goal in his Bears debut after missing the opener with an ankle injury. Khalil Mack had his first sack of the season and recovered a fumble. And Chicago held New York to 295 yards after giving up 426 last week.

 

Second-year QB Daniel Jones threw for 241 yards and an interception.

The Bears visit Atlanta next Sunday.

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Packers Blow By Lowly Lions

Aaron Jones rushed for a career-high 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway, as the Green Bay Packers rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat the Detroit Lions 42-21 on Sunday.

 

After his first touchdown of the day, a 7-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers, Jones did a different kind of Lambeau Leap. He jumped atop a green tarpaulin that covered the first several rows of the stands; the pandemic didn't allow for any spectators.

 

Jones also had a team-high 68 yards receiving on four catches as the Packers (2-0) won their home opener for an eighth consecutive year and improved to 8-0 against NFC North foes during coach Matt LaFleur's tenure. Jones had a 14-yard touchdown run to go along with his 75-yarder.

 

Rodgers was 18 of 30 for 240 yards with touchdown passes to Jones and Robert Tonyan.

 

One week after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Lions (0-2) allowed an 11-point advantage to vanish by halftime. Detroit allowed 31 straight points to turn a 14-3 lead into a 34-14 deficit.

 

Green Bay took the lead for good 17-14 on Rodgers' 11-yard pass to Tonyan with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Jones then raced through a hole on the right side and scored on the Packers' first play from scrimmage in the second half.

 

Jones' 75-yard burst was the longest touchdown run by a Packer since Ahman Green had a 90-yarder against Dallas in 2004.

 

The Packers extended the lead to 31-14 later in the third quarter when Rashan Gary pressured Matthew Stafford into throwing an interception that Chandon Sullivan returned for a 7-yard touchdown.

 

The Packers travel to New Orleans for a Sunday night game.

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Flaherty Leads Redbirds Over Pirates

Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer and Jack Flaherty struck out 11 as the St. Louis Cardinals kept their hold on a postseason spot with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

 

Molina's home run to the bleachers in left field came in the seventh inning off Derek Holland and extended St. Louis' winning streak to a season-high four games. The Cardinals had been shut out by Joe Musgrove over the first six innings.

 

Flaherty (4-2) allowed only one run and two hits in six innings while walking two. It was his ninth career double-digit strikeout game.

 

The Cardinals (26-24) hold a one-game lead on Cincinnati (27-27) and Milwaukee (26-26) for second place in the NL Central with one week left in the regular season. The top two finishers in each division gain berths in the expanded postseason during this pandemic-affected season.

 

Musgrove also had 11 strikeouts - a career high -- in six innings but remained winless in seven starts this season. He gave up three hits and one walk.

 

That came a day after Pirates rookie Mitch Keller pitched six shutout innings.

 

Matt Carpenter singled in the St. Louis seventh off Holland (1-3) and Molina hit his fourth homer of the year.

A night earlier, Molina left the game after being on the left wrist by a pitch. The nine-time All-Star was also hit in nearly the same spot Tuesday by a swing while behind the plate.

 

Pittsburgh scored its run in the fourth inning. Bryan Reynolds hit a leadoff double, moved to third on Adam Frazier's sacrifice bunt and scored on Colin Moran's sacrifice fly.

 

By pitching Sunday, Andrew Miller's $12 million option for next season vested. He is the final guaranteed season of the two-year, $25 million contract he signed I free agency.

 

The Cardinals open a three-game series against the Royals at Kansas City on Monday night. Adam Wainwright (5-1, 2.87 ERA) faces rookie RHP Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 3.86 ERA).

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Reds Cool Off White Sox

Mike Moustakas hit a two-run single as Cincinnati scored five times in the fourth inning on just one hit, and the Reds took advantage of wild Chicago White Sox pitching for a 7-3 win Sunday.

 

Aristides Aquino hit a two-run homer as the surging Reds stayed in contention for a playoff spot, taking two out of three from the the AL Central leaders for their seventh win in eight games.

 

Cincinnati broke away by turning six walks, a hit batter and Moustakas' single into a big inning. The playoff-bound White Sox issued a season-high 11 walks and hit three batters overall.

 

Chicago starter Dylan Cease (5-3) was pulled after walking the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth. At that point, he hadn't allowed a run or hit, but had walked a career-worst seven and struck out five.

 

Two runs scored on infield outs and another came home on a bases-loaded walk before the left-handed hitting Moustakas singled off lefty reliever Ross Detwiler for Cincinnati's first hit.

 

The White Sox scored on back-to-back RBI singles by Nick Madrigal and Jose Abreu in the fifth.

Aquino answered with an upper-deck drive to left. He celebrated his second homer with his trademark right arm flex as he rounded third.

 

Reds starter Michael Lorenzen struck out a career-high eight in 4 2-3 innings. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks.

 

Lucas Sims (3-0) pitched 2 1-3 innings to get the win. He struck out the top three batters in Chicago's lineup, including Abreu in an 11-pitch at bat to end the seventh, after walking the first two batters.

 

Former Reds star Edwin Encarnacion lined an opposite-field homer into the right field seats for his 10th homer of the season in the eighth.

 

Joey Votto's three walks boosted him past Pete Rose for the franchise career walks record with 1,211.

 

Tim Anderson left the game with cramping in his left hamstring one pitch into his seventh inning at-bat.

 

Dane Dunning (2-0) makes his first career appearance against Cleveland on Monday.

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Twins Blank Cubs

Max Kepler homered, Jose Berrios threw six shutout innings to outduel Yu Darvish and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Sunday night.

 

Kepler had three hits and Josh Donaldson added two for the Twins, who took two of three from the NL Central-leading Cubs.

 

After winning the AL Central last year, Minnesota clinched its second straight postseason berth on Saturday and trails the Chicago White Sox by two games in the division.

 

The Cubs scored just two runs in the series and maintain a 3 1/2-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central. Chicago had won five of six.

 

The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth on a passed ball, a hit batter and a walk against Sergio Romo, who struck out Nico Hoerner to end the game.

 

Darvish (7-3), an NL Cy Young candidate, allowed a season-high four runs and nine hits in his quest to become the NL's first eight-game winner. He struck out nine and walked one, ending a streak of nine consecutive quality starts. Darvish was 5-2 with a 2.16 ERA in his previous eight starts at Wrigley.

 

Jon Lester (2-2, 4.91) takes the mound Monday to open a four-game series at Pittsburgh. He is 0-2 with a 6.82 ERA in his last seven starts. The Pirates will start RHP JT Brubaker (1-2, 4.79).

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DeChambeau Powers Way to First Major

Bryson DeChambeau rolled in a 7-foot par putt and thrust his powerful arms in the air when he capped off a 3-under 67 at Winged Foot - historically the toughest of all U.S. Opens. - and a course that didn’t allow another round under par. 

 

Two shots behind Matthew Wolff at the start of a chilly September afternoon, he caught him in four holes, passed him in five and pulled away along the back nine.

 

With his extra 40 pounds of muscle and mass, he wanted to pound it into submission with his driver, even if his errant shots were buried in deep grass.

 

That’s how he plays the game. And for skeptics who said that wouldn’t work in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot, just look at that shiny silver trophy he kissed, and the record score he posted Sunday in a six-shot victory.

 

This victory was as much about validating his out-of-the-box approach to the royal and ancient game.

 

Part of the course’s fame is the “Massacre of Winged Foot” in 1974 when the winning score was 7-over par.

 

Wolff, trying to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win the U.S. Open in his debut, closed with a 75. He made a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth to stay within one shot.

 

That was his only hole under par. Wolff finished at even-par 280, a score that would have won four of the previous five U.S. Opens at Winged Foot.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months, leading to the U.S. Open being postponed from June to September. It also gave DeChambeau more time to execute his plan of swinging faster and harder, stretching the limits. He added 40 pounds through intense workout and a diet of 6,000 calories a day.

 

His work ethnic borders on insanity, and the eve of the final round was no exception. Unhappy with how he played Saturday, hitting only three fairways, DeChambeau had the lights turned on so he could stay on the range well past 8 p.m., pounding driver, searching for the right swing.

 

Temperatures were in the 40s. He was in a short-sleeve shirt.

 

Louis Oosthuizen birdied the 18th to finish alone in third.

 

In six U.S. Opens at Winged Foot among 894 competitors, DeChambeau is only the third to finish a tournament under par. His 6-under 274 was the lowest score, and no one saw it coming this week.

 

Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian who can drive it past DeChambeau with a lower flight and more roll in the fairway, gave him a good run in his quest to become the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.

 

The U.S. Open was still up for grabs for a fleeting moment around the turn. DeChambeau and Wolff each got out of position on the eighth hole and made bogey. DeChambeau was at 3 under, one shot ahead of Wolff. Ahead of them, Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele were lurking at even par.

 

DeChambeau and Wolff blasted drives down the fairway on the par-5 ninth. DeChambeau rolled in a 40-foot eagle putt with perfect pace. Wolff, who had pitching wedge for his second shot, matched his eagle with a 10-foot putt.

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More Shakeups in College Football Rankings

A week before Big Ten teams become eligible again for The Associated Press college football poll, No. 25 Marshall is ranked for the first time since 2014 and Miami jumped to No. 12 after a conference road victory.

 

Clemson remained a nearly unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 on Sunday after another light week in college football. The Tigers received 59 of 61 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. The rest of the top 10 was basically unchanged. No. 2 Alabama received one first-place vote. Oklahoma was No. 3, followed by Georgia, Florida and LSU at No. 6. The defending champion Tigers also received a first-place vote.

 

Notre Dame is seventh. Auburn and Texas are now tied for eighth and Texas A&M is No. 10.

 

A season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic cranks up next week. The Southeastern Conference, which has eight teams ranked, kicks off. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 have full slates of games.

 

The Big Ten set a fall schedule Saturday, but it won’t kick off until the weekend of Oct. 24. Voters will still be allowed to include Big Ten teams on their ballots starting next week. There were seven Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, including Ohio State at No. 2.

 

Miami moved up five spots after beating ACC rival Louisville on the road. The Cardinals hung on to a ranking, slipping six spots to No. 24.

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Hamlin Holds Off Kyle Busch To Take Bristol Night Race

Kevin Harvick steamrolled his way into the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs in a championship that is clearly his to lose.

 

Harvick held off a charging Kyle Busch over the final 40 laps Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway for his career-best and Cup Series-high ninth victory of the season. He did it in front of a sold-out crowd of 30,000 spectators, the most Bristol was allowed to admit and the largest crowd since March.

 

Harvick took the lead from Busch and denied Busch his first victory of the season. Busch furiously tried to catch him as the two weaved their way through lapped traffic, but Harvick held firm in the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.

 

Only six cars finished on the lead lap in a tepid event at the 0.533-mile bullring revered for bumping and banging. Track officials sold all 30,000 tickets allowed — making Bristol one of the largest sporting events since the pandemic — and the spectators crowded the fence as Harvick celebrated his second win of the playoffs.

 

Harvick also won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway to open the playoffs. He’s ninth on NASCAR’s career list with 58 Cup victories.

 

Busch, who failed inspection twice before the race and drove from the back of the field to lead in his Toyota, was disappointed to finish second. Busch took aim at Joey Logano, who failed to move out of the way as Harvick and Busch battled for the lead — “he’s nobody’s friend for a reason” — as well as younger drivers Garrett Smithley and Joey Gase.

 

The first elimination race of the playoffs knocked William Byron, Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto from title contention. All four were below the cutline at the start of the race and failed to produce a finish strong enough to get them into the next round.

 

Blaney, who was ranked as high as second in the standings earlier this season, simply had a third consecutive below-average race. He finished 13th.

 

The second round of the playoffs begin next Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the opener of the most challenging three-race series. The playoffs go from Las Vegas to Talladega Superspeedway and then end at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the combination road course and oval.

 

Denny Hamlin, considered the closest challenger to Harvick this year, closed out a sub-par opening round of the playoffs with a 21st-place finish. His Toyota also failed pre-race inspection and Hamlin started at the back, but he’s been unable through three playoff races to crack the top 10.

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IHSA Supports Weekend Rally Efforts, Though Not Involved

With coaches, players, and fans set to hold a rally in Springfield and Chicago this weekend to bring back high school sports, the top leader of the IHSA says he supports the movement.

 

IHSA Executive Director and Cambridge native Craig Anderson says he thinks the protest with supporters at the Thompson Center and the State Capitol will demonstrate why Gov. Pritzker needs to bring back sports.

 

 

On Tuesday, Gov. Pritzker doubled-down on his choice of no high school sports, saying he has no plans to change his mind. Only two states, Illinois and Minnesota, are the only Midwest states who have no plan to play high school football this fall.

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White Sox Roll Twins, Clinch Playoff Birth

Eloy Jimenez's tiebreaking double capped a two-run, seventh-inning rally in a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins for the Chicago White Sox Thursday clinching a postseason berth for the first time since 2008.

 

Jose Abreu homered and drove in two runs and Edwin Encarnacion also homered for Chicago, which won three of four in the series.

 

Chicago trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Abreu, who leds the major leagues with 51 RBIs, beat out an infield hit on a slow grounder to shortstop that drove in Jarrod Dyson from third base.

 

Jimenez, who had struck out in his three previous at-bats, followed with a double that drove in pinch-runner Yolmer Sanchez.

 

Byron Buxton homered twice, giving him seven in his last nine games and 12 this season. Josh Donaldson also went deep for Minnesota, whose lead for home-field advantage in the first round was cut to one game over the New York Yankees.

 

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning after a strike was called on a checked swing on a 2-0 pitch. After manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, Donaldson homered on the next offering and kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it after rounding the bases.

 

Codi Heuer (3-0) pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, and Alex Colome got four outs for his 12th save in 13 chances.

 

Jonathan Stiever (0-0, 2.45 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Cincinnati.

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Pirates Shutdown Cardinals

Steven Brault pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game, Gregory Polanco hit a three-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped an eight-game skid with a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

 

St. Louis dropped to third place in the NL Central, 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs and one back of the Cincinnati Reds. The top two finishers in each division advance to the expanded playoffs this year, along with two wild-card teams.

 

Brault retired his final 16 batters. He struck out eight, walked two and threw 110 pitches.

 

Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson left after two innings because of right elbow tightness. Hudson, who allowed one hit and walked two, has a 2.77 ERA in eight starts.

 

X-rays were negative, but Hudson will undergo imaging tests Friday.

 

Trevor Williams (1-7, 6.35 ERA) and Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.50 ERA) are the scheduled starters. Williams is tied for the major league lead in losses with Arizona's Luke Weaver.

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Packers Open Home Schedule Hosting Lions

The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener.

 

The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week.

 

That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November.

 

Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota.

 

Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record.

 

The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota.

 

Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

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Bears Host Giants Sunday

The Bears aim to win back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in seven years and deny the Giants their first victory under new coach Joe Judge when New York visits Soldier Field on Sunday.

 

Chicago rallied from 17 points down behind three fourth-quarter touchdown throws by Mitchell Trubisky and hung on for a 27-23 victory at Detroit last week. The Giants lost 26-16 to Pittsburgh on Monday night.

 

Saquon Barkley got swarmed by the Steelers and was held to 6 yards on 15 carries in one of his worst games since he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He'll try to get going against a top 10 defense that got picked apart at times last week.

 

The Bears were 2 of 11 on third downs in the opener, failed on all six in the first half and missed their first seven in all. They finally broke through late in the third quarter, when Anthony Miller caught an 18-yarder to keep a touchdown drive going.

 

At 18%, Chicago tied San Francisco for the worst rate in the NFL.

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Justin Thomas Tames Wing Foot, Round 1 Leader at US Open

Justin Thomas led the way with six birdies and only one bogey from a bad lie in the bunker, finishing with a 25-foot birdie putt that he barely touched for a 5-under 65 at the U.S. Open from Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, NY. 

 

It was the lowest score in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which is hosting the Open for the sixth time dating to 1929. And it was worth only a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed, University of Illinois alum Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Matthew Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian making his U.S. Open debut.

 

Rory McIlroy, who has been struggling to get off to a decent start in the majors, opened with a 67 and tried to contain his disappointment it wasn’t lower. He had a pair of three-putts that held him back, one on the 329-yard sixth where he hit driver onto the middle of the green and had to settle for par.

 

McIlroy was among those two shots behind on a scoreboard filled with red numbers, an unusual site for Winged Foot. In the previous five U.S. Opens, a total of 17 players were under par after the first round. On Thursday, there were 21.

 

Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris made a hole-in-one on No. 7, and Zalatoris somehow missed another ace on No. 13. Spanish amateur Eduard Rousand holed out for eagle from the first fairway with his second shot in his U.S. Open debut. Louis Oosthuizen holed out for eagle on second fairway.

 

Tiger Woods was in five bunkers through five holes and then appeared to steady himself with three straight birdies around the turn to get under par, but only briefly. He made three bogeys coming in, still had a chance to post a reasonable score and then let it get away.

 

From short of the steep shelf fronting the 18th green, he flubbed a flop shot, pitched the next one about 8 feet beyond the pin and missed the putt to take double bogey for a 73.

 

Colin Morikawa, who shot 40 on the back nine for a 76.

 

Pieters and Wolff dropped only one shot along the way while playing in the afternoon when the greens became a little more difficult because of all the foot traffic. 

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Sam Mayer Wins NASCAR Truck Race at Bristol

Sam Mayer celebrated his recent promotion to JR Motorsports with a sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway. The teen sensation opened Thursday night with his first NASCAR national series victory with a Truck Series win and followed it immediately after with an ARCA Series win.

 

It was quite the party for the 17-year-old Mayer, who was hired this week to race in the Xfinity Series next season for JR Motorsports. He won in his seventh career Truck Series start — fourth this year — for an upset in the opening race of the playoffs.

 

Mayer passed title contender and teammate Brett Moffitt with 30 laps remaining to score the victory for GMS Racing. He’s the second youngest Truck Series winner behind Cole Custer, who was 16 when he won at New Hampshire in 2014.

 

A win in the Truck Series by any playoff driver would have earned an automatic berth into the next round. But the field was upstaged by the teenager who signed his career-changing deal Wednesday.

Mayer first joined JR Motorsports’ Late Model program in 2018, and now will return for the second half of the 2021 Xfinity Series season when he’s 18 and eligible to run at that level. He is slated to race full-time in 2022.

 

Mayer is the son of former IndyCar and road racing driver Scott Mayer.

 

Moffitt led a race-high 117 laps, finished second and moved to the top of the Truck Series standings. The defending race winner made it a 1-2 finish for GMS Racing. Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith, both GMS drivers also in the playoffs, finished 12th and 17th.

 

Tanner Gray was third and followed by Parker Kligerman, Chandler Smith and Grant Enfinger sixth — the second best finish among playoff drivers. Trevor Bayne initially finished fifth but was disqualified for failing post-race inspection.

 

Tyler Ankrum picked up his first career stage victory and finished seventh, followed by Ross Chastain and Johnny Sauter.

 

Moffitt has a 37-point lead over eighth-place, the cutoff line, for the playoffs. The series goes to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next week then eliminated two drivers at Talladega Superspeedway in October. Christian Eckes and Todd Gilliland are both below the cutline.

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Gov. Pritzker Not Backing Down on Sports Stance

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE WILL NOT GIVE IN TO PRESSURE ABOUT LETTING YOUTH SPORTS RESUME. 

 

THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN HEARING FROM A LOT OF COACHES, PARENTS AND STUDENT ATHLETES WHO WANT TO GET BACK ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD OR HOCKEY RINK. HE SAYS THE RISK OF SPREADING COVID-19 IS TOO HIGH AND THAT YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT OTHERS.

 

 

AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT AT THE GOVERNOR’S PRESS CONFERENCE AGREED AND SAID IT’S NOT JUST THE ACTUAL GAME THAT’S A PROBLEM. HE SAYS A SPORTS TEAM IS TOGETHER IN THE LOCKER ROOM, WORKING OUT IN THE GYM AND WHILE TRAVELING, GIVING THE VIRUS MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SPREAD.

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Medical Expert Backs Gov. Pritzker's Conclusion Contact Sports are Too Risky

Contact youth sports are still a no go in Illinois. 

 

Rush University Medical University Infectious Disease Specialist Michael Linn says that contact sports, including football and hockey, are too risky right now as they pose an opportunity to act as a super spreader event.

 

 

Linn says he had to tell his own son this year why he shouldn’t be playing contact sports this fall.

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Clinton High School Football Coach Questions if Marching For Fall Sports Will Accomplish Much

This Saturday, rallies are scheduled in Springfield and Chicago to get the attention of Gov. JB Pritzker to allow a fall high school football season and fall sports as a whole. 

 

While in recent comments, Gov. Pritzker has said rallies are not going to change his mind, coaches, and players across the state plan to converge on the two cities to show their desire to play. Clinton Football Coach Chris Ridgeway questions how effective a rally will be and also wonders if playing is the best thing right now. 

 

 

In the meantime, Coach Ridgeway is focused on working with his team within the guidelines they have in place. He says practicing football under the current guidance is pretty tricky but they are finding ways to get the kids reps.

 

 

According to Ridgeway, it is important for coaches and players to get creative in how they are approaching the situation and believes this is giving him and his staff a chance to focus on getting their minds right. 

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Monticello Football Coach Frustrated By Not Being Able to Play

As states on all sides of Illinois begin to or continue to play football, a hall of fame football coach is growing frustrated as Illinois continues to remain sidelined.

 

Monticello head football coach Cully Welter says it is frustrating to watch every state on every side of Illinois play high school football, meanwhile, Illinois is only one of two states in the union to remain sidelined.

 

 

Coach Welter believes we are discrediting the fact other states are successfully playing football and the statistics of COVID's impact on youth.

 

 

Coach Welter says he and several of his players plan to be in Springfield on Saturday despite the Governor's latest comments suggesting he will note be changing his mind on high school football.

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Big Ten Reverses Course, Allowing Athletes to Compete

The Big Ten is going to give fall football a shot after all.

 

Less than five weeks after pushing fall sports to spring in the name of player safety during the pandemic, the conference ran a reverse Wednesday and said it plans to open its football season the weekend of Oct. 23-24.

 

All 14 teams will be scheduled to play eight regular-season games in eight weeks, plus have the opportunity to play a ninth game on Dec. 19 when the conference championship game is played. The College Football Playoff selections are scheduled for Dec. 20, which means the Big Ten’s best should be back in the hunt for a national championship.

 

Other conferences built in bye weeks, which allows time to deal with potential disruptions. The Big Ten itself did that back in early August, but now must go forward with a condensed schedule and signs that things could go awry.

 

Across major college football since Aug. 26, 13 games have been postponed because of teams dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks. Some have not been rescheduled.

 

The Big Ten is banking on daily testing to mitigate the risk of outbreaks and decrease the probability that a few positive tests will gut rosters when contact tracing sends players into 14-day quarantines.

 

The Big Ten will begin daily antigen testing of all fall sports athletes, coaches and staff Sept. 30.

 

The Big Ten is taking an especially cautious approach with those who do test positive: The earliest an athlete will be able to return to game competition is 21 days after a positive diagnosis, and following a cardiac evaluation and clearance from a cardiologist.

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Cubs Outlast Indians

Javier Baez's RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday night in a game that was briefly delayed when a drone entered Wrigley Field and landed on the outfield grass.

 

Automatic runner Ian Happ advanced to third when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th.

 

After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Baez's liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.

 

Like many of the Cubs' hitters, Baez has struggled in the pandemic-shortened season - he's hitting just .211. But Chicago's high-energy shortstop delivered.

 

The Cubs won their fourth straight and strengthened their grip on first place in the NL Central.

Oscar Mercado hit a solo shot off Jon Lester in the fifth to tie the game at 2.

 

Five Cubs relievers followed Lester with a scoreless inning each. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.

 

The Indians remain in position for an AL wild card despite their second straight one-run, walk-off loss to the Cubs.

 

Aaron Civale allowed two runs on seven hits, leaving with runners at second and third and none out in the seventh. The right-hander hasn't won since Aug. 19 and is 0-3 in his last five starts.

 

Lester yielded two runs on four hits in five innings in his second effective start following two rough ones.

 

Following a day off Thursday, RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.29) faces LHP Rich Hill (2-1. 3.81) in the opener of a three-game home set against Minnesota at Wrigley Field.

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Cardinals Brewers Split Another Doubleheader

Adam Wainwright shook off an early home run and pitched a four-hitter, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

 

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt ran the team in the opener. He was to miss the nightcap while serving a one-game suspension, imposed by Major League Baseball after tempers flared during the Brewers' 18-3 romp Tuesday night.

 

Wainwright (5-1) struck out nine in the seven-inning complete game as the Cardinals reached .500 in their bid for a spot in the expanded playoff field.

 

Christian Yelich hit a one-out single in the Milwaukee first and Keston Huira followed with his 13th home run. Wainwright quickly settled down and allowed just two singles and a walk the rest of the way.

 

Tyler O'Neill hit a solo homer in the second and Brad Miller's seventh homer, a solo drive in the sixth, put the Cardinals up 4-2.

 

After the first, Wainwright was only in trouble once. With two outs in the fifth, Omar Narvaez walked and Avisail Garcia singled, bringing up Yelich, coming on after a slow start.

 

Wainwright retired Yelich on a bouncer to second.

 

Brandon Woodruff (2-4), who also went the distance, allowed three earned and seven hits. He struck out five and walked none.

 

St. Louis snapped a 2-2 tie with an unearned run in the fifth. Harrison Bader reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Jace Peterson and Tommy Edman sliced an opposite-field double to left.

 

O'Neill answered with his sixth homer to make it 2-1. O'Neill's homer was the first of the series for the Cardinals, the first time since 2005 that St. Louis had gone without a home run over three games at Miller Park.

 

 

 

Brent Suter and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 Wednesday night to split a doubleheader.

 

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt ran the team in the opener. He missed the nightcap while serving a one-game suspension, imposed by Major League Baseball after tempers flared during the Brewers' 18-3 romp Tuesday night.

 

The Brewers scored four runs in the first inning on just one hit, the three-run homer by Braun.

Suter allowed two hits over three scoreless innings, walking two and striking out three. Freddy Peralta (3-1) followed with two perfect innings, striking out three. Devin Williams struck out two in a perfect sixth, and Eric Yardley retired the side in the seventh.

 

Jacob Nottingham's third homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, put the Brewers up 6-0.

 

Oviedo (0-3), activated off the injured list earlier in the day after passing a rapid test for COVID-19, allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He hit three batters with pitches.

 

Dakota Hudson (3-2, 2.92 ERA) opens the five-game series Thursday at Pittsburgh, which includes two games on Friday, the Cardinals' third doubleheader of the week. Hudson has won his last three starts. He allowed one run on one hit in six innings in his last outing, although he walked four.

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Twins Power Past White Sox

Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano each hit a two-run homer, and the Minnesota Twins denied the Chicago White Sox a chance to clinch their first playoff berth in 12 years with a 5-1 victory Wednesday night.

 

Eddie Rosario also went deep and Minnesota pitchers retired their final 18 batters against the AL Central leaders. Chicago, which had won six straight and nine of 10, could have secured its first postseason spot since 2008 with a win and a Mariners loss.

 

After dropping the first two in the four-game series, the second-place Twins moved within two games of Chicago in the division standings.

 

Minnesota won despite losing starter Jake Odorizzi to a blister in the fourth inning.

 

Minnesota reliever Cody Stashak (1-0) relieved Odorizzi and was perfect for 2 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.

 

Tyler Duffey worked the seventh and the eighth with two strikeouts, and Trevor May struck out the side in the ninth to finish the two-hitter.

 

Jose Abreu homered in the fourth for the White Sox, who have lost just six times in 28 games.

 

Giolito allowed three runs and three hits in six innings. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA in four starts since throwing a no-hitter against Pittsburgh on Aug. 25.

 

Kenta Maeda (5-1, 2.43 ERA) pitches for Minnesota on Thursday night. He beat Cleveland ace Shane Bieber last Friday with seven scoreless innings. Reynaldo Lopez (1-2, 5.52) goes for Chicago.

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US Open Tees Off Today

Tee times for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot are out, and there are some absolutely loaded groups for what will almost assuredly be the toughest test of golf this season beginning this Thursday in southern New York. The USGA always creates interesting trios, and that's true again this year with most of the best players in the world in attendance at the 2020-21 season's first major championship.

 

The threesome of Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa headlines the groups but it's far from the only tee time worth keeping an eye on this week. Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Justin Rose will play together on Thursday and Friday as well. So will Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. World No. 2 Jon Rahm is grouped with Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey.

 

The group that maybe most intrigues me is the Oklahoma State trio of Rickie Fowler, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff. It seems unlikely that any of them would win the event this year, but all three are currently ranked in the top 50 in the world and should be expected to make the cut.

 

Starting from the first tee:

 

7:56 a.m. -- Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth
8:07 a.m. -- Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods

 

1:16 p.m. -- Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau
1:27 p.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Jon Rahm
1:38 p.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland

 

Starting from the tenth tee:

 

7:45 a.m. -- Tyrrell Hatton, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett
7:56 a.m. -- Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day
8:07 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose

 

12:21 p.m. -- Jim Herman, John Pak, Thomas Pieters
12:54 p.m. -- Lee Westwood, James Sugrue, Bubba Watson
1:38 p.m. -- Billy Horschel, Xander Schauffele, Brandt Snedeker

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Fall Sports Still a No-Go for Gov. Pritzker

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS UNFORTUNATELY, CONTACT SPORTS ARE STILL A NO-GO THIS FALL. 

 

HASHTAG, LET US PLAY RALLIES ARE SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO AND SPRINGFIELD, WITH PARENTS, STUDENTS AND COACHES URGING THE GOVERNOR TO ALLOW THEM TO GET BACK ON THE FOOTBALL AND SOCCER FIELDS AND VOLLEYBALL COURTS. PRITZKER SAYS IT'S STILL NOT SAFE.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THIS ISN'T A POLITICAL DECISION AND POINTS TO AN OUTBREAK AMONG A COMMUNITY COLLEGE BASEBALL TEAM IN DOWNSTATE FAIRFIELD AS AN EXAMPLE OF WHY CERTAIN SPORTS SHOULD BE DELAYED.

 

 

"LET THEM PLAY" RALLIES ARE SCHEDULED FOR CHICAGO AND SPRINGFIELD THIS WEEKEND, URGING THE GOVERNOR TO ALLOW STUDENT ATHLETES TO PLAY FOOTBALL, SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL IMMEDIATELY.

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