Monday Sports in Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Strasburg took his turn silencing the Cardinals’ struggling bats, Nationals postseason star Howie Kendrick doubled three times and drove in three more runs, and Washington moved one win from the city’s first World Series appearance in 86 years by beating St. Louis 8-1 Monday night to take a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.
After Nationals starters Aníbal Sánchez and Max Scherzer flirted with no-hitters in the first two games of the best-of-seven series, Strasburg wasn’t quite that untouchable: He allowed a double in the second inning, six later singles and one unearned run. Still, he was rather dominant for much of his seven innings, striking out 12 batters and finishing off each one with an off-speed pitch.
The Cardinals, quite simply, can’t hit in this NLCS: They have a grand total of two runs and 11 hits through three games. Washington’s three starters have a combined ERA — no calculator necessary for this one — of 0.00.
Now it’s Patrick Corbin’s chance to see if he can match his rotation-mates. The $140 million lefty will start for the Nationals in Game 4 on Tuesday night, when they can close out a sweep at home. Rookie right-hander Dakota Hudson will be on the mound for the Cardinals.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James believes Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey “was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation” and the potential consequences of his actions when he tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
In his first public comments since the Los Angeles Lakers returned home from a strange weeklong tour of China immediately after Morey’s incendiary tweet, James’ lengthy answer to a question about whether Morey should be punished for the tweet didn’t specifically address the merits of Morey’s support of Hong Kong sovereignty.
The Lakers superstar instead characterized the international incident caused by Morey’s tweet as a cautionary tale about the power of social media.
“Yes, we do have freedom of speech,” James said. “But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.”
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a photo finish Monday at Talladega Superspeedway to earn a spot in the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
Blaney’s first win of the season advanced him to the round of eight along with Kyle Larson. The field will be trimmed from 12 to eight next weekend at Kansas, and Blaney came to Talladega needing a big rally to remain in title contention.
Blaney was the leader on a restart with two laps remaining and had a strong push from fellow Ford drivers until Newman charged to the lead in the top line. Blaney stayed in the bottom lane. As an accident broke out further in the pack, he pulled alongside Newman and beat him by inches to the finish line.
It was the sixth-closest finish in the history of Talladega, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend.
The race began Sunday but was stopped after the first stage for rain and resumed Monday.
TOKYO (AP) — Roger Federer says he plans to play at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Swiss great, a four-time Olympian, says “at the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play at the Olympic Games again.”
Federer made the announcement in Tokyo during at an exhibition event for his Japanese uniform supplier.
Federer will turn 39 shortly after the Olympic tournament. He had previously planned his schedule up to Wimbledon, which ends two weeks before the Tokyo Games.
He will need a wild-card exemption because he has not played Davis Cup matches to be eligible.
Federer won doubles gold for Switzerland with Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver in singles at the 2012 London Games at Wimbledon.
He missed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics with an injury.