J.B. Holmes Sets Pace At The British Open

July 19, 2019 3:55 am

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) – Tiger Woods arrived at Royal Portrush on Sunday morning. Now he tries to avoid leaving Friday afternoon from the British Open.  Woods, Rory McIlroy and others who got off to a rugged start faced a daunting task trying to make the cut on a links course with ever-changing conditions and a steady challenge.  Woods didn’t make a birdie until the 15th hole in his opening round of 78, his worst start in a British Open and third-highest score in a major championship. McIlroy played reasonably well except the start (quadruple bogey) and finish (triple bogey) in his round of 79.  J.B. Holmes set the pace with a 5-under 66 and played Friday morning under a mostly blue sky and mild wind. That could change without notice.

Former Penguin Ron Francis Named Seattle GM

July 19, 2019 3:51 am

UNDATED (AP) – Seattle’s NHL expansion team has announced its general manager – Ron Francis, a Hall of Famer and a two-time Stanley Cup winner.  He will have complete control of operations under Seattle Hockey Partners CEO Tod Leiweke. The yet-to-be-named team will debut in 2021. The Seattle club said Thursday it has more than 32,000 season ticket deposit holders and another 25,000 on a waiting list  Francis had a prolific NHL career. He finished with 1,798 points in 1,731 games over 23 seasons for the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, where he won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992.

Heat Prompts Cancellation Of Saturday Racing At Saratoga

July 19, 2019 3:55 am

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) – The New York Racing Association is canceling Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York. The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index that could reach as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.

Pirates Return Home After One-Win Road Trip

July 18, 2019 3:45 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Paul Goldschmidt hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Michael Feliz in the seventh inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 6-5 on Wednesday, dealing the Pirates their fifth loss in six games.  St. Louis trailed 4-3 when Tommy Edman singled off Francisco Liriano (4-2) with one out in the seventh and Jose Martinez walked. Feliz relieved, and Goldschmidt followed with his 18th homer.  John Brebbia (3-3) struck out four in two perfect innings. Carlos Martinez gave up an RBI single to Bryan Reynolds in the ninth before Starling Marte hit into a forceout, giving Martinez his sixth save in eight chances.  Tyler O’Neill also homered for the Cardinals, who won two of three from the Pirates.  O’Neill singled in a run in the first and hit a solo homer in the fifth. He is 10 for his last 20 with four home runs.  Daniel Ponce de Leon made his first start since the Cardinals announced he was joining the rotation and gave up four runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.  Pirates starter Chris Archer allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Archer had a pair of hits, including an RBI single in a three-run fourth, after starting the season 1 for 25 at the plate. Reynolds chased de Leon with a two-run single.  Marte homered in the first, his fourth home run on a six-game trip.

Pumpsie Green, 1st Black Player On Red Sox Dies

July 18, 2019 3:52 am

BOSTON (AP) – Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the Boston Red Sox, has died. He was 85. Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox and one with the New York Mets from 1959-63, batting .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs.  But his place in history was made when he stepped on the field as a pinch-runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959. The Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to field a black player.

Report; Former Penguin Greg Johnson Committed Suicide

July 18, 2019 3:54 am

UNDATED (AP) – A police report says the death of former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson was an apparent suicide, according to the Detroit News. The paper says it obtained a Rochester Police report, and that Johnson was found by his wife shortly before 10 a.m. on July 7. A gun and a single bullet were found near him. No suicide note was left. The Oakland County Medical Examiner declined to discuss findings from an autopsy.  Johnson was with Nashville for the franchise’s first season in the league. He spent the last seven years of his career with the Predators. He also played for Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago during his 12 years in the NHL.  Johnson was 48.

Emotional Start To British Open

July 18, 2019 3:42 am

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) – Darren Clarke never hit a tee shot at Royal Portrush quite like this.  The silver claret jug on display next to him, Clarke hit the opening tee shot Thursday as the British Open returned to Irish soil for the first time in 68 years. And then it got even better for Clarke, the 50-year-old from Northern Ireland who now calls Portrush home.  He holed a 15-foot putt for birdie to start his round.  Clarke won the Open in 2011 at Royal St. George’s and did not hesitate when the R&A asked if he would be willing to be the first to play. He hasn’t received such a hearty reception on the opening tee since The K Club in Ireland in 2006 for the Ryder Cup.

Pirates Wrap-Up Series In St. Louis With A Loss

July 17, 2019 3:50 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Paul Goldschmidt hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Michael Feliz in the seventh inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 6-5 on Wednesday, dealing the Pirates their fifth loss in six games.  St. Louis trailed 4-3 when Tommy Edman singled off Francisco Liriano (4-2) with one out in the seventh and Jose Martinez walked. Feliz relieved, and Goldschmidt followed with his 18th homer.  John Brebbia (3-3) struck out four in two perfect innings. Carlos Martinez gave up an RBI single to Bryan Reynolds in the ninth before Starling Marte hit into a forceout, giving Martinez his sixth save in eight chances.  Tyler O’Neill also homered for the Cardinals, who won two of three from the Pirates.  O’Neill singled in a run in the first and hit a solo homer in the fifth. He is 10 for his last 20 with four home runs.  Daniel Ponce de Leon made his first start since the Cardinals announced he was joining the rotation and gave up four runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.  Pirates starter Chris Archer allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Archer had a pair of hits, including an RBI single in a three-run fourth, after starting the season 1 for 25 at the plate. Reynolds chased de Leon with a two-run single.  Marte homered in the first, his fourth home run on a six-game trip.

Blackhawks Trade Anisimov To Senators

July 17, 2019 3:54 am

UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Artem Anisimov to Ottawa for Zack Smith in a swap of 31-year-old forwards.  Anisimov played four seasons for the Blackhawks, scoring 77 goals and adding 78 assists in 291 games. He provided 15 goals and 37 points last season.  The Russian has also played with the Rangers and Blue Jackets over 11 NHL seasons.  Smith played 70 games last season for the Senators, scoring nine goals and adding a career-high 19 assists.

Cardinals Blank Pirates 7-0

July 16, 2019 3:45 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Miles Mikolas pitched an eight-hitter and Tyler O’Neill hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.  It was the first complete game this season and second overall for Mikolas (6-9), who lasted just four innings in his last start before the All-Star game. He struck out three and walked none while throwing 100 pitches.  It was first complete game by a Cardinals pitcher this season. Mikolas had the only one last year on May 21 against Kansas City.  Mikolas pitched out of three jams. In the fifth with two outs, he gave up singles by Corey Dickerson and Kevin Newman. A balk put runners on second and third. Mikolas got Jacob Stallings to ground out, ending the inning. In the sixth, he allowed one-out singles to Adam Frazier and Brian Reynolds, his third hit. Starling Marte grounded into an inning-ending double play. He also hit into a double play in the first inning. In the seventh, Colin Moran doubled with one out and was stranded at third.  St. Louis has won three games in a row.   O’Neill had his first career multi-homer game, and drove in four runs for the second time in the last three games. He also singled to finish with three hits.  The Pirates have lost four consecutive games.