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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer

St. Louis Rams defensive back Cody Davis (38) is congratulated by teammates after intercepting a pass and running it back for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

St. Louis Rams defensive back Cody Davis (38) is congratulated by teammates after intercepting a pass and running it back for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs rested all of their regulars and still finished the preseason unbeaten.

Chase Daniel threw a touchdown pass and the Chiefs beat the St. Louis Rams 24-17 on Thursday night.

`It’s not meaningless to us,” Daniel said. “We’re looking forward to the regular season and hopefully we can start off 4-0 there, too.”

Kansas City (4-0) was perfect for the first time since 1969, the season the franchise won its lone Super Bowl title.

“We’re in America so you play to win whether it’s ping pong or a hot dog eating contest,” coach Andy Reid said. “It’s the preseason, and we understand that.”

Isaiah Pead rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (0-4). They were winless for the first time since 2002 and are 2-10 the past three preseasons.

“Some of those tough years when we were 2-14, go back and look at some of those preseason records,” defensive end Chris Long said. “They were pretty darned good. I don’t weigh everything on winning and losing.”

Tavon Austin had the most electrifying play of the game, reversing field on a 43-yard scamper after a short catch that set up St. Louis’ first touchdown.

The Rams played most of their regulars for two series, although they were down to fourth string at running back, and the Chiefs rested all of their starters.

St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles threw a costly interception, although it wasn’t his fault.

The Rams’ second home game in five days was just as poorly attended as the first with the Edward Jones Dome about one-fourth full. The team said 37,616 tickets were distributed, or about half-capacity.

At a pregame rally touting progress of a stadium task force, Mayor Francis Slay gave fans his “word” there would be a new riverfront stadium and the Rams would be playing in it.

The Rams’ Cody Davis jumped the route on a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown off Daniel in the first quarter.

The Chiefs’ Daniel Sorensen had a 26-yard return to the 8-yard line on the third play of the game after Foles’ pass was in and out of Jared Cook’s hands. That set up Spencer Ware’s 1-yard run two plays later.

Daniel played the first half, going 16 of 20 for 117 yards with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley. Foles was 2 of 3 for 49 yards.

The Rams’ Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard field goal with plenty of yardage to spare late in the second.

STADIUM FEVER

Dave Peacock, a former Anheuser-Busch executive and leader of the stadium group, was a lot more circumspect than Slay, saying “I’ve never guaranteed anything.”

Peacock and Gov. Jay Nixon met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Wednesday. Nixon did not attend the rally, which had a crowd of about 300, but he visited the dome before the game.

Several protesters held signs at the rally saying “No Vote, No Stadium.”

WAR HERO

Daniel Rodriguez, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who was a longshot trying to make the Rams as a return man and backup wide receiver, sustained a concussion on a kickoff return late in the first half. Rodriguez needed attention on the field after a hit by Sorensen.

CENTERSTAGE

The Rams’ Tim Barnes made his second preseason start at center, the lone position battle up for grabs on either team. Coach Jeff Fisher was non-committal after the game.

ROOKIE SHINES

Conley, a third-round Chiefs pick, made a nice reception at the goal line on his first touchdown of the preseason. He had three receptions for 38 yards.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Kansas City opens at Houston Sept. 13.

Rams: St. Louis opens at home against NFC champion Seattle Sept. 13.

By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer

A New England Patriots fan holds a sign referring to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before an NFL preseason football game between the Patriots and the New York Giants Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. Federal Judge Richard M. Berman overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's four-game suspension of Brady Thursday morning. The league said it will appeal the ruling. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

A New England Patriots fan holds a sign referring to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before an NFL preseason football game between the Patriots and the New York Giants Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. Federal Judge Richard M. Berman overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension of Brady Thursday morning. The league said it will appeal the ruling. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tom Brady is free and Ramon Foster can’t help but laugh. Sorry, the irony is just a little too delicious.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ guard remembers joining the rest of his teammates in declining to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the NFL Players Association in the summer of 2011 because of concerns it gave Commissioner Roger Goodell too much authority.

Now Foster was sitting in his locker Thursday night praising the New England Patriots’ quarterback for making a stand against Goodell, a stand the Steelers felt obligated to make four years ago while the other 31 teams – the Patriots included – rushed to get back on the field and get paid following a four-month lockout.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman’s decision to lift the four-game ban levied against Brady by the NFL for the four-time Super Bowl winner’s perceived role in “Deflategate” struck a serious blow to Goodell’s credibility. It also shed light on an issue the Steelers homed in on long ago: Goodell’s process of serving as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to issuing discipline is misguided.

“That’s just Roger Goodell abusing his power again, I guess,” Foster said. “We’ve known it for a while and it’s been going on for a while, too. We don’t know what’s going to happen or change from that, but it shows that he’s been abusing power.”

Berman took Goodell to task for developing his “own brand of industrial justice” when it came to penalizing Brady on what Berman concluded were shaky legal grounds. The NFL is appealing the decision “to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game.”

Either way, the players hope Brady’s victory will serve as a wake-up call to Goodell that maybe it is time to recalibrate the way the commissioner’s office polices those who wear “The Shield.”

Berman chastised Goodell for being overzealous while hitting Brady with a lengthy suspension for what was basically an equipment violation. That forced Brady to take the unusual step of going to federal court in an attempt to clear his name after running out of recourse within the NFL’s limited appeals process.

“The league is probably going to have to re-examine some of the ways they go about doing these things,” St. Louis defensive end Chris Long said. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing if it helps players in the future with the punishments.”

It’s something the men who pay Goodell seem to be up for. Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank conceded there is a larger issue at play. The NFL doesn’t want to become the league where every disagreement between players and management ends up in front of a judge.

“I think we have to find ways to get to a better place sooner with the NFLPA than go through the process that we’ve gone through, just to placate things, which really isn’t about placating any longer,” Blank said. “It’s about where we can constructively negotiate for decades in terms of the commissioner’s responsibilities.”

Whether that means limiting the commissioner’s power or expanding the appeals process is unclear. What seems certain is that something needs to be done. The players point to Goodell’s increasingly spotty track record in the courts as proof.

“I think it has to be looked at that one guy is just making decisions,” Tennessee cornerback Jason McCourty said, “and then the fact that those decisions aren’t being upheld shows that the system is flawed.”

McCourty’s words echoed the concerns of former Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who called Goodell’s ability to fine players without a series of checks and balances a “deal breaker” before the current CBA was signed in 2011.

It sailed through anyway, though Brady’s triumph likely serves as a tipping point going forward.

“This whole ordeal has highlighted the need for players and owners to work together to make all policies fair and transparent for everyone in our game,” NFLPA president Eric Winston of the Bengals said in a statement. “I welcome an opportunity to have open and constructive dialogue with the league in the near future for how we can best accomplish that.”

The near future may be a little too optimistic. The NFL’s decision to fight Berman’s decision means the issue could drag on for several more months.

Not that Brady will care next Thursday when he and the Patriots raise another Super Bowl championship banner and welcome the Steelers, the guys who saw this coming long ago. It sounds weird, but Foster wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Often times the union gets talked down about, that we’re not doing the right thing,” Foster said. “For the most part Tom used the union lawyers to fight this case and it worked in our favor.”

By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tyler Lyons did well enough as a fill-in starter for the St. Louis Cardinals, Brandon Moss hit another mammoth home run and the offense erased a seventh-inning deficit for the third straight game.

They just ended up a couple of hits shy.

“Today we just couldn’t pull it off,” manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday night after a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals. “Once again, we showed a lot of life, we showed a lot of fight, getting us right there at the doorstep again.”

Lyons had six strikeouts the first time through the order and allowed three runs in six innings. His only trouble was giving up the long ball.

“I thought I made pretty good pitches for the most part,” Lyons said. “Three I’d definitely like to have back for sure.”

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice off the lefty before doubling home the tiebreaking run off Jonathon Broxton (1-4) in the eighth. Jayson Werth also connected.

“Both pitches I definitely didn’t execute,” Lyons said about Zimmerman’s homers. “I don’t know what the result would have been had I executed.”

“Overall, I thought he did a real nice job,” Matheny said. “He had a nice mix of everything and was really impressive at times.”

The Nationals ended their nine-game losing streak at St. Louis. Zimmerman reached 200 career home runs with his second shot.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer struck out 11, gave up 11 hits and left with a 3-2 lead after the sixth.

Jonathon Papelbon earned his 23rd save in 23 chances, escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam in the ninth. Rafael Martin (1-0) got one out for his first career victory

Moss hit a 454-foot homer leading off the second for St. Louis, which leads the Pirates by six games in the NL Central with 29 to play. Moss homered in consecutive at-bats, following up on his game-winning three-run shot Tuesday night.

“It feels good, especially against a guy like Scherzer,” Moss said. “In that at-bat, I was battling and I finally got a pitch to do something with.”

Kolten Wong had three hits for the Cardinals in their second loss in 11 games. It was a much bigger deal for the Nationals, who avoided a three-game sweep.

“I’ve been saying, `Wait till September, till September,'” Scherzer said. “Now, here it is.”

Moss led off the second against Scherzer with the longest home run by a left-hander at 10-year-old Busch Stadium and the fifth-longest overall.

The Nationals answered with homers by Werth in the third and Zimmerman in the fourth and sixth. Zimmerman has 16 homers in an injury-abbreviated season, four in this series.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: OF Bryce Harper (left glute tightness) was removed before the bottom of the fourth after going 0 for 2. … Tanner Roark will replace Stephen Strasburg (back) in the rotation Friday against Atlanta. Strasburg is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday and could pitch as soon as Saturday. … OF Michael Taylor (right knee soreness) was a late lineup scratch.

Cardinals: OF Jon Jay (wrist) is close to returning to a now-crowded outfield. When Matt Holliday is ready, Matheny said: “Let’s make no mistakes about it, when Matt’s back and healthy we’re going to find a spot for him.”

UP NEXT

Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann (11-8, 3.45) has won his last three starts and faces the Braves at home.

Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (13-6, 2.91) faces the Pirates on Friday to begin a weekend series with two extra days’ rest. He’s 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA against Pittsburgh, much better than Lance Lynn (0-2, 6.94), who is getting extra time.

PLAYER MOVE

LHP Nick Greenwood was optioned to Triple-A Memphis after the game. He had been called up earlier in the day.

Grizzlies Stephanie Phillips (No. 4) and Ashley Bishton (No. 7) go up to block a shot during Tuesday’s match against Indian Hills Community College at the West Plains Civic Center.  The Grizzlies lost to Indian Hills 18-25, 20-25, 28-30.  (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

Grizzlies Stephanie Phillips (No. 4) and Ashley Bishton (No. 7) go up to block a shot during Tuesday’s match against Indian Hills Community College at the West Plains Civic Center. The Grizzlies lost to Indian Hills 18-25, 20-25, 28-30. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team will take a 4-1 record into the Salt Lake Community College Invitational Tournament this weekend after falling to Indian Hills Community College of Ottumwa, Iowa, 18-25, 20-25 28-30 Tuesday evening at the West Plains Civic Center.

The game was the Grizzlies’ first home match of the season.

The Grizzlies, ranked sixth in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division I Women’s Volleyball preseason poll, will face North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, at 10 AM and No. 2 College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, at 2 PM Friday, September 4.  On Saturday, September 5, they will meet No. 15 Snow College, Ephraim, Utah, at 11 AM and the host team, ranked eighth, at 3 PM.

How the Grizzlies respond to Tuesday’s loss will play a huge factor in their success or failure this weekend, Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said.  “Our schedule dictates that we’re going to have to learn how to deal with good wins, bad wins, good losses and bad losses because we don’t have an easy game anywhere.  How we change our presence when we walk on the floor in practice will affect how we play throughout the season,” she said.

“We cannot just go through the motions and then expect to find energy when we need it,” she continued.  “Last week, we talked a lot about what you do in practice is what you do in games.  In practice, we see some good things, but we’re still not seeing that drive to get something done.  We’re trying to fix things instead of making things happen.  If we get that figured out, it will make a huge difference.”

Statistical leaders for the Grizzlies included sophomore outside hitters Pulotu Manoa and Gabby Edmondson, both of whom had nine kills; sophomore setter Susannah Kelley, who had 25 assists; redshirt freshman outside/right side hitter Stephanie Phillips, who had a passing rating of 3.0; sophomore middle attacker Zori Curry, who had three blocks, including two solos; and Kelley, Edmondson and freshman libero Autumn Reese, each of whom had eight digs.  Edmondson also had the most points earned, 12.

The Grizzlies’ next home match will be 6 PM September 10 against Region 16 rival Jefferson College, Hillsboro, in the civic center.

For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit its website at wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates with Salvador Perez after Cain hit a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals’ Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates with Salvador Perez after Cain hit a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The only things that slowed down Yordano Ventura on Wednesday night were the long periods that Kansas City’s 24-year-old flamethrower spent on the bench between innings.

While the Royals were pounding four homers and nine extra-base hits off Detroit pitching, Ventura had to sit idly in the dugout. Still, he managed to strike out 11 in seven sharp innings as the AL Central leaders cruised to a 12-1 rout of the slumping Tigers.

“Definitely good to have,” Ventura said of the run support, “but when things take that long, it can be challenging. I was able to overcome that.”

Ventura (10-7) walked one and hit one while matching a career high for strikeouts set in his last start. The 24-year-old with the 100 mph fastball has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last five outings, and is 6-0 since his last defeat July 20 against Pittsburgh.

“Good pitching generates good offense,” said Jonny Gomes, who got a hit and scored in his first start for Kansas City since arriving in a trade from Atlanta. “Obviously that strikeout stuff plays.”

Kendrys Morales hit a three-run shot, Cheslor Cuthbert added his first career homer, and Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain also went deep as the Royals matched a season high for runs.

Randy Wolf (0-3) gave up eight runs in 3 2-3 innings for Detroit, though he did last longer than Miguel Cabrera. The slugger was tossed by third base umpire Gary Cederstrom after fanning in the third inning, and after a quarrel with plate umpire Quinn Wolcott proved fruitless.

Even before Cabrera hit the showers, the Detroit hitters were sputtering.

After the Tigers put runners on the corners with one out in the first, Ventura allowed just one of the next 13 batters he faced to reach base. Ventura didn’t give up a run until the sixth, when Anthony Gose hit a leadoff triple and scored on Ian Kinsler’s groundout.

By that point, the Royals already led 12-0.

Zobrist homered in the first to give Kansas City the lead, and Cuthbert – called up Tuesday when rosters expanded – added a two-run double in the second. Cain’s home run in the third and a five-run fourth inning highlighted by Morales’ towering shot to center made it a rout.

Cuthbert added his two-run homer during a three-run fifth.

“I couldn’t throw my curveball for a strike to save my life,” Wolf said. “My changeup was up. My fastball location wasn’t where I wanted it to be. You put all those elements together, it’s going to be tough to have a good night.”

Just about the only thing that didn’t go right for Kansas City was when Cain fouled a pitch off his left calf in the fourth inning. He was checked out by trainer Nick Kenney and manager Ned Yost and remained in the game, and promptly hit a two-run double.

Cain was replaced by Jarrod Dyson for precautionary reasons in the fifth, and said after the game that his calf was “a little tight right now. Kind of hurts to walk but I’ll be OK.”

With the game out of hand, both teams substituted as liberally as in spring training.

Left-hander Scott Alexander made his big league debut in the ninth for Kansas City, while Rajai Davis – who had been bothered by a finger injury – got into the game for Detroit.

“I don’t have much to say,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “It was all Royals.”

STATS AND STREAKS

Cabrera was ejected for the seventh time in his career and first since May 2014. … The Royals scored in each of the first five innings for the first time since July 2000, when they did it against the White Sox. … Cain has hit in 10 straight games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Al Alburquerque (hip) had a precautionary MRI exam Wednesday, Ausmus said. The reliever has not pitched since Aug. 24.

Royals: RHP Ryan Madson (weak arm) hopes to return this week, Yost said. Madson last pitched Aug. 22. … 3B Mike Moustakas (hamstring) got his second straight night off. “He’s feeling well. Better,” Yost said.

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Matt Boyd starts the series finale against Kansas City, though Ausmus declined to say who would start Friday night against Cleveland. LHP Kyle Ryan could get the nod.

Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (12-7) has lost twice to the Tigers this season, including a 2-1 defeat when David Price was on the mound for Detroit on May 2.

(West Plains) – A West Plains man is celebrating after sinking his first ever hole-in-one.

City officials say Richard Scott of West Plains aced hole #17 at the West Plains Municipal Golf Course on Friday, August 28.

The 160-yard shot was made with an 8 iron.

Richard’s witnesses were Jim Hawkins, Larry Woolman, and Tom Clark.

(Marshfield) – The West Plains Lady Zizzers golf team placed 2nd out of 18 teams in the Marshfield Invitational tournament on Monday.

Individual medals went to Marisa Butler, who placed 2nd, and Caroline Beykirch, who placed 5th.

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera and Royals right fielder Alex Rios have been diagnosed with chickenpox, raising concerns that others on the AL Central leaders may have been exposed.

Team officials said Tuesday that Herrera and Rios likely will miss a couple weeks after both were sent home from Tampa Bay over the weekend. The bigger concern is whether other players could come down with the highly contagious disease, and whether it might affect the postseason.

“Think there is always a concern because these guys were in for three or four days before they showed signs of it,” manager Ned Yost said before starting a series against Detroit on Tuesday night. “Since that point, (trainer) Nick Kenney has done a real good job of monitoring.”

The Royals have reached out to players, coaches and family members to determine whether they have had chickenpox or been vaccinated. Most of them said Tuesday they were in the clear, but right-hander Yordano Ventura acknowledged that he has never had the virus, and several others from Latin America – where vaccinations happen less frequently – also may be at risk.

Yost said shortstop Alcides Escobar was vaccinated just recently as part of requirements for citizenship, though it’s unclear whether that may have introduced the virus to the clubhouse.

The disease is primarily spread through the air via coughing or sneezing, but it also can be transmitted by touching. It causes a blister-like rash, fever and tiredness, and tends to be more serious in adults than children and for those with weakened immune systems.

“My initial reaction was, `It’s 2015.’ I was surprised,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “I’m sure it’s more common than I’m aware of as far as adults getting chickenpox.”

Rios first showed symptoms on his chest during the team’s three-game trip to Tampa Bay, Yost said. The team initially thought Rios had been bitten by bedbugs, but a doctor brought in to examine him said that he had come down with chickenpox.

The following day, Herrera came down with similar symptoms.

“We haven’t had anybody else with it,” Yost said, “so that’s good news.”

This is hardly the first time that an infectious disease has hit professional sports. Just last year, a mumps outbreak ripped through numerous teams in the NHL. Among those that came down with the disease was Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

The reason such diseases spread so quickly in sports is players tend to share the same confined space, like a chartered plane or locker room. They also tend to share water bottles and other equipment, such as bats, gloves and protective gear in baseball. Throw in the hot, humid training rooms and workouts spaces and ballparks become a breeding ground for viruses.

“I’ve had the chickenpox, so I think I’m OK,” said left fielder Alex Gordon, who returned from a rehab assignment at Omaha on Tuesday. “Our trainer in Triple-A told me the last day, `Do you have chickenpox?’ That’s how I found out about it. Hopefully it doesn’t spread.”

The news also made for a bizarre welcome for outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in a deal just before Monday’s trading deadline.

“I’m definitely in the clear,” he said. “That was the first time I’ve been asked that in a physical. Normally it’s, `How’s your shoulder? How’s your knee?’ Yeah, chickenpox. I’m good.”

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon watches batting practice before a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon watches batting practice before a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Good luck finding a team that got a bigger boost when rosters expanded than the Kansas City Royals, who along with the usual September call-ups welcomed Alex Gordon back from the disabled list and Jonny Gomes from the Atlanta Braves.

Gordon has been out since July 8, when the All-Star outfielder crumpled to the warning track while chasing a fly ball against Tampa Bay. He was diagnosed with a severe groin strain.

Gomes was acquired in a trade just before Monday’s deadline.

“First of all, he’s a winner,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Gomes, who’s been a part of playoff teams four of the last five seasons. “He’s a tremendous clubhouse presence. He’s as good a bat as you’re going to get off the bench against left-handers. And a veteran player who has been through these types of scenarios before. There’s a lot of positives.”

And what about Gordon, who had spent eight games rehabbing at Triple-A Omaha?

“Once he got over the mental hurdle of knowing that he can go out and play, he felt great,” Yost said. “He’s swinging the bat well. It’s great to have him back.”

Especially considering the other news that hit Tuesday: Outfielder Alex Rios and reliever Kelvin Herrera have chickenpox, and third baseman Mike Moustakas has a balky hamstring.

In other words, it helps to have more bodies on hand.

Along with Gordon and Gomes, the Royals recalled infielders Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert along with catcher Francisco Pena from Triple-A Omaha, and outfielder Terrance Gore – a speedy postseason darling a year ago – from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Right-hander Miguel Almonte and left-hander Scott Alexander also joined the club from Omaha.

Yost wasted no time in putting Gordon back in the lineup. He was hitting sixth in the opener of a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

“The biggest part of my rehab process was going through the game situation, and I’m making moves and trusting my legs,” Gordon said. “I didn’t want to get hurt down there, so I didn’t really test it to I think maybe 100 percent, but I was pretty darn close.”

The results were certainly promising. Gordon hit .429 with a homer and five RBIs.

“The first game I was kind of tentative,” he said. “I feel comfortable with where I’m at right now. I’m glad I spent a lot of time down there and got my work in.”

Gomes was part of the Red Sox team that won the World Series in 2013, and faced the Royals in last year’s AL wild-card game with Oakland. In fact, it was Gomes who collided with teammate Sam Fuld in the outfield that led to Eric Hosmer’s triple in the 12th inning. Hosmer later scored to tie the game, shortly before Salvador Perez drove in the winning run.

“It’s the old saying,'” Gomes said with a grin, “‘If you can’t beat `em, join `em.'”

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs away from Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown, right, during the first half of a preseason NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs away from Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown, right, during the first half of a preseason NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tight end Travis Kelce will miss the Chiefs’ preseason finale Thursday night against St. Louis after spraining his ankle in practice earlier this week.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Tuesday it was a slight sprain and Kelce would have been able to play had it been the regular season. But with most of the starters getting the night off – if not all of them – it only made sense to keep Kelce out of the game.

“It looked like he got his foot caught in the grass and tweaked his ankle a little bit,” Reid said. “I think he’s lucky that the grass gave way a little bit.”

There are few players more valuable to the Chiefs offense than Kelce. Not only does he give quarterback Alex Smith an athletic tight end who can stretch the field, and running back Jamaal Charles an adept blocker, he also has little experience behind on the depth chart.

Rookie James O’Shaughnessy would be next in line. Richard Gordon and Ryan Taylor are also on the roster, while Demetrius Harris is only now getting back on the field after missing the entire offseason and most of training camp following foot surgery and a staph infection.

“Number one, you look for consistency – talent and consistency,” Reid said. “I think we’ve got good talent there. I’ll be curious to see how they handle extended playing time here.”

Reid said that Harris could get on the field against the Rams, one day after offensive coordinator Doug Pederson projected it would be “a couple of weeks” before he could be game-ready.

“There’s a good chance,” Reid said. “I kind of want to go back and see how he feels after today. If he does, it won’t be a ton, but there’s a chance he does play a little bit.”

Reid said his No. 2 offense and defense would start against St. Louis, which means Chase Daniel will get the nod at quarterback. The entrenched backup did not play at all last week as Reid opted to give third-stringer Aaron Murray more work behind Alex Smith.

“Just have some fun, really,” Daniel said of his expectations for the Chiefs’ final preseason game. “Going out there and trying to run the offense to the best of our ability, and sharpen some stuff up before the start of the season. We’ve had a pretty good run so far.”

In other news, the Chiefs waived wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who had missed most of camp with a hip injury, and offensive tackle Tavon Rooks, who has been absent with an illness, as they pared down to the 75-man roster limit by Tuesday afternoon.

Linebacker Justin March was placed on injured reserve after the promising undrafted rookie needed surgery for a torn meniscus. Quarterback Tyler Bray was placed on the non-football injury list after tearing his ACL while playing basketball in January.

Like all teams, the Chiefs will have to trim to the 53-man roster limit by Saturday.

“It’s horrible,” Daniel said. “For these rookies that have never been cut before, it’s difficult. I was cut multiple times in my first year in New Orleans. I was on and off of the practice squad and on and off of the active roster. I got cut from Washington.

So it’s very difficult,” he said, “and every guy has their unique way to deal with it, so you just offer your support and just say, `Hey, make the best of your opportunity.'”