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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Veteran kicker Ryan Succop’s tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs is over.
Succop was released on Saturday as the Chiefs trimmed their roster to the NFL’s 53-man limit, beaten out for the job by undrafted free agent Cairo Santos in a decision that may have ultimately come down to how much each of them would have been paid.
Succop was due to make $2 million this season. Santos will instead make $422,000.
Along with their cuts, the Chiefs also placed quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receiver Kyle Williams on injured reserve, defensive end Mike Catapano on the non-football injury list and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and right tackle Donald Stephenson on the reserve-suspended list.
Bowe will miss the opener as punishment for his arrest last November, and Stephenson is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s drug policy.
Bray and Williams were hurt in the Chiefs’ preseason finale against Green Bay.
“As a collective football operation, coaches and scouts have held numerous discussions on each player during the evaluation process,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. “We had excellent competition at every position and that’s a great thing, but today we had to make some difficult decisions to narrow our roster to 53.”
Malcolm Bronson, who was given a shot to earn the starting safety job that Kendrick Lewis left vacant in free agency, and linebacker Nico Johnson, a fourth-round pick a year ago who never seemed to get up to speed, were among the players who were released.
Also waived were defensive backs Jonathon Amaya, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Justin Rogers; linebackers Alonzo Highsmith and Devan Walker; defensive linemen Kyle Love, Kona Schwenke and Dominique Hamilton; offensive linemen Ricky Henry and J’Marcus Webb; wide receivers Mark Harrison and Fred Williams; fullback Jordan Campbell and running back Charcandrick West.
The biggest eye-opener, though, was undoubtedly the kicking competition.
Born in Brazil, Santos starred at Tulane before signing with the Chiefs as competition for Succop, who missed a costly field goal last season against San Diego. The two of them engaged in a sometimes entertaining duel for the job, often ending practice with a World Cup-style shootout while the entire Chiefs team watched from the sideline.
Succop, who hit 81 percent of his field goals over the past five seasons, may have been slightly more accurate. Santos clearly had the stronger leg. Combine that with all the financial ramifications of the decision and Santos got the nod.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Santos also becomes the smallest player on the roster.
“Size really has nothing to do with it,” Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said. “He’s got so much power in his leg. He’s pretty explosive as small of stature as he is.”
Santos wasn’t the only undrafted free agent to make the team. Wide receiver Albert Wilson and safety Daniel Sorenson both earned jobs at two positions where the Chiefs were thin.
The moves likely aren’t over, either.
Last season, the Chiefs had the first pick on the waiver wire and claimed seven players who were released by other teams. After going 11-5 last season, they will no longer have such a plum spot in line, but they are still expected to scour the available players for help.
The Chiefs still have questions at wide receiver, defensive back and offensive line.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals didn’t have much trouble getting runners on base. They just had a tough time scoring runs.
The Royals stranded 12 men on base, went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and failed to score until the ninth inning in a 6-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Salvador Perez went a combined 1 for 14 as Royals starter Danny Salazar threw five scoreless innings, but did not come back out after a 44-minute rain delay in the sixth.
“Salazar was throwing 96 miles per hour fastball and spotting it well,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Alcides Escobar had four of the Royals’ nine hits and drove in Christian Colon in the ninth for their lone run. The loss cut Kansas City’s lead to a half-game over Detroit in the AL Central.
Cleveland’s Carlos Santana, who homered five times at Kauffman Stadium in a series last month, hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning. It was his 22nd home run, and helped Cleveland win for the fifth time in six games.
Boosted by his big four-game set in July, Santana is 14 for 26 with six homers, 13 RBIs and a 1.269 slugging percentage this year in Kansas City. Santana, who also had an RBI single, is hitting only .229 overall this year.
Salazar (5-6) pitched four-hit ball for five shutout innings.
Jason Vargas (10-7) gave up 10 hits and four runs in six innings.
Zach Walters hit an RBI double in the second to put Cleveland ahead.
Tyler Bolt led off the Indians’ three-run third with a bunt single. Santana and Jose Ramirez had RBI singles and Michael Brantley, who had three hits, scored on Jeff Kipnis’ groundout.
“Those two innings need to be tightened up more than they were,” Vargas said.
Salazar gave up four singles, walked two and struck out three in five innings. After his exit, there was a parade of six Cleveland relievers, with left-handers Kyle Crockett and Marc Rzepczynski each throwing just one pitch.
Crockett hit Mike Moustakas and Rzepczynski retired Gordon on a grounder.
Indians: C Yan Gomes was activated from the concussion list after missing six games. … OF David Murphy (strained right oblique) took batting practice. … C-IF Chris Gimenez was placed on the paternity list.
Royals: 1B Eric Hosmer (broken right hand) will report Saturday to Triple-A Omaha to begin a minor league rehab assignment. … 2B Omar Infante (right shoulder inflammation) was not in the lineup for the fourth straight game.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer, who gave up four hits and struck out nine in six scoreless innings in beating Houston in his previous start, will start the middle game of this series.
Royals: RHP James Shields has won his past three starts against the Indians with a 1.80 ERA in that 20-inning span.
The Royals designated LHP Bruce Chen for assignment one day after he gave up six runs on five hits, three for extra-bases, and two walks in the 10th inning of a loss to Minnesota. This was Chen’s sixth season with the Royals and he led the club in victories in three straight seasons, 2010-12. “He’s been here a long time,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I’ve watched him win a bunch of ball games. His presence on the field well as well off the field has been great for all of us.” RHP Louis Coleman was summoned from Triple-A Omaha, taking Chen’s roster spot.
Escobar matched a career high with four hits, his fourth career four hit game. His previous was Aug. 18, 2012 against the White Sox.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina returned from a 40-game absence and guided Shelby Miller through seven innings. There was no helping fellow All-Star Pat Neshek.
“We’ve all been there. You’re kind of down in the dumps, but it’s part of the game,” Neshek said after a rare rough outing in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. “It’s how you rebound. It’s a long season.”
Jorge Soler homered for the second straight at-bat and fellow rookie Javier Baez had a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning off Neshek.
Neshek (6-1) led NL relievers with an 0.81 ERA entering the game and exited with a 1.45 ERA after giving up four runs, matching his career worst, while getting only two outs. It was 2-all when he came in to begin the eighth, and he gave up hits to the first three batters.
“Soler got me really good,” Neshek said. “It was interesting because he’s never seen me before and he was hacking like that. Yeah, I missed that pitch really bad.”
Neshek had allowed five earned runs this season, and no more than one in a game, prior to Friday night.
Molina had been out since July 9 because of a torn ligament in his right thumb, and went 0 for 3 and was hit by a pitch.
The crowd at Busch Stadium gave Molina a standing ovation when he walked in from the bullpen after pregame warmups, and another cheer before he batted in the first inning.
“I love watching him behind the plate, the little things he does all the time,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He changed the course with Shelby right in mid-stream and helped him get back on track and really helped maximized his stuff.”
Miller allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings.
“The toughest thing about it was giving up a homer in the seventh,” Miller said. “I thought it gave them a little momentum.”
Neil Ramirez (2-1) allowed two hits in a scoreless seventh.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks worked six solid innings in his bid to become the franchise’s first rookie to win five games in August.
Soler hit his second homer of the season on Miller’s first pitch of the seventh to tie it at 2. In his next at-bat, Soler hit a two-run shot in the eighth.
Soler finished 3 for 3.
Luis Valbuena and Arismendy Alcantara also homered for the Cubs, with all four Cubs drives estimated at 400-feet plus. They entered with 30 homers this month, tied for most in the NL.
Cubs reliever Justin Grimm struck out four in the ninth. One of the batters reached on Grimm’s wild pitch.
Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta had RBI singles in the St. Louis first. After Peralta’s hit, Hendricks retired 11 in a row.
Cubs: LHP Felix Doubront (straight right calf) will be activated off the DL Saturday and make his Cubs debut as the Game 1 starter of a day-night doubleheader. He’s been out since Aug. 1.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (shoulder) is set to make a rehab start Sunday and could rejoin the rotation after that. Wacha was the NL championship series MVP last fall as a rookie but has been sidelined since mid-June.
Cubs: Rookie Tsuyoshi Wada (4-1, 2.56), who took a no-hitter into the seventh of his last start, works the second game of the doubleheader. Doubront was 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA in Boston.
Cardinals: Justin Masterson is (2-2, 7.43) may be pitching to save his spot in the rotation in Game 1. Rookie Marco Gonzales (0-2, 7.07) will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis to start in Game 2.
(Springfield)- The Mountain View/Liberty Eagles were undefeated during last year’s 2013 regular season and for the first two games of this season they have placed the correct foot in front of the other both games; including Friday nights win against the Springfield Catholic Fighting Irish 70-7.
The voice of the Eagles Dave Quinn has your Mountain View/Liberty Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Eagles defeated or otherwise killed the Springfield Catholic Fighting Irish in Friday’s game, leaving Springfield with a 70-7 victory and a 2014 season record of 2-0. Next week the Eagles will be going up against the Thayer Bobcats with a home field advantage. The Bobcats held a 7-5 record for their 2013 season, which included going 4-3 through the South Central Association for a third place finish.
(West Plains)- Friday Night played host to many first times for the West Plains Zizzers . For one it was their 2014 season Home Opener and for the first time since entering into the Ozark Conference The Zizzers beat the Camdenton Lakers 19-13.
The voice of the Zizzers Travis Smith has your West Plains Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Zizzers made their first home game a great game when they took out the Camdenton Lakers 19-13. Their win Friday creates a 2-0 record for the Zizzers thus far in their 2014 season. The West Plains Zizzers will be traveling next Friday when they go up against the Glendale Falcons who finished last season with a 1-9 2013 season record; but have entered this season with a new coach and three returning starters.
The voice of the Bears, Larry Spence has your Willow Springs Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again it was the Marionville Comets over the Willow Springs Bears 14-8, making Friday’s loss the second loss of the season and leaving their to date record 0-2.
The voice of the Bulldogs Brad McNew has your Cabool Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Bulldogs got the win against the Hollister Tigers with a 31-14 scoreboard giving them a season record to date of 2-0. Next Friday, September 5, the Cabool Bulldogs will up against the Willow Springs Bears at home. The Bears ended last season with a 6-5 season, yet they have failed to win a game during the current 2014 season.
(Willow Springs) – Mountain View-Birch Tree Liberty Junior Varsity and Varsity volleyball teams played at Willow Springs on August 27, and Liberty walked away with the wins.
The JV Eagles team defeated the Bears 25-12, 25-12 in two sets, while the varsity also won 25-12, 25-17.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs’ receiving corps took two more hits, though coach Andy Reid seemed to be a bit more worried by all the flags.
The Chiefs had 14 penalties in all during a 34-14 loss Thursday night to the Green Bay Packers to wrap up the preseason. It didn’t matter to Reid that both lineups were littered with backups.
“They’re all ours. We don’t look at them like they’re backup players,” Reid said. “They’re mistakes and we have to correct them.”
Third-string quarterback Tyler Bray threw for 116 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-15 passing. Joe McKnight added 50 yards and a score on 10 carries in vying for the third-string running back job.
Otherwise, the Packers reserves set the tone, with Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien each throwing for two touchdowns in their competition to back up starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Flynn threw for 102 yards and Tolzien had 139 in splitting reps by quarter in the evening’s most closely watched position battle. Coach Mike McCarthy might keep both players anyway a season after Rodgers missed seven weeks with a collarbone injury – though McCarthy has also said he doesn’t want to overreact to what happened in 2013.
The Chiefs’ defense looked lost at times. Kansas City had seven penalties in the first half that ended with Green Bay up by 13.
“It’s good to get the preseason over. Let’s get on with the regular season,” Reid said. “We had an opportunity to play a lot of young guys today, which is one of the positives … you get a chance to evaluate some of the young players and go from there.”
Rosters must be trimmed to the 53-man limit by Saturday afternoon.
Chiefs receiver A.J. Jenkins made one of the most impressive plays of the night with a diving 45-yard catch. Bray followed on the next play with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Richard Gordon late in the second quarter.
But a receiving positions already dented by injuries to Dwayne Bowe and Junior Hemingway lost two more players. Jenkins later left with a concussion, while Kyle Williams departed in the first quarter with a sprained shoulder.
Bowe has a groin injury, and the Chiefs already know their No. 1 receiver will miss the opener because a suspension for an arrest in November. Still, Reid thought the Chiefs would be fine with receiving depth.
Jenkins could have made an important statement for playing time if healthy. He beat reserve defensive back Ryan White on a nice throw from Bray to get to the Packers 9.
“I’ve learned so much this offseason and this preseason from where I was last year,” Bray said. “It’s easy once you kind of know what’s going on, and you’re not out there guessing.”
The drive was set up by a 49-yard kickoff return by Frankie Hammond Jr., a former practice squad player Reid also hopes can step up at receiver.
McKnight, vying with Cyrus Gray for the third-string running back job behind Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, rushed for a 1-yard score in the third quarter.
Otherwise, the Packers (3-1) were never threatened. They look to be in good shape heading into next week’s season opener at the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
“That’s exactly how you want to finish your preseason,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know if I’ve felt this good coming out of the preseason as I do tonight.”
Flynn hit rookie Davante Adams on play-action for a 22-yard touchdown on the Packers’ opening drive. On his first drive in the second quarter, Tolzien hit rookie receiver Jeff Janis for a 33-yard touchdown near the front corner of the end zone.
“I think Matt and Scott have both championed the case to be on our football team,” McCarthy said.
On the touchdown, Janis beat cornerback Phillips Gaines, who was also whistled for illegal contact and holding penalties in the game.
Along with Rodgers, the Packers also held out starters Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Gordon and the Kansas City Royals appeared to be headed for another dramatic victory. Then Bruce Chen got into trouble in the 10th inning.
Chen gave up six runs in his one inning of work, and the Royals went on to costly 11-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
“I didn’t make good pitches and they get base hit after base hit after base hit,” Chen said.
Kansas City’s lead in the AL Central was trimmed to one game over Detroit, which beat the Yankees 3-2 earlier in the day. Third-place Cleveland also won, pulling within 5 1/2 games of the Royals heading into their big series this weekend.
The Royals were in good shape after Gordon led off the seventh with his 17th homer, tying it at 5 with a drive to center. But that was their last run of the game.
“It would have been one of those great wins for us when we didn’t get a good pitching performance, but the offense picked it up,” Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie said. “It would have been a late win, so it would have been a great win. As it is, it’s a loss and we’ll go on and not think much of it tomorrow. Certainly the team as a whole did everything it could to make this a win in spite of the early pitching troubles.”
Guthrie allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings. He was 5-1 in his previous six starts.
Jordan Schafer tied a career high with four RBIs for Minnesota, including a two-run single in the 10th inning.
Eduardo Nunez singled home the go-ahead run in the final inning and Brian Dozier added a two-run double. Kurt Suzuki capped the burst with an RBI double, his third hit of the game and second double.
Chen (2-4), the sixth pitcher for the Royals, walked two and allowed five hits.
“It was another one where we could have won or lost,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We could have won all three or lost all three. Tonight was no different. We hung in there and finally had the big inning. It was a nice win for us after two tough losses.”
Minnesota had lost its last four games against Kansas City and seven of eight overall in the season series. Schafer had three hits while extending his hitting streak to eight games.
“Bruce just couldn’t put `em away,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Anthony Swarzak (3-1) picked up the victory.
ROYALS ADD NIX
The Royals claimed INF Jayson Nix off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he was 4 for 36 in 16 games. Nix, 32, began the season with Philadelphia and also played in the minors with Durham, the Rays’ Triple-A club.
Royals RHP Kelvin Herrera pitched the eighth to extend his scoreless inning streak to 23 1-3 innings.
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer didn’t start for the first time since returning Aug. 11 after missing 34 games with a right oblique strain. “I watched him last night,” Gardenhire said. “I thought he was dragging a little bit. You’ve got to do it for him. He’s in the training room, getting treatment every day like everybody else.” Mauer walked as a pinch hitter in the 10th and stayed in the game to play 1B.
Royals: LHP Scott Downs (stiff neck) was activated from the disabled list. … 1B Eric Hosmer (fractured right hand) participated in batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list Aug. 1. … RHP Michael Mariot (right hamstring injury) was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Twins: Rookie RHP Trevor May (0-3) is looking for his first big league victory Friday night at Baltimore. He gave up five runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings in an 8-6 loss to Detroit on Saturday.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas will start Friday night’s series opener against the Indians. He has a 1.24 ERA in his 10 wins and a 6.29 ERA in his six losses.