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Justin Verlander gives up 2-run HR to first batter in first career relief appearance, still gets W


Desperate to avoid a winner-take-all Game 5 in this American League Division Series, the Houston Astros asked ace Justin Verlander to do something Monday that he hadn’t done as a professional or in college.

It didn’t work out well.

With the Astros leading by one run and trying to close out the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-five series, Verlander warmed up in the bullpen and made the first relief appearance of his career with one out and a runner on first base in the fifth inning. The first batter he faced, Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi, belted a two-run homer to right field to swing the score in Boston’s favor and prompt taunts of “Jus-tin! Jus-tin!” from the crowd at Fenway Park.

The exhibition victory over the Nuggets marked the first time that Hammon coached the regular Spurs team in the preseason. Hammon served the past two seasons as head coach of San Antonio’s summer league team, which in 2015 captured the NBA Las Vegas Summer league title with the six-time WNBA All-Star at the helm.

He just turned 20 years old last month and he has the upside to make a big leap from Year 1 to Year 2. I’m also a big believer in Lakers coach Luke Walton in the way he works with young players like Ingram and uses them in a way where they can excel.

So Roark will get the ball. While Strasburg-Gio Gonzalez would be a stronger pairing than Roark-Strasburg, you were going to have to win the non-Strasburg game anyway, and you can argue matching him up against Kyle Hendricks in a potential Game 5 gives the Nationals a better chance of winning that game than Gonzalez. You just have to get there. For that, Washington has to get the bats going. The Nationals have hit just .121/.200/.231 in the first three games.

Reds RHP Rookie Davis undergoes shoulder, hip surgeries


Reds right-hander Rookie Davis had surgery Monday to repair a torn labrum and remove a bone spur in his right hip. His recovery is expected to extend into spring training.

He made his major league debut this season and went 1-3 with an 8.63 ERA in six starts and one relief appearance. He was one of 10 rookies who started for the Reds during the season, six of them making their major league debuts.

Davis last started against the Cardinals on Sept. 20 and gave up five runs, including three homers, in three innings of a 9-2 loss.
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If I miss on Antetokounmpo and have a pick in the middle of the first round, Davis is the guy I want. He is being taken with the sixth or seventh pick on average in ESPN leagues, to give you an idea of the range where you can land him. He’s more of a risk than Antetokounmpo because of his injury history, but it’s worth pointing out that Davis played a career-high 75 games last season and has an even higher ceiling in several categories (points, rebounds, blocks, 3-pointers, free throw percentage) than Antetokounmpo. And no, if you’re wondering, the presence of DeMarcus Cousins in the Pelicans’ frontcourt doesn’t scare me away from Davis.

Brent Qvale Kids Jersey Yeah. That’s why I’m so excited, he said. Obviously, when we got Kyrie, I was excited. But once we get in here and we start working, there’s a lot of potential here. It’s exciting.

Irving, Hayward, and Horford were often spotted together on the sidelines at training camp last week. Horford marvels at how fast his teammates have picked up the offense but also knows they’re probably overwhelmed as Stevens inundates them with information. Horford also sees last season’s version of himself in the newcomers and wants to help them get up to speed as fast as they can, especially with a shortened preseason.

Rangers claim forward Adam Cracknell off waivers


The New York Rangers have claimed forward Adam Cracknell off waivers.

Bennie Logan Youth Jersey The 32-year-old Cracknell has skated in 204 NHL games with St. Louis, Columbus, Vancouver, Edmonton and Dallas, with 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points.

Cracknell skated in one game with Dallas this season before being placed on waivers. He was claimed by the Rangers on Monday. He has skated in 10 playoff games, all with St. Louis, with one goal and two penalty minutes in his career.

Cracknell was originally selected by Calgary in the ninth round, 279th overall, of the 2004 draft.

The other end of the stadium — the visitors’ end — looks exactly as it did when General Neyland himself prowled the sidelines. Beneath the beams and girders that support the upper deck is Stadium Hall, a 70-year-old academic building that houses more than 1,000 skeletons to teach America’s future CSI stars. Seeing as how the visitor’s locker room is surrounded by Stadium Hall, that can make opponents a little jittery, especially if the smell of not-quite-cleaned bones goes wafting through the lockers.
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I don’t know what you are talking about, Tennessee legend Johnny Majors said last weekend before Georgia’s visit into the bowels of Stadium Hall. The former player and head coach admitted that he might have had a malfunctioning, extra pungent popcorn machine repeatedly parked inside the Stadium Hall tunnel. But dead bodies? Oh, no. There was a bad refrigerator down there for a while, had some rotten hot dogs in it or something. But surely no one thought that smell was anything else, right?

Bowman still played the majority of the snaps and finished with a team-high 10 tackles.


I don’t know, man, Bowman said. We had a conversation, and I don’t know. They’re doing what they want to do. I don’t know. I don’t like it. No one likes coming out of the game, but I’m a team player.

Game Womens Borje Salming Jersey Some of those missed snaps were because Bowman was suffering from a stinger in his neck, but not all of them were.

Tiger Williams Authentic Jersey Brock Coyle replaced Bowman when he came out and posted two tackles and a half-sack.

The Ravens had also lost two in a row following a 2-0 start, but reversed that slide thanks to Flacco and the opportunistic defense. Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards.

The Coliseum was rocking after Lynch’s TD cut Baltimore’s lead to 24-17 late in the third quarter. The Ravens, who had been held to three-and-outs the first two drives of the second half, responded with a 72-yard drive to a 21-yard field goal by Justin Tucker that gave Baltimore a 10-point lead. Flacco converted a pair of third downs on the drive, completing a 13-yard pass to Breshad Perriman on third-and-3, and a 27-yarder to Wallace on third-and-8.

The Raiders drove into Baltimore territory on the next drive and faced fourth-and-3 from the Ravens 44 with about nine minutes left. Coach Jack Del Rio opted to punt despite the 10-point deficit, and Marquette King sent it into the end zone for a touchback. Baltimore then drove 64 yards in 6:26 to take a 13-point lead.

Texans forget the past, brace for Chiefs


The Chiefs have been middling defensively, ranking 22nd in yards per play (5.5), so much of the credit for their fast start has rested at the feet of surprising rookie running back Kareem Hunt and veteran quarterback Alex Smith, 33, who is playing the best football of his 12-year career.

In a statement, the NFL said the comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists. They do not reflect the thinking of the league.

The Association for Women in Sports Media said in a statement that it is very discouraged by Cam Newton’s disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter during today’s Carolina Panthers media conference. As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media.
falcons_015ball Writers of America also condemned Newton’s comments, saying in a statement that he crossed the line.

Newton made headlines earlier in his career for his interaction with the media after the Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, when he cut short his session with reporters.

Hoyer is completing 58.1 percent of his passes and was 24 of 49 last week in a 18-15 overtime loss to Arizona. He has two touchdown passes and four interceptions.

He needs to play better, Shanahan said when talking about Hoyer’s inefficiencies this season. When you have the time and you’ve got guys open, you need to hit them. I thought he struggled with that at times, which I know he can do better.

He struggled with health early in his career, but Stafford hasn’t missed a game since 2010.


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Matthew Stafford and the Lions are off to a 3-1 start, which would feel exciting if you didn’t remember last year’s 9-4 start (and 0-3 finish and first-round playoff loss). He struggled with health early in his career, but Stafford hasn’t missed a game since 2010. He operates the offense efficiently, even if he doesn’t air it out the way he used to. Stafford has given the Lions everything they could ask for outside of playoff success, and even that hasn’t always been his fault. There’s no reason for Detroit to lack confidence in its quarterback situation, even if it feels like they’re all always headed for heartbreak together. Jake Rudock, a sixth-round pick in 2016, is the backup.

Ondrej Pavelec Limited Jersey Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Pull my fantasy writer card if you like for even suggesting this fellow, but facts are facts. The Seahawks have to go with him or Thomas Rawls after the Chris Carson injury, and Lacy is healthier. Plus, the Rams are permitting the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. If Lacy cost $1,000 more, I’d balk. — Eric Karabell

Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots

In three games this season, Amendola has caught 15-of-19 targets for 190 yards (12.7 yards per catch) and a touchdown. But with a prime matchup this Thursday versus the Bucs, Amendola is a solid value play with high-volume potential in the short-to-intermediate passing game. The Tampa defense has given up an average of 47.5 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (32nd in the NFL), and there will be opportunities for Amendola to produce in red zone situations. — Matt Bowen

Jordy Nelson reportedly avoids serious quad injury, ’50-50′ for Sunday vs. Bengals


Limited Kids Los Angeles Kings Jersey When Jordy Nelson hobbled off the field during the first quarter of last week’s loss to the Falcons, Packers fans likely skipped a heart beat in terror.

Nelson, who missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, never returned to Sunday’s game after being ruled questionable by the team.
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According to, Packers fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Nelson was able to avoid a serious quad injury. He remains 50-50 to play this Sunday against the Bengals.

It’s still insane to me that after all of these years he’s never missed a snap, his wife, Annie Thomas, told ESPN earlier in the week. It’s just a testament to the man he is: reliable, dedicated, and mentally and physically tough.

The Browns gained 9 yards on the run by Crowell, who followed Thomas through a hole to begin Cleveland’s second series.

Thomas’ streak is awe-inspiring among his peers and believed to be the longest streak in NFL history. But the former Wisconsin tackle says he just shows up every day to do his job, which the 32-year-old has done now in 162 career games.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Stafford lofted a deep out narrowly over Brian Poole to Tate to move the chains on third-and-4, setting up a 57-yard Matt Prater field goal that brought the Lions to within four points of the Falcons.

NFL players wear helmets on the field and often hide behind cliches off the field.


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Unlike their NBA and MLB counterparts, NFL players wear helmets that both provide anonymity and a place to hide when things don’t go well.

Displays such as the one rookie Zay Jones put on in front of his locker room following the Buffalo Bills’ 9-3 loss Sunday to the Carolina Panthers are unexpected in the NFL.

These men are gladiators, and gladiators don’t cry, even after a heartbreaking loss where, despite an inept showing from the offense for the first 58 minutes, the Bills STILL had a chance to earn a strong non-conference win.

With the game’s outcome still in doubt, Buffalo was mounting a potential game-winning touchdown drive, moving to the Carolina 33-yard line.

Limited Youth Tommy Wingels Jersey Facing a fourth-and-11, Tyrod Taylor dropped back and lofted a flawed pass in the direction of Jones, who was running a corner route into the end zone.

The NFLPA filed a lawsuit against the NFL before the appeal ended and added a motion asking for an injunction. Harold Henderson, who was the arbitrator assigned by Goodell to hear the appeal, upheld the league’s decision and Elliott’s suspension.

Judge Amos Mazzant, a federal judge in Texas, decided to grant Elliott’s injunction on Friday.

You could call it a defensive slugfest if you want to be generous, but in truth it was a poorly played game. Neither offense was in sync, with the Bengals stinking up the joint for the second week in a row. The Texans tried their best to hide Watson, but their running backs rarely found holes against Cincinnati’s defensive line. The result was a meandering punt fest that won’t help Thursday Night Football’s low reputation.

In the end, the Texans get in the win column for the first time this season, while the Bengals are dangerously verging towards a full-on crisis. Here are four things we learned from the game.

Dolphins-Buccaneers game moved to November as Hurricane Irma approaches


The Dolphins-Buccaneers game scheduled for Sunday in Miami has been postponed until Nov. 19, the NFL announced Wednesday.

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida and evacuations beginning in the Florida Keys and the Miami area, the league decided to move the game to what had been a mutual bye for the two teams in Week 11. The NFL had said Tuesday the game would not be played in Miami on Sunday; the other alternative was to keep the game this weekend but play it at a neutral site.

Brooks Reed saved the game with his second sack of Mike Glennon in the waning seconds with the Bears in position to score the game-winning TD. Given the limitations of Chicago’s offense, it was a little disappointing to see the Bears move the ball so well at times. Still, holding off a comeback was a good start for a young, fast unit that’s closer to jelling.

With the Patriots losing and the Dolphins not playing, the Bills are alone in first place in the division. Games against the Panthers, Broncos and Falcons — and not the NFL’s junior varsity team — will help curb that enthusiasm.

After all, he once was one of them.

The Bill Polian who worked his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by crafting a Super Bowl winner and perpetual playoff roster in Indianapolis was an improved version of the Bill Polian who had top executive roles in Buffalo and Carolina.

Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga treated the first NFL regular-season game played outside of North America as a landmark event.


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While the quality of play was forgettable, the atmosphere was anything but. Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie, along with Manning one of two players still active with the Giants, recalls seeing a smorgasbord of jerseys representing all 32 teams, it seemed.

It was incredible, DeOssie said. At the time, I was just doing punt snaps, but I’ve never seen a crowd so excited for field goals and kickoffs. Lawrence Tynes (the Giants’ place-kicker and born in Scotland) felt like a superstar. I think the crowd was more excited for kickoffs than touchdowns.

Gerald Hodges Jersey Then-Dolphins defensive coordinator Dom Capers, now with the Green Bay Packers, said Huizenga flew out all the wives and families of the coaches and rented out the Tower of London for a team party.

Wayne went overboard and treated it almost like a Super Bowl, Capers said.

Benedetto told the court one firm even touted itself as being able to coach former players on how to take neurological tests to get inaccurate results to qualify them for payments.

The settlement, which took effect in January, resolved thousands of lawsuits that accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions.

It covers retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their pro careers, with awards as high as $5 million for the most serious cases. Participants had to register by Aug. 7, and Seeger told the court Tuesday that over 20,000 had registered by the deadline.