Weekend Sports In Brief
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady has never known what it’s like to play out the final season of a contract in his 20-year NFL career, and the New England Patriots superstar quarterback isn’t about to find out.
Brady, who turned 42 on Saturday, is signing a two-year, $70 million extension that runs through 2021 and includes a hefty raise this season, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The person, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday because the Patriots hadn’t announced the extension, confirmed the NFL Network’s report on Brady’s contract. Brady will get an $8 million raise in 2019, when he’ll make $23 million. The extension also calls for him to make $30 million in 2020 and $32 million in 2021, when he would be 44.
Brady, who led the Patriots to a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53, is one of just four players to win six NFL titles. The others all played for Vince Lombardi’s mighty Green Bay Packers teams in the 1960s: Hall of Famers Herb Adderley and Forrest Gregg and their teammate, Fuzzy Thurston.
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Cliff Branch, one of the Raiders‘ career-leading wide receivers who won three Super Bowls in 14 seasons with the franchise, has died. He was 71.
Branch was found dead Saturday in a hotel room in Bullhead City, Arizona, the city’s police department said. It said an initial investigation revealed no foul play and that Branch died of natural causes.
One of the game’s top deep threats from 1972 to 1985 in Oakland and Los Angeles, Branch was an All-Pro three straight seasons (1974-76) and made four Pro Bowls. He scored 67 touchdowns through the air, leading the NFL in TD receptions in 1974 with 13 and in 1076 with 12. Branch also had a league-high 1,092 yards receiving in 1974.
He was a force in the postseason, with 1,289 yards receiving. The Raiders won Super Bowls after the 1976, 1980 and 1983 seasons — the last one in Los Angeles, where the franchise moved in 1982 after protracted court fights before returning to the Bay Area in 1995.
Branch was a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and 2010.
HOUSTON (AP) — Aaron Sanchez looked like a reinvented pitcher in his Houston debut, throwing six stellar innings to start the Astros on a combined no-hitter Saturday night in a 9-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Sanchez was an All-Star in 2016 and led the American League in ERA, but he’s struggled this season and had lost 13 straight decisions to lead the majors with 14 losses. But three days after he was acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, the 27-year-old right-hander teamed with Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski to shut down the Mariners.
It was the second time in less than a month the Mariners were no-hit by multiple pitchers. The Angels used two pitchers in a combined no-hitter July 12 against Seattle on a night when they honored late left-hander Tyler Skaggs by all wearing his No. 45 in their first home game since his death.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Make it two in a row for Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen International.
A year after racing to his first career NASCAR Cup victory at The Glen, Elliott won a second time in the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports, besting Martin Truex Jr. just as he did a year ago. The Glen hadn’t had a repeat winner in nearly a decade, since Marcos Ambrose in 2011-12.
It was a two-car race for more than half the 220.5- mile distance and the entire final 40 laps around the high-speed 2.45-mile natural terrain layout.
Truex began to exert some pressure after sitting behind Elliott for more than 10 laps in the final segment. Elliott held his ground until Truex’s No 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota closed with six laps to go, waiting to pounce on a mistake that never came.
With two laps left, Truex still couldn’t get close enough to make a move as Elliott drove flawlessly, winning by 0.454 seconds.
Elliott, the pole-sitter, led 80 of 90 laps and snapped a long slump.
KENT, Wash. (AP) — John Force raced to his record-extending 150th Funny Car victory Sunday in the NHRA Northwest Nationals.
The 70-year-old Force won for the first time since the Colorado event last year, beating Ron Capps in the final. The 16-time season champion won for the ninth time at Pacific Raceways.
Force’s first career win came June 28, 1987, in Montreal — exactly 700 Funny Car races ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just five games into the Citi Open final Sunday, Nick Kyrgios clutched at the middle of his back after a point. Soon, he was holding onto the chair umpire’s stand while trying to stretch.
When the opening set ended, he was flat on the ground, getting treatment from a trainer. Eventually, after 1 1/2 hours of play, Kyrgios was wincing in pain — because he was lifting the champion’s trophy at the hard-court tournament.
Kyrgios overcame a bothersome back and used two of his 18 aces to close things out, edging No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) to win his second title of the year and move his ranking back into the top 30.
Kyrgios, who came into the U.S. Open tuneup event ranked just 52nd, followed up his thrill-a-minute semifinal victory over top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas a day earlier with a much more mundane triumph in the final.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jessica Pegula’s parents are used to seeing the athletes they root for come up short: Mom and Dad own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. On Sunday, their daughter was the one holding a trophy after winning her first WTA title.
Pegula, a 25-year-old American ranked 79th, picked up the biggest win of her professional tennis career by beating Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-2 at the Citi Open.
Pegula recently began working with David Witt, Venus Williams’ former coach. She had a 4-8 record and hadn’t reached the quarterfinals anywhere this season until winning five consecutive matches at Washington’s hard-court tournament.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — J.T. Poston won the Wyndham Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, shooting an 8-under 62 for a one-stroke victory.
Poston tied Henrik Stenson’s 2-year-old tournament record at 22-under 258. He became the first player since Lee Trevino in 1974 to win a 72-hole stroke-play event on tour without any bogeys or worse.
The native North Carolinian began his round three strokes back, took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole, then finished with three straight pars to earn $1,116,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points at the regular-season finale.
Webb Simpson was at 21 under after a 65. Byeong Hun An, who held or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, three-putted the 18th for a bogey and a 67 to finish two shots back. Trying to force a playoff with a birdie, he nearly holed a 60-footer but had it run well past.
MILTON KEYNES, England (AP) — Hinako Shibuno of Japan finished with a birdie to win the Women’s British Open by one shot over Lizette Salas as she wrapped up a stunning major championship debut on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Shibuno, a rookie on the Japan LPGA Tour who was making her LPGA Tour debut, birdied five of the final nine holes in a 4-under 68 and 18-under 270 overall.