INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL SEMI-STATE (JUNE 12)
Munster vs. Fishers
Mount Vernon vs. Jasper
Hanover Central vs. Norwell
Brebeuf vs. Southridge
Eastside vs. Delphi
University vs. Providence
Washington Township vs. Cowan
Shakamak vs. Borden
INDIANA SOFTBALL STATE FINALS
Northfield 3 Clay City 1…Northfield scores two in the 7th, claims first softball championship
Boonville 1 Guerin Catholic 0….Boonville’s Jayce Purdy led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple and scored on the next pitch — a squeeze bunt by Randi Jo Pryor — to give the Pioneers a thrilling, 1-0 win over Guerin Catholic to claim the Class 3A state championship.
Saturday, June 12
Class 2A | Pioneer (34-2) vs. Sullivan (28-4) | 4:30 pm ET / 3:30 pm CT
Class 4A | Lake Central (31-1) vs. Roncalli (30-2) | 7 pm ET / 6 pm CT
INDIANA-KENTUCKY ALL-STAR SERIES @ KENTUCKY
INDIANA ALL-STARS 93 KENTUCKY ALL-STARS 70
FINAL BOX SCORE: INDIANA — Caleb Furst 5-11 2-2 12, Luke Brown 7-9 2-2 18, Trey Kaufman-Renn 2-4 0-0 4, Blake Wesley 6-12 0-0 13, Luke Goode 1-4 1-2 3, J.R. Konieczny 1-6 0-0 2, Jalen Blackmon 1-4 2-2 4, Jayden Taylor 3-3 0-2 6, Blake Sisley 1-3 0-0 2, Kooper Jacobi 1-3 0-0 2, Shamar Avance 6-7 1-2 14, Brian Waddell 1-1 0-0 2, Pierce Thomas 4-8 0-0 11. Totals: 39-75 8-12 93.
KENTUCKY — Ben Johnson 2-8 0-0 6, Sekou Kalle 6-8 0-0 12, Ayden Mudd 4-5 0-0 10, Devin Perry 1-5 0-0 3, Sam Vinson 3-5 0-2 7, Cam Pope 2-9 0-0 5, Dashaun Jackson 7-15 4-4 20, Darrius Washington 1-4 0-0 2, Jacobi Huddelston 0-1 0-0 0, Mason Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Jaquais Franklin 2-5 0-0 5, Noah Dumas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-66 4-6 70.
INDIANA ALL-STARS 69 KENTUCKEY ALL-STARS 58
FINAL BOX SCORE: INDIANA — Jayla Smith 4-9 3-3 13, Ari Wiggins 5-15 0-0 10, Ally Becki 4-7 0-0 9, Kaitlyn Costner 1-7 0-0 2, Meg Newman 4-12 2-4 10, Katie Burton 3-8 1-2 7, Courtney Blakely 5-11 0-0 10, Vanessa Shafford 1-4 2-2 4, Brynn Shoup-Hill 1-3 0-0 2, Sydney Jaynes 1-1 0-0 2, Chloe McKnight 0-0 0-0 0, Madelyn Bischoff 0-0 0-0 0, Trinity Thompson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 29-79 8-11 69.
KENTUCKY — Macey Blevins 5-13 1-2 12, Dynastee White 5-13 2-6 14, Marie Kiefer 2-7 1-4 5, Alex Smiddy 2-11 0-0 6, Ella Thompson 3-11 1-2 8, Amber Dunn 1-2 0-0 2, Amelia Hodges 2-9 1-2 7, Aubrey Hill 1-2 0-0 2, Taylor Price 1-1 0-0 2, Lara Akers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-70 6016 58.
COLLEGE BASEBALL SUPER REGIONALS
Stanford 15 Texas Tech 3
Vanderbilt 2 East Carolina 0
Arkansas 21 NC State 2
Arizona 9 Ole Miss 3
Seattle 86 Atlanta 75
Dallas 77 Phoenix 59
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
|Chi White Sox||5||Final|
|Palmetto Championship at Congaree|
|Jun. 10-13, Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, South Carolina|
|Rank||Name||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Total||Thru|
|1||Chesson Hadley||65||66||-11 (131)||F|
|2||Dustin Johnson||65||68||-9 (133)||F|
|3||Tain Lee||67||68||-7 (135)||F|
|4t||Harris English||67||69||-6 (136)||F|
|4t||Wilco Nienaber||68||68||-6 (136)||F|
|4t||Pat Perez||70||66||-6 (136)||F|
|4t||Seamus Power||70||66||-6 (136)||F|
|4t||Chez Reavie||67||69||-6 (136)||F|
|4t||Erik van Rooyen||65||71||-6 (136)||F|
|10t||Garrick Higgo||68||69||-5 (137)||F|
|10t||Rob Oppenheim||69||68||-5 (137)||F|
|10t||Doc Redman||65||72||-5 (137)||F|
|10t||Patrick Rodgers||67||70||-5 (137)||F|
|14t||Henrik Norlander||70||68||-4 (138)||F|
|14t||Hudson Swafford||68||70||-4 (138)||F|
|14t||Jhonattan Vegas||66||72||-4 (138)||F|
|17t||Austin Cook||70||69||-3 (139)||F|
|17t||Tyrrell Hatton||71||68||-3 (139)||F|
|17t||Vaughn Taylor||67||72||-3 (139)||F|
|20t||Byeong Hun An||67||73||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Ryan Armour||71||69||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Kevin Chappell||68||72||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Luke Donald||71||69||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Danny Lee||67||73||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Ian Poulter||68||72||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Nick Taylor||67||73||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Davis Thompson||71||69||-2 (140)||F|
|20t||Bo Van Pelt||69||71||-2 (140)||F|
|29t||Jonathan Byrd||68||73||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Broc Everett||69||72||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Matthew Fitzpatrick||71||70||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Michael Gellerman||71||70||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Rhein Gibson||70||71||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Bill Haas||71||70||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Scott Harrington||70||71||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Satoshi Kodaira||69||72||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||David Lipsky||71||70||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Matthew NeSmith||72||69||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||C.T. Pan||69||72||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Scott Piercy||71||70||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Wes Roach||64||77||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Sam Ryder||67||74||-1 (141)||F|
|29t||Chase Seiffert||70||71||-1 (141)||F|
|44t||Tyler Duncan||70||72||E (142)||F|
|44t||Beau Hossler||71||71||E (142)||F|
|44t||Mark Hubbard||71||71||E (142)||F|
|44t||Russell Knox||71||71||E (142)||F|
|44t||Anirban Lahiri||69||73||E (142)||F|
|44t||Hank Lebioda||68||74||E (142)||F|
|44t||Roger Sloan||67||75||E (142)||F|
|44t||Brandt Snedeker||72||70||E (142)||F|
|44t||Ben Taylor||72||70||E (142)||F|
|53t||Aaron Baddeley||70||73||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Chris Baker||68||75||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Joseph Bramlett||71||72||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Rafael Campos||73||70||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Tommy Fleetwood||68||75||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Robert Garrigus||69||74||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Will Gordon||68||75||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||J.B. Holmes||69||74||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Sungjae Im||75||68||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Richard S. Johnson||67||76||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Bryson Nimmer||68||75||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Andrew Putnam||71||72||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Adam Schenk||73||70||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Robby Shelton||72||71||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Josh Teater||68||75||+1 (143)||F|
|53t||Peter Uihlein||73||70||+1 (143)||F|
NFL preseason schedule: Week 1
Thursday, Aug. 5 (Hall of Fame Game)
|Steelers vs. Cowboys (Canton, Ohio)||8 p.m.||Fox, fuboTV|
Thursday, Aug. 12
|Patriots vs. Washington||7:30 p.m.||WBZ, WRC|
|Eagles vs. Steelers||7:30 p.m.||WCAU, KDKA|
Friday, Aug. 13
|Falcons vs. Titans||7 p.m.||WUPA, WKRN|
|Lions vs. Bills||7 p.m.||WJBK, WKBW|
|Cardinals vs. Cowboys||10 p.m.||KPNX, KTVT|
Saturday, Aug. 14
|Bears vs. Dolphins||1 p.m.||WFLD, WFOR|
|Vikings vs. Broncos||4 p.m.||KMSP, KTVD|
|Ravens vs. Saints||7 p.m.||WBAL, WVUE|
|Jaguars vs. Browns||7 p.m.||WJAX, WEWS|
|Giants vs. Jets||7:30 p.m.||WNBC|
|Buccaneers vs. Bengals||7:30 p.m.||WRSP, WFTV, WKRC|
|Packers vs. Texans||8 p.m.||WTMJ, KTRK|
|49ers vs. Chiefs||8:30 p.m.||KPIX, KCTV|
|Raiders vs. Seahawks||9 p.m.||KTVU, KING|
|Rams vs. Chargers||10 p.m.||KCBS, KABC|
Sunday, Aug. 15
|Colts vs. Panthers||1 p.m.||WXIN, WSOC|
NFL preseason schedule: Week 2
Thursday, Aug. 19
|Eagles vs. Patriots||7:30 p.m.||WCAU, WBZ|
Friday, Aug. 20
|Cardinals vs. Chiefs||8 p.m.||ESPN, KPNX, KCTV, fuboTV|
|Washington vs. Bengals||8 p.m.||WRC, WKRC|
Saturday, Aug. 21
|Bears vs. Bills||1 p.m.||WFLD, WKBW|
|Packers vs. Jets||4:25 p.m.||WTMJ, WNBC|
|Panthers vs. Ravens||7 p.m.||WSOC, WBAL|
|Dolphins vs. Falcons||7 p.m.||WFOR, WUPA|
|Steelers vs. Lions||7:30 p.m.||KDKA, WJBK|
|Buccaneers vs. Titans||7:30 p.m.||WTSP, WFTV, WKRN|
|Cowboys vs. Texans||8 p.m.||KTVT, KTRK|
|Vikings vs. Colts||8 p.m.||KMSP, WXIN|
|Rams vs. Raiders||10 p.m.||KCBS, KTVU|
|Seahawks vs. Broncos||10 p.m.||KING, KTVD|
Sunday, Aug. 22
|Browns vs. Giants||1 p.m.||KTVD, WNBC|
|Chargers vs. 49ers||7:30 p.m.||KABC, KPIX|
Monday, Aug. 23
|Saints vs. Jaguars||8 p.m.||ESPN, WVUE, WJAX, fuboTV|
NFL preseason schedule: Week 3
Friday, Aug. 27
|Lions vs. Colts||7 p.m.||WJBK, WXIN|
|Panthers vs. Steelers||7:30 p.m.||WSOC, KDKA|
|Jets vs. Eagles||7:30 p.m.||WCAU, WNBC|
|Chiefs vs. Vikings||8 p.m.||KCTV, KMSP|
Saturday, Aug. 28
|Bills vs. Packers||1 p.m.||WKBW, WTMJ|
|Washington vs. Ravens||6 p.m.||WRC, WBAL|
|Titans vs. Bears||7 p.m.||WKRN, WFLD|
|Texans vs. Buccaneers||8 p.m.||KTRK, WRSP, WFTV|
|Saints vs. Cardinals||8 p.m.||WVUE, KPNX|
|Broncos vs. Rams||9:05 p.m.||KTVD, KCBS|
|Seahawks vs. Chargers||10 p.m.||KING, KABC|
Sunday, Aug. 29
|Cowboys vs. Jaguars||1 p.m.||KTVT, WJAX|
|Bengals vs. Dolphins||4 p.m.||CBS, WKRC, WFOR, fuboTV|
|49ers vs. Raiders||4 p.m.||KPIX, KTVU|
|Giants vs. Patriots||6 p.m.||WNBC, WBZ|
|Falcons vs. Browns||8 p.m.||NBC, WUPA, WEWS, fuboTV|
#10 ND BASEBALL: Starkville Super Regional Preview
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 10 overall seed Notre Dame baseball team is back in the Super Regionals for the first time since 2002 and is set to face the No. 7 overall seed Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville. The Bulldogs will be making their fifth straight Super Regional appearance which is the longest active streak in the country and tied for the fifth longest in baseball history. The Irish (33-11) and Bulldogs (43-15) will open the Super Regional Saturday afternoon on ESPN with Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson on the call.
Starkville Super Regional
- For the first time since 2002, Notre Dame has advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
- The Irish are heading to SEC country as they travel to Starkville to take on the No. 7 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs at Dudy Noble Field.
- The Bulldogs went 3-0 in the Starkville Regional with wins over Samford, VCU and Campbell to advance.
- This is the second time the Irish and Bulldogs have met in the NCAA Tournament as they battled in the Starkville Regional in 2000.
- The Irish forced a decisive game seven after a 7-0 win in the regional final but ultimately fell to the Bulldogs 10-9 in the final game.
- The Irish hold a 4-2 advantage all-time over Mississippi State and are 3-2 in games held in Starkville. The last time the two teams faced each other was the opening weekend of the 2002 season and the Irish won both matchups.
- Mississippi State finished the regular season in second place in the SEC West and was just one game back of No. 1 overall seed Arkansas.
- The Bulldogs bring a 43-15 record into the weekend and have won their last four games at Dudy Noble Field.
- The last time the Irish went to a Super Regional, they defeated Florida State in two out of three games to advance to the College World Series for the second time in program history.
Kavadas Named Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist
- Senior infielder Niko Kavadas was named one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday June 8.
- He just finished off an impressive weekend at the plate during the South Bend Regional. He hit .600 with 5 home runs, nine runs and 13 RBI over the three games and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Regional.
- Kavadas set a program record for most home runs in a single season with his solo blast against Central Michigan on June 6. He bested the previous record that was held by Frank Jacobs in 1991 with 20.
- Heading into the Super Regional round, Kavadas leads the NCAA with 0.48 home runs per game and is third in the nation with 21 home runs.
- He leads the team in home runs, RBI (62) and slugging percentage (.785) heading into the weekend.
Bats Continue to Rake in Regional Clinching Win over Central Michigan
- After hitting 10 home runs in the first two games of the South bend Regional, the bats stayed red hot in the 14-2 win over Central Michigan to advance to the first Super Regional since 2002.
- The Irish trailed for the first time all weekend after Central jumped in front in the fourth inning but it did not last long.
- The first batter in the bottom of the fourth, Niko Kavadas hit his fifth home run of the weekend to tie the game at 1-1.
- After taking the lead later in the fourth, the Irish got some breathing room in the fifth from Carter Putz. He unloaded a grand slam over the wall in left center to put the Irish up 6-1.
- Later in the game, Ryan Cole blasted his third home run of the weekend, a three-run shot, to left in the seventh.
- Two more home runs left the yard in the eighth to put the game out of reach. The first one was by Putz for his first career multi-home run game, and the other by Brooks Coetzee for his second of the weekend.
- On the mound, Aidan Tyrell had the best start of his career after going eight innings and allowed just two runs and no walks.
- Over the course of the weekend, the Irish got 24 innings pitched out of a possible 27 innings from their three starters.
- The Irish finished the regional with 15 home runs hit in three games by five players and all five had multiple home runs.
- The Irish ended the regional with a +45 run differential after outscoring their opponents 50-5. It is the highest run differential in a 3-0 regional win since Florida State in 2009 when they finished the regional with a +49 run differential.
Irish Set Program Record in 26-3 Win Over UConn
- With a spot in the Regional Final on the line, the Irish put together one of the best offensive performances in program history.
- Notre Dame set a postseason record with 26 runs scored in the 26-3 win over Connecticut to advance to the Regional Final. The previous record was 25 runs against South Alabama in 2002.
- The Irish scored in seven of the nine innings and put crooked numbers up on the scoreboard in five of those seven innings.
- The Irish ended up with six home runs in the game which set a Frank Eck Stadium record for Notre Dame.
- It started with a five-run first inning that was catapulted by Niko Kavadas’ grand slam off the scoreboard. It was his third home run of the regional in just over one full game of play.
- In the third, Carter Putz and David LaManna both went yard to further increase the Irish lead with a three-run inning.
- In a four-run fourth, Kavadas added to his RBI total with a bases loaded walk followed by a 2-RBI single from Brooks Coetzee and an RBI single by David LaManna.
- In the sixth, the Irish put together another four-run inning. TJ Williams walked with the bases loaded and Ryan Cole tallied a 3-RBI double to pad the Irish lead.
- After a solo home run from Brooks Coetzee in the eighth, the Irish had their most explosive inning in the ninth as they scored eight runs.
- Jack Brannigan and Williams tallied RBI singles in the inning and the Irish hit two more bombs.
- Kavadas tallied his second of the game, this time a three-run homer, to tie the Notre Dame single season record for home runs in a season with 20.
- Ryan Cole also hit a three run home run in the inning and it was his second home run of the regional.
- Kavadas finished the game with career highs in runs (5) and RBI (8). It was the most RBI in a game by an Irish player since Jake Shepski had nine in 2016 against Virginia Tech. It was the most runs scored by an Irish player since AJ Pollock had five in 2008 against UW-Milwaukee.
- Cole finished the game with a career high six RBI and tied career highs with three runs and three hits.
- On the mound, Will Mercer set a career high with seven innings pitched and allowed just two runs.
- The Irish scored in double figures for the second straight game in the postseason for the first time since 1992 in the Atlantic Regional in Coral Gables, FL.
Irish Shut Out Chippewas to Open South Bend Regional
- Playing at home in the postseason for the first time since 2004, the Irish did not disappoint the sold-out crowd with a 10-0 win over Central Michigan.
- Niko Kavadas powered the offense that hit four home runs on the day.
- Kavadas had two home runs for his third multi-home run game of the season.
- David LaManna and Ryan Cole joined Kavadas in the home run parade as it was the third game this season the Irish have hit four in a game.
- On the mound, John Michael Bertrand was dynamite once again.
- He went the distance for the third time this season and tallied his first career complete game shutout to secure the win for the Irish.
- He is the first Irish pitcher since Danny Tamayo in 2000 against Mississippi State to record a complete shutout in the NCAA Tournament.
- With the win, Notre Dame improved to 10-0 this season coming off of a loss.
Vandy’s Rocker, Stanford’s Beck dominate in super regionals
(AP) Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker and Stanford’s Brendan Beck turned in dominant pitching performances in NCAA super regionals Friday to put their teams on the cusp of berths in the College World Series.
Rocker led the reigning national champion Commodores to a 2-0 victory over East Carolina in Nashville, and Beck held down one of the nation’s top offensive teams in a 15-3 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.
North Carolina State played at No. 1 national seed Arkansas and Mississippi visited Arizona in super regional openers Friday night.
Rocker was the biggest star of the last NCAA Tournament, and he’s doing his thing again, keeping batters off balance while mixing his mid-90s fastball with a slider and curve.
“I just think he gives us what we need at the time that we need it,” coach Tim Corbin said. “And this is certainly a situation at the end of the year where games are important and they’re closely contested and there’s very little difference between teams. So you need guys that are willing to to get out there and leave it on the field, and he’s done that continually.”
Rocker, who could be the first player taken in the Major League Baseball draft next month, allowed three hits and struck out 11 in 7 2/3 innings in what was probably his final appearance at Hawkins Field. In the regional opener against Presbyterian last week, he threw seven innings of two-hit shutout ball for No. 4 national seed Vandy (44-15).
Rocker in 2019 pitched a no-hitter against Duke in the super regionals and was selected the CWS Most Outstanding Player. There was no NCAA Tournament last year because of the pandemic. He’s now 6-0 in his career in the national tournament with a 0.63 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.
“It’s an opportunity for you to leave it all out there at the moment because it’s coming down to the wire and you’ve got to do what’s best for your team at the moment,” Rocker said of his motivation.
Rocker (13-3) prevailed in the pitcher’s duel with Gavin Williams (10-1), who lost for the first time this season after scattering seven hits and striking out 13 in 7 1/3 innings.
East Carolina (44-16) is in its sixth super regional, and its 30 NCAA Tournament appearances without making it to the CWS is the longest streak of its kind.
Stanford’s Beck (9-1) went to the mound in the bottom of the first inning with a four-run lead. He had 0-2 counts on 18 of the 30 batters he faced and struck out a career-high 13 in 7 1/3 innings. He gave up two runs and was never stressed after the Cardinal (37-15) scored four times in the first on a homer by Tim Tawa and three straight RBI singles.
“You go get Beck four runs in the first inning, he showed you why he’s the Pac-12 pitcher of the year,” Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “He put a pitching clinic on. He was Greg Maddux all day.”
Stanford entered the game 1-8 in its last four super-regional appearances and is going for its 17th CWS appearance, and first since 2008. The Red Raiders (39-16) are trying to get to their third straight CWS.
“Brendan Beck kept the pressure on them all daylong throwing four pitches for strikes,” Cardinal coach David Esquer said. “We wouldn’t be here without Brendan Beck.”
GAME 1 MEANS A LOT
Since the current tournament format went into effect in 1999, 80% (134 of 168) of the teams that won Game 1s in super regionals have advanced to the College World Series.
NOW THAT’S HOT
Stanford, accustomed to playing in cooler conditions in the San Francisco Bay area, didn’t appear to have any problems handling the 107-degree heat in Lubbock.
The Cardinal went ahead and wore their black road tops, which would seem counterintuitive on such a hot day.
“I figured it would be hot in black, white, red, gray,” Beck said. “On the mound, it was hot. I was able to have some quick innings and slow the game down enough to catch my breath.”
Esquer said he likes wearing black. “It makes me look slimmer,” he said.
Suns spoil Nikola Jokic’s MVP party, beat Nuggets 116-102
DENVER (AP) Deandre Ayton scrutinized the box score and couldn’t believe his eyes as he read Nikola Jokic’s stat line: 32 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists.
“That’s insane. That’s the MVP,” Ayton said after the Phoenix Suns overcame the Joker’s historic triple-double to thump Denver 116-102 Friday night, putting the Nuggets on the brink of elimination.
Following a raucous pregame ceremony celebrating his MVP award, Jokic joined Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with 30 points, 20 boards and 10 assists in an NBA playoff game. Jokic, though, was apologetic afterward, telling his teammates this loss was on him because of his 13-for-29 shooting performance.
Nonsense, said Denver guard Monte Morris, who called Jokic’s performance phenomenal.
“He’s carrying us,” Morris said. “We’ve got to help him.”
Morris scored 21 off the bench but Denver’s four other starters scored just 30 points, half by Michael Porter Jr., who was 5 of 13 from the floor.
Devin Booker scored 28 points and teamed with Chris Paul to lead a steady offensive onslaught that countered Jokic’s big night.
“We knew this was going to be an emotional game for them with Joker being presented with the trophy before the game,” Paul said. “We just talked about withstanding their runs.”
Jokic seemed to consider his big game more horrific than historic.
“I’m frustrated with myself because I missed shots,” said Jokic, who also missed four of nine free throws. “I didn’t play on top of my game, especially shooting wise. It would be much easier for us if I started making shots. Of course, they’re making it tough for me to make shots.”
With their sixth straight victory, the second-seeded Suns took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday at Ball Arena.
Paul had 27 points, eight assists and three steals for the Suns, who pulled away after halftime for the third straight time. All five of Phoenix’s starters scored in double figures.
They are a one win away from their first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 2009-10 – which was the last time Phoenix made the playoffs.
The third-seeded Nuggets, who reached the conference finals last year, are on the brink of getting swept in a playoff series for the first time since the Lakers bounced them out of the first round in 2007-08.
Jokic dedicated his MVP award to his teammates during a loud pregame ceremony that Nuggets coach Michael Malone had hoped would energize his team that has lost by 17, 25 and now 14 points in this second-round series.
“I just feel bad that we weren’t able to pull out a win for them because they made this atmosphere electric,” Malone said of the crowd of 18,277.
“During the trophy ceremony, we said right when they get off the court let’s go out there and be locked in,” Booker relayed.
Suns coach Monty Williams said his team was ready for the energy boost the big crowd supplied by serenading Jokic.
“We didn’t want to disrespect Jokic’s moment. At the same time, we also came here to win a game,” Williams said. “That’s something we stressed for a while, being able to have poise in those moments. Whether it’s an emotional fouling situation or something like tonight.”
The Nuggets’ first MVP was mostly MIA early on as the Suns shot a sizzling 74.46% in jumping out to a 37-27 lead after one quarter. Jokic scored seven points in that quarter but none until the 4:45 mark.
Malone, who accused his team of quitting after a blowout loss in Game 2, said before tip-off that he liked his team’s resiliency, and that opinion didn’t change afterward.
“I thought our guys played really hard. I think we let it all out there,” Malone said. “I really think this game came down to two things: turnovers” and the Suns’ 14-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarter.
That’s something they couldn’t overcome, not even with their MVP giving them another epic MVP performance.
Embiid, 76ers beat Hawks 127-111 to take 2-1 lead in series
ATLANTA (AP) Joel Embiid kept taking falls. He also kept rising to his feet.
Nothing was going to take Philadelphia’s big center off the court with the playoff series lead on the line.
Embiid scored 27 points and the 76ers rode a dominant third quarter to a 127-111 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Embiid, playing with a cartilage tear in his right knee, added nine rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots. He played 34 minutes despite turning his ankle on one fall and landing hard on his back on another.
“I’m OK,” Embiid said. “I’m standing up. I’m walking. I finished the game. So I’m gonna keep getting back up. I’m going to keep fighting. That’s been me since I’ve been playing basketball. … Whatever happens, get back up and keep it going.”
Tobias Harris had 22 points and Ben Simmons added 18 to help the 76ers end Atlanta’s streak of 13 home wins. The 76ers have taken the series lead with back-to-back wins.
Simmons has had primary defensive responsibility against Trae Young, who led Atlanta with 28 points, in each of the 76ers’ two wins in the series. On Friday night, he was challenged to take a bigger offensive role, especially with Embiid facing constant double-teams.
“I was just trying to push the pace and get in the lane, stay aggressive and get to the rim, get into a rhythm,” Simmons said. “I think I did a good job of that in the second half.”
The 76ers played up to their No. 1 seed, taking a lead of 22 points and keeping the advantage in double figures most of the second half. The Hawks played from behind after their last lead at 11-10.
Trae Young led Atlanta with 28 points. John Collins had 23 and Bogdan Bogdanovic 19.
Game 4 is Monday night in Atlanta.
Back to normal? NBA plans to start ’21-22 season in October
MIAMI (AP) The NBA told its teams Thursday that it intends to return to a normal schedule next season, with training camps opening in late September and the regular season set to begin on Oct. 19.
A memo that was sent to teams, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, does not specify when the 2021-22 regular season will end – and that’s because it has yet to be officially decided if the play-in tournament will return. If it does, and there are no indications that it won’t, the likely date to end the regular season would be April 10.
The return to the normal schedule is not an unexpected development, and Commissioner Adam Silver has said several times that the league’s intention for the past several months – virus-permitting – was to get the league back onto its regular calendar after two seasons of schedule havoc because of the pandemic.
But it will lead to another quick turnaround for the teams that make this summer’s NBA Finals.
The latest possible date for Game 7 of this season’s title series is July 22; training camps for next season are set to begin on Sept. 28, meaning it is possible that this season’s finalists are back in camp as little as 68 days following the end of the 2021 finals.
Last season’s finalists, the champion Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, had 51 days between the end of the 2020 finals and the start of this season’s training camp – with this season’s game schedule beginning 72 days after the Lakers won the title at the restart bubble at Walt Disney World.
And the Lakers and the Heat both were eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs; only two of last season’s final eight teams returned to the second round of the postseason in 2021. Questions about fatigued teams were a talking point around the league throughout this season, and likely will be again next season – especially for those clubs that go deepest in this year’s playoffs.
“From the moment we entered the bubble to now today, it’s been draining,” Lakers forward LeBron James said after his team was eliminated. “Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining. … Every team has to deal with it, obviously. But with us and Miami obviously going the long haul in the bubble and then coming right back on short notice to this season, it’s been very draining.”
Should the play-in tournament – during which the teams that finish between seventh and 10th in each conference play to decide which teams will be the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds on the Eastern and Western sides of the bracket – return on the same schedule the NBA utilized this season, those games would be contested between April 12-15, 2022.
The playoffs will begin on April 16, the 2022 NBA Finals are set to begin on June 2 and the planned end date for Game 7 of that title series would be June 19.
The 2022 NBA draft will be June 23, teams were told in the memo.
Teams will play rivals in their own divisions four times and the 15 teams from the other conferences twice each, as per usual. Teams also play some teams in their conference just three times instead of four, and those games are slotted in a five-year rotation; the league is planning to use what would have been the 2020-21 matrix to determine those matchups.
That matrix wasn’t in play this season since it was 72 games, with teams playing the 14 others from their own conference three times and the 15 opponents from the other conference twice.
It also remains unclear if things will be truly back to normal. There has been no final decision made on whether the Toronto Raptors – the NBA’s lone Canadian team – will be able to start next season at home again. The Raptors were displaced for the entirety of this season, playing their 36 home games in Tampa, Florida.
If the Raptors can play at home, they would likely play in Toronto on Nov. 1. That’s the 75th anniversary of the Basketball Association of America’s first game – the New York Knicks at the Toronto Huskies. The BAA was the precursor to what has been called the NBA since 1949.
The league has been planning since at least 2018 to celebrate its 75th anniversary season in 2021-22, and plans remain in place for next season’s All-Star Game to be in Cleveland. It has been scheduled for Feb. 20.
Raptors’ Siakam has shoulder surgery, will miss 5 months
TORONTO (AP) The shoulder injury that ended Toronto forward Pascal Siakam’s season early will likely force him to miss the start of next season as well.
The Raptors said Friday that Siakam had surgery last week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, with an anticipated recovery and rehabilitation time of five months. That timetable, if precise, would mean Siakam can play again in early November – about two weeks after the NBA plans to open the 2021-22 season.
Siakam was hurt in a game May 8 against Memphis, two days after he tied a career best by scoring 44 points against Washington. The 2020 NBA All-Star missed Toronto’s final four games because of the injury.
Siakam led the Raptors in scoring this season, averaging 21.4 points per game. He also led the Raptors in minutes (2,006) and games started (56).
Reds hit 5 homers, extend Rockies’ road woes with 11-5 win
CINCINNATI (AP) The Reds hit five homers over the first five innings, including a three-run blast by Joey Votto, and Cincinnati extended the Colorado Rockies’ road woes with an 11-5 win on Friday night.
Nick Castellanos, Scott Heineman, Kyle Farmer and Tyler Stephenson also went deep against Kyle Freeland (0-2), who set a career high for home runs allowed.
The Rockies fell to 5-25 away from Coors Field and have lost every road series this season.
The Reds fell one short of matching their single-game season high for homers. They homered in five consecutive innings for the first time since April 21, 2015, at Milwaukee. Cincinnati had never hit homers in the first five innings of any game since rejoining the National League in 1890, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Tyler Mahle (6-2) had a 9-0 lead before he faltered in the sixth, allowing a run on a wild pitch before Ryan McMahon hit a three-run homer. Mahle allowed four runs on five hits in six innings, retiring 12 straight batters in one stretch.
“It’s awesome,” Mahle said. “When your team’s hitting like that, you can just try to get outs. They put on a clinic.”
With Jesse Winker on first, Castellanos lined Freeland’s fifth pitch of the game into the first row of seats in deep right-center for his 13th homer of the season.
Eugenio Suarez led off the second with a double, and Heineman followed with his second homer of the year. Votto broke the game open in the third with his seventh homer, an opposite-field shot that followed third baseman McMahon’s error on a potential double-play ball. The normally laid-back Votto celebrated a bit when he saw the ball reach the seats.
“We went ahead 7-0,” he said. “The more runs the merrier. I just wanted to contribute to the win. I’m feeling more comfortable celebrating. That was genuine joy. That was relief.”
“It’s the best to see guys have success,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I know Joey’s had a lot of it, but it is still good to see him enjoy it.”
Farmer homered leading off the fourth and Stephenson ended Freeland’s night when he went deep leading off the fifth. Freeland previously had allowed three home runs in a game three times. He gave up nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits in his fourth start since coming off the injured list.
“My body feels fine,” he said. “I’m just missing locations.”
Rizzo hits tying homer on 14th pitch, Cubs beat Cards 8-5
(AP) Anthony Rizzo hit a tying home run in the sixth inning on the 14th pitch of his at-bat against Daniel Ponce de Leon. and Joc Pederson and Willson Contreras also went deep to lead the Chicago Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 on Friday.
With Wrigley Field allowed 100% capacity for the first time since 2019, the Cubs rallied from a 5-1 deficit before a crowd of 35,112.
Pederson drove in three runs and gave the Cubs a 7-5 lead in the seventh with a two-run double against Génesis Cabrera (1-2).
Tommy Nance (1-0) threw two innings to win his first major league decision. and Craig Kimbrel retired three batters for his 16th save.
Hendriks has tantrum over rain, gives up tying homer
DETROIT (AP) Liam Hendriks angrily threw a wet ball into foul territory after his first pitch of the ninth inning, leading to a lengthy rain delay, then gave up a tying two-run homer to Daz Cameron before the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 in 10 innings on Friday night.
Chicago led 4-2 when Hendriks entered to start the ninth, seeking his AL-high 17th save.
The All-Star closer threw a ball on his first pitch to Miguel Cabrera, and when Hendriks got a new ball back, he went to the stretch then threw the ball into foul territory on the third-base side on a hop and yelled toward plate umpire Chris Conroy “It’s all wet!” as he spread both arms wide.
“I slipped on my warmup pitches, and every ball the umpire gave me was wet,” Hendriks said. “It was raining so hard the umpire’s bag was wet, so there was no way I could get a dry ball. That’s just not safe for anyone.”
As White Sox manager Tony La Russa started to head to the plate, umpires called for a delay, and Hendriks spoke with the umpires as he walked to the dugout.
“They asked me if I was OK with keeping the game going, and I said it was fine,” La Russa said. “But then it all came down in a hurry.”
The game resumed 49 minutes later, with Hendriks fussing over the rosin bag.
Cabrera swung and missed Hendriks’s first pitch, then singled to right. After Eric Haase popped out, Cameron drove the next pitch, a fastball, to right-center for his home run in 62 career big-league at-bats.
“That had nothing at all to do with the delay,” Hendriks said. “I’ve never seen him, so I wanted to throw a fastball to get a look at his swing and he hit it out. He’s a strong kid.”
Cameron’s father, Mike, was a three-time Gold Glove outfielder during 17 major league seasons including four with the White Sox. He was the second hitter in the first game at Comerica Park in 2000 and was an All-Star in 2001.
Daz Cameron, 23, made his big league debut last September.
“Dad might get the ball eventually, but I’m sleeping with it tonight,” Daz Cameron said after getting the ball back from a fan in exchange for an autographed ball.
Kershaw rebounds, Dodgers go deep 5 times in rout of Rangers
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw bounced back from two bad outings with six sharp innings, Gavin Lux drove in four runs and hit one of five Dodgers homers, and Los Angeles routed the Texas Rangers 12-1 Friday night.
Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Lux homered in the first inning, a smashing start to open the Dodgers’ seven-game homestand.
Albert Pujols and Will Smith also went deep as Los Angeles won its fourth in a row and sent Texas to its 16th straight road loss.
Kershaw (8-5) returned to the form that has made him the longtime ace of the Dodgers staff. The left-hander, who had allowed five runs in each of his last two starts for the first time since 2011, gave up only one unearned and three hits.
Kershaw struck out nine and walked none. He also was one of six Dodgers to have two hits, and his RBI single in the third extended their lead to 8-0.
Mike Foltynewicz (1-7) fell behind 6-0 in the first.
After Mookie Betts led off by reaching base on an error, Muncy drove Foltynewicz’s slider over the wall. Turner followed two pitches later with a drive to center, making the fourth time this season the Dodgers have had back-to-back homers.
Lux added a three-run homer with one out and marked the first time since 2015 that the Dodgers had connected three times in the opening frame. He also had an RBI double in the third.
Pujols, who came into the game in the second inning when Muncy left due to tightness in his right side, and Smith had solo shots in the fourth to make it 10-0. Los Angeles added two more in the fifth on Cody Bellinger’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Chris Taylor.
Foltynewicz went 2 2/3 innings and tied a career-high with eight runs allowed (seven earned) on eight hits. The right-hander is the first Texas pitcher to allow three home runs in the first inning since A.J. Griffin in 2017 at Detroit.
Civale dominates for 9th win, Indians blank Mariners 7-0
CLEVELAND (AP) Aaron Civale felt miserable the past few days, suffering with allergy symptoms. The Mariners didn’t cause him any problems at all.
Civale gave up a single to start the game before dominating Seattle’s light-hitting lineup for eight innings, leading the Cleveland Indians past the Mariners 7-0 on Friday night in front of the largest crowd at Progressive Field since 2019.
Civale (9-2) allowed J.P. Crawford’s leadoff hit – a grounder that just got past second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s glove – and nothing else to become the first AL pitcher with nine wins. The right-hander, who turns 26 on Saturday, struck out a career-high 11 and retired 22 in a row after loading the bases in the first.
Afterward, Civale said he hasn’t pitched much better, but he has certainly felt better.
“I’m kind of under the weather the last few days,” he said. “Some allergies going on. But I’ve thrown some of my best games when I haven’t been feeling my best, physically. I think the focus tonight was probably the best I’ve had in a long time.
“That’s something I try to carry into each and every start.”
The Mariners, who have been on the wrong side of two no-hitters this season, came into the series batting an MLB-worst .209. Civale made them look foolish with a nasty curveball that locked up hitters.
“We knew that was his pitch,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We just couldn’t do anything about it.”
Cleveland’s Bobby Bradley homered in the third off Justin Dunn (1-3) and Amed Rosario had four hits for the Indians.
The series opener was the first game in which capacity attendance was allowed at Progressive Field since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 22,970 fans came out for the Mariners, $1 hot dogs and fireworks on “Opening Day 2.0.”
Civale and the Indians didn’t disappoint their fans, who still aren’t sure what to make of this young team that can look lost offensively and relies so heavily on its pitching.
Cleveland has hit plenty enough for Civale, who improved to 15-0 when his teammates score at least three runs.
The crowd was festive, breaking into the wave and cheering every strikeout by Civale.
“The energy was awesome, so that’s something that I felt on the mound several times,” Civale said. “There were several instances on the mound where I just kind of used that as extra adrenaline and that’s something that’s been missing from this game the past few years.
“It’s really nice to have that back. Just have awesome fans here. That’s what we play for.”
The Indians pounced on Dunn right away, scoring three times in the first.
Eddie Rosario had an RBI single, Dunn walked Bradley with the bases full to force in a run and Josh Naylor made it 3-0 with a single. The Indians could have done more to Dunn, but Rosario was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Dillon Thomas.
Jose Ramirez’s run-scoring single put Cleveland up 4-0 in the second.
Nats’ Scherzer exits after 12 pitches with apparent injury
WASHINGTON (AP) Nationals ace Max Scherzer exited with an apparent injury after throwing just 12 pitches in Friday night’s start against San Francisco.
There was no immediate report on Scherzer’s condition. Washington typically doesn’t announce information on player injuries until after a game ends.
Scherzer got Giants leadoff hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. to fly out for the first out of the game. Brandon Belt was up next and Nationals manager Dave Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard went out to the mound after Scherzer threw a 96 mph fastball that made the count 3-2.
Scherzer got down and squatted, then stretched from side to side before throwing one pitch in front of Martinez and Lessard. Scherzer left after that warmup throw.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner entered the game with a 5-4 record and a 2.22 ERA. Schezer began the night in second place in the NL with 104 strikeouts.
D-backs GM Hazen takes physical leave, wife battling cancer
PHOENIX (AP) Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen is taking a physical leave of absence from the team while his wife Nicole is dealing with brain cancer.
Hazen said Friday that he will continue to consult regularly with assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye, who will take over day-to-day baseball operations. The 45-year-old Hazen has been the GM of the Diamondbacks since 2016.
Hazen’s wife Nicole has been battling a brain tumor for more than a year. The couple has four sons.
“First off, what I want to say, is that Nicole is doing OK,” Hazen said. “She’s grinding along. But being realistic about the journey we’re on right now, knowing what my job demands, and knowing the most important thing to me, this is demanding a percentage of my time that’s starting to creep into the ability for me to do (my job) here physically.”
Later he added: “I had to be honest about where I needed to be physically more often than not.”
Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said he supports Hazen’s decision and is glad Hazen is taking time to be with his family. Hazen and Hall said there is no timetable for the GM’s return.
Injury likely to keep Brewers 3B Shaw out until August
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw likely won’t return until August after dislocating his left shoulder diving for a ground ball this week.
Shaw got hurt Wednesday at Cincinnati and was placed on the injured list the next day. Brewers manager Craig Counsell provided a timetable before Friday’s game with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Counsell said the initial plan is to see whether Shaw can recover without needing surgery.
“This is what the doctor suggests,” Counsell said. “They suggest rehabbing it, getting it strong and seeing if you’re able to play like that again. I think surgery is always a possibility when you pop your shoulder out, but they’re at least optimistic at the start that rehab is the best way to do this, to get it strong and to get it healthy and you see how it feels.”
Shaw, 31, is batting .191 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 56 games.
Luis Urías started in Shaw’s place Thursday and started at third base again Friday.
Bears sign first-round pick Fields to 4-year deal
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears signed first-round draft pick Justin Fields to a four-year contract on Friday.
The Bears landed their quarterback of the future when they traded up nine spots with the New York Giants to take the Ohio State star with the No. 11 overall pick. They have him working with the second team for now behind veteran newcomer Andy Dalton, who signed a one-year contract in March, but the question is for how long.
Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2019 and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year each of his two seasons at Ohio State after transferring from Georgia. He threw for 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Buckeyes.
The Bears are counting on Fields to deliver in a way Mitchell Trubisky never did after being drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, and to solidify a position that has historically been a sore spot for them.
The Bears opted not to exercise their fifth-year option on Trubisky for 2021 prior to last season. He then got benched in favor of veteran Nick Foles for part of the year and wound up signing with Buffalo to back up Josh Allen.
The Bears have signed six of their seven draft picks. The only remaining unsigned selection is second-rounder Teven Jenkins, an offensive tackle from Oklahoma State.
Russell Wilson says he didn’t request a trade from Seahawks
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson made it clear Thursday that he did not ask for a trade this offseason, and insisted his relationship with coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider has been strengthened through a series of conversations after months of uncertainty.
Wilson spoke for the first time since February, when a series of comments he made led to trade speculation and a growing furor surrounding his future in Seattle.
Wilson repeated numerous times that winning is the ultimate cure for any dissatisfaction and that any rifts with the franchise have been mended for now.
“We’re on the same page. We’re here to do what we’re meant to do and that’s to win it at all,” Wilson said. “I’m excited. I’m excited about who we have, the guys we have, excited where we are. Coach Carroll and I’s relationship couldn’t be stronger on it. Like I said earlier, my focus is to win. Winning means everything to me.”
But clearly frustration had been building over the team’s performance and that led to the offseason firestorm that started after Wilson watched Tom Brady win another Super Bowl title in February.
“When I’m sitting at the Super Bowl and watching the Super Bowl, I should be (angry), right?” Wilson said. “At the end of the day you shouldn’t be wanting to sit there and watch the game. You want to be there and play, especially when you’ve played in it twice.”
Seattle won its only Super Bowl title eight years ago and it’s been seven years since the Seahawks last won the NFC. The Seahawks haven’t advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs in any season since, and last year they were ousted in the wild-card round at home by division rival Los Angeles – the first home playoff loss of Wilson’s career.
Wilson’s previous comments came after questions about whether the Seahawks were doing enough to put a winning product around him. He specifically mentioned his offensive line and being tired of constantly getting hit.
The conjecture reached a boil when Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, commented to ESPN that Wilson had not requested a trade but listed the four teams – Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago and New Orleans – for which he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
“There was a whole thing saying that I requested a trade and that’s just not true. I didn’t request a trade, so I think everything kind of started from there,” Wilson said. “And then, obviously, tons of teams were calling, and I think that the reality was that I didn’t really want to go anywhere else. I wanted to play in Seattle. But if I had to go somewhere these are the teams I would go to, or consider.”
Chiefs lose OL Kyle Long to knee injury in voluntary workout
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The offensive line that the Kansas City Chiefs aggressively overhauled this offseason has taken a hit with a knee injury to veteran Kyle Long during voluntary workouts that could require surgery and keep him out of training camp.
The 32-year-old Long came out of a one-year retirement designed largely to get him healthy to sign a one-year contract with the Chiefs, who completely recast their offensive line after it was decimated by injuries and opt-outs last season. But he failed to make it through three weeks of workouts before another injury sidelined him.
“We’ll just see how he does here. It doesn’t look like it’s ligaments, but we’ll see,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said following the last of the workouts Thursday. “There’s a chance he has to have surgery on it, but we’ll see where it’s at.”
The Chiefs begin a three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday, then are off until reporting to training camp in late July.
Long has spent most of his career at right guard, but he also was a Pro Bowl selection at right tackle, and the Chiefs were keen to see him play both positions. Now, they are looking at former starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif returning from his opt-out to play right guard and veteran Mike Remmers or 2020 draft pick Lucas Niang to play right tackle.
The Chiefs are also high on Trey Smith, who fell to the sixth round of April’s draft due to his medical history.
“We’re lucky that we have some good players in there,” Reid said, “and then Larry is coming back. You add all of that in there with (Andrew) Wylie, who has a couple years of starting under his belt, and we should be OK.”
Duvernay-Tardif is expected at the mandatory minicamp, despite travel concerns due to COVID-19. He has been in his native Canada, where the trained physician spent last year helping people who contracted the coronavirus.
Despite the injury to Long, the Chiefs appear to be pleased with the work they put in the past three weeks, when several teams opted to skip voluntary workouts altogether. It was especially valuable for the past two crops of rookies, those who missed the entire offseason program last year because of COVID-19 and those just learning the NFL ropes.
“Of course it was tough for those guys that came in last year, to get their heads started in OTAs and minicamp,” said Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who returned from a torn meniscus suffered in late January that kept him out of the Super Bowl.
“I’m catching onto things that I wasn’t catching onto last year,” he said. “It’s the basics that make good become great.”
Belichick: Newton not practicing, but fine after hand injury
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Cam Newton hasn’t practiced since injuring his throwing hand during voluntary workouts last week. Coach Bill Belichick expects New England’s incumbent starting quarterback to be fine.
Newton was not at Thursday’s workout, the third session open to media.
“He’s doing all right. He won’t participate today, but he’s getting better,” Belichick said before practice.
This is Newton’s first full offseason with the Patriots after signing with them last July. His absence left New England with three quarterbacks – Jarrett Stidham, rookie Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer – for Thursday’s session.
Newton went 7-8 as the starter in 2020 but struggled at times to find consistency after his season was interrupted for two weeks following a COVID-19 diagnosis. He said one of the things he was looking forward to most was getting a full offseason to dive into the playbook.
Despite using the 15th overall draft pick in April to add former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Belichick said this spring that Newton would enter training camp as the starter.
The Patriots are to hold a final voluntary workout Friday before opening a three-day, mandatory minicamp on Monday.
Belichick said some adjustments must be made with Newton currently not participating, but his absence will provide more reps for the remaining quarterbacks.
“(Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) does a great job of getting everybody prepared,” Belichick said. “That can come in a variety of ways from meetings to walkthroughs to practice reps to how he splits them up in individual drills. There’s a lot of different opportunities and he’s done it very well and continues to do that.”
Packers to allow full capacity at Lambeau Field
The Green Bay Packers expect to fill Lambeau Field for games this season. They also plan to welcome fans to training camp and their annual shareholders meeting this year.
Fans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t need to wear masks. Unvaccinated fans will be asked to wear masks. Proof of vaccination won’t be required.
The shareholders meeting is scheduled for July 26 at Lambeau Field. Training camp will start the last week of July, though exact dates haven’t been set.
The Packers played in front of no spectators for their first four regular-season games last year. They made seating available to team employees and their immediate family members in late November and also admitted hundreds of front-line workers for their last two regular-season home games.
They admitted several thousand spectators to join those front-line workers and team employees at their two playoff games. Their NFC championship game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a paid attendance of 7,772.
McVay in better mood, says he’s better coach with Stafford
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Sean McVay has finally given a bit of real insight into the reasons why the Los Angeles Rams traded Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford.
Even if he apparently didn’t mean to do it.
A few hours before the Rams wrapped up their offseason program, McVay responded to a question about his thoughts on Stafford by saying he’s a happier, better head coach since the Rams’ high-profile quarterback change in March.
“I think I’ve been very happy,” McVay said Thursday while on stage at a news conference for the Los Angeles Super Bowl Organizing Committee. “Everybody says, `Man, you just seem like you’re in a better mood this offseason.’ I say, `You’re damn right I am.'”
The Rams held an open practice Thursday at SoFi Stadium in front of about 30,000 fans mostly getting their first looks at the team’s multibillion-dollar football palace.
A few hours before the workout, McVay spoke about Stafford – and indirectly, Goff – while on stage with Stafford to honor 56 community organizations being given $10,000 grants by the committee organizing SoFi’s first Super Bowl coming up in February.
McVay previously has spoken largely in his usual anodyne generalities about the blockbuster trade to acquire the 33-year-old Stafford in exchange for Goff, Los Angeles’ starting quarterback for McVay’s four consecutive winning seasons.
“So this guy (Stafford), he’s a special guy,” McVay said. “I think one of the best ways that I can describe him, when you hear people that have been around him, there’s a known confidence where when he walks into a room. You always feel his presence, but he’s got a great humility about himself that everybody loves being around him. He’s one of those guys that I think is a true igniter.
“He makes everybody around him better. I feel like I’ve become a better coach in the few months that we’ve been able to spend together, and we’re looking forward to doing a lot of good things together.”
After the open practice, McVay said his comment had been “definitely taken out of context.”
“I am very excited, I am in a good mood, because of the confidence that I have in this team,” McVay added. “But by no means is that a slight to anybody like Jared, who has done a phenomenal job for the last four years here. I hated that I even have to address that, but I did think out of respect for him and all the good things he’s done … I am in a good mood, but that doesn’t mean it’s not because we’re working together, or because of just Stafford exclusively. There’s a lot of good things going on that I feel really good about and confident about.”
Los Angeles traded Goff, two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick to Detroit for Stafford, who played 12 prolific seasons for the Lions without winning a playoff game.
Stafford asked to leave Detroit with the team headed into yet another rebuilding phase, but Goff had no desire or intention to leave his home state until he got the call from McVay telling him about the trade on March 18.
Goff also wavered from his reluctance to speak frankly about the trade Monday on “The Rich Eisen Show,” saying he was completely blindsided by the Rams’ move. Goff led Los Angeles to the Super Bowl, won two NFC West titles and secured two Pro Bowl selections – one more than Stafford – while earning three playoff berths with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2016.
“To be honest, I had no inclination of it,” Goff said. “It came somewhat from left field when it happened.”
Goff was a productive starter under McVay, but the Rams’ offense regressed over the past two years after putting up some of the NFL’s best numbers during McVay’s first two seasons. Only three quarterbacks committed more than Goff’s 17 turnovers last season, and McVay’s patience finally ran thin with Goff late in the season after 3 1/2 years of unwavering public support.
“I had a lot of fun there,” Goff said. “There was a lot of good times. Obviously it ended sour. … No, there was not any inclination that anything like that was coming, but that’s what happens, and I’m excited to be here (in Detroit).”
Packers TE Sternberger suspended 2 games under drug policy
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Green Bay Packers reserve tight end Jace Sternberger has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The decision announced by the league on Thursday means Sternberger will miss the Packers’ Sept. 12 opener at New Orleans and Sept. 20 home game against Detroit. He will be eligible to return to the active roster Sept. 21, and he could play as early as Sept. 26 at San Francisco.
Sternberger remains eligible to participate in preseason games, as well as all practices.
The Packers declined to comment because the process is confidential. Sternberger said in a statement posted on Twitter that he fell asleep behind the wheel in February 2020 after drinking while on antidepressants.
Sternberger called it a “horrible decision” and apologized to the Packers “and everyone else who has supported me along this journey.”
“Over the past 16 months, I’ve been going to therapy and continuously working to be a better person,” Sternberger said. “I will never ignore my mistakes. I have owned up to my poor decision and accept the consequences.”
Sternberger, a 2019 third-round pick from Texas A&M, dealt with injuries in each of his first two seasons. He spent the first half of his rookie year on injured reserve with an ankle injury and missed four games with a concussion last season.
Sternberger, who turns 25 on June 26, had 12 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in 12 games last season. He was inactive for each of the Packers’ two playoff games.
Dead and gone: Cowboys’ Prescott moving past horrific injury
FRISCO, Texas (AP) Dak Prescott finished the offseason with his most vigorous practice since the horrific ankle injury that ended his 2020 season.
Then the star Dallas quarterback tried to declare the injury issue dead.
“I’ve buried the injury,” Prescott said Wednesday after what ended up being the final practice of the mandatory minicamp for the Cowboys, who used the last of the three days for team bonding.
“I’ve buried it mentally,” he said. “And I think you guys and a lot of people around have to help me and bury it as well as we move forward. Put that right on the tombstone.”
As for the date on the “tombstone,” Prescott says about a month ago, which means about seven months after he broke and dislocated his right ankle in a gruesome scene in Week 5 against the New York Giants.
“Somewhere around Cinco de Mayo,” he said. “Yeah, had a good Cinco de Mayo, was a little active and at that time maybe did some little dance moves and I felt like I’m ready to go. So that was the time that I said in my head, `The injury’s gone.'”
In reality, there are still plenty of questions for the player with the richest contract in the storied franchise’s history, a $160 million, four-year deal signed in March. While the offseason work has steadily increased, Prescott didn’t do 11-on-11 drills, in part to keep players from falling around that leg.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he expects the two-time Pro Bowler to be cleared for everything at the start of training camp, presumably in California on July 22 – roughly the nine-month mark since the injury.
“He hasn’t missed anything that’s been slated,” McCarthy said. “We’re not naive. It’s just like any player that comes back from injury, especially a major joint injury. The first year back there’s going to be some things you have to work through.”
After camp starts, Prescott will have the mental hurdle of his first play in a preseason game. All those feelings are likely to return Sept. 9, when the Cowboys open the regular season against Tom Brady and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.
Along the way, Prescott said he hasn’t bothered with timelines. In fact, he made sure he didn’t have any.
“One of my goals and missions when I first got hurt is, I said, `I’m not going to try to beat anybody’s timeline. I’m going to just go out here and work day by day and just try to get myself better,'” Prescott said. “Because I knew the amount of time I had before I actually need to be ready for the season.”
The scramble drills in offseason practices were important for Prescott to test his ankle, and the Cowboys did more of them. Prescott said that was more for the team’s situational work than his ankle. But there’s no question what was on everybody’s mind.
“He definitely had some moments from workouts probably three, four weeks back where I definitely felt once we were able to see him move in the pocket, out of the pocket-type drills, scramble drills,” McCarthy said. “Physically I think he’s right where he needs to be.”
Both starting tackles also had season-ending surgeries last year. La’el Collins had a hip issue that kept him out all season, and left tackle Tyron Smith played two games before a neck injury shut down the seven-time Pro Bowler.
The blockers got to see the rehabbing side of the quarterback who replaced an injured Tony Romo in 2016 and never gave up the job while leading Dallas to the top seed in the NFC and winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
“The way Dak worked throughout the whole offseason, the way he pushed himself, the way he came back and is able to be on the field with everybody else right now, it’s amazing,” Smith said. “It lights a fire under you to like, `Hey, push a little bit harder.’ If your quarterback is going to push like that, we got to push the same way or even harder for him.”
Prescott said he has been encouraged by improvement in his football movement from his workouts to minicamp. He also said he never worried about the leg during drills, and is now past the residual pain.
“I say that because with all that gone and none of those effects, that’s what allows me and helps me bury it,” Prescott said. “I don’t even think about it before practice, pre-practice, but still doing all the necessary things and being smart that I am still only seven months away from the injury.”
It’s actually eight months, but who’s counting? Maybe Prescott means it when he says he hasn’t been.
QB Sam Noyer heads to Oregon State for final season
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Former Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer will use his final year of eligibility at Oregon State.
Noyer, who is from Beaverton, Oregon, announced his move on Twitter on Friday.
Noyer threw for 1,101 yards and six touchdowns in six starts last year for Colorado, which went 4-2 in the abbreviated Pac-12 season. He also rushed for 208 yards and five TDs.
With the Beavers, Noyer is expected to compete with redshirt junior Tristan Gebbia and sophomore Chance Nolan.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound QB also thanked the Buffaloes.
“From an 18-year-old kid to a 23-year-old adult, I have learned so much from this city, this institution and most importantly, this football program. I have met lifelong friends and made memories that I will cherish forever,” he wrote. “It was truly an honor to wear ‘Colorado’ across my chest.”
Noyer played at safety for the Buffaloes in 2019 before returning to quarterback last season.
Larsen gets first NHL head-coaching job with Blue Jackets
When Brad Larsen went from old player to young coach and earning an NHL head job became a goal, he spent time on a hockey database website looking up the paths of those who came before him.
Larsen found many of the most successful coaches took their time and embraced patience.
“My vision was, I’m not in a rush to be a head coach,” Larsen said. “I want to do it right.”
After a decade in coaching, including the past seven years as a Columbus assistant, Larsen was introduced Friday as the Blue Jackets’ new coach. He and team brass agreed that even with connections to the previous two coaching staffs, Larsen earned the opportunity to be the new voice the organization covets to become a contender again.
“There’s that patient endurance that goes into something like that,” Larsen said at his introductory news conference in Columbus. “I’m going to learn more now. I’m going to make mistakes — I promise you — but that’s part of the process.”
Larsen quickly became the top choice to succeed John Tortorella, the Stanley Cup-winning coach who parted ways with the Blue Jackets with his contract expiring. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Larsen was one of the first candidates interviewed for the job and others couldn’t surpass the “Lars Bar” set by the 43-year-old homegrown coach.
“It makes me very proud to promote Brad to our head coach because he’s earned it,” Kekalainen said. “It’s going to be a fresh, new voice for us.”
At the very least it’s a fresh perspective from a coach who worked under Tortorella and Todd Richards since 2014 and before that coached the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. Larsen understands the questions about how an organizational mainstay can be a new voice but insists he’ll show that in his coaching.
Whereas Tortorella was gruff, often short and sometimes unfiltered, Larsen said he’s firm but fair and believes in accountability and honesty, much like his old boss.
“I’m my own man,” Larsen said. “I probably will handle things differently than Torts just because that’s who I am and not because he was wrong and I was right, but that’s who I am.”
Which is why Kekalainen and returning Blue Jackets President John Davidson picked Larsen over more experienced coaches, including Rick Tocchet and Gerard Gallant. After last season went off the rails and Columbus finished in last place, picking a coach is another step in a crucial offseason with the organization betting big on Larsen being the best fit.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s exciting,” Davidson said. “We’ve now made this choice. We feel it’s a very strong choice. The communication skills from Brad are exceptional, his love of the Blue Jackets and Columbus are way up the ladder. There was a lot of very positive things.”
Djokovic hands Nadal 3rd loss in 108 French Open matches
PARIS (AP) Sprinting, sliding and stretching, anticipating each other’s moves for four sets and more than four hours, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal produced a masterpiece in the French Open semifinals.
Djokovic, as it happens, is one of only two men in tennis history who knows what it takes to beat Nadal at Roland Garros. And now Djokovic has done it twice – this time ending Nadal’s bid for a 14th championship there and record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title overall by coming back to win their 58th career matchup 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Friday night.
“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever,” said the top-seeded Djokovic, who trailed 2-0 in the closing set before reeling off the last half-dozen games to reach his sixth final at the clay-court major tournament.
“Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland Garros, for me, and (one of the) top-three matches that I ever played in my entire career – considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years,” Djokovic said, “and the atmosphere, which was completely electric.”
It was Nadal’s third loss in 108 matches at a tournament he won each of the last four years, including by beating Djokovic in the 2020 final.
Nadal’s first defeat at the French Open came against Robin Soderling in 2009; the next against Djokovic in 2015.
“Each time you step on the court with him,” Djokovic said, “you know that you have to kind of climb Mt. Everest to win against this guy here.”
And to think: There wasn’t even a trophy at stake in this one. That will happen Sunday, when Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, faces Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 22-year-old from Greece.
The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas edged sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 earlier Friday to reach his first Grand Slam final. It’s Djokovic’s 29th as he seeks a second title at the French Open and 19th major championship overall to pull within one of the men’s Slam mark shared by Nadal and Roger Federer.
Tsitsipas already had given away all of a two-set lead in his semifinal Friday when he double-faulted to trail love-40 in the opening game of the fifth. But Tsitsipas steeled himself to win five consecutive points, then broke to go up 3-1.
“I’m someone who fights. I was not willing to give up yet. I think I did few things right that worked in my favor,” said Tsitsipas, who entered the day 0-3 in major semifinals.
“It was a breath of fresh air, that first game,” he said. “I felt revitalized.”
His semifinal offered a measure of drama. But in truth, Tsitsipas-Zverev was merely an opening act before the headliners.
Nadal and Djokovic really riled up the raucous crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Midway through the third set, Djokovic won a 23-stroke point with a forehand winner and windmilled his arms a half-dozen times, earning a standing ovation and chants of “No-vak! No-vak!” On the very next point, Nadal produced a forehand winner and screamed, prompting chants of “Ra-fa! Ra-fa!” and a wave in the stands.
Nadal acknowledged fatigue might have been a factor during his poor play in the tiebreaker, including a double-fault and a flubbed volley.
“Mistakes can happen,” the 35-year-old from Spain said. “But if you want to win, you can’t make these mistakes.”
That set alone lasted 1 hour, 33 minutes, and an 11 p.m. nationwide curfew in place because of COVID-19 was approaching. Djokovic’s previous match had been delayed more than 20 minutes while the audience – limited to 5,000 people under coronavirus restrictions – was cleared out of the stadium, but an announcement was made Friday to let everyone know the government agreed to let them stay until the end of the match.
Earlier chants in French of “We won’t leave!” were replaced by choruses of the national anthem and cheers of thanks for President Emmanuel Macron.
Nadal noted afterward that playing in the cooler night air meant balls bounced lower, lessening the effect of his lefty forehand’s heavy topspin.
“That’s more favorable for him, the conditions,” Nadal said. “By the way, doesn’t matter. That’s tennis. The player who (gets) used to the conditions better is the player who (deserves) to win. So no doubt, he deserved to win.”
The intensity was palpable from the outset of the evening, and Nadal zoomed to a 5-0 lead, reminiscent of last year’s final, which he won 6-0, 6-2, 7-5. That was only the fourth shutout set lost by Djokovic in 341 career Grand Slam matches up to that point – and the first in a major final.
There wouldn’t be another Friday, because Djokovic made two key tactical adjustments – moving much further back than usual to return serve and deciding to focus on serving toward Nadal’s backhand – and quickly made clear this would be a classic between two of the greatest ever at what they do.
They defended in ways rarely seen. Found the right mix of power and touch. Conjured up impossible-at-first-glance winners that no one else would try, let alone successfully employ. Returned as well as anyone, combining to generate 38 break points.
No two men in the professional era, which dates to 1968, have played each other more than this duo (Djokovic now leads 30-28). They know each other, and each other’s strengths and weaknesses and patterns, so well.
Back-and-forth they went – from game to game, point to point, shot to shot. Through exchanges that lasted 10 strokes, 20 strokes, more, they created marvelous points, too many to count – or recount.
They forced each other to come up with the goods over and over again, in a version of “Can you top this?” And the answer, over and over again, was “Yes!”
Palou shakes off Indy defeat, takes points lead to Detroit
DETROIT (AP) — Alex Palou still felt the sting from his second-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 when he saw Helio Castroneves at the victory dinner and begged the winner to tell him how he made the decisive final pass.
“I asked him a couple of questions because I was in doubt if he was actually managing that pass or not, and he didn’t answer me, he just said ‘Hey, I have more experience than you,’” Palou said. “And I was ‘Like, man, just answer me, I just want to know.’”
He never got an answer and has since moved on to Detroit for a weekend doubleheader with a consolation prize: Palou is the current IndyCar points leader. He’s got a 36-point advantage over his teammate, six-time and reigning champion Scott Dixon, behind a win and three podium finishes through six races.
The Spaniard opened his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing — it is his second season in IndyCar — with his first career victory. The win at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama ignited a youth movement in IndyCar, which has four winners aged 24 (Palou) or younger and three first-time winners.
His move this year from Dale Coyne Racing to Ganassi placed Palou in a lineup of champions. His teammates are Dixon, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and former Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson. His driver coach is three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.
Palou has been like a sponge, and Kanaan both likened him to the late Dan Wheldon but also called him the best teammate Dixon has had since Franchitti retired after the 2013 season. Kanaan, it should be noted, spent four seasons in Palou’s car.
“Tony has been a really big help for me personally since the beginning,” Palou said. “I actually bought lunch one day because I just wanted to take a notebook and just ask him all the stupid questions I had, just because having the opportunity of being able to ask a champion like Tony and an experienced driver like him everything, it’s amazing.”
Palou is one of seven drivers racing for the first time at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course. The race was canceled last year because of the pandemic so the circuit is new to nearly a third of the field for the Saturday and Sunday doubleheader.
It’s a bumpy course and IndyCar allowed just one 75-minute practice Friday for teams to prepare. Palou also will drop six spots on the starting grid ahead of Saturday’s race as penalty for an unapproved engine change during Indianapolis 500 preparations.
But Palou has felt extremely comfortable in his move to Ganassi and is looking forward to a championship fight.
“When you have a really good team around you, everything feels like it’s going easier,” he said. “The teams, they always nail the pit stops, they always nail the strategy. They put me out there and I just have to do my job and drive it. There’s been a couple of races where we had the best car, we’ve been doing a good job, but it’s because they give me the tools and I just try to not (screw) it up.”
Santino Ferrucci turned his sixth-place finish in the Indy 500 into another chance with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, which brought Ferrucci to Detroit for the doubleheader.
IndyCar also welcomed back Jimmie Johnson and Romain Grosjean, who sat out the Indy 500 because both drivers have committed only to road and street courses. Both have since had a change of heart, with Grosjean planning to race the oval at Gateway outside St. Louis in August and Johnson now planning to at least test an oval.
“We’re going to have some pretty high-intensity action here at Detroit,” said veteran Conor Daly. “Our favorite marketing partners Jimmie Johnson and Romain Grosjean will be back in action, as well. Can’t wait for those guys to be back.”
Johnson and Grosjean, as well as fellow rookie Scott McLaughlin, all spun during Friday’s practice. McLaughlin spun in the first five minutes and caused enough damage to end his session.
He punched his hand on a barrier as he watched his car get hooked to a tow truck.
“I just got a little too excited,” he said of his spin. “Rookie mistake, stupid mistake. It’s a practice we really needed. I’m pretty upset with myself.”
Johnson said he was “floored” by how technical the track is and that all his work on the simulator still did not have him prepared.
“How rough it is, how little grip there is, and I’ve got a huge challenge this weekend,” Johnson said.
Helio Castroneves is the first reigning Indianapolis 500 not to race the next IndyCar event on the schedule since Dan Wheldon in 2011.
Castroneves won his record-tying fourth Indy 500 last month in the first race of a six-race deal with Meyer Shank Racing. The team has not altered its plan with Castroneves after scoring its first ever IndyCar victory, and Castroneves will instead race Saturday night in Connecticut in the debut of the Superstar Racing Experience all-star series co-founded by Tony Stewart.
ANOTHER PENSKE SHOW
Roger Penske unofficially reopened America with the Indy 500, which at 135,000 spectators was the largest sporting event in the world since the start of the pandemic.
Now Penske is doing the same in Detroit, where just under 10,000 spectators will be permitted onto Belle Isle each day of the three-day race weekend. Penske is the promoter of the Belle Isle event.
Michigan has had some of the strictest regulations of any state during the pandemic and it was only on Tuesday that the Detroit Tigers said it would lift capacity restrictions. Comerica Park holds 41,000.
Hadley 2 shots in front of DJ at Palmetto Championship
RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) Chesson Hadley is off to his best start on the PGA Tour since 2016, shooting a 5-under 66 on Friday for a two-stroke lead over Dustin Johnson in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.
Hadley was at 11-under 131 at Congaree Golf Club, his lowest total through 36 holes since the The RSM Classic in 2016.
The top-ranked Johnson, who opened his afternoon round five shots behind early starter Hadley, was tied for the lead through 17 holes.
But Johnson drove the ball left on No. 18 and into a thick, deeply rooted patch of tall grass. He took an unplayable lie, hit his third shot over the green and made a double-bogey 6 for a 68. Still, at 9-under 133, he had his best 36-hole start since winning the Travelers almost a year ago.
“I feel like I’m playing really well,” the South Carolina native said. “So got a lot of confidence in what I’m doing.”
American Tain Lee, in just his third career PGA Tour event, was third at 7 under after a 68. A group of six that included Harris English and South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen were five shots behind at 6 under.
Hadley continued his stellar play at Congaree, a fill-in host after the RBC Canadian Open was was called off for a second straight year due to COVID-19.
Hadley followed an opening 65 with seven birdies and two bogeys to top the leaderboard. Coming in, he had missed the cut in 10 of his past 12 events.
“I definitely didn’t see this coming,” he said.
Why would he with his poor stretch of play?
After falling short at the Byron Nelson last month for his fifth straight missed cut, the 33-year-old from North Carolina shut things down for a while to clear his head. “Thank goodness I had three weeks off after that just to kind of completely get that behind me and just think about the future,” he said.
These two rounds have jump-started Hadley’s waning confidence. “Obviously, we’re a long way form the winner’s circle,” Hadley said. “I’m so thankful to just feel that again, like I belong out here type of thing.”
And he’ll play the third round with someone who certainly belongs in Johnson, although the world’s No. 1-ranked player has been stunningly bad the past few months.
He’s gone without a top 10 in his past seven starts, a horrible run that included missed cuts at the Masters, where he was defending champion, and the PGA Championship in his home state.
Johnson said even he was thrown off course with his recent performances. “For me, it’s all about the misses,” he explained. “If you can keep your misses in play or on the right side of holes, it makes the game a lot easier.”
He did that to near perfection, except for that final hole.
Johnson had four birdies on a six-hole stretch of the back nine to catch Hadley for the lead. Then the bad drive at the last, which Johnson said came when the club slipped in his glove hand.
“That’s a first for me. I obviously was not expecting that,” he said.
Hadley, moved in front at 9-under with a 36-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole. He extended his edge on the 15th, landing his approach within 2 feet of the cup for another birdie. Hadley closed with a flourish after sticking his second shot within 8 feet of the cup for another birdie to finish with day’s lowest round.
Brooks Koepka, who hadn’t played since his runner-up finish at the PGA, struggled for a second straight round and missed the cut after a 73 left him at 3 over.
Wondering if Koepka will be ready for next week’s U.S. Open? There’s this: He missed the cut at the Byron Nelson, then finished second a week later at the PGA Championship.
Kang takes 1-stroke lead in LPGA Tour event at Lake Merced
DALY CITY, Calif (AP) Danielle Kang birdied the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead Friday in the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, the tour’s second straight event on the San Francisco Peninsula.
Coming off a 35th-place tie last week in the U.S. Women’s Open at nearby Olympic Club, Kang had a 7-under 137 total at Lake Merced for a one-stroke lead over first-round leader Leona Maguire and former Stanford player Lauren Kim.
“It was just warmer weather,” Kang said. “I play well in really hot weather. Evidently, cold weather has not been my forte, but today weather was on my side.”
Kang rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 16th with a 6-foot par save on the par-3 17th and the closing birdie.
“The greens are slick and fast, and being poa, it’s just a little scary, a little bumpy,” Kang said. “You have to trust your lines, and that’s what I been doing. Just kept putting the way I did and started dropping on the back nine.”
The American won in consecutive weeks last summer in Ohio in the LPGA Tour’s return from the coronavirus pandemic. She has five tour victories – the first in 2017 in the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2010 and 2011.
Maguire followed her opening 75 with a 73, rebounding after opening with three straight bogeys. The former Duke star from Ireland played alongside the tournament’s two past champions, Sei Young Kim (2018) and Florida neighbor Lydia Ko (2019).
“Really proud of how I sort of hung in there and battled back and holed some really nice putts and got some really nice up and downs and keep the round going,” Maguire said. “Kept myself in the tournament.”
Lauren Kim had her second straight 69.
“This week it’s just amazing to stay at home, sleep in my own bed, and just have the local support and know that people that are rooting for me are close by,” Kim said. “I think that’s really driven me to just kind of let it go this week and hopefully keep it going on the weekend.”
Min Lee was 5 under after a 69.
Lexi Thompson had a 72 to fall to 1 under. On Sunday at Olympic, she blew a five-stroke lead, playing the final seven holes in 5 over to finish a stroke out of a playoff that Yuka Saso won.
Michelle Wie West shot a 75 to make the cut on the number at 4 over, the first time in five events this year that she has advanced to the weekend. Wie West and eight other players got in when Katelyn Dambaugh, playing in the last group off the 10th tee, shot a 72, dropping from 3 under to 5 under with closing bogeys.
Stanford’s Rachel Heck, the NCAA player of the year playing on a sponsor exemption, missed the cut with rounds of 76 and 78 in the group with Wie West.
Ko was 2 under after a 70, and Kim was 3 over after 74.
Saso and Women’s Open playoff loser Nasa Hataoka skipped the event.
INDIANAPOLIS FUEL HOCKEY: STRONG SPECIAL TEAMS PROPELS INDY TO FIRST EVER PLAYOFF WIN
(FUEL PRESS RELEASE)
GREENVILLE – With their backs against the wall, the Indy Fuel visited the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Indy would see goals from Spencer Watson, Peter Kreiger and Willie Raskob en route to a 3-2 win and the Fuel’s first playoff win in franchise history.
Taking advantage of an early power play, Spencer Watson floated down from the blue line and fired a slapshot over the shoulder of a screened Ryan Bednard. Greenville would respond just over a minute later when a shot by Joey Haddad was deflected past Billy Christopoulos by Shawn Cameron. After earning a second power play in the period, Indy’s Willie Raskob wristed a puck from the point and beat Bednard to take a 2-1 lead.
Throughout the first 10 minutes of the opening period, both teams traded shots on goal but Christopoulos and Bednard would stand strong. It would take until four minutes remaining in the period before Indy doubled their lead when a wrist shot by Peter Krieger beat Bednard over the shoulder. Indy would hold on to the two-goal lead for the remaining time, taking a 3-1 lead into the locker room.
After controlling the first half of the final period, the Swamp Rabbits would cut Indy’s lead in half when Haddad put home a rebound off of a point shot from Ben Finklestein. Although getting outshot 13-6 in the third period, Indy would hold on to the 3-2 lead and earn the franchise’s first playoff win.
INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS: Indians Drop Record-Setting Contest At Nashville
(INDIANS PRESS RELEASE)
NASHVILLE, TENN. – The Indianapolis Indians lost by their largest margin of defeat vs. the Nashville Sounds in history on Friday night, 14-1. With the loss, the Sounds now hold a 3-1 lead in the six-game series.
The Sounds (24-9) knocked Indians starting pitcher Cody Ponce (L, 0-2) out of the game with two outs in the third inning. Four consecutive singles and a pair of wild pitches by the Indians pitching staff led to a 5-0 Nashville lead.
Nashville then put up another four runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of Jamie Westbrook, to take a 9-0 lead.
Hunter Owen broke up the Sounds one-hit bid with a single in the eighth inning. Troy Stokes Jr. doubled to send Owen to third base, and Chris Sharpe drove him in with a sacrifice fly to get the Indians (16-17) on the board.
The Sounds then followed with another five-run spot in the bottom of the eighth inning to extend the lead to 13 runs.
Indy’s pitching staff gave up 10 hits and walked nine batters in 8.0 innings. Sounds starter Bowden Francis (W, 2-1) allowed just one hit in 7.0 innings.
Nashville’s previous greatest margin of victory vs. the Indians came on Aug. 29, 1995 at Indianapolis, 12-2. The two teams played each other as member of the American Association from 1985, Nashville’s first year as a Triple-A affiliate, until the American Association disbanded following the 1997 season.
The Indians will look to break a three-game losing skid on Saturday night in another 8:05 PM ET start. RHP Max Kranick (0-1, 4.82) will face off against RHP Alec Bettinger (1-1, 2.16).
INDIANA VOLLEYBALL: Volleyball Releases Schedule, Season Tickets on Sale
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana volleyball team will play 12 non-conference matches and 20 Big Ten matches as the team announced their schedule for the 2021 fall season.
Indiana will play in preseason events at Butler, Western Michigan and Georgia Tech, before hosting their first home match at Wilkinson Hall on September 16.
Among their non-conference opponents are Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Ole Miss.
“We are excited to announce the 2021 schedule,” IU head coach Steve Aird said. “Our preconference schedule will test us and prepare us for what will be a historically good Big Ten slate. We know the challenge that lies ahead but I believe in this group.”
The Big Ten slate will begin on September 24 with a home match against Michigan State, followed by a September 26 home match against Purdue.
Indiana will play the following teams home and away: Purdue, Rutgers, Minnesota, Northwestern, Nebraska, Illinois
“It is looking more and more like we will have fans in the stands for the 2021 season and that is so important to our program,” Aird said. “Our vision when we arrived was to recruit exceptional student-athletes, grow the fan base and put a product on the court that everyone can be proud of. I believe in our process, I believe in what we do and we are excited to take another step forward this season.”
Season tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling the IU Athletics ticket office at 812-855-4006.
The season ticket renewal deadline is July 23.
INDIANA SWIMMING: Indiana Swimming Sends 24 to Olympic Trial Wave II
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A total of 24 swimmers with ties to the Indiana University swimming program will compete in the second wave of the 2020 Olympic Trials from June 13-20 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb.
The Wave II eight-day Trials competition serves as the sole qualifier for pool swimmers on the U.S. Olympic Team for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Athletes will earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team roster at each of the eight finals sessions.
In Wave II, the fastest 16 athletes from the preliminaries in each event 200 meters and shorter will qualify for the semifinals. The eight fastest athletes from the semifinals will qualify for finals. There will be a semifinal contested for each event except events of 400m or longer. Only the fastest eight qualifiers from the preliminary heats will compete in the finals of the 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle and 400m IM.
Zach Apple – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle
Zane Backes – 100m Breaststroke
Michael Brinegar – 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle, 400m IM
Brendan Burns – 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly
Mikey Calvillo – 400m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle, 400m IM
Mariah Denigan – 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle, 400m IM
Tristan DeWitt – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m IM
Jack Franzman – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle
Corey Gambardella – 100m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly
Zane Grothe – 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle
Lilly King – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
Annie Lazor – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
Mackenzie Looze – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 200m IM, 400m IM
Josh Matheny – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
Van Mathias – 100m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly
Ben McDade – 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle, 400m IM
Cody Miller – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
Noelle Peplowski – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m IM
Blake Pieroni – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle
Aidan Reagan – 1500m Freestyle
Maxwell Reich – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
Jacob Steele – 100m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke, 200m IM
Ashley Turak – 50m Freestyle
Emily Weiss – 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
MORNING: 11 a.m. ET
EVENING: 7:45 p.m. ET
Sunday, June 13
M 400m IM Prelims
W 100m Butterfly Prelims
M 400m Freestyle Prelims
W 400m IM Prelims
M 100m Breaststroke Prelims
M 400m IM Finals
W 100m Butterfly Semifinals
M 400m Freestyle Finals
W 400m IM Finals
M 100m Breaststroke Semifinals
Monday, June 14
W 100m Backstroke Prelims
M 200m Freestyle Prelims
W 100m Breaststroke Prelims
M 100m Backstroke Prelims
W 400m Freestyle Prelims
W 100m Butterfly Finals
M 200m Freestyle Semifinals
W 100m Breaststroke Semifinals
M 100m Breaststroke Finals
W 400m Freestyle Finals
M 100m Backstroke Semifinals
W 100m Backstroke Semifinals
Tuesday, June 15
W 200m Freestyle Prelims
M 200m Butterfly Prelims
W 200m IM Prelims
W 1500m Freestyle Prelims
W 200m Freestyle Semifinals
M 200m Freestyle Finals
W 100m Backstroke Finals
M 100m Backstroke Finals
W 100m Breaststroke Finals
M 200m Butterfly Semifinals
W 200m IM Semifinals
Wednesday, June 16
M 100m Freestyle Prelims
W 200m Butterfly Prelims
M 200m Breaststroke Prelims
M 800m Freestyle Prelims
M 100m Freestyle Semifinals
W 200m Freestyle Finals
M 200m Butterfly Finals
W 200m Butterfly Semifinals
M 200m Breaststroke Semifinals
W 200m IM Finals
W 1500m Freestyle Prelims
Thursday, June 17
W 100m Freestyle Prelims
M 200m Backstroke Prelims
W 200m Breaststroke Prelims
M 200m IM Prelims
M 800m Freestyle Finals
M 200m Breaststroke Finals
W 100m Freestyle Semifinals
M 200m Backstroke Semifinals
W 200m Butterfly Finals
M 100m Freestyle Finals
W 200m Breaststroke Semifinals
M 200m IM Semifinals
Friday, June 18
W 800m Freestyle Prelims
M 100m Butterfly Prelims
W 200m Backstroke Prelims
W 200m Breaststroke Finals
M 200m Backstroke Finals
W 200m Backstroke Semifinals
M 200m IM Finals
W 100m Freestyle Finals
M 100m Butterfly Semifinals
Saturday, June 19
M 50m Freestyle Prelims
W 50m Freestyle Prelims
M 1500m Freestyle Prelims
M 100m Butterfly Finals
W 200m Backstroke Finals
W 800m Freestyle Finals
M 50m Freestyle Finals
W 50m Freestyle Finals
Sunday, June 20
No morning events.
M 50m Freestyle Finals
W 50m Freestyle Finals
M 1500m Freestyle Finals
Watch Prelims – NBCSN
Watch Finals – NBC
Live Results – omegatiming.com
Meet Central – usaswimming.org/trials
PURDUE VOLLEYBALL: Big Ten Volleyball Schedule Revealed
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Big Ten Conference office announced the Fall 2021 season schedule, which includes 10 home and 10 away matches, with the season officially underway September 24.
The Boilermaker’s 20-match Big Ten season will feature weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and Wednesday competitions. Purdue’s conference opener is slated for September 24 versus Ohio State in Holloway Gymnasium.
The Boilermakers’ longest road stretch will be four consecutive matches Nov. 5-14, which will include Maryland, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
There will be three Wednesday matches on the docket: at Illinois (10/6), vs. Michigan State (10/20) and vs. Northwestern (10/27).
Purdue’s non-conference slate will be announced at a later date. All match dates are subject to change pending television selections.
Season tickets can be renewed HERE. Fans looking to renew their 2019 season tickets will have until July 19.
Home Opponents: Ohio State, Illinois, Rutgers, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska
Away Opponents: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern
Opponents Featured Once: Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State
INDIANA STATE TRACK: Ryann Porter to Represent Indiana State at NCAA Championships
EUGENE, Ore. – Ryann Porter is set to become just the second female triple jumper in Indiana State history to compete at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
The freshman will compete in the women’s triple jump at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 12. The event will be streamed live on ESPN3.
When Porter enters the runway on Saturday evening, she will be just the second female Indiana State athlete to compete in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships in school history. Lauren Martin, the current school record holder, appeared in two NCAA Indoor Championships in 2009 (15th) and 2010 (5th), in addition to two appearances in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2009 (10th) and 2010 (13th). She holds the school record with a leap of 13.53m (44-04.75).
AT THE EAST
Porter had a career day on the final afternoon of the NCAA East Preliminary round in Jacksonville, Fla., two weeks ago. Entering the competition seeded 22nd in the region, the freshman used her final jump of the competition to secure the last spot in the NCAA Championships, placing 12th with the second-best mark in school history of 13.12m (43-00.50).
SYCAMORE WOMEN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Porter will be the 32nd Indiana State female to compete at an NCAA Championship for the Sycamore track and field program. In total, the Sycamore women have garnered 24 Indoor First Team All-American honors, one Indoor Second Team All-American honors, 21 Outdoor First Team All-American honors and seven Outdoor Second Team All-American honors. The Sycamore women have also brought home 13 individual NCAA titles.
It was a steady progression throughout Porter’s freshman campaign before the Janesville, Wis., native exploded at the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships. Entering the week of the MVC Championships, Porter used a best-jump of 12.82m (42-00.75) at the Pacesetter Sports Invitational to claim the top seed. She didn’t disappoint, besting her previous personal-best mark to claim her first MVC title with an impressive leap of 12.91m (42-04.25) on her last attempt of the competition.
OHIO STATE VOLLEYBALL: BIG TEN CONFERENCE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference today released its 2021 conference schedules for women’s volleyball. Ohio State’s 20-game conference slate features 10 matches at the Covelli Center, 10 on the road and the conference season begins Sept. 24 at Purdue.
Ohio State will play seven Big Ten programs – Purdue, Penn State, Maryland, Michigan State, Michigan and Rutgers – home and away and single games vs. Indiana, at Wisconsin, vs. Nebraska, at Northwestern, at Illinois and vs. Iowa.
Non-conference match details are still being finalized, but the schedule is starting to take shape:
Ohio State will host its Sports Imports Classic at Nationwide Arena Aug. 27 and 28 with the University of Washington, Ohio University and Northern Kentucky University competing;
Matches are being scheduled for Sept. 3 and 4 vs. Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas;
Ohio State will travel to Virginia Commonwealth University for a series of matches Sept. 10 and 11; and
Dates are still to be determined, but a home-and-home series between Ohio State and Notre Dame will take place the week of Sept. 13.
Ohio State is coming off a terrific, 16-4 season in the first year under the direction of head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg. The team won its first 13 matches, qualified for the NCAA tournament as the No. 9 overall national seed, and defeated Missouri in the NCAA tournament before losing to Florida in the regional semifinals. Flynn Oldenburg is the first coach in program history to guide the team to the NCAA tournament in her first year.
2021 Ohio State Women’s Volleyball Schedule
As of June 11, 2021
Aug. 27 – Sports Imports Classic*
Aug. 28 – Sports Imports Classic*
Sept. 3 – vs. TBA at Texas Tech
Sept. 4 – vs. TBA at Texas Tech
Sept. 10 – vs. TBA at Virginia Commonwealth
Sept. 11 – vs. TBA at Virginia Commonwealth
TBA – vs. Notre Dame
TBA – at Notre Dame
Sept. 24 – at Purdue
Sept. 26 – at Penn State
Sept. 29 – Indiana
Oct. 2 – Maryland
Oct. 8 – at Michigan State
Oct. 10 – Michigan
Oct. 15 – Purdue
Oct. 16 – Rutgers
Oct. 22 – at Wisconsin
Oct. 24 – at Minnesota
Oct. 29 – at Michigan
Oct. 31 – Michigan State
Nov. 4 – Minnesota
Nov. 6 – Nebraska
Nov. 13 – at Northwestern
Nov. 14 – at Illinois
Nov. 19 – Iowa
Nov. 21 – Penn State
Nov. 26 – at Maryland
Nov. 27 – at Rutgers
*at Nationwide Arena; Tournament includes Northern Kentucky, Ohio U. and Washington
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1839 Due to an erroneous eye-witness account, Abner Doubleday is given credit for establishing the first baseball game is played in America. Although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a baseball game, the Hall of Fame, which opens a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our national pastime in this small upstate New York town.
1880 At the Worcester Agriculture Fairgrounds, Lee Richmond pitches the first perfect game, beating Cleveland, 4-0. The 23 year-old rookie southpaw threw a no-hitter in a collegiate exhibition against the White Stockings last season.
1886 St. Louis Maroons right-hander Charlie Sweeney, who will give up only nine round-trippers in 93 innings of work this season, sets a major league record when he gives up seven home runs in the team’s 14-7 loss to the Wolverines at Detroit’s Recreation Park. Allowing six gopher balls is the post-1900 mark, a dubious distinction shared by six hurlers, including Ranger right-hander R.A. Dickey, who accomplished the feat in his only appearance in 2006.
1907 Eight different Highlanders commit a total of eleven errors en route to a 16-4 loss to Detroit. Shortstop Kid Elberfeld commits four of the fielding miscues in the contest played in New York’s American League Park.
1928 Lou Gehrig collects fourteen total bases when he blasts two triples and two homers. The Yankee first baseman’s offensive output leads the Bronx Bombers to a 15-7 win over Chicago at Comiskey Park.
1939 The Baseball Hall of Fame, with much of its funding provided by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, is dedicated in Cooperstown, a site selected due to an erroneous report made that claimed Abner Doubleday had invented the game in the small town. The players selected from the first four Hall of Fame induction elections become the first members enshrined.
1939 In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game in a Yankee uniform when he participates in an exhibition contest against the Kansas City Blues (AA), the team’s American Association farm club. The ‘Iron Horse’, playing only three innings and batting eighth, grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.
1940 In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers, and $125,000. The deal to acquire the 1937 Triple Crown winner, which is engineered by GM Larry MacPhail, signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.
1941 The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act, sending Lloyd, known as ‘Little Poison’, to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings. ‘Big Poison’ Paul, the older sibling, was signed as a free agent with the team after being released by the Dodgers last month.
1946 The Veterans Committee elect Jack Chesbro into the Hall of Fame, making him the only player to be enshrined in Cooperstown who played professional baseball for a team located in the upstate New York village on the shores of Otsego Lake. The right-hander, who established the record for most victories in a season with 41 while pitching for the 1904 Highlanders, played for the Cooperstown Athletics after the Roanoke Magicians of the Virginia State League disbanded during 1896 season.
1949 After piloting the team for 13 seasons, Charlie Grimm ends his tenure as the Cubs manager by splitting a doubleheader with the Braves. The 19,802 fans in Braves Field give the skipper, who will stay in the organization as Boston’s vice-president, a long standing ovation when he takes his position in the third-base coaching box for the last time.
1954 Braves’ right-hander Jim Wilson beats future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts when he no-hits the Phillies, 2-0. The one hour and forty-three minute contest at County Stadium, the major league’s only no-no this season, is the first for the franchise since the team relocated from Boston following the 1952 season.
1954 The Indians (35-17) move into first place when Bob Feller gets his 2,500th career strikeout in the Tribe’s 4-3 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. ‘Rapid Robert’ will finish his 18-year major league career striking out 2,581 hitters, an average of more than six batters a game.
1957 Eddie Mathews hits his 200th career home run in the Braves’ 11-9 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The Milwaukee third baseman is the second youngest player to reach the plateau, 98 days older than Mel Ott, who accomplished the feat at the age of 25 years and 144 days.
1957 At Connie Mack Stadium, Stan Musial breaks the National League record for endurance when he plays in his 823rd consecutive game, surpassing the previous mark established in 1937 by Pirates infielder Gus Suhr. The Cardinal first baseman celebrates the historic contest, enjoying a 2-for-4 day at the plate in the team’s 4-0 victory over the Phillies.
1959 Despite giving up a hit in the bottom of the sixth in the Giants’ 3-0 victory over Philadelphia, Mike McCormick receives credit for a no-hitter with the contest rained out, statistically erasing the hit. Due to a rule change in 1991 that mandates a game must last for at least nine innings for the hitless effort to be called an official no-hitter, the right-hander’s five-inning rain-shortened outing no longer appears in the record book as a no-no.
1962 In the Braves’ 15-2 rout of LA at County Stadium, the Aaron brothers both homer in the same game, with Tommies connecting in the bottom of the eighth after his older sibling Hank had hit one out in the second. The Milwaukee teammates will also accomplish the feat on July 12 and August 14.
1967 After catching the entire game and going 0-for-8, All-Star backstop Paul Casanova, in his ninth at-bat, ends the 22-inning contest when he singles to left field scoring Hank Allen with the winning run in the Senators’ 6-5 victory over the White Sox at D.C. Stadium. The six-hour, 38-minute marathon, which ends at 2:43 in the morning, results in the American League adopting a curfew stating that no inning may begin an hour after midnight.
1970 Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, who became an advocate of anti-drug programs, claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.
1978 The Cubs send 22 year-old rookie relief pitcher Ron Davis to the Yankees to complete a trade made two days ago which brought Ken Holtzman to Chicago. The deal turns out better for New York when the reliever posts a 27-10 (.730) record during his four years in the Bronx, and the 33 year-old southpaw starter Holtzman, in his second stint in Windy City, compiles a 6-12 mark before retiring after two seasons of rejoining the team on the Northside.
1979 Tiger skipper Les Moss, hired early in the offseason to replace Ralph Houk, is terminated 53 games into his first season as a major league manager, having compiled a 27-26 record with the team. Detroit makes the unusual managerial move to hire an unexpectedly available Sparky Anderson, the fired Reds skipper who will spend 17 seasons in Detroit, compiling a 1331-1248 (.516) record, and capturing a World Championship in 1984.
1979 The Mets enjoy the most productive inning in franchise history when ten runners cross the plate in the sixth fame of their 12-6 victory over the Reds at Shea Stadium. The highlight of the double-digit deluge is Doug Flynn’s three-run inside-the-park home run.
1981 With the owners and players unable to agree free agent player compensation, Major League Baseball experiences its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike, which will end on July 31, results in 713 games (38% of the MLB schedule) not being played and implementation of divisional playoffs to determine league championships.
1983 “I didn’t know what to say, so I just sort of mumbled, ‘Well, O.K.,’ ” – DALE MURPHY, responding to fan’s request to hit a home run. When Dale Murphy visits with Elizabeth Smith in the stands to give her a cap and a T-shirt, her nurse asks the Braves’ outfielder to hit a home run for the six-year-old girl, who lost both her hands and a leg when she stepped on a live power line. The reigning National League MVP obliges, hitting two homers and driving in all the runs in the team’s 3–2 victory over the Giants at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1983 Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg, recently-elected Hall of Famers, have their uniform numbers retired by the Tigers in a pregame ceremony. The digits #2 and #5, respectively, will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired in franchise history.
1988 Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line-drive single down the right-field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986 which clinched the National League West Division for the Astros.
1990 Cal Ripken plays in his 1,308th consecutive game, moving into second-place on the all-time list ahead of former Yankee and Red Sox shortstop Everett Scott (1918-1925). In 1995, the Oriole infielder will break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in 2,131 straight games.
1996 Major League Baseball forces Marge Schott to relinquish her role as managing general partner of the Reds for two years due to her controversial comments about Hitler. In an interview last month with ESPN, the Cincinnati owner stated “Everybody knows [Hitler] was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”
1997 At the Ballpark in Texas, the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, in the first interleague game in history played in the 126-year history of the sport. San Francisco outfielder Darryl Hamilton picks up the first-ever Interleague hit, and his teammate Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.
2001 The pitching-poor Rangers trade backup backstop Doug Mirabelli to the Red Sox for Double-A Trenton right-handed pitcher Justin Duchscherer (6-3, 2.44). Mirabelli will help fill the void created last week when Boston’s starting catcher Jason Varitek broke his right elbow.
2002 In the third inning of the Padres’ 2-0 victory over Baltimore at Camden Yards, Brian Lawrence strikes out the side on nine pitches, with only one being a called strike. The 26 year-old right-hander becomes the 36th pitcher in baseball history to accomplish the feat when he whiffs Brook Fordyce, Jerry Hairston, and Melvin Mora, who all go down swinging.
2004 In interleague action, Barry Bonds (675) of the Giants and Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro (536 and 537 to pass Mickey Mantle) both homer in a 9-6 San Francisco victory at Camden Yards. The sluggers join Willie Mays and Ernie Banks (1970) and Mays and Hank Aaron (1971) as only the third pair in baseball history to have 500 career home runs and connect in the same game.
2005 Hee-Seop Choi homers in his first three at-bats in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Minnesota. The southpaw-swinging first baseman’s solo shot in the sixth off Brad Radke, who gave up the infielder’s first two home runs, proves to be the difference in the Chavez Ravine contest.
2006 After hitting .625 (15-for-24), Joe Mauer is named the American League player of the week. The 23 year-old Twins catcher becomes one of the very few big-league players to reach base four times in five consecutive games.
2007 Using a 102-mph fastball and an untouchable curveball, 24 year-old right-hander Justin Verlander strikes out a career-high 12 batters en route to throwing a no-hitter against Milwaukee. The 4-0 hitless gem, which features several outstanding defensive plays from his Tiger teammates, is the first no-no thrown at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
2010 During a 10-2 rout of Philadelphia at Fenway Park, Daniel Nava hits a grand slam on the first pitch he sees as a major leaguer. The 27 year-old Red Sox left fielder, recently called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, hits his bases-loaded round-tripper in the second inning off Joe Blanton, joining Kevin Kouzmanoff as the second player in big-league history to accomplish the feat.
2012 Alex Rodriguez ties Lou Gehrig’s 74 year-old major league record when he hits his 23rd career grand slam in a 6-4 victory over Atlanta at Turner Field. The Yankee third baseman’s historic homer over the left-field fence comes off an eighth-inning 3-2 pitch thrown by Jonny Venters, tying the game at 4-4.
2014 Max Scherzer hurls his first career complete game, throwing a three-hit shutout to beat Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field, 4-0. The Tiger right-hander’s stretch of 178 games is the longest that any major league starter had gone without finishing a game since 1900.
|Tampa Bay||40||24||.625||–||17 – 14||23 – 10||17 – 10||4 – 2||11 – 10||6 – 4||W 1|
|Boston||39||25||.609||1||19 – 15||20 – 10||16 – 6||7 – 4||8 – 13||7 – 3||W 2|
|NY Yankees||33||30||.524||6.5||17 – 16||16 – 14||14 – 21||11 – 5||5 – 2||4 – 6||L 1|
|Toronto||31||30||.508||7.5||13 – 13||18 – 17||10 – 12||4 – 6||6 – 10||4 – 6||L 2|
|Baltimore||22||40||.355||17||11 – 21||11 – 19||8 – 16||4 – 9||8 – 8||5 – 5||L 2|
|Chi White Sox||39||24||.619||–||25 – 11||14 – 13||8 – 6||22 – 12||6 – 4||6 – 4||W 2|
|Cleveland||33||27||.550||4.5||15 – 12||18 – 15||3 – 7||21 – 12||4 – 4||6 – 4||W 1|
|Kansas City||30||32||.484||8.5||16 – 15||14 – 17||5 – 5||15 – 20||5 – 6||4 – 6||L 1|
|Detroit||26||37||.413||13||15 – 17||11 – 20||4 – 5||11 – 22||8 – 5||4 – 6||L 1|
|Minnesota||25||38||.397||14||13 – 20||12 – 18||6 – 7||12 – 15||4 – 13||3 – 7||L 1|
|Oakland||38||27||.585||–||20 – 18||18 – 9||11 – 9||10 – 2||10 – 13||7 – 3||W 1|
|Houston||36||27||.571||1||20 – 13||16 – 14||12 – 7||1 – 3||21 – 12||7 – 3||W 1|
|LA Angels||31||32||.492||6||18 – 16||13 – 16||3 – 7||10 – 6||14 – 17||7 – 3||W 4|
|Seattle||31||34||.477||7||17 – 14||14 – 20||6 – 5||7 – 10||15 – 12||3 – 7||L 2|
|Texas||24||40||.375||13.5||15 – 16||9 – 24||11 – 10||4 – 6||8 – 14||2 – 8||L 1|
|NY Mets||31||24||.564||–||16 – 5||15 – 19||13 – 8||2 – 5||13 – 5||6 – 4||W 2|
|Philadelphia||30||31||.492||4||19 – 12||11 – 19||17 – 17||9 – 4||2 – 4||5 – 5||W 2|
|Atlanta||29||32||.475||5||17 – 17||12 – 15||14 – 17||10 – 4||3 – 3||4 – 6||L 3|
|Miami||28||35||.444||7||15 – 13||13 – 22||11 – 9||4 – 9||11 – 9||4 – 6||W 2|
|Washington||25||34||.424||8||13 – 16||12 – 18||9 – 13||6 – 10||4 – 7||4 – 6||L 1|
|Chi Cubs||36||27||.571||–||22 – 10||14 – 17||8 – 6||17 – 14||9 – 4||6 – 4||W 3|
|Milwaukee||36||27||.571||–||18 – 15||18 – 12||7 – 9||15 – 10||12 – 3||8 – 2||W 2|
|St. Louis||32||31||.508||4||16 – 15||16 – 16||10 – 10||13 – 12||7 – 6||2 – 8||L 1|
|Cincinnati||30||31||.492||5||14 – 16||16 – 15||3 – 2||16 – 12||7 – 14||7 – 3||W 1|
|Pittsburgh||23||39||.371||12.5||13 – 19||10 – 20||4 – 4||7 – 20||7 – 10||3 – 7||L 5|
|San Francisco||39||23||.629||–||18 – 9||21 – 14||7 – 4||11 – 4||16 – 11||7 – 3||W 1|
|LA Dodgers||38||25||.603||1.5||20 – 10||18 – 15||6 – 3||7 – 9||17 – 8||7 – 3||W 4|
|San Diego||37||28||.569||3.5||21 – 14||16 – 14||2 – 3||10 – 13||17 – 11||3 – 7||L 3|
|Colorado||25||39||.391||15||20 – 14||5 – 25||5 – 8||3 – 8||11 – 21||5 – 5||L 2|
|Arizona||20||44||.313||20||11 – 17||9 – 27||8 – 15||6 – 8||6 – 16||1 – 9||L 8|
|Orlando City SC||7||3||3||1||8||4||4||2-2-0||1-1-1||12|
|New York City FC||7||3||2||2||13||7||6||1-1-1||2-1-1||11|
|Inter Miami CF||8||2||2||4||8||13||-5||0-1-3||2-1-1||8|
|Real Salt Lake||6||2||3||1||9||7||2||1-2-1||1-1-0||9|
|Los Angeles FC||7||2||2||3||8||9||-1||2-1-1||0-1-2||8|
|Connecticut Sun||8||2||.800||—||5-0||3-2||4-0||8-2||2 W|
|New York Liberty||5||4||.556||2.5||3-2||2-2||3-3||5-4||3 L|
|Washington Mystics||4||5||.444||3.5||3-3||1-2||2-3||4-5||2 W|
|Atlanta Dream||4||6||.400||4.0||1-4||3-2||3-2||4-6||4 L|
|Chicago Sky||3||7||.300||5.0||1-5||2-2||3-2||3-7||1 W|
|Indiana Fever||1||10||.091||7.5||1-3||0-7||1-6||1-9||6 L|