#SportsReport: Yankees, Phillies Split Doubleheader; Panthers Beat Islanders
Mike Tauchman's tiebreaking double in the seventh inning sent the New York Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and a split of their seven-inning doubleheader Wednesday. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto homered to back Zack Wheeler and lead the "visiting" Phillies to an 11-7 win in the opener, snapping New York's seven-game winning streak.
Due to a late schedule change, the Yankees were the "home" team for the first game — even in Philadelphia. Phillies ace Aaron Nola tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in the nightcap, allowing one run on Luke Voit's homer and three hits in six innings.
Elsewhere in the majors:
Nationals starter Max Scherzer exited because of a hamstring problem after laboring through just one inning, overshadowing Juan Soto's eventful 2020 debut for the World Series champs, and Rick Porcello collected his 150th career win in the New York Mets' 3-1 victory over Washington. Porcello went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. Seth Lugo got the last six outs for his second save. Scherzer's replacement, Erick Fedde, took the loss after giving up a tiebreaking run in his three innings. Soto had an RBI double, a single and a highlight-reel catch in his first game after coming off the COVID-19 list.
Martín Pérez pitched out of trouble all night, and Alex Verdugo and Michael Chavis homered to help the Boston Red Sox stop a four-game skid Wednesday with a 5-0 victory over the slumping Tampa Bay Rays. Pérez allowed four hits and three walks, wiggling out of jams for five innings. He struck out four. The Rays have trailed in 11 of 12 games this season, including their last 10.
Joc Pederson's second home run of the game sailed an estimated 435 feet through two palm trees just beyond the center field fence at Petco Park, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 7-6 to take two of three in an early series between NL West rivals. Pederson drove in five runs on the two homers for the seven-time defending division champion Dodgers, who won seven of nine on a three-city trip. Pederson hit a two-run homer off Garrett Richards in the second inning and then welcomed rookie Luis Patiño to the big leagues with his monster three-run shot in the sixth.
Scorching slugger Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer, rookie Kyle Lewis stayed hot with an RBI single, and the Seattle Mariners overcame two home runs by Mike Trout to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-6. Albert Pujols remained on 659 career home runs, one behind Willie Mays on the career list. There were plenty of long balls otherwise. The Angels got all their runs — and hits — off Seattle starter Marco Gonzales via a trio of solo shots. Trout connected for one of those off Gonzales and added a three-run drive in the eighth against reliever Taylor Williams to pull the Angels within 7-6.
Matt Olson homered twice, Ramon Laureano also went deep and the Oakland Athletics rallied to beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 on Wednesday night. Austin Allen hit his first career homer, a go-ahead, two-run drive in the seventh inning, as the A's stunned the Rangers late for a second consecutive night and won their fifth straight. On Tuesday, Stephen Piscotty hit a walk-off grand slam in Oakland's 5-1 win.
Kole Calhoun hit his first career inside-the-park homer with the help of a crazy bounce, David Peralta had four RBIs and the Arizona Diamondbacks used a nine-run burst in the fourth inning to beat the Houston Astros 14-7 on Wednesday night. The Diamondbacks broke out of their extended early-season offensive slump by sending 14 batters to the plate in the fourth and building a 9-4 lead. Peralta had a triple with the bases loaded and a solo homer. Stephen Vogt hit two doubles. The Astros hit four homers, one each by Abraham Toro, Kyle Tucker, George Springer and Yuli Gurriel.
Brandon Belt extended his success against Colorado starter Jon Gray with a three-run homer and a double to lead the San Francisco Giants past the Rockies 4-3. Belt's two hits raised his career average against Gray to .417 and helped Logan Webb get his first win in his fourth start of the season. Nolan Arenado homered for the third straight game for the Rockies, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Five pitchers combined on a four-hitter for the undermanned, gritty and first-place Miami Marlins, who beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Wednesday night for a doubleheader sweep. Brian Anderson homered in the opener, and Miami won 1-0 despite getting only two hits. The sweep kept the Marlins atop the NL East and earned Don Mattingly his 281st win as Miami's manager, tying Jack McKeon's club record. In a baseball season complete with new rules and an ever-changing, abbreviated schedule, this doubleheader raised the bar on strange. Not only were both games seven innings apiece, but the Orioles were the home team in the opener and the Marlins served as hosts in the nightcap.
Hyun-Jin Ryu combined with four relievers on a three-hitter and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Sean Newcomb and the shorthanded Atlanta Braves 2-1. Ryu lasted only five innings but was dominant as he gave up only one hit, an infield single by Adam Duvall in the second inning. Duvall homered in the seventh off Thomas Hatch. Ryu struck out eight. The Braves were forced to recast their lineup after placing Ozzie Albies and Matt Adams on the injured list and giving Freddie Freeman a day off. The new-look lineup didn't resemble the unit which had 13 hits in a 10-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Brian Anderson hit a fourth-inning homer off Alex Cobb and the Miami Marlins won their second straight since returning, beating the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in the opener of a doubleheader. Miami improved to 4-1 with its second successive shutout win over the Orioles.
Mike Clevinger didn't have his best stuff but did enough to pitch into the sixth inning and lead the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. César Hernández hit an RBI single and Óscar Mercado scored with some daring baserunning in the fifth when the Indians finally scored after being blanked by Reds rookie Tejay Antone in his first major league start. The Indians have won two of three against their in-state rivals.
Adrian Houser dominated over seven innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the White Sox 1-0 to snap Chicago's six-game win streak. The Brewers held struggling star Christian Yelich out of the lineup. The Brewers ended Chicago's best streak since a six-game run in April 2017. Houser simply dazzled on a night when Dallas Keuchel was about as good for Chicago. The 27-year-old right-hander gave up five hits and struck out five. Eric Sogard drove in Mark Mathias with a single in the third, and that was all Milwaukee needed.
Minnesota's Randy Dobnak dominated in his homecoming, allowing three hits in six innings as the streaking Twins topped the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2. Pittsburgh managed just four balls out of the infield against Dobnak, who dropped his ERA to 0.60. Marwin Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs for the Twins. Max Kepler gave Minnesota some breathing room in the ninth with a three-run home run off Pirates' reliever Dovydas Neverauskas.
In MLB news, the league is cracking down on coronavirus safety protocols, mandating that players and staff wear face coverings at all times, including in the dugouts and bullpens, except for players on the field of play. The league sent a memo to teams Wednesday outlining changes to its 2020 operations manual after outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals led to 21 postponements in the first two weeks of a shortened 60-game season. The memo, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday night, says that repeated or flagrant violators of the protocols could be banned from participating in the 2020 season and postseason.
Mike Hoffman and Brian Boyle scored 2:07 apart in the opening minutes of the third period, and the Florida Panthers avoided elimination with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders Wednesday in Game 3 of their preliminary round playoff series. Erik Haula also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots. The 10th-seeded Panthers trail the best-of-five series 2-1 with Game 4 at the NHL's Eastern Conference hub city of Toronto on Friday. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders, the East's seventh seed. Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots and made a costly error leading to Hoffman's go-ahead goal 41 seconds into the third period.
Elsewhere in the playoffs:
Tyler Johnson scored the tiebreaking goal with 87 seconds left to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over Boston. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Bruins fell to their second straight loss in the NHL's playoff seeding round. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25 shots for the Lightning, who improved to 2-0 in the three-game round-robin. Tampa Bay would earn the top seed in the East with a victory over Philadelphia on Saturday. Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for the Bruins. They led the NHL with 100 points in the pandemic-shortened regular season but can now finish no higher than No. 3.
Jeff Petry scored 5:33 into the third period as the Montreal Canadiens rallied from two goals down and beat Pittsburgh 4-3 in Game 3, pushing the Penguins to the brink of elimination. Shea Weber had a goal and two assists for Montreal, Paul Byron added a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Drouin also scored. Carey Price stopped 30 shots for the Canadiens. Montreal can advance to the normal first round with 16 teams with win in Game 4 on Friday. Patric Hornqvist, Jason Zucker and Teddy Blueger scored for fifth-seeded Pittsburgh, which led 3-1 after Blueger's goal 5:34 into the second. Matt Murray finished with 27 saves.
Conor Garland and Taylor Hall each scored in the third period and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Wednesday. Now the Coyotes can eliminate the sixth-seeded Predators in Game 4 on Friday. Christian Dvorak scored on Arizona's first shot, and the Coyotes scored three in the third for the victory capped by Carl Soderberg's empty-netter. The Predators thought they had a 2-1 lead 1:13 into the third period on a goal by Kyle Turris, but the Coyotes won their challenge of offside with Nashville center Matt Duchene found over the blue line on review.
Matthew Highmore tied the score with 5:47 left in the third period, and Jonathan Toews got his second of the game 4 1/2 minutes later to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of their qualifying round series. On the winner, Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear errantly tipped a Chicago point shot off Toews and past goalie Mikko Koskinen. It was Toews' fourth goal of the series. Olli Maatta also scored for the Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford finished with 25 saves. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for Edmonton, and Connor McDavid got his fifth of the series. Koskinen had 21 saves.
High-scoring rookie defenseman Cale Makar connected on an early power-play goal, 30-year-old Pavel Francouz recorded a shutout in his postseason debut and the Colorado Avalanche cruised to a 4-0 round-robin win over the Dallas Stars. Joonas Donskoi, Vladislav Namestnikov and Andre Burakovsky also scored as the Avalanche improved to 2-0 in the three-game round that will determine playoff seeding for the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Stars have lost both of their games and are likely to finish where they started as the fourth seed.
Jaylen Brown stayed hot with 21 points on five 3-pointers, and the Boston Celtics rolled past the Brooklyn Nets 149-115 without All-Star point guard Kemba Walker. Jayson Tatum added 19 points, and Gordon Hayward and Robert Williams each had 18 points for the Celtics, who posted a season high in points and improved to 2-2 in Orlando. Boston shot 20 of 39 from 3-point range. Jeremiah Martin had 20 points and Joe Harris had 14 for the Nets.
Also in the NBA:
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 11 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers held on to beat the Washington Wizards 107-98 on Wednesday despite losing two-time All-Star Ben Simmons to a knee injury in the third quarter.
The Utah Jazz kept the Memphis Grizzlies winless in the NBA bubble with a 124-115 victory. Joe Ingles scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Mike Conley had 23 points and seven assists against his former team as the Jazz improved to 2-2 in the seeding round and nudged ahead of Houston for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. Dillon Brooks scored 23 points, while Grayson Allen had a career-high 20 points and six 3-pointers as the Grizzlies dropped to 0-4 in the seeding round.
Fred VanVleet had 21 points and 10 assists, and the Toronto Raptors held on to beat the Orlando Magic 109-99. Pascal Siakam added 15 points and Kyle Lowry finished with eight points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Toronto has won its last seven dating back to before the hiatus and three straight games since the restart. The Magic missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot following Washington's loss to Philadelphia earlier Wednesday. But they maintained their 7 1/2-game lead over the Wizards for the East's eighth seed with four seeding games to play.
Chris Paul had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 105-86 victory over the poor-shooting Los Angeles Lakers. Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points and Steven Adams had 18 for the Thunder, who never trailed in their first win over the Lakers in four meetings this season. LeBron James had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had another possibly concerning offensive performance while dropping to 2-2 in the bubble. The Lakers never held a lead for the first time all season.
Michael Porter Jr. scored 30 points and had 15 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 132-126. Nikola Jokic added 25 points and 11 assists. Jerami Grant finished with 22 points. San Antonio, which started the day two games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West, dropped to 2-2 since the restart. Derrick White had 23 points and seven assists.
UConn has canceled its 2020-2021 football season, becoming the first FBS program to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic. UConn athletic director David Benedict made the announcement Wednesday, saying competition would place student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk. Other schools had already taken the Huskies off their schedules and Gov. Ned Lamont was reluctant to allow players to travel to states with high infection rates. Lamont said the Huskies would be subject to the state's 14-day quarantine rule after returning from away games. UConn had been preparing for its first season as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference.
The U.S. Tennis Association says total compensation to players at this year’s U.S. Open will be $53.4 million. That's a drop of about $4 million from 2019. That still leaves the total payout for a tournament without spectators at 93.3% of the roughly $57.2 million awarded in 2019. The singles champions will earn $3 million, down $850,000 — or 22% — from the top prizes last year. In doubles, the cut is deeper: The women’s and men’s championship pairings will split $400,000, a drop of 46% from last year’s $740,000. The U.S. Open is scheduled to start in New York on Aug. 31.
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