Aug 01, 2020 1:45 PM

Saturday Sports Headlines

Posted Aug 01, 2020 1:45 PM

Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Adam Engel hit a three-run homer in the second inning, and that was all the offense the Chicago White Sox needed in a 3-2 win over Kansas City that spoiled the Royals' home opener. Dallas Keuchel picked up the win for the White Sox. Alex Colome converted his first save opportunity. Kris Bubic settled down after struggling early in his big league debut for Kansas City. He allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits. 

UNDATED (AP) — Dozens of team employees across Major League Baseball have been entrusted to carry out the critical task of contact tracing, a pillar of the league's plan to operate a 60-game season while COVID-19 continues to assail much of the United States. St. Louis Cardinals assistant general manager and appointed contact tracer Moisés Rodríguez told The Associated Press early this week the role requires sensitivity, diligence and trust. Rodríguez was thrust back into tracing duty Friday, when two Cardinals players tested positive, leading to the postponement of a scheduled game in Milwaukee. 

Update on the latest sports


Yankees top Bosox behind Judge, Montgomery

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees were winners in their first game against the rival Red Sox this season.

Aaron Judge homered for the third straight night as the Yankees dumped the Red Sox, 5-1. Judge took aim at Yankee Stadium's short right field porch in the third, a half-inning after starting a double play from right. Gio Urshela (ur-SHEH'-luh) and Brett Gardner hit their first home runs of the season to back Jordan Montgomery, who was reached for just one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings versus a hot lineup.

Boston entered the day leading the majors with a .276 batting average and the AL with a .783 OPS.

Michael Chavis homered for Boston and Phillips Valdez impressed over 2 2/3 scoreless innings, but the club couldn't overcome another poor start by Ryan Weber.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Jason Tucker was the hitting star in the Astros' 9-6 win over the Angels, going 3-for-4 with a two-run double and a two-run single. Tucker's seventh-inning single gave Houston an 8-4 lead. George Springer and Jose Altuve (al-TOO'-vay) drove in two runs apiece in the win. The Astros got a season-high 12 hits during the 4-hour, 21-minute game, which is the longest nine-inning contest in Angels Stadium history.

— Christian Walker lined a go-ahead, three-run double in the eighth inning and came around to score an insurance run to carry the Diamondbacks to a 5-3 comeback over the Dodgers. Arizona rallied from a 3-1 with help from Justin Turner's error at third base. Mookie Betts hit his first home run as a Dodger and added an RBI single.

— Travis d'Arnaud (dahr-NOH') collected five RBIs, including a three-run double while the Braves scored five times in the eighth inning to beat the Mets, 11-10. Dansby Swanson and Matt Adams each had two RBIs for Atlanta, which trailed 8-2 and 10-6 before beating the Mets for the third straight time.

— Yu Darvish pitched six shutout innings and Jason Heyward laced a key two-run single to help the Cubs double up the Pirates, 6-3. Darvish allowed just two hits, struck out seven and walked one to bounce back from a rough outing against the Brewers last weekend. Chicago also got a solo home run from Jason Kipnis in its fourth win in five games.

— Max Kepler slammed his second leadoff home run of the season and Alex Avila added his first homer for Minnesota in a 4-1 verdict over the Indians. Randy Dobnak pitched five scoreless innings for Minnesota following a day of COVID-19 testing and uncertainty due to positive virus tests of Cardinals players. Mike Clevinger allowed four runs in four innings for Cleveland.

— The Tigers earned a 7-2 win over the Reds as Spencer Turnbull and the Detroit bullpen combined on a three-hitter. Turnbull allowed two runs and three hits over six innings in his second start of the season. Austin Romine and Travis Demeritte each drove in two runs to back Turnbull, who led the majors with 17 losses as a rookie last season.

— The White Sox earned a 3-2 win over the Royals behind Adam Engel's three-run homer in the second inning. Dallas Keuchel picked up the win for the White Sox, yielding two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Chicago prospect Nick Madrigal batted ninth and went 0-for-3 in his big league debut.

— Anthony Santander hit an odd home run and had three RBIs to help the Orioles beat the Rays, 6-3. Santander's fly ball glanced off the glove of outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and over the wall to put the Orioles on the board. Pedro Severino followed with a far more traditional homer to chase Blake Snell.

— Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES') and Tommy Pham homered while the Padres were scoring four times with two out in the ninth to beat the Rockies, 8-7. Tatis tied it with a solo blast and Pham added a three-run blast to complete a 4-RBI performance. Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story homered for Colorado.

— The Giants rolled to a 9-2 rout of the Rangers as Wilmer Flores cracked a three-run homer off Mike Minor and Darin Ruf collected three RBIs. Chadwick Tromp had his first major league hit and RBI for the Giants. Shin-Soo Choo hit an opposite-field home run for Texas on the game's first pitch.

— Taijuan (TY'-wahn) Walker threw one-hit ball over seven innings to pitch the Mariners past the Athletics, 5-3. Walker struck out eight, walked two and allowed only a fourth-inning double in his first home start for the Mariners since being traded to Arizona after the 2016 season. Kyle Lewis had his sixth straight multi-hit game for Seattle.


Cards-Brewers postponed after 2 St. Louis positive tests

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus continues to alter the Major League Baseball schedule.

Friday's game between Milwaukee and visiting St. Louis had to be postponed after two Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19. The teams are now expected to play a doubleheader on Sunday.

The Cardinals are quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel. The team says it learned of the positive tests on Thursday night.

Eight teams have been affected in the first nine days of the season. The Phillies and Marlins haven't played since Sunday and are on hiatus until at least Sunday after 17 Marlins tested positive while staying in Philadelphia. Four other teams had their schedules altered due to the virus.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport's coronavirus protocols. A person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press that the two discussed what is needed to be done to complete the season.

ESPN was first to report the conversation.

Concerns have been expressed about lax behavior by players on the field — such as spitting or high-fives — and off. The scrambled schedule has also heightened doubts about whether the owners' desire to play is realistic.


Chapman rejoins Yankees

UNDATED (AP) — All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to return to Yankee Stadium following a bout with the coronavirus. He was expected to play catch before New York hosted the Boston Red Sox.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed Chapman's return and said he wasn't sure when the hard-throwing left-hander would be ready for game action.

Chapman had been isolating in his Manhattan apartment since registering a positive test July 11.

Also, Yanks right-hander Tommy Kahnle was added to the injured list with forearm tightness. He had an MRI taken Friday.

In other MLB news:

— The Miami Marlins acquired left-handed reliever Richard Bleier from the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named. Miami has been seeking to shore up its roster after more than dozen players tested positive for COVID-19. The team has had its season suspended since Sunday. Bleier went 3-0 with a 5.37 ERA and four saves in 53 games last season. This year, he's pitched three scoreless innings in two appearances.

— The Cubs have signed former Indians closer Cody Allen to a minor league deal and sent him to their team's training site in South Bend, Indiana. The Cubs' bullpen struggled in the first week of the season. Closer Craig Kimbrel walked four batters and allowed two runs in his season debut Monday night.

— The White Sox have promoted second baseman Nick Madrigal, adding one of their top prospects to the roster. The 23-year-old had been training at the team's auxiliary site. Madrigal was selected by Chicago with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft after a standout collegiate career at Oregon State.


Bucks outlast Celtics

UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks are on the verge of clinching the top seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference after winning their re-opening game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH'-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON'-poh) converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:28 left before the Bucks finished off a 119-112 win over the Celtics. Antetokounmpo was called for a charging foul, appearing to negate his basket and giving him a sixth foul. The call was changed to a blocking foul on Boston's Marcus Smart after review.

Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists to help Milwaukee get within one victory of wrapping up the No. 1 seed.

In other Day 2 action of the NBA restart:

— James Harden poured in 49 points and hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds of overtime to help the Rockets secure a 153-149 triumph over the Mavericks. It was the 20th 40-point game this season for Harden, who passed Calvin Murphy as the No. 2 scorer behind Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston history. Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS'-tahps pohr-ZIHN'-gihs) had 39 points and 16 rebounds for Dallas, while Luka Doncic (DAHN'-chihch) had a triple-double with 28 points.

— The Magic picked up their fourth straight win as Evan Fournier scored 24 points and Nikola Vucevic had 22 in a 128-118 dismantling of the Nets. Orlando led by 30 at one point and moved ahead of Brooklyn for seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are missing Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince after they tested positive for the coronavirus.

— CJ McCollum scored 33 points and teamed with Damian Lillard to provide 11 of Portland's 16 in overtime, leading the Blazers past the Grizzlies, 140-135. Lillard finished with 29 points and nine assists, while Carmelo Anthony added 21. The Blazers are within 2 1/2 games of Memphis as Portland seeks its seventh consecutive playoff appearance.

— The Suns cruised to a 125-112 win over the Wizards as Devin Booker scored 27 points and Deandre Ayton added 24 with 12 rebounds. The Suns hit 30 of 32 from the line, with Booker hitting all nine of his attempts. Phoenix 52% from the field in propping up its playoff hopes.

— DeMar DeRozan scored 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs pull away and beat the Kings, 129-120. DeRozan shot 10 of 13 and had 10 assists for the Spurs, who shot 53.3 percent from the field. Derrick White matched a career high with 26 points in San Antonio's first game of the restart.


Pac-12 sets Sept. 26 start for football schedule

UNDATED (AP) — The Pac-12 has set Sept. 26 as the start of its 10-game, conference-only football schedule, joining the Southeastern Conference in pushing back its season by nearly a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pac-12 announced three weeks ago it would eliminate nonconference games to give its 12 member schools a better chance to manage complications and disruptions caused by the health crisis. The plan approved by university presidents adds an additional cross-divisional game to each team's slate and moves the conference championship game back two weeks from Dec. 4 to Dec. 18 or 19.


Antonio Brown suspended 8 games by NFL

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has suspended wide receiver Antonio Brown for the first eight regular-season games of the 2020 season under the league's personal conduct policy.

Brown currently is a free agent. He played one game last season for the Patriots before being released.

Brown can be signed by any team and would be eligible to participate in all of his club's preseason activities. The suspension would take effect when teams make their final cuts on Sept. 5.

Brown pleaded no contest on June 12 to charges related to a fight with a moving truck driver outside his South Florida home earlier this year.

Brown has caught 841 passes for 11,236 yards and 75 touchdowns in parts of 10 NFL seasons.

In other NFL news:

— Lions safety Jayron Kearse has been suspended by the league for the first three games of the 2020 regular season for violating league policy on substance abuse. Kearse is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and can return to the active roster after the team's Week 3 game at Arizona. Formerly with division rival Minnesota, Kearse signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Detroit as a free agent.

— Bills starting right guard Jon Feliciano is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. The team did not reveal when or how Feliciano was hurt in making the announcement on its website.

— Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will be the new announce team for ESPN's "Monday Night Football," according to a person familiar with the decision. The trio has familiarity working together. They called the late game in last season's Week 1 doubleheader between Denver and Oakland.


Hurricanes' Dougie Hamilton out for Rangers series opener

TORONTO (AP) — All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton won't play for the Carolina Hurricanes in Saturday's opener against the New York Rangers in the NHL's Eastern Conference's expanded playoff qualifying round.

Hamilton has missed multiple practices, though the league has prohibited teams from disclosing whether a player is injured or ill amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour (BRIHN'-dah-mohr) says Hamilton is "getting better for sure," and the team hopes he will play in the best-of-5 series.

Hamilton broke his left leg in January and was sidelined until the NHL suspended the season because of the pandemic.


Brendon Todd takes 2-stroke lead with 65 at WGC in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Brendon Todd will carry a two-shot advantage into the third round of the PGA's FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Todd followed Thursday's 64 with a 5-under 65 that leaves him two ahead of Rickie Fowler. First-round leader Brooks Koepka (KEHP'-kuh) shot a 1-over 71 that drops him into a third-place tie with Chez Reavie and Byeong Hun An at minus-7.

Fowler closed with birdies on his final two holes for a 67.


Kang leads as LPGA returns

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The LPGA has made its return following a hiatus caused by the pandemic. Danielle Kang looked as though she's been playing every week.

Kang was bogey-free at Inverness Club for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship. With no leaderboards or fans at the course, Kang said she had no idea where she stood after closing with a birdie.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff also played bogey-free for a 67. Celine Boutier and Lee-Anne Pace also were at 5 under until both made bogey on the closing hole.


US Tennis Association says it's still preparing for US Open

UNDATED (AP) — As coronavirus cases spike in other parts of the country a month before the U.S. Open is supposed to start in New York, the U.S. Tennis Association said Friday it "continues its plans" to hold its marquee event and another tournament beforehand.

The U.S. Open usually is the year's last Grand Slam tournament and its slated to run Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. It's now the second major championship because of the pandemic.