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ST. LOUIS (AP) — After stumbling in his first start following three months on the disabled list, Joe Kelly tinkered with his mechanics.
Kelly bounced back with seven strong innings and Matt Adams homered in a four-run first as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Saturday to send All-Star Zack Greinke to losses in consecutive regular-season starts for the first time in nearly four years.
Kelly (2-1) gave up four hits over seven innings, retiring his last 13 batters as the Cardinals won for the eighth time in 10 games.
Kelly didn’t get a decision on July 11 in his return from a strained left hamstring, when he gave up six runs over three innings during the Cardinals’ 7-6 win at Milwaukee. After winning for the first time since April 5, he wouldn’t detail his changes.
“I did a lot of stuff different, but I’m not going to give it away,” he said. “If you watch the video, you can probably tell.”
Kelly induced 12 groundouts and got out of trouble with double plays in each of the first two innings.
“I was just trying to mix up pitches and hide stuff better,” he said.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was impressed with Kelly’s ability to keep the ball down.
“I thought it was one of his better pitching performances,” Matheny said. “There were times when I even thought his changeup was a breaking ball. It has so much depth to it. So his secondary pitches were on.”
The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez thought Kelly had great pitch location.
“He didn’t throw any balls in the middle of the plate,” he said. “He kept throwing his fastballs right on the corner. There weren’t any pitches to drive.”
Trevor Rosenthal, the Cardinals’ third reliever, got his 30th save in 34 chances when Andre Either grounded into a game-ending double play.
Coming off a July 9 defeat at Detroit, Greinke (11-6) walked a season-high five and gave up four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had not lost back-to-back starts in the regular season since Sept. 20 and 25, 2010, for Kansas City at Detroit and Cleveland, according to STATS.
Greinke did lose his regular-season finale against Colorado last year and was beaten by Atlanta in his first postseason start.
“Too many mistakes in one inning,” Greinke said. “I’ve been doing that too much lately, getting behind in a game too early. I need to find a way to be better right from the get-go.”
St. Louis improved to 21-10 at home against the Dodgers in the regular season since the start of the 2006. The Cardinals also beat Los Angeles in six games in last year’s NL championship series.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left the game in the fifth, four innings after he was shaken up while diving back into second base on a pickoff attempt. The Cardinals said team doctors determined Holliday did not sustain a concussion.
Dodgers All-Star outfielder Yasiel Puig left in the eighth, five innings after he was hit on the left hand by a Kelly pitch. Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said Puig got hit, “near the top or on the side a little bit.”
Both players were considered day to day.
Matt Carpenter opened the Cardinals’ first with a walk, and Kolten Wong reached on a slow roller when second baseman Dee Gordon threw wide of first, a play ruled a hit and an error that put runners on second and third,
Holliday followed with a two-run single and Adams hit his 12th homer on Greinke’s 16th pitch of the game.
Adams, who has 15 hits in his last 39 at-bats, drilled a line drive over the right-field wall.
“The curveball just popped up in the zone,” Adams said. “When it does that, you know it’s a good one to swing at.”
Greinke said Adams outsmarted him.
“I was just trying to be aggressive and it was the wrong choice,” he said. “Usually, he’s kind of patient early.”
Los Angeles, which has lost five of eight, scored on Hanley Ramirez’s RBI infield single in the third and Carl Crawford’s sacrifice fly against Sam Freeman in the eighth.
The Dodgers have only 12 runs in their last seven games.
“It just tells us that we’ve got to get better,” Mattingly said.
BOSTON (AP) — Tight games aren’t going the Kansas City Royals’ way this season.
Rubby De La Rosa pitched seven solid innings and Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking homer, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over Royals on Saturday night.
Kansas City lost for the eighth time in 11 games, falling to 10-20 in one-run games after leading the AL with 31 victories last season.
“Tonight we couldn’t get anything going offensively. We just couldn’t,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “De La Rosa mixed in a really good 94, 95 mph fastball and a nice change that we just couldn’t do anything with.”
Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games with a single, but Napoli’s homer that cleared a billboard atop the Green Monster seats and completely left the park in the sixth sent the Royals to another loss.
“It might have caught a little too much of the plate and he was ready for it, to say the least,” starter Danny Duffy said. “That was really the only mistake that I felt like I made tonight, but it was a huge one and it was costly. You got to be better than that.”
Duffy (5-10) allowed two runs – one earned – on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. It was his fifth loss in six starts, but he’s allowed two or fewer runs in four of the losses.
It was the sixth win in seven games for the defending World Series champions, who are looking to climb from the AL East’s basement.
De La Rosa (3-2) had another strong start in Fenway Park, giving up one run on five hits, walking four and striking out two. He worked out of trouble most of his outing.
Andrew Miller pitched a perfect eighth and All-Star Koji Uehara a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
In two of his three home starts, De La Rosa pitched seven shutout innings. In his last one, he gave up three runs in five innings.
De La Rosa stranded runners at second base in four of the first six innings, twice also leaving a runner on first.
The Royals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when Jarrod Dyson tripled and scored on shortstop Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly.
Infante’s fielding error allowed Boston’s tying run in the fourth. With runners on first and second, Infante had Shane Victorino’s probable inning-ending, double-play grounder go right through his legs, scoring Napoli.
Boston left fielder Jonny Gomes bumped into shortstop Brock Holt, dropping a ball for a two-base error in the fourth, and called off Holt, but had the ball fall in front of him for a double in the fifth.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star outfielder Yasiel Puig left Saturday’s game against St. Louis in the eighth inning, five innings after he was hit on a hand by a pitch.
Puig was hit on the left hand by a Joe Kelly pitch. Matt Kemp pinch hit for Puig in the eighth.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning after appearing to get hurt.
Holliday was shaken up while diving back into second base on a pickoff attempt in the first inning after his two-run single. Holliday seemed to hit his head on the glove of shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Holliday remained on the ground for a minute, but stayed in until Peter Bourjos pinch hit for him in the fifth.
St. Louis said Holliday was removed as a precaution.
NEW YORK (AP) — CC Sabathia is disappointed and relieved all at the same time.
Sidelined with a right knee injury, the New York Yankees’ pitcher spoke to reporters Saturday morning for the first time since the team announced he will have season-ending surgery Wednesday.
Sabathia said the news was difficult to absorb and his situation is “not fun.” But he’s glad doctors recommended an arthroscopic cleanup rather than microfracture surgery, which would have required perhaps an 18-month recovery.
“It’s tough. It’s unfortunate,” Sabathia said. “But I feel, I guess, relieved that I have some answers, and kind of a plan in place to kind of move forward.”
The big left-hander, who turns 34 on Monday, said he’s confident he will be back on the mound in spring training. And with a blueprint now in place for his return, he said he was able to get “some real sleep” Friday night for the first time in weeks.
General manager Brian Cashman, however, cautioned Friday that there’s no guarantee Sabathia will be able to pitch effectively next season.
The operation will be performed by Los Angeles Dodgers head physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Sabathia said he was told he can resume baseball activities six to eight weeks after the procedure.
“He feels good about it, and I do, too,” Sabathia said, adding that NBA star Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder had the same surgery and came back fine. “Obviously, you’ve got to deal with a little bit of swelling here and there, but it’s something I have to do. My goal in talking to (Dr. ElAttrache) was to pitch the next five, six years and past this contract and be able to go out and do that. So I’m confident in that idea.”
Sabathia also had surgery on his right knee in October 2010 to repair a small meniscus cartilage tear. He said he thinks the latest injury was caused by simple wear and tear.
“It’s something that I’m going to have to deal with probably for the rest of my life and eventually have a big surgery, but right now the goal is to keep playing, and this is the easiest way,” he said.
Sabathia has been sidelined with a degenerative cartilage problem in his right knee since mid-May, and the Yankees all but ruled out a 2014 return after he had a setback early this month while on a minor league rehab assignment. He was hit hard July 2 in an outing for Double-A Trenton and woke up the next morning with swelling in the joint.
The six-time All-Star and 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner made only eight major league starts this year and finished 3-4 with a career-worst 5.28 ERA. He is 208-119 with a 3.63 ERA in 14 seasons.
After signing a $161 million, seven-year deal with New York as a free agent before the 2009 season, Sabathia had his contract extended in 2011 by one year and $30 million. Making $23 million this season, Sabathia is scheduled to earn $23 million in 2015 and $25 million in 2016. The Yankees have a $25 million option for 2017 with a $5 million buyout.
Despite his 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame, Sabathia had been extremely durable until this year. He had made at least 28 starts and pitched 180 innings or more every season of his career, reaching 200 innings eight times.
“It’s something that I’ve never had to deal with. But I am now, and like I said, hopefully this will give me the time to heal and get healthy and come back to be ready to go in spring training,” Sabathia said. “If that’s the case, and that’s the best-case scenario, especially at my age and with everything that’s happened and all the innings that I’ve pitched and everything, I guess I’m fine with that.”
HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Rory McIlroy looks as if he has just thrown a knockout punch at the British Open, and it was only Saturday.
When he rolled in a 10-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68, he straightened his back, stared defiantly at thousands of fans crammed into the horseshoe arena around the 18th green at Royal Liverpool and lightly pumped his fist.
He went from being tied for the lead to six shots ahead of Rickie Fowler in just over an hour.
And suddenly, the biggest challenge facing the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland was reminding himself that he had one more round left.
McIlroy can’t afford to picture his name etched on the base of that silver claret jug. He can’t think about what it will be like next April to drive down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National with a shot at becoming the sixth player to capture the career Grand Slam.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” McIlroy said.
He knows that from experience, good and bad. He blew a four-shot lead at the Masters in 2011 and shot 80 in the final round. He had an eight-shot lead at the U.S. Open two months later and set two scoring records to win by eight. And just two months ago, McIlroy came from seven shots behind to win by seven.
It looks like a lost cause for Fowler, Sergio Garcia and anyone else trying to chase down a guy who has won both his majors by eight shots. The six-shot lead was the largest at The Open since Tiger Woods led by six at St. Andrews in 2000.
Even so, McIlroy was doing his best to preach caution.
“A lot can happen,” he said. “And I’ve been on the right side of it and I’ve been on the wrong side of it. You can’t let yourself think forward. You’ve just got to completely stay in the moment, and that’s what I’m going to try to do for all 18 holes tomorrow.”
History is on his side.
No one has ever lost a six-shot lead in the 121 years that The Open has been contested over 72 holes. Boy Wonder would not seem to be a candidate.
“What you have with him is he’s just so explosive,” Jim Furyk said after a 71 left him 10 shots behind. “He won the U.S. Open by eight shots. He obviously doesn’t have any issue as the front-runner, and has no issue trying to extend that lead, much like Tiger used to.”
McIlroy was at 16-under 200.
“If I’m able to go out and get off to a good start, maybe I can put a little bit of pressure on him,” Fowler said after a 68. “Because he’s definitely in control of the golf tournament right now.”
Fowler tried to do his part on a cloudy Saturday with occasional rain, but not nearly what the R&A expected when it went to a two-tee start of the first time in history. Fowler, who was six shots behind going into the third round, ran off three straight birdies to start the back nine and shared the lead when McIlroy made bogey on No. 12.
It all changed so quickly.
Fowler made a bogey on the 14th hole. McIlroy, playing in the group behind, drilled a 35-foot birdie putt that put his lead back to two shots.
“Rickie was just getting close to me,” McIlroy said. “I could hear the cheers in front of me. I just wanted to get ahead. To hole a putt like that was huge.”
And that’s when he turned it on.
McIlroy blasted a drive on the par-5 16th hole and hit 4-iron from 252 yards over a pot bunker to the left side of the green and made a 15-foot eagle putt. That restored his lead to five shots, for Fowler had driven into a pot bunker and made a bogey.
Fowler recovered with a superb shot out of the pot bunker on the 18th to tap-in range for birdie. That put the American into the final group for the second straight major, both times a long way out of the lead. He trailed Martin Kaymer by five shots going into the last day of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Fowler didn’t get closer than four shots from Kaymer in the final round.
Garcia, who played in final group with Woods at Royal Liverpool in 2006, certainly had his chances. He was only three shots behind at the turn until missing a short birdie putt on No. 12 and failing to convert so many other chances. Garcia had a 69 and was seven shots behind, along with Dustin Johnson (71).
“It’s going to be difficult,” Garcia said. “But we’ll give it a shot.”
This was Rory’s show, just like it was at Congressional, just like it was at Kiawah Island when he won the 2012 PGA Championship.
And yet the biggest crowd belonged to Woods, the sport’s biggest star who is playing his first major since back surgery four months ago. Woods narrowly made the cut on Friday, opened with two straight birdies and that was about all the excitement. He made another double bogey, another triple bogey and shot 73.
Woods was 19 shots out of the lead.
The biggest challenge for McIlroy might be to avoid looking ahead. It was hard. Asked what it would mean to be one major away from a Grand Slam at 25, McIlroy said, “It would mean a lot of hype going into Augusta next year.”
“I’d be in pretty illustrious company,” he said.
HOCKENHEIM, Germany (AP) — Formula One leader Nico Rosberg earned pole position for the German Grand Prix as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out in qualifying on Saturday and will start 15th on the grid.
Rosberg completed the fastest lap on the Hockenheimring in 1 minute, 16.540 seconds in the third part of the session for what was also the weekend’s fastest time.
“Home race, to be on pole is fantastic,” the German said. “I would have preferred if it was an open fight with Lewis. I was a little less happy as a result (of Hamilton’s crash) because Lewis didn’t have a shot at it in the end, but all in all, yeah, a fantastic day up to now.”
Hamilton crashed in the first part of the session, leading to a seven-minute delay after the British driver spectacularly spun off the track and crashed into barriers at Turn 13. His right front brake disc failed.
Hamilton was checked out at the medical center and seemed relatively unscathed.
“I’ve got a little bit of pain but that’s what usually happens when you have a crash like that. Even if something’s broken, I’ll still be driving tomorrow,” the 2008 world champion said.
Rosberg said he wasn’t worried about having the same issue with his brakes as both drivers’ cars were fitted with different systems.
Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completed a day to remember for Williams by finishing second and third, respectively.
“Well done to everyone but Mercedes is still ahead,” Bottas said. “I really felt I got everything out of the car today.”
Kevin Magnussen claimed a commendable fourth place for McLaren, and the Dane was followed by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel in fifth and sixth.
“Other people were able to get more and more out of the track whereas we seemed to stabilize around a certain lap time,” Vettel said. “It’s a long race, anything can happen.”
Vettel’s optimism isn’t supported by recent history. Nobody has won from outside the top three starters at Hockenheim since the track was re-profiled in 2001.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, and Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez completed the top 10 on an afternoon when track temperatures climbed to 56 degrees C (133 F).
McLaren’s Jenson Button, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean of Lotus were all eliminated with Hamilton in qualifying’s second cut.
Gutierrez was carrying a three-place penalty into the session for causing a collision with Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado at the British GP so his 14th was knocked back to 17th, meaning Hamilton will start on Sunday in 15th rather than 16th.
Rosberg, who was also fastest in the morning’s final practice session, holds a four-point lead over his British teammate and is ideally placed to extend it after his fourth pole from the last five races.
“There are no points for today. Important is tomorrow. There’s a long way to go, but it’s a good start,” Rosberg said after claiming his ninth pole overall.
Speaking in German, Rosberg expressed his relief that “we’re still the fastest” despite the removal from all cars of the front and rear interconnected suspension systems which were deemed to be possibly illegal by the FIA.
(Knoxville) (AP) – Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women’s basketball Hall of Fame induction class announced Saturday.
She is joined by former Houston Comets star Janeth Arcain, University of Georgia standout Janet Harris, former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, longtime Oregon high school coach Brad Smith and Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, who was killed in a plane crash in 2011.
The Immaculata teams that won championships from 1972-74 will receive the Hall’s trailblazer award.
Leslie also won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and was the league’s MVP three times. She helped the U.S. win gold medals at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
The group will be inducted next June at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Arcain had a stellar career playing for Brazil. She guided the team to a gold medal at the 1994 world championship as well as a silver and bronze at the Olympics. She came to the WNBA in 1997 and was the 13th pick in the draft. She helped lead the Comets to WNBA championships in the league’s first four years.
Harris starred at Georgia from 1981-85, earning All-SEC honors all four seasons. She’s the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,641 points and rebounder (1,394). She helped the Lady Bulldogs win the SEC crown in 1983 and 1984 and reach the Final Four twice.
Goestenkors guided Duke and Texas to the NCAA tournament 18 straight years, including four trips to the Final Four and two national championship game appearances. She was The Associated Press coach of the year in 2007 and is ninth among all-time Division I coaches in winning percentage. Goestenkors is now an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Smith has won 629 games and 26 league championships while coaching at Oregon City High School over 27 years. In 2012 he received the Morgan Wooten Award for lifetime achievement in coaching high school from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Budke was a successful coach at Louisiana Tech before arriving at Oklahoma State in 2005. He was 80-16 while in charge of the Lady Techsters, leading them to three consecutive NCAA tournaments. In his five years at Oklahoma State, Budke appeared in three NCAA tournaments, including a trip to the regional semifinals in 2008.
He died on Nov. 17, 2011, when he was out recruiting.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have activated infielder Justin Turner from the 15-day disabled list and added another lefty against the St. Louis Cardinals by recalling Paco Rodriguez from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Manager Don Mattingly said Friday the team expected starter Josh Beckett to come off the DL from a left hip impingement early next week at Pittsburgh.
Infielder Carlos Triunfel, batting .143 with a homer in 14 at-bats, was optioned to the minors Friday.
Turner was sidelined June 29 with a left hamstring strain. He was batting .302 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 59 games. Rodriguez had a 6.43 ERA in 10 games over seven innings in two stints.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn has been among the best first-half pitchers in the majors since cracking the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation in 2011, reaching double-figure win totals before the All-Star break all three seasons.
The Los Angeles Dodgers saw a pitcher determined to finish strong, too.
Lynn won his third straight start Friday night, leading the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory.
“I’m not worried about the rest of the season,” Lynn said. “I’m just worried about my next start – whenever that may be.”
Lynn is 33-15 with a 3.54 ERA before the All-Star break and 12-9 with a 3.91 ERA after the break. He’s been among the pitchers getting the most run support, too.
Manager Mike Matheny repeated his assertion that Lynn (11-6) is “one of the most underrated pitchers in the game.”
“Despite what anybody else thinks, he’s got a lot of wins and there’s a reason,” Matheny said. “It’s because he’s got great stuff.”
Matt Holliday homered and doubled with three RBIs in support of Lynn.
Kolten Wong had two hits and scored on both of Holliday’s RBI hits for the Cardinals against the team they beat in the NLCS last fall. They have won six of eight and remained a game behind the Brewers for the NL Central lead.
“Really, I just kept my approach simple and tried to hit the ball hard back through the middle of the field,” Holliday said. “I don’t get ahead of myself. I’ve learned playing this long to take this thing day to day.”
A.J. Ellis had an RBI double for the Dodgers, battling the Giants for the NL West lead. They remained offensively challenged coming out of the All-Star break, totaling 10 runs the last six games.
Holliday’s seventh homer, estimated at 435 feet to straightaway center, came off Dan Haren (8-7).
Lynn gave up two runs on four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out nine and worked around four walks, which tied his season high.
Lynn has 44 wins the last three seasons, one behind Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright for most in the league. He bounced back from season worsts of two innings and six earned runs at Los Angeles on June 28 before leaving with a blister.
“I thought he used his breaking ball more. I don’t think he used his curveball in L.A. hardly at all,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It looked like it took us a while to get going.”
Haren piled up 99 pitches in 4 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, and is among the National League leaders with 20 homers allowed. He’s totaled 8 2-3 innings his last two starts and has lost his last three outings overall.
“I made a bad pitch to Holliday,” Haren said. “I actually didn’t make that many mistakes. It seemed like everything they hit in the air was falling, and there was nothing I could do.”
The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the third when Matt Kemp struck out. The Cardinals stranded three in the fourth when Lynn bounced out after an intentional walk to Tony Cruz.
Consecutive doubles by Juan Uribe and Ellis leading off the seventh chased Lynn. Ellis scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to one.
The Dodgers stranded two against Pat Neshek in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth for his 29th save in 33 chances.