SATURDAY SPORTSPAGE

MLB Scoreboard
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American League
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Tampa Bay10Final
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Detroit3Final
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LA Angels4Final
Minnesota5
 
Texas3Final
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Oakland3Final
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National League
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Chi Cubs8
 
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San Diego5Final
Miami2
 
Pittsburgh6Final
San Francisco4
 
Colorado9Final
10
LA Dodgers6

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Indianapolis 2 Toledo 1

PGA LEADERBOARD

3M Open
Jul. 22-25, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota
RankNameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Total Thru 
1tAdam Hadwin6765  -10 (132)F
1tRyan Armour6765  -10 (132)F
3tBo Hoag6766  -9 (133)F
3tChez Reavie6667  -9 (133)F
3tJhonattan Vegas6469  -9 (133)F
3tRoger Sloan6469  -7 (133)F
7tBrian Stuard7064  -8 (134)F
7tMaverick McNealy6767  -8 (134)F
9tJonathan Byrd6966  -7 (135)F
9tBrice Garnett6867  -7 (135)F
9tJ.T. Poston6966  -7 (135)F
9tCameron Tringale6768  -7 (135)F
9tKeegan Bradley6867  -7 (135)F
9tTroy Merritt6471  -7 (135)F
9tGary Woodland6966  -7 (135)F
9tJimmy Walker6867  -7 (135)F
9tDavid Lingmerth6768  -7 (135)F
9tCharl Schwartzel6768  -7 (135)F
19tSung Kang7165  -6 (136)F
19tLouis Oosthuizen6868  -6 (136)F
19tCameron Champ6967  -6 (136)F
19tKyoung-Hoon Lee6967  -6 (136)F
19tMark Hubbard6868  -6 (136)F
19tAdam Schenk6571  -6 (136)F
19tChris Baker6670  -6 (136)F
26tLuke Donald6968  -5 (137)F
26tNick Watney6770  -5 (137)F
26tRafa Cabrera Bello6968  -5 (137)F
26tScott Stallings6572  -5 (137)F
26tRickie Fowler6473  -5 (137)F
26tPat Perez7265  -5 (137)F
26tJason Dufner6869  -5 (137)F
26tScott Brown6968  -5 (137)F
26tMito Pereira7067  -5 (137)F
26tRyan Brehm6770  -5 (137)F
36tDenny McCarthy6969  -4 (138)F
36tSam Ryder6969  -4 (138)F
36tBrandt Snedeker6969  -4 (138)F
36tMatthew Wolff6969  -4 (138)F
36tMichael Kim7167  -4 (138)F
36tAdam Long7068  -4 (138)F
36tCamilo Villegas6969  -4 (138)F
36tBo Van Pelt7068  -4 (138)F
36tHank Lebioda6969  -4 (138)F
45tJosh Teater6772  -3 (139)F
45tChesson Hadley6772  -3 (139)F
45tMichael Thompson7267  -3 (139)F
45tKeith Mitchell6970  -3 (139)F
45tBeau Hossler6871  -3 (139)F
45tMichael Gellerman 71  -3 (71)F
45tLuke List6871  -3 (139)F
45tMartin Trainer7366  -3 (139)F
45tTony Finau7267  -3 (139)F
45tPatton Kizzire7267  -3 (139)F
55tAaron Baddeley7268  -2 (140)F
55tCameron Percy6971  -2 (140)F
55tCameron Davis7169  -2 (140)F
55tPatrick Reed7070  -2 (140)F
55tChase Seiffert7367  -2 (140)F
55tJoseph Bramlett 70  -2 (70)F
55tKiradech Aphibarnrat 69  -2 (69)F
55tPatrick Rodgers7169  -2 (140)F
55tTom Lewis6872  -2 (140)F
55tBubba Watson7268  -2 (140)F
55tScott Piercy7268  -2 (140)F
55tSergio Garcia7070  -2 (140)F
55tCharles Howell III7268  -2 (140)F
55tJoel Dahmen7070  -2 (140)F
55tDavid Hearn7169  -2 (140)F
55tErik van Rooyen6872  -2 (140)F
55tAustin Eckroat7367  -2 (140)F
55tM.J. Daffue6971  -2 (140)F
55tMichael Gligic6971  -2 (140)F

NFL PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME – AUGUST 5

Pittsburgh vs. Dallas (FOX)

WEEK 1 (AUGUST 12-16)

Dallas at Arizona

Tennessee at Atlanta

New Orleans at Baltimore

Miami at Chicago

Buffalo at Detroit

Houston at Green Bay

Carolina at Indianapolis

Cleveland at Jacksonville

Seattle at Las Vegas

L.A. Chargers at L.A. Rams

Denver at Minnesota

Washington at New England

N.Y. Jets at N.Y. Giants

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia

Kansas City at San Francisco

Cincinnati at Tampa Bay

WEEK 2 (AUGUST 19-23)

Kansas City at Arizona (8/20, ESPN)

Baltimore at Carolina

Buffalo at Chicago

N.Y. Giants at Cleveland

Houston at Dallas

N.Y. Jets at Green Bay

San Francisco at L.A. Chargers

Las Vegas at L.A. Rams

Atlanta at Miami

Indianapolis at Minnesota

Jacksonville at New Orleans (8/23, ESPN)

New England at Philadelphia

Detroit at Pittsburgh

Denver at Seattle

Tennessee at Tampa Bay

Cincinnati at Washington

WEEK 3 (AUGUST 26-30)

Cleveland at Atlanta (8/29, NBC)

Green Bay at Buffalo

Pittsburgh at Carolina

Miami at Cincinnati (8/29, CBS)

Jacksonville at Dallas

L.A. Rams at Denver

Indianapolis at Detroit

Tampa Bay at Houston

Minnesota at Kansas City

Arizona at New Orleans

New England at N.Y. Giants

Philadelphia at N.Y. Jets

Las Vegas at San Francisco

L.A. Chargers at Seattle

Chicago at Tennessee

Baltimore at Washington

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE-WEEK ONE

Saturday, Aug. 28

Nebraska at Illinois | 1 p.m. | FOX
UConn at Fresno State | 2 p.m. | CBSSN
Hawai’i at UCLA | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
UTEP at New Mexico State | 9:30 p.m. | FloFootball
Southern Utah at San Jose State | 10 p.m. | CBSSN

Wednesday, Sept. 1

UAB vs. Jacksonville State (Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.) | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN

Thursday, Sept. 2

Houston Baptist at New Mexico | 8 p.m.
Temple at Rutgers | 6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
Long Island University at FIU | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
Boise State at UCF | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Western Illinois at Ball State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Wagner at Buffalo | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
The Citadel at Coastal Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Weber State at Utah | 7:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
South Florida at NC State | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network
East Carolina vs. Appalachian State (Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte N.C.)| 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU
UC Davis at Tulsa | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Bowling Green at Tennessee | 8 p.m. | SEC Network
UT Martin at Western Kentucky | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
Ohio State at Minnesota | 8 p.m. | FOX
Eastern Washington at UNLV | 10 p.m. | Stadium
Southern Utah at Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Friday, Sept. 3

North Carolina at Virginia Tech | 6 p.m. | ESPN
Duke at Charlotte | 7 p.m. | CBSSN
Old Dominion at Wake Forest | 7 p.m. | ACC Network
St. Francis (PA) at Eastern Michigan | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
South Dakota at Kansas | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
Michigan State at Northwestern | 9 p.m. | ESPN
Northern Colorado at Colorado | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
South Dakota State at Colorado State | 9 p.m. | FS1

Saturday, Sept. 4

UL Monroe at Kentucky | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
Colgate at Boston College | 12 p.m. | ACC Network
Western Michigan at Michigan | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Penn State at Wisconsin | 12 p.m. | FOX
Holy Cross at UConn | 12 p.m. | CBSSN
Stanford vs. Kansas State (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas) | 12 p.m. | FS1
Oklahoma at Tulane | 12 p.m. | ABC
Army at Georgia State | 12 p.m. | ESPNU
Fordham at Nebraska | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
Rice at Arkansas | 2 p.m. | SEC Network+
Fresno State at Oregon | 2 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Lafayette at Air Force | 2 p.m.
Alabama vs. Miami (Florida) (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia) | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
Marshall at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN
Indiana at Iowa | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
West Virginia at Maryland | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
Northern Iowa at Iowa State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State | 4 p.m. | ESPNU
Central Michigan at Missouri | 4 p.m. | SEC Network
UMass at Pitt | 4 p.m. | ACC Network
Montana State at Wyoming | 4 p.m.
Louisiana at Texas | 4:30 p.m. | FOX
San Jose State at USC | 5 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Campbell at Liberty | 6 p.m. | ESPN3
Gardner-Webb at Georgia Southern | 6 p.m. | ESPN3
Akron at Auburn | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Eastern Illinois at South Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Monmouth at Middle Tennessee | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
Syracuse at Ohio | 7 p.m. | CBSSN
Oregon State at Purdue | 7 p.m. | FS1
Texas Tech vs. Houston (NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas) | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Missouri State at Oklahoma State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Baylor at Texas State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Nicholls at Memphis | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Abilene Christian at SMU | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
Norfolk State at Toledo | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
Central Arkansas at Arkansas State | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
Southern at Troy | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
FAU at Florida | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
Georgia vs. Clemson (Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.) | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
Northwestern State at North Texas | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN3
UTSA at Illinois | 7:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network
William & Mary at Virginia | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN3
Kent State at Texas A&M | 8 p.m. | ESPNU
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt | 8 p.m. | SEC Network+
Southern Miss at South Alabama | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
Duquesne at TCU | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
Montana at Washington | 8 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
LSU at UCLA | 8:30 p.m. | FOX
Bethune-Cookman at UTEP | 9 p.m. | ESPN3
Nevada at Cal | 10:30 p.m. | FS1
BYU vs. Arizona (Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada) | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN
New Mexico State at San Diego State | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSN
Utah State at Washington State | 11 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Portland State at Hawai’i | 12 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5

Notre Dame at Florida State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

Monday, Sept. 6

Louisville vs. Ole Miss (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia) | 8 p.m. | ESPN

2021 TOP INDIANA VOLLEYBALL RETURNING LEADERS (STATS)

HITTING %

Chloe Chicoine – McCutcheon .460

Eva Hudson- Fort Wayne Dwenger .408 

Alexis Broyles – Kankakee Valley .379

Jordan Fryman -Hamilton Heights .378

Morgan Howard – Whitko  .361 

Kylie VanHoy -Loogootee .361

Gentry Warrick – Linton-Stockton .357

Caroline Haas – Castle .353

Meg Saalfrank – Bellmont .349

Ava Smith – Park Tudor  .342

Haley Melby – Munster  .341

McKenna Layden – Northwestern .339

Kristin Bobay – Fort Wayne Dwenger .338

Avery Ross – Pendleton Heights .338

Ava McClanahan -Indian Creek .337

Katie Pogue -Evansville North .337

Marietta Mcginnis – South Putnam .335 

Cora Poling – Rising Sun .334       

Sarah Lezon – Roncalli .334         

Gracie Lowry – Bloomfield .333

Delaney Martin – North Judson .332

Abigail Kesler – Muncie Burris .330

KILLS

Eva Hudson -Fort Wayne Dwenger 630  

Macy Bruton -Crawfordsville 589

Chloe Chicoine – McCutcheon 545

Quincy Thomas – Brownsburg 512

Madi McCubbins – Monrovia 476

Courtney Jones – Terre Haute South 456

Mackenzie Martin – Martinsville 442

Kendall Meller – Brownsburg  442

Sydney Robinson – Brebeuf 436

Cecilia Bulmahn -Mt. Vernon 433

Katie Egenolf – Center Grove 427

Morgan Howard – Whitko 417

Alexis Broyles – Kankakee Valley 415

Kylie VanHoy – Loogootee 409

McKenna Layden Northwestern 400

ASSISTS

Naija Gadis -Brebeuf 1122           

Macie Bowden – Wapahani 1110

Emma Sandlin -Eastern  1064

Marina Gronkiewicz – Munster 1051

Emilee Hill – Yorktown 1020

Grace Reynolds – Martinsville 979            

Rachel Rossman – Crown Point 958          

Gracie Leffler – Shelbyville 958  

Ella Bostic – Carmel 956

Allie Shondell – McCutcheon 940

Rylee Ugen – Mt. Vernon 940

Peiper Hesson – Plainfield 917   

Avery Hales -Warsaw 911

Mia Loyd – Terre Haute South 910

Amanda Allen – Wawasee 875    

Emma Fleck – New Prairie 872

Abby Marks – Silver Creek 859

Kendall Parker Alexandria-Monroe 842

ACES

Emily Stair – Columbus Christian 141        

Lizzie Glassburn – South Newton 101

Emma Clark -Cowan 100

Hannah Johnston -Seton Catholic 96       

Kearsten Perdue – Blue River Valley 95

Kayla Jones -Columbus Christian 94         

Emily Bell- Frontier 91   

Macy Bruton -Crawfordsville 89

Amanda Quilhot – Traders Point Christian 89        

Camryn Wise – Wapahani 86       

Lexi Cripe – South Newton 82

Lexi Conaster Monroe Central 81

Sarah Morton – Munster 80

Emily Yates -Tecumseh 78

Zoey Dickson – North Putnam 76

Taylor Harsin Madison 74             

Jaylee Hayes -Linton-Stockton 74

Reegan Thomas – Covenant Christian 74

Peiper Hesson – Plainfield 73

Kamzi Gross -Trinity Lutheran 73               

Keira Moore – Castle 73

Kelsie Bowling – Lakeland 73

Lydia Reichley – Seton Catholic 73

Morgan Howard – Whitko 73      

BLOCKS

Kelsey Smith – Hamilton Heights 271

Jordan Fryman -Hamilton Heights 239    

Lynzi Heimlich – North White 155

Carly Bolser -Mississinewa 132

Linzie Wernert – Lanesville 127  

Ashlee Schram – Tipton 121

Olivia Goze – LaVille  116               

Karolynn Phillips – Lanesville 115

Lexi Hayden -Hamilton Heights 113          

Abigail Ratts – Salem 112

Caroline Haas – Castle 108

Ella Scott – Plainfield 108

Alaina Thorne – Washington 107

Maddie Pruitt -Hagerstown 103

Imani Stokes – Warren Central 100

DIGS

Alyssa Browning -Tri-Central 828

Andie Clark -Hauser 778

Lainey Armes – Tipton 716

Emma Halter – Roncalli 680          

Megan Bogemann – Waldron 622

Julia Sanders – Triton Central 619

Sarah Morton – Munster 588

Nicholle Bradach – Indiana School for the Deaf 578

Lesley Marshall – La Porte 573

Kyla Willis – North Putnam 564

Kiera Aguirre – Fort Wayne Snider 562

LonDynn Betts Fort Wayne Concordia 539

Kamzi Gross -Trinity Lutheran 529

Brooke Fields – Union County 529

Molly Urban -Martinsville 519    

Hannah Evenson – Hammond Bishop Noll 518

Reese Baker – Wapahani 513

Ella Hemmings – Brownsburg 504

TOP HEADLINES

Guardians chosen as new name for Cleveland’s baseball team

CLEVELAND (AP) While riding his bike over a bridge across the Cuyahoga River near Progressive Field, Indians owner Paul Dolan rarely paid much attention to the eight giant stone figures that seem to guard the city.

They have new meaning,

After more than 100 years, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team is getting a new name – Guardians.

The Indians are going, going, soon to be gone.

The ballclub announced Friday that at the end of the 2021 season, the Indians will transition from the name they’ve been known as since 1915 and replace it with Guardians, one they hope inspires a new generation of fans.

The name change, which has its supporters and critics among Cleveland’s fan base, ends months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning for institutions and teams to drop logos and names considered racist.

“We do feel like we’re doing the right thing and that’s what’s driving this,” Dolan said following a news conference at the ballpark. “I know some people disagree, but if anything I’ve gotten more and more comfortable that we’re headed in the right direction.

“And actually, the selection of the name solidifies that feeling because of the values that the name represents.”

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200. It was a tedious process, which included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans.

Dolan has said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the name – a move that came a few years after the Indians stopped wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on their game jerseys and caps.

Cleveland’s new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices – referred to as traffic guardians – that flank both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown to Ohio City.

As the team moved closer to making a final decision on the name, Dolan said he found himself looking closely at the huge art deco sculptures.

“Frankly, I hadn’t studied them that closely until we started talking about them and I should emphasize, we’re not named after the bridge, but there’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” he said.

The team did not reveal the names of any of the other finalists, but Brian Barren, Cleveland’s president of business operations, said trademarking issues eliminated several potential candidates.

In the end, the team felt Guardians was a perfect fit.

“We think Guardians is unique and authentic to Cleveland,” Barren said. “It’s less about the Guardians of Traffic and more about what the Guardians represent and that idea of protection. For us and our research, Cleveland folks are very protective of one another.

“They’re protective of our city, they’re protective of the land and everything about it. That’s one key component, the resiliency of people here in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio and the loyalty.”

Cleveland’s name change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. The franchise dropped its contentious Redskins name before the 2020 season and recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

While dropping Indians, Cleveland will keep its red, white and navy team colors and the Guardians’ logos will incorporate some of the team’s lettering style on past uniforms as well as architectural features found on the bridge.

Numerous Native American groups have protested Cleveland’s use of the Wahoo logo and Indians name for years, so the latest development brought some comfort.

“It is a major step towards righting the wrongs committed against Native peoples, and is one step towards justice,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director and founder of IllumiNative, a group dedicated to fighting misrepresentations of Native Americans.

The name change has sparked lively debate among the city’s passionate sports fans. Other names, including the Spiders, which is what the team was called before 1900, were pushed by supporters on social media platforms.

Dolan knows there’s a portion of Cleveland’s fan base that may never accept the change.

“I’m 63 years old, and they’ve been the Indians since I was aware of them, probably since I was 4 or 5 years old, so it will take a long time,” he said. “But we’re not asking anybody to give up their memories or the history of the franchise that will always be there. And for people my age and older, most our life is going to be living as an Indian and not as a Guardian.”

Manager Terry Francona’s ties to the ballclub run deep. His father, Tito, played for the Indians in the 1960s.

As a stirring video narrated by Oscar-winning actor – and die-hard Indians fan – Tom Hanks was shown to kick off the news conference, Francona moved his seat closer to get a better view.

Francona, who is in his ninth season as Cleveland’s on-field leader, planned to show the video to his players before Friday’s game. Francona has gotten some negative backlash about the change, but feels the team is doing it for the right reasons.

“What’s important is how people that are different – not less, just different – how they feel about this,” he said. “We’re trying to be respectful and trying to be unified. And change is not always easy, I get it, it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Guardians is the fifth name in franchise history joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021).

Báez, Chirinos homer, Davies wins as Cubs pound D-backs 8-3

CHICAGO (AP) Javier Baez homered, Robinson Chirinos went deep twice, Zach Davies earned his first win since a combined no-hitter last month and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Friday.

Big changes could be in store for the Cubs with the trade deadline a week away. If this is their final homestand together, it’s off to quite a start.

“I think this is a professional team,” Davies said. “Everybody’s gonna go out there and try and win, regardless of what’s going on with the team. Enjoying winning baseball, enjoying successful baseball and playing well, that’s where everybody’s mind’s at.”

Baez gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the first inning with his long three-run homer to left. The Cubs added three more in the third, capped by Nico Hoerner’s two-run single.

Chirinos made it 7-0 leading off the fourth against Zac Gallen (1-5). He also homered to start the sixth against Matt Peacock after Arizona scored two in the top half, helping Chicago win for just the sixth time in 23 games since Davies and three relievers no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24.

In between, the Cubs fell from a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central to nine games back of the Brewers at 47-50 entering this one. Davies (6-6) threw 107 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. The 28-year-old right-hander struck out a season-high eight while walking two, and came away with the win after going 0-2 in his previous four starts.

Davies exited leading 7-0 with runners on second and third before Daulton Varsho greeted Adam Morgan with a two-run double.

Rookie Keegan Thompson worked the final three innings for his first career save.

“The homer by Javy is big, three runs early on, getting back home, get the crowd into it” manager David Ross said. “It’s nice to be back home. Zach settled in there as the game went on, nice job there. … A lot of guys had some really nice days.”

Varsho homered in the ninth. But the Diamondbacks, owners of baseball’s worst record, came up short after matching a season high with four straight wins.

Gallen tied a career high by allowing seven runs and matched a season worst with six hits in four innings. The 25-year-old right-hander is 0-5 in eight starts since beating Atlanta on April 25.

“Not good,” he said. “Didn’t have good stuff. Didn’t make pitches when I needed to. Didn’t keep us in the game and had to go to the bullpen too early. All around, negative.”

Farmer sparks Reds comeback for 6-5 win over Cardinals

CINCINNATI (AP) Tyler Stephenson hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

Kyle Farmer, who also homered, led off the eighth with a single for his third hit of the game. He was safe at second on a throwing error by Giovanny Gallegos (5-3) on pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart’s potential double-play ball.

One out later, Jesse Winker walked to load the bases ahead of Stephenson.

“Early in the season I was hitting the ball hard but didn’t have anything to show for it,” Farmer said. “Now I’m starting to get some hits.”

“I’m happy for Farm,” manager David Bell said. “He had a great night. He’s such a huge part of our team in every way.”

Joey Votto also had three hits for the Reds, who shook off long home runs by Paul Goldschmidt and Harrison Bader to maintain their hold on second place in the NL Central.

“I know the situation,” Stephenson said. “I don’t try to do too much.I tried to get a pitch up to get in the air. I would have been fine striking out, just so I didn’t hit into a double play. I wanted to give Joey a chance.”

St. Louis had won five of its last six games. The win was just Cincinnati’s second in seven games on the nine-game homestand.

Andrew Knizner’s two-run single was one of four straight hits delivered by the bottom of the St. Louis batting order during a sixth-inning three-run rally. that made it 5-3.

“There was no panic in the dugout when we fell behind,” Farmer said. “I don’t think anyone looks at the scoreboard, honestly. We just go about out business.”

Votto’s third hit and second double helped the Reds tie the game in the seventh. Eugenio Suarez drove in one run with a double down the left-field line. Votto scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Dylan Carlson threw out Suarez trying to score on Aristides Aquino’s fly ball to right.

“A lot of moving parts in that game,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “We had the bases loaded and nobody out and guys on first and second with nobody out and couldn’t cash in.”

Right-hander Brad Brach (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth. Right-hander Heath Hembree earned his first save, striking out the side in the ninth, including pinch-hitting pitcher Adam Wainwright for the final out. Wainwright batted because Yadier Molina had a stiff neck.

“Yadier would’ve batted there,” Shildt said.

Goldschmidt launched a booming flyball that sailed five rows deep into the second level in left-center field in the first against Tyler Mahle. Bader hit a line drive that banged off the ribbon board on the facade of the second deck in left field in the second.

Mahle lasted five innings, allowing five hits and two runs with four walks and five strikeouts before being victimized by a second straight blown save. He hasn’t won in six starts since June 16.

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, still looking for his first Cardinals win in five starts and four relief appearances after signing as a free agent on June 17, allowed eight hits and three runs with a walk and five strikeouts in four innings.

Votto drove in two runs with a double into the right field corner in the first inning. Farmer lined a homer into left in the fourth. A fan dropped his glove on the field trying to make the catch.

Devers homers twice, bullpen strong as Red Sox top Yanks 6-2

BOSTON (AP) For the second straight night, the Yankees tried to protect a one-run lead against the Red Sox.

For the second straight night, Boston found a way to rally past its longtime rival.

Rafael Devers hit two home runs, including a go-ahead blast in the fifth inning, to help the Red Sox best Yankees ace Gerrit Cole for the second time this season at Fenway Park in a 6-2 win Friday night.

Devers followed his two-run homer with a three-run shot in the seventh – the 100th of his career.

“That’s the kind of games we need in order to continue to win ballgames to be where we want to be,” Devers said through a translator. “Everybody contributed. Everybody has a role and they completed it.”

The Red Sox, who rallied from a 1-0 deficit for the second game in a row, earned their ninth victory over New York in 11 meetings this season. Boston, which has won its last four overall, has come from behind in 31 of its AL-leading 60 wins. The Red Sox also maintained their one-game AL East lead over Tampa Bay and increased their lead to nine games over the third-place Yankees.

Yacksel Rios (3-0) got the victory, pitching two scoreless innings to cap a strong night from the bullpen after starter Eduardo Rodriguez left in the second inning after experiencing migraine symptoms. Five Boston relievers combined to allow one run off four hits the rest of the way.

“It was a team effort from top to bottom,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We didn’t win the game early on, but we were winning innings.”

Cole (10-5) started strong for New York, but was pulled after five innings, giving up three runs off six hits, striking out eight and walking two. He has surrendered five home runs at Fenway this season.

“They did make him work. That’s the one thing they did,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They had some long at-bats against him. … Even though they weren’t able to break through on him, they were able to ding him.”

Rodriguez was walking back to the mound after giving up the game’s first run, an RBI double to Brett Gardner, when he put his hands on his hips and doubled over.

He was attended to by trainers before walking off the field on his own power alongside Cora, who put his arm around him. Rodriguez was replaced by Phillips Valdez. He hit the second batter he faced but struck out the side to limit the damage to a run.

Rodriguez’s line for the night was one run off three hits, one strikeout and a walk.

Cole was spot on in a win over Boston last week. He looked to be in command early Friday, dialing up a four-seam fastball that consistently topped 100 mph.

The pitch was there for him in the third inning when he was nursing a 1-0 lead and the Red Sox got two on with one out. He used two triple-digit heaters to punch out both Xander Bogaerts and Devers on 3-2 pitches.

But things changed in the fifth when Kike Hernandez got on with a one-out single. Jarren Duran then battled for six pitches before driving a liner into center that bounced into the seats for a ground-rule double.

Bogaerts was next and lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Hernandez. Devers then made it 3-1, lifting his 25th homer of the season just over the top of the Green Monster.

Rockies rally, win in 10th as Dodgers’ bullpen woes continue

LOS ANGELES (AP) Trevor Story homered and drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Colorado Rockies took advantage of the Dodgers’ recent bullpen woes, beating Los Angeles 9-6 Friday night.

Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer in the 10th to help the Rockies top Los Angeles for just the third time in 11 games this season. Colorado won for the first time in four games at Dodger Stadium.

Pinch-hitter Sam Hilliard’s solo home run in the ninth off Darien Nunez gave Colorado its first lead of the game at 6-5.

“That was a very back and forth game as far as momentum goes, but I’m really, really proud of the guys,” Blackmon said. “There were lots of opportunities for us to shut it down, you know, not fight like we did, lots of times where statistically it didn’t look good for us, but we battled back and earned a win.”

The Dodgers tied it at 6 in the bottom of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk to Justin Turner with no outs. Daniel Bard (5-5) recovered and escaped the jam by striking out Will Smith, Sheldon Neuse and AJ Pollock in succession.

Lucas Gilbreath pitched a scoreless 10th inning for his first career save. The Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games.

“We have to find ways as an offense to keep adding on and extending the lead,” Turner said. “We have to do the little things defensively and take care of the baseball to protect the lead. Obviously, we haven’t done a very good job of it.”

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has blown each of his last three save opportunities, including two consecutive on Wednesday and Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.

Brusdar Graterol and Nunez were recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before Friday’s game. Graterol was charged with two runs in the eighth before Nunez gave up Hilliard’s homer. Jansen was given the night off.

The Rockies’ three runs in the 10th inning came against James Sherfy (2-1).

Hilliard’s home run into the Rockies bullpen in right field was his third of the season and the third pinch-hit homer of his career. It came after Blackmon had an RBI double off Graterol in the eighth to get Colorado within a run and Ryan McMahon had a tying single off Nunez.

Elias Diaz also hit a home run for the Rockies, his eighth.

“We feel like we can come in and compete and beat these guys,” acting manager Mike Redmond said. “And we know we haven’t had a ton of success (against the Dodgers) the last few years but that that can change. And hopefully, as we win some of these tight games, we’ll be able to keep the streak going.”

Turner added a home run for the Dodgers, while Cody Bellinger ended an 0-for-25 drought with an RBI double in the first. Bellinger left the game in the eighth inning with tightness in his left hamstring and is not expected to play Saturday.

David Price went a season-high 5 2/3 innings on 74 pitches, while giving up three runs on four hits as the Dodgers lefty continued to build into a starting role after starting the season in the bullpen.

“A loss is a loss but to lose them late is obviously tough,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “With what we had, we still had a chance to win the game until that 10th inning when it got away from us. Guys have to step up and get outs. It started with David, who I thought did a great job, and some guys came in and didn’t get that first hitter, which is important.”

Brewers beat White Sox 7-1; La Russa, Anderson ejected

MILWAUKEE (AP) Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa got ejected for the first time in a decade. Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor gave him even more reason to feel frustrated shortly afterward.

Taylor hit a grand slam to cap the Brewers’ six-run outburst in the seventh inning of a 7-1 victory Friday night. Taylor’s grand slam came shortly after a bases-loaded walk to Rowdy Tellez prompted La Russa’s ejection.

“Before most at-bats, I have to calm myself down a little bit,” Taylor said. “But that one, I definitely had to chill out and stay locked in and regroup and just try to go up there and have a good at-bat.”

La Russa and shortstop Tim Anderson both were ejected by plate umpire John Libka in the opening game of this interleague series between division leaders.

The ejection of La Russa came during a mound conference with two outs in the seventh after Tellez walked on a 3-2 pitch that was ruled just outside. Anderson was in the dugout in the top of the eighth inning when he also got tossed.

This marked the first ejection of the year for La Russa, who retired from managing in 2011 before making a comeback this season.

“I’ve been thrown out a bunch of times in my career, but it’s all because of emotion,” La Russa said. “Sometimes you flare up because you care. I repeat, it’s not our goal to yell at umpires and make them a part of whatever the game is that day. Sometimes, when you care about winning, which we do, you flare up. Umpires understand that emotion is part of it, so they hear with one ear and see with one eye, but sometimes it goes too far, and today it went too far.”

La Russa’s issues apparently stemmed from Ryan Burr’s two-out walk to Luis Urias, who batted immediately before Tellez. La Russa said he believed Urias’ approach at the plate made pitches in the strike zone appear high.

“I absolutely do not think he did it intentionally,” La Russa said. “I think he’s an RBI guy. But he had a long stride, and it made pitches look like (they were) high when we didn’t think they were balls.”

Burr remained in the game after walking Tellez, but he threw a 2-2 pitch that Taylor sent just inside the left-field foul pole to give the Brewers a 7-0 edge.

Taylor said he wasn’t sure initially whether his drive would go foul.

“But then as I saw the ball fly I knew it was going to stay fair,” Taylor said. “It was sick. I was able to celebrate with my teammates. I don’t even know who I made eye contact with in the dugout, but I feel like I made eye contact with every single person and I could feel their energy and I just got hyped with them. I almost missed first base. But we snuck that foot in there, baby.”

Aaron Bummer and Burr each walked two batters in the seventh. The White Sox issued a total of nine walks.

Tellez went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and put the Brewers ahead for good with his bases-loaded single in the fourth off Lucas Giolito (8-7). Tellez, acquired from Toronto on July 6, was 2 of 13 with the Brewers before Friday.

Giolito gave up one run and six hits in six innings while walking five and striking out three.

The White Sox put runners on the corners against Adrian Houser (6-5) in the sixth, but Leury Garcia hit an inning-ending grounder to short.

Andrew Vaughn homered in the eighth for the lone White Sox run.

Brewers starter Freddy Peralta left after throwing just 51 pitches in four shutout innings. The Brewers used both Peralta and Houser on Friday as a way to manage their workload.

Peralta already has thrown a career-high 102 innings this season.

“We got him a break after the All-Star game, a light one, and the goal is just to have this recovery period now between starts just be a little easier, and just get him as fresh as we can,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ll extend him the next time and treat him pretty normal the next time.”

Cruz HR in Rays debut, Tampa Bay beats Cleveland 10th in row

CLEVELAND (AP) Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in his Tampa Bay debut and Joey Wendle delivered the go-ahead single in a six-run ninth inning as the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5 Friday night.

On a day the Indians announced they will change their name to the Guardians at the conclusion of the season, a new name for Tampa Bay helped it beat Cleveland for the 10th straight time.

Cruz, who was acquired in a four-player trade with Minnesota on Thursday, hit his 20th homer, walked and scored twice. The 41-year-old All-Star slugger is 46th on the career home run list with 437.

“Nelson is a hot hitter — and he’s been a hot hitter for 15 years,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He looks good in every uniform he’s worn, but I think he looks really good in a Rays uniform.”

With the score tied at 4, Wendle singled home Randy Arozarena with no outs. Ji-Man Choi added a three-run homer off Nick Wittgren (2-3), who faced six batters and allowed five runs.

“It just got away from us in a hurry,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It was a hit, a hit batsman, a base hit to left, and all of a sudden the floodgates opened and we couldn’t stop it.”

Jose Ramirez hit a three-run homer and drove in four for Cleveland, which has lost 14 of its last 20 games. Matt Wisler (3-3) worked two innings of relief for the victory.

Ramirez tied the score at 4-all in the seventh with a two-out, RBI triple off Wisler. The Indians had trailed 4-0 in the third following Cruz’s solo homer.

“(Cruz) carries a presence when he enters the room, so we’re obviously very glad to have him,” Wendle said.

Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead in the second, scoring three runs on a blooper-reel worthy play that featured two errors by Ramirez, an All-Star third baseman.

Arozarena singled home Yandy Diaz and advanced Wander Franco to second, and all of them scored as Ramirez fumbled the throw back into the infield, then fired the ball past catcher Austin Hedges.

“You’ve got to concentrate at all times on the bases,” Arozarena said. “All I was trying to do when I got the hit was concentrate.”

Ramirez reduced Cleveland’s deficit to 4-3 in the bottom half of the third with his 20th homer, off Josh Fleming.

Indians starter Zach Plesac gave up four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. Cleveland rookie Daniel Johnson homered off Pete Fairbanks in the ninth.

“The Guardians is something we’re going to embrace and is a great step in the right direction with what we want to do for this city,” Plesac said. “To represent Cleveland means everything. That’s really the point and was everyone’s goal in making a new name.”

Before the game, Tampa Bay made its second trade since arriving in Cleveland, sending left-hander Rich Hill to the Mets for righty Tommy Hunter and minor leaguer Matt Dyer.

Mets acquire left-hander Rich Hill from Rays

NEW YORK (AP) The pitching-thin New York Mets on Friday acquired left-hander Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays are getting right-hander Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer in return.

The 41-year-old Hill is 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 19 starts for the contending Rays.

“I think a lot of people in the game know the name – guy that’s been around, pitching good baseball, pitching playoff baseball,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “It’s a great fit, great acquisition. Our front office is being diligent. One of the needs we’ve talked about is our starting pitching need and this is a guy that fits right in.”

New York started the day with a four-game division lead over Philadelphia and Atlanta despite a banged-up rotation. Ace Jacob deGrom and starter David Peterson are on the injured list. Starters Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco haven’t pitched this year while recovering from injuries.

Rojas said he didn’t know yet when Hill could slot into the Mets’ rotation. New York does not have scheduled starters yet for Sunday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays nor Monday’s doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

Hill has pitched just 95 1/3 innings this year under limits imposed under the Rays’ pitching strategy. This will be his 11th big league team in a 17-season career.

The NL East leaders made the deal on the day Hill was supposed to start at Cleveland, and a week before the trade deadline.

This was the second trade by the Rays in two days. They acquired All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

Tampa Bay began the day one game behind Boston in the AL East.

Rays general manager Erik Neander said “there was a numbers element” to trading Hill, primarily to make room in the rotation for 21-year-old Luis Patino and the impending arrival of former All-Star Chris Archer.

Archer, who signed a one-year contract on Feb. 9, is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham while recovering from right forearm tightness.

“There is a commitment to Chris, as long as he fulfills his side, to be here in August,” Neander said. “We think the world of Rich, but this gives us the chance to balance our lineup.”

The 35-year-old Hunter appeared in four games with one start for the Mets this year. He threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, three walks and striking out six. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 21 and transferred to the 60-day IL on June 11 with lower back pain.

Dyer, 23, was selected by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2020 draft out of the University of Arizona. He has appeared in 36 games for the Low-A St. Lucie Mets this season, hitting .194 with 20 runs, seven home runs and 20 RBIs.

Bauer appears in court to fight sexual assault allegations

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer appeared in court Friday to fight the extension of a protective order sought by a woman who says he choked her to the point where she lost consciousness and punched her during two sexual encounters earlier this year.

Attorneys for Bauer and for the woman revealed during a short court session that they intend to call several witnesses, including Bauer, and argue over the order in what amounts to a trial that is expected to last three days.

Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman delayed the beginning of that hearing until Aug. 2 because Bauer’s attorney, Shawn Holley, said she was given the woman’s witness list late and had insufficient time to prepare.

“We came here ready, but ready on what had been presented to us,” Holley said in court.

Gould-Saltman ruled that Bauer will need to take the stand and must decline to answer possibly incriminating questions one at a time as is standard in civil proceedings like this one. She declined Holley’s request to let him avoid testifying altogether. Holley said she was strongly advising Bauer against saying anything.

Police in Pasadena, California, are also investigating the allegations for possible criminal charges, so avoiding self-incrimination is essential for his legal team.

The judge extended the temporary restraining order keeping Bauer from making any contact with the woman until the full hearing is completed.

The pitcher’s agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, have disputed the allegations. Fetterolf said in a statement that the pair’s brief relationship was “wholly consensual.” The statement said Bauer has messages from the woman asking for the kind of “rough” sexual interactions they had.

Major League Baseball put Bauer on paid leave on July 2 under the joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy adopted by MLB and the players’ union in 2015. The leave has been extended through July 27 and could be extended further.

The woman, who is from San Diego, said in court documents seeking the order that she and Bauer met on Instagram when she tagged him in a photo while he pitched during a game against the Padres in May.

She later visited his home in Pasadena and had sexual encounters that began as consensual but grew violent without her consent, the documents said.

The second incident, in which she alleges Bauer repeatedly punched her, left her with two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face. She included photographs showing the injuries.

The documents say she sought the order because Bauer was repeatedly calling and texting her after the second encounter to ask if she was OK, and she wanted no more contact with him.

Bauer’s agents said he hadn’t made any contact with her in a month when the restraining order was first sought, making the move baseless.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.

Bauer agreed to a $102 million, three-year contract to join his hometown Dodgers earlier this year after winning his first Cy Young with the Cincinnati Reds last season. Bauer is 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 starts this season.

Nationals’ Strasburg still dealing with neck discomfort

BALTIMORE (AP) Stephen Strasburg felt some discomfort in his neck after a recent bullpen session, and Washington manager Dave Martinez said Friday the Nationals are trying to figure out what to do next.

“We backed him down again,” Martinez said. “I know they’re going to look at some different options, probably see if we can find another specialist for him to go see – but as of right now, this continues to happen to him.”

Strasburg has made only five starts this season because of neck and shoulder issues. The right-hander, who turned 33 on Tuesday, hasn’t pitched since June 1.

“When we get Strasburg back, I want him back fully healthy, so we’re going to weigh all options here,” Martinez said. “He goes out and throws long toss and stuff, and he feels OK. When he throws a bullpen, it irritates him some, so we need to figure that out.”

The Nationals entered Friday night’s game at Baltimore with a 45-50 record, six games out of first place. They’re in danger of missing the postseason for a second straight year after winning the World Series in 2019.

Strasburg was the MVP of that World Series, but he has pitched only seven times since.

“He’s frustrated, because he’s worked so hard,” Martinez said. “I said, `Look, we’ve got to figure out what it is, and then we’ll go from there. We’ve been here before. I know it’s been a bumpy road for you, and I know you want to come back and pitch.'”

MLB extends Castro’s domestic violence leave through July 29

NEW YORK (AP) Washington Nationals infielder Starlin Castro’s administrative leave was extended an additional seven days Friday by Major League Baseball through July 29 under its domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.

The leave began July 16 under the policy adopted by MLB and the players’ association in 2015 and can be the initial step leading to a longer suspension.

Castro was placed on the restricted list June 16 due to what manager Dave Martinez at the time said were “family matters.” The 31-year-old infielder was reinstated two days later and pinch hit that night against the New York Mets.

Castro is hitting .283 with three home runs and 38 RBIs in 87 games so far this season. He is in his second season with the Nationals after stints with the Cubs, Yankees and Marlins.

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS BASEBALL: Steven Brault’s Gem Shuts Down Toledo, 2-1

(INDIANS RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – MLB rehabber Steven Brault threw four perfect innings to set the tone for the Indianapolis Indians in a 2-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday night.

It was Brault’s second rehab start since having his assignment transferred to Indianapolis on July 17. He did not allow a baserunner over his four innings of work and tallied six strikeouts. In an increased innings limit from his last start, he threw 39 of his 58 pitches for strikes.

The Indians (34-34) began the scoring in the bottom of the second. In the bottom of the second frame, Chris Sharpe launched his fourth home run of the season to take the 1-0 lead. It was his first home run since June 16 vs. Memphis.

The Mud Hens (38-30) tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning. A one-out double from JaCoby Jones and back-to-back walks to Jacob Robson and Renato Nunez loaded the bases before a sacrifice fly from Kody Clemens plated the lone Toledo run.

A leadoff walk and stolen base by Ethan Paul put the winning run in scoring position in the seventh inning. Bligh Madris then singled to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.

Sulser (W, 5-3) took the mound in relief and earned the win, throwing five one-run innings with five strikeouts. Alex Lange (L, 0-1) took his first loss of the season after giving up the game-winning single to Madris.

The Indians and Mud Hens continue the six-game series on Saturday at 7:05 PM ET. RHP Mitch Keller (1-0, 2.35) will face off agaisnt RHP Logan Shore (2-2, 4.44).

Report: Texas, Oklahoma to start process of SEC move next week

One of the biggest conference switches in modern college football history may apparently be on the verge of happening.

Texas and Oklahoma are expected to start the process of joining the SEC next week, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.

The Longhorns and Sooners have been in communication with the SEC for more than a year, Thamel adds. The conference requires at least 11 approval votes from its 14 university presidents to pass an extension.

Texas A&M is the only SEC program publicly opposed to the move so far.

Texas and Oklahoma have yet to officially express their intention to leave the conference to the remaining members, according to ESPN’s David M. Hale.

Moving out of the Big 12 before the conference’s grant of media rights expire in 2025 would reportedly cost Texas and Oklahoma $76 million each. However, the two schools are prepared to wait until the rights run out to join the SEC, sources told Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.

Other conferences – including the ACC – have also made inquires to Oklahoma and Texas, Thamel reports.

The remaining eight Big 12 schools are starting to work on contingency plans and assessing their potential values to other conferences, sources told The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Sam Khan Jr. One scenario they recently discussed was a 20-school merger with the Pac-12.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said Friday the conference isn’t actively looking to add more schools, but he won’t completely rule that possibility out.

“We’d be foolish not to listen if schools call us,” he said, according to ESPN’s Heather Dinich.

Number of NFL players in vaccination process up to 80%

(AP) — The number of NFL players in the COVID-19 vaccination process has reached 80%, with nine teams having 90% or more of their players in that category.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s medical director, said Friday that nearly all Tier 1 and Tier 2 team employees – those who deal directly with players – have been vaccinated. Five teams are at less than 70% of players who have either received one vaccination shot or both. He is optimistic the number of vaccinated players will continue to rise as training camps open.

“I think we are off to an excellent start,” Sills said. “Those numbers are much higher than what we’re seeing in society as a whole. There has been a lot of movement in that area. As you see players coming to training camp, you will see more players beginning that process (of vaccination).”

Sills cited teams having strong advocates for vaccination among players and coaches, as well as the educational materials available.

“I think that has influenced a lot of players,” he said. “I think we are still seeing a lot of positive momentum. Numbers are changing on a day-by-day basis and I think we’ll be seeing them day by day going up.

“What matters is that individuals have the most accurate information. Let’s not get information from Instagram or Facebook posts. Let’s try to hear from the most reputable professionals. You don’t shout anyone into belief here – there have to be thoughtful conversations. What we can do is provide the facts and make sure the entirety of the medical facts are presented.”

On Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 teams warning that forfeited regular-season games could occur for a COVID-19 outbreak caused by nonvaccinated players.

Dawn Aponte, the league’s chief football administrative officer, reiterated that games will not be postponed to avoid roster issues because of the flexibility built in: COVID-19 replacement players; expanded practice squads to 16 players; a three-week minimum stay on injured reserve instead of six weeks; no limit on activating players from IR.

That means 272 games on time within 18 weeks “safely and responsibly,” she said.

“Flexible and adaptable will continue to be key,” Aponte added, noting that Goodell’s memo was vetted by people in a variety of NFL roles. “We are committed to playing a full season as scheduled. There is the no-play/no-pay provision (from 2020), which has been agreed to with the players’ association and will carry into this season.”

“Health and science truly is what drives and guides these decisions,” she added. “And I think we illustrated that last season and will continue to do so. I think we know a lot more this year … the biggest difference is a vaccination is available.”

Minnesota has an assistant, Rick Dennison, who is not vaccinated. After ESPN reported that Dennison has been ousted from his role as offensive line coach and run game coordinator, the Vikings released a statement confirming they were in discussions with him regarding league protocols for training camp and preseason games. As of Friday afternoon, Dennison remained a team employee.

“At this time, coach Dennison does not have an exemption to the vaccination requirements of those protocols. We will adhere to the requirements of the protocols and of applicable law,” the Vikings said.

Kansas City is one team well above the threshold of 85% vaccinated players.

“There’s six teams that are over 90%, so we’re glad to be in that area there,” coach Andy Reid said. “We’re one of the teams where the players have really challenged themselves to get things done and take care of business.”

The Chiefs are a prime example of what Sills discussed: NFL vaccinations outpacing those in the community. For Missouri, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 40.8% of the population is fully vaccinated. In Buchanan County where the Chiefs train in northwest Missouri, that number drops to 19.34%.

The league has said that determining who makes the roster can’t involve whether a player is vaccinated. Policing such roster moves would be difficult, but Aponte dismissed any conspiracy theories.

“Cutting players is for their performance,” she said. “And I don’t think clubs will – I can’t stand in their shoes – but I think there are protocols that have been put in place … that are not restricting their ability to perform. I don’t see the two tying together.”

Still, it is clear the league and the players’ union are strongly advocating vaccinations with every move they make.

“No one is trying to be punitive or anything like that,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said. “Simply, if your choice is not to get vaccinated, it’s going to be a much more difficult season.”

Report: Vikings, Patriots assistants won’t coach due to vaccine mandate

Rick Dennison is out as a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, sources told ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.

Dennison, 63, is believed to be the first position coach in the NFL to part ways with his club due to his refusal to receive the vaccine. He’s been the Vikings’ offensive line coach and running game coordinator for the last two seasons.

However, Minnesota addressed the report about Dennison in a statement, saying talks remaining ongoing.

“The Vikings continue to hold discussions with offensive line coach Rick Dennison regarding the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols for training camp and preseason games,” the team said, per NFL reporter Josina Anderson.

“At this time, coach Dennison does not have an exemption to the vaccination requirement of those protocols. We will adhere to the requirements of the protocols and of applicable law.”

Meanwhile, New England Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich will also not be with his team this season in a decision related to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL’s guidelines, sources told ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The vaccine is required for all Tier 1 staff – coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and scouts – to have contact with players and other coaches.

It’s not mandatory for players, but the NFL has strongly updated its COVID-19 protocols this year to ease rules for fully vaccinated individuals. The league announced Thursday that any game that can’t be rescheduled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players will result in the responsible team forfeiting the contest.

Dennison has been in the NFL for almost three decades. He spent time with the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets. He’ll be replaced in Minnesota by assistant offensive line coach Phil Rauscher, Cronin reports.

Minnesota’s running game, which is led by star Dalvin Cook, has been one of the most consistent in the NFL. The team’s offensive line is coming off a subpar campaign but welcomed two promising draft picks this offseason, including first-round offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Popovich was set to share the offensive line coaching job with Carmen Bricillo this year. Bricillo will now coach the offensive line unit alone.

The 36-year-old spent the last five seasons with the Patriots. Popovich coached the offensive line with Bricillo in 2020 after leading the running back group in 2019.

Report: DeRozan, Lowry have interest in joining Lakers

Two of the top free agents in this summer’s class appear to be eyeing a potential Hollywood move.

San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan and Toronto Raptors franchise icon Kyle Lowry have both expressed interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers, reports Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

DeRozan was born and raised in the California area. He also spent his lone season of collegiate basketball at USC.

The four-time All-Star averaged 21.6 points and a career-high 6.9 assists over 61 appearances last season.

Meanwhile, Lowry has spent the last nine seasons in Toronto after being acquired from the Houston Rockets. The 35-year-old registered 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 boards per contest in 2020-21.

Los Angeles was among multiple teams linked to Lowry at the trade deadline last March.

The Lakers currently have five players under guaranteed contracts for next season. Montrezl Harrell holds a $9.7-million player option for 2020-21, while Dennis Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, and Andre Drummond are among the club’s notable free agents.

Coyotes trade Ekman-Larsson to Canucks as NHL trades heat up

SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes pulled off a blockbuster trade in the hours leading up to the NHL draft, sending captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland to the Vancouver Canucks for the No. 9 selection, a 2022 second-round pick, 2023 seventh-rounder and three veteran forwards.

It was the third major trade made before the first round began Friday night.

The St. Louis Blues also acquired high-scoring forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia Flyers traded the 14th pick and a 2023 second-rounder to the Buffalo Sabres for big defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

“He’s a player we’ve been looking at the last three years,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Ristolainen. “He can shoot the puck, he can skate, he’s big and strong.”

While the Flyers paid a hefty price for a sought-after player in Ristolainen who has one year left on his contract, the Canucks acquired a defenseman in Ekman-Larsson who’s signed for six more years at a salary-cap hit of $8.25 million. Garland is a restricted free agent in need of a new deal, and Arizona had been shopping him and Ekman-Larsson for some time.

“(Ekman-Larsson) is a tremendous player and person, and we wish him and Conor the best of luck in the future,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said. “We are very pleased to acquire the ninth overall draft choice in this year’s NHL draft along with Loui, Antoine and Jay.”

Arizona is retaining a portion of Ekman-Larsson’s salary and took on Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson – all set to be free agents after next season – to add another draft pick. The Coyotes forfeited their first-round pick this year, 11th overall, for testing players in violation of NHL combine policy.

After a handful of trades Thursday when the roster freeze was lifted, Philadelphia and Buffalo kicked off the movement Friday with the trade of Ristolainen, who said he “knew something might happen this offseason, this weekend.”

Not so much for Buchnevich, who was fourth in scoring for the Rangers and looked like a piece of their young core. But new president and general manager Chris Drury dealt the 26-year-old to St. Louis to add a second Stanley Cup champion in a week after trading for gritty forward Barclay Goodrow, who won back-to-back with Tampa Bay.

Buffalo Sabres deal Ristolainen to Flyers for 1st-round pick

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres launched their offseason overhaul Friday by acquiring an additional first-round draft pick from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Rasmus Ristailainen.

Eager to build its roster, Buffalo grabbed the Flyers’ first-round pick in the trade struck hours before the Sabres were scheduled to open the NHL draft with the top overall pick. The acquired pick was 13th in the draft order after the NHL stripped the Arizona Coyotes of their first-round pick, 11th overall, for testing players in violation of NHL combine policy.

Buffalo also got fifth-year defenseman Robert Hagg and a second-round pick in 2023 as part of the deal while Philadelphia gave a big, bruising boost to its blue line.

“We certainly look at Ristolainen as someone who can be a big part of our future going forward,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said after paying a considerable price to land the hard-hitting defenseman who has averaged nearly 24 minutes of ice time during his eight-year career. “We like our defense core. We felt like we had good pieces. But we lacked size and physicality on the back end.”

Fletcher is betting the 6-foot-4, 218-pound Ristolainen improves in what should be a second-pairing role in a more structured system.

Ristolainen gives the Flyers another right-shot defenseman for their top four after acquiring Ryan Ellis from Nashville last weekend. Philadelphia also freed up cap space this week by trading defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to Arizona.

The 26-year-old Ristolainen has one year remaining on a six-year, $32.4 million contract, which is being fully picked up by the Flyers.

For Buffalo, the trade could be the first of several made by general manager Kevyn Adams, who is also shopping captain Jack Eichel and forward Sam Reinhart.

Each of the three players raised questions about their futures in Buffalo in May after the Sabres finished last in the standings for the fourth time in eight years and extended their playoff drought to an NHL record-matching 10th season.

Ristolainen spilled his frustrations following the season by saying he informed Adams he was open to be traded. Two years ago, he expressed similar desires in questioning whether he was part of the problem in Buffalo.

Ristolainen is looking forward to a fresh start in Philadelphia, which missed the playoffs last season following a second-half collapse.

“We had really tough years in Buffalo. I played a big part. I was one of the leaders there and we couldn’t make the playoffs,” he said. “I’m very excited to go to Philadelphia. I’m going to do anything I can to make the playoffs and make a run there.”

Ristolainen had four goals and 18 points in 49 games with the Sabres last season. Overall, he has 46 goals and 245 points while averaging nearly 24 minutes per game in ice time in 542 career games. From Finland, he was selected by Buffalo in the first round of the 2013 draft.

Fletcher defended Ristolainen’s analytic numbers as being the result of playing in numerous systems – he played under six coaches in Buffalo – and an ever-changing set of defensive partners.

The Sabres are in flux yet again under new coach Don Granato, and focusing on rebuilding through youth.

Eichel, the face of the franchise, is on the trade block in part because of a dispute with the team over how to treat a herniated disk that forced him to miss the final two months of the season. Eichel revealed the rift in May by calling it “a disconnect” that has led him to question his future in Buffalo.

Eichel favors surgery while the team is against it because the procedure has never been performed on an NHL player.

Hagg, also 26, was in and out of the lineup last season as either the team’s sixth or seventh defenseman and finished with had two goals and 5 points in 34 games. Selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2013 draft, Hagg has 13 goals and 47 points 236 career games.

Fowler, Vegas, Merritt tied for 3M Open lead in Minnesota

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) Rickie Fowler’s improved driving helped him shoot a 5-under 65 on Sunday in the final round of the British Open.

Looking for a late push in the FedEx Cup standings, Fowler carried over the strong play Thursday with a 7-under 64 in the first round of the 3M Open.

Fowler set the opening-round pace with a bogey-free round later equaled by Jhonatton Vegas and Troy Merritt, who attended Spring Lake Park High School, about six miles south of the TPC Twin Cities.

Fowler, who has never missed the FedEx Cup playoffs in 11 seasons, started the tournament ranked 124th in the standings, with the top 125 making the playoffs. There are two weeks remaining after the 3M Open to qualify for the playoffs.

“I know where I’m at, what we need to do and stuff like that,” Fowler said. “Really just focusing on things we’ve been working on, playing more consistent good golf. More days like today and things will be fine. Kind of keep things, like I said, simple and small, focus on the day-to-day and this week, and go from there. Everything will work out.”

Vegas capped an eventful opening round in the dark when his approach on the par-5 18th landed on top of a hospitality tent. His ball was eventually found and he was given free relief. He birdied the hole to tie for the lead.

“You can barely see the flag,” Vegas said. “We had a number, which we messed up the number trying to play fast. I knew it was going to be long. … It was a little bit of a nightmare right at the end.”

Scott Stallings was trying to equal the course record of 62 before he double-bogeyed the 18th following more than a two-hour delay due to lightning in the area. Stallings was a stroke back at 65 with Adam Schenk and Roger Sloan. Sloan had two holes to play when play was suspended due to darkness with 11 players still on the course.

After his disappointing finish last weekend in the British Open, Louis Oosthuizen shot 68. Dustin Johnson, who withdrew with a back injury after an opening 78 in the 3M Open last year, opened with a 70.

Johnson was playing with Keith Sbarbaro, TaylorMade’s vice president of tour operations, as his caddie after Johnson’s brother, Austin, his usual caddie, tested positive for COVID-19.

Johnson said his brother has already been cleared for his next tournament, the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, from Aug. 5-8.

“Keith’s worked for me quite a few times; Presidents Cup, U.S. Open, a few events here and there,” said Johnson, who tested positive for COVID-19 in November. “Yeah, we did just fine. Maybe hit the wrong club on a couple holes, but other than that, that was my fault though, I guess.”

Fowler, who’s looking for his first win since the 2019 Phoenix Open, didn’t have any mistakes. Starting on the back nine, the 32-year-old from California made three straight birdies on his turn from the 18th to the second hole.

He gained some confidence following his final round last weekend at Royal St. George’s. Fowler was one of 30 players to take a charter straight to Minnesota from the British Open.

“That was something that was kind of holding me back from making birdies, moving forward last week,” Fowler said about his driving. “So today, I mean, going off of what we did Sunday last week, just needed to tighten a few things up. This golf course is fairly generous off the tee. There’s a few lakes, ponds that you just need to avoid. Other than that, it’s go, attack for the most part.”

Fowler and Merritt were in the morning wave that started in hazy and humid conditions and then had to wait through a delay of 2 hours, 24 minutes. Stallings was alone in the lead when play resumed, but his second shot on the 18th found the water, and his follow-up overshot the green.

“It stings now because it was five minutes ago,” Stallings said. “But at the end of the day I’m going to go out there. Put myself in great position after the first round and go out there and try and continue to do that the rest of the week.”

Merritt, who’s missed the cut in his last two starts, could be the sentimental favorite back in Minnesota. He finished with eight birdies, including his final two holes to equal Fowler.

“I’ve seen this golf course now for about 20 years,” Merritt said. “Came to watch the seniors play when I was in high school and got to play it once or twice. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s great for the players, it’s great for the fans, you can make a lot of birdies, the scoring’s usually really low. So, if you like shootouts, this is the golf course for you and you’re going to get another one this week.”

INDIANA MBB: HOOSIERS GET GEORGIA FORWARD

6’8” forward Kaleb Banks announced his commitment to the Hoosiers on Twitter Friday night.

Banks is ranked No. 123 nationally and No. 22 power forward, by 247sports.

Banks was also looking at Alabama, Mississippi State, Xavier, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech. He  averaged 23.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game last season for Fayetteville (Ga.) Fayette County.

He is the second commit for the Hoosiers’ 2022 class, joining Lawrence North guard/forward C.J. Gunn.

BIG 10 MEDIA DAYS- INDIANA COACH TOM ALLEN

TOM ALLEN: Honored and blessed today represent my home state of Indiana and Indiana University here today. I’m looking forward to working with our new president Pamela Whitten and very excited about her vision for Indiana athletics.

Also very thankful for our athletic director Scott Dolson, who has shown tremendous support for our football program and very strong leadership during the pandemic. I would also like to take a moment and thank the Big Ten and Commissioner Warren for establishing the George and Viola Taliaferro Fellowship. What an amazing family. Blessed to meet George when I first arrived on campus, spent some time with him. Blessed to be able to spend time with his daughters when they came for the ceremony we had to unveil his statue that stands in our north end zone and I walk past every single day. What a great honor for a great family.

Brought with us some excellent football players and very fine young men today. Michael Penix, our starting quarterback. One of the best football players in the country. All-American linebacker Micah McFadden, All-American wide receiver, Ty Fryfogle, and All-Big Ten safety Marcelino Ball. Marcelino and Ty have both already graduated. Michael Penix and Micah McFadden will be graduating this spring with degrees in business management and sports management respectively. It’s the most depth we have had on our team since I’ve been at Indiana.

Our offensive line is led by Caleb Jones, a man that has grown in his leadership on and off the field. So excited for his senior season at Indiana. Running back room led by Deland McCullough. Deland’s coming back to Indiana to be our associate head coach. So excited to have him back on our staff. He leads a very deep and talented running back room.

Our wide receivers have been enhanced by addition of DJ Matthews, Cam Buckley. Very excited about Miles Marshall and his growth. Expect him to have a great 2021 season.

Our tight end room, one of our deepest rooms, led by all Big Ten tight end Peyton Hendershot. And our quarterback room, two individuals. I already talked about Michael. Jack Tuttle. Both guys have won Big Ten games, showed great leadership, and have become the face of our offense.

Defensively, so excited to have new defensive coordinator Charlton Warren from the University of Georgia. Charlton has done a tremendous job of learning our system and displaying tremendous leadership on our staff and with our players. It all starts up front for our defense. Very excited about the addition of Ryder Anderson, Stone Handy, Wes Kramer, to our defensive line, to a room that had a competitive, physical, and a group that I believe is really grown together the last several months.

Linebacker room. In addition to Mica we have strong leadership from Cam Jones and James Miller and Thomas Allen, a very mature group of intelligent, tough, hard-nosed football players.

Secondary led by All-American Taiwan Mullen and All-Big Ten safety Devon Matthews. Special teams led by Sean Wracher, one of the best long snappers in the country, tremendous leadership by him each and every day. All-Big Ten kicker Charles Campbell, and All-Big Ten punt returner, Reese Taylor.

Very excited about the start of our season. We have the opportunity and the challenge of opening up in Iowa against the Hawkeyes on September 4th. We also have a tough non-conference slate. Week three hosting Cincinnati Bearcats who have done great job building that program. Then we have the rest of our very, very difficult and challenging Big Ten schedule in front of us for 2021. Excited about the season. Love being in this venue. Love Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s our goal to end up our season playing here on December 4th. Questions.

Q. You touched on this a little bit. What are your thoughts on opening up with a Big Ten game. It’s nothing new for you. I know you opened up four years ago against Ohio State. Do you like that, just jumping right in with a Big Ten game?

TOM ALLEN: I do. It’s, like I said, it’s going to be our third time since I’ve been here. It’s my fifth year as head coach. And it’s definitely a challenge without question. I love the way that it creates a sense of urgency with your team. The start of the season always creates excitement. There’s always that level no matter who you play but when it’s a conference opponent and when it’s a team that of their caliber, Coach Ferentz does a tremendous job there, the consistency, the toughness they have had for so many years, and to go and play in that venue to start the season is going to be very challenging. But I love the way that, you always get better in the preparation process and when you’re preparing for such a high level opponent that early, it helps you I think have a better season.

Q. So in 2019 PJ Fleck, head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he upset Penn State and that kind of made his program. It gained a lot of popularity and a lot of national attention. And in 2020 you guys did the same thing to start the season upsetting Penn State and you had a meteoric rise ever since then. How much have you talked to PJ Fleck about your two teams’ kind of similar rises to stardom in the Big Ten?

TOM ALLEN: Well, I think anytime you have, you come into a league at a similar time and you have new opportunities, it was his first chance to be a Big Ten head coach, my first chance to be a Big Ten head coach, and so we share and talk about leadership and the way you build your program. And there’s no question. I mean, you cast a vision for what you believe you can become at a certain place and I did that when I came to Indiana and talked so much about change in the expectations and creating belief and those expectations are beginning to change.

So you have to have a moment where you experience it and for us it was the start of the season last year against Penn State. The bottom line is you can talk about those situations. You can talk about wanting to learn how to finish and take your program to another level, but your players have to experience it, and that’s what happened for us. So it just filled in a level of confidence and a belief that went to a whole other level for our guys in that locker room. And so, to me, you just have to, no matter what happens in those moments, you have to, in the past you’ve had to learn from being close. Now we have to continue to learn from having a chance to break through in those games and then use that for us to move forward to continue to build. That’s what it’s about. It’s about us building off of the success we had in 2020 because everything you did last year, it’s awesome, it’s great, but it’s in the past.

Q. Kind of the same question. I mean, a lot was written and your post-game speech went viral after the Ohio State game last year. So what was the biggest lesson you took from that game against the Buckeyes in terms of chasing them in the Big Ten East moving forward?

TOM ALLEN: Well, they are the gold standard and that is who we’re chasing. And our one word for 2021 is chase and we’re trying to chase that greatness every single day. You think about that game and you often think about post-games and comments that are made and as I was sharing my heart to our team I didn’t even think about or realize that there were videoing it, but at the same time, it’s, oftentimes when you have those types of setbacks and you learn a lot about yourself, and I feel like adversity is where we really become who we are. Started that game and dug a big hole, and they’re a very talented football team and they took advantage. But we just came storming right back. So I just, the toughness, the fight, the character that I thought that our team displayed by fighting and just, by just gritting your teeth and just locking that bit and locking that jaw and just not giving in no matter how bad it looked, because it was ugly for a big part of that first half.

But I think I said it on the way out. I think we’re going to learn a lot about this football team in these next two quarters and we did. So I didn’t want to leave that locker room without those guys hearing from me. I knew we had a long trip home. I wanted them to hear from me what I thought about them, and I wanted them to understand how we needed to use this opportunity to grow and allow us to continue to build this program. So it was definitely, that might have been as big a moment in the 2020 season as any was in that moment in that locker room after that tough loss.

Q. You have a lot of key transfers coming in who are going to be fighting for a starting position. How do you balance newcomers coming in who haven’t put in the sweat equity that guys who have been here for three, four, five years with the best guy gets the position?

TOM ALLEN: Well, first of all, yeah, that is a challenge, but I think we work very hard to, even within the transfer portal additions, of find guys that fit with us, which is no different than what we do in recruiting, whether from high school or another college. Guys that fit the culture, fit the mindset that we’re looking for, that will buy into the little things it takes to be great on game day.

And then the part about playing time, that’s earned and it’s told to them in the whole recruiting process, no matter how we recruit them. They got to earn those opportunities and the best players are going to play. And these are guys, several of them have had a lot of football experience at other schools and made a lot of plays and had had a chance to compete, but they’re going to come in here and show that they’re the best guy that deserves to play on our football team. So, but to me it’s no different than anybody else. We had a whole roster full of guys that want to compete and that want us to be able to bring in great talent in this program because iron sharpens iron every single day.

Q. You coached in the SEC West at Ole Miss. Now you’re in the Big Ten East. Are those the two best conferences, or divisions, excuse me, in college football, in your mind?

TOM ALLEN: Well, I know they’re very, very challenging. There’s no doubt about it. When you look at the history of college football and the teams that have had the most success in the past, there’s a whole bunch teams in those two divisions on that list. And as you said, I’ve been a coach in both of those divisions and I do believe that the SEC and the Big Ten have separated themselves as the two elite conferences in the country. That’s my opinion. Everybody else has theirs. But I’ve coached, that’s the only two Power Five conferences I’ve coached in. So I just know how hard those two divisions are. I know how you have to be at your very best, but I also know this. This whole conference is really, really good and we play a lot of really good football teams, no matter what’s East or West.

But, yeah, I think that that’s a, it’s been a great, that was great preparation opportunity for me was to be in that environment playing in some of those venues against some of those programs that have had a lot of historical success and to be at a program that had to go in those places and find a way to win.

Q. As you enter your fifth season, what’s the identity of this team and how close do you believe you guys are to accomplishing those three numbers that you talked about at Big Ten Media Day in 2017?

TOM ALLEN: Well, that’s up to these guys. Every year’s different. Every year’s new. Accountability, toughness, and love, that’s who we are. That’s our three pillars of our program and it’s branded by the phrase Love Each Other, which we all know is LEO. So that’s our identity. That’s our DNA. That’s who we are. That’s not going to change. And for me, the ability of this football team, the 2021 Indiana Hoosiers, how well they buy into that they’re able to live out those core values and become a true team. I do believe that individuals are made in the off-season, teams are made in the season. So those teams that figure out how to play the best together and allow themselves to be the best football team on game day, that’s the team that’s going to win. So we’re excited about the 2021 Indiana Hoosiers, but that’s up to the guys that we brought with us here today and how well they lead and how well the guys that they’re leading respond.

BIG 10 FOOTBALL MEDIA DAYS: PURDUE COACH JEFF BROHM

JEFF BROHM: Well, good afternoon. We’re excited to get things under way at Purdue University and we’re excited to get this season kicked off. I know at this time of the year everyone’s looking forward for football and I know our coaches and players are. I think this is a great opportunity for our team to go out and prove their worth. We have got a tremendous schedule, a lot of great opponents that we’re going to be able to play this year, definitely in conference and out of conference as well. I know our players have worked hard to get to this point. I really feel like that we’re close. We have been in a lot of close games without question. We got to learn how to compete and finish and do a lot of small things a little bit better. But that’s part of growing and part of learning and part of coaching is improving and figuring out how to find a way to win. But we’re excited about it. We’re eager to kick things off. We got Oregon State at home and then at UConn, Notre Dame at their place, and then we start our conference schedule, which is going to be a lot of fun.

So a lot of really good players on the offensive side of the ball that will be back that we’re looking forward to watching. David Bell being one of them who’s been an outstanding player from us from day one right here from Indianapolis, continues to improve and get better. He’s got great character. His teammates love him. He’s a leader by example. He does a tremendous job. I feel like he’s really going to do some great things this year. On the defensive side of the ball, George Karlaftis is back, healthy. He’s ready to go out there and compete. He’s done great things for us from day one and I think he can go out there this year and really prove just how great he can be. He’s one of our hardest workers on the team. He takes everything extremely seriously and puts in the effort each and every day well beyond most guys do.

Also we brought Jackson Anthrop with us who’s been a utility player for us, really has done everything we have asked. He’s played receiver. He can play running back. He’s returned kick. He’s blocked kicks. He’s been at Purdue a long time and he’s looking forward to coming back and doing whatever we ask. We have had other good players at his position so he’s been a great teammate by doing some great things at times, and other times he had to play behind Rondale Moore, didn’t get as many reps as he would like in a game, but he’s continued to work hard and he’s somebody that we can count on. He represents our program at Purdue exactly the way you want and he takes a lot of pride in doing the very best he can and helping his team win. So I’ll open it up now to questions.

Q. How do you plan to up in-state recruiting this year?

JEFF BROHM: Well, in-state recruiting is extremely important to us at Purdue. We feel like we have done a very good job at developing prospects from in state that want to go somewhere and make a difference. We have had Rondale Moore who is from southern Indiana. We have had David Bell who is from Indianapolis. We have had George Karlaftis West Lafayette right across the street, and those three guys could have went anywhere in the country they wanted, but they chose to trust myself and our coaches and come to Purdue and make a difference for an in-state program and I think we have provided that opportunity for them to do that. I think all three guys in year one of their true freshman year did tremendous things, put their name on the map, and now they all three have a bright future to do great things in college and beyond, and we want to continue to build that brand. And without question we feel like at Purdue with our tremendous school and education that we can provide for our guys a path to success beyond the game of football and ability to compete against great opponents on the big stage each and every week and go somewhere and make a difference. I think that’s what we sell to our guys. You can go anywhere in the country you want, but if you come to Purdue, we’ll make sure that we do everything we can to help you make a difference, achieve all your goals, and do some special things. And when you do that at a place like Purdue it can be special. It can be a lot of fun. And when your family can share in it with you, it can be even more fun.

Q. The addition of Brad Lambert on the defensive side of the ball as a new coordinator, what kind of stamp as he put on the defense so far and what are your expectations and goals for him and the defense this season?

JEFF BROHM: We’re extremely happy to have Coach Lambert. He brings a ton of experience. He’s a former head coach, a former defensive coordinator. He’s been at a lot of great schools across a lot of conferences. Even beyond that, he’s a great person who cares about his players. He understands we want to have a collaborative approach this year on the defensive side of the ball. We want to put the best package we can together, but be aggressive in our approach, really play offensive offense on the defensive side this year, as much as we can allow our guys to take change chances and make plays and have fun doing it. But he’s got a great demeanor about him. Players love being around him. Our coaches love working with him. And he provides a lot of leadership and I think he’ll do a great job.

Q. What has it been about David Bell that has impressed you since day one until now?

JEFF BROHM: David Bell has been tremendous for us from day one. He trusted us to help him achieve his goals. He came in and worked extremely hard. The first year we had Rondale Moore coming off a record-breaking year. We led the country in receiving, so maybe he wasn’t going to be featured as much. Extremely unselfish. He did his part early on in the year. Maybe didn’t get as many balls. Rondale Moore got hurt maybe around Game 4 and David had to kind of take over then, and even with that late start, I think he led the Big Ten in receiving. And he just makes plays. He’s a guy that has tremendous ball skills. He competes for the football. Normally on a 50/50 ball he’s going to come down with it. In a clutch situation where you need to make a play he’s going to get it done. He works extremely hard on his weaknesses and the things that he feels like he needs to get better at and he’s done a good job of that this off-season. I think he’s healthy. He didn’t go through spring ball. We had to get some things healed up for him. I think now he feels as good as he’s ever felt and he’s looking forward to going out there competing and proving his worth and we couldn’t ask for anything more from him. He leads by example. His teammates respect him and he’s a great person as well with a great family.

Q. For you personally, what does the rivalry with Indiana mean to you and how are you, how much are you looking forward to being able to play that game this season?

JEFF BROHM: Playing the Bucket Game, it means a great deal to our team, to our fan base, to our program. It’s something that has a lot of history and tradition. And normally for us and even Indiana there’s a lot of riding on the game beyond that. First couple years bowl implications were on the line. It’s something that your players who are going to know each other, whether they played middle school together, high school, your fans who may live across the street from each other are going to know it, and you want to get bragging rights when the season is over. You know when the game’s played. It’s the last game of the season. And it’s just a lot of fun. It’s something that you work hard in the off-season to prepare for, and then you got to get to your regular opponents. But you normally have a pre-season plan going into it when you get to that week because there’s normally a lot riding on the game beyond bragging rights and we look forward to that tradition every year.

Q. You went with the approach of naming a couple guys on your staff defensive coordinator. What went into that decision and how do you like the way that group works together?

JEFF BROHM: I feel great about our defensive room. I think this year I wanted to get on the defensive side of the ball myself quite a bit more and I wanted to surround myself with a lot of guys that had experience that wanted to work together, that wanted to put a plan together where, yes, there needs to be one playcaller, but we want a lot of voices in the room giving their opinion and giving their input and putting the best plan together for our guys to go out there and make plays.

I think when you look at Brad Lambert and his history, we brought in Ron English who was at Florida who had been at a lot of places, a former head coach, a former defensive coordinator, a lot of places, including Michigan. Mark Hagen, a lot of history in this state. He worked for Coach Tiller back in the Purdue days, a tremendous amount of success. Worked at Indiana, Texas, Texas A & M. Great recruiter, really takes pride in representing this state. All three guys have valuable experience and I really feel like we wanted to build a room where we had as much experience and know how that we could possibly put together, where they were willing to work together, they were willing to have a little fun with it, try different things, and be able to work as a team to get that done. So I like our room, they’re great people, they work extremely hard, now we got to go out and prove ourselves.

Hendershot Recognized by John Mackey Award Watch List

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana redshirt senior tight end Peyton Hendershot is on the John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List for the second-consecutive season, the friends of John Mackey announced on Friday morning.

Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee.

Hendershot ranks second on IU’s tight ends career list with 10 touchdowns, and he sits third with 90 receptions and 936 yards. The two-time, third-team All-Big Ten selection graduated with a liberal studies degree in May 2021.

He finished second on the Hoosiers with 23 receptions and four touchdowns in eight games one year ago to go along with 151 yards. The four scores shared second (T-10th overall) and the 23 catches shared fourth among conference tight ends.

In 2019, Hendershot set Indiana single-season tight end records with 52 receptions (10th in the Big Ten) and 622 yards. His four TDs are tied for third.

The North Salem, Ind., native shared fourth among tight ends nationally in catches and 10th in yardage. He finished second among Big Ten tight ends in receptions and yardage, and tied for third in touchdowns.

Indiana Football 2021 Preseason Watch Lists

Dodd Trophy – Tom Allen

Maxwell Award – Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.

Bednarik Award – Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen

Davey O’Brien Award – Michael Penix Jr.

Doak Walker Award – Stephen Carr

B1G Preseason Honors – Michael Penix Jr.

Biletnikoff Award – Ty Fryfogle

John Mackey Award – Peyton Hendershot

4 Members of Swim-Dive Set to Compete at Olympics

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A historic year for Purdue swimming & diving at the Olympic Games features four Boilermakers from three different countries competing in a combined five events, beginning Sunday.

Tyler Downs (3-meter) and Brandon Loschiavo (10-meter) earned the right to represent the United States in diving events. Jinq En Phee returns to the Olympic Games as a breaststroke qualifier for Malaysia. Nikola Aćin is set to represent Serbia in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

Purdue Athletics had a department-record nine Olympians this year, including four apiece from the swimming & diving and track & field programs. Alumna Annie Drews rounds out the list of nine as the first Purdue volleyball player to qualify for the Olympics.

However, while all four of Purdue’s track & field qualifiers are alumni, the quartet from the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center is unique in that it features two alumni, one current student-athlete and one incoming Boilermaker.

Phee earned her degree in May 2020 and continued to train at Purdue’s pool after the Olympics were originally postponed in the spring of 2020. Loschiavo closed out his college career in March as the NCAA champion on platform. He earned his degree in May. Aćin’s breakout junior season at Purdue this year featured All-America honors and a program-record time in the 100-yard freestyle. He’s the only active Boilermaker student-athlete to qualify for the Olympics this year. Downs is the incoming freshman who was a surprise winner on 3-meter as a 17-year-old at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last month.

PURDUE SWIMMING & DIVING’S 2020 OLYMPIANS

• Nikola Aćin, Serbia – 4×100 Freestyle Relay

• Tyler Downs, USA – 3-Meter Diving

• Brandon Loschiavo, USA – 10-Meter Diving

• Jinq En Phee, Malaysia – 100- & 200-Meter Breaststroke

PURDUE OLYMPIC NOTABLES

• A Boilermakers is set to represent Team USA in 10-meter diving for the fourth consecutive Olympics dating back to David Boudia’s debut in 2008. Brandon Loschiavo makes his Olympic debut in Tokyo.

• Tyler Downs, who turned 18 on July 19, is the youngest member of the 11 divers on Team USA’s Olympic roster this year.

• Since 1996, seven Boilermakers from swimming & diving qualified for the Olympics as teenagers prior to enrolling at Purdue. Downs joins a list that also includes Gerald Koh (1996, Singapore), Gyongyver Lakos (1996, Hungary), Theekshana Ratnasekera (2000, Sri Lanka), Mary Beth Dunnichay (2008, USA), David Boudia (2008, USA) and Jinq En Phee (2016, Malaysia). No other sport at Purdue has accomplished the feat during that span.

• This year marks the first time since 2000 that Purdue had both a men’s swimmer and women’s swimmer qualify for the Olympics. In Sydney 21 years ago, Javier Diaz (200 free, 200 IM) made the first of his two appearances for Mexico while the women were represented by Lakos (Hungary) in the freestyle sprints and 4×100 medley relay.

• Diaz was also Purdue’s last men’s swimmer to qualify and last two-time Olympian for the Boilermakers in the swimming events. In his return bid in 2004, he competed as part of Mexico’s 4×200 free relay team.

• Jinq En Phee joined Kara (Patterson) Winger (4-time javelin qualifier for Team USA) as the only Boilermakers to earn return trips to the Olympics this year. Phee’s journey is unique in that she qualified in 2016 before her college career began and now returns to the big stage as a Purdue graduate.

• Phee finished second in her heat and 33rd of 44 overall in the 100-meter breaststroke prelims at the 2016 Olympics with a time of 1:10.22. She is the national record holder in Malaysia in the 50-meter and 100-meter breast, but the Olympic program does not feature 50-meter races in the backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly events.

• Nikola Aćin’s Serbian teammates on the 4×100 free relay team includes Andrej Barna, Velimir Stjepanović and Uros Nikolic. Barna currently swims for the University of Louisville.

• Boudia (2012) and Steele Johnson (2016) both won an Olympic medal a year after they were NCAA diving champions in multiple events. Loschiavo has an opportunity to be NCAA champion and Olympic medalist in the same year, which would be a truly rare feat since many of the top collegiate divers in recent years – including Johnson (2015-16) and Loschiavo (2019-20) – have exercised Olympic practice waivers during the NCAA season leading up to the Olympics. Fellow Team USA divers Jordan Windle (1-meter) and Andrew Capobianco (3-meter) were also NCAA champions this year. Ron Merriott is believed to be the last diver to be an NCAA champion and Olympic medalist in the same year, accomplishing the feat in 1984. Merriott was an NCAA champion for Michigan on 3-meter and a bronze medalist at the Olympics. Five years ago, swimmers Ryan Murphy (100 and 200 back), Lilly King (100 breast) and Joseph Schooling (100 fly) all were NCAA champions and Olympic gold medalists. Wrestler Kyle Snyder also accomplished the feat.

MAYER SELECTED TO MACKEY AWARD WATCH LIST

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Coming off a show-stopping true freshman season, sophomore tight end Michael Mayer has been named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, recognizing college football’s top tight end.

Also named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List this week, which honors the nation’s top pass-catcher regardless of position, Mayer is recognized as one of the nation’s top tight ends after his initial collegiate season. In 2020, he tied for the lead among Irish offensive players with 42 receptions, totaling 450 yards and adding two touchdowns.

His 42 receptions in 2020 were the most in a single season by a Notre Dame true freshman tight end in Irish history, and rank tied for seventh among all Notre Dame tight ends for single-season receptions. He was named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week at Pitt and to the FWAA Freshman All-American Watch List, and was selected by the conference to the All-ACC Third Team.

Valpo Men’s Golf Earns 2020-21 Team Academic Award

The Valparaiso University men’s golf program continued its tradition of academic excellence during the 2020-2021 season. 

Head coach Dave Gring’s program has once again earned Presidents’ Special Recognition honors as the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) released its outstanding team academic award recipients on Friday.

Valpo earned Presidents’ Special Recognition by virtue of finishing the year with a team grade point average of 3.5 or above. This marks the 11th consecutive year that the team has garnered academic recognition from the GCAA.

Valpo’s tradition of excellence in the classroom was highlighted by finishing as the academic national champion in 2015-16 with a GPA that ranked first among all Division-I men’s golf programs in the nation. This season, the program won the Valpo Athletics Team Academic Award.

In addition, seven Valpo men’s golfers were named to this year’s Missouri Valley Conference Academic Honor Roll, led by 2020-21 MVC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine), who also achieved the MVC Elite 17 Award and was named CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-District. On the course, Valpo finished 2020-21 with the second-best single-season team scoring average in the program’s modern history.

Olympics Open With Mastodon Connections

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Three former Mastodons are competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Erin Naylor is a member of the New Zealand women’s soccer team. The goaltender started 12-of-13 matches for the ‘Dons in 2010, picking up a Summit League Player of the Week honor. Naylor’s New Zealand team has played one game, a 2-1 loss to Australia. Naylor started the contest and made six saves.

Larissa Franklin is playing for Team Canada on the softball team. She played for the ‘Dons from 2012 to 2014. The outfielder was a three-time All-Summit League First Team selection. Canada has already played two games in the Olympics. She hit second and started in center field in both games. She had two hits and a run scored in a 4-0 victory over Mexico.

Rachel Dincoff will throw the discus for the United States track and field team in Tokyo. She competed for the Mastodons in 2013. The DeKalb High School graduate advanced to the 2013 NCAA regionals in the shot put for the ‘Dons.

Purdue Fort Wayne Men’s Golf Earns GCAA Presidents Special Recognition

NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America announced its 2020-21 Outstanding Team Academic Award recipients on Friday, July 23 and the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s golf team was honored with the Presidents Special Recognition.
The Presidents Special Recognition award is given to men’s golf teams that have a team GPA of over 3.5. The Mastodons were one of 41 Division I programs to earn the honor. The ‘Dons had a team GPA of 3.73.
Youngstown State was the only other Horizon League school to receive the award.
This honor comes on the heels of the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s golf team receiving the Horizon League Raise Your Sights Award, which recognized the Mastodons for having the highest GPA among all men’s teams in the league in 2020-21.

Anderson Track & Field Collects USTFCCCA Academic Awards

The Anderson University track and field program collected multiple United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) academic awards, which were announced by the USTFCCCA on Thursday.

Both the men’s and women’s programs earned all-academic team recognition. The USTFCCCA recognized track and field teams with at least a 3.1 team GPA. Anderson’s men’s programs received the honor for the first time in program history. The women’s program collected the honors for the fourth year in a row.

Emily Smatlak garnered USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual accolades for the second time in her career. The USTFCCCA recognized track and field student-athletes with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA and a ranking on the national leaderboard that ranks either in the top 50 as an individual or in the top 35 as a relay member. Smatlak’s personal-record throw of 42.10 meters (138 feet, 1.5 inches) in the javelin ranked 14th on the NCAA Division III leaderboard. The Lynnwood, Wash. native was also named a USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual as a sophomore after ranked 21st in the nation in the javelin with a distance of 41.47 meters (136 feet, 0.75 inches).

Anderson Baseball Fall Prospect Camp Set for September 12

The 2021 Anderson University baseball Fall Prospect Camp has been set for Sept. 12.

“It’s great to be hosting camps again at Don Brandon Field,” Anderson Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Brandon Schnepp said. “The fall prospect camp has always been extremely beneficial to our recruiting efforts with several current Ravens on the roster who attended this camp during their high school career. It’s a great opportunity for up-and-coming baseball players to showcase themselves and also receive hands-on instruction from our coaching staff. As always, we are excited to show what AU Baseball and this family is all about!”

The Fall Prospect Camp provides a great opportunity for high school-aged players interested in playing collegiate baseball. This will include position-specific small group instruction, on-field batting practice and defensive reps, and live at bats. Registration is $95. The camp is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at Don Brandon Field.

RHIT Women’s Basketball – 2021-22 Schedule Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The 2021-22 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball regular season schedule features 11 home games, including a pair of non-conference home matchups.

Rose-Hulman opens the regular season on Saturday Nov. 13 at 6 pm against Berea.  The Fightin’ Engineers then travel to in-season tournaments each of the next two weekends, heading to North Park (Nov. 19-20) and Illinois Wesleyan for the Midwest Challenge (Nov. 27-28).  The early non-conference schedule concludes with the Dorsett Automotive Crosstown Classic at St. Mary-of-the-Woods on Wed. Dec. 1.

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference features a 4-game December schedule this season.  Rose-Hulman travels to Transylvania (Dec. 4) and Earlham (Dec. 8), hosts Mount St. Joseph (Dec. 11) and travels to Hanover (Dec. 15) in the challenging early-season stretch.  The 2021 calendar concludes with a non-conference home game against Rhodes on Sat. Dec. 18.

The January HCAC schedule opens with three home games in a 4-game stretch.  Rose-Hulman hosts Franklin on Jan. 5, travels to Bluffton on Jan. 8, then hosts Manchester (Jan. 12) and Defiance (Jan. 15).  The annual Wabash Valley Cancer Survivors Breast Cancer Awareness Game is set for Saturday Jan. 22, and the January home schedule also includes a matchup with Hanover (Jan. 26).

February home games include Bluffton for Senior Day on Feb. 5 and Anderson on Tues. Feb. 15.

The 6-team HCAC Tournament features a new look this season.  Opening round games, featuring the No. 6 seed playing at the No. 3 seed and the No. 5 seed traveling to the No. 4 seed, will take place Sun. Feb. 20.  Semifinal action takes place Fri. Feb. 25, with the HCAC Tournament Championship Game scheduled for Sat. Feb. 26.  The weekend conference tournament games will be hosted by the HCAC regular season champion.

Rose-Hulman finished 2-6 last season and is projected to return all five starters from last year’s team plus add a pair of talented newcomers from California.  Jordan Barlow (12.0 ppg) is the leading returning scorer for the team that will be led by head coach Jon Prevo.

The official in-person fan attendance policy for Rose-Hulman and HCAC basketball this season will be released at a later date.

RHIT Track & Field – Perkins Named to USTFCCCA All-Academic Team

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology pole vaulter Claire Perkins has earned a spot on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, in results released Friday by the national organization.

All-Academic Team recipients must finish the NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor season ranked in the top 50 nationally in a given event as a sophomore or above and also have a grade point average above 3.30.

Perkins ranked No. 49 in NCAA Division III in the pole vault during the 2021 indoor season.  She cleared a season-best mark of 10′ 4″ that ranks No. 2 in Rose-Hulman history.

The 3-year team member placed as the HCAC runner-up both indoors and outdoors in the pole vault in 2021.  Her efforts helped Rose-Hulman sweep the 2021 HCAC indoor and outdoor conference championships.

In the classroom, the Danville, Indiana native is a chemical engineering major.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1909       At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.

1911       At the Palace of the Fans in Cincinnati, the Giants establish a club mark, hitting four triples in one game. The plethora of three-baggers, including two-legged out by Hall of Fame hurler Rube Marquard as well as one each from Larry Doyle and Chief Meyers, and nine other hits enable New York to beat the Reds, 8-3.

1926       For the second time this season, Lou Gehrig swipes home on the front end of a double steal with Babe Ruth as the trailing runner. The Yankee first baseman will steal 102 bases during his career, with 15 of the thefts being of home plate.

1931       For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.

1933       A pair of bandits, who robbed a St. Louis drug store last week, send Dizzy Dean a gift as a goodwill gesture. After walking into the holdup, the thieves told the Cardinal right-hander to line up with the other innocent bystanders, but they would send six neckties because they had nothing against him personally.

1933       Gabby Street, who led St. Louis to National League pennants in 1930 and 1931, is fired midseason by the Cardinals after the team gets off to a 46-45 start. Frank Frisch, the Redbirds second baseman, is named the fifth-place club’s player-manager, before a 10-1 exhibition rout of the Quincy

1948       During a Northern League road trip, five teammates of the Duluth minor league club die, with another 19 hurt in a bus-truck crash near St. Paul. The injured include future major league manager Mel McGaha and Elmer Schoendienst, brother of Cardinals’ infielder, Red.

1948       Six days after hitting four homers in one game, White Sox outfielder Pat Seerey again makes the record book, becoming the first major leaguer to strike out seven times in a doubleheader.

1949       In the opener of a twin bill at Griffith Stadium, Indians’ hurler Bob Lemon helps his cause by hitting two home runs in a 7-5 victory over the Senators. Cleveland completes the sweep when Gene Beardon gets the victory in the Tribe’s 5-2 win in the nightcap.

1951       “That was the finest catch I have ever seen, and the finest I ever expect to see” – Pirates GM Branch Rickey, commenting on a catch made by Willie Mays at Forbes Field

At cavernous Forbes Field, Willie Mays, unable to reach across his body to make a catch with his glove of Rocky Nelson’s sinking 457-foot blast to deep center, sticks out his bare right hand and grabs the ball on a full gallop to make the incredible final out of the inning. Venerable Branch Rickey, Pittsburgh’s general manager, sends a note to the New York dugout during the game to tell the 20 year-old rookie Giants’ outfielder, “That was the finest catch I have ever seen, and the finest I ever expect to see.”

1956       Under cloudy skies, former first baseman/outfielder Hank Greenberg and infielder Joe Cronin, currently serving as general managers for the Tigers and Red Sox, respectively, are inducted into the Hall of Fame as more than 8,500 fans witness the impressive ceremony. The former Detroit slugger becomes the first Jewish player to enshrined in Cooperstown.

1961       Inclement conditions at Yankee Stadium postpone a home run derby featuring Bronx Bombers Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle vs. Giants sluggers Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda before tonight’s exhibition game. Mickey Mantle will be the only scheduled participant to homer in the actual contest, when his second inning round-tripper, a 450-foot blast off Bob Bolin that lands in the bleachers, accounts for New York’s only run.

1961       In a midseason exhibition match played at Yankee Stadium in front of 47,346 fans on a stormy night, and the San Francisco Giants beat their former crosstown rivals, 4-1. Mickey Mantle’s homer accounts for the only Bronx Bombers run, and Willie Mays, who is cheered enthusiastically throughout the entire evening, has two RBIs for the visiting ‘Jints.’

1962       Cookie Lavagetto, filling in for manager Casey Stengel, brings in southpaw Bob G. Miller, not to be confused with Bob L. Miller, also on the team, to face Braves backstop Del Crandall to start the bottom of the 12th inning. The only ball the 27 year-old reliever throws is hit over the left-field wall at County Stadium, resulting in one pitch, one hit, one run, and one loss for the southpaw, convinced by the team to come out of retirement, needing only 18 more days to qualify for the pension plan.

1965       Unbeknownst to him, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shor’s, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in the unexpected retirement with the team.

1967       The Tigers cancel tonight’s scheduled game against the Orioles as the result of the civil unrest in Detroit. The two remaining games of the series shift to Baltimore, with tomorrow’s contest in the Charm City rained out during the second inning.

1968       ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.

1970       Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder steals second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring the winning run with his theft of home plate.

1970       At Three Rivers Stadium, the Pirates stage Roberto Clemente Night at their new ballpark, showering their right fielder with gifts, including a scroll containing 300,000 signatures from the people of Puerto Rico. During an emotional pregame, at his request, the Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital acquires a donation of several thousand dollars to assist disabled youngsters.

1973       Although not selected, Willie Mays appears in his last All-Star Game thanks to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn increasing the player limit so the ‘Say Hey Kid’ could participate in the Midsummer Classic. Bobby Bonds, a Giants teammate of Mays, homers and doubles in the National League’s 7-1 victory over the AL at Royals Stadium in Kansas City.

1974       Whitey Lockman becomes the team’s director of player development and will be replaced as the Cubs manager by third base coach Jim Marshall. During his three-year stint in the dugout, the Lowell, North Carolina native compiled a 157-162 (.492) record.

1977       Davey Lopes, after Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair drops his two-out foul pop-up, responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The LA second baseman’s ninth-inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win and spoil the opportunity for a win for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.

1978       After sharing with two reporters last night that George Steinbrenner was a crook and Reggie Jackson was a liar, a tearful Billy Martin (52-42) announces his resignation as the Yankee manager in a Minnesota hotel lobby. Bob Lemon, who was recently fired by the White Sox, becomes the Bronx Bombers’ skipper, guiding the team to 48 victories in the remaining 68 games, en route to a World Championship.

1979       Going deep off A’s hurler Mike Morgan at Fenway Park, Red Sox first baseman Carl Yastrzemski becomes the 18th major leaguer and seventh in the American League to hit 400 home runs. ‘Captain Carl’ will end his 23-year career with 452 homers.

1988       In a tribute held at a sold-out Shea Stadium, Tom Seaver (41) becomes only the third Met to have his uniform number retired. In addition to managers Casey Stengel (37) and Gil Hodges (14), the future Hall of Fame right-hander, who compiled a 198-124 record (.615) during a dozen seasons with the Amazins, becomes the third person and first player to be honored by the franchise in this manner.

1993       Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses an M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, acknowledging Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke,’ but not into a crowd of people.

1993       In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.

1995       The Red Sox trade outfielder Mark Whiten to Philadelphia for first baseman Dave Hollins, who will play only five games for Boston. ‘Hard Hittin’ Mike Whiten will hit .254 appearing in 120 contests over two seasons for the ‘Fightin’ Phils.’

1999       The Red Sox blast seven home runs, one shy of the club record, in an 11-4 rout of Detroit at Tiger Stadium. Boston right fielder Trot Nixon contributes to the offensive onslaught with three home runs and five RBIs.

1999       The Yankees rout the Indians 21-1 for their team’s largest margin of victory in 46 years. The Bronx Bombers’ designated hitter Chili Davis goes 5-for-6, collecting six RBIs in the late Saturday afternoon contest played at the Bronx ballpark.

2000       Ivan Rodriguez (.347, 27, 83) breaks his thumb when it is struck by Mo Vaughn’s bat swinging on a third strike when the American League MVP attempts to throw out a runner stealing second base. The Texas Rangers’ All-Star catcher will miss the rest of the season.

2004       During the third inning at Warner Park, the approximately 5000 fans attending the minor league contest between the Wisconsin Woodchucks and the hometown Madison Mallards set an American record for most people brushing their teeth at the same time. Next season, in another Northern League promotion, Winnipeg sets the Canadian record for the most fans simultaneous tooth brushing in a game against Calgary.

2004       Another saga is added to the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry when Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo hits last night’s hero Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. As A-Rod stares out at the mound on his way to first, Boston’s catcher Jason Varitek, after a verbal exchange, pushes his glove into the All-Star third baseman’s face, initiating a bench-clearing brawl between the divisional foes.

2007       At a press conference, an emotional Craig Biggio announces he will retire after this season, bringing his 20 year-old career as the longest-tenured player in Astro history to an end. The newest member of the 3,000 hit club, the only player in All-Star history to appear in the game as a catcher and a second baseman, played a significant role in Houston’s four division titles and the team’s only National League pennant.

2009       On the day he is traded by the A’s to the Cardinals for prospects Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, and Shane Peterson, Matt Holliday collects four hits, drives in a run, and steals a base in his debut with St. Louis. Having hurried from New York, where his former team was continuing a series with the Yankees, the outfielder had to borrow a glove and shoes from his new teammates before the Redbirds’ 8-1 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

2010       After 18 consecutive losses in Cleveland, the Rays finally beat the hometown Indians for the first time in nearly five years. With the 6-3 victory over the Tribe, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon snaps a 0-21 personal losing streak as the visiting manager that began when he was California’s interim skipper in 1996.

2011       Former Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, and Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, lifetime .300 hitter Roberto Alomar, and Bert Blyleven, ninth on the all-time list with 60 shutouts, are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Gillick won two World Series rings (1992-93) in Toronto with Alomar as his second baseman, and Blyleven helped the Twins win the 1987 Fall Classic and played for the Pirates team that won it all in 1979.

2011       Losing 12-8 in Boston, the Mariners establish a new team-worst losing streak with their 15th straight defeat. The Fenway contest features a milestone for Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia holds on to Mike Carp’s foul tip to end the sixth inning for the knuckleballer’s 2,000th strikeout, a mark accomplished only once previously in franchise history, by Roger Clemens.

2012       Jordany Valdespin sets a new Mets single-season record when he hits his fifth pinch-hit home run of the season in the team’s 5-2 loss to Washington at Citi Field. The 24 year-old ties Cliff Johnson (Astros, 1974) for the second-highest single-season total ever recorded by a rookie, trailing only Craig Wilson, a freshman with the Pirates in 2001 when he tied Dave Hansen’s major-league mark for pinch-homers with seven.

2014       While singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch, Andy Milovich, the 45 year-old vice president and general manager of the Class-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, is given a prostate exam in the TicketReturn.com Field press box. The first 1,000 men attending the Carolina League contest against the Winston-Salem Dash received a promotional foam rubber finger.

2015       Receiving a standing ovation from the Citi Field crowd, Michael Conforto, the Mets’ first-round pick (10th overall) last year, becomes the 1,000th player in Mets history when he makes his major league debut, going 0-3 in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. Tomorrow, the 22 year-old rookie left fielder will enjoy a 4-for-4 day at the plate when he will collect three singles and a double en route scoring four runs.

2019       The Cardinals, during the team’s 14-8 rout of the Pirates at PNC Park, tie a major league record banging out eight extra-base hits in one inning, equaling a mark previously established by four other clubs. The Redbirds’ barrage in the nine-run second fame included five doubles (Kolten Wong [2], Paul DeJong, Yairo Munoz, Dexter Fowler) and three home runs (Paul DeJong, Andrew Knizner, Paul Goldschmidt).

2019       Stevie Wilkerson becomes the first position player in MLB history to record a save when the Orioles beat the Angels in Anaheim, 10-8. The Baltimore center fielder pitches a perfect bottom half of the 16th inning, after Jonathan Villar’s two-out, two-run home run in the top of the frame gave the team the lead.

2020       The new extra innings rule, which puts a runner at second base to start each extra half-inning, comes into play for the first time on Opening Day when Shohei Ohtani, who made the last out in the top of the ninth, becomes the base runner to begin the tenth frame. The Halos fail to score, losing to the A’s, 7-3, when Matt Olson hits a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the frame.

2020       For only the second time in baseball history, all four starting infielders are the sons of former major leaguers, when shortstop Bo Bichette (Dante), second baseman Cavan Biggio (Craig), first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Vladimir), and third baseman Travis Shaw (Jeff) top the order for the Blue Jays on Opening Day. In 2012, the Dodgers’ lineup featured an infield consisting of third baseman Ivan DeJesus Jr. (Ivan), second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. (Jerry), shortstop Dee Gordon (Tom), and first baseman Scott Van Slyke (Andy), with outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. (Tony) patrolling center field.

2020       Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina establishes the mark for most consecutive Opening Day starts by a catcher, playing his 16th successive lid-lifter in the team’s 5-4 victory over the Pirates at Busch Stadium. The 38 year-old nine-time Gold Glover surpasses the streak set by Hall of Famers Ray Schalk (White Sox, 1913-27) and Bill Dickey (Yankees, 1930-43, 1946), who missed two seasons due to serving in the military during World War II.

MLB STANDINGS

American League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Boston6038.61230 – 1930 – 1926 – 1212 – 611 – 166 – 4W 4
Tampa Bay5939.602130 – 1829 – 2126 – 1510 – 413 – 157 – 3W 4
NY Yankees5046.521927 – 2323 – 2319 – 2713 – 612 – 76 – 4L 2
Toronto4845.5169.522 – 2226 – 2321 – 244 – 610 – 125 – 5L 3
Baltimore3264.3332714 – 3018 – 3412 – 266 – 1711 – 144 – 6W 1
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Chi White Sox5839.59835 – 1723 – 2213 – 732 – 179 – 116 – 4L 2
Cleveland4847.505924 – 2124 – 267 – 1226 – 168 – 125 – 5L 2
Detroit4752.4751228 – 2219 – 304 – 521 – 3117 – 117 – 3L 1
Minnesota4256.42916.523 – 2619 – 306 – 722 – 2810 – 174 – 6W 1
Kansas City4055.4211723 – 2417 – 319 – 1418 – 275 – 114 – 6W 3
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Houston5939.60232 – 2027 – 1916 – 1215 – 926 – 135 – 5W 1
Oakland5643.5663.530 – 2426 – 1913 – 1313 – 422 – 216 – 4L 1
Seattle5246.531730 – 2122 – 2513 – 812 – 1322 – 166 – 4W 1
LA Angels4749.4901127 – 2220 – 2711 – 1114 – 816 – 263 – 7L 1
Texas3563.3572422 – 2513 – 3811 – 138 – 1514 – 240 – 10L 10
National League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Mets5143.54329 – 1422 – 2919 – 1812 – 1214 – 65 – 5W 2
Philadelphia4848.500428 – 1820 – 3024 – 2412 – 66 – 96 – 4W 1
Atlanta4749.490526 – 2521 – 2424 – 2416 – 94 – 45 – 5L 1
Washington4551.469727 – 2518 – 2619 – 179 – 109 – 193 – 7L 2
Miami4157.4181222 – 2319 – 3419 – 226 – 1314 – 123 – 7L 2
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Milwaukee5741.58228 – 2329 – 188 – 1127 – 1719 – 65 – 5W 1
Cincinnati5047.5156.525 – 2525 – 227 – 626 – 1610 – 205 – 5W 1
St. Louis4949.500828 – 2021 – 2914 – 1318 – 2015 – 116 – 4L 1
Chi Cubs4850.490929 – 1719 – 3311 – 1421 – 2413 – 85 – 5W 1
Pittsburgh3760.38119.521 – 2616 – 3410 – 1111 – 268 – 165 – 5W 1
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
San Francisco6136.62930 – 1431 – 2213 – 713 – 926 – 156 – 4L 1
LA Dodgers5940.596331 – 1828 – 2213 – 710 – 1027 – 175 – 5L 3
San Diego5842.5804.533 – 1925 – 2311 – 1016 – 1423 – 176 – 4W 3
Colorado4354.4431833 – 2010 – 345 – 811 – 1619 – 266 – 4W 2
Arizona3069.3033219 – 3011 – 398 – 1511 – 1611 – 315 – 5L 1

MLS STANDINGS

Eastern
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
New England159332818105-0-14-3-230
Orlando City SC14743231494-2-13-2-225
Philadelphia15654191544-1-22-4-223
Nashville SC14581211475-5-00-3-123
CF Montreal14644191634-2-12-2-322
Columbus14563151234-3-01-3-321
New York City FC13625211564-1-22-1-320
New York13535181624-1-11-2-418
D.C.14527201824-0-21-2-517
Atlanta142841417-32-3-10-5-314
FC Cincinnati133461726-90-2-33-2-313
Chicago143381625-93-3-30-0-512
Toronto FC142481831-131-3-21-1-610
Inter Miami CF12228922-130-1-52-1-38
Western
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Seattle15951249155-3-04-2-132
Sporting KC14833251695-3-03-0-327
Los Angeles14815232215-0-23-1-325
Colorado13733211385-2-12-1-224
Los Angeles FC14635181534-2-12-1-421
Portland136161720-35-0-21-1-419
Minnesota135351316-34-1-21-2-318
Real Salt Lake13454211652-4-22-1-217
Houston143741619-33-3-00-4-416
Austin143471015-51-2-22-2-513
San Jose143471624-82-0-41-4-313
Vancouver143471423-93-1-30-3-413
FC Dallas142571423-92-5-00-0-711

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctGBHomeRoadConfLast 10Streak
Connecticut Sun146.7008-16-59-36-42 W
Chicago Sky1010.5004.03-67-48-47-32 L
New York Liberty1011.4764.55-55-65-84-62 L
Washington Mystics810.4445.05-43-65-65-51 W
Atlanta Dream613.3167.53-73-65-62-84 L
Indiana Fever416.20010.03-81-84-93-73 W
Western Conference
 WLPctGBHomeRoadConfLast 10Streak
Seattle Storm165.7628-38-28-47-31 W
Las Vegas Aces156.7141.08-37-38-47-31 W
Minnesota Lynx127.6323.06-36-48-48-27 W
Phoenix Mercury910.4746.03-76-36-74-61 L
Dallas Wings912.4297.04-55-76-74-63 L
Los Angeles Sparks613.3169.04-72-61-112-86 L