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News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, August 1



Goodell stands by Rice discipline



Canton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Roger Goodell made his first public comments in the wake of the two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, and the NFL commissioner said he took all the information he had into account when deciding the punishment.

The two-game penalty for domestic abuse was widely criticized as too lenient, but Goodell stood by his decision when addressing media members Friday, a day before the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.

"Domestic violence is not acceptable," said Goodell at the impromptu session. "We went through the process of evaluating whether there would be discipline. "What's important here is that Ray has taken responsibility for this and has been accountable for his actions."

Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after video posted online by TMZ.com in February showed the running back lifting his then-fiancee out of an Atlantic City casino elevator.

In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that will allow him to avoid serving time in jail. The charges against him will be expunged from his record upon successful completion of the one-year program.

Rice spoke publicly about the incident and his suspension on Thursday and called his actions that night "totally inexcusable" and "something I'm going to pay for the rest of my life." He and Janay Palmer are now married.

"It's important to understand this is a young man who made a terrible mistake," Goodell added. "We're very confident that this young man understands what he needs to do to move forward."

Goodell said the two-game penalty was consistent with other punishments handed down by the league.

"Ray Rice did not have another incident. We take that into account," Goodell stated when asked to compare the penalty to others, including those that are longer for substance-abuse. "When someone has a first offense, and has a strong background ... we take that into account and when there's a pattern we take that into account.

"I take into account all the information before making a decision what the discipline would be. I had the opportunity to hear from Ray, to hear from his wife and other people and I took all that into account."

Steelers extend Suisham through 2018



Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham has signed a four-year contract extension through the 2018 season.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Suisham connected on 30-of-32 field goal tries last year, setting a Steelers record for efficiency with a 93.8 conversion mark. His 30 made field goals tied for the third-most in club history.

Since re-joining the Steelers in 2010, Suisham has made 95-of-109 field goal attempts and each of his 412 point-after tries for 412 points. His 87.2 conversion rate on field goals is the best in team history.

Suisham entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Pittsburgh in 2005. He has also played for Dallas and Washington, and has made 182-of-219 field goal tries and all but two of his 231 PATs for 775 points in 112 games.

Cardinals sign Max Starks



Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Cardinals have signed offensive tackle Max Starks to an undisclosed contract.

Starks spent the first nine years of his NFL career with Pittsburgh and played two games last season with St. Louis after being released by San Diego following training camp.

The Florida product has started 96 of the 125 regular-season games he has played and also has eight starts in 10 postseason appearances.

Starks was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He was a member of two Super Bowl championship teams during his tenure in Pittsburgh, starting at right tackle in Super Bowl XL and left tackle in Super Bowl XLIII.

The Cardinals also released offensive tackle Cory Brandon and kicker Danny Hrapmann on Friday.

MLB says home plate overrule in Reds-Marlins game was correct



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball said the overturned decision on a controversial play at home plate in Thursday's game between the Reds and Marlins was correct.

Cincinnati's Zack Cozart was initially called out on a throw from right field, a play that would have ended the eighth inning with Miami still clinging to a 1-0 lead.

Instead, a lengthy review ensued and it was determined that Miami catcher Jeff Mathis took the throw up the third-base line and blocked Cozart's path to the plate. Cozart was ruled safe to tie the game and the Reds added two more runs in the inning to claim a highly disputed 3-1 victory.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher, was incensed at the call and was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Winters.

"To lose a game on that play is a joke. It's an absolute joke," Redmond said after the game.

Major League Baseball issued a statement Friday and concurred with the replay official's decision.

"The replay official judged that the catcher did not provide a lane to the runner and hindered his path to the plate without possession of the ball," the statement read. "The throw also did not force the catcher into the runner's pathway. As a result, in accordance with Rule 7.13, the ruling on the field was overturned and the run was allowed to score."

MLB also said it will continue to review the application of the new rule that was put into effect this year to help curtail home plate collisions.

"We realize that people may reasonably have different opinions regarding the application of Rule 7.13 in any particular instance because it is a judgment call," the statement continued. "We are continuously evaluating the application of the new rule, and we anticipate a full review with all appropriate parties in the offseason in order to determine whether any changes should be made. We also recognize that the exorbitant length of last night's review, which was more than three times the season average, must be avoided in the future.

"That said, the most important goal of this rule has been to eliminate dangerous collisions at home plate, and it cannot be disputed that the rule has been very effective toward achieving this purpose."

Phillies' Lee heads back to DL



Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee is back on the 15-day disabled list after leaving Thursday's start against the Washington Nationals.

Lee exited Philadelphia's 10-4 victory after throwing a pitch to Denard Span with two outs in the third inning.

"I was hoping it was a little twinge that would go away, and it progressively got worse as the game went on," Lee said after the game. "My last five or six pitches I felt like at any moment something could snap ... and obviously I didn't want that to happen."

The veteran left-hander was making just his third start after being activated off the disabled list on July 21. He had missed two months with an elbow strain.

Lee is expected to be examined Saturday, but his 2014 season could be over. He was initially diagnosed with a left flexor pronator strain.

In 13 starts this season, Lee has posted a 4-5 record with a 3.65 earned run average.

The Phillies recalled pitcher Cesar Jimenez from Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Thursday's game to replace Lee's roster spot.

A's release former closer Johnson



Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics released former closer Jim Johnson on Friday.

Johnson was designated for assignment on July 24.

The 31-year-old right-hander had struggled since being acquired in an offseason trade with the Baltimore Orioles and was removed from the closer's role earlier this season.

In 38 games, he was 4-2 with two saves, one blown save and a 7.14 ERA. Opponents were hitting .353 against him and his ERA and opponents' on-base percentage (.434) were the highest among major league relievers at the time of his designation.

Johnson allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings over his last five games.

Cespedes joins Red Sox amidst flurry of roster moves



Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Red Sox added recent acquisitions, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig, to the active roster Friday amidst a flurry of roster moves.

Boston placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower back strain and recalled pitcher Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his major league debut in a start against the Yankees on Friday night.

Cespedes came over to the Red Sox on Thursday from Oakland in exchange for pitcher John Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash considerations.

The 28-year-old All-Star has hit .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBI in 101 games this year.

Craig, 30, was acquired from St. Louis, along with pitcher Joe Kelly, for starter John Lackey, pitching prospect Corey Littrell and cash considerations on Thursday. In 2014, he has batted .237 with seven home runs, 17 doubles and 44 RBI over 97 contests.

Victorino suffered the injury during Wednesday night's game against Toronto. The 33-year-old has already been on the DL twice this season with a right hamstring injury.

In 30 games for Boston this season, he has batted .268 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs, 12 RBI and 14 runs scored.

Ranaudo has gone 12-4 with a 2.41 earned run average in 21 starts for Pawtucket this season. He will be the first Red Sox pitcher to debut in a start against the Yankees since Robinson Checo did on Sept. 16, 1997.

The team also activated third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the 15-day disabled list, recalled outfielder/infielder Mookie Betts and pitchers Tommy Layne and Alex Wilson from Pawtucket and designated first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp for assignment.

Middlebrooks, who has been on the DL since May 17 with a fractured right index finger, has hit .197 with two home runs and nine RBI in 21 games this season.

Betts played 10 games in a stint with the Red Sox earlier this season, hitting .235 with one home run, two RBI and five runs scored.

Wilson made two relief appearances and Layne record two outs in an appearance for Boston earlier this season.

Carp has hit just .198 with nine RBI in 42 games this season.

Angels place Skaggs on DL



St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels placed pitcher Tyler Skaggs on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a left forearm strain.

The 23-year-old lefty had a no-hitter going when the injury forced him to exit with two outs in the fifth inning of Thursday's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Skaggs is 5-5 with a 4.30 earned run average in 18 starts this season for the Angels.

Pitcher Michael Roth was recalled from Double-A Arkansas in a corresponding move.

Marlins P Alvarez lands on DL



Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Marlins placed pitcher Henderson Alvarez on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right shoulder inflammation.

The move is retroactive to July 30.

Alvarez, an NL All-Star, is 8-5 with a 2.48 earned run average and three shutouts in 22 starts for the Marlins this year.

Miami recalled pitcher Dan Jennings from Triple-A New Orleans in a corresponding move.

Jennings has a 1.15 ERA in 35 relief appearances with the Marlins this season.

Miller joins O's, who send Webb down



Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Left-handed reliever Andrew Miller joined the Baltimore Orioles before Friday's game against Seattle, a day after being acquired in a trade deadline deal with Boston.

To make room, the Orioles designated right-handed reliever Ryan Webb off the 25-man roster.

The Orioles gave up pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez to acquire Miller, who is due to be a free agent at the end of the season. He had a 2.34 ERA in 50 games for the Red Sox this season with 69 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.

Webb, who signed a two-year contract in December, had a 3.80 ERA in 42 games this season.

Giants DFA Uggla



Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants designated second baseman Dan Uggla for assignment on Friday.

Uggla, a three-time All-Star, signed a minor-league deal with the Giants on July 21, three days after he was released by the Atlanta Braves, and was then promoted to the big league club on July 25.

However, in four games with the Giants he struggled both at the plate and in the field. He went hitless and struck out six times in 11 at-bats and committed three errors.

With the Braves earlier this season, he hit just .162 with two homers and 10 RBI in 48 games.

Uggla is a career .243 hitter with 233 homers and 690 RBI in nine seasons with the Marlins, Braves and Giants.

The Giants also designated outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin for assignment and purchased the contracts of shortstop Matt Duffy and outfielder Jarrett Parker from Double-A Richmond.

Colvin hit .223 with two homers and 18 RBI in 57 games with the Giants this season.

Yankees DFA Roberts



Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees designated veteran second baseman Brian Roberts for assignment on Friday.

The club also optioned infielder Zelous Wheeler and outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The moves opened roster spots for infielders Martin Prado and Stephen Drew, who were acquired in separate deals with Arizona and Boston before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline, and pitcher Esmil Rogers, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto.

Roberts, 36, batted .237 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 91 games with the Yankees this season.

Cubs place newly acquired Doubront on DL



Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs have placed newly acquired pitcher Felix Doubront on the disabled list with a left calf strain.

Doubront, 26, was acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday for a player to be named. The southpaw went 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA in 17 appearances (10 starts) for Boston this season, compiling a 26-22 with three saves and a 4.82 ERA over 98 games -- 69 starts -- since making his debut with the Red Sox in 2010.

To replace Doubront on the active roster, the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa. Chicago also selected the contract of infielder Chris Valaika from Triple-A.

Parker has recorded 21 saves, which lead all of Triple-A baseball, and a 1.29 ERA in 28 games for Iowa while striking out 12.9 batters per nine innings.

Valaika is batting .278 with 10 homers and 50 RBI in 102 games with Iowa this season.

Bruce off bereavement list for Reds



Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds activated right fielder Jay Bruce off the bereavement list Friday.

Bruce went on the bereavement list Tuesday after his grandfather passed away.

Bruce is hitting .215 with 10 home runs this season.

To make room for Bruce, the club sent pitcher Curtis Partch to Triple-A Louisville.

Indians designate McAllister, promote Holt



Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians have designated pitcher Zach McAllister for the purposes of optioning him to Triple-A Columbus and recalled outfielder Tyler Holt.

McAllister, 26, started and earned a no-decision in Thursday's 6-5 loss to Seattle. The right-hander has a 5.91 ERA in 14 outings for Cleveland this season.

The 25-year-old Holt was batting .317 in 57 games for Columbus.

Astros call up Foltynewicz



Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros called up right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday.

This will mark the major league debut for Foltynewicz, the Astros' fourth- ranked prospect who is expected to pitch in relief.

Foltynewicz, 22, pitched the entire season at Oklahoma City, going 7-7 in 21 games, 18 as a starter. A first-round selection (19th overall) by Houston in the 2010 draft, Foltynewicz struck out 102 batters in 102 2/3 innings.

Rangers purchase contract of Klein



Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers purchased the contract of pitcher Phil Klein from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday.

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 10 saves across 33 relief appearances with Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this year. He has amassed 70 strikeouts and has not allowed an extra-base hit.

To make room for Klein, the Rangers designated pitcher Ryan Feierabend for assignment.

Feierabend, who saw his first major league action since 2008 with the Mariners, allowed 12 hits and five runs in 7 1/3 innings across six games with the Rangers this season.

Dodgers' Gonzalez exits with right knee contusion



Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs with a right knee contusion.

With one out and runners at the corners in the first, Hanley Ramirez reached on a throwing error by shortstop Starlin Castro. Ramirez grounded one to the hole in between third and shortstop, where Castro tossed an errant throw to second and into right field. Dee Gordon scored on the play and Gonzalez raced around the bags, but was called out at home on a successful relay throw from right fielder Nate Schierholtz and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Gonzalez was injured on the slide into home and was immediately removed from the game in favor of Scott Van Slyke.

Pacers' George suffers gruesome leg injury



Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Indiana Pacers All-Star guard Paul George suffered a gruesome leg injury during a USA Basketball team scrimmage Friday night.

George's right leg appeared to snap above the ankle as it jammed against the padded stanchion and the court beneath the basket after he jumped in an attempt to block a James Harden layup.

George remained on his back for several minutes in obvious pain before his leg was put in splint and he was wheeled off the court on a stretcher as teammates stood around him.

Moments later, USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski grabbed a microphone and announced to the crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center that the scrimmage was over.

"With the serious injury that we had and the fact that we stopped playing for a long period of time, and out of respect for Paul and his family, the scrimmage is done," Krzyzewski said.

The Pacers said in a statement they were aware of George's injury and are "obviously greatly concerned." They will have an updated statement on Saturday.

George, 24, has been an All-Star each of the last two years. He averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 80 games this past season.

Spurs sign Parker to extension



San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs signed guard Tony Parker to a multi-year contract extension on Friday.

Terms of the contract were not announced.

Parker, a 13-year veteran, averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds last season, leading the Spurs to a fourth NBA title.

Last season marked the fourth consecutive season that Parker has led the Spurs in points per game. He earned All-NBA Second Team honors and was the Spurs' lone representative in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

Since being selected by the Spurs with the 28th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Parker has gone on to be one of the most decorated players in team history. He has been named to four All-NBA Teams and six All-Star games.

In his career, Parker has appeared in 940 regular season games averaging 17.1 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He has seen action in 196 playoff games averaging 18.9 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 35.7 minutes.

Parker, who was the MVP of the 2007 NBA Finals, is the Spurs' all-time NBA career leader in assists in both regular season and playoff action.

Knicks sign Early



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks signed forward Cleanthony Early on Friday.

Early was selected by New York in second round (34th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft out of Wichita State University.

The Bronx native led the Shockers to an undefeated regular season (34-0), with averages of 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.

He averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in four games for New York's Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Nuggets sign Green



Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets signed guard Erick Green on Friday.

Green was the 46th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft after leading the NCAA in scoring with 25 points per game as a senior at Virginia Tech.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder spent the 2013-14 season with Montepaschi Siena of the Italian League, averaging 11.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Playing in the 2014 NBA Summer League, Green averaged 16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in five games (all starts) with the Nuggets. He shot 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Heat sign Williams



Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat signed forward Shawne Williams on Friday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Williams split the 2013-14 season between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. He appeared in 36 games, starting 13 times, with the Lakers, averaging 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.

With the D-Fenders, he appeared in 23 games (21 starts) and averaged 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.09 blocks.

Originally selected in the first round (17th overall) by Indiana in the 2006 NBA Draft, Williams has appeared in 251 career regular-season games, averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Jets agree to terms with Galiardi



Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms Friday with forward TJ Galiardi on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000.

Galiardi, 26, has played in 303 NHL games, including the playoffs, since making his debut during the 2008-09 season.

He had four goals and 13 assists in 62 games with the Calgary Flames last season.

Selected by Colorado in the second round of the 2007 draft, Galiardi has 43 goals and 104 points in 283 career games with the Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Flames.

Watney maintains Barracuda Championship lead



Reno, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Watney collected eight points on Friday to maintain his lead at the Barracuda Championship.

Watney, who is seeking his sixth career win on the PGA Tour, finished two rounds at Montreux Golf and Country Club with 26 points.

"I got to keep going," Watney said. "I played great. And the golf course isn't, there's some scorable holes, but there's also a few really tough ones. So anything over five or six points is a good day."

Geoff Ogilvy earned seven points during his second round to sit alone in second place with 23 total points, while Wes Roach collected 10 points on Friday to sit in third with 22 points.

Tim Wilkinson (5) and Tommy Gainey (10) are tied for fourth with 21 points.

The tournament uses a modified stableford scoring system that awards eight points for a double-eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and zero points for a par. A player loses one point for a bogey and two points for a double-bogey or worse.

Watney started on the back nine and parred the 10th before tripping to a bogey at the 11th.

He bounced right back with a birdie at the 12th to move into positive numbers for the day, and again traded a bogey at the 16th with a birdie at the 18th to make the turn with 20 total points.

Watney would then convert back-to-back birdies from inside 10 feet at the second and third to move his point total to 24. After parring the next four holes, he reached 26 points with a 5-foot birdie putt at the eighth.

He parred the ninth to end there and claim the clubhouse lead.

Ogilvy recorded a birdie at the third and a bogey at the seventh among seven pars during his outward nine, bringing him to 17 points at the turn.

He stuck his second shot at the par-5 13th to 10 feet from the hole and converted that for eagle to jump to 22 points, but gave one of those away with a bogey at the 14th.

The Australian responded with an 18-foot birdie putt at the 16th to finish at 23 points.

"I didn't play quite as well as I did yesterday, but I hit the ball quite well on the back nine I think," said Ogilvy. "Hopefully I can get back to more of Thursday's form on the weekend. I'm hitting the ball well enough. If I can hole a few putts, hopefully I'll be there at the end."

Roach countered three bogeys with four birdies and an eagle to account for his 10 points on Friday.

NOTES: David Duval withdrew during his second round with an elbow injury, while Richard Johnson withdrew due to a neck injury ... Y.E. Yang was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard ... Watney holds the 36-hole lead for the 17th time in his career. He has only converted one of his previous 36 into a win, doing so at the 2012 Barclays ... If not otherwise qualified, the winner of the Barracuda Championship will earn an invitation to next week's PGA Championship.

Garcia grabs 3-shot lead with birdie run



Akron, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Sergio Garcia birdied the final seven holes on Friday en route to grabbing a 3-shot lead after two rounds of the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational.

Garcia, who closed his round with 11 consecutive one-putts, posted an 8-under 27 on the back nine to close out a round of 61. He completed 36 holes at 11- under-par 129. His back nine 27 was a record at Firestone Country Club, and his 61 matched Tiger Woods and Jose Maria Olazabal's course record.

Last year's U.S. Open champion Justin Rose carded a 67 and is alone in second place at minus-8. Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy posted a 6-under 64 and moved into a share of third place at 7-under 133. He was joined there by Marc Leishman (69).

Rickie Fowler (67) and Charl Schwartzel (69) share fifth place at minus-6, while Patrick Reed (68) and Keegan Bradley (67) are one back at 5-under 135.

Defending champion Woods stumbled to a 1-over 71 and fell into a share of 25th at 1-under 139.

Woods opened his round with a short birdie putt on the 10th, but followed with bogeys on 11 and 13 to slip to minus-1. He ran off six straight pars from the 14th.

The eight-time winner of this event tripped to another bogey on the second. Woods bounced back with a 19-foot birdie effort on the third. He holed a birdie putt from off the green on No. 5, but closed his round with a bogey at the ninth.

"I didn't hit the ball well, I didn't putt well and didn't do anything well. The only thing I did well out there was I fought, I fought hard," Woods said. "Unfortunately, it wasn't very good today."

Garcia played his third at the par-5 second to two feet and he kicked that in for birdie. He closed his opening nine with seven pars in a row.

Around the turn, Garcia caught fire. He poured in a 20-footer on No. 10 to move to minus-4. After a par on 11, Garcia stuffed his tee shot inside a foot at the 12th.

The Spaniard kicked that in and followed with a 3-foot birdie effort at 13. He drained an 18-footer for birdie on 14, then holed another birdie at 15.

Garcia wasn't finished. He played his third to the par-5 16th to 14 feet and rolled that in for birdie. Garcia drained a 25-footer for birdie on 17 and wrapped up his round with another birdie from just over 20 feet out.

"I've been fortunate to have some good rounds, but I think that was my lowest round in tournament play and also my lowest nine holes. So, it was very nice," said an understated Garcia. "I did get a little bit lucky on the front nine. I hit three bad tee shots and I got good breaks, and was able to save par. And that kept my round going.

"I started to hit the ball very good on the back nine. I rolled the ball nicely, so I'm thrilled with it."

Rose also played the back nine first and he opened with four pars in a row. After a bogey on 14, he birdied the 15th from five feet out. He made the turn at minus-6 after a short birdie at 18.

The Englishman drained a 12-footer on the first for birdie. Rose notched another birdie on the fifth before closing with four pars in a row.

"That was a stark contrast to my round yesterday. Yesterday, I scrambled it around and made everything. Today, I hit it much closer to the hole, gave myself plenty of looks, but didn't quite make as many," said Rose. "I began to putt much better on the back nine, I began to hit my lines. Early in the round, I just wasn't seeing the break very well."

NOTES: Garcia is playing this event for the 14th time ... He shared seventh place in 1999, but his best finish since then is a tie for 13th in 2005 ... With the threat of inclement weather, tee times for Saturday's third round were moved up to 7-9 a.m. ET.

Gomez shoots 60, claims Stonebrae Championship lead



Hayward, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Fabian Gomez fired a 10-under 60 on Friday to vault into a 1-stroke lead after two rounds of the Stonebrae Championship

Gomez finished 36 holes at TPC Stonebrae at 14-under-par 126. He is seeking his second career win on the Web.com Tour.

"It?s the closest I've been and so it's a little disappointing," Gomez said through an interpreter about almost shooting a 59. "It's not very often you find yourself in a spot like to shoot 59."

Blayne Barber, the South Georgia Classic winner, carded a 6-under 64 to sit in second place at 13-under 127. Tony Finau (62) is alone in third at minus-11.

Ashley Hall (65), Nicholas Lindheim (67), Colt Knost (65), Bronson Burgoon (64) and Travis Bertoni (65) shared fourth at 10-under 130.

Gomez opened his impressive round with a birdie at the first and after parring the second, he ran off four straight gains from the third to race to 9-under.

He then closed out his front nine with back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth, and the 59 watch was officially on.

Gomez cooled a bit around the turn with three straight pars before rolling in consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th to reach 13-under.

His 10th birdie of the day at 17th meant he needed a birdie at the last to shoot a 59, but he could not convert a 25-foot birdie effort and he 2-putted for par to claim the lead at minus-14.

"I was definitely aware of (shooting 59), but I was just trying to stay in the moment, hit good shots and make good putts," Gomez said. "I never relaxed. I stayed focused on what I was doing."

Barber started on the back nine and quickly moved into red numbers for the day with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th. He would add another birdie at the 15th to make the turn at 10-under.

Barber would record birdies at the second, third and sixth to pull within a shot of Gomez, but he could not grab a share of the lead as he parred his final three holes.

Finau posted eight birdies during his bogey-free round to move three shots off the pace.

NOTES: Gomez's lone win on tour came at the 2010 Chitimacha Louisiana Open ... The first round was completed Friday morning after Thursday's round was suspended for darkness ... Daniel Miernicki withdrew prior to the start of the second round due to tendinitis issues ... Matteo Bellenda withdrew during the second round due to a wrist injury.

Dawson tops crowded leaderboard in Minnesota



Blaine, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Marco Dawson fired a 9-under 63 on Friday to grab a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the 3M Championship.

Dawson has one win on the Web.com Tour in 2002. In eight Champions Tour starts this season, he has three top-10 finishes, with a share of fifth at the U.S. Senior Open being his best finish.

Coming off his dominating win at the Senior Open Championship, 2012 winner Bernhard Langer fired a 64 and he shares second place with Jeff Maggert, Rocco Mediate and Vijay Singh.

Kenny Perry, the 2011 runner-up, opened with a 65 at TPC Twin Cities and is alone in sixth place.

Gary Hallberg, who shared second with Langer at this event in 2008, carded a 6-under 66 and was joined in seventh by Bobby Wadkins, Doug Garwood, Mike Goodes and U.S. Senior Open runner-up Gene Sauers.

Dawson started his round on the 10th tee. He parred his opening hole, but followed with a 10-foot birdie putt at 11. He drained back-to-back 6-foot birdie efforts on 12 and 13.

The 50-year-old chipped in for eagle on the par-5 18th and made the turn at minus-5. He got up and down for birdie on the par-5 third, then parred a pair of holes.

Dawson chipped to four feet at the sixth and rolled that putt in for birdie. He made it two in a row with another birdie on the seventh, then closed his round with an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 9.

"I drove it well and putted well, but I really hit my irons well. I was really dialed in," Dawson said. "I didn't get to play a practice round before the qualifier since I flew in from Wales on Monday. I felt every time I got over the ball I was going to hit a good shot, especially after making those three birdies early."

Langer, who won the Senior Open Championship by 13 strokes last week, posted three birdies on the front nine, then moved to 4-under with a birdie on the 10th. He holed out for eagle on the par-4 14th, then capped his round with birdies at 16 and 18.

Maggert was on fire early with four birdies in a 6-hole span from the second. Around the turn, he birdied 10 and 12 to move to minus-6. However, Maggert tripped to a bogey on the par-3 13th. He ran off three straight birdies from the 15th to jump into a share of second place.

Mediate birdied both par-5s on the front nine, the third and sixth. He also birdied the seventh. Mediate notched consecutive birdies at 11 and 12. He followed a birdie on 17 with a 30-foot eagle putt at the last to post minus-8.

"I'm working on some things now. I've hit a lot of bad shots the last few months. I'm trying to get back to where I was 15 years ago," Mediate admitted. "Some of the things I've been working on showed up today."

Singh got going with a birdie on one and an eagle at the third. He stumbled to a bogey on the fourth, but converted three straight birdie efforts from the sixth. Singh carded three more birdies on the back nine to gain a share of second place.

NOTES: This event is the fifth time this season that Dawson open qualified for an event on the Champions Tour ... In his first Champions Tour start, Paul Goydos opened with a 5-under 67, which left him tied for 12th ... Defending champion Tom Pernice, Jr. posted a 3-under 69 on Friday.

Major champions paired at PGA; Woods with Phil, Harrington



Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy have been paired together for next week's PGA Championship.

The Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship winners will tee off round one at 1:45 p.m. ET on Thursday on the first tee at Valhalla Golf Club. They will start round two on No. 10 at 8:35 a.m.

Four-time champion Tiger Woods will play with 2005 winner Phil Mickelson and 2008 champ Padraig Harrington. They start Thursday on the 10th tee at 8:35 a.m. and begin Friday on the first tee at 1:45 p.m. Woods beat Bob May in a playoff the last time the PGA was held at Valhalla in 2000.

Those two groups will be the headliners each afternoon, but there is plenty of firepower surrounding them.

Woods' group plays in the midst of plenty of star power. Starting at 7:45 a.m. Thursday are two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, two-time winner this season Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama.

They are followed by 2003 PGA winner Shaun Micheel, Senior PGA champion Colin Montgomerie and Michael Block. Up next will be four-time major winner Ernie Els, Victor Dubuisson and Rickie Fowler, who has finished inside the top five in the first three majors this year.

Jordan Spieth, world No. 1 Adam Scott and Lee Westwood are next at 8:15 a.m. The group before Woods includes three-time winner this season Jimmy Walker, Ian Poulter and two-time U.S. Open runner-up Jason Day.

Following Woods' threesome will be 2010 U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka. They are trailed by Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and 2003 U.S. Open champ Jim Furyk. The run of big names continues at 9:05 a.m. off the 10th with Matt Kuchar playing alongside 2013 U.S. Open titlist Justin Rose and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

This year's major winners also have plenty of big names surrounding them as well. Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton is paired with Jonas Blixt and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson at 1:05 p.m. Thursday on the first tee. After them will be Gary Woodland, Graham DeLaet and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson will play the opening two rounds with 1998 PGA runner-up Steve Stricker and two-time runner-up Sergio Garcia. Playing in front of this year's major winners will be Henrik Stenson, Ryan Moore and local favorite Kenny Perry.

McIlroy's group will be followed by three of the last five PGA Championship winners - Jason Dufner, Y.E. Yang and Keegan Bradley. Next up is Luke Donald playing with another local favorite J.B. Holmes and Francesco Molinari.

Former Masters winner Zach Johnson will tee it up with Richard Sterne and 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke.

PGA Tour denies Johnson was suspended



(SportsNetwork.com) - The PGA Tour denied Friday that Dustin Johnson has been suspended, this after an online report earlier in the day said the golfer was banned for six months after failing a drug test for a third time.

"With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour," the tour said in a statement.

Golf.com reported that Johnson has failed three drug tests, one for marijuana in 2009 and two for cocaine -- first in 2012 and then earlier this year. The latter caused him to be suspended for six months, according to the report.

Johnson said in a statement released Thursday that he was "taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately."

"I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced," Johnson said. "By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion."

In 2012, Johnson missed the Masters and was out for nearly three months. At the time, it was announced he injured his back while lifting a jet ski. Golf.com cited a source as saying Johnson was serving a suspension for a failed drug test.

The PGA Tour, which does not announce suspensions, said Thursday, "We have nothing to add to Dustin's statement. But wish him well and look forward to his return to the PGA Tour in the future."

Johnson, 30, withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational earlier this week. The PGA of America announced he will not take part in next week's PGA Championship or the Ryder Cup in late September.

Johnson is fifth on the United States Ryder Cup points list. His absence means the player ranked 10th on the points list as of Monday, Aug. 11, will make the team automatically.

Mackenzie claims lead, Schnell shoots 59 in Alberta



Calgary, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - Brock Mackenzie carded a 9-under 63 on Friday to claim a 1-stroke lead after two rounds of the ATB Financial Classic.

Mackenzie finished 36 holes at Sirocco Golf Club at 16-under-par 128. He is seeking his second career win on the PGA Tour Canada.

Stephen Carney (65) is alone in second place at 15-under.

The story of the day, however, goes to Brady Schnell, who holed out his final hole from 122 yards for an eagle to shoot a 59 and move into a share for third place with Christopher Ross (62) at 14-under.

Schnell started on the back nine and raced out of the gate with five birdies over his first six holes.

After a pair of pars he converted birdies at the 18th, first, third and fifth to move to 10-under. Back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth brought him to the par-4 ninth, where he holed out his second shot from 122 yards for an eagle to card the second 59 in tour history.

"I guess you're always trying to hole it, but you don't expect it to happen for a 59," Schnell said about his final shot. "I was just trying to make another birdie and get in and shoot 60 and just move up the leaderboard. I can't believe how it happened. That was just crazy."

Mackenzie parred his first three holes before rolling in consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th. He converted another pair of birdies at the 18th and first to move to 11-under.

He stayed hot with gains at the third and fifth before closing his bogey-free round with three straight gains from the seventh to claim the lead at minus-16.

Carney countered a lone bogey with eight birdies, including four straight from the 14th, to end a shot off the pace.

NOTES: Jason Bohn carded a 58 in the final round of the 2001 Bayer Championship ... Schnell is the first professional golfer to card a 59 this year. Three players accomplished the feat in 2013, Will Wilcox and Russell Knox on the Web.com Tour, and Jim Furyk on the PGA Tour ... Mackenzie's lone win on tour came at the 2010 Times Colonist Open.

Larson wins first Sprint Cup pole at Pocono



Long Pond, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie Kyle Larson claimed his first career pole in the Sprint Cup Series after topping Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski in Friday's qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

Larson, who drives the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, turned a lap at 183.438 mph during the third and final round of knockout qualifying, which set a new record at this 2.5-mile triangular-shaped racetrack. The 22-year-old driver scored his maiden Sprint Cup pole in his 25th start. He edged Logano for the top starting position in Sunday's 400-mile race here by just 0.008 seconds.

"I had some butterflies before that last round," Larson said. "I knew we would have a good shot at the pole after the second round, but I was nervous. I hit all three corners about as good as I could, so I was really excited about that."

Larson, who is of Japanese descent, became the first NASCAR "Drive for Diversity" graduate to win a Sprint Cup pole. He started on the pole for the April 26 race at Richmond. Qualifying there was rained out, but Larson was awarded the top starting spot since he was fastest overall in practice. He has yet to win a race in NASCAR's premier series. Six races remain before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins.

"I really think a win is coming soon, hopefully before the Chase starts," he said. "I got the pole at Richmond, but that was in practice. So this is a legit pole. I'm hoping for a really good weekend now."

Logano posted a lap at 183.408 mph. He started on the pole and won this race in June 2012.

"I would have put millions of dollars on that lap being the pole," Logano said. "It felt so good. [Crew chief] Todd Gordon made great adjustments for each run. We kept going faster and faster, and I felt like I nailed all three corners. I was thinking, 'Oh, yeah, this is perfect. I got it this time.' And then I get beat. It sucks."

Logano's teammate, Brad Keselowski, finished third in qualifying with a lap at 182.700 mph.

Kurt Busch placed fourth, followed by Jeff Gordon, the current points leader and winner of last weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Gordon has the most wins at Pocono with six.

Qualifying seventh through 12th were: Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at Pocono in June, Danica Patrick, rookie Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne, who scored the victory here one year ago.

The top-11 drivers in qualifying surpassed the previous track record of 181.415 mph, set by Denny Hamlin two months ago. Hamlin missed the cut for the final qualifying round by 0.045 seconds. He will start 13th.

Other notable drivers and their starting positions include: Clint Bowyer (14th), Tony Stewart (16th), Jimmie Johnson (17th), Matt Kenseth (18th), Ryan Newman (21st), Greg Biffle (25th) and Carl Edwards (26th).

All 43 drivers who attempting qualifying made the starting field.

Thiem, Goffin reach final in Kitzbuhel



Kitzbuhel, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Rising Austrian star Dominic Thiem and Belgian wild card David Goffin will face-off in Saturday's final at the Kitzbuhel Cup tennis event.

The fifth-seeded world No. 50 Thiem saw double duty on Friday, as he opened his day by ousting second-seeded and defending champion Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals, then whipped last year's Kitzbuhel and last week's Gstaad runner-up Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-1 in the semis to secure a berth in his maiden ATP final.

The sub-six-foot Goffin, meanwhile, came from behind to beat Argentine qualifier Maximo Gonzalez 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal to also reach his first career ATP final.

One other quarterfinal affair on Friday saw the 2007 Kitzbuhel champion Monaco upend fourth-seeded 2010 titlist Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 on the red clay at Kitzbuhel Tennis Stadium.

The 20-year-old Thiem is the youngest player in the Top 50, while the 23-year- old Goffin is ranked 78th in the world.

The capable Goffin beat Thiem in straight sets at London's Queen's Club in June.

Saturday's winner will claim $104,000.

Serena Williams reaches Stanford semis



Stanford, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Serena Williams outlasted Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals on Friday at the Bank of the West Classic, a U.S. Open Series tennis event.

Although Williams dropped the first set, she fought back to take a hard-fought 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory and reach the semifinals. Williams took home the title at this event in 2011 and 2012.

Williams was on course to face her sister, Venus, in the semis, but third- seeded German Andrea Petkovic edged the unranked American 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.

Third-seeded Angelique Kerber was an easy quarterfinal winner as the German leveled promising 20-year-old Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 on the hardcourts at Taube Family Tennis Center.

Kerber will next face Varvara Lepchenko, who defeated Sachia Vickery 6-1, 6-0.

The 2014 Stanford champion will claim $120,000.

Makarova, Kuznetsova reach DC semis



Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and one-time world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova moved into the semifinals at the Citi Open tennis event on Friday.

The second-seeded left-hander Makarova got past fifth-seeded fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Pavlyuchenkova was a D.C. finalist two years ago.

Makarova's opponent on Saturday will be the former U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova.

The sixth-seeded two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova advanced via walkover on Day 5. She was scheduled to meet Vania King in a quarterfinal affair, but the American pulled out of the match, citing a hip injury, at FitzGerald Tennis Center.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Marina Erakovic topped Serb Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-4 and Japan's Kurumi Nara clipped France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-1. Erakovic and Nara will meet in Saturday's unlikely other hardcourt semi.

The winner of this U.S. Open Series tournament will collect $43,000.

Young reaches DC semis



Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - American Donald Young upset No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson on Friday to reach the semifinals of the $1.4 million Citi Open tennis event.

The left-handed Young knocked off the 6-foot-8 South African 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in just over two hours on the hardcourts at FitzGerald Tennis Center.

Young's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be second-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.

The other semifinal will pit sixth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet against the winner of the rain-delayed match between No. 10 seed Santiago Giraldo and 13th-seeded Vasek Pospisil, who rallied for a 6-3 win in the second set to tie the match before it was postponed.

Gasquet beat fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-1, 6-4.

This week's U.S. Open Series winner will earn $316,400.

08/02 01:41:44 ET