Heyward helps Cubs beat Cardinals in return from All-Star break

CHICAGO — Jason Heyward had three hits and two RBIs, Ian Happ belted a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-6 on Thursday night in baseball’s first game after the All-Star break.

Anthony Rizzo added two doubles from the leadoff spot as Chicago kicked off a five-game series against St. Louis with its fourth consecutive victory. Victor Caratini had three hits and scored three times, and Ben Zobrist delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the Cubs’ five-run fifth inning.

With Chicago and St. Louis returning a day earlier than the rest of the majors, Cubs manager Joe Maddon held All-Stars Willson Contreras and Javier Baez out of the starting lineup. Caratini and Zobrist picked up the slack quite nicely as the NL Central leaders increased their advantage to a season-high three games over idle Milwaukee.

Yadier Molina matched a career high with four hits for St. Louis, but interim manager Mike Shildt was handed his first loss in his second game in charge after Mike Matheny was fired Saturday night. Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter each hit a solo homer.

The Cardinals had a 3-1 lead before the Cubs started teeing off on Carlos Martinez (6-6) in the fifth.

Caratini singled, advanced to second on shortstop Paul DeJong’s throwing error and scored on Rizzo’s stinging double into the gap in right-centre. Heyward hit a tying RBI single and Zobrist followed with a fly ball to centre, driving in Kris Bryant for a 4-3 lead.

Happ then hit a …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

      

NFL puts national anthem policy on hold under agreement with NFLPA

Mark Maske | The Washington Post

The NFL has halted implementation of its new national anthem policy under an agreement with the NFL Players Association.

The two sides announced the deal Thursday night. The agreement also keeps the grievance filed by the NFLPA over the anthem policy, ratified by the NFL owners at their May meeting in Atlanta, from moving forward, at least temporarily.

“Everything is on hold,” said one person familiar with the situation, confirming that both implementation of the anthem policy by the league and the union’s grievance are included in that.

The league and union said in a joint written statement: “The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”

The new anthem policy leaves it up to each team whether a player would be disciplined for a protest during the anthem. The policy says that a team will be fined by the league for any protest by its players. It gives players the option to remain in the locker room during the anthem but says any player who is on the field is expected to stand for the anthem.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

Jones’ punt return TD rallies Riders to road victory over Ticats

HAMILTON — Christion Jones’ 61-yard punt return TD highlighted an impressive second half as the Saskatchewan Roughriders rallied for a 31-20 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday night.

Hamilton took a 10-point lead into the third but Saskatchewan’s Marcus Thigpen scampered 80 yards for the TD just 33 seconds into the quarter. Brandon Bridge’s 24-yard TD strike to Naaman Roosevelt at 5:10 put the Riders ahead 21-17, thanks in part to a bizarre decision by the Ticats.

Roosevelt scored three plays after Hamilton (2-3) starter Jeremiah Masoli’s stunning unsuccessful onside kick — ruled a fumble as it didn’t cross the line of scrimmage — was recovered by Saskatchewan’s Willie Jefferson. Lirim Hajrullahu’s 35-yard field goal at 8:32 pulled the Ticats to within 21-20 before Jones countered with the Riders’ first punt return TD of the season at 13:46.

Brett Lauther’s 35-yard field goal at 5:33 of the fourth put Saskatchewan (3-2) ahead 31-20. On Tuesday, Riders head coach/GM Chris Jones stopped practice and read his team the riot act for a sub-par effort.

Masoli fell short in his bid for a CFL-record 10th straight 300-yard passing performance. He finished 20-of-27 passing for 184 yards with an interception and a lost fumble before a Tim Hortons Field gathering of 23,346 that also included Andy Fantuz. The former Ticats/Riders slotback retired Thursday following a 12-year CFL career and was honoured on the field following the first.

Saskatchewan earned a sweep of the home-and-home series after earning an 18-13 home win over Hamilton on July 5. The Riders have earned five straight wins over the Ticats.

Bridge made his third straight start for Saskatchewan although backup Dave Watford also saw some …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

      

Watch Live: Raptors’ Masai Ujiri meets media after Leonard-DeRozan trade

The Toronto Raptors pulled off arguably the biggest trade in franchise history earlier this week. But ever since Kawhi Leonard was acquired from the Spurs for DeMar DeRozan, fans and the media have been waiting to hear Raptors president Masai Ujiri explain his decision to make the move.

On Friday, Ujiri will address that and more in a press conference at Scotiabank Arena.

You can watch that press conference live at noon ET/9 a.m. PT live on Sportsnet and sportsnet.ca.

NOTE: If the video player does not appear atop this page at the scheduled time, please refresh your browser.

…read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

      

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