NBA PLAYOFFS

Los Angeles Clippers 106 Phoenix 92

BOX: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/boxscore.asp?gamecode=2021062412&home=12&vis=21&final=true

NHL PLAYOFFS

Montréal 3 Vegas 2 OT

BOX: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/boxscore.asp?gamecode=2021062410&home=10&vis=58&final=true

COLLEGE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES

Texas 6 Virginia 2

FRIDAY SCHEDULE

Vanderbilt vs. NC State — 2 p.m. Eastern | ESPN2

Texas vs. Mississippi State — 7 p.m. Eastern | ESPN

MLB SCOREBOARD

NY Yankees 8 Kansas City 1

Oakland 5 Texas 1

Toronto 9 Baltimore 0

Houston 12 Detroit 3

Tampa Bay 1 Boston 0

Cleveland 4 Minnesota 1

Cincinnati 5 Atlanta 3

Washington 7 Miami 3

Pittsburgh 8 St. Louis 2

Chicago Cubs 4 LA Dodgers 0

THURSDAY BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/scoreboard.asp

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Indianapolis 6 Louisville 2

Ft. Wayne 9 South Bend 1

WNBA

Dallas 89 Indiana 64

Chicago 91 New York 68

Los Angeles 89 Washington 82

TOP HEADLINES

INDIANA PACERS BB: Pacers Reach Agreement with Rick Carlisle to Become Head Coach

(PACERS RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have reached an agreement with Rick Carlisle to become head coach. Per team policy, the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Rick is a proven winner with a championship and will be a Hall of Fame coach,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. “He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success. He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana.”

Carlisle will begin his second head coaching stint with Indiana after he guided the Pacers to a 181-147 (.552) record during four seasons from 2003-07. In his first season as Pacers head coach in 2003-04, Carlisle led Indiana to a franchise-record 61 wins, posted the best record in the Eastern Conference and reached the Eastern Conference Finals. His 181 wins stands as the fourth-most by a head coach in NBA franchise history. Carlisle was also an assistant coach for the Pacers under Larry Bird from 1997-2000.

“My sincere thanks to Herb Simon, Kevin Pritchard and the entire Pacers organization for the opportunity to come back to basketball’s heartland,” said Carlisle. “My wife, Donna, daughter, Abby, and I are truly grateful.”

Carlisle has completed 19 NBA seasons as head coach of the Detroit Pistons (2001-03), Pacers and Dallas Mavericks (2008-21). He has compiled an 836-689 (.548) record and will enter the 2021-22 season ranked 15th in NBA history in coaching victories. Carlisle was named NBA Coach of the Year after his first season in Detroit in 2001-02 and led the Mavericks to their first NBA championship in 2010-11.

BIG EAST and Big Ten Announce Matchups for 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games 

(BIG 10 RELEASE)

ROSEMONT, ILL. – The BIG EAST Conference and Big Ten Conference have announced the matchups for the sixth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, with eight men’s basketball contests set for Nov. 15-18, 2021. All contests will be televised on FS1 or BTN, with game times slated to be announced at a later date.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games, which began in 2015, is an early-season series between the two conferences and named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary. The BIG EAST and Big Ten split the series 4-4 from 2015-17 before the Big Ten emerged victorious in both 2018 and 2019 by a 5-3 margin. Last year, the conferences mutually agreed to cancel the 2020 series after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season and presented scheduling and timing issues.

The annual series, which is played on campus home courts, features games between local opponents as well as attractive intersectional matchups.

This year’s 16-team field includes 2021 Big Ten champion Michigan and 2021 Big Ten Tournament champion Illinois. Both the Wolverines and Fighting Illini earned No. 1 seeds in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and will be joined in this year’s Gavitt Tipoff Games by five other NCAA Tournament teams: Creighton, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games begin on Monday, Nov. 15, with Wisconsin hosting Providence and Illinois traveling to Marquette. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Michigan with face Seton Hall at home, while Nebraska hosts Creighton. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Michigan State will play at Butler and St. John’s will play at Indiana.

The series concludes on Thursday, Nov. 18, with Ohio State playing at Xavier and Rutgers traveling to take on DePaul.

2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games Schedule

Monday, Nov. 15

Providence at Wisconsin 

Illinois at Marquette

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Seton Hall at Michigan

Creighton at Nebraska

Wednesday, Nov. 17

Michigan State at Butler

St John’s at Indiana

Thursday, Nov. 18

Ohio State at Xavier

Rutgers at DePaul

The Gavitt Tipoff Games began in 2015 and is played annually on consecutive days early in the college basketball season. Throughout the series, each BIG EAST team is scheduled to participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs are slated to take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.

The distinctive series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Gavitt, who had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball at the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

INDIANA MBB: Indiana Will Host St. John’s In Gavitt Tipoff Games Matchup

(IU RELEASE)

The Indiana University men’s basketball team will host St. John’s on Wednesday, November 17 in the Sixth Annual Gavitt Tipoff Games which matches teams from the Big Ten and Big East in mid-November each season.  The Hoosiers hold a 5-2 lead in the series which began in 1952.  IU won the last meeting in the 2015 Maui Invitational, 83-73.  This will be the third meeting in Bloomington (1952, 1992).  Television information will be announced at a later date, with games appearing on FS1 or BTN.

IU will begin the Mike Woodson Era this season and return three starters including sophomore All-American Trayce Jackson Davis.   He was the only major college player to average 19 points and nine rebounds a season ago. Junior guard Rob Phinisee and junior forward Race Thompson are returning starters who also are back.

St. John’s was 16-11 last year and were led by junior forward Julian Champagnie who led the Big East in scoring at 19.8 points per game and averaged 7.4 rebounds.  He has declared for the NBA Draft and has been invited to the NBA combine but could choose to return to school.  Two other notable names on Coach Mike Anderson’s roster include transfers Aaron Wheeler (Purdue) and Montez Mathis (Rutgers).

IU is 2-1 in the event with home wins over Creighton in 2015 and 2018.  Their lone loss came in 2017 at Seton Hall.  St. John’s has a 3-1 record in the series.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games is a unique early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary.  Scheduled through 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. Each BIG EAST team will participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs will take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.

THE IU/ST. JOHN’S SERIES

(IU leads 5-2)

2/1/52                    L              55-65                      Bloomington

12/28/75               W            76-69                      New York

3/13/76                 W            90-70                      South Bend

12/21/01               W            82-77                      New York

12/23/92               W            105-80                   Bloomington

3/13/99                 L              61-86                      Orlando

11/24/16               W            83-73                      Maui

2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games

St. John’s at Indiana

Ohio State at Xavier

Illinois at Marquette

Seton Hall at Michigan

Rutgers at DePaul

Creighton at Nebraska

Michigan State at Butler

Providence at Wisconsin

About the Hoosiers

The Hoosiers return three starters, six other lettermen and will welcome four transfers and two true freshmen to the squad.  IU will open up the Mike Woodson Era on November 9.

Returning Starters (All classes will be reflective of eligibility)

Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is a returning All-American who started all 27 games last season.  He was the only  high major player to average at least 19 points and 9 rebounds during the season.  He was 4th in the Big Ten in scoring (19.1), 2nd in rebounding (9.0), 5th in field goal percentage (51.7) and blocked shots (1.4) and is third in minutes played (34.2)…  in league games only, he finished 3rd in scoring (18.4), 2nd in rebounding (9.2), 4th in field goal percentage (50.6) and minutes played blocked shots (1.4) and 3rd in minutes played (34.2).  Junior forward Race Thompson was one of only 2 players to start all 27 games (Jackson-Davis).  He was the 6th most improved scorer in the Big Ten (+5.4) averaging 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds and led the team in steals with 28 and was second in blocked shots with 34.  He shot 51.5% from the floor.  Junior Rob Phinisee started 24 of 27 games and averaged 7.1 points, 2.3 boards and 2.9 assists.

Returning Lettermen

Freshman guard  Anthony Leal appeared in 20 games and averaged 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds. Freshman guard Khristian Lander saw action in 26 games off the bench and averaged 2.1 points and had 30 assists.  Freshman guard Trey Galloway averaged 3.6 points and started seven games. Freshman forward Jordan Geronimo played in 21 games and averaged 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds. Non-scholarship players Michael Shipp, Nate Childress and Sebastien Scott also are back.

Incoming Transfers

Junior guard Xavier Johnson played three seasons at Pitt and had 1,152 points, 311 rebounds, 415 assists and 124 steals in 84 career games, starting 81 of those games.  Junior center Michael Durr played three years at South Florida and averaged 6.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots.  He started 85 of the 87 games he played in for the Bulls.  Junior forward Miller Kopp comes to IU after three years at Northwestern.   He averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.6 steals per game and started 74 games overall for Northwestern, including the last 56 contests.  Junior guard Parker Stewart came to IU in the spring of 2021 and averaged 19.2 points at UT Martin as a sophomore and 10.8 points as a freshman at Pitt.  He has shot 36.6% for his career from long distance.

True freshman

Freshman guard Tamar Bates played at IMG Academy and was a five-star recruit.  He  was ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the nation by ESPN.com, 28th by 247Sports.com and 30th by Rivals.com. Freshman center Logan Duncomb will join the Hoosiers from Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati.  He is the #73 recruit nationally according to 247Sports and #72 according to Rivals.com and #87 by ESPN.com

BUTLER MBB: Butler MBB to Host Michigan State in the 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games

(BUTLER RELEASE)

Butler will host Michigan State in the Gavitt Tipoff Games with the teams meeting Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The teams last played in the national semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, a game that the Bulldogs won 52-50 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences announced the eight matchups for the sixth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, set for Nov. 15-18, 2021.  Game times and television network assignments will be announced at a later date.  All games will be televised on FS1 or BTN.

Butler is 2-1 in the Gavitt Games, including a 2-0 mark at Hinkle Fieldhouse with wins over Minnesota (2019) and Northwestern (2016). The Bulldogs lost at Maryland in 2017.

Season tickets for the upcoming 2021-22 Butler men’s basketball season are on sale now. Additional non-conference games will be announced in the coming weeks. Butler will also host all 10 BIG EAST opponents as part of its home schedule. Season ticket information can be found here.

Throughout the series, which began in 2015, each BIG EAST team is scheduled to participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs are slated to take part a minimum of four times.

The BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences mutually agreed to cancel last year’s series after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season and presented scheduling and timing issues.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games is a unique early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary. The late Gavitt had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball at the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Coach LaVall Jordan enters his fifth season guiding the Butler program. The Bulldogs return 10 of their top 11 scorers from a season ago.

The 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games schedule

Monday, Nov. 15

Providence at Wisconsin

Illinois at Marquette

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Seton Hall at Michigan 

Creighton at Nebraska

Wednesday, Nov. 17

Michigan State at Butler

St. John’s at Indiana

Thursday, Nov. 18

Ohio State at Xavier

Rutgers at DePaul

PURDUE MBB // Williams to Return to Purdue for Senior Season

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue senior Trevion Williams has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to the Boilermakers for the 2021-22 season.

“I would like to thank the organizations that gave me the time to work out for them and to go through this process with them the last couple of weeks,” Williams said. “The feedback and instruction that I received will be very beneficial as I continue to improve as a basketball player. I am excited to return to Purdue for my senior season, to earn my degree and help this program in any way possible.”

Williams, a 6-foot, 10-inch center from Chicago, was named first-team All-Big Ten and was one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given to the nation’s top center after averaging 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He owned 11 double-doubles and his six 20-10 games were the third-most nationally for a major-college player. He also became just the ninth Big Ten player in the last 30 years to average at least 15 points, nine rebounds and two assists per game and was one of six players nationally this year to reach those marks.

He concluded his junior season with 967 career points, 630 rebounds and 126 assists, being one of just six current players nationally to have at least 900 points, 600 rebounds and 125 assists through their junior season. Williams and West Virginia’s Derek Culver are the only high-major players on that list.

“Trevion used this process to become a better basketball player and will hopefully use the feedback he gained in talking with NBA teams,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “Trevion has put in a lot of time on getting his body right and working on his game. He will obviously have a big role for us next season.”

The Boilermakers posted an 18-10 record a year ago earning a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Purdue will return all five starters from that squad.

MBB // Purdue Announces 2021-22 Non-Conference Schedule

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue men’s basketball’s non-conference schedule is almost finalized, announcing today that Purdue will play six home games in addition to contests that have already been announced.

Of Purdue’s 10 announced non-conference opponents, eight posted winning records and four ranked in the top 75 of the NCAA NET rankings. All but two were ranked in the top 200.

Purdue’s schedule strength has ranked in the nation’s top 20 in each of the last three years.

The unofficial start to the season will be Nov. 4, 2021, when the University of Indianapolis visits Mackey Arena for an exhibition contest.

Five days later on Nov. 9, it becomes real when Purdue hosts Bellarmine to officially open the 124th season of Purdue Basketball. Bellarmine is in its second year of a four-year Division I transitional phase, but posted a 14-8 overall record a year ago, appearing in the College Basketball Invitational. Bellarmine finished second in the Atlantic Sun with a 10-3 record, one game behind Liberty. The Knights finished 172nd in the final NCAA NET rankings and 167th in KenPom.

On Nov. 12, Purdue will host Indiana State for the second straight year. The Boilermakers defeated the Sycamores 80-68 a year ago in Mackey Arena, behind Trevion Williams’ 30 points and 11 rebounds. Indiana State will be led by first-year head coach Josh Schertz, a four-time D-II National Coach of the Year at Lincoln Memorial.

Purdue prepares for the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off with its final tuneup, coming Nov. 16, in Mackey Arena against Wright State. The Raiders won the Horizon League a year ago, but were upset in the Horizon League Tournament, finishing with an 18-6 overall record. The Raiders were ranked as high as No. 53 in the KenPom rankings a year ago.

Following the Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut, featuring Purdue, North Carolina, Tennessee and Villanova on Nov. 20 and 21, Purdue returns home to host Omaha on the day after Thanksgiving.

The Big Ten / ACC Challenge and then two Big Ten Conference games will be played before Purdue heads to Brooklyn for the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational against North Carolina State on Dec. 12, and then the Crossroads Classic against Butler in Indianapolis on Dec. 18.

The final two non-conference games come Dec. 20, against Incarnate Word, coached by former Boilermakers Carson Cunningham and Ryne Smith, and then Nicholls on Dec. 29, in Mackey Arena.

Ticket renewals and the ability to be placed on the season ticket wait list are now available on PurdueSports.com, as well as by calling the Hayes Family Athletic Ticket Office at 800.49SPORT.

Date                      Opponent                           2021-22 Record                NET        KenPom

Nov. 4                   Indianapolis (EXH)           11-12                                     —           —

Nov. 9                   Bellarmine                          14-8                                       172         167

Nov. 12                 Indiana State                     15-10                                     120         119

Nov. 16                 Wright State                      18-6                                       75           73

Nov. 20                 North Carolina                   18-11                                     39           34

Nov. 21                 Villanova                              18-7                                       11           12

                OR          Tennessee                          18-9                                       19           28

Nov. 26                 Omaha                                 5-20                                       322         300

Dec. 12                 North Carolina State       14-11                                     73           71

Dec. 18                 Butler                                    10-15                                     124         120

Dec. 20                 Incarnate Word                 5-14                                       331         343

Dec. 29                 Nicholls                                 18-7                                       185         196

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL: COLES LEAVING BUTLER

JaKobe Coles is leaving the Butler basketball program and heading back to Texas. Coles will play at TCU.

Coles was a part of Butler’s highest rated recruiting class in Butler history but has fought injuries this past season (partially torn meniscus).

He averaged 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.

OHIO STATE MBB:  Ohio State Heads to Xavier Nov. 18 as Part of 2021 Gavitt Games

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State will travel just over 100 miles south to take on Xavier on November 18 as part of the 2021 Gavitt Games. This will be just the fifth all-time meeting between the two in-state programs.

Time and television (FS1 or BTN) will be announced at a later date.

“What the Gavitt Games have done at the start of the college basketball season, and honoring the late great Dan Gavitt, has been tremendous for our game,” said Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann. “It has provided a number of really great matchups and this year is no exception. Xavier is a tremendous program with a rich history and passionate fan base. Playing against a good, well-coached team in that environment early in the season will be great for our 2021-22 team.”

Ohio State won each of the first two meetings, which were both played at Xavier, during the 1932-33 and 1934-35 seasons. Xavier won the postseason NIT meeting in 1984 and then the Buckeyes claimed a memorable 78-71 overtime win in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Ky. Ron Lewis’ three-pointer late in regulation tied the game and ultimately was the catalyst for the Buckeyes’ Final Four run and its appearance in the national championship game.

This is the fourth time Ohio State has played in the event and the sixth year overall for the games between the Big Ten and Big East. Last year, the conferences announced a mutually agreed upon decision to cancel the 2020 edition due to scheduling adjustments and timing issues presented by the delayed start to the college basketball season.

The event honors Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. Ohio State is 3-0 in its prior appearances in the Gavitt Games, defeating Providence (72-67) on Nov. 17, 2016 at Value City Arena, Creighton (69-60) on Nov. 15, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska, and Villanova (76-51) on Nov. 13, 2019 at Value City Arena.

The rest of Ohio State’s non-conference schedule will be announced later this summer.

INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER: Indiana Women’s Soccer Signs Graduate Transfer Amanda Fay

(IU RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s soccer head coach Erwin van Bennekom announced the addition of graduate transfer Amanda Fay on Thursday afternoon. Fay spent four seasons as a Goalkeeper at Boston University. She comes to Indiana with one year of eligibility left.

“Amanda is a very good goalkeeper with a lot of experience,” said van Bennekom. “We are very excited that she has chosen Indiana University to finish her collegiate soccer career.”

In her career with the Terriers, Fay appeared in 37 games, totaled 3087:17 minutes, and posted 15 shutouts. In her freshman season, she started 14 games with a 9-4-1 record, eight shutouts, and an 83.3 save percentage. Fay recorded a 0.97 goals against average with a 75 save percentage during her sophomore year. In her last suit up with the Terriers, she started in all nine games in goal along with three shutouts. She looks to return to the field in the cream and crimson after suffering an injury during her 2020-21 senior season. 

“I chose to transfer to Indiana University because the opportunity to continue my academic and athletic career at a renowned institution such as IU is one of a dream,” said Fay. “The Big Ten has some of the best athletic programs in the country, and I am excited to compete against them at IU. I’m confident this team can achieve great success, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to that this year. I’m grateful for the foundation Boston University laid for me, and I can’t wait for this next chapter at Indiana.”

Fay, a native of Atkinson, N.H., was a four-year letter winner and team captain at Central Catholic high school. She was a three-time MVP Goalkeeper of the Year and Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Fay helped led her team to a state championship as a senior along with two league championships. She also competed in track and field where she led her team to a state championship and was an individual state champion in the shotput.

Fay is the daughter of Diana and Jeffrey Fay who both played basketball at Southern New Hampshire University. She has two siblings Sam and Lily. Fay graduated with her degree in psychology from Boston University.

OHIO STATE: MSOC: Buckeyes 2021 Roster Bolstered by Three Returning Veterans

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio –Brian Maisonneuve, now in his fourth season in Columbus, will have three veterans returning with the announcement that Samuel Buzzas, Joe Ortiz and Noah Lawrence elected to use an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buzzas, who completed a redshirt senior season in the 2021 Spring season, spent two years at Xavier before playing the last two seasons in Columbus.

The defender from Bend, Oregon, has played 25 games for the Buckeyes with a pair of goals to his credit.

Ortiz, a midfielder from Albuquerque, New Mexico, started his career at Air Force before playing the last two campaigns at Ohio State. He has appeared in 27 games as a Buckeye with two goals and an assist to his credit.

Lawrence, a native of Mount Vernon, New York, joined the Ohio State roster in 2020 and served as the Ohio State goal keeper last spring. He played for three seasons at Cincinnati before the program was dropped.

He has 46 games of experience in goal, 10 coming during his time in Columbus. 

INDIANA STATE TRACK: Noah Malone Qualifies for 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games

(ISU RELEASE)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Indiana State freshman Noah Malone used strong performances at the United States Paralympic Trials to earn a spot on Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

With his qualification, Malone becomes just the second Indiana State track and field American to qualify for either the Olympics or Paralympics, with Felisha Johnson being the only other athlete to make Team USA, accomplishing the feat at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Malone qualified for the Paralympic games in the 100-meter dash, using a time of 10.74 at the trials to secure his placement on Team USA. Entering last Friday’s competition, Malone owned the top-time in the world in his classification of the event at 10.66.

The freshman’s time in Minneapolis also included qualification in the 400-meter dash, as his debut of 49.38 and heat victory pushed him to third in the world, just .05 off of the world lead. Malone was also the world leader in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.55.

Texas advances to the semifinals with 6-2 win over Virginia

Just four teams remain in the 2021 College World Series. Texas took down Virginia 6-2 to advance to the national semifinals against Mississippi State. The Longhorns will be back at TD Ameritrade later tonight (Friday) to face the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Eastern. They will need two wins to advance to the championship series. Virginia was eliminated from the CWS with the loss. 

Aaron Nixon picked up the save for the Longhorns and the game ended on yet another solid defensive play for Texas when Logan Michaels grounded out. Zach Zubia came up big in the ninth with the bases loaded to tack on three insurance runs for the Horns in what was a tight one-run game. 

No-hitter No. 7: Cubs blank Dodgers, tie MLB season record

LOS ANGELES (AP) Zach Davies and three Chicago Cubs relievers combined for the seventh no-hitter in the majors this year, blanking the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 Thursday night and tying the record for most in a single baseball season since 1900.

The Dodgers drew eight walks, getting at least one from each Cubs pitcher, but managed no other baserunners.

Davies (5-4) issued five walks and used 94 pitches to get through six innings against the defending World Series champions in the 16th start of his first season with the Cubs.

Chicago relievers Ryan Tepera and Andrew Chafin each walked a batter during their lone inning, but Los Angeles couldn’t capitalize.

Craig Kimbrel then walked Chris Taylor leading off the ninth, but the ferocious closer struck out Cody Bellinger, Albert Pujols and pinch-hitter Will Smith to finish the 17th no-hitter in Cubs history – the team’s first combined effort.

“I think they all needed to get a walk in, just to make my heart rate go up a little bit,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

“You get to the ninth, I don’t know I’ve been as nervous in a long time with a 4-0 lead and Craig Kimbrel on the mound as I was tonight.”

Javier Baez homered in the first inning and Willson Contreras added a two-run shot in the sixth for the Cubs, who happily celebrated the franchise’s first no-hitter since last Sept. 13, when Alec Mills blanked Milwaukee.

The seventh no-hitter of this highly unusual season was the first since May 19. The Boston Red Sox also took a bid for a combined no-hitter into the eighth inning earlier Thursday, but lost the no-no and the game at Tampa Bay.

With this no-hitter – the 312th in baseball history – 2021 matches 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most in a single MLB season since 1900. That’s one shy of the record eight in 1884, the first season overhand pitching was allowed.

“This is an awesome moment,” Davies said. “The World Series, I think something like that probably tops it. But even though it wasn’t solo and it was a combined effort, being a part of history is something special.”

Davies said each of his three relievers claimed they had no idea they were working on a combined no-hitter until after they threw their respective innings.

“I think every pitcher wants to continue in the game, regardless of his pitch count, but it worked,” Davies said. “Chafe, Tep and Craig shut the door. A part of history. I’m excited for the guys that were on the field. I can’t complain at all.”

The Cubs actually did something that’s been much harder than throwing a no-hitter over the past two seasons: They beat Walker Buehler, who hadn’t lost in 23 straight regular-season starts.

Buehler took his first loss since Sept. 21, 2019, for the Dodgers despite throwing six innings of five-hit ball. Buehler made it through six innings for the 17th straight start, but lost his streak of 30 straight games overall without a defeat.

One night after getting swept by the San Diego Padres for the first time since 2013, the Dodgers were overmatched against the Cubs, who also swept a three-game series from Los Angeles last month.

The Dodgers hadn’t been no-hit since Aug. 30, 2015, when they were blanked in Chavez Ravine by the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta – who is scheduled to pitch for Chicago on Friday night.

Davies bounced back sharply after yielding a career-high eight runs in his last start against Miami. Those eight runs matched the number he had allowed in his previous six starts combined, and he regained his excellent form at Dodger Stadium.

Davies still had control issues in Chavez Ravine, however. He walked two batters in the first before getting Pujols to ground out to end the inning.

He walked the leadoff batter in the third and fourth, but avoided any other trouble. The fifth inning was his first 1-2-3 frame, and he retired the Dodgers in order in the sixth as well.

The Dodgers got closest to a hit in the first inning when Taylor’s line drive to center was caught by Rafael Ortega.

Davies has never thrown a complete game in his seven-year major league career, which began with five seasons in Milwaukee before he moved to San Diego last year.

Tepera, the busiest reliever in Chicago’s solid bullpen, walked Gavin Lux with two outs in the seventh. Austin Barnes lined out to second to end another hitless inning.

Chafin walked Mookie Betts with one out, but Max Muncy hit a grounder right to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who stepped on the bag and threw to second for an easy double play.

The previous combined no-hitter in the majors was Aug. 3, 2019, when Aaron Sanchez and three Houston relievers blanked Seattle 9-0.

Buehler (7-1) took a no-hitter into the eighth inning last Saturday in Arizona, where he tied the Dodgers’ franchise record for consecutive regular-season starts without a loss. He made it through six innings Thursday for the 15th time this season, but he has still never beaten the Cubs.

Baez followed his 17th homer of the season by cupping his hand to his ear as he returned to the Chicago dugout, getting a loud chorus of jeers along with cheers from the Cubs’ sizable fan contingent in Los Angeles. Buehler recovered and stayed out of trouble until the sixth, when Contreras took him deep.

Chicago added another run in the seventh when Jason Heyward singled and scored on Jake Marisnick’s single off David Price.

Santillan gets 1st victory, hit to lead Reds past Braves 5-3

CINCINNATI (AP) Tony Santillan allowed one run in six innings to earn his first major league victory and Nick Castellanos hit a two-run homer, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night. ,

Santillan (1-1) gave up three hits, struck out eight and walked three in his third big league start. He also doubled in the third inning for his first career hit.

“Tony was very happy not only to get a win but he pitched very well,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He got his first hit. It was a big night for him.”

Major League Baseball’s crackdown on the use of sticky substances continued Thursday, with umpires making random checks of pitchers. Braves manager Brian Snitker deflected any notion of suspicion with left-hander Tyler Matzek, who threw 21 pitches and walked three in two-thirds of an inning in relief of starter Jesse Chavez (0-1).

Matzek averaged 2,575 rpm on his slider, 2,090 on his fastball, and 2,477 with his curve – all below his season averages of 2,997, 2,487, and 3,303. It was his second outing since the new rules were implemented.

“He just couldn’t get ahold of the ball,” Snitker said. “I don’t know why.”

The Braves, who score nearly half their runs via home runs, went ahead 1-0 on Freddie Freeman’s 17th homer in the first. But that was the only run Atlanta could manage against Santillan.

“This, for me at least, it’s the top of the top to get a win by my name,” Santillan said. “I don’t show a lot of emotion on the field. It was good vibes all the way around after I hit the double.”

Brad Brach, the Reds’ fourth pitcher of the night, got three outs for his first save of the season.

It was a bullpen day for the Braves, who summoned the 37-year-old Chavez (0-1) from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his 482nd major league appearance and first start since 2019. He allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.

The Braves used six pitchers on the night.

“It wasn’t easy piecing things together,” Snitker said. “We did a good job navigating the whole thing and kept ourselves in the game.”

The Reds were clinging to a 2-1 lead when Castellanos delivered the big blow, his two-run blast off Luke Jackson in the seventh. Castellanos drove in four runs.

“Those are the spots I have to better in,” Castellanos said. “I needed to be better with runners on base.”

Ozzie Albies hit a solo home run off Tejay Antone in the eighth.

Correa leads Astros to 11th straight win, 12-3 over Tigers

DETROIT (AP) Carlos Correa had three hits, walked twice and drove in three runs, helping the Houston Astros beat the Detroit Tigers 12-3 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to 11.

“This has obviously been a lot of fun,” Correa said. “I feel really good, and everyone is getting good at-bats. The pitchers have been great, and we’re all making plays.”

Houston’s streak is one shy of the team record, set in 1999 and matched in 2004 and 2018. The Astros have outscored opponents 91-24 during the winning run.

“This team expects to win, so they aren’t really talking much about a winning streak,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re hitting the ball well and we’re getting pitch counts up by the fifth or sixth inning. That’s a huge advantage.”

The Astros scored loaded the bases in six innings, including each from the second through the sixth. They scored twice in each inning from the second through the fifth, and finished with 18 hits, six walks and 28 baserunners.

“Everyone is working together to do this,” Astros catcher Martin Maldonado said. “We’re seeing the ball well and we’re getting big hits.”

Luis Garcia (6-4) won his fourth straight start, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings.

“I think Luis should be an All-Star,” Correa said. “He deserves it with the way he pitches every time he’s out there.”

Jose Urena (2-8) retired the side on five pitches in the first inning but threw 77 more without getting out of the fourth. He allowed six runs – four earned – eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings to fall to 0-4 with a 12.89 ERA since returning from a forearm strain on June 6.

“I don’t know if it is a physical issue or a mental issue, but he hasn’t been the same since the injury,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Whatever the reason, the way he’s throwing is a concern.”

Urena, making his first start since umpires started checking pitchers for grip enhancers, had an 8% drop on the average spin rate on both his four-seam fastball and sinker and a 12% drop on his slider.

“That didn’t have any impact on me,” said Urena, whose spin rates dropped again after being down in his previous start. “I felt good, but I moved to the third-base side a little, so I think the angle might be the difference.”

Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the second, thanks to two walks and an error, and Maldonado hit a two-run single.

Alvarez hit an RBI grounder in the third and Urena forced in a run when he hit Abraham Toro with a pitch with the bases loaded. It could have been worse for Urena; Robel Garcia hit a line drive off first baseman Jonathan Schoop’s glove, but the ball deflected to second baseman Willi Castro, who made the catch.

Akil Badoo cut the deficit to 4-1 with an RBI double in the third, but Gurriel hit an RBI double in the fourth and Correa chased Urena with an RBI single.

Detroit loaded the bases in the bottom half, but Nomar Mazara was picked off second by Maldonado from behind the plate, and Harold Castro grounded out.

Correa hit a two-run single in the fifth, and left fielder Michael Brantley robbed Jonathan Schoop of a two-run homer in the bottom half.

“That’s a big moment because we’re trying to get anything going,” Hinch said. “I didn’t think it was gone off the bat, but it started carrying. I saw Brantley getting set for a jump, and I just hoped it was going to get over his glove.”

Alvarez hit a grand slam off Bryan Garcia in the ninth, leading Hinch to move shortstop Harold Castro to the mound. Castro has pitched three times this season, accumulating 2 2/3 innings without a hit or a run.

Under the new directive, Castro was checked for illegal substances after finishing the inning.

Schwarber’s 11th, 12th HRs in 13 games lifts Nationals

MIAMI (AP) Kyle Schwarber homered twice, raising his season total to 21 by hitting 12 in his past 13 games, and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-3 Thursday night for their 10th win in 11 games.

Schwarber led off the first pulling a hanging curveball from Cody Poteet (2-3) to right for his fifth leadoff home run this season.

Josh Harrison singled with one out in the second, Victor Robles walked, and with two outs Schwarber sent a 0-2 fastball over the wall in center for a 4-0 lead.

“You’re not going up there expecting to hit home runs every time you’re up at the plate,” Schwarber said. “But hitting a home run when you’re locked in the plate, good things happen.”

Schwarber became the first player in major league history to homer 11 times in a 13-game span from the No. 1 slot in the batting order, according to STATS. He became the fourth player with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in a five-game span, joining Shawn Green, Manny Ramirez and Frank Howard.

“When he’s like that, you don’t say much to him,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “You let him go out there and play the game and let him get his swings. He’s been awesome getting us going. He’s knocked in some big runs for us. Hopefully he’s hot for a while.”

Juan Soto added the first of his two RBI doubles later in the inning.

Joe Ross (4-7) allowed four hits in seven scoreless inning, helping Washington extend its winning streak to five.

“It’s a little more satisfying that we’re going out there and winning baseball games,” Schwarber said. “I’m not the only component to this – trust me.”

Poteet gave up five runs, six hits and four walks in three innings. The 26-year-old rookie right-hander is 0-3 in his last four starts after going 2-0 in his first three big league outings.

“I just haven’t been sharp,” Poteet said. “Definitely not the start you want.”

Miami has lost four straight, scoring five runs during the slide.

“The five early obviously hurt us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “The way we’ve been swinging the bats, it doesn’t put you in a good spot.”

Jazz Chisholm hit a three-run homer in the eighth against Justin Miller, Chisholm’s ninth homer and first since June 10.

Kiermaier ends combined no-hit bid, Rays top Red Sox 1-0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Kevin Kiermaier broke up a combined no-hit bid by the Boston Red Sox with a one-out double in the eighth inning and Manuel Margot scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 victory Thursday night.

Margot got Tampa Bay’s second hit, a two-out single in the ninth off Matt Barnes (3-2). He stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Christian Vazquez.

Joey Wendle was intentionally walked, and Margot dashed home on Barnes’ wild pitch with Francisco Mejia batting.

“We really didn’t have an offense going,” Margot said through a translator. “I was just trying to be aggressive.”

Margot came off the bench to pinch-hit in the seventh and was intentionally walked.

J.P. Feyereisen (4-1), the fifth Tampa Bay pitcher, worked the ninth inning of a four-hitter.

Kiermaier lined his opposite-field double to left off Darwinzon Hernandez, the third Red Sox pitcher. The Gold Glove center fielder also threw out a runner at the plate in the seventh.

“It was a tied ballgame,” Kiermaier said. “We were just trying to stay the course and try and get something going.”

Boston starter Nick Pivetta was pulled with a runner on second and two outs in the seventh after throwing 100 pitches. His career high is 116.

Josh Taylor, who had his 22nd consecutive scoreless appearance, got the final out in the seventh before giving way to Hernandez.

“To be honest with you, it was the right call. It made the most sense,” said Pivetta, who wanted to stay in the game. “We’re all about winning.”

Pivetta finished with eight strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. He joined Babe Ruth, on May 20, 1916, against the St. Louis Browns, as the only Red Sox pitchers to be removed with a no-hitter after six or more innings.

“It was amazing,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “He was into it.”

Boston was trying to throw the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season. That would have matched 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most since 1900, one shy of the record eight in 1884 – the first season overhand pitching was allowed.

Despite a tough loss that dropped the Red Sox a half-game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East, Cora saw a lot of positives.

“A lot of people, they didn’t believe in this team before the season,” he said. “I think the way we played against these guys tonight shows how good we are. We have a lot of work to do, we know that. We belong in the conversation, we really do.”

“It’s going to be a fun summer in Boston,” Cora added.

Tampa Bay starter Michael Wacha, who took a no-hitter into the fifth, allowed one hit and two walks in five innings. He had seven strikeouts.

Vazquez got the game’s first hit with two outs in the fifth when he lifted a soft fly ball to center on a half-swing against an 88 mph changeup.

Vazquez stole second and went to third on Mejia’s throwing error but was stranded when Bobby Dalbec struck out.

Hunter Renfroe had a leadoff double to deep center against Ryan Thompson in the seventh but was thrown out at the plate by Kiermaier on Vazquez’s single.

The seventh ended when Vazquez got picked off second by Mejia.

Gurriel slam helps Jays send O’s to 20th straight road loss

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit his first grand slam in a six-run first inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took over sole possession of the home run lead with his 24th, and the Toronto Blue Jays extended Baltimore’s road losing streak to 20 games by routing the Orioles 9-0 on Thursday night.

Baltimore tied the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics for the second-longest road skid in AL history, trailing only the 22 losses in a row by the 1943 A’s. The Orioles are an AL-worst 23-52, including 11-26 away from home.

The Orioles have lost 14 of their last 15 overall. Combined with Wednesday’s 13-0 defeat to Houston, the franchise has been shut out in consecutive losses of at least nine runs since the St. Louis Browns were swept in a doubleheader 12-0 and 14-0 at Detroit on Sept. 22, 1936.

“I’m seeing that we’re down a touchdown early on back-to-back nights,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s not easy when you’re battling from so far behind so early in the game.”

Toronto has won a season-high five straight, following a five-game losing streak. The Blue Jays improved to 4-5 at Sahlen Field, the home of their Triple-A team, after going 10-11 at TD Ballpark, their spring training ballpark. They are 24-19 on the road.

Anthony Kay (1-2) and four relievers combined on a seven-hitter, the fifth shutout for Blue Jays pitchers this season and the sixth time the Orioles were blanked. Making his fifth start this season, Kay allowed five hits in five innings, walked two and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. His first seven outs were on strikeouts.

“When you have a six-run lead after the first inning, you kind of have to be more aggressive with the fastball and hopefully get deeper into games,” Kay said.

Dean Kremer (0-7) gave up six runs, two hits and a career-high five walks while getting just one out, his fewest in 16 career big league starts. The 25-year-old right-hander’s season ERA rose to 7.25.

Kremer threw 19 pitches to his first three batters, walking all three on full counts. Teoscar Hernandez hit a go-ahead single, Randal Grichuk had an RBI grounder, Kremer forced a run with a full-count walk to Cavan Biggio and Gurriel hit the next pitch, a belt-high cutter, to left for his 11th homer this season.

Joe Panik walked, and Kremer was pulled after 39 pitches, just 17 of them strikes.

“He was kind of wild,” Gurriel said through a translator about Kremer. “Lots of walks, not locating his pitches. I was looking for a pitch right down the zone, so I can get good contact. That’s what it was.”

Kremer couldn’t pinpoint what his problems were, but he was frustrated by his performance.

“I don’t think it’s ever been that bad,” Kremer said. “Five walks, that’s embarrassing on my part and for our team. That’s unacceptable. I’ll go back and watch video and come to a conclusion, and work through the steps to get better.”

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo cited the patience of his team, which entered the game with the second-highest batting average in the league along with the most home runs.

“Being patient was the key,” Montoyo said. “We grinded out the at-bats. If they didn’t get the pitch, they took the walk and left it for the next guy. That’s why we ended up scoring that many runs.”

Guerrero homered in the third off Adam Plutko and moved one ahead of Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels

Reese McGuire had three hits for Toronto.

Jersey boys: MLB to use unique uniforms for All-Star Game

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball is getting rid of club uniforms and caps for the All-Star Game in favor of specially-designed league outfits.

MLB released the looks Thursday that will be used for the July 13 game at Denver’s Coors Field.

The host National League has white jerseys and the American League blue. Each two-button jersey features three red letters for a player’s club arranged vertically on the left side with the club logo superimposed over the first and second letter, in black or white for NL teams and khaki for AL.

Stars on the back will mark each player’s All-Star selection total, and the right sleeves have the MLB All-Star logo patch.

Caps have team logos mostly in red, with some white and blue, superimposed over a star in the Rockies’ purple with white points.

Clubs uniforms traditionally had been used for the All-Star Game since its inception in 1933.

George leads Clippers over Paul and Suns, 106-92 in Game 3

LOS ANGELES (AP) This time, Paul George didn’t flinch. Playoff P showed up and dragged the Los Angeles Clippers back from the brink.

George scored 27 points and the Clippers pulled away in a dominant third quarter, beating newly returned Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns 106-92 on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

“We continue to chip away, try to find ways we can be better and impose our will on opponents,” Clippers guard Reggie Jackson said. “We showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight.”

The Clippers cut their series deficit to 2-1, ending the Suns’ franchise-record playoff winning streak at nine games.

“Our guys keep grinding, keep fighting,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We never give in.”

Kawhi Leonard remained out with a right knee sprain, leaving George to carry the load again. After missing two crucial free throws in a one-point loss in Game 2, George had 15 rebounds and eight assists and played a game-high 43 minutes. He made 6 of 7 free throws.

“I knew I had to be better,” George said. “All my energy was directed toward a better game.”

The Suns got Paul back after he missed the first two games while being sidelined since June 16 because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The former Clipper, who was booed heartily during intros, had 15 points and 12 assists, but was 5 of 19 from the field.

“I have to get better. I shot terrible,” Paul said. “You could tell they had a lot more energy. I got to pick up the pace.”

Cameron Payne, who so ably filled in for Paul in the first two games, went down with a left ankle injury after playing four minutes and didn’t return.

“We missed him a lot,” Suns guard Devin Booker said.

Suns coach Monty Williams said he played Paul too much in his first game back.

“Probably got tired,” Williams said, “but it hurt us when Cam couldn’t come back so I left Chris out there for a longer stretch and that’s on me.”

Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 18 points.

Jackson added 23 points for the Clippers, and Ivica Zubac had 15 points and tied his career playoff high with 16 rebounds.

Game 4 is Saturday night at Staples Center.

Canadiens return to Cup Final after 3-2 OT win over Vegas

MONTREAL (AP) Phillip Danault was patting rookie Cole Caufield on the back for playing a big role in helping the Canadiens’ remarkable playoff run, while familiar chants of `Ole, Ole’ and sounds of horn-honking could be heard from a large celebrating crowd outside the Bell Centre walls.

Suddenly, Montreal is partying like it’s 1993: the last time the Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Danualt’s no-look pass set up Artturi Lehkonen’s goal scored 1:39 into overtime to clinch a 3-2 win over Vegas on Thursday night and eliminate the Golden Knights in Game 6 of their semifinal series.

Carey Price stopped 37 shots, Caufield and captain Shea Weber also scored and the Canadiens advanced to the championship round for the first time since winning their 24th title 28 years ago.

Considered mere afterthoughts after entering the playoffs with the worst record, Montreal has won 11 of 13 since falling behind 3-1 to Toronto in its first-round series.

“I feel blessed, very blessed to be here with Montreal and to be in the Stanley Cup Final is something amazing,” said Danault, who grew up in Victoriaville, Quebec, and is in his sixth season with the Canadiens. “Obviously, Cole has been scoring goals, too. We all participate and it’s a team effort all series. I’m so proud of us.”

Caufield, who scored his fourth playoff goal on a breakaway in the second period, paid tribute to the veteran players such Weber and Price, making their first trip to the final.

“I’m just trying to take it all in and enjoy the moment,” said the 20-year-old Caufield who has played more NHL playoff games (15) than regular-season (10). “It’s for the older guys.”

That’s when Danault put his arm around Caufield and said: “You’re sure a big part of it though.”

Montreal will make its NHL-leading 35th Stanley Cup Final appearance. The Canadiens will face the winner of the semifinal series between the defending champion Lightning and New York Islanders, which heads to a Game 7 at Tampa Bay on Friday.

Montreal also becomes just the sixth Canadian-based team to reach the final since 1994, and first since the Vancouver Canucks lost to Boston in seven games in 2011.

“We wouldn’t be here right now if we didn’t believe,” Price said. “We’ve believed this whole time and obviously we’re ecstatic and we have a lot of work left to do.”

Steelers cut 6-time Pro Bowl guard DeCastro in surprise move

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday released six-time Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro in a surprise move.

The 31-year-old DeCastro attended the team’s mandatory minicamp last week but did not participate in full-team drills.

DeCastro, the team’s first-round pick in the 2012 draft, spent nine years with the Steelers. He was named All-Pro following the 2015 and 2017 seasons while playing on one of the most dominant offensive lines in the league. DeCastro was entering the final season of a five-year $50-million contract he signed in 2017.

The decision does free up some salary-cap space for the Steelers to find a replacement, but DeCastro’s solid play on the field and presence in the locker room deals a significant blow to what is now a very young offensive line group.

“David was without a doubt one of the premier offensive linemen during his time with us,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “He helped us win a lot of football games, but it was David’s consistency, reliability and professionalism that stood out more than anything else.”

DeCastro expressed frustration last December with the disjointed 2020 season. The Steelers won the AFC North while playing most of their home games in an empty Heinz Field because of COVID-19 protocols.

“You’re like, ‘What are we doing out here?'” DeCastro said at the time. “I don’t like to make excuses because we’re professionals and stuff but we’re still human. We have emotions and not having fans there, it’s just tough.”

DeCastro’s abrupt departure means the Steelers will have an almost completely rebuilt offensive line entering 2021. Veteran center Maurkice Pouncey retired in January, left tackle Alejandro Villaneuva signed with Baltimore and left guard Matt Feilier is now with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Zach Banner is the only starter from the offensive line group that walked onto the field for Week 1 in 2020 who will be back this season, and Banner is recovering from major knee surgery after going down in the opener against the New York Giants.

The Steelers drafted center Kendrick Green in the third round to take over for Pouncey. Kevin Dotson will take over at one of the guard spots, with B.J. Finney figuring to be the frontrunner to take over the other one unless Pittsburgh finds someone on the open market like Trai Turner, who was released in March by the Chargers.

DeCastro missed the first two games of 2020 with lingering knee issues but appeared in 13 of Pittsburgh’s final 14 games. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not address that status of DeCastro’s health at the end of minicamp.

“If I thought injury circumstances or reasons why people were not participating were significant, I would share them with you, but I’m not going to address day to day like things in this environment,” Tomlin said. “It’s not required.”

US Open champion Thiem out of Wimbledon with injured wrist

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) Reigning U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem pulled out of Wimbledon and two other tournaments Thursday because of an injured right wrist.

Thiem would have been seeded No. 4 at the All England Club, where main-draw action begins Monday.

“I’m going to do everything the doctors say in order to recover as quickly as possible,” Thiem said. “They’ve informed me that I might be out for several weeks, but I will do my best to be back on court soon.”

The 27-year-old from Austria retired during the opening set of his first match at the Mallorca Open grass-court tuneup tournament this week, citing his wrist.

Thiem then went to Barcelona for additional tests, which found what his management team said Thursday is a “detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist.”

Thiem will need to wear a wrist splint for five weeks before starting a rehabilitation program. He said he will sit out Wimbledon and tournaments at Hamburg, Germany, and Gstaad, Switzerland.

The U.S. Open starts in New York on Aug. 30. He won his first Grand Slam title there last year by coming back from a two-set deficit to beat Alexander Zverev in a fifth-set tiebreaker in the final.

Thiem has struggled in 2021, going just 9-9. He lost in the first round at the French Open last month.

Expansion Seattle Kraken hire Dave Hakstol as first coach

SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Kraken hired Dave Hakstol on Thursday as head coach of the expansion franchise that will begin play this fall.

Seattle will be Hakstol’s second head coaching job in the NHL. He coached the Philadelphia Flyers for three-plus seasons from 2015-19 and spent the past two years as a Toronto Maple Leafs assistant.

The hiring was a surprise move by Seattle general manager Ron Francis, completing a process that started with an initial interview in the summer of 2020. Francis said there were eight candidates who had formal interviews but Hakstol’s name never seemed to be mentioned as a candidate.

“On our end we just had the conversations, we talked about things and I think a lot of that credit goes to Dave,” Francis said. “He just didn’t talk about it to anybody and when you don’t do that it doesn’t get out there.”

The 52-year-old Hakstol coached the Flyers to two playoff appearances but both ended with first-round losses and he was fired midway through his fourth season. He coached at the University of North Dakota for 11 years and was an off-the-board hire six years ago for then-Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall, just as he is for Francis this time.

“I am honored to be joining this tremendous group,” Hakstol said. “When I first saw the arena, I was blown away. It is such a unique venue. I am looking forward to being a part of the group that builds a team that plays with pride, passion and selflessness for the city of Seattle.”

The expectations for the Kraken are success from the start and the team will join the Pacific Division with the Arizona Coyotes shifting to the Central.

Hakstol’s task will be significant, trying to equal the success of the league’s last expansion franchise, however unrealistic it might be for the Kraken to match the Golden Knights. Vegas reached the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season and has made the playoffs in all four years since its inception.

“It’s really about building with good quality people to begin with, building it the right way,” Hakstol said. “Making sure that we’re building not only a team that can come out of the gate and play with a lot of pride, passion and have success, but also work towards building the depth of the organization for not only that early success, but to have that sustainable success.”

The hiring fit Francis’ original timeline, which had Seattle’s coaching search settled before the end of June, well before the July 21 expansion draft and July 23 NHL draft, where the Kraken will have the No. 2 overall selection.

Hakstol got the job over former Arizona coach Rick Tocchet and others who interviewed multiple times. Francis, Hakstol and Seattle assistant GM Jason Botterill were together with Canada’s team at the 2019 world championship.

“We got to spend four weeks together over in Austria and Slovakia, and I got to know him as a person and kind of watch his work ethic and how he operated and sort of building that respect for what he can do,” Francis said.

While Hakstol ended up with the job, he may not have been the initial favorite.

Gerard Gallant seemed the obvious option for Seattle due to his experience leading Vegas through its record-setting first season, which ended with a loss to Washington in the final. Gallant opted for the chance with the New York Rangers over potentially taking on the challenges of another first-year franchise.

The Kraken are expected to begin training camp in September with the season likely to begin in mid-October.

MLB STANDINGS

American League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Tampa Bay4531.59221 – 1524 – 1621 – 115 – 411 – 143 – 7W 2
Boston4431.5870.520 – 1724 – 1418 – 108 – 68 – 135 – 5L 2
NY Yankees4034.541421 – 1819 – 1617 – 2113 – 67 – 37 – 3W 2
Toronto3835.5215.514 – 1624 – 1915 – 174 – 66 – 105 – 5W 5
Baltimore2352.30721.512 – 2611 – 269 – 214 – 138 – 111 – 9L 6
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Chi White Sox4430.59527 – 1217 – 1810 – 724 – 126 – 84 – 6W 1
Cleveland4131.569220 – 1321 – 187 – 722 – 125 – 57 – 3W 1
Kansas City3340.45210.518 – 1915 – 218 – 815 – 235 – 83 – 7L 2
Detroit3243.42712.517 – 2015 – 234 – 514 – 249 – 96 – 4L 1
Minnesota3143.4191315 – 2316 – 206 – 712 – 169 – 165 – 5L 2
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Houston4728.62726 – 1321 – 1515 – 77 – 423 – 1210 – 0W 11
Oakland4631.597225 – 1821 – 1312 – 1112 – 215 – 156 – 4W 1
Seattle3937.5138.524 – 1615 – 2110 – 510 – 1215 – 128 – 2L 1
LA Angels3638.48610.521 – 1915 – 193 – 713 – 714 – 204 – 6L 3
Texas2748.3602017 – 2110 – 2711 – 104 – 910 – 182 – 8L 1
National League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Mets3831.55122 – 916 – 2216 – 135 – 614 – 64 – 6W 1
Washington3636.5003.521 – 1815 – 1815 – 149 – 106 – 89 – 1W 5
Philadelphia3437.479521 – 1413 – 2317 – 199 – 44 – 84 – 6L 3
Atlanta3539.4735.520 – 2015 – 1917 – 2013 – 63 – 35 – 5L 2
Miami3143.4199.516 – 1715 – 2612 – 116 – 1311 – 92 – 8L 4
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Chi Cubs4233.56026 – 1316 – 2010 – 1119 – 1410 – 44 – 6W 2
Milwaukee4233.56020 – 1822 – 157 – 917 – 1316 – 64 – 6W 2
Cincinnati3736.507417 – 1620 – 204 – 219 – 129 – 185 – 5W 2
St. Louis3639.480619 – 1617 – 2314 – 1313 – 157 – 64 – 6L 4
Pittsburgh2746.3701416 – 2111 – 254 – 78 – 227 – 104 – 6W 1
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
San Francisco4826.64924 – 1024 – 1610 – 711 – 420 – 118 – 2W 3
LA Dodgers4431.5874.523 – 1321 – 188 – 47 – 1020 – 115 – 5L 4
San Diego4532.5844.528 – 1417 – 183 – 414 – 1320 – 147 – 3W 7
Colorado3144.41317.525 – 166 – 285 – 85 – 1214 – 216 – 4W 1
Arizona2155.2762812 – 249 – 318 – 157 – 106 – 231 – 9L 2

MLS STANDINGS

Eastern
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
New England10721171165-0-02-2-123
Orlando City SC9531166103-2-02-1-118
Philadelphia1053212753-1-22-2-018
New York City FC9423161062-1-22-1-114
Columbus94239723-1-01-1-314
Nashville SC9351121023-3-00-2-114
D.C.10415911-23-0-21-1-313
New York9405141314-0-10-0-412
CF Montreal933310911-2-12-1-212
Atlanta9252111012-2-00-3-211
Inter Miami CF9225814-60-1-32-1-28
FC Cincinnati8215717-100-0-32-1-27
Toronto FC91261218-61-1-10-1-55
Chicago9117414-101-1-30-0-44
Western
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Seattle10730185134-2-03-1-024
Sporting KC11623201464-2-02-0-320
Los Angeles9603141404-0-12-0-218
Colorado9513151143-0-12-1-216
Portland94141314-13-0-11-1-313
Houston103431415-13-2-00-2-313
Real Salt Lake8332131032-2-11-1-112
Los Angeles FC9333111013-2-10-1-212
Minnesota9324912-33-0-20-2-211
San Jose103161117-62-0-31-1-310
Austin10235611-50-1-02-2-59
Vancouver9216814-62-0-20-1-47
FC Dallas9144914-51-4-00-0-47

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctGBHomeRoadConfLast 10Streak
Connecticut Sun95.6436-13-44-25-51 W
Chicago Sky97.5631.03-56-28-27-37 W
Washington Mystics77.5002.05-32-44-46-41 L
New York Liberty78.4672.53-44-43-53-72 L
Atlanta Dream58.3853.52-53-34-34-62 L
Indiana Fever115.0639.01-70-81-80-1011 L
Western Conference
 WLPctGBHomeRoadConfLast 10Streak
Seattle Storm123.8005-37-05-28-21 L
Las Vegas Aces103.7691.06-14-24-18-25 W
Dallas Wings78.4675.02-35-56-56-41 W
Phoenix Mercury67.4625.01-55-23-44-61 W
Minnesota Lynx67.4625.04-32-42-46-41 W
Los Angeles Sparks67.4625.04-32-41-55-51 W