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Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray officially declares for NFL Draft, leaves MLB future unknown

Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray officially declares for NFL Draft, leaves MLB future unknown

Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft just inside the deadline, he announced on Twitter on Monday.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland A's in June, and the No. 9 overall pick has a $4.66 million deal that allowed him to play football with the Sooners for his junior season. 

He was previously expected to report to spring training with the A's in mid-February, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that Oakland was expecting him to enter the NFL Draft. 

However, declaring for the NFL Draft does not immediately impact his deal with the A's. He could still report to spring training -- position players start Feb. 15 in Mesa, Arizona -- but that could conflict with the NFL scouting combine, which begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.

As an outfielder, Murray is in such high demand by Major League Baseball that the league will allow Murray to join Oakland's 40-man roster and build upon his nearly-$5 million deal instead of first playing in the minors, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday. The A's being able to offer Murray a major league contract could hand him a dollar amount similar to what he'd receive as a top NFL Draft pick.

According to USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale, the A's, including team president Billy Beane, met with Murray and made their case for him to choose professional baseball as recently as Sunday.

Murray followed Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma's quarterback this season, and despite the Sooners listing him at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, he could still be a first-round NFL Draft pick too. 

While leading the Sooners to a Big 12 championship and the College Football Playoff -- Oklahoma ultimately lost to Alabama -- Murray maintained a 69.0 completion percentage. He threw for 4,361 yards, which was third nationally, ran for 1,001 yards and accumulated a combined 54 touchdowns.


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Tiebreaking three run homer helps Athletics get win over Orioles

Tiebreaking three run homer helps Athletics get win over Orioles

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A promising start for the Orioles ended in frustration following Jeremy Hellickson's roughest outing since joining Baltimore's rotation two weeks ago.

Matt Chapman hit a tiebreaking three-run homer off Hellickson in a five-run fourth inning, and the Oakland Athletics overcame an early two-run deficit in a 9-3 victory on Sunday.


"Every game's big right now, so when you lose, you feel like you had to have that one," Hellickson said. "Just frustrated right now."

Hellickson (1-2) gave up six runs -- twice as many as he allowed in his previous two starts. He allowed five hits in five-plus innings.

That dropped the Orioles to 3-4 on their 10-game road trip.

"That was a strange . just kind of an Oakland game," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They really hit one ball hard, a little changeup he was trying to get underneath the bat and left it there. Probably looking for it and hooked it. I thought he had good enough stuff."

Manny Machado hit his 22nd homer and scored twice for Baltimore.

"We have a great team, we have a great lineup and pitching staff," Machado said. "Things haven't turned out how we'd like them to be but we're going to keep fighting until the end. We're not going to stop."

Matt Joyce and Matt Olson also homered as the A's gained a four-game split.

"We did a great job of not trying to do too much," Joyce said. "Obviously, Chapman came up with a huge hit . and gave us a big boost that we needed. After that it's just about grinding out the at-bats, having a good approach, trying to make the necessary adjustments that you need to get to the starter."

Kendall Graveman (3-3) had an uneven outing in his first win since returning Aug. 3 from a disabled list stint caused by a strained right shoulder. He matched his career high of eight strikeouts, allowing two runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Run-scoring singles by Jonathan Schoop in the first and Chris Davis in the second built Baltimore's 2-0 lead.

Ryan Healy hit an RBI double in the fourth, when Khris Davis scored the tying run when he beat Chris Davis' throw home on Matt Olson's grounder to first. Chapman, in a 3-for-16 slide, homered off the left-field pole. All eight of his home runs have been since the All-Star break.

Marcus Semien's sacrifice fly increased the lead to 6-1 in the fifth, Joyce homered against Richard Bleier in the seventh and Olson went deep off Zach Britton in the eighth, Olson's third in as many games.

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Trey Mancini first Oriole rookie with 20 home run season since Cal Ripken Jr.


Trey Mancini first Oriole rookie with 20 home run season since Cal Ripken Jr.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Trey Mancini wasn't assured a spot on the Baltimore Orioles' roster in spring training.

He's making his opportunity count.

Mancini homered twice, Wade Miley pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the Orioles slugged four home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.


Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo each added solo blasts.

The Orioles have won nine of their last 13 games.

Mancini had three hits and now has 20 home runs for the season.

"I don't know if it's unexpected," Mancini said. "Not knowing where I was going to be this year, I just really try not to take any time for granted here and trying to help this team win some games."

Miley (6-9) struck out seven, walked three and allowed one unearned run.

The left-hander said he's leaning on a curveball he started "spiking," on the recommendation of Orioles reliever Chris Tillman.

"I'm trying to get a pitch that I can use to get ahead with and I'm actually able to put away guys with," Miley said. "It's something I really haven't done much in my career with a curveball, but it's good hopefully I can keep it going."

A's starter Chris Smith (0-2) went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, including all four home runs.

The 36-year-old, who last month became the oldest player in franchise history to make his first career start, has given up at least one home run in six outings, including five starts.

"All my starts are tough, but that lineup is deadly," Smith said.

"Man, they just kept on attacking. They made the adjustment on my mistakes, and they hit them. They hit them hard and far."

The Orioles broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth when Jones and Mancini hit back-to-back home runs leading off the inning.

Mancini and Trumbo homered with nobody aboard in consecutive at-bats in the sixth.

Jones' home run was his 21st. Trumbo's 18th snapped a 0-for-24 slump.

Tim Beckham had two hits, including a triple, extending his hitting streak to all 10 games since the Orioles acquired him in a July 31 deadline trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. He's batting .500 (20 for 40) with his new team.

Orioles catcher Wellington Castillo had a double in the fourth inning that extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Jed Lowrie had two hits and two RBIs for Oakland, which has lost five of its last seven games.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter summoned closer Zach Britton to face Lowrie after Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth.

Joey Rickard made a running catch in right field to retire Lowrie as Britton notched his 10th save.