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Friday’s Sports Minute

Friday’s Sports Minute

NATIONALS: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) and Adam LaRoche (25) celebrate after a baseball game against the New York Mets Thursday, Aug. 14, in New York. The Nationals won the game 4-1. Photo: Associated Press/Frank Franklin II

Aside from the new MLB commissioner, and the Redskins appeal of the trademark ban, here is a look at the other big sports news making headlines today, Friday, AUg. 15.

Royals keep division lead…Brewers, Dodgers make bigger cushion

The Kansas City Royals were able to stay atop the American League Central today, while the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals padded their division leads.

In Kansas City, the Royals scored five runs in the seventh inning to beat Oakland 7-3. The Athletics led 3-2 until Jarrod Dyson hit an RBI single and scored on Nori Aoki’s two-run triple. Billy Butler capped the rally with a two-run single to secure the Royals’ 10th victory in 11 games.

The outcome sliced Oakland’s lead in the AL West to 2 ½ games over the idle Angels.

Detroit kept pace as Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters in eight shutout innings to pitch the Tigers past Pittsburgh 5-2. Scherzer is 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his last 10 starts after limiting the Pirates to three hits. J.D. Martinez hit a solo homer and had two RBIs to help Scherzer become the American League’s first 14-game winner of the season.

The Pirates’ loss drops them 2 ½ games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee, and a half-game behind St. Louis. Mike Fiers struck out 14 while allowing three hits in six scoreless innings as the Brewers downed the Cubs 6-2 in Chicago. Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds hit solo homers, and Scooter Gennett laced a two-run double to help the Brewers earn a split of the four-game series.

The Cardinals are two games off the NL Central lead after Jon Jay hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to push the Redbirds past San Diego 4-3. Trevor Rosenthal allowed a ninth-inning run and loaded the bases with two out before striking out Tommy Medica for his league-best 36th save.

The NL West-leading Dodgers moved 5 1/2 games ahead of idle San Francisco and dropped the Braves six games behind NL East-leading Washington. Drew Butera hit a two-run homer, Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs and Dee Gordon scored four runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Braves 6-4 in Atlanta. Roberto Hernandez gave up a run and three hits in six innings to earn his first victory in two starts since being acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 7.

The Nationals increased their division lead by winning at Citi Field for the 11th straight time. Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper hit two-run homers as the Nats beat the New York Mets 4-1. Stephen Strasburg struck out eight while holding the Mets to an unearned run and three hits in seven innings.

Elsewhere in the majors:

  • Dustin Pedroia’s two-run double capped a seven-run sixth as Boston ripped Houston 9-4. Pedroia finished with three hits, Daniel Nava doubled twice and David Ortiz added two singles as the Red Sox improved to 8-0 at Fenway Park against the Astros.
  • Dustin Pedroia and Logan Forsythe each hit two-run homers and combined for five hits and five RBIs in Tampa Bay’s 6-3 triumph at Texas. Jake Odorizzi held the Rangers to a pair of runs and four hits in seven innings to win for the fifth time in his last six starts.
  • Charlie Culberson hit a three-run double and scored twice in Colorado’s 7-3 win over Cincinnati. The Reds suffered their third consecutive loss to fall four games off the NL Central lead.
  • Miami beat Arizona 5-4 on Marcell Ozuna’s RBI double in the bottom of the 10th. The Marlins trailed 4-2 until Adeiny Hechavarria hit an RBI triple in the sixth and a run-scoring single in the eighth to tie the game.
  • Cargo in storage?..Lowrie, Bailey shelved

    The Colorado Rockies may shut down injury-riddled outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for the rest of the season.

    Gonzalez is on the disabled list with left knee tendinitis and a sprained right ankle. He was out earlier this season after doctors found and removed a small tumor in his left index finger.

    Colorado manager Walt Weiss said Gonzalez will meet with the trainer and doctors to decide the best course of action.

    Also in the majors:

  • The Oakland Athletics have placed shortstop Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture of his right index finger. Lowrie suffered the injury on Aug. 4 and attempted to play through the pain. He is hitting .238 with five home runs and 42 RBIs in 110 games.
  • Rangers ace Yu Darvish has mild right elbow inflammation that isn’t a long-term concern, although there is no timetable for his return to the rotation. The Japanese star went on the disabled list Wednesday and will miss at least two starts.
  • The Cincinnati Reds say pitcher Homer Bailey is headed to the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Manager Bryan Price said Bailey thought he hurt his elbow while batting in his last start on Aug. 7. The veteran pitcher recently threw a light bullpen session, but it didn’t feel any better.
  • Stewart to skip Michigan weekend racing

    Sunday’s Sprint Cup race will go on without Tony Stewart.

    The 2011 Sprint Cup champ says he will not race at Michigan International Speedway, skipping a second straight NASCAR race since striking and killing a driver in a dirt-track race at a small New York track.

    His plans for the rest of the season have not been determined.

    Jeff Burton will drive Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in Michigan.

    Stewart also sat out Sunday at Watkins Glen, a day after he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York.

    Hoyer gets starting nod again

    Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has chosen Brian Hoyer to start at quarterback ahead of Johnny Manziel in Monday’s exhibition game at Washington. Pettine’s decision is somewhat surprising since he has stated that the quarterback competition is “open” and Hoyer started the preseason opener last week at Detroit. Manziel was a first-round pick in this year’s NFL draft and has been competing with Hoyer for the starting job since training camp opened last month.

    Women’s major in New York

    Lexi Thompson and Meena Lee were co-leaders after one round of the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, New York.

    Each carded eight birdies in a 6-under-64, one shot better than Lisa McCloskey, Jennifer Kirby and Brittany Lincicome.

    Thompson is seeking her second major of the year, four months after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

    Villegas on top

    Camilo Villegas is the leader through 18 holes of the PGA’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. Villegas fired a 7-under-par 63, putting him one stroke ahead of Webb Simpson and William McGirt. Scott Langley, Martin Laird, Andrew Loupe, Paul Casey and Heath Slocum completed 5-under 65s.

    Thomas surgery

    Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist. The team says he’s expected to be able to participate fully in the team’s training camp. The Suns acquired Thomas in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings on July 12.

    Van Dyken leaves hospital

    Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has been released from a Denver-area hospital to continue her rehabilitation after an all-terrain vehicle crash left the 41-year-old paralyzed just below the waist.

    The six-time Olympic gold medalist leaves Craig Hospital just over two months after the accident in Arizona on June 6.

    CAS upholds Suarez’s 4-month playing ban

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld Luis Suarez’s four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup, but cleared him to train with Barcelona.

    CAS says FIFA’s sanctions against Suarez are “generally proportionate to the offence committed.”

    Suarez cannot play for Barcelona until Oct. 26, and he remains banned for Uruguay’s next eight competitive matches.

    However, the court’s panel has ruled that the ban on any soccer-related activity is “excessive.”

    The court’s ruling allows him to train and be involved in promotional activities.

    Suarez has admitted to biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay’s 1-0 win at the World Cup.

    LLWS starts

    The Little League World Series has begun in Williamsport, Pa.

    In the U.S. bracket, Chicago beat Lynnwood, Wash., 12-5 in five innings before Las Vegas clobbered Rapid City, South Dakota, 12-2 in five innings.

    In the International bracket, Humacao, Puerto Rico, crushed Perth, Australia 16-3 in four innings and Seoul, South Korea, beat Brno of the Czech Republic 10-3.

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