Wednesday Sports in Brief | The Sacramento Bee

NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, whose unmistakable swagger in helping the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl title earned him the nickname “Lenny the Cool “, died Wednesday. He was 87 years old.

Dawson’s family announced his death in a statement via KMBC, the Kansas City-based television station where he starred in his second career as a broadcaster. No cause was given, although Dawson had been in poor health for years. He entered hospice care on August 12.

Dawson was the MVP in the Chiefs’ 23-7 Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings in January 1970.

Dawson personified the Chiefs almost from the start, when the suave Purdue standout lost starting jobs in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and landed with the fledgling franchise, then based in Dallas. There, Dawson reunited with Hank Stram, who had been an assistant to the Boilermakers, and together they changed the franchise.

The coach and quarterback won the AFL Championship together in 1962, their first year together, and became real stars the following year when club founder Lamar Hunt moved the team in Kansas City and renamed it the Chiefs. They went on to win two more AFL titles, one in 1966 when they lost to the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl, and the other in 1969 when Dawson returned from injury for help beat the Vikings at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. .

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has a torn left hamstring and could be sidelined for months, according to a report from ESPN.

Smith was injured on an 11-on-11 practice drill when he went to engage linebacker Leighton Vander Esch about 5 yards out in the field before collapsing on the turf. He left the field unaided.

The team initially stated on its website that Smith had a knee injury and an MRI was scheduled. ESPN, citing unidentified sources, later reported that the 31-year-old had a torn hamstring.

The eight-time Pro Bowler has been hampered primarily by back, neck and shoulder injuries in recent years. Smith has missed at least three games every season since 2016, including two career-low games in 2020 before season-ending neck surgery.

The Cowboys relied on Smith and five-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin as anchors on an offensive line that’s young in all three other places.

BASEBALL

SEATTLE (AP) — Mariners right-hander George Kirby set a major league record by throwing 24 straight strikes to start the game and fellow Seattle rookie Julio Rodriguez hit a new level, but Ildemaro Vargas hit a homer of two runs in the ninth inning that lifted the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 win.

Kirby allowed five hits and a run before throwing his first pitch to Joey Meneses in third. Kirby surpassed the mark of 21 consecutive strikes to open by Joe Musgrove for Pittsburgh against St. Louis in 2018.

Rodriguez hit his 20th homer, tying it at 1 in the eighth. The 21-year-old sensation who put on quite a show at the All-Star Home Run Derby became the fourth rookie in big league history with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season, joining Mitchell Page (1977 Athletics), Ellis Burks (1987 Red Sox) and Marty Cordova (1995 Twins). Rodriguez leads all rookies in home runs and has stolen 23 bases.

Teams split its brief two-game streak, with Seattle winning three of four this year after sweeping Washington in a July 13 doubleheader. The Mariners sit third and last in the AL wildcard race while the Nationals have the worst record of the majors.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Heaney struck out 10 in his first win in four months, Austin Barnes had four runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers for the second straight game, winning 12-6.

The Dodgers won the season series, 4-3, while beating the Brewers 22-11 in the three-game series, including a 10-1 rout on Tuesday. Los Angeles has scored 10 or more points in three of its last four games. The Dodgers had 13 hits and batted in the first and fourth innings.

Hitting in ninth place, Barnes hit a two-run homer with two out in the sixth, extending the lead to 12-2.

Heaney (2-1) allowed two runs and four hits, walked one and struck out 10 Brewers – one of his season-high – for the second time in a week, giving him 10 consecutive outings for the first time . since June 2019. The right-hander won for the first time since April 17. He had five straight no-decisions and a loss at Milwaukee last week between wins. Heaney has been on the disabled list twice, most recently in July with an inflamed left shoulder.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kyle Wright allowed two hits in seven effective innings, Matt Olson hit a grand slam that found the Allegheny River and the Atlanta Braves punched through the botched Pittsburgh Pirates 14-2 to complete a sweep of three games.

Wright (16-5) struck out eight and scored one to tie Houston’s Justin Verlander and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin for most major league wins. Wright needed just 73 pitches to record 21 strikeouts while reducing his ERA to 2.99.

Atlanta won 14 of 16 overall wins to keep the pressure on the NL East-leading New York Mets.

The only highlight for the Pirates came in rookie Oneil Cruz, who tore up the hardest-hit ball since Major League Baseball began measuring out velocity in 2015. The ball left Cruz’s bat at 122.4 mph and slammed into the 21-foot-tall Clemente Wall in right field with two outs in the third. He was held to one.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

GOLF

ATLANTA (AP) — The PGA Tour has made its boldest response yet to the Saudi-funded rival league with a plan for top players to commit to a 20-tournament schedule in which they compete. will compete up to 17 times for average purses of $20 million.

The Tour also doubles the bonus pool for its Player Impact Program to $100 million spread across 20 players, and it changes the criteria to be geared more towards media exposure.

Players starting their career will receive $500,000 at the start of the year which will count towards their earnings until the number is exceeded.

Among the sweeping changes announced by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, the most significant is one that emerged from a private meeting of 23 top players last week: a new model that more often ensures the best play in the same tournaments .

The 20-tournament commitment begins in January with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua and assumes the best players are eligible.

ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are bringing their own version of team golf to the PGA Tour.

A day after Woods and McIlroy announced a new media venture called TMRW Sports, they unveiled a project that involves 18 players competing in a series of matches featuring technology as much as shooting.

It’s called “TGL”, a tech-infused golf league to be held in a purpose-built stadium where fans can watch three-man teams compete in an 18-hole match – using simulators for the long shots, live shots for the shorter ones – it will only take two hours.

The league is scheduled to begin in January 2024 and feature 15 regular season games on Monday nights, followed by semi-finals and finals. TMRW Sports – pronounced “tomorrow” – was formed to build technology-driven projects with a progressive approach to sports, entertainment and media.

Among the investors is Dick Ebersol, the retired chairman of NBC Sports whose many contributions to television sports include Sunday Night Football.

WNBA

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points, Alyssa Thomas had 13 points and eight rebounds, and the No. 3 seed Connecticut Sun outshot the shorthanded Dallas Wings 73-58 to advance for the semi-finals.

Connecticut earned its first winner-takes-all victory since Sept. 29, 2004, and advanced to the first round of the WNBA playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. The Sun will play defending champion Chicago Sky on Sunday in a best-of-five series.

The Sun opened the scoring in the third quarter, using a 15-6 run to build a 49-40 lead. The Wings scored just four field goals in the third quarter and Connecticut started the fourth on an 8-0 run for a 65-46 lead.

Connecticut held Dallas to 24 points in the second half and a season-low point total.

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