Astros starter Charlie Morton tossed seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in a 5-0 win against the Phillies.

The Pirates, Cubs and Cardinals are all lurking, ready for the Brewers to falter. But Milwaukee appears prepared to fight until the end.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras went 3 for 5 with a home run (16) and four RBIs (56) in a 7-2 win against the White Sox. The Cubs have now won nine of their last 11 games after struggling before the All-Star break.

Astros starter Charlie Morton tossed seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in a 5-0 win against the Phillies. Morton, who gave up just three hits, improved to 8-4 with a 3.83 ERA this season.

Angels closer Bud Norris allowed a walk-off grand slam to Edwin Encarnacion in the bottom of the 11th inning, leading to an 11-7 loss to the Indians. Norris walked three batters (one intentionally), threw a wild pitch, and allowed the grand slam. Needless to say, it was not a good night for the otherwise solid reliever.

Royals (52-47) at Tigers (45-54) 7:10 p.m. ET — Kansas City has found its offensive stride at the right time this season. Winners of their past five, the Royals find themselves firmly in the playoff hunt, both as an AL Central contender and a wild card threat. Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.61 ERA) will take the mound against Detroit and Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 5.95 ERA) Wednesday, as the Tigers continue to look like major sellers before the end of the month.

Let’s take a look at another example. This time watch how Justin Holiday gets caught in no man’s land. It’s incredibly difficult for teams to ice a pick-and-roll when Wall is the ball handler because he seems to always be a step ahead of the defense. Now that Porter makes 48.6 percent of his open or wide open 3-pointers, the margin for error has become much smaller.rangers_737-115x115

Holland offers valuable insight and experience to share with teammates

“You gotta keep it loose. We’re out there grinding every day,” Holland said. “We’re not trying to tank or play badly or anything like that — we’re giving it everything we’ve got. The main thing is to keep the right mindset.”

HollandWWEbelt-CWS-071917.jpgThe WWE championship belt Derek Holland bestows to the Player of the Game after each White Sox win. (Photo courtesy of the White Sox)

That mindset is supported through practices like the sharing of the belt along with the seemingly trivial silliness of something like a Batman mask — the mask was passed on to Todd Frazier’s son in the locker room after the game — and these practices are thanks in great part to Holland’s passion for WWE.

The first in-person experience for Holland at a WWE event came in Dallas, at “Hell in the Cell,” a yearly showdown that started in 2009. Holland was hooked. He’s attended more than half a dozen live events in the years since, most recently sitting ringside at “Monday Night RAW” and “Elimination Chamber” held in Phoenix just before spring training this year.

Given his years with the Rangers, Holland offers valuable insight and experience to share with teammates, but probably none more so than the value of appreciating the pure joy of fandom and the levity it brings to one’s own profession.

There won’t be much hardware coming to the White Sox this season, but they’ll take those belts of honor — both large and small.

The White Sox have not had as many opportunities to vote on who gets the belt, but on that particular night, a walk-off single from Jose Abreu secured a win over the Yankees, and the belt moved from Kahnle’s locker to Abreu’s.broncos_123

Lonzo Ball records triple-double in summer-league game

For the Bucks, it’s an interesting deal. Snell is the definition of a 3-and-D player. He’s a lanky 6-7 guard with long arms, a player that is not only switchable onto players basically 1 through 4, but also a high-level defender who uses his hands and footwork to disrupt opposing players. He’s not all-defense caliber yet, but he’s certainly above average.

Offensively, he’s purely catch-and-shoot and cuts backdoor. Last season according to Synergy, Snell took 292 jumpers off the catch as opposed to only 35 shots off the dribble. He’s extremely efficient on those shots off the catch, hitting them at a 60.8 effective field goal percentage. It’s low usage, but effective.

Snell is a low-end starter in the NBA right now, but he’s a worthwhile starter nonetheless. And at just 25 years old, there’s room for growth with him on defense as he keeps learning the tricks of the trade. This might be an overpay of one or two million per season, but it’s a fine contract for a team that will understand how to utilize his particular skill set on the wing and a player that seems to be on the rise.

Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball rebounded from a poor summer-league debut to record a triple-double Saturday against the Celtics.

Ball, who never had a triple-double at UCLA, scored 11 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists in an 86-81 loss.

The final score doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The most important aspect from the game was Ball’s ability to run an NBA offense while pitching in on defense as well.

Lonzo Ball recorded a Summer League triple-double tonight with 11 points, 11 rebs and 11 assists.

Ball, drafted No. 2 overall in last month’s draft, enters the NBA with lofty expectations thanks to his talent, not to mention his outspoken father. Time will tell if he can live up to them, but it will be fun watching his career progress.

For context, here’s what Green said about the Cavs’ opponents

For context, here’s what Green said about the Cavs’ opponents:

When you watch them, you watch one team playing good basketball and everybody else do something. I don’t know what that something is.
The third installment of Cavs-Warriors (which seems all but inevitable at this point) should be entertaining. These teams are already doing whatever possible to get under each other’s skin by commentary through the media.

What oddsmakers see as the most competitive series didn’t turn out that way in the simulations. Though many of the series were competitive going six or seven games, Los Angeles came out on top in 13 of the 15.

‘NBA 2K17′ clearly favors Atlanta in what should be one of the more intriguing matchups in the first round. Six of its series wins however went all the way to seven games, so the series was competitive despite the result ultimately being the Hawks advancing.

This was a pretty competitive series which saw Toronto usually win in six or seven games. The young Bucks team put up a fight but the Raptors and home court were just too much.

James scored or assisted on 73 of the Cavaliers’ points, or 61.3 percent of their output. He played every minute of the third and fourth quarters. He led all scorers with 41 points, all rebounders with 13, all passers with 12 assists, all 3-point shooters with a half-dozen made in 12 attempts and, of the seven players who attempted double-figure shots, was the only one who made more than 50 percent.

He just willed this team, you know, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. He just said: I’m going to put you guys on my back, going to make every play, make the right play.

NBA free agency: Fenway Park welcomes Gordon Hayward to Boston

NBA free agent and All-Star forward Gordon Hayward is meeting with Brad Stevens and the Celtics on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean the city’s other teams can’t actively recruit Hayward to Boston.

A message was waiting for Hayward on the scoreboard at Fenway Park — home of MLB’s Boston Red Sox — welcoming him to Boston.

The former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst attended the second week of the Big3 at Spectrum Center, where he said Sunday a decision will “probably be done at some point in the next few days.”

“There’s nothing really to report with a comment right now,” Billups said. “Still pondering the opportunity so there’s no new news.”

When asked to elaborate on his thought process, Billups said, “Of course you guys know what I’m pondering … my situation is out there.”

He maintained that running an NBA franchise is one of his dreams, whether it’s the Cavaliers or another team.

“I’ve always said that me running a team at some point is another one of my desires, so if this thing with Cleveland goes down, great. If it doesn’t, great,” he said. “At some point, I’m going to do that and we’ll see what happens after that.”

Antonetti, Indians prez, would not speculate on how long Francona would be away from team. But it’s likely he’ll miss entire SD series.

This is the third time in the past month the 58-year-old manager has been admitted to the Clinic. He was hospitalized following a June 13 game after experiencing a rapid heart rate and lightheadedness, then had to leave last Monday’s game with the same symptoms. That scare kept Francona out of the following night’s game, and doctors gave him a heart monitor to allow them to track his symptoms.

NBA Finals 2017: Tyronn Lue states obvious — Cavs ‘have everything to lose’ in Game 5

Don’t tell Tyronn Lue the Cavaliers have nothing left to lose as they head into Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors.

San Antonio — Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia. Paceniks might not last this long, but if he’s available, the Spurs, who worked him out last week, figure to pick him. He’s 7-2 and will need some work, but the Spurs can be patient here and possibly leave him in Europe for a season. San Antonio has immediate questions at center, but Paceniks would be a potential long-term answer.

Utah (from Golden State) — Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina. The Jazz could have major holes to fill if free agency does not go their way. But they won’t know that on draft night, so it would make sense to address a clear need that will be there either way: backup center. Bradley did not see many minutes at North Carolina, but he showed himself to be an active inside player who can rebound and finish in the paint.

Basically, the goal was to accumulate assets in order to make the draft idiot-proof, where they could miss out on winning the lottery, or even incorrectly evaluate high-upside players at the top of the draft and still come away with a core that could legitimately one day have an argument that it could compete for a title. This trade certainly seems like the culmination of that vision, and it happened in part because Hinkie had the foresight to get a pick swap and first-round pick when taking on a salary dump from the Kings, then evaluated that Michael Carter-Williams was worth dealing for a future Lakers first-rounder.

Nelson continued to shine as he moved into the franchise’s top five in all-time catches and receiving yards.

The Seahawks rushed for 97 and 78 yards, respectively, without Rawls in their win at Minnesota and their loss at Carolina in last year’s playoffs. That’s a total of 175, or two fewer rushing yards than they posted Saturday vs. Detroit. They should go into Atlanta feeling very good about Rawls’ chances to keep rolling.

Before the Detroit game, it felt as though the Seahawks were either one-and-done or Super Bowl run. With the running they just did, it’s time for the rest of the NFC field to brace it’self.

The way we held him on PUP and all that, we couldn’t have been more cautious with him,’ McCarthy said. ‘You definitely see the benefit’s of that. But I felt like we put a lot of stress on him early in the year to perform at such a high level.

He’ll be the first to tell you, he needs the practice. He needs some preseason game work. To go right from a very conservative approach throughout training camp and then go into that (Jaguars) game it’s what, 110-112 (degree) heat index down in Jacksonville that was a tough task for anybody, our whole team, let alone Jordy because he just didn’t have the investment of a lot of snaps throughout training camp.’

Nelson said there wasn’t a certain moment he felt his knee was completely healed. But his first explosive performance of 2016 came in Week 3, when he caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Detroit.

Nelson continued to shine as he moved into the franchise’s top five in all-time catches and receiving yards. Although heralded in the past for his ability to get open deep, Nelson was at his best this season inside the 20-yard line, where his 11 red-zone touchdowns led the NFL.

Tyrod Taylor on Bills benching QB: ‘That’s on them’

Tyrod Taylor didn’t play Sunday for the Bills, and he voiced his thoughts on his own benching Monday morning.

That decision is on them, Taylor said, via WKBW. I feel like Ive done enough as far as my play to be the starter here. It wasnt like I was outplayed, it was simply taken from mea€| and that decision came from them. Well see what the future holds.

With Taylor benched, EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones combined for 15 of 31 passing for 182 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a fumble during Sunday’s loss to the Jets.

If Johnny Manziel is serious about a future in the NFL, the Spring League is willing to provide him with a platform to prove he’s still relevant, Woods told the AP.

Manziel, of course, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the Cleveland Browns picked him in the first round of the 2014 draft. But Manziel told ESPN this week he is sober and ready to return to football at any level.

A pre season game, anything I don’t care what it is, he wrote. Only need one team to believe in me and I’ll do anything to make that a possibility.

Rice hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2013 season after being involved in a highly publicized domestic abuse incident. Young hasn’t played in the NFL since 2011, but like Manziel and Rice, would bring name recognition.

The four-team Spring League will start training April 5 at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Teams will play a total of six games in a three-week period. The emphasis is on signing young players on the fringes of the NFL.

Longtime NFL scout John Peterson will serve as league president.

Unfortunately, that steady presence is not found in the flexible Brendan McKay.

It remains to be seen what the Twins will do June 12 with the first pick in the draft, but with a stake in the franchise’s future and millions of dollars in a signing bonus on the line, it would behoove their front office to think long and hard before handing the keys to the kingdom over to a player whose true position is still undecided.

McKay may go on to have a brilliant career in the majors. But for a team like Minnesota that’s had one winning season in the past six years, the top pick in the 2017 draft must produce a cornerstone player for their organization who management can count on for years to come.

Unfortunately, that steady presence is not found in the flexible Brendan McKay.

I loved him, first and foremost. I couldn’t believe this guy who have the pedigree he had, treated all of us, and I’m sure you’d agree, like we were on the NBA beat. He came out and it was a big job, he cared a lot. I just was so impressed. Here I am, from St. Louis, and I’m like, “Erwin Claggett is on this team. This is awesome.” That’s a big deal to me. Derek Grimm is on this team. Doug Smith, wow. And Bernie Bickerstaff, he’s been in the NBA and coached in the NBA. I’m sure you remember asking questions and him jawing back and forth a bit, he could be testy at times, but I loved it. He wanted to be there and win, and it’s why his career bounced even higher after his time with the St. Louis Swarm. I tell you, I loved all those professional leagues, I did. I did play-by-play for the River City Renegades, the indoor professional football team. I was into that. The River City Rascals, I loved going to those games. It was the perfect place for a young future broadcaster to grow up, because everywhere I looked, there was a live game for me to go broadcast. It was a blessing. nike_cardinals_301

the Falcons will need another pass rusher to step up or it could be a long day for the Atlanta defense.

Cannon will be tasked with protecting Brady’s right side on Sunday. Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said Cannon, who struggled in 2015, has “progressed and became more confident” in each game this season.

Even if Beasley has his way with Cannon, the Falcons will need another pass rusher to step up or it could be a long day for the Atlanta defense.

“It’s so important that we get to him, even if we get him off the spot,” Beasley said. “Tom Brady doesn’t get knocked down that much so put pressure in his face and get him off his spot and get him kind of frustrated will definitely help us at least try to come out with the win.”

At some point, Revis snatched the cellphone away and attempted to delete the video. Another 21-year-old male from Ross Township attempted to help the 22-year-old retrieve the cellphone. Revis then tossed the phone onto the roadway. A verbal argument followed. A male came to assist Revis. Both the 22-year-old and the 21-year-old state they were punched then remember waking up to talk to police.
Officers responding to a call about the fight found the two men knocked out on the ground.

Witnesses told police they were unconscious about 10 minutes. It was not clear whether they suffered further injury.

Upon viewing cell phone video of the incident, police confirmed Revis’ identity.

Jones gave a conflicting account of the incident. In a statement, Jones said Revis was “assaulted by a group of five people” and fled the scene because he “feared for his safety and eventually went to get medical treatment.” The extent of Revis’ injuries was not made clear.

“He was not the aggressor that night,” Jones said. “He was 1,000 percent the victim.”

Revis, who played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh, was home for the weekend visiting family and friends, Jones said.

Jones called on police to release cell phone footage to the public. A department spokesperson said they will not oblige. seahawks_031