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Perkins-McCutcheon connection leads Rams over Chargers 29-22

Perkins-McCutcheon connection leads Rams over Chargers 29-22

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Bryce Perkins and Lance McCutcheon solidified their cases to come off the Los Angeles Rams roster bubble Saturday night.Perkins threw a pair of touchdown passes to McCutcheon as the defending Super Bowl champions held off the Los Angeles Chargers 29-22 in the preseason opener for both teams in which most of the starters for both teams did not play.“I was really pleased with Bryce’s ability to be able to handle all the different situations that came up,” coach Sean McVay said of Perkins. “He’s a playmaker. I thought (offensive coordinator) Liam (Coen) did a good job of putting him in good spots to accentuate his skill sets.”Perkins — the Rams’ third-string quarterback last season — played the entire game with Matthew Stafford and John Wolford not dressed. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 126 yards and also showed off his mobility with 39 yards on eight carries, including a 1-yard TD midway through the third quarter.McCutcheon, an undrafted free agent rookie who has drawn rave reviews from Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp during training camp, finished with five receptions for 87 yards. He also had a reception for a 2-point conversion following Perkins’ rushing touchdown.Perkins connected with McCutcheon for a 60-yard touchdown up the left sideline to give the Rams a 14-7 lead with 5:17 lead in the second quarter. McCutcheon got leverage over Chargers safety Deane Leonard, caught it at the Chargers 29-yard line and then avoided a tackle attempt from JT Woods before scoring.“I just saw the ball in the air, and first I was just trying to come down with it. Went up in a contested catch, and was just able to move the ball away and get my arm in there,” McCutcheon said.With the score tied at 22 in the fourth quarter, McCutcheon caught an 11-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone to put the Rams on top with 6:17 remaining.“Whenever I’m out there, I’m really just trying compete my tail off for the guys. I know all those guys are fighting, so I just try to do my part and fight as well,” Perkins said.The Chargers had the ball late in the fourth quarter and were driving to tie the game when Easton Stick’s pass to Michael Bandy was picked off by Daniel Isom at the Rams’ 8 with 27 seconds remaining. Bandy temporarily had possession of the ball before Isom was able to strip it for the pick.Stick and Chase Daniel each played one half as Justin Herbert watched the game from the sideline.“I think both played well,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said of his quarterbacks. “They moved the team, took care of the and good decisions. That’s the way they’ve been throughout camp.” Daniel threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns. The Chargers received the opening kickoff and scored in nine plays as Joe Reed split the Rams’ secondary and hauled in a 41-yard TD pass less than four minutes into the game.The 13-year veteran — who was 11 of 17 for 117 yards — then found Bandy for a 16-yard score with 37 seconds remaining in the second quarter to tie it at 14 going into halftime.THE MORE YOU KNOWStaley said facing a mobile quarterback like Perkins should be a valuable teaching tool going into the regular season.“That’s life in the NFL. The best people you face are going to be like that,” Staley said. “We had him a couple times. Our guys are gonna learn that if you make those plays, this game could have gone differently.”Chargers linebacker Troy Reeder, who played three seasons for the Rams, knew Perkins was going to be tough to bring down.“I was telling our guys all night, I was like we got to keep him in the pocket,” Reeder said. “He’s a special, special player, and when he gets out of the pocket it’s even worse for us, so I’m a huge Bryce Perkins fan. I think he’s a stud.”STARTING IT OFFAJ Rose — who spent last season on the Vikings’ practice squad — bounced off a pair of Chargers’ defenders and scored from 1 yard out to tie it at 7 midway through the second quarter. Rose and Raymond Calais each had eight carries and got the most work among the Rams’ running backs.MARATHON DRIVEStick led the Chargers on an 18-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 10:15. The possession ended with Stick going 3-yards around right end for a TD early in the fourth quarter. Stick then completed a pass to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer for the 2-point conversion to make it 22-all.Stick was 16 of 23 for 119 yards and an interception.HAPPY HALF ANNIVERSARYThe Rams’ preseason opener came six months after they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.INJURIESRams: DT Bobby Brown was helped off the field during the fourth quarter after he couldn’t put any weight on his right ankle. Brown had a sack during the second quarter.UP NEXTRams: Host the Houston Texans Friday.Chargers: Host the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday.———More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Ohtani, Ward HR, Angels rally past Twins 5-3 in 11 innings

Ohtani, Ward HR, Angels rally past Twins 5-3 in 11 innings

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani hit a homer in the eighth inning to get the Angels’ offense started, and Taylor Ward hit a game-ending two-run blast to right-center in the 11th inning as Los Angeles completed a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.It was Ward’s second career game-ending home run, and first since the final game of the 2018 season, as the Angels won for the fourth time in five games.Carlos Correa hit a home and Luis Arraez had three hits for the Twins, who blew a three-run lead in the eighth inning and remained 1 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central.Down to their last strike, the Angels nearly rallied for the victory in the bottom of the ninth against Twins closer Jorge Lopez. Magneuris Sierra’s two-out hit down the left-field line scored both Joe Adell and pinch-runner Andrew Velazquez to tie the game at 3. But Sierra was thrown out at home plate in his attempt at a game-winning inside-the-park home run.“It was really an emotional play right there that saved us the game,” Lopez said of the brief respite. “I’m just grateful for that moment to execute the (relay). There was gratitude to have that moment and to have the opportunity (to continue playing). But I should have executed a better pitch and I just let the team down a little bit.”The Angels then blew an opportunity to win the game in the 10th inning with Sierra on third base and Ohtani on first after an intentional walk with one out. Luis Rengifo lined out to center on a diving catch by Byron Buxton. Ohtani was running on the pitch and he was doubled off first base to end the inning.But Ward won it with his 16th home run of the season, and the Angels had their third walk-off win this year.“Unbelievable,” Ward said. “It feels really good. I was super happy. … It was huge. You never know what it can do for us.”Correa gave the Twins a 1-0 lead two batters into the game when he lifted a 2-1 fastball from Angels starter Reid Detmers into the seats in right-center field. It was his 14th home run of the season and first since July 30.The Twins loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth inning and took a 2-0 lead on a Correa sacrifice fly to right field. But Detmers escaped further damage when he struck out Jose Miranda and Jorge Polanco.Minnesota tacked on a run in the eighth inning for a 3-0 advantage when Gio Urshela’s chopper in front of the plate scored Polanco.In the eighth inning, Ohtani ended the Twins’ shutout bid and 17-inning scoreless streak when he hit a home run just out of the reach of Minnesota center fielder Buxton. It was Ohtani’s 26th of the season and fourth in his last nine games.The Angels started their ninth-inning rally against Lopez when Adell singled with one out. Max Stassi worked a two-out walk before he was replaced on the bases by Velazquez. Sierra punched a 1-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a game-tying triple but was unable to score after the ball bounced away from Minnesota left fielder Nick Gordon.“I always dream about having a walk-off homer,” Sierra said through an interpreter about his lack of a home run in 250 career major league games over parts of six seasons. “When I was rounding second, I was thinking, ‘I’m going to make it. I’m going to make my dream come true.’ And then, I couldn’t.”Twins starter Dylan Bundy gave up just two hits with one walk and a strikeout in his first start against his former team since pitching for Los Angeles from 2020-21. Emilio Pagan (3-6) gave up Ward’s home run in the 11th.Detmers gave up five hits with three walks and nine strikeouts and now has 28 strikeouts over his last three starts. Six Angels pitchers combined to record 15 strikeouts, with Ryan Tepera (3-2) earning the win.IN THE SWINGAngels star Mike Trout took batting practice for the first time since he went on the injured list July 18 because of rib cage inflammation. The session came a day after Trout went through on-field running and throwing drills.There remains no timetable for the return of the three-time AL MVP, with a minor league rehab assignment likely before he is back in the Angels’ lineup.Trout, a career .303 hitter with a 1.000 OPS, has 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in 79 games this season.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Chris Archer (2-5, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound with a 2.50 ERA against the Angels in 54 innings.Angels: LHP Tucker Davidson (1-3, 7.91) will make his first home start for his new club after he was acquired from the Braves on Aug. 2.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Journeyman Johnson leads Broncos' backups past Cowboys 17-7

Journeyman Johnson leads Broncos' backups past Cowboys 17-7

DENVER — The new Denver Broncos quarterback who wowed the crowd at Empower Field wasn’t Russell Wilson but jourrneyman Josh Johnson. Johnson, who’s 36 years old and playing for his 14th NFL team, threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes and the Broncos beat the penalty-prone Dallas Cowboys 17-7 on a starless and rainy Saturday night.“I’m just enjoying the ride, honestly,” Johnson said. “… I like to say for us backups, the preseason is the season.”Johnson was signed in the offseason to compete with Brett Rypien for the job backing up Wilson, who sat this one out along with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.Rypien was 8 of 18 for 113 yards, including a 42-yard strike to Jalen Virgil from his own 1. Both Johnson and Rypien drew praise from new Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett, who won his NFL head coaching debut, albeit in a preseason game that won’t really count. Cooper Rush got the start for Dallas and was 12 of 20 for 84 yards and an interception. Ben DiNucci (9 of 16 for 112 yards) finally got the Cowboys on the board with a 12-yard TD toss to Simi Fehoko with just under five minutes remaining, capping a 16-play, 95-yard drive.The Cowboys committed a whopping 17 penalties for 129 yards 48 hours after Denver’s front-line defense got the better of Dallas’ first-string offense in a chippy joint practice that featured a half-dozen skirmishes.“The penalties clearly were way too much,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “We’ll look at those … as far as the ones that were combative versus discipline. That’s clearly the biggest negative, but I’m actually excited to watch the tape. I want to see these young linemen, our run blocking unit. I think they stepped up and did some good things.”Minus Ezekiel Elliott and most of the other starters, the Cowboys ran for 141 yards on 28 carries, a 5-yard average.After yielding 17 second-quarter points, the Cowboys turned away Denver with a goal line stand on the Broncos’ first drive after halftime when cornerback Kyron Brown broke up Rypien’s pass to Darrius Shepherd on fourth-and-goal from the 3.Only a handful of regulars started for each team, including Broncos inside linebacker Jonas Griffith, who injured his left elbow on the game’s second snap and didn’t return. Hackett had no update after the game.Johnson overcame a slow start to throw for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-23 passing. He hit Seth Williams from a yard out and added a 24-yarder to Kendall Hinton. Williams’ grab followed a 40-yard reception by rookie Brandon Johnson, son of former Colorado Rockies catcher Charles Johnson.Brandon McManus sent the Broncos into halftime with a 17-0 lead by nailing a 52-yarder at the end of the first half. The game also marked the introduction of the Broncos’ new Walton-Penner ownership group, which purchased the team from the Pat Bowlen Trust for a record $4.65 billion, and new team president Damani Leech.Even though Wilson didn’t play, the crowd was relatively large for a preseason game — 64,541.FLAG FOOTBALLHere was the stat line for Dallas at the start of the fourth quarter:Rushing yards — 106Passing yards — 118Penalty yards — 119TRAINERS ROOMCowboys: TE Ian Bunting (neck) sat out. He was injured in practice Thursday. Broncos: CB Michael Ojemudia was evaluated for a concussion late in the first quarter.COSTLY FLAGMcManus was wide right on a 57-yard attempt as the first half expired, but Dallas cornerback Kelvin Johnson was offside, setting up an untimed play, and McManus nailed it from 52 yards out.Dallas K Lirim Hajrullahu was wide right on a 56-yard try early in the fourth quarter.GROUNDED GAMEThe Broncos didn’t play running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, and their backups were held to just 39 yards and a 1.8-yard average.“Yes, it’s always great to win, but in the end we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Hackett said. “That run game was not good enough. … We’re not going to be able to consistently win without getting that run game going.”BROWNING BRILLIANTBaron Browning moved from inside linebacker to outside linebacker this offseason and had a solid camp. On Saturday night, he had a sack, a pass breakup, three tackles and a quarterback hit.“He was around the quarterback quite a bit,” gloated Hackett.UP NEXTCowboys: Visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.Broncos: Visit the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Logan Webb stars as Giants beat slumping Pirates 2-0

Logan Webb stars as Giants beat slumping Pirates 2-0

SAN FRANCISCO — Logan Webb struck out nine in eight sparkling innings, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 on Saturday night.Webb (11-5) allowed five hits and walked two in his second straight win. He pitched seven effective innings in a 6-4 victory at Oakland last weekend.“His changeup was very good,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “He was able to execute it throughout the count, at any point.” Camilo Doval got three outs for his 17th save. Greg Allen walked with one out, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. But Rodolfo Castro lined to left for the final out.LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a solo homer, helping San Francisco to its fifth win in seven games. Wade also doubled and scored on Joc Pederson’s double in the first.Wade is hitting .187 (14 for 75) in 30 games since leaving the injured list, but 5 for 13 (.385) in his last six games.“My at-bats have been better,” he said. “I’m trying to keep working on it, one at-bat at a time. I think it’s definitely going in my direction.”Castro had two hits in Pittsburgh’s fifth loss in six games. Tyler Beede (1-2), who broke into the majors with San Francisco in 2018, allowed two runs and three hits in three innings while serving as the opener for the Pirates.Webb improved to 8-3 in 13 starts this year at Oracle Park. The Pirates loaded the bases in the eighth on Tucupita Marcano’s double and walks to pinch-hitter Josh VanMeter and Bryan Reynolds, but Webb escaped the jam by striking out Ben Gamel.Webb appreciated being left in the game by manager Gabe Kapler.“After I walked Reynolds, Kap was like, ‘OK, let’s go,’” Webb said.Webb also helped himself with a nice defensive play in the third, scooping up Kevin Newman’s soft grounder and lunging for first base for the out.Wade led off the third with a drive to right-center for his sixth homer. It was Wade’s fourth multihit game of the season.TRAINING ROOMPirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes was out of the lineup because of back spasms. Castro replaced him. Shelton reiterated that Hayes, 25, might receive occasional breaks to keep him playable overall. “We’ll try to get him as much relief as possible,” Shelton said. “Hopefully we can alleviate the discomfort.” … CF Reynolds is continuing to play regularly despite an oblique injury. The switch hitter started Saturday, one day after his streak of reaching base in 10 consecutive games ended.Giants: Kapler said C Joey Bart, who is dealing with a sprained right ankle, could play if needed in an emergency. Bart is day to day. He ran on the field during batting practice Saturday.UP NEXTThe Pirates and Giants conclude their season series on Sunday at Oracle Park. Zach Thompson (3-9, 5.08 ERA) starts for Pittsburgh, and Alex Wood (8-9, 4.17 ERA) pitches for San Francisco. Wood is 3-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 10 starts at home, compared to 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 12 road outings.

Teofimo Lopez stops Pedro Campa in 7th in return to ring

Teofimo Lopez stops Pedro Campa in 7th in return to ring

LAS VEGAS — Teofimo Lopez made a triumphant return to the ring, stopping Pedro Campa in the seventh round Saturday night at Resorts World Events Center.Lopez made his debut as a 140-pound junior welterweight in his first fight since suffering the only loss of his career.Moments after putting Campa on the canvas at the start of the seventh, Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) obliterated his outmatched opponent with a flurry of punches, prompting referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight at the 2:14 mark.“I am grateful for this, I have returned,” Lopez said.Campa dropped to 34-2-1.The 25-year-old Lopez looked much more like the promising young fighter who captivated the world when he beat Vasily Lomachenko to claim the unified lightweight championship in 2020.Campa, who relies on a straight-forward approach and hard-firing punches, struggled to land much, as Lopez stayed active throughout the fight and displayed impeccable defense.On the attack, Lopez was much faster and crisper with his punches, landing 52% of his power punches, per CompuBox.“I got to work a little bit more on some things, but overall it was good,” Lopez said of his performance. “It’s been a while. There was a lot on my mind. I nearly almost died (in) the last fight, so that was weighing on my mind, I had to clear it out. “Going in there, I’m not afraid to die, but the last thing I want to do is not have my son have a father.”It was only nine months ago Lopez hit a career low when he lost as a huge favorite to George Kambosos Jr. by split decision.But the loss to Kambosos in New York City on Nov. 27 was later overshadowed by the news he fought with a condition called pneumomediastinum and had extensive air in the retropharyngeal space, per a report by ESPN, something he didn’t learn about until after suffering his first-ever loss.“That was weighing on my mind, but I had to get that guy out, somehow, someway,” the Brooklyn fighter said.Leading up to the seventh, Lopez was the aggressor, staying in pursuit and consistently peppering Campa’s face while absorbing shots and shaking off apparent ring rust.Lopez appeared to back off in the fourth and fifth a bit, perhaps logging rounds while preserving energy, but returned to an active role and landed several combinations in the sixth.“Little by little those punches are gonna add up and eventually it’s gonna hurt them,” Lopez said. “It may not do it right away, but in due time it’ll get them out.“This is a blessing, man. Time is something we don’t get back.” Earlier, Xander Zayas (14-0, 10 KOs) stopped Elias Espadas (22-5) in the fifth round, delivering a devastating right hook to the jaw to claim the vacant WBO NABO junior middleweight title.The 19-year-old from Puerto Rico was dominant from the start, scoring a knockdown in the first round, then using sharp combinations to wear down Espadas over the next three rounds before ending the fight with 2:36 left in the fifth round.Per CompuBox, Zayas, who threw 60 punches per pound, landed 42% of his power punches while 27 of the 86 punches he landed were to the body.

US beats Austria 7-0, improves to 3-0 in world junior

US beats Austria 7-0, improves to 3-0 in world junior

EDMONTON, Alberta — Wyatt Kaiser and Carter Mazur each scored twice and the United States beat winless Austria 7-0 on Saturday to improve to 3-0 in group play in the world junior championship.Matt Coronato, Red Savage and Sasha Pastujov also scored for the defending champion Americans. Andrew Oke stopped 11 shots in the first two periods and Remington Keopple made four saves in the third.“We knew we had to get off to a good start today,” U.S. coach Nate Leaman said. “Our schedule was different today, and it was important for us to adjust quickly. I’m happy with how the team started the first period and kept it rolling.”The U.S. will finish Group B play Sunday against Sweden.At night, Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 to improve to 3-0 in Group A. Captain Mason McTavish scored twice, Kent Johnson had a lacrosse-style goal and added an assist, Greig Ridly and Tyson Foerester also scored and Dylan Garand made 22 saves.“I’ve been practicing that move since I was like, 14, and doing it,” Johnson said. “Now it’s just something that’s kind of in the tool box.”Martin Rysavy scored for the Czech Republic (1-1-1).In the late game, Germany beat Switzerland 3-2 in Group B.Bennet Rossmy, Thomas Heigl and Haakon Hanelt scored for Germany (2-1). Simon Knak and Jonas Taibel scored for Switzerland (0-3)

Gallen dominates, Rivera 2 HRs, Rockies beat D-backs 2-0

Gallen dominates, Rivera 2 HRs, Rockies beat D-backs 2-0

DENVER — Zac Gallen pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, Emmanuel Rivera went deep twice for his first career multi-homer game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 6-0 on Saturday night.Gallen (8-2) struck out six and extended his shutout streak to 14 innings over his past two starts. He gave up three hits in seven scoreless innings against Pittsburgh on Monday.The Rockies managed just two singles and a walk against Gallen, who retired 13 of his last 14 batters. He is 4-0 in his last five starts and his ERA has dropped from 3.56 to 2.94 since July 13.“I was able to reset over the All-Star break. Nothing I really changed that much, just some things that we picked up on, little things,” Gallen said. “It was hard to get nitpicky. Outside of the last couple outings going into the All-Star break I was having a pretty decent year, numbers-wise and stuff-wise.”Alek Thomas made a great catch on the last play of the game to preserve the shutout, leaping and reaching over the wall in center to take away a likely two-run homer by C.J. Cron.Thomas, who entered in the seventh inning, worked on over-the-wall grabs during batting practice earlier before the game.“I wasn’t playing today so I was just practicing robbing home runs,” he said. “Usually on the off days that I get, I try to do that. It’s funny that coincidentally I get a ball that’s robbable and I end up robbing him.”Rivera hit solo shots of 408 feet in the first inning and 403 feet in the third off José Ureña (1-4), his ninth and 10th homers of the season. He walked in the fifth, struck out in the seventh and grounded out in the ninth.“When I came up for my third at-bat my objective was to get a good at-bat. If the homer happened to come it’s in God’s hands, it’s in my hands and so be it if it came,” Rivera said through a translator.Rivera is hitting .391 and has a hit in six straight games since Arizona acquired him from Kansas City at the trade deadline.Josh Rojas had three hits, including a homer off Ureña in the fifth and an RBI single in the ninth.Daulton Varsho made it 5-0 in the eighth when he tripled into the right-field corner and scored when Charlie Blackmon misplayed it for an error.STEPPING INArizona manager Torey Lovullo was away from the team to attend the memorial service for Nicole Hazen, the wife of general manager Mike Hazen, who died this week of glioblastoma. Bench coach Jeff Banister served as acting manager.“I know our guys had a lot of energy tonight,” Banister said. “A lot of thoughts with Mike and his family, and with Torey not being able to be here and being where it needed to be.”Lovullo will rejoin the team in Denver for Sunday’s game.TRAINER’S ROOMRockies: Placed RHP Alex Colomé on the 15-day injured list with right lateral epicondylitis, retroactive to Aug. 12, and recalled right-hander Justin Lawrence from Triple-A Albuquerque. UP NEXTThe Diamondbacks will send LHP Tommy Henry (1-1, 3.75 ERA) to the mound against Colorado RHP Ryan Feltner (2-3, 6.02) on Sunday.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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