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#SportsReport: Harper Wins Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper may have entered the All-Star break with a disappointing .214 batting average, but Monday night was all about his power.

The Washington Nationals outfielder won the Home Run Derby in his home ballpark, defeating Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, 19-18. Harper was down 18-9 with about 80 seconds remaining in the finals before ending with a flourish, taking advantage of his 30-second bonus time to overtake Schwarber. He homered on nine of his last 10 swings before entering extra time.

Harper is the third player to win the derby in his home ballpark.

Harper banged out 13 homers in each of the first two rounds to eliminate Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Dodgers utilityman Max Muncy. Nine of Harper's first 26 home runs traveled over 440 feet.

Schwarber began his power display with 16 home runs in his first-round win over Brewers slugger Jesus Aguilar. Schwarber advanced to the finals by outhomering Phillies first baseman/outfielder Rhys Hoskins, 21-20 in Round 2.

The derby is the annual precursor to Tuesday's All-Star game, and another National is ready to take center stage. Max Scherzer will take the mound for the National League against Boston's Chris Sale in a matchup of strikeout artists. The two have combined for over 350 strikeouts already this season.

Sale is the third pitcher to start three times in a row, following Lefty Gomez and Robin Roberts.

NL manager Dave Roberts says Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom will follow Scherzer for the NL. AL skipper A.J. Hinch says 14-game winner Luis Severino of the Yankees will come in after Sale, followed by the Tampa Bay's Blake Snell.

Thunderstorms are predicted for the hours leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic. But if the forecast holds, the storms should move out of town before the first pitch after 8 p.m.

In Other MLB News:

Jacob deGrom says he'd love to play his entire career with the Mets, but he's not disputing comments by his agent that the team should either sign him to a long-term deal or trade him now.

The All-Star right-hander said Monday that his future with the team "is kind of in the Mets' control and kind of out of mine." He says he has not talked numbers with the Mets on a long-term contract but would be open to those discussions.

DeGrom's agent, Brodie van Wagenen, told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic that if the Mets aren't interested in a long-term deal, "we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now." Van Wagenen added that continuing the status quo "could complicate Jacob's relationship with the club."

DeGrom would be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season, when he'll be 32.

DeGrom isn't the only All-Star facing the prospect of changing teams before the July 31 deadline. Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado could be on the move later this month, as could Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Blue Jays ace J.A. Happ, Tampa Bay No. 1 hurler Blake Snell and Padres closer Brad Hand.


France's World Cup champions have been sharing their win on the soccer field with hundreds of youths at the presidential Elysee Palace after getting a hero's welcome home in Paris.

Following a victory lap down the packed Champs-Elysees Avenue in an open air bus, the squad that defeated Croatia 4-2 in the tournament final on Sunday right attended an informal garden party hosted by President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

Team members sang off-the-cuff songs and Macron told the crowd: "This team is beautiful because it was united."

The diverse origins of France's players attracted appreciation during the month-long World Cup. Many of the players grew up in the disadvantaged suburbs of Paris.


Croatia has rolled out a red carpet and staged a heroes' welcome for the national soccer team despite its loss to France in the World Cup final.

Tens of thousands of people wearing national red-and-white checkered colors and waving Croatian flags poured into the streets in the capital Zagreb to greet the team Monday.

Police said more than 250,000 people came out in central Zagreb and many more along the route. The players' bus traveled for hours, often stopping when it was blocked by the crowds.


NHL veteran forwards Adam Henrique and Elias Lindholm have accepted new contracts.

The Anaheim Ducks have signed Henrique to a five-year, $29.1 extension, a deal which runs through 2023-24. Henrique had a combined 24 goals and 26 assists in 81 games with Anaheim and New Jersey last season. He was acquired from the Devils for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick in November.

The Calgary Flames have signed Lindholm to a six-year contract worth about $29 million. The 23-year-old Swede was acquired by Calgary along with defenseman Noah Hanafin in a June 23 trade that sent defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Adam Fox and forward Michael Ferland to Carolina.

Lindholm had 16 goals and 28 assists in 81 games last season.

Also in the NHL:

Police in Hamilton, Ontario, say the drowning of former NHL goalie Ray Emery does not appear suspicious. Police say Emery jumped off a boat near the Leander Boat Club to go swimming. Friends called emergency services at about 6 a.m. when the 35-year-old Emery didn't resurface. Inspector Marty Schulenberg calls it a "case of misadventure."


Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a new contract by Monday's deadline. That means he will play under the franchise tag for a second straight year and hit the open market next spring.

The 26-year-old Bell is one of the league's most versatile players and he has long maintained he wants to be paid accordingly. He led the NFL with 321 carries and caught 85 passes last season.

Bell will make $14.5 million whenever he signs his franchise tender, which likely won't be until the end of training camp.

Also in the NFL:

Boomer Esiason is dropping his national radio duties on NFL Monday night games. Esiason was the analyst on Westwood One's broadcast for 18 years, sharing the booth with Kevin Harlan, Marv Albert and Howard David at separate intervals. The former NFL MVP cited his daily drive-time radio show in New York and his work on CBS and Showtime studio shows for his reason to drop his Monday night responsibilities.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz married his longtime girlfriend Maddie Oberg in a lakeside ceremony that thrilled some fans in boats. The two were wed at the Lake House Inn in Bucks County on Sunday, and kayakers and canoers on Lake Nockamixon were treated to a waterside view of the nuptials. Christy Stack posted on Facebook that she was able to hear the vows from her boat, and after the officiant said "you may kiss the bride" a man in a nearby kayak did the Eagles chant.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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