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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs have acquired safety Kelcie McCray from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for offensive guard Rishaw Johnson in a move that should bolster depth for both teams.

McCray entered the league with Miami as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State. He’s appeared in 15 games over the past two seasons with the Dolphins and Buccaneers.

The Chiefs are desperate for help at safety, particularly with Eric Berry still dealing with a nagging heel injury. Undrafted rookie Daniel Sorensen has been pressed into a starting role.

Johnson has appeared in three games over parts of two seasons for Kansas City. He had slid down the depth chart after the Chiefs acquired several other linemen in the draft and free agency.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jamaal Charles returned to Chiefs practice Thursday for the first time since hurting his foot last week, though he’s unlikely to play in Saturday night’s preseason game against Minnesota.

Charles hurt the foot last Thursday while moving out of the dormitories at Missouri Western, where the Chiefs start their training camp workouts. He did not make the trip to Carolina for their second preseason game last weekend.

Wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas returned after missing a day of practice with spasms in his hamstring. Defensive back Chris Owens was also back on the field after leaving a day earlier with a knee injury.

Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and linebacker Joe Mays did not practice.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The man who performs as the Kansas City Chiefs’ mascot has reached a legal settlement over severe injuries he suffered last November while practicing a zip line routine.

Lawyers for Dan Meers, better known as KC Wolf, announced the settlement Thursday but said the terms prevent disclosure of the dollar amount or the parties involved.

Attorney Tim Dollar said in a news release that Meers is still recovering and is talking with the Chiefs about a modified role as KC Wolf in the future.

Meers has performed as KC Wolf since the Chiefs adopted the mascot 24 years ago. He suffered what was described as a severe back injury Nov. 23 while practicing the zip line routine at Arrowhead Stadium.

Few details have been disclosed, but Dollar said earlier there may have been an error by a third-party company in securing the rigging.

DENVER (AP) — Danny Duffy chose to find fault with his fastball rather than his fielder.

Duffy was cruising along until a throwing error opened the door for a grand slam by Matt McBride that sent the Colorado Rockies to a 5-2 win over the rolling Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.

“I feel terrible for the mistake I made,” Duffy said.

With one swing, McBride derailed the Royals’ roll, snapping their three-game winning streak. Kansas City saw its lead in the AL Central shrink to one over Detroit.

Duffy was in command most of the night as he allowed five hits and five runs, one earned, in seven innings. After getting two quick outs in the sixth, third baseman Christian Colon fielded a grounder by Nolan Arenado and threw a one-hopper that first baseman Billy Butler couldn’t scoop. Wilin Rosario singled and Corey Dickerson drew a walk to set the stage for McBride.

Another hard-luck loss for Duffy (8-11), who’s the only AL starter with a losing record and an ERA under three runs.

“I can’t lose focus like I did on that one pitch,” said Duffy, whose team finished 15-5 in interleague play. “He knew it was coming. If I locate that better then it’s probably a ground ball.”

Colon shouldered the blame, too.

“I wish I could take it back and make the play,” he said. “I should have made the play.”

It was McBride’s first homer since Sept. 25, 2012, and third of his career. He was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs the day before after what’s been a tumultuous past two seasons. He missed a big chunk of 2013 after undergoing neck surgery and was out earlier this year with a broken foot.

“Another guy with a great story, who’s been through a lot,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

That was more than enough for Jorge De La Rosa (13-8), who allowed five hits and two run against his former team. He also got the Royals to hit into four double plays, tying a franchise record for most by a single pitcher in a game.

Even more, he improved to 9-2 at Coors Field – a place that’s haunted many a pitcher, but not the hard-throwing lefty.

“I like to pitch here,” De La Rosa said. “It’s a challenge for me every time I pitch here.”

GORDON GOES YARD

Usually, when Alex Gordon homers, the Royals win this season. They’re 11-2 when he goes deep in a game.

Gordon’s solo shot in the second was his 14th homer of the season.

CHALLENGING CHANGEUP

This was just the second time De La Rosa faced his old team. He spent two seasons with the Royals before being dealt to Colorado in 2008 for cash considerations.

He was cashing in on his changeup to get out of one jam after another.

“His changeup, that’s his moneymaker,” Weiss said. “It’s a great pitch.”

Royals manager Ned Yost seconded that opinion.

“His changeup is a killer,” said Yost, whose team has won 22 of their last 28 games. “It’s a hard pitch to pick up.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: C Salvador Perez was a late scratch because of tightness in his right knee. He will have a precautionary MRI on Thursday.

Rockies: OF Michael Cuddyer was out another day with a strained left hamstring. He said he’s confident he will be back in the lineup Friday.

UP NEXT

Royals: After a day off, Kansas City begins a three-game series in Texas. Yordano Ventura (9-9) will start Friday. His nine wins are third-most among rookies this season.

Rockies: The Rockies have their second off day this week on Thursday. They begin a three-game series with Miami on Friday. LHP Franklin Morales (5-6) will get the start after missing his last turn in the rotation for the birth of his daughter.

(West Plains) – The start time for the Friday, August 22 West Plains High School Varsity football game at Waynesville has been changed from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.

School officials state that spectators may enter the stadium at 6:30pm.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals are finding new ways to get walk-off wins.

Jon Jay was hit by a pitch from J.J. Hoover with the bases-loaded in the ninth inning, lifting the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

The walk-off victory was the second in two nights for the Cardinals, who won for the fifth time in six games and remained 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Jhonny Peralta’s RBI single in the 10th inning Monday provided St. Louis with a thrilling last-at-bat triumph.

Matt Holliday drew a leadoff walk to start Tuesday’s winning rally. He advanced to third on Matt Adams’ single. After Peter Bourjos ran for Holliday, Peralta walked to load the bases. Hoover (1-10) then plunked Jay to force in Bourjos with the winning run.

“It’s not like you hope to get hit by a pitch every time,” Jay said. “But I’ll take it.”

St. Louis got its sixth walk-off win of the season. The Cardinals also posted consecutive wins in such fashion July 7-8 against Pittsburgh.

The Reds lost in walk-off fashion for the third time in the last four games. They are a season-high 10 games out of first place.

“(Two walk-offs) in a row isn’t fun,” Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier said. “It’s crazy, I’ve never been around something like that. I never want to see it again.”

Jay scored the tying run in the eighth on pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso’s RBI double off reliever Jumbo Diaz.

“Call it whatever you want to call it, but we’re just playing better baseball right now,” Descalso said. “We’ve got down the last couple nights and we’ve come back. That’s always a good sign.”

Reliever Pat Neshek (6-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Frazier put the Reds in front 2-1, with a two-run homer in the fourth. It was his 21st home run of the season, but first since July 20.

Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon gave up three runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.

St. Louis starter John Lackey gave up four runs, two earned, in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

Cincinnati scored twice in the sixth on a bases-loaded double by former Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick. Errors by Holliday and Matt Carpenter and a walk set the stage for Ludwick’s hit, which pushed the lead to 4-1.

But the Reds’ taxed bullpen was unable to hold the lead.

“Short starts have bit us on the tail this road trip,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “It blows up the bullpen.”

Peralta homered in the sixth to cut the deficit to 4-2. It was Peralta’s 17th home run of the season, setting the single-season mark for a St. Louis shortstop. Jay and Oscar Taveras followed with hits before pinch-hitter Shane Robinson singled off reliever Sam LeCure to bring the Cardinals to 4-3.

“I feel like the last two nights have felt like playoff games,” Adams said.

St. Louis took a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring single by Holliday in the third.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Closer Aroldis Chapman was unavailable Tuesday for the second night in a row with what manager Bryan Price called an, “achy,” shoulder. The reliever is listed as day-to-day by the Reds training staff. Chapman has 26 saves in 28 chances. He walked four successive batters on Sunday in Colorado.

Cardinals: INF Mark Ellis was put on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Ellis, who is hitting .192 with 12 RBI, last played on Tuesday. INF Greg Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis in time for Tuesday’s contest. Garcia was hitting .273 with 40 RBI in 103 games for the Redbirds.

JAY KEEPS ROLLING

St. Louis OF Jon Jay extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the second, the first of two hits. He is 15 for 31 during the run and reached base four times Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Johnny Cueto (15-6, 2.06) will start the final game of the three-game set. Cueto is 7-0 with a 2.24 ERA over his last eight starts. His seven-game winning streak is a career high.

Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (13-8, 2.91) will make his team-leading 26th start of the season. He is 5-1 lifetime against the Reds

Kansas City Royals' Norichika Aoki reacts to fouling a ball off his foot against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Kansas City Royals’ Norichika Aoki reacts to fouling a ball off his foot against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (AP) — Ned Yost never has a bad birthday, but a win helps make the occasion much more special.

Omar Infante had three doubles and drove in four runs to help the streaking Kansas City Royals beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Tuesday night.

It also brought a smile to Yost, who turned 60.

“For 35 years I’ve always thought I’ve been a winner on every one of my birthdays because I’m with a group of guys I really like and have fun being around,” he said. “But when you win the game it makes it that much more sweeter.”

The Royals have been celebrating a lot lately. Since dropping two games below .500 on July 21 they have won 22 of 27 to move two games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.

They even won with ace James Shields not having his best stuff.

“It was a grind day. It was one of those days where I didn’t have my good stuff at all,” he said. “You’re going to go through days like that and you battle through it.”

Shields pitched six solid innings to get the win for the Royals, who are a major league best 15-4 in interleague play.

It took a while but they did get to Colorado rookie Tyler Matzek in the seventh.

Matzek (2-9) came into Tuesday with a 9.60 ERA in August but was having his best outing since blanking Pittsburgh over seven innings on July 26 when he ran into trouble with two outs in the seventh. Matzek got the first two outs before allowing a pinch-hit single to Josh Willingham and walking Nori Aoki.

Adam Ottavino came on and gave up consecutive doubles to Infante and Salvador Perez to give the Royals a 4-2 lead.

“It was a great at-bat. Ottavino was throwing hard, good slider,” Billy Butler said. “It woke me up. He had good stuff and Omar stepped up.”

The Royals scored three more runs in the eighth off Colorado’s bullpen. Infante had a two-run double with the bases loaded.

It was the second time in his career he has had three doubles in a game. The last time, May 27, 2004, came against the Royals when he was playing for Detroit.

“Omar’s swing is so simple, it’s not a lot of moving parts,” Yost said. “He can get on a streak in a hurry.”

That made a winner of Shields (12-6), who allowed two runs on nine hits and struck out six. He wasn’t sharp, allowing base runners in every inning but his last and struck out Drew Stubbs with the bases loaded to end the fourth.

Stubbs and Nolan Arenado each had three hits and a home run for Colorado.

Arenado went deep in the fifth to give Colorado a 2-1 lead and Stubbs hit a two-run homer in the ninth, when the Rockies mounted a rally. Greg Holland came on and threw one pitch to record his 39th save in 40 chances.

“They get a lead after six innings, they pretty much wipe you out,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “That’s been the formula for them this year. Guys come in throwing in the upper 90s and throwing strikes.”

Justin Morneau, back in the lineup after missing two games with a stiff neck, gave Colorado a 1-0 lead with a double-play grounder in the first.

Kansas City tied it in the fourth on Lorenzo Cain’s RBI double.

BIRTHDAY BOY

Yost was starting his postgame news conference when first base coach Rusty Kuntz interrupted to present the manager with a cake. Kuntz then sang “Happy Birthday” and gave Yost a hug before leaving his office.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Infante wasn’t the only Royals player to record a two-bagger. Kansas City had six doubles for the first time since July 29, 2011, at Cleveland.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Perez returned to the lineup after being pulled from Monday’s game with a sore knee.

Rockies: OF Michael Cuddyer was scratched from the lineup with a sore left hamstring. Manager Walt Weiss said it wasn’t a long-term issue, adding that playing a doubleheader Sunday led to the soreness. Cuddyer hit for the cycle in the second game of the Rockies’ sweep.

UP NEXT

Royals: Red-hot Kansas City will go for a season sweep of the Rockies with lefty Danny Duffy on the mound. Duffy (8-10) has won a career-high three straight starts.

Rockies: Colorado’s lone bright spot on the mound, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, will face his former team Wednesday. De La Rosa (12-8) made 33 starts for the Royals in 2006-07 before joining the Rockies. He has accounted for nearly a quarter of Colorado’s 49 wins this season.

St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams hits an RBI double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Adams hits an RBI double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Walking Billy Hamilton to start the ninth inning was a bad sign for Trevor Rosenthal. For the second straight game, the St. Louis Cardinals picked up their young closer.

“We’re digging our heels in,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said after Jhonny Peralta singled in the winning run in the 10th for a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. “That’s what I love about this club.”

Jay Bruce homered, doubled and knocked in four runs for the Reds, giving him nine RBIs in four games. Brandon Phillips returned from left thumb surgery wearing a brace and was 0 for 4 with a walk.

The Reds have dropped seven of nine and are 18-30 in one-run games.

Peralta had three hits, and his RBI single in the first was just his second in 32 at-bats against the Reds this season. He also doubled and scored the tying run on A.J. Pierzynski’s hit off Jumbo Diaz in the eighth.

“When we win like that, everybody gets excited,” Peralta said.

Logan Ondrusek (3-3) entered with one out in the 10th and gave up consecutive singles to Matt Holliday, Matt Adams and Peralta. Ondrusek (strained right shoulder) was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day.

“I wanted to go with more of the fresh arm there, and this isn’t Logan’s first time around the block and his first time here,” manager Bryan Price said. “It just didn’t happen tonight.”

Bruce doubled off Rosenthal to tie it in the ninth after Hamilton drew a leadoff walk, then stole his 46th base and went to third with one out. Rosenthal was pulled after walking the bases full with one out on Sunday, and Seth Maness finished for his second save.

Rosenthal has allowed four runs in 2 1-3 innings in his last three outings.

“It was actually not that bad, we just walked the wrong guy,” Matheny said. “You put that guy on base, we’re in straight defense mode trying to figure out how to limit the damage.”

Maness retired Zack Cozart on a foul pop with the bases loaded to end the top of the eighth.

Bruce’s three-run homer, his 14th shot of the season, capped a four-run fifth against Justin Masterson for a 4-3 lead. Bruce also set a franchise record with his 890th game in right field, breaking the mark by Ival Goodman from 1935-42.

Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso’s RBI double off Mike Leake tied it in the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Closer Aroldis Chapman was unavailable and is day to day with shoulder soreness, a day after he walked four straight batters before getting pulled in the first game of a doubleheader at Colorado. 2B Phillips played his fourth straight game, counting rehab games. “If he’s physically OK, he’s going to play a lot,” Price said.

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha, on the DL since mid-June with a shoulder injury, got positive reviews from his latest bullpen session Monday.

UP NEXT

Reds: Alfredo Simon (12-8, 3.28) makes his 14th appearance against the Cardinals and first start. He is 15-3 with a 2.70 in 18 career starts before the All-Star break and 0-5 with a 5.46 ERA in six starts after the break.

Cardinals: John Lackey (1-1, 6.18) makes his fourth start since coming from Boston in a trade deadline deal, and faces the Reds for just the second time in his career. He is 12-8 with a 3.19 overall and 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA against NL teams this year.

SHOWTIME

Holliday, Hamilton and Oscar Taveras made nice catches at the wall in left, center and right, respectively. … Actor and Cardinals super fan Jon Hamm, who grew up in suburban St. Louis, bounced a soft first pitch to Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. … Leake, who also doubled, has two homers and four RBIs this season.

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas delivers to the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas delivers to the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Erik Kratz had played in only five games for Kansas City since being acquired from Toronto in a trade on July 28.

But the big guy always stayed ready and that discipline paid off Monday night to keep the Royals rolling.

Kratz homered twice after replacing an ailing Salvador Perez, and Jason Vargas pitched seven strong innings to lead the first-place Royals to a 6-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

“You put your work in before the game as a bench guy to be ready to go in,” Kratz said. “Some people could say well, Salvi plays every day, so why not take a day off? In my opinion, what’s the point of taking a day off if that might be the day you come in and play?”

Vargas (10-5) allowed one run on four this and struck out three, but had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 17 when Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo homer in the seventh. Perez had two hits and two RBIs before leaving in the seventh because of discomfort in his right knee, helping the Royals win for the 21st time in 26 games.

Kansas City extended its lead over the idle Detroit Tigers in the AL Central to two games.

Trevor May (0-2) gave up three runs on seven hits and walked four in 4 2-3 innings for the Twins.

When Perez left, Kratz came in as a pinch hitter and broke his bat on a pitch from Anthony Swarzak, but still managed to muscle it over the wall in left field for a 4-0 lead. Kratz added a solo shot to center in the ninth for his first multihomer game.

The drives proved even more important when Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer off Aaron Crow in the ninth inning.

“It’s great to help the team out when you do get in there for any bench guy,” Kratz said.

Greg Holland came on for his 38th save in 40 tries. Josh Willingham had three hits and Alex Gordon and Billy Butler each had two for the Royals, who have won eight straight series for the first time since 1991.

May made his major league debut on Aug. 9, and it was a rough one. He walked seven batters in two innings and gave up four runs. He breezed through four innings of his home debut, but walked the bases loaded in the fifth.

Perez followed with a two-run single and Butler added an RBI single to give the Royals a 3-0 lead.

That was enough for Vargas, who has dominated the Twins this season. He retired 10 in a row from the second through sixth while his offense built him a cushion.

“Salvi’s a huge part of our team, but we have to keep him healthy and keep him in it for the long haul,” Vargas said. “For Kratz to come in and step up and go big fly twice was pretty nice, especially when they were able to extend the game a little bit there. Those two home runs really counted.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Perez is day to day with a sore knee. Manager Ned Yost said Perez tweaked a tendon in his knee while running the bases in the fifth inning, but was removed purely as a precaution.

Twins: Byron Buxton, one of the top prospects in baseball, flew to Fort Myers, Florida, to begin his recovery after a nasty outfield collision at Double-A New Britain. GM Terry Ryan said Buxton had a stiff neck and some headaches, but nothing more serious. Ryan said he doubts Buxton will play again this season.

“We’re all fortunate it ended up the way it ended up,” Ryan said. “We’ve seen collisions in our day, but that one ranked right up there.”

UP NEXT

The Royals open a two-game interleague series in Colorado. RHP James Shields (11-6, 3.29 ERA) starts the opener against LHP Tyler Matzek (2-8, 5.50).

The Twins stay home for a three-game series against Cleveland. RHP Kyle Gibson (11-9, 3.96) starts the opener against RHP Trevor Bauer (4-7, 4.35).

EARLY EXIT

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t stick around very long. When plate umpire Chris Segal called Joe Mauer out on strikes in the first inning, the mild-mannered first baseman argued that he fouled the third strike and it hit the dirt before Perez caught it. Segal disagreed, and Gardenhire came to Mauer’s defense before returning to the bench. Moments later, Segal ejected Gardenhire after the conversation apparently continued from the dugout. It was the fifth time this season and 72nd time in his career that Gardenhire was ejected.

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) scrambles against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) scrambles against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — If Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has his way, Cam Newton won’t be running as many read-option plays as he has in the past.

If Jonathan Stewart runs the way he did Sunday night, Newton won’t need to.

Newton made a successful return following ankle surgery, Stewart ran for two touchdowns and the Panthers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 28-16 in a preseason game.

Newton completed 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards and led a pair of touchdown drives before exiting late in the second quarter with Carolina (1-1) up 14-6. Stewart ran for 26 yards on four carries and made a strong case to be the Panthers’ goal-line back – if not their primary ball carrier – with scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards.

Newton has been hit more than any quarterback in the NFL over the past three seasons and Rivera has said he’d like to reduce the wear and tear on his franchise quarterback.

“If we can run the ball effectively with the backs and not have to rely on him running we would much rather do that,” Rivera said.

And that’s fine with Newton.

“I’m trying to win football games and if that is saying, `Cam hand the ball off every play. Cam run the ball down the field 20 yards like a chicken with his head cut off every play. Cam drop back and throw the ball. Cam go get everybody a drink of water.’ … Whatever is asked of me, I will do to try to win the football game,” Newton said.

Newton was rusty early.

Carolina’s first three possessions netted a yard and no first downs. Newton compounded the problem by overthrowing Kelvin Benjamin on a deep ball after the rookie receiver got behind the secondary.

But Stewart replaced DeAngelo Williams and immediately gave the Panthers a boost with a 17-yard carry around left end. The Panthers found their rhythm after that, driving 66 and 50 yards for touchdowns on their next two possessions.

“We had a slow start tonight, which is unacceptable,” Newton said. “We have to stay on schedule and not waste opportunities like the shot to Benji. Kansas City’s a good football team and we didn’t match their intensity early.”

Kansas City’s Alex Smith finished 14 of 22 for 127 yards.

The Chiefs (1-1) moved the ball well early on without star running back Jamaal Charles, but were forced to settle for a pair of field goals – one of them a 54-yarder by Ryan Succup.

“We did some good things,” Smith said. “We moved the ball on a stout defense. We just didn’t finish, but self-inflicted things tonight.”

Kansas City’s search for a reliable No. 2 receiver continues.

Dwayne Bowe, who will miss the first game of the regular season because of an NFL-imposed suspension, had five catches for 62 yards but none of the Chiefs’ other wide receivers stood out.

Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray’s first NFL pass completion was for a 43-yard touchdown strike to tight end Travis Kelce, but he later threw an interception leading to a Carolina touchdown.

Newton had to shake off some early rust.

He missed on five of his first six passes and was sacked for a 13-yard loss, leading to three straight three-and-outs to start the game.

Carolina benefited from a 32-yard pass interference penalty on Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker that set up Stewart’s first TD – a run in which the 5-foot-10, 235-pounder bounced off a defender and bowled his way into the end zone.

Newton connected on a 24-yard pass to Benjamin over the middle on Carolina’s next series leading to Stewart’s second score.

It was an encouraging return to the field for Stewart, a former first-round draft pick who has missed 17 games the past two seasons with foot and ankle injuries. Stewart has been limited to 516 yards rushing and one touchdown the past two seasons.

“It’s been a while since I’ve touched the end zone,” said Stewart, who sat out the first preseason game because of a strained hamstring.

The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead before halftime, but Benjamin lost his cool and head-butted Chiefs defensive back Chris Owens. That cost the Panthers 15 yards and took them out of field goal range.