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Paul carries Suns past Giannis, Bucks in NBA Finals opener
PHOENIX (AP) Chris Paul waited 16 years to get to the NBA Finals, bringing with him a team starving for its first championship.
The setting was entirely new.
The performance was same ol’ Chris Paul.
“Just knew he’s ready,” Phoenix forward Mikal Bridges said. “He’s prepared his whole life for this moment and it shows out there on the court.”
Paul had 32 points and nine assists in an NBA Finals debut that was well worth the wait, Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Suns beat the returning Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 on Tuesday night in Game 1.
Paul scored 16 points during a sensational third quarter that had Phoenix fans who waited 28 years to see the NBA Finals again screaming in delight.
“Every time he shoots it we think it’s going in,” Booker said.
It almost did in the third quarter, when Paul was 6 for 7 and made all three 3-pointers.
Finally playing for the title in his 16th season, the star point guard has the Suns in the NBA Finals for only the third time, and it sure looked as if they could make this ending different than the other two.
“We’ve been building all season long for these moments,” Paul said. “We’re going to keep playing. This is just one game. We’ve got to stay locked in.”
Deandre Ayton added 22 points and 19 rebounds to continue his breakout stretch of play in his first postseason.
Antetokounmpo had 20 points and 17 rebounds after missing two games with a hyperextended left knee. Khris Middleton scored 29 points, but the Bucks will have to play from behind again after dropping Game 1 for the third straight series.
“We know it’s not going to be easy. We know it’s going to be tough,” Middleton said. “There’s times where we’re going to be down in this series. But this series isn’t over. We’re down. We’ve still got to keep competing and just playing.”
The series opener was the first NBA Finals game in Phoenix since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls won their third straight championship here in Game 6 in 1993. The Suns, who came into the NBA with the Bucks in 1968, made their only other finals appearance in 1976.
They hadn’t even made the playoffs since 2010 and just two years ago were last in the Western Conference with a 19-63 record.
But Booker was already headed for stardom by then, and 2018 No. 1 pick Ayton has played at that level in the postseason. Paul has been steady as always since his arrival in an offseason trade.
Now 36 and a 10-time All-NBA selection, he is on the list of best players to never win a championship. It appeared he might never even get to play for one until Oklahoma City dealt him to a team of Suns on the rise, and he might be the final piece that takes them all the way to the top.
Despite so many debuts on the finals stage – the Suns’ Jae Crowder was the only player who had appeared in them, and that was for Miami at a neutral site last year – there didn’t appear to be many first-time jitters.
But Paul shifted the Suns into another gear in the third. His opening jumper provided the first double-digit lead of the game, and he followed with a four-point play for the Suns’ next basket.
He scored eight straight Phoenix points later in the period, hitting a 3-pointer, dancing around Bobby Portis for a layup and then hitting another 3. He then fired a pass to Ayton, who was fouled and made both free throws to make it 88-68 with 2:20 left.
“Their pick-and-roll game is tough to guard,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think we’ve just got to keep getting better. We’ll look at the film. We’ll see how we can maybe take away some of the rhythm.”
The Bucks cut it down to seven near the midpoint of the fourth before Paul helped the Suns restore a safe margin. He found Booker for a 3-pointer, stole the ball from Middleton and then hit a jumper to make it 106-94.
Milwaukee also is making its third finals appearance, having won the title in 1971 but not getting another chance since losing in 1974. The Bucks got a boost for this appearance when Antetokounmpo worked his way back quickly from an injury that looked serious when it happened.
The two-time MVP missed the final two games of the Eastern Conference finals. He was listed as doubtful for the opener, but he was upgraded to questionable Tuesday and then inserted into the starting lineup after he worked out on the court before the game.
“I’m just happy that I’m out there and I’m able to help my team in any way possible and participate in my first NBA Finals,” Antetokounmpo said.
The Bucks threw a lob to Antetokounmpo on their first possession – a play similar to the one he was defending when he was injured in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta – and he seemed to attack the basket just as forcefully as always.
But Jrue Holiday, who played so well while Antetokounmpo was out, shot just 4 for 14 and scored 10 points.
Gregg Popovich says Team USA to ‘demand a lot’ from Kevin Love
(ESPN NEWS SERVICE)
Kevin Love heard the blowback when he scored a coveted spot on the U.S. national team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after one of the worst seasons of his career. So did coach Gregg Popovich, who had a message for the doubters.
“We’re going to work his ass off the next four to five weeks and demand a lot,” Popovich said after the team’s first practice at UNLV on Tuesday.
“That’s going to definitely get him back into the rhythm he needs to be in to continue to play. I think that’s one of the big reasons he wanted to do this, so he can get himself back to who he was.”
Popovich made the call to offer a spot to Love, believing his ability to shoot and be rough in the paint fighting for rebounds could be valuable going up against some of the veteran European squads Team USA will face in Japan.
Love played just 25 games last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a recurrent calf injury and averaged just 12.2 points, the lowest since his rookie year. He had a couple of good games at the end of the season, but he was still a surprising selection. Love hasn’t played on Team USA since 2012 and hasn’t been an All-Star since 2018.
“In a way I understand [the criticism] because I came off a season where I didn’t play that many games and wasn’t at the top of my game,” Love said. “For me to come here, I feel I have a lot to prove.”
There’s an undercurrent to this opportunity that could play a role in Love’s future. While he’s focused on helping the team win a second gold medal — he won one in 2012 in London — his ticket out of Cleveland could be tied to his performance this summer.
The Cavs have attempted to trade Love for parts of the past two seasons, but his injuries — just 103 games played in the past three years — and his disillusionment with a long rebuild at times have hammered his value. So have the two years and $60 million left on his contract.
Cleveland blessed Love’s desire to play this summer, even though he’s risking further injury. At the end of the season, Cavs general manager Koby Altman said “we want him to be here” when asked about Love’s future. While the team no doubt hopes Love can return to an All-Star level and support Cleveland’s young players, Love’s playing could well create some options that could benefit both parties.
It’s unclear how much playing time Love will actually get in Tokyo, as the Americans have a deep roster. But league executives are in attendance watching practice this week as there are five exhibition games before the team flies across the Pacific. Those could end up being showcases for Love — not just for Popovich and his staff, but for other teams as well.
“I’m 13 years in now, I’ve heard it all,” Love said. “All I can do is go out there and chase the game, let everything fall into place and just bust my ass and see what I can do for this team.
“I do believe if it’s on me to have to pivot in my career for a team to win, I’m more than willing to do that. I do feel like on [the Cavs] or whatever team I end up on or USA team, this is definitely something I can continue to progress in.”
Gardner headed to Arizona
North Central basketball will be losing its head coach after it was announced Tuesday. Jason Gardner is headed to Arizona to be a part of the new staff there.
Gardner too over the North Central basketball program last season after spending five seasons as the head coach at IUPUI. Gardner left the Jags following his arrest in Hamilton County for DUI.
The Panthers went 13-10 last season.
Arizona is now being led by Tommy Lloyd who was an assistant at Gonzaga.
911 callers urge help for hockey player killed by fireworks
(AP) — A woman told a 911 dispatcher that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was “getting ready to go into convulsions” after he was struck in the chest by an errant Fourth of July fireworks mortar blast at a Michigan home.
The call was one of three released Tuesday in connection with Kivlenieks’ death, which police are investigating as an accident.
Another female caller said: “Hey, we have someone who was hit by a fireworks. Can you come here immediately? He’s breathing. We have a nurse here. He’s breathing, but he’s not doing very good.”
Kivlenieks, 24 of Latvia, was struck about 10 p.m. Sunday at a home in Novi, about 28 miles northwest of Detroit. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
A large group of people was gathered at the home, about 28 miles northwest of Detroit, and “the fireworks had not been going on for very long” when Kivlenieks was struck, Lt. Jason Meier said Tuesday.
Police have said the firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby. Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and tried to get clear with several other people when he was struck.
The nine-shot firework being used was legal in Michigan and the person operating it at the time Kivlenieks was struck was in compliance with state laws, Meier said.
“We understand he was training with the homeowner for the summer and was staying there,” said Meier, who declined to release the name of the homeowner or identify the person operating the fireworks.
“When we’re done, we’ll review with the prosecutor’s office to cover all the bases,” he added.
Fireworks-related death and injuries are on a rise, according to a report released in June by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It found 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in 2020 compared to about 10,000 in 2019.
In it’s 2020 Fireworks Annual Report, the agency said its staff received reports of 18 non-occupational deaths last year in the United States. Of that number, 12 involved the misuse of fireworks. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff also has reports of 136 fireworks-related deaths between 2005-2020.
In Michigan, consumer fireworks must meet CPSC standards. Licensed facilities only can sell fireworks to people 18 and older. Low impact fireworks like sparklers, toy snakes, snaps, and poppers are also legal for sale and use.
State law stipulates that consumer-grade fireworks only can be ignited from personal property. It’s also illegal to discharge fireworks when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Pérez’s RBI single caps 4-run 9th as Royals beat Reds 7-6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Salvador Perez’s walk-off single capped Kansas City’s four-run rally as the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 Tuesday night.
The Royals scored six runs off the Reds’ bullpen in the final two innings and Perez got his third game-ending hit this season.
“There are not a lot of people in their major league career that get an opportunity to celebrate a walk-off,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Perez’s heroics. “You can attribute it to as much luck as you want to. I’m not buying it. There are just special people in that situation, and Salvy is one of them.”
Trailing 6-3 to start the ninth, the Royals got the tying run on second with no outs without the benefit of a hit. Ryan O’Hearn walked and Hunter Dozier was hit by a pitch. Michael A. Taylor then rolled a ground ball through the legs of Eugenio Suarez at third, scoring O’Hearn.
With one out, Nicky Lopez flared a ball into short left field, scoring both runners to tie it 6-6. He went to second on the throw, then advanced to third on an error on left fielder Aristides Aquino. Whit Merrifield walked and Andrew Benintendi struck out, bringing Perez to the plate.
“I kind of changed my sights a little bit,” Lopez said. “I kind of got a little pull-happy (earlier in the game). I tried to see something a little deeper. I got jammed pretty good, but I was able to get it to the left side.”
Richard Lovelady (2-0) picked up the win. Heath Hembree (2-4) took the loss.
“They’ve been so good,” Reds manager David Bell said of his bullpen. “With a five-run lead, the way they’ve been pitching, you expect them to get it done. If a couple of plays go a different way it could be a different outcome.”
Kyle Farmer and Tyler Stephenson each had three hits for the Reds. Farmer’s three hits included a double and a two-run home run.
Luis Castillo, whose record stood a 2-9 on June 10, turned in his fifth straight quality start, but to no avail. He allowed one run and three hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
The Reds started the game with the first two runners reaching base but couldn’t score because of an inning-ending double-play grounder by Joey Votto. Bubic wasn’t as fortunate in the third, allowing his first run on an opposite-field double by Jonathan India. Stephenson reached with a single, and both runners scored on a two-out triple that just eluded Benintendi in left.
Farmer’s seventh home run of the season gave the Reds a 5-0 lead in the fourth. Farmer hit a curve ball 407 feet into the seats in left center, scoring Tyler Naquin.
Taylor homered leading off the bottom of the fifth for the Royals.
“It’s not the first one,” Matheny said of the late comeback. “To see it come when we haven’t been playing our best baseball and to still have that hunger and belief, if they don’t have that belief, it doesn’t happen. There are a lot of teams with a lot of wins that don’t necessarily do what we just did.”
The Reds got that run back in the seventh on a broken-bat single by Suarez, scoring Nick Castellanos.
Benintendi hit a two-run home run off Cionel Perez in the eighth to bring the Royals to 6-3.
Harper leads way as Phillies hand Cubs 11th straight loss
CHICAGO (AP) Bryce Harper can feel everything coming together for him and the rest of the Phillies’ lineup. At the moment, they are crushing the ball.
Harper homered and tied a career high with five hits, Andrew McCutchen smacked a grand slam and Philadelphia handed Chicago its 11th straight loss, beating the Cubs 15-10 on Tuesday night.
Rhys Hoskins also went deep. The Phillies jumped on Jake Arrieta (5-9) after beating Chicago 13-3 the previous night and finished two shy of a season high with 16 hits.
“I think we’re coming into our own as a team,” Harper said. “Everybody’s getting healthy. And we’re just looking forward to the next couple of games, getting into the All-Star break and enjoying our time down, coming back and get going.”
The Cubs, meanwhile, extended their worst skid since they dropped 12 in a row in May 2012. They remained winless since Zach Davies and three relievers combined to no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24. And with Arrieta failing to make it through the second inning in his second straight start, they fell into a huge hole.
Harper hit his seventh homer in 13 games when he crushed a three-run drive in the seventh, extending the lead to 15-4. He finished with a season-high four RBIs.
McCutchen, the game’s fourth batter, smacked his third career grand slam and second this season in the first inning.
Hoskins chased Arrieta with a two-run double in the second, making it 7-0, and hit the left-field scoreboard with a drive leading off the seventh. Jean Segura chipped in with four hits and four runs.
“They’re putting up runs like crazy,” said Aaron Nola, who threw six innings. “I feel like every time I looked up, somebody was on base, somebody was getting a hit, walk, home run. They’re pretty cool, man. Guys are battling up there, and that’s what happens when you battle.”
Nola (6-5) went six innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He struck out eight and walked one, and the Phillies withstood a shaky effort by their struggling bullpen.
Álvarez hits 2 HRs, drives in 5 runs as Astros beat A’s 9-6
HOUSTON (AP) Yordan Alvarez hit two homers and drove in five runs, Jose Altuve drove in the go-ahead run with a single, and the Houston Astros rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-6 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Alvarez, who was activated off the paternity list on Monday, hit a two-run homer to center in the first and had a three-run blast to left in the fifth, tying the game at 6-all and ending the night for Oakland starter Chris Bassitt.
Alvarez said through a translator he had not gotten a lot of sleep the last couple nights, but he had another motor for the team.
“It’s super exciting to play that role in the game,” Alvarez said. “To be down by a bit and be able with one swing, with one big hit, to be able to make it a 0-0 game is very exciting.”
It was the second multi-homer game of the season for Alvarez, whose last came against the New York Yankees on May 6.
“His contribution today was the key for winning the game,” Altuve said of Alvarez. “He’s an amazing hitter overall. He can walk, hit doubles, homers. You really don’t know what to expect from him because he’s so good.”
The Astros took the lead with a three-run outburst in the sixth inning. Altuve gave the Astros their first lead with a two-run single, and Yuli Gurriel added an RBI groundout.
“It doesn’t matter how early or late in the season, we are trying to win games,” Altuve said. “It doesn’t matter the situation. Starting the game like we did today and being able to score runs like we did was huge. Every win we can get right now is important.”
Myles Straw had an RBI single in the fourth.
“Comebacks are always great,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “When you come back, it builds character and shows what you can do and shows that you’re never out of a game. That was as great a comeback as I’ve seen this year. That just adds to our confidence level going forward.”
Oakland tagged Houston starter Framber Valdez for three runs in the first and second innings.
Matt Olson and Chad Pinder hit RBI singles, and Jed Lowrie hit an RBI double in the first. In the second, Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single, and Ramon Laureano scored on an error by Martin Maldonado on a double steal. Olson had an RBI groundout to extend the lead to 6-2.
“To score six runs in the first two innings is encouraging, but we had one of those games where they just swung the bat better in the later part of the game,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Valdez surrendered a season-high six runs – five earned – on 10 hits with six strikeouts in five innings.
Bryan Abreu (3-3) threw two scoreless innings for the win. He was activated off the injured list prior to the game. Ryne Stanek threw a perfect eighth, and Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 15th save.
Bassitt yielded a season-high six runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
“If you’re going to miss locations, you better have life to your pitches,” Bassitt said. “I had nothing today.”
J.B. Wendelken (1-1) allowed two runs in one inning and took the loss. Oakland has lost four of the last five games.
Ohtani hurls 7 innings, hits RBI double, Halos top BoSox 5-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Boston manager Alex Cora remembers marveling at Shohei Ohtani’s raw pitching talent when the Red Sox visited Anaheim in 2018. He also recalls the Red Sox chased the Angels rookie after just two innings.
Ohtani’s pitches are still incredible three years later, but Cora saw them coming from a fully formed big-league starter Tuesday night.
“Yeah, he threw hard, all that, but he pitched today,” Cora said. “You see him out there now, and he knows what he’s doing. It’s amazing what he’s doing. Unreal.”
That’s foreboding for the rest of baseball, and it was bad news for the AL-leading Red Sox.
Ohtani pitched seven innings of five-hit ball and hit an early RBI double, leading Los Angeles to a 5-3 victory over Boston.
The Angels’ two-way star yielded two runs and struck out four, winning his matchup with fellow All-Star Nathan Eovaldi in their final mound starts before next week’s game in Denver. Ohtani (4-1) didn’t walk a batter in a strong rebound start after a terrible outing last week at Yankee Stadium, where he walked four in the first inning.
“I felt like I had good rhythm, good mechanics,” Ohtani said through his translator. “It was a lot different from my last start. … I’m a student of the game, and this is my fourth year, so I do feel like I need to grow every year, and I think I’ve been able to do that.”
Although he went 1 for 4 at the plate and failed to homer for the second straight game after hitting 14 in his previous 17 games, Ohtani still cracked a double in the first inning that drove in the Angels’ first run. He has a 1.054 OPS to go with his 3.49 ERA roughly halfway through the season.
“We all romanticize what it would have been like to watch Babe Ruth play,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “You hear this stuff, and it’s a larger-than-life thought or concept. Now we’re living it. So don’t underestimate what we’re seeing. We always romanticize the past, and sometimes you miss what’s going on right in front of your very eyes.”
Ohtani looked comfortable again at Angel Stadium, where he has a 1.87 ERA in eight starts. He pitched steadily into the late innings and had several moments of brilliance: In one at-bat against Danny Santana, he followed a 67-mph curveball with a 97-mph fastball.
“That’s just not fair,” catcher Max Stassi said.
Stassi hit a two-run homer and doubled and singled for the Angels, while David Fletcher went 4 for 4 in their fifth win in six games.
Raisel Iglesias gave up Hunter Renfroe’s two-strike, two-out homer in the ninth, but finished strong for his 17th save.
J.D. Martinez drove in both of Boston’s runs against Ohtani, but the Red Sox lost for just the second time in 12 games.
Eovaldi (9-5) yielded nine hits and five runs while pitching into the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out nine, but the Angels matched the second-highest hit total against Boston’s All-Star selection this season.
“The Stassi at-bat where he hit that home run, that’s one I wish I could have back,” Eovaldi said. “We were behind the entire game after that. Their defense had a couple of really nice plays out there. I was able to keep it to soft contact after that, but they just kept finding ways on the basepaths.”
Kike Hernandez ripped a double on Ohtani’s third pitch and eventually scored on Martinez’s sacrifice fly.
But after Fletcher extended his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games with a double on Eovaldi’s first pitch, Ohtani drove him home with a sharp double to right. Stassi followed two batters later with his sixth homer.
Ohtani kept Boston off the board again until the sixth when Connor Wong doubled and scored on Martinez’s single.
Eovaldi left after issuing his first two walks in the sixth, and Fletcher beat out an RBI infield single that put Los Angeles up 5-2 before Brandon Workman struck out Ohtani with the bases loaded to end it.
Stanton’s homer starts barrage, Yankees thump Mariners 12-1
SEATTLE (AP) The slumping New York Yankees showed the punch that still exists in their lineup by erupting on one of their former top prospects.
Giancarlo Stanton clubbed a three-run homer off the railing of the second deck in the first inning, Luke Voit had a career-high five hits and three RBIs, and the Yankees thumped the Seattle Mariners 12-1 on Tuesday night.
The Yankees seemed to release nearly a week worth of frustration with an early offensive outburst against the Mariners and one-time New York prospect Justus Sheffield.
“This is probably as good an outing as we’ve had – a couple of homers, a ton of hits, everyone getting a lot of hits and finding some holes, even when it wasn’t perfect,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But I feel like there’s lineups building that momentum. We’re getting more and more guys kind of locked in and who they are.”
New York had been a reeling for more than a week, a stretch that included being swept in Boston and last Wednesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Angels where the Yankees blew an 8-4 lead in the ninth inning. Getting out of the Big Apple seemed to help, as did the continued problems for Sheffield.
“I had a three run lead before even throwing a pitch. Those guys were locked in from the get go,” Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon said. “They had some long innings there. It’s cool in the dugout, you can feel them feeding off each other. They had some energy and swag tonight out there.”
DJ LeMahieu singled in each of the first three innings, becoming the first New York player to have three hits in the first three innings since Aaron Judge in April 2018. Stanton’s homer was his 15th of the season and left the bat at nearly 116 mph.
Voit’s had a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch and was the final batter Sheffield faced. Judge added an RBI double and Voit had an infield single in the fifth to score another run. Rougned Odor hit a three-run homer in the eighth, his ninth of the season.
Voit capped his night with a double in the eighth and single in the ninth.
The 12 runs and 18 hits were season highs for the Yankees.
“Last week was a pretty frustrating week. I think I had as many hits as I had in the last 10 games as I had tonight,” Voit said.
The big offensive outburst made for an easy night for New York starter Jameson Taillon. Pitching with a lead from the outset, Taillon (4-4) cruised through the Mariners lineup allowing four hits and one run. He matched his season-high with nine strikeouts and completed seven innings for the first time since April 3, 2019 when pitching for Pittsburgh.
Taillon was nearly through six shutout innings, but Ty France’s two-out flare into shallow left field dropped despite Miguel Andujar’s diving attempt and scored J.P. Crawford.
“It’s definitely nice to see it in a box score, but I do feel like I’ve been working on the right things and kind of tracking in the right direction for a bit now,” Taillon said
Sheffield (5-8) may have lost his spot in Seattle’s rotation, losing his fourth straight decision after a month of struggles. Sheffield failed to make it through the second inning for the first time in his career and has not finished five innings in four of his past five starts.
“It’s a combination of things,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He just not locating. He’s not throwing the ball great. He’s making mistakes at the wrong time in the game and it adds up.”
Sheffield has allowed 32 hits and 23 earned runs over 19 innings in his past five starts. He’s scheduled to start the final game before the All-Star break but Servais said that’ll be evaluated in the coming days.
“It’s not fun not going out and doing your job and not playing the way that you know you’re capable of playing and playing the way that I know I can play,” Sheffield said.
Yasmani Grandal out 4-6 weeks with torn tendon in left knee
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Catcher Yasmani Grandal was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday by the Chicago White Sox with a torn tendon in his left knee.
Grandal was injured during an at-bat in Monday’s loss in Minnesota. Chicago estimated Grandal will be out approximately four to six weeks.
“It was a twist that he made as he made his swing,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Something got caught. It didn’t free up to make a turn on it. It got caught and something popped. I’m anxious to get a full diagnosis. He’s on his way to Chicago, maybe in Chicago already, and we’ll know more tomorrow.”
Grandal was hitting just .188 as Chicago’s starting catcher, but he had a .388 on-base percentage in 63 games to go with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs.
Seby Zavala, 27, was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and was with the team for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. Zack Collins started Tuesday at catcher.
“He was as productive as any position player we have for the last month or so,” La Russa said of Grandal. “We saw Seby in spring training. I saw him for the first time. He’s well known. He’ll do a good job.”
Zavala was hitting .178 with five homers and 15 RBIs for Charlotte. He played in five games with the White Sox in 2019 and was 1 for 12.
Grandal’s absence adds to Chicago’s injury woes. Second baseman Nick Madrigal is out for the season after hamstring surgery. Left fielder Eloy Jimenez has missed the entire season with a torn left pectoral tendon and center fielder Luis Robert played 25 games before a right hip flexor strain sent him to the injured list.
Relievers Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero, outfielder Adam Engel and infielder Jake Lamb are also on the injured list.
Jimenez and Robert have begun baseball-related activity. La Russa said Engel could return on Tuesday.
“It’s only as difficult as you allow it to be,” La Russa said on the string of injuries. “We control our minds and our hearts. If we want to act frustrated and discouraged, like we’ve been unlucky, then we’re going to lose an edge. If we remind ourselves, you look around and Minnesota doesn’t have (Byron) Buxton. Everybody’s getting hurt. It’s how you handle it.”
No relay: Banned sprinter Richardson left off Olympic team
(AP) — Banned sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was not on the Olympic roster released Tuesday by USA Track and Field, a decision that means the American champion’s positive test for marijuana will cost her a chance at running on the relay team in Tokyo, in addition to her spot in the 100-meter individual race.
Richardson’s positive test nullified her win at Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, last month and the spot that went with it for Tokyo in the 100. Her 30-day suspension will end before the start of the relays on Aug. 5, which left open the possibility she could win a medal as part of the 4×100 relay team.
But her name was missing from the 130-person roster USATF sent out. The federation had two discretionary picks beyond the top four finishers in the 100-meter final at trials but chose not to offer a spot to the 21-year-old sprinter, who was expected to challenge for Olympic gold.
Asked about how Richardson was taking the news, her agent, Renaldo Nehemiah, responded: “We haven’t spoken about it at all. It was actually not a topic we focused on.”
In a statement, USATF said it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” and “fully agrees” that international rules regarding marijuana should be reevaluated.
“So while our heartfelt understanding lies with Sha’Carri, we must also maintain fairness for all of the athletes who attempted to realize their dreams by securing a place on the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team,” the statement read.
In this case, that meant offering the remaining relay spots to the sixth- and seventh-place finishers, each of whom moved up in the pecking order after Richardson’s DQ. They are English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs.
Richardson tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana after her victory on June 19. She said the stress of her biological mother’s recent death combined with the pressure of preparing for trials led her to use the drug.
“I was definitely triggered and blinded by emotions, blinded by badness, and hurting, and hiding hurt,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I know I can’t hide myself, so in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”
Over the weekend, she sent out a pair of tweets: “All these perfect people that know how to live life, I’m glad I’m not one of them!” and “2022-2025 undefeated!”
Shortly after the 2012 Olympics, international regulators loosened restrictions on marijuana use, increasing the threshold for a positive test to a level designed to catch athletes only who were using it in the immediate hours before competition. Potential bans were reduced from two years to as little as the 30-day suspension that Richardson is serving.
But where some professional leagues, such as the NFL, NHL and NBA, have greatly reduced enforcement of marijuana rules, with the acknowledgement that the drug does not enhance performance, the Olympic world continues to test for and punish use in some circumstances. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in addition to substances that trigger performance enhancement, the banned list can includes drugs that can pose health risks to athletes or violate the “spirit of sport.”
It’s a stance that has triggered a wide-ranging debate, largely in the realm of social media but also in Washington. Last week, President Joe Biden said that while he was proud of the way Richardson handled her ban, “the rules are the rules.”
“Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted out a letter she and Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland sent to the leaders of both the U.S. and world anti-doping agencies urging them to overturn the decision.
“Please strike a blow for civil liberties and civil rights by reversing this course you are on,” the letter said.
2018 champion Kerber vs. No. 1 Barty in Wimbledon semifinals
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) When Angelique Kerber grabbed the opening set of her Wimbledon quarterfinal Tuesday, the full-capacity crowd saluted the accomplishment with cheers that bounced off the closed roof at No. 1 Court.
Kerber’s reaction? Just a matter-of-fact, straight-faced stroll to the sideline. No shouts or leaps or fist pumps. Unlike the other women headed to the semifinals at the All England Club, this is not new to her. Not at all. It’s just that it’s been a while.
The owner of three Grand Slam titles, including at Wimbledon in 2018, Kerber moved back into the final four at the grass-court major by using her knee-to-the-turf agility and quick reflexes to beat No. 19 seed Karolina Muchova 6-2, 6-3.
“I remember how I played here,” said Kerber, a 33-year-old left-hander from Germany, who did let loose by shaking her fists when her victory ended. “I know how to play on (a) grass court.”
Next, No. 25 seed Kerber takes on No. 1 Ash Barty, who eliminated 75th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 in the first all-Australian major quarterfinal in 40 years.
“It’s the ultimate test,” Barty said, looking ahead to Thursday’s matchup. “Angie’s obviously had success here before.”
Barty won the 2019 French Open, but she had never been to the quarterfinals at the All England Club. Indeed, this was the first time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the tournament had six first-time women’s quarterfinalists.
Only Kerber and Muchova, who also lost at this stage in 2019, boasted past experience.
The other semifinal is No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka against No. 8 Karolina Pliskova.
Sabalenka collected her tour-leading 34th match win of 2021 by defeating No. 21 seed Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3, and Pliskova topped unseeded Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2.
This was the first day of 100% capacity in the two main stadiums after COVID-19 restrictions placed a 50% cap on attendance when the fortnight began. With rain falling much of the afternoon, the singles matches were played at Centre Court and No. 1 Court with the roofs shut and spectators allowed to be maskless – the All England Club says the arena’s ventilation systems allow them to be considered outdoor venues.
Pliskova – the 2016 U.S. Open runner-up to Kerber – claimed 24 of 26 points on her serve in one stretch, hit eight aces and saved the only three break chances she faced.
“Everything today was working quite well,” said Pliskova, who averaged 106.5 mph on her first serves, 20.5 mph faster than Golubic.
Pliskova has been broken only three times through five matches so far and has not dropped a set.
She also hasn’t played anyone ranked better than 47th yet.
Now comes a test.
Jabeur’s game is full of novelty and nuance, with drop shots and all manner of angles and spin.
Sabalenka? She is all about power and big cuts at the ball, and even with that constantly aggressive style, she managed to accumulate more winners, 27, than unforced errors, 20.
“She played,” Tunisia’s Jabeur said, “the match of her life.”
Sabalenka, a 23-year-old from Belarus, hadn’t been past the fourth round at any major previously.
But she agreed hers was a “great performance.”
“I still have this opportunity to win a Slam,” Sabalenka said. “I will do everything I can to reach my goal.”
In the day’s lone men’s match, No. 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz came back to edge No. 2 Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the resumption of a fourth-rounder contest suspended Monday night.
Hurkacz’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal will come against 20-time major champion Roger Federer on Wednesday.
Kerber was certainly the best known and most accomplished of the women left in the draw as Tuesday began.
And now she’s into her eighth Grand Slam semifinal, with half coming at Wimbledon. The most recent came three years ago, when she upset Serena Williams for the championship.
Kerber extended her current winning streak to 10 matches, including a title at a grass-court tuneup in Germany last month, and her first-round exits on the Australian Open’s hard courts in February and French Open’s red clay in May seem like forever ago.
“I never stopped to believe in myself (and) how I can play,” said Kerber, like Pliskova a former No. 1.
Kerber’s game bothered Muchova the same way it troubled 17-year-old American Coco Gauff in the fourth round – with shots steered so quickly, low to the ground and flat.
“She plays good angles. It was a great match from her side,” said Muchova, who draped a towel over her head while sitting during changeovers. “So, definitely, didn’t help me.”
Kerber only compiled 15 winners, but that was enough because she limited Muchova to just two forehand winners herself – compared to a combined 33 unforced or forced errors with that stroke.
Muchova appeared to give herself at least the possibility of turning things around by breaking to lead 2-1 in the second set. But Kerber, so steady if not spectacular, broke right back when Muchova sent a forehand long to cap a 13-stroke exchange.
That was pretty much that.
Italy beats Spain on penalties, reaches Euro 2020 final
LONDON (AP) Facing a wall of nervous blue-and-white clad Italy fans behind the goal, Jorginho took his trademark hop and skip before calmly stroking in the winning penalty.
So much for the pressure of a shootout in the European Championship semifinals.
A dash of Italian panache completed a 4-2 penalty-shootout win over Spain at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, setting up a title match against either England or Denmark back at the same stadium on Sunday.
The match finished 1-1 after extra time and provided Italy with its toughest test of the tournament, with Spain controlling possession for long periods. Federico Chiesa scored for Italy with a curling shot in the 60th minute but substitute Alvaro Morata equalized for Spain in the 80th.
Morata, dropped from the starting lineup for the first time in a tournament during which he has received verbal abuse and even death threats from his own fans, will go down as Spain’s scapegoat once again after having a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the next-to-last kick of the shootout.
As he walked back to the center circle with his head bowed, Jorginho made the opposite journey and didn’t make the same mistake.
The Chelsea midfielder has his own style when it comes to taking penalties and he didn’t abandon it when it mattered most, sparking a throng of celebrations as Italy’s players sprinted from the halfway line.
Jorginho was mobbed. Italy coach Roberto Mancini was hugged by the rest of coaching staff. The players lined up on the edge of the area and ran together, holding hands, toward the fans.
Leonardo Bonucci went further, leaping over the advertising hoardings to get even closer to the crazed supporters whose loud cheering had lifted the team in their most difficult moments.
“We’re delighted we could provide this wonderful entertainment to the Italian people,” Mancini said. “One game to go.”
Riding a national record unbeaten run of 33 games, Italy will play in its fourth European final and look to win the title for a second time, after 1968.
It’s quite the redemption story for a country which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“This group is amazing,” Mancini said. “Everyone wants to win, but this group of players wanted to do something special.”
They have had the aura of champions since Day 1 of the tournament and they’ll be sticking around until the last day, too. But it’s at the home of English soccer where the team has had its toughest matches.
Against Austria in the round of 16, the Italians were taken to extra time at Wembley and they had to go the distance, too, against Spain.
Spain’s striker-free formation initially flummoxed the Azzurri, who have become a more progressive team under Mancini but were given a clinic at times in ball possession and movement in midfield.
Experienced center backs Giorgio Chiellini and Bonucci looked uncertain at times, not knowing whether to drop back or follow deep-lying forward Dani Olmo – who started ahead of Morata – into the center of midfield.
Spain’s pressing also drew some rash clearances from the back from Italy. That created the team’s best chance in the first half with Ferran Torres’ shot requiring a low save from Donnarumma.
The Italians had even more problems when Morata came on as a substitute but, by then, Chiesa had put them ahead after latching onto a loose ball, cutting inside and curling a shot into the far corner. It was his second goal at Wembley in this tournament, having scored just as impressively against Austria.
Morata’s movement stretched Italy’s defense to set up chances for Mikel Oyarzabal and Olmo. Then he scored for the third time at Euro 2020.
For a player often accused of wasting chances when he has too much time in front of goal, Morata showed calmness to sidefoot in a left-footed shot after exchanging passes with Olmo at the edge of the area.
Morata grabbed a camera behind the goal and thrust his face into it. But he had nowhere to hide after becoming the second Spain player to miss in the shootout – after Olmo – following 30 minutes of extra time.
“He really has a lot of personality,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said of Morata. “He wanted to take a penalty even though he’s been through some tough times in this competition.”
Italy started the shootout with Manuel Locatelli’s shot saved by Unai Simon, but Andrea Belotti, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi all scored before Jorginho.
Spain, a three-time European champion, beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout just to get to Wembley. Having also been taken to extra time by Croatia in the last 16, the Spanish certainly took the long route to the semifinals but their journey ended there.
“Everyone made Italy big favorites,” Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets said, “but we demonstrated we were superior to them.”
INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS: Scoreless Duel Ends In 1-0 Indians Loss
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Following two stellar, scoreless pitching performances from both pitching staffs, the Columbus Clippers walked off the Indianapolis Indians in the series opener on Tuesday night, 1-0.
With runners at second and third with one out for lefty Joe Jacques (L, 2-1), Trenton Brooks singled into right field to score the winning Columbus (25-29) run. It was the Clippers sixth hit of the game and second of the inning following a leadoff single by Yu Chang, who came in to score the lone run.
Mitch Keller got the start for the Indians (27-27) and tossed five scoreless innings with just two hits allowed in his third start with the club this season. Austin Davis and Shea Spitzbarth followed with three scoreless innings combined.
It was Indy’s first 1-0 loss since July 4, 2017 vs. Columbus at Victory Field. Steven Brault took the loss in that game as the Clippers scored one run on only three hits.
The Indians were held to just three hits in Tuesday night’s shutout. Following three perfect innings by Brad Peacock to begin the game, Kyle Dowdy (W, 3-2) finished the game with two of his own for the win.
Indianapolis and Columbus will battle again on Wednesday night at 7:05 PM ET. RHP James Marvel (3-1, 4.32) is set to take the mound for the Indians against RHP Heath Fillmyer (1-1, 6.00).
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1900 By defeating the Cubs, 11-4, Beaneaters’ hurler Kid Nichols takes only nine seasons to get his 300th victory. The 30 year-old righty will amass 361 win during his 15-year career and remain the youngest player ever to accomplish the feat.
1909 In a 15-3 blow-out of the Browns, the White Sox collect 12 stolen bases. The thievery at Chicago’s South Side Park includes the theft of home plate three times.
1920 After appearing in 55 games with the Giants this season, Benny Kauff is traded by the team with cash to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League for Vern Spencer. Although acquitted of the charges, the New York outfielder, slated to rejoin the team in 1921, is banished from baseball for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after being implicated in a car theft ring during the offseason.
1923 Lefty O’Doul, who will become an outstanding major league hitter later in his career, gives up 13 runs in the sixth inning as the Indians rout the Red Sox, 27-3. The San Francisco native will finish his 11-year stint in the majors with a lifetime batting average of .349.
1923 The Indians become the first American League team to score a run in every inning when they rout Boston, 27-3, in the first game of a doubleheader at Cleveland’s Dunn Field. The Tribe tallies nearly half their runs in the sixth frame, crossing the plate 13 times, in a contest that takes only two hours and ten minutes to complete.
1931 The White Sox outlast and outslug the Browns, beating St. Louis in 12 innings, 10-8. During the Sportsman’s Park contest, not a single strikeout is recorded by the five pitchers who take the mound, making it the longest game in major-league history without a strike three.
1936 The Senior Circuit wins its first All-Star game, edging the American League at Braves Field in Boston, 4-3. The Junior Circuit had taken the first three contests of the Midsummer Classic.
1936 Joe DiMaggio becomes the first rookie to appear in an All-Star Game when he starts in right field and bats third for the Junior Circuit in the team’s 4-3 loss to the National League at Boston’s Braves Field. The 21 year-old Yankees outfielder doesn’t fare well in the fourth edition of the Midsummer Classic, committing an error and making the last out of the game with a man in scoring position to finish his day 0-for-5 at the plate.
1937 With Franklin D. Roosevelt in attendance at Griffith Stadium in Washington, Yankees’ first baseman Lou Gehrig drives in four runs with a home run and a double to lead the AL to an 8-3 victory over the National League in All-Star action. FDR, who tosses the ceremonial first pitch, is the first U.S. president to attend an All-Star Game.
1948 On his 42nd birthday, Negro League legend Satchel Paige signs a contract to pitch with for the Indians. Though viewed by many as another publicity stunt by team owner Bill Veeck, the crafty right-hander will finish the season 6-1 for the eventual world champs.
1951 Hoot Evers strokes four singles and a double in the Tigers’ 13-3 rout of the Indians. The Detroit outfielder’s 5-for-5 day is a productive one when he scores five times in the Briggs Stadium contest.
1953 The Dodgers set a major league mark for the most consecutive games with a home run by a team with a least one round-tripper in their 24 contests. Brooklyn starter Preacher Roe hits the record-breaking homer with a third-inning blast in the team’s 9-5 victory over Pittsburgh at Forbes Field.
1953 The Browns, with their 6-3 loss to the Indians at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, set a major league record, losing their 20th consecutive home game. The non-winning streak dates back to June 3.
1959 At Forbes Field, Hank Aaron’s eighth-inning single ties the score, and a triple hit by Willie Mays plates Aaron with the winning run in the 5-4 All-Star victory in the first of the two Midsummer Classics to be played during the season.
1964 In the only All-Star Game ever played at Shea Stadium, the National League evens the all-time series at 18 victories for each circuit by beating the AL, 7-4, with a dramatic ninth-inning rally which includes a three-run homer by Phillies slugger Johnny Callison. Home team second baseman Ron Hunt becomes the first Mets player selected as a starter in the Midsummer Classic.
1968 Throwing just nine pitches, Tom Seaver earns the only save of his 20-year major league career when the Mets beat the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium, 4-2. Tom Terrific strikes out Dick Allen on three pitches and then quickly dispatches Johnny Callison and Tony Taylor on outfield flies.
1970 Rico Carty, the National League’s leading hitter, becomes the first player voted to play in the All-Star Game as a write-in candidate. The ballot, drawn up by managers and general managers before the start of spring training, did not list Braves outfielder’s name.
1970 Lew Krausse tosses the first shutout in Brewers’ history, blanking the White Sox at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, 1–0. The game’s lone run scores from second base on Joe Horlen’s errant throw fielding a sacrifice bunt, plating Mike Hegan, who had doubled to lead off the seventh inning.
1971 After the first plan of placing the new inductees in a separate wing creates a storm of controversy, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Hall of Fame president Paul Kirk announce former Negro League players will have full membership in the Cooperstown shrine. Last month, the HOF created a committee to select for annual induction players who had been at least 10-year veterans of the Negro Leagues and were ineligible for regular Hall election.
1974 The Cubs snap Buzz Capra’s nine-game winning streak when the team beats the Braves at Wrigley Field, 4-3. The 26 year-old All-Star right-hander, who established a franchise mark for consecutive victories, will finish the season with a 16-8 record, posting a major league-leading ERA of 2.28.
1975 During an 8-6 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Giants outfielders Gary Thomasson, Bobby Murcer, and Chris Arnold each nail a baserunner trying to score. The rare feat last occurred in 1905 when Cubs flycatcher Jack McCarthy accomplished the feat with his three outfield assists.
1982 Harold Baines hits three consecutive home runs, including a grand slam, to lead the White Sox over the Tigers, 7-0. The Chicago right fielder hits solo round-trippers leading off the fifth and seventh frames before going deep in the eighth with the bases full to seal the deal in the Comiskey Park contest.
1998 In a game remembered more for ‘Glory,’ a patriotic-colored Beanie Baby souvenir given to the fans, the American League beats the senior circuit, 13-8, in the thin air at Coors Field in Denver. The 21-run total surpasses the previous record set in 1954, when the AL beat the National League in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, 11-9.
1998 Jeff Shaw becomes the first player to participate in an All-Star Game wearing a uniform for a team he hasn’t yet played for when he allows three hits and a run pitching an inning for the National League squad, before appearing in a regular-season game for the Dodgers. The 32 year-old closer, who posted a 1.81 ERA along with 23 saves in the first half of the season for the Reds, was traded three days ago by Cincinnati to Los Angeles for Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes.
2000 The Butte Copper Kings ‘John Rocker Awareness Night promotion,’ is a huge success when the Angel rookie-league club offers free admission to anyone belonging to a group insulted by the Atlanta reliever in his Sports Illustrated interview. The 672 fans in attendance for the Pioneer League contest, one of the team’s largest crowds of the season, include single moms with multiple children, people with purple hair, ‘foreigners’, and people with alternative lifestyles.
2003 Shea Hillenbrand becomes the sixth player to homer in three consecutive innings, tying a big-league record. The third baseman’s fourth, fifth, and sixth inning round-trippers account for half of the runs the Diamondbacks score in their 14-6 victory over Colorado at Bank One Ballpark.
2004 Blanking the Royals, 12-0, Twins’ hurler Kyle Lohse helps establish a club record, throwing the team’s third consecutive shutout. Johan Santana (Royals, 4-0) and Brad Radke (Royals, 9-0) started the streak of 27 scoreless innings, which is also a franchise record.
2004 Kazuhisa Ishii tosses a one-hitter in the Dodgers’ 11-0 defeat of Arizona. The 30 year-old Japanese southpaw retires the first 12 batters he faces before issuing a leadoff walk to Luis Gonzalez and a single by Shea Hillenbrand, but the left-hander proceeds to set down the next 15 D-Backs to finish his masterpiece.
2006 John Lackey retires the next 27 A’s batters after Mark Kotsay doubles leading off the bottom of the first inning on a 3-0 count and falling behind Nick Swisher on the same count. The 3-0 Angel victory, which takes 2 hours and 1 minute to complete, also halts LA shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s streak of reaching base safely in 63 consecutive games, twenty-one shy of Ted Williams’ record of 84 straight games established in 1949.
2006 Travis Hafner hits his fifth grand slam of the season when he clears the bases in the second inning of the Indians’ 9-0 win over Baltimore at Jacobs Field. The Cleveland DH becomes the first player in major league history to accomplish the feat before the All-Star break and surpasses the franchise record of four-baggers established in 1951 by Al Rosen.
2007 Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki records the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history when he hits Chris Young’s fastball into deep right-center field at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The fifth- inning blast caroms off the park’s quirky configuration and gets past NL center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., allowing the American League leadoff hitter, who will be named the game’s MVP, to complete his way around the bases for the historic round-tripper.
2008 After taking a nine-run lead into the sixth inning, the Mets hold on to beat the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, 10-9. The game is eerily similar to a 1992 contest, also played in Philadelphia, that caused Hall of Fame announcer Bob Murphy to remark after the final out, “they win the damn thing by a score of 10 to 9!”
2008 To reach the postseason for the first time since 1982, the Brewers trade four highly touted farm hands to the Indians to obtain CC Sabathia. Milwaukee sends last year’s first-round draft pick, Matt LaPorta, minor league pitching prospects Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson, and Taylor Green (player to be named later), the team’s minor league player of the year, to Cleveland for last season’s American League Cy Young Award winner.
2009 Without throwing a pitch, Alan Embree is credited with the win when Colorado scores the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the Nationals at Coors Field, 5-4. After entering the tied contest with two outs in the top of the frame, the Rockies reliever picks off Austin Kerns off first base (caught stealing/PO –> P-1B-SS-P) for the third out of the frame without facing a batter.
2010 With the score tied at seven in the bottom of the ninth at Coors Field, Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta makes Evan MacLane’s major league debut memorable when he leads off the inning, hitting a walk-off home run off the 27 year-old rookie. The Cardinals’ southpaw is the first hurler to surrender a game-winning homer to the first major league batter he faces since Padres’ right-hander J.J. Trujillo accomplished the dubious deed, allowing Baltimore’s Tony Batista to end a game with a round-tripper in 2002.
2010 Adam Dunn becomes the second Washington Nationals’ player to hit three home runs in a game, and the first major leaguer to accomplish the feat at the three-year-old Nationals Park. The first baseman’s offensive output, which matches Alfonso Soriano’s performance in 2006, helps the home team edge San Diego, 7-6, on a hot night in the nation’s capital.
2011 Trailing by four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Indians rally to beat the Blue Jays, 5-4. The keynote blast is delivered by Travis Hefner, whose walk-off grand slam off Luis Perez to deep right field delights the Progressive Field fans.
2011 Trying to grab the ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton, Ranger fan Shannon Stone dies when he tumbles over the railing and falls 20 feet to the concrete pavement below. The 39 year-old Brownwood (TX) firefighter had attended the game with his six-year-old son, Cooper.
2011 In Washington, the Nationals lose, 10-9, when the Cubs erase an eight-run deficit. The defeat of hometown team marks the largest blown lead in franchise history for the Nats, including their tenure in Montreal as the Expos.
2012 In the bottom of the first inning at Minute Maid Park, first base umpire Sam Holbrook tosses Zack Greinke from the game. The arbitrator takes exception to the Brewers starter, who had thrown only four pitches, spiking the ball after he called Jose Altuve safe on a close play in which the Milwaukee hurler covered the bag in the 6-4 loss to Houston.
2012 Bryce Harper becomes the youngest position player to make an All-Star team when he is named to replace Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who cannot participate because of an injury. The 19 year-old Nationals outfielder, who is older than hurlers Dwight Gooden (Mets) and Bob Feller (Indians) when they played in their first Midsummer Classics, surpasses backstop Butch Wynegar (Twins) as the youngest non-pitcher to be selected.
2016 Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, with his twenty-first home run, ties the National League mark shared by Dave Kingman (Giants,1972) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) for the most home runs by a rookie before the All-Star break. Mark McGwire established the major league record, going deep 30 times before the Midsummer Classic while playing for the A’s in 1987.
2017 Eight seconds before a 5 p.m. ET deadline, the Reds and their No. 2 overall pick, Hunter Greene, reportedly agree to a record $7.23 million bonus. The 17 year-old two-way Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, CA) senior, who recently appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover, has been selected primarily as a pitcher but will bat and play shortstop on occasion.
2017 Carlos Carrasco tosses an immaculate inning when he strikes out the side in the fifth frame on nine pitches in the Indians’ 11-2 victory over the Tigers at Progressive Field. The Venezuelan right-hander is only the second pitcher in franchise history, along with Justin Masterson, who accomplished the feat in 2014.
|Boston||54||33||.621||–||27 – 17||27 – 16||21 – 10||12 – 6||11 – 15||8 – 2||L 1|
|Tampa Bay||49||36||.576||4||24 – 16||25 – 20||22 – 13||6 – 4||13 – 15||5 – 5||W 2|
|Toronto||43||40||.518||9||19 – 20||24 – 20||19 – 20||4 – 6||7 – 12||5 – 5||L 2|
|NY Yankees||43||41||.512||9.5||23 – 22||20 – 19||17 – 24||13 – 6||9 – 5||3 – 7||W 2|
|Baltimore||28||57||.329||25||13 – 26||15 – 31||11 – 23||4 – 13||11 – 14||5 – 5||W 1|
|Chi White Sox||50||35||.588||–||31 – 14||19 – 21||10 – 7||29 – 15||7 – 10||6 – 4||W 1|
|Cleveland||42||40||.512||6.5||21 – 19||21 – 21||7 – 8||23 – 16||5 – 9||1 – 9||L 7|
|Detroit||39||47||.453||11.5||21 – 22||18 – 25||4 – 5||18 – 26||12 – 11||6 – 4||L 1|
|Kansas City||36||49||.424||14||21 – 21||15 – 28||8 – 12||17 – 24||5 – 11||3 – 7||W 1|
|Minnesota||35||49||.417||14.5||18 – 24||17 – 25||6 – 7||16 – 22||9 – 16||4 – 6||L 1|
|Houston||53||33||.616||–||27 – 16||26 – 17||15 – 10||12 – 6||24 – 12||6 – 4||W 5|
|Oakland||49||38||.563||4.5||27 – 22||22 – 16||13 – 13||12 – 2||16 – 18||3 – 7||L 2|
|Seattle||45||41||.523||8||26 – 18||19 – 23||12 – 7||12 – 13||17 – 13||6 – 4||L 1|
|LA Angels||43||42||.506||9.5||25 – 20||18 – 22||10 – 11||13 – 7||14 – 20||7 – 3||W 1|
|Texas||34||52||.395||19||21 – 22||13 – 30||11 – 10||8 – 10||13 – 21||6 – 4||W 1|
|NY Mets||44||37||.543||–||25 – 11||19 – 26||19 – 18||6 – 6||14 – 6||5 – 5||W 1|
|Philadelphia||41||42||.494||4||24 – 16||17 – 26||20 – 22||11 – 5||6 – 9||6 – 4||W 2|
|Washington||41||43||.488||4.5||24 – 22||17 – 21||17 – 16||9 – 10||7 – 13||5 – 5||L 1|
|Atlanta||41||44||.482||5||24 – 22||17 – 22||21 – 22||15 – 9||3 – 3||5 – 5||L 2|
|Miami||37||47||.440||8.5||20 – 18||17 – 29||16 – 15||6 – 13||13 – 9||6 – 4||W 2|
|Milwaukee||51||35||.593||–||26 – 18||25 – 17||7 – 10||23 – 14||19 – 6||8 – 2||L 2|
|Cincinnati||44||41||.518||6.5||23 – 20||21 – 21||6 – 4||22 – 12||10 – 20||6 – 4||L 1|
|St. Louis||43||44||.494||8.5||23 – 18||20 – 26||14 – 13||14 – 17||13 – 9||6 – 4||W 2|
|Chi Cubs||42||44||.488||9||26 – 15||16 – 29||10 – 13||19 – 20||10 – 7||0 – 10||L 11|
|Pittsburgh||32||53||.376||18.5||19 – 24||13 – 29||6 – 7||11 – 26||7 – 13||4 – 6||W 3|
|San Francisco||53||32||.624||–||26 – 13||27 – 19||10 – 7||11 – 6||23 – 14||4 – 6||L 2|
|LA Dodgers||53||33||.616||0.5||28 – 13||25 – 20||12 – 6||10 – 10||22 – 11||8 – 2||L 2|
|San Diego||51||37||.580||3.5||31 – 16||20 – 21||5 – 7||16 – 14||22 – 15||5 – 5||W 1|
|Colorado||37||49||.430||16.5||31 – 17||6 – 32||5 – 8||11 – 16||14 – 22||6 – 4||L 1|
|Arizona||24||63||.276||30||14 – 27||10 – 36||8 – 15||7 – 13||9 – 28||3 – 7||W 1|
|Orlando City SC||11||6||3||2||19||9||10||3-2-1||3-1-1||21|
|New York City FC||10||5||2||3||18||11||7||3-1-2||2-1-1||17|
|Inter Miami CF||11||2||2||7||9||17||-8||0-1-4||2-1-3||8|
|Los Angeles FC||11||4||3||4||13||12||1||3-2-1||1-1-3||15|
|Real Salt Lake||10||3||4||3||14||12||2||2-3-2||1-1-1||13|
|Connecticut Sun||12||6||.667||—||7-1||5-5||7-3||6-4||1 L|
|Chicago Sky||10||9||.526||2.5||3-5||7-4||8-3||8-2||1 L|
|New York Liberty||10||9||.526||2.5||5-4||5-5||5-6||5-5||2 W|
|Washington Mystics||7||10||.412||4.5||5-4||2-6||4-6||5-5||4 L|
|Atlanta Dream||6||11||.353||5.5||3-6||3-5||5-4||2-8||2 L|
|Indiana Fever||2||16||.111||10.0||2-8||0-8||2-9||1-9||1 W|