Update on the latest sports

July 15, 2017 - 12:44 am


All-Star break does nothing to cool off Dodgers

UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are back to their old tricks in the second half of the season after entering the All-Star break as baseball's hottest team.

The Dodgers were down to their last strike until Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) unloaded a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Dodgers the 27th victory in their last 31 games, 6-4 at Miami. Puig and Corey Seager hit solo shots in the fifth to put L.A. ahead 3-1, but the Marlins stormed back in the bottom half on doubles by Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour (bohr).

Joc Pederson had two hits and scored twice for the Dodgers, who lead the National League West by 8 ½ games over Arizona. Pederson kept the game going with a two-out single and scored on Puig's 18th homer of the season.

Meanwhile, the American League's top team cruised to victory. Brian McCann smacked a three-run homer to cap the Astros' eight-run second in a 10-5 romp over Minnesota. Marwin Gonzalez also homered and was 3-for-5 with two RBIs to help Charlie Morton improve to 7-3. Morton struck out 10 but surrendered five runs over five innings before Houston improved to 61-29.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Freddie Freeman was the hitting star in the Braves' 4-3 win over Arizona, hitting a solo homer in the sixth and supplying the go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth. The Diamondbacks went ahead on Paul Goldschmidt's solo shot in the seventh before losing ground on the Dodgers. Atlanta remains 9 1/2 games behind Washington for first place in the NL East.

— Bryce Harper homered twice and had three RBIs to back Gio Gonzalez in the Nationals' 5-0 shutout of the Reds in Cincinnati. Gonzalez improved to 8-4 and came within two out of his first complete game in four years, allowing just four hits and lowering his ERA to 2.66. Gonzalez had lost his previous three starts despite allowing a total of five runs

— Milwaukee kept its 5 ½-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central as Ryan Braun launched a grand slam and Orlando Arcia added a three-run shot in the Brewers' 9-6 victory over the Phillies. Zach Davies won his fourth straight start and improved to 11-4. Although he yielded five earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. Nick Pivetta was tagged for a career-high nine runs over five innings.

— The Cubs managed to blow an 8-0 lead before Addison Russell's solo shot in the ninth gave Chicago a 9-8 win at Baltimore. Homers by Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist (ZOH'-brihst) and Jason Heyward gave the Cubs an eight-run cushion by the third inning. But Welington Castillo's solo shot sparked the Orioles before Mark Trumbo's two-run blast tied it in the eighth.

— Andrew Benitendi walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to complete a Boston comeback in a 5-4 triumph over the New York Yankees. The Red Sox blew a 3-1 lead and trailed in the ninth before moving 4 ½ games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. Gary Sanchez collected three RBIs, including a two-run homer that gave the Yanks a 4-3 lead in the fifth.

— The Royals had a 3-0 lead until Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Mike Napoli (NAP'-oh-lee) crushed a two-run shot to power Texas past Kansas City, 5-3. Jason Hammel had a no-hitter in the sixth before a pair of singles were followed by Beltre's home run. Napoli went deep in the seventh as the Rangers prevented the Royals from improving their place in the AL Central.

— Robinson Cano's (kuh-NOHZ') three-run homer helped the Mariners double up the White Sox, 4-2 in Chicago. Cano went deep on his first swing since hitting the tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning of Tuesday's All-Star game. Jean Segura added two hits and scored twice to support James Paxton, who is 8-3 after striking out nine over six innings.

— Aaron Sanchez worked six strong innings and the Blue Jays began a 10-game road trip by whipping the Tigers, 7-2. Sanchez allowed an unearned run, seven hits and two walks to win for the first time since beating the Boston Red Sox on Oct. 2. Steve Pearce and Jose Bautista homered for Toronto.

— The Mets torched Jon Gray for eight runs and nine hits in just two-plus innings before completing a 14-2 thrashing of the Rockies. Michael Conforto belted a three-run homer and had four RBIs, while T.J. Rivera added a solo shot and three ribbies as part of New York's 19-hit attack. Jacob deGrom (deh-GRAHM') struck out 11 and was reached for just one earned run and four hits over eight innings.

— The Pirates pulled out a 5-2 win over the Cardinals on Josh Bell's three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. Bell drove in four runs and the Bucs blanked St. Louis following Jedd Gyorko (JUR'-kohz) two-run homer four batters into the game.


Red Sox cut losses, designate Sandoval for assignment

BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox have designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment.

The team cut its losses with the one-time San Francisco Giants slugger on Friday after activating him from the disabled list. He had been on an injury rehab assignment for an inner ear infection with Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox have 10 days to trade or release him.

Sandoval had won three World Series titles with the Giants before the Red Sox signed him for five years and $95 million before the 2015 season. He has appeared in just 161 games since then, hitting .237 with 14 homers.

In other MLB news:

— The Nationals put right-hander Joe Ross on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained elbow on Friday and revamped their bullpen for a series against the Reds. Ross went 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in his last four starts before the injury, leaving him 5-3 with a 5.01 earned run average this season. The Nationals also called up relievers Austin Adams and Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned lefty Sammy Solis to the same club.


Federer and Cilic will battle for the title

LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer has become the second-oldest player to reach the Wimbledon men's final.

The 35-year-old Federer advanced to the All England Club for the 11th time by downing Tomas Berdych (BUR'-dihk), 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. Federer will be seeking his record eighth Wimbledon title and 19th Grand Slam crown when he takes on Marin Cilic (CHIHL'-ihch) in Sunday's final. Cilic defeated American Sam Querrey (KWEER'-ee) in the other semifinal, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5.

Saturday's women's final will have 10th seed Venus Williams against No. 14 Garbine Muguruza (gahr-BEEN' moo-gah-ROO'-thuh).


Gordon Hayward signs 4-year, maximum deal with Celtics

UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Celtics say they've signed forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract.

Hayward joins a Celtics team that advanced to the Eastern Conference finals last season. He was an All-Star last season and averaged 21.9 points.

Also in the NBA:

— The Pacers have acquired guard Cory Joseph from the Raptors for the draft rights of forward Emir Preldzic. Joseph averaged 9.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 25 minutes last season.

— The Knicks have altered their front office by promoting Steve Mills from general manager to president and hiring Scott Perry as GM. Mills takes over the position left vacant by Phil Jackson's departure last month. Perry was the executive vice president of operations for the Sacramento Kings and previously held front-office roles for other organizations.


Palat re-signed by Lightning

UNDATED (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed left winger Ondrej Palat (AHN'-dray pah-LAHT'), who scored 17 goals and 52 points in 75 games last season.

Palat played all 26 games of the Lightning's run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, scoring eight goals and adding eight assists. Palat's deal is worth $26.5 million over five years.


Minnesota Vikings suspend WR Michael Floyd for 4 games

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The NFL has suspended Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd without pay for the first four games of the upcoming season for violating its substance-abuse policy.

Floyd will be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games, but he can't return to the active roster Oct. 2.

The Vikings' have given no details of the violation, but an Arizona judge last month ordered Floyd to serve one day in jail for failing alcohol tests after a traffic stop last year.


Larson takes another pole

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) — Kyle Larson has won the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Larson turned a lap of 133.324 mph take a pole for the fourth time this season. It was his first significant racing since crew chief Chad Johnston received a three-race suspension and the team was docked 35 points for failing a post-race inspection last weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. was second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. Kenseth had a strong run just days after Joe Gibbs Racing announced he wouldn't be driving for the team next year.


Feng is pace-setter at US Women's Open

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — Shanshan Feng still tops the leaderboard through two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National in New Jersey.

The 27-year-old Chinese player shot a 2-under 70 and had a 36-hole total of 8-under 136.

Amy Yang remained in second place, although her deficit grew to two shots after a 71. Jeongeun Lee and Hye-Jin Choi are tied with Yang at minus-6

The round was attended by the U.S. president upon his return from France.


Pavin leads in clubhouse, but Langer No. 1 overall.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Corey Pavin was the clubhouse leader when the second round of the Senior Players Championship was suspended by thunderstorms near Baltimore.

Pavin followed Thursday's 65 with a 4-under 68 that puts him 11-under, two shots ahead of Scott McCarron.

Steve Flesch fell into third place and five shots back after beginning the second round in a tie with Pavin.

Bernhard Langer (LAHN'-gur) was the overall leader when play was halted, sitting at 13 under with two holes to play in Round 2.


Rodgers leads Deere

SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — Patrick Rodgers is the leader at the midway point of the PGA's John Deere Classic.

Rodgers fired a 7-under 64 to fall to minus-13, two shots ahead of Bryson DeChambeau.

Zach Johnson and first-round co-leader Charles Howell III are three shots back.


Hootie Johnson, former Augusta National chairman, dies

UNDATED (AP) — Longtime Augusta National chairman William "Hootie" Johnson has died at age 86, according to the club.

The South Carolina banker stubbornly stood his ground amid pressure for the club to invite female members in 2002. Johnson stepped down as chairman in 2006 and was succeeded by Billy Payne, who ran the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Johnson was behind significant changes at the Masters, including the lengthening of the course from about 7,000 yards to more than 7,400 yards. But it was his battle with Martha Burk and her National Council of Women's Organizations that left his mark.

Augusta invited its first female members in 2012.

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