Here’s a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Wednesday, July 29.
NFL UPHOLDS BRADY SUSPENSION
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sacked Tom Brady once again, but the NFL Players Association will seek a roughing the passer penalty.
Goodell has upheld the four-game suspension that league executive Troy Vincent gave to the New England Patriots quarterback in May. Brady was punished for his role in using underinflated footballs during the Pats’ blowout victory in the AFC championship game.
Goodell said the three-time Super Bowl MVP told an assistant to destroy Brady’s cellphone on or just before March 6, the day Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells. The text messages were critical to Wells’ investigation because they could have shown details of Brady’s communication with equipment managers blamed for deflating footballs.
Brady’s agent called the appeal hearing a sham and said Goodell “failed to ensure a fair process.”
The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it would appeal in court. However, the league has made the initial legal maneuver by filing action in U.S. District Court in New York against the union, saying the NFL commissioner has the right under the labor agreement to hand out such discipline.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
The league has reduced Le’Veon Bell’s suspension to two games, allowing the Pittsburgh All-Pro running back to play in St. Louis on Sept. 27. The league initially suspended Bell for the first three games of the 2015 season as part of the fallout from his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and drug charges. Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount.
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will be at training camp on time. A person familiar with Wilkerson’s plans says the lineman will report for camp Wednesday despite being unhappy with his contract. He is in the last year of his rookie contract and is due to make $6.97 million this season.
Kansas City defensive tackle Dontari Poe will miss camp and likely part of the season after undergoing surgery last week on a herniated disc. The injury initially occurred during the Chiefs’ voluntary offseason program, but Poe aggravated it during a workout at home on July 8.
ASTROS CATCH ANGELS
There’s now a two-way tie for first place in the American League West after the Houston Astros pounded the visiting Los Angeles Angels.
Jose Altuve was 3-for-5 with a two-run double and a career-high five RBIs to lead the Astros’ assault in a 10-5 win over the Halos. Carlos Correa and Chris Carter homered to back a shaky Collin McHugh, who improved to 12-5 despite surrendering five runs on seven hits and four walks in just five innings.
The Astros have won six of eight since a 2-9 skid allowed them to blow a five-game division lead and fall 1 1/2 games behind Los Angeles.
The Angels have followed a seven-game winning streak with a 1-4 slide.
In other major league finals:
Kansas City pulled out a 2-1 win at Cleveland on Eric Hosmer’s solo shot with two out in the ninth inning. The Royals’ bullpen tossed 4 1/3 shutout innings to send the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest home skid since 1975 at Cleveland Stadium. The Royals’ 16th victory in 21 games gives the AL Central leaders a nine-game bulge over Minnesota.
Pittsburgh also belted a ninth-inning homer as Jung Ho Kang slammed a ball off the facing of the second deck to lead the Pirates to their fourth win in five games, 8-7 over the Twins. Gregory Polanco hit a three-run double in the eighth and scored on Neil Walker’s single for a 7-3 lead, but Minnesota tied the score in the bottom half. Francisco Cervelli added three hits in the Bucs’ major league-leading 11th interleague victory this year.
Didi Gregorius laced a bases-loaded triple and Chris Young launched a grand slam while the Yankees put together an 11-run second inning to beat Texas 21-5. Young was 3-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored, while Brett Gardner was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, three ribbies and five runs scored to help the AL East leaders stay seven games in front of Baltimore. Reliever Diego Moreno claimed his first major league victory by tossing no-hit ball over 5 1/3 innings after starter Chris Capuano was tagged for five runs in the first.
Baltimore made it four straight wins as Chris Davis homered twice and had five RBIs by the second inning of a 7-3 decision over Atlanta. Davis launched a three-run shot in the first inning before his second round-tripper put the Orioles ahead 5-2. Ubaldo Jimenez worked seven masterful innings, no-hitting the Braves after the first and retiring 18 of his final 20 batters.
Philadelphia is 9-1 since the All-Star break after Adam Morgan worked six strong innings and Cody Asche had two RBIs in a 3-2 triumph at Toronto. Morgan gave up two runs and five hits in winning for the first time since his major league debut, June 21 against St. Louis. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista left after an apparent right hamstring injury in the eighth.
Rookie Noah Syndergaard was superb in the Mets’ 4-0 shutout of San Diego, surrendering only three hits and striking out nine in eight innings. Syndergaard retired his first 18 hitters before Will Venable led off the seventh with a single. Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson hit two-run homers for the Mets, who won their third in a row to climb within one game of the NL East-leading Nationals.
Jose Fernandez improved to 15-0 lifetime in Miami by holding the Nats to a run and four hits in six innings of the Marlins’ 4-1 victory. Dee Gordon tripled and scored the go-ahead run in his return from the disabled list. Martin Prado had three hits as the Marlins dealt the Nationals their third loss in four games.
Sonny Gray is 11-4 with a 2.17 ERA after tossing a three-hitter in Oakland’s 2-0 shutout of the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Gray struck out nine and allowed just two runners to reach second base. Josh Reddick hit a solo homer for the A’s, who prevented the Dodgers from expanding their half-game lead over San Francisco atop the NL West.
The Giants were 5-2 losers to Milwaukee as Adam Lind drove in a pair to help the Brewers end San Francisco’s six-game winning streak. Wily Peralta was 1-5 before carrying a shutout into the seventh inning. Losing pitcher Matt Cain was reached for four runs and eight hits in six frames.
Mike Leake won his fourth consecutive start by scattering four hits in eight innings of Cincinnati’s 4-0 shutout of the Cardinals in St. Louis. Joey Votto hit a three-run homer off Jaime Garcia, who was back on the mound after coming off the disabled list before the game.
D.J. LeMahieu has an 18-game hitting streak after going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in Colorado’s 7-2 romp over the Chicago Cubs. Nolan Arenado delivered a two-run double and Yohan Flande held the Cubs to a run and four hits in five innings for his first big league win. Dexter Fowler had three hits for the Cubs.
Jose Abreu and Geovany Soto homered and drove in three runs apiece to power the White Sox to their sixth consecutive win, 9-4 at Boston. Jeff Samardzija gave up seven hits in eight-plus innings and carried a 9-2 lead into the ninth before tiring. Red Sox starter Wade Miley was tagged for seven runs over 5 2/3 innings after the team retired the jersey number of Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez.
Curt Casali homered twice for the second straight night while going 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Tampa Bay’s 10-2 laugher against Detroit. Both of Casali’s blasts came off former Rays ace David Price, who fell to 9-4. Tim Beckham had two hits and four ribbies to support Jake Odorizzi, who held the Tigers to a run and six hits in six innings.
David Peralta had three hits and was one of four Diamondbacks with two RBI’s in an 8-4 trouncing of Seattle. Ender Inciarte, Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed drove in two runs apiece in Arizona’s fourth consecutive win. Zack Godley gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings to move to 2-0.
TULO HEADS TO JAYS FOR REYES
Troy Tulowitzkiand Jose Reyes are baseball’s two highest-paid shortstops, and they’ve just traded places.
The Colorado Rockies have shipped Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays in a blockbuster deal that sends Reyes, rookie reliever Miguel Castro and two minor league pitchers to Denver. The Jays also receive 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins.
Tulowitzki is a five-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time Gold Glove winner who is hitting .300 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 87 games this season. He owns a .299 career average with 188 home runs, 436 extra-base hits and 657 runs batted in since reaching the majors in 2006.
Reyes won the National League batting title with the 2011 New York Mets and is a .291 hitter for his 13-year career. Reyes has a .288 average with 34 RBIs and 16 stolen bases this year.
Also in the majors:
The Phillies have sent All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals. The 34-year-old right-hander is Philadelphia’s career saves leader with 123 and is 17 for 17 in save chances this season. MLB.com reported the Phillies will receive Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta for Papelbon.
The Royals have picked up versatile Ben Zobrist and cash from Oakland for pitchers Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea. The 34-year-old utilityman batted .268 with six home runs, 20 doubles, two triples and 33 RBIs in 67 games for the A’s. Zobrist missed a month following arthroscopic left knee surgery in late April.
The Cleveland Indians have traded veteran outfielder David Murphy to the Los Angeles Angels for minor league shortstop Eric Stamets. Murphy has compiled a .296 average with five homers and 27 RBIs in 84 games this season.
The Los Angeles Angels have acquired outfielder David DeJesus from Tampa Bay for minor league pitcher Eduar Lopez. The 35-year-old DeJesus is hitting .259 with five homers and 26 RBIs this season.
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has been suspended again following his second positive test for steroids. He will sit out an additional 162 games for having Stanozolol and Boldenone in his system. Mejia was banished for the first 80 games this year before returning July 12.
The Washington Nationals had outfielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman in their lineup for Tuesday’s game at Miami. Werth missed 61 games with a broken left wrist, and Zimmerman missed 49 games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Werth hadn’t played since May 15, and Zimmerman’s last game was June 9.
Baseball’s Hall of Fame is cutting the number of voters in its annual election. The Hall’s board of directors has announced it will eliminate writers who have not been active for more than 10 years. Until now, the electorate has included people who have been active members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for 10 consecutive years at any point.
PENS, CANUCKS SWAP VETERAN FORWARDS
The Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt center Brandon Sutter to the Canucks for forward Nick Bonino and defenseman Adam Clendening. The Pens also received a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, while the Canucks pick up a third-round pick in next year’s draft from Pittsburgh.
Sutter tied a career-high with 21 goals last season, while Bonino delivered 15 goals and 39 points in 75 during his lone season in Vancouver following a five-year run with Anaheim.
The Penguins also signed forward Eric Fehr to a three-year deal worth $2 million annually.
Also in the NHL:
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed center Sean Couturier to a multi-year contract extension. The 22-year-old Couturier had a career-high 15 goals and 37 points in 82 games last season.