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2018 NBA Draft: Big men dominate opening picks of NBA draft, with Ayton, Bagley, Jackson, Bamba, Carter

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   NEW YORK — The demise of the big man in the NBA has been greatly exaggerated.

Five of the first seven selections were players 6-10 or taller, magnifying the need to have a versatile big man who can defend multiple positions and score inside and out.

With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Phoenix selected 7-1 center Deandre Ayton, who spent one season at Arizona, and Sacramento took 6-11 power forward Marvin Bagley III at No. 2.

Atlanta drafted Slovenian guard Luka Doncic, the 19-year-old Euroleague MVP, but the Hawks traded Doncic to Dallas, which took Oklahoma guard Trae Young with the No. 5 pick and sent him to the Hawks.

As the draft drew closer, several teams tried to move into the top three so they could draft Doncic. Dallas also offered a future first-rounder to Atlanta, and Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk pulled the trigger to get Young, who will be a vital part of the Hawks’ rebuild. Don’t be surprised if the Hawks try to trade guard Dennis Schroder.

The Suns taking Ayton No. 1 was not a surprise. It had been penciled in for weeks that Phoenix would go in that direction, and Ayton has envisioned running plays with Phoenix guard Devin Booker.

“The two-man game is really lethal in the NBA today and the spacing of the floor,” Ayton said. “In transition, having that pick-and-roll early in the game is crazy. I can pick-and-pop and Devin is a threat coming off the pick, so that’d be pretty hard to guard.”

Ayton is the first player from the Bahamas to be selected first since Mychal Thompson in 1978, and the NBA continues its strong international presence in the top 10. At least one international player has been drafted in the top 10 since 2013.

Ayton becomes the first player from Latin America/Caribbean to be selected first overall since Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997.

“It’s just a huge opportunity to show the world that we’re coming – Bahamian people are coming,” Ayton said. “We’re not just only a country of track and field athletes. We can also play basketball.”


SportsPulse: Go behind the scenes with the best sound from the top players chosen in the 2018 NBA draft. USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State 6-11 forward Jaren Jackson Jr., the son of former NBA player Jaren Jackson, went No. 4 to Memphis.

“At times, I’ve heard that I’m right on time for the way the game is going,” Jackson said. “A lot of bigs can handle the ball and be versatile, and they’re able to make plays.”

At No. 6, Orlando drafted 7-1 Texas center Mo Bamba, and with the seventh pick, Chicago selected 6-10 Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr., who will be paired with Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, one of the top rookies in the league in 2017-18.

“I feel as if I’m going to have the most impact from day one with any organization that I’m with,” Bamba said. “There’s going to be expectations that each team has and I think I’ll be able to respond to those in the right manner.

“My shot-blocking ability, it’s really second to none. I truly feel as if you can plug me into the league right now, I would be one of the best shot-blockers.”

The big men selected early in the draft are not all the same. Some are more advanced offensively, some more proficient defensively. But teams see players who will end up contributing on both ends of the floor in a variety of ways.

Looking for perimeter help at the point guard spot, Cleveland took 6-2 Alabama guard Collin Sexton. But there’s no guarantee Sexton remains with the Cavaliers. It all depends on what LeBron James does in free agency.


No more mock drafts, the real NBA draft is here.

This year feels more fluid and potentially more chaotic than in years past. Not only is the draft loaded with talent in the top 10, but it’s possible there’s significant trade movement among the top teams. There’s been plenty of chatter of teams trying to move up for a chance to draft a star, while others may prefer to drop to a slot more aligned with their draft target. There’s also the possibility that established stars could be on the move as the NBA nears its silly season.

Where will intriguing prospects like Slovenian guard Luka Doncic and potential two-way star Jaren Jackson Jr. fall? Who will nab Trae Young, arguably the most polarizing player headed into the league? How far might Michael Porter Jr. slip due to questions surrounding his back surgery?

1. Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton, Arizona

Imposing, athletic and able to knock down shots away from the basket, Ayton was always the right pick. His defense will develop, but no other prospect has his same dominant tools. With Ayton, Devin Booker and last year’s lottery selection Josh Jackson, the Suns are building a promising foundation. (A)

2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III, Duke

Despite rumors that the Kings were linked to Michael Porter Jr, Marvin Bagley III is the safer pick and potentially the more productive one. Bagley can play inside, hit consistently from the three-point line and create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. The Kings get some sorely needed offensive identity with this selection. (A)

3. Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, Slovenia

The Real Madrid sensation is on his way to the Dallas Mavericks thanks to a draft-night deal, according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick. The deal swaps the No. 3 and No. 5 picks, so Luka Doncic for Oklahoma star Trae Young, with the Mavericks sending a future first-round pick to the Hawks. (A-)

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State

Jackson was known more for his defensive instincts and versatility at Michigan State, but he showed enough on offense to imagine him being a potential stretch-five. Once he fills into his body, Jackson could be a dominant player on both ends. (A)

5. Dallas Mavericks – Trae Young, Oklahoma

Young, who is on his way to Atlanta thanks to a draft-night deal with Dallas, is one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft. Few question his offensive instincts, which have been compared to Steph Curry, but it’s fair to wonder about his defense and how well his frame will hold up at the next level. It’s less of a risk for the Hawks, who also get another first-round pick from Dallas next year. (B+)

6. Orlando Magic – Mo Bamba, Texas

Bamba, whose legendary wingspan of 7-10 will automatically be the longest in the NBA, is an immediate difference-maker on defense. If he can develop on offense — and he’s trying to develop his jumper — teams could regret passing on Bamba given his massive potential. (B+)

7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter Jr., Duke

As polished as any freshman in the draft, Carter Jr. has excellent footwork, is poised with his back to the basket and can stretch the floor from outside. He figures to be a productive pro for a long time with little risk. (A-)

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Collin Sexton, Alabama

Whether LeBron James is part of their future or not, the Cavs desperately needed to upgrade their backcourt after cycling through numerous guards this season. Sexton is an aggressive, downhill scorer who can create offense on his own. He’s also an underrated defender. (B)

9. New York Knicks – Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Long and versatile, Knox is the epitome of a position-less player. He’s also young and several years away, the same timetable as the Knicks. New York’s pick has to be considered alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Knox should help fortify a mobile frontcourt for years. Give the Knicks credit for taking the long view. (B+)

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Mikal Bridges, Villanova

The prototypical three-and-D player, Bridges, who was traded to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith and a future first-round pick, according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick, could fit seamlessly into the Suns’ offense. Bridges won’t create many shots on his own, but he plays well off the ball and matured each year he was at Villanova. (B)

11. Charlotte Hornets – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky

Gilgeous-Alexander is on his way to Los Angeles as part of a deal with the Clippers, according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick. On top of swapping 11 for 12, the Clippers are also sending two future second-rounders to Charlotte. Gilgeous-Alexander’s size and length make him an intriguing, versatile guard whose confidence grew throughout the season at Kentucky. Once his jump shot becomes more reliable, he could be an even more potent offensive weapon. (B-)

12. Los Angeles Clippers – Miles Bridges, Michigan State

The biggest question with Bridges, who’ll head to Charlotte as part of a draft-night deal, is his fit at the next level. He has NBA athleticism and could be a valuable piece if he can prove his versatility on the defensive end. With his strength, it’s possible to see him as a small-ball power forward next year. He’ll need to prove his three-point shooting can translate to the NBA. (B-)

13. Los Angeles Clippers – Jerome Robinson, Boston College

Robinson flew under the radar, but scouts love his versatility on offense. He’s an explosive athlete who can score from all three levels. Not many viewed Robinson as a lottery talent at the beginning of the draft process, but the Clippers’ two picks afforded them a chance to take a chance. (B)

14. Denver Nuggets – Michael Porter Jr., Missouri

Porter Jr. is headed to Denver after a difficult draft night. Once pegged as a potential No. 1 pick, Porter Jr. slipped to the last pick in the lottery as teams were likely scared of the combo-forward coming off back surgery. When healthy, Porter Jr. can bully his way to the rim or hit from outside. There’s potentially significant value in this pick. (B+)

15. Washington Wizards – Troy Brown Jr., Oregon

Brown Jr. is a Swiss army knife of talent. While not necessarily a reliable scorer, the switchable wing checks many other boxes, including rebounding, physicality and athleticism. (C+)

16. Phoenix Suns – Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech

Smith, who is headed to Philadelphia via a draft-night deal according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick, is an explosive, athletic wing who’s extremely versatile on defense. The 76ers can easily plug him in and assume he’ll compete defensively from the start. (B-)

17. Milwaukee Bucks – Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova

The Bucks love long, athletic players relative to their position, and DiVincenzo fits that bill. He has a smooth three-point stroke, plays with a relentless motor and Milwaukee proved it wasn’t scared to take a guy higher than he was projected. (C+)

18. San Antonio Spurs – Lonnie Walker, Miami

A rugged, physical defender, Walker slipped a bit further than some projected, which is likely where the Spurs spotted value. An excellent athlete coupled with a slasher’s mindset, he could turn into an even more valuable chess piece in the Spurs’ system. (B+)

19. Atlanta Hawks – Kevin Huerter, Maryland

Huerter’s draft stock soared following his strong showing at the combine. He’s got a sweet 3-point stroke, good footwork, moves well without the ball and should help space the floor alongside Trae Young. (B+)

20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech

Okogie’s a psychical, versatile defender who’ll take time to develop his offensive game with the T-Wolves. With that said, who better to learn from than Jimmy Butler? (C+)

21. Utah Jazz – Grayson Allen, Duke

One of the best shooters in the entire draft, the Jazz are trying to fill out their roster with gunners alongside last year’s draft-night steal Donovan Mitchell. He also helped his case by testing well at the draft combine. (C)

22. Chicago Bulls – Chandler Hutchison, Boise State

The Bulls had been linked to Hutchison throughout the entire draft process with a rumored promise to take him at this spot. He’s a long, rim-running wing, who’s exceptional in transition and fits with the Bulls’ plan to run. (B-)

23. Indiana Pacers – Aaron Holiday, UCLA

This pick marks the third of the Holiday brothers in the NBA. The Pacers are getting a heady, crafty guard with good vision and a tenacious defender. (C)

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Anfernee Simons, IMG

Simons has potential as a two guard, but he’s also several years away from consistently contributing at the NBA level. He needs to mature physically in order to compete on the defensive end after spending a year at IMG Academy instead of college. (C)

25. Los Angeles Lakers – Mo Wagner, Michigan

A prototypical stretch-four, Wagner plays with a good motor who can hit from outside. Fiery at times, he won’t mind the spotlight in Los Angeles. (C)

26. Philadelphia 76ers – Landry Shamet, Wichita State

Shamet has a quick trigger from three, a good motor and is a capable one-on-one scorer. He’s also got good size for his position and will provide the 76ers with a scoring boost off the bench. (C-)

27. Boston Celtics – Robert Williams, Texas A&M

Williams is a tantalizing prospect with his size and athleticism, but the reason he nearly fell out of the first round is because there are questions about his work ethic. If he brings the same effort each night, he could be a nightmare on pick-and-roll lobs from Kyrie Irving. A lottery-level talent, he’s worth a shot at this point. (B)

28. Golden State Warriors – Jacob Evans, Cincinnati 

A good wing who excels in transition, Evans can immediately supplement the Warriors’ defense with his physical profile. He also has a knack for blocking shots. (C+)

29. Brooklyn Nets – Dzanan Musa, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Musa is a lengthy scorer with good range, but he’ll need to add significant bulk to compete on the defensive end. (C-)

30. Atlanta Hawks – Omari Spellman, Villanova

Few power forwards can stretch the floor like Spellman, who was extremely productive as a freshman from range. He’ll offer matchup issues as a reserve for the Hawks.(C-)

Second round

31. Phoenix Suns – Elie Okobo, France

32. Memphis Grizzlies – Jevon Carter, West Virginia

33. Dallas Mavericks – Jalen Brunson, Villanova

34. Atlanta Hawks – Devonte’ Graham, Kansas

Graham is headed to Charlotte in exchange for two future second-round picks.

35. Orlando Magic – Melvin Frazier, Tulane 

36. New York Knicks – Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette High School

37. Sacramento Kings – Gary Trent Jr., Duke

Trent Jr. is headed to the Trail Blazers for two 2019 second-round picks and cash, according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick.

38. Philadelphia 76ers – Khyri Thomas, Creighton

Thomas traded to the Detroit Pistons.

39. Philadelphia 76ers – Isaac Bonga, Germany

40. Brooklyn Nets – Rodions Kurucs, Latvia

41. Orlando Magic – Jarred Vanderbilt, Kentucky 

Vanderbilt was traded to Denver for Justin Jackson and a future second-round pick.

42. Detroit Pistons – Bruce Brown Jr., Miami

43. Denver Nuggets – Justin Jackson, Maryland

44. Washington Wizards – Issuf Sanon, Ukraine

45. Brooklyn Nets – Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky

Diallo reportedly traded to the Charlotte Hornets.

46. Houston Rockets – De’Anthony Melton, Southern California

47. Los Angeles Lakers – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas

48. Minnesota Timberwolves – Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State

49. San Antonio Spurs – Chimezie Metu, USC

50. Indiana Pacers – Alize Johnson, Missouri State

51. New Orleans Pelicans – Tony Carr, Penn State

52. Utah Jazz – Vincent Edwards, Purdue

53. Oklahoma City Thunder – Devon Hall, Virginia

54. Dallas Mavericks – Shake Milton, SMU

Milton traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

55. Charlotte Hornets – Arnoldas Kulboka, Lithuania

56. Philadelphia 76ers – Ray Spalding, Louisville

Spalding traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

57. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kevin Hervey, UT-Arlington

58. Denver Nuggets – Thomas Welsh, UCLA

59. Phoenix Suns – George King, Colorado

60. Philadelphia 76ers – Kostas Antetokounmpo, Dayton

Antetokounmpo traded to the Dallas Mavericks.


Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

NASCAR: Back at Sonoma, Truex works to build momentum

(PhatzRadio Sports)    —    Martin Truex Jr.’s win at Pocono three weeks ago served notice that this year’s points race might be more than a two-man showdown between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.

Now NASCAR’s defending champion is back at Sonoma Raceway, where he’s had plenty of success.

Truex won at Sonoma in 2013 and led several laps of last year’s road race before engine trouble sidelined him with a disappointing finish. The 37-year-old is one who enjoys switching to road courses — as opposed to the usual steady diet of ovals — and hopes it can help him vault closer to Busch and Harvick in the points standings.

“Any time you enjoy a place and have some success, it seems like the success just comes more and more because you really enjoy it and focus in on it,” Truex said. “For me, I just like it here. It’s become a good track for me.”

Truex is currently sixth in the standings, just behind Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer. He’s already qualified for the playoffs because of his two victories, so now his team’s trying to figure out how to be more consistent.

The past two races have been a good microcosm of the up-and-down season. One week after winning at Pocono , Truex finished 18th at Michigan.

“We’d like to just get a little more consistent,” Truex said. “We’ve had a few bad races throughout the season. We’ve been really fast — we’ve got those two wins. But we haven’t had as many stage points. Last year we did a good job at winning stages and gathering a lot of points for the playoffs. That’s something we’ve lacked this year and something we’re focused on.”

Truex said he doesn’t expect Busch or Harvick to be any less successful at Sonoma because of the switch to a road course. The two have combined to win nine of 15 races so far this season.

“If you look at it those guys are really good on road courses as well,” Truex said. “They’ve got good numbers here.”

Truex said he feels his team isn’t far off from where it was last season, when he won eight races and captured his first championship. He praised both Busch and Harvick for great seasons and said his team’s working to figure out how to match them.

“We’re off a tick from where we were and those guys are just a tick better,” Truex said.

Truex hopes being back at Sonoma — and remembering how good his car was last year before the engine trouble — can be a spark to push his team forward.

“We had a really good shot at winning last year and it really stung for us,” Truex said.


More AP racing: https://www.racing.ap.org .


Soccer Roundup – 2018 WORLD CUP: Messi, Argentina beaten 3-0 at World Cup, Croatia advances / WORLD SCORES

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NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Lionel Messi’s frustrating international career may be coming to an early and anti-climactic finish after Argentina’s worst loss in World Cup group play in 60 years.

With Diego Maradona watching from the stands, the 2014 runners-up were routed by Croatia 3-0 Thursday. The Croats are moving on to the round of 16.

Messi got off only one shot in a defeat that pushed Argentina to the brink of elimination. Messi, who turns 31 on Sunday, has never won a major title with Argentina’s senior national team despite of decade of championships with Barcelona and five player of the year awards.

“He is our captain, he leads the team and we quite simply couldn’t pass to him,” Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said. “We work to give Leo the ball, but the opponent also works hard to prevent him from getting the ball.”

Messi also missed a penalty kick in his team’s opening 1-1 draw against Iceland.

Argentina, hurt by the poor play of goalkeeper Willy Caballero on Thursday, had not lost by such a large margin in the first round since a 6-1 defeat to Czechoslovakia in 1958. Caballero gained the starting role because No. 1 keeper Sergio Romero injured his knee last month in the run-up to the tournament.

“We have to swallow the poison,” Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. “The game says it all.”

Argentina, which has not missed making the second round since 2002, has not been eliminated. But the two-time champions need to win their next match against Nigeria on Tuesday, as well as get help from other matches.

Thursday’s humiliating loss came in humiliating fashion for one of soccer’s most storied nations.

Caballero mangled a clearance and kicked the ball toward Croatia defender Ante Rebic, who one-timed it into the net in the 53rd minute.

Caballero buried his face in his hands while a giant television screen showed Maradona doing the same.

“After they scored on us, we were emotionally broken,” Sampaoli said. “I had a lot of hope. I am extremely hurt by this defeat, but I probably didn’t understand the match the way I should have.”

And it got worse as Argentina crumbled, frustrated by the Croatian defense. Modric scored with a hooking shot in the 80th and Ivan Rakitic added the third in stoppage time.

Croatia frustrated Argentina throughout the match and never gave Messi space to operate.

“Argentina wasn’t confused. We were excellent,” Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said. “We beat a great Argentina with the best player in the world playing, Messi.”

Croatia, which reached the 1998 World Cup semifinals but has not advanced past the group stage since then, will face Iceland on Tuesday in Rostov-on-Don.

“Let’s keep our feet firmly on the ground and prepare for the next matches,” said Modric, the man of the match. “We should be focused on what awaits. Every next game is going to be more difficult, but our main objective has been reached. It looks easy, but it was not that easy.”

Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986 — the last with Maradona as the star player — but has not won any major title in 25 years. The Argentines also lost in the last two Copa America finals.


Croatia has advanced with six points from two matches in Group D, while Argentina has only one point and is facing elimination.

Iceland also has one point, and Nigeria has zero. Nigeria and Iceland play on Friday.


Croatia stymied Messi for 90 minutes, not allowing even one shot.

The Croats played with five midfielders and seemed to close down any possible space.

Before the match, Dalic said this was going to be Croatia’s “easiest game.” He clarified that by saying it would not be an “easy opponent” but it would be a “pressure-free match.”


Sampaoli didn’t want to choose when asked if Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player in the world.

“I think Cristiano is a great player. You can look at all he has achieved as a player for his club and his country,” Sampaoli said. “Right now we shouldn’t compare these two players … Leo is limited because the team doesn’t gel ideally as it should. As coaches we need to realize these things and I am the one who needs to accept that.”


MOSCOW (AP) — Who’s in, who’s out and possible scenarios at the World Cup:


Russia and Uruguay have clinched berths in the round of 16, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been eliminated.


Morocco has been eliminated, leaving Portugal and Spain (four points each) and Iran (three) to compete for two spots. Spain plays Morocco on Monday, when Portugal meets Iran.


France clinched advancement with a 1-0 win over Peru on Thursday and leads with six points. Denmark is second with four after a 1-1 draw against Australia, which has one point. Peru has been eliminated. Denmark plays France on Tuesday, when Australia takes on Peru.


Croatia clinched a trip to the second round with a 3-0 shocker over Argentina on Thursday and tops the group with six points. Argentina has one point after two matches and is in big trouble, especially if Iceland (one point) beats Nigeria (no points) on Friday. Argentina plays Nigeria on Tuesday, when Croatia plays Iceland. If Iceland defeats Nigeria, and an Iceland-Croatia draw on the group’s final day would advance Iceland and knock out Argentina.



Brazil returns to 2018 World Cup play after a disappointing draw to Switzerland on Sunday. But, will its star player — Neymar — be on the field when the team takes on Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg?

Neymar has been in pain since taking a beating in the Switzerland game, and then limped off the practice field with pain in his right ankle on Tuesday.

Everybody’s favorite underdog, Iceland, was presented with a golden opportunity to make it through the group stage after Argentina was defeated by Croatia. Iceland — which drew with Argentina in its first-ever World Cup game — takes on Nigeria on Friday. A win would put Iceland into strong contention to move on.

Looking to contend with Brazil in Group E are Serbia and Switzerland, who square off Friday in the day’s final game.


June 21
June 21
Oestersunds FK
GIF Sundsvall
Motala AIF FK
Husqvarna FF
June 21
PS Kemi
June 21
FK Liepaja
FK Jelgava
Riga FC
June 21
Brasil de Pelotas
June 21
Colo Colo
Atletico Nublense
June 20
Los Angeles FC
Sacramento Republic FC

NASCAR will not use All-Star plate package in another Cup race this season

(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —   NASCAR will not use the aerodynamic/restrictor-plate package it has been experimenting with in another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season, the sanctioning body announced Thursday.

The new setup was first used in an Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year. It debuted in Cup racing last month in the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the resulting tighter competition sparked interest in using the package again in a Cup point race sometime this season.

But NASCAR said Thursday it will continue research and development work on the package this year with a goal of designing new rules for 2019.

“What we want to do is to continue to deliver on that great racing product, and to do that we need to spend the proper time talking to the engine builders, (car manufacturers) and race teams to see what, if anything, we could do this year,” said NASCAR official Steve O’Donnell. “We all collectively felt like the best thing to do was to put additional effort into some potential tweaks and focus on 2019 versus a race or two this season.

“Everyone is aligned on doing what is best for the fans.”

The All-Star package received good reviews from many fans, but most drivers weren’t pleased with it.



Soccer Roundup – 2018 WORLD CUP: Sweden with chance to take out another big name: Germany / WORLD SCORES

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Sweden already took out the Netherlands and Italy just to reach the World Cup.

At this point, why not knock out another high-profile team — and the pre-tournament favorite at that?

That opportunity awaits Sweden on Saturday night when its faces defending champion Germany. A win over Germany would likely propel the Swedes to the knockout round. It could potentially also end Germany’s hopes of successfully defending the title.

Germany has been regrouping after its surprising 1-0 loss to Mexico in its first game — the first loss in an opening match for a German team since 1982, but one that could have been far worse. The Germans have been forced to downplay reports of factions building within the squad, rather than having all attention on the Swedes. Germany may need wins in each of its final two group games to advance.

Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 to open the tournament.


KAZAN, Russia (AP) — Patience is a virtue, and Spain showed plenty of it to overcome a tough challenge from Iran at the World Cup.

During a frustrating evening at the Kazan Arena when the 2010 champions struggled to break through the stubborn Iranian defense, Diego Costa scored on a deflection for a 1-0 win on Wednesday.

Costa scored in the 54th minute after being set up by Andres Iniesta. The powerful striker turned in the area and took a shot that deflected off Ramin Rezeian before bouncing back onto Costa’s knee and into the net.

It was far from a beautiful win, but the goal was enough to make Spain coach Fernando Hierro smile.

“We have four points,” Hierro said. “We were happier after the match against Portugal, but we only had one point.”

Spain and Portugal lead Group B with four points each following their 3-3 draw and 1-0 victories. Iran has three points, but Morocco has been eliminated.

Costa, who scored twice against Portugal, has three goals at this year’s World Cup, trailing Cristiano Ronaldo by one. He also has nine goals in his last nine starts for Spain.

He only had one chance against Iran, and he converted it.

“It’s going be tight (with Ronaldo),” Hierro said. “I know Diego is really committed, he has scored three goals in three matches. He can do better, he works hard, he is fighting both at the back and at the front.”

Facing a very compact Iranian team that came out to defend, Spain pressed high and controlled much of the game but found it difficult to threaten against Iran’s 10-man defense.

Spurred on by their vociferous fans, Iran’s imposing players did well to handle Spain’s attacks. Iran was also dangerous on the break, using the speed of its attacking players to threaten the Spanish back four but without creating many real chances.

Spain was mostly dangerous from set-pieces, including in the 25th minute when a free kick from David Silva that took a deflection was stopped by Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand.

Spain continued to apply strong pressure in the second half and Beiranvand stopped a strike from Sergio Busquets in the 49th minute with a superb one-handed diving save. He then palmed the rebound away before Lucas Vazquez could get to the ball.

Hierro’s players were almost caught against the run of the play when Karim Ansarifard unleashed a powerful strike that ended up in the side-netting following a long thrown in.

Then, trailing in the second half, Iran nearly equalized when Saeid Ezatolahi had a goal ruled out on video review.

Iran continued to push hard and managed to challenge with some fast counterattacks. Spain was lucky not to concede toward the end as Mehdi Taremi connected with a cross from Ansarifard, but his header from close range went over the crossbar.


First place in the group could be decided by goal difference.

Spain will face Morocco in its final match on Monday in Kaliningrad, while Portugal plays Iran in Saransk on the same day.

But with three points, Iran has still a chance to qualify for the knockout stage. The Iranians will need to beat Portugal to advance.


It’s not just slick play within the Spain team.

With a superb display of collective grit, the Spanish showed they are as united as ever despite the turmoil created by the firing of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.

Spain is now unbeaten in 22 matches, with 15 of those wins. The team’s last loss was against Italy in the round of 16 at the 2016 European Championship.

Iran was dangerous from set pieces and its restless defensive display was impressive. The team also created a few excellent chances, including that missed header from Taremi in the 83rd minute.


Named the man of the match, Costa took umbrage when he was asked why he played aggressively.

Costa had a bust-up with Beiranvand toward the end of the first half after the Iran keeper went down in the box. It appeared that Beiranvand exaggerated his pain after Costa stood on his foot.

“What game were you watching,” Costa replied. “They were provoking us, and we were on the grass all the time. You can’t just say that because it’s your national team playing.”



Thursday, June 21: Denmark vs. Australia, 8 a.m. ET, FS1 and stream on  fuboTV (Try for free)
Thursday, June 21: France vs. Peru, 11 a.m. ET, Fox and stream on  fuboTV (Try for free)

Thursday, June 21: Argentina vs. Croatia, 2 p.m. ET, Fox and stream on  fuboTV (Try for free)    Friday, June 22: Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 8 a.m. ET, FS1 and stream on  fuboTV (Try for free)
Friday, June 22: Serbia vs. Switzerland, 2 p.m. ET, Fox and stream on  fuboTV (Try for free)

June 20
Saudi Arabia
June 20
Malmoe FF
FC Wacker Innsbruck
Ludogorets Razgrad
Sandvikens IF
June 20
June 20
FC Lahti
FC Inter
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June 20
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MLB Roundup: Rays snap Astros’ 12-game winning streak

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   HOUSTON – C.J. Cron homered early and Wilson Ramos hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 2-1 win on Tuesday night and snapping a 12-game winning streak by the Houston Astros.

Blake Snell (9-4) allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings, but had to pitch around a career-high seven walks for his fifth straight win. Sergio Romo pitched for the third straight game, taking over with one out in the ninth and allowing one hit for his third save a night after blowing the save in Houston’s 5-4 win.

The Astros went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position to come up one victory shy of setting the franchise record for longest winning streak in franchise history.

Hector Rondon (1-2) took the loss by allowing two hits and one run in one inning.

Yankees 7, Mariners 2

NEW YORK – Domingo German pitched two-hit ball over a career-high seven innings and Giancarlo Stanton hit one of New York’s four home runs in the Yankees’ victory against the Mariners.

Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks each belted a two-run shot off Marco Gonzales (7-4) in the fifth. Hicks homered for the third straight day and finished with three hits from the leadoff spot as the Yankees boosted baseball’s best record to 48-22, moving a season-best 26 games above .500.

Coming off a four-hit game, Stanton sent a solo drive to straightaway center field in the first. Aaron Judge had an RBI single in the seventh, and rookie phenom Gleyber Torres added his 14th home run in the eighth.

The first two batters of the game reached against German (2-4) on a double and an error. The rookie right-hander then retired 19 in a row until Nelson Cruz homered in the seventh.

Dodgers 4, Cubs 3 (1st game)

Cubs 2, Dodgers 1, 10 innings (2nd game)

CHICAGO – Albert Almora Jr. hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning, and the Cubs beat the Dodgers 2-1 to salvage a split of their day-night doubleheader.

Kris Bryant sparked the winning rally with a leadoff triple against Brock Stewart (0-1). After Javier Baez was walked intentionally, Almora hit a liner into right field.

Rob Zastryzny (1-0), the fifth Cubs reliever, got Yasmani Grandal to fly out with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th to earn the win.

The rematch of the last two NL Championship Series was set to begin on Monday night, but the opener was postponed by a mixture of poor weather and a limited power outage at Wrigley Field. It’s the only scheduled visit for Los Angeles, leading to the day-night doubleheader.

Los Angeles began the long day at the iconic ballpark with a victory on pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer’s two-run double in the ninth.

Edward Paredes (2-0), the fifth of six Dodgers relievers, got one out in the eighth to earn the win in the opener. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

Justin Wilson (1-2) came one pitch away from earning his first save.

Nationals 9, Orioles 7

WASHINGTON – Trea Turner went 4 for 4 with a homer, Anthony Rendon drove in three runs and the Nationals extended their recent domination of the Orioles.

Adam Eaton had two hits and two RBIs for the Nationals, who trailed 5-1 in the fifth inning before rallying to make it six straight wins over Baltimore. Washington is 4-0 against its neighboring interleague rival this season, outscoring the Orioles by a combined 20-8.

The Nationals trailed 6-5 before getting six hits in a four-run seventh. Rendon delivered a two-run double off Tanner Scott (0-1) that put Washington ahead, and Turner capped his four-hit night with a double.

Justin Miller (5-0) pitched two innings of relief, newcomer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect eighth and Sean Doolittle gave up a solo home run to Joey Rickard while earning his 19th save.

Brewers 3, Pirates 2

PITTSBURGH – Rookie Freddy Peralta allowed two hits in six stellar innings, Jesus Aguilar hammered his 14th home run of the season and the Brewers cooled off the Pirates.

Peralta (2-0) struck out seven without issuing a walk, surrendering only singles to Corey Dickerson and Colin Moran in the fourth but otherwise keeping the Pirates firmly in check.

Aguilar finished 2 for 3 and drove in all three runs off Jameson Taillon (4-6). Aguilar hit a two-run shot to the seats in right-center in the first and doubled down the line in left field in the third. Corey Knebel worked around a two-out walk in the ninth for his seventh save for the first-place Brewers.

Braves 11, Blue Jays 4

TORONTO – Johan Camargo hit his first career grand slam and went 4 for 5 with five RBIs, and the Braves beat the Blue Jays to snap Toronto’s home winning streak at seven games.

Camargo hit his seventh home run off Jaime Garcia (2-6) in the second, singled in the fourth, hit an RBI single in the fifth and doubled and scored in the eighth. He struck out in the ninth.

Charlie Culberson also connected and Ender Inciarte had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves won for the sixth time in seven games. Reliever Sam Freeman (2-3) worked 2 1/3 innings for the victory.

Reds 9, Tigers 5

CINCINNATI – Joey Votto ended a long homer drought with his third career grand slam Tuesday night, powering the Reds to a victory that ended the Tigers’ longest winning streak in two years.

Sal Romano (4-7) had a second straight solid outing, limiting the Tigers to four singles over seven shutout innings. Billy Hamilton also homered as the Reds pulled away to a 9-0 lead.

The Tigers had won five straight and moved within a game of .500. They haven’t been to the break-even mark since they were a season-best 4-4 on April 8. They’ve wasted five chances to get back.

Trailing 9-0, Detroit finally broke through in the ninth when Wandy Peralta walked home a run and Leonys Martin followed with a double.

Matthew Boyd (4-5) took the loss.

Indians 6, White Sox 3

CLEVELAND – Mike Clevinger struck out 10 and allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings, and the Indians defeated the White Sox.

Clevinger (6-2) beat Chicago for the third time this season and was in command after giving up a first-inning run. The right-hander retired 13 straight between the second and sixth while allowing five hits.

Clevinger, who struck out a career-high 11 against the White Sox last week, was pulled after two walks in the eighth. He has held Chicago to three earned runs in 21 1/3 innings over three starts.

Francisco Lindor’s two-run single was the key hit in the second when Cleveland scored four times.

Carlos Rodon (0-2) allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Rangers 4, Royals 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cole Hamels allowed four hits over seven innings, Delino DeShields doubled home two runs and the Rangers beat the Royals to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.

The Royals have lost eight straight, matching their season high, and 14 of 15. They own a major league-worst 10-28 home record and their 22-51 overall mark is the worst in franchise history after 73 games.

Hamels (4-6) picked up his first win since May 22. The run off him in the fifth was unearned and he has yet to allow an earned run in 20 innings over three starts at Kauffman Stadium.

Keone Kela pitched a spotless ninth for his 17th save in as many chances.

Royals starter Jason Hammel (2-8) was removed after 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 6

PHILADELPHIA – Matt Carpenter hit a tiebreaking solo homer with two out in the ninth, helping the Cardinals edge the Phillies.

Carpenter also had a tying two-run double in St. Louis’ four-run seventh. Tommy Pham homered and singled for the Cardinals, and Kolten Wong also went deep.

Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana connected for the Phillies.

Seranthony Dominguez (1-1) struck out the first two batters in the ninth and had Carpenter in a 0-2 hole. But Carpenter lined the next pitch, a 98-mph fastball, over the wall in right to extend his homer streak to three games.

Twins 6, Red Sox 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Eduardo Escobar hit two go-ahead doubles, a two-run delivery off Chris Sale in the sixth inning and one that sparked a four-run eighth for the Twins in a victory over the Red Sox.

Robby Scott (0-1), just recalled from Triple-A, relieved Sale to start the eighth and walked the first two batters. Joe Kelly entered, and Escobar’s one-out line drive bounced in front of Jackie Bradley Jr. and skipped past the center fielder as two runs scored. The official scorer later changed his ruling from a single to a double, giving Escobar a majors-leading 32 for the season. Robbie Grossman broke the game open with a two-run triple.

Zach Duke (3-2) got the win despite giving up the tying run in the eighth.

Rockies 10, Mets 8

DENVER – Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Ian Desmond homered in succession during a six-run third inning, German Marquez pitched effectively for six innings and the Rockies snapped an eight-game home losing streak by beating the Mets.

Carlos Gonzalez also went deep for the Rockies, who won at home for the first time since May 29. Arenado finished a triple shy of the cycle with four RBIs in a game that was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes because of heavy rain.

Marquez (5-7) allowed four runs on six hits in picking up his first win in nearly a month.

Jason Vargas (2-6) allowed seven runs on nine hits in a season-low 2 1/3 innings and became the first Mets pitcher since Bartolo Colon in 2014 against the Los Angeles Angels to surrender homers to three batters in a row.

Athletics 4, Padres 2, 10 innings

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Stephen Piscotty homered with two outs in the ninth inning to tie the game and Jed Lowie hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th to lift the Athletics over the Padres.

Piscotty’s shot into the second deck came off closer Brad Hand. Hand was trying for his 22nd save and retired the first two batters before Piscotty homered on a 2-2 pitch, his fifth.

Adam Cimber (3-3) allowed Marcus Semien’s one-out single in the 10th and retired Chad Pinder on a fly to right before Lowrie connected for his 10th homer.

Rookie Lou Trivino (4-1) pitched two innings for the win. Blake Treinen pitched the 10th for his 16th save.

Angels 5, Diamondbacks 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Mike Trout drove in two runs, Kole Calhoun and Ian Kinsler added solo homers and the Angels held on to beat the Diamondbacks.

Trout continued his torrid hitting in June by slapping a sharp first-pitch single to left-center with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, and a throwing error by Jarrod Dyson allowing Kinsler to score as the Angels took a 4-2 lead.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the ninth, but Blake Parker got Jake Lamb to line out to left for the third out and end a three-game losing streak.

Cam Bedrosian (4-1) got the win as the struggling Angels bullpen stepped up, with Parker getting his eighth save despite giving up Goldschmidt’s 16th home run.

Matt Koch (5-4) allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings to end his streak of four straight starts without a loss.

Giants 6, Marlins 3

SAN FRANCISCO – Buster Posey homered in the first, Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-run drive in the second and an RBI double later, and the Giants held their lead this time to beat the Marlins 6-3 in another night of plunking by both pitching staffs.

Marlins starter Dan Straily (2-3) and manager Don Mattingly were automatically ejected in the second after Straily hit Posey on the left arm with a pitch. Both sides had been warned by plate umpire Andy Fletcher the previous inning after Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez beaned Lewis Brinson as tempers flared for a second straight game.

Rodriguez (2-1) struck out six over five innings.

Golf Roundup: US Open being remembered for the wrong reasons

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — If the aim of the U.S. Open is to identify the best player, then the last three got it right.

The problem is a tendency to remember what went wrong.

The lasting image from Shinnecock Hills was Phil Mickelson, now 0 for 27 in the U.S. Open, hitting his putt too hard on the 13th hole Saturday. He moved as swiftly as his 48-year-old legs would allow and swatted the ball back toward the hole while it was still rolling. It was a shocking scene to everyone but Mickelson, who said he meant no disrespect to the game by intentionally violating a rule to either save shots or save a long walk to wherever his ball might have stopped.

Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, delivered a classic U.S. Open performance with discipline, grit and clutch putting. He effectively won by getting up-and-down three times in a four-hole stretch, one of them for bogey, the last one a par on the 14th hole when he first had to get his ball back in play from thick, shin-high grass.

He became the first repeat U.S. Open champion in 29 years, and it’s a wonder anyone remembers he won last year.

Just the mention of Erin Hills brings back memories of wide fairways and record scoring.

There was Koepka posing with the trophy, the large leaderboard behind him filled with more red numbers than had ever been seen at a U.S. Open. He was the third player to win at double digits under par (16 under). The other two were Tiger Woods, who won by 15 shots at Pebble Beach, and Rory McIlroy, who won by eight at Congressional. Koepka won by four shots, one of seven players to finish at 10 under or better.

The ultimate test was finding enough red numbers to put on all the boards.

“Everyone said Erin Hills was set up for me,” Koepka said. “It was set up for a lot of guys that bomb that ball. I just happened to play a little bit better.”

No one was better on the back nine when he ran off three straight birdies, and the middle one was exquisite — a chip 8-iron from 155 yards to a back pin. Koepka called it the best shot he hit all week.

Remember that one?

Probably not, and that’s OK. It’s easy to lose track of birdies on a course that allowed a record 140 rounds under par.

Dustin Johnson spent more time talking to rules officials than to Lee Westwood, his playing partner, during the final round at Oakmont in 2016. There was a discussion on the fifth green on whether Johnson caused his ball to move a fraction of an inch. Equally vivid was the image of two officials telling Johnson on the 12th tee that he might be penalized one shot. Or he might not.

Overlooked is that tough par save from behind the 16th green, and Johnson hitting 6-iron to 5 feet on the 18th hole for a birdie to make the penalty a moot point.

The sign that a U.S. Open is not running smoothly is when Mike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA, is on TV as much as some of the players. The ideal week is when Davis is out of sight until the trophy presentation.

But he had some explaining to do, such as how the wind was stronger than expected on Saturday to the point that he felt good shots were not rewarded, and in some cases punished. He also explained why the rules did not provide for Mickelson to be disqualified.

The severity of Shinnecock in the third round should not take away from this U.S. Open. It’s supposed to be hard. It has a history of being the toughest test, and living on the edge often means crossing the line. Everyone still plays the same course, and Koepka shot 72 that day. That’s why he was in position to win.

If not for Mickelson making a spectacle of himself and the moment, odds are it would be forgotten sooner.

Tom Meeks, the predecessor to Davis in setting up the U.S. Open, used to relish such moments. He said in a 2009 interview that the U.S. Open had to be harder than anything else, but still fair, and that was a hard line to find. “If I had any doubt, I would go the more difficult way,” Meeks said.

He also predicted that Davis, if he were to follow the U.S. Open philosophy, would made mistakes at some point.

“It doesn’t happen by design,” Meeks said. “It happens because of the U.S. Open.”

The USGA doesn’t always get it wrong. Its finest moment was Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014, when the U.S. Open delivered a proper test for the men and women in consecutive weeks. The first year two years Davis was in charge, the winning score at Winged Foot and Oakmont was 5-over par, and no one complained.

Lately, however, the U.S. Open has become more about the USGA than the player who gets the trophy. That doesn’t happen at the other majors. With few exceptions, it’s about the winner, not the golf course. It’s about the player, not the organization.

And so the memories of Shinnecock are as much about Mickelson as Koepka, and memories of Erin Hills are as much about low scores as the guy who had the lowest one.

Fans can choose what they want to remember.

But it would be nice to have a U.S. Open when there wasn’t such a choice.



CROMWELL, Conn. – Last Monday, before the start of the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth spent nearly two hours on the far-left side of the range, hitting shot after shot under the watchful eye of his swing coach, Cameron McCormick.

The 2015 U.S. Open champ was positioned about 8 feet from a white tent. No one could practice behind him and Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, and his agent, Jay Danzi, each stood at an angle that blocked the view of onlookers, photographers and fans for long stretches of time. The message that Team Spieth made was clear: Jordan is grinding.

Unfortunately for Spieth, the work didn’t pay off, and he missed the cut by a shot. Instead of playing on the weekend, he spent Saturday at his rented house on Long Island, then went to New York City on Sunday, took in a few sights and got to act like a tourist before coming to the Travelers Championship, where he is the defending champion.

Spieth spectacularly won this event last season in a playoff over Daniel Berger by holing a greenside bunker shot before throwing his club and chest bumping Greller.

Highlights of that moment were replayed again and again, and when Spieth and Greller recollect on the moment, they don’t talk about the excellent bunker shot, they talk about the post-shot celebration.

“I think here, this week, the key for me is just to get out in the first round and try not to do too much,” he said. “I mean, 90-plus percent of the tournaments the last two years I’ve thrown out my chances to win a golf tournament on Thursday. I’ve had to do too much from there on.

“(When) I averaged good scores in the first round, I’ve had a chance to win Sunday and that’s by not trying to do so much. Just hit greens and let the flow of the golf course come to you.”

That sounds like a good plan, but Spieth will need to putt better than he has this season if he hopes to win at TPC River Highlands. Last year, en route to winning, his strokes gained: putting for the week was 2.293, which ranked 31st for the week. For the season his average was 0.32, which ranked 42nd on the PGA Tour.

So far this year, his strokes gained: putting average is -0.422 (188th), which means that based solely on his putting, Spieth is giving up over one and a half shots to the average player over 72 holes.

“I’ve kind of got to where my putting is making a lot of progress right now,” Spieth said. “It’s getting back to where I’m seeing my lines, and it’s getting back to where it could be top level.”

The Texan’s driving and iron play, statistically, are solid and if he can regain his putting touch, it might be just the thing the reigning British Open champion needs before he starts the run-up to this year’s event at Carnoustie.


Hailed as a hero to some and as golf royalty to others, Peter Thomson, a five-time winner of the British Open and the only player in the 20th century to win the tournament for three straight years, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members, Golf Australia said.

The first Australian to win the British Open, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by American Tom Watson.

The Australian’s wins came in 1954, ’55, ’56, again in 1958 and lastly in 1965 against a field that included Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Only Harry Vardon, with six titles between 1896 and 1914, won more.

Thomson also tied for fourth at the 1956 U.S. Open and placed fifth in the 1957 Masters. He never played the PGA Championship.

In 1998, he captained the International side to its only win over the United States at the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

Asked by The Associated Press in 2011 how he’d like to be remembered, Thomson replied: “A guy who always said what he thought.”

Veteran Australian golfer Karrie Webb was among the first to tweet her condolences, saying she was “saddened to hear of the passing of our Aussie legend and true gentleman of the game …. so honored to have been able to call Peter my friend. RIP Peter.”

Former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Thomson was “a champion in every sense of the word, both on the course and in life.”

“Many know him as a five-time champion golfer of the year or as a three-time captain of the Presidents Cup International team.” Finchem added. “But he was also a great friend, father, grandfather and husband. He was golfing royalty, and our sport is a better one because of his presence.”

Former golfer and now broadcaster Ian Baker-Finch, the 1991 British Open champion, called Thomson his “hero” — “Peter – my friend and mentor R.I.P. Australian golf thanks you for your iconic presence and valuable guidance over the years.”

From Britain, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers praised Thomson’s plans for the game’s future.

“Peter gave me a number of very interesting and valuable thoughts on the game, how it has developed and where it is going, which demonstrated his genuine interest and love of golf,” Slumbers said. “He was one of the most decorated and celebrated champion golfers in the history of The Open.”

Born in the Melbourne inner-city suburb of Brunswick on Aug. 23, 1929, Thomson was a promising cricketer. He scored an unbeaten 150 runs for the Carlton club against a men’s side as a 15-year-old.

But golf became his passion, and he turned professional in 1947.

He won the national championships of 10 countries, including the New Zealand Open nine times and Australian Open three times. He first played on the PGA Tour in the U.S. in 1953 and 1954, finishing 44th and 25th on the money list, respectively. He won the Texas International in 1956.

Thomson won nine times on the Senior PGA tour in the U.S. in 1985, topping the money list. His last tournament victory came at the 1988 British PGA Seniors Championship, the same year he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Overall, he won 26 European Tour events, 34 times on the Australasian PGA tour and 11 on the seniors tour in the U.S, as well as once in Japan.

In later years, Thomson wrote articles for many publications and daily newspapers, was club professional at Royal Melbourne and designed more than 100 golf courses. In the 2011 Presidents Cup program, Thomson provided an insightful hole-by-hole analysis of the composite course at Royal Melbourne.

Thomson was always reluctant to compare his wins with anyone else’s.

“All records are qualified in that they were made at a certain time in history,” Thomson told golf historian and author Brendan Moloney for a story on his 80th birthday.

“The circumstances change so much, and so do the players’ attitudes. In golf, only in the last 30 years or so has there been a professional attitude to playing for money. The professionals in the USA and Britain and anywhere else all had club jobs as a backstop to their income.

“When they did play and make records, you have to understand that they were taking time off from the pro shop,” he said. “So the records that were set were pretty remarkable.”

Thomson always had stories to tell, and told them well. With a full head of hair and a lineless face that belied his age, the Australian wasn’t afraid to let everyone know his feelings on any subject.

That was true as far back as 1966. As president of the Australian PGA, Thomson was indignant that Arnold Palmer’s prize for winning the Australian Open was only $1,600, out of a total purse of $6,000, one of the smallest in golf.

“Golf Stars Play for Peanuts,” blared the headline of a story he wrote. “Never before has such a field of top golfers played for what $6,000 is worth today. Canada offers 19 times that. I know 19 other countries who give more.”

But he was always happy on the golf course.

“I’ve had a very joyful life, playing a game that I loved to play for the sheer pleasure of it,” Thomson said. “I don’t think I did a real day’s work in the whole of my life.”

Thomson served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years and worked behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

In 1979, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf, and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


WNBA Roundup: Los Angeles retakes top spot in AP WNBA power poll

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Tina Charles scored 29 points and the New York Liberty overcame a strong effort from Angel McCoughtry to beat the short-handed Atlanta Dream 79-72 on Tuesday night.

McCoughtry finished with a career-high 39 points. She was 19 for 22 from the foul line — both career bests. She also had 14 rebounds for the Dream.

The Liberty (4-6) were cruising early in this game, up 16 points in the first half before McCoughtry got going for the Dream. She had 23 points combined in the second and third quarters to rally the Dream (6-6).

The Dream were missing Tiffany Hayes and Brittney Sykes, who are both in walking boots. Hayes injured her left ankle in a loss to Indiana and Sykes has missed five games with an injured right foot.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Kristi Toliver had 19 points and eight assists to help the Mystics beat the Sky .

The Mystics (7-5) opened the second half with a 17-2 run to go ahead 63-34 shortly after the midpoint of the third quarter. They extended to their largest lead at 86-53 in the middle of the fourth.

Elena Delle Donne added 14 points for Washington, which first pulled away in the second quarter with 13 straight points to lead by 16.

The Mystics came into the game losing four of five,

Cheyenne Parker had 18 points and Kahleah Copper scored 13 for the Sky (3-8), who lost their fifth in a row.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Maya Moore scored 21, Sylvia Fowles added 19 points and 17 rebounds, and the Lynx beat the Wings.

The Lynx (5-6) made all eight of their free throws in the final 1:11 to hold off a late charge from the Wings (5-5).

Minnesota jumped in front early with 12 straight points and led 25-10 in the first quarter. The Wings closed within nine before the end of the period, but the Lynx pushed the lead back to double digits early in the second quarter and kept it there until the final two minutes of the game.

Skylar Diggins-Smith’s 3-pointer with 20.7 seconds left cut the deficit to 87-83 after the Wings had trailed by as many as 21. Diggins-Smith finished with 17 points and Liz Cambage added 16 points and nine boards.

For the defending champion Lynx, the victory was the second time this season that they have won back-to-back games.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Candace Parker scored 15 and the Los Angeles Sparks used their defense to win their fifth straight, beating the Fever.

The Fever’s offensive output was a season low in scoring as well as a season best defensively for the Sparks (9-2).

Los Angeles pulled away with 12 straight points to lead 70-53 on Chelsea Gray’s basket with 1:31 left in the game. Gray added 14 points and Nneka Ogwumike scored 12.

The Sparks remained alone atop the WNBA standings.

Natalie Achonwa had 13 points and Tiffany Mitchell scored 10 for the Fever (1-11), who were coming in off their first win of the season.


SEATTLE (AP) — A’ja Wilson had 25 points and 15 rebounds and the Aces pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Storm.

Tamera Young and Kayla McBride added 17 points each for the Aces (4-9), who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Las Vegas erased a six-point deficit with an 8-2 burst to end the third quarter and opened the fourth with a 19-6 run to lead 83-70.

The Storm (8-4) trailed 17-3 early but battled back to 22-16 by the end of the first quarter. Seattle took its first lead at 39-38 on the last points scored before halftime.

Breanna Stewart had 27 points and Jewell Loyd added 14 for the Storm. Starters Sue Bird (rest) and Alysha Clark (ankle) were out of the game for Seattle.


NEW YORK (AP) — Almost every WNBA team will go through a challenging road trip because of the FIBA World Cup in September that is compacting the season.

Atlanta is in the midst of its difficult stretch, playing in six different cities across the country in the past week and a half. The Dream, who have won three of the five games so far, will have travelled over 7,000 miles when it’s over.

“It’s partly self-inflicted,” Atlanta coach Nicki Collen said after practice Monday in New York. “Because of our building availability at home we are on the road a lot this month.”

The trip is taking its toll as guard Tiffany Hayes went down with an ankle injury in the team’s loss at Indiana on Saturday. Collen herself got injured in practice Monday while jumping into a drill.

“You have to take good care of yourself with all the travelling we’re doing,” the coach said. “Make sure you stay hydrated, and that’s something I didn’t do enough of it seems.”

Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, who took a year off from the WNBA last year to rest, doesn’t remember the schedule being this compact during her nine years in the league, even during Olympic and world championship seasons.

“It definitely is a lot tougher than I remember,” she said. “More games in a shorter period of time, but that’s life in the WNBA.

The Dream isn’t the only team that had a rough travel week. Connecticut headed out west and lost games in Seattle and Phoenix on consecutive nights. A difficult back-to-back for sure with the 2 1/2-hour commercial flight. Unlike NBA teams, WNBA franchises aren’t allowed to charter planes because of the cost .

The Sun dropped both games and fell from the No. 1 spot in the AP power poll this week to fourth.

POWER POLL: A look at this week’s WNBA poll:

1. Los Angeles (8-2): A big week from Candace Parker helped the Sparks go 3-0 with wins over Atlanta, Washington and Chicago.

2. Phoenix (10-3): The Mercury just keep rolling with eight straight victories; their big three of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner are playing well.

3. Seattle (8-3): Another pair of home victories have helped the Storm continue their great start. Seven of their 11 games have been at home so far..

4. Connecticut (7-4): Alyssa Thomas is out with a shoulder injury. The Sun hope she’ll be back soon, they had a few days off after the west coast trip.

5. Washington (6-5): Won a wild game at Connecticut that saw the Mystics blow a 30-point lead before rallying to victory.

6. Dallas (5-4): Skylar Diggins and Liz Cambage are becoming a productive inside-outside duo.

7. Atlanta (6-5): The good news is that with all these June road games, July and August will bring a lot of time at home.

8. Minnesota (4-6): The Lynx rolled past New York and will look to get some momentum going with three games this week.

9. New York (3-6): A talented roster just hasn’t really gotten things together yet. Tina Charles needs more consistent help on offense.

10. Chicago (3-7): The Sky lost a pair of tough games in Seattle and Los Angeles. The young team is still without star center Stefanie Dolson, who is injured.

11. Las Vegas (3-9): Bill Laimbeer’s young squad had a busy week, going 2-2. A’ja Wilson is a force in the league, putting up only the second 35-point, 10-rebound performance by a rookie in league history.

12. Indiana (1-10): The streak is over as the Fever final got their first win, beating Atlanta. Now they’ll look to try and get a few more victories.



Candace Parker helped the Sparks go 3-0 this week averaging 19 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Other players receiving votes were Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi.


Former WNBA coach Anne Donovan died on June 13 of heart failure. She was 56. Teams throughout the league held a moment of silence in remembrance of the Hall of Famer. The Seattle Storm, who Donovan led to a WNBA title in 2004, had a tribute video to their former coach.


Lynx at Mercury, Friday. The Mercury ended a 13-game losing streak to Minnesota earlier this year. The Lynx will try and not let Phoenix start its own winning streak in the series.


Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg


To find the poll online: https://collegebasketball.ap.org/ap-wnba-power-poll-week-6-0

Soccer Roundup – 2018 WORLD CUP: Senegal beats Poland 2-1, 1st African win at World Cup / WORLD SCORES

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MOSCOW (AP) — Senegal midfielder Mbaye Niang saw the signal from the referee to re-enter following treatment for an injury and jogged along the center line. Then Niang noticed Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak loft a backpass to Jan Bednarek, who hadn’t realized Niang was back on the field.

Niang outsprinted goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to reach the ball about 40 yards from the net, knocked the ball forward and tapped it in for Senegal’s second fluky goal of the night. The Lions of Teranga held on for a 2-1 win over Poland on Tuesday night and opened the World Cup with a surprising victory — just like in 2002.

“You have to deserve your luck,” Niang said. “We were rewarded today for our work. You have to seize your chances when they are given to you.”

Senegal became the first African team to win at this year’s World Cup after Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia were outscored 6-1 in losses.

It went ahead in the 37th minute when Thiago Cionek’s attempted block of Idrissa Gueye’s shot deflected and wrong-footed Szczesny, who was picked to start over fellow Arsenal castoff Lukasz Fabianski.

After Niang doubled the lead in the 60th, Krychowiak headed in Kamil Grosicki’s free kick in the 86th minute, ending a streak of five straight scoreless openers for Poland.

“Two goals following our mistakes was something that we were very unhappy with,” Poland coach Adam Nawalka said.

Senegal is tied for the group lead with Japan, which upset Colombia 2-1. Senegal will play Japan on Sunday, when Poland meets Colombia.

This win set off joy in the streets of Dakar.

“We are not too euphoric because we do know there is going to be a difficult match against Japan,” Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said.

Senegal President Macky Sall was in the stands to watch the world’s 27th-ranked team upset the eighth-ranked nation — and bring up memories of the 1-0 win over defending champion France in the tournament opener 16 years ago.

“France and Senegal have a history,” said Cisse, who captained the 2002 team. “France was the country that colonized Senegal.”

Poland fans in red and white were about three-quarters of the crowd of 44,190 as their nation returned to the World Cup for the first time since 2006. Poland kept up its dismal streak of World Cup starts — it has four losses and three draws since beating Argentina in 1974.

Senegal took the lead when Niang went around Lukasz Piszczek on a flank following a restart and centered to Sadio Mane. The star midfielder passed to Gueye, whose right-footed shot from the arc headed toward Szczesny’s far post. Cionek, near the penalty spot, lifted his right leg and deflected the ball past Szczesny’s other side for the fourth own-goal of the tournament.

Poland shifted to a three-man backline at the start of the second half, and Niang had been off the field after Bednarek stomped on a foot. Referee Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain, a veteran of two World Cup matches in 2014, waved Niang to come back on just as Krychowiak lofted a backpass from the center circle. Niang let it bounce twice, knocked the ball past the goalkeeper and then sprinted to catch up as the ball bounced three more times. He tapped it into the open net from about 8 yards.

“Real unlucky situation,” Szczesny said. “Usually they keep him on the sideline for a little bit longer.”

Still, he didn’t fault the referee.

“That’s looking for an alibi for us,” he said. “It was a silly goal from our point.”

Nawalka attributed the goal to confusion, saying players thought a substitute was coming on.

“We simply lacked quality in the first half,” he said. “There were lots of unnecessary mistakes and lack of accuracy, and simply we didn’t play a very fluid football.”


Senegal’s Mane and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski rarely threatened in quiet World Cup debuts. Lewandowski topped the Bundesliga in scoring in three of the last five seasons and while he had 16 of Poland’s 28 goals in qualifying, he managed only one goal at the 2012 European Championship and one at Euro 2016.


Poland released five million Lewanowski stamps last week with his image and “RL9.”


Six of the top eight teams in the FIFA rankings failed to win their openers. Belgium and France are the exceptions.


The match was played at red-and-white Otkritie Arena, the 4-year-old home of Spartak Moscow, where Alexander Rukavishnikov’s 80-foot (25-meter) bronze statue of Spartacus rises high. The Russian club is named after the Thracian gladiator who led a slave rebellion against the Romans.


Poland: Midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski started limping midway through the first half, and his right calf was treated just before the restart that led to the goal. He was replaced by Bednarek at the start of the second half.



Wake up early, America.

Coming off an epic performance in Portugal’s draw with Spain on Friday, fans will be eager to see what Cristiano Ronaldo might do for an encore at the 2018 World Cup. Unfortunately for many soccer football fans in the Western Hemisphere, that means an early wake-up call.

Portugal takes on Morocco — which lost its opener via an unfortunate own goal in stoppage time — and there’s history between these two teams as well as Ronaldo and Moroccan center back Mehdi Benatia.

Uruguay takes on Saudi Arabia in the second game. Uruguay prevailed over Egypt in its World Cup opener, but its star player — Luis Suarez — wasn’t quite himself. If Suarez returns to form for Uruguay, that would be a bad development for Saudi Arabia, which was routed in the opener by Russia.

Spain will look to move past its opening draw to Portugal, specifically goalkeeper David De Gea, who had a rough game. While Spain faced Ronaldo in its opener, it gets to take on the “Iranian Messi” — Sardar Azmoun — on Wednesday.

June 19
June 19
Kalmar FF
IFK Norrkoeping
AC Horsens
Kolding IF
June 19
Varbergs BoIS FC
June 19
IBV Vestmannaeyjar
June 19
Stumbras Kaunas
Trakai FK
June 19
Ponte Preta
CS Alagoano
Avai FC


NHL mock draft 2.0: How the first round could shake out

(PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   The June 22-23 draft in Dallas is accompanied by considerable fan buzz because of the expectation of a couple of blockbuster trades. Erik Karlsson, Max Pacioretty and Jeff Skinner are some of the players who could be dealt.

But what NHL teams are excited about is this year’s crop of draft prospects. This year’s first round could yield multiple players who end up as difference makers on their respective teams.

Here’s our mock draft.

1. Buffalo Sabres: Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (Sweden): Considered the best all-around defenseman prospect in the past quarter century. He’s 6-foot-3 and proficient in every aspect of the game. This is a game-changing acquisition for the Sabres.

2. Carolina Hurricanes: Right wing Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie (Ontario Hockey League): Has ability to step into the NHL next season and score immediately. He netted 40 in 44 games this season. Could be a 20-goal scorer in the NHL as a rookie.

3. Montreal Canadiens: Left wing Filip Zadina, Halifax (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League): Also projected to play next season. Registered 82 points in 57 games. This is a perfect fit for a team that needs an offensive boost.

4. Ottawa Senators: Defenseman Quinn Hughes, University of Michigan: Skilled and exciting offensive defenseman who is the older brother of prospect Jack Hughes, who is projected to go No. 1 overall in the 2019 draft. If the Senators are trading Erik Karlsson, this pick seems like the right one.

5. Arizona Coyotes: Left wing Brady Tkachuk, Boston University: He’s Keith’s son and Matthew’s brother, and he carries on the family tradition of being a tough, physical, skilled power forward. Keith once played for the Coyotes organization. It’s not unthinkable that Brady could be the best of the Tkachuks.

6. Detroit Red Wings: Defenseman Evan Bouchard, London (OHL): The Red Wings desperately want a blue-chip defensive prospect, and Bouchard can be that guy. He’s 6-foot-2 and can do it all. A gifted passer who can also be an effective defensive player. He’s also a right-handed shooter. Everyone is looking for those.

7. Vancouver Canucks: Center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat Pori (Finland): At 6-foot-2, he plays like the big, strong center that every NHL team wants. Had 10 goals and 29 points playing as a 17-year-old this past season.

8. Chicago Blackhawks: Center/wing Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. National Team Development Program: A gifted offensive player who can score off the rush or in goalmouth scrambles. Will be strong at the net. Owns an impressive shot release.

9. New York Rangers: Defenseman Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL): A 6-foot-3 defenseman who can handle the puck and play well in his own end. Has agility and strength. Uses his size well. High-value pick if the Rangers get him at No. 9.

10. Edmonton Oilers: Defenseman Adam Boqvist, Brynas (Sweden): Smallish defenseman who can be electrifying with the puck on his stick.

11. New York Islanders: Center Barrett Hayton, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): Smart, effective, well-rounded player who had 60 points in 63 games this season. Safe pick.

*12. New York Islanders (From Flames1): Left wing Joel Farabee, U.S. NTDP: Was a key scorer (40 points in 26 USHL games) on one of best teams in U.S. NTDP history.

13. Dallas Stars: Defenseman Ty Smith, Spokane (WHL): He’s a 5-foot-11 puck-mover who does so with speed and efficiency. Lot of love out there for his ability.

*14. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blues2): Center Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Finland): Has posted six goals and 14 points over 39 games. He just turned 18.

15. Florida Panthers: Joe Veleno, Drummondville (QMJHL): He’s 6-foot-2, skates well, and plays with pace and determination. Generated 48 points in 33 games.

16. Colorado Avalanche: Left wing Vitali Kravtsov, Chelyabinsk (Russia): He’s 6-foot-2, skates well, and is playing in the KHL, where he recorded seven points in 35 games.

17. New Jersey Devils: Defenseman Bode Wilde, U.S. NTDP: He’s a 6-foot-2 defenseman with size, skill and skating ability. Potential difference maker if he improves defensively and cuts down on his mistakes.

18. Columbus Blue Jackets: Defenseman Rasmus Sandin, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): Poised, smart, two-way Swedish defenseman who has 45 points in 51 games.

19. Philadelphia Flyers: Right wing Serron Noel, Oshawa (OHL): He’s a 6-foot-5 power forward who takes advantage of his size and reach.

20. Los Angeles Kings: Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl (Russia): Highly skilled, impressive passer; could be a sleeper in this year’s draft.

21. San Jose Sharks: Center Ty Dellandrea, Flint (OHL): Strong two-way center who coaches will love for his versatility.

*22. Ottawa Senators (from Penguins3): Center Akil Thomas, Niagara (OHL): Plays with energy; he posted 81 points in 68 games.

23. Anaheim Ducks: Center Isac Lundestrom, Lulea (Sweden): Skates well, plays hard, offers a high degree of hockey sense. Creates turnovers with his aggressiveness.

24. Minnesota Wild: Center Ryan McLeod, Mississauga (OHL): Dependable, 6-foot-2 two-way center with 70 points in 68 games.

25. Toronto Maple Leafs: Defenseman Jared McIsaac, Halifax (QMJHL): Has nine goals, 47 points and 86 penalty minutes in 65 games. You hear the word “solid” mentioned with him.

*26. New York Rangers (from Bruins4): Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, U.S. NTDP: Son of former NHLer Kjell Samuelsson. He’s 6-foot-3, can contribute offensively, play physical and be an effective defender.

*27. Chicago Blackhawks (from Predators5):  Defenseman Ryan Merkley, Guelph (OHL): Some scouts worry that he takes too many chances, but he can motor up the ice with flair and impact.

*28. New York Rangers (from Lightning6): Right wing Dominik Bokk, Vaxjo (Sweden): He’s a German player with offensive and skating ability.

*29. St. Louis Blues (from Jets7):  Defenseman K’Andre Miller, U.S. NTDP: Several NHL teams are intrigued by his potential and it’s possible he could go even earlier. He’s 6-4 with strength and skill.

30. Detroit Red Wings (from Golden Knights8): Left wing Jakub Lauko, Chomutov (Czech Republic):  A speedster and game-breaker who looks comfortable playing against men in the Czech professional league. The Red Wings are looking for some flash up front.

31. Washington Capitals: Defenseman Jett Woo, Moose Jaw (WHL): Split decision in the scouting ranks. Some love how he plays and others don’t. He makes things happen. Had 25 points and was plus-29 in 44 games before going down with an injury.


1. From Travis Hamonic trade

2. From Brayden Schenn-Jori Lehtera trade (Blues have option to protect if it’s a top-10 pick)

3. From three-way trade with Vegas and Ottawa that brought Derick Brassard to Pittsburgh

4. From Rick Nash trade

5. From Ryan Hartman trade

6. From Ryan McDonagh trade

7. From Paul Stastny trade

8. From Tomas Tatar trade

MLB Roundup: Astros tie club record with 12th straight victory

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(Phatzradio Sports / AP)   —   Alex Bregman hit a game-ending two-run double with one out in the ninth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Monday night in Houston to match a franchise record with their 12th straight win.

Houston trailed 4-0 after three innings but cut the lead to one entering the ninth.

Sergio Romo (1-2) walked Marwin Gonzalez to start the ninth, then allowed a single to Max Stassi. Tony Kemp’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, and Houston loaded the bases when George Springer reached on interference by catcher Wilson Ramos.

Bregman then drove a ball that bounced off the wall in left-center. He lifted both arms as he trotted into second base, and teammates mobbed him in the infield.

Collin McHugh (2-0) struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the win on a night Gerrit Cole walked a career-high five to help the Rays build the early lead.

Houston also won 12 straight in 2004 and 1999. The Astros will go for No. 13 on Tuesday with ace Justin Verlander on the mound.

Nationals 5-2, Yankees 3-4: In Washington, Aaron Hicks’ go-ahead two-run homer sparked chants of “Let’s go, Yankees!” on the road and helped New York beat Washington in the second game of an unusual doubleheader, after pinch-hitter Juan Soto’s tiebreaking two-run shot for the Nationals won the opener.

These games originally were scheduled more than a month ago, and Game 1 resumed after being suspended because of rain in the middle of the sixth – so technically, Soto managed to homer in a game played before he made his major league debut.


The 19-year-old Soto was called up from the minors for the first time five days after Game 1 started on May 15; it picked back up at 3-all and the Nationals about to bat in the bottom of the sixth. After Bryce Harper – who had a full beard back on May 15, when the game began, but was clean-shaven this time – struck out, and Anthony Rendon singled, Soto drove a 97 mph fastball from Chad Green (4-1) to the back of the second deck in right field.

Rangers 6, Royals 3: In Kansas City, Missouri, Bartolo Colon earned his 244th win, passing Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, and Texas beat skidding Kansas City.

Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer for the Rangers, who won their third straight game. The 45-year-old Colon (4-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings to break a tie with Marichal on the career wins chart.

Only right-hander Dennis Martinez has more victories among pitchers from Latin America. Martinez, a native of Nicaragua, won 245 games in the majors.

Ian Kennedy (1-7) is 1-13 in his last 28 home starts. The Royals have lost seven straight and 13 of 14. They’ve dropped 27 of 37 games at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors. Kansas City is 2-14 in June, having been outscored 95-35.

Indians 6, White Sox 2: In Cleveland, Trevor Bauer shut out Chicago for seven innings before a rain delay ended his night, and Jason Kipnis homered to lead Cleveland over the sliding and sloppy White Sox.

Bauer (6-5) allowed just three hits, struck out eight and was in line to potentially pitch his first shutout. However, the game was halted by rain in the seventh inning for 35 minutes, and manager Terry Francona pulled the right-hander following the delay and 100 pitches.

Roberto Perez drove in two runs off Dylan Covey (3-2) as Cleveland improved to 15-4 in its last 19 home games against Chicago.

The White Sox committed three errors – one by Covey – in the first three innings, lost their fifth straight and dropped a season-high 23 games under .500.

Mets 12, Rockies 2: In Denver, Brandon Nimmo homered twice during a huge night at the plate, including an inside-the-park shot to begin the game, and New York finally gave Jacob deGrom some run support in a victory over.

Wilmer Flores and Devin Mesoraco also went deep for New York, which won its their third straight. Nimmo had four hits and set a career high with four RBIs – one night after his go-ahead, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning staved off defeat for the Mets and rallied them to a win at Arizona.

After pitching in terrible luck for weeks as New York’s hitters slumped, deGrom (5-2) got some help at last. He allowed two runs – one earned – in eight innings to snap a two-game skid and win for the first time in six starts since May 18 against the Diamondbacks.

One day before his 30th birthday, the right-hander struck out seven and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.51. The 12 runs New York scored Monday were more than the team managed in his previous eight starts combined.

Phillies 6, Cardinals 5 (10): In Philadelphia, left fielder Marcell Ozuna dived for and missed Aaron Altherr’s two-run double with two outs in the 10th inning, allowing Philadelphia to rally past St. Louis.

Tommy Pham hit a solo homer in the top of the 10th, one inning after a wild pitch on a strikeout kept the game going. But the Phillies rallied.

Rhys Hoskins hit a bloop single to start the bottom of the 10th off Matt Bowman (0-2). Odubel Herrera dived headfirst into first to seemingly beat out an infield single, but the play was overturned by a video review. After Carlos Santana was intentionally walked, Bowman struck out Jesmuel Valentin.

Altherr then hit a sinking liner that appeared to skip off Ozuna’s glove before bouncing to the wall.

Pirates 1, Brewers 0: In Pittsburgh, Trevor Williams pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and two Pittsburgh relievers closed out a two-hitter against Milwaukee.

Williams (6-4) struck out seven and walked two for his first victory in a month. Jordy Mercer drove in the lone run with a seventh-inning double, and the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games.

The Brewers entered the day leading the N.L. Central but suffered their third straight loss. The only hit off Williams was a single by Jonathan Villar with two outs in the fifth. The hit followed a walk to Hernan Perez, and the duo executed a double steal before Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.

Marlins 5, Giants 4: In San Francisco, Miguel Rojas followed Lewis Brinson’s RBI single with a go-ahead base hit as visiting Miami rallied in the ninth inning and overcame an early four-run deficit to beat San Francisco.

Hunter Strickland (3-3), San Francisco’s second reliever, blew his fourth save in 17 chances. He walked Brian Anderson to begin the ninth then surrendered J.T. Realmuto’s RBI double.

Tayron Guerrero (1-2) pitched the eighth before Kyle Barraclough closed out the 2-hour, 47-minute game for his third save as Giants fans booed the home team.

Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the second and Andrew Suarez struck out seven, but San Francisco failed to hold a lead as it opened an extended stretch at home.

Diamondbacks 7, Angels 4: In Anaheim, California, Paul Goldschmidt hit his seventh home run in his past 13 games – a two-run shot in the first inning – and Arizona breezed to a victory over Los Angeles.

Golf Roundup: Minnesota gets regular PGA Tour stop in 7-year deal

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BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — The PGA Tour will soon be making a regular stop in Minnesota.

Long host to the 3M Championship, a thriving tournament on the senior circuit, the TPC Twin Cities course in suburban Minneapolis has landed a spot on the main PGA Tour with a seven-year contract starting in 2019. The event will be called the 3M Open, officials announced on Monday.

“Minnesota has showcased how good golf is here,” said Hollis Cavner, executive director of Pro Links Sports, which will manage the 3M Open. “It’s time to go to the next level.”

The 2019 dates for the 3M Open will not be confirmed until next month when the PGA Tour reveals its full schedule for the next FedEx Cup season, but there will be an opening in the first week in July. The purse is expected to begin in the $7 million range.

Minnesota has hosted the 3M Championship on the PGA Tour Champions since 2001 and a senior tour event since 1993. The final such tournament will take place Aug. 3-5, with Paul Goydos as the defending champion.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to build on the success we’ve had,” said Paul Keel, a 3M senior vice president.

Cavner said the economic impact on the region is expected to be between $50 million and $75 million for the entire week of the 3M Open in Blaine, which is about 20 miles north of downtown Minneapolis.

Though Minnesota has not been home to a regular PGA Tour event since 1969, the state has had some of the game’s grandest events held within its borders, most recently the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska in 2016. The international competition is set to return there in 2028. Hazeltine also hosted the PGA Championship in 2009 and 2002 and the U.S. Open in 1991 and 1970.

Minnesota’s fervent support of the sport extends to the U.S. Women’s Open in 2008 and the Solheim Cup in 2002, both at Interlachen in Edina.

“The tour does not want to go anywhere where it’s not going to be successful. Look at how successful we’ve been on the Champions Tour. Look at how successful the PGA was, the Ryder Cup was,” Cavner said. “Seeing what’s happened here in the past was a big, big plus for us.”

Minnesota native Tom Lehman collaborated with Arnold Palmer in designing the TPC Twin Cities course, where players on the 50-and-older tour are regularly shooting deep in the teens below par to win the three-day event. Cavner expects tees to be moved back on the par-72, 7,164-yard course with many other improvements to be made in consultation with Lehman.

“We want to make sure the golf course is phenomenal,” Cavner said. “That’s what the players want.”

The PGA Tour found room on the schedule for the 3M Open when the Houston Open announced it was moving to the fall starting in 2019. That gives the PGA Tour two new markets next year that were not on the schedule this season. The tour previously announced that Quicken Loans would be the title sponsor of a new tournament in Detroit next year.

The 3M Championship has offered free admission for many years. Cavner said tickets for the PGA Tour event will be “reasonably priced” and children will be admitted free. He said many tour events charge in the $25 to $65 price range.

“I think we’ll be one of the biggest events on the tour within a couple years,” Cavner said.


US OPEN NOTES: Brooks Koepka now has as many majors as Greg Norman and as many PGA Tour victories as Pat Perez.

Koepka belongs in the conversation of elite players in his generation by winning his second U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, a test that asked an entirely different set of questions than the U.S. Open he won last year at Erin Hills.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are the only players in their 20s to have won multiple majors, at least for now.

And while the 28-year-old Koepka is only in his fourth full year on the PGA Tour, to see his supreme performance at Shinnecock Hills makes it hard to believe he has only one other PGA Tour title. That was three years ago at the Phoenix Open.

That’s likely to change. It might have to for Koepka to get the recognition he deserves, even if that’s not what drives him.

His record should get anyone’s attention.

Koepka has finished among the top 15 in nine of his past 10 majors starting with the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews. The exception was the Masters two years ago, when he tied for 21st. He missed a month with an ankle injury and returned with a tie for fourth at the 2016 PGA Championship to secure a spot on his first Ryder Cup team. And then he went 3-1 in his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine.

He really is a major player.

So what about all the other tournaments he’s played?

Koepka touched on that last summer at the Bridgestone Invitational when he said the majors are where “I feel like I’m going to shine.”

“Unfortunately, I haven’t done it as much in regular tour events or throughout my career,” Koepka said. “It’s just being a little bit more focused, maybe taking it more serious, knowing that every shot … to me, it feels like life or death. If you screw up, you’re gone. I just love getting up for it and playing the best and playing really, really hard golf courses.”

Shinnecock went from ridiculously hard on Saturday to overly gentle on Sunday, though the ultimate measure was Koepka playing the final 36 holes in even par to win. He finished at 1-over 281, the first time in five years that no one broke par at the U.S. Open.

The USGA doesn’t like to talk about scores, but that’s the identity of this major.

And for now, majors define Koepka.

Norman gets beat up for the number of majors he could have won, including at Shinnecock Hills in 1986, the year he had the 54-hole lead at all four majors. The Shark also had 75 victories around the world and was No. 1 longer than any other player until Tiger Woods came along.

Sunday at Shinnecock began with a four-way tie for the lead, with the past two U.S. Open champions — Koepka and Dustin Johnson — playing in the penultimate group. They are close friends off the course, and even worked out together in the morning before their last two rounds.

Koepka went 1 up on U.S. Open trophies. Still, he was stumped when asked who was ahead in their back-and-forth.

Johnson, still only 33 but much like Norman, hasn’t cashed in at the majors as much as he should have. Attribute that to a cold putter on the weekend at Shinnecock, which also held him back at Augusta in April.

Even so, he has 18 victories and is the only player to sweep the World Golf Championships, small fields with the best players.

“He’s won every year he’s been out here. That’s incredible,” Koepka said. “I don’t know how long he’s been out here, 11 years? How many wins has got, 18? That’s pretty good. I’ve got some catching up to do.”

Koepka believes Johnson will win another U.S. Open and said he would end his career as among the best to ever play. That will require more than one additional major, for sure, though Johnson already is well ahead in the victory count.

That’s the next step for Koepka, at least until the next major.

Before earning his PGA Tour card, Koepka won the Turkish Airlines Open against a strong European Tour field that included Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace and Ian Poulter. Late last year, he registered a nine-shot victory in the Dunlop Phoenix, one of the strongest Japan Golf Tour events. Xander Schauffele tied for second, with Hideki Matsuyama another shot behind.

Koepka doesn’t really think about his legacy. He might care even less if people talk about him as much as Johnson, Spieth or McIlroy.

He had a silver trophy in front of him, and it looked familiar. His name goes on there twice, one below the other. That hasn’t happened since Curtis Strange won at Brookline in 1988 and Oak Hill in 1989.

“I looked at all these names a million times last year, just looking at everybody,” he said. “To have my name on there twice is pretty incredible, and to go back-to-back is even more extraordinary.”

Those trophies could use some company. For now, they take up a lot of space on the mantle.


PHIL MICKLESON: One of the immutable rules of golf is that you play the ball as it lies, not as it moves.

So how to reconcile Phil Mickelson’s mini-meltdown Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open? There’s no question his actions on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills — when he jogged after a still-rolling putt and struck his ball again before it stopped moving — were not done in the spirit of the game.

It was a clear breach of Rule 14-5, the penalty for which is two shots. It was a bad optic. More than that, it was disrespectful to his competitors, to the United States Golf Association and to the game that has made Mickelson a millionaire many times over.

I have a hard time imagining Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods or just about any other great player from any era doing the same thing.

But I’m willing to give Mickelson the benefit of the doubt on this one. There is nothing in his history or character that suggests the six-time major champion would do something to intentionally dishonor the game. He has cracked wise at times and has put his foot in his mouth on occasion, but his integrity inside the ropes has never been questioned.

I think he just lost his cool for a moment and reacted without thinking.

Asked if his reputation would take a hit, Mickelson said, “I don’t see how. If somebody is offended by that, I apologize to them, but, you know, toughen up because this is not meant that way. It’s simply that I wanted to get on to the next hole. I’ll gladly take my two strokes and move on.”

To recap, if you haven’t seen the video gone viral, Mickelson’s approach on the 366-yard, par-4 13th went long and right and his ensuing chip rolled past the pin and off the green. He then chipped 18 feet past the hole and faced a slick, downhill putt for bogey.

His first putt missed on the right side and kept chugging. Mickelson saw that his ball was going to crest a ridge and roll off the green again, so he jogged after it and stroked it while it was still moving.

That putt hit the lip and finished some 5 feet past the hole. Mickelson’s next putt missed and he tapped in for a sextuple-bogey 10 — eight strokes, including four putts, plus the two-shot penalty. He went on to shoot an 81.

“I know the rules,” Mickelson said. “It’s a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball. The ball was going to go off in a bad spot. I didn’t feel like continuing my display. I’ll gladly take a two-shot penalty and move on. I don’t mean it disrespectful. If you’re taking it that way, that’s not on me.”

Here’s where I have a bit of a problem with Mickelson’s explanation. He had made four consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8-11. The wheels were coming off. I doubt that he had the presence of mind to think through the situation as he saw his ball rolling off the green. The more likely explanation is that it was an instinctual reaction, born of frustration, to run after it and hockey it back toward the hole.

But there’s a difference between that and cheating. His actions broke a rule, yes, but they did not constitute an attempt to circumvent a rule clandestinely. Mickelson knew immediately that he would incur a penalty and was fine with it.

John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships and governance for the USGA, said that when Mickelson was approached by a rules official on the course and told that he was being assessed a two-shot penalty, “He said, ‘Thank you,’ and moved ahead with his round.”

“I’ve wanted to do that many times,” Mickelson said. “I should have done it a couple of times at Augusta (National), on No. 15, years ago when the balls would go off into the hazard. That would have saved me a shot or two back then. Look, I just wanted to move on to the next hole. Give me the two. I’ll gladly take that and go to the next hole.”

As Mickelson and Andrew “Beef” Johnston walked off the green and toward the 14th tee, they looked at each other and laughed. Johnston said he was surprised, but not angry, at what he’d witnessed.

“I looked at him and it was like, ‘Is this actually happening?’” Johnston said. “I said to him, ‘Sorry, but I can’t help laughing. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.’ I said to him, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that,’ and we just laughed. He didn’t really say much.”

Said Mickelson, “I mean, how can you not laugh? It’s funny. It’s part of the U.S. Open. It’s just funny.”

No, it’s not funny. The better word is “unfortunate.” But it doesn’t make Mickelson a bad guy or a cheater. It just makes him human.

TIGER WOODS: With birdies on his final two holes Friday in the second round of the 118th U.S. Open, Tiger Woods saved a little face, even if he didn’t save himself from the 36-hole cut.

It was too little too late – and of little consolation – for the three-time U.S. Open winner, who never appeared comfortable or confident on the cantankerous estate known as Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

Woods salvaged a 2-over-par 72 on a cool, cloudy and mildly breezy morning on Long Island, but his highlights were as intermittent as the drizzle that spritzed the bumpy and unforgiving turf. Combined with his opening 78, Woods submitted a 10-over 150 aggregate score, not his worst effort in a major, but not good enough to prevent missing his third cut in 20 U.S. Open appearances – and second in a row after his struggles in 2015 at Chambers Bay, the last time he was healthy enough to compete.

“I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted,” said Woods, who must feel like eons have passed, and not a decade, since his epic playoff victory at Torrey Pines in 2008. “I’m 10 over par. I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10 over par.”

He couldn’t have been all that thrilled about how it looked in the execution, either.

For one of the few times in his career, Tiger Woods encountered a test that appeared to be too much golf course for him. Not because Shinnecock is a muscular 7,445 yards with a par of 70 – just 10 yards longer than Augusta National Golf Club but playing two strokes fewer to par – but because he lacked the overall precision the windswept grounds required. There was simply not enough in his arsenal.

He wasn’t alone, granted, but no one else is Tiger Woods, either.

Woods now is 10 events into his comeback that, frankly, has to be considered nothing short of miraculous after he underwent spinal fusion surgery 14 months ago. Without many reps he nearly won the Valspar Championship in his fourth start, and he gave himself a chance the following week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

But lately his game seems to have receded. Perhaps some staleness has set in. Or perhaps some mental fatigue has seized him, erecting an invisible wall that has retarded his progress. Perhaps there is nothing wrong except re-acclimating himself to the rhythms and the texture of the game.

Making him look more ineffectual was striding alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open winner, who bashed his way around in a punctilious 3-under 67 and was four ahead of the field – and 13 ahead of Woods – as the afternoon wave began its assault on Shinnecock.

Johnson was playing a game with which Tiger used to be familiar.

“Dustin was in complete control of what he’s doing,” Woods assessed. “He’s hitting the ball so flush and so solid. I know it’s windy, it’s blustery, it was raining early, but he’s hitting right through it. … He’s got beautiful speed on the greens. Every putt looked like it was going to go in. Even though it didn’t, just had that look and that pace.”

Owner of 14 majors, Woods easily could have been describing his own game in his prime. He knows better than anyone playing today what it takes to win them. And he also knows that what he has done thus far reflects his current level of proficiency.

“I’ve won a few of them over the course of my career, and they’re the hardest fields and usually the hardest setups,” he said before prosecuting his own performance. “They’re meant to be testers, and … you don’t win major championships by kind of slapping all around the place and missing putts. You have to be on. You just can’t fake it at a major championship.”

Woods placed most of the blame for his struggles on his putting, which, supposedly, he had addressed after a poor performance on the greens scuttled a high-grade ball striking at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. In truth, however, he encountered myriad problems in all facets.

The hole most responsible for damaging his scorecard was the par-4 first, the same hole that inflicted pain right out of the gate in round one.

On Thursday Woods suffered a triple bogey from the middle of the fairway after he airmailed the green with a 6-iron and flubbed a chip and a putt. This time, again from the fairway, he took a double bogey after turning in a hopeful even-par 35 on inward nine, his first nine holes. Woods flared his approach right of the right greenside bunker – a truly hideous shot for one of the game’s all-time great iron players – and watched his ball dive into the high fescue. From there he hacked out across the green, pitched to 14 feet and then missed the bogey try.

When he bogeyed the next hole, too, his bid for making the cut took a serious hit. He has played those first two holes in seven over par combined.

“He definitely didn’t have it,” said the third member of the group, world No. 2 Justin Thomas, “but, really, he didn’t play that poorly. He just had, obviously, a couple bad holes for as hard as it played. And then today, again, he just kind of had a couple hole stretch there that he struggled a little bit. I don’t think you need me to tell you he’s not pleased, but I’m sure he’s closer than the score shows.”

Or just maybe the score shows how far away he remains.

Justin Allgaier dominates at Iowa Speedway for second Xfinity win of season

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NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Justin Allgaier won all three stages and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Sunday at Iowa Speedway for his second victory of the season.

Racing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in JR Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro, Allgaier led 182 of 250 laps and survived an unlucky late caution by winning the restart.

Allgaier also won last month at Dover. He has seven career victories – but few of those runs were as dominant as the one Allgaier pulled off in the searing heat on Iowa’s short track.

“We had a great car,” Allgaier said. “Incredible … how could you not enjoy this?”

Despite Allgaier’s dominance, Christopher Bell made him work to keep the lead throughout the final stage – at times closing to within a tenth of a second of taking the lead – before finishing second.

“We were really close,” Bell said. “We could never pass (Allgaier)…I could never get outside of him, I could never get inside of him.”

Daniel Hemric was third, followed by Cole Custer and Brandon Jones, and Riley Herbst was sixth in his series debut.

Points leader Elliott Sadler lost a tire at the end of stage one. He finished 28th and saw his lead dwindle to just four points.

Allgaier’s Dover win came with an asterisk, as a post-race penalty cost him his playoff points and the virtual guarantee of a postseason spot that comes with a victory.

But Allgaier made sure he’ll have a say in the championship hunt, piloting the fastest car in the field through all three stages.

Austin Cindric, driving the No. 22 Team Penske car that Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney already won in this season, won his first career pole earlier Sunday. Cindric led the first 58 laps after leading just six in his career prior to the race, but Allgaier snuck past him with two laps left.

Cindric never threatened after that, finishing 11th.

Allgaier’s dominance continued in stage two, which he took by a full second over Bell. Allgaier then kept the lead for the final stage, but Bell had managed to get side-by-side with Bell on a long green-flag run.

Pit strategy looked like it might decide the race before had Chad Finchum hit the wall with 51 laps to go. But Allgaier again beat Bell by a second on the ensuing stop.

“I felt like we were better than the (No.) 7 (car) all day. Just couldn’t pass him,” Bell said. “It’s pretty hard to pass a car that’s really good like that.”

The final caution came when Brandon Hightower clipped the wall with 18 laps to go. But since everyone had already had enough fuel and was on their last set of tires, Allgaier simply jumped back out in front and cruised to a win – one that clinched his second consecutive multi-victory season.

Allgaier also won twice last year.


Sunday At Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa

Lap length: 0.875 miles (Start position in parentheses)

1. (11) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 250 laps, 60 points.

2. (39) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 250, 48.

3. (2) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 250, 51.

4. (5) Cole Custer, Ford, 250, 46.

5. (3) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 250, 44.

6. (9) Riley Herbst, Toyota, 250, 0.

7. (17) Ty Majeski, Ford, 250, 32.

8. (7) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 250, 33.

9. (12) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 250, 28.

10. (8) Kaz Grala, Ford, 250, 27.

11. (1) Austin Cindric, Ford, 250, 41.

12. (13) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 250, 0.

13. (10) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 250, 24.

14. (6) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 250, 23.

15. (15) John Hunter Nemechek, Chevrolet, 250, 28.

16. (14) Shane Lee, Chevrolet, 250, 22.

17. (40) Ryan Reed, Ford, 250, 21.

18. (21) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 250, 19.

19. (16) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 249, 18.

20. (19) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 249, 17.

21. (27) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 249, 16.

22. (26) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 247, 15.

23. (18) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 247, 14.

24. (23) David Starr, Chevrolet, 247, 13.

25. (20) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 244, 12.

26. (29) Chad Finchum, Chevrolet, 244, 11.

27. (32) Blake Jones, Chevrolet, 243, 10.

28. (4) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 239, 9.

29. (22) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 239, 8.

30. (28) Brandon Hightower, Toyota, accident, 220, 7.

31. (36) Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, overheating, 205, 6.

32. (25) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 201, 5.

33. (38) Stan Mullis, Dodge, 150, 4.

34. (33) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, electrical, 134, 3.

35. (24) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, garage, 131, 2.

36. (34) Josh Bilicki, Toyota, fuelpump, 95, 1.

37. (35) Timmy Hill, Toyota, brakes, 75, 1.

38. (37) Mike Harmon, Dodge, reargear, 31, 1.

39. (30) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, brakes, 28, 1.

40. (31) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, vibration, 21, 1.


Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 102.102 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 8 minutes, 33 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.745 seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 31 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: A.Cindric 1-58; J.Allgaier 59-88; D.Hemric 89; J.Allgaier 90; D.Hemric 91; J.Allgaier 92-124; C.Custer 125-129; J.Allgaier 130-180; C.Bell 181; J.Allgaier 182-197; C.Bell 198; J.Allgaier 199-204; C.Custer 205; J.Allgaier 206-250

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): J.Allgaier, 7 times for 182 laps; A.Cindric, 1 time for 58 laps; C.Custer, 2 times for 4 laps; C.Bell, 2 times for 6 laps; D.Hemric, 2 times for 2 laps.

Soccer Roundup – FIFA World Cup: Schedule, TV time and storylines for Tuesday, June 19 / World Scores

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Time is running out for Lionel Messi to bring Argentina a World Cup, which would give him the one thing that’s missing from a career that ranks among the greatest.

He turns 31 on Sunday, which means this World Cup could be his last chance. It also means that Thursday’s match against Croatia is momentous. He has delivered for his club Barcelona — four Champions League titles, and nine La Liga championships in Spain — but still no major title for Argentina.

Messi missed a penalty — it was saved — in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland in the opening group match. Argentina needs to beat Croatia to clear its path from the three-game group stage to the knock-out round of 16.

“We have to look at what we need to correct from the Iceland match, but we can’t dwell on it,” Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado said. “We have to look forward and win the next match against Croatia.”

The Croatians opened with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.

Jorge Sampaoli hasn’t used the same lineup twice in the 12 games he’s been in charge for Argentina. He’s juggling again, this time likely to start 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick and can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Angel di Maria.

As with all the Argentina coaches before him, Sampaoli has searched for the right partnership with Messi, who has often carried Argentina by himself and is always compared with Maradona, who brought Argentina its last World Cup title in 1986.

“I think that Jorge is looking at every position. We’ll see what happens and what he decides on the day,” Pavon said. “I feel confident and luckily things are going well for me, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be a starter.”


It’s hard to believe, but Argentina has not won a major title since taking the Copa America — the South American championship — in 1993. That’s 25 years ago; a quarter century of drought for a country that sees itself as soccer royalty.

What two-time champion Argentina has felt recently is only bitter defeat: the losing finalist against Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and two more runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 at the Copa America — both times against Chile.


Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic because he wouldn’t come off the bench as a substitute against Nigeria. Kalinic, who plays for AC Milan, says he has a back injury although news reports in Croatia say he is unhappy being a substitute.

Dalic said of Kalinic, “I need players who are ready.”

Croatia now has 22 players on the World Cup roster.


Sampaoli experimented after the Iceland draw with using three defenders with Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado would replace Marcos Rojo, who was sub-par against Iceland.

Lucas Biglia is also likely to be dropped from midfield and replaced by Marcos Acuna. Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Enzo Perez are also possibilities.


MOSCOW (AP) — Day 5 of the World Cup was a European sweep.

Three favored teams from Europe — Sweden, Belgium and England — won their World Cup openers over squads from elsewhere.

England’s win was the most dramatic, 2-1 over Tunisia on a header by Harry Kane in stoppage time. Earlier Monday, Sweden got past South Korea 1-0 and Belgium had little trouble with Panama in a 3-0 win.


Group H finally gets its first worldwide showcase on Tuesday.

James Rodriguez — a breakthrough star from the 2014 World Cup — might hit the field for the time at this World Cup when Colombia takes on Japan. His playing status is in doubt. Rodriguez — the 2014 World Cup’s top goal-scorer — is recovering from a calf injury and might not be able to play Tuesday.

Colombia, however, is expected to have star striker Radamel Falcao on the field. Falcao missed the World Cup four years ago due to a knee injury.

The final teams to get in their first 2018 World Cup games will be Poland and Senegal.

The capper of the day will be host Russia’s second game, which is against Egypt. Egypt will be hoping to have its star player — Mohamed Salah — in action for the first time in this year’s World Cup. Russia, meanwhile, is coming off a 5-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s opener and is a surprise leader after one round of games in Group A.



June 18
South Korea
June 18
June 18
June 18
Dinamo Minsk
FK Vitebsk
Dinamo Brest
Independiente del Valle
Deportivo Cuenca
June 18
Houston Dynamo
Minnesota United
Torpedo Kutaisi
FC Kyzylzhar Petropavlovsk
Shakhter Karagandy

2018 NBA mock draft 4.0: Deandre Ayton to go No. 1 … but then what?

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   With a week to go before this year’s NBA Draft unfolds, there is an historic level of uncertainty about the top of the lottery at this late stage of the proceedings.

While Arizona center DeAndre Ayton seems to be emerging as a consensus choice for the top pick, after that, things are completely wide open.

Here, then, is our best stab at how the some of the first round will play out, seven days before NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will take the stage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to announce selections:

1. Phoenix Suns: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

The Suns have worked out several players, and coach Igor Kokoskov has ties to the other top candidate, Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic, who is still playing in Europe and thus hasn’t worked out in Phoenix. But Ayton feels like he’ll be the pick. He’s a physical specimen, and it can’t be overstated that Suns owner Robert Sarver is a prominent Arizona booster and alum.

2. Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic, SF, Real Madrid

There has been a lot of talk lately about Doncic slipping out of the top three – and, equally, about a lot of teams attempting to trade up to get their hands on him. That said, I can’t see a scenario in which the Kings, a team run in part by a pair of Serbians in Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic, pass on a potential superstar from the Balkans.

3. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson, Jr., PF/C, Michigan State

Expected to be the youngest player drafted, Jackson, 18, projects to be an intriguing prospect as a 40 percent shooter from 3 (80 percent at the free-throw line) who can also block shots and switch screens. That is exactly what every team is looking for in today’s NBA – something Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk, who spent a long time in Golden State, knows better than just about anyone.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke

With owner Robert Pera saying this week he thinks his team can win 50-plus games next season, it would make sense for Memphis to find a player who complements veterans Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Bagley would be able to step in next to Gasol at power forward on Day 1.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

A massive human being, Bamba has intrigued plenty of teams at the top of the draft. He also is the type of prospect with massive boom-or-bust potential. Still, given how long Dallas has been searching for an anchor in the middle, bringing Bamba north from Austin feels like the pick here.

6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

This is where things could start getting weird. Bamba could be an Orlando pick if he’s on the board. Duke center Wendell Carter would also make sense. But for a team desperate for scoring, star power and a point guard, we’ll put Young here.

7. Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, Missouri

Assuming Porter’s medicals check out, it feels like this will be his floor in the draft. Chicago really needs a dynamic wing player, and Porter was projected to go in the top three before he suffered a back injury.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Brooklyn Nets): Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke

The Cavaliers would love to have either Young or Porter sitting on the board here – and if Carter goes to Orlando, they almost certainly will. In this case, though, Carter will go to Cleveland – giving the Cavaliers a long, skilled big who could wind up better than Bagley in the long term.

9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova

Like Cleveland, New York would probably love to get its hands on Porter or Young – or potentially even move up and snag Doncic. With those options not likely to present themselves, though, giving head coach David Fizdale a mature wing such as Bridges, who can step in and immediately knock down 3s and play defense, will help the new coach establish a culture.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers): Zhaire Smith, SF, Texas Tech

Smith has skyrocketed up draft boards in recent weeks and now appears to have a shot at making it into the lottery. This may be ambitious, but for a team that needs more athleticism and shooting on the wings, Smith would be an intriguing long-term swingman to pair with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and, if he can get his shot right, Markelle Fultz.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

Originally expected to be a top-10 pick, Sexton has dropped a bit in recent weeks. Still, his personality and game will give Charlotte a fallback option if general manager Mitch Kupchak considers trading Kemba Walker this summer – as, given how the team’s long-term prospects look, he’d be wise to do.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit Pistons): Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Alexander went from an off-the-radar secondary prospect to arguably Kentucky’s best NBA talent this season, capped by an impressive showing in the NCAA Tournament. He could become the long-term successor to Chris Paul in Los Angeles.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami

With a second straight pick, the Clippers can get another long-armed, long-term prospect in their backcourt. Gilgeous-Alexander and Walker could become a fearsome defensive tandem in time and give the Clippers something to build on moving forward amid a lot of roster uncertainty.

14. Denver Nuggets: Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky

Every team is searching for combo forwards, but Denver, in particular, is in need after cycling through many options this season. Knox is young, as is much of Denver’s core. Despite consistency issues, he has a lot of talent.

MLB Roundup: Astros win 11th straight, beating Royals to finish trip 10-0

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Carlos Correa and the Houston Astros won their 11th straight game, finishing off a 10-0 trip by rallying past the Kansas City Royals 7-4 on Sunday.

The World Series champion Astros swept their swing through Texas, Oakland and Kansas City, outscoring opponents 74-35. Last season, Houston had an 11-game winning streak end in Kansas City. This time, the Astros trailed 4-3 in the eighth inning before Correa led off with a tying homer. Evan Gattis, who had three hits, then put them ahead during a three-run burst.

Correa has three home runs and eight RBIs in six games after missing four games with discomfort in his right side. He had a first-inning single and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Gattis hit .366 with five home runs and 19 RBIs on the Astros’ trip. He singled home Yuli Gurriel in the eighth, and Marvin Gonzalez added an RBI single in the inning.

The Royals have lost six straight and 12 of 13. They have dropped 26 of 36 home games.

Brandon Maurer (0-3) took the loss, facing two batters and having both score. Tony Sipp (2-0) picked up the victory. Hector Rondon closed for his fourh save.

Rays 3, Yankees 1

NEW YORK – Wilmer Font held the high-scoring Yankees in check in the latest Tampa Bay game “started” by a reliever, and the Rays held off New York to avoid a sweep.

Matt Duffy drove in two runs with a second-inning single for his first multi-RBI game in over a month. Carlos Gomez had an RBI double as Tampa Bay scored all three runs in the second against CC Sabathia (4-2).

Tampa Bay beat New York for the first time this season. The Yankees opened the season with five straight wins, outscoring the Rays 31-10 over the games, and was trying for a four-game sweep.

Font turned in his best performance of the year in any role, allowing just one run in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts. Tampa Bay used a reliever to open for the 15th time in 29 games. Entering the day, relievers working as starters had allowed 13 earned runs in 18 innings.

Chaz Roe (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. Sergio Romo, who has also drawn five starts this season, closed for his third save.

Aaron Hicks homered off Font in the fifth – it was actually the second homer of the day. Hours earlier, the Yankees held the 72nd Old-Timers’ Day and Nick Swisher hit a long drive to right field. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson were joined by the likes of Don Larsen, Willie Randolph, Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Current New York manager Aaron Boone took part for the first time.

Mets 5, Diamondbacks 3

PHOENIX – Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera homered off Brad Boxberger in a four-run ninth inning and New York rallied to beat Arizona.

The Diamondbacks led 3-1 entering the ninth and Boxberger (1-3), with his third blown save in 20 tries, struck out the first two batters.

Jose Reyes reached on a bunt single and scored on Jose Bautista’s pinch-hit double to cut the lead to 3-1. Nimmo, who doubled and scored in the first inning, followed with a two-run shot to right field to put New York ahead 4-3 and Cabrera’s solo shot made it 5-3.

The Mets split the four-game series in Arizona and won consecutive games for the first time since May 20-21. The Diamondbacks were 4-3 on the homestand.

Jeurys Familia (3-3), just off the disabled list, allowed a run in an inning of relief to get the victory. Robert Gsellman pitched the ninth for his third save in seven tries.

Rangers 13, Rockies 12

ARLINGTON, Texas – Jose Trevino blooped a two-run single, capping a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent Texas past Colorado.

Rockies closer Wade Davis (0-2) retired only one batter while walking four and allowing singles to Rougned Odor and Trevino. A rookie catcher, Trevino entered his third major league game in the top of the ninth. He is 2 for 8 for Texas, including a tying single in Saturday’s 5-2 victory.

Colorado took a 5-1 lead in the seesaw game. The Rangers scored five runs to take a 6-5 lead in the sixth, including Jurickson Profar’s three-run homer off starter Jon Gray.

The Rockies responded with a five-run seventh to go ahead 10-6. Colorado’s Gerardo Parra drove in four runs, three on a bases-clearing double in the seventh.

Texas pulled to 10-9 with three runs in the seventh. Trevor Story hit a two-run homer in the Colorado ninth against Jesse Chavez (3-1).

Red Sox 9, Mariners 3

SEATTLE – Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts homered to help Boston rout Seattle.

Devers’ 11th homer of the season capped a five-run, two-out rally in the third against Seattle starter Mike Leake (7-4).

The Red Sox pulled away in the seventh against right-handed reliever Chasen Bradford, who gave up three runs and two homers while getting two outs. Bradley Jr. sent Bradford’s first pitch over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run this season. Benintendi hit his third single of the game with one out before Bogaerts put Boston ahead 8-2 with a shot into the bullpen for his 12th of the season.

Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez (9-1) picked up his sixth straight win, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out nine.

Phillies 10, Brewers 9

MILWAUKEE – Maikel Franco homered and drove in four runs and Philadelphia held off Milwaukee’s ninth-inning rally.

Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera also homered to help the Phillies took two of three from Milwaukee. The Brewers are tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL.

Milwaukee trailed 10-5 going into the ninth. Jesus Aguilar led off with a home run and Eric Thames hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot with two outs off Hector Neris. Christian Yelich followed with a drive to center and Herrera made a leaping catch for the final out, giving Jake Thompson the save.

Tommy Hunter (2-0) was the winner in relief. Hoskins hit a two-run homer in the first off starter Chase Anderson (5-6). Hoskins connected for the second straight day and his 10th of the season.

Blue Jays 8, Nationals 6

TORONTO – Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte hit consecutive homers in the eighth inning, and Toronto beat Washington to complete a three-game sweep.

The game was tied at 6 before Hernandez and Solarte connected against Ryan Madson (1-3). Hernandez hit his 12th homer and Solarte belted his team-leading 15th.

Randal Grichuk added a pair of solo homers for the Blue Jays, who have won seven straight home games. Ryan Tepera (4-2) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the win.

Washington has lost five of six. Slumping Nationals slugger Bryce Harper went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .218.

Giants 4, Dodgers 1

LOS ANGELES – Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt hit two-run home runs and Chris Stratton pitched six solid innings to help San Francisco Giants avoid a three-game sweep at Los Angeles.

Hundley got the Giants going with a homer in the first inning, halfway up the pavilion seats in left field for his eighth of the season. Belt followed two innings later with his 12th home run and first since returning from an appendectomy on June 1.

The Dodgers saw their modest five-game win streak come to an end, but they are still 11-3 in June. They went 7-2 on their just-completed homestand and now head to Chicago for a National League Championship Series rematch with the Cubs.

Stratton (8-4) gave up a first-inning run when Hundley tried to cut down Justin Turner at second base and threw the ball into center field. Hunter Strickland finished for his 14th save. Dodgers rookie Caleb Ferguson (0-1) took the loss.

Angels 6, Athletics 5 (11)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI single off the center-field wall in the 11th inning in Oakland’s comeback victory over Los Angeles.

The A’s rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it at 5, then took advantage of control problems by a pair of Angels relievers to win.

Jed Lowrie led off the 11th with a single and Jake Jewell (0-1) hit Khris Davis with a pitch. After Matt Olson flied, Eduardo Paredes replaced Jewell and walked Mark Canha to load the bases.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought left fielder Justin Upton in for a five-man infield but it didn’t matter. Lucroy hit a deep drive to win it.

Canha hit an early two-run homer, and added a tying single with two outs in the ninth. Marcus Semien homered to begin the Oakland ninth.

Blake Treinen (4-1) pitched the final two innings for the victory.

Albert Pujols hit his 625th career home run, Chris Young also went deep and Mike Trout reached base five times for the Angels.

Tigers 3, White Sox 1

CHICAGO – Nicholas Castellanos homered and Blaine Hardy pitched one-run ball into the sixth, leading Detroit past Chicago for its fifth straight win.

Jose Iglesias added an RBI single to help Detroit improve to 8-1 against the White Sox this season, including 6-0 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Castellanos homered twice Saturday and connected again in his first at-bat Sunday. Before Saturday, he was mired in a 1-for-21 slump over the previous five games.

Hardy (3-1) allowed one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

James Shields (2-8) was the loser. Matt Davidson hit his 12th homer and Kevan Smith had two hits for Chicago, which has dropped four straight.

Braves 4, Padres 1

ATLANTA – Julio Teheran pitched six no-hit innings before being pulled from his first start since coming off the disabled list, and Atlanta relievers gave up six hits in the win over San Diego.

The Braves’ bid for a combined no-hitter ended with one out in the seventh when Shane Carle allowed a single to Cory Spangenberg. Freddy Galvis added another single before Carle pitched out of the jam.

Teheran (5-4) struck out a season-high 11. Jose Vizcaino got three outs for his 15th save.

Johan Camargo’s two-run double in the fourth off Jose Castillo (1-1) gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Tyler Flowers hit a two-run homer off Brad Hand in the eighth.

Indians 4, Twins 1

CLEVELAND – Shane Bieber pitched one-run ball into the sixth inning in his first major league win, helping Cleveland beat Minnesota.

Bieber (1-0) scattered 10 hits and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings in his second career start. The rookie right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day when Carlos Carrasco went on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised right elbow.

Yan Gomes’ three-run double in the third snapped a 1-all tie. Cody Allen, the Indians’ third reliever, pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

Cleveland salvaged the finale of the three-game series and broke a five-game losing streak against Minnesota.

Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-4) allowed four runs in five innings.

Orioles 10, Marlins 4

BALTIMORE – Jace Peterson and Mark Trumbo homered, and Baltimore beat Miami to snap a nine-game losing streak.

Baltimore also ended a string of 11 straight losses at home, which tied a club record. The Orioles’ last win at Camden Yards was May 13 against Tampa Bay.

Dylan Bundy (5-7) pitched six innings of four-run ball for last-place Baltimore. He has accounted for one-quarter of his team’s victories this season.

Justin Bour homered twice for the Marlins, who went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Trevor Richards (1-4) was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Reds 8, Pirates 6

PITTSBURGH – Eugenio Suarez homered in the second straight game and Joey Votto celebrated his 1,500th major league contest by going 2 for 4 with two RBIs in Cincinnati’s victory over Pittsburgh.

Suarez hit a two-run shot off Joe Musgrove (2-2) in the fourth. Votto hit a drive to deep right-center the fifth to chase Musgrove and give the Reds the cushion they would need to beat the Pirates for just the second time in seven tries at PNC Park this season.

Scott Schebler added three RBIs for Cincinnati, including a two-run home run in the ninth.

Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) surrendered solo home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco but otherwise kept the Pirates in check. Raisel Iglesias got four outs for his 10th save.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 0

ST. LOUIS – Jack Flaherty and four relievers combined on a four-hitter, Matt Carpenter homered and St. Louis beat Chicago on Sunday night.

Flaherty allowed just two hits while striking out seven in five innings, but he walked three and hit two batters and was pulled after throwing 97 pitches. He escaped a jam in the third inning when he struck out Kris Bryant with the bases loaded to keep the game scoreless.

John Brebbia (1-1) worked around two hits in a scoreless sixth inning to earn his first major league win. Austin Gomber, Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris each pitched a hitless inning to finish the shutout. It ended the Cardinals’ season-high four-game losing streak and prevented the Cubs from getting their first series sweep in St. Louis since Sept. 13-15, 2010.

Golf Roundup: Brooks Koepka wins US Open, 1st repeat winner in 29 years

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Brooks Koepka has the game to win a U.S. Open on any course.

One year after Koepka overpowered the wide fairways of Erin Hills in a U.S. Open remembered for low scoring, he navigated his way through the brutal conditions of Shinnecock Hills and closed with a 2-under 68 to become the first repeat champion in 29 years.

Curtis Strange, the last player to go back-to-back in this major, watched the entire final round Sunday as the Fox Sports reporter on the ground, and they shared a brief hug off the 18th green after Koepka tapped in for bogey and a one-shot victory.

Koepka captured his second major Sunday. It would not have been possible without his 72 on Saturday in conditions so severe the last 45 players to tee off in the third round didn’t break par. The USGA conceded the course was over the top and pledged to get it right for the final round.

No one took advantage like Tommy Fleetwood, who made eight birdies — none of the two par 5s — and became the sixth player to shoot 63 in the U.S. Open. That got him within one shot of Koepka, who still had 11 holes to play. Fleetwood had to settle for the silver medal.

Koepka, with a performance and a demeanor reminiscent of Retief Goosen winning at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, began the back nine with three pivotal putts — one for birdie, one for bogey, one for par.

He seized control with a wedge to 3 1/2 feet for birdie on the par-5 16th for a two-shot lead, and he never flinched until it no longer mattered. Koepka pulled his approach to the 18th off the grandstand, pitched on to about 12 feet and two-putted for a bogey.

He finished at 1-over 281, 13 shots higher than his winning score at Erin Hills last year. It was the first time since 2013 at Merion that no one broke par in the U.S. Open.

Dustin Johnson, part of the four-way tie for the lead to start the final round, had an even-par 70 to finish alone in third. Masters champion Patrick Reed, who briefly shared the lead with five birdies through seven holes, stumbled on the back and had a 68 to finish fourth.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — So Yeon Ryu won the Meijer LPGA Classic for her first victory of the season and sixth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke margin.

The 29-year-old South Korean player birdied the par-5 16th and par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th to finish at 21-under 267 at Blythefield Country Club. Two strokes behind Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Anne Pace entering the round, Ryu had six birdies and bogey in the final round.

Caroline Masson was second after a 68. Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 — after each had a 64 on Saturday — to tie for fourth at 17 under with Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70).

U.S. Women’s Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot a tournament-record 62. She birdied five of the first seven holes, eagled No. 8 and added three more birdies to finish 12th at 15 under.



Stuart Manley closed with a 3-under 68 and beat Grant Forrest with a par on the third sudden-death playoff hole in the Hauts de France Open on the European Challenge Tour. Forrest also shot 68. … George Cunningham won the GolfBC Championship for his first Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada title. The former University of Arizona player finished at 20 under with weekend round of 62 and 64. Zach Wright and P.J. Samiere tied for second, two strokes back. … Motin Yeung became the first player from Hong Kong to win on the PGA Tour Series-China, shooting a 6-under 65 and winning the Kunming Championship with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Yeung beat Callum Tarren and Josephn Gunerman in the playoff. … Sang-hyun Park won the KEB Hana Bank Invitational on the Korean PGA Tour, shooting a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory. … Clark Dennis won the Senior Italian Open for the second straight year, beating Rafael Gomez in a playoff.


Ji Hyun Oh closed with a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory in the Kia Motors Korea Women’s Open Championship on the Korean LPGA Tour. … Ai Suzuki won the Nichirei Ladies in a three-way playoff for her fourth victory this year on the Japan LPGA Tour. … Isi Gabsa of Germany won the Forsyth Classic for her first Symertra Tour title, beating Jillian Hollis with a birdie on the fourth extra hole.

WNBA Roundup: Diana Taurasi leads Mercury to 8th straight win

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Diana Taurasi scored 18 of her 28 in the first half and the Phoenix Mercury ran their winning streak to eight with a 92-80 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday night.

Las Vegas pulled within six late in the fourth quarter but DeWanna Bonner hit a baseline 3 to make it 85-76 with 1:48 left and Taurasi made three free throws with 1:18 to go.

Phoenix (10-3) scored 10 straight to end the third quarter with a 75-59 lead — the Mercury’s largest of the game. Leilani Mitchell had back-to-back 3-pointers in that run.

The Mercury took the lead for good with the last four points of the first half to go into the break ahead 46-42. Brittney Griner added 24 points for Phoenix.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces (3-9) with 21 points, and Kayla McBride had 20.


CHICAGO (AP) — Chelsea Gray scored 21 points and Nneka Ogwumike had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help WNBA-leading Los Angeles beat Chicago.

Candace Parker added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Sparks (8-2). They have won four straight.

Jamierra Faulkner had 19 points for the Sky (3-7). They have lost four in a row.

Soccer Roundup – 2018 World Cup: Sweden’s height advantage gets to South Korea in World Cup

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NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Sweden’s height advantage got to South Korea.

In an effort to compensate for the disparity, South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong decided to use a backup player in goal because he is the tallest of the team’s three keepers.

The gamble worked, but a penalty still gave the Swedes a 1-0 victory on Monday at the World Cup.

“We evaluated all of our goalkeepers and we felt like with the very tall Swedish players, we thought Jo Hyeon-woo would be the best and we thought he’d be a little bit quicker,” Shin said. “So we chose him.”

At 1.89 meters (6-foot-3), Jo is tallest of the South Korean goalkeepers. But he is normally No. 3 on the list when it comes to playing time.

Shin is well-known for pulling surprises.

In World Cup warm-up matches, he switched the numbers of his players around, arguing Swedish scouts would be confused because he says “it’s very difficult for westerners to distinguish between Asians.”

Shin mentioned Sweden’s height advantage about a dozen times after the match. He even acknowledged his players “were a little bit psychologically concerned about the height of the Swedish players.”

Sweden’s starting players averaged about 1.90 meters (6-3), while South Korea’s starters averaged about 1.83 meters (6 feet).

Shin also started with Kim Shin-wook as his primary striker. He is the tallest player on South Korea’s team at 1.97 meters (6-5 1/2).

Jo did his job in goal, making a half-dozen sprawling saves until he was beaten on a second-half penalty by Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist.

Asked to name South Korea’s most important player, Sweden coach Janne Andersson didn’t hesitate.

“I think definitely,” Andersson said, “the goalie was their best.”


The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is upon us, so it’s time to start thinking about the future before the end of the group stage on June 28. Who has the easiest path to the knockout stage? Is it Lionel Messi and Argentina, with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their group? What about Neymar and Brazil, paired with Serbia, Poland and Costa Rica? Nobody knows for sure, but that’s why it is always fun to guess.

So who makes a deep run at the 2018 World Cup? And which nation lifts the trophy? Visit SportsLine now to get the complete optimal bracket for the World Cup, and see which favorites fail to advance past the quarterfinals, all from the model that’s returned an 1800 percent profit on bookmakers’ closing odds.

Below you’ll find the standings and schedule broken down by each group:

Group A

Thursday, June 14: Russia 5, Saudi Arabia 0
Friday, June 15: Uruguay 1, Egypt 0

Tuesday, June 19: Russia vs. Egypt, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Wednesday, June 20: Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia, 11 a.m. ET, Fox

Monday, June 25: Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt, 10 a.m. ET, FS1
Monday, June 25: Uruguay vs. Russia, 10 a.m. ET, Fox

Group B

Friday, June 15: Iran 1, Morocco 0
Friday, June 15: Portugal 3, Spain 3

Wednesday, June 20: Portugal vs. Morocco, 8 a.m. ET, FS1
Wednesday, June 20: Iran vs. Spain, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

Monday, June 25: Iran vs. Portugal, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Monday, June 25: Spain vs. Morocco, 2 p.m. ET, FS1

Group C

Saturday, June 16: France 2, Australia 1
Saturday, June 16: Denmark 1, Peru 0

Thursday, June 21: Denmark vs. Australia, 8 a.m. ET, FS1
Thursday, June 21: France vs. Peru, 11 a.m. ET, Fox

Tuesday, June 26: Australia vs. Peru, 10 a.m. ET, FS1
Tuesday, June 26: Denmark vs. France, 10 a.m. ET, Fox

Group D

Saturday, June 16: Argentina 1, Iceland 1
Saturday, June 16: Croatia 2, Nigeria 0

Thursday, June 21: Argentina vs. Croatia, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Friday, June 22: Nigeria vs. Iceland, 11 a.m. ET, Fox

Tuesday, June 26: Iceland vs. Croatia, 2 p.m. ET, FS1
Tuesday, June 26: Nigeria vs. Argentina, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

Group E

Sunday, June 17: Serbia 1, Costa Rica 0
Sunday, June 17: Brazil 1, Switzerland 1

Friday, June 22: Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 8 a.m. ET, FS1
Friday, June 22: Serbia vs. Switzerland, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

Wednesday, June 27: Serbia vs. Brazil, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Wednesday, June 27: Switzerland vs. Costa Rica, 2 p.m. ET, FS1

Group F

Sunday, June 17: Mexico 1, Germany 0
Monday, June 18: Sweden 1, South Korea 0

Saturday, June 23: Germany vs. Sweden, 11 a.m. ET, Fox
Saturday, June 23: South Korea vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

Wednesday, June 27: South Korea vs. Germany, 10 a.m. ET, FS1
Wednesday, June 27: Mexico vs. Sweden, 10 a.m. ET, Fox

Group G

Monday, June 18: Belgium vs. Panama, 11 a.m. ET, FS1
Monday, June 18: Tunisia vs. England, 2 p.m. ET, FS1

Saturday, June 23: Belgium vs. Tunisia, 8 a.m. ET, Fox
Sunday, June 24: England vs. Panama, 8 a.m. ET, FS1

Thursday, June 28: England vs. Belgium, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Thursday, June 28: Panama vs. Tunisia, 2 p.m. ET, FS1

Group H

Tuesday, June 19: Colombia vs. Japan, 8 a.m. ET, FS1
Tuesday, June 19: Poland vs. Senegal, 11 a.m. ET, Fox

Sunday, June 24: Japan vs. Senegal, 11 a.m. ET, Fox
Sunday, June 24: Poland vs. Colombia, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

Thursday, June 28: Japan vs. Poland, 10 a.m. ET, FS1
Thursday, June 28: Senegal vs. Colombia, 10 a.m. ET, Fox

Round of 16

Saturday, June 30
Match 50: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up 10 a.m. ET Kazan Fox
Match 49: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up 2 p.m. ET Sochi Fox
Sunday, July 1
Match 51: Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up 10 a.m. ET Moscow Fox
Match 52: Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up 2 p.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod Fox
Monday, July 2
Match 53: Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up 10 a.m. ET Samara FS1
Match 54: Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox
Tuesday, July 3
Match 55: Group F winner vs. Group E runner-up 10 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg FS1
Match 56: Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox


Friday, July 6
Match 57: Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner 9 a.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod FS1
Match 58: Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner 1 p.m. ET Kazan FS1
Saturday, July 7
Match 60: Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner 9 a.m. ET Samara Fox
Match 59: Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner 1 p.m. ET Sochi Fox


Tuesday, July 10
Match 61: Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner 1 p.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox
Wednesday, July 11
Match 62: Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner 1 p.m. ET Moscow Fox

Third-place match

Saturday, July 14
Match 63: Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser 9 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox

World Cup final

Sunday, July 15
Match 64: Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner 10 a.m. ET Moscow Fox

2018 NBA mock draft 3.0: Michael Porter Jr. vaults up board; Cavs nab Trae Young

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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA TODAY SPORTS)   —   A week away from the draft, while it looks like the No. 1 pick is set, teams are still gathering information and having players in for workouts.

Big men Marvin Bagley and Mo Bamba recently worked out for the Atlanta Hawks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. had a stellar workout for the Phoenix Suns. Many lottery teams are still gathering information on Michael Porter Jr., whose medical history is integral to this process.

At this point it’s important to be wary of smokescreens, and remember, trades are still possible.

USA TODAY Sports canvassed multiple league executives in shaping its latest mock draft. The actual NBA draft will be held next Thursday in New York.

1. Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton

Arizona • Center • Freshman

Height: 7-1 • Weight: 250

The Suns worked out several of the top prospects likely as due diligence, but it’s going to be Arizona center Deandre Ayton. Suns GM Ryan McDonough called Ayton’s workout “phenomenal,” and it would be a shock if they went another route.

2. Sacramento Kings – Michael Porter Jr.

Missouri • Forward • Freshman 

Height: 6-11 • Weight: 211

The Kings are known to be enamored with Porter but are still trying to gather the latest medical information. If they’re convinced that he’s fully healthy, he could be the combo-forward they’ve been searching for. A trade down could also be possible if they believe they could get him lower, as the Kings have no first rounders in 2019.

3. Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Bagley III

Duke • Forward • Freshman

Height: 6-11 • Weight: 234

If Bagley learns to rely on his three-pointer a bit more, he’ll be a matchup nightmare for opposing big men. The Hawks would get immediate offensive help with this pick, and Bagley would be afforded time to improve his defense.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Luka Doncic

Real Madrid • Guard

Height: 6-8 • Weight: 220

The Grizzlies are several pieces away from contending for the postseason, but Doncic, the EuroLeague MVP, is the most polished and accomplished prospect among the elites. He immediately gives Memphis another primary ballhandler and someone capable of stretching the floor.

5. Dallas Mavericks – Jaren Jackson Jr.

Michigan State • Forward • Freshman

Height: 6-11 • Weight: 236

Viewed as perhaps the prospect with the most room to grow both physically and offensively, Jackson Jr. is an immediate asset on the defensive end. His length and timing are outstanding, and given his comfort from the perimeter, he could be the prototypical NBA big man in a few years.

6. Orlando Magic – Mo Bamba

Texas • Center • Freshman

Height: 7-1 • Weight: 225

Similar to Jackson, Bamba is already NBA-ready on the defensive end, and there’s a question as to how far he’ll be able to stretch the floor when he’s not demoralizing defenses with his patented alley-oop finishes. Bamba, who will have the longest wingspan in the NBA at 7-10, is the kind of physical freak teams may regret passing on.

7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter Jr.

Duke • Forward • Freshman

Height: 6-10 • Weight: 251

Carter Jr. represents a safe, solid pick with low risk. He’s a polished, but not plodding, big man with great footwork and high basketball IQ.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Trae Young

Oklahoma • Guard • Freshman

Height: 6-2 • Weight: 177

Is anyone surprised that Young wasn’t able to maintain his furious scoring pace for an entire season? The Cavs may benefit because other teams tried to poke holes in his obvious talent.

9. New York Knicks – Collin Sexton

Alabama • Guard • Freshman

Height: 6-2 • Weight: 183

Sexton is an aggressive, confident scorer who could thrive as the lead guard. The guard-depleted Cavs are known to be interested in Sexton as well.

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Mikal Bridges

Villanova • Guard • Junior 

Height: 6-7 • Weight: 210

Given Bridges’ experience and strengths, he’s likely an immediate contributor at the next level, filling a wing position that nearly every team covets.

11. Charlotte Hornets – Miles Bridges

Michigan State • Forward • Sophomore 

Height: 6-7 • Weight: 220

The Hornets need help all over, and Bridges is a position-less wing who could play small forward and power forward in smaller lineups. He’s a bit of a tweener in terms of ideal fit, but his raw athleticism and stature make him lottery worthy.

12. Los Angeles Clippers – Lonnie Walker

Miami • Guard • Freshman

Height: 6-5 • Weight: 196

The Clippers are in a unique position to draft back-to-back lottery players, affording them a chance to make a riskier move with one of their picks. Walker, a raw, physical guard, offers them a scoring mindset combined with a versatile profile on the defensive end.

13. Los Angeles Clippers – Robert Williams

Texas A&M • Center • Sophomore 

Height: 6-10 • Weight: 241

As for that risk, it comes in the form of Williams. Athletic and rim-running, Williams has tantalizing tools at center for the modern NBA. He also doesn’t have much of an offensive arsenal anywhere outside of the paint, and the 47% free throw percentage is scary.

14. Denver Nuggets – Kevin Knox

Kentucky • Forward • Freshman 

Height: 6-9 • Weight: 215

Not many forwards can create offense off the bounce like Knox, and it’s impossible to ignore his versatility. He’s needs to add muscle to his frame and any team must be patient with him, but there’s significant upside as he continues to develop.

15. Washington Wizards – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Kentucky • Guard • Freshman

Height: 6-6 • Weight: 180

Give him a few years to develop more of an offensive repertoire, and Gilgeous-Alexander is an ideal NBA point guard. His length, passing and defense are all intriguing, but don’t expect him to orchestrate an NBA offense as a rookie.

16. Phoenix Suns – Zhaire Smith

Texas Tech • Guard • Freshman 

Height: 6-4 • Weight: 198

Smith is a freak athlete without much more that teams can bank on. He’s stunning in transition and finishes dunks that hardly look feasible. His defensive instincts are there, too, but teams will have to grapple with what else he’s able to create on offense.

17. Milwaukee Bucks – Aaron Holiday

UCLA • Guard • Junior 

Height: 6-1 • Weight: 185

Holiday would be less of a risk than the Bucks are typically accustomed to drafting. He’s a poised, crafty ballhandler, and with two brothers already in the league, he’s got an obvious NBA pedigree.

18. San Antonio Spurs – Troy Brown

Oregon • Forward • Freshman 

Height: 6-7 • Weight: 208

There’s potentially a lot of value in Brown, who does a lot of things well but nothing great. His defensive instincts are probably his best asset, and with the right coaching and system, he could develop a more enhanced offensive game.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Elie Okobo

Pau-Orthez (France) • Guard

Height: 6-3 • Weight: 180

The lefty guard has good outside touch, a quick first step and a deft midrange game. There usually aren’t many potentially starting-caliber guards left this late in the draft.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Dzanan Musa

Cedevita (Croatia) • Forward

Height: 6-9 • Weight: 195

Musa needs to add significant bulk to his frame, not necessarily to compete offensively but because he could be a liability on defense. He’s a rangy shooter and a creative finisher with good vision; offenses won’t stall with him in the rotation.

21. Utah Jazz – Kevin Huerter

Maryland • Forward • Sophomore

Height: 6-7 • Weight: 190

No one helped themselves more at the NBA draft combine than smooth-shooting forward Kevin Huerter, who excelled in the scrimmage portion. There is a belief that Huerter may have secured a promise, which could have swayed his decision to stay in the draft.

22. Chicago Bulls – Chandler Hutchison

Boise State • Guard • Senior 

Height: 6-7 • Weight: 197

There’s also a belief that Hutchison, who pulled out of the NBA draft combine, may have a first-round promise from Chicago. If that’s the case, the athletic, four-year wing would fit the bill of prospects the Bulls have drafted in the past.

23. Indiana Pacers – Donte DiVincenzo

Villanova • Guard • Sophomore

Height: 6-5 • Weight: 200

DiVincenzo parlayed his strong Final Four and draft combine showing into a likely first-round pick. He’s a downhill scorer, crafty finisher from multiple angles and someone who makes his teammates better.

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop

Ohio State • Forward • Junior

Height: 6-8 • Weight: 223

Bates-Diop has good mobility, anticipation and athleticism, and his face-up game was an asset in college. As a redshirt player, there are legitimate questions as to how much he’ll improve.

25. Los Angeles Lakers – De’Anthony Melton

Southern California • Guard • Sophomore 

Height: 6-3 • Weight: 193

Despite withdrawing from USC earlier this season, Melton remains an intriguing prospect thanks to his defensive intensity and transition ability. At the draft combine he also mentioned how special it would be for him to play for his hometown Lakers.

26. Philadelphia 76ers – Jerome Robinson

Boston College • Guard • Junior

Height: 6-5 • Weight: 188

It’s not hard to see what scouts like about Robinson. He’s a poised, steady guard with good size who can occasionally explode to the rim. He’s a comfortable scorer who could easily command a second unit off the bench.

27. Boston Celtics – Josh Okogie

Georgia Tech • Guard • Sophomore

Height: 6-4 • Weight: 213

Okogie has good size and a great motor, but his offensive instincts can feel a little hectic at times. He should immediately be able to hold his own on the defensive end.

28. Golden State Warriors – Khyri Thomas

Creighton • Guard • Junior 

Height: 6-4 • Weight: 200

Steady and with great length, Thomas is a low-risk, heady guard who won’t make unforced mistakes and can immediately stretch the floor with his offense.

29. Brooklyn Nets – Jacob Evans

Cincinnati • Guard • Junior 

Height: 6-6 • Weight: 210

With good size and strength for his position, Evans can be an immediate contributor on the defensive end and should have no trouble in a switch-heavy defense. His three-point shooting ability could be a bonus.

30. Atlanta Hawks – Mitchell Robinson

Chalmette High School • Center

Height: 7-0 • Weight: 233

Robinson might be the most enigmatic prospect in the draft, with a range as high as just outside the lottery all the way until the second round. The size and talent are there, but teams could have questions about his drive and commitment after skipping his lone year in college basketball.


Follow USA TODAY Sports’ NBA insiders Jeff Zillgitt, Sam Amick and Michael Singer on Twitter. 

MLB Roundup: Dallas Keuchel pitches Astros to 10th straight win

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   The Houston Astros won their 10th straight game, with Dallas Keuchel getting three-run homers from Max Stassi and Alex Bregman to rout the Kansas City Royals 10-2 on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jose Altuve hit a two-run double in the first inning to send the World Series champions on their way. The Astros had an 11-game win streak last season that ended in Kansas City.

The Royals have lost five in a row and are just 2-12 in June.

Keuchel (4-8) began to emerge from a monthlong funk, allowing two unearned runs and six hits in six innings. The 2015 Cy Young winner had surrendered a combined 17 runs over his last three outings, and had not won since tossing seven scoreless innings against Texas on May 13.

Danny Duffy (3-7) had been pitching well of late, but the Royals left-hander allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

Yankees 4, Rays 1: In New York, Luis Severino pitched eight sharp innings and New York won for the 13th time in 16 games with a victory over Tampa Bay.

Giancarlo Stanton and Sanchez hit back-to-back home runs to help the Yankees send the Rays to their 18th loss in 22 games at Yankee Stadium.

Severino (10-2) simply overwhelmed a weak-hitting Rays lineup that has produced just one run over its last 21 innings. The 24-year-old righty gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked two, tying Cleveland’s Corey Kluber for the A.L. wins lead.

Chasen Shreve gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Matt Duffy, who went deep for just the fourth time this year. Jake Bauers followed with a triple and Aroldis Chapman then set down the next three batters for his 20th save.

Ryan Yarbrough (5-3) gave up a run in the second on rookie Gleyber Torres’ two-out double. Didi Gregorius hit an RBI single in the third.

Tigers 7, White Sox 5: In Chicago, Nicholas Castellanos homered twice and Jose Iglesias hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Detroit’s two-run eighth that carried the Tigers past Chicago for their fourth straight win.

Castellanos hit a three-run drive in the third and a two-run shot in the fifth. It was his first multihomer game since Aug. 22 against the Yankees and No. 4 for his career.

The Tigers blew a 5-0 lead but recovered in time to improve to 7-1 against the lowly White Sox this year. Buck Farmer (3-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win and Shane Greene worked the ninth for his 19th save.

Victor Martinez sparked the winning rally in the eighth with a leadoff single against Jace Fry (0-1). Bruce Rondon then walked John Hicks and couldn’t make a diving grab of JaCoby Jones’ bunt popup, loadiing the bases.

Iglesias hand a run scoring infield sing and Niko Goodrum drew a four-pitch walk.

Blue Jays 2, Nationals 0: In Toronto, Max Scherzer lost his second straight start for the first time since 2015 when Marco Estrada pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and Devon Travis homered to lead Toronto past Washington.

Scherzer (10-3) gave up four hits, including the two-run homer by Travis, in six innings. The two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner struck out 10, increasing his major league-leading total to 152.

Travis homered for the second game in a row when he connected in the fifth, right after Scherzer hit Luke Maile with a pitch.

Estrada (4-6) allowed three hits, one a bunt single, to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season.

Danny Barnes and Aaron Loup each got two outs and former Nationals closer Tyler Clippard finished the three-hitter for his third save in six opportunities.

Toronto has won six straight at home after losing 10 of its previous 11 at Rogers Centre.

Braves 1, Padres 0: In Atlanta, Sean Newcomb pitched six scoreless innings and Charlie Culberson homered to lead Atlanta over San Diego.

The N.L. East-leading Braves improved to 25-7 when their starter pitches at least six innings, and Newcomb has been a big reason for the success.

A winner in eight of his last nine decisions, Newcomb (8-2) allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven. He retired the last 13 batters he faced.

Dan Winkler faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Arodys Vizcaino earned his 14th save in 16 chances by working through a shaky ninth.

Jordan Lyles (2-4) allowed two base runners – a single by Dansby Swanson in the first and another by Culberson in the second – before Culberson’s third homer made it 1-0 in the fifth.

Marlins 5, Orioles 4: In Baltimore, J.T. Realmuto homered twice and had four RBIs off Alex Cobb, and Miami handed Baltimore its ninth straight loss.

Realmuto singled in a run in the first inning, hit a two-run shot in the third and led off the fifth with his ninth home run. It was his fourth career multihomer game, the second this season.

The Orioles, who have their longest skid since a 10-game stretch in July 2011, tied a club record with their 11th consecutive home loss and fell to 19-50 overall, the worst record in the majors.

Jonathan Schoop homered and Manny Machado had two RBIs for the Orioles. They have gone more than a month without winning at Camden Yards.

Wei-Yin Chen (2-3) limited Baltimore to three runs over six innings to earn his first victory since April 28. Drew Steckenrider worked the ninth for his first save.

Cobb (2-9) allowed five runs and seven hits over seven innings.

Athletics 6, Angels 4: In Oakland, California, Stephen Piscotty hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs in the sixth inning and Oakland held on to beat Los Angeles.

Chad Pinder homered and tripled, Marcus Semien also went deep and Jonathan Lucroy drew a bases-loaded walk to help Oakland end its season-high four-game losing streak.

Sean Manaea (6-6) pitched four-hit ball and allowed three runs over six innings. The left-hander retired the first 12 batters, stumbled through a shaky fifth, then recovered for his first win in more than a month.

Chris Young hit a three-run home run for Los Angeles.

Semien homered leading off the sixth to chase Angels starter John Lamb. Reliever Noe Ramirez (2-3) hit Pinder with a pitch, walked Khris Davis an out later before hitting Matt Olson to load the bases. Ramirez struck out pinch-hitter Dustin Fowler but Lucroy walked to force in the tying run and Piscotty hit a two-run single.

Pirates 6, Reds 2: In Pittsburgh, Josh Harrison hit a two-run homer, Colin Moran and Elias Diaz added solo shots and Pittsburgh pulled away from Cincinnati.

Moran and Diaz both went deep off Luis Castillo (4-8) to give Pittsburgh the lead. Harrison hit his fourth of the season off reliever Austin Brice in the sixth.

Harrison finished 2 for 4 and is hitting .368 this season against the Reds. Rookie Austin Meadows also went 2 for 4 to boost his average to .333.

Ivan Nova (4-5) worked through heavy traffic in six innings to pick up his second victory in two starts since returning from the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ring finger.

Rockies 5, Rangers 2: In Arlington, Texas, Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the eighth inning, and Texas snapped a seven-game losing streak.

The 39-year-old Beltre, who has been on the disabled list twice this season because of a strained left hamstring, got the triple on a fly ball that went over the head of right fielder Carlos Gonzalez and ricocheted off the bottom half of the outfield wall. It was Beltre’s 3,095th career hit, tops among active players.

Delino DeShields drew a leadoff walk against Harrison Musgrave (0-2), and went to third on Jurickson Profar’s single. Both scored on Beltre’s 38th career triple. Ryan Rua took over as a pinch runner and came home on Rougned Odor’s sacrifice fly.

Jose Leclerc (2-2) struck out two in a perfect eighth and Keone Kela worked the ninth for his 15th save, the most in the majors without a blown chance.

Twins 9, Indians 3: In Cleveland, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco was pulled after he was struck on the right arm by a line drive, and Minnesota got four hits from Eddie Rosario in a win over Cleveland.

Carrasco grabbed his arm after being hit by Joe Mauer’s leadoff liner in the second inning and went to his knees on the infield grass. The Indians announced he was taken to a hospital for examination of a forearm contusion.

Rosario hit his 16th homer for the Twins, who have won five straight against the A.L. Central leaders to improve to 6-2 against Cleveland this season. Rosario also scored four times, drove in two runs and swiped a base.

Minnesota scored four runs in the first off Carrasco (8-5). Eduardo Escobar and Max Kepler each hit a two-run double in the inning. Logan Morrison had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth.

Matt Magill (2-1) got the win with three scoreless innings in relief of Fernando Romero.

Phillies 4, Brewers 1: In Milwaukee, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew Knapp hit home runs and Philadelphia overcame stranding 15 runners on base to beat Milwaukee.

Zach Eflin (4-2) beat Milwaukee for the second time in a week. The Brewers began the day with the best record in the National League, and had scored 40 runs against the Phillies in four previous games before being stymied by Eflin and four relievers.

Eflin gave up one run in five innings. Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 13 chances.

Hoskins hit a towering home run in the fourth off the window of a restaurant on Miller Park’s third level to tie the score at 1-1. Junior Guerra (3-5) had retired eight in a row before Hoskins, who also doubled, singled and walked, hit his ninth homer.

The Phillies took the lead in the fifth on Knapp’s leadoff homer to straightaway center.

Mariners 1, Red Sox 0: In Seattle, Wade LeBlanc pitched into the eighth inning and Nelson Cruz had an RBI single as Seattle beat Boston.

LeBlanc gave up just two hits and struck out nine over 7 2/3 innings. After a single by Mookie Betts on the opening at-bat of the game, LeBlanc (3-0) retried the next 22 batters until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the eighth.

Alex Colome got pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to pop out to end the inning, and Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

Dodgers 3, Giants 1: In Los Angeles, Enrique Hernandez and Matt Kemp each homered for the second consecutive game, Alex Wood got his first victory since May 20 and Los Angeles beat San Francisco.

The Dodgers have won five straight, all at home, and are 11-2 in June and 21-6 since May 17.

The Giants have lost 17 of their last 23 road games and are 3-6 on their 10-game trip to Washington, Miami and Los Angeles.

Hernandez hit his 10th home run and fourth career against starter Madison Bumgarner. Kemp hit his 12th home run and has reached base in 15 of his last 18 games against the Giants. Both players went deep in a 3-2 win Friday over the Giants.

The Dodgers lead the majors with 34 home runs in 13 games in June.

Cubs 6, Cardinals 3: In St. Louis, Addison Russell and Jason Heyward homered and Ian Happ’s double broke a 3-all tie as the Chicago rallied to beat St. Louis.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (5-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, snapping a career-high three game losing streak. Brandon Morrow got the last three outs for his 16th save in 17 chances.

Chicago trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 before Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single in the fifth tied the score for the second time. Happ’s double off Sam Tuivailala (1-2) in the seventh gave the Cubs their first lead.

Mets 5, Diamondbacks 1: In Phoenix, Michael Conforto hit a three-run home run and added an RBI double to power New York past Arizona.

Steven Matz picked up the win for the Mets, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run on six hits with three strikeouts.

Golf Roundup – 2018 U.S. OPEN: Johnson in 4-way tie after day of survival at US Open

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   A glance at the third round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.

Leading: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger, all 3-over-par 213.

Just behind: Justin Rose is one stroke back, while Henrik Stenson is another shot behind.

Big number: Phil Mickelson took a 10 on the 13th hole on his way to an 81.

Big controversy: Mickelson ran and intentionally hit his ball back to the hole while it was still moving on 13, getting a 2-stroke penalty.

Notable: It was the highest 54-hole score to lead in a U.S. Open since 1974.

Key stat: The scoring average was 75.33, the highest for a third round since Pebble Beach in 2000. There were three rounds under par, and eight over 80.

Quotable: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s something you might see at your home course with your mates or something. But it was just a moment — I think it’s just a moment of madness.” — playing partner Andrew Johnston, on Mickelson hitting his ball while it was moving.

Featured tee times: Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, 2:02 p.m. EDT; Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, 2:13 p.m.

TV: 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Fox



SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Dustin Johnson at least gets one more round to try to redeem himself in the U.S. Open.

So does the USGA.

The best players in the world were no match for a Shinnecock Hills course that even the USGA conceded got out of hand Saturday. Putts were rolling some 50 feet by the hole and over the green. No one from the final 22 groups could match par. Phil Mickelson intentionally broke a rule on the 13th when he trotted to his ball rolling by the cup and swatted it with his putter as the ball was still moving.

“It was a very tough test, but probably too tough this afternoon,” said Mike Davis, the USGA’s chief executive. “We must slow the courses down tonight, and we will.”

It was too late for one of the wildest Saturday shake-ups at the U.S. Open.

Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, who started the third round 11 shots out of the lead, each shot 4-under 66 before Johnson hit his first shot. Johnson faced greens that made him feel as though he were putting on glass, and it was like that to the very end.

Johnson, who started with a four-shot lead, barely nudged his 17-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole and watched it roll — and roll — 8 feet by the cup. He missed the par putt coming back and signed for a 77 to fall into a four-way tie for the lead.

“I didn’t feel like I played badly at all,” Johnson said. “Seven over usually is a terrible score, but with the greens the way they got this afternoon, I mean they were very, very difficult. I had seven or eight putts that easily could have gone in the hole that didn’t. And that’s the difference between shooting 7 over and even par.”

At least he still has a chance, and he had plenty more company at the top than at the start of the day.

Johnson joined Berger, Finau and defending champion Brooks Koepka (72) at 3-over 213, the highest 54-hole score to lead the U.S. Open since the fabled “Massacre at Winged Foot” in 1974.

It was the first time since Oakmont in 2007 that no one was under par going into the final day. With wind that was stronger than expected, and a few pin positions that turned the U.S. Open into carnival golf, it was easy to see why.

Davis told Golf Channel he would have liked a mulligan, the same word he used nearly a month ago when discussing the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills when the seventh green wouldn’t hold shots and had to be lightly sprayed with water between groups.

That didn’t go over well with Ian Poulter after a 76.

“Is that an apology?” he tweeted . “You don’t get mulligan’s in business at this level. how can this team keep doing this without consequences.”

Mickelson brought plenty of attention to the 13th hole, where anything that ran by the cup was headed off the green. Worst yet might have been No. 15, where Piercy had a 30-foot birdie putt that finished rolling 75 feet away off the green. Koepka hit an approach to near the hole, and it moved a few inches to the right, and then a few more feet, and soon it was in a bunker.

“You were seeing shots that were well played and not rewarded,” Davis said.

Berger and Finau, who made the cut with one shot to spare, will play in the final group.

“I barely made the cut. Going into today, I needed something special to happen to even have an outside chance,” Finau said as Johnson and Scott Piercy were making their way down the first fairway in the final group. “Whether I do or not at the end of today, I’m really happy with where I’m at.”

Right behind them will be the last two U.S. Open champions. Koepka made only two birdies in his hard-earned round of 72, leaving him poised to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to win back-to-back in the U.S. Open.

Only three players broke par, all before the final groups teed off.

“If they’d have shot 4 under this afternoon, it would probably have been the best round of golf anybody’s ever seen,” Koepka said.

Two other major champions — Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson — were right behind, and both had a share of the lead at one point. Both had three straight bogeys. Rose wound up with a 73 and was one shot behind at 214. Stenson had a 74 and was another shot back.

The return to Shinnecock Hills was supposed to make the U.S. Open feel like a traditional test that felt more like survival.

“Be care what you wish for,” Rose said. “We’ve all been asking for a real U.S. Open again. So I guess we got one for sure this week.”

And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints.

“I’m going to find Mike Davis,” Pat Perez said after signing for a 77. “It’s the U.S. Open. It’s supposed to be hard. When is enough enough? It’s not about hard. There’s no other tournament where you see the guys putt off the greens.”

Not all the statements were verbal.

Mickelson celebrated his 48th birthday by matching his worst score in his 27th U.S. Open with an 81, and he provided the snapshot of a day that was entertaining for reasons the USGA didn’t imagine.

He went from behind the 13th green all the way off the front. His next shot was 18 feet above the hole. His bogey putt slid by, and after a few putts, Mickelson trotted after it and then stuck out his putter and hit the ball back toward the cup to keep it from running off the green. That’s a two-shot penalty, giving him a 10.

“It’s just a moment of madness,” said Andrew “Beef” Johnston, who played with Mickelson and couldn’t stifle a laugh.

Mickelson apologized if anyone was offended by his act, even after saying he knew the rules for hitting a ball in motion and was happy to take a two-shot penalty instead of playing a crude version of tennis with his ball going back-and-forth, back-and-forth across the green.

“Look, I don’t mean disrespect by anybody,” Mickelson said. “I know it’s a two-shot penalty. At that time I just didn’t feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It’s my understanding of the rules. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve wanted to do that, I just finally did it.”

Johnson didn’t have anything that wild — not like the 82 he had at Pebble Beach when he entered the final round with a three-shot lead in the 2010 U.S. Open. This was more of a slow bleed that began with a shot off a sandy path and three putts on the par-3 second hole for his first double bogey of the championship. His lead was gone with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 seventh. He was back in the lead when everyone around him couldn’t hang on.

The scoring average was 75.33, the highest for a third round in the U.S. Open since Pebble Beach in 2000.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat had the only other round under par. He made the cut on the number, was the seventh player to tee off and shot 2-under 68. He goes into the final round just three shots out of the lead.

WNBA Roundup: Mercury beat Sun 89-72 for 7th straight victory

PHOENIX (AP) — Diana Taurasi had 19 points, DeWanna Bonner added 15 and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Connecticut Sun 89-72 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to seven games.

The Mercury (9-3) have the longest active streak in the WNBA and matched the 1998 and 2014 teams for the best start in franchise history. Sancho Lyttle added 14 points for Phoenix, Brittney Griner had 12, Camille Little 11.

Morgan Tuck led the Sun (7-4) with 20 points, and Brionna Jones had a career-high 17.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Victoria Vivians scored a career-best 21 points to help Indiana beat Atlanta for its first victory of the season.

The Fever (1-10) trailed 38-35 at halftime before outscoring the Dream 36-16 advantage in the third quarter. Indiana opened the fourth quarter with a 15-6 run to lead 86-60.

Indiana’s 10-game losing streak matched a franchise worst. The Fever’s last regular-season win came on Aug. 6 and was followed by eight straight losses to end the 2017 season.

Angel McCoughtry led the Dream (6-5) with 19 points and eight rebounds.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sylvia Fowles scored 25 points, hitting 10 of 13 shots, in Minnesota’s victory over New York.

Maya Moore added 20 points, and Cecilia Zandalasini had 13 for the defending campion Lynx (4-6). Tina Charles had 12 points for the Liberty (3-6).

Soccer Roundup – 2018 World Cup: Messi misses penalty, Iceland holds Argentina to 1-1 draw / MLS Recap / World Scores

MOSCOW (AP) — If there is one flaw in Lionel Messi’s genius, it might be his failure to score penalty kicks in big games.

Add Messi’s saved attempt against Iceland on Saturday at the World Cup to misses for Argentina in shootouts for the Copa America title, and for Barcelona in a Champions League semifinal match that was later lost.

At least Messi’s miss in the 64th minute at Spartak Stadium — his fourth in his last seven penalty attempts for his club and his country — was not in a losing cause. A 1-1 draw with impressive World Cup newcomer Iceland is far from a fatal blow to Argentina’s chances of advancing from a well-balanced group that also includes Croatia and Nigeria.

“It hurt missing the penalty. It could have given us the lead and that could have changed the match,” Messi said. “It would have changed their game plan, too. They probably would open a little bit more and we could get more space.”

The day after Cristiano Ronaldo scored three times from three shots on target — including a penalty and a spectacular free kick — to salvage a point for Portugal against Spain, Messi’s tally of 11 shots, only three on target, and no goals was curious.

The score was already 1-1 when Argentina was awarded the penalty after Hordur Magnusson’s tumbling fall over Sergio Aguero as both chased Messi’s floated cross. Messi placed his shot to the right of Hannes Halldorsson, but the Iceland goalkeeper dived and got two hands behind the ball.

“I did my homework. I looked at a lot of penalties from Messi,” Halldorsson said. “I had a good feeling that he would go this way today.”

Messi had a final chance to redeem his team with the final kick of the game, but his free kick from 25 yards failed to clear a solid defensive wall. It summed up the entire second half of resolute hard work by Iceland.

At the end, Messi retreated alone into the center circle with his head bowed and hands on his knees.

The Argentina great, considered by many to be the best player of all time, has missed more than 20 penalty kicks in his career.

“That’s just another statistic, it’s part of the past,” Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said of Messi’s latest miscue.

Iceland played its debut on soccer’s biggest stage like it belonged alongside the 2014 runners-up. Indeed, the result and performance matched its European Championship two years ago. Then, Iceland frustrated and stopped Ronaldo from scoring and rallied to earn a 1-1 draw with Portugal.

The small Nordic island nation’s team could have taken an early lead Saturday but Birkir Bjarnason side-footed a shot wide of goal when goalkeeper Willy Caballero was exposed.

Aguero then scored in the 19th minute. Spinning off a defender with his back to goal at the penalty spot, Aguero moved to his right and hooked his left foot around to send a rising shot high into the net.

It was a finish worthy of Argentina great Diego Maradona, who was watching in the VIP seats. The FIFA ambassador was puffing a large cigar despite smoking being banned in all World Cup venues.

Iceland was level four minutes later, however, when Alfred Finnbogason scored after Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero pushed a low cross into the forward’s path for a volley from eight yards.


Argentina fans booed and whistled when the giant stadium screen showed Halldorsson was named man of the match. But his faultless handling and excellent shot-stopping was deserving of the accolade.

In contrast, Caballero caused uneasy moments for his defense in the first half.

Iceland also protected Halldorsson with swarming runs and tackling to shut down Messi and Argentina’s attacking lanes.


This was the first game in Group D, which looks even more evenly balanced now than it did at kickoff. Croatia and Nigeria are also in the group.

Argentina will next play Croatia on Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod, while Iceland plays Nigeria on Friday in Volgograd.


“Are you Cristiano Ronaldo’s uncle?” Halldorsson said to a reporter who asked why Iceland celebrated so much for a draw.

Ronaldo criticized Iceland the same way after Portugal’s 1-1 draw in Iceland’s Euro 2016 debut.

“Maybe we needed to be more creative in the first half. We were very slow on the ball,” Sampaoli said.


Thousands of Iceland fans did their ritual claps and war chants of “Huh!” during the game and after the final whistle with their players. But they were massively outnumbered in the 45,000-capacity stadium by Argentina fans, and Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson did not understand why.

“Strangely, we had difficulties in buying tickets,” he said. “I can’t see where all the Argentinians bought their tickets. Because we could have sold much more in Iceland.

“Just wait and see when we win a game,” Hallgrimsson said. “That is going to be a celebration.”



MOSCOW (AP) — Day 3 of the World Cup began Saturday with France becoming the first team to benefit from a penalty called after video review in a World Cup match. Antoine Griezmann put France ahead with the ensuing penalty kick. Australia tied it with a penalty kick by Mile Jedniak, but France moved ahead again when Paul Pogba’s shot hit the crossbar and then made it over the goal line. The tally was confirmed by goal-line technology.

In the second match, Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick and Iceland managed a 1-1 draw against Argentina in the first World Cup appearance for the tiny island nation.

On Saturday evening, Peru’s Christian Cueva sailed a penalty kick over the goal in a match against Denmark, which won 1-0 on Yussuf Poulsen’s goal in the 58th minute.

The final match was a 2-0 win for Denmark over Nigeria. Luka Modric scored on a penalty kick after Denmark went ahead on a first-half own-goal by Nigeria.



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"PhatzRadio - A New view from the News Room"




Weekly Music / Sports Talk Schedule
NBA Unplugged 1:00PM
Audibly Offensive 2:02PM
The War Room 3:01PM
Smooth Jazz 5:11PM
PopSports Sports Radio Tues.AM
The Broad Street Line Wed.AM
After Further Review Wed.AM
HoopGirlz Radio Thur.AM
Gaffer & Hooligan Soccer Fri.AM