Balk-off: Mariners beat Dodgers on Floro's flinch

Balk-off: Mariners beat Dodgers on Floro's flinch

SEATTLE — Cameron Maybin scored with one out in the 10th inning when Los Angeles’ Dylan Floro was called for a balk, giving the Seattle Mariners a 5-4 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night.

Seattle loaded the bases with one out, and with a one-strike count on Kyle Seager, Floro initiated his delivery before stepping off the mound. First base umpire Andy Fletcher called him for the game-ending balk. There was little argument from Floro, although Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts sought an explanation as Seattle celebrated the odd victory.

Seattle led 4-1 entering the eighth inning, but Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy all hit solo home runs to force extra innings. Seattle improved to 12-1 in extra-inning games this season.

Mitch Haniger led off the 10th with a line-drive single to right on the first pitch from Caleb Ferguson (3-2). Maybin hit into a fielder’s choice. Robinson Cano followed with an infield single, but Brian Dozier‘s diving stop of the grounder kept Maybin from reaching third.

Floro entered and walked Nelson Cruz to load the bases before his mistake.

Muncy’s clubbed a 3-2 fastball from closer Edwin Diaz into the right-field seats with one out in the ninth. It was Muncy’s 28th homer of the season and second in as many days. It was the fourth homer allowed this season by Diaz, who ended a streak of converting 28 consecutive save opportunities. Diaz leads the majors with 47 saves, with four blown chances.

Seager hit a three-run homer in the first inning, but Seattle’s two most consistent arms in the bullpen had shaky nights at the same time.

Turner led off the eighth with his eighth home run of the season off Alex Colome, the first run allowed by the right-hander since June 28, a span of 19 appearances. Two batters later, Bellinger’s 20th homer nearly reached the third deck of right field at Safeco Field.

Adam Warren (2-1) allowed a leadoff walk but finished off the 10th untouched to get the victory.


Seattle added to its bullpen by calling up right-hander Matt Festa from Double-A Arkansas and sending RHP Christian Bergman to Triple-A Tacoma. Bergman worked extensively in relief on Friday. Festa was with Seattle earlier this season and appeared in one game before being sent back to Arkansas.


Dodgers: RHP Yimi Garcia, RHP Josh Fields and LHP Tony Cingrani are all continuing their injury rehab assignments in the minors, but manager Dave Roberts said none of the three is expected to be ready in the next week. Garcia is likely the first to be ready to rejoin the club. Garcia has been on the DL since July 4, Fields since June 28 and Cingrani since June 7.

Mariners: Manager Scott Servais is hopeful LHP James Paxton will be able to start throwing in the next couple of days. Paxton is on the 10-day DL with a left arm contusion after getting hit by a line drive. Servais said the swelling is down and Paxton is working on range of motion with the arm, but has yet to pick up a ball.


Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (5-5) faces Seattle for the first time since 2012. Kershaw threw eight innings, allowing one run, in his last start against San Francisco, but did not factor in the decision.

Mariners: Roenis Elias (2-0) will come off the disabled list to start. Elias was placed on the DL on July 31 with a triceps strain. Elias has a 2.88 ERA in 13 games this season, with all but one of those coming in relief.

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Ronaldo's Juve debut a spectacle from start to finish

Ronaldo's Juve debut a spectacle from start to finish

VERONA, Italy — The whooshing rotor blades gave it away; the helicopter overhead could mean only one thing. Juventus fans have learned to associate Cristiano Ronaldo with them. A month ago, the club’s president, Andrea Agnelli, boarded one for Greece to shake hands with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner on his move to Juventus. Now, one belonging to the local police hovered overhead as the Juventus bus, designed by Agnelli’s playboy cousin Lapo Elkann, weaved its way into Verona.

Arriving from Valpolicella, Italian football’s finest had stayed the night in fine wine country, preparing for the first game of the season in a hotel that doubles as an art gallery. Who knows if Ronaldo was contemplating his next masterpiece. An Instagram story of the most expensive signing in Serie A history performing his initiation song on a chair — Ronaldo chose “Minha Casinha by Xutos & Pontapes — soon went viral, another reminder of the Ronaldo effect on Juventus’ booming social networks.

The supporters rushing to climb the fence of the car park where the team bus pulled up hoped he’d be on song again when the game started. Alerted by the noise, those already inside the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi came out on the top tier, ringing the outside of the ground to catch a glimpse of the champions of Italy and their new No. 7.

Crowds like this haven’t descended on Verona since Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2006, leading to a security operation and the kind of anti-terrorism measures usually implemented when there is a G7 summit.

Juventus’ ultras stayed away in protest at the hike in ticket prices levied by the Bianconeri’s opponents who want to cash in themselves on Ronaldo’s presence and a sector of the Curva Sud, where Hellas’ hardcore stand, remained empty supposedly because of a pact with Chievo whereby no one can sit there when they are not playing. But other than that, the Bentegodi was a full house.

The gate receipt, estimated to be worth €1 million to Chievo, broke the club record set here when the Inter of Javier Zanetti, Juan Sebastian Veron, Edgar Davids and Adriano drew 2-2 with them in 2004. The majority where not here for Chievo though. The sheer number of black and white shirts in line at the turnstiles, many of which were Marchisio No. 8s after the news of his departure on Friday, made the Bentegodi feel like Juventus were the ones playing at home. The roar when they came out for the warm-up made the ears wince.

Casual fans also showed up from all over Italy and beyond and the press box, filled with 135 journalists from all over the world, no longer spoke exclusively Italian.

On the eve of the game, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said he was “curious” to see how Ronaldo and the team would do after playing so little together in a preseason shortened by the World Cup. Evidently he wasn’t the only one. Diego Maradona made his Serie A debut at the Bentegodi in 1984 and the comparisons with Ronaldo reflected the gratification at no longer needing to be nostalgic about all-time greats playing in the league. No longer a thing of the past, it is the here and now.

Chievo hoped to upset Ronaldo in the same way Hellas embarrassed Maradona when they beat Napoli 34 years ago. Lorenzo D’Anna, the Chievo coach, went into the game as the only Serie A manager with a better win ratio than Allegri after winning all the three games he took charge of at the end of last season to save the Flying Donkeys from freefall into Serie B.

The Chievo winger Emanuele Giaccherini, who was part of the first two league titles Juventus won in this seven-year streak, took delight in recalling how his Cesena side upstaged Milan on the day of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut in 2010. A repeat looked beyond him and his Chievo team as they fell behind just over two minutes in when Sami Khedira put his World Cup blues behind him and bundled in a knock-down from Giorgio Chiellini following a Miralem Pjanic free kick.

Conversation in the stands turned to how many Juventus and Ronaldo might score. Allegri named a very attacking side with Douglas Costa, Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado playing off Ronaldo and his compatriot the swashbuckling Joao Cancelo at right-back in an adventurous 4-2-3-1.

Another debutante, just the second time around, Leonardo Bonucci was whistled initially by those Juventus fans who are yet to forgive him for walking out on them last season. As fate would have it, it was Bonucci who let Chievo back in. The Italy international was to have an eventful evening.

Caught out by a Giaccherini cross, Mariusz Stepinski took advantage, beating fellow Pole Wojciech Szczesny with a fine header. “I prefer Messi,” Stepinski told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked who he preferred in the Messi-Ronaldo debate.

On Friday, Allegri had warned his team against getting carried away amid all the euphoria and treble predictions that followed Ronaldo’s signing. He pointed out that while Real Madrid won their fourth Champions League title in five years last season, they were also 20 points off the top in La Liga after 10 games. Allegri won’t tolerate the same happening under his watch.

The idea that Juventus have everything sewn up already before a ball had even been kicked led him to joke that if it really is such a foregone conclusion, what are we all doing going to games? We should be at the seaside or in the mountains skiing. Chievo obligingly helped prove the point Allegri made.

Allegri echoed this sentiment post game: “Our concentration levels dropped. You think you have the game under control. Your tempo and concentration drop. You let them cross, defend poorly in the penalty area and you concede. But need wins like this. They immediately make you understand how hard it is to win again. We’ve only been working together for seven days. Now in this phase of the season we have to get points”, said Allegri.

Early in the second half, Giaccherini got away from Cancelo and was pulled down in the penalty area. Improbably, he stole the show from Ronaldo, dispatching his spot kick and putting Chievo into the lead. A team with a wage bill of just €9.5m, a fraction of the €31m Juventus are paying CR7, had the bit between their teeth and dared to believe in a first win over the Bianconeri since 2010.

Made to pay for not killing the game when they were on top in the first half, Juventus huffed and puffed around the pitch. Positioned out on the left for much of the game, Ronaldo hit a half-volley over the bar from a tight angle, and cut inside on his right foot twice to force Stefano Sorrentino into decent saves from outside of the box. His first shot on target arrived after 47 minutes and 22 seconds, illustrating the lack of cohesion and understanding in Juventus’ ranks, which perhaps shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after training together for just a fortnight with so many of their players involved at the World Cup. Allegri was happy with Ronaldo’s performance saying afterwards “I am sorry he didn’t score. But we have been only working together seven days. He did well.”

Allegri attempted to change things up throwing on Federico Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic, who made the centre-forward role his own, pushing Ronaldo to a more fixed position on the left flank. But the frustration continued until Juventus fortunately were handed an own goal from a Bernardeschi corner to pull level.

Ronaldo had a chance to win it shortly afterwards with his first free kick in a Juventus shirt. And as the Portuguese hitched up his shorts and assumed his trademark stance, a hush became a roar with every step of his run-up. However, the outstanding Sorrentino, another player with Juve ties, proved up to it. It was only when he went off, knocked out cold in the build-up to a goal disallowed by the VAR, that Juventus found the winner through Bernardeschi. The 24-year-old slotting home in stoppage time to spare the Old Lady’s blushes.

On a baking-hot summer’s day in fair Verona, Juventus were made to sweat for the victory. Welcome to Serie A, Cristiano. Maradona didn’t find it easy here, either.

Fury wins, sets up heavyweight showdown against Wilder

Fury wins, sets up heavyweight showdown against Wilder

Tyson Fury, left, and Deontay Wilder will meet before the end of the year in a heavyweight showdown. 

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder yelled vicious intentions at each other as their world heavyweight title fight was confirmed after Fury’s second comeback win Saturday.

Fury won every round of a ten round points decision over Francesco Pianeta before it was announced he will challenge WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder, who climbed into the ring for some trash-talking.

Their face-to-face confrontation in the ring was more entertaining than Fury’s predictable 100-90 points win over Pianeta in front of 25,000 at Belfast’s Windsor Park.

Fury’s second fight in as many months lacked drama and some fans jeered at the end — but the former champion was happy to shed some more ring rust.

It was then the perfect time and place to get the hype machine rolling.

“They called and I answered, I said yes and now he gets the chance to fight the lineal world heavyweight champion of the world,” Fury said.

“One thing I do promise you, when I go to Las Vegas I’m knocking you the **** out.”

“I’m going to knock you out, this I promise you, you are going to experience being hit by the Bronze Bomber,” Wilder replied.

“Now this fight is official, this fight is on baby. This is what we have been waiting for, the best fighting the best.”

The pair also clashed at a city centre hotel on Friday and it is a scene we will get used to before the pair finally meet again in a ring.

Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said about the date and venue: “All will be revealed next week — but the fight is on.”

Two unbeaten records will be on the line when American Wilder makes an eighth defense of his WBC belt against Englishman Fury, who won the other three world titles (WBA, IBF and WBO) with a shock points win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 but then did not fight again for a variety of reasons until two months ago.

It still seems a fight too soon for Fury to be facing Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) after so much inactivity and after losing eight stones for his comeback.

This was an improvement from his ring return ten weeks ago, but Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) is still short of the sharpness, fluency and movement of his win over Klitschko.

But it is on and owes in part to the breakdown in talks between Wilder and Fury’s English rival Anthony Joshua, the WBA-IBF-WBO champion.

It is perhaps boxing’s biggest bout of the year other than the middleweight rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez next month.

A lot was on the line for Fury — he expects to make £10million from facing Wilder, possibly in Las Vegas on November 10 or 17 — and he came through his audition without much discomfort.

The 6ft 9in giant from Manchester had promised to make “Italian sausage” out of Pianeta, who was born in Italy but has lived in Germany since childhood. He had to settle for something less spectacular but Fury was happy.

“I think it was a calculated boxing performance,” Fury said.

“I got ten rounds with a very tough man under my belt. I was working on my jab, slipping his punches. I thought that was a step up with the opponent and display. I needed the rounds and I had plenty left in the tank.”

Fury, 30, got into the ring to the sounds of “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd while Wilder, from Alabama, looked on from the front row.

Klitschko stopped Pianeta, 33, in six rounds five years ago but Fury was unable to seriously trouble the Germany-based boxer.

Fury weighed in 18 pounds lighter (18 stones 6 pounds) than his comeback fight against Sefer Seferi in June after two-and-a-half years in exile due to problems with drink, drugs and depression, during which time he also served a backdated doping ban.

He showed better movement in the first round than he did against Seferi, nimbly swivelling out of a corner while peppering Pianeta with shots to the head.

Fury whose mother Amber is from Belfast, employed his jab to good use in a sharp second round full of feints and nice moves.

Pianeta rocked Fury back on to his heels momentarily with a left hook at the start of the third round before the former champion resumed his jab and feints.

It was steady, rather than explosive, as Fury continued to rely on his jab rather than go hunting for a knockout.

The English boxer ended the ninth with some of his best punches of the fight, but Pianeta was unmoved.

Fury, who switched to southpaw for the last two rounds, did not get the grandstand finish he or his promoter Frank Warren wanted, but he did answer questions over his fitness as he looked sharp until the end.

Angry golfer's broken club strikes fan in head

Angry golfer's broken club strikes fan in head

A spectator was injured and required stitches after player Kevin Stadler‘s club head came loose and flew into the gallery Friday at a Tour event near Portland, Oregon.

Stadler, the son of former Masters champion Craig Stadler, was playing in the WinCo Foods Portland Open when he slammed his club to the turf in anger and up against his foot on the 15th hole of the second round.

The club broke somewhere near the bottom of the shaft and hit a spectator in the head, causing injuries that required six stitches, according to Orlando Pope, a Tour rules official who got an explanation from players in the group.

“It was a very freakish accident,” Pope said via phone from Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, where the third round was being played Saturday. “Kevin is devastated. He had trouble trying to finish the round. He was quite worried and felt so bad.”

Stadler ended up missing the cut in the last regular-season event of the Tour schedule. He was not available for comment. The Tour is a developmental circuit for the PGA Tour.

Neither Tour nor tournament officials would release the name of the spectator. Pope said the spectator was treated on site, then taken to a local hospital, received six stitches and was released. There were no further details on his condition.

Stadler was in the same group with Jonathan Hodge, who was competing in the third round Saturday, and Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Championship winner who will soon turn 50 and join the Champions Tour.

Micheel posted to his Facebook account about the incident but would not discuss it further.

“I had my head down but the club head flew behind me and hit a spectator to my right,” Micheel wrote as part of the post. “It’s been awhile since I’ve seen so much blood. We stayed with him for about 15 minutes before the EMTs arrived. …

“[Stadler] was absolutely shattered and we did our best to keep his spirits up. This was not done on purpose and we were astounded at the way the club was directed, but it just shows you how dangerous it is to throw or break clubs. Each of us in the group learned something today.”

Stadler, 38, won the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open and has four tour victories. He made no starts on the PGA Tour in either of the past two years because of a broken bone in his left hand. He played just two events on the Tour this year before the Portland tournament.

Red Sox ace Sale (shoulder) goes back on DL

Red Sox ace Sale (shoulder) goes back on DL

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who came off the disabled list last Sunday, has returned to the 10-day DL with left shoulder inflammation, team president Dave Dombrowski announced Saturday.

The move was retoactive to Wednesday.

Last Sunday, Sale, making his first start in two weeks, had 12 strikeouts in five innings against the Baltimore Orioles to extend his streak of scoreless innings to 28. He also has not given up a home run in 68 innings.

Sale, 29, is 12-4 with an American League-best 1.97 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He leads the major leagues in opponent batting average (.175) and strikeouts per nine innings (13.50).

Over his past seven starts, Sale has 79 strikeouts and just six walks.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Red Sox recalled reliever Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Gordon returns to Browns after 4-week absence

Gordon returns to Browns after 4-week absence

Wide receiver Josh Gordon has returned to the Cleveland Browns, expressing gratitude to the team for giving him time to work on his mental and physical health.

“As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being,” Gordon said in a statement.

Gordon had been away from the team since it opened training camp Thursday. League sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Gordon was seeking additional counseling to deal with his mental health and anxiety.

Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement that Gordon will start by participating in meetings and conditioning. The wide receiver will gradually return to all football activities, Dorsey said.

Dorsey praised Gordon’s “hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself.”