All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has signed a contract extension through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) made the announcement on Tuesday after Foster replaced Steve Hansen on a two-year deal beginning in 2020.

The All Blacks – who retained the Bledisloe Cup and claimed the Tri-Nations last year – won just three of their 2020 Tests, with a draw and loss to rivals Australia, and an historic defeat to Argentina in Sydney.

Foster's New Zealand are flawless in 2021, including a 102-0 demolition of Tonga, having defended the Bledisloe Cup again versus the Wallabies.

"Firstly, I want to acknowledge the board and NZR for the faith they have shown in reappointing me," Foster said. "It's a privilege to be part of the All Blacks and I don't take that for granted.

"It's clearly been a challenging couple of years with Covid-19, but I've been hugely proud of the resilience shown by the team. I'm personally driven to have our team continue to succeed as we build to Rugby World Cup 2023.

"What is equally important to me is the fact that I'm just one part of an outstanding coaching and management team and to continue working with them is a privilege and inspires me to be the best head coach I can be.

"We have the immediate challenge of this year's Fortinet Rugby Championship and then the tour North, but 2022 and 2023 will bring their own challenges. I'm really excited to be leading the team into the future and can't wait to get stuck into our work."

NZR CEO Mark Robinson added: "Ian has faced extraordinary times since he was first appointed, with the uncertainty of Covid-19 and the numerous challenges it has thrown up, and he's shown remarkable composure and resolve to lead incredibly well through it all.

"Foz has built an outstanding culture and environment in the team with an inclusive and collaborative approach and maintained a steady, clear focus on our goal of being Number one in the world again.

"There is no doubt Foz and his team are performing extremely well in trying conditions and we are pleased to send a strong signal of support to create certainty in our environment and allow the management team and player group to plan for the future.

"On behalf of NZR and the board, I want to congratulate Foz and his team and wish them all the best for the rest of this season and beyond."

The Wallabies and All Blacks will clash in the Bledisloe Cup in Perth before Queensland hosts the remainder of the Rugby Championship.

New Zealand pulled out of next weekend's third and final Bledisloe Test due to concerns over coronavirus, with the showdown initially set for August 28 at Optus Stadium.

The fixture will go ahead in Perth, with a date for the game set to be confirmed in the coming days following SANZAAR's announcement on Tuesday.

Afterwards, the Rugby Championship will head to Queensland for doubleheaders across four consecutive weekends in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville, where the centenary Test between the All Blacks and Springboks will be played.

The Wallabies play South Africa on September 12 at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, where the All Blacks then going head-to-head against Argentina.

September 18 will see the teams travel to Brisbane for Argentina-New Zealand and Australia-South Africa contests at Suncorp Stadium.

Australia and Argentina face-off at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville the following weekend on September 25, before the New Zealand-Argentina centenary encounter.

The Rugby Championship concludes on the Gold Coast on October 2, with the Pumas facing the Wallabies and Springboks taking on the All Blacks.

"We thought last year was tough when we had to implement a Tri-Nations tournament in Australia with South Africa absent due to the pandemic, but the current disruption caused by the 'delta variant' of COVID-19 has seen government authorities tighten up border bio-security measures substantially," said SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris.

"This is understandable and therefore, we had no option but to basically move the remainder of The Rugby Championship to Queensland.

"On behalf of SANZAAR and the national unions, I would like to sincerely thank the Queensland Government for working with us around the clock to provide a travel, accommodation, training and playing environment that will safely allow us to complete the tournament.

"SANZAAR and the national unions are incredibly grateful and will work closely with the states' health authorities to ensure all bio-security measures are adhered to." 

Rugby Australia (RA) CEO Andy Marinos added: "This is a world Rugby first and a truly special celebration of the game, in what I see as a once-in-a-lifetime event."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady said he will continue playing for as long as he can win Super Bowls.

Brady – who is the most successful player in NFL history with seven Super Bowl rings – is preparing for his 22nd season at the age of 44.

The veteran quarterback led the Buccaneers to glory last season before undergoing knee surgery, having earned Super Bowl MVP honours and a contract extension in Tampa.

Tampa Bay open their season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9 and Brady has no plans to retire just yet.

"I'll know when the time's right. If I can't … if I'm not a championship-level quarterback, then I'm not gonna play," Brady told Peter King's Football Morning in America.

"If I'm a liability to the team, I mean, no way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I'll play."

Brady added: "I love playing football. [Offensive coordinator] Byron Leftwich said something really good the other day: It's a very simple game that's so hard to execute.

"It's a totally imperfect game that you're trying to do as perfectly as possible. Every day I come out trying to do it. I'm hoping this is my best year."

Brady – in his first season with the Buccaneers after 20 successful years at the New England Patriots – claimed his seventh Lombardi Trophy as Tampa Bay became the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl at their home stadium, ending the Kansas City Chiefs' hopes of retaining the title in a 31-9 rout.

He threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, his passer rating of 102.2 his highest since his MVP season of 2017 (102.8).

Only Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes had more completions of 20 yards or more than Brady's 63 as he experienced a revival as a downfield passer in Tampa.

In the playoffs, he helped the Bucs come through a gauntlet, winning three games on the road to get to the Super Bowl.

By defeating Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Bucs became the first team to win three games against former Super Bowl MVPs in the same postseason having also seen off Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Tony Finau ended his five-year wait for a trophy after winning The Northern Trust in a play-off against Cameron Smith.

The final round of The Northern Trust – the first of three FedEx Cup play-off tournaments – was pushed back to Monday after Hurricane Henri ruined the possibility of a Sunday finish in New Jersey.

Finau was not to be denied, however, as the surging American produced a comeback to capture his first PGA Tour title since 2016 with a par on the first extra hole after Smith drove out of bounds.

Trailing world number one Jon Rahm and Smith by two strokes entering the final round, Finau hunted down the duo thanks to a six-under-par 65 at Liberty National.

Finau got hot on the back nine, with an eagle and three birdies within a five-hole stretch catapulting him to the top of the leaderboard, alongside Australian Smith (67) at 20 under at the end of regulation.

Rahm missed out on a play-off following his final-round 69, which left him two strokes off the pace.

Finau is now projected to go top of the FedEx Cup leaderboard, ahead of Rahm and Smith heading into the BMW Championship, which will consist of a 70-man field.

"It feels amazing," Finau said after winning 1,975 days and 143 starts after his first victory at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. "It took just about everything I had. We got to number 10 and I knew I had to get to 20-under, that was my goal starting the day.

"My caddy Mark said let's turn in the best nine we've had all week, and I was able to do it.

"I hit some clutch shots on 18, that's a tough golf hole. Man, I just fought and its pretty cool to be standing here again winning a golf tournament."

The PGA Tour has seen 14 consecutive events won by players that trailed after each of the first three rounds. The last player to lead following any round and go on to win was Phil Mickelson at the 2021 US PGA Championship.

American star and 2017 FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas (70) finished tied for fourth – five strokes off the pace, while Bryson DeChambeau was five shots further back following his three-under-par 68 alongside rival and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka (74).

Former world number one and 2019 FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy ended the tournament seven under through 72 holes as Jordan Spieth's forgettable eight-over-par 79 left him one over for the tournament and in 74th position.

The Minnesota Vikings have signed pass rusher Everson Griffen, bringing him back for a second spell to bolster Mike Zimmer's defense.

Griffen was drafted as a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2010 and the defensive end went on to rack up 74.5 sacks in 10 seasons for Minnesota.

That number puts him fourth on the all-time list for the Vikings, though sacks as a stat have only been counted since 1982. Including players who began their careers before that season, Griffen ranks seventh.

He had six last season playing for the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions but is back with the Vikings to try to help Minnesota turn around their defensive fortunes after a disappointing 2020.

Minnesota allowed 6.07 yards per play last season, ranking 27th in the NFL, while the Vikings registered 19 sacks for negative yardage. Only two teams – the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals – posted fewer.

They will hope the return of Griffen, along with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, will help dramatically increase that number. The Vikings will also be able to call on Danielle Hunter again after he missed the entire 2020 season through injury.

Hunter ranked ninth among edge rushers with a pressure rate of 26.4 per cent in 2019. Griffen's 21.7 per cent was still above the average of 18.2 for players with at least 200 edge snaps.

Richardson's pressure rate of 14.4 for the Cleveland Browns last season was more decidedly more mediocre but still above the average of 13.2 for the defensive tackle position.

The Vikings could see instant dividends on the return of that trio in their season opener on September 12, which sees them face a Cincinnati Bengals offensive line that gave up 45 sacks for negative yards last year, tied for fourth-most in the NFL.

The San Diego Padres have fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild amid a slump that has seen them fall out of contention in the National League West.

Seen as potential World Series challengers having amassed an enviable depth of talent in both hitting and pitching, the Padres have found themselves cut adrift in MLB's top division.

They have lost nine of their past 11 games, with their team earned run average of 6.20 the third-worst in MLB in that span.

Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies saw the Padres fall to 68-58 and out of the second NL Wild Card spot.

The Padres are 13 games back of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, who at 80-44 own the best record in MLB. The defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are 2.5 games back of the Giants.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said: "Larry has been a tremendous asset for our organisation over the last two seasons, and we appreciate the experience, hard work and dedication that he brought to the position. We wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Ben Fritz will serve as interim pitching coach for the rest of the season. The Padres next face a critical three-game series with the Dodgers, which starts on Tuesday.

Carson Wentz is optimistic he will be ready in time to make his Indianapolis Colts debut in their season opener with the Seattle Seahawks having returned to practice following foot surgery.

Wentz was given a recovery timeline of five to 12 weeks this month after it was confirmed he would undergo surgery on a broken metatarsal.

But the former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller was back on the practice field on Monday, raising hopes he could be under center when the Colts face the Seahawks on September 12.

"I'm optimistic, but we'll see how it responds," Wentz said. 

"It's going to be up to the doctors, for sure. At the end of the day, as long as there's nothing that I can do to injure myself and make it worse, I know I've played through a lot worse. But it's going to come down to what the doctors say."

The Colts face a race against time to get Wentz up to speed following his time on the sideline, though his familiarity with head coach Frank Reich should help him catch up.

Reich was the offensive coordinator in 2017 when Wentz was a frontrunner for the MVP award before a knee injury curtailed his campaign and backup Nick Foles improbably led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title.

The Colts traded a conditional second-round pick, which will become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 per cent of the snaps or he plays 70 per cent and Indianapolis reach the postseason, to the Eagles to acquire the 2016 second overall selection.

Last season, Wentz suffered the most sacks in the NFL (50) and was tied-first for interceptions with 15.

Per Stats Perform data, Wentz had the worst well-thrown percentage in the NFL in 2020.

He delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on just 68.8 per cent of his passes and threw an interceptable pass on 6.78 per cent of his attempts, with only three quarterbacks doing so more often.

Should he be unable to feature in the season opener, Jacob Eason or rookie Sam Ehlinger will start for the Colts, with that duo having split first-team reps in his absence.

Cam Newton will be away from the New England Patriots' facility until Thursday due to coronavirus protocols following a "misunderstanding" about daily testing.

Newton is seen as the frontrunner in his competition with rookie first-round pick Mac Jones to be the Patriots' starting quarterback.

However, he will now miss time as the Patriots take part in joint practices with the New York Giants ahead of their preseason finale on Sunday.

Explaining Newton's absence, a Patriots statement read: "On Saturday, Cam Newton travelled to a club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area. He received daily COVID tests, which were all negative. 

"Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. 

"Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26."

Only players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are subject to the five-day re-entry process.

Newton and Jones have each impressed in preseason for the Patriots and had little difficulty moving the ball against second and third-stringers in their 35-0 rout of the Philadelphia Eagles last time out.

Former MVP Newton went eight of nine for 103 yards and a touchdown while Jones completed 13 of his 19 pass attempts for 146 yards.

Newton missed one game last season after testing positive for COVID-19. Across 15 games, he completed 65.8 per cent of his passes for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

While his numbers through the air were disappointing, he did rush for 12 touchdowns, Newton's most since his rookie year with the Carolina Panthers in 2011 (14).

The 2020 season saw Newton, according to Stats Perform data, perform below the average in well-thrown percentage and air yards per attempt. He delivered a well-thrown, accurate ball on 76.1 per cent of his passes while averaging 7.07 air yards. The league averages for quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts in those metrics in 2020 was 78.0 per cent well-thrown and 8.16 air yards.

Jones, who was third in the Power 5 with a well-thrown percentage of 83.21 in his final season at Alabama last year, now has a chance to further his claim to the starting job with extra practice reps as Newton sits out.

Andy Murray was left in "the strangest situation" he has experienced before a tour match at the Winston-Salem Open following Nick Kyrgios' withdrawal.

Murray had been due to face Kyrgios in an enticing first-round clash in North Carolina, only for the Australian to pull out due to a knee issue.

Former world number one Murray was then drawn against a lucky loser from qualifying, which had only been completed shortly before Murray was due to go on court on Sunday.

The tight turnaround prompted Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Max Purcell to decline the chance to take on Murray, while another option, Yosuke Watanuki, ended up with a direct path to the main draw.

Home hope Noah Rubin, who played his college tennis at the same venue having competed for Wake Forest University, stepped in shortly after his qualifying defeat to Lucas Pouille.

Despite Rubin's best efforts, the challenge proved too much for him as Murray swept to a 6-2 6-0 win, capping a bizarre evening for the three-time grand slam champion.

"It is, by far, the strangest situation I've ever been in before a match on tour," said Murray. "It's pretty rare that you experience something new when you're 17 years into your career.

"I sort of knew at 6:15 that Nick wasn't going to play, but the qualifying was still going on. I was told that if I played a lucky loser, I would play this evening, but if I played against a qualifier the match would be suspended until tomorrow [Monday].

"Then I was told that I drew a lucky loser and I was going to be playing this evening against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, that was like 15-20 minutes after the last qualifying match finished, then Herbert decided he didn't want to play.

"Then they went down the list and none of them, Purcell and Watanuki, they didn't want to play either. And Rubin, who had obviously just finished playing 20 minutes beforehand said, 'yeah I'll do it. I'll play'.

"I kind of had like three opponents in the space of 45 minutes, I was warming up for the match to start at seven and then stopped and then prepared to play Herbert then he didn't want to play then Noah obviously decided but he'd just finished so it was a break and it was just very, very odd sort of 45 minutes, an hour before we went on."

Murray is due to face 13th seed Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

PGA Tour officials are hoping they will be able to play the final round of the Northern Trust on Monday but continued rain in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Henri could prompt a further delay.

The storm reached land early on Sunday and had dumped an estimated six and a half inches of rain on Liberty National in New Jersey over a 24-hour span by mid-afternoon. 

Rain continued to fall on the area overnight into Monday, but officials will try to start early in an attempt to get the final round completed while leaving open the possibility of waiting until Tuesday to finish the tournament if necessary.  

Golf Channel reported that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan notified players late on Sunday that he reserved the right to extend the tournament beyond Monday if necessary due to the importance of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He said he would provide an update to players two hours before the first tee times. 

Though rain chances in the area are high throughout the day on Monday, the players are scheduled to start in threesomes from the first and 10th tees beginning at 07:30 local time (11:30 GMT), with co-leaders Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith set to tee off with Erik van Rooyen at 09:42.

The staff at Liberty National worked throughout the day on Sunday to try and keep the course in as playable a condition as possible, but the rain never let up. 

"It's more than we thought we'd have," John Mutch, senior tournament director, said on Sunday. "We were predicted to have two to four [inches] and we ended up getting six and a half.

"However, the good news is we had less wind. So there is no damage, there is no structural damage, no tree damage, things of that nature."

The problem is, however, the course needs time to dry and the rain has yet to stop. 

"We have a persistent band of rain that's just sitting on us, which I would really like for that band to move north," Mutch said. "But like I said it has been very persistent."

Whenever play resumes, Smith and Rahm lead at 16 under par through 54 holes, with van Rooyen one back at 15 under and Justin Thomas and Tony Finau at 14 under. 

Alexander Zverev believes world number one Novak Djokovic remains the favourite for the upcoming U.S. Open despite the German backing up his Olympic gold medal with victory in Cincinnati.

The German world number four defeated Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Sunday to win the Western and Southern Open, claiming his fourth title of the ATP season.

The 2021 U.S. Open begins next Monday with Dominic Thiem, who defeated Zverev in the 2020 final, withdrawing from the men's draw along with superstar Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Their absences have opened up an opportunity for the in-form Zverev to have a run at the title but the German insisted Djokovic, who he defeated in the Olympic semi-finals, is the player to beat.

"I do think that he's still the favourite," Zverev told reporters after his win in Cincinnati.

"I do think he's going to be playing incredible tennis there. He's going to be fresh, and I think there is also other guys that are in very good form. I think Rublev is in very good form, [Daniil] Medvedev, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, all those guys are playing great tennis.

"It's definitely going to be an interesting US Open. But I'm also looking forward to it, because I know where I stand, I know how I'm playing, and I hope I can continue the work and hopefully play even better in New York."

Djokovic has not played since Tokyo 2020, where he lost his bronze medal match to Pablo Carreno Busta after his semi-final defeat to Zverev.

The Serbian world number one opted to withdraw from the mixed doubles' semi-final afterwards, citing a left shoulder injury.

"I think Novak will be back. He's obviously going to be the favourite but I think other guys are going to be in great shape,” Zverev said.

"I'm looking forward to the week. Let's see how it goes. But there is still one week to go. I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I have to find my rhythm in New York, as well."

Zverev, who had never won a match in Cincinnati prior to this year's event, has not lost a match since his Wimbledon fourth-round exit to Felix Auger-Aliassime in July.

Kyle Shanahan said nothing has changed regarding the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation after two pre-season games, but he declined to officially name a starter. 

Rookie Trey Lance had another impressive showing in Sunday's 15-10 win against the Los Angeles Chargers, but the San Francisco head coach would not be drawn on whether Lance or incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo would start the season opener. 

Garoppolo started Sunday's game and led a 15-play drive that ended when he was intercepted deep in Chargers territory. 

Lance then came on for three unproductive series, including an interception of his own, before leading a pair of touchdown drives. 

The third overall pick in this year's NFL Draft led San Francisco down the field with less than a minute to play in the first half, hitting Mohamed Sanu for a five-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining. 

After a three-and-out on the 49ers' first possession of the second half, Lance engineered an 11-play drive that ended in a 16-yard TD pass to Travis Benjamin for what proved to be the final score of the game. 

Garoppolo finished three-of-six passing for 15 yards, while Lance was eight-of-14 for 102 yards. 

Shanahan said going into camp that the veteran Garoppolo was the presumptive starter and was asked following Sunday's game whether anything had changed. 

"No, I haven't seen that," he told reporters. "I would love for it to be more and more each week but I think the situation is pretty similar right now."

Shanahan said he appreciated the scrutiny Lance is under, both internally and externally, but was pleased with the way he played Sunday. 

"I understand whatever Trey does the eyes are going to be on him," Shanahan said. "I don't want him to have that pressure but that's also the reality of this business.

"I thought last week he had that big throw which, I think, it's fun to watch for a lot of people so that takes a little pressure off, but he didn't play after that as good as he would have liked to.

"This week I thought he came out much more locked-in, more comfortable."

Shanahan had originally planned to give Garoppolo the opening series, then Lance the next two, before putting Garoppolo back in for another series, but he scrapped those plans after the opening drive ended up being so long.

He will have one more chance to evaluate his quarterbacks in game conditions in Sunday's pre-season finale against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

The 49ers open the season September 12 at the Detroit Lions, and Shanahan acknowledged only that he would name a starter by then.

"It's hard for me to give a date when it's based off of when we know and when we feel like naming it," Shanahan said. "So, whenever that happens. But I promise it'll be by that Sunday."

World number one Ash Barty says her Western and Southern Open title holds her in "good stead" ahead of the U.S. Open which starts at Flushing Meadows next Monday.

The Australian defeated unheralded Swiss Jil Teichmann in straight sets in Sunday's final in Cincinnati in the perfect preparation for the U.S. Open.

Barty has never gone further than the fourth round at Flushing Meadows and did not compete in last year's U.S. Open due to COVID-19 concerns.

The 2021 Wimbledon champion, who also won the 2019 French Open crown, looms as a strong favourite for the women's singles title although she is typically refusing to get carried away.

"I think we're just excited that we've got matches under our belt in tough conditions here in Cincy, and that's put us in really good stead going into New York," Barty said.

"This week it was completely 'non-result-focused'. It was about preparing in the best way possible, knowing that we wanted to be ready for New York in a couple of weeks' time.

"Now that we've only got a week in between, we have played plenty of matches, and now it's about kind of refining as best we can to hopefully be feeling good come the first round in New York and just try and do the best that we can there."

On her favouritism, she added: "There are no certainties in sport, no certainties in tennis. It's just about playing each and every day as best you can as they come, and not focusing or concerning yourself or your self-worth with results."

Riding the wave of her Wimbledon triumph, Barty crashed out of the women's singles in the first round at Tokyo 2020 to Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo last month.

The Australian remained grounded after her Cincinnati victory and insisted preparations for the U.S. Open would stay normal.

"I think sometimes after big wins - and I felt it both times after the French Open and after Wimbledon - there's been a little bit of a big crash, more emotionally than anything else, because there's so much invested into that event," Barty said.

She added: "Our practice weeks before grand slams are quite normal. There is nothing fancy, no extra emphasis on anything.

"It's just gauged by how I'm feeling physically, how I'm feeling mentally, and we have had a lot of practice now as a team in being able to read each other and what we think is required.

"Then it's about going out there for the first round, whether it's the Monday or Tuesday, and try to do the best that I can. That's all I can ask of myself."

The draw for the U.S. Open will be revealed on Friday with Barty going in as the top women's seed, with Aryna Sabalenka second seed and reigning champion Naomi Osaka third.

The suddenly unstoppable Atlanta Braves won their ninth successive game, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Sunday to complete another sweep away from home. 

It was a staggering 18th straight loss for the Orioles, who previously endured a 14-game skid in May and are an MLB-worst 38-85 this season. 

Baltimore had their best pitcher on the mound to try and end the slump, but John Means surrendered a solo home run to Jorge Soler and a two-run double to Adam Duvall in the fourth inning for all the runs Atlanta needed. 

Touki Toussaint allowed the Orioles' only run in the bottom of the inning on a Ramon Urias double, and five relief pitchers kept Baltimore off the scoreboard after he departed. 

After going unbeaten in successive series at the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins and Orioles, the Braves have won 13 in a row on the road. 

That road streak is the longest in franchise history and tied for the second-longest by a National League team since divisional play began in 1969, with only the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers (15) exceeding their run. 

Atlanta have not lost away from Truist Park since July 28, when they dropped a 2-1 decision at the New York Mets.  

 

Reds move into wild card position with sweep

The Cincinnati Reds hit three solo home runs, two of them by Tyler Naquin, while Vladimir Gutierrez and two relievers held the Miami Marlins in check on the way to a 3-1 victory and a four-game sweep. The win coupled with the San Diego Padres' 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies put the Reds alone in the second National League wild card slot. 

Pinch-hitter Donovan Solano's two-run homer in the eighth was the difference as the San Francisco Giants edged the Oakland Athletics 2-1 for their 80th win of the season. They have done so in just 124 games, their best pace since their remarkable 1993 campaign that saw them miss the postseason despite a 103-59 record in the pre-wild card era.

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end in a 7-2 home defeat to the New York Mets, as the World Series champions managed just five hits off Marcus Stroman and three relievers and J.D. Davis drove in four runs for New York. 

Ty France homered to tie the game in the ninth, then gave the Seattle Mariners the lead in the 11th before Kyle Seager's three-run homer blew the game open as the Mariners defeated the Houston Astros 6-3. 

Adam Wainwright allowed just two hits and struck out nine with no walks in eight innings as the St Louis Cardinals blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0. 

 

Royals light up woeful Cubs

The Kansas City Royals pounded out 16 hits in a 9-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs to complete a three-game series sweep. The Cubs have now lost 15 of their last 17 games and 21 of their last 25.

 

Miggy hits 500th

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera became the 28th player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs with his opposite-field shot in the sixth inning of a 5-3 win at the Toronto Blue Jays. 

 

Sunday's results 

Tampa Bay Rays 9-0 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 9-1 Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers 5-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 Washington Nationals
New York Mets 7-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 2-1 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 6-3 Houston Astros
Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
St Louis Cardinals 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 San Diego Padres
Cleveland Indians 3-0 Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins (postponed)
Texas Rangers-Boston Red Sox (postponed)

 

Yankees at Braves

The two hottest teams in baseball collide as the New York Yankees (72-52) visit the Atlanta Braves (68-56) to open a brief two-game series with both clubs riding nine-game winning streaks. 

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, a day after his team's pre-season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Vrabel told reporters via video conference that he woke up on Sunday with a sore throat and went to the team's facility for a coronavirus test, which came back positive. A second test also was positive.

The 46-year-old Vrabel has previously said he is vaccinated. 

"As of now, I’ll be in quarantine, following the protocols and trying to do my best to help the football team while I am [home]," he told reporters.

"I am very confident in our football team, our coaching staff, our organization, that no matter what the situation is, we’ll handle it."

The Titans spent several days last week in Tampa holding joint practices with the Buccaneers ahead of Saturday's pre-season game, which Tennessee won 34-3. 

ESPN reported the Buccaneers were waiting on contact tracing, along with the Titans. 

Vrabel told reporters he was not aware of any other positive tests among the Titans on Sunday. 

Tennessee was the first NFL team to experience a major COVID-19 outbreak last season, with 13 players and 11 staff members testing positive over several weeks. 

Those issues resulted in two games being rescheduled. 

The Titans' final pre-season game is set for Saturday at home against the Chicago Bears. 

They will host the Arizona Cardinals on September 12 to open the regular season. 

It has been a stressful couple of weeks for one of the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history, but Miguel Cabrera finally reached a long-awaited milestone Sunday with his 500th career home run. 

The Detroit Tigers star launched a changeup by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steven Matz over the right-field fence at Rogers Centre for a solo homer that tied the game 1-1 in the sixth inning. The Tigers would go on to win 5-3 in 11 innings. 

That result was important to Cabrera after spending the 11 days since he hit his 499th home run with the spotlight squarely on him. 

Known for his easygoing on-field personality, Cabrera acknowledged feeling the pressure during last week's six-game homestand against the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, which drew some of the largest crowds in Detroit this season.

Cabrera had four hits in 20 at-bats on the homestand and was hitless in 10 at-bats in three games in Toronto before going deep Sunday.

"Last week in Detroit was tough," Cabrera told reporters. "It was the first time in five, six years I've seen the crowd like that, excited and with a lot of energy. It was nice to see the energy back in Comerica Park.

"There was a lot of things going on in my mind, because I wanted to do it in Detroit. But it's tough to hit home runs there.

"I just have to thank God I hit it here and got it over with. Now I can try to keep playing baseball."

The 38-year-old became the first player from Venezuela to hit 500 home runs and the first to do so as a Tiger in the 120-year history of the franchise. 

An 11-time All-Star and two-time American League MVP, Cabrera is in his 14th season with Detroit after spending the first five years of his MLB career with the Marlins. 

Though Cabrera reached the milestone on the road, the fans in Toronto were appreciative, giving him a standing ovation and demanding a curtain call.

The Tigers also were thrilled to see the icon get over the hump. 

"He wants this for us as much as we wanted it for him," said manager A.J. Hinch. "He saw the stress around that was unspoken.

"It's a huge accomplishment for him and his country and what he's meant to baseball in Detroit and what he's meant to baseball in Miami, where he started his career, and obviously Team Venezuela. He's represented his country with extreme success on the field."

Cabrera is now four home runs from tying Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 27th on the all-time list, but that is not the only milestone in his sights. 

He needs just 45 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. Only six players in MLB history have hit 500 homers while accumulating 3,000 hits: Murray, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols. 

Carson Wentz will return to Indianapolis Colts practice on Monday, head coach Frank Reich announced.

The quarterback injured his foot during a training camp session on July 29 and had surgery on August 2.

He is set to return to practice just under three weeks before the Colts' September 12 opener against the Seattle Seahawks. 

"You're going to see him out there on the practice field this week," Reich told reporters Sunday. "He'll be out there tomorrow taking some things."

Reich added: "He'll be limited but he will be participating."

The Colts acquired Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles in March and have yet to see what he can do in game conditions. 

The 28-year-old QB is coming off the worst season of his five-year NFL career, as he completed just 57.4 per cent of his passes and threw a career-high 15 interceptions despite playing in only 12 games as he was benched in favour of rookie Jalen Hurts in December. 

Wentz also was sacked 50 times, the most of any quarterback in the league. 

In Wentz's absence, the Colts have started second-year QB Jacob Eason in both of their pre-season games, and he has turned in solid performances in a pair of wins. 

Eason is 31 of 48 for 315 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Rookie Sam Ehlinger is the only other quarterback to see action and he has thrown three interceptions in 28 attempts. 

Alexander Zverev claimed his fourth title of 2021 with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Andrey Rublev to win the Western and Southern Open.

The Olympic champion had not won a match in Cincinnati prior to this year's tournament, but Sunday's one-sided final capped a remarkable turnaround for the world number five.

Zverev raced into a 4-0 lead before securing the opening set 6-2 as he produced no errors across the first seven games.

The third seed carried on his domination, breaking Rublev in his opening service game of the second set to pave the way for the 17th ATP title of his career within an hour in the showpiece.

After paying tribute to "his best friend on Tour" Rublev, Zverev added in his on-court interview: "It is incredible that tennis can be back, sport can be back, and we can watch and play this beautiful sport again.

"I normally do not look forward to this week - not winning a single match in seven years - but this has now become one of my favourite times of the year for me, hopefully it can be for the next 10 to 15 years."

The 24-year-old reached the final of the US Open last year, though he will now eye going one step further as the tournament commences at the end of August.

Five of Jamaica’s eight-member team departed the island on Saturday for the 64th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships which will be played at the Country Club at Grand Reserve, Rio Grande in Puerto Rico from August 24 to 26.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.