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Bengals DT Geno Atkins cleared to practice
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI — Defensive tackle Geno Atkins joined in his first training camp practice on Wednesday, a big step in his comeback from a torn knee ligament.

One of the NFL's top interior linemen, Atkins had been limited to working out on a side field for the first week of training camp. He was cleared to join the team for practice on Wednesday. Coach Marvin Lewis said he'll be limited at the outset.

Atkins' return is a huge boost to a defense that finished third overall in the NFL last season.

 
Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level.

It was suddenly clear to all of them that the Sprint Cup championship is a reasonable and reachable goal.

“I think Indianapolis, we were the best car and were able to execute all day and win the race,” crew chief Alan Gustafson said Wednesday. “That gives us confidence and I don’t want to say added incentive, but just an added confidence in our ability in what we can do moving forward.”

But Gustafson now has his work cut out for him the next six weeks. Gordon is already locked into the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship field, which buys time to look for every ounce of speed possible and build the fastest cars they can before the opener at Chicago in September.

He must walk a fine line the next several weeks with the No. 24 team of not letting them get overconfident or lose sight of the biggest prize.

“Obviously right now you don’t want to wear the guys out,” he said. “You want to get everybody rejuvenated. But we have to continue to push on our cars and make as many technological advances as we can, improve the car as much as we can, go into the Chase with good cars and execute.”

With NASCAR switching to elimination rounds for the Chase, setting up a winner-take-all finale, it’s also important for teams to be able to handle adversity. Not being able to immediately bounce back from a bad day could get a driver booted from the Chase field.

 
D’backs hold on to beat Reds 5-4
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM

By JOE KAY

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI — Left-hander Wade Miley didn’t feel all that great. Against the Reds, it didn’t matter.

Miley blanked Cincinnati into the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a 2-run homer and the Arizona Diamondbacks held on for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday, taking a series between two teams with struggling offenses.

Goldschmidt’s 19th homer off Alfred Simon (12-6) gave the Diamondbacks 2-of-3 in the series. Simon has gone 0-3 since his first All-Star selection. Didi Gregorius added a 2-run homer in the ninth.

Two homers in one game?

“That’s something we haven’t been doing a lot lately,” manager Kirk Gibson replied.

Neither team had been doing much of anything.

The Reds fell to 2-10 since the All-Star break. Devin Mesoraco’s 3-run homer in the ninth off Addison Reed ended a streak of 11 straight games with three runs or fewer, Cincinnati’s longest such stretch of futility since 1967.

 
Kluber outpitches Hernandez in 2-0 win
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber pitched his first career shutout to outduel Felix Hernandez, Yan Gomes had a 2-run double and the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0 on Wednesday night.

The matchup between two of the top pitchers in the American League lived up to its billing. Kluber (11-6) held the Mariners to three singles and no walks while striking out eight. Hernandez struck out five and walked two.

Hernandez (11-3) didn’t allow a base-runner until Carlos Santana drew a leadoff walk in the fifth. Gomes capped the rally with a bases-loaded double.

 
Stern sees Sterling saga ending well, lauds Silver
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — Former Commissioner David Stern praised the NBA's handling of the Donald Sterling controversy and predicts it will "end well" for the league.

Stern said his successor, Adam Silver, has been "forceful" but also "demonstrated a compassionate side" in his reaction to the racist remarks that were made by the Los Angeles Clippers' owner.

"He's done great. He has been forceful, he has been reflective, he has been buttoned-down and I think he has also demonstrated a compassionate side as well," Stern told The Associated Press on Wednesday during a phone interview. "So I think it's going to end well."

 
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