Local Sports

Cubs, Cardinals and White Sox Win Sunday

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

Cubs, White Sox Make Moves Sunday

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

Clinton Travel Baseball Holding Tryouts This Weekend

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

Schwarber Powers Cubs Past White Sox; Cardinals Blanked By DBacks

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

Steelers RB Bell Absent From Training Camp

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

White Sox Send LHP Jennings To Rays

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

Thunder Offer Westbrook $200-Million Contract

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

Cubs Designate LHP Anderson For Assignment

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

Cubs Beat White Sox; Cardinals Win

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

White Sox Notes

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

Arizona, Indiana Working on Series Starting in 2019

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

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

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

North Dakota State Favorites in Missouri Valley in 2017

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

Study Shows Most Football Players Have Brain Disease, CTE

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

White Sox Hold Off Cubs; Cardinals Top Rockies

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

Big Ten Announces New TV Deal

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

Jacksonville State Favorite in Ohio Valley, EIU Picked Fourth

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

Bears LB Freeman Saves Man's Life at Airport

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

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

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

Blackhawks F Wingels Recovering From Broken Foot

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

Ohio State Big Ten Favorites For 2017

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

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

Jordan Spieth Wins Open Championship

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

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

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

Spieth In Front After First Round of The Open

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

Mets Walk Off Cardinals

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

Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

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

Bears, Packers Notes

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

Maui Invitational Includes Wichita State, Notre Dame

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

The Open Tee Times Set

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

Cardinals Blank Mets

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

Cubs Beat Braves For Fifth Straight Win

Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer, John Lackey earned his first win in a month and the Cubs won their fifth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Rain delayed the start of the game for 2 hours, 30 minutes.
The defending World Series champion Cubs moved three games over .500 for the first time since winning at Miami on June 6. Chicago is 2 1/2 games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
The Cubs went up 4-1 in the third on Javier Baez's 11th homer and Contreras' 13th homer, a three-run shot . Chicago led 5-1 in the sixth on Ben Zobrist's groundout.
Lackey (6-9) came off the disabled list to allow one run, five hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out one. 
Sean Newcomb (1-5) lost his third straight start, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five.
Contreras has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games and has a .380 average with four homers over that stretch. 
Jason Heyward went 2 for 4 and is hitting .409 over his last seven games. 
Mike Montgomery (1-6) will make his eighth start and face Atlanta for the first time in his career. He is 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA as a starter.
R.A. Dickey (6-5) will make his 19th start and face the Cubs for the third time. He is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in two career starts against Chicago.

Kershaw, Dodgers Blank White Sox

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings for his major league-leading 15th victory and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight victory.
Kershaw (15-2) made his first start since the All-Star break, allowing seven hits and a walk to post his 11th win in a row.
Relievers Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen closed it out. Jansen survived a deep fly by Matt Davidson to record his 24th save in 24 chances.
Chris Taylor had four hits and scored on rookie Cody Bellinger's single in the first inning off Miguel Gonzalez (4-9), who lasted six innings and induced three of the Dodgers' four double plays.
Both teams struggled with runners in scoring position, with the Dodgers going 1 for 10 and the White Sox 1 for 8.
With runners on first and third and one out, Tyler Saladino bunted a safety squeeze attempt into the air for an easy play by catcher Yasmani Grandal, then Kershaw ended the rally by getting Yolmer Sanchez to ground out.
Kenta Maeda (7-4, 4.38 ERA) and White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA) are set to start the series finale on Wednesday. 

White Sox Make Another Blockbuster; To Call Up Top Prospect, Moncada

The New York Yankees have acquired infielder Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the Chicago White Sox for reliever Tyler Clippard and three prospects.
Those prospects: Blake Rutherford, Tito Polo and Ian Clarkin. More on these three below. 
The deal was announced Tuesday night, less than two weeks before the nonwaiver trade deadline.
Frazier, 31, is a free agent after this season who has mostly been a third baseman in his career. He can also, however, play first. He's hitting .207/.328/.432 with 15 doubles, 16 homers and 44 RBI this season. 
Robertson spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Yankees, so this would mark a reunion. This season, he's closed down 13 of 14 saves with a 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. 
Rutherford was the Yankees' first-round pick in 2016. The center fielder is hitting .281/.342/.391 with 20 doubles, two triples, two homers, 30 RBI, 41 runs and nine steals in 71 games for Class A Charleston this season.
Those who watched the World Baseball Classic might recognize Polo's name from Colombia. In 72 games this season between High-A and Double-A, he's hitting .298/.358/.446 with 13 doubles, seven triples, five homers, 36 RBI, 55 runs and 25 steals.
The Yankees are aiming for a playoff run, while the White Sox made their second big trade in a week - last Thursday, they sent ace Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs for four minor leaguers.
>>White Sox To Call Up Moncada
White Sox fans will catch a glimpse of the future immediately after a blockbuster trade sent slugger Todd Frazier to the Yankees. 
In the aftermath of the trade, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn announced that top prospect Yoan Moncada would join the big-league club on Wednesday.
Not only Moncada he the top prospect the White Sox have -- and he was the main piece in the Chris Sale trade over the winter -- but he's considered by most outlets to be the top prospect in all of baseball. 
To great fanfare, the Red Sox signed Moncada after he defected from Cuba in 2015 to a $31.5 million signing bonus, shattering their bonus pool allotment.
Moncada, 21, hit .285/.381/.452 with nine doubles, three triples, 12 homers, 36 RBI, 57 runs and 17 stolen bases in 79 Triple-A games before Tuesday night.
Moncada has mostly played second base in the minors but does have some limited experience at third if the team wants to try him at the hot corner as the heir to Frazier. Yolmer Sanchez also has some experience at third base and could be a candidate to move if the team wants to keep their prized prospect at his more comfortable position.  

Cardinals Double Up Mets

Paul DeJong homered against the New York Mets for the fourth straight contest and Adam Wainwright hit an RBI double while winning his fourth consecutive start, sending St. Louis to a 6-3 victory Monday night.
Tommy Pham capped a six-run sixth with a three-run homer on Hansel Robles' second pitch since returning from the minors. Four relievers combined to throw 3 1/3 spotless innings for St. Louis, which took the opener of a four-game series between losing teams that expected much better this season.
New York (41-49) has dropped seven of 10.
Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda homered off Wainwright (11-5), who beat scuffling starter Zack Wheeler (3-7) for the second time in 10 days.
Wainwright allowed two earned runs and was removed in the sixth. Moments earlier, Jose Reyes dashed all the way around to score on his own double when rookie right fielder Magneuris Sierra made two errors on the play - booting the ball in the alley before overthrowing third base.
But the Mets managed only two more hits, and Cecil got three outs for his first save since June 19, 2015, with Toronto. The left-hander squandered a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Sunday's 4-3 loss at Pittsburgh.
Conforto snapped a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the fifth, but Wheeler quickly faltered in losing his fifth straight decision. The right-hander escaped the fifth unscathed after issuing three two-out walks in a row, but couldn't do the same in the sixth.
Michael Wacha (6-3, 4.10 ERA) pitches Tuesday night against RHP Rafael Montero (1-5, 5.77). Wacha is 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his past three outings and hasn't lost since May 30 against the Dodgers. It will be his first start since July 6.

Cubs Down Braves

Jon Lester bounced back from the shortest start of his career by allowing only one run in seven innings and Chicago stopped Atlanta's ninth-inning comeback to give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Braves on Monday night.
Wade Davis allowed one-out singles to Brandon Phillips and Freddie Freeman before Phillips scored from third on a wild pitch. Matt Kemp followed with a run-scoring single before pinch-runner Lane Adams stole second and moved to third on Tyler Flowers' fly ball to the warning track in center field.
Following an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Matt Adams, pinch-runner Dansby Swanson stole second, leaving runners on second and third. Davis walked Sean Rodriguez, playing in his first game of the season, to load the bases.
Johan Camargo's fly ball to shallow left ended the game.
Ben Zobrist gave Chicago a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the fifth. Anthony Rizzo hit his 23rd homer to center in the seventh, and Addison Russell drove in Javier Baez with a pinch-hit double in the eighth.
Lester (6-6) allowed one run in his first win since June 24. He added some offensive highlights to his big night. He hit a third-inning double and stole second - the first of his career - following a sixth-inning walk.
The Cubs, coming off a sweep of Baltimore, have won four straight and trail first-place Milwaukee by 3 1/2 games in the NL Central. Chicago began the night only one-half game ahead of the Braves in the NL wild-card race.
Julio Teheran (7-7) allowed two runs and five hits and four walks in six innings, leaving him 1-7 in 10 home starts. He is 6-0 on the road.
John Lackey (5-9, 5.20) is expected to come off the disabled list to make Tuesday night's start. He went on the DL with right foot plantar fasciitis following his previous start on July 5.
Braves rookie Sean Newcomb (1-4, 426) will make his seventh start, and his first against Chicago. Newcomb has allowed a combined 11 runs in 7 1/3 innings in losing his past two starts.
>>Hendricks Throws Five Perfect Innings at AA Tennessee
Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks threw five perfect innings Monday while making his second rehab appearance for Double-A Tennessee.
Hendricks, who led the majors last year with a 2.13 ERA for the World Series champions, was optimistic he could be ready to rejoin the Cubs. Hendricks hasn't pitched for Chicago since June 4 because of tendinitis in his right hand.
The right-hander struck out three and threw 43 of his 63 pitches for strikes against the Mobile BayBears, a Los Angeles Angels affiliate.
Hendricks says "there was no soreness after the last start. Hopefully if there's no soreness tomorrow, I should be good to go."
The 27-year-old Hendricks is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts for the Cubs. He went 16-8 last year and finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Blackhawks Campbell Announces Retirement

Defenseman Brian Campbell is retiring at age 38 after playing 17 NHL seasons and winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.
Campbell announced his retirement Monday. The Blackhawks say he'll join their front office, assisting with community and youth hockey initiatives and marketing.
Campbell had 87 goals and 417 assists for 504 points in 1,082 regular-season games with the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, Blackhawks and Florida Panthers. Buffalo drafted him in the sixth round in 1997.
The Blackhawks signed Campbell to a $57.14 million, eight-year contract in 2008, and he played almost 20 minutes a game during their Cup run before a salary-cap crunch led to a trade to the Florida Panthers in 2011. He finished his career in Chicago.

Cowboys Receiver's Dog Being Held For Ransom

Lucky Whitehead really loves his dog, Blitz, which makes the situation he's going through significantly sadder. 
Whitehead posted a picture of Blitz on Instagram on Sunday night, alleging that someone had abducted the poor pup. Whitehead also said that he had gotten numerous messages to his phone "demanding ransom money."  
Whitehead then asked for any information regarding who may have taken the dog.
The Cowboys wide receiver and kick returner's Instagram is populated with pictures of Blitz, with a post from last week calling him his "new mascot." He seems to have an affinity for dressing his dog up in superhero costumes.

Dustin Johnson Favorite At The Open

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 golfer in the world leads a crew of top players scuffling into this event. Rory McIlroy has missed three of four cuts. Jason Day has missed the cut at his past two events. Defending champion Henrik Stenson has missed the cut at four of his past nine events, also.
The favorites:
Dustin Johnson: 12-1
Jordan Spieth: 14-1
Rickie Fowler: 14-1
Sergio Garcia: 16-1 (Masters Champ)
Rory McIlroy: 18-1
Hideki Matsuyama: 20-1
Henrik Stenson: 25-1
Adam Scott: 28-1
Brooks Koepka: 33-1
Jason Day: 33-1
Paul Casey: 33-1

Quintana Sharp in Cubs Debut In Rout of Orioles

Jose Quintana struck out a season-high 12 in seven sharp innings and the Cubs beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
The lefty ace allowed three hits, walked none.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered to help the Cubs move over .500 for the first time since June 29. The Cubs hit 10 home runs during the sweep at Camden Yards.
Chicago took advantage of another wild start by Ubaldo Jimenez (4-5) and opened a 4-0 lead in the second. Willson Contreras added a career-high four hits.
Ian Happ had a two-run double and scored on Jason Heyward's single in the second. Heyward stole second and scored the fourth run on a two-out single by Ben Zobrist.
A two-run homer by Bryant, his 19th, boosted the margin to 6-0 in the fourth.
Jimenez allowed six runs and 11 hits, one shy of tying a career-high, over 3 2/3 innings. He has not pitched past the fifth inning in four of his past five starts.
Rizzo hit his 22nd home run in the ninth off Darren O'Day.
Jon Lester (5-6, 4.25 ERA) is slated to start Monday against Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.79). Lester is looking to bounce back from his last outing when he allowed 10 runs (four earned) in 2/3 of an inning - the shortest start of his 12-year career.

Pirates Rally Past Cardinals

Adam Frazier's game-ending single capped a two-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted Pittsburgh to a 4-3 victory Sunday.
Francisco Cervelli reached on an infield single leading off the ninth against Brett Cecil (1-3), and Jordy Mercer's one-out double scored pinch-runner Josh Harrison with the tying run. Jose Osuna grounded out, David Freese was intentionally walked and Frazier lined a single to center.
Frazier's hit was the first walkoff hit of his career and it came just two days after Josh Bell got his first with a three-run homer in the ninth off Seung Hwan Oh.
Wade LeBlanc (4-2) pitched a hitless ninth. Pirates starter Trevor Williams gave up two runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Yadier Molina had put St. Louis ahead 3-2 with an eighth inning home run, the first allowed by Juan Nicasio this year.
Pirates starter Trevor Williams gave up two runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He singled in the third for his first major league hit after an 0-for-21 start at the plate.
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (7-8) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, and had an RBI single in the sixth.
Andrew McCutchen's run-scoring single put Pittsburgh ahead in the fifth, and Matt Carpenter's RBI double tied the score in the fifth.
Max Moroff hit his first big league home run for the Pirates, a line drive off the right-field foul pole in the fifth. Moroff had 18 homer runs this season with Triple-A Indianapolis but was 4 for 48 in the majors.
Cardinals rookie Magneuris Sierra, brought back from Triple-A on Saturday, had four hits, stole a base and scored a run.
Adam Wainwright (10-5, 5.20 ERA) is to start Monday at the New York Mets. He is 8-2 in his last 11 starts, winning his last three.

Mariners Hold Off White Sox

Nelson Cruz hit a go-ahead home run for the second straight day, a leadoff drive off Chris Beck in the 10th inning Sunday that led the Seattle Mariners over the Chicago White Sox 7-6 Sunday.
Seattle has won four in a row while the White Sox lost their fourth straight, despite two Avisail Garcia home runs helping Chicago to an early 5-0 lead. Edwin Diaz closed all three games of the sweep as the Mariners improved to 46-47 as they try to stay in the AL wild-card race.
Diaz struck out Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and Avisail Garcia - all swinging - for his 16th save in 19 chances. Nick Vincent (3-1) earned the win.
Danny Valencia and Kyle Seager also homered for the Mariners.
Chicago gave starter Derek Holland a lead on the homers by Garcia and a two-run shot by Omar Narvaez.
But Holland allowed a solo home run to Seager in the fourth and then got in trouble in the fifth.
Holland wasn't helped by his defense, as shortstop Tim Anderson threw away a potential double-play ball for his 21st error of the season, tops in the majors by seven. Two batters later, Valencia hit a three-run drive to make it 5-all.
Holland threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs - five earned - and striking out three.
Seattle rookie Andrew Moore lasted three innings, allowing three home runs, five runs and six hits. It was the fourth start of his career and the first time he did not get through the sixth inning.
After a day off Monday, the White Sox will play host to LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-2) and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for the first of two games. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-8) is scheduled to make his first start since June 14 after spending time on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Cubs Acquire Quintana From White Sox

The Chicago Cubs have acquired ace Jose Quintana from the White Sox in a major trade between crosstown rivals. 
Trailing Milwaukee by five and a half games at 43-45, the defending champions shook things up in a big way on Thursday by acquiring Quintana, a 2016 All-Star. 
In exchange, the Cubs sent four prospects to the White Sox - outfielder Eloy Jimenez, right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, and infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.

Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox Back In Action After All Star Break

The world champion Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles both struggled throughout the first half of the 2017 season. Both teams will be hoping to start the second part on a better note when they kick off a three-game interleague series at Camden Yards Friday night.
Chicago has posted a surprising 43-45 record in the first half and is tied for second with St. Louis in the National League Central, 5 1/2 games behind Milwaukee.
Mike Montgomery (1-6, 3.75 ERA) will start the series opener against Baltimore's Kevin Gausman (5-7, 5.85 ERA).
The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates begin the unofficial second half of the season in the same boat.
Going into their weekend series, starting Friday at PNC Park, the Cardinals (43-45) and Pirates (42-47) are not dead in the water despite being below .500.
St. Louis is tied for second in the National League Central, 5 1/2 games behind Milwaukee. Pittsburgh is fourth, seven games out. A strong run by either might allow them to catch the Brewers.
St. Louis dominated the New York Mets 6-0 Sunday. In its past four series, it has won three and tied one.
Pittsburgh clobbered the Cubs 14-3 Sunday and won five of six games going into the break.
Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.43 ERA) gets the ball in the series opener for the Bucs. He gave up one run and five hits over six innings in a 7-3 win against the Cardinals June 24, one of his four wins in his past five starts. 
St. Louis, which opens a 10-game road trip, counters with Mike Leake (6-7, 3.12 ERA), who likewise has had a couple of good games against Pittsburgh -- 1-0 in two quality starts.
Left-hander James Paxton (7-3, 3.21 ERA) will take the mound for the Seattle Mariners in the series opener against the Chicago White Sox Friday. The 28-year-old has won back-to-back decisions with strong performances against the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics. He has 91 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings on the season.
James Shields (2-1, 4.95 ERA) will make his eighth start of the season. The 35-year-old has allowed 17 earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings since coming off the disabled list in June.
The White Sox enter Friday's series opener in last place in the AL Central. Only the Oakland Athletics (50 losses) have a worse record than Chicago in the AL.
>>White Sox Reliever Nate Jones Has Season Ending Surgery
Chicago White Sox reliever Nate Jones has undergone season-ending arm surgery.
Sidelined since April 28 because of inflammation in his right elbow, he experienced discomfort during a throwing session last week.
General manager Rick Hahn says the issue stems from Tommy John elbow surgery Jones had in 2014. He says scar tissue formed around the nerve and caused the irritation. Hahn says Jones is expected to make a full recovery by the start of spring training.
Jones had a 2.31 ERA with 15 strikeouts and six walks in 11 appearances this year. He is 20 -10 with a 3.12 over six seasons with the White Sox.
>>Rays OF, Former Cardinal, Colby Rasmus Leaving Baseball
Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus was on the disabled list with a hip injury heading into the All-Star break, but now he might miss the rest of the season with what sounds like an unrelated matter. 
Rays Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin further reports that Rasmus isn't expected to return to the team this season.
On the field, he was having a productive offensive season. In just 37 games, Rasmus was hitting .281/.318/.579 with seven doubles, a triple and nine homers. 

Howell, Schniederjans Share Lead At John Deere

Charles Howell III and Ollie Schniederjans each shot 8-under 63 in perfect morning conditions Thursday to share the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic.
Howell birdied seven his first nine holes and added a birdie on No. 7 at rain-softened TPC Deere Run. The two-time PGA Tour winner lost a playoff to Kyle Stanley two weeks ago in the Quicken Loans National.
Schniederjans birdied five of his last eight holes in his lowest round of the PGA Tour. He earned a PGA Tour card last year through the Web.com Tour.
Local favorite Zach Johnson was two strokes back at 65 along with Rory Sabbatini, Patrick Rodgers and Chad Campbell. Johnson, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the 2012 tournament.
Bubba Wastson, the two-time Masters winner making his first Quad Cities start in seven years, opened with a 69. Fifty-year-old Steve Stricker, the winner from 2009-11 at Deere Run, had a 73.
Defending champion Ryan Moore had a 74 in his return from strained tendon in his left shoulder that sidelined him for five weeks.
The British Open is holding one spot for the leading player among the top five who is not already exempt next week at Royal Birkdale.

First Half Recap: St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina stole the show Tuesday night in Miami from snapping a picture for Mariners OF Nelson Cruz with veteran umpire Joe West, who was behind the plate for Tuesday's mid-summer classic to his game tying home run not to be topped by his gold-plated catching gear.
For Cardinals Nation, it was probably the highlight of what was a frustrating first half.
Young hitters Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz both have been sent to the minor leagues at different points to work on their swings. The club traded Matt Adams to the Atlanta Braves, who has played so well, he displaced superstar Freddie Freeman to third base upon his return from the disabled list from a broken hand.
Promising outfielder Stephen Piscotty at times has looked lost at the plate and the team even cut Jhonny Peralta after a disappointing finish to a four-year contract the veteran signed in 2013. 
The Cardinals have been plagued by poor base running decisions at numerous times and the defense has been even more of a liability just as often.
Despite all the woes, the Redbirds hit the All Star break two games under .500 and finished off the first half with series victories of playoff hopefuls Arizona and Washington, splitting a series with the Marlins and took two of three from the disappointing New York Mets.
The Redbirds had plenty to smile about in the first half.
Jedd Gyorko has been a revelation since his acquisitions last year from San Diego, as he slugged 13 HR, 16 doubles and drove in a team hight 45 runs in the first half en-route to a .300 average and an .882 OPS.
While some haven't been pleased with the play of veteran infielder Matt Carpenter at times, his .827 OPS is in line with his career average. 
The big offseason signing for St. Louis, Dexter Fowler, has been very solid despite some criticism from the fanbase. 
His 14 HR in the first half put him well on pace for a career year and surpasses his 2016 total.
Tommy Pham has played himself into an everyday role for the Birds on the Bat. With eight doubles and 11 home runs, his Pham's .895 OPS has made him a very valuable piece to the lineup.
And Kolten Wong seems past the early struggles of his young career. The second baseman has battled injuries so far this year but has been very good at the plate when he's healthy. 15 doubles and .393 on base have resulted in an .838 OPS.
Raise your hand if you saw Mike Leake spending much of the first half atop the National League as the ERA leader?
Leake was brought in to eat innings in the middle of the rotation but has battled with ace Carlos Martinez as the Cardinals top starter in 2017.
Leake's 74 strikeouts in the first half have him on pace to match his season high 164 strikeouts in 2014.
Carlos Martinez has established himself as the ace of the staff, if he wasn't already.
His 128 strikeouts easily lead the team and is average a career high 9.9 K/9 and a career low, 7 hits per nine innings. 
Lance Lynn has been very good as well. His 3.61 ERA has been a nice surprise for the Redbird rotation which has been hit hard with injuries. 
At two games under-.500, St. Louis is tied with Chicago for second in the NL Central and sits five-and-a-half back of division leading Milwaukee. 
At this point, the division is very much wide open and if John Mozeliak can land a big bat like Josh Donaldson or Marcel Ozuna, the Cardinals would put themselves in prime position to make a run at the Central, a division most thought the Cubs would run away with.

AL Defeats NL in MLB All Star Game

On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball played its 88th All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. 
The American League defeated the National League by a 2-1 final, celebrating an extra-innings win thanks to a 10th-inning homer by Robinson Cano of the Mariners.
Cano's home run was the first extra-inning blast in exactly 50 years -- Tony Perez was the last to do it.
The AL took the lead in the fifth when a Miguel Sano blooper landed in right field and plated Jonathan Schoop. The NL later tied it up on a sixth-inning home run from Yadier Molina.
The American League has won the last five meetings. Since 1997, the National League has only three wins in the Midsummer Classic.

Cubs Notes

>>Cubs' Hendricks Starts Rehab
Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks gave up one run in 3 1/3 innings Monday while making a rehabilitation appearance in the Double-A Southern League for the Tennessee Smokies.
Hendricks said his finger felt fine after the game.
Hendricks, who led the majors with a 2.13 ERA for the World Series champions, has been on the disabled list since June 5 with tendinitis in his right hand.
Hendricks threw 45 pitches, including 27 strikes. He struck out two and allowed two hits and one walk against the Montgomery Biscuits, a Tampa Bay affiliate.
Hendricks, 27, is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts for the Cubs. He went 16-8 last year and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
>>Report Suggests Cubs Shopping Schwarber
Former Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday that the Chicago Cubs had called the Detroit Tigers about young starting pitchers Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris. Bowden added that the Cubs had offered outfielder Kyle Schwarber in return.
Disappointing first half aside, the expectation with the Cubs has always been that eventually they'll trade a talented young position player for a similarly talented young pitcher.
Another maintained expectation is that outfielder Kyle Schwarber will be that position player when such a deal happens. Schwarber is beloved within the Cubs clubhouse and front office, yet his positional limitations make him an awkward fit in the National League -- and especially on a team that has a long-term first baseman.
Schwarber, of course, has to hit to have value. That's never been a problem before 2017 -- not even last fall, when he returned to play in the World Series after missing most of the season with a knee injury. 
Schwarber's struggles this season -- he exited the first half hitting .178/.300/.394 -- haven't changed any of the above, but they might've loosened the emotional ties that kept Schwarber in Chicago over the winter when his stock might've hit peak value.

Michael Jordan Reported To Be In On Marlins Ownership Bid

The Miami Marlins, who are currently hosting MLB's All-Star Game festivities, are up for sale. We know that much. 
We also know that the league hopes to have a resolution on the sale sooner than later. 
Forbes reported Monday that Miami businessman Jorge Mas was closing in on a deal to purchase the Marlins for $1.17 billion. The Marlins and Mas have since denied such an arrangement is in place, per the Miami Herald:
"There's no agreement reached with anyone," Marlins president David Samson said.
Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports reports that Mas is indeed the favorite, and that he's spent the past two nights talking details at the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game with Jeffrey Loria and David Samson. Nonetheless, the two sides are "still talking" and no deal is done.  
Another report (this one from the New York Post) also surfaced on Tuesday, indicating that Derek Jeter's team was nearing a deal to purchase the Marlins for around $1.2 billion. 
Jeter's group now apparently includes NBA legend Michael Jordan (albeit in a small role). Jordan is reported to be one of 15 investors and, according to the Post, he is said to be "kicking in very little cash."
uesday, the Miami Herald reported that rapper Pitbull had joined Jeb Bush's bid group:
A spokesman for Armando Christian Peréz, best known as the Miami-based rapper Pitbull, confirmed Tuesday that the celebrity is joining the investment group that includes the former Florida governor, a CNBC star, and the son of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Coincidentally, Pitbull performed before Monday's Home Run Derby at Marlins Park.

First Half Recap: Chicago White Sox

The rebuilding Chicago White Sox had to be pleased with how the All-Star break started out for the franchise.
While prized prospect, Yoah Moncada finished 0-for-2 for the World team, it had to be encouraging watching the Cuban product finish his second Futures Game appearance with a strike out to fellow prospect, Michael Kopech, who hit 101 MPH on a hot Marlins Park radar gun in a scoreless inning of relief for the American squad. 
Both Kopech and Moncada were key pieces in the offseason trade that sent American League All Star game starter, Chris Sale to Boston.
And so goes the theme to the White Sox 2017 season. Reloading the farm system was the theme of the 2016 offseason and now in 2017, the rebuild is on.
The parent club is struggling, last place in the AL Central (38-49) and will send Avisail Garcia to Miami for this week's All Star festivities.
Garcia is having a break out campaign after injuries had shortened his 2014 and '16 seasons, sandwhiched by an underwhelming 2015 campaign. Hitting .310 with an .850 OPS, Garcia is already within two home runs of his career high 13, set in 2015. 
His team high 2.6 WAR (wins above replacement) are followed by Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, who's .871 OPS would be the best of his career since he was rookie of the year in 2014. 
3B/DH Matt Davidson leads the Pale Hoes with 18 home runs with slugger Todd Frazier having been underwhelming to this point, with a .213 average and .779 OPS while hitting 16 home runs. 
On the farm, the White Sox will be watching more than their two future stars that participated in Sunday's Futures game in Miami. Moncada and Kopech highlight a terrific system, recently signed Cuban star Luis Robert is maybe the farthest from the big leagues of any of their top prospects. 
Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez rank as the organization's 4th and 5th best prospects according to mlb.com. Both came over in an offseason trade with Washington centered around Adam Eaton. 
Carson Fulmer has a cup of coffee in the big leagues. Fulmer, at worst, profiles for a hard throwing bullpen arm, however, Chicago remains committed to making all three as starters, as none have relief appearances in Triple-A Charlotte this year, each making 17 starts. 
Last year's tenth overall selection from Miami, Zack Collins, is the top ranked catching prospect in the system and is tabbed as the team's future catcher. 
Collins, now at High-A, has 12 doubles, 12 home runs and 38 RBI to go with a .781 OPS and an estimated debut expected next season. 
All seven prospects show up in MLB.com's top 100 prospects list. 

Maddon Only Members of 2015 Cubs At All Star Game

Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is the only member of the Cubs' first championship team since 1908 attending the All-Star Game. 
With the Cubs languishing at 43-45, tied for second in the NL Central and 5 1/2 games back of Milwaukee, their only All-Star is Wade Davis. The reliever was acquired in December in a trade with Kansas City.
The previous World Series champion with just one All-Star was the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 with Albert Pujols.

Judge Wins HR Derby

New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge stole the show and won the 2017 Home Run Derby with shocking ease Monday night at Marlins Park. Judge dispatched Marlins slugger Justin Bour in the first round (23-22), Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger in the second round (13-12), and Twins manchild Miguel Sano in the finals (11-10).
The highlight of the night was, pretty clearly, Judge's first round matchup with Bour. The Miami first baseman put on an incredible show, swatting 22 home runs and bringing the decidedly pro-Marlins crowd to its feet. It was an amazing atmosphere.
And yet, Judge came out and clubbed 23 home runs to beat Bour, and he did it with time to spare as well.
In the second round against Bellinger, Judge hit home runs that measured 503, 507, and 513 feet.
He hit four of the five longest home runs on the night.
Hometown favorite, Giancarlo Stanton was upset in the first round of the competition by Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.

Chris Sale Tabbed As AL Starting Pitcher for Tonight's All Star Game

Major League Baseball will hold the 2017 All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami on Tuesday. We know who the participants are. And remember, for the first time in 14 years, the Midsummer Classic will not decide home-field advantage in the World Series. 
American League lineup
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Aaron Judge, LF
George Springer, CF
Carlos Correa, SS
Justin Smoak, 1B
Corey Dickerson, DH
Salvador Perez, C
Mookie Betts, RF
Chris Sale will start for the AL for the second consecutive season, the first to do so since Dave Steib in 1983-84. This will be his first start as a member of the Boston Red Sox, having previously taken his turn as part of the Chicago White Sox.
Opposing Sale will be Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. He's about to become the fifth pitcher to start the All-Star Game for both leagues.
National League lineup
Charlie Blackmon, CF
Giancarlo Stanton, DH
Bryce Harper, RF
Buster Posey, C
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Marcell Ozuna, LF
Zack Cozart, SS

Cardinals Crush Mets

Lance Lynn pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Luke Voit homered as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets 6-0.
It was Lynn's longest outing since May 23, when he threw 123 pitches in eight scoreless innings in a 2-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Lynn (7-6) had a season-low two strikeouts, but he needed just 93 pitches while facing two batters over the minimum. He did not allow a runner past first and lowered his ERA to 3.61.
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the eighth and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless ninth as the Cardinals finished a 6-4 homestand and moved into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for second place in the National League Central.
Steven Matz (2-2) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since June 3. He struck out a season-low one.
DeJong finished 2 for 4 and is 10 for his last 13 and is the first rookie and first Cardinals player in the modern era to have seven extra base hits in a three-game series.
Pham drove a 3-1 pitch from Matz the other way over the right-field wall to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the third. It was Pham's 11th homer of the season and first in six games.
DeJong's homer, his third in three games, made it 4-0 in the fourth. Voit greeted Seth Lugo with an opposite field homer, his third in his last seven games, to right to make it 5-0.
Carpenter led off the first with a double and scored to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was the first time in six games that the Cardinals scored in the opening inning and it broke Matz's 17-inning scoreless streak, the second-longest of his career.
Pham left the game with right hip tightness after the sixth inning. He was 3 for 3 with two runs scored.
Mike Leake (6-7, 3.12) will start at Pittsburgh as the team begins a 10-game road trip after the All-Star break. He is 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 30 career starts against the Pirates.

Pirates Score 10 Runs In First Inning, Rout Cubs

Jon Lester surrendered 10 runs in the first inning of the shortest start of his 12-year career, and the Cubs stumbled to a 14-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Chicago (43-45) heads into the break with a losing record for the first time since it was 40-54 in 2014. The reigning World Series champions also trail NL Central-leading Milwaukee by 5 1/2 games after the Brewers held on for a 5-3 victory against the New York Yankees.
The Cubs were 53-35 at the break a year ago.
Francisco Cervelli matched a career high with five RBIs and Jordy Mercer drove in three runs as the Pirates closed out a 5-2 road trip with their fifth win in six games. All-Star Josh Harrison homered in the ninth and Chad Kuhl pitched three innings of one-run ball in an emergency start after Jameson Taillon was scratched due to flu-like symptoms.
Pittsburgh sent 15 batters to the plate in its highest-scoring inning since it got 10 in the seventh against Colorado on May 17, 2009. It was the first time it scored at least 10 in the first inning since June 8, 1989, against Philadelphia.
Cervelli hit his third career grand slam into the basket in left with two out. McCutchen followed with a drive to left-center for his 17th homer.
Lester (5-6) was charged with four earned runs and six hits. He also struggled in his previous outing, allowing six runs in five innings in a loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Kuhl allowed two hits and walked three on just two days' rest after he pitched a career-high seven innings in a 6-3 win at Philadelphia on Thursday night. A.J. Schugel (1-0), the second of three Pittsburgh relievers, pitched three innings for the win.
The Pirates (42-47) improved to 5-1 at Wrigley this year and stayed seven back of Milwaukee. They were 46-43 at the All-Star break last season.
Cubs rookie Victor Caratini entered before the Pirates batted in the fifth and went 3 for 3 with two doubles. He snapped a 0-for-9 skid to begin his career.
Mike Montgomery (1-6, 3.75 ERA) will start Friday night's game at Baltimore. Montgomery replaced Lester and allowed two runs and three hits in three innings.

Rockies' Rookie Freeland Loses No-Hit Bid in 9th, Pound White Sox

Rockies rookie left-hander, Kyle Freeland, came within two outs of the first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at the hitter-friendly park before surrendering a crisp single to Melky Cabrera as Colorado beat the Chicago White Sox 10-0 on Sunday.
Freeland, who was born and raised in Denver, struck out the first batter of the ninth inning and then allowed Cabrera's hit to left field on a 2-2 count.
The 24-year-old Freeland (9-7) threw 126 pitches. Reliever Jordan Lyles got the last two outs to complete the one-hitter.
Kyle Freeland was trying to throw the second no-hitter in Coors Field history. Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat in 1996 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only no-hitter in Rockies history was thrown by Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 at Atlanta.
Freeland even had an RBI single in the seventh for the Rockies' last run.
Pat Valaika drove in five runs, including a three-run homer as part of a five-run sixth that turned a 2-0 lead into a rout. Charlie Blackmon also hit a solo homer.
Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra had the play of the day in the eighth as he sprinted for Yolmer Sanchez's blooper in short left and then went into a head-first dive to snare the ball. Parra pointed at Freeland, who pumped his fist and tipped his cap in appreciation.
Carlos Rodon (1-2) allowed six runs over 5 1/3 innings in his third start of the season. He began the season on the disabled list with left biceps bursitis.
After the All-Star break, Chicago opens a five-game homestand - three against Seattle and two versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bulls, Pacers Notes

>>Former Bulls F Gibson Arrested in New York City
New Minnesota Timberwolves player Taj Gibson was arrested for a traffic violation in New York City.
The New York Police Department says a 2016 Mercedes Benz sedan made an illegal U-turn in Queens early Thursday. Police stopped the car and Gibson, who was driving, produced a suspended Illinois driver's license.
The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/2uWDsUS ) reports Gibson was arrested for driving with a suspended license and a moving violation. He's due in court on Sept. 1.
Gibson recently agreed to a two-year, $28 million contract to play in Minnesota. The deal reunites the 32-year-old power forward with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him for five seasons in Chicago.
The Timberwolves said in a statement Saturday they're aware of the incident involving Gibson and are "confident that the matter has been resolved."
>>Hoiberg Doesn't Expect Bulls To Buy Out Wade
NBA fans might dream of Dwyane Wade teaming up with LeBron James to make another run at an NBA title, but that scenario doesn't appear likely to happen anytime soon. 
Wade, 35, opted in to his $24 million player option with the Chicago Bulls just days before the team traded franchise cornerstone Jimmy Butler to Minnesota on draft night, potentially upsetting the veteran guard enough to request a buyout. But if there is a buyout coming, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg says he doesn't anticipate it happening before the season begins.
Hoiberg told ESPN quote - "As of right now, no. I don't see that. Dwyane, he's going to have an important role on this team as a mentor. He's going to obviously play for us and hopefully play well. And take the role of leadership. It's going to be very important with him."
With Butler shipped to Minnesota, the Bulls have taken a drastic new direction this offseason. The team waived starting point guard Rajon Rondo and drafted 7-footer Lauri Markkanen, signaling a potential rebuild for the foreseeable future.
Although Wade's NBA experience and championship pedigree would benefit a team like the Bulls as they develop their young talent, it might not be an ideal situation for the aging superstar, whose odds of winning a title in Chicago dropped significantly this offseason. 
>>Raptors, Pacers Make Swap
The Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that would send free agent C.J. Miles to Toronto and Raptors point guard Cory Joseph to Indiana, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 
The move comes a day after the Raptors shed the salary of forward DeMarre Carroll through a trade with the Nets.
Miles is one of the few remaining established 3-point shooters on the free-agent market, having shot 41 percent last season for the Pacers. He'll create spacing for a Raptors offense that was toward the bottom of the league in 3-pointers made and attempted.
Joseph is a 6-foot-3 point guard who spent the last two seasons backing up Kyle Lowry, who the team re-signed. The Raptors have two promising young guards in Norman Powell and Delon Wright, which made Joseph -- and the roughly $15.5 million left on his contract over the next two seasons -- relatively expendable.

Eureka Downs Revolution

As heard on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com Thursday evening, the Eureka Legion baseball team rallied late to stop the Central Illinois Revolution 10-0 in eight innings.
Garrett Peterson fired 7 1/3 scoreless innings for Eureka, striking out eight and walking three in an efficient outing.
The Revolution got a lead off double from Michael Oswald in the third inning, but a failed sac bunt attempt and a baserunning blunder ended the threat.
With a 4-0 lead, Eureka's bats came alive for a six-run eighth inning, ending the nine-inning game after eight innings on a mercy rule. 
Oswald started the game and took the loss on the mound for the Revolution. 
The Revolution drop to 9-16 on the season. Tune in Tuesday night at 5:30 pm as the Revolution take on the Twin City Rage. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Cardinals Edge Marlins

Luke Voit hit his second home run and drove in three runs to help the Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Thursday.
Voit doubled and started for the fourth consecutive day at first base. He has seven RBIs during the month of July, tied for the team lead with outfielder Tommy Pham, and is hitting .333 through his first 11 games in the majors.
The Cardinals, who had lost two straight, earned a four-game series split after winning the previous two series against the Diamondbacks and Nationals.
The Cardinals' eight hits backed another good outing from Michael Wacha (6-3), who allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Marcell Ozuna had three hits and three RBIs for the Marlins. Dee Gordon had two hits, scored three runs and stole two bases.
Miami starter Tom Koehler (1-4) allowed three runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out seven and walked three. The two hits by Voit were costly.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Ozuna's two-out RBI single.
Voit tied it with a solo homer in the second inning.
Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run, his eighth, in the sixth to make it 4-2.
Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh capped off a strong performance by the St. Louis bullpen. He allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but locked down his 17th save in 20 chances.
Carlos Martinez (6-7, 3.15 ERA) opens a three-game series against the visiting Mets on Friday night. He is 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in seven career appearances, including four starts, against the Mets.

Brewers Crush Cubs In Schwarber's Return To Lineup

Ryan Braun homered to ignite a seven-run third inning and the Brewers beat the Cubs 11-2 for their fourth straight victory.
Braun went 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs before being lifted following the sixth because of the lopsided score. Domingo Santana had four hits and two RBIs and Jesus Aguilar added three hits and an RBI.
Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (10-4) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings for the win.
Willson Contreras homered for the Cubs, who have not won consecutive games since a three-game winning streak June 18-20.
Kyle Schwarber went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his return following a two-week stint in the minor leagues.
Cubs starter Mike Montgomery (1-6) gave up seven runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings.
A sacrifice fly by Jonathan Villar made it 8-0 and Santana capped the rally with an RBI double to make it 9-0.
After Kris Bryant drove in a run on a groundout in the bottom of the third, Contreras' solo shot in the fourth made it 9-2.
The Brewers got both runs back in the fifth to thwart any thoughts of a comeback.
Eddie Butler (4-3, 4.18 ERA) goes against RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.67) as the homestand continues Friday with the opener of a three-game series with the Pirates.

NBA Free Agency Notes

>>Olynyk Headed To Heat
The Miami Heat reached a deal with a free agent Thursday, but it wasn't the player many expected it to be. Big man Kelly Olynyk agreed to a four-year deal with Miami worth $50 million-plus, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The fourth year includes a player option.
Olynyk spent the last four seasons in Boston where he averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, but the Celtics had to renounce their rights to him this week after landing All-Star forward Gordon Hayward in order to make room for him on their books.
The Heat came up short in the Hayward free agency sweepstakes after losing out to the Boston Celtics, who have agreed to pay Hayward $128 million on a four-year deal.
Olynyk is a 26-year-old, 7-footer who could fill a role for the Heat as a stretch big man. He's a career 36.8 percent three-point shooter that will fit nicely in the Miami offense, but his ceiling is decidedly lower than most given his sample size in Boston and below average athleticism.
>>Rudy Gay Signs With San Antonio
Free agent forward Rudy Gay has agreed to join the San Antonio Spurs on a two-year, $17 million-plus deal with a player option, Adrian Wojnarowski reports. 
Gay appeared in just 30 games with the Kings in the 2016-17 season but suffered a torn achilles that sidelined him for a majority of the season.
Gay, 31, reportedly chose San Antonio to become a part of a contender. He met with the Oklahoma City Thunder this week as a potential suitor but there was a gap between what the Thunder were willing to pay and what Gay was asking for on the market. OKC ultimately signed Patrick Patterson and chose to re-up with defensive stopper Andre Roberson.
Gay averaged 19.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in his four seasons with the Sacramento Kings, and will now join the Spurs as a potential second option to All-Star Kawhi Leonard.

Cubs Down Rays

Jon Jay connected for his third career pinch-hit homer and Ian Happ hit a tiebreaking two-run single an inning later, helping the Cubs rally for a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Chicago (42-42) returned to .500 for the 19th time with its third win in its last eight games. The reigning World Series champions have not been more than two games over or two games under .500 at any point since May 27.
The Cubs trailed 3-0 before Jay drove a 1-2 pitch from Erasmo Ramirez (4-3) over the wall in left-center for a tying homer with two out in the sixth inning. Jay then popped out of the dugout for a curtain call, obliging the crowd of 39,855 on a picturesque day at Wrigley Field.
Happ got his big hit in the seventh, driving in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with a bouncer up the middle against Tampa Bay's drawn-in infield. Happ had two hits and is batting .357 (10 for 28) in his last seven games.
Tampa Bay (44-42) wasted a chance for a two-game sweep in its reunion with Maddon, who skippered the Rays for nine years before leaving after the 2014 season and taking over the Cubs.
Mallex Smith went 4 for 4 and scored three times for the Rays, who had won three of four. Blake Snell pitched five scoreless innings in his best outing of the year, working around four hits and four walks.
Smith doubled and scored on Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly in the sixth, giving Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead against John Lackey. But that was it for the Rays.
Pedro Strop (3-2) replaced Lackey and pitched a scoreless seventh for the win.
Tampa Bay was only down by two when it put two runners on against Carl Edwards Jr. with two out in the eighth. But Koji Uehara came in and struck out Longoria to end the inning.
Mike Montgomery (1-5, 2.80 ERA) faces Brewers RHP Zach Davies (9-4, 5.03 ERA) on Thursday afternoon in the makeup of a May 20 postponement. The Cubs then host Pittsburgh for a weekend series beginning Friday.

A's Get By White Sox

Another three-hit game from Jed Lowrie and four stolen bases by Rajai Davis and Sonny Gray pitched six mostly sharp innings to beat Chicago for the second time in two weeks and Oakland defeated the White Sox 7-4 on Wednesday.
Lowrie added three hits and two RBIs, Bruce Maxwell doubled in two runs and Jaycob Brugman homered to help the A's to their second straight home win following eight consecutive losses at the Coliseum.
Gray (4-4) surrendered a two-run home run to Matt Davidson in the fifth, the only blemish during an otherwise strong outing. Gray gave up two runs on three hits with five strikeouts, and has allowed four runs over his last 21 innings - a 1.71 ERA.
Todd Frazier also homered for the White Sox, a two-run blast off reliever Sean Doolittle in the ninth.
Davidson's homer was his 18th.
White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey (3-7) retired 10 batters and allowed four runs to fall to 0-6 in six career starts in Oakland. It's the 10th time in 14 starts that the right-hander has pitched five innings or fewer.
Following an off day Thursday, Derek Holland (5-8, 4.52) pitches the opener of a three-game series in Colorado on Friday. It will be the left-hander's first regular-season appearance against the Rockies.

Bulls Sign No. 7 Pick Markkanen

The Chicago Bulls have signed No. 7 overall draft pick Lauri Markkanen.
The team did not disclose the terms of the deal Wednesday.
The Bulls acquired the rights to the 7-foot Finn from Minnesota along with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn for All-Star Jimmy Butler and No. 16 pick Justin Patton on draft night.
Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds and shot 49.2 percent from the field and 42.3 from 3-point range in his lone season at Arizona.

Marlins Power Past Cardinals

Giancarlo Stanton homered twice, recording his 22nd career multihomer game, and Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour also hit home runs as the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-6 on Wednesday night.
Stanton went 3 for 4 and also walked while driving in four runs as the Marlins won their second straight. He has five hits in his last two games after starting Miami's road trip in a 1-for-17 funk.
Dustin McGowan (5-0) gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings of relief, while David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough each pitched a scoreless inning. AJ Ramos earned his 15th save in 16 attempts.
Miami starter Edinson Volquez allowed four runs in four innings, the third time in his last five starts that he failed to complete five innings.
Stanton lined a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Stanton's second homer, a three-run shot, capped a five-run second. The Marlins, aided by a pair of Cardinals fielding errors by second baseman Matt Carpenter and first baseman Luke Voit, had just two hits during the frame. Four of the five runs given up by St. Louis starter Mike Leake (6-7) in the inning were unearned.
Ozuna drove in runs with a homer in the third and a double in the fourth. It was his third homer in his last four games.
Bour reached four times, with a pair of hits. Derek Dietrich had two hits for the Marlins and Dee Gordon scored twice.
Tommy Pham had an RBI double and scored on Stephen Piscotty's single as the Cardinals scored three in the third. Pham's two-run double in the sixth cut Miami's lead to 8-6.
Leake went 3 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. Just three of the eight runs he allowed were earned.
Michael Wacha (5-3, 4.16 ERA) has allowed one run in his last 12 innings, including six shutout innings against Washington on Saturday. He is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts against Miami.

Marlins Down Cardinals

Christian Yelich hit a three-run drive for his first homer in 32 days, helping Jose Urena and the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on Tuesday.
JT Riddle added a two-run single for Miami, which had dropped five of six. Dee Gordon had three hits, and Giancarlo Stanton reached three times.
Yelich erased a 2-0 deficit with the big blow in Miami's five-run sixth. Gordon doubled with one out and Stanton reached on a throwing error on second baseman Matt Carpenter before Yelich hit a drive to center off Lance Lynn (6-6).
Marcell Ozuna followed with a single and Martin Prado doubled with two out to set up Riddle's big single.
Greg Garcia hit a two-run homer for St. Louis, which lost for just the second time in seven games. Carpenter had two hits.
Urena (7-3) struck out seven in five innings. He was charged with two runs and three hits.
Drew Steckenrider, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps each pitched a scoreless inning before AJ Ramos finished for his 14th save in 15 opportunities.
Jedd Gyorko was held out of the game after leaving Monday's contest in the fifth inning with a cramping issue. 
INF Kolten Wong will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Wednesday. Wong was placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 15 with a triceps injury.
Mike Leake (6-6, 2.97 ERA) will take on Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez (4-8, 3.97 ERA) in the third game of the four-game series on Wednesday. Leake is 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins. Volquez tossed a no-hitter against Arizona on June 3.

Rays Down Cubs

Tim Beckham homered, and the Rays hung on to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Tuesday.
Beckham's two-run drive highlighted a five-run fourth against Jon Lester (5-5). 
Alex Colome gave up two runs in the ninth, but the Rays won their first meeting against their former manager since he left for Chicago following the 2014 season.
He gave up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. and walked Jon Jay to put runners on first and second. After Kris Bryant popped out, Anthony Rizzo lined an RBI single to make it 6-4.
Ben Zobrist then bounced into a force to bring home another run. Ian Happ walked on a 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second, before Jason Heyward hit a fly to left.
Chris Archer (7-5) picked up his third win in four starts, giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings. The former Cubs prospect also had an RBI single after a fake bunt for his first career hit.
Chicago lost for the fifth time in seven games on another frustrating afternoon. The defending World Series champions have hovered around .500 all season after winning it all for the first time since 1908 last fall.
Lester lasted five innings. He tied a season-high by allowing six runs and gave up nine hits - all but one on ground balls.
The Rays sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie.
The two-game series wraps up, with RHP John Lackey (5-9, 5.24 ERA) starting for Chicago and LHP Blake Snell (0-5, 5.36 ERA).

A's Walk Off White Sox

Franklin Barreto delivered a game-ending homer and an RBI triple to help the Athletics snap a season-high six-game losing streak by beating the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Tuesday.
Yonder Alonso broke out of his own slump with a pair of homers and Matt Joyce connected for a two-run shot for the A's, whose bats finally woke up.
After Santiago Casilla (2-3) allowed a game-tying single by Melky Cabrera in the ninth for his fourth blown save in 18 chances, things looked bleak for the A's until Barreto stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom half.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Oakland starter Daniel Gossett and Jose Abreu added a three-run shot for the White Sox.
After Abreu put the White Sox back ahead 5-4 with his 16th homer in the fifth, Alonso answered with his 19th in the bottom half to make it 6-5, giving him three multihomer games this season and in his career.
All-Star RF Avisail Garcia returned to the lineup after missing five games with a sore left knee and singled in his first at-bat for his only hit of the day. 
The White Sox look for their third straight series win at the Coliseum in the rubber game of the series. Chicago hasn't won three straight series in Oakland since 1996-97. Mike Pelfrey (3-6) gets the start. He has lost all five career starts vs. Oakland with a 7.56 ERA. Sonny Gray (3-3) pitches for the A's.

Rodon earns first win since 2016 as White Sox beat A's 7-2

Todd Frazier doubled twice and drove in two runs to back Carlos Rodon's first win of the season, and the Chicago White Sox beat the slumping Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Monday night.
Melky Cabrera added three hits and an RBI, Willy Garcia doubled twice while Matt Davidson had an RBI double to break out of a personal slump and help Chicago to its fifth win in seven games.
One week after getting swept by the A's at home, the White Sox jumped on Oakland starter Jharel Cotton early and got strong pitching from Rodon and two relievers to make it hold up before a crowd of 40,019 - the largest to watch a baseball game at the Coliseum in nearly 12 years.
Rodon (1-1) allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings and came within one shy of his career high with 10 strikeouts in his second start after missing nearly the first three months of the season on the disabled list with bursitis in his left bicep. Rodon gave up a two-run double to Adam Rosales in the second the retired 14 of 16 on his way to winning for the first time since Sep. 30.

Voit drives in 4 runs to lead Cardinals past Marlins, 14-6

Luke Voit ripped a two-run shot into the batter's eye in center field on Monday to help the Cardinals to a 14-6 victory over Miami.
Voit had two hits and drove in four runs in his third start.
St. Louis scored four times in the first inning and seven in the third on the way to an 11-0 lead. Voit homered in the eighth as the Cardinals won for the fifth time in six games.
Tommy Pham reached base five times and drove in a pair of runs.
Adam Wainwright (9-5) added a two-run double and picked up his second successive win.
The Marlins have lost five of six.
Miami starter Jeff Locke (0-5) gave up 11 hits and 11 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Pham had three hits and two walks.
Wainwright sailed through the first four innings but gave up six runs in the fifth. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton three times. Stanton is 0 for 12 lifetime against Wainwright, who has six hits in 13 at-bats with seven RBIs against Locke.  Yadier Molina, who went 3 for 3, highlighted the seven-run third with a bases-clearing double that came within a few feet of leaving the park.
Marcell Ozuna keyed the Miami comeback with a three-run double. J.T. Realmuto had three hits for the Marlins. Locke struggled from the outset and never got into any rhythm.

Blue Jays acquire Miguel Montero from Cubs

Catcher Miguel Montero has been acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Cubs, six days after he blamed Chicago pitcher Jake Arrieta for allowing seven stolen bases in a 6-1 loss to Washington.
Toronto said Monday it acquired the two-time All-Star and cash for a player to be named or cash.
Montero hit .286 with four homers and eight RBIs in 44 games this season and was designated for assignment Wednesday. He has thrown out one of 31 base stealers this season.
The 33-year-old Venezuelan has a .260 career average with 124 homers and 542 RBIs in 12 seasons with Arizona and the Cubs. His 10th-inning RBI single gave Chicago a two-run lead in Game 7 of last year's World Series, a game the Cubs hung on to win 8-7 for their first title since 1908.
Toronto cleared a roster spot by transferring outfielder Darrell Ceciliani to the 60-day disabled list.

Spieth to sit out John Deere Classic again

Jordan Spieth has decided to skip the John Deere Classic to prepare for the British Open.
Spieth is a two-time winner of the tournament. He won the John Deere Classic in 2013 on a sponsor's exemption, which sent him to the FedEx Cup playoffs and a spot on the Presidents Cup team at age 19. He won again in 2015, even though it meant not getting to the British Open until Monday when he was going after the third leg of the Grand Slam.
He did not defend his title at the TPC Deere Run last year.
The John Deere Classic is July 13-16. The British Open at Royal Birkdale is the following week.

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

Jake Arrieta pitched one-hit ball for seven innings without allowing a stolen base on Sunday, and Ian Happ homered twice in the ballpark where he played as a college star, leading Chicago to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Back in the ballpark where he threw a no-hitter last season, Arrieta was back in form, allowing only Joey Votto's first-inning single and a pair of walks - the Reds were never in position to try to steal. Votto singled home a pair of runs in the eighth off Koji Uehara.
Arrieta matched his season high by going seven innings for the third time.
Happ grew up in the Pittsburgh area and played at the University of Cincinnati, including one game at Great American Ball Park. 
The first-round pick from 2015 hit a two-run homer and a solo shot off Tim Adleman (5-5). The rookie added an RBI single, the third time he's driven in four runs in a game.
Anthony Rizzo also had a solo homer, and Javier Baez doubled home a run as the Cubs prevented a three-game sweep.
After a day off, they open a six-game homestand heading into the All-Star break. John Lackey (5-9) starts against Tampa Bay's Chris Archer (6-5). In his last start, Lackey gave up a season-high eight runs in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-4 loss to Washington.
>>White Sox Rally Past Rangers
Reliever Jose Leclerc (1-2) gave up a two-run home run with two outs in the eighth to Chicago's Yolmer Sanchez and the White Sox beat the Rangers 6-5 on Sunday.
It was a sloppy, error- and walk-filled game in which both teams gave the other numerous chances. The White Sox committed a season-high four errors, including two on the same play that allowed a run to score.
The Sox also nearly let the Rangers off the hook after taking the lead, loading the bases in the ninth before David Robertson (4-2) struck out Carlos Gomez to end the game.
Even that final strikeout was sloppy, as the ball got away from catcher Kevan Smith. He could have just thrown to first to finalize the game, because Gomez didn't run, but Smith instead grabbed the ball and dove to touch home plate before Joey Gallo could score from home.
The Rangers are tied for most blown saves in the American League with 17.
The White Sox were also frustrated by mistakes. Among the team's four errors, two came in the fourth inning when the Rangers' Robinson Chirinos stole second. Smith's throw to second sailed out into center field, allowing Chirinos to head for third. Center fielder Adam Engel retrieved it and tried to throw out Chirinos at third, but the throw was off target and Chirinos went home.
Sanchez, however, erased the problems with the dramatic, late, home run, just his fourth of the season.
Melky Cabrera also homered for Chicago - hitting his ninth in the first - and Mike Napoli hit his 16th for Texas.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana had his shortest outing since May 30, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Quintana had thrown 19 scoreless innings before giving up a run in the third inning.
Texas starter Tyson Ross gave up four runs in five innings, walked five, and hit one batter.
Jonathan Lucroy had given the Rangers a 5-4 lead with a two-run single in the fifth. He noted the frustrations with the team's inability to hold on to late leads, but said it doesn't matter how the team loses.
Carlos Rodon (0-1, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the season at Oakland on Monday after returning from the disabled list.
>>Scherzer, Harper Lead Nats Past Cardinals
Bryce Harper homered twice against Carlos Martinez, Max Scherzer struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings and the Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2.
Harper also doubled and had four RBIs to pace Washington, which snapped a three-game skid and had lost five of seven.
The Cardinals had won four straight and six of seven overall, including series victories against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Nationals.
Scherzer (10-5) allowed two hits and two walks while lowering his major league-leading ERA to 1.94. Scherzer's double-digit strikeout performance was his 10th this season and 59th of his career.
Martinez (6-7) entered the game ranked fourth in the NL in ERA but allowed five runs in five innings. The right-hander had allowed five earned runs over his previous four starts combined.
Wilmer Difo and Brian Goodwin added sacrifice flies.
Tommy Pham's two-run homer in the eighth, his 10th of the season, off reliever Enny Romero got the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
Yadier Molina's 16-game hit streak, which tied his career long, came to an end with an 0-for-4 performance.
Adam Wainwright (8-5, 5.17 ERA) begins a four-game series against the visiting Marlins on Monday night. He is 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA in eight home starts this season.

Cubs Davis, Cardinals Molina Selected To MLB All Star Game

The Cubs and Cardinals will not be represented in the MLB All Star Game's starting lineups, for next Tuesday night in Miami, FL but the two squads will be represented, per MLB policy each team must have representation.
On Sunday, MLB unveiled the starters and reserves for the National League and American League All-Star teams. Fan vote, of course, determined the starting position players in each league (eight in the NL and nine -- including DH -- in the AL, and pitchers and reserves were chosen by a combination of player ballot and selections made by the commissioner's office. The respective managers, Joe Maddon of the Cubs for the NL and Terry Francona of the Indians for the AL, will chose the starting pitchers. Maddon will also select his DH from the NL's reserves. Each roster comprises 32 players -- 20 position players and 12 pitchers. As in years past, each of MLB's 30 teams must be represented by at least one All-Star.
Cubs closer Wade Davis was selected and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was selected as a National League reserve.
The American League starters feature six first time all stars in their starting lineup highlighted by rookie sensation Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. Resident all-star veterans Sal Perez of the Kansas City Royals andMike Trout of the Angels  make their fifth and sixth appearances respectively.
Blue Jays 1B Justin Smoak was slected to his first all star game as a starter while Indians 3B Jose Ramirez makes his first appearance as a starter. 
The Houston Astros have the most representation in the AL starting lineup with Jose Altuve, making his fifth appearance in the All-Star game and Carlos Correa and George Springer will attend their fist mid-summer classic.
Rays DH Corey Dickerson will make his first all star game appearance.
White Sox OF Avisail Garcia makes his first all-star game. Former Cubs SS, Starlin Castro has been selected to his fourth all star game at 2B from the Yankees. 
Yankees C Gary Sanchez, Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop, and Twins 3B Miguel Sano will make their first All-Star game appearances.
Leading vote getter Bryce Harper highlights three Washington Nationals starting in the NL starting lineup. Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy were each selected as starters from Washington. 
Charlie Blackmon from the Rockies and Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins each were selected starters in their second all-star game selections. 
Reds SS Zack Cozart edged out the Dodgers' Corey Seager to start while Nolan Arenado of the Rockies will make his second all star game appearance. 
Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger was selected to the roster and will particate in Monday's home run derby, highlighted by fellow-reserve and reigning derby champ, Giancarlo Stanton, who will seek to put on a show in front of his home crowd at Marlins Park. 

Bulls Notes

The Chicago Bulls have waived veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Bulls bought out Rondo for $3 million Friday rather than exercise a $13.4 million option for next season. He signed a two-year deal to come to Chicago last summer.
The 31-year-old Rondo was in and out of the rotation, chided Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade for criticizing the team's effort and finished the season on a strong note before missing the final four playoff games against Boston because of a broken right thumb.
The four-time All-Star averaged 7.8 points and 6.7 assists. The Bulls had said Rondo would probably be back, but he became expendable when they acquired Kris Dunn from Minnesota in the Butler trade on draft night.
Chicago also waived guard Isaiah Canaan.
>>Bulls, Justin Holiday Agree To Terms
A person familiar with the situation says the Chicago Bulls have agreed to a $9 million, two-year contract with guard Justin Holiday.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the agreement.
Holiday averaged 6.5 points in 27 games for the Bulls two years ago. He played in all 82 games for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 7.7 points, Holiday has averaged 5.7 points over four seasons with Philadelphia, Golden State, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
The Bulls made the playoffs on a tiebreaker and lost to Boston in the first round.
>>Ex-Bulls F Gibson Signs With Minnesota
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Taj Gibson is reuniting with coach Tom Thibodeau, agreeing on a two-year, $28 million deal to join the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gibson has spent the bulk of his career in Chicago, including five seasons under Thibodeau. The Bulls traded him to Oklahoma City late last season.
For his career, Gibson has averaged 9.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. In Minnesota, he'll be a new addition along with another former Bulls teammate - Jimmy Butler, who was traded to the Timberwolves last month.

Blackhawks Trade C Kruger To Vegas

The Vegas Golden Knights have landed Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, after all.
Two weeks after not selecting Kruger in the NHL expansion draft, Vegas gave up undisclosed future considerations to acquire the two-time Stanley Cup-winner in a trade with the Blackhawks on Sunday.
Used primarily as a checking-line forward, Kruger had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 70 games last season. Overall, he has 33 goals and 72 assists for 105 points in 398 games over seven seasons.
Kruger's departure frees up much-needed salary cap space for the Blackhawks a season after signing him to a three-year $9.25 million contract.
The Golden Knights opened up cap space to add Kruger a day earlier, when they traded defenseman Alexei Emelin to Nashville.
>>Former Blues D Shattenkirk Headed To Rangers
The biggest name of NHL free agency is headed to the Big Apple.
Kevin Shattenkirk has signed with the New York Rangers, according to the team.
The news was first reported earlier by NHL Network's Kevin Weekes, then later confirmed by TSN and NHL.com's Dan Rosen.
The Rangers had long been considered a logical landing spot for the former St. Louis Blues D-man, especially after New York bought out Dan Girardi's contract and then cleared the way for a potential big-money addition with the recent trade of Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes.
Shattenkirk's value as a top-four D-man with scoring prowess stood tall as an impending free agent, and New York nabbing him without breaking the bank is a Grade-A offseason move for a team looking to make another run in 2017-18.

Kyle Stanley Wins Quicken Loans National

Kyle Stanley has lived a full career in his seven years on the PGA Tour. He's won dramatically. He's lost even more dramatically. His game has gone wayward. His game has soared again (of late). It all came full circle on Sunday when, for the first time since he took the Phoenix Open in 2012, Stanley won on the PGA Tour.
His victory this week came at the Quicken Loans National in a playoff over Charles Howell III. Howell, who has gone nearly 300 tournament starts without a win but remains just one of three golfers to finish in the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list since 2000, or the former Clemson superstar in Stanley who has struggled so badly with his putting and short game in past years that he actually played on the Web.com Tour part time in 2014.
Stanley eventually won with a par on the first playoff hole.
Stanley and Howell shot dueling 66s while playing together in one of the final few pairings on Sunday. Their identical 67-66 weekends were tied with Rickie Fowler for the best in the field. Both finished at 7 under overall Sunday, two clear of Fowler and Martin Laird.
Stanley took advantage in the playoff even after blowing his tee shot out to the right. He found a good lie, and Howell made bogey from the fairway.
For both golfers, it was a successful week. Both probably haven't won as much as they should have given their ridiculous ball-striking. Stanley has been knocking on the door with at T6 at the Memorial Tournament and a T4 at The Players Championship. Howell has been out for a few months with a rib injury. 
Both grabbed spots into The Open Championship with this week's performance, but only Stanley got to kiss the trophy. It was a terrific shootout from a couple of elite swingers. A combined 65 on the back nine with no bogeys culminating in a playoff wrapped up an immense day of golf all over the globe. 
Rickie Fowler (T3) shot a 65 with a double bogey on the easiest hole on the course.  


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