#SportsReport: Texas Athletes And Teams Donate To Hurricane Harvey Relief
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt had hoped their upcoming preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys would be postponed following the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey. That's not going to happen, but he is getting his wish that money generated by Thursday's exhibition finale will go to recovery efforts.
The defensive end started a fundraising page that collected more than $3 million in about two days.
The Texans flew to the Dallas area and practiced the past two days at Cowboys headquarters. Coach Bill O'Brien said the team was hopeful of a return home by Monday.
Texans linebacker Brian Cushing donated $50,000 to the USO Houston to support first responders helping with relief efforts in the city.
Astros owner Jim Crane and the team's foundation have pledged $4 million. The Astros also announced that all ticket, concession and parking fees from their series against the Rangers will be donated to relief efforts.
The Houston Rockets and owner Leslie Alexander upped their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts to $10 million. Alexander pledged $4 million to Houston mayor Sylvester Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund on Monday before announcing that he'd donate $10 million to help flood victims.
Cleveland Indians outfielder and Texas native Jay Bruce has pledged to donate up to $100,000 to help victims of Harvey. The team is accepting donations through Cleveland Indians Charities until Sept. 10 with all the money going to nonprofit organizations in Southeast Texas.
Angels star Mike Trout pitched in as well, donating $27,000 to the Red Cross and urging teammates and other MLB players to help.
Hurricane Harvey forced the Astros and Rangers to take their three-game series to St. Petersburg, Florida. Texas easily took the opener as Shin-Soo Choo homered and had four RBIs to lead Texas to a 12-2 pounding of the Astros. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre drove in three runs to pass Hall of Famer Ernie Banks for 28th on the career RBI list with 1,637. Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer before an announced crowd of 3,485 at Tropicana Field, the home of the Rays. All proceeds from the game went to the Harvey relief effort.
Giancarlo Stanton did what he's been accomplishing all month, but the Washington Nationals demonstrated why they own the second-best record in the National League by thumping the Marlins, 8-3.
Stanton crushed his major league-leading 51st home run of the season and 18th of the month. The Miami right fielder matched the record for home runs in the month of August, set by Tigers slugger Rudy York in 1937.
Stanton finished with two RBIs, but the Nats got four RBIs from Anthony Rendon. Rendon put the game out of reach with a three-run double in the seventh.
The win gives Washington a 14-game lead over the second-place Marlins in the NL East.
Checking out the rest of the major league finals:
— The Red Sox lead the AL East by four games over the Yankees after Chris Sale bounced back from his worst start of the season to throw seven shutout innings of a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays. The Red Sox ace struck out 11 and limited the Jays to just two singles and a double before Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel finished the combined four-hitter. Eduardo Nunez broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double in the sixth, one inning before Hanley Ramirez homered.
— The Cubs were 4-1 winners over Pittsburgh behind Jake Arrieta, who pitched two-hit ball over six shutout innings. The game was scoreless until Ben Zobrist slammed a solo homer to spark a three-run sixth. Anthony Rizzo added three hits and an RBI as the Cubs increased their lead in the NL Central to 3 ½ games over Milwaukee.
— The Brewers lost ground in the division race as Luke Voit collected four RBIs and Matt Carpenter socked a two-run homer in the Cardinals' 10-2 romp at Miller Park. Kolten Wong scored from second on Voit's two-run groundout in the third inning. Luke Weaver fanned 10 and gave up eight hits but just two runs over 5 2/3 innings as St. Louis stayed five games behind the Cubs.
— Ervin Santana pitched into the seventh and Jorge Polanco hit a pair of solo homers as the Twins beat the White Sox, 6-4. Santana is 14-7 after allowing three runs with seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Eduardo Escobar drove in two runs to help Minnesota keep its one-game lead over the Angels for the second AL wild-card berth.
— The Angels were 8-2 inners against the Athletics as C.J. Cron homered twice and had four RBIs. Cron's three-run blast was part of a five-run first as Los Angeles won its second in a row. Former A's hurler Jesse Chavez worked four innings of one-hit, shutout relief to pick up the win.
— Dylan Bundy pitched a one-hitter and Manny Machado belted two of the Orioles' four solo homers in a 4-0 shutout of the Mariners. Bundy didn't allow a hit following Kyle Seager's single with one out in the fourth inning. Jonathan Schoop (skohp) and Welington Castro also went deep in Baltimore's sixth consecutive win.
— A.J. Pollock smacked a two-run homer while the Diamondbacks were tagging Rich Hill for five runs in the first inning of a 7-6 win over the Dodgers. Hill was on the mound for the first time since tossing nine no-hit innings against the Pirates, losing the gem on a 10th-inning homer. Paul Goldschmidt homered and Arizona picked up its fifth straight win to stay two games ahead of Colorado for the first NL wild-card berth.
— Nolan Arenado crushed a three-run homer and DJ LeMahieu hit a solo shot as the Rockies earned a 7-3 win over the Tigers. The Rockies blew a 3-1 lead before Carlos Gonzalez lifted a sacrifice fly in the seventh and Arenado followed with his 30th home run of the season. Mikie Mahtook tied the score with a two-run blast in the top of the seventh.
— Not only did the Royals avoid a record for most consecutive innings without scoring a run, they also managed to end a five-game losing skid with a 6-2 victory against Tampa Bay. Whit Merrifield homered with two outs in the third to end Kansas City's scoreless string at 45 innings, three off the major league mark. Eric Hosmer added a three-run shot and Jorge Bonifacio added a solo blast in support of Jake Junis, who held the Rays to a run and three hits over 5 2/3s.
— Scott Schebler's grand slam capped the Reds' five-run first in a 14-4 dismantling of the Mets. Cincinnati also put together a seven-run eighth that was highlighted by Adam Duvall's three-run blast. New York had won 14 straight from the Reds since Sept. 6, 2014.
— Manuel Margot and Jabari Blash homered in the fourth inning to back Luis Perdomo as the Padres doubled up the Giants, 6-3. Perdomo was reached for eight hits but just one earned run over six innings as San Diego knocked off San Francisco for the eighth time in 11 meetings.
— The Yankees and visiting Indians were rained out in the Bronx. They’ll play a doubleheader today.
— The Phillies-Braves game in Atlanta was postponed by rain and rescheduled as part of a Wednesday doubleheader.
The struggling Mets will finish the season without outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, and captain David Wright's chances at a comeback this year are fading fast, too. New York announced that Cespedes will miss the rest of the season because of a hamstring injury suffered in Friday's win at Washington. Wright will be re-examined in New York later this week after his rehab assignment was terminated because of shoulder pain.
The men's bracket at the U.S. Open was ravaged by injuries before the tournament began. The women's bracket is becoming decimated by upsets as sixth seed Angelique Kerber has followed No. 2 Simona Halep out the door.
Kerber was blown out by 45th-ranked Naomi Osaka, who rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday. The upset comes a day after Maria Sharapova knocked out Halep in three sets.
It's the latest stunning loss by Kerber, who rose to No. 1 in the WTA rankings by winning last year's U.S. Open. She just became just the second woman of the Open era to lose her opening-round match in the year's final Grand Slam event.
Kerber is just 25-18 with no titles this year.
Roger Federer almost became a first-round upset victim. The third-seeded Federer overcame a slow start and a late lapse to post a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 over 70th-ranked Frances Tiafoe. It was Federer's 79th career victory at the U.S. Open, equaling Andre Agassi for second-most.
The top seeds had no trouble advancing. Karolina Pliskova was a 6-2, 6-1 winner to join 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko and No. 15 Madison Keyes in the second round. Rafael Nadal dropped just 10 games in his first-round match, although he was forced into a tiebreaker in the opening set.
Rain in New York forced the roof to be closed at Arthur Ashe Stadium and led to the postponement or suspension of most of Tuesday's schedule. Nadal complained after his match that it's too loud in the stadium with the roof closed.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has agreed to a five-year extension worth $135 million.
The deal runs through 2022 and surpasses the richest deal in the NFL, months after the Raiders gave quarterback Derek Carr a five-year, $125 million package.
Stafford was drafted first overall in 2009 and has led the Lions to three playoff appearances over the past six seasons.
In other NFL news:
— Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley passed his physical and has been taken off the physically unable to perform list. The cornerback took part in practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his shin during minicamp on June 13.
— Colts cornerback Vontae Davis is listed as week to week after coach Chuck Pagano said he was diagnosed with a "pretty significant" groin injury. The two-time Pro Bowler was injured in Saturday at Pittsburgh.
— The Patriots have acquired linebacker Marquis Flowers from the Cincinnati Bengals for a seventh-round draft pick next year.
— The Steelers have added depth at tight end by acquiring Vance McDonald and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from San Francisco. The Steelers sent a fourth-round pick to the 49ers.
— Redskins defensive tackle Phil Taylor is out for the season after tearing his left quadriceps tendon.
— The Giants have waived third-year defensive end Owa Odighizuwa a day after the NFL suspended him for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
Olshey was named general manager in 2012 and promoted to his current positon in 2015. The Blazers have been to the NBA playoffs the last four seasons.
The team did not disclose terms of the deal, which runs through the 2020-21 season.
Former Michigan State basketball coach Jud Heathcoate has died at 90.
Heathcoate coached the Magic Johnson-led Spartans to the 1979 national championship and won three Big Ten titles while making nine NCAA tournaments during his 19-year career at East Lansing. He got his start as a head coach in college at Montana in 1971.
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