Nola outduels Scherzer, Herrera homers as Phils top Nats 2-0
UNDATED (AP) — Aaron Nola outdueled Max Scherzer in a meeting of All-Star aces, Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 Thursday.
Nola was masterful in his matchup with the three-time Cy Young Award winner, allowing five hits and one walk. He escaped his biggest jam with his final pitch, striking out Bryce Harper with runners on first and second to end the eighth. Nola struck out nine and finished with a 2.13 ERA — the exact same ERA as Scherzer. Along with Mets star Jacob deGrom, they are considered the top candidates for the NL Cy Young this season.
Scherzer was nearly as good in the first matchup of starters with at least 150 innings and a sub-2.25 ERA since St. Louis’ John Tudor faced Mets ace Dwight Gooden on Sept. 11, 1985. Scherzer gave up two hits in seven innings and struck out 10, increasing his major league-leading total to 244.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— David Price pitched eight shutout innings for his fifth straight win, backed by three bases-loaded doubles in Boston’s six-run fifth inning as the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 7-0 to split their four-game series. After losing the first two games, Boston won twice in 20 hours to open a 9½-game lead over the idle New York Yankees in the AL East. The Red Sox, who have the best record in baseball at 90-39, have not lost four games in a row all season, and they are the only team in the majors that has not been swept. Price gave up three hits against the AL Central leaders and no walks, hitting a batter and striking out seven before leaving to a standing ovation after the top of the eighth.
— Matthew Boyd pitched six scoreless innings and Ronny Rodriguez hit his first career home run to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Rodriguez also hit an RBI double, and Nicholas Castellanos and Mikie Mahtook homered off James Shields. All three of Detroit’s homers were solo shots in the sixth inning. Boyd allowed six hits, walked one and struck out six. Jose Rondon hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the White Sox, who fell to 3-10 this season against Detroit. Chicago manager Rick Renteria missed his fourth straight game since experiencing lightheadedness Monday in Minnesota.
Rockies select contract of outfielder Matt Holliday
UNDATED (AP) — The Colorado Rockies selected the contract of former All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday from Triple-A Albuquerque and he was in the starting lineup Thursday, playing left field and batting fifth against San Diego. He signed a minor-league contract with Colorado last month. He hit .346 in 15 games with Albuquerque.
The 38-year-old Holliday hasn’t played in the majors since last season with the New York Yankees, when he batted .231 with 19 homers.
He played the first five seasons of his 14-year career with Colorado, hitting .290 as a rookie in 2004 and helping Colorado to its only World Series appearance in 2007. The Rockies traded him to Oakland after the 2008 season. He later helped St. Louis win the 2011 World Series.
In other MLB news:
— Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland has left Thursday’s game against Cleveland with a bruised left knee after sliding near a photo pit in pursuit of a foul popup. Moreland remained in the game, but left for pinch-runner Blake Swihart in the bottom of the first after reaching first base on a flyball that left fielder Melky Cabrera lost in the sun. Moreland had knee problems earlier this season, missing a few games in late July to rest it.
— Former All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday returned to the majors at 38 when the Colorado Rockies selected his contract from Triple-A Albuquerque. He was in the starting lineup Thursday against San Diego. Holliday hadn’t played in the majors since last season with the New York Yankees, when he batted .231 with 19 homers.
Steelers sign kicker Chris Boswell to new 5-year contract
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Bowl kicker Chris Boswell have agreed to a new five-year contract that will keep him in black and gold through the 2022 season. Boswell was entering the final season of his current deal and was scheduled to be a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
The Steelers initially signed Boswell following an open tryout in October 2015. He has become one of the best in the league over the last three seasons despite kicking in the tricky winds at Heinz Field. The 27-year-old made his first Pro Bowl in 2017 when he hit 35 of 38 field goal attempts and 37 of 39 extra point attempts.
Boswell made all four of his kicks from 50 yards and longer, and his three game-winning kicks as time expired tied for the NFL record for a single season since the 1970 merger.
In other NFL news:
— The Detroit Lions bolstered their depth at linebacker by acquiring Eli Harold in a trade with San Francisco. Detroit gave the 49ers a draft pick, which was not disclosed, in exchange for Harold on Thursday. The Lions made room for him by waiving defensive lineman JoJo Wicker. Detroit lost Steve Longa, a backup linebacker and key player on special teams, last week with a season-ending knee injury. Harold started 24 games for San Francisco and played in 48 games over three seasons. He played in every game last season, starting 10 times, and had 34 tackles and two sacks.
— Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen have been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as contributors to the game. Currently a consultant to the NFL and one of the key figures in the staging of the draft, Brandt was one of the key contributors to the building of the Dallas Cowboys. As vice president of player personnel from 1960-89, Brandt helped Dallas grow into one of the most powerful and popular sports franchises in America. Bowlen, the longtime owner of the Denver Broncos, is the only owner in NFL history with 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos had an unprecedented run of success, winning three Super Bowls and seven conference titles.
Johnson, Koepka open strong as Woods gets off to even start
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Back in the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in five years, Tiger Woods was stuck in neutral.
Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark and Vaughn Taylor each opened with a 5-under 66 and shared the early lead Thursday at The Northern Trust. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were among those another shot behind, even though they reached 67 along much different paths.
Woods had two birdies, two bogeys, 14 pars and a 71 that left him in the middle of the pack.
This is the first of four playoff events in the PGA Tour’s postseason, with the field trimmed each week until 30 are left to play for the $10 million prize in Atlanta.
Woods was in position off the tee, but never felt comfortable taking on the pin.
TENNIS-US OPEN DRAW
Serena, Venus Williams could meet in US Open 3rd round
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams have been drawn into a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open, which would be their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years.
If the sisters do play each other, the winner could face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round.
That is the most intriguing possible matchup to emerge in the women’s and men’s brackets at Thursday’s draw for the last major of the year.
This marks Serena’s return to Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament in 2017. She gave birth to her daughter last Sept. 1.
She has won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open and was given the No. 17 seed by the U.S. Tennis Association — nine places above her current ranking. Venus is seeded 16th.
Ex-coach charged with lying about Nassar abuse
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Investigators say a former head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University lied in June when she denied that witnesses had told her in the past about being sexually assaulted by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Charging documents released Thursday don’t specify who allegedly reported Nassar’s abuse to the former coach, Kathie Klages.
But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team at the time.
Klages has denied that Boyce reported abuse to her.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-COACHES ALL-SEC
Georgia places 12 on coaches preseason All-SEC teams
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Georgia led the way with 12 players on the preseason coaches All-Southeastern Conference teams.
Alabama had 10 All-SEC picks and Auburn had nine on the teams released Thursday.
The defending national champion Crimson Tide had a league-high five first-team picks. That group includes left tackle Jonah Williams, center Ross Pierschbacher, tailback Damien Harris, defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Mack Wilson.
Georgia’s first-teamers included defensive backs Deandre Baker and J.R. Reed and placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
The Tigers didn’t have a player make the first team.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
KYRIE IRVING-RESERVATION VISIT
Boston Celtics star Irving honored by mother’s Sioux tribe
FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving has officially become a member of the Standing Rock Sioux.
Irving and his older sister, Asia Irving, took part Thursday in a traditional Native American ceremony recognizing their tribal heritage and support for the tribe’s long battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. They were honored with Lakota names during a ritual in a packed auditorium that tribal spokeswoman Danielle Finn said “is a very special rite of passage for a Lakota person.”
Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said: “We’re welcoming home two of our own.”
The Irvings’ late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was a member of the tribe and lived on the reservation until her adoption at a young age.
Kyrie Irving, who won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, was born in Australia and he grew up in New Jersey.