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St. Louis pitcher Luke Weaver flirted with perfection Authentic Customized Chiefs Jerseys , had to overcome a little frustration, and settled for domination.

The Cardinals‘ offense was pretty good, too.

Weaver pitched two-hit ball over eight innings and St. Louis beat the San Francisco Giants 11-2 on Thursday night.

”He was making quality pitches at the top of the zone, down, changeup, breaking ball,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said ”Everything was spot on but he controlled the count with his heater and got a lot of early balls in the air. He was aggressive.”

Weaver (5-7) faced two over the minimum and had seven strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before giving up a single and Hanson’s two-run homer. Weaver then bounced back to retire the final seven batters he faced.

Weaver didn’t allow a hit until Gorkys Hernandez reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Gyorko made a diving stop on Hernandez’s sharp liner near third base but the ball popped out of his right hand as he attempted to throw. Hanson followed with his homer.

”As soon as chopped it and Jedd had to dive, I had a feeling there was not going to be a chance to get him,” Weaver said. ”It would have had to have been an incredible slide jump-up throw and I still don’t think he would have got him. It wasn’t a big deal. I was pretty upset about the home run.”

Jedd Gyorko had three hits including a home run and drove in five runs to spoil the return of Johnny Cueto after two months on the disabled list. Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader also went deep while Yadier Molina singled three times.

The Cardinals had a season-high 18 hits – their most since getting 19 against the New York Mets on Aug. 24, 2016.

Alen Hanson homered for San Francisco. The Giants have scored five runs while losing four straight.

Cueto (3-1) was rocked in his long-awaited return from the 60-day disabled list. He gave up four runs in the first inning – one more than he had in 32 innings before going out with right elbow inflammation.

”Everything was fine except in the first inning when I was trying to be too fine,” Cueto said. ”Instead of just pitching Authentic Customized Rams Jerseys , I was just trying to place the ball in the strike zone. I just have to continue working my way back to where I was.”

WHAT’S THE COUNT?

San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval appeared to draw a two-out walk in the fifth and began trotting to first base before being called back after Matheny noticed there were only three balls. Two pitches later, Sandoval struck out to end a 12-pitch at-bat.

”I whistled and had the umpire stop for a second,” Matheny said. ”At about the same time, the replay called and then they figured it out on the field by the time we needed to come out of the dugout.”

BABY BULL RETURNS

Orlando Cepeda attended the game for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest in February that left the Hall of Famer in critical condition. The Baby Bull was in the parking lot of a gym when he fell and hit his head during the incident. The 80-year-old is one of the most popular players in franchise history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Dexter Fowler was reinstated from the paternity list before the game. … Tyler O’Neill was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. … RHP Matt Bowman (blister) was activated off the DL and optioned to Triple-A Memphis.

Giants: Manager Bruce Bochy said that RHP Jeff Samardzija will have fewer restrictions than Cueto when he returns from the disabled list to start Saturday’s game. Samardzija hasn’t pitched since May 29 because of shoulder tightness. … INF Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. … RHP Roberto Gomez was released.

UP NEXT

John Gant (2-2, 3.48 ERA) pitches for St. Louis on Friday. The right-hander has had mixed success since rejoining the rotation and allowed four runs in 5 1/3 against Atlanta in his most recent start. RHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-1 3.16) starts for San Francisco.




HOUSTON — There were moments during the recently completed road trip when Evan Gattis‘ teammates appeared to relish his run-production exploits more than he did, scenes emblematic of the prevailing fondness for the Houston Astros‘ bearded designated hitter.

Gattis is among the many catalysts for the Astros, who take a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros tied the club record set in 1999 and matched in 2004 when Alex Bregman delivered the game-winning single in the ninth inning in a 5-4 victory.

Before Bregman’s hit, Gattis was named American League Player of the Week, earning the honor for the first time in his six-season career.

Gattis hit .417 (10-for-24) with four homers and 15 RBIs for the week, the latter total representing seven more than any other player in the league.

Gattis has been a house aflame this month, leading the majors with 23 RBIs. That total leaves him six shy of the club record of 29 set by Jimmy Wynn in 1967 and matched by Jose Cruz in 1984.

On May 19 Authentic Customized Chargers Jerseys , Gattis was mired in an extended season-opening slump and was batting .209. He recorded three multi-hit games over his next five starts and has wielded a hot bat ever since.

“I’m thrilled for Gatty because to know him is to know how much he carries the burden of being the DH most nights,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “And he’s very emotional about it. He wants to contribute; he wants to do well. Had a rough start to the season and going through a few swing changes and a lot of work behinds the scenes and then he busts out and literally carries us for the better part of the road trip.

“For him to be rewarded with that recognition nationally is awesome. For the reaction inside with his teammates and coaches, everybody feels pretty good about him.”

Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA) will start for the Astros (49-25) on Tuesday. He leads the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.76), opponent batting average (.160) and OPS (.493) while ranking second in innings (100 1/3) and fourth in strikeouts (120).

He is 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA over 16 career starts against the Rays, failing to record a decision when he allowed two runs on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-3 win on June 15, 2017, with Detroit.

Left-hander Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58 ERA) gets the nod for the Rays (33-39). He is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA over three career starts against Houston, failing to log more than five innings in any of those outings. Snell has made two starts at Minute Maid Park Authentic Customized Dolphins Jerseys , going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.

Snell has yielded two or fewer runs in 12 of 15 starts this season, tied with Verlander and Yankees right-hander Luis Severino for the most such starts in the AL. That total includes eight starts surrendering one run or fewer, the second-best mark in the AL behind Verlander (nine).

The Rays’ pitcher usage remains a topic of conversation throughout the majors, with the collapse by Romo only fueling those with dissenting opinions on the strategy of employing multiple bullpen days per week. Six pitchers preceded Romo on Monday, with right-hander Matt Andriese producing the longest outing of 2 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay’s 10th loss in its last 11 road games.

“This is a tough one, no doubt,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We sold out to win a ballgame. We got aggressive with the moves; they got aggressive on their side with the pinch hitting. It all basically worked in our favor until the last inning. Leadoff walk, a couple tough pitches, a couple odd things took place and then Bregman comes up and gets a big hit.”

7 days ago

For the second night in a row Authentic Customized Packers Jerseys , a young San Francisco pitcher shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This time, Dereck Rodriguez blanked them into the seventh inning and the Giants made it two straight wins in Arizona with a 7-0 victory Saturday.

Rodriguez’s performance came a night after Andrew Suarez allowed one run in six innings during San Francisco’s 2-1 series-opening victory. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks have managed just one run in the last 18 innings.

”It’s big,” Rodriguez said. ”They’re leading our division and we come in and shut them down. That’s big for our team and our pitching staff, gives us some momentum.”

Brandon Crawford, Andrew McCutchen and Joe Panik homered on another rough night for Shelby Miller, who struggled in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Panik’s homer, off reliever Jimmie Sherfy in the eighth, was his first since April 3, a span of 162 at-bats.

Ty Blach and Cory Gearrin completed San Francisco’s 10th shutout of the season.

”Overall just a well-played game,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”We got the hits, the runs to give us a cushion there and what a job Rodriguez did. He followed up a great start. He’s been throwing the ball terrific.”

The Giants have won nine of 11 to pull into a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for second in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks. San Francisco can complete a three-game road sweep on Sunday.

Since returning from an 8-2 trip Authentic Customized Texans Jerseys , the Diamondbacks have dropped two to the Giants by a combined score of 9-1.

”An unfortunate offensive night for us once again,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”We didn’t build as big of innings as last night but we had a couple opportunities and we really couldn’t cash in.”

Rodriguez (3-1), the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan ”Pudge” Rodriguez, dominated in his sixth major league start. He allowed six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two. In his last two starts, the 26-year-old right-hander has given up one run in 13 1/3 innings.

Miller (0-2) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one, throwing 96 pitches. In his debut Monday night at Miami, Miller gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 9-5 loss to the Marlins.

Miller said he is past being satisfied with getting through an outing healthy.

”We are getting close to the All-Star break and we are playing division teams that are right behind us trying to get first place away from us and I am going out there and not pitching well,” he said. ”That is more what I am upset about. I am not really focused on the little positives that I can take from coming back from a major surgery, which is a pretty big deal, but it is getting at that point in the season where we have to win ballgames, and every single one that we can.”

Crawford and McCutchen each had a solo home run off Miller – Crawford in the second and McCutchen in the fourth.

Arizona’s real trouble came in San Francisco’s four-run third Authentic Customized Colts Jerseys , which included five singles. One of them, a dribbler up the middle by Pablo Sandoval, drove in two runs. Crawford walked with the bases loaded to bring in another run.

ROTATION QUESTIONS

With right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija due back from the disabled list soon, there might not be room for Rodriguez and/or Suarez in the rotation.

”We want our guys back but at the same time when they’re throwing like this it does give you the luxury of making sure your guys are ready,” Bochy said. ”Depth is going to be so important. We’re at the halfway point. You never know what can happen and it’s been great the way Suarez and Rodriguez have come up here and handled themselves.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: Cueto (right elbow sprain) threw four scoreless innings Friday night in his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Sacramento. He allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one.

Diamondbacks: INF Ketel Marte left with a right leg injury after beating out an infield single leading off the seventh. He was able to walk off under his own power. Lovullo said afterward it was a cramp and Marte is day to day. … CF A.J. Pollock (broken left thumb) went 0 for 4 with Triple-A Reno in his first rehab game Friday night.

UP NEXT

Left-hander Derek Holland (5-7, 4.24 ERA) starts for the Giants in their bid for a three-game sweep. RHP Zack Godley (9-5, 4.58) goes for Arizona.



If Jon Gruden does leave the comforts of the broadcast booth for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders, he wouldn’t be the first coach lured back to the sidelines after a long hiatus from the profession.

Several other coaches have attempted the move, with the most successful being Dick Vermeil, who spent 14 years broadcasting between his burnout and second act that began in St. Louis and led to a Super Bowl title for the Rams.

Others had more problems in their return, most notably Art Shell. The Hall of Fame offensive lineman was fired by the Raiders following the 1994 season despite a 54-38 record and three playoff berths in his five full seasons. More than a decade later Authentic Customized Jaguars Jerseys , Shell’s second stint with the franchise lasted one year and led to just two wins.

Gruden could be the latest coach to follow this path. He was fired by Tampa Bay following the 2008 season and has spent the past nine years as an announcer at ESPN. The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio following a disappointing six-win season and appear set on bringing back Gruden.

He has said he believes there’s a ”good chance” he will get the job in Oakland after interviewing with owner Mark Davis.

Here is a look at several coaches who took at least a four-year break before returning as head coaches:

PAUL BROWN: Brown was the founder and original coach of the Cleveland Browns and led the franchise to 10 straight title games in the All-America Football Conference and NFL, including three NFL titles. Brown was fired by owner Art Modell following the 1962 season. After a brief hiatus, Brown returned to football as the part owner, coach and general manager of the AFL expansion Cincinnati Bengals, who began play in 1968. Brown coached the Bengals for eight seasons, made the postseason three times but never won another playoff game a coach.

DICK VERMEIL: Vermeil had a successful seven-year run as coach of Philadelphia from 1976-82, taking the Eagles to their first Super Bowl following the 1980 season. But Vermeil burned out of coaching and stepped away after the 1982 season. Vermeil then launched a successful broadcast career before finally going back to the sidelines in 1997 with the Rams. St. Louis won just nine games his first two years before breaking through with the Super Bowl title in the 1999 season behind quarterback Kurt Warner. Vermeil retired again after that title only to return to coaching in 2001 with Kansas City. He posted a 44-36 record in five seasons with the Chiefs.

TOM FLORES: Flores was replaced as Raiders coach following the 1987 season after winning two Super Bowls in his nine seasons with the franchise. He took over as general manager in Seattle in 1989 before going back to coaching with the Seahawks in 1992. He went just 14-34 in three seasons.

JOE GIBBS: Gibbs won three Super Bowl titles with three separate quarterbacks during a 12-year run in Washington. He shocked the team when he retired two months after the end of the 1992 season and spent the ensuing years as an announcer and a NASCAR team owner. Gibbs returned to coaching in 2004 and his second stint in Washington wasn’t nearly as effective as his first. The team went 30-34 in his four seasons, making the playoffs twice and winning one game before retiring again.

MIKE DITKA: Iron Mike Ditka had one of the most successful coaching tenures ever in Chicago, winning 106 regular-season games for the most in franchise history besides George Halas. Ditka became legendary in the city thanks to leading the Bears to their only Super Bowl title following the 1985 season, but he was fired after going 5-11 in 1992. After a four-year break, Ditka was hired to coach the New Orleans Saints in 1997. He won just 15 games in three years and his most notable move during that time was trading his entire stash of 1999 draft picks and a 2000 first-rounder for the rights to draft running back Ricky Williams.

ART SHELL: Shell was let go by the Raiders following the 1994 season as late owner Al Davis wanted a fresh start for the team for its move back to Oakland. Davis later said he regretted the move and brought Shell back in 2006. Shell had spent his first six years away from the Raiders as an assistant coach but had been out of the profession entirely for five seasons when Davis hired him a second time. The tenure was a disaster from the start as players didn’t respond to Shell and his systems were outdated. Oakland went 2-14 in his one season before Davis fired him a second time.




7 days ago

Nick Foles threw a deep pass into the wind on the first play from scrimmage against the Falcons Authentic Customized Bills Jerseys , LeGarrette Blount scored the only touchdown on fourth down and wide receiver Nelson Agholor ran 21 yards on a new play.

The Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) are aggressive no matter what.

They’ll need that approach when they face the Minnesota Vikings (14-3) and their top-ranked defense in the NFC championship game on Sunday.

”You’d probably call me unorthodox with some of the decisions I’ve made on fourth downs and going for it, 2-point conversions, things like that,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday.

”Sometimes you just don’t do the norm, you just don’t do what everybody expects you to do and sometimes that can help you. I’m calculated by it, but at the same time, I’m going to make sure that I’m putting our guys in a good position.”

Foles underthrew the long pass to Torrey Smith to start the divisional playoff game, but a pass interference call gave the Eagles a 42-yard gain to the Falcons 25.

Jay Ajayi fumbled on the next play or perhaps the game wouldn’t have come down to a defensive stand at the end to preserve Philadelphia’s 15-10 win.

”Take a shot,” Pederson said explaining his decision to throw long into a stiff wind.

On the touchdown drive early in the second quarter, Philadelphia faced third-and-3 from the Falcons 24. Foles faked a pitch to running back Corey Clement and handed off to Agholor on an inside counter with Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson pulling out and leading the way. Agholor took it to the Falcons 3. It was the first time Pederson called the play this season.

”Coach has just had a knack of seemingly calling those at the right time,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.

”It comes up different every week. We really work well as a staff together in game planning. Sometimes we think we like something and we go out on the practice field and it doesn’t quite look like it’s ready. So, we have to keep it in the crock pot for another week or start over with a new recipe.”

Three plays later, tight end Trey Burton lined up at fullback and Blount followed his block into the end zone for a 1-yard TD run. Pederson didn’t think twice about going for it instead of kicking a game-tying field goal.

”The ball was just inside the 1-yard line, and we had confidence to go for it in that situation,” Pederson said. ”We were real close and the guys did a great job.”

During the regular season, only Green Bay (28) went for it on fourth down more than Philadelphia (26). The Eagles converted 17 times for 65.4 percent, third-best behind New Orleans (80 percent on 12 for 15) and Jacksonville (76.9 percent on 10 for 13). Minnesota is 1 for 7 on fourth down, fewest attempts in the league.

”You always want to be aggressive Authentic Customized Panthers Jerseys ,” Foles said. ”I love Coach’s calls.”



AP NFL website:

Soon after Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury and Philadelphia’s Super Bowl hopes were placed on backup Nick Foles’ right arm, Jeff Hostetler’s phone lit up.

Out of all the quarterbacks who have gone from holding clipboards to begin the season to Super Bowl starter to end it, Hostetler’s path might have been most similar to Foles’ journey. It provides some hope to the Eagles heading into Sunday’s title game against five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

”When it happened, all of a sudden my phone starts ringing off the hook,” Hostetler said. ”When you really start to look at it, this is probably out of all the times it’s happened since I played, this may be the most similar when you get to all the nuts and bolts about it.”

Hostetler had started just two games in almost seven full seasons for the Giants when Phil Simms injured his foot in Week 14. After starting that season with 10 straight wins, the Giants lost three out of four and were mostly written off as a contender when Simms got hurt.

There was a similar mood in Philadelphia when MVP contender Wentz got hurt in Los Angeles in a win that improved the Eagles to 11-2, but left them with a backup quarterback running the show.

”Everyone had jumped off the bandwagon,” Hostetler recalled. ”We were completely shot as a team. That was the outside looking in. Inside where we were at, we just rallied the wagons. It was us versus the world. We just rallied around each other and it showed. I had a team similar to Philly. They’ve rallied around each other and nobody gives them a chance. When nobody gives you a chance and you’re a close-knit team that has been through adversity, look out, you can be dangerous.”

Hostetler said he had gained confidence by being thrown in late in a win against Dallas early in the season, and then leading a comeback against the Cardinals after Simms got injured in Game 6.

But by the time he stepped in for Simms in December, Hostetler had thrown 93 passes since entering the NFL in 1984. Hostetler managed to lead the Giants to two wins to end the regular season, a lopsided playoff opener over Chicago, then upsets over two-time defending champion San Francisco in the NFC title game (15-13 on five field goals) and Buffalo (20-19)in the Super Bowl.

”There were lots of things that were said, lots of negative things Authentic Customized Bears Jerseys ,” Hostetler said. ”That fed me because none of those guys had seen me play. I never had the opportunity. It wasn’t like I had gone out there and failed and that’s why I was a backup. I was a backup because we didn’t have free agency and I was behind a guy who was playing really well who hadn’t gotten hurt.”

Foles is the 14th quarterback to start the Super Bowl after not holding that role for the season opener, including Brady (2016) and Ben Roethlisberger (2010), who were suspended to start those seasons. The others fall into a few categories.

There were those who seized the job early in the season such as Jake Delhomme did for Carolina when he replaced Rodney Peete at halftime of the 2003 season opener; Brady when he stepped in for an injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 3 in 2001; and Joe Kapp, who replaced Gary Cuozzo for Minnesota in the second game in 1969.

Then there were teams looking for a midseason jolt that turned into Super Bowl wins. Roger Staubach shared time with Craig Morton in 1971 before taking over for good midway through the year to launch a Hall of Fame career with his first Super Bowl win. Three years later, Terry Bradshaw began the season on the bench behind Joe Gilliam before taking over as starter in Week 7, then winning the first of four Super Bowl titles. Trent Dilfer then stepped in for Tony Banks midway through the 2000 season for Baltimore, lost his first start and then won 11 in a row behind a dominant defense.

There were three other cases of injuries leading to changes before the stretch run, with Vince Ferragamo replacing Pat Haden for the Rams in 1979; Jim Plunkett stepping in for Dan Pastorini the following year in Oakland; and Colin Kaepernick doing the same in San Francisco after Alex Smith had a concussion in 2012.

But of all those quarterbacks, only Hostetler, Foles and Washington’s Doug Williams made it to the Super Bowl with as few as two regular-season starts that season. Williams made his starts early in the year before stepping in for Jay Schroeder in the season finale and sparking a comeback victory over Minnesota, leading to coach Joe Gibbs’ decision to make a change for the playoffs.

”I never was a backup, so the mentality was a lot different,” said Williams, who started 67 games for Tampa Bay before heading to the USFL. ”Even coming to Washington as the backup, I had a backup position with a starter’s mentality. That’s how I always looked at it.”

Williams played that way in the postseason. He helped overcome a 14-point deficit in wind chill of minus-20 degrees in Chicago against the mighty Bears defense in the division round before throwing two TDs to beat the Vikings again at home in the NFC title game.

Williams then put together an historic performance in the Super Bowl, leading five TD drives in 18 plays in the second quarter of a 42-10 win over Denver in San Diego. Williams threw for 340 yards and four TD passes on a gimpy knee to win MVP honors.

”The biggest thing was going to Chicago and being able to come back in that weather to beat the Bears,” Williams said. ”That was bigger than coming back from 10 points in 80 degree weather.”




7 days ago

Coach Bruce Arians once said he and quarterback Carson Palmer would ride away into the sunset together like a pair of old desert cowboys.

Well Authentic Customized Cardinals Jerseys , they have.

Palmer announced his retirement after 15 NFL seasons on Tuesday in an open letter released by Cardinals, one day after Arians said he was leaving his long coaching career.

”Over the years, I’ve had teammates who decided to hang it up and I would ask them how they knew when it was time to walk away,” the letter began. ”The answer was almost always the same: You just know. For me, it is time now. Why? Quite simply, I just know.”

Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm.

He called his long professional career ”the most incredible experience of my life.”

Palmer and Arians were together the past five seasons, and they included some of the best days of the quarterback’s career.

Standing 6-foot-5 with a remarkably strong arm, Palmer was a Heisman Trophy winner at USC and the No. 1-overall pick by Cincinnati in 2002. He threw for 46,247 yards, 12th-most in NFL history, in a career with the Bengals, Oakland and Arizona.

”When I entered the league, I was a 23-year-old kid,” Palmer wrote. ”I’m leaving a 38-year-old husband and father of four with memories and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. And like most things in life, it feels like it all passed in a blink of an eye.”

Acquired by the Cardinals for only a sixth-round pick and a swap of seventh-rounders, Palmer’s strong arm was a great fit for Arians’ ”no risk it, no biscuit” big-play passing game.

Palmer twice came back from torn ACL injuries. The first occurred in his playoff debut for Cincinnati in 2005. He was hurt on his first pass, a 66-yard completion. The second came in the sixth game of the 2014 season.

Palmer returned from that one to have probably the best year of his career. In 2015, he set single-season franchise records and career highs for yards passing (4,671) and touchdowns (35) while leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record, second-best in the NFC. He won his only playoff game in four tries that season, in overtime over Green Bay.

”My family and I are beyond grateful for everything the game has given us as well as the love and support we’ve felt from fans everywhere we’ve been,” he said. ”That’s been especially true in Arizona Authentic Customized Falcons Jerseys , where we never expected to end up but wound up being such a special place for us.”

Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley, through Twitter, congratulated Palmer on ”one hell of a career.”

”My favorite all-time teammate is walking away on his terms,” Shipley said. ”Not many people have that opportunity. It’s been an honor and a privilege to block for you and be your teammate. Enjoy retirement brother!”

Cardinals star running back David Johnson, also on Twitter, praised the leadership of Palmer and Arians.

”They have taught me so much on/off the field,” Johnson wrote. ”I seriously owe so much to Carson & (at)BruceArians for how they have gotten me to where I am in my career/life today. I wish you all the best as you start the next stages of life!”

Palmer, with a career 62.5 percent completion rate, leaves as the only quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season with three teams. He did it twice for Cincinnati, once for Oakland and three times with Arizona.

Palmer spent seven years with the Bengals, leaving in a dispute with owner Mike Brown that led him to hold out to start the 2011 season, saying he would retire if he wasn’t traded.

He eventually was dealt to Oakland for considerable compensation – a first-round draft pick in 2012 and second-rounder in 2013. Palmer started nine games for the Raiders that season. He put up big numbers with the Raiders but there was little success in wins and losses. Oakland eventually deemed him expendable and sent him to Arizona without much in return.

In addition to the two ACL injuries and this season’s broken arm, Palmer also was limited to four games in 2004 with an elbow injury and missed time with a concussion and shoulder injury in Arizona.

Still, Palmer said he would ”especially miss the grind” of being an NFL player.

”It’s the part I don’t think people fully appreciate,” he wrote, ”maybe because many NFL players make the game look so easy and effortless. The mental and physical preparation it takes to compete – week in and week out, year in and year out – is draining and grueling but has always been my favorite part.”

Now, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim are looking for a new coach and a new quarterback.

Several interviews for the coaching job reportedly have been lined up. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that the Cardinals had received permission to talk to Steelers offensive line coach and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.

The departures of Arians and Palmer leave Larry Fitzgerald as the lone remaining member of the triumvirate that represented the core of the Cardinals’ push for a title the past five years.

Fitzgerald, 34, caught 109 passes this season, second-most in the NFL, and has a contract for next season. But he has said he will take some time before deciding whether to return.




NEW YORK — Omaha’s loss Saturday night will be a big win for anyone who likes watching two of the best pitchers in baseball face off against one another.

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make a surprising return to the major league rotation Saturday night, when the Dodgers visit the New York Mets in the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field.

The Dodgers won the opener 5-2 on Friday night when Cody Bellinger’s sixth-inning grand slam snapped a scoreless pitcher’s duel between Los Angeles left-hander Alex Wood and Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler.

There will likely be more zeroes on the board Saturday when Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) may not even be the best pitcher to take the Citi Field mound. The Hall of Fame-bound southpaw Authentic Customized Ravens Jerseys , who hasn’t pitched this month because of a lower back strain, will be opposed by the hottest pitcher in baseball, Mets ace Jacob deGrom (5-2, 1.51 ERA).

The Mets finally provided deGrom some run support in his most recent start on Monday when he picked up a long-awaited win after allowing two runs (one earned) in eight innings of a 12-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

DeGrom lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.51 in the win. Since 2000, only Randy Johnson (1.47 ERA in 2000) has produced a lower ERA through 15 starts.

DeGrom has a 0.90 ERA in his last 11 starts, during which he has only gone 3-2 while the Mets have gone 3-8. New York scored 16 runs while deGrom was on the mound in his 10 starts before Monday.

“I watched (Corey) Kluber have about a 1.40 ERA for like 12 or 13 starts at the end of one season to win a Cy Young,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who was the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians when Kluber locked up the American League Cy Young Award by posting a 1.42 ERA in his final 12 starts last season.

“But this is pretty special. You don’t see this often.”

Nor do matchups like Kershaw-deGrom happen very often. The clash Saturday night will mark their first regular-season matchup and the second time they’ve opposed one another.

DeGrom picked up the win in the decisive Game 5 of the 2015 National League Division Series when he tossed seven scoreless innings in the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Dodgers and Kershaw, who pitched on three days’ rest and took the loss after giving up all three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Kershaw was originally scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Oklahoma City against Omaha, but with an uncertain weather forecast in Nebraska, the Dodgers decided to take their chances by having him pitch for the big league team in New York, where scattered thunderstorms are expected.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hinted the famously competitive Kershaw did his share of talking his way out of the rehab start.

“He did play a little weatherman, so with weather.com and Clayton, we were pretty abreast with the weather in Omaha,” Roberts said with a grin Friday afternoon.

Roberts said the Dodgers will proceed carefully with Kershaw, who has made as many trips to the disabled list as to a big league mound since May. Kershaw was sidelined from May 2 through May 30 because of biceps tendinitis.

Kershaw was activated May 31, when he didn’t factor into the decision after pitching through a tight back while allowing one run in five innings of the Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Los Angeles placed Kershaw back on the disabled list the next day.

“We don’t know how much he’s going to pitch,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to put a limit on him. Obviously, there is a limitation with Clayton, and I’ll make that decision.”

Both pitchers will have a unique, opponent-specific streak on the line Saturday

DeGrom is 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA in six career regular-season starts against the Dodgers. He has beaten every other team he has faced more than once.

Kershaw is 8-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 regular-season starts against the Mets. He is undefeated against eight other teams but has beaten only one of those squads, the Atlanta Braves, more than twice.

7 days ago

The more than $115 http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-connor-williams-jersey ,000 in back taxes owed on the Massachusetts home that once belonged to former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez have been paid.

The tax collector in North Attleborough tells The Sun Chronicle that Hernandez’s estate paid $60,000 toward the lien in December while the new owners of the home paid the remaining $55,000 last month.

Hernandez bought the home for $1.3 million in 2012. It was sold in November for $1 million.

Court records also show $500,000 from the sale was placed into escrow while a judge determines if it should go to Hernandez’s daughter.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd when he hanged himself in prison in April days after his acquittal in a double slaying.



Information from: The (Attleboro, Mass.) Sun Chronicle, Shin-Soo Choo said he cares much more about getting on base multiple times each game than circling the bases.

Then, he proceeded to do both.

Choo reached base for the 41st straight game with a first-inning walk, tying the major league high this season, and also hit one of Texas’ five Texas home runs in the first three innings of the Rangers’ 11-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

Rougned Odor http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-bradley-chubb-jersey , Robinson Chirinos and Nomar Mazara homered in a seven-run second inning. Joey Gallo and Choo went deep in the third as the Rangers won for the 10th time in 12 games.

Choo matched the streak that the Philadelphia Phillies’ Odubel Herrera put together March 30-May 19.

”Honestly, I don’t feel anything special,” Choo said afterward. ”I’m just happy for winning the first game of a three-game series.”

Yovani Gallardo (2-0), making his third start since joining Texas on June 17, retired his first 10 batters and allowed all three runs on four hits and one walk in 7 1/3 seven innings. Gallardo struck out seven.

The 32-year-old who grew up in nearby Fort Worth is in his second stint with the Rangers after being released by Milwaukee in March and designated for assignment by Cincinnati in April.

Gallardo spent two months with Texas’ Triple-A Round Rock affiliate before being called up and credits the pitch clock in the minors for helping him.

”Grab the ball and go,” said Gallardo, who won 13 games for Texas in 2015. ”Not allowing myself and the hitter to think about things.”

Dylan Covey (3-3) allowed four homers and nine runs in 2 1/3 innings.

”They’re a hot team right now,” Covey said. ”Just not a good one for me.”

Choo greeted White Sox reliever Chris Volstad with his 15th homer of the season to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s hitting .333 during the on-base streak with 52 hits and 38 walks.

The only Texas batter in the starting lineup without a hit was Adrian Beltre, whose 3 http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-frank-ragnow-jersey ,105 career hits rank 21st in major league history.

The White Sox reached their season’s halfway point at 28-53, one win better than the franchise’s worst record through 81 games.

”Hopefully, the guys are continuing to improve, catch the ball a little bit more consistently and just continue to learn and get better,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.

PITCHING NO SWEAT FOR SOX’S DAVIDSON

Chicago outfielder Matt Davidson made his first pitching appearance since high school in the eighth inning. He retired all three batters he faced, closing with a strikeout of Odor, and was mobbed upon reaching the dugout.

”I know it sounds cheesy, but it was a dream come true,” Davidson said.

DRAW IN FIRST GAME OF STRIKEOUT DERBY

Gallo and Chicago’s Yoan Moncada each fanned twice. That allowed Gallo to maintain his one-strikeout lead over Moncada atop the major leagues http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jaire-alexander-jersey , 116-115.

Rangers batters lead the American League in strikeouts with 783, followed by the White Sox with 774.

SHORT HOPS

White Sox 3B Yolmer Sanchez, who turned 26 on Friday, was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons after sustaining a left quad contusion Thursday. Sanchez could return Saturday. … Choo’s on-base streak is the longest since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman reached in 46 straight games in 2016. … Covey’s ERA in five career innings against Texas is 25.20.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder) was recalled from his rehab assignment because of discomfort during a side session following Sunday’s start. Gonzalez will be re-evaluated.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (right elbow) will make his second rehab start on Saturday for Double-A Frisco. Perez struck out nine and allowed only two singles in five innings Monday for Single-A Hickory.

UP NEXT

White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-2) will seek his second consecutive win on Saturday. Rodon worked eight innings to match a career high and allowed just two runs to Oakland on Sunday. Rodon will face Rangers RHP Bartolo Colon (4-5), whose 244 career wins are one short of Dennis Martinez’s record for the most by a native of Latin America.




7 days ago

Two Spanish skiers died Saturday after being swept away by an avalanche in the French Pyrenees http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mark-walton-jersey , authorities said.

The prefecture in the southwestern Hautes-Pyrenees region said the two men were part of a group of four Spanish tourists and a guide who were doing backcountry skiing Saturday in an off-piste area in Aragnouet, near the Spanish border.

Myriel Porteous, an official with the prefecture, told The Associated Press an investigation has been opened to examine what set off the avalanche. She said two women and the Spanish guide managed to get out of the avalanche on their own.

The two victims remained buried in the snow for two to three hours before being found by rescuers with the help of dogs that specialize in avalanche searches, Porteous said. One skier died at the site, the other after being transported to a hospital.

Authorities have warned about a high risk of avalanches in the French Pyrenees and the French Alps.

On Friday, four skiers were killed in an avalanche in the French Alps.

SAN FRANCISCO — A beanball war between the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants has the potential to spill over into Wednesday’s series finale, with neither manager saying the book was closed after there were three hit batsmen and two ejections Tuesday night.

The ball will be in the hands of Marlins right-hander Jose Urena (2-8, 4.18 ERA) and Giants lefty Derek Holland (4-7, 4.48), with each team needing a victory to win the series after splitting a pair of emotional affairs the last two nights.

The Giants avenged Monday’s 5-4 loss with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday that featured Buster Posey hitting a home run and then getting hit by a pitch in his next at-bat.

It was exactly what Marlins manager Don Mattingly had promised when, in the top of the inning, he complained that both teams — not just the Giants — had received a warning when San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Lewis Brinson with a pitch.

After a heated exchange with the umpires http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-baker-mayfield-jersey , Mattingly could be seen telling Posey, “You’re next.” Giants manager Bruce Bochy then jumped out of the dugout, having heard Mattingly tell the umpires, “If not tonight, then tomorrow.”

“I guess they thought they had to do something,” Bochy said of the Marlins, whose three-run, ninth-inning rally on Monday night included a key hit by Brinson, who celebrated by yelling at Giants closer Hunter Strickland on his way to first base.

On his way to the dugout after recording his fourth blown save later in the inning, Strickland walked near Brinson and the two exchanged words again.

Moments later, the emotional Strickland punched a door leading to the Giants’ clubhouse, breaking his right hand. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.

The Giants suffered a similar injury last week in Miami when third baseman Evan Longoria broke a finger when hit by a pitch.

Despite the warning and already down 3-0, Marlins starter Dan Straily hit Posey in the left shoulder in the bottom of the second inning http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-denzel-ward-jersey , resulting in the ejection of both Straily and Mattingly.

The feisty Marlins manager was seen patting Straily on the back as both headed down the runway toward the clubhouse after the ejections.

“There’s some fuzzy math going on,” Bochy said when asked if he thought Straily’s retaliation evened the score for the Giants plunking Brinson. “I’ve got a third baseman out 6-8 weeks. And I got a guy (Kelby Tomlinson) hit in the back (Monday) night.”

The veteran Giants skipper went on to say anything’s possible in the series finale.

“We’re men,” he boasted. “This happens in baseball. It won’t be the last time.”

Intention or no intention, the Marlins’ Urena has been troubled by hit batsmen this season, having already plunked eight batters, tied for the fifth-most in the majors.

He has faced the Giants three times in his career, twice as a starter, and has gone 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

The Giants’ Holland, on the other hand, is about as unlikely to hit a batter as any pitcher in the game. He has plunked just one of the 306 guys he has faced this season.

Holland has pitched just once in his career against the Marlins, and it was a disaster. Facing a lineup that included Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, Holland gave up five runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning while pitching for Texas in 2011.

7 days ago

For those who think game plans and play calls are complex Authentic Thomas Rawls Jersey , it would be helpful to take a behind-the-scenes look at the medical setups that go into an NFL game.

Talk about multi-faceted.

The league provided such an opportunity at US Bank Stadium this week, and it was enlightening.

From the spotters’ booth upstairs to the exam rooms, locker rooms and ETM facilities in the bowels of the building to the blue tent on the sideline, dozens of people are involved in health and safety protocols.

They range from neurotrauma physicians and athletic trainers to data technicians to ambulance drivers and emergency personnel, with perhaps 30 medical folks on the sideline.

Even the game referee is a part of the procedures.

The league has been criticized for years that it rarely has had player safety and health as a focal point, and it’s placed a high priority on upgrading every such area.

Game day includes a pregame meeting, new this season, held 60 minutes before kickoff that involves everybody on the health side of football.

”It’s a big group,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.

That group goes over the Emergency Action Plan, an exhaustive outline that describes who does what in virtually every case of injury or emergency. It’s so detailed that it includes arm or hand signals to help all involved determine what action is needed.

”The collaborative effort between teams is where it should be … seamless and flawless,” said Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

The emphasis, of course, is on immediate treatment whenever an injury occurs. The hour-long meeting’s value became apparent when Bears tight end Zach Miller dislocated his left knee and tore an artery that supplies blood to the lower leg in a game at New Orleans. Miller could have lost the leg had it not been for the quick action by the well-schooled medical staffs.

”These are the kind of situations we’re practicing for,” Sills said. ”They’re incredibly rare, but we want to be prepared for it.”

They need to be prepared for injuries large and small Authentic Trenton Cannon Jersey , ranging from situations when a visit to the blue tent is enough – a retaped ankle, perhaps – to sending a player inside to an examination room, or even to the hospital for particularly major issues.

U.S. Bank Stadium has a specific ”quiet room” for examining concussions – all stadiums must have an area for such exams. Naturally, with revelations in recent years about the dangers of concussions in football, more attention is paid to head trauma than ever.

In that ”quiet room” are the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and a team physician or member of the team medical staff. They compare the player’s baseline test to his current status. Sugarman said he has never seen a disagreement between them about a player’s condition after the 10-12 minute exam.

”Sometimes, after two minutes you know they’ll fail the test,” Sugarman said.

No one from a team – coaches, executives, owners – is allowed into any of the exam areas, not even the blue tent just a few yards away on the sideline.

”I don’t have owners telling me to get him ready … sooner,” Sugarman added.

The roles of the concussion spotters have increased in importance and attention after a handful of players, most notably Houston quarterback Tom Savage, clearly were hurt but didn’t get the immediate care required. There will be four UNCs – unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants – at this Super Bowl. Typically, each sideline is staffed by one. After the protocol changed in December following the Savage case, an additional one was added for the playoffs, as well as a centralized UNC based at the league. That central UNC will be in the spotter booth for the Super Bowl.

The jobs are usually filled in each city by certified athletic trainers charged with noticing player head injuries from their upstairs booth. The spotters are paired with video technicians who watch the broadcast feed and tag plays that result in injuries – although they’re not always easy to spot.

A spotter can communicate with sideline medical personnel in a variety of ways. If there’s a reason to stop the game to get an injured player off the field Authentic P.J. Hall Jersey , he has that power, often shouting into his device: ”Medical Timeout.”

The referee will stop the game when so instructed; Sills estimated it occurred eight to 10 times this season.

A sideline monitor then can show video of the play to team or unaffiliated medical personnel. A decision can be made more quickly and accurately about the next steps, if any are needed, and the medical staff has a better idea of what happened than how the player might describe it.

Sugarman is more than grateful for the assistance and the technology that makes it possible.

”People like me might have looked at it with a crooked eye,” he said with a smile. ”Big Brother looking over your shoulder. But it’s been invaluable. You can’t see everything. It’s very protective to know they’re looking out for you.”

Last summer for the first time the league brought together all sorts of medical staffers from each team, plus unaffiliated consultants and spotters for a training session dedicated to head trauma and concussions. Those sessions will continue.

Sills bristles when he hears that the NFL is not doing enough regarding head injuries. Standing in a specialized X-ray room underneath the Super Bowl stadium, he vigorously defends the NFL concussion policy.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The opener of the Boston Red Sox’s three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Friday night went as anticipated on paper.

The Red Sox jumped out to an 8-0 lead after two innings and Chris Sale dominated the Royals, striking out 12 in six innings. The Royals scored four meaningless runs the final three innings against the Red Sox bullpen in a 10-5 loss.

The Red Sox and Royals will meet again Saturday night and Boston will again be heavily favored.

Boston (60-29) leads the majors with 60 victories and has a major league-best .674 winning percentage. The Red Sox are 31 games above .500 for the first time since concluding the 2013 season at 97-65.

Their 60 wins are the fourth most after 89 games in the 118-year franchise history. The only teams with more wins after 89 games were the 1946 Red Sox at 63-26 and the 1912 and 1978 clubs at 61-28.

Boston is 5-2 on its nine-game, 10-day trip to New York, Washington and Kansas City. It is 32-17 away from Fenway Park.

The Red Sox are 3-1 against the Royals this season. The Royals went 8-4 against the Red Sox in the previous two seasons, Boston’s worst record against any opponent during that span.

Left-hander David Price will start for the Red Sox on Saturday. He is 9-6 with a 4.28 ERA in his first 17 starts.

Price is coming off a poor start on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, allowing eight runs and nine hits across 3 1/3 innings.

Before that, Price had been magnificent in his previous nine starts, posting a 7-1 record with a 2.72 ERA. He allowed 17 earned runs in 56 1/3 innings during a span from May 12 through June 26. He allowed no more than three earned runs in any of those starts.

Price is unbeaten in seven career starts and one bullpen appearance against the Royals. He is 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA against Kansas City, giving up 12 earned runs in 50 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox’s dynamic duo of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are tough on any pitching staff and that was the case again Friday.

Betts led off the game with a home run Authentic Daryl Worley Jersey , the 100th of his career. He joins Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Ted Williams as the only Red Sox players with 100 home runs before their 26th birthday.

Betts is batting .369 (41-for-111) with nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 26 career games against the Royals. His batting average is the best for any opposing hitter with a minimum of 100 at-bats against Kansas City.

Martinez hit a two-run shot in the second inning and leads the majors with 27 home runs. Only Carl Yastrzemski, 29 in 1969, and David Ortiz, 31 in 2006, had more homers before the All-Star break. Martinez leads the American League with 73 RBIs.

The Royals will send rookie right-hander Brad Keller (2-3, 2.09 ERA) to the mound as they attempt to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Keller, a Rule Five pick from the Arizona Diamondbacks, threw an eight-inning, complete-game six-hitter at Seattle in his previous start, only to lose 1-0 to the Mariners.

He is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 appearances at Kauffman Stadium. He has a 2.25 ERA in three home starts.

Keller made two relief appearances in May at Boston. He got the final two outs of the seventh inning withoutout giving up any runs in a 5-4, 11-inning victory on May 1 and the next day threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

7 days ago

The Chicago Cubs will try to extend their season-best winning streak to seven games when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Friday afternoon to open a three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Chicago (49-35) has outscored opponents 56-35 during its six-game winning streak Authentic Kareem Martin Jersey , which has pushed the team 14 games above .500 for the first time this season. The Cubs have scored at least five runs in eight straight games.

Through 84 games, the Cubs’ plus-104 run differential is by far the best in the National League.

“We’re all just trying to pass it along to the next guy,” Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber said recently to The Athletic. “We obviously want to have our at-bat and help out the team in some way. Get on base somehow, drive in guys, get the guy over. Whatever it is, we want to do that. And then it’s up to the guy behind us.

“We have full faith in everyone on this team. That’s the bottom line, we want to pass it on to the next guy.”

Cincinnati (38-49) has enjoyed the same type of positive momentum in recent weeks and is playing its best baseball of the season as it arrives to Chicago’s North Side. The Reds have won four of their past five games and 13 of 17 after concluding a three-game series with the Chicago White

During the past 17 games, the Reds have scored at least five runs 14 times.

“It’s our offense, we’re never down,” Reds pitcher Sal Romano said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Doesn’t matter how many runs we’re down, they’re able to come back and swing it.”

The rejuvenated Reds have won or tied each of their past five series.

“I think that it’s getting to the point now where teams, when they come to play us or when we come to play them, there’s a little bit of Authentic Cody Latimer Jersey , ‘Oh, shoot, we’ve got the Reds,'” Reds pitcher Jared Hughes told the Enquirer. “That’s what we want.”

Cincinnati has won six of nine games against Chicago this season, including a four-game sweep in June.

Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery (3-2, 3.55 ERA) is slated to make his eighth start. The 29-year-old has provided much needed stability in the rotation after highly touted free-agent signing Yu Darvish went to the disabled list.

In 14 career appearances (four starts) against the Reds, Montgomery is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He has walked 11 and struck out 29 in 37 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati will turn to right-hander Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.83), who is set to make his 18th start of the season and the 22nd start of his career. The 23-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his past six outings.

This will be Mahle’s third career start against the Cubs. In his first two meetings, both of which took place this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Cubs hitters Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez and Schwarber each have gone deep against Mahle this season. Baez has been almost perfect against the pitcher, going 4-for-5 with a triple to go along with the homer.

However Authentic Patrick Omameh Jersey , the Cubs are focused on making hard contact rather than blasting long home runs.

“We’re not trying to hit home runs,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to The Athletic. “We’re moving the baseball. We’re hitting it to all fields.”

The Latest on the NFL playoffs on wild-card weekend (all times local):

6:25 p.m. ET

All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce is out for the rest of the Chiefs’ playoff game against the Titans after sustaining a concussion late in the first half.

The injury also puts his status in question for next week should the Chiefs advance.

Kelce was being tackled when the Titans’ Johnathan Cyprien delivered a blow with his shoulder. Their helmets also collided and Kelce appeared to be dazed when he got to his feet.

The Chiefs lead 21-3 early in the third quarter.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



6:10 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are taking a 21-3 lead into halftime of their wild-card playoff game against Tennessee after driving 79 yards in 1:52 and scoring on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson.

Kansas City converted on third-and-6 early in the drive, when the Titans called timeout in hopes of getting the ball back, then moved effortlessly downfield the rest of the way.

Robinson crossed the goal line with 3 seconds left in the first half.

Alex Smith was 19 of 23 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the half.

His counterpart, Marcus Mariota, was 7 of 13 for 82 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



6 p.m. ET

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is being evaluated for a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Titans’ Johnathan Cyprien late in the first half of their playoff game.

The second-team All-Pro caught a pass over the middle and was going to the ground when Cyprien tried to lay a shoulder into him. Their helmets collided and Kelce lay on the turf stunned.

When he got up, he was wobbling toward the end zone and officials called for the training staff.

Kelce was taken immediately to the locker room.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:55 p.m. ET

The Titans are on the scoreboard after Ryan Succop’s 49-yard field goal, and they got some help from the officiating crew just to trim their deficit to 14-3 late in the first half.

Marcus Mariota took a vicious hit from Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson on a delayed blitz, and he clearly dropped the ball before he hit the ground. But the play was blown dead by the officials, so even though Justin Houston picked up the fumble, the Titans got a chance to kick a field goal.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid spent an entire timeout arguing the call to no avail.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:20 p.m. ET

The Chiefs lead the Titans 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, which is precisely the same score after 15 minutes when these teams met in the regular season in 2016.

The Titans wound up rallying for a 19-17 victory.

In fact, the Chiefs carried a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter of that game. But the Titans mounted a comeback Authentic Terrelle Pryor Sr. Jersey , and former Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop hit a 52-yard field goal on the final play of the game – after a timeout by Andy Reid gave him another shot – to give Tennessee the win.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:15 p.m. ET

The Chiefs that won five straight to start the regular season and four straight to finish it have apparently showed up in the playoffs, racing to a 14-0 lead over the Titans.

Alex Smith connected with tight end Travis Kelce for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 2:15 left in the first quarter. It was the second straight TD drive for Kansas City, both covering 75-plus yards.

Smith is 8 of 11 for 154 yards and the score. Kareem Hunt has 25 yards rushing and the other TD.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:55 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are on the board first in their playoff game against Tennessee with Kareem Hunt, this season’s NFL rushing champion, plunging in from 1 yard out for a touchdown.

The teams swapped scoreless drives before Kansas City went 81 yards in just under three minutes.

Two big plays set up the short TD run: Tyreek Hill caught a pass underneath the coverage and raced 45 yards, then tight end Travis Kelce caught a 27-yard pass to the 2-yard line.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:35 p.m. ET

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters hid out in the locker room during the national anthem before their playoff game against Tennessee, just as he has done all season.

Peters has never fully addressed the reason he protests during the anthem.

Fans unfurled a field-length flag during the rendition, and a B-2 bomber flew overhead, while the Titans and the rest of the Chiefs stood on their respective sidelines at attention.

Tennessee won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:30 p.m. ET

Jon Gruden may be getting an up-close look at his future rival.

Gruden is providing the color analysis for ESPN’s broadcast of the Chiefs-Titans playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Associated Press and several other outlets have reported that Gruden will be introduced as the coach of their AFC West-rival Oakland Raiders on Tuesday.

Play-by-play man Sean McDonough congratulated Gruden on his transition back to coaching, and the former Raiders and Buccaneers head coach replied: ”Nothing is official yet but these Chiefs fans have been on my case since I got here.”

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4 p.m.

7 days ago

JAGUARS (12-6) at PATRIOTS (14-3)

Sunday Authentic Nyheim Hines Jersey , 3:05 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE – Patriots by 9 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Jaguars 9-7, Patriots 11-5

SERIES RECORD – Patriots lead 10-1

LAST MEETING – Patriots beat Jaguars 51-17, Sept. 27, 2015

LAST WEEK – Jaguars beat Steelers 45-42; Patriots beat Titans 35-14

AP PRO32 RANKING – Jaguars No. 10, Patriots No. 1

JAGUARS OFFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (17)

JAGUARS DEFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (21), PASS (1)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (10), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (20), PASS (30)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -Patriots are 3-1 in playoffs against Jaguars. Lone Jacksonville win was 25-10 in 1998 wild-card round when Tom Coughlin was Jacksonville’s coach and Pete Carroll coached New England. … Patriots have won past seven meetings overall and two straight in postseason. … Since Jaguars entered NFL in 1995, they are 1-10 (.091) against Patriots, including playoff games. That’s worst winning percentage of any team vs. one opponent (minimum 10 games) in that span. … Jaguars seeking first trip to Super Bowl Authentic Derwin James Jersey , one of four franchises (Lions, Texans, Browns) never to get there. … Jaguars are making third appearance in AFC title game in their 23-year history and first since 1999 season. … Jacksonville lost 20-6 to New England in AFC title game on Jan. 12, 1997. … Jacksonville can become 11th team to defeat top two seeds from their conference in same postseason since 1990 when current playoff format was adopted. … Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone is 1-3 all-time vs. Patriots … Jaguars are 8-0 this season when QB Blake Bortles doesn’t have turnover and 4-6 when he does. … Jags have plus-7 turnover margin on road this season (including playoffs), best mark in franchise history. They have 22 takeaways in nine road games this season, most in NFL and most in single season in franchise history. … Including playoffs, Jacksonville’s defense has scored eight touchdowns this season, three more than any other team. It is most defensive TDs scored in season by one team since 2012 Bears. … In addition to being ranked fourth in NFL in opponent’s red zone TD percentage (43.8), Jacksonville also has best red zone scoring percentage in NFL, scoring TDs on 67.9 percent of trips this season (40 TDs on 56 drives). … RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three TDs in last week’s divisional win. He is only rookie in NFL history with 100-plus yards rushing and three or more rushing TDs in postseason game. … LB Telvin Smith tied career high with 16 tackles and returned fumble for TD last week. He has 27 tackles, forced fumble and fumble return in his two career playoff games. … DE Calais Campbell led AFC with franchise-record and career-high 14 1/2 sacks. … DE Yannick Ngakoue was one of two NFL players (Aaron Donald) with 10 or more sacks (12) and five or more forced fumbles (six). … LB Myles Jack had sack, INT and three pass defenses in first two playoff games. … CB A.J. Bouye has two INTs, forced fumble and seven pass defenses in his past four postseason games. … Patriots playing in seventh straight AFC title game, a record. … New England is 9-4 in AFC championship game overall. Patriots’ 14 appearance rank behind only Pittsburgh (16) and San Francisco (15) for conference title contests. … Coach Bill Belichick is 7-2 all-time vs. Jaguars. … QB Tom Brady is 2-0 in playoffs against Jaguars, throwing for six TDs and no interceptions. …Jacksonville is one of seven NFL teams that Brady has undefeated regular-season record against (5-0). … Jaguars had NFL’s No. 2-ranked scoring defense. Brady has faced top-two scoring defense in playoffs three times (2014 Seahawks, 2004 Eagles, 2004 Steelers). He is 3-0 with passer rating above 100 in each game. … Brady led NFL with 4 Authentic Uchenna Nwosu Jersey ,577 yards passing and ranked first in AFC with 32 TDs. Both are most by QB at age 40 or older. … RB Dion Lewis has 507 scrimmage yards (126.8 per game) with 5 TDs (three rushing, two receiving) in his past four games, including playoffs. … TE Rob Gronkowski led all NFL tight ends with 1,084 yards receiving, his fourth career 1,000-yard season. That is tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for most among tight ends in NFL history. … In his past six postseason games, Gronkowski has 512 yards receiving (85.3 per game) and seven TDs. He is looking for his seventh playoff game in row with TD catch. … WR Danny Amendola has 190 yards receiving (95 per game) and TD in past two playoff games. … DE Trey Flowers had sack last week. He has 3 1/2 sacks in past two playoff games. … LB James Harrison has 11 career sacks in postseason, tied for fifth most in NFL history.




PHOENIX — The Arizona heat is a fitting setting for the two teams meeting here this weekend.

The Diamondbacks return home Friday after an 8-2 road trip that included three wins by right-hander Zack Greinke and vaulted them 13 games over .500, tying a season high. NL West rival San Francisco has won seven of its last 11 and is coming in after a 7-3 homestand, its best since the 2012 World Series season.

The Diamondbacks took series victories over the Angels, Pittsburgh and Miami and gained two games on the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers to build a 3 1/2 game division lead. They are a sparkling 21-8 since May 28.

“I can’t think of a day where we played bad really,” multi-tasking Greinke told reporters Thursday, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins while contributing two singles, a stolen base, an RBI and a run.

Greinke became the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1969 to have a hit, an RBI and a stolen base in as many as two games in the same season.

“There’s a record every game. You’ve just got to look hard enough for it,” he continued.

The Giants had series victories against Miami Authentic Jalyn Holmes Jersey , San Diego and Colorado in their homestand, losing the finale to Colorado 9-8 on Thursday.

Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin, who has had abundant success against the Giants this season, faces San Francisco left-hander Andrew Suarez in the opener of the three-game series Friday.

Paul Goldschmidt, who had three hits and an RBI Thursday, enters the series on a roll. He is batting .404 with seven doubles, nine homers and 22 RBIs in his last 22 games while raising his batting average to a season-high .267. He was as low as .198 on May 22. Goldschmidt has feasted on the Giants this season, going 16-for-33 with seven doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in nine games this year.

Each team has gotten healthier as the second half beckons. Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray rejoined the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation in Miami.

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings in his last two starts. He has made five starts, four quality starts, after returning from the disabled list June 5 in a 3-2 loss to Arizona at AT&T Park. Right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija could return soon.

“You try to look at the silver lining on these injuries,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters this week.

“It’s going to limit their innings and hopefully we see it as we get into August and September, these guys are still fresh. Throw Cueto in there, Samardzija. You make 31, 32 starts, it can take a toll on you. Madison has always been able to handle it, I’ll say that. The fact he’s missed a lot of time should help him.”

Corbin Authentic Nate Solder Jersey , 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA, is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in three starts against the Giants this season. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a two-out, check-swing single to Brandon Belt in a 1-0 victory on April 17, his first career shutout. Corbin gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-2 victory at the Giants on June 5.

He threw seven scoreless innings and a tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in his last outing, a no-decision at Pittsburgh on June 22 in a game the Diamondbacks won 2-1 in 12 innings. Corbin is 7-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 22 career appearances against the Giants, 20 starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA at Chase Field this season.

Rookie Suarez, 2-4 with a 4.43 ERA, has made 12 starts this season, 11 since joining the rotation for good on May 1, just before Cueto went out. He made his major league debut in a spot start against Arizona on April 11, giving up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-3 home loss. Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy homered off him in that game.

Suarez is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five June starts and gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, a no-decision in a 5-3 victory over San Diego on Saturday. He is 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA in six road starts this season. He has never pitched in Chase Field.

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Matthew McConaughey is congratulating fellow Texan and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on his Super Bowl win.



The actor took out a full-page ad in the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday. It reads: ”From one local to another Buccaneers Cheap Jerseys , Congratulations Nick Foles. just keep livin, Matthew McConaughey.”

McConaughey was born in Uvalde (yoo-VAWL’-dee), west of San Antonio. The Super Bowl MVP was born and raised in Austin.

McConaughey is a Washington Redskins fan, but that didn’t stop him from showing support for a division rival.

”Just keep livin” is McConaughey’s personal mantra and the name of his nonprofit health and wellness organization.

Weaving wildly down the steep final slope, Marcel Hirscher somehow found a way to outduel Henrik Kristoffersen yet again on Saturday.



Hirscher’s thrilling victory was his third in a World Cup giant slalom this season with his biggest rival runner-up each time. It also lifted the 28-year-old Austrian into third on the men’s World Cup all-time wins list.

The Hirscher-Kristoffersen contest shapes as one of Alpine skiing’s best rivalries heading into the Pyeongchang Winter Games next month, when both will seek a first Olympic gold medal.

Hirscher hung on for the win by just 0.17 seconds despite losing speed, and most of his half-second lead, taking a wide line cresting the slope down to the finish.

He went wide again three gates from the end and, on crossing the finish line Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , fell to the snow as if in disbelief that he won.

”Once again the luck was on my side,” Hirscher said in a finish-area interview broadcast to a crowd of 31,000 for the classic Swiss race.

Kristoffersen applauded his opponent and smiled wryly for the cameras on being runner-up for the sixth time in all races this season – four of them behind the same man. He has yet to win and is currently second to Hirscher in three different season-long standings.

”It was a real fight,” Kristoffersen said of Hirscher. ”At the moment he is just better.”

Alexis Pinturault of France placed third Saturday, trailing 0.21 behind Hirscher, the six-time defending overall champion.

Hirscher extended his lead in the overall and giant slalom season standings from second-place Kristoffersen.

With his 51st career World Cup win, the 28-year-old Austrian broke a tie with Alberto Tomba that lasted only two days. Hirscher won a slalom Thursday at Zagreb, Croatia.

Hirscher now trails only his fellow Austrian Hermann Maier (54) and Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark (86) on the wins list 51 years after the World Cup began.

A sixth career win at Adelboden also lifted Hirscher over Stenmark’s five on the Chuenisbaergli hill. However, when Stenmark raced in the 1970s and `80s Authentic Keke Coutee Jersey , the course staged only a giant slalom.

Hirscher and Kristoffersen will start favorites in slalom on Sunday.

”I am not confident,” Kristoffersen said. ”He has won three in a row, or something, in slalom.”

Olympic champion Ted Ligety, the winner here in 2013, skied out in the second run on a darkening course after being eighth fastest in the morning sunshine.

Fans packed the stands in record numbers for one of Switzerland’s favorite sports events after overnight repairs to rebuild a section of the main road into Adelboden. It was damaged by the Eleanor storm that swept across Europe in midweek.

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