AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Strasburg sharp in return
UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Strasburg looked pretty good in his return from the disabled list.
Strasburg struck out six and held Atlanta to four hits in five shutout innings as the Washington Nationals topped the Braves 3-1. He was pitching for the first time since leaving a May 29 start at Cincinnati with a sore neck.
Anthony Rendon went 4-for-4 and singled home the Nationals' first run. Denard Span and Michael Taylor also hit RBI singles for the Nationals, who earned their fourth straight win and expanded their lead in the National League East to 2 ½ games over the New York Mets.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Giancarlo Stanton's major league-leading 26th home run of the season was wasted by the Marlins, who squandered a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 loss to St. Louis. Jason Heyward sparked the Cards' three-run fourth with a solo shot before Xavier Scruggs tied the game with a two-run double. Scruggs had three hits and also scored the tiebreaking run on Mark Reynolds' infield single to help Carlos Martinez improve to 8-3.
— Francisco Cervelli crushed a three-run homer and Andrew McCutchen added a two-run shot in a seven-run fourth that sent Pittsburgh past Cincinnati 7-6. The Pirates had dropped three straight and trailed 4-0 until Pedro Alvarez hit an RBI double and scored on Cervelli's homer. Jay Bruce smacked a solo homer and had three RBIs for the Reds.
— The Chicago Cubs pulled out a 1-0 win over the Dodgers on Chris Denorfia's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th. Jason Motte is 5-1 after finishing a three-hitter started by Jason Hammel. The Cubs have won four in a row and the Dodgers have dropped four of five.
— The Giants had a chance to move into a tie with the Dodgers for the NL West lead, but the Padres came back from a 2-0 deficit and beat San Francisco 3-2 on Alexei Amarista's infield single in the 11th inning. Will Venable knotted the score with a two-run double in the eighth, ruining a gem by Madison Bumgarner. The Giants' ace struck out 14 over 7 1/3 innings and retired his first 14 hitters before Yonder Alonso singled.
— David Archer won his sixth straight decision by holding Toronto to one earned run and three hits while fanning seven in eight innings of Tampa Bay's 4-3 victory over Toronto. Asdrubal Cabrera had two hits, scored twice and hit a big solo homer that put the Rays ahead 4-2 in the eighth. Dioner Navarro and Edwin Encarnacion hit solo shots for the Blue Jays, who fell three games behind the AL East-leading Rays.
— Mikael Franco laced a tiebreaking, two-run double in the ninth and scored on Andres Blanco's three-run triple as Philadelphia outscored the New York Yankees for the second straight night, 11-6. Franco also hit a three-run homer and finished with five RBIs after driving in five during the Phillies' 11-8 win over the Yanks on Monday. Alex Rodriguez, Chase Headley and Garrett Jones homered for the Yankees, who are two games behind Tampa Bay following their third straight loss.
— David Lough smacked a three-run homer and Baltimore picked up its 12th victory in 15 games by downing the Red Sox, 6-4 in Boston. Manny Machado and Jimmy Paredes each had two hits and an RBI to help the Orioles stay 2 ½ games off the AL East lead. Ubaldo Jimenez is 6-3 after surrendering three runs and six hits while striking out eight in five innings.
— Oakland upended Texas 8-6 as Josh Phegley contributed a solo homer and a two-run double. Phegley also scored the tiebreaking run on Marcus Semien's RBI single in the sixth. Ben Zobrist added a two-run blast as the A's improved to 18-11 since falling 16 games under .500.
— Houston flexed its muscles as Luis Valbuena homered twice and rookie Carlos Correa launched a three-run homer in a 13-3 pounding of the Angels at Anaheim. Collin McHugh is 8-3 after limiting the Angels to a pair of runs in a season-high eight innings. The outcome gives the AL West-leading Astros a four-game lead over the Rangers.
— Geovany Soto hit a pair of RBI singles and Melky Cabrera doubled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh before the Chicago White Sox completed a 6-2 triumph over Minnesota. Adam Eaton and Gordon Beckham added RBI doubles, and Jose Abreu was 4-for-5 with two runs scored as the White Sox won for the third time in four games since an eight-game losing streak. Jeff Samardzija scattered eight hits in seven innings to get the win.
— Kansas City still tops the AL Central by 3 ½ games over Minnesota following the Royals' 7-0 loss at Seattle. Rookie Mike Montgomery struck out 10 while limiting the Royals to four hits in his first career shutout. Dustin Ackley was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, and Logan Morrison added a solo shot and two RBIs to back Montgomery's second career win.
— David Price gave up nine hits but only one run while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings to pitch Detroit to its third straight win, 7-3 at Cleveland. The Tigers scored six times in the sixth as Nick Castellanos hit a two-run double and Yoenis Cespedes singled home a pair. Andrew Romine hit a solo homer off Danny Salazar, who was tagged for six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
— Milwaukee won for just the second time in 10 games as Adam Lind supplied an RBI single and a tiebreaking double in a 3-2 comeback over the New York Mets. The Brewers' bullpen came through with three spotless innings to complete a combined four-hitter against the punchless Mets. New York dropped its sixth in a row and has scored more than two runs just one during the skid.
— Nolan Arenado homered twice and had four RBIs as Colorado ripped Arizona 10-5. Wilin Rosario, D.J. LeMahieu, and Brandon Barnes also homered to back Kyle Kendrick, who gave up four runs in six innings.
Legendary Milwaukee broadcaster back in booth...Mets lose d'Arnaud again
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bob Uecker was back in the Milwaukee Brewers' broadcast booth on Tuesday, one week after getting hit in the head by a ball during batting practice. The 2003 winner of the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award was hit during batting practice before a June 15 game against the Royals and was diagnosed with a concussion after working the first six innings. The star of "Mr. Belvedere" and co-star in the "Major League" trilogy has been broadcasting Brewers games since 1971.
In other baseball news:
— Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud is on the disabled list for the second time this season, less than two weeks after coming off the DL. D'Arnaud suffered a left elbow injury during a play at the plate in Saturday's 6-4 loss in Atlanta. He missed seven weeks with a fractured right pinkie finger.
— Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew has been placed on the paternity list, prompting the team to recall Jose Pirela from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He hit .256 with a homer and two doubles in 43 at-bats during his first stint with the Yankees this season.
— Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has landed on the 15-day disabled list due to a bruised right wrist. He left last Wednesday's game against Boston in the seventh inning, and the move was made retroactive to the following day.
— Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) has been activated from the disabled list after missing 19 games because of a sprained left thumb. General manager Jon Daniels says Beltre still feels a little sting when he swings, but the feeling quickly goes away and there are no lingering effects.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Cavs send series to limit
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Virginia has extended the College World Series finals to a third and deciding game after blanking the defending champs.
Freshman Adam Haseley and Josh Sborz combined on a seven-hitter as the Cavaliers shut out Vanderbilt 3-0. Haseley is the Cavs' regular center fielder and hadn't pitched since May 23 before holding the Commodores to four hits in five-plus innings.
Thomas Woodruff hit a two-run single in a three-run sixth to help Sborz pick up his seventh win.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Omaha.
Brady appeal goes into evening
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Brady and commissioner Roger Goodell have concluded a 10-hour hearing as the New England Patriots quarterback appealed his four-game suspension.
Brady was punished by the league for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game win over Indianapolis. Brady's attorney felt their side put in a very compelling case but had no other comments concerning the proceedings. The attorney said that no timetable on a decision by Goodell had been given.
The NFL Players Association had asked Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because he could not be impartial and might be called as a witness. But Goodell said it was his responsibility to oversee the hearing to protect the integrity of the league.
3-on-3 OT on horizon
LAS VEGAS (AP) — NHL overtime periods could have more open ice this season.
The league's general managers and the NHL Players' Association have agreed to change the NHL's regular-season overtime period from four-on-four hockey to three-on-three. The Board of Governors still must approve the change Wednesday when it meets in Las Vegas.
A shootout will still take place if games remain tied after five minutes of three-on-three play, but the change is expected to reduce the number of shootouts.
The Board also will consider a recommendation to allow coaches to challenge goalie interference calls and offside goals.
Increase in salary cap
TORONTO (AP) — The NHL's salary cap will increase $2.1 million, to $71.4 million, for the upcoming season. The NHLPA triggered a 5 percent escalator clause in the collective bargaining agreement to boost the cap, while increasing player escrow payments. Despite the increase, the new cap figure will force several teams to shed payroll in an effort to get under the ceiling.
Jordan and Hornets land All-Star Game
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As expected, the city of Charlotte has been named the host city for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement along with team owner Michael Jordan and Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter.
The city agreed to spend more than $30 million to upgrade its arena when the Hornets submitted the bid to host the game last summer.
In other NBA news:
— The Cleveland Cavaliers have picked up the $5 million option on center Timofey Mozgov's contract for next season. Mozgov averaged 10.6 points and 6.9 while starting 45 of 46 regular-season games after being acquired by the Cavs from Denver in January. He became a valuable offensive option once Kevin Love sustained a playoff-ending shoulder injury in the conference quarterfinals.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-VANDY RAPE TRIAL
Mistrial granted in rape case
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has granted a mistrial in the case of two former Vanderbilt football players convicted in the dorm room rape of a student.
Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins ruled in favor of defense attorneys who said a juror intentionally withheld information that he was a rape victim during the jury selection process.
The juror testified during a hearing last week that he didn't withhold information because he doesn't consider himself a victim.
A Nashville jury convicted the former Vanderbilt players in January of multiple counts of aggravated rape and sexual battery for the June 2013 campus assault of an unconscious female student.
Hall of Fame coach hospitalized
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico State and Illinois men's basketball coach Lou Henson is at a Houston hospital awaiting tests on his weakened immune system. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the 83-year-old became dehydrated last week and spent a few days in a hospital.
Henson is set to be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame this fall.
NASCAR bigs backing guv
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR has issued a statement backing South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in the wake of the Charleston church massacre last week.
The statement was released as South Carolina lawmakers agreed to discuss removing the flag, and one day after Haley said "the time has come" to take it down.
NASCAR says it is continuing its long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official capacity.