For the Chicago Cubs Rickard Rakell Jersey , the last few days have felt like Christmas in July.
The team has won five games in a row and will try to stretch it to six on Wednesday afternoon in a Fourth of July matinee.
“Everything is believable,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters when asked about his team’s recent hot streak. “We believe in everything right now. Santa Claus is absolutely true.
“When you get to that point and you get that kind of confidence, you don’t want to do anything to nick it.”
Chicago (48-35) has climbed 13 games above .500 to match its high-water mark. The Cubs have a chance to set a new high when they host the Detroit Tigers (38-49) in the finale of a two-game series at Wrigley Field.
All of the Cubs’ five wins during the streak have been in come-from-behind fashion.
“One of our concepts is to score first,” Maddon said. “One of our concepts is to win the inning. But I think this is maybe the residue of our starting pitching not being what it probably is. We’ve given up more runs early from our starters that we didn’t anticipate happening.
“But it’s a tightly knit group. They’re there to pick everybody else up. So, OK Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids , they’ve scored a couple runs. There’s no quit. The chatter in the dugout is great, all that stuff is outstanding. I just think that the come-from-behind component right now is based on our starters not pitching to their capabilities yet.”
That said, the Cubs will look for a solid start from left-hander Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.31 ERA) in his 17th start of the season. The 29-year-old has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 12 starts.
In 18 career starts against the Tigers, Quintana is 5-5 with a 4.37 ERA. The Colombia native has walked 26 and struck out 82 in 111 1/3 innings.
The Tigers will counter with veteran left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-4 Nikolaj Ehlers Jersey , 3.99 ERA), who is scheduled to make his 13th start of the season. The burly southpaw carries a career record of 105-103 with a 4.14 ERA in 335 career games.
More than a few teams could be scouting the 34-year-old Liriano as the trade deadline approaches. He is coming off a quality start against the Toronto Blue Jays but has not logged a victory since April 17 against the Baltimore Orioles.
In 14 career starts against the Cubs, Liriano is 5-4 with a 3.27 ERA. He most recently faced the club in 2016, when he posted an 0-2 record with a 7.63 ERA in three starts with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Tigers could turn to a six-man rotation in the next couple weeks, which is fine with Liriano.
“I think that would work Andre Burakovsky Jersey ,” Liriano said recently to mlive.com. “It wouldn’t bother me at all. I don’t know about any other guys. (Blaine) Hardy has been doing a great job, so it’s hard to put him in the bullpen with the way he’s throwing the ball right now. I think that’s a great idea.”
Injured Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (shoulder) is not expected to play Wednesday. He is hitting .280 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 66 games this season.
The NFL released a statement outlining聽a new anthem policy agreed to in a unanimous vote of league owners at this week’s meetings in Atlanta.
The policy calls for everyone on the field for the song to “stand and show respect,” but allows for players and other personnel to remain off the field if they choose. It also calls for the league to fine teams whose personnel do not “stand and show respect” and allows teams to set their own “work rules” for players who do not stand for the song.
After the NFL released its statement, the NFLPA responded with one of its own.
“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service http://www.officialsharks.com/authentic-adidas-logan-couture-jersey , in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.
“The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL鈥檚 Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.
“Our union will review the new 鈥減olicy鈥?and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”
At a brief press conference after the release of the statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said there was “incredible engagement” with players about the anthem issue and said any response to the union would come in direct conversation with them. He was also asked who would be the arbiter of what it means to “show respect” and said the “general public has a very good feel” for what that is without delving into a detailed discussion of what that might mean beyond kneeling.
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When Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold entered the team’s new practice facility a couple of weeks ago Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , the organizational motto was staring him in the face.
So was the advice he should make a change in the front office, despite his fondness of general manager Chuck Fletcher.
”It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door: `Good is not good enough,”’ Leipold said. ”I felt that was a signal for me.”
The Wild split with Fletcher after nine seasons and only two playoff series wins, a decision – ”very agonizing,” Leipold said – that the 25-year veteran of NHL management would not have his contract renewed was delivered in a Monday morning meeting.
”I wanted a new set of eyes on this team,” Leipold said.
The Wild have six straight postseason appearances, matching the longest current streak in the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks, but they have not reached the second round since 2015. They were only 15-29 in playoff games during Fletcher’s tenure, enough evidence that the roster wasn’t built well enough for all the success the team has enjoyed in the regular season.
”Right now I just don’t see us with this team getting to the championship series. I just don’t see it,” Leipold said. ”I think we’re a good team. I really do, and I just talked to our players about this. They’re a good team, but they’re not good enough right now.”
Since Fletcher stunned the NHL by signing left wing Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, the market’s most-coveted free agents in 2012, the Wild have been a runaway success on the business side with sellouts at Xcel Energy Center as routine as the aroma of mini donuts and the swish of the skates on the ice. The fans have been frustrated by the postseason plateau Womens Deryk Engelland Jersey , though, and Leipold bluntly acknowledged he dismissed Fletcher in part to appease the customers.
”The fans deserve to win one here,” Leipold said. ”This is the state of hockey, and I’m really confident that we’re going to have candidates that are interested in coming here because of our fans, because of our market, because of our team. I’m energized by the opportunity to talk to some of these people.”
Leipold, who purchased the Wild the year before hiring Fletcher, said the move was unrelated to the Wild’s early exit this year. They lost in five games in the first round to the Winnipeg Jets, after being ousted in five games in 2017 by the St. Louis Blues. Last year, Leipold declined to extend Fletcher’s deal.
”My antenna’s been up,” Leipold said. ”Chuck and I have had numerous conversations all year. I wanted to wait until the end of the year to assess everything, to understand how I feel about where we’re going. Are we still in the window to win the Stanley Cup? I believe we are. He believed we are. But my personal feeling was that I wanted someone new to come in and kind of shake it up.”
Leipold said he won’t order a significant rebuild, nor does he believe that’s necessary for postseason progress. He added he would not hire a general manager who recommended a long-haul approach to hoisting the Stanley Cup.
”We were sixth overall two years ago. We were eighth overall this year,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”We’ve got an awful lot of good Mark Stone Jersey , moving parts there. We’ll tweak it a little bit, and we’ll be better.”
The Wild haven’t struggled enough to get a game-changer in the draft, with Matt Dumba in 2012 (seventh) and Mikael Granlund in 2010 (ninth) the only top-10 picks that Fletcher and his staff had. The rival Jets, for example, picked up Patrik Laine with the second overall selection in 2016 and watched him finish second in the NHL with 44 goals in 2017-18 while the team posted the second-best record in the league.
In one way, the Parise-Suter signings for 13 years and $98 million each have worked against the Wild considering they account for 20 percent of their salary cap space and are on the books for seven more seasons. But Suter had a career-high 45 assists, before breaking his right ankle with four games left in the regular season, and Parise was one of the team’s best forwards down the stretch with 12 goals in the last 19 games. He scored in all three playoff games before breaking his sternum.
Trades that didn’t pan out under Fletcher have hurt the Wild more than any free-agent signing or first-round draft pick. Charlie Coyle is all that’s left from the deal that sent defenseman Brent Burns to San Jose in 2011, and Coyle didn’t notch a goal or an assist in the series against the Jets. The trade last summer that sent Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella to Buffalo for Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis didn’t wind up helping.
So Fletcher’s successor will eventually go to work on a roster that produced a goal-less streak of 141:27 to end the series with Winnipeg.
”If you look at the teams moving on, the teams that are winning, they’re scoring and playing at a pretty fast pace,” Parise said. ”We’ve got to get to that level.”
CHICAGO — If the Chicago Cubs were looking for a glimmer of hope in an otherwise forgettable road trip, a seven-run seventh inning provided a spark.
A day before the Cubs open a nine-game homestand on Friday against the Minnesota Twins, Thursday’s seven-spot helped deliver an 11-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers that helped the Cubs earn a split of the four-game series.
The Cubs lost six of the eight games on that road trip Tomas Tatar Jersey , but that victory in Thursday’s series finale may have been just what the Cubs needed. Despite their recent struggles, the Cubs won’t get too wrapped up in their recent skid.
“We’re in June,” center fielder Albert Almora Jr., told reporters. “Obviously, we want to get on a roll and start playing good baseball and this is a good way to move into our home (stand) now.
“We’re not where we want to be obviously, but this is a step in the right direction.”
Thursday’s outcome was better than the news that came earlier in the day.
Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish experienced pain in his right triceps during a bullpen session Thursday, which will prevent him from returning to the starting rotation this weekend.
“It didn’t go that well and he wasn’t able to cut it loose,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters, according to the Cubs’ official website. “We’ll re-evaluate once we go back to Chicago and let you know the next step. For right now, he’s not going to be able to pitch on Saturday.”
Darvish’s injury has opened the door of opportunity for Mike Montgomery, who will open the series against the Twins. Montgomery (2-2, 3.39 ERA) transitioned into the rotation from the bullpen in late May and has been effective. But after allowing no more than one earned run in each of his first five starts, Montgomery struggled in his last outing when he allowed four runs over six innings against the Cincinnati Reds.
Montgomery is 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two career appearances, including one start Dustin Brown Jersey , against the Twins. The lone start came in 2015, when he allowed one run and four hits over six innings, but did not get a decision.
The Twins enter this weekend’s series off a marathon 13-inning, 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Minnesota avoided a sweep while playing the third of six games they will play in Chicago this week.
After Fernando Rodney allowed the tying run to score in the ninth inning, the Twins pulled out the victory with a bases-loaded walk to Max Kepler. The Twins will face the Cubs having lost five of their past seven games.
Like the Cubs, the Twins hope a win can build momentum after Minnesota’s recent slide erased any positive energy that came earlier this month in series wins over the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.
“Obviously, this series and the last series have been unfortunate coming off two huge series wins,” second baseman Brian Dozier told reporters Thursday. “But that’s kind of how we’ve played the first few months of the season, which is not good. But I keep saying this team has potential to catch fire and do good things. I know we keep waiting on that and waiting on that, and in a perfect world, it would start today. But I think the mindset is where it needs to be. We just have to start winning more games.”
Jose Berrios will start for the Twins. Berrios (8-5, 3.15) has not lost since May 27 and is coming off a strong seven-inning effort against the Texas Rangers in which he allowed no runs and two hits and struck out 12.
Berrios will face the Cubs for the first time in his career on Friday.
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Johnny Manziel is in the midst of his first start in the Canadian Football League. It is not going well.
Manziel has thrown four interceptions in the first half Youth Colin Miller Jersey , and his Montreal Alouettes are trailing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 38-3.
Although Manziel has shown some of the good mobility and capable arm that made him a star at Texas A&M, he has also made a couple of truly boneheaded throws, the kinds of throws that no quarterback at any level of football should make. Yes, Manziel hasn’t had much time to learn Montreal’s playbook, having recently been traded to Montreal from Hamilton, but even if he doesn’t know all the plays, he should know not to throw the ball directly into an opposing player’s hands.
Manziel is committed to the CFL for two years, and one half of football is far too soon to make any real judgments about what kind of player he’s going to be. But this has been an ugly half of football.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Matt Nagy read off the numbers almost like the winning lottery ticket: 12-80-10.
The Chicago Bears coach is hoping the offense can strike it rich this season with the additions of receiver Allen Robinson (No. 12) and tight end Trey Burton (No. 8) Kyle Connor Jersey , to pair with young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (No. 10).
Throughout camp, the trio has steadily honed their chemistry. That was evident Thursday when the team had a joint practice against the Denver Broncos.
“The one thing I’ve really seen is 12 and 80, both their timing is starting to click with 10 ,” said Nagy, whose team faces the Broncos on Saturday in a preseason contest.
Robinson is rounding back into form after tearing his ACL in the opener last season while with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He signed a three-year, $42 million free agent deal with the Bears to become Trubisky’s top target.
Then there’s Burton, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles last season who may be best remembered for throwing a 1-yard TD pass to quarterback Nick Foles during a Super Bowl win over New England.
Burton rattled off numerous reasons why he signed with Chicago — the offense, the coach, the city and of course No. 10.
“A young quarterback who everybody says nothing but great things about Sean Monahan Jersey ,” Burton said.
The second-overall pick in 2017, Trubisky threw for 2,193 yards, seven TDs and seven interceptions his rookie season. With Nagy running the show, the Bears figure to take more shots down the field.
That’s extremely enticing to Trubisky, whose team ranked at the bottom of the league in yards passing per game in 2017.
“We’re going to keep being aggressive,” Trubisky said. “The key is to be consistent with them, hit them. It really stretches the field, and it opens up the run game Alex Burmistrov Jersey , opens up the intermediate throws as well. We’re going to continue to be aggressive, which I love.”
Asked what he does best on the field, Trubisky didn’t blink: “That’s too generic.”
He quickly pondered.
“What do I think I do best? I don’t know. I love football,” he responded. “I love coming out here with my teammates and doing the best I possibly can. I wouldn’t say there’s really one (way) how I would categorize my game. I want to continue to get better every day and try to be great.”
Maybe a little surprising is how fast Trubisky has gotten in sync with Robinson and Burton.
“It speaks to the type of guys they are, their knowledge of the game and their work ethic, as well as mine,” Trubisky said. “We’ve been getting on the same page, repping over and over again and really developing that trust and chemistry on and off the field so I know where they’re going to be. They do a good job getting open. We’ve really been clicking.”
Robinson is slated to see some action for the Bears on Saturday. Trubisky and the first-team offense gained minus-1 yards on eight plays last week at Cincinnati.
Obviously, Nagy wants to see more.
“You want to score touchdowns. You want to be able to put points on the board Craig Anderson Jersey ,” Nagy said. “I want to see some first downs. I want to see a balance of run and pass. I want to see solid protection. If you have protection and give that quarterback green grass, they’ll produce.”
Nagy liked what he saw out of Trubisky after two days of facing a Broncos defense featuring the disruptive Von Miller.
“Arrow up,” Nagy said. “It was two good days and that’s what his expectations are and that’s what he knows we want.”
He does at that.
“Every snap matters. Every practice rep, every preseason game matters,” Trubisky said. “We’re coming out here competing every day. We’re always trying to get better. No matter what it is, if it’s on the practice field, if I’m in the backyard by myself or if it’s a preseason game, we’re trying to get better and we’re trying to move the football.
“That’s what great players do. That’s what great teams do. We’re trying to get some momentum.”
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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
LAST SEASON: 51-24-7 Alex DeBrincat Jersey , 109 points. First place Pacific Division. Lost to Washington Capitals in Stanley Cup Final
COACH: Gerard Gallant (second season, eighth NHL season).
ADDED: LW Max Pacioretty, C Paul Stastny, D Nick Holden
LOST: RW James Neal, LW David Perron, D Luca Sbisa
PLAYER TO WATCH: William Karlsson. Before last season, Karlsson’s previous career highs were nine goals and 20 points Luke Schenn Jersey Kids , numbers he reached in 2015-16. Last season, he was the catalyst for the Golden Knights‘ high-octane offense by finishing with 43 goals and 78 points in the regular season. He agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million extension over the summer and will be looking to prove he’s worth every dollar and deserving of a bigger contract next summer.
OUTLOOK: After their run to the Stanley Cup Final, the losses of Neal and Perron meant the Golden Knights would take a significant hit to their offense. But the additions of Stastny and Pacioretty immediately made Vegas a contender again. Shea Theodore ended his holdout, and when fellow-defenseman Nate Schmidt returns from his 20-game suspension in November, the Knights may be favored to win the Western Conference again.
While the Carolina Panthers opened the regular season with a 16-8 win against the Dallas Cowboys, it did not come without a cost.
Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen spent the second half watching the game from the sideline on crutches with his right foot in a boot 鈥?the same foot he fractured in 2017 causing him to miss nine games. Later in the game Ryan Kesler Jersey , second-team All-Pro right tackle Daryl Williams was carted off with a knee injury and did not return.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney offered no immediate updates Monday on the extent of the injuries.
"I've told you this, and I'll tell you again: I have not talked to RV (head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion)," Rivera said Monday. "I usually wait until after this (news conference). It's a question I'm not going to answer. I don't know (the extent of the injury), to be honest with you."
The Panthers are expected to turn to rookie Ian Thomas to start Sunday at tight end against Atlanta, while Amini Silatolu will likely fill in at right tackle.
The Panthers are high on Thomas, who they think has the combination of receiving and blocking skills to be a good fit in their offense, even though he only played two seasons of major college football at Indiana.
"I think he's pretty well prepared Rick Nash Jersey ," Rivera said. "There are some things, obviously, that he still has to learn and he has a long way to go in terms of having the natural feel that Greg has and having that rapport Greg has.
"He's been good with his blocking, he's been good with his route running, he's been good with his receiving. But he's got to get better as a route runner, a blocker and a receiver. He's a young guy. There's a lot to his game he's got to learn."
When the Panthers drafted Thomas with the first pick in the fourth round this year they did so with the idea of bringing him along slowly and learning behind Olsen.
He was a project, more or less.
But now everything has been fast-tracked.
"It's like going right into the fire and playing right away TJ Brodie Jersey ," Thomas said. "Learning from my mistakes every play. I played two years of college football but I guess now is my time to get all of the kinks out."
Thomas said he spoke to several teams before the NFL draft and walked away feeling that some of them felt like he wasn't a good blocker. He disagrees and is out to change that image.
"I felt like I have gotten much better over the last few months," Thomas said.
As for Williams, he dislocated his kneecap and tore the medial collateral ligament in training camp but managed to return for the season opener, which was no small feat. But he injured the same knee against the Cowboys when he got hit there by another player's helmet.
Silatolu, who had pretty much won the starting left guard spot before his own knee injury in preseason, will test his ware at the tackle spot if called upon to start.
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Tyler Saladino was activated from the disabled list and in the Milwaukee Brewers‘ starting lineup Thursday as they prepared to open a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves.
Saladino was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in late April and recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 9. He appeared in 16 games for the Brewers and was batting .326 in 16 games when he went down with a sprained ankle and landed on the DL on May 30.
His performance allowed the Brewers to send Orlando Arcia to Triple A to work out of an offensive funk. Arcia was brought back up when Saladino was hurt and has since been sent back to Colorado Springs while Brad Miller and Nate Orf shared time at shortstop.
Those two will remain in the mix at short Cal Clutterbuck Jersey , along with Saladino.
”Tyler had played so well, we were starting to give him regular `reps’ at shortstop before the injury,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ”What we were most impressed by is the way he played defense. He played shortstop at a really high level and was making very difficult plays look easy.”
To clear space for Saladino on the active roster, Milwaukee designated infielder Eric Sogard for assignment.
Sogard, 32, signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the team over the winter after batting .273 with a .393 OBP in 94 games for Milwaukee last season. He was never able to get on track in 2018 and was batting just .134 (13-for-97) with a .241 OBP and .165 slugging percentage in 55 games.
”He had some bad luck early in the season and he could never get out of it,” Counsell said. ”As we got healthier, we ran out of (roster) space. Eric made a huge contribution to us last year. And really Jimmy Howard Jersey , throughout all of this, he was a real pro in how he prepared and provided us with value.”
Sogard accepted an option to Colorado Springs earlier in the season, but by designating him for assignment he’s been removed from the 40-man roster. The Brewers have 10 days to trade him, release him or outright him to the minors.
New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore sat on the turf with his hands on his knees, disconsolate as he watched Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans coast into the end zone after beating him for a 50-yard touchdown.
It was a stark contrast to last November, when Evans caught one pass for 13 yards and received a one-game suspension after blindsiding Lattimore during a scuffle in the Saints' 30-10 victory at the Superdome.
This time, the Buccaneers' offense socked the Saints play after play after play. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a career-high 417 yards and four touchdowns while compiling a nearly perfect quarterback rating in Tampa Bay's 48-40 victory in New Orleans on Sunday.
Evans, covered primarily by Lattimore, was targeted seven times and caught all seven throws for 147 yards. DeSean Jackson added five receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
It was a new feeling for Lattimore Ondrej Kase Jersey , the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
"It isn't going to get me down," he said. "Everybody gets beat. We needed to get slapped in our face one good time to see we're not on a level we think we're on."
New Orleans, the defending NFC South champion, looked like the Super Bowl contender it expected to be on its opening drive, cruising 71 yards in six plays for a touchdown to go ahead 7-0.
Then, the defense took the field.
Jackson caught an easy 58-yard touchdown pass against a busted coverage on the Bucs' fourth play, setting the tone.
The Bucs punted only once, and that came because Fitzpatrick overthrew a wide-open Chris Godwin after cornerback Ken Crawley fell. The only other times they did not score were on a missed field goal and when Fitzpatrick took a knee to run out the clock at the end of the first half and the fourth quarter.
"We have to wipe our minds clean of this catastrophe that just happened," Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "We have to push forward."
The Saints never sacked Fitzpatrick. He threw for scores of 58 Adam Larsson Jersey , 50, 36 and 9 yards, completed five more passes for at least 20 yards and had another one_a 65-yarder down the sideline to Adam Humphries_negated by an illegal block.
Fitzpatrick, starting because Jameis Winston is suspended for the first three games under the NFL's personal conduct clause, had a quarterback rating of 156.2, just shy of the maximum 158.3.
"We couldn't stop anything," Lattimore said after New Orleans lost its season opener for the fifth straight season. "That's not going to get it done."
Drew Brees and the Saints offense matched Tampa Bay for a while, going ahead 17-14 on a 28-yard pass to Ted Ginn. But the Bucs kept scoring while New Orleans committed two costly turnovers.
Evans' long touchdown on Lattimore gave Tampa Bay a 41-24 lead with 2:58 left in the second quarter. He caught the ball at the 12 as Lattimore dived for him, but could not catch him.
"I have to be there Luke Glendening Jersey ," Lattimore said. "I'm all on an island by myself with no help. I'm a shutdown corner. I'm going to be frustrated every time somebody catches a pass on me."
There was plenty of frustration to go around on a day New Orleans wasted 485 yards of offense. After the Saints scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions to close the gap to 48-40, Fitzpatrick scrambled for 12 yards on third-and-11, allowing the Bucs to run out the clock.
It was Tampa Bay's eighth conversion in 13 third-down opportunities.
"Take your pick," Saints coach Sean Payton said when asked what went wrong defensively. "We did not hurry the passer. Guys were open. Third downs were awful. They had over 500 yards. We didn't disrupt the timing to any element of the passing game and (had) too many penalties.
"I can't think of any positives."
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A familiar face on offense and a fresh voice on defense headline the changes to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s revamped staff in the wake of the team’s first losing season since 2008.
Joe Philbin Joonas Donskoi Jersey , a Packers assistant from 2003 until 2012, was hired Wednesday as offensive coordinator, a job he held for his final five seasons before being named the Miami Dolphins’ head coach in January 2012. On defense, the Packers tabbed Mike Pettine, the ex-Cleveland Browns head coach who built successful defenses with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills but was largely out of football the last two years, serving as a consultant with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017.
McCarthy has also installed run- and pass-game coordinators on each side of the ball. On defense, former cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt was promoted to pass-game coordinator, while new inside linebackers coach Patrick Graham will serve as the run-game coordinator. On offense, longtime offensive line coach James Campen will be the run-game coordinator Michael Del Zotto Jersey , while new hire Jim Hostler, who coached wide receivers with Philbin in Indianapolis the past two seasons, will serve as the pass-game coordinator.
It’s all part of a staff overhaul that was the biggest of McCarthy’s tenure as he enters his 13th season as head coach.
”It’s like Year 1,” McCarthy said in introducing the new staff. ”Not only is the defense building a new playbook, so are we on the offense. We’re tightening that approach. And it’s been great. You have new input, you have new experiences that are in the room. You have a different way of saying the same thing. It’s been exciting. The energy is over the top.”
The changes come on the heels of a 7-9 season in which two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed 10 games with a broken right collarbone. It marked the end of an eight-year streak of playoff appearances – the longest in franchise history – and led to defensive coordinator Dom Capers, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and multiple position coaches being let go.
This is the first time McCarthy has changed both the offense and defensive coordinator in the same year. The seven new staffers are the most since Capers and an almost entirely new defensive staff arrived in 2009.
For Philbin, returning to the Packers was a matter of timing. On Jan. 8, 2012 Anders Lee Jersey , his 21-year-old son, Michael, drowned in the icy Fox River near the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus.
”It’s very, very emotional for all of us,” Philbin said of returning to Green Bay, roughly an hour north of where his son’s body was found. ”But we care and love a lot of people here, and a lot of people care about and love us. So it’s not easy, but this is what’s so special about Green Bay. Ultimately you want to contribute, you want to help people you care about and want to be with. At the end of the day Jimmy Howard Jersey , that I feel very good about when I put my head down at night.”
In Pettine, the Packers have a coordinator whose defenses have never finished out of the top 10. And after going 10-22 in two seasons in Cleveland, Pettine made it clear he is not taking the job so he can become a head coach again.
”When I was the head coach, I didn’t enjoy the lack of interaction with the actual football part of it,” Pettine said. ”I always made the comparison, it was going from being the teacher to now you’re the principal. . And I didn’t like it. I missed the camaraderie of the room, the interaction with the staff, the interaction with the players. The chess-game part of it – the designing a game plan tailored to your opponent.”
The Packers have not had a top-flight defense since 2010, when they last won the Super Bowl.
”We’re going to be prepared. It’s about paying attention to detail Ivan Provorov Jersey ,” Pettine said. ”There’s no magical (formula). People talk about scheme, what kind of playbook – that’s a very small part of playing great defense. … (When) you look at us, you’re going to see we’re going to be multiple and we’re going to be aggressive.”
The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The Raiders added another veteran to their secondary on Thursday and cut 2017 second-round pick Obi Melifonwu to make room.
Rodgers-Cromartie made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and '15 and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2016. He has played 153 games over 10 seasons with Arizona, Philadelphia, Denver and the past four years with the Giants. He has 30 career interceptions, including six returned for touchdowns, and 144 passes defensed.
Melifonwu has struggled to stay healthy with knee and hip injuries. He played five games as a rookie and has been sidelined most of this training camp. He was waived with an injured designation.
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The time has come to find out the time and place of the T.O. Hall of Fame induction celebration.
In a video posted on social media William Nylander Jersey , Terrell Owens announced that he’ll have an announcement on Tuesday regarding “when and where I’ll be having my Hall of Fame induction.”
Of course, the actual induction will be in Canton. But Owens has decided not to attend the formal induction ceremony — which we (or at least I) support wholeheartedly. The real question is whether the alternate induction will happen at the same time the formal ceremony occurs, or elsewhere.
And then the next question is whether the T.O.-only induction will be televised.
The announcement regarding the announcement, according to Owens, can come at any time on Tuesday but it’s more likely to come in the morning.
Shelby Miller did not get the results he wanted, but just being back on the mound for the first time in over a year was a positive for him.
Brian Anderson and Cameron Maybin each drove in two runs to help spoil Miller’s return to the mound after missing over a year for Tommy John surgery as the Miami Marlins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 on Monday night.
”It was so good to be back,” Miller said. ”I felt really good most of the game. I think my command could have been a little bit better Joonas Donskoi Jersey , but overall I think the results don’t play out as good as I pitched.”
Miller (0-1) made his first start since April 23, 2017 and gave up six hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings.
”It’s unfortunate it didn’t go the way he wanted as far as winning the game and going deep in the game, things he’s conditioned for, but just getting back on the mound and doing what he did today was really nice for all of us to see,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
He struck out five and walked two while throwing 85 pitches.
”It’s about getting out of there healthy, it’s about getting back on the bump after being off for 14 months, that alone is a goal reach in itself Womens Josh Anderson Jersey ,” Miller said. ”I’m just excited to be back and I’m excited to be a part of the team again.”
Dan Straily (3-3) pitched effectively while appealing a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey on June 19. Straily allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings for the Marlins.
”Frustrating start to the game,” Straily said. ”I was trying to get back where I was as a pitcher, where I needed to be.”
Justin Bour hit his 13th home run for Miami, which won its third straight.
”As an offense we know we’re not a club that’s going to be a quick strike, throw five or six (runs),” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”We’re kind of one here, two there type of offense and that’s the approach we’ve been taking.”
Jake Lamb began the scoring with a home run in the first inning for the Diamondbacks Steven Stamkos Jersey , who saw their four-game winning streak end.
Bour responded with a solo shot in the bottom half.
Jeff Mathis’s base hit and Miller’s sacrifice fly gave Arizona a 3-1 lead.
The Marlins cut the deficit to 3-2 on a single by Starlin Castro.
Miami scored three runs in the pivotal fourth to take a 5-3 lead on a base hit by Derek Dietrich and a two-run double by Anderson.
The Marlins broke the game open in the eighth with four runs sparked by Maybin’s two-run single.
Chris Owings’s RBI double and Mathis’s sacrifice fly in the ninth cut the final deficit to 9-5.
GOLDSCHMIDT EXTENDS ROAD STREAK
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt singled in the third inning to extend his road hitting streak to 13 games, which includes seven home runs and 17 RBIs during that span.
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Miami has won four of its last five home games with all four being comeback wins.
Diamondbacks: RHP Clay Buchholz (left oblique) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. ”He said he could take the ball and would take the ball, that gives me the feeling that he’s feeling good enough, but not perfect,” Lovullo said. . LHP Robbie Ray (oblique) will make his return to the rotation for Wednesday’s game. . OF A.J. Pollock (thumb) has been cleared with baseball activities. . OF Steven Souza (pectoral) threw in the outfield and has been cleared to be a designated hitter in rehab assignments. . RHP Randall Delgado (shoulder) will have another rehab assignment on Wednesday, but still has ”several” more appearances before returning to the big leagues.
Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (right wrist) did not play after taking a foul ball off his wrist in Sunday’s game. ”That last at-bat, he took a swing Anton Stralman Jersey , and you could tell something was bothering him,” Mattingly said. ”We think he’s just a day. Give him a day and see how he feels. He was pretty sore today.” . LHP Caleb Smith (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day disabled list and MRI results revealed he has a Grade 3 lat strain. . RHP Jose Urena (shoulder) starting a throwing program and Mattingly believes he will be able to return soon after he is eligible on July 1.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (8-5, 4.64 ERA) will start the second game of the series on Tuesday. Godley is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (0-4, 5.12) will make his second start against the Diamondbacks after giving up five runs in three innings on June 1.
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Dmitry Orlov scoring on Sergei Bobrovsky is a popular clip at a bar in their hometown in southwestern Siberia.
”They always show my goal to him Andrei Vasilevskiy Jersey ,” Orlov said. ”My friends said that.”
Orlov and Bobrovsky are good friends going back to their time growing up together and have played together on the Russian national team with Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin. They’re split on opposite sides of a first-round series between Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov’s Washington Capitals and Bobrovsky and Panarin’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Game 1 is Thursday night in Washington.
”They’re good players, obviously, and we need to work (against) them,” Orlov said. ”Panarin have good skill so we need to not give him a lot of space and Bob we need to put more shots, more traffic on him. If we win, it will be nice.”
Perhaps not since the Detroit Red Wings’ Russian Five has a Stanley Cup playoff series had so many prominent players from Russia, with all eyes on those them as potential X-factors. It starts with Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender who aims to rebound from starting his NHL playoff career 3-10 with a 3.63 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.
”He’s going to rise to the occasion,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. ”He has every time he’s been challenged. If I had to pick anybody in the league to go into the playoffs with it would be him, and I think he’s pretty confident about the team in front of him.”
The team in front of Bobrovsky is led by Panarin, whose 82 points are 25 more than the second-closest Columbus player.
”The Blue Jackets have added a guy like Panarin, I think he’s a little bit of that difference make, just like we have some difference makers Adam Larsson Jersey ,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. ”They can do some things that they maybe didn’t have in the past. He’s an exceptional player. We’ve got some exceptional players. Sometimes in those tight series, those exceptional players can be the difference.”
Ovechkin has made a difference all year, leading the NHL with 49 goals and scoring 19.1 percent of the Capitals’ total over the course of the 82-game regular season. Kuznetsov caught fire late, recording 11 goals and 17 assists in the final 18 games of the regular season.
”I would say he is mature, understands the game,” Ovechkin said of Kuznetsov. ”Everybody knew he would be a very good, solid player, a talent, and you can see how he plays right now.”
Some things to watch when Columbus and Washington meet in the playoffs for the first time:
Backup Philipp Grubauer got the nod to start Game 1 for the Capitals over 2016 Vezina winner and longtime No. 1 goaltender Braden Holtby. The 26-year-old German started a playoff game in place of Holtby in 2015 because of an illness, but he earned the starting job this time around by closing out the season 7-3-0 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Holtby went into a slump in February and March, opening the door for Grubauer to seize the opportunity. But Trotz only named Grubauer his starter for Game 1 and said he’ll take the decision game by game.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella will face the Capitals in a playoff series for the sixth time after going 3-2 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. Tortorella has beaten – and lost to – Washington this time of year with less-talented teams than he has right now, particularly after the addition of winger Thomas Vanek and defenseman Ian Cole at the trade deadline made Columbus a high-scoring machine.
”I think we’re playing some of our best hockey, both as a group and certainly the individuals,” Tortorella said. ”I think with them and the additions at the deadline, I think our group feels really good about itself.”
Washington’s John Carlson led all NHL defenseman with 68 points in the regular season and yet still might not be the best on the blue line in this series. Columbus has Norris Trophy dark horse Seth Jones Youth Colin Miller Jersey , who along with Zack Werenski give the Blue Jackets some serious offense.
One area the Capitals have a huge advantage is on the power play and penalty kill, where they’re ranked seventh and 15th in the league. The Blue Jackets are 15th on the power play and 26th on the penalty kill. Since the trade deadline, though, Columbus has scored on 25 percent of its power plays.
AP Sports Writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio, contributed.
Anthony Davis sat on the court, a scowl on his face and his biceps flexed on each side of his head.
The Pelicans All-Star had just converted a layup as he fell to the court after a hard foul. His strength-projecting celebration afterward was that of a franchise player determined to lay the foundation of his playoff legacy with a dominant performance in the clutch.
”In a close-out game and then the magnitude of the situation, this is probably the best game he’s played since I’ve been here,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ”He just was not going to let us lose.”
Davis scored 33 of his franchise playoff-record 47 points in the second half – including 12 points in the final five minutes – and New Orleans completed a first-round playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-123 victory on Saturday night.
”It was fun,” Davis said. ”It was an amazing feeling for me to go out and sweep these guys and play the way that I played.”
And when Davis wasn’t devastating the Blazers, Jrue Holiday was giving Portland fits with explosive drives or pull-up jumpers. Holiday capped his 41-point night with an 18-footer that gave the Pelicans a six-point lead with 40 seconds left.
Rajon Rondo had 16 assists, and Davis also had 11 rebounds and three blocks for New Orleans, which is moving on to the second round of the playoffs for only the second time since the NBA returned to the city 16 seasons ago.
Rondo has said he came to New Orleans to play with what he viewed as the best ”Big Three” in the NBA – Davis, Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins. Misfortune struck Cousins in late January, when he was lost for the season to a left Achilles tear. Davis and Holiday had to raise their games Daniel Winnik Jersey , and have come through beyond expectations.
Portland never gave up, trimming a 15-point second-half deficit to a single point on Al-Farouq Aminu’s layup with 5:08 to go, but Davis responded with 12 points over the final 4:56, staring with a layup as he was fouled and a 3-pointer. Holiday scored six points during the final 2:52, starting with his 3-pointer. The pair combined for all but one of New Orleans’ points during that pivotal stretch.
”You put the ball in these two guys’ hands and they delivered for us,” Rondo said. ”I couldn’t ask for a better duo right now, especially at the time of the game where we needed to get the ball in the hole.”
C.J. McCollum scored 38 for the Trail Blazers, who responded to a blowout loss in Game 3 by keeping Game 4 close until the final minute. Aminu scored 27, Damian Lillard added 19 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.
The sweep represented a quick, unceremonious and somewhat surprising end to a season that saw the Blazers climb to third in the Western Conference on the strength of a recent 13-game winning streak. But Portland seemed to cool off shortly before the regular season ended, and never regained peak form.
”It’s not how we envisioned it happening for us, especially getting home court,” Lillard said. ”We just weren’t playing our best basketball like we had been during that stretch of 13 games. And then we come in here against a team that probably played their best stretch of basketball when they had to.”
Trail Blazers: Played without 6-foot-9 forward Maurice Harkless. Coach Terry Stotts said Harkless, who’d started Game 3 when Turner was out, had a recurrence of knee soreness that had hampered him late this season. Stotts said that while Harkless was in too much pain to play Authentic David Pastrnak Jersey , his knee did not appear to have structural damage. … Became the first No. 3 seed to lose in the first round since Denver lost to Golden State in the 2013 playoffs. … The Blazers fell to 6-7 in first round playoff series in which they had home-court advantage. … McCollum was Portland’s leading scorer during the series, averaging 25.3.
Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic had 10 points and 11 rebounds. … Moore finished with 14 points. … Captured the first playoff sweep in the franchise’s 16-year history … Committed 14 turnovers, with Holiday committing seven.
Leading up to Game 4, Lillard spoke of the need for the Blazers to ramp up their intensity and physicality. From the tip, it looked as though they’d done so.
In stark contrast to Game 3, when New Orleans led by 18 in the first quarter, this game was tight and testy.
Anthony and Ed Davis received double technical fouls after bumping one another following one of Anthony Davis’ dunks – and that was just the beginning.
McCollum was called for a flagrant foul when he stormed into the lane behind E’Twaun Moore and grabbed the Pelicans guard by the shoulders to thwart a driving layup attempt. Moore then shoved McCollum and was assessed a technical foul.
And in the final seconds of the half, double technical were assessed to Rondo and Portland center Zach Collins after Rondo lowered his forehead into Collins’ chest and Collins shoved back.
”I live for those moments,” a grinning Rondo said. ”I was trying to stay smart as far as not getting thrown out. … We knew what kind of game it was, especially when Dame came out with the comments he made.”
Lillard, who never scored more than 20 in the series and was held below that three times, said he would have loved to shoot more, but the Pelicans’ commitment to defend him early in possessions with multiple players made it difficult.
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Jordan Wilkins figured the days of working in an understaffed backfield ended at rookie minicamp.
A spate of injuries proved him wrong.
When the Indianapolis Colts returned to practice Saturday Johan Larsson Jersey , the running back took a quick glance around the field and suddenly realized only three other people were around 鈥?rookie Nyheim Hines, veteran Christine Michael and former NFL star Tom Rathman, who now serves as the Indianapolis Colts' running backs coach.
Of course, it's not an ideal work environment, but right now the Colts don't have a choice.
"Rookie mini-camp, it happened real quick and we were struggling through that," Wilkins said, recalling the last time he worked with such a small group of backs. "It kind of sucks that we're back at that point. It is more of a workload, but I'm not worried about that."
Instead, the fifth-round draft pick sees it as an opportunity to show the Colts they found a value pick and a potential workhorse.
He's not the only trying to prove his worth.
Hines, a fourth-round pick, hopes to change the coaches' perception after struggling in the preseason opener. Michael is trying to find a more stable home on his fifth team in six seasons and after missing all of last year with an offseason knee injury.
And, at the moment, it remains unclear whether help may be on the way.
How did the Colts find themselves in such a predicament?
Marlon Mack, the hand-picked successor to Frank Gore Carey Price Jersey , left Thursday's game with a hamstring injury and is listed as week to week. Backup Robert Turbin also left the game with an ankle injury and he, too, is considered week to week. Josh Ferguson, a backup each of the past two seasons, still hasn't returned to practice since hurting his hamstring on the third day of training camp.
Reich said Ferguson could return this week.
"You don't like just having three guys," coach Frank Reich said when asked if Indy needs another body. "But we've got a couple of guys dinged, so we'll have to see how things play out."
Fortunately, Wilkins seems well-suited to carry a big workload.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds, he became the fifth player in Ole Miss history to top the 1,000-yard mark with his breakout 2017 season. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry, demonstrated an ability to catch passes out of the backfield and convinced the Colts to take him in the fifth round.
So far, he's outperformed the expectations.
On Thursday, he rushed six times for 21 yards, caught one pass for seven yards and sealed the 19-17 victory by spinning away from a Seattle defender for a 3-yard run on third-and-1. Reich called it a winning play Friday http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-j.t.-compher-jersey , shortly after announcing the injuries to Mack and Turbin.
Hines is a different kind of player. At 5-9, 198 pounds, he possesses sprinter speed and can line up in multiple spots.
Reich, who served as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator last year, envisions Hines playing the same kind of role as Darren Sproles and he has a similar resume.
At North Carolina State, Hines was both a receiver and punt returner and was called into emergency duty as a running back, too.
"My freshmen year I played receiver and we had some redshirt guys and literally all four running backs were hurt except for one, so I had to go play running back and there were two guys in the game," Hines said. "That was a really interesting bowl game for us."
Michael was solid in the Colts' preseason opener and could start next Monday night against Baltimore.
But unless, general manager Chris Ballard makes a move or Ferguson gets healthy, these three backs will have to do the Colts' heavy lifting.
"That's the goal to be the starter, but that's up to the coaches and it's out of my control," Wilkins said. "Whatever role I'm given, I'll be excited about and will play to my highest ability."
Notes: The Colts signed defensive end Ryan Delaire and released safety Shamarko Thomas, who was ejected from Thursday's game for an illegal hit. ... Andrew Luck did not participate in Saturday's light workout 鈥?as planned. He is expected to return to the field Sunday. ... Starting safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker took part in team drills Saturday when the Colts were not in pads. Both are coming off of knee surgery.
FLOWERY BRANCH Josh Bailey Jersey , Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones did not take a snap in preseason and the two-time All-Pro receiver is not the least bit concerned.
When the Atlanta Falcons visit Philadelphia to open the NFL schedule on Thursday night, Jones says he will be fully healthy to face the defending champions.
After playing through a hip flexor, a back injury and an ankle injury last year, Jones says he feels better than he has to begin a season since 2015, the breakthrough year that stands as his best statistically.
Coach Dan Quinn held Jones and two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman out of preseason games to avoid potential injuries. Freeman was sidelined twice by concussions last year. Jones has undergone right foot surgery twice and was on the injury report for much of 2017.
Jones and Freeman have not missed practice since training camp began six weeks ago.
“Q has the utmost respect for us and confidence in us that we’ll be ready to go,” Jones said Monday.
“He put it in our corner to come out here at practice and just go full speed and make it like game-time. Once you go out here and practice like that, the game will be easy for you.”
Despite the injuries, Jones did not miss a game last season, catching 88 passes for 1,444 yards to help the Falcons earn a wild-card playoff victory before the season ended the following week on fourth-and-goal at the 2 in Philadelphia.
The last play fell flat. As quarterback Matt Ryan rolled right, Jones was lined up opposite cornerback Jalen Mills. Jones fell down and had trouble getting back up with Mills draping him, but got to his feet again as Ryan prepared to target him in the right corner of the end zone.
Jones turned to face Ryan and jumped higher than Mills, but the ball sailed through his hands . The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl. Atlanta, which lost the Super Bowl in stunning fashion the year before, went home disappointed.
“They’re all right Antti Niemi Jersey , they’re all right,” Jones said when asked about Philadelphia’s secondary. “They can cover well. We played them last year, and they were victorious. But that was last year. We don’t speak on last year and things like that.”
Jones had an unusual offseason, skipping a mandatory minicamp and sending word that he wanted a new contract entering the third season of a five-year, $71.5 million deal.
The Falcons made a slight adjustment and promised to discuss the situation in 2019 and get Jones a contract that ranks among the best at his position. He reported to camp on time.
Entering his eighth year, Jones has a chance to become the first receiver in history with at least 80 catches and 1,400 yards receiving in five straight seasons.
But he caught only three touchdown passes last year, his career low in a full season, and the Falcons were criticized for not getting him the ball enough in the red zone.
Ryan targeted him 22 times inside the 20-yard line, but Jones had just six catches.
“I’m going to go out there and put my best foot forward and give my all,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter what it is. I’m not a stat person. I’m just trying to go out there and try to be the best teammate I can be.”
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After an anemic first couple months of the season Authentic Gustav Nyquist Jersey , the Dodgers are powering balls out of the stadium at a near record rate.
Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger each hit a solo home run, Joc Pederson added a two-run shot and Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs 7-5 on Wednesday night.
The Dodgers improved to 17-6 in June and have slugged a major league-leading 51 homers this month. That’s the second-most during any month in franchise history. With three days remaining, they have a chance to overtake last year’s team that set the record with 53 while the single-season record of 58 in a month is within reach, too.
”It just seems like they’re taking really good swings,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ”When there’s a mistake in the strike zone, we hit it hard.”
The Dodgers hit 25 home runs in late March and April and 31 in May. The current surge is being generated by a variety of players.
”It’s scary facing us,” Bellinger said. ”We’re clicking right now.”
After not homering in a 9-4 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday that snapped their four-game winning streak, the Dodgers got going early despite not having Matt Kemp in the lineup. The outfielder, who is hitting .311, served a one-game suspension after losing his appeal with Major League Baseball for a scuffle with Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos on June 13.
Muncy homered over the center-field wall in the first for his ninth long ball this month and 16th of the season. The ball hit something beyond the wall and bounced back onto the field Steven Stamkos Jersey , grazing center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the head.
Later in the inning, Yasmani Grandal’s two-run double with two outs gave the Dodgers the lead for good, 3-2.
Pederson followed in the second with his 10th homer of the month to make it 5-2. Enrique Hernandez extended the lead with an RBI single.
Alex Wood (4-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn his third straight win. The left-hander struck out six and walked none, retiring the final seven batters he faced.
Kenley Jansen earned a four-out save, his 21st of the season.
Chicago made it close after Wood exited. He was replaced in the eighth by Scott Alexander, who walked Jason Heyward and gave up a single to Javier Baez before Willson Contreras hit a two-run double to pull the Cubs to 6-5.
Ben Zobrist grounded back to Alexander, putting the potential tying run on third, but Jansen came in and struck out Addison Russell to end the inning.
”The at-bats had great approaches,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ”I thought we hit the ball all over the place. Javy hit it to right and right center. Same with Contreras. Good approaches. We played our butts off, we just didn’t get it.”
Bellinger homered leading off the eighth against Randy Rosario Sam Gagner Jersey , tying Muncy for the team lead with 16 homers and making it 7-5.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (5-8) gave up six runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings, failing to go at least five innings for the first time in 16 starts this season. The team has lost five of his last six starts.
”I’m just searching right now, it’s just bad,” Hendricks said. ”I don’t know mechanics and I’m trying to focus mentally and go pitch-to-pitch. Something is just off. I’ve had troubles in my career, but this is up there as one of the toughest.”
Chicago took the lead in the first on a two-run homer by Contreras.
In the fifth, Heyward reached on an infield single that Wood raced to pick up along the first base line. He flipped to Bellinger, and first base umpire Alan Porter signaled that Heyward was out. But the ball came loose and second baseman Logan Forsythe, backing up the play, fired to the plate. Ian Happ, who singled leading off Authentic Marcus Johansson Jersey , was called safe to leave the Cubs trailing 6-3.
Cubs: Chicago closer Brandon Morrow (lower back tightness) was activated off the DL. He had been sidelined since June 20 after experiencing back spasms while taking his pants off. … RHP Tyler Chatwood will be available soon. Chatwood has been on paternity leave after his wife gave birth last Sunday.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture) will throw three innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. If it goes well, he will have a bullpen session this weekend and could possibly return to the rotation next week. … INF-OF Chris Taylor (left hamstring) wasn’t in the lineup for the sixth straight day but pinch hit in the seventh and will start on Thursday.
Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.26 ERA) starts the series finale against LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.94). Quintana is better on the road (3.22 ERA) than at home (6.00). Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, Kershaw is 5-3 in nine career starts against Chicago with a 2.64 ERA.
The Texans have begun formulating a plan to replace safety Andre Hal. Houston expected to have one of the top safety tandems in the NFL after signing Tyrann Mathieu to start opposite Hal this season.
But Hal, who started all 16 games at free safety last season, recently was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He still is being evaluated at MD Anderson Cancer Center to determine his course of treatment.
While he vows to play again, Hal won’t start the season on the field with the Texans.
The Texans will have only five healthy safeties at their minicamp this week, with Mathieu, Justin Reid Colton Parayko Jersey , Kurtis Drummond, Treston Decoud and Ibraheim Campbell getting reps there. Corey Moore continues to rehab an injury that will keep him out until training camp.
Kenny Vaccaro, Tre Boston and Eric Reid — the older brother of Texans’ rookie Justin — remain available on the free agent market.
The Texans also could consider playing cornerback Kareem Jackson (pictured) more at safety, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Houston has nine cornerbacks on its roster.
Jackson has played safety in practice and in games, with his versatility an asset for defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
The best-case scenario for the Texans would be for Justin Reid, a third-round pick out of Stanford, to win the starting job in training camp.
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