Watson rusty in return but Browns get 27-14 win over Texans
Deshaun Watson struggled in a sloppy performance in his first game in 700 days, but a punt return for a touchdown by Donovan Peoples-Jones and two defensive TDs were plenty enough to give the Cleveland Browns a 27-14 win over the lowly Houston Texans Sunday.
Twins coach Mike Bell, brother of Reds manager, dies at 46
FILE - This is a 2020 file photo showing Mike Bell of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. Twins bench coach Mike Bell has taken an indefinite leave from the team because of kidney cancer. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)FORT MYERS, Fla. – Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell, the younger brother of Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, died Friday of kidney cancer. Mike Bell had surgery Jan. 28 to remove a growth that was discovered earlier that month. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said at the start of spring training that his top assistant in the dugout was “very, very optimistic” about his recovery.
5-inning games, 2-out innings? Odd MLB spring look on deck
A worker cleans the stadium seats as San Francisco Giants players train during the team's spring training baseball workout in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon figures players can find plenty to do with any extra time they could get at the end of days if spring training games don't go nine innings. Even after that, until the end of spring training, games can be scheduled for only seven innings. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said he had already been in touch with Cleveland's Terry Francona by midweek about their spring training opener Sunday. AdJESSE'S TEAMVeteran right-hander Jesse Chavez is re-signing with the Los Angeles Angels on a minor league deal, and will join them in spring training after clearing intake protocols.
AP All-Big Ten: Ohio State's Fields, Indiana's Allen honored
Fields led Ohio State to a 6-0 record and the No. 7 Indiana (6-1) to its highest ranking since 1967, knocking off three ranked teams along the way. Its only loss was 42-35 at Ohio State in a game that went down to the final play. u-QB — Justin Fields, Ohio State, 6-3, 228, Jr., Kennesaw, Georgia. C — Josh Myers, Ohio State, 6-5, 312, Jr., Miamisburg, Ohio.
Over in a hurry: A couple bad days end MLB seasons
For fans who enjoy chaos, drama and sheer randomness, the past three days provided it. For good baseball teams that endured months of semi-quarantine, COVID-19 protocols and eerily quiet stadiums, watching a season end in less than 36 hours was brutal. In Thursday's nightcap, the Milwaukee Brewers had their season end after a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. With a revised schedule that restricted teams to their geographic regions — East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West — home teams went 500-398 for a .557 winning percentage, the highest since .559 in 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Whether home or away, the end came quickly for some teams over the past few days.
Reds top Twins 7-2, clinch 1st playoff spot since 2013
Mike Moustakas homered twice, Freddy Galvis hit a solo shot and the Reds clinched their first playoff spot since 2013, beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Friday night. “I like this team much more than I liked those teams, and I really liked those teams," Votto said. Twins: RHP Homer Bailey, who spent 12 of his 14 major league seasons with the Reds, was designated for assignment prior to the game. UP NEXTReds: RHP Luis Castillo (4-5, 2.86 ERA) will pitch on Saturday night, seeking his fifth straight win. Twins: RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 3.18 ERA) pitches the middle game of the series.
Schwarber homers twice as Cubs pound Reds 10-1
Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber reacts after hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)CINCINNATI With one massive drive in the ninth inning, Kyle Schwarber made history for the Chicago Cubs. Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ became the first starting outfield to hit multiple homers in the same game, and the Cubs pounded the Cincinnati Reds 10-1 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series. Schwarber hit the first and the last of the Cubs' season-high six homers, belting a solo drive in the fourth against Luis Castillo (0-5) and a grand slam off Jos De Len in the ninth. When you have a little piece of history, you always keep that with you.The NL Central-leading Cubs hit 14 homers in the series.
Reds, Pirates won't play Monday, awaiting COVID test results
Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell (55) reacts to drawing a walk as Cincinnati Reds' Tucker Barnhart (16) reacts in the first inning during a baseball game at in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The last two games of a series between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates were postponed Saturday after the player tested positive. The Reds expect results of their latest tests on Monday, when a decision will be made whether they travel to Kansas City. The Reds are the third MLB team to have games postponed because one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, joining the Marlins and the Cardinals. The Reds' Matt Davidson confirmed that he tested positive during the opening series of the abbreviated, 60-game season, forcing him onto the injured list.
LEADING OFF: Pirates-Reds renew bitter rivalry, Judge ailing
Cincinnati Reds teammates celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)A look at what's happening around the majors on Thursday:KEEP COOLThe Reds and Pirates renew what erupted into one of baseballs most bitter rivalries last season, with one major change at the top. Long-simmering tensions between the Ohio River rivals over batters getting plunked escalated into a benches-clearing brawl at Great American Ball Park last summer 31 and resulted in Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, Reds manager David Bell and six players suspended. Its uncertain whether the oft-injured slugger will be back Friday night for the start of a weekend series against Boston. Judge was leading the majors with nine home runs and tied at the top with 20 RBIs before he sat out.
MLB looks to shorter doubleheaders to ease scheduling chaos
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)The Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds were the first teams to try out baseballs new time-saving measure a doubleheader with seven-inning games. By the end of the night Sunday, 12 teams had played 10 games, but six had played seven or fewer. Making doubleheader games seven innings long can help, at least in theory. You can use your bullpen a lot different, earlier in the game and try to get through that part. But last year, there were only 33 doubleheaders total, and the New York Yankees led the way with seven.
7-inning doubleheaders debut in MLB, Reds sweep Tigers
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)DETROIT Trevor Bauer made short work of the Detroit Tigers, capping Major League Baseball's first seven-inning doubleheader with a shutout. We've had a tough time in these first ten days, and we've especially struggled against Detroit, Bell said. Bauer wasn't confirmed as the starter for the second game until he arrived at the park. At one point in the first game, Cincinnati starter Anthony DeSclafani forgot the teams were only playing seven innings. Tigers: Detroit has Monday off, then is scheduled to host four games in three days against the St. Louis Cardinals.
LEADING OFF: Virus fears force changes in lineups, plans
Miami Marlins' Brian Anderson, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Francisco Cervelli, left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)The Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds are waiting to see how COVID-19 affects them heading into the second series of the season. The Marlins planned to arrive in Miami hours before their home opener against Baltimore, unsure how many players might remain quarantined in Philadelphia. The Reds were without second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel for a 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Cincinnati. Both felt sick a day after teammate Matt Davidson went on the injured list after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Masking up: Protective coverings not just for MLB dugouts
Protective face coverings won't be out of sight when Major League Baseball resumes in less than two weeks. New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has been experimenting with various masks during intrasquad scrimmages. At 68, Washington has seen fellow Braves coach Eric Young Sr. and Mets hitting coach Chili Davis opt out this season. I trust the protocol that MLB has in place and I also trust Ron Washington even more.This is very safe, he said Sunday, adding, Sixty games? More umpires are expected to start working intrasquad games this week.
Reds' Garrett drops fears, speaks out about racial injustice
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2020, file photo, Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett leads other pitchers in sprints during spring training baseball workouts in Goodyear, Ariz. As one of only two Black players on the Cincinnati Reds, reliever Amir Garrett was afraid to use his platform to speak about racial injustice. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)CINCINNATI With so few Black players in the major leagues, Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett was afraid to talk openly about racial discrimination. He saw what happened when Colin Kaepernick tried to focus attention on racial injustice the quarterback hasn't played again in the NFL. The Reds organized a Zoom session with diversity Saturday with Tru Pettigrew, an inclusion and diversity advocate . It really took a lot for me to get vulnerable with my teammates like that, Garrett said.
MLB '20 schedule: Yanks-Nats, Giants-Dodgers open on July 23
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts fields a fly ball during the restart of baseball spring training Sunday, July 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. MLB released the schedule Monday, and it starts with two games. Cole and the New York Yankees visit the World Series champion Washington Nationals at 7:08 p.m. EDT, then Betts and his new Los Angeles Dodgers teammates host the San Francisco Giants at 10:08 p.m. The same day, Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels visit Oakland and the Cincinnati Reds host Detroit. Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers will get his first look at his former Houston teammates on Aug. 7 at the empty Coliseum.