#SportsReport: Nationals Best Mets; Rangers Win NHL Draft Lottery
The Washington Nationals entered Monday's action with a .236 batting average and were ranked next-to-last in the majors with 10 home runs. The defending World Series champs broke out in a big way by pummeling Steven Matz and the New York Mets, 16-4.
Asdrubal Cabrera homered twice and was 4-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored for the Nationals, who had scored just four runs in dropping their previous three completed games. Trea Turner and Juan Soto also homered for Washington. Matz was reached for eight runs over 4 1/3 innings, six days after the Nats tagged him for five runs in just three innings. Winning pitcher Patrick Corbin held New York to one earned run over six innings. Mets infielder Luis Guillorme worked a perfect ninth.
Elsewhere around the majors:
Kevin Kiermaier hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning and Manuel Margot had four of the Rays' 16 hits in an 8-7 decision over the Red Sox. Kiermaier had three RBIs as Tampa Bay won for the fourth time in five games.
Didi Gregorius launched a grand slam and Bryce Harper blasted a three-run shot in the Phillies' 13-8 pounding of the Braves. Aaon Nola allowed one run and two hits while striking out 10 in eight innings of his first victory since last August.
The Angels ended the Athletics' nine-game winning streak as Mike Trout ripped a solo homer in the eighth inning to lead Los Angeles to a 10-9 victory. Trout homered twice for the Angels, who also received two-run blasts from Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani.
Lance McCullers carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the Astros' 6-4 win over the Giants. The no-hit bid ended when Donovan Solano hit a two-out double to run his hitting streak to 15 games. Michael Brantley laced a two-run double, Carlos Correa drove in a pair and Martin Maldonado smacked a solo homer for Houston.
Six pitchers combined on a four-hitter to carry the Padres past the Dodgers, 2-1. Austin Hedges tied it with a fifth-inning homer and Eric Hosmer singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Kole Calhoun cracked a solo homer and had three RBIs as part of the Diamondbacks' 12-8 pounding of the Rockies. Ketel Marte and David Peralta each had four of Arizona's 18 hits.
Nico Goodrum was 4-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored in the Tigers' fourth consecutive win, 5-1 against the White Sox. JaCoby Jones smacked a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Eddie Rosario belted a grand slam in the third inning and the Twins stopped a four-game skid by downing the Brewers, 4-2. Randy Dobnak allowed a run and four hits over five innings to move to 3-1.
The Mariners rolled to a 10-2 win at Texas as Kyle Seager crushed a grand slam and Kyle Lewis added a three-run shot. Dylan Moore added a solo shot and three RBIs to back winning pitcher Justin Dunn, who gave up two runs over six innings.
In MLB news:
Mets hurler Marcus Stroman has opted out of the rest of the season due to concerns over the pandemic. Stroman was recovering from a torn calf muscle and was in line to possibly make his season debut next week against the Marlins in Miami. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the season and is the second Met to opt out of the season, joining outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Major League Baseball is coming back to Buffalo after more than a century. The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Miami Marlins beginning Tuesday night for a two-game series that will end Toronto's nomadic start to the 2020 season. The Blue Jays have spent the first two-plus weeks on the road after Canada denied the team's request to host games at Rogers Centre amid the pandemic. Shalen Field, home to the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, will serve as Toronto's temporary digs through the end of September. The stadium underwent several upgrades to make it MLB-ready, including having new light bulbs installed and an overhaul to the infield.
The St. Louis Cardinals continue to have their schedule altered after eight players tested positive for the coronavirus. Major League Baseball has announced that the Cardinals' scheduled Thursday doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers has been postponed. MLB and the Cards believe it is prudent to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. MLB has seen 29 games postponed by the coronavirus, 15 involving the Cardinals. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina is among the Redbirds who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will return to the team Tuesday against the Cubs after missing more than a week so he could deal with a gastrointestinal condition. Francona has missed Cleveland's past eight games with the gastrointestinal issue, which has bothered him since spring training. The 61-year-old skipped the Indians' weekend trip to Chicago to get extra rest.
Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano says Astros hitting coach Álex Cintrón made a crude remark about his mother that prompted a benches-clearing incident Sunday. Laureano said Cintrón began jawing at him when Laureano reacted angrily after being hit by a pitch from Houston rookie Humberto Castellanos. Athletics manager Bob Melvin wants Cintrón punished harshly by Major League Baseball.
Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain. The left-hander allowed six runs on five hits in two innings against the Padres on Sunday to remain winless since signing a five-year, $85 million deal. The four-time All-Star has a 9.35 ERA after Sunday's start.
Indians starter Mike Clevinger will be quarantined and undergo testing after violating COVID-19 protocols during the team's weekend trip to Chicago. On Sunday, Indians right-hander Zach Plesac was sent home from Chicago in a rental car after he went out with friends following his start on Saturday, a violation of the team's code of conduct.
The Rays have placed right-hander Charlie Morton on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The move comes one day after Morton was removed from a start against the New York Yankees in the third inning. Morton is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts this season.
Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Kelly hasn't allowed a run over 6 1/3 innings in seven games this season, allowing five hits and five walks. Lefty Adam Kolarek was recalled from the alternate training site to replace Kelly.
The Phoenix Suns have continued their stunning winning streak since the NBA restart. The Suns are 6-0 at Lake Buena Vista following a convincing 128-101 thumping of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Devin Booker dropped in 35 points and Phoenix center Deandre Ayton finished with 10 points and six rebounds in just over 17 minutes. Ayton sat out the first quarter after missing his coronavirus test on Sunday. He tested negative on Monday and helped the Suns dominate after they carried a 37-23 deficit into the second quarter. Phoenix was 26-39 when the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Suns now find themselves within 1 1/2 games of a Western Conference playoff berth.
Chris Boucher scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Raptors defeat the Bucks, 114-106. Rookie Matt Thomas scored a season-high 22 points and Norman Powell added 21 for Toronto. Bucks forward and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game after undergoing oral surgery.
The Lakers' three-game losing streak is over after Kyle Kuzma drained a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds in a 124-121 thriller over the Nuggets. LeBron James pumped in 29 points, dished out 12 assists and hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Anthony Davis had 27 points and Kuzma 25 for Los Angeles.
Jimmy Butler returned from a foot injury and contributed 19 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals in guiding the Heat to a 114-92 romp over the Pacers. Derrick Jones scored 18 off the Miami bench and the Heat kept T.J. Warren to 12 points on 5 for 14 shooting in 29 minutes.
The short-handed Mavericks rallied from a 22-point deficit in the second half to stun the Jazz 122-114. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 27 points and Seth Curry added 22. The Mavericks' biggest comeback since 2016 means they still have a slim shot at earning the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Rangers won the second phase of the NHL draft lottery and will have the first overall pick, giving them a shot at selecting Alexis Lafreniere. The Rangers were among eight teams that lost in the qualifying round of the playoffs with a chance to claim quite a consolation prize. The league's bottom seven teams ended up not winning the first phase of the lottery in June.
In other NHL news:
The Florida Panthers will have a new general manager next season, making the announcement that Dale Tallon is leaving the franchise after 10 years. Tallon's contract as president of hockey operations and general manager expired July 1. It was extended by Panthers owner Vincent Viola to get through the remainder of a season that was stretched out by the coronavirus pandemic. The Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday, falling to the New York Islanders in four games.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has postponed its 2020 induction because of the pandemic. The ceremony was to have taken place Nov. 16 in Toronto. The 2020 class was announced in June and featured forward Jarome Iginla, winger Marian Hossa, defensemen Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, Canadian women's goaltender Kim St. Pierre and longtime general manager Ken Holland.
Will there be any college football this season? The Mountain West has become the second FBS conference to postpone its football season over the coronavirus pandemic. The 12-team Mountain West joins the Mid-American Conference as leagues from the highest tier of NCAA Division I football to bail on the fall season and hope to make a go of it in the spring. President Trump is joining some lawmakers and coaches in a push to save fall sports, saying "the student athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled." The move comes amid rumors that the Big Ten and PAC-12 may cancel their seasons. A Big Ten spokesman said no votes on fall sports had been taken by its presidents and chancellors as of Monday afternoon. The ACC is moving forward with its amended schedule set to start in September. Syracuse Coach Dino Babers says getting ready for games is a welcome respite from all the conjecture.
2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is adding her name to the growing group of players withdrawing from the Grand Slam tennis tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic. Three of the top seven women in the rankings, including No. 1 Ash Barty, have pulled out of the U.S. Open. So has defending men's champion Rafael Nadal.
The oldest golf club in North America will host the 2024 Presidents Cup. Royal Montreal Golf Club was founded in 1873 and held the Presidents Cup in 2007. The U.S. won that edition in which Canada's Mike Weir beat Tiger Woods in a Sunday singles match. Royal Montreal will become the second international venue to host the Presidents Cup more than once, joining The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
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