Cardinals avert 5-game sweep, trounce Pirates 13-0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals averted a five-game sweep at Pittsburgh, ending a season-worst seven-game losing streak by routing the Pirates 13-0 Thursday night in a matchup between the NL's top two teams.
St. Louis began the series with a 2½-game lead in the NL Central but left with the Pirates ahead by 1½ games. The Cardinals avoided their first sweep in a set of at least five games since 1916, when the New York Giants took all six games.
Kelly pitched six scoreless innings and had two hits. Tony Cruz added three hits, including a two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning.
Royals win 9th straight, beat Twins 7-2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Kansas City Royals won their ninth straight game, stretching their longest winning streak in more than a decade by beating Minnesota 7-2 Thursday behind Billy Butler's hitting and Lorenzo Cain's highlight reel catch in center field.
The Royals last won nine straight when they opened the 2003 season at 9-0. The last time Kansas City won more in a row was a 10-game string in 1994, STATS said.
Butler had two hits and drove in two runs. Justin Maxwell had a hit and an RBI a day after being acquired in a trade with Houston.
James Shields gave up two runs on five hits and five walks in six innings for the Royals, who swept the three-game series and are showing potential to be a factor late in the season.
Royals put INF Getz on DL with left knee sprain
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have placed infielder Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee.
The move was announced Thursday but is retroactive to Sunday. Getz is hitting .209 with one home run and 14 RBIs this season.
Putting Getz on the DL allowed the Royals to make room on the roster for outfielder Justin Maxwell, who was acquired from the Houston Astros in a deadline deal Wednesday. Maxwell hit .241 with two homers and nine RBIs for the Astros.
Manager Ned Yost is wasting little time getting him in the mix. Maxwell started in right field in the series finale against Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.
Franklin named captain, still must QB job
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — James Franklin opens fall camp as Missouri's starting quarterback and one of the captains, too.
Coach Gary Pinkel emphasized after the first fall practice that the honor based on balloting by teammates is no guarantee he'll still have the job when the season begins.
The return of running back Henry Josey, coming off a serious left knee injury that sidelined him all last season, will be a plus no matter who's taking the snaps. Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk and Corbin Berkstresser, who made four starts when Franklin was injured last season, are also in the mix.
Franklin's setbacks were among the disappointments in a 5-7 season that ended a string of eight bowl appearances.
Missouri opens at home Aug. 31 against Missouri State and also has Toledo and Arkansas State at home in pre-SEC schedule before tackling a grueling conference schedule.
Chiefs let competition shake out at wide receiver
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs are still on the hunt for wide receivers during training camp.
Dwayne Bowe's job is just about the only one secure after the former Pro Bowler signed a five-year deal to stay with the Chiefs. Otherwise, guys such as former first-round pick Jon Baldwin and free-agent signee Donnie Avery are trying to make an impression.
Baldwin in particular has struggled during the first week of camp, dropping several passes while being defended by air. He dropped another one on Thursday when he was wide open.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid says he's trying to find out what guys can do best before establishing roles for them, and Bowe promised the corps would be "110 percent" ready to go.
Manziel, Clowney headliners in SEC's bid for No. 8
UNDATED (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has plenty of star players hoping to help extend the league's streak of seven straight national titles.
The group is led by Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. They're considered two of the favorites to claim the SEC's fifth Heisman in seven years.
The league's returning stars also include Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and All-America linebacker C.J. Mosley, plus Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and tailback Todd Gurley.
That bounty of talent gives the SEC ample hope that it can maintain its grip on the national title.
Alabama is regarded as the front-runner for a third straight title and fourth in five years. But Florida, Georgia and South Carolina also finished last season ranked in the top 10.
N DAKOTA ST-TICKETS
Remaining tickets sold out for home Bison games
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State football is sold out for the second straight year.
School officials say single game tickets for six Bison home games were snatched up in less than two hours Thursday morning.
NDSU had previously sold 12,000-plus season tickets for the 2013 season. The Fargodome holds 18,700 fans.
Bison athletic director Gene Taylor says he expected demand to be at an all-time high this year for the two-time defending Football Championship Subdivision winners.
Taylor says additional reserved and standing room tickets may become available on the Friday of each game week.
The Bison have home games against Ferris State on Sept. 7, Delaware State on Sept. 21, Northern Iowa on Oct. 5, Missouri State on Oct. 12, Illinois State on Nov. 9 and South Dakota on Nov. 23.