#SportsReport: Bucks Top Suns; Italy Takes Euro 2020 Crown
The Milwaukee Bucks gave up an absurd number of 3-pointers while dropping the first two games of the NBA Finals. They seemed to figure things out. The Bucks held the Suns to 9-for-31 shooting from beyond the arc in earning a 120-100 win over Phoenix in Game 3. Devin Booker shot 3-for-14 overall and 1-for-7 from beyond the arc after draining seven of his 12 long-range attempts in Game 2. Booker finished with 10 points and Cameron Payne was held to seven on 3 of 10 from the field. The Suns led by three until the Bucks outscored them, 35-17 in the second quarter. Phoenix eventually whittled its deficit to four, but Milwaukee closed the third period with 16 straight points to go up by 20. Giannis Antetokounmpo shredded through the Suns with 41 points on 14 of 23 shooting. Antetokounmpo also was 13 of 17 from the line, grabbed 13 rebounds and had six assists. Jrue Holiday finished with 21 points and Khris Middleton had 18 after both experienced shooting woes in Game 2 on Thursday. Chris Paul had a team-high 19 points for the Suns, one more than Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton. Crowder was 6-for-7 from beyond the arc. The series stays in Milwaukee for Game 4 on Wednesday.
The New York Yankees' bullpen had another ninth-inning meltdown that cost them a three-game road sweep of the Houston Astros. Jose Altuve belted a three-run homer to cap a startling six-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Astros past the Yanks, 8-7. New York led 7-2 after a three-run homer by Gary Sanchez in the eighth inning, but Houston started its winning rally by putting the first two batters on base against Domingo German. Chas McCormick hit a two-run double off Chad Green and Abraham Toro followed with an RBI double to make it 7-5 with no out before Altuve went deep.
Elsewhere on Sunday's major league schedule:
The Pirates stormed back from a 5-0 deficit and beat the Mets on Wilmer Difo's RBI single in the ninth. It was Pittsburgh's largest comeback of the season as Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez hit back-to-back solo home runs before Castro added a two-run blast in the sixth. The NL East-leading Mets had to settle for a four-game split despite a two-run homer by Francisco Lindor and a three-run shot by Michael Conforto, both in the first inning.
Ronald Torreyes belted a three-run homer and the Phillies used six pitchers in a 5-4 triumph over the Red Sox. The game became a bullpen day for the Phillies after they had to scratch starter Aaron Nola and place the right-hander and three teammates on COVID-19-related injured reserve. Torreyes had three of Philadelphia's six hits and J.T. Realmuto had an RBI single in the third.
The Rays' six-game winning streak is over after Robbie Ray took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the Blue Jays' 3-1 victory over Tampa. Ray's no-hit bid ended with one out when Yandy Díaz was awarded a double after a fan reached over the left-field fence and tried to catch his drive. Ray allowed just the one hit over seven innings and joined Mets ace Jacob deGrom as the only hurlers with nine games of at least nine strikeouts this season.
Kevin Gausman worked six-plus innings of one-run ball and Curt Casali hit a three-run homer as the Giants topped the Nationals, 3-1 for a three-game sweep. struck out nine and held Washington to four hits as he lowered his ERA to 1.73, second only to Mets ace Jacob deGrom among all big league hurlers. San Francisco heads into the All-Star break with the best record in the majors at 57-32, a huge surprise for a team that wasn't expected to contend in the NL West.
Matt Olson prepped for Monday's Home Run Derby by hitting two of Oakland's four homers in a 4-1 victory over the Rangers. Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy hit back-to-back homers in the second inning for the A's, who won consecutive games for the first time since mid-June. Chris Bassitt is 10-2 after limiting Texas to a run and four hits over seven innings.
The White Sox completed a seven-game season sweep of the Orioles by getting a three-run homer from Adam Engel in the 10th inning of a 7-5 victory at Baltimore. Andrew Vaughn homered twice for the White Sox, who have won five in a row and 10 of 13 overall. It is the first time in franchise history Chicago has swept a season series of at least seven games against any team.
Jorge Polanco hit a game-ending three-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Twins a 12-9 victory and a four-game sweep of the Tigers. Catcher Jake Rogers had given the Tigers a 9-8 lead with a grand slam in the top of the ninth, but Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt tied it with a solo shot in the bottom half. Polanco had three hits and five RBIs, while Alex Kiriloff and Max Kepler each had two hits and drove in two runs.
David Fletcher extended his hitting streak to 24 games by delivering four hits and four RBIs in the Angels' 7-1 trouncing of the Mariners. Fletcher homered in the third inning, drove in two runs with a single in the fifth and added another RBI in the seventh to snap the Angels' two-game losing streak. Shohei Ohtani went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk ahead of his big two days at Coors Field in Denver.
Nick Castellanos smacked a tiebreaking, two-run single off All-Star closer Josh Hader with two out in the ninth inning to give the Reds a 3-1 win at Milwaukee. Hader came in to pitch the ninth after he surrendered a game-winning homer to Eugenio Suárez on Saturday. Cincinnati trails the NL Central-leading Brewers by four games after taking three of four in the series.
Marlins right-hander Pablo López set a major league record by striking out the first nine batters to start a game, leading a 7-4 decision over the Braves. López gave up three runs in six innings and failed to fan a batter over his final three frames. Jesus Aguilar smacked a three-run homer in the first inning as the Marlins ended a three-game losing streak.
The Dodgers took a 7-4 decision over the Diamondbacks on Max Muncy's three-run, walk-off homer in the ninth inning. The Dodgers tied the game at 4 with three runs in the eighth and stayed two games behind the NL West-leading Giants. Mookie Betts also homered for Los Angeles.
Pinch-hitter Chris Owings hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to power the Rockies past the Padres, 3-1. Owings' homer off Craig Stammen made a winner of Jon Gray, who has pitched well in four starts since a stint on the injured list with a right flexor strain. Gray held the Padres to one run and three hits in six innings.
The Indians and Royals were rained out in Cleveland, creating a double-header slated for September 20.
Rain caused the Cubs and Cardinals to be postponed in Chicago. The game will be made up as part of a September 24 twinbill.
In the MLB Draft: the Pittsburgh Pirates went for a college catcher with the first pick. Pirates selected Louisville catcher Henry Davis, who has big power and an even bigger arm. He threw out 46% of would-be base stealers to become a finalist for the Buster Posey Award as college baseball's best defensive catcher. Davis batted .370 and led the Cardinals with 15 homers, and his .482 on-base percentage was best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Rangers grabbed Vanderbilt's Jack Leiter with the second pick, landing a right-hander with a mid-90s fastball and two overpowering breaking pitches. The son of former big league All-Star pitcher Al Leiter has a repertoire that could play near the top of a big league rotation. He was 11-4 with a 2.13 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 110 innings for the Commodores. The Tigers used the third pick to take high school pitcher Jackson Jobe. The Red Sox took high school shortstop Marcello Mayer with the fourth selection, one spot before the Orioles chose Sam Houston outfielder Colton Cowser.
In other MLB news:
Four people have been arrested and more than a dozen weapons have been seized at a downtown Denver hotel that is close to several events planned in conjunction with the upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Officers responding to a tip searched two rooms on Friday at the Maven Hotel, a block from Coors Field. The search also came up with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Three men and a woman in their 40s were arrested, and two vehicles were impounded to be searched for evidence. An official says so far, investigators have not found any evidence to suggest the group was plotting a mass shooting or other similar attack.
There's a COVID-19 concern around the Phillies' clubhouse. In addition to Aaron Nola being scratched from Sunday's start due to a positive test, the Phils also had to shelve third baseman Alec Bohm and pitchers Connor Brogdon and Bailey Falter. Bohm also tested positive, while Brogdon and Falter were placed on the list because of contact tracing.
The Red Sox have signed reliever Matt Barnes to a two-year deal that runs through the 2023 season. The 31-year-old Barnes is 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA and has 19 saves for the Red Sox in 23 opportunities this season. He was one of five Boston players selected for the All-Star Game.
San Diego infielder Manny Machado has replaced Atlanta's Ronald Acuña Jr. on the National League All-Star roster. Acuna is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during Saturday's game against the Marlins. Also selected as replacements were Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto and Brewers backstop Omar Narvaez.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal now have company atop the list of men's career Grand Slam titles. Novak Djokovic has equaled their record of 20 Grand Slams by capturing the Wimbledon championship, defeating Matteo Berrettini by a 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 score. The No. 1 -ranked Djokovic earned a third consecutive championship at the All England Club and sixth overall. The 34-year-old from Serbia is now the only man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the first three major tournaments in a season. The U.S. Open awaits Djokovic as he aims for a calendar-year Grand Slam — something last accomplished by a man when Laver did it 52 years ago.
Italy has won the European Championship by beating England 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw. Domenico Berardi, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi scored for Italy in the shootout. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made two saves at the end of the shootout. Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci equalized in the 67th minute with a tap-in. England had been leading 1-0 for most of the match after Luke Shaw scored in the second minute.
Kurt Busch passed brother Kyle with 24 laps left and won Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race to complete a sibling weekend sweep at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch raced to his first victory of the season, 33rd overall and the fourth of his career at Atlanta. He locked up a spot in the playoffs and possibly improved his chances of securing a new ride next season. Kyle Busch reclaimed the lead with 47 laps remaining, but couldn't hold off his older brother on Lap 236. Martin Truex Jr. finished third after starting at the back of the pack. Alex Bowman was fourth, followed by Ryan Blaney.
Jim Furyk recovered from a rough start in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open to hold off Retief Goosen and Mike Weir by three strokes. Furyk played the first three holes in 3 over, but he righted himself with a birdie on the par-5 fifth hole. Furyk closed with a 1-over 71 to become the eighth player to win both the U.S. Open and Senior Open, joining the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper and Gary Player. Furyk finished at 7-under at Omaha Country Club.
Lucas Glover has earned his first PGA victory in a decade by taking the John Deere Classic by two strokes. Glover birdied five of his last seven holes for a 7-under 64 that wrapped up his fourth career win and first since 2011 at Quail Hollow. Glover finished his run with a 12-foot birdie on the par-5 17th, and a 6-foot putt to save par from the bunker on the 18th. Ryan Moore and Kevin Na tied for second following 68s.
Nasa Hataoka of Japan was declared the winner of the Marathon LPGA Classic in Ohio when the final round Sunday was washed out by relentless, heavy rain. Hataoka had a six-shot lead over Elizabeth Szokol and Mina Harigae. She won for the fourth time on the LPGA Tour, and her first LPGA title in two years.
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