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    Kentucky is taking aim at Georgia football this season with hopes of ending a streak of futility, according to a recent Lexington Herald Leader story. The Bulldogs have dominated the SEC East Division the past two seasons. None of the East teams have managed to stay within single digits on the scoreboard by the conclusion of games against UGA in 2017 or 2018. RELATED: Georgia’s march to SEC Championship Game goes through Kentucky The Wildcats, as noted by Lexington Herald Leader reporter Mark Story, have a nine-game losing streak to Georgia, which he refers to as UK’s ‘bogeyman’ Kentucky has recently broken notable losing streaks to Steve Spurrier-coached teams (17 games, 2010), Tennessee (26 games, 2011) and last season in Dan Mullen’s first season coaching Florida, the Gators (31 games). Last year’s Kentucky team was confident it would end the streak against Georgia. UK was practically celebrating before playing UGA, taking out an ad in Times Square while rejecting the underdog role. RELATED: Confident Kentucky ready for UGA challenge at Kroger Field “The days of us being an underdog team are over,” UK tailback Benny Snell had said in the days leading up to the game. Georgia, of course, won the game and the Wildcats’ reality has set in this offseason. Story writes: “Of all the good works Stoops has done at UK, the Kentucky head man is 0-6 against the Bulldogs. Other than a 27-24 loss to Georgia in Lexington in 2016 during Kirby Smart’s first season after replacing Mark Richt  as Bulldogs coach, none of the games have been close. Under Stoops, UK’s other five losing margins against Georgia have been 42, 32, 24, 29 and 17 points.” Of course, this is why reports that Smart had offered Eddie Gran the offensive coordinator position once Jim Chaney left for Tennessee this offseason were suspect. After all, Kentucky’s offense ranked 103rd in the nation in total offense — well behind Georgia (18th). DawgNation learned that while a position on the staff was discussed, it was not to become the offensive coordinator, and no job was offered. RELATED: UGA did not offer Gran coordinator or position coach duties Meanwhile, it only made sense Gran would leverage his interview with Smart for a pay raise at Kentucky. If his athletic director and fan base believed Smart would hire him to be Georgia’s OC, all the better for him. But Smart had worked hard to keep James Coley in the fold as assistant offensive coordinator the season before, paying him $850,000. RELATED: James Coley puts his spin on Georgia football offense Coley was quickly elevated to offensive coordinator the same week Chaney left for the Vols, getting a $100,000 salary bump to $950,000. Georgia plays host to Kentucky in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 19 this season. The Bulldogs bring a four-game win streak against South Carolina into this season, and a three-game win streak against Missouri.       The post Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Take away George Springer and Jose Altuve, and maybe the Houston Astros start to look a little more beatable. Maybe. The Boston Red Sox finally snapped Houston's 10-game winning streak Sunday with a 4-3 victory after Springer left the game with lower back stiffness. The Astros were already playing without Altuve, on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, but that injury did little to slow Houston. Even after Sunday's loss, the Astros have the best record and best run differential in the major leagues. They lead the AL West by 8 ½ games. Altuve hasn't played since May 10, so Houston's recent torrid stretch took place largely without him. That's a scary thought for the rest of the American League. In their first four games without their star second baseman, the Astros scored 45 runs against the Rangers and Tigers. 'Our guys are seeing the ball really well and making it tough on them,' Houston manager AJ Hinch said while the Astros were in Detroit. 'Driving the pitch counts through the roof.' The Astros lead the major leagues in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Springer and Alex Bregman are 1-2 in the AL in homers, and Springer is the league's RBI leader. Houston has four of the AL's top 10 hitters in OPS (Springer, Bregman, Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley) and three of the top six in batting average (Josh Reddick, Brantley and Springer). Players such as Robinson Chirinos and Jake Marisnick are contributing as well. 'We knew we had built an offense that was very deep and very long, and a lineup that was tough to get through,' Hinch said. 'In a long year, you're going to need contributions from everybody.' With a pitching staff that includes Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the Astros look as well-rounded as any team in the game. Even the bullpen is making news, with Ryan Pressly setting a record Friday with his 39th consecutive scoreless appearance. With a 10-game homestand starting Monday, Houston has a chance to turn the division race into a rout after winning it by six games last year and by 21 in 2017. Elsewhere around the majors: ANOTHER ACE? Starting pitching depth has been a strength for the Dodgers for a while, and it's been on full display this year. Clayton Kershaw's efforts (3-0 with a 3.40 ERA) have actually been overshadowed by what teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu is doing. Ryu is 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA, and he has a 31-inning shutout streak after pitching seven innings Sunday in a win over Cincinnati. HIGHLIGHT Like last year, Bryce Harper is combining an unimpressive batting average (.235) with very impressive power. Harper connected for a 466-foot home run in Philadelphia's 2-1 win over Colorado on Saturday. LINE OF THE WEEK Boston's Chris Sale struck out 17 against Colorado on Tuesday night, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to fan that many in a start of no more than seven innings. He gave up three hits in seven innings and left with a 3-2 lead, but the Rockies went on to win 5-4 in 11. Honorable mention: Kris Bryant of the Cubs hit three homers in a win at Washington on Friday night. Cleveland's Shane Bieber struck out 15 with no walks while shutting out Baltimore on Sunday. ___ Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • A look at what's happening around the majors today: MANAGING EXPECTATIONS Mets manager Mickey Callaway is on the hot seat as his slumping team returns home to play NL East rival Washington. New York (20-25) has lost five straight and was swept in three games at lowly Miami over the weekend, totaling only three hits in consecutive shutouts. The listless Mets are 11-21 in their last 32 games. 'I respect the hell out of Mickey,' pitcher Noah Syndergaard said. 'It's certainly not on him.' VLAD AND VICTORIA Big-hitting rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays host Boston in an afternoon game on Victoria Day. The 20-year-old Guerrero has homered four times in his last six games — he didn't homer in the first 13 games after making his debut in late April. Red Sox lefty David Price (1-2, 3.75 ERA) is scheduled to come off the injured list and start. He has been sidelined with elbow tendinitis since May 3. ASTRO OUT AL home run leader George Springer has stiffness in his lower back and won't play when the Astros open a series at home against the White Sox. The outfielder made an early exit Sunday at Fenway Park when he felt tightness. Springer, who has 17 home runs, will be re-evaluated in Houston. REMEMBER ME? An All-Star for the Cubs when they won the 2016 World Series, Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.02 ERA) starts at Wrigley Field for the Philadelphia Phillies. Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14) pitches for Chicago in the opener of a four-game series between NL division leaders. SEVENTH HEAVEN Jake Odorizzi (6-2, 2.63 ERA) has won six straight starts for the AL Central-leading Twins, giving up a total of six earned runs during that span. Quite a reversal from his results early in the season, when he was wild and went 0-2 in his first three starts. Odorizzi will try to extend the streak when he pitches in Anaheim against the Angels. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Pascal Siakam felt guilty about a pair of missed free throws and the extra minutes they added to his teammates' night. Fortunately for Siakam and the rest of the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard didn't seem to feel any fatigue. Leonard scored 36 points, including eight in the second overtime, and Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 on Sunday night to cut the Bucks' lead in the Eastern Conference finals to 2-1. Leonard made 11 of 25 shots and went 12 for 13 at the free throw line in more than 52 minutes of action, a playoff career high. 'At the end of the game, Kawhi said he played an hour of basketball,' Siakam said. 'I told him 'My bad.'' Leonard had nine rebounds and five assists despite appearing to be bothered by some leg discomfort. He said he would keep fighting and playing. 'I mean, it's 52 minutes and it's in the playoffs, so you definitely feel it. When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still,' Leonard said. 'Just got to not worry about it, get my treatment and move on to the next one.' Leonard's previous career high in playoff minutes was 46, set with San Antonio against Miami in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 18, 2013. The Spurs lost that game in overtime, then lost Game 7 two days later. Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Norman Powell scored 19 points before fouling out, and Marc Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Raptors will try to draw even when they host Game 4 on Tuesday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points and 23 rebounds before fouling out with 4:24 to go in the second overtime. Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 16. 'They were just playing better than us,' Antetokounmpo said. 'Whenever we got close, they'd hit some shots and take the lead back to seven or eight. At the end of the day, it wasn't our best game. We can get a lot better.' Toronto won despite guards Kyle Lowry and Powell both fouling out in the fourth quarter. Siakam also missed a pair of free throws with 7.4 seconds left in regulation that could have iced the game for the Raptors. 'It's tough,' Siakam said. 'Those are shots that you practice and think about every day.' Siakam redeemed himself by blocking a potential tying shot by Brook Lopez with 43 seconds to go in the second overtime, leading to a layup for Leonard that put Toronto up 114-110 with just over 30 seconds to play. George Hill scored 24 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 20 for the Bucks, who lost for the first time in five road games this postseason. Milwaukee is 10-2 overall in the playoffs. 'We were right on the cusp of winning a game when we didn't play that well,' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. The Raptors led 103-99 with 1:26 to go in the first overtime but Hill tied it at 103 by making a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left. Toronto used its final timeout to draw up a play for Leonard, who let the clock run down to 3 seconds before driving for a jumper that missed, sending it to a second extra period. Hill's tiebreaking basket to begin the second overtime put Milwaukee up 105-103, its first lead since the opening basket of the game. Gasol answered with a 3 and Leonard finished a fast break with a left-handed dunk, putting Toronto up 108-105 with 3:13 left. Khris Middleton shot 3 for 16, but one of his baskets tied the score with 2.2 seconds to go in regulation. He finished with nine points. After suggesting Saturday that he might change his lineup, Raptors coach Nick Nurse stuck with his normal starters, but gave Powell 30 minutes, the most he's played in any game this postseason. 'We just played a lot tougher, man,' Nurse said. 'We were up guarding and we were physical and we were ready to play tonight.' Toronto fell behind 9-0 early in a blowout loss in Game 2, but turned that around in Game 3. After Antetokounmpo made a layup for the opening basket of the game, Siakam replied with a hook shot, Gasol followed with a 3 and the Raptors didn't trail again in regulation. Powell scored 10 points on five shots in the first, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Toronto led 30-21. Gasol, who had eight points in Games 1 and 2 combined, also made two from long range and scored eight in the first. 'After a tough Game 2 personally, you want to come out and get rid of the bad taste,' Gasol said. Gasol played with five fouls for part of the fourth quarter and the entire overtime. 'He's a big reason why they were able to win,' Budenholzer said. Leonard scored 11 points in the second and Lowry added eight, but Pat Connaughton made two of Milwaukee's five 3-pointers as the Bucks closed the gap. The Raptors led 58-51 at halftime. Toronto took a narrow 77-75 lead into the fourth. TIP-INS Bucks: Milwaukee made six turnovers in the first quarter, leading to 10 points for the Raptors. They finished with 20, leading to 21 points for Toronto. ... The Bucks shot 7 for 21 in the opening quarter. Five of their made baskets were 3-pointers. Raptors: Toronto's Danny Green missed his first eight shots before hitting a tiebreaking 3 to open the scoring in the first overtime. ... The Raptors recorded an assist on 17 of their first 18 baskets. ... Gasol had four assists in the first quarter. He finished with seven. ... Comedian Mike Myers attended the game. NO SHOT Antetokounmpo and Lopez each made five field goals, but no other Bucks starter had more than three. Milwaukee's starters shot 19 for 69, with Middleton and Bledsoe each going 3 for 16. 'Just one of those games,' Hill said. 'We're not worried about it.' AYE AYE EYE VanVleet needed stitches to close a cut below his left eye after he caught an elbow late in the game. END OF THE LINE Leonard entered having made 20 consecutive free throws. He made his first of the game but missed the second. Lowry holds the Raptors' playoff record for consecutive free throws, making 25 straight in 2014. UP NEXT Game 4 is Tuesday night in Toronto. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Draymond Green would rather do more playing than complaining these days. Known at times for his temper and tangles with officials, a more mature Green has the Golden State Warriors on the brink of a fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals. 'I realized I got to a point where I was doing more crying than playing,' he said. 'I'm sure it was disgusting to watch because I felt disgusting playing that way, and I just wanted to lock back in on the game.' Green led the way as the Warriors rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Golden State can finish out the series Monday at the Moda Center. Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for his seventh playoff triple-double overall, and third of this postseason. All three have come on the road. He also was instrumental in Golden State's 114-111 comeback victory in Game 2. He made a bounce pass through the paint to a cutting Andre Iguodala for a dunk with 3:06 left to make it 108-105, and then assisted on a layup by Kevon Looney the next possession. He finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots. He has collected 10 or more rebounds in eight straight playoff games. Green said he has mellowed, and credited his family — including 2-year-old Draymond Green Jr. — for his newfound awareness. 'I understand that officials aren't perfect and I still have conversations with them now, when they miss a call, but it's a completely different conversation,' he said. 'My mom has been really big. My fiancée has been really big with just talking to me about that and just telling me to stay locked in on the game. I also have some little ones at the house who enjoying watching me play. I don't necessarily want them to see that. So just try to be more mindful of it.' Green was famously suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers after collecting four flagrant foul points in the postseason. Coach Steve Kerr said Green's improved focus has been a big key for the Warriors. 'I mean, I think that's been really obvious over the last couple of weeks, and I think it's important because, when he gets upset and emotional, it costs us,' Kerr said. 'We lose our focus as a team. I mean, he's our leader.' Green was much more than a triple-double Saturday night. He pushed the pace and steadied Golden State as it overcame a double-digit deficit against the Blazers for a second straight game. 'Once he gets the ball in his hands, he's doing everything you'd want that guy in the middle to do,' Portland's Damian Lillard said. The Trail Blazers are going to need more from Lillard to get back in the series, and the star guard is playing though a rib injury. He had 19 points in Saturday's loss, well off the 33 he averaged in Portland's first-round series against the Thunder. He has been double-teamed often with the Warriors keying in on him. No team has ever come back to win after going down 3-0 in the playoffs. The Warriors were dealing with injuries of their own. Iguodala is listed as questionable for Monday's game with an injured lower leg but the team reported that his MRI Sunday was clear. Golden State was already without Kevin Durant because of a sore right calf. It's unlikely that the two-time NBA Finals MVP will return during the series against the Blazers. Green said it's important that he take on a more effective leadership role in the absence of Durant, who is averaging more than 34 points during the playoffs. The Warriors were also without DeMarcus Cousins, who tore a quadriceps muscle at the start of the playoffs. 'Obviously, I'm not capable of doing what Kevin does on the basketball floor, and no one else on this team is. Or DeMarcus. So collectively, we've got to do that,' Green said. 'I just try to take it upon myself to do my part and also try to create a pace that I know we can be successful at.' Kerr said in many ways Green reminds him a bit of Dennis Rodman, the coach's former teammate on the Chicago Bulls. 'Draymond has just become a tremendous playmaker. He's our leading assist guy, handles the ball and pushes the pace quite a bit for us. So, I think he's actually a better two-way player but very similar to Dennis,' Kerr said, adding with a smile: 'Not as good of a rebounder, though. I have to give that to Dennis. I've never met a better rebounder than Dennis.' ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • From last in the league in early January all the way to the brink of their first Stanley Cup Final in nearly a half-century, it has been quite a ride for the St. Louis Blues. A remarkable turnaround continued Sunday with perhaps their most convincing win of a charmed playoff run. Jaden Schwartz started a dominant second period with the first of his three goals, Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a penalty shot and the Blues moved within one win of the Cup final with a 5-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference final. 'It's probably tough to put into words,' Schwartz said. 'It's something that everyone's worked for and dreamed about. You don't want to look too far ahead. We all know how important and how hard that last win's going to be. It would be a dream come true.' St. Louis used a relentless forecheck to take control of the game and series in the second period, scoring twice and outshooting the beleaguered Sharks 20-6 during the frame. It also got 21 saves from Jordan Binnington in his first playoff shutout and a first-period goal from Oskar Sundqvist to overwhelm the Sharks. Schwartz added two goals in the third for his second hat trick this postseason, becoming the first player with two in one playoff run since Johan Franzen for Detroit in 2008. The victory gave the Blues a 3-2 series lead, the closest they've been to making the final since getting there in their first three seasons as the winner of the all-expansion Western Conference. St. Louis can earn its first trip back to the final since 1970 with a win at home in Game 6 on Tuesday night, an improbable journey for a team that was last in the standings on Jan. 2. 'We're close. We're very close right now,' forward Patrick Maroon said. 'I think the guys know that. It's in the back of their heads, but we know that that's a good hockey team over there too and they're not going to give up.' Martin Jones made 35 saves for the Sharks but got little help from his teammates, who have been held to one goal in losing the past two games. San Jose now faces elimination for the third straight series, having overcome a 3-1 series deficit to Vegas in the first round and winning a Game 7 at home in the second round against Colorado. 'We've been here before,' coach Peter DeBoer said. 'Had to go on the road and win in Vegas in order to get to a Game 7. You're never comfortable when your back's against the wall like that, but we have been here before and found a way and I'm confident we can do that again.' San Jose got off to a spirited start in the rare afternoon contest that led to a more subdued crowd than usual at the Shark Tank. Evander Kane hit the post just 12 seconds into the game and the Sharks had the better of the play in the opening 20 minutes despite falling behind 1-0 when Sundqvist converted a turnover from a hobbled Erik Karlsson into a goal less than six minutes into the contest. Karlsson has been hampered by a groin injury that sidelined him for 27 of the final 33 games in the regular season and has been extremely limited since the third period of Game 4. He tried to make a quick outlet under pressure but his pass went through teammate Brenden Dillon's skates, off the boards and right to Sundqvist, who beat Jones to give the Blues their fourth goal of the series from the fourth line. The Blues then took over in the second period, putting 11 shots on goal in less than five minutes. They added to the lead when Tarasenko's shot was partially blocked. Jones then swept it away but it went right to Schwartz, who knocked it into the open net. Schwartz added the two goals in the third, giving him 12 in the playoffs after scoring just 11 in 69 regular-season games. 'It was an off-year obviously for him in the regular season,' coach Craig Berube said. 'But the guy keeps working hard. He's not going to change his attitude. He keeps with it, he keeps working and it's paying off now.' The Blues kept up the pressure, leading to a breakaway by Tarasenko. He was pulled down by Brent Burns for a penalty shot and converted it with a shot high to Jones' glove side. The game got out of hand in the third as the Sharks took a parade to the penalty box, upset about a hit to the head of Tomas Hertl in the first period by Ivan Barbashev and a high hit to captain Joe Pavelski by Alex Pietrangelo early in the third. 'I thought we obviously took way too many penalties,' forward Logan Couture said. 'You can't come back when you're in the box the whole period, got away from us at the end. Would have really liked us to control our emotions and given ourselves a chance.' NOTES: Karlsson and Hertl didn't play in the third period and Pavelski didn't return after his hit. DeBoer gave no update on their conditions. ... Tarasenko's goal was the first converted penalty shot in the playoffs ever for the Blues. They missed their only other chance by Jimmy Roberts in 1968. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Chicago Cubs have dropped their protest over the pitching delivery of Washington reliever Sean Doolittle. Cubs manager Joe Maddon made the announcement before Sunday night's game against the Nationals. Maddon came out twice in the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss Saturday night to complain to plate umpire San Holbrook about Doolittle. Maddon said he believed the left-handed Doolittle was tapping his right toe on the ground before coming to the plate. Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. was informed at the end of spring training that his delivery, which featured a similar toe-tap, was illegal. That ruling miffed Maddon and the Cubs. 'The whole thing I really wanted to get done was to protect Carl,' Maddon said Sunday. 'I really didn't anticipate a whole lot to be done with (the protest) even though I still don't agree with the conclusion because I think it's exactly what Carl did, only a different version of it. 'But the point was, I would not be a good parent had I not spoken up for my guy.' After being told Doolittle's delivery was legal, Maddon announced the Cubs were playing the game under protest. 'He thought he was tapping his foot, which in itself is not illegal, and this all kind of stems from his pitcher being called on something that was a little bit different than what Doolittle was doing,' Holbrook said after the game. 'So, in our judgement, Doolittle did nothing illegal at all.' Maddon countered a bit on Sunday. '(Doolittle) actually tapped a couple of times. I think he tapped and he grazed. He did whatever,' Maddon said. 'They're saying Carl put his whole foot on the ground and that somehow is different. And that's where I thought, semantically speaking, I just don't agree.' Doolittle, who retired the side in order for his eighth save in nine chances, said after the game he thought Maddon had a different motive for coming out. 'In that moment, he's not trying to do anything other than rattle me and it was kind of tired,' Doolittle said. 'I don't know. Sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game and stuff like that. He put his stamp on it, for sure.' Maddon said Sunday he had no issue with Doolittle's comments. 'We're all emotional,' Maddon said. 'I've said a lot of things I didn't want to say years ago, even in this ballpark. But I think if he understood the entire context, he might have had a different opinion.' ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Oakland Athletics are closing in on a 16th straight win over Detroit — but they'll have to wait 3½ months before trying to finish it off. The A's led the Tigers 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday when the game was suspended because of rain. Oakland scored twice in the top of the seventh to take the lead, but the teams were unable to complete the inning before the tarp was brought onto the field. The game will resume Sept. 6 before the Tigers play a series in Oakland. 'It's in September, so we're going to have some extra guys,' A's manager Bob Melvin said. 'I don't think anybody wanted to wait around for potentially a non-start.' This was the finale of a four-game series that marked Oakland's only scheduled trip to Detroit this season. The A's have won 15 straight over the Tigers, and Stephen Piscotty put them in position for another victory when he hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh. Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the inning for Detroit, and he was in the middle of his plate appearance when the game was halted. If the bottom of the seventh had been completed and Oakland still led, the A's could have been declared the winners of a rain-shortened game, but since the visiting team took the lead in the top of the inning and the home team didn't have a full chance to answer, the game was suspended. Immediately after the stoppage, the A's milled around on the field for a few minutes. It wasn't raining all that hard, so the teams could have perhaps squeezed in the bottom of the seventh. 'They were told that once it started raining, it was going to rain really hard,' Melvin said. 'If they have orders to do that, I get it. I'm not a weather man, either, just wasn't raining very hard.' Harrison suggested the Tigers — who were trying to snap a six-game losing streak — could have rallied if given the chance. 'At least finish the at-bat,' Harrison said. 'We had another 10 minutes. We could've scored three runs real quick and not have to make it up.' It started raining hard soon enough, and the delay lasted 1 hour, 41 minutes, before play was called and the resumption date was announced. RETURN TO MOTOWN Mike Fiers allowed three runs in six innings for Oakland. Fiers pitched for the Tigers last season before he was traded to the A's in August. 'The game started off a little rough, pitches going everywhere, trying to do too much,' Fiers said. 'Maybe thinking about playing for them last year? Having to face your former team isn't always easy.' Dawel Lugo's sacrifice fly in the first gave the Tigers their first lead during the losing streak. Josh Phegley's passed ball allowed another run to score later in the inning. Oakland rallied with three in the third. Marcus Semien hit an RBI triple and scored on Chad Pinder's sacrifice fly. Piscotty added a run-scoring single. Nicholas Castellanos tied it in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer. Detroit starter Gregory Soto gave up three runs in four innings. CHASING HISTORY Another win over the Tigers would tie an Athletics record for consecutive victories against one team. They beat the New York Yankees 16 straight times from 1989-91. The Tigers lost 16 in a row to Minnesota from 2002-03, their longest losing streak against one opponent since at least 1908. TRAINER'S ROOM Tigers: 1B Niko Goodrum, who missed the previous two games with flu-like symptoms, led off the bottom of the first with a triple. UP NEXT Athletics: Oakland starts a three-game series at Cleveland on Monday night. Brett Anderson (4-3) starts for the A's against Carlos Carrasco (4-3). Tigers: Detroit has Monday off before hosting a three-game set against Miami. Spencer Turnbull (2-3) takes the mound for the Tigers on Tuesday night against Caleb Smith (3-1). ___ Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Michael Chavis pointed to a young boy in the press box, letting him know how impressed he was that a 5-year-old announced his name so well. Boston's rookie sparkplug then stepped to the plate and gave the kid something extra to be excited about. Chavis homered on the next pitch after acknowledging the boy, Xander Bogaerts hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and the Red Sox averted a series sweep against Houston with a 4-3 victory Sunday that snapped the Astros' 10-game winning streak. 'I heard a kid's voice and I looked up and I was so surprised,' Chavis said after hitting his eighth homer in 25 major league games. 'I was impressed how confident he was. When I was a kid, I don't think I would have even done it. Right before I got in the box, I thought I should say good job.' For an inning on Sundays, the Red Sox have kids announce players' names as they walk up to the plate. Mookie Betts scored three runs for Boston, which lost the first two games in the first meeting with the Astros since beating them in the 2018 AL Championship Series. Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer off Chris Sale for Houston, which is 13-4 in May. 'They played better today, they outhit us, but our at-bats against Sale were good,' Astros manager AJ Hinch said. 'We'll see him again in five days.' Houston outfielder George Springer, who began the day leading the American League with 17 homers, exited in the fifth with lower back stiffness. He took three big swings in the first inning, striking out. On the last two, Springer appeared to reach briefly for the lower right side of his back. He also struck out swinging his next two times up against Sale. 'My back stiffened up,' Springer said. 'Not necessarily ideal. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, I'll feel better (Monday).' Hinch said Springer will be re-evaluated in Houston and won't play Monday night. In the seventh, Bogaerts' double off Framber Valdez (1-2) to deep left-center scored Betts scored from first base. Sale struck out 10 in 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and four hits with five walks. In his previous start, he became the first major league pitcher to strike out 17 batters in seven innings. 'It was kind of a weird day,' he said. 'I was kind of all over the place. At times I felt like I was right where I wanted to be and other times, I was trying to just throw a strike.' Marcus Walden (6-0) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Brandon Workman got three outs for his first career save. Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, the Red Sox scored twice with two outs against Wade Miley. Chavis homered over the Green Monster. Betts then doubled and scored on Bogaerts' single, a pop fly that dropped in shallow right field after second baseman Yuli Gurriel drifted out for it and got twisted around. Correa drove a 94 mph fastball an estimated 448 feet into the center field bleachers, making it 3-1 in the third. Miley gave up three runs in five innings. YOU'RE FIRST, ROOK Chavis batted leadoff for the first time, going 2 for 4. 'Just watching the other side, why not?' Red Sox manager Alex Cora said in reference to Springer, the Astros' leadoff hitter. 'Swing hard and hit it out of the ballpark. We'll see what happens.' The move gave Boston six right-handed batters at the top of the order against Miley, a lefty. Asked if he was excited after the game, Chavis said: 'Yeah, of course. That probably means I'm going to get more at-bats. It's awesome.' NICE HANDS, SKIP Cora caught J.D. Martinez's soft foul ball standing on the second step of the dugout. TRAINER'S ROOM Astros: C Robinson Chirinos was in the lineup after getting a scheduled day off. He was shaken up by a foul ball Friday, but stayed in the game. Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee soreness) was slated to play second base twice this week for Triple-A Pawtucket after being the DH in two games, which would give him four straight starts. He went 1 for 4 on Sunday. 'That's four in a row, but he was DH twice,' Cora said. 'We need him to play second.' ... C Sandy León is due back from paternity leave Monday after his wife gave birth to a daughter. UP NEXT Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA) is in line to start the opener of a four-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-2, 3.75) is scheduled to come off the injured list Monday night at Toronto. He's been sidelined with left elbow tendinitis since May 3. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Bryce Harper is back. The $330 million slugger homered for the second straight day and pinch-hitter J.T. Realmuto also went deep to help the Philadelphia Phillies complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 7-5 victory Sunday. Harper's tiebreaking, two-run shot in the sixth inning wasn't as prodigious as his 466-foot drive in Saturday's 2-1 victory, but this 404-footer had plenty of distance to clear the right-center wall for the NL East leaders. The 2015 NL MVP also had a first-inning single and an RBI groundout in the second. He is batting .417 with two homers and six RBIs in his last three games after hitting .148 without an RBI while striking out 13 times during an eight-game stretch. 'We all knew this moment was coming,' Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. 'When he's on, he's so captivating and charismatic.' Kapler resisted a daily growing buzz in Philadelphia to sit Harper during his recent slump, instead letting him play through it. While the results have changed, Harper's approach hasn't. 'Each day I try to get better and stick with the same routine,' Harper said. 'Keep progressing whether you're 0 for 4 or 4 for 4. Same mindset.' Ryan McMahon hit two homers, and Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story also went deep for the Rockies on a picturesque, 85-degree day with the wind blowing out to center. Colorado, which dropped 9½ games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West, has lost four straight. Realmuto tied it at 5 in the sixth with his first career pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot to left off Bryan Shaw (2-1). Rockies manager Bud Black lifted Shaw for Mike Dunn with one on and two outs to face Harper, who launched a 3-1 slider into Philadelphia's bullpen. 'Got a pitch over the plate I could handle,' Harper said. That set off a wild celebration from the crowd of 38,603 — many of them kids wearing an arm sleeve giveaway similar to Harper's. Earlier in the week, Harper was hearing boos. Now cheers. No offense taken. 'Plain and simple, they (care),' Harper said. 'The city has my back.' Edgar Garcia (1-0) got one out in the sixth for his first major league win. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save. Despite starter Kyle Freeland's troubles, Colorado led 5-3 after McMahon went deep for the second time when he drove Jose Alvarez's 80 mph curve into the seats in right. In the fourth, McMahon cleared the wall in left. He has two career two-homer games — both against the Phillies this season. FOR STARTERS Freeland continued to struggle. He finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season while setting a club record for the lowest ERA (2.85) by a lefty starter. But he exited after just 1 2/3 innings Sunday, giving up three runs and four hits. Freeland has an 8.03 ERA in his last five starts while allowing 28 hits — nine homers — over 24 2/3 innings with 14 walks. 'He was around the zone, but he just couldn't establish anything he could go to (for a strike),' Black said. Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff was tagged for three home runs. He has served up five long balls in his last two games after not giving up a homer over 31 innings to start the season. FOR OPENERS Blackmon began the game with his 33rd leadoff homer, tying Paul Molitor for 12th on the career list. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: Activated INF-OF Scott Kingery (strained right hamstring) from the injured list and sent OF Nick Williams to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Kingery, starting in center field for the first time in his career, went 1 for 3. UP NEXT Rockies: Begin a three-game road trip Tuesday at Pittsburgh with RHP German Marquez (4-2, 3.80 ERA) opposing Pirates RHP Chris Archer (1-3, 5.58). Phillies: Open a four-game series in Chicago on Monday night with RHP Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.02 ERA), a member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team, facing RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14). ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports