MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer disagreed with two called strikes by Laz Diaz and offered as much objection as the mild-mannered veteran will provide by looking back at the plate umpire following the second one that forced a full count. Mauer, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning, shook off the frustration and hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off reliever Louis Coleman, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Friday night. “That’s about as professional an at-bat as
ST. LOUIS — Jack Flaherty got an extra day of rest and a chance to pitch against Milwaukee, and took advantage of both. Kolten Wong and Marcell Ozuna drove in two runs apiece, Flaherty pitched six shutout innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brewers 5-2 on Friday night. “As the season goes on, whether you are facing a team for the first time or for the third time, there’s adjustments made on both sides,” Flaherty said. “Whoever I’m out there
GREEN BAY — Packers coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t declare Justin McCray the winner of the training camp competition at right guard, but he got pretty close. What was supposed to be one of the bigger competitions of training camp never materialized. While McCray’s would-be challenger, Lucas Patrick, has spent a big chunk of camp at left guard as starter Lane Taylor has dealt with ankle and quad issues, McCray has taken every first-team rep. “I hope so,” McCarthy
EAGAN, Minn. — After the coaching staffs for Jacksonville and Minnesota met the night before, a group of 12 trusted players from both the Jaguars and Vikings convened before the two teams took the field for their first joint practice. The goal of the gatherings could be boiled down to this: No fighting. Please. “We really don’t want to end up being on TV like some of these other things,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “We just want to get out there and get some
MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers are well-equipped to shatter perceptions about their offense this year. Focusing on just slowing down Heisman Trophy candidate Jonathan Taylor on the ground might be a risky proposition for the rest of the Big Ten. The Badgers are loaded at receiver, capable of putting four proven playmakers out wide at the same time. And that’s not even counting a more concerted effort to get Taylor more involved in the passing game in his sophomore season.
CHICAGO — It’s purely about the math for Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs. A three-game lead is better than a one-game advantage, and that was all that mattered Wednesday. Rizzo homered, drove in three runs and stole two bases in his return to the cleanup spot, and Chicago beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 to strengthen its hold on the NL Central. The Cubs bounced back nicely from their 7-0 loss in the opener of the two-game series, improving to 9-4 against the Brewers this year.
MINNEAPOLIS — Logan Forsythe may be best known by Minnesota fans as the player who replaced fan favorite Brian Dozier. The lone major leaguer of the three players the Dodgers sent to the Upper Midwest on July 31 for the second baseman, Forsythe has filled in capably. Forsythe had three RBIs, the Minnesota bullpen tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and the Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Wednesday. In 13 games with Minnesota, Forsythe is hitting .386 with six multi-hit games. He had
CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Brewers are casting doubt on Jimmy Nelson’s chances of returning this season. Nelson had shoulder surgery last September after he got hurt diving back to first after rounding the base on a single. It was a tough conclusion to a breakout year for the right-hander, who went 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts. The 29-year-old Nelson has been working out, but he is running out of time. “Jimmy pitching for us this year is unlikely,” manager Craig
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Melvin Gordon got into an argument recently with a fan who insisted he was Todd Gurley. The Los Angeles Chargers’ durable running back doesn’t look a whole lot like his Los Angeles Rams counterpart. That didn’t dissuade the fan, he recalled with a grimace. “I’m just starting to figure out that people just see a man with dreads and muscles and be like, ‘Oh, he’s such and such,‘” Gordon said. “Because I get
GREEN BAY — Marcus Mariota is proving to be a quick study with a new coach installing yet another offensive system for the Tennessee Titans. Maybe Mike Vrabel will stick around for a while for Tennessee. The Titans had a memorable opening series in Vrabel’s preseason debut as coach before the Packers pulled away in a matchup of the backups for a 31-17 win on Thursday night. “It was cool. I love this team, I do. I love these guys,” Vrabel said about first time on the