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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP: Top Sports Top Sports Headlines from the AP


Nolasco ends winless drought, Angels end Dodgers' win streak

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:38:14 UT

[...] Nolasco pitched into the seventh inning to pick up his first win in almost two months, Yunel Escobar drove in two runs and the Los Angeles Angels snapped the Dodgers' 10-game winning streak, 4-0 on Monday night. Danny Espinosa had a sacrifice fly and Martin Maldonado added a solo homer to help the Angels win for the fourth time in five games. Dodgers starter Rich Hill (4-4) gave up three runs and four hits in a season-high seven innings, striking out seven and walking two. The Angels took the lead on Escobar's two-out, two-run single in the third. With one out, Cameron Maybin and Kole Calhoun had a double steal to advance to second and third, and scored on Escobar's hit to right field. Nolasco retired seven in a row until Yasiel Puig beat out an infield hit for a single in the seventh inning. Hernandez then hit the liner back at the mound and the ball ricocheted off Nolasco and past first base into the foul territory in right field. LHP Scott Kazmir (left hip) threw three innings in a rehab assignment at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday and gave up four hits one run, a home run to the first batter he faced.

LEADING OFF: Nationals take a look at K-Rod, Yankees ailing

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:17:30 UT

K-Rod is fourth on the career saves list with 437, but was released by Detroit last week after posting a 7.82 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. The Yankees will see how second baseman Starlin Castro and designated hitter Matt Holliday feel after a tough start to the week. Holliday didn't start for the second straight game because he's feeling fatigued, and doctors are checking him. Twins lefty Hector Santiago (4-6, 5.26 ERA) will come off the disabled list to start vs. Newcomb was the top prospect Atlanta received from the Angels while trading shortstop Andrelton Simmons in 2015.

Franklin not trying to be a better Missy, but a happy Missy

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:16:15 UT

Missy Franklin is so upbeat, so full of energy, so dang positive all the time, it's hard to imagine her ever going to a dark place. "Being totally honest with you, it's something that terrifies me," Franklin said, her perpetually positive tone suddenly filled with doubt and insecurity. At 17, she was the darling of the Olympics, a bubbly teenager who swam in seven events at London and captured four golds and a bronze. Four years later, she barely qualified for the U.S. team, ceded a starring role to Katie Ledecky , and didn't come close to winning an individual medal in Rio de Janeiro, her only prize a rather fluky gold for swimming on a relay team in a morning preliminary. Only thing is, she may never know why she was such a huge flop on her sport's biggest stage. For some reason, she goes on to say, as if still probing for answers, it wasn't going over to my racing strategy, wasn't going over to my races. Undergoing a pair of shoulder surgeries just weeks apart early in the year forced her to step away from the pool. Franklin is missing the two biggest meets of the year — the U.S. championships in Indianapolis, which begin on Tuesday, and next month's world championships in Budapest, Hungary. Franklin can't bear the thought of the last impression that she leaves for everyone being that miserable performance in Rio. The closest I ever got to thinking about quitting, she said, was me recognizing that I needed to take a chunk of time away. Following a carefully planned and what seemed a totally logical schedule after London, she swam collegiately at California-Berkeley for two years before turning professional a year out from the Rio Games. The other night, after leading a campus meeting of Athletes in Action, a Christian-based group that allows her to mix her sporting passion with her deeply held faith, one of her best friends asked if she wanted to come back to her apartment to watch the movie "Moana."

Column: Tebow or the fight might not be great, but so what?

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:01:24 UT

The odds keep dropping on Conor McGregor, though it's more because UFC fans love him than his actual chances of winning a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. [...] his fans keep lining up at the betting window with $20 bills to back their belief that someone who has never boxed before can beat the greatest defensive boxer of his time. There's also a good chance they'll be spending another $100 or so to watch the fight on TV, which, of course, is why the fight was made in the first place. The St. Lucie Mets have a new outfielder who has more than a bit of name recognition in the state. Tebow is not going to be a major leaguer, no matter what those flocking to the minor league ballpark believe. Batters have their own walk-up music, mascots roam the stands, and every football game offers some kind of halftime attraction to keep ticket buyers interested. Parents bring the kids to see him, and when they do, the talk is about Tebow as a football player and a devout Christian, not about his prospects of making it to the major leagues.

Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take 2 awards

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:17:55 UT

Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take 2 awards Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Thunder went 33-9 when he had a triple-double, riding Westbrook's record run into the playoffs in their first season after losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. The NBA formerly gave out its individual awards at various points throughout the postseason before switching to the awards show this season and presenting them all at once in front of the league's top players and stars from the entertainment world. Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The 11-time champion as a player and the league's first black coach first pointed at them and joked that he would have kicked their butts, then told them: "You have no idea how much respect I have for you guys."

Minors Setback: Kyle Schwarber not surprised about demotion

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:10:09 UT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Slumping slugger Kyle Schwarber said Monday that he's not surprised the Chicago Cubs demoted him, saying "the numbers spoke for themselves." Schwarber's October return following a knee injury helped fuel Chicago's first World Series title in 108 years, but he was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday after hitting .171 in 64 games this season. Schwarber went on to hit 16 home runs in 69 games for the Cubs that year, helping them advance to the National League Championship Series. Schwarber then had his 2016 season derailed by a major knee injury in the first week of the season, but he returned to get seven hits in the World Series. Though Schwarber had 12 homers and 28 RBIs for the Cubs, his batting average is the lowest in baseball among qualified hitters by 20 points.

Cubs hold on after Nationals rally for 4 in 9th, win 5-4

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:39:22 UT

In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the Nationals' comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis became the Cubs' eighth pitcher of the game. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory. Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead. Gio Gonzalez (7-2) allowed a run and two hits, striking out eight over six innings in his sixth start. Rizzo began the day in a 2-for-20 rut, so Maddon moved the big first baseman out of the leadoff spot and put another unlikely hitter there. The Cubs scored three more in the ninth, capped by Javier Baez's two-run double. Baez made two exceptional plays at short, diving to snatch Harper's liner in the third, then racing a long way into foul ground to make a sliding catch on Adam Lind's popup in the eighth. Cubs: SS Addison Russell struck out as a pinch hitter, a day after making an early exit before of a sore shoulder.

Down 7 and missing Francona, Indians rally to top Texas 15-9

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:35:02 UT

The Indians came back after trailing 9-2 in the fourth inning to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2015. Francona presented Rangers first baseman and former Indian Mike Napoli with his American League Championship ring before the game. Mills came out to fetch starter Carlos Carrasco in the fourth inning, the first sign the players had that Francona wasn't there. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo each homered off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco to help build Texas' lead, but then the Indians offense finally woke up. Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Andrus added a solo homer off Dan Otero in the fourth after his three-run shot in the second. Beltre had a three-run homer during a four-run first, and Gallo added a solo shot for his 20th of the season. The left-hander had been on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (broken right thumb) is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 3, but Banister said his return will be delayed.

Singer's 12 Ks help Gators beat LSU 4-3 in CWS finals opener

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:05:10 UT

(AP) — Florida got a dominant performance from Brady Singer, a big defensive play when LSU was threatening and just enough offense. [...] with LSU all-time wins leader Jared Poche' starting on Tuesday and first-round draft pick Alex Lange available if there's a Game 3, the Tigers believe this best-of-three series matching Southeastern Conference rivals is just getting started. Singer struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings before turning the game over to closer Michael Byrne, who picked up his nation-leading 19th save for the Gators (51-19). The Gators improved to 19-7 in one-run games. With fans clad in purple and gold chanting "L-S-U, L-S-U," Josh Smith sent Byrne's pitch into the right-center gap to drive in Deichmann. The fifth-year senior, wearing a close-cropped Mohawk under his cap and throwing an 85 mph fastball, gave the Tigers three shutout innings in his first start since March 2015. LSU's Deichmann lost the grip of his bat when he swung at a pitch in the sixth inning, and it flew all the way to the camera well beyond the first-base dugout. Florida shortstop Dalton Guthrie, who had to leave Saturday's game against TCU with back spasms, made one of the great defensive plays of the CWS when he sprinted and dived to catch Kramer Robertson's foul ball in the third inning.

The Latest: Westbrook caps historic season with MVP award

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:25:07 UT

Russell Westbrook has won the NBA's MVP award after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season. The Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets have become double winners at the NBA Awards show. Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo were on stage Monday night at the NBA Awards show to present the honor to Russell, who won 11 championships as a player with the Boston Celtics and went on to become the NBA's first black coach. The NBA Finals MVP award is named for Russell, who was one of the most dominant defensive players in NBA history. Gordon beat out Rockets teammate Lou Williams and former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala for the award given to the league's top player off the bench. Gordon set an NBA single-season record for most 3-pointers off the bench, helping the high-scoring Rockets make more shots behind the arc than any team in history. The Rockets had a chance for a big night on Monday at the first NBA Awards show, with James Harden a finalist for MVP and Mike D'Antoni a finalist for Coach of the Year. Brogdon was a second-round pick out of Virginia who led all rookies with 4.2 assists and 1.12 steals per game in helping the Bucks reach the playoffs. Embiid had the strongest stats, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks, but was limited to just 31 games because of injuries. Both players received all 100 first-team votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.