Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge disappointed fans by staying stuck at 60 homers but doubled twice and scored on Oswaldo Cabrera’s first-inning grand slam that started the New York Yankees to a 14-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A day after hitting home run No. 60 to spark a stunning five-run, ninth-inning rally capped by Giancarlo Stanton’s game-ending slam, Judge doubled on the first pitch to him in the first and fifth innings. Given another time up during an eight-run eighth inning, Judge walked on four pitches from rookie Eric Stout as the sellout crowd of 46,175 booed loudly.
Judge went 2 for 4 and with 14 games left and remained one home run shy of tying the American League record set by the Yankees’ Roger Maris in 1961. Judge leads the AL in average (.317), home runs and RBIs (128), in position to become the first Triple Crown winner in a decade.
Cabrera and Gleyber Torres had five RBIs each. Torres homered twice in the eighth inning, raising his season total to 23.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Blake Snell held St. Louis hitless until Albert Pujols beat the shift for a single with two outs in the seventh inning and the San Diego Padres beat the NL Central-leading Cardinals 1-0.
Snell (8-9) allowed two hits in seven innings on 117 pitches and struck out 13 to tie his career high. The left-hander’s brilliant effort carried the Padres to their fifth straight win and extended the rotation’s scoreless streak to 27 2/3 innings.
The Padres have shut out the Cardinals in the first two games of the three-game series, keeping Pujols at 698 career homers.
San Diego stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia for the NL’s second wild-card spot.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals fired longtime executive Dayton Moore, ending the roller-coaster tenure of an influential general manager and president who took the club from perennial 100-game loser to two World Series and the 2015 championship before its quick return to mediocrity.
Royals owner John Sherman, who retained Moore after acquiring the club from David Glass in 2019, announced the move during a news conference at which Moore spoke briefly before quietly slipping out of the room.
Sherman tried a mild shakeup to the front office last offseason, elevating Moore from general manager to president of baseball operations while giving J.J. Picollo the GM title. But the awkward splitting of jobs never worked out, and Sherman decided to move forward with Picollo handling all aspects of baseball operations.
Picollo was the first person Moore hired when he took over the Royals in 2006.
Robert Sarver says he has started the process of selling the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, a move that comes only eight days after he was suspended by the NBA over workplace misconduct including racist speech and hostile behavior toward employees.
Sarver made the announcement Wednesday, saying selling “is the best course of action.”
“But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible — that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past,” Sarver wrote in a statement. “For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.”
Sarver bought the teams in July 2004. He is not the lone owner, but the primary one.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is scheduled to have surgery on his left knee next week for the second time in less than a year and figures to miss the start of the season.
The Bulls said Ball will undergo an arthroscopic debridement in Los Angeles. He will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks.
Ball played a major role in Chicago’s resurgence last year after being acquired from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade. He was limited to 35 games and did not play after Jan. 14.
Ball had surgery for a torn meniscus two weeks later. He experienced discomfort when he tried to ramp up activities. The Bulls had him rest for 10 days, hoping it would resolve the issue and allow him to return. But he felt pain again when he started preparing to play.
Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals. Besides giving the Bulls a steadying hand on offense, he helped tighten their perimeter defense.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Quarterback Justin Herbert was mainly a bystander as the Los Angeles Chargers went through their first practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Herbert did some handoffs to running backs but did not do any throwing during the portion of practice open to the media. Herbert suffered fractured rib cartilage after taking a hit during the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach Brandon Staley said Herbert did some light throwing Tuesday but the third-year quarterback’s status remains day-to-day. Herbert was one of three players listed as a limited participant on the team’s practice report.
“He’s had a lot of rest since the last game, but I think the nature of the week is truly going to be a case-by-case, day-by-day basis,” Staley said. “We’re just going to see where his comfort level is, and truly trust him and let him be the guide of where we’re at, and make sure that we are prepared either way.”
Herbert missed only one play after taking a hard hit from Kansas City defensive lineman Michael Danna on a 12-yard completion to Gerald Everett with five minutes to go. He led the Chargers (1-1) on a nine-play, 73-yard touchdown drive the series after he was injured.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Greg Norman says he has been asked not to attend the QBE Shootout in December, a PGA Tour-sanctioned event he started in 1989 as the Shark Shootout that is held at the Tiburon Golf Club course he designed.
It was not clear who asked that he not attend the Dec. 9-11 tournament. The tournament director says it was a collective decision.
Norman, who is in Washington to meet with members of Congress about his Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, revealed the news in an Instagram post late Tuesday afternoon without saying who was behind it.
“Why one might ask? Perhaps it is because I am helping to give golf a new heartbeat, creating new value and delivering a new product that is loved by players, fans and broadcasters alike,” Norman said. “And in doing so, finally giving players their rights as independent contractors to benefit from their performance and brand.
“In some people’s mind this is too disruptive and evolution is perceived as a bad thing. I disagree — competition breeds excellence.”
The QBE Shootout was the first of the PGA Tour’s unofficial season late in the year to raise more than $1 million for childhood cancer, a figure he says now tops $15 million. It is comprised of 12 two-player teams competing in various formats.