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McIlroy Continues to Lead After Day 3 at The Open

McIlroy Continues to Lead After Day 3 at The Open

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images(MERSEYSIDE, England) — Rory McIlroy continues to lead at Royal Liverpool.
The 25-year-old McIlroy shot a 4-under 68 Saturday and holds a six stroke lead over Rickie Fowler.
McIlroy was actually tied with Fowler heading into the 14th, but the Irishman proceeded to shoot 4-under from there while Fowler bogeyed three of the final six holes.
McIlroy is looking to win the third major of his career, and even though he has a big lead, he isn’t letting it get to his head.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” McIlroy said. “If the guys in front of me had just finished a little better — finished the way I did — then my lead wouldn’t have been as much as it was. … A lot can happen. 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.”
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods shot a 73 and is 19 strokes off the lead.
 
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Donaldson Hits Three-Run Walk-Off HR to Power A’s Past Orioles

Donaldson Hits Three-Run Walk-Off HR to Power A’s Past Orioles

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Josh Donaldson hit a three-run, walk-off home run to give the Oakland Athletics a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The walk-off was the 28-year-old Donaldson’s fifth of his career.
“I enjoy those moments,” Donaldson said. “It’s one of those things where you’ve got to try to relish the opportunity, and anytime I can step up to the plate with an at-bat to help our team win the game or win the game right there, I feel better about it.”
The Athletics (60-36) now lead the Angels by 1 1/2 games in the AL West.
Meanwhile, The Orioles (52-43) still have a four game lead over the Blue Jays and Yankees in the AL East.
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Vikings Suspend Coach for Anti-Gay Remarks

Vikings Suspend Coach for Anti-Gay Remarks

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Minnesota Vikings suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for three games on Friday after an independent investigation found Priefer made a homophobic comment in the 2012 season.
In a statement released by team owner Ziggy Wolf and president Mark Wilf, the Vikings apologized for the incident. 
“In this instance, Coach Priefer fell short of what is expected. Accordingly, we have decided to suspend Coach Priefer without pay for the first three games of the 2014 regular season. In addition, he will be required to satisfactorily complete specialized workplace training that will include an emphasis on the managing of diversity and sexual orientation.”
Allegations over an alleged anti-gay comment came from former punter Chris Kluwe, who claimed that he was released by the organization because of his advocacy for the LGBT community. While the report found Priefer had made disparaging comments, no evidence was obtained to support Kluwe’s claim as to why he was released.
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Astros Can’t Strike Deal With Top Pick

Astros Can’t Strike Deal With Top Pick

Rich Schultz/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — For just the third time in history, the top pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft goes unsigned. The Houston Astros failed to reach a deal with left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken before Friday’s deadline.
The high school southpaw was originally offered a $6.5 million signing bonus, but sources say that offer was lowered when concerns about Aiken’s elbow ligament rose. Aiken was the third high school pitcher ever to be taken number one overall and was the first high school lefty to go in the top five since 2002.
The MLB players association has said the union is working with Aiken to explore all possible options, as well as looking into the way Houston handled negotiations with fifth-round pick Jacob Nix.
“Today, two young men should be one step closer to realizing their dreams of becoming Major League ballplayers,” Tony Clark, head of the MLBPA said in a statement. “Because of the actions of the Houston Astros, they are not. The MLBPA, the players and their advisers are exploring all legal options.”
The Astros have maintained that no wrongdoing occurred in the negotiations and that Aiken’s deal was “extremely fair considering all the factors involved in this case.”
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Sabathia to Have Season-Ending Surgery

Sabathia to Have Season-Ending Surgery

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The injury news continues to get worse for the New York Yankees. General Manager Brian Cashman announced on Friday that the pitcher is set to have season-ending surgery on his right knee.
The southpaw will have arthroscopic debridement surgery in hopes of returning for the 2015 season. The procedure is an alternative to microfracture surgery, but could still be in play if the first surgery does not go as planned. 
“He tried the rehab side of it, and obviously that didn’t work,” Cashman said of the decision for Sabathia to go under the knife. “If he had three different options, that was the least. Now, we are on the middle side of this thing, the cleanup of the knee, and hopefully that is good enough.”
Sabathia is one of four starting pitchers the Yankees have lost to injury in 2014 since Opening Day. Ivan Nova is already out for the year with Tohmmy John surgery, while Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda are hopeful to return. Sabathia 304 with a 5.28 earned run average at the time of his injury.
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Houston Street Dealt to Angels

Houston Street Dealt to Angels

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Los Angeles Angels executed a deal on Friday that will help them attempt to keep pace in the increasingly competitive AL West, acquiring closer Houston Street from San Diego as part of a six player deal. 
The Padres will receive four prospects in return while also sending minor league pitcher Trevor Gott. Second baseman Taylor Lindsey, pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Elliot Morris, along with shortstop Jose Rondon were packaged together by the Angels. The deal is still pending a physical.
Currently holding a 1.09 earned run average with 24 saves, Street is fifth on the career saves list among active pitchers. 
Street will join and Angels team that sits two games behind the Oakland Athletics, who hold the best record in baseball. In his tenth year, the closer has converted 258 saves and holds a career 2.87 ERA. The righty began his career in Oakland, pitching four years for the Athletics.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/18/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/18/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Golf – British Open Championship – Second Round:
1.  Rory McIlroy -12  (6-under for the day)
2.  Dustin Johnson -8  (7-under for the day)
3.  Ryan Moore -6  (4-under for the day)
Francesco Molinari -6  (2-under for the day)
Rickie Fowler  -6  (3-under for the day)
Sergio Garcia -6  (2-under for the day)
Charl Schwartzel -6 (5-under for the day)
Louis Oosthuizen -4 (4-under for the day)
MLB: New York Yankees 4 (48-47) – Cincinnati Reds 3 (51-45)
Texas Rangers 5 (39-57) – Toronto Blue Jays 1 (49-48)
Milwaukee Brewers 4 (54-43) – Washington Nationals 2 (51-43)
San Francisco Giants 9 (53-43) – Miami Marlins 1 (44-51)
Atlanta Braves 6 (53-43) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (42-54)
Cleveland Indians 9 (48-47) – Detroit Tigers 3 (53-39)
Boston Red Sox 5 (44-52) – Kansas City Royals 4 (48-47)
Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (50-46) – Colorado Rockies 2 (40-56)
Tampa Bay Rays 6 (45-53) – Minnesota Twins 2 (44-51)
Chicago White Sox 3 (46-51) – Houston Astros 2 (40-57)
St. Louis Cardinals 3 (53-44) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (54-44)
Oakland Athletics 5 (60-36) – Baltimore Orioles 4 (52-43)
Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (41-56) – Chicago Cubs 4 (40-55)
New York Mets 5 (46-50) – San Diego Padres 4 (41-55)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (58-37) – Seattle Mariners 2 (51-45)
 
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Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) — Despite not even reaching the national championship game last year, SEC media members selected Alabama as the preseason favorite to win the conference this college football season.
The poll was revealed on Thursday, the final of four SEC media days. It showed what was a surprise to no one: Alabama vs. Auburn for the conference title.
The Crimson Tide (154) earned more votes than every other Southeastern Conference school combined. Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), and LSU (9) rounded out the top 5.
“Arguably, they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team,” said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. “If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”
Alabama also led the conference with nine players named to the preseason first-team. Wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon were the top two vote-getters among all players.
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Jimmer Fredette Heads to the Pelicans

Jimmer Fredette Heads to the Pelicans

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Pelicans have found a new sharpshooter. The team agreed to terms with Jimmer Fredette on a one-year deal on Thursday, worth the league minimum.
Fredette, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings, finished last season with the Chicago Bulls after earning his release from the Kings. The guard played sparingly in eight games with the Bulls, spending time on the roster during their playoff run.
Fredette’s best season came in his rookie year, 2011-12, when he averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Pelicans hope that the former Brigham Young star will replace the production lost when Anthony Morrow signed with Oklahoma City. 
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Lakers Claim Boozer off Amnesty Waivers

Lakers Claim Boozer off Amnesty Waivers

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Los Angeles Lakers added to their wealth of big men on Thursday, claiming forward Carlos Boozer off amnesty waivers. The Lakers won a blind bid against nine teams, putting up $3.25 million to garner Boozer’s rights, according to reports. 
“We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season,” Mitch Kupchak, Lakers general manager, said in a news release.
Boozer was released via the amnesty clause by the Chicago Bulls just over a week ago, making it possible for Chicago to sign free agents Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls still must pay the remaining $13.6 million on his 2014-15 contract, but by utilizing the amnesty clause, the contract comes off the books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes.
Los Angeles has already signed a pair of power forwards, reaching agreements with both Ed Davis and Jordan Hill. Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 76 contests for Chicago last season.
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Tracy McGrady Retires From Baseball

Tracy McGrady Retires From Baseball

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tracy McGrady has retired for the second time, this time from the game of baseball. The former NBA All-Star called it quits after appearing in four games for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.
His final appearance came in the Atlantic League All-Star Game, and ended with his first-ever strikeout. McGrady tossed 1 1/3 innings, fanning Bryan Pounds to pick up the first, and only, “K” of his career. In total, the 35-year-old threw a total of 6 2/3 innings, earning a 6.75 ERA.
“This has been an awesome year,” McGrady said, according to CBS Houston. “Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it’s been an honor.”
McGrady played baseball all the way up until his senior year of high school, when he transferred to a school without a baseball team. He then focused on basketball and became a seven-time All-Star.
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Matthew Lombardi Agrees to Join Rangers

Matthew Lombardi Agrees to Join Rangers

Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Center Matthew Lombardi agreed to return from playing overseas and join the reigning Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers.Lombardi played in Switzerland for Geneve-Servette last season and led …

AL Wins in Jeter’s Last All-Star Game Hurrah

AL Wins in Jeter’s Last All-Star Game Hurrah

Elsa/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Derek Jeter went 2-for-2 in his final All-Star game, and Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run to help the American League down the National League 5-3 Tuesday.
Jeter was the highlight of the game. The 14-time All-Star doubled to leadoff the bottom half of the first inning and proceeded to score on Mike Trout’s triple. Jeter then led off the bottom of the third with a single.

Jeter took the field in the top of the fourth but Alexei Ramirez ran out onto the field to replace him. That sparked almost everyone at Target Field to give No. 2 a standing ovation while the song “New York, New York” played in the background. Jeter then went into the AL dugout where he received hugs from his teammates before coming back on the field for a curtain call.

After the celebration ended the NL tied the game 3-3 when Jonathan Lucroy doubled in pinch-runner Dee Gordon. But Mike Trout, who was named the game’s MVP, gave the AL the lead for good in the fifth when he laced an RBI double down the left field line.
The game ended with some excitement for the home crowd as Twins pitcher Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save for the AL.
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Cespedes Wins Second-Straight HR Derby

Cespedes Wins Second-Straight HR Derby

Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — For the second-straight year, Yoenis Cespedes is the All-Star Home Run Derby champion.
The Oakland Athletics outfielder defeated the Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round Monday night to become the first repeat champion since Ken Griffey Jr. did it in 1999.
For the second-straight year, Cespedes had Oakland’s third-base coach Mike Gallego throw to him.
Cespedes topped Toronto’s Jose Bautista to advance to the final against Frazier, who beat Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton in the NL semifinals.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was the only player to not hit a home run in the derby. He’s the first player to be shutout since Robinson Cano was in 2012.
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Brian Harman Wins John Deere Classic

Brian Harman Wins John Deere Classic

(SILVIS, Ill.) — For the first time in his young career, Brian Harman played in the final pairing on Sunday. The 27-year-old handled that pressure, making three clutch birdies down the stretch to win the John Deere Classic by one stroke over Zach Johnson.
“It was very hard, probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do in my life,” Harman said. “Just trying not to let your mind run wild is the hardest part out there.”
Johnson, a neighbor of Harman, shot a 7-under 64, tying the leader on the 14th hole with a birdie. When Harman approached the 14th, he was able to make par before knocking home birdie putts on each of the next two holes to pull away.
A bogey on 18 didn’t hurt the first-time PGA winner, who held a two-stroke lead as he stood on the final tee. The victory earns Harman the final exemption for the British Open and also gave him an invitation to the Masters and Tournament of Champions, both firsts.
Jhonattan Vegas finished tied for third with Jerry Kelly while Scott Brown and Tim Clark tied for fifth.
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Grand Slams From Posey, Bumgarner Give Giants Win

Grand Slams From Posey, Bumgarner Give Giants Win

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey launched the second grand slam of his career in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Giants a 4-1 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. One inning later, pitcher Madison Bumgarner did the same in an 8-4 win.
It was the first time in Major League Baseball history that batterymates each hit grand slams in the same game. For Bumgarner, it was his second slam of 2014 as he became the first pitcher in 48 seasons to complete that feat. Tony Cloninger hit two in one game for Atlanta, against the Giants, at Candlestick Park in 1966.
“That’s pretty cool,” Bumgarner said after the win. “This game is full of strange statistics. It seems like there is a first every day. It’s crazy to get that many opportunities as a pitcher.”
The righty went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, while striking out five. Bumgarner (10-7) ended a three-game personal losing streak as the Giants (52-43) won five of their final nine games before the All-Star break.
Vidal Nuno (0-1) took the loss in his second start for Arizona, giving up four runs on six hits in just five innings. The Diamondbacks (40-56) have lost five of their last 13 games.
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Abreu Launches MLB-Best 29th Homer in Win

Abreu Launches MLB-Best 29th Homer in Win

(Major League BaseballCLEVELAND) — Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu continues to dazzle. On Saturday, the first baseman launched his 29th home run of the season, the most in the MLB so far this year.
“He’s good,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventur…

Brazil Booed After Third-Place Loss

Brazil Booed After Third-Place Loss

Michael Dodge/Getty Images(BRASILIA, Brazil) — The host country was already on thin ice with their fans when they lost 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup semifinals. On Saturday, a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands resulted in Brazil being booed off the pitch in front of their own nation.
Thanks in part to some poor defending, the Dutch ran rampant in the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place match. Robin Van Persie started the performance by converting on a penalty kick in the third minute. Arjen Robben went sprinting past the Brazilian defense but was dragged down by Thiago Silva just inside the box, awarding the spot kick.
Daley Blind, son of assistant coach Danny, tallied his first-ever international goal when David Luiz misplayed a ball in the box. Instead of heading it over his own net for a set piece, he attempted to clear it but instead directed the ball right to Blind’s foot. 
Holland added another goal in stoppage time from Georginio Wijnaldum while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen stopped the two sure shots he had to face.
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Paul Pierce Joining the Wizards

Paul Pierce Joining the Wizards

Claus Andersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Paul Pierce will don new colors next season. On Saturday, the small forward signed a two-year deal worth $11 million with the Washington Wizards.
Pierce, who spent the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets, signed a contract that includes a player option for next summer. The Wizards went after Pierce once swingman Trevor Ariza signed a deal with the Houston Rockets.
The ten-time All-Atar averaged just 13.5 points per game, playing only 28 minutes per contest last year with the Nets. Pierce had also garnered interest from such teams as the Dallas Mavericks, Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers. 
Pierce, 36, joined Brooklyn as part of a mega-trade with the Boston Celtics that included Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.
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Angels Win Seventh Straight, Beat Rangers

Angels Win Seventh Straight, Beat Rangers

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — Mike Trout’s 22nd home run of the year proved to be more than enough on Friday as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat Texas 3-0. It was the seventh straight win for the Angles (55-37) who have also won eight of their last nine.
Garrett Richards was masterful on the hill, scattering five hits in his seven innings of work for Los Angeles. The righty is now unbeaten in his last eight starts, winning seven in a row, with a 1.27 earned run average. Richards (11-2) has not lost since a May 30 defeat at Oakland.
Trout’s homer was the first hit of the night for the Angels as Nick Tepesch had retired the first 10 batters he faced for the Rangers (38-55). Tepesch (3-5) then gave up two more runs in the top of the seventh inning before ultimately being pulled in favor of Neftali Feliz. Texas has lost 12 of its last 13 and currently sits with the worst record in the bigs.
Adrian Beltre did extend his hitting streak to 15 games for Texas but the team was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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