Nats whip Cubs for 2nd straight day

UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Nationals have put more pressure on the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race while allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to enjoy another day atop the NL Central.

The Nats won for the 14th time in 18 games as Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) each had two hits and two RBIs to lead a 7-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Gomes delivered a two-run single to cap a four-run third that gave the Nationals a 5-0 lead against Jose Quintana. Washington’s much-maligned bullpen provided 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball after Joe Ross was reached for two runs on six hits and four walks over 4 1/3.

The Nats have won the first two games of the series by a combined 16-5 margin.

The Nationals are currently 5 ½ games behind the Braves, who take on the Mets in New York tonight.

The Cardinals can expand their division lead to 1 ½ games over Chicago with a victory tonight against Colorado.

Elsewhere on major league diamonds:

— Kenley Jansen struck out Mike Tauchman and pinch-hitter Gary Sánchez with the bases loaded to complete the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory against the Yankees. Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres tried to score from second once second baseman Max Muncy was wiped out by the runner while trying to complete a force play, but the umpires sent Torres back to third because time had been called following the collision. Justin Turner belted a two-run homer and rookie Tony Gonsolin (GAHN’-soh-lihn) held the Yanks to a run and two hits over five innings.


King Felix back on mound

UNDATED (AP) — Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez is set to start tonight’s game against the Blue Jays after being activated off the injured list.

Hernandez hasn't pitched in the majors since May 11 because of a strained right shoulder.

The 33-year-old former ace is 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA in eight starts for Seattle this season.

In other major league news:

— National League batting leader Jeff McNeil has been reinstated from the injured list, a big boost for the Mets as they pursue a playoff berth. McNeil missed 10 days with a strained left hamstring suffered in Atlanta. The team also placed backup catcher Tomás Nido (TOH’-mahs NEE’-doh) on the seven-day injured list with a concussion, selected the contract of veteran catcher René Rivera from Triple-A Syracuse and designated Aaron Altherr (ahl-TEHR’).

— The Braves have signed catcher Francisco Cervelli and immediately plugged him into the starting lineup Saturday against the Mets. Cervelli has a history of concussions and was recently granted his release by the Pirates.

— Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo season-ending Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow the first week of September. Sandoval was enjoying a career revival, hitting .269 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 107 games when he was placed on the injured list with inflammation in the elbow.

— The Brewers have designated opening day starter Jhoulys Chacín (zhoo-LEES’ shah-SEEN’) for assignment after he went 3-10 with a 5.79 ERA this season. The 31-year-old right-hander had been on the injured list since late July due to a strained lat and was not expected to return to the active roster until mid-September.


Lightning strike at Tour Championship causes fan injuries

ATLANTA (AP) — Six people were taken by ambulance from the PGA’s Tour Championship after lightning struck a pine tree just off the 16th tee at East Lake in Atlanta.

The lightning struck the top and shattered bark all the way to the bottom about 30 minutes after play was suspended by the foul weather. Fans had been asked to seek shelter when the FedEx Cup finale was stopped.

Atlanta Police spokesman James H. White III said five adults and one female juvenile had sought shelter beneath the tree. He said they were taken to hospitals for further treatment, all of them alert, conscious and breathing.

The weather prevented 26 of the 30 participants from finishing their rounds. Justin Thomas is the overall leader at 12 under, one shot ahead of Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kah) and Rory McIlroy. All three had completed five holes before play was halted.


US ends win streak

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The U.S. men's basketball team has suffered its first loss since the 2006 world championship semifinals against Greece.

The Americans dropped a 98-94 decision to Australia in a World Cup tuneup. NBA veteran Patty Mills scored a game-high 30 points for the winners. Kemba Walker had a team-high 22 points for the U.S., which had won a program-record 78 consecutive games.

Meanwhile, the U.S. roster is down to the required 12 players for the World Cup following an injury to Kyle Kuzma. The Los Angeles Lakers forward has a left ankle injury that will prevent him from competing in the tournament, which begins Aug. 31 in China.

Boston Celtics players make up 1/3 of the U.S. roster with guards Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker joining forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Milwaukee is sending forward Khris Middleton and center Brook Lopez to the tournament.

Completing the roster are Nets guard Joe Harris, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Spurs guard Derrick White and Pacers center Myles Turner.


Panthers' Newton remains in walking boot

UNDATED (AP) — Without giving a timetable, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he expects injured quarterback Cam Newton to return to practice "pretty soon."

Rivera remains "cautiously optimistic" that Newton will be ready for the Sept. 8 regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. However, Newton’s sprained left foot remains in a walking boot two days after he was injured during a preseason loss at New England.

Newton was inside the stadium receiving medical treatment while the team practiced on Saturday.

Also around the NFL:

— Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks has been suspended without pay for the first game of the season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. Kendricks has played in 125 games over eight NFL seasons, catching 241 passes for 2,505 yards and 19 touchdowns.

— Lions coach Matt Patricia says injuries to linebacker Jarrad Davis and center Frank Ragnow are not season-ending. Davis went down with an injured right leg and Ragnow had to be helped off the field during the Lions' 24-20 loss to Buffalo on Friday night.

— Authorities say the son of former NFL defensive lineman Barry Bennett has been arrested in Mexico, three days after Bennett and his wife were found dead in Minnesota. The Todd County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota says 22-year-old Dylan John Bennett was arrested on second degree murder charges at a hotel Saturday in Cancun. A criminal complaint says Dylan Bennett's car was at the scene with an empty box for a 9 mm handgun inside, along with ammunition.


2017 US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson out with injured knee

NEW YORK (AP) — Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson has pulled out of the U.S. Open with an injured right knee that has kept him from competing since Wimbledon last month.

The 33-year-old South African was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows in 2017 and to Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) at Wimbledon last year.

The U.S. Tennis Association says Italian Paolo Lorenzi will replace Anderson in the main draw.

The U.S. Open begins Monday.


Louisiana, Curacao move to Little League title game

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — It will be Louisiana against Curacao (koor-uh-SOW') in Sunday’s Little League World Series championship game.

Louisiana scored nine times over their final two at-bats before holding off Hawaii, 9-5. Ryder Planchard's pinch-hit single broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning before Marshall Louque slapped a two-run double for his second hit of the day.

Reece Roussel broke the LLWS record for hits in the tournament with his 15th, a two-run single in the sixth. Louque then tripled to left, knocking in two more runs and giving Louisiana a 9-0 lead.

Curacao advanced with a 5-4 win against Japan. Pitcher Curley Martha hit a two-run homer to center in the fifth inning and helped Curacao contain a Japanese squad that had scored 32 runs in its first three games. Martha and Shendrion Martinus combined to hold Japan to five hits.


Code of Honor wins Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Code of Honor outdueled Tacitus and Mucho Gusto down the stretch to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

The chestnut son of Noble Mission was ridden by John Velazquez and went off at 4-1. Code of Honor covered the 1¼ miles in 2 minutes, 1.05 seconds to beat Tacitus by three lengths. Tacitus was the 5-2 morning line favorite.

It was the fourth Travers victory for trainer Shug McGaughey (shug muh-GAY'-hee).

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