Wednesday’s Sports Minute

Wednesday’s Sports Minute

NATS WIN: Arizona Diamondback pitcher Chase Anderson delivers a pitch to Washington Nationals Anthony Rendon during the third inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Aug. 19, in Washington. Photo: Associated Press/Evan Vucci

Aside from the Chris Kluwe settlement, and the injury to Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, here is the latest sports news making headlines today, Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Nats capture eighth in row…Athletics end five-game slide

The hottest team in baseball is the Washington Nationals. The NL East-leading Nats ran their season-high winning streak to eight games by routing the Arizona Diamondback 8-1 to move 18 games over .500

Stephen Strasburg and Jerry Blevins combined on a three-hitter. Strasburg went a season-high eight innings, allowing just three hits, to even his mark at 10-10.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s bases-clearing double capped a six-run third inning. Ian Desmond had three hits and drove in four runs. The Nationals have outscored teams 42-21 during their eight-game streak, their longest since 2012.

In other baseball:

  • Atlanta won its fifth in a row, 11-3 over Pittsburgh. But the Braves remain six back of the Nationals in the NL East. Justin Upton smashed his 24th home run of the season to spoil Andrew McCutchen’s return for Pittsburgh. McCutchen went 0 for 4 in his first game back after missing two weeks with fractured cartilage in his ribs.
  • AL East-leading Baltimore topped the Chicago White Sox 5-1. Chris Tillman struck out nine in his eight innings, allowing three hits in winning his 10th game against five defeats. Nick Hundley homered. The Orioles are 20-10 since the All-Star break.
  • NL Central leader Kansas City topped Colorado 7-4. Omar Infante had three doubles and drove in four runs for the Royals, who’ve won 21 of 26.
  • Detroit remained a half-game back of the Royals in the AL Central by outlasting Tampa Bay 8-6 in 11 innings. Victor Martinez drew a tiebreaking bases-loaded walk during a three-run 11th.
  • Oakland snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the New York Mets 6-2. Scott Kazmir improved to 14-5. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings. Coco Crisp hit a tiebreaking three-run triple in the fourth.
  • The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers held off San Diego 8-6. Carl Crawford connected on his sixth homer, a two-run shot. Crawford was 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
  • Coach K done talking about Durant

    While Kevin Durant takes a step back, the U.S. national team is moving forward. The reigning MVP and leading scorer stunned the Americans when he decided to withdraw after practicing with the team during its first week of training camp. Now that they’ve had time to get over the surprise, they aren’t dwelling on it.

    U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski says “I’m through talking about Kevin,” as the Americans practiced for the upcoming Basketball World Cup.

    “We’re done with that. We’re on to this group. What a coach does, a coach coaches who he has, not who he doesn’t have,” Coach K said, before adding: “You’re married, you’re with that woman, you’re not thinking about who you dated.”

    Durant pulled out Aug. 7, shortly after the Americans finished working out in Las Vegas, where a year earlier he announced his plans to play for the team this summer.

    Cavs add Drew as coach

    The new-look Cleveland Cavaliers have a new assistant coach. Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew has been hired to work alongside first-year coach David Blatt. Drew went 15-67 last season in his only campaign with the Bucks. He was expected to get a second year but was fired so the Bucks could hire Jason Kidd. A former NBA player, Drew also coached Atlanta.

    No Browns starter yet…Jets rookie Evans out for year

    Browns coach Mike Pettine has not picked his starting quarterback as he had planned. Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel haven’t convinced him they deserve the job.

    Pettine had been expected to announce whether Hoyer or Manziel, the hyped rookie, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh. But the decision has been delayed and could carry through to Cleveland’s third preseason game on Saturday. Pettine says the coaching staff will meet tomorrow night and could then choose a starter.

    In other NFL training camp news:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers are planning to re-sign defensive end Brett Keisel to bolster a reconfigured line that has struggled to produce much of anything in the first two weeks of the preseason. The Steelers decided not to re-sign Keisel in the offseason after the 35-year-old finished with four sacks in 12 games in 2013. But the D line has been unimpressive in the preseason.
  • The New York Jets have placed rookie wide receiver Shaquelle Evans on season-ending injured reserve after he underwent shoulder surgery. He was a fourth-round draft pick out of UCLA.
  • NFL teams can carry 10 players on their practice squads for the next two seasons. The league and the players’ union agreed to increase the number in practice squads by two.
  • New ownership for the Islanders

    The New York Islanders have announced that the team is being sold to a former Washington Capitals co-owner and a London-based investor. The team says a group led by former Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin has reached an agreement to buy a “substantial” minority interest in the team.

    The team says under the agreement, current owner Charles Wang will continue as majority stockholder for two years. At that point, ownership will transfer to the Ledecky-Malkin group.

    Men’s seeds

    Novak Djokovic has been seeded No. 1 for the U.S. Open with five-time champion Roger Federer No. 2. Djokovic beat Federer for the title at Wimbledon last month.

    Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is No. 3, followed by David Ferrer and Milos Raonic.

    Djokovic has played in the last four finals at Flushing Meadows, winning the title in 2011. He lost to Rafael Nadal in 2010 and last year, and to Andy Murray in 2012.

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