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home : sports : college/pro October 28, 2020

Fitting finale: Dodgers win title, Turner tests positive
No large dogpile, just a small huddle instead; no champagne; and a mask on nearly every face — the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their first World Series title since 1988 in a manner no one could have imagined prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

They started the party without Justin Turner, too, after their red-headed star received word of a positive COVID-19 test in the middle of their clinching victory.

Turner was removed from Los Angeles' 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night after registering Major League Baseball's first positive test in 59 days. He wasn't on the field initially as the Dodgers enjoyed the spoils of a title earned during a most unusual season.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Big Ten pondering what happens when outbreak hits QBs
Wisconsin may be facing the type of nightmare scenario that coaches feared as soon as the coronavirus pandemic arrived.

What happens if an outbreak hits a team's quarterback room?

Wisconsin isn't commenting on the COVID-19 testing results of individual players, but CBS Sports first reported that quarterback Graham Mertz has tested positive a second time. Under Big Ten protocols, that means Mertz can't play for at least 21 days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Browns, Bills, Bears winning while being outscored
Cleveland, Buffalo and Chicago have piled up wins early this season, even if they haven't come in dominating fashion.

Those three teams are all 5-2 after seven games despite being outscored by the opposition. The Browns have been outscored by 21 points thanks to blowout losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, while the Bills have been outscored by four points and the Bears by two.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Rays, Dodgers grateful to have fans at neutral-site Series
Individual whistles echo during quieter moments, and a single fan with enough persistence can leave an impression with a chant during World Series games with the smallest crowds in more than 100 years.

Because of the coronavirus, this year's Fall Classic is being held at a neutral site. A team from each coast is playing in Texas, drawing fans from Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida — along with curious Rangers supporters seeing the home squad's new retractable-roof stadium for the first time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Rams dominate on defense, beat Bears 24-10
The Rams could tell Leonard Floyd was playing with an uncommon fury against his old team, and the rest of the Los Angeles defense followed his lead.

By the time the Rams were done with the Chicago Bears on Monday night, Floyd had two sacks and the game ball — and Los Angeles had a decisive, energizing victory over a fellow NFC contender.

Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett caught touchdown passes from Jared Goff, and the Rams won a matchup of dominant defenses, beating the Bears 24-10.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wisconsin QB may have tested postive for COVID
Wisconsin says nobody who played in the season opener Friday night tested positive for COVID-19 or reported having any symptoms beforehand, amid weekend reports that quarterback Graham Mertz has tested positive.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal  reported Mertz would be taking a second test to determine whether his first test was a false positive. The Journal-Sentinel reported Mertz's positive test came Saturday, one day after the Badgers' 45-7 home victory over Illinois.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

American runner loses appeal to race with prosthetic legs
An American runner who uses two prosthetic legs lost an appeal Monday in his bid to try to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a decision by the governing body of track and field that had ruled Blake Leeper gets a competitive advantage against able-bodied runners because of the added height his prostheses give him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Court seeks 15-month sentence in Ohio St. threat
A California man's anger over his sports teams' setbacks went far beyond the average fan's emotions and must be punished with time in prison, the government said ahead of the man's sentencing in federal court.

Daniel Rippy, of Livermore, California, used Facebook Messenger to threaten a shooting at Ohio State University during its annual game against Michigan, and vowed to hurt players on the football team and then-head coach Urban Meyer, authorities said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

No. 17 Hoosiers now moving beyond upset to take another big step
Coach Tom Allen and the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers celebrated wildly after Saturday's monumental upset of Penn State.

On Sunday, they were rewarded with their highest ranking since November 1993.

By Monday, everyone was back to business in Bloomington, looking to take the next step in the program's steady, years-long progression: staying in the Top 25.

"We've got a lot of guys who went through the course of last season where we won enough games to become nationally recognized and we didn't stay there very long. That's a fact," Allen said. Monday. "So a big win, no question about it, a historic win. But it's in the past."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

NASCAR's Cup playoff at misty Texas speedway put on hold another day
The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas was pushed back yet another day without drivers completing any more laps Monday.

Eight hours after the race was scheduled to resume on a misty day with temperatures in the low 40s Fahrenheit (single digits Celsius), NASCAR postponed it and decided to try again Tuesday.

Similar weather conditions were in the forecast for Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Kershaw stops steal of home, hands Dodgers 3-2 Series lead
As much as Clayton Kershaw has dominated hitters throughout a glittering career, he has not silenced those who cite his lack of baseball's ultimate accomplishment.

With a gritty performance, plus one particular delivery home that will long be remembered, he hushed the skeptics and moved the Los Angeles Dodgers within a victory of their first World Series title since 1988.

"He's a phenomenal pitcher on the biggest stage," reliever Blake Treinen said after Kershaw beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in six days, a 4-2 win Sunday night that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 Series lead. "I think a lot of credit goes to what he's been able to do in this World Series for us."

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sunday NFL recap
Zane Gonzalez made a 48-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in overtime to give the Arizona Cardinals a 37-34 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night in a thriller that featured 1,091 total yards, huge plays, crucial mistakes and — finally — a winner.
Monday, October 26, 2020

Mertz, No. 14 Badgers rout Illinois in Big Ten opener
Wisconsin's Graham Mertz gave a star-making performance on the opening night of the Big Ten's pandemic-delayed season.

Mertz threw five touchdown passes to match the Wisconsin record in a commanding first career start and the No. 14 Badgers beat Illinois 45-7 on Friday night.

"The kid's definitely smooth," said tight end Jake Ferguson, who caught seven passes for 72 yards and three touchdowns. "He was smiling cheek to cheek after the first touchdown. He knew, and everybody in that huddle knew, we were rolling. It's just awesome to see that out of him."

Saturday, October 24, 2020

NBA eyeing Dec. 22 as start to new season
The NBA may be back before Christmas and fans could return to games at some point next season, if one plan considered by the league's board of governors becomes reality.

The board is targeting a Dec. 22 start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA Finals ending in June again as has been in the case for many years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because no plan has been finalized, said the possibility of fans being at games would hinge on how a particular market is faring against the coronavirus at that time.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead
Walker Buehler pitched in the World Series like the Los Angeles Dodgers' aces of old.

Think Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, all leaders of title runs.

Now Buehler has the Dodgers two wins from the championship that has eluded them since 1988.

Buehler struck out 10 over six innings in a pulsating performance, and Los Angeles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Friday night for a 2-1 World Series lead.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Carson Wentz rallies Eagles to 22-21 win over Giants
Hurried, harassed and hit repeatedly, Carson Wentz completed the comeback this time.

Wentz threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Boston Scott with 40 seconds remaining and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame an 11-point deficit in the final seven minutes to beat the New York Giants 22-21 on Thursday night.

Wentz led a depleted offense to 22 fourth-quarter points only to miss a 2-point conversion at the end in a 30-28 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

He wouldn't be denied against the Giants.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Bears, Rams hunting for respect
The Chicago Bears don't get much respect for a 5-1 team. They can only win ugly, or so the conventional wisdom goes, and their luck is supposedly going to end when they meet an elite opponent.

The Los Angeles Rams (4-2) looked like an elite opponent until last week, when an unsightly loss to San Francisco led to a re-evaluation of just how good this team is as well.

Friday, October 23, 2020

No. 18 Michigan faces difficult opener at Minnesota
Michigan hasn't left Minnesota with a loss since 1977.

This time, the only fans in the seats will be family members of the players, drastically reducing the disadvantage for the visitors.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Penn State's Pat Chambers resigns
Pat Chambers resigned as Penn State's basketball coach Wednesday following an internal investigation by the school into allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Chambers, 49, had been at Penn State for nine years and was coming off the team's best season under his directions.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers to even Series
Brandon Lowe kept finding his name near the top of Tampa Bay's lineup even as his offensive struggles continued to mount this postseason.
After Lowe finally busted out in Game 2 of the World Series, the Rays and Dodgers are tied deep in the heart of Texas.
"Sometimes guys, you've got to allow them to go through some tough patches," manager Kevin Cash said. "He will go quiet for a little while, but he can get as hot as anybody in baseball."

Lowe hit two home runs to the opposite field, Tampa Bay's bullpen held on late and the Rays beat Los Angeles 6-4 on Wednesday night.

"Yeah, those felt really good," said Lowe, a 2019 All-Star who led the Rays with 14 homers and 37 RBIs this season. "It felt great to kind of get back and contribute to the team. They've been doing so well for the past month — it felt really good to get back and actually start doing stuff again."

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Illinois seeks to stun No. 14 Badgers for 2nd straight season
Illinois at No. 14 Wisconsin, Friday at 8 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).

Line: Wisconsin by 19 1/2.

Series record: Wisconsin 42-37-7

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Kershaw, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in Series opener
Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts — the Los Angeles Dodgers stars all shined.

Nothing out of the ordinary there, even if the setting was surreal.

Baseball's best team during the pandemic-shortened season showed off its many talents in the first World Series game played at a neutral site, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Tagovailoa replaces Fitzpatrick as Miami's starting QB
Tua Tagovailoa now has a role to match his jersey number. He's the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 quarterback.

The former Alabama star will make his first NFL start next week for the Miami Dolphins, who are turning to him to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick, a person familiar with the team's decision said Tuesday.

The person confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition on anonymity because the Dolphins hadn't made an announcement.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Clippers hire Lue as new coach
The Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday confirmed their hiring of Tyronn Lue to replace Doc Rivers as coach.

Lue spent last season as an assistant on Rivers' staff. Rivers coached the Clippers for the last seven seasons and is now guiding the Philadelphia 76ers.

The team will introduce Lue virtually on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Steelers' Spillane primed to replace injured Bush
Robert Spillane doesn't have Devin Bush's pedigree. He doesn't have Bush's speed or game experience either.

That doesn't mean, however, that Spillane or the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers believe he can't fill in capably while Bush recovers from the torn ACL in his left knee he sustained in last Sunday's win over Cleveland, an injury that ended the 2019 first-round pick's season after just five games.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

NFL teams are going for two at record-setting rate in '20
Never before have NFL teams gone for 2-point conversions as often as they have this season, even if the decision sometimes has backfired.

The 58 attempts through six weeks are the most at this juncture of the season since the NFL adopted the 2-point conversion in 1994.

Going for 2 was a big part of the story line from this past weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Tucker still mum on QB as Michigan St. opener nears
Mel Tucker's success in his first season as Michigan State's coach may be determined in large part by who is playing quarterback.

Right now, there's no indication of who that's going to be.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Chiefs, Edwards-Helaire run over Bills, 26-17
Patrick Mahomes didn't mind taking a back seat to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Kansas City Chiefs' running attack.

With the Buffalo Bills working hard to limit deep throws by the strong-armed Mahomes, he gladly kept handing off the ball, and Kansas City beat Buffalo 26-17 on Monday night in a game that was originally scheduled for last Thursday.

"You know my nature, I want to throw it deep every time. We want to go down and throw these long touchdowns," said Mahomes, the 2018 MVP. "But if teams are going to play us like this, we've got to show we can run the football."

Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

It's almost 'go time' for Big Ten; Buckeyes favored again
The wait is almost over for the Big Ten.

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have been playing anywhere from three to five weeks amid the pandemic, and all the players and coaches around the Big Ten could do is watch.

"Most of it's been torture, just not being able to play games," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. "There's been a part of it I've actually enjoyed, but for the most part it's been hard and I just want to be playing, get these guys on the field and get rolling."

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Murray has happy homecoming, Cards cruise past Cowboys
Maybe Kyler Murray will lose a game on the home field of the Dallas Cowboys one of these days.

It wasn't going to be on a night when the Arizona quarterback watched the star running back of his hometown team have another night of fumble-itis.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Foles, stingy defense lead Bears past Panthers 23-16
Bears coach Matt Nagy has found plenty to criticize about his team this season, even though Chicago keeps winning.

On Sunday, Nagy went out of his way to give credit where it was due.

"Hey, our defense played lights out today," Nagy said. "They played awesome against a good offense."

Monday, October 19, 2020

Bellinger HR sends Dodgers to 3rd World Series in 4 years
The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated as Cody Bellinger's drive soared deep into the Texas night. Bellinger flung his bat off to the side and strutted up the first-base line.

All the way to the World Series.

Bellinger hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning, and the Dodgers advanced to the Fall Classic for the third time in four years by topping the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sunday NFL roundup
Tom Brady outplayed Aaron Rodgers in a rare meeting between the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

It was the 43-year-old Brady's first signature victory since signing with the Bucs (4-2) after a historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots, which included nine NFL title game appearances and six championships.

Monday, October 19, 2020

College coaches still scrambling to fill hoops schedules
(AP) — College coaches endured a tense time waiting for the NCAA to green light the 2020-21 basketball season.
Saturday, October 17, 2020

IBCA advocates for return of high school basketball
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — It was July 29 when the Illinois High School Association announced their plans to shuffle the high school sports schedule. That schedule moved football, boys soccer, and volleyball to a spring season, while adding a summer season for the 2020-2021 school year.
Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Bears are winning without style
(AP) — The Chicago Bears are off to their best start in eight years. They're just not racking up style points to go with those victories.
Saturday, October 17, 2020

Running back Mike Davis off to fast start as Panthers face Bears
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers running back Mike Davis said the key to his success this season has been that he "runs angry."
Friday, October 16, 2020

Springer, Altuve homer to keep Astros alive in ALCS
SAN DIEGO (AP) — José Altuve and the Houston Astros are eager to match the 2004 Boston Red Sox in the history books.
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dodgers score 11 in first inning, beat Braves 15-3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers were already having a grand time before Max Muncy's big slam capped the highest-scoring inning in a major league playoff game.
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Coming off bowl season, Illini eye bigger things in Big Ten
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois appears poised to make a statement in the Big Ten. And coach Lovie Smith sees no reason why his team can't.
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Jets cut Le'Veon Bell
The New York Jets surprisingly released disgruntled running back Le'Veon Bell on Tuesday night, ending a disappointing tenure after less than two full seasons.

The team issued a statement from general manager Joe Douglas in which he said the Jets made the move after having several conversations with Bell and his agent during the last few days and exploring trade options.

"The Jets organization appreciates Le'Veon's efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team," Douglas said. "We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success."

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within 1 victory of World Series
Kevin Kiermaier and the Tampa Bay Rays — with big assists from two former Padres who know Petco Park's outfield well — are one win from the second World Series berth in franchise history.

Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead, two-run single two batters after another critical error by José Altuve, and the Rays beat the Houston Astros 5-2 on Tuesday night for a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Freeman, Albies homer, Braves hang on for 2-0 NLCS lead
Ozzie Albies homered into the Braves bullpen in the ninth inning for the second straight night, and Mark Melancon once again caught the ball on the fly.

Atlanta had a five-run lead at the time. By the time the reliever was summoned to the mound, the lead was down to two. Melancon held on once again.

Freddie Freeman also homered for the second night in a row, and the streaking Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Brees, Lutz lift Saints past Chargers, 30-27 in OT
Drew Brees keeps coming through in the clutch in his 20th season, while the Los Angeles Chargers keep squandering the heady play of promising rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.

The 41-year-old Brees became the oldest quarterback with more than 32 completions in an NFL game, Wil Lutz kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime and New Orleans' defense stopped receiver Mike Williams just short on fourth down to preserve a 30-27 victory over the seemingly star-crossed Chargers on Monday night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Margot's homer, catch highlight Rays' 4-2 win over Astros
Back in the ballpark where he started his big league career, Manuel Margot of the Tampa Bay Rays had a breakout game in the AL Championship Series with a three-run home run and a spectacular catch while tumbling over a wall in right field.

Asked which was bigger in the 4-2 victory against the Houston Astros, Margot said through a translator: "Definitely the home run. The home run didn't hurt."

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

White Sox, Renteria split
Rick Renteria fostered a culture that allowed young players to develop into stars. And just like the last time, he lost his job after helping start a turnaround.

The Chicago White Sox and their manager agreed to split following a disappointing finish to a breakout season in which they made the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.

Chicago announced Monday that Renteria won't return after he led the White Sox to a 35-25 record in his pandemic-shortened fourth season. They ended a string of seven consecutive losing seasons with their first playoff appearance since 2008.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Bubble Kings: Lakers down Heat for 17th NBA title
The ultimate anguish. The ultimate joy.

This season, for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, had it all. And it ended in the only fashion that they deemed would be acceptable, with them back atop the basketball world..

For the first time since Kobe Bryant's fifth and final title a decade ago, the Lakers are NBA champions. James had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday night to win the NBA Finals in six games.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Elliott wins at Roval
Kyle Busch, leading a race he had to win, not once believed he was driving toward a season-saving victory. He doesn't even think he can get to victory lane this year.

"Do we even have a shot to win? I don't think we have a shot," Busch said after he was eliminated from the playoffs Sunday.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sunday NFL roundup: Scores from around the league
Derek Carr threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, outplaying Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes along the way, and the Las Vegas Raiders nearly shut out the potent Kansas City offense in the second half to rally for a 40-32 victory Sunday that ended the Chiefs' franchise-record 13-game winning streak.
Monday, October 12, 2020

Goalies get shuffled around in NHL free agency; Lightning depleted
It didn't take long for the bubble to begin bursting on the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup party.

The effects of a flat salary cap took its toll on the Lightning less than two weeks after winning their second Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay bid farewell to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who signed with Anaheim, and the team was forced to place center Tyler Johnson on waivers as the NHL's free agency period opened Friday.

In the meantime, the league's higher profile free agents such as defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and winger Taylor Hall, remained on the market with a $81.5 million cap — unchanged from last year — adding a layer of uncertainty to a coronavirus pandemic-altered economy.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

"Chairman" Whitey Ford, Hall of Fame ace for Yankees, dies at 91
During an era when the Yankees won the World Series so routinely it was joked that rooting for them was like rooting for General Motors, their ace pitcher owned the most fitting nickname: "The Chairman of the Board."

Whitey Ford, the street-smart New Yorker who had the best winning percentage of any pitcher in the 20th century and helped the Yankees become baseball's perennial champions in the 1950s and '60s, died Thursday night. He was 91.

The team said Friday the Hall of Famer died at his Long Island home in Lake Success, New York, while watching the Yankees in a playoff game. His wife of 69 years, Joan, and family members were with him.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Heat force Game 6, top Lakers to stave off elimination
Jimmy Butler was slumped over a video board behind the baseline in the final seconds, exhausted, gasping for air.

He gave it all.

The Miami Heat needed nothing less.

The NBA Finals — and Miami's title chances — are not over, not after Butler and the Heat pulled off a virtuoso performance in Game 5 on Friday night. Butler had 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Heat held off Los Angeles 111-108 to cut the Lakers' lead in the title series to 3-2.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Foles beats Brady again, Bears squeeze by Bucs
Tom Brady held up four fingers as if he had one more play remaining, one more opportunity to pull out the win. If that's what he was thinking, the three-time MVP would not say.

Brady fell to Nick Foles again, appeared to lose count of downs on his final play with seconds remaining, and the Chicago Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-19 on Thursday night after Cairo Santos kicked a 38-yard field goal with 1:17 remaining.

DeAndre Houston-Carson broke up Brady's fourth-down pass with 33 seconds left after Santos kicked the go-ahead field goal. Brady put up four fingers, as if he had one more down. Instead, Chicago took possession and came away with a narrow victory.

Friday, October 9, 2020

MLB roundup: Dodgers, Astros, Yanks, Braves all win
Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead, three-run homer after Michael Brantley's two-run shot in the fourth inning, helping the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 11-6 on Thursday to win their home-run heavy AL Division Series in four games.

Correa drove in five as the Astros — October villains to many a year after their sign-stealing scandal was exposed — advanced to the AL Championship Series for the fourth consecutive season. It will be their first ALCS under Dusty Baker, their 71-year-old manager. Baker earned his first closeout win since the 2003 NL Division Series and improved to 4-13 in closeouts.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Brady, Buccaneers look to keep rolling versus Bears
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady in the offseason hoping the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback could help them end a 12-year playoff drought and capture the biggest prize of all.

They're off to a good start.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rays hit 3 HRs to beat Yanks 8-4 for 2-1 lead in ALDS
Randy Arozarena homered for the third straight game and Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez also went deep for the Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the New York Yankees 8-4 Wednesday night to move within one victory of reaching the AL Championship Series for the first time in 12 years.

New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning to become the first player with a homer in each of his team's first five games of a single postseason. Stanton has six homers and 13 RBIs in those five games.

The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Division Series. Game 4 is Thursday night at Petco Park, which has yielded 16 home runs in three games — nine by Tampa Bay.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

THS girls swim in Jacksonville
The THS girls swim team traveled to Jacksonville on Monday, October 5 to take on Routt Catholic. According to head coach Melissa Brookens, “The freshman/sophomore Tornadoes competed and fought hard against the upperclassmen and placed well in their events.”
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Lakers top Heat 102-96, take 3-1 lead in NBA Finals
LeBron James woke up from his gameday nap Tuesday and decided it was time to send his Los Angeles Lakers teammates a message.

He grabbed his phone and told the Lakers they were facing a must-win game.

"I felt that vibe. I felt that pressure," James said. "I felt like, for me personally, this was one of the biggest games of my career."

Message delivered.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Rodgers, Tonyan lead Packers past Falcons, 30-16
The Green Bay Packers needed someone to step forward when injuries left their top two wide receivers unavailable.

That made it the perfect showcase for tight end Robert Tonyan to continue his breakthrough season.

Tonyan caught three of Aaron Rodgers' four touchdown passes, Za'Darius Smith recorded three sacks and the Packers remained unbeaten with a 30-16 victory over the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Texans fire coach Bill O'Brien after 0-4 start
The Houston Texans had faith that coach Bill O'Brien was the man to lead them to their first championship.

So much faith in fact that they made the unusual move of making him the team's general manager this off-season, too.

But O'Brien didn't perform well in either role, leading to his firing on Monday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Stanton, Yanks power past Rays 9-3 in ALDS opener
Giancarlo Stanton and the Bronx Bombers made themselves right at home in Petco Park on a warm October evening in Southern California.

Stanton hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for New York's fourth home run of the game, and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 on Monday in the opener of their AL Division Series at Petco Park.

Stanton homered to straightaway center field on a 2-2 pitch from John Curtiss. The slugger took several steps with his bat still in his hands as he watched the ball sail through the pleasant San Diego evening air before beginning his trot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Chiefs lean on D to beat Pats 26-10 in COVID-19-delayed game
It's hard enough to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs under the best of circumstances.

Try doing it with your star quarterback shelved by COVID-19, a 40-year-old journeyman taking his place, your top running back headed to injured reserve and a flight that didn't land in Kansas City until shortly before kickoff.

Yet the New England Patriots still managed to give the Chiefs fits for most of the way Monday night, hanging within a field goal of the Super Bowl champs until late in the third quarter. It wasn't until Tyrann Mathieu took an interception back for a touchdown in the fourth that Kansas City clinched its 26-10 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Bears, Foles run out of rally magic, lose to Colts
Nick Foles could stage no magical comeback Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Facing a smothering defense, the Chicago Bears had difficulty coming up with yards — let alone points — in a 19-11 defeat.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Cook has 2 TDs, Vikes get 1st win, 31-23 over Texans
In a battle between winless teams that made the playoffs last year, one was going to emerge thinking it could turn its season around and the other was going to end up even more desperate.

The Minnesota Vikings have reason for optimism after holding off a late rally by the now-despondent Houston Texans on Sunday.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Butler's big night helps Heat cut Lakers' lead to 2-1
Biggest moment of his career. Best game of his life.

Jimmy Butler is clearly not ready to go home quite yet. With a triple-double, he joined NBA Finals lore — and the short-handed Miami Heat might have made this title matchup a series after all.

Butler finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, and the Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-104 on Sunday night to get within 2-1 — doing so with starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic still unable to play because of injury.

"I tell Coach all the time, 'I'm ready for this,'" Butler said. "The biggest stage, whatever you ask me to do, I can do."

Monday, October 5, 2020

Bob Gibson, fierce Hall of Fame Cardinals ace, dies at 84
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, the dominating St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who won a record seven consecutive World Series starts and set a modern standard for excellence when he finished the 1968 season with a 1.12 ERA, died Friday. He was 84.

The Cardinals confirmed Gibson's death shortly after a 4-0 playoff loss to San Diego ended their season. He had long been ill with pancreatic cancer in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

Gibson's death came on the 52nd anniversary of perhaps his most overpowering performance, when he struck out a World Series record 17 batters in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against Detroit.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Foles gets nod as Bears prepare for challenge against Colts
The Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles in the offseason to push Mitchell Trubisky for their starting quarterback job.

The Super Bowl 52 MVP knocked him out of the No. 1 spot. Now, he has another chance to show he's more than just a reliable backup.

After coming in to lead a big comeback last week, Foles will make his first start for the unbeaten Bears when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Tatis, Myers homer twice, Padres stay alive with 11-9 win
Fernando Tatis Jr. had been waiting for a breakout game, and boy did "El Niño" get it.

The 21-year-old budding superstar, who grew up in the game at the feet of his big league father, hit two home runs and drove in five to boost the San Diego Padres to an electrifying 11-9 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night that forced a deciding Game 3 in their NL wild-card series.

Wil Myers also homered twice and Manny Machado connected, but Tatis — with his signature exuberance and flair — was the one who carried the party at empty Petco Park.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Broncos top winless Jets 37-28 for first victory of season
It was sloppy and downright ugly at times. It was a victory, though, and Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos are relieved to finally get one — no matter how it looked.

Melvin Gordon sealed the Denver Broncos' first win of the season with a 43-yard touchdown run with 1:48 remaining, and the defense made just enough plays in the fourth quarter to beat the bumbling — and still winless — New York Jets 37-28 on Thursday night.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Commiss. decline CFP expansion after Pac-12 request
The conference commissioners who manage the College Football Playoff decided to stick with a four-team format during this pandemic-altered season after the Pac-12 made a request to consider expansion.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott asked the rest of management committee to consider having eight teams play for the national championship this season. ESPN first reported Scott broaching the subject.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Goldschmidt, Cardinals win 7-4 in Padres' return to playoffs
Given a chance to catch their breath after a crazy month and a half, the St. Louis Cardinals settled into the playoffs with yet another win against the San Diego Padres.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run during a four-run first inning, St. Louis' bullpen held strong after starter Kwang Hyun Kim stumbled in his playoff debut and the Cardinals ruined the Padres' long-awaited return to the playoffs with a 7-4 victory Wednesday in the opener of their NL wild-card series.

The Cardinals got a welcome two days off before this series began. They came after a season-closing grind that saw them play 53 games in 44 days, including 11 doubleheaders, with only two days off. The team had its season suspended for 14 games from late July to mid-August after 10 players and eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and had to scramble to fit in the makeups.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Fans to be allowed at World Series, NLCS in Arlington, Texas
Fans can take themselves out to the ball game for the first time this season during the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that approximately 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That is about 28% of the 40,518-capacity, retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, which opened this year adjacent to old Globe Life Park, the team's open-air home from 1994 through 2019.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Tampa Bay Lightning capture Stanley Cup title
The joyful yells from the bench could be heard in the empty arena in the final seconds and the roar from players when Commissioner Gary Bettman called for Steven Stamkos to accept the Stanley Cup echoed even louder.

The triumph of winning the NHL championship in a bubble was certainly no less sweet for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Chiefs down Ravens 34-20
It wasn't just that Patrick Mahomes threw for a ton of yards and four touchdowns. Most impressive was how he did it.

Mahomes juked, danced, and jumped in and out of the pocket. Sometimes he just dropped back and fired pinpoint throws downfield. He tossed shovel passes and flung it sidearmed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat
LeBron James vs. the Heat.

Pat Riley vs. the Lakers.

Get ready for the NBA Finals — a title series like none other, to end a season like none other.

The matchup is set, with the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers emerging as the last two teams standing in the chase to be crowned champions of the most tumultuous season in NBA history. The Heat won the Eastern Conference title Sunday night, finishing off Boston a day after the Lakers won the Western Conference crown.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bears complete stunning comeback over Falcons
Nick Foles rekindled that Super Bowl magic.

The result was a stunning victory for the Chicago Bears.

Taking over for the erratic Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter, Foles threw three touchdown passes in the final 6 1/2 minutes Sunday to lead the Bears to a 30-26 triumph over the shell-shocked Atlanta Falcons.

While the Falcons became the first team in NFL history to blow fourth-quarter leads of at least 15 points in back-to-back games, the Bears improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2013.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bubble won't be back for full 2020-21 NHL season
The 64 days spent in the NHL playoff bubble feel like six months to Barclay Goodrow.

"It's tough," the Tampa Bay Lightning forward said. "It's been a grind."

It's a grind he and players won't do again next season. The league and Players' Association will meet within the next two weeks to discuss the many possibilities of what the 2020-21 season could look like, but there's no desire to stage it entirely within quarantined bubbles.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Rodgers, Packers unbeaten with 37-30 victory over Saints
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers sounds increasingly enamored with the scheme and play-calling philosophy of second-year head coach Matt LaFleur.

The Packers are unbeaten and putting up some of the best offensive numbers in the NFL. So why not?

Rodgers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and the Packers scored 10 points in the final nine minutes to pull out a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.

"We've gotten in a good flow," Rodgers said. "I feel so much more comfortable in the offense this year, and I think Matt has really settled in to the rhythm of the play calling, and it's made my job a lot easier."

Monday, September 28, 2020

Steelers stay perfect, keep Texans winless in 28-21 victory
The Pittsburgh Steelers spent two quarters trying to hem in Deshaun Watson. It didn't take. After watching the Houston quarterback move the Texans up and down Heinz Field with remarkable ease, the Steelers blew up their meticulously put-together game plan and went back to their default setting: attack.

Might want to stick with that one. Probably for good.

Slicing into the backfield relentlessly, the Steelers put the clamps on the Texans in the second half to rally for a 28-21 victory that pushed them to 3-0 for the first time in a decade. Houston managed just 51 yards and two first downs over in the final 30 minutes to fall to 0-3.

"We didn't blink, man," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Lions snap 11-game skid
It was the kind of moment that had stymied the Detroit Lions so many times during their 11-game losing streak: A potential game-winning play, a gut-punch penalty that reversed it and the realization that nothing was going to come easy.

But Matthew Stafford has seen a lot during his 12 seasons in the NFL. He wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away.

"I've been doing this a long time," Stafford said. "I feel real comfortable in that situation. I love it."

Monday, September 28, 2020

Jefferson's breakout not enough, as Vikings falter at finish
Justin Jefferson blew by the closest man in coverage to make a wide-open catch, sprinted parallel to the sideline and broke through two tackle attempts around the 20-yard line before veering toward the end zone.

The last part of Jefferson's first NFL touchdown was so easy he took the opportunity to slow down and tap dance across the goal line, giving the Minnesota Vikings a 12-point lead over Tennessee midway through the third quarter.

If only Jefferson and the Vikings found the end of the game so trouble-free.

Monday, September 28, 2020

MAC returns with 6-game football season starting Nov. 4
The Mid-American Conference, the first major college football league to postpone its season because of the pandemic, became the final one to jump back in, making it 10 out of 10 conferences that will play in the fall.

As university presidents in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Mountain West have done over the last 10 days, MAC leaders on Friday voted unanimously to reverse their August decision to push football to spring. The MAC will instead open its season Nov. 4.

Just like the other conferences returning to fall ball, the MAC cited advancements in COVID-19 antigen testing as key to the change of direction. The conference will begin testing athletes four times per week, starting Oct 5.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Celtics control 2nd half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East
Their season saved for at least two more days, Boston coach Brad Stevens offered the most succinct assessment of his Celtics.

"We're prideful," Stevens said.

Celtic Pride. It was on display Friday night — when Jayson Tatum and his teammates announced very loudly that they're not ready to see the world that exists outside the NBA's restart bubble quite yet.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Stars now in 3-1 Cup hole
No U.S.-born player has scored more playoff goals than Joe Pavelski. No player has put more pucks in the net during a single postseason this late in his career.

That may not be enough for Pavelski and the Dallas Stars, who are in a deep, deep hole in the Stanley Cup Final.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Falcons face 2-0 Bears on heels of nightmarish loss
Let's see if the Atlanta Falcons can put another nightmarish loss behind them.

The team that infamously squandered a 28-3 advantage in the 2017 Super Bowl suffered an improbable defeat in Week 2 of this NFL season, blowing a 20-point lead to the Dallas Cowboys and giving up an onside kick that set up a game-winning field goal on the final play.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Molina leads Cards over Brewers to open key 5-game set
Despite having no fans to witness his career milestone, Yadier Molina's teammates managed to make it special for him anyway.

Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.

Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central. St. Louis trails division leader Chicago by 2 1/2 games.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Kuhl goes 7 sharp innings, Pirates beat slumping Cubs 7-0
Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds each homered in three-hit games in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 7-0 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Kuhl (2-3) retired the first nine batters and had a no-hitter until Anthony Rizzo doubled to the wall in right-center with one out in the sixth inning.

The right-hander finished his comeback season on a strong note. He allowed two hits, struck out five hits and gave up three walks. He sat out last season while rehabbing after Tommy John surgery.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Fall college football revived on West Coast
A major college football season that was in peril six week ago as conferences succumbed to concerns about COVID-19 is reconstituting.

The West Coast got back in the game Thursday night, The Pac-12 set Nov. 6 to start a seven-game season, joining the Big Ten in overturning August decisions to punt on fall football. The Mountain West followed up a few hours later by announcing it is aiming to kick off Oct. 24.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Fitzpatrick handles Jaguars again, this time with Dolphins
Ryan Fitzpatrick handles the Jacksonville Jaguars as well as anyone in the NFL.

It doesn't matter which uniform the journeyman quarterback is wearing, either.

Fitzpatrick accounted for three touchdowns and led Miami to a 31-13 victory Thursday night, becoming the first NFL quarterback to notch six wins over the same opponent with six teams.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Saints need better Brees versus Rodgers and potent Packers
Unless Drew Brees musters his first vintage performance of 2020, the Saints could struggle to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the recently potent Packers.

The first two weeks of this season have seen two of the finest quarterbacks in NFL history on divergent paths.

The Packers (2-0) are scoring more than 40 points per game. Rodgers has passed for six touchdowns and has yet to be intercepted.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Gale Sayers, Bears Hall of Fame running back, dies at 77
Gale Sayers, the dazzling and elusive running back who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite the briefest of careers and whose fame extended far beyond the field for decades thanks to a friendship with a dying Chicago Bears teammate, has died. He was 77.

Nicknamed "The Kansas Comet" and considered among the best open-field runners the game has ever seen, Sayers died Wednesday, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Relatives of Sayers had said he was diagnosed with dementia. In March 2017, his wife, Ardythe, said she partly blamed his football career.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Bulls snag big name, hire Billy Donovan
Billy Donovan wasn't on the market for long — hardly a shocker given he's won everywhere he's coached.

That he's headed to Chicago might be a surprise, only because big and bold moves have been few and far between for the team. Then again, these aren't the same old Bulls.

Chicago struck it big Tuesday, hiring Donovan and landing one of the top candidates on the market to lead a rebuilding team with an overhauled front office.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Gomber pitches playoff-hunting Cards to 5-0 win
Austin Gomber heard longtime Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright say that his goal before pitching a complete game against Milwaukee last week was to throw no more than 12 pitches in any inning.

Sounded like a good idea to him.

With the same target in mind, the reliever-turned-starter proceeded to throw six innings of four-hit ball in a crucial spot start against Kansas City on Tuesday night. And with Dylan Carlson and the rest of Gomber's offense providing support, the Cardinals rolled to a 5-0 victory that gave them the slightest of cushions in the race for a playoff spot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cubs clinch playoff spot despite 3-2 loss to Pirates
The Chicago Cubs clinched a playoff spot under rookie manager David Ross, returning to the postseason after a one-year absence despite losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night on a walk-off home run by Jacob Stallings.

The NL Central-leading Cubs were assured a spot in the expanded playoff field when Philadelphia was swept in a doubleheader at Washington.

The Cubs began the day with a 4 ?-game lead over St. Louis and Cincinnati in the division standings and a magic number of four to clinch the title. Chicago missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Olympics CEO suggests relaxed entry rules
Tokyo Olympics officials are proposing that the government relax immigration regulations to allow athletes to enter the country before next year's postponed games and train during a 14-day quarantine period, Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee said on Wednesday.

"We have to consider the uniqueness of the athletes and also their activities," Muto said, speaking in Japanese following a meeting of a task force considering countermeasures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee, Tokyo city and national government officials, and members of the organizing committee are holding virtual meetings on Thursday and Friday focused on finding ways to hold the delayed Olympics during a pandemic.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Minnesota star WR wants to opt back into season
Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman has decided to opt back in for the 2020 football season in light of the Big Ten's resumption of fall competition, contingent on the star junior gaining the necessary eligibility clearance.

Coach P.J. Fleck confirmed Tuesday that Bateman, who won the conference's receiver of the year award in 2019, has rejoined the Gophers for practice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Murray, Nuggets hang on in Game 3, cut Lakers' lead to 2-1
They had just lost a playoff heartbreaker, and two nights later the Denver Nuggets quickly went from in control to in trouble.

Escaping trouble is what these Nuggets do best.

"Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we're not ready to go," coach Michael Malone said. "For some reason we love this bubble."

They'll get at least two more games in it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Raiders open Las Vegas stadium with 34-24 win vs Saints
Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders delivered a performance worthy of their fancy new home.

Too bad none of their fans were able to see it in person.

Carr threw three touchdown passes  and the Raiders gave their new fans in Las Vegas plenty to celebrate even if they weren't allowed in the stadium by beating the New Orleans Saints 34-24 on Monday night.

The new $2 billion stadium in the desert held its first event following the Raiders' move from Oakland without any fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Lightning beat Stars 3-2 in Game 2
Nikita Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning got themselves up off the ice to get even in the Stanley Cup Final.

After the Lightning got knocked around in Game 1, and Kucherov took some more hard hits early in Game 2, he had the primary assists on power-play goals by Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat in the first period. Kevin Shattenkirk then scored for an early three-goal lead and Tampa Bay held on for a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Trubisky throws 2 TDs, Bears edge Giants
The Chicago Bears were happy with another close win, while the New York Giants have greater concerns than their 0-2 record: a potentially serious injury to star running back Saquon Barkley.

Mitchell Trubisky threw two touchdown passes and the Bears hung on to beat the Giants 17-13 on Sunday.

The Bears (2-0) chewed up New York early on, grabbing a 17-0 halftime lead, and withstood a big push a week after rallying from 17 down at Detroit for their first season-opening win in seven years.

"Like, 2-0 is not a bad situation," defensive tackle Akiem Hicks said. "I don't care how you get it.. Two-and-oh is delicious. I'll eat that every day of the week."

Monday, September 21, 2020

Jones' big day helps Packers beat Lions 42-21
Aaron Jones wanted to do a Lambeau Leap even without fans in the stands.

He gave himself plenty of opportunities.

Jones rushed for a career-high 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway, as the Green Bay Packers rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat the Detroit Lions 42-21 on Sunday.

After his first touchdown of the day, a 7-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers, Jones did a different kind of Lambeau Leap. He jumped atop a green tarpaulin that covered the first several rows of the stands; the pandemic didn't allow for any spectators. Most of the tarps had advertisements on them.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Steelers hold off Driskel, Broncos 26-21
A game seemingly in hand suddenly on the cusp of slipping away, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn't overthink things. His team's defense is built on one principle: attack.

Needing a stop to turn back the surprisingly resilient Denver Broncos, the Steelers dialed up one final blitz in an afternoon filled with them.

Safety Terrell Edmunds raced in unblocked to take down Denver backup quarterback Jeff Driskel on fourth-and-2 at the Pittsburgh 15 with less than two minutes to play to preserve a 26-21 victory Sunday. The sack was Pittsburgh's seventh of the day.

Monday, September 21, 2020

DeChambeau carves up US Open
Golfers like to say they win when it's their week, when a swing adjustment suddenly clicks or because they're driving the ball and putting it just that little better than everyone else. Bryson DeChambeau has a different take: He thinks every week belongs to him.

Over the course of four days, DeChambeau unnerved the folks who run the U.S. Open and carved up Winged Foot's unyielding reputation one divot-sized slice at a time. By the end, he was the only player to beat par, which also happened to be enough to beat his closest pursuer, Matthew Wolff, by a whopping six shots. In the bargain, DeChambeau turned one of the golf's foundational myths — the game is about how many, not how — inside out.

"I don't really know what to say because that's just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does" said Rory McIlroy, who counts the 2011 U.S. Open among his four major championship wins. "Look, he's found a way to do it.. Whether that's good or bad for the game, I don't know, but it's just not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played."

Monday, September 21, 2020

Second City? White Sox, Cubs close in on division titles
Powered by the steady presence of José Abreu, the White Sox revival is roaring on the South Side.

On the North Side, Yu Darvish is pitching like an ace again, and the Cubs are eyeing another October run.

Chicago's major league teams are linked by more than just geography these days. They also share a most enviable position this time of year — first place.

"I think that every time we take the field, we feel invincible," White Sox rookie Luis Robert said through a translator.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Taylor's hefty workload pays off as Colts beat Vikings 28-11
Jonathan Taylor looked right at home in his first NFL start.

He made Sunday's hefty workload look pretty easy, too.

The 21-year-old running back rushed 26 times for 101 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown, leading the Indianapolis Colts past Minnesota 28-11.

"After the first carry, you kind of get in that mindset, you realize it's football and you focus and lock in and you go play after play," he said. "You do that, and pretty soon it's the fourth quarter."

Monday, September 21, 2020

Packers wary of Lions after uncomfortable sweep last season
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bears look to build on opener, Giants seek 1st win for Judge
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears came into the season determined to show they're more like the team that won the NFC North in 2018 than the one that missed the playoffs a year ago.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Stars, Lightning meet in nontraditional Stanley Cup Final
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The leaves are starting to change color around the NHL playoff bubble, and, at most, seven games remain before the Stanley Cup is handed out.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Big Ten teams now sprinting toward strange season
Now that the Big Ten has a rescheduled kickoff weekend, coaches and players can start the sprint to opening day.

Expect a wild ride.

After canceling spring football, limiting and sometimes pausing offseason workouts, shutting down full-contact practices and eventually postponing the season, the league's 14 university presidents and chancellors have given teams five weeks to accomplish what typically takes months — getting into football shape by late October for the start of a most unusual season.

"We're going to be ready to play on (October) the 24th," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said, referring to the new opening weekend. "You know, the ramp up to that, and the 20 hours (of weekly practice), and putting on pads has been well thought out. So we'll be ready. We'll play with depth."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Brewers, Cardinals split DH
Brent Suter and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 Wednesday night to split a doubleheader..

The Cardinals took the opener 4-2 behind Adam Wainwright's four-hitter.

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt ran the team in the opener. He missed the nightcap while serving a one-game suspension, imposed by Major League Baseball after tempers flared during the Brewers' 18-3 romp Tuesday night.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Báez, Cubs beat Indians for 4th straight
Javier Báez's RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday night in a game that was briefly delayed when a drone entered Wrigley Field and landed on the outfield grass.

Automatic runner Ian Happ advanced to third when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th.

After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez's liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Robinson expects to stay with Bears for rest of year
Star receiver Allen Robinson said he expects to remain with the Chicago Bears the rest of the season, though he wouldn't say if he requested a trade.

Robinson is in the final season of his three-year, $42 million contract and is seeking an extension. He deleted references to the Bears from his social media accounts on Tuesday, and the Chicago Tribune reported he asked to be traded if they can't agree to a new deal.

"I'm not gonna get into that detail," Robinson said Wednesday. "But like I said before, my heart and spirit has never wavered as far as the city of Chicago and playing for this organization. Obviously you dive into the business of the game and there's different variables that go into that. But how I feel about my teammates, how I feel about this team, how I feel about this city and everything like that has never wavered."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Yelich, Braun lead Brewers to 18-3 romp over Cardinals
Christian Yelich broke out of his slump with a home run and three hits, Ryan Braun also went deep and the Milwaukee Brewers romped to an 18-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Keston Hiura and Daniel Vogelbach also homered for the Brewers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cubs walk off 6-5 over Indians after consecutive HBPs
Willson Contreras and Cameron Maybin were plunked by consecutive pitches from Cleveland reliever Nick Wittgren in the ninth inning, forcing home the winning run as the Chicago Cubs beat the Indians 6-5 Tuesday night.

Cleveland's Francisco Lindor hit a tying, two-run homer in the top of the ninth, but the Indians couldn't take advantage.

Left-hander Oliver Pérez (1-1) allowed a one-out walk to Kris Bryant in the bottom of the inning. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single that advanced Bryant to third. Wittgren drilled Contreras with a 1-1 fastball, then hit Maybin with a bases-loaded changeup.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Big Ten changes course, will now play fall football
Big Ten is going to give fall football a shot after all.

Less than five weeks after pushing football and other fall sports to spring in the name of player safety during the pandemic, the conference changed course Wednesday and said it plans to begin its season the Oct. 23-24 weekend. Each team will have an eight-game schedule.

The Big Ten said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to restart sports. The vote last month was 11-3 to postpone, with Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska voting against.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cards, Brewers split pair as both games go extra innings
The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers hadn't faced each other all season before this week despite playing in the same division.

They spent Monday making up for lost time.

Both games of their doubleheader split went into extra innings, with the winning team coming from behind each time. The Brewers won the opener 2-1 in eight innings and were three outs from a sweep before the Cardinals rallied to take the nightcap 3-2 in nine innings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Steelers top Giants 26-16
There was one overriding reason Ben Roethlisberger worked so hard to return from a major elbow injury.

His team.

Roethlisberger, who missed the final 14 games last season after elbow surgery, threw for three scores and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Giants 26-16 at an empty and eerie MetLife Stadium on Monday night. He also got all the help he could ask for from his defense and backup running back Bennie Snell.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Trubisky surges late, Bears beat Lions 27-23
Mitchell Trubisky missed many targets, sailing some passes high and leaving other throws behind teammates, until it mattered most.

Trubisky perfectly lofted a 27-yard go-ahead touchdown pass into the fingertips of Anthony Miller with 1:54 remaining and the Chicago Bears held on to beat the Detroit Lions 27-23 on Sunday.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Cubs' Alec Mills no-hits Brewers for 12-0 win
From college walk-on to major league starter, Chicago Cubs right-hander Alec Mills had to earn most every break he got.

On the brink of big league history, he was happy to welcome this bit of luck: expecting to see two-time batting champion Christian Yelich in the on-deck circle, Mills looked over and saw his backup instead.

"That kind of surprised me," he said.

Monday, September 14, 2020

No defense: Rodgers, Packers win shootout over Vikings 43-34
After Green Bay won last season at Minnesota to clinch the division, Aaron Rodgers paused to take a video of some jubilant Packers fans still lingering in the stadium as he walked to the bus.

This victory over the Vikings was just as memorable, albeit barely audible.

Rodgers took full advantage of the young cornerbacks and the empty building in Minnesota, beginning his 13th season as Green Bay's starting quarterback by passing for 364 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Packers past the Vikings 43-34 on Sunday.

"It was one of the strangest experiences I've had in the NFL, being in a stadium like this to have memories of some really rocking times," said Rodgers, who threw for only three scores over his first four visits to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Brady vs. Brees is tastiest of NFL opening matchups
Life at 40. Well, 41 and 43.

How sweet it can be.

In the first matchup of 40-plus quarterbacks in NFL annals, during one of the most anticipated openers the league has seen — though it won't be seen by fans at the Superdome because of the coronavirus pandemic — Tom Brady makes his Buccaneers debut against that youngster Drew Brees and the Saints.

For now, all those doubts about the NFL actually starting on time can be shoved aside as the sporting world savors these two QB codgers. They are the top two in yards and TDs passing, and it's the first game since 1998 (Dan Marino and John Elway) featuring the 1-2 career yards passing leaders.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Celtics' young core heads back to East finals, once again
Marcus Smart is 26. Jaylen Brown is 23. Jayson Tatum is 22.

The Boston Celtics aren't old, by any measure.

That doesn't mean they are lacking for experience — or don't already know what it's like to play in the Eastern Conference finals.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Thielen to guide young Vikes group without Diggs
For most of Adam Thielen's career, he was widely viewed as the overachieving small-school wide receiver who needed a rookie tryout camp just to get an offseason roster spot with the Minnesota Vikings and worked his way up from the practice squad to become a starter.

Now, he's by far the most experienced player in his position room, tasked with helping guide a young group past the departure of longtime pal and pass-catching partner Stefon Diggs.

"It helps me stay young, I think," Thielen said.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Trubisky says he's ready to lead Bears
Mitchell Trubisky watched as the Chicago Bears traded for Super Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles to compete with him for the starting quarterback job.

He saw the team that drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017 decline its fifth-year option. And he didn't flinch.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Reds blank Cubs 3-0
Trevor Bauer tossed three-hit ball into the eighth inning to outpitch Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish and lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory Wednesday night.

Mike Moustakas hit a three-run homer in the first inning as Darvish's seven-start winning streak was snapped.

Bauer (4-3) struck out 10 and walked none in 7 2/3 innings while tying his season high with 112 pitches. The right-hander dropped his three previous starts, including a 3-0 loss to Darvish on Aug. 29 in Cincinnati.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mills sharp, Bote has 2 RBIs as Cubs beat Reds 3-0
Alec Mills watches Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks pitch, and he wants to help carry the load for Chicago's rotation.

He certainly did his part Tuesday night.

Mills pitched six sharp innings and David Bote drove in two runs, leading the Cubs to a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Taking the mound on a wet, windy and cool night at Wrigley Field, Mills (4-3) permitted four hits, struck out six and walked three in his first win since Aug. 24. The right-hander went 1-3 with a 7.66 ERA in his previous five starts for the NL Central leaders.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Butler, Heat punch a ticket into the NBA's final four
Jimmy Butler set the tone for the Miami Heat season on the first day of training camp.

He got to the gym at 3:30 a.m., letting teammates know how hard he expected them to work. And then he filmed himself singing throughout the drive to the team hotel, letting teammates know how much fun they were going to have.

The formula is already a success.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Baylor 3rd B12 team to put off opener
Baylor became the third Big 12 team forced to postpone its scheduled season opener this weekend after Louisiana Tech reported multiple positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday, less than two weeks after a hurricane affected its campus.

Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said Tuesday night that it wasn't possible for the Bulldogs to play Saturday at Baylor because of the positive tests and contact tracing that would keep other players out the game.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

BYU rolls past Navy 55-3 in season-opener with no fans
BYU coach Kalani Sitake did a fine job of keeping his players safe from COVID-19 while getting them ready to open a new football season.

Ken Niumatalolo wished he could have done the same thing at Navy.

Tyler Allgeier ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and the Cougars put the clamps on Navy's usually potent triple option in a season-opening 55-3 rout Monday night inside an eerily empty stadium at the Naval Academy.

BYU scored touchdowns on each of its first two possessions, led 31-0 at halftime and coasted to its most lopsided victory since a 70-6 blowout of Wagner in October 2015.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Hendricks goes eight innings, Cubs beat Cardinals 5-1
Kyle Hendricks hit his spots and kept hitters off balance. It was a command performance at a big moment for the Chicago Cubs.

Hendricks went eight innings, and the NL Central-leading Cubs beat the second-place St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Monday.

Led by Hendricks and a 10-hit attack, Chicago closed out the five-game series on a winning note after losing three straight. It leads the defending division champions by 2 1/2 games.

Hendricks (5-4) gave up a run and seven hits in his second straight win. He also struck out four and walked none in his 38th consecutive start with two walks or less — the most by a Cubs pitcher since at least 1901.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Keep fighting! Serena Williams yells herself to Open win
Her breathing loud enough to hear in an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium, her third-set deficit a point from growing to 3-1 against someone who beat her less than two weeks earlier, Serena Williams scrambled to extend a 13-stroke exchange until her opponent netted a forehand.

"Keep fighting!" Williams exhorted herself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

NFL faces tough times for 2020, then bright economic outlook
Let's get this straight from the outset: If the NFL has no fans at any games this season — or doesn't have much of a season at all — it will not go out of business.

Sure, the 32 teams and the league itself will lose millions, very possibly billions of dollars. Its broadcast partners will take a hit harder than any that Von Miller has delivered on the field. Same for sponsors and advertisers who pinpoint pro football as the best way to reach fans (read: consumers).

Monday, September 7, 2020

Pandemic could lead to pandemonium on offensive lines
The coronavirus pandemic could lead to pandemonium on offensive lines throughout the NFL.

With no on-field offseason programs, no preseason games, no extensive hitting in training camps, chaos rather than cohesion could be the truism for blockers.

Don't think for a minute that won't affect even the best offenses.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Goldschmidt homers as Cardinals beat Lester, Cubs 7-3
Paul Goldschmidt's drive got up and just kept going, soaring out of a windy Wrigley Field on Sunday night.

When it landed, St. Louis was well on its way to another big win in Chicago.

Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer off a struggling Jon Lester, and the Cardinals gained ground in the NL Central race with a 7-3 victory over the Cubs.

St. Louis pulled within 1 1/2 games of Chicago with its third consecutive win over the division leaders, sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday after the Cubs won 4-1 in the series opener Friday night. The longtime rivals have one game left in their pandemic-shortened season series on Monday.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy saw a different version of Mitchell Trubisky than he has in the past.

The explanation Nagy offered Sunday for selecting Trubisky over Nick Foles in the Bears' quarterback competition had more to do with Trubisky's strides as a quarterback than any disadvantage Foles faced from a lack of offseason work in the team's offense because of the league's COVID-19 restrictions.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Authentic wins KY Derby
Bob Baffert endured the lowest of lows and highest of highs within minutes in the Kentucky Derby.

He was bummed before the horses left the paddock after Thousand Words reared up and fell on its side, getting disqualified and injuring Baffert's assistant trainer. That emotion was quickly replaced by Authentic's front-running victory that gave Baffert a record-tying sixth Derby win.

Then Baffert found himself down again, literally, getting knocked to the grass by a skittish Authentic in the winner's circle.

Monday, September 7, 2020

WADA to consider sanctions if US holds funding
(AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency will consider rules changes that would allow it to sanction the United States if it stops paying its annual dues to the drug-fighting organization.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Cubs, Pedro Strop reach deal
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs agreed to a minor league deal with Pedro Strop on Friday, bringing back the popular reliever after he was released by Cincinnati.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Washington releases Adrian Peterson
(AP) — Washington released veteran running back Adrian Peterson on Friday, a stunning move by first-year coach Ron Rivera in the name of getting younger.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Anunoby beats buzzer, stuns Celtics
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Toronto Raptors were a half-second away from falling into the abyss that no NBA team has ever escaped. Down by two points, down by two games, the reigning champions needed a miracle.
Friday, September 4, 2020

'Game-changer': Rapid, daily virus testing coming to Pac-12
(AP) — The Pac-12 could be playing football and basketball sooner than expected after the conference announced Thursday that each of the 12 schools will soon have the capacity to perform daily, rapid COVID-19 tests on athletes.
Friday, September 4, 2020

White Sox rout Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Luis Robert's 458-foot home run capped a second five-run inning of the night for Chicago as the White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 11-6 Thursday night.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Baez and Hendricks lead Cubs over Pirates
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Javier Baez hit a three-run home run and Kyle Hendricks pitched one-run ball over six innings Wednesday night to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Votto single in ninth lifts Reds to 4-3 win over Cardinals
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto's single in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in Shogo Akiyama with the winning run as the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

What's the rush? QB pressure has been priority in NFC North
(AP) — The pressure has clearly been on in the NFC North.

Oh, there's the usual urgency around Super Bowl aspirations and on-field improvement. Aaron Rodgers has reached the final stretch of his time in Green Bay.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Miller drives in 7 as Cardinals pound Gray, Reds 16-2
Brad Miller homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs, and the St. Louis Cardinals pounded Sonny Gray and the Cincinnati Reds 16-2 on Tuesday night.

Miller sparked St. Louis' six-run first inning against Gray with a two-run double that glanced off the glove of diving first baseman Joey Votto and bounced down the line. He hit a two-run shot in the second, an RBI single in the fifth and another two-run homer in the eighth, clanging a drive off the foul pole in right.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Talk of 'fake bubble' on US Open's Day 1
For all of the obvious concessions to the coronavirus at the no-fans-allowed U.S. Open — near-empty arenas; silence pierced by the occasional clap, sneaker squeak or roaring jet; a lack of line judges — the aftereffects of one player's positive test caused the biggest stir on Day 1.

Yes, plenty of matches were played amid a pandemic at the first Grand Slam tournament in nearly seven full months.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Big Ten presidents voted 11-3 to cancel fall season
A court filing disclosed Monday shows Big Ten Conference presidents voted 11-3 to postpone the football season, bringing some clarity to a key question raised in a lawsuit brought by a group of Nebraska football players.

The vote breakdown was revealed in the Big Ten's response to the lawsuit.

The court documents did not identify how each school voted, but a person familiar with the outcome told The Associated Press that Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State voted against postponing the fall football season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Big Ten was not planning on making the specifics of its vote public.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

DeJong grand slam helps Cardinals hold off Reds 7-5
Paul DeJong slugged his first career grand slam, helping Dakota Hudson to his first win of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth inning on Kolten Wong's single and walks by Paul Goldschmidt and Brad Miller. DeJong capitalized, sending Anthony DeSclafani's full count pitch over the center field fence for his second homer of the season.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Chicago Cubs get Maybin, 2 lefty relievers in 3 trades
The Chicago Cubs acquired veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin and two left-handed relievers in three trades on Monday, adding some help for the pursuit of their first division title since 2017.

The NL Central leaders sent minor league infielder Zack Short to Detroit for Maybin, who is batting .244 with a homer and two RBIs in 14 games this year. The Cubs got Andrew Chafin and from Arizona for a player to be named or cash, and will get $370,373 from the Diamondbacks on Oct. 16 to offset part of Chafin's salary. Josh Osich was acquired in a deal with Boston for a player to be named or cash.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Wainwright throws complete game, Cardinals top Indians
Adam Wainwright turned back the clock with a complete game on his 39th birthday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Sunday.

Wainwright threw a four-hitter for his 23rd career complete game and first in four years. The Cardinals snapped a four-game skid in which they scored six total runs.

"It's just, you know, a lot of hard work from a lot of different people have gone into making me able to pitch this year and pitch well," an emotional Wainwright said. "You know, when you think you're done three years ago, and you're able to complete a game a couple years later, it's a crazy life, a crazy game."

Monday, August 31, 2020

Schwarber's 9th inning HR makes history, Cubs pound Reds
With one massive drive in the ninth inning, Kyle Schwarber made history for the Chicago Cubs.

Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ became the first starting outfield to hit multiple homers in the same game, and the Cubs pounded the Cincinnati Reds 10-1 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series.

Schwarber hit the first and the last of the Cubs' season-high six homers, belting a solo drive in the fourth against Luis Castillo (0-5) and a grand slam off José De León in the ninth. Heyward connected for solo drives in the fourth and sixth, and Happ hit a two-run shot in the fifth and a solo homer in the seventh.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Packers believe team continuity will bring break-through season
The Green Bay Packers are counting on consistency to get them over the top after finishing a game away from the Super Bowl three of the last six years.

Green Bay returns much of the nucleus of a team that went 13-3 and won the NFC North while benefiting from good fortune. The Packers stayed healthy last season and also went 9-1 in games decided by eight points or fewer.

"You can't take anything for granted in the NFL, and no two seasons are alike," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. "This year certainly has some unique circumstances, and we talked about that all offseason. Whoever can handle these circumstances the best will have a tremendous jump on everybody else."

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Bears looking to bounce back with Trubisky or Foles at QB
The Chicago Bears went into last season with soaring expectations, their sights set on a deep playoff run and even a trip to the Super Bowl.

They went in the wrong direction.

Instead of establishing themselves as a championship contender, the Bears were a major disappointment. And now, they're trying to bounce back after going from winning the NFC North at 12-4 in coach Matt Nagy's first season to missing the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Roethlisberger says he is finally pain free and ready to sling it
The chronic ache in his right arm, the one that served as Ben Roethlisberger's companion for years, is gone.

No more fibbing about being fine when offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner asks how he's feeling. No more gritting his teeth and trying to ignore it when the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback tries to throw the ball down the field. No more going through training camp with shackles on trying to manage something that ultimately became unmanageable.

Midway through his 17th training camp, Roethlisberger insists his patched up right elbow isn't just serviceable, it's potentially better than it's been in years. He points to his active practice schedule as proof.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Nebraska players' lawsuit seeks to restore Big Ten fall football
A group of Nebraska football players filed a lawsuit Thursday, hoping a jury will force the Big Ten Conference to reinstate a fall football season.

The lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court contends, among other things, the players are losing a chance for development, exposure for a possible pro career and won't be able to market themselves to eventually capitalize on name, image and likeness revenue opportunities.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Tigers beat Cubs 7-6; Heyward sits amid player protests
Throughout the sports world, athletes were taking a determined stand for racial justice, and Jason Heyward wanted to do his part.

That meant the Chicago outfielder wouldn't be in the lineup when the Cubs took the field against the Detroit Tigers.

"I decided to let my teammates know that I couldn't go out there and play tonight, not with what's happening," Heyward said. "I can't tell you what's going to happen tomorrow, can't tell you what's going to happen the next day, but tonight I needed to be a part of what was going on in my community."

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cardinals score 4 in 9th, beat KC; Fowler, Flaherty sit
Kolten Wong drew a bases-loaded walk to cap off a four-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Wednesday night.

Tyler O'Neill tied the game at 5 with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded off the glove of third baseman Maikel Franco.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Jonathan Schoop, Spencer Turnbull lead Tigers past Cubs
Jonathan Schoop hit a grand slam in a five-run sixth inning as the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Tuesday night.

The Tigers have won three of five since a nine-game losing streak dropped them out of serious postseason contention. Chicago still leads the NL Central despite going 5-8 in its last 13 games.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A no-fan no-hitter: Giolito gem leads White Sox over Pirates
Lucas Giolito quietly walked to the mound for the ninth inning, piped-in fake crowd noise wafting through the ballpark and cardboard cutouts dotting the stands.

Moments later, the Chicago White Sox right-hander threw the final pitch in a truly bizarre performance.

A no-fan no-no.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

McBroom, O'Hearn spark Royals to 5-4 victory over Cards
Ryan McBroom had two hits and drove in the winning run with a single in the eighth inning, Ryan O'Hearn added a solo homer, and the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Tuesday night.

In the eighth, Hunter Dozier reached on an infield single to lead off. With two outs, McBroom singled to left, scoring Dozier for the winning run.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

NFL has 77 apparently false positive COVID-19 tests from lab
The NFL had 77 positive COVID-19 tests from 11 teams re-examined by a New Jersey lab after false positives, and all those tests came back negative.

The league asked the New Jersey lab BioReference to investigate the results, and those 77 tests are being re-tested once more to make sure they were false positives.

Among teams reporting false positives, the Minnesota Vikings said they had 12, the New York Jets 10 and the Chicago Bears nine.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Molina gets 4 hits as Cardinals beat Reds 6-2
Yadier Molina had four hits and top prospect Dylan Carlson hit his first career homer, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 on Sunday.

Harrison Bader also connected for St. Louis, which won three of four in the series. Molina, Carlson and Bader each finished with two RBIs.

The Cardinals scored the last six runs after Eugenio Suárez hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the Reds.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Darvish pitches Cubs past Abreu, White Sox 2-1
Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish is rolling.

Not even the slugging White Sox could take him down.

Darvish struck out 10 in his career-high fifth consecutive victory, and the Cubs beat the White Sox 2-1 on Sunday to stop the South Siders' seven-game win streak.

Monday, August 24, 2020

NCAA eligibility ruling solves some problems, creates others for athletes
(AP) — For the college athletes who are heading into a season of uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, the NCAA's decision to not charge them a year of eligibility — no matter how much they play — brings peace of mind.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Canucks blitz Binnington, eliminate the Blues 6-2 in Game 6
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks brought a bright, young team to the Western Conference bubble, lacking in postseason experience but boasting several budding stars.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Weekly golf league results
TAYLORVILLE — All four of the weekly golf leagues were able to get their holes in this week. Their results were as follows:
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Some atheletes seek name change for Strom Thurmond complex
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Some recent standouts in University of South Carolina athletics are asking the school to change the name of its showpiece fitness center, arguing that the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond shouldn’t be honored in such a way due to the segregationist views he once held.
Friday, August 21, 2020

DeSclafani to start for Cincinnati against St. Louis
Cincinnati Reds (10-13, fourth in the NL Central) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (7-7, third in the NL Central)

St. Louis; Friday, 7:15 p.m. CST

Friday, August 21, 2020

Alabama restarts prep football in a test of virus precautions
THORSBY, Ala. (AP) — It’s mostly quiet in the Alabama farming community of Thorsby aside from trucks and trains that rumble through bound for someplace larger. Remembering directions to the town’s football stadium isn’t hard; there aren’t that many roads to take or turns to miss along the way.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Cards finally back home, rally for 3 in 9th to beat Reds 5-4
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kolten Wong hit an RBI single and the St. Louis Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium with a rousing rally, scoring three runs in the ninth inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Thursday night.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Keuchel scheduled to start for Cubs against Sox
Chicago White Sox (15-11, third in the AL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (16-8, first in the AL Central)

Chicago; Friday, 7:15 p.m. CST

Friday, August 21, 2020

Reds broadcaster suspended for anti-gay slur
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman has been suspended from working Cincinnati's games after using an anti-gay slur on air Wednesday night, prompting the team to apologize for the "horrific, homophobic remark."
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Golden Knights eliminate Blackhawks with 4-3 win in Game 5
Facing an early deficit, the Vegas Golden Knights were sparked by its stars, setting the stage for Alex Tuch to send top-seed in the Western Conference into the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Tuch scored the tiebreaking goal 1:34 into the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied from an early two-goal deficit to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-3 win in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night.

Vegas became the first team in the playoffs to advance to the conference semifinals. The Golden Knights will face the lowest remaining seed in the next round.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cubs beat Cards 6-3
Yu Darvish is taking his time again.

Slow and deliberate works just fine for him.

Darvish pitched six effective innings in his fourth straight win, and the banged-up Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Trubisky showing edge as he battles Foles for Bears' starting QB job
His job up for grabs, his future with the Chicago Bears uncertain, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is showing an edgier side. He's being more vocal.

"I think it's a combination of everything, just realizing this is the last year of my contract," he said. "Being hurt last year and not playing up to my own expectations, I think going 8-8, having a quarterback competition, and just the desire to want to go out to continue to chase greatness."

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mulligan: Extra year of NCAA eligibility for fall athletes?
Whether college football players play a lot in the fall, a little in the spring or not all over the next 10 months, some athletic administrators want to give them a mulligan on the 2020-21 season.

The NCAA Division I Council meets Wednesday with two important issues on the agenda:

— What will happen with the eligibility of fall sports athletes heading into an uncertain season already impacted by the pandemic?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

O'Reilly scores 2, Blues beat Canucks 3-1 to tie series
Ryan O'Reilly had two goals and an assist as the St. Louis Blues beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 in Game 4 on Monday night to even in their first-round playoff series.

Alex Pietrangelo also scored and had an assist and David Perron had two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Bears embrace routine as they try to bounce back in 2020 
Veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was ready to embrace the routine.

The Chicago Bears practiced in pads Monday for the first time, and it sure was a welcome step for a team trying to bounce back from a disappointing season.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

White Sox hit 4 straight HRs vs Cardinals reliever in debut
St. Louis Cardinals reliever Roel Ramirez set a record in his debut — just not the kind any pitcher wants.

The Chicago White Sox tied a major league mark with four consecutive home runs, all against Ramirez, and went on to beat the Cardinals 7-2 on Sunday.

Ramirez is the first pitcher to allow four straight homers in his debut. Yoán Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez connected during a six-run fifth inning.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Schenn scores in OT, Blues beat Canucks in Game 3
Brayden Schenn scored 15:06 into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

Schenn, circling in the neutral zone, took a stretch pass, raced in and fired a shot high past Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom for the defending champion Blues' first win this postseason.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Crawford stars as Blackhawks beat Golden Knights 3-1
The Chicago Blackhawks were in deep trouble. That's when Corey Crawford took over.

Crawford made 48 saves in a stellar performance, and the Blackhawks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 on Sunday night to stay alive in their first-round playoff series.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Cards coach McGee opts out; St. Louis gets 6 doubleheaders
Cardinals coach Willie McGee has opted out of being with the team for the rest of the season while Major League Baseball announced Friday several doubleheaders to make up for games St. Louis has missed because of the coronavirus.

The 61-year-old McGee, a four-time All-Star outfielder and the 1985 NL MVP for the Cardinals, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has high blood pressure. McGee said he had three older daughters and five grandchildren living at his family home in California.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

SEC, ACC aim to forge on with fall football
Folks in the South aren't giving up on their beloved fall tradition of college football just yet.

While other conferences have conceded the fall to COVID-19, the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 are holding out hope they can play a shortened season with uncertain national championship prospects.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

NHL trying to provide playoff hub teams a few tastes of home
There's no ear-splitting cannon booming from the stands in Columbus every time the Blue Jackets score. Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, isn't parading through the arena. No one's firing up any sirens in Las Vegas.

As much as NHL chief of events and entertainment Steve Mayer would like to include those features, and so many others distinctive to the league's markets, there is only so much he and his hundreds of staffers can do given the limitations of being inside the playoff hub-city bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Canucks beat Blues for 2-0 lead
Bo Horvat scored on a breakaway at 5:55 of overtime Friday night to give the Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 victory over the defending champion St. Louis Blues and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference series.

Horvat took a stretch pass from Quinn Hughes and chipped the puck through Jordan Binnington's legs.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Darvish takes no-hitter into 7th, Cubs beat Brewers 4-2
Yu Darvish knew his pitch count was climbing, but he wasn't exactly showing signs of fatigue, either.

Darvish took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his third straight dominant start, and the major league-leading Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Thursday night.

Darvish (3-1) allowed just one hit — Justin Smoak's towering solo homer to right field with one out in the seventh inning on his 98th pitch — before Casey Sadler relieved to start the eighth. The 33-year-old right-hander from Japan struck out 11 and threw 104 pitches.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Smith scores in OT, Vegas takes 2-0 series lead on Chicago
Even though Reilly Smith called it a lucky bounce, a whole lot more than luck is working right now for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Smith scored in overtime, Robin Lehner made 22 saves and the Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series. Vegas has won all five of its games since the NHL resumed.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Bulls fire Jim Boylen
The Chicago Bulls fired coach Jim Boylen on Friday, the new front office beginning its remake of a team that missed the playoffs again.

The Bulls were 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn't qualify for the NBA's restart at Walt Disney World. That meant they wouldn't make the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Cardinals versus White Sox opener pushed back to Saturday
St. Louis' series opener against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed to Saturday, giving the Cardinals an extra day to recover from a coronavirus outbreak.

The Cardinals, who haven't played since July 29, were set to resume their season Friday night in Chicago. But the series opener was pushed back to a straight doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, the beginning of an extended stay in the Windy City for the Cards.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Big 12 moves ahead with fall sports beginning in September
Baylor coach Dave Aranda could see a weight being lifted off the shoulders of his players during a meeting Tuesday night, when word began to filter out that the Big 12 Conference would attempt to play football this fall.

“You could just see the joy,” Aranda said. “Everyone was smiling. Guys were cracking jokes, were excited.”

Months of uncertainty had finally given the Bears and their conference rivals the slightest bit of clarity. If all goes according to plan, they will take the field for a non-conference game next month, then begin a round-robin league schedule on Sept. 26 with the intention of crowning a Big 12 champion on Dec. 12 near Dallas.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Cubs beat Indians 7-2 to match best start since 1970
Bell bottoms were in style and Nixon was in the White House the last time the Chicago Cubs started a season this hot.

Their rookie manager isn't taking any credit for the fast start.

"I mean, I've got a good team," David Ross said. "That's what it is. We've got good players."

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in opener
Bo Horvat scored twice and the Vancouver Canucks beat the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday in the opening game of their best-of-seven first-round series.

Horvat has four goals in return-to-play action while rookie teammate Quinn Hughes logged an assist to reach seven points (one goal, six helpers) in five games.

Horvat said the Canucks were ready to match the Blues' intensity.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Heyward's 4 RBIs power Cubs to 7-1 win over Indians
Jon Lester and the Cubs didn't let another of 2020's distractions slow them one bit.

Lester looked comfortable on a mound where he helped make history, Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer and Chicago returned from a four-day layoff and rolled to a 7-1 win over the Cleveland Indians, who welcomed back manager Terry Francona after a couple bumpy days.

Lester (2-0) allowed three hits in six innings as the Cubs, whose weekend series at St. Louis was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the Cardinals, moved to 11-3 for the first time since 2016.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Spring college football: When? How much? Who plays?
Back in April, not long after the pandemic canceled the NCAA basketball tournament, the idea of moving the 2020 college football to the spring of 2021 was already being tossed around.

A last resort is what it was called by conference commissioners and athletic directors.

When it looked as if the U.S. might be winning its fight against COVID-19, the idea of a spring season mostly fell by the wayside.

"We broached it very little in our AD meetings and really haven't gotten serious about it at all," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Tuesday. "I had one AD from another league call and just talk about it a little bit."

Time to start talking about it a lot.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pac-12 postponing sports through the end of the calendar year
In a release posted on the Pac-12’s website:

"The Pac-12 CEO Group voted unanimously to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

The decision was made after consultation with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice. The Conference also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Big Ten officially postpones fall sports
The Big Ten became the first major NCAA Division I conference to officially postpone their fall sports. In a release posted to the Big Ten’s website:

"The Big Ten Conference announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Golden Knights to take on resurgent Blackhawks
Max Pacioretty used some weights and a stationary bike to work out in his room during his quarantine period inside the NHL bubble in Edmonton. He rejoined the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday and skated with the team the past couple of days.

He's ready to go. Well as ready as he can be to step right into the NHL playoffs.

Pacioretty returns to a Golden Knights team aiming for another deep postseason run after it went 3-0 in round-robin play to secure the top seed in the Western Conference. Standing in their way in the first round are Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks, fresh off an impressive performance against Edmonton in their qualifying series.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

College football coaches facing tough adversary: uncertainty
College football coaches are facing the daunting challenge of getting their players to maintain the required focus to prepare for season-openers when the prevailing question swirling around the sport is when, or if, the season will even be played because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Preparation is a regimented endeavor. Practice periods are measured on a clock on the field, whistles signal the time to hustle from one drill to another. And uncertainty is a formidable opponent to the process.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pirates-Cards series postponed over virus woes
The entire three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis that was set to begin Monday night at Busch Stadium has been postponed while the Cardinals deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.

There have now been 27 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 13 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A star-studded list of NFL players looking for 2020 rebound
Von Miller is determined to show 2019 was an oddity, not an omen.

Miller’s performance last season was nothing to scoff at considering he had eight sacks and made his eighth Pro Bowl. But his five-year run as an All-Pro first- or second-team selection came to an end and the Denver Broncos’ playoff drought persisted.

“I didn’t play to the ‘Sack Master’s’ standards,” Miller said. “My coaches felt like there was more for me to give. Most of all, I feel like I can give more and I can be more. I don’t feel like I’m finished yet.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Players unite in push to save college season, create union
Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players, pushing for the opportunity to play this season, despite the pandemic.

Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players' rights movement in the Big Ten, didn't like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence's message against the efforts of #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

"There was a lot of division," Reynolds told AP early Monday morning.

Monday, August 10, 2020

New PGA champion Morikawa's toughest moment came after round
If all you saw were the highlights of how Collin Morikawa beat back the biggest names in golf and walked off with the PGA Championship, you'd conclude he did it the old-fashioned way.

The 23-year-old Californian delivered a 6-under 64 in the final round, including a signature shot that fans will be talking about for decades. He hit more fairways and greens, and picked up more strokes with the putter over four days than anyone else in the field. He even arrived at TPC Harding Park with some built-in advantages, in top form after winning twice on tour during this re-jiggered season, and he knew the course well from his days playing college golf at nearby Cal-Berkeley.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Astros, A's clear benches, empty seats; Oakland wins ninth straight
The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros apparently were tired of playing nice.

So following two quiet games at the Coliseum, true feelings seemed to come out and tempers flared Sunday, months after Houston's sign-stealing scandal was brought to light by Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers.

Things got so angry the benches cleared — and the stands emptied, too, during Oakland's 7-2 victory over the AL West rival Astros.

Monday, August 10, 2020

White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez wants to stay in left
CHICAGO (AP) — Eloy Jiménez has no interest in the designated hitter job with the Chicago White Sox. His team wants the same thing for him.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Blackhawks elminate Oilers 3-1 in best-of-5
Edmonton, Alberta (AP) — Brandon Saad, Matthew Highmore and Dominik Kubalik scored and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Edmonton 3-2 on Friday, knocking the Oilers out of the postseason tournament.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Cubs-Cards weekend series postponed
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The entire three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis at Busch Stadium was postponed Friday night after two more Cardinals players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Surprising Marlins win again, top Mets 4-3 for 6th straight
NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Cervelli hit a three-run homer, Humberto Mejia impressed in his abbreviated major league debut and the Miami Marlins kept up their surprising surge, beating the New York Mets 4-3 Friday night..
Saturday, August 8, 2020

66 players opt out of NFL season due to coronavirus fear
(AP) — A total of 66 players have opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly half of them linemen.
Friday, August 7, 2020

Vegas dominates Blues 6-4, now one win from top seed
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Mark Stone scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection with under 7 minutes left, and the Vegas Golden Knights took a big step toward clinching the top seed in the Western Conference by beating the St. Louis Blues 6-4 in round-robin play Thursday night.
Friday, August 7, 2020

Royals hit three homers, beat Cubs 13-2 to stop 6-game slide
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Whit Merrifield, Maikel Franco and Jorge Soler homered, and the Kansas City Royals stopped a six-game slide by pounding the Chicago Cubs 13-2 on Thursday night.
Friday, August 7, 2020

Toews' 2nd goal breaks late tie, Blackhawks beat Oilers
Matthew Highmore tied the score with 5:47 left in the third period, and Jonathan Toews got his second of the game 4 1/2 minutes later to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of their qualifying round series Wednesday night.

"We stuck with it and I think it was a great team effort," Toews said.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Houser strong, Brewers end Sox 6-game streak
Dallas Keuchel saw the potential in Adrian Houser when the two were coming up with the Houston Astros. Outings like this were just what he envisioned.

Houser dominated over seven innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the White Sox 1-0 Wednesday night to snap Chicago's six-game win streak.

"What a long way he's come," said Keuchel, who was drafted by Houston in 2009 — two years before Houser. "I was very, very happy to see the transition the last two years. But obviously, I wasn't very happy to see it tonight. He had all the talent in the world when he was drafted."

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Darvish pitches Cubs past Royals 6-1 for 6th straight win
Yu Darvish pitched seven sharp innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 6-1 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

Javier Báez drove in two runs for the Cubs (10-2), who handed Kansas City its sixth consecutive defeat. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo each had two hits and scored twice.

Darvish (2-1) was in midseason form for the second straight outing. He gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Spieth quietly chasing grand slam
The spotlight on Jordan Spieth should be bright enough to cut through the marine layer blanketing Harding Park this week at the PGA Championship.

Win this major and he joins the most exclusive club in golf with the final leg of the career Grand Slam. Only five other players — Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen — have won all four majors since the Masters began in 1934.

This is his fourth chance, and the longest anyone went from winning the third leg to completing the Grand Slam was three years by Player and Nicklaus.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

NBA: The race for No. 8 out West is quite wild
Devin Booker does not like the notion that the Phoenix Suns, whose playoff chances were beyond slim when the season was suspended, should simply be happy to be in the NBA's bubble.

He sees it quite differently.

"People can say we have a nothing-to-lose mentality," Booker said. "We don't look at it like that."

Hard to argue. The Suns, like a lot of other teams out West, have much to play for right now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Big 12 to allow teams to play 1 nonconference football game
Big 12 schools agreed Monday night to play one nonconference football game this year to go along with their nine league contests as plans for the pandemic-altered 2020 season continued to fall into place.

The Big 12's university presidents signed off on a 10-game schedule, adjusted to deal with potential disruptions from COVID-19 that lets schools play one nonconference opponent at home. A specific start date for conference play was not determined. The conference said in a news release it will likely begin mid-to-late September and the expectation is nonconference games will be completed before league play starts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Kimbrel shaky again, Cubs hold off Royals for 5th straight
Jason Heyward, Jason Kipnis and Willson Contreras homered and the Chicago Cubs overcame another shaky outing by closer Craig Kimbrel to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Kimbrel took over to begin the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead, but struggled again and allowed two runs and two hits while getting only one out. He's yielded six runs in 1 2/3 innings in three appearances this season.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

McDavid's hat trick leads Oilers past Blackhawks 6-3
Connor McDavid recorded his first playoff hat trick to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, tying their best-of-five qualifying series at one game apiece.

McDavid scored 19 seconds into the game, then off an electrifying solo rush just past the four-minute mark, and once more on the power play late in the second period on Monday night.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Bryant homers, Mills shines as surging Cubs beat Royals 2-0
Kris Bryant homered in his return to the lineup and Alec Mills pitched seven effective innings, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Monday night for their fourth consecutive win.

Javier Báez had a sacrifice fly and a nice play in the field as NL Central-leading Chicago improved to 8-2 for the first time since 2016. Bryant also doubled in the first after missing two games with a stomach ailment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

St Louis series at Detroit off after more positives
Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, causing Major League Baseball to postpone the team's four-game series at Detroit.

The series was to have been played at Comerica Park from Tuesday through Thursday.

"You think about how quickly something like this can spread," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "Until it touches you, you sometimes might not believe it, but needless to say we know this is very real and we know it moves quickly and it moves silently, but it can infect a lot of people fast."

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Thomas holds off Koepka to win WGC
Justin Thomas wants to make his second stint as No. 1 in the world last longer than the first time around.

"I hope so," Thomas said Sunday after winning the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take the No. 1 spot for the first time since June 2018. "I feel like I'm a better player, and I feel like I'm more complete of a golfer now than I was then."

Monday, August 3, 2020

Illinois star Dosunmu to return for junior year
Illinois basketball star Ayo Dosunmu plans to return for his junior season rather than turn pro.

The first-team, all-Big Ten guard said in a video posted Friday on Twitter playing in the NBA is his dream. "But first, I need that national championship. Year three," he added.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Pac-12 players unite in show of empowerment
As college football leaders work to rescue a football season worth billions in revenue from the threat of COVID-19, the players have become emboldened.

They are calling out coaches and lawmakers, rallying for social cause s and asking for answers about how they are expected to safely play through a pandemic.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Báez lifts Cubs over Pirates in 11th
Javier Báez singled through a drawn-in infield in the 11th inning, scoring David Bote from third base and giving the Chicago Cubs a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Bote, who made the last out in the 10th, started the inning on second base as mandated by Major League Baseball's extra-inning rule for the pandemic-shortened season. He advanced to third on a deep fly to right by Anthony Rizzo and jogged home on Baez's first career game-ending hit against Cody Ponce (0-1).

Monday, August 3, 2020

Big Ten Freshman of Year Cockburn returning to Illinois
Big Ten Freshman of the Year Kofi Cockburn is returning to Illinois for his sophomore season.

The 7-foot, 290-pound Cockburn posted  "IM BACK ??" with a graphic on Twitter on Saturday. The announcement means the Illini will have their top two players return from a team that was in line to make the NCAA Tournament last season, after all-conference guard Ayo Dosunmu said Friday he plans to return for his junior year rather than turn pro.

Monday, August 3, 2020

6 teams idle: Manfred, union talk as MLB deals with virus
With six teams idled Friday by the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport's coronavirus protocols.

Manfred and Clark talked about what needs to be done to finish the season, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Bears QB Trubisky out to prove doubters wrong, beat Foles
Mitchell Trubisky insists he is one motivated quarterback.

He comes into a make-or-break season locked in a competition with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles for the Bears' job, knowing his future as a starter in Chicago and maybe anywhere else is on the line.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

SEC goes to conference-only schedule, set for Sept. 26 start
The powerhouse Southeastern Conference reconfigured its schedule Thursday to include only league games in 2020, a pandemic-forced decision that pushes major college football closer to a siloed regular season in which none of the power conferences cross paths.

The SEC's university presidents agreed on a 10-game schedule that eliminates all nonconference opponents and begins Sept. 26. The SEC championship game, originally scheduled for Dec. 5, will be pushed back to Dec. 19, 13 days before the College Football Playoff semifinals are scheduled to be played on New Year's Day.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Bears' QB battle between Trubisky, Foles about to heat up
The Chicago Bears declared the quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles an open one during the offseason.

It's about to click into gear, though it won't play out quite the way they envisioned. With no preseason games, more emphasis will be placed on the reads they make in practice.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Former Illinois, New Mexico St coach Lou Henson dies at 88
Lou Henson, the plain-spoken coach who took New Mexico State and Illinois to the Final Four during a 21-year career that included nearly 800 victories and a feud with fellow Big Ten coach Bob Knight, has died. He was 88.

Henson died Saturday at his home in Champaign and he was buried in a private service Wednesday, the Illinois athletic department said.

Henson left the game as the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State, and still ranks fifth all-time among Big Ten coaches in total wins (423) and conference wins (214). In 2015, he was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, an honor his fans thought might never come.

Thursday, July 30, 2020











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