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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Two University of Arkansas men’s track and field athletes have been named to the Capital One Academic All-America team.

The university announced Saturday that Nathanael Franks and Andrew Pisechko received the distinction.

Franks is a decathlete who qualified for his second NCAA outdoor championships with a season best 7,343 points at the 2015 SEC Outdoor Championships. He is working on his second master’s degree. He earned his first in businesses management and holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and physics.

Pisechko is a middle distance runner who helped Arkansas’ 4×800-meter relay team claim the runner up spot at the 2015 Drake Relays. He has a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in accounting.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – A Razorback track player is the Jamaican National Champion in the 5,000 meter run.

The University of Arkansas announced Saturday that senior Kemoy Campbell dominated the country’s best by more than a full minute to win the gold. He posted a time of 13:51.34 to win the event at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

He is qualified to represent the national team this August at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China.

Campbell is the 2015 SEC indoor and outdoor champion at 5,000 meters. He received All-America honors for his efforts at the NCAA championships and is the Razorbacks’ first qualifier for the 2015 World Championships.

by Steve Overbey, AP

St. Louis Cardinals pinch-hitter Greg Garcia is congratulated by teammates after he hit a solo home run to tie the score against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 26, 2015, in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

St. Louis Cardinals pinch-hitter Greg Garcia is congratulated by teammates after he hit a solo home run to tie the score against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 26, 2015, in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals used power to tie the game, and took advantage of a mistake by the Chicago Cubs to win it.

Greg Garcia hit first career home run – a pinch-hit blast in the eighth inning – and Peter Bourjos scored the winning run from third on a bases-loaded, no-out, throwing error by Mike Baxter to help the Cardinals to a 3-2, 10-inning win in a battle of NL Central rivals.

It was St. Louis’ fourth win in a row and seventh straight at home, and the Cardinals improved to a major-league best 27-7 at home.

With the game tied in the 10th, Jhonny Peralta slapped a routine grounder to second base, where Baxter – the right fielder – had come in to play with the bases loaded, giving the Cubs five infielders. Baxter cleanly fielded the ball and had plenty of time, but threw wildly to the third-base side of the plate.

“I threw it away, I didn’t make the play,” Baxter said. “It’s something I’m very capable of doing.”

Bourjos began the 10th inning with a double off reliever Justin Grimm (1-2). Kolten Wong followed with a single off the second base bag and Matt Carpenter was walked to load the bases.

Seth Maness (2-0) picked up the win in relief.

Chicago lost its third in a row after a four-game winning streak.

Garcia set up the Cardinals’ sixth extra-inning win in nine tries with his homer off Pedro Strop leading off the eighth that tied it at 2. It was the Cardinals’ first pinch-hit homer of the season – from an unlikely source.

“I’m not a power hitter by any means,” Garcia said.

Garcia is 3 for 4 as a pinch-hitter since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on June 19.

“I had a feeling he was going to throw me a fastball,” Garcia said. “I put a good swing on it. It was surreal. I can’t even put it into words.”

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was confident that Garcia would at least get on base.

“I figured he’d go up there and put a pretty good rip into it,” Matheny said. “I didn’t expect to see the ball leave (the park). What a great surprise. He’s done a nice job whenever we do get him an opportunity.”

Kris Bryant gave Chicago a 2-1 lead by driving in Dexter Fowler with a sacrifice fly to center in the seventh off Cardinals starter John Lackey, who gave up two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Fowler started the inning with a double.

“It was a tough one, they put some good at-bats on me,” Lackey said. “A lot of deep counts and I had to throw a lot of pitches. But for the most part, I was able to do some good damage control.”

Chicago starter Jake Arrieta allowed just one run on three hits over seven innings.

“I got into a groove and was able to hold them off,” Arrieta said. “But they did what they do, they fought back. This was a tough one. We were right there.”

Randal Grichuk gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring triple in the second.

Chicago, which had scored just three runs over its previous three games, tied the game in the fourth on a RBI single by Baxter, who had three hits and helped Arrieta with a leap into the stands to snare a flyball by Peralta leading off the sixth.

The Cardinals are 27-18 against the Cubs over the last two-plus seasons.

“This one stings,” Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “You can’t give away a lead there.”


Cubs: Bryant returned to the starting lineup after being taken out of Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with flu-like symptoms after the second inning. Fowler also returned after missing three games with a sore ankle suffered running the bases on Monday.

UP NEXT: Chicago RHP Donn Roach will make his first start of the season against RHP Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.85). Roach is replacing Tsuyoshi Wada, who suffered shoulder tightness in his previous start Monday. Roach was 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Wacha began the season 7-0.

by Michael Wagaman, AP

Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer flings his bat after hitting a two-run single off Oakland Athletics' Jesse Hahn futinh the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 26, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer flings his bat after hitting a two-run single off Oakland Athletics’ Jesse Hahn futinh the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 26, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Considering what happened two months ago, Kansas City manager Ned Yost wasn’t shocked to hear fans at the Coliseum booing Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera when he came on to pitch the eighth inning.

If anything, Yost was impressed by the jeers – almost as much as he was with how Herrera handled it.

“Yeah I kind of expected it. I kind of respect it,” Yost said after Kansas City’s 5-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

“That’s what’s fun about this game,” he said. “But what was cool was it didn’t affect Herrera at all. He came in his usual self, banging strikes at 98, 99, 100 mph.”

Herrera was one of the main players involved in a series-long fracas between the two teams when they played earlier this season. He was suspended five games after throwing a 100 mph fastball behind Oakland’s Brett Lawrie and then pointing to his head while being escorted off the field.

This time around Herrera didn’t come close to anything controversial. He retired all three batters he faced without incident.

“As a player you’ve got to try to stay calm,” Herrera said. “When things are going fast, that’s the time to slow down.”

Unlike when these two teams met in April, when there were bench-clearing scuffles in all three games, there were no signs of lingering animosity. A few players from both clubs exchanged hugs and handshakes before the game, and both managers downplayed talk of any carry-over effect.

Instead the Royals rode the power of Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon, and got another strong outing from Edinson Volquez.

Morales and Gordon homered while Volquez pitched seven innings to earn his fourth consecutive win.

Pitching against the A’s for the first time since 2007, Volquez (8-4) gave up three hits and one run in seven innings. Volquez also reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career when he fanned Brett Lawrie in the sixth.

“I’ve been in the big leagues a long time, and that’s like a goal,” Volquez said. “I finally got it.”

Sam Fuld had an RBI double for Oakland, which had its five-game win streak snapped.

Greg Holland retired two batters for his 15th save.

It was these teams’ first meeting since that wild series in April.

Lawrie was at the center of much of it when the teams played in Kansas City. His hard slide into second base knocked Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar out of the first game. Two days later, Herrera was ejected after throwing a 100 mph fastball behind Lawrie.

There were no sparks this time around, although Franklin Morales hit Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt with a pitch in the ninth.

“Fortunately it’s not broken,” Vogt said. “It got me in the wrist and the hand. Obviously, it was painful, but I’ll be OK.”

Beyond that, there was nothing to suggest there was any animosity left between the teams. Oakland slugger Billy Butler hugged former teammate Eric Hosmer behind home plate during batting practice, and both managers were reluctant to even discuss the incident.

“Nobody on my team has even mentioned it or thought about it, and I doubt very seriously anybody over there has,” Yost said before the game. “There’s been a lot of time since that series and a lot of water under the bridge.”

Morales homered off A’s starter Jesse Hahn in the second, his ninth of the season.

Lorenzo Cain’s two-out single in the third made it 2-0, and Hosmer followed with an infield single to drive in Escobar. Oakland first baseman Ike Davis fielded Hosmer’s grounder but made a botched flip to Hahn (5-6) covering first base for an error, allowing Cain to score from second.

Fuld doubled in Marcus Semien in the third. Ben Zobrist added an RBI double for Oakland off Franklin Morales in the ninth.


Royals: Cain was back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s game in Seattle with a sore hamstring. … LHP Jason Vargas (flexor strain) is scheduled to throw on the side again and “continues to make progress,” according to Yost.


Royals: RHP Chris Young (6-3) starts the middle game of the series and is coming off his worst outing of the season, when he gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings against Boston.

Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (4-4) has a 1.27 ERA in six starts at the Coliseum this season, the lowest mark at home in the majors.

by Steven Wine, AP

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn sits in the dugout during the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Miami, Thursday, June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn sits in the dugout during the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Miami, Thursday, June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

MIAMI (AP) — When Lance Lynn threw his final pitch Thursday for strike three to escape a jam, he turned toward center field and screamed something with adrenaline-fueled fervor.

Was it rated PG?

“I don’t remember,” he said, poker-faced.

Whatever Lynn hollered, he earned his moment of triumph, pitching six shutout innings in his first outing since June 7 to help the St. Louis Cardinals complete a three-game sweep by beating Miami 5-1.

Lynn (5-4), who had been on the disabled list with a strained forearm, allowed only two hits and lowered his ERA to 2.84.

“That was a good one to come back to,” he said.

“He was awesome,” teammate Pete Kozma said. “He was doing what he did before he went on the DL.”

Backup infielder Kozma, who came into the game hitless in his past 21 at-bats, singled three times, scored twice and drove in a run for his second RBI this year. His average rose to from .093 to .140.

“A good night all the way around for Pete,” manager Mike Matheny said. “When it gets to the point where you’re hitting .100, you really start pressing a little bit. I say that from experience.”

The sweep was the first for the Cardinals in Miami since Aug. 4-7, 2011, and their first on the road this year.

“That’s news to me,” Matheny said.

The rarity of the road sweep is surprising given that the Cardinals (48-24) have the best record in the majors. They went 5-3 on a three-city trip to move a season-high 24 games above .500.

Miami (30-44) fell a season-worst 14 games under .500.

“It’s very hard,” losing pitcher Dan Haren said in the clubhouse. “Obviously it’s pretty much dead silent in here now. I don’t know where to gauge it. Things aren’t going well.”

Haren (6-5) allowed four runs in six-plus innings.

Miami’s Adeiny Hechavarria hit his fourth homer off the foul pole with two outs in the ninth to avert a shutout. Four St. Louis relievers completed a four-hitter.

The Marlins have lost seven of their past eight games while scoring a total of 17 runs, and their defense is slumping, too. Second baseman Dee Gordon had two errors, doubling his season total.

The Marlins’ leadoff batter in the third inning reached second base, but Lynn escaped. He walked consecutive batters with two outs in the sixth before striking out Marcell Ozuna with his final pitch, preserving a 1-0 lead.

“That could have gone in a real bad direction,” Matheny said. “Fortunately he was able to finish it off.”

Miami went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, and 1 for 17 in the series in those situations.

“We’re 2 for 28 our last two series with runners in scoring position,” manager Dan Jennings said. “That’s not going to get it done.”

Lynn improved to 4-0 lifetime in six games against the Marlins.

Haren retired the first seven batters before his pitch brushed Kozma, who scored on a two-out double by Kolten Wong.

The Cardinals added three runs in the seventh while hitting one ball hard. They reached on back-to-back bunt singles, Mike Dunn walked in a run, and Kozma scored on Mark Reynolds’ popup to Gordon, who caught the ball in short right field with his back to the plate.


Kozma played for SS Jhonny Peralta, who was given the day off and was out of the starting lineup for only the second time this season.


Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia, hobbled by a cramp in the eighth inning Wednesday, was back in the weight room Thursday and on target to make his next start as scheduled. “At this point, he’s going to try to stay on his normal program,” Matheny said. “If anything doesn’t feel right, we’ll back off.”


Cardinals: RHP John Lackey (6-4, 3.41) is scheduled to start Friday when St. Louis opens a three-game series against the Cubs at home.

“Pretty good showdown this weekend,” Lynn said.

Marlins: LHP Justin Nicolino, who threw seven shutout innings against Cincinnati to win his major league debut, is scheduled to pitch Friday for Miami against the Dodgers.

From left:  Matt Johnson and John Campbell, winners of the championship flight. Not pictured is Kirk Brown. (provided)

From left: Matt Johnson and John Campbell, winners of the championship flight. Not pictured is Kirk Brown. (provided)

(Mountain Home) – Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) is pleased to announce the winners Mountain Home Charity Golf Classic held June 13 &14 at Big Creek Golf & Country Club.

Champion Flight

1st Place – Matt Johnson, Kirk Brown, John Campbell.
Score: -25

2nd Place – Glen Carter, Dave Schmitz, Larry Schmitz.
Score: -22

3rd Place – David Steimel, Cade Liebhaber, Jamad Mason.
Score: -22

4th Place – Robert Hoke, Mark Coats, Zach Coats.
Score: -22

A Flight

1st Place – Brad Heinsohn, Jeff Heinsohn, Isaac Gaston.
Score: -16

2nd Place – Eric Knight, Jared Permenter, Erik Tuft.
Score: -13

3rd Place – Trent Ott, Tanner Ott, Spencer Adams.
Score: -12

4th Place – Zach Hutchens, Matt Newman, Evan Stewart.
Score: -12

5th Place – Rusty John Gregg, Julie Gregg, Tonia Grace.
Score: -12

B Flight

1st Place – James Strecker, Scott Wood, Alan Cockrill.
Score: -11

2nd Place – Carl Bachelor, Melvin Wamock, David Nelms.
Score: -9

3rd Place – Larry Clary, Kenneth Sutton, Rick Reed.
Score: -8

4th Place – Van Gearhart, Steve Morris, Mitch Huskey.
Score: -8

5th Place – Kenny Newth, Kyley Newth, Geoff Smith.
Score: -6

C Flight

1st Place – Ron Houk, Bill Crampton, Eddie Parvu.
Score: -4

2nd Place – John Davidson, Robert Shurley, George Truell.
Score: -4

3rd Place – Brad Phelps, John Phelps, Richard Lusby.
Score: -3

by Tim Booth, AP Sports

SEATTLE (AP) — In just his fifth major league start, Seattle rookie Mike Montgomery gave himself a lofty goal.

Not to mention quite a memory, all of it coming against Kansas City, the team that originally drafted Montgomery.

“I probably had a little more emotion going in than I normally do,” Montgomery said. “I know a lot of those guys. I was with them for five years. It was definitely a little extra added on to it.”

Montgomery tossed a gem on Tuesday night against Kansas City, throwing a four-hitter and striking out 10 in Seattle’s 7-0 victory. In the process, Montgomery became the first Mariners left-hander to ever throw a shutout with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.

For a franchise that’s had lefties like Mark Langston, Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer during its history, that’s not a small accomplishment.

“It was fun though because I played with them for a couple of years and to now face them and face them in the big leagues it was a cool experience,” Montgomery said. “I’ll remember them for a long time.”

The achievement was even more surprising considering the trouble Montgomery found himself in after throwing just seven pitches in the first inning. Kansas City loaded the bases on singles by Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas and a pitch that hit Lorenzo Cain to load the bases.

But a strikeout of Eric Hosmer and double play got Montgomery out of the inning. The first two batters of the second reached, but then Montgomery took over, striking out the side and starting a string of 17 straight retired before shortstop Brad Miller’s error with two outs in the seventh.

“I really felt confident. After that third inning a switch flipped and I had confidence in all of my stuff,” Montgomery said. “It was just executing, and getting ahead early and putting them away.”

Montgomery was originally drafted by the Royals, but was eventually traded to Tampa Bay before landing in Seattle via trade before the start of this season. Montgomery (2-2) became the second Mariner this season to toss a complete game, joining Felix Hernandez, and he became the 10th rookie in Seattle history to toss a complete game.

While Montgomery was the star, Dustin Ackley wasn’t far behind. Ackley singled, doubled and homered for his first three-hit game of the season. Ackley had only one two-hit game all season, but lined a ground-rule double in his first at-bat against Jeremy Guthrie (5-5) and added a single his next time up that eluded the glove of Alex Gordon’s sliding attempt in left field.

But the big blow was Ackley’s fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot off the top of the wall in right-center that gave Seattle a 6-0 lead. Ackley is 9 of 13 with four doubles and three home runs against Guthrie in his career.

Ackley nearly got the triple he needed for the cycle when he came up in the seventh, but his drive to deep left-center was tracked down by Cain.

“Cain, I played with him in the past and I know his kind of speed. … It wasn’t surprising when he came down with it,” Ackley said.

Miller walked with the bases loaded in the third for Seattle’s first run and Mike Zunino followed with an RBI single, snapping an 0-for-14 skid that included 11 strikeouts.

“One run at a time they just kind of kept tacking them on. … It all kind of happened quickly,” Guthrie said.


Raul Ibanez, part of the Royals’ roster last season before retiring, was presented with his AL championship ring in a pregame ceremony in the clubhouse.


Mariners: Nelson Cruz was back in the lineup a day after popping his pelvic bone out of place and having it put back. Cruz will likely be the designated hitter for a little while to make sure he doesn’t aggravate the injury.


Royals: Danny Duffy (2-3) will pitch for the first time since May 16 in the series finale on Wednesday. Duffy went on the 15-day DL on May 25 with left biceps tendinitis. Duffy made two rehab starts at Triple-A Omaha.

Mariners: Roenis Elias (4-4) looks for his second straight win after striking out 10 in a victory over Houston his last time out.

by Steven Wine, AP

St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Martinez delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) — Carlos Martinez shook off a slow start on the mound, and also a fastball that bruised his pitching arm and left him face down in the batter’s box.

Martinez struck out nine in seven innings Tuesday to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 4-3.

The young right-hander trailed 3-0 after 1 1-3 innings before settling down. He retired the final seven batters he faced, including three after taking a 94-mph fastball in the shoulder while trying to bunt in the seventh.

“At that moment I thought, `Oh my God, it’s broken,'” said Martinez (8-3). “But a couple of minutes later I felt great and said I can go the next inning.”

With family and friends from his native Dominican Republic in the crowd, including some who had never seen him pitch, Martinez was overthrowing early. He gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to major league home run and RBI leader Giancarlo Stanton, a shot estimated at 484 feet.

“Carlos had high energy, which we don’t have a problem with,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “But he was having trouble separating that from how he was throwing. He was heaving. He settled down, though. His last three innings were probably his best.”

Martinez allowed eight hits and walked one. He improved to 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA in his past seven starts.

Stanton’s homer matched his previous longest this year, and he now has 26 homers, including the longest two in the majors in 2015.

“That was an absolute missile,” said Matheny, “one of the furthest balls I’ve ever seen hit in my life.”

But the NL Central leaders rallied. With the score 3-all and two outs in the seventh, Mark Reynolds hit a full-count pitch off the right foot of pitcher Sam Dyson (3-3) for an infield single to put St. Louis ahead.

Earlier in the inning, Martinez was hit in the upper arm by a pitch from Dyson, fell to the ground and was slow to rise.

“I didn’t like that at all,” Matheny said. “He seems to be OK. It will be interesting to see tonight how it tightens up. I imagine it will a little bit.”

Martinez took his base and showed no ill effects when he returned to the mound, throwing one pitch 98 mph. He said he expects to make his next start as scheduled.

Jason Heyward hit his eighth homer for the Cardinals. Trevor Rosenthal pitched around a single in the ninth for his 22nd save in 23 chances.

Stanton’s homer, which landed near the beer garden in left field, put Miami ahead 2-0 in the first. It was his 11th homer in June, breaking the club record for the month set by Hanley Ramirez in 2008.

Adeiny Hechavarria had an RBI single in the second for the Marlins, but they went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Miami has lost five of its past six games.

“When you play a team like the Cardinals, there’s a reason they have the record that they have,” manager Dan Jennings said. “When you get leadoff guys on, you have to get them over and get them in. Unfortunately we didn’t do that.”

Marlins starter Jose Urena allowed three runs in five innings, his worst outing this month.

Heyward homered into the upper deck in right field in the fourth, and Xavier Scruggs hit a two-run double later in the inning to make it 3-all.

Scruggs, playing in only his fifth game, had three hits. Teammate Jhonny Peralta grounded into two double plays and struck out three times.


Cardinals: 3B Matt Carpenter sat out with a tight back but was available off the bench.

Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart (vertigo) is expected to be activated Thursday, but it’s unclear when he’ll rejoin the rotation. LHP Justin Nicolino, who pitched seven shutout innings in his major league debut Saturday, will get another start, Jennings said. … 1B Michael Morse (finger) is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A New Orleans and may come off the DL soon.

Umpires: Plate ump Adam Hamari was knocked down and shaken up when hit in the chest protector by a fastball in the eighth inning, but he worked the rest of the game.


LHP Jaime Garcia (2-3, 1.76), who has pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings, is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Cardinals against RHP Mat Latos (2-4, 5.37). Garcia will be facing the Marlins for the first time since 2011.

by Rachel Cohen, AP

(New York) (AP) – Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension lasted more than 10 hours Tuesday, ending in the early evening.

The sight of Commissioner Roger Goodell leaving the league offices after he heard Brady and representatives from the players’ union during the lengthy meeting, confirmed its conclusion. League security said Brady also had left.

No details of the hearing were immediately available.

Brady was suspended by the league for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game win over Indianapolis. He arrived at the NFL’s Park Avenue offices Tuesday morning, as did attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who is leading Brady’s defense.

The hearing was expected to adjourn in late afternoon, but carried well beyond that.

“I think we put in a very compelling case,” Kessler said, adding that no timetable on a decision by Goodell had been given.

Kessler said he would have no further comments Tuesday night.

While Goodell was hearing a myriad of testimonies, Brady supporters were outside, some wearing “Free Brady” T-shirts. At least until the rains came, that is.

Some reporters joked that the meeting lasted so long because a summer storm was hitting the city and no one wanted to leave the building in such weather.

But just past 8:30 p.m. EDT, the principles headed out.

The NFL Players Association had asked Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because he could not be impartial and might be called as a witness. But Goodell said it was his responsibility to oversee the hearing to protect the integrity of the league.

Based on the league-sanctioned Wells report, Brady was suspended and the Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a pair of draft picks.

Among the key elements of Brady’s appeal: who ordered his four-game suspension and whether science supports the league’s findings about deflated footballs.

The NFL says Goodell authorized the discipline that was imposed by league executive Troy Vincent, who signed the letters sent to Brady and the Patriots informing them of the penalties. The NFLPA challenged Vincent’s power to issue punishment, citing Article 46 of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Goodell dismissed the union’s claim.

“I did not delegate my disciplinary authority to Mr. Vincent; I concurred in his recommendation and authorized him to communicate to Mr. Brady the discipline imposed under my authority as Commissioner,” Goodell said in his letter to the union on June 2. “The identity of the person who signed the disciplinary letter is irrelevant.”

The penalties were announced after investigator Ted Wells found that the Super Bowl champions illegally used under-inflated footballs in the AFC title game.

Vincent has issued several fines and penalties for various infractions since replacing Ray Anderson as the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations in March 2014.

He suspended former Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather two games last September for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a receiver. In several other cases, he fined teams or punished team officials for violating rules.

The NFLPA didn’t question Vincent’s authority in those incidents, but it only gets involved when players are disciplined.

Goodell issued punishments to Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice in recent, high-profile cases involving players violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The league doesn’t consider Brady’s case similar because it involved rules of the game.

Scientific arguments also were a major part of Brady’s defense. Brady’s lawyers tried to shoot down the findings of an independent firm hired to provide scientific analysis of the air pressure inside the footballs used by the Patriots and Colts during the AFC title game.

Brady’s side claimed:

– The evidence collected in the Wells report doesn’t prove Brady violated any NFL rules.

– The punishment is harsher than for similar violations.

While Brady is fighting his punishment, Patriots owner Robert Kraft declined to appeal the team’s penalty, though he defended his franchise player and denied any wrongdoing by team employees.

If Brady’s suspension isn’t overturned, the battle could end up going to court.

by Josh Liebeskind, AP

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Joe Blanton throws against the Seattle Mariners in the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 22, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Joe Blanton throws against the Seattle Mariners in the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 22, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Joe Blanton retired from baseball last season after he was unable to make it in the minor leagues. Now, he’s shining for the first-place Kansas City Royals.

Blanton pitched six-plus innings of two-hit ball to lead Kansas City to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

“Being able to get back was kind of almost the pinnacle and now I’m just riding it out and enjoying it,” said Blanton, who struck out seven. “Probably more than I enjoyed it before because I definitely appreciate it more and know how hard it is and what it takes.”

Blanton (2-0) lowered his ERA this season to 1.73 after allowing one run. The 34-year-old, who stepped away from the game after being released by the Oakland Athletics in 2014 following two subpar outings with Triple-A Sacramento, was recalled to the big leagues on May 16.

The right-hander made seven appearances out of the bullpen before making his first start in the majors since 2013 on June 17. He has allowed only one run in both of his starts and has yet to allow a walk after issuing none to Seattle on Monday.

“I don’t ever not sense him finding a rhythm,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We brought him in (relief) one game to get an inning in and it was like a 32-pitch inning, but every other time out there, he’s been able to execute almost flawlessly, his pitches.”

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by Robinson Cano. Blanton retired the next 16 batters before Austin Jackson doubled to lead off the seventh.

Kelvin Herrera replaced Blanton and promptly moved Jackson to third with a wild pitch, but retired the next three batters to escape the jam.

Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland all pitched one inning of hitless relief. Holland earned his 14th save in 15 opportunities.

Felix Hernandez (10-4) took the loss after allowing four runs, nine hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five.

“I thought he had good stuff,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “You look at their numbers, they don’t walk, they don’t strike out. They just pester you.”

Alex Rios tied the game at 1 with a run-scoring single in the second. Rios advanced to second on the throw to the plate and Omar Infante followed with a double off the wall in right to score Rios.

Mike Moustakas doubled in the third to drive in Alcides Escobar and give the Royals a 3-1 lead.

Escobar, who had a three-hit night, drove in Jarrod Dyson with a single in the seventh. Dyson singled and stole second with two outs to get into scoring position.


Mariners: Rookie LHP Mike Montgomery takes the mound against the Royals, the team that drafted him 36th overall in the 2008 draft.

Royals: RHP Jeremy Guthrie attempts to solve a Mariners team that has proved to be trouble for the veteran in his career. He is 2-7 with a 5.40 ERA lifetime against Seattle.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton still is not cleared to begin throwing, McClendon said. Paxton is dealing with a strained tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand.

Royals: Danny Duffy is still scheduled to come off the DL on Wednesday and start the series finale at Seattle. Duffy, who has been recovering from an inflamed left shoulder, takes Yordano Ventura’s spot in the rotation. Ventura went on the DL with irritation in the ulnar nerve of his right elbow.


Seattle right fielder Nelson Cruz left the game in the seventh inning after popping his pelvic bone out of place. The Mariners initially called the injury a tight right hamstring.

“They got it popped back in and he is OK now, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” said McClendon, who didn’t think it would be a long-term injury.


The Mariners had two hits in a game for the fourth time this season, and third time in less than two weeks. Seattle struck out 13 times, the 10th time they have whiffed at least that many times.