July 28, 2014

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Dawg Pound: Browns getting dog mascot 'Swagger'
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, July 14, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

CLEVELAND — Johnny Manziel's newest teammate with the Browns has four legs and can roll over on command.

A dog named "Swagger" will lead them onto the field next season, Cleveland team vice president of marketing Kevin Griffin revealed in a radio interview. Griffin says the dog is a bull mastiff, described by The American Kennel Club as a dog "that possesses great intelligence and a willingness to please, making them ideal family companions and protectors."

 
NBA Roundup
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, July 14, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

Pacers face new challenges in Central Division

INDIANAPOLIS — The road to another Eastern Conference final just got a whole lot tougher for the Indiana Pacers.

In less than a month, they've seen their division transformed from Lottery Central to the NBA's center of attention.

LeBron James' decision to go home has Cleveland back on the list of title contenders. The addition of Pau Gasol and the return of a healthy Derrick Rose could give the Bulls their most formidable lineup in three seasons. The Bucks used the league's worst record to add No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker, and struggling Detroit has signed three free agents to go with Andre Drummond and Brandon Jennings. And the 2-time defending division champ Pacers were the best regular-season team in the East last season.

 
Negron hits 1st homer in Reds’ 6-3 win over Bucs
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:00 PM

By MARK SCHMETZER

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI — Kris Negron waited a long time for his first major-league home run. When it came, he was in a hurry to celebrate with his teammates.

Negron hit a 3-run homer, All-Star Todd Frazier added a 2-run shot and the Cincinnati Reds rolled into the break with a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Called up from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday for his first appearance in the majors since playing four games in 2012, Negron hit an opposite-field homer to right off Francisco Liriano in the second inning.

The RBIs were the first of his career, and the hit was his second.

“Negron is a tempo guy,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “You could tell it was a surreal moment for him because he was flying around the bases. It was a lifetime achievement.

Negron has been in professional baseball for nine years. He was promoted from the minors when second baseman Brandon Phillips was put on the disabled list with torn ligaments in his left thumb.

“I was so amped up that I was around the bases as quickly as I could be,” Negron said. “I love playing this game. You have your ups and downs but you have to keep playing. I’m not thinking about how long I’m going to be here. I’m just blessed with the opportunity and I’m going to keep playing whenever my number is called.”

The game was delayed by rain for 56 minutes with Pittsburgh batting in the top of the fifth.

 
Gomes’ homer gives Indians win
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Sunday, July 13, 2014 6:22 PM )

CLEVELAND (AP) — Yan Gomes made sure the Indians went into the All-Star break on a positive note.

Gomes drove in all three runs, including a go-ahead 2-run homer in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied for a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Gomes’ blast to right off Javy Guerra (0-2) came after the White Sox scored two runs in top of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Nick Swisher led off with a single before Gomes, who also had an RBI single in the second, hit a 1-1 pitch into Chicago’s bullpen.

Gomes, who threw his arms in the air as he rounded first base after his 12th homer of the season, wasn’t trying to do anything dramatic.

“I was just trying to do the same thing Swish did, and just get a hit,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t thinking about doing hitting a home run.”

“I’m thrilled for him because he was a little under the weather today but he didn’t want to come out of the game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Guerra admitted he didn’t make a good pitch.

“A slider, came out, wasn’t a very good one,” he said. “(Gomes) did what he was supposed to. Broken-bat base hit to left, next guy hits a homer. It’s just bad luck. Bad inning.”

 
Keselowski dominates in New Hampshire victory
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:00 PM

By DAN GELSTON

Associated Press

 

LOUDON, N.H. — Brad Keselowski hopped out of his car and grabbed an oversized broom to give a playful sweep of all the confetti already collected around his Ford.

He then truly savored his victory, snagging a New England lobster and raising it in triumph.

Keselowski survived without a cut, splinter or pinch. He didn’t even fumble his championship crustacean. For once, his victory celebration was as perfect as his performance on the track.

He completed a flawless weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and won Sunday under a green-white checkered finish. Keselowski followed up Saturday’s Nationwide Series victory with his first Sprint Cup win at New Hampshire, dominating in the No. 2 Ford for his third victory of the season.

The 2012 Sprint Cup champion is now tied with Jimmie Johnson for the series lead in wins.

“This was just such a phenomenal weekend and these don’t happen that often,” he said.

Keselowski had been in a slump with, of all things, his Victory Lane fun.

He needed four stitches to close a wound he received during his Victory Lane celebration in the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. He tried to open the bottle of champagne by hitting it against a podium and the bottle broke and cut his hand.

Keselowski dropped the American flag out of his No. 22 Ford on Saturday and it was retrieved by an official to let the frivolity continue.

He joked he brought Kevlar-reinforced gloves that were touted as cut-proof.

Good thing. The New Hampshire winner traditionally receives a live lobster in Victory Lane.

 
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