Nationals

McLemore leads No. 4 Kansas past Baylor 61-44

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McLemore leads No. 4 Kansas past Baylor 61-44

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Ben McLemore scored 17 points before leaving in the final minutes with a right ankle injury, and fourth-ranked Kansas rolled to a 61-44 victory over Baylor on Monday night.

McLemore hit a 3-pointer and then scored an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Elijah Johnson to make it 61-42 with 2:44 remaining. The Jayhawks were back on offense when the freshman appeared to turn his ankle, lying on the court for several minutes while a trainer examined it.

McLemore eventually stood up and was helped to the Kansas locker room.

The injury was just about the only thing that didn't go right for Kansas (15-1, 3-0 Big 12), which won its 14th straight game to match the fourth-longest streak in the Bill Self era.

Johnson added 12 points and Travis Releford had 10, while the Jayhawks' defense held the Bears (11-5, 3-1) to 23.2 percent shooting and just 9 of 42 from inside the 3-point arc.

Freshman center Isaiah Austin had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bears, who still have never won in 10 tries in Lawrence. Pierre Jackson finished with 10 points.

The Jayhawks used a pair of 10-3 runs to seize control in the first half, doing a good job of sharing the ball on offense and clogging up the interior on defense.

Baylor was just 4 of 25 from inside the 3-point arc in the first half - two of the makes were easy put-backs by Austin and Jackson - while the Jayhawks, one of the top shot-swatting teams in the nation, managed two blocks each from five different players.

The Bears carried over their offensive struggles from Saturday, when they trudged their way to a 51-40 win over TCU. They committed nine first-half turnovers - 16 for the game - against one of the nation's premier defenses, and only had a single assist to show for six made field goals.

Still, they were within 23-18 on Austin's 3-pointer with 5:26 left before Kansas went on a 10-2 run to finish the half. Five different players scored during the spurt.

The run was nearly derailed when Releford was called for a flagrant offensive foul, much to Self's chagrin. But the Bears' Deuce Bello badly missed two free throws, and Jackson was stuffed on a drive to the basket to leave Kansas ahead 33-20 at the break.

The Jayhawks stretched the lead to 42-23 early in the second half before Baylor trimmed it to 47-34 with 10:32 remaining on a run of free throws by Gary Franklin and A.J. Walton.

It was the closest the Bears had been since halftime.

Kansas again stretched the lead on a couple baskets by McLemore sandwiched around an easy inside look from Jeff Withey. And when Austin hit from 15 feet with 6:51 left to trim the deficit to 15, Johnson drove the lane and converted a three-point play as the shot-clock was expiring.

Austin's 3-pointer got Baylor within 56-42 with 4:18 left, but McLemore poured in his own from the top of the key and then threw down his signature dunk in transition.

It would have been the exclamation mark on a blowout win.

Instead, his injury left a sellout crowd inside Allen Fieldhouse quiet as the final seconds ticked off the clock on the Jayhawks' fourth win in their last five games against Baylor.

There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.

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Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Back before all this mania, Miami, as putrid as its season would be, loomed as a factor.

Handling the Marlins would be key for any contender. It wasn’t a question of winning, but of how much winning would occur against one of the league’s worst teams.

Following Friday’s 6-4 win in a sparsely attended Marlins Park, the Nationals moved to 14-3 against Miami this season. They are 16 games over. 500 for the year. They are plus-11 against Miami alone.

Asdrúbal Cabrera homered again, Trea Turner hit two homers, and Daniel Hudson pitched two innings to earn the save. So, the Nationals, 84-68, hold a one-game lead for the top wild-card spot. Milwaukee won again, joining a long list of teams to beat up on the Pittsburgh Pirates since the post-All-Star-break portion of the schedule began. Pittsburgh may be the league’s worst team, at the moment, and the Brewers host it for two more this weekend.

Trouble is brewing for Chicago. It lost again to St. Louis -- this time a 2-1 mid-day defeat in Wrigley Field. The Cubs have lost four in a row. They are three games behind the Nationals and two behind the Brewers. Their path to 90 wins, which may ultimately be the threshold for postseason entrance, is narrowing.

The Mets won their third consecutive game. They are hanging around, 3 ½ games behind the Brewers with nine remaining on the schedule. Their wild-card elimination number is six.

News for Philadelphia is more dire. The Phillies dropped to 78-74 Friday night following a 5-2 loss in Cleveland. They are now five behind Milwaukee. Their wild-card elimination number is a mere five. 

Which brings us to the more detailed math portion of this program. Here are the postseason chances for each team, according to fivethirtyeight.com:

Nationals, 96 percent

Brewers, 84 percent

Cubs, 15 percent

Mets, 5 percent

Phillies, less than one percent

Coming up Saturday:

St. Louis at Chicago, 2:20 p.m., Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Quintana (13-8, 4.37)

New York at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m., Wheeler (11-7, 4.09) vs. DeSclafani (9-9, 3.93)

Washington at Miami, 6:10 p.m., Strasburg (17-6, 3.49) vs. Yamamoto (4-5, 4.87)

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m., Vargas (6-8, 4.48) vs. Plesac (8-6, 3.64)

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m., Marvel (0-2, 9.00) vs. Davies (10-7, 3.70)

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Jonathan Villar steals 37th base of the season

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Jonathan Villar steals 37th base of the season

Check out the latest news and notes from the  Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse. 

Player Updates:

2B Jonathan Villar went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored in Friday’s win over the Mariners. Villar singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and came around to score on Anthony Santander’s three-run homer. He stole his 37th base of the season after walking to lead off the seventh. The speed is great, but he’s also pitched in 23 homers, 69 RBI, and 106 runs scored to go along with a .277/.344/.462 batting line. 

2B Hanser Alberto went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk Friday against Seattle. Alberto is now up to 12 homers on the year, with nine of them coming during the second half. The 26-year-old has faded here in September, but he still finds himself among the league-leaders with a .313 batting average. Nobody would have predicted that in the spring.

OF Anthony Santander finished 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday’s 5-3 win over the Mariners. Santander delivered the big blow in a four-run first inning against Felix Hernandez. He’s now homered twice in his last three games, bringing his total to 20 despite appearing in just 91 games this season. The Orioles are looking for building blocks and the 24-year-old switch-hitter would appear to be one of them.

SP Aaron Brooks threw seven innings of one-run ball for the win against the Mariners on Friday. He came on in relief of opener Richard Bleier, who allowed a two-run shot to Kyle Lewis over his two innings of work. Brooks induced just three swinging strikes in his 83 pitches, but it didn’t really matter, as he Seattle’s lineup to just one hit while walking one and striking out four. 

Injuries

OF Mason Williams, knee, out indefinitely

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Monday 9/23: Orioles vs Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. Rogers Centre

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