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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The question was lobbed at Royals manager Ned Yost as he was wrapping up his postgame news conference after an 8-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night.
“After scuffling two straight days, are you concerned about the offense?”
“Oh yeah,” Yost replied, dripping with sarcasm as thick as syrup.
The only damage the Royals could muster against Michael Pineda came on a solo homer by Mike Moustakas. Otherwise, Kansas City went quietly in the makeup of a game rained out in June, losing back-to-back games for the first time since late July.
“Pineda was really good tonight,” Yost said. “He’s got a 94 mph fastball. He has a really good changeup. … He had two different types of breaking balls, a real hard slider that cut and a slurvy, slower breaking ball that was really, really good. He pitched a great game.”
Pineda (3-2) retired 10 straight after the homer by Moustakas, and wound up striking out five without a walk over 6 1-3 innings. That was enough for his first win since April 16.
“He’s got so much cut on his fastball,” catcher Brian McCann said. “I feel like he could literally throw it every pitch and be successful. When he’s like that, he’s as good as anybody.”
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in a run in the seventh inning with the 1,000th hit of his career, then added a two-run homer in the ninth. Derek Jeter added a pair of RBIs in his final scheduled trip to Kauffman Stadium, and Stephen Drew and Martin Prado had solo home runs.
“It’s nice when you have a lot of people contribute,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
James Shields (12-7) allowed six runs over 6 2-3 innings for Kansas City.
“We’ve been playing really, really good baseball the last month or so. We’re definitely not going to let just one little game take care of us,” Shields said. “We’re going to move onto this next series and hopefully we’ll win it.”
If you’re willing to count the makeup game against New York as a true series, it was the first time in their last 11 that the Royals have dropped one.
“It’s going to happen,” outfielder Alex Gordon said. “We’ll bounce back. We’ll be OK.”
Jeter, who is retiring after the season, answered a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate in the third inning with a groundout to shortstop that gave New York a 1-0 lead.
Moustakas tied the game with his 15th homer in the bottom half.
Drew gave the Yankees the lead back in the fourth with his home run, and they piled on four more runs off Shields in the seventh to put things out of reach.
The last of the runs was scored by Ellsbury, who came home on a sacrifice fly by McCann. Ellsbury initially was ruled out at the plate, but the call was overturned after a 2-minute video review showed his left leg sliding just under catcher Salvador Perez’s tag.
Still, the Royals lead the AL Central by 1 1/2 games over idle Detroit. So when Yost was asked whether the loss was an easy one to flush, he replied this time without a hint of sarcasm.
“Absolutely,” he said.
Gordon played in his 1,000th game for the Royals, making the 30-year-old outfielder the 10th player in franchise history to reach the milestone.
The Yankees homered at least three times in a game for the seventh time this season, but it was the first time they had done it since July 9 at Cleveland.
Speaking of homers, Shields gave up at least two in a game for the seventh time this season, tied for second-most in the majors behind the Brewers’ Marco Estrada with nine.
Royals: 1B Eric Hosmer was cleared to begin taking dry swings after sustaining a stress fracture in his right hand on July 20. “It feels good. It’s healed up very nicely,” Hosmer said. “We’re ready to start the hitting progression.”
Yankees: 1B Mark Teixeira (left hamstring) and OF Brett Gardner (right ankle) were held out of the starting lineup. Girardi hopes both will be available Tuesday in Detroit.
Royals: After taking three of four in Minnesota last week, the Royals open a three-game set against the Twins at home. LHP Danny Duffy is on the mound for Kansas City.
Yankees: RHP Brandon McCarthy makes his ninth start with the Yankees to open a three-game series in Detroit, one of the clubs they’re chasing in the AL wild-card race.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Shaun Hill has been here before.
A career backup quarterback, Hill is certain he will be able to successfully run the St. Louis Rams’ offense after Sam Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury during the weekend.
“This is not anything new, it’s not anything different,” Hill said. “I keep the same mindset I’ve always had.”
Hill has been forced into an extended relief role for the second time in his 13-year career. He replaced Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford for 10 games in 2010 when Stafford went down with a shoulder injury.
“I’ve always gone into every week as a backup as if I was going to play,” Hill said. “That’s the only way I know how to do it.”
Hill is 13-13 as a starter including a 3-7 mark in relief of Stafford.
St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher has the utmost confidence in Hill, who Fisher said looked good handling the offense in practice on Monday.
“He’s ready to go, he’s excited about this opportunity,” Fisher said. “He’s a competitor and he knows what he’s doing. He will make every opportunity count.”
Hill’s teammates also feel confident in their new field boss.
“He’s a smart quarterback, he knows the system,” wide receiver Tavon Austin said. “He’s been in the league a while. There’s nothing he can’t handle.”
The 34-year-old Hill has hit on 591 passes in 954 attempts for 6,381 yards with 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions during stops in Minnesota, San Francisco, Detroit and St. Louis.
Hill admits he is a little rusty. He attempted just 36 passes as a backup in Detroit the last three seasons, including just two snaps last year – taking a knee twice in a season-ending 40-10 win over Green Bay.
But Hill is ready to embrace his new role. He was signed to a one-year deal by the Rams in March with this scenario in mind.
“I’m cranked up and ready to go,” he said.
When the Pittsburgh, Kansas, native takes the field for the season opener Sept. 7 against Minnesota, it will be his first start in 1,342 days. His last start came in the final week of the 2010 season.
Bradford tore a ligament in his left knee in the first quarter Saturday and will be out the entire campaign. It was the same injury that sidelined him the last nine games of the 2013 campaign.
The first overall pick in the 2010 draft, Bradford has been plagued by injuries throughout much of his career. Over his five years, he has missed 31 of 80 starts.
“I feel terrible for Sam,” Hill said. “I was really looking forward to seeing him play this year. He was going to light it up. But the nature of the business is `next guy up’ – and that’s me.”
The Rams have a history of overcoming quarterback injuries. In 1999, Trent Green was lost for the season during the third exhibition game. Kurt Warner stepped in and guided the team to a Super Bowl title.
The Rams released 10 players on Monday and are down to 79 with four more cuts needed by the Tuesday 3 p.m. deadline.
Among those released was wide receiver T.J. Moe, a standout at the University of Missouri.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Maty Mauk begins his tenure as the full-time starter at quarterback when No. 24 Missouri opens its season against South Dakota State on Saturday.
The 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore went 3-1 as a starter last season in relief of an injured James Franklin, who graduated and was released by the Detroit Lions on Monday. Mauk played in 13 of 14 games, completing 51.1 percent of his passes for 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
Coach Gary Pinkel praised Mauk on Monday, calling his leadership style “non-threatening.”
Mauk will have to contend without the Tigers’ top three receivers from a year ago, as L’Damian Washington, Dorial Green-Beckham and Marcus Lucas have all departed. Bud Sasser, who caught 26 passes for 361 yards, returns as the top wideout.
(St. Louis) – Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Michael Wacha have shown continued improvement in their injury rehabilitation and that both players will report to the team’s Springfield Double-A club this week with plans to continue their rehabilitation.
St. Louis Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak announced that Molina will report to Springfield August 26 where he will go through a full workout with the Springfield club. Wacha is scheduled to report and throw a “live” batting practice session to the Springfield team on Wednesday, August 27.
Wacha, 5-5, 2.79 ERA, has been sidelined since June 18 due to a right shoulder stress reaction. Molina, who is batting .287 with 7 HR’s and 30 RBI, has been sidelined since July 10 after having suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb that required corrective surgery.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have waived 11 players and placed safety Sanders Commings on injured reserve as they pare down their roster before the first deadline.
The Chiefs have 78 players on their active roster. They need to have 75 by Tuesday afternoon.
Wide receiver Weston Dressler, a star in the CFL, was among the first round of cuts. Also waived were wide receivers Darryl Surgent, Jerrell Jackson and Deon Anthony; defensive backs Jerron McMillian, Brandon Jones and Vernon Kearney; defensive lineman Jairus Campbell; offensive lineman Otis Hudson and tight end Adam Schiltz.
The Chiefs play Green Bay on Thursday night in their final preseason game. The roster must then be trimmed to 53 players by Saturday afternoon.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has named veteran Matt Cassel as the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener against the St. Louis Rams.
Zimmer made the announcement Monday, though it has long been known that Cassel has been the choice over rookie Teddy Bridgewater.
Cassel has been sharp while starting all three preseason games. He has completed more than 66 percent of his passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He opened training camp in competition with Bridgewater, one of the team’s two first-round draft picks, for the starting job.
Bridgewater has completed 65 percent of his passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns in the preseason. But most of his game time has come with the second team.
(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team will take a 2-2 record into the Salt Lake Community College Invitational Tournament Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-30, in Salt Lake City, Utah, after opening their season at the Dana Hatch Invitational hosted by Tyler Junior College this past weekend, Aug. 22-23, in Tyler, Texas.
On Friday, the Grizzlies, ranked No. 12 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) preseason poll, defeated North Central Texas College of Gainesville 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-13 before falling to No. 1 Blinn College, Brenham, Texas, 16-25, 22-25, 17-25. On Saturday, the Grizzlies downed No. 20 Temple College, Temple, Texas, 25-14, 25-15, 14-25, 26-24 before losing to the host team, ranked fifth in the nation, 18-25, 13-25, 25-23, 28-26, 10-15.
“This was a good tournament for us to start with,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “We saw four tough teams, and our players’ response to the whole weekend was what we wanted it to be. I was hoping our players would see the intensity level we need play at every day in practice during this tournament, and they did. You can talk about it, you can get out there and have those moments, but until you play the competition we play, you don’t really get it. Now they do.”
Although unranked, North Central Texas proved to be a tough first competitor for the Grizzlies’ first match of the season, but the defending national champions really woke the Grizzlies up to the challenges ahead this season, Wiedemann said.
“Our match against a good North Central Texas team was as tough as it could get for our first match, and we fought through it. And then we got a taste of a national championship caliber team in Blinn, and they haven’t missed a beat. Blinn’s ability to run the offense they want to run is there. They have excellent setters. We had some very good moments against them, but they really woke us up,” the coach said.
The Grizzlies found their footing again against Temple on Saturday. “We went at them like Blinn went at us,” Wiedemann said. “Then we got too relaxed and Temple started coming back at us. Set four, though, was an excellent set. Winning that one gave us some momentum to go up against Tyler.”
The Grizzlies finally started showing the intensity the coaching staff wanted to see against the host team. “Tyler came out really strong and took the first two sets, then we started playing with the intensity we wanted to see from our players. We fought for every point the rest of the way. We were not happy we didn’t finish off the fifth set and were mad we didn’t get it done. There are definitely things we can work on to impove how we go about playing at that intensity, though.”
Offensively, the Grizzlies were led by freshman outside attacker Penny Liu, who recorded 37 kills with four errors on 73 attempts for an attacking percentage of .452. She was followed by freshman outside attacker Gabby Edmondson with 29 kills, freshman outside attacker Breanna Taylor with 28 kills, sophomore middle attacker Lee Lee Barrett with 26 kills and freshman right side hitter Mikala Hicks with 12 kills. Freshman setter Susannah Kelley and sophomore setter Brianna Zebert shared duties in that position with Kelley picking up 75 assists and Zebert 65. Kelley also led the team in service aces with five.
Defensively, Barrett led the team at the net with 11 blocks, seven of which were solos, and sophomore libero Alyssa Aldag led the team in digs with 81. Barrett led the team in points earned with 37.
Wiedemann said the Grizzlies will continue to work on their intensity level and several other things the next couple of days as they prepare for Salt Lake, where they will meet the No. 6 team in the preseason rankings, Western Wyoming Community College of Rock Springs, and North Idaho College of Coeur d’Alene on Friday and No. 2 Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Casper (Wyo.) College on Saturday.
“I really think we will keep getting better each and every week. We have a group of players who really want to get in there and fight and see what happens. What you get from that attitude is great matches against great teams.”
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/. Complete team statistics can be found at http://stats.njcaa.org/sports/wvball/2014-15/div1/teams/MissouriStateUniversityWestPlains.
(West Plains) – Due to the excessive heat expected today, changes have been made to the starting times of tonight’s West Plains games:
West Plains High School Varsity Softball will host Ozark at 6:00 p.m. with an abbreviated JV game to follow.
West Plains High School JV Football will host Waynesville at 6:30 p.m.
9th Grade Football at Waynesville has been postponed to Thursday, 8/28/14 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Despite the heat, both leagues had a few players to compete. The Casual League had 15 players again and was divided into 3 five player teams. It was a straight scramble and it took 6 under to get into a chip off. The winners were Trey Everett (he had the very good chip to win), Matthew Coatney, Dylan Gale and Sarah and Paul Davis. Matthew won longest putt as well.
In the Cat and Dog League only 3 couples played and of course there was a tie at even par that did not have a chip or putt off. The winners were Barb Tate and Buster Graves and mostly Michele McDaniel, but Michael played 5 holes before he got called in to work. Michele also won closest to the pin.
Both leagues will now be starting at 5:30 as we are losing a few minutes a day to an earlier setting sun.
New Tee to Open
Our new Empire Zoysia tee will be opening this weekend on hole # 3. It has come in very well and is tacked into the soil solidly. We will not be mowing it as low as the others possibly until next spring, but we can hit off of it for the rest of the season. Donations for the project are still being taken at city hall as the cost of the sod was a little over $1300.
We have 3 tournaments left this year, all in September. A Senior Cat and Dog will be held Saturday Sept 6. Ages 55 and over are welcome at this one and the cost is $40 a person. This includes mulligans. There will be a cash payout for the winners and hole prizes will be area golf course certificates.
September 20 will be our 7th Annual Women’s 2-person scramble. September 27 will be our 3-person scramble to benefit the pavilion project. Sign up for all of these tournaments in the pro shop or call 469-1214 and leave a message.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Fisher shared the bad news with Sam Bradford on Sunday morning.
By the time the St. Louis Rams coach began his day-after news conference, he’d had several hours to digest the impact of an injury that puts the team’s once-rosy outlook in serious doubt, and to give a vote of confidence to journeyman backup Shaun Hill.
After announcing Bradford’s season-ending torn ACL in his left knee for the second time in nine months, Fisher said speculation about a trade was premature.
At the least, they’ll likely wait to see who hits the market in the first round of cuts on Tuesday when rosters must be at 75 players.
“It makes no sense to jump and react right now and try to fill the hole at whatever cost,” Fisher said. “We’re going to take our time and evaluate this.
“There’s going to be some quarterbacks that are released and there may or may not be some quarterbacks out there that have trade value.”
Fisher confirmed the extent of the injury first reported by ESPN and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He said no timetable had been set for surgery.
“We lost Sam for the year,” Fisher said. “The news was devastating to him.”
The coach quickly added that everyone at Rams Park must quickly become accustomed to the 34-year-old Hill running the offense.
“We’re going to move forward, we’re not going to change anything,” Fisher said. “We have to move on and Shaun’s the guy.”
In all, five starters were hurt in the first half against the Browns Saturday night. Fisher called it a “nightmare.”
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted off with a knee injury and three others – guard Rodger Saffold and defensive tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers – left with ankle injuries.
Johnson will be out 4-6 weeks with an MCL tear, but Fisher said Saffold, Langford and Brockers could play if needed in the preseason finale Thursday at Miami.
Bradford was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night’s 33-14 preseason victory at Cleveland. He was hit on his left side by Browns defensive end Armonty Bryant as he threw a pass, and hopped briefly on his right leg before dropping to the ground.
Fisher said the injury was a “one in 100″ rarity.
“The knee was locked and something has to give,” Fisher said. “Unfortunately, the ACL gave.”
Bradford, the first overall pick of the 2010 draft, missed the last nine games last season after getting injured at Carolina. The Rams also have rookie Garrett Gilbert and Austin Davis on the roster.
Hill strolled through the auditorium to a meeting as Fisher walked to the podium and Davis also made an appearance during the news conference.
“Shaun’s our guy,” Fisher said. “I brought him here.”
The Rams shifted to a ground-heavy offense after Bradford was injured last year and Kellen Clemens inherited the job. They were 3-4 with Bradford and 4-5 with Clemens.
Unlike Bradford, Clemens was a bit of a scrambler. Hill is more in the Bradford mold of a drop-back passer.
After the game, Fisher thought Bradford might have hyperextended the knee and was “very optimistic.” Bradford walked off the field, and then walked to the locker room after the injury.
Wide receiver Brian Quick said he was assured by the quarterback that he was “OK.”
“It is a tremendous loss for them,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “We knew that it didn’t look like much when it happened, but I just think it was a good amount of weight that got put on it. It’s such an unfortunate thing.”
Pettine said there “certainly wasn’t any intent” by Bryant to hurt Bradford.
Bradford had 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions last season. The Rams then upgraded their offensive line by drafting guard-tackle Greg Robinson No. 2 overall.
Bradford played in two preseason games and was 4 for 9 for 77 yards against the Browns.
The 34-year-old Hill has thrown only 16 passes the past three seasons as the backup in Detroit. He made 10 starts in 2010 for the Lions in place of injured Matthew Stafford and beat the Rams for Detroit’s first win after a 0-4 start.
“He makes good decisions, he’s mobile and just understands defense,” Fisher said. “He’s very reliable.”