MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Chicago Cubs 9 Baltimore 8
Boston 5 NY Yankees 4
Toronto 7 Detroit 2
Seattle 4 Chicago White Sox 2
Houston 10 Minnesota 5
Texas 5 Kansas City 3
Oakland 5 Cleveland 0
Tampa Bay 2 LA Angels 1 (10)
Pittsburgh 5 St. Louis 2
Washington 5 Cincinnati 0
NY Mets 14 Colorado 2
LA Dodgers 6 Miami 4
Atlanta 4 Arizona 3
Milwaukee 9 Philadelphia 6
San Francisco 5 San Diego 4
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Indianapolis 6 Louisville 0
Fort Wayne 2 Burlington 1 (10)
South Bend 7 Quad Cities 4
Clinton 4 Dayton 3
Washington 72 Indiana 58
Chicago 78 New York 68
Minnesota 88 Phoenix 71
CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Montréal 30 Calgary 23
Edmonton 23 Ottawa 21
******They love their history around these parts and they love Roger Federer and, above all, they love watching him make history.
Now he stands one victory from an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon men’s singles championship after qualifying for his 11th appearance in the final, breaking a record he already held.
Just weeks from turning 36, and a father of four, Federer continued his resurgent season and unchallenged run through this fortnight at the All England Club by conjuring up just enough brilliance to beat 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the semifinals Friday.
“It’s great, but it doesn’t give me the title quite yet. That’s why I came here this year,” Federer said. “I’m so close now, so I just got to stay focused.”
He has won every set he’s played in six matches, and while he did not exactly dominate against the 11th-seeded Berdych, Federer was never in much trouble. On Sunday, Federer will face 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, who reached his first Wimbledon final by eliminating 24th-seeded Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 with the help of 25 aces and some terrific returning.
“This is his home court,” Cilic said about Federer, “(the) place where he feels the best and knows that he can play the best game.”
Since equaling Pete Sampras and William Renshaw (who played in the 1880s) with a seventh trophy at Wimbledon in 2012, Federer has come this close before to No. 8. But he lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.
Here comes another chance.
Federer would be the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era, which dates to 1968; as it is, he’s the oldest finalist since Ken Rosewall was 39 in 1974.
******Gio Gonzalez was tired after throwing eight shutout innings on a hot and muggy evening. His manager wanted him to face one more batter, and the left-hander took it as a compliment.
Gonzalez pitched four-hit ball into the ninth inning, retired Joey Votto to open the inning on his 113th pitch, and let the bullpen finish off the Washington Nationals’ 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
Bryce Harper extended his mid-July tear with two homers as the Nationals got rolling out of the All-Star break with a solid all-around win.
“Just a good way to start the second half,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez (8-4) snapped his streak of three straight tough-luck losses. He allowed a double and three infield singles before leaving. Matt Albers gave up three singles, and Matt Grace escaped the bases-loaded threat for his first save.
Gonzalez thought he was done after the eighth inning, but manager Dusty Baker wanted him to face Cincinnati’s most dangerous hitter leading off the ninth before taking the night off.
******Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said his team is going to lean heavily on its offense to make a strong push for the playoffs.
His players responded to that challenge.
Addison Russell hit a solo home run in the ninth inning and the Cubs beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 after squandering an eight-run lead on Friday night.
“Under the circumstances of how that game was played tonight, it was really good to finish it off,” Maddon said. “We hit the ball all over the place. I thought we did a nice job of spreading it around. I thought we did a better job of putting the ball in play. Our approach was pretty good.”
Mark Trumbo tied the game 8-8 with a two-run homer off Koji Uehara (3-4) in the eighth. Russell responded when he hit a first-pitch, 96 mph fastball off Brad Brach (2-2) over the left field fence.
“It feels good to come out with that win,” Russell said. “It’s huge. I feel like, as a team, we know the type of goals that we have to hit. We’re trying to be at the top.”
Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first inning for Chicago. Ben Zobrist also homered onto the flag court behind the right field scoreboard and Jason Heyward reached Eutaw Street with another towering shot.
Chicago improved to 3-6 in interleague play after going 15-5 against the AL last season.
Welington Castillo’s ninth home run was a solo shot in the third for Baltimore, which left 10 runners on base. Trumbo went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
******New York starting pitcher Michael Pineda is mulling over what could be season-ending surgery after being diagnosed with a partial ligament tear in his pitching elbow.
General manager Brian Cashman also said Friday that first baseman Greg Bird could require surgery for a right ankle issue that hasn’t responded to a cortisone shot. Garrett Cooper, who was acquired Thursday in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, is starting at first Friday night as New York opens a four-game series with the rival Boston Red Sox.
Pineda was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday for the ulnar collateral ligament injury and Cashman said it was the recommendation of the team for him to undergo Tommy John surgery.
But Pineda’s intent is to get a second opinion before deciding whether to undergo surgery. Bird, who has already had a cortisone shot on the foot, may have a second shot or face surgery. Cashman said the surgery would mean a six- to eight-week recovery period.
Pineda first complained of and elbow issue following an appearance prior to the All-Star break. His last start was July 5 against Toronto. He lasted just four innings in that game outing, giving up five runs and nine hits.
Manager Joe Girardi said Pineda has experienced elbow soreness after pitching before, but that this time was different.
“It was never something he was used to, but when it was sore the second day is when he became concerned,” Girardi said. “It was devastating for him. He understands what it’s like to work back from a serious injury. Now he’s gotta do it again.”
The timing of the injury couldn’t be worse for the 28-year-old, who will become eligible for free agency for the first time following this season. He is 8-4, with a 4.39 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 17 starts.
******Panda-mania is over in Boston before it ever really began.
The Red Sox designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment on Friday, cutting their losses on the $95 million free agent who was never productive or healthy enough to replicate the popularity – or World Series success – he had in San Francisco.
The Red Sox have seven days to trade or release the 30-year-old Sandoval, who was activated from the disabled list (inner ear infection) and returned from an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Unless they can find a taker for part of his salary, they will have paid $95 million for a total of 161 games, 575 at-bats, 136 hits and 14 homers – and not a single one of them in the postseason.
“It really came down to us feeling we were not a better club if he was on our club at the major league level,” Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski said conversations have been going on for the past few weeks with Red Sox ownership about Sandoval. He said a possibility of a minor league assignment was discussed with Sandoval and his agent, but that Sandoval declined that option in a conversation on Thursday.
Both manager John Farrell and Dombrowski said that Sandoval showed a lot of improvement during spring training after shoulder surgery caused him to miss all but three games last season.
It just didn’t translate enough on the field in the regular season.
“You’re talking about a lot of money. I give ownership a lot of credit that they’re willing to allow us to do this,” Dombrowski said. “Yet, I would also say from a playing perspective, Pablo just wasn’t playing as well as we’d hoped.”
The MVP of the 2012 World Series after batting .500 with three homers in four games against Detroit, Sandoval was a star again while helping the Giants win the 2014 championship. Beloved in the Bay Area, where he was dubbed “Kung Fu Panda,” he chose to leave San Francisco and sign with the Red Sox that winter.
******One of Ohio State’s most famous football stars sued the university Friday over a marketing program he says used athletes’ images without permission and robbed them of compensation.
Linebacker Chris Spielman filed the class-action lawsuit in federal court in Columbus on behalf of current and former Ohio State football players.
The antitrust complaint targets Ohio State marketing programs and contracts that promote the university using likenesses of athletes, including a Honda-sponsored program of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players.
In addition to Spielman, some of the other Ohio State greats whose pictures appear on those banners include running back Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975; lineman Jim Stillwagon, who played on the 1968 national championship team; and Mike Doss, a safety who played on the 2002 national championship team.
All are among the athletes Spielman is suing on behalf of, said Brian Duncan, a Columbus attorney who represents Spielman.
The lawsuit names Ohio State and talent management giant IMG as defendants and names Honda and Nike as co-conspirators. Nike is targeted for its “Legends of the Scarlet and Gray” vintage jersey licensing program and other apparel contracts with Ohio State.
The lawsuit accuses the university and the companies of “unjust and monopolistic behaviors” and asks for compensation above $75,000, as is typical in such complaints, while noting Ohio State makes millions in revenue from merchandising programs involving ex-athletes.
******The NFL has suspended Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd without pay Friday for the first four games of the regular season for violating its substance-abuse policy.
Floyd was arrested in Arizona in December after Scottsdale police found him unresponsive at the wheel of his vehicle while it was running at an intersection, reporting a blood alcohol level of 0.217 – more than 2 1/2 times legal limit in Arizona. He pleaded guilty in February to extreme drunken driving.
Last month, an Arizona judge ordered Floyd to serve one day in jail for failing alcohol tests while under house arrest for the drunken driving conviction. He blamed the results on a type of fermented tea called kombucha.
Floyd will be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games. He can return to the active roster Oct. 2.
Released by the Arizona Cardinals after the arrest, Floyd signed with the New England Patriots and played in two regular-season games with one touchdown catch. He appeared in one playoff game, but wasn’t active for the AFC championship game or the Super Bowl. He agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Vikings in May that has incentives that could push the value as high as $6 million.
******Three-time defending champion Alabama is picked to win the Southeastern Conference title again in a preseason media poll.
Alabama was the preseason choice of 217 of the 243 people who cast ballots at this week’s SEC Media Days. The only other school to receive as many as 10 votes was Auburn with 11.
The predicted order of finish in the Western Division was Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Mississippi.
Georgia’s the favorite in the Eastern Division. Following Georgia in order were Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri.
The media have correctly picked the SEC champion two of the last three years, but only four times in the last 20 years.
Alabama also had a record 10 first-team picks on the media’s preseason all-SEC team.
******It started with a shout of “FORE LEFT!” and ended with a putt from about 7 feet that didn’t come close to finding the cup.
Rory McIlroy is making an earlier-than-planned journey south to Royal Birkdale for next week’s British Open after missing the cut by two strokes at the Scottish Open following a 1-under 71 in his second round on Friday. He was 10 shots off the lead after two days that exposed the current frailties in his wedge play and putting.
It was the world No. 4’s third missed cut in his last four events – he also failed to make the weekend at the U.S. Open and last week’s Irish Open – and the latest low point in an injury-affected 2017 for the four-time major winner.
“I’m just waiting for something,” McIlroy said. “Waiting for something, some sort of spark. Just something to go right, and the last couple of weeks haven’t been like that. Just got to keep plugging away and hopefully it turns around next week.
“I would have loved to have played more rounds going into not just the Open but the rest of the year. But I’m sort of trying to learn as I go along.”
With little wind protecting Dundonald Links, McIlroy encountered benign conditions in his bid to make up for an opening-round 74 in the British Open warmup but still came up short.
The Northern Irishman pulled his tee shot on No. 1 into a gorse bush, only to get a free drop – because the ball was ruled to have been embedded – and get up and down from a greenside bunker. He tapped in for birdie on Nos. 3 and 5, both par fives, and got into red figures for the first time this week with a close-range birdie at No. 7.
******Shanshan Feng increased her lead in the U.S. Women’s Open and lost the spotlight.
It happens when the president of the United States shows up.
Returning from a short trip to France, President Donald Trump pulled into his Trump National Golf Club on Friday in middle of the second round of the biggest tournament in women’s golf. A few hours later, he watched from an enclosed glass box next to the 14th green and stole the show.
While Trump waved at the fans, gave them the thumbs-up and pumped his fist, three of the top players – Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Stacy Lewis – were putting on the green.
As they worked, the more than 100 or so fans looked at the president.
Thompson noticed where the attention had gone.
“Not toward the golf,” she said matter of factly.
Henderson, a Canadian, didn’t seem to mind.
“It’s really amazing that the president of the United States is here to watch us play golf and on a tremendous golf course,” said Henderson, who was tied for 10th place. “I’m really excited and it was a great opportunity.”
The USGA, which awarded this event to Trump in 2012, took a lot of criticism for failing to move the tournament when comments made by Trump about women came to light in the past year.
It also was suggested that if the president attended the event it would take the spotlight from the players.
It did Friday when he became the first sitting president to attend a U.S. Women’s Open. Warren G. Harding (1921) and Bill Clinton (1997) were the only other sitting presidents to attend USGA events, going to the U.S. Open.
Feng was the star on the course for the second straight day. The 27-year-old Chinese player shot a 2-under 70 and had a 36-hole total of 8-under 136 on the 6,732-yard course that played even longer because of rain over the past two days. Feng, who has had one bogey in 36 holes, didn’t see Trump.
“I heard people like kind of screaming so that’s what I was trying to find out, like why they were screaming,” she said. “But I was still really focusing on my game. I didn’t really get distracted.”
Amy Yang of South Korea remained in second place, although her deficit grew to two shots after a 71. Yang has four top-five finishes in the event in the past five years.
“I like where I am positioned right now,” Yang said. “I’m really looking forward to play the weekend. I’m hitting good and I’m putting good and I’m feeling good about my game right now.”
Jeongeun6 Lee, who has a victory and 10 top-10 finishes this season on the KLPGA Tour, shared second after posting a second straight 69.
*******Hootie Johnson, the South Carolina banker and Augusta National chairman who stubbornly stood his ground amid pressure for the club to invite female members, died Thursday morning. He was 86.
Augusta National announced his death and celebrated the sweeping changes to the Masters during his eight years as chairman.
But it was his battle with Martha Burk and her National Council of Women’s Organizations that left his mark. Burk wrote to Johnson in 2002 and urged Augusta National to invite female members so that it wouldn’t become an issue at the Masters.
In a blistering, three-page statement to reporters, Johnson said women might one day be invited, but it would be on the club’s timetable and “not at the point of a bayonet.” That became a symbol of his resolve as Johnson and Augusta National dug in deep against relentless media pressure.
He went so far as to drop the Masters’ television sponsors – IBM, Coca-Cola and Citigroup – to keep them out of the fray. That led to the first commercial-free broadcast of a sporting event on network television.
Johnson stepped down as chairman in 2006 and was succeeded by Billy Payne, who ran the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Augusta National, which opened in 1931 and did not have its first black member until 1990, invited two women to join in 2012. One was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The other was South Carolina financier Darla Moore, whom Johnson nominated.
His public image clashed with his legacy in business, where he was among the most progressive bankers in the South.
He was born William Woodward Johnson on Feb. 16, 1931, and a childhood friend gave him the nickname “Hootie” when he was 5. Johnson was a second-team fullback for South Carolina in the 1950s and became the youngest bank president in South Carolina in 1965 at Bankers Trust of South Carolina.