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    Willson Contreras already went through his Wrigley Field goodbyes two months ago when a trade felt imminent. This time, with another looming departure, Contreras merely wants to have fun with his Chicago Cubs teammates. Contreras came off the injured list Tuesday and was back in the lineup as the designated hitter, his first game since Aug. 30. The series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies kicked off the final six-game homestand — and the last guaranteed days of Contreras playing in front of the home crowd on the North Side. He singled in the Cubs’ 2-1 win. A would-be double in the fourth inning was overturned on replay after Contreras failed to stay on the bag while a tag was applied. Right-hander Marcus Stroman delivered one of his best home starts of the season, holding the Phillies to one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one. Since coming off the IL in early July, Stroman has a 2.74 ERA in his last 15 starts. Christopher Morel’s opposite-field home run off Zack Wheeler, Morel’s 15th...
    The Chicago White Sox had an opportunity to inch closer to first place ahead of a big series against the division-leading Guardians in Cleveland. Instead, they closed out a homestand with a clunker Thursday against the Houston Astros. The Sox surrendered four home runs, including two two-run homers to Alex Bregman, in a lopsided 21-5 loss in front of 24,407 at Guaranteed Rate Field. A series that began with a pair of thrilling wins for the Sox ended with a thud. The 21 runs are the most the team has allowed in a game this season and the most in the history of the ballpark. “Just a brutal day,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. The Sox also surrendered a season-high 25 hits and had to settle for a split of the four-game series. “Disappointing,” La Russa said of the split. “We were up two (in the series) and (Thursday), you think the fans had a tough time? That’s tough to take for all of us. That’s a brutal afternoon. “(Wednesday’s) game, we had a chance and we didn’t get...
    Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert could be out for the entire five-game homestand after being placed on the COVID-19-related injured list Tuesday. “Unfortunately, he is suffering from mild COVID symptoms,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “The good news is he is vaccinated, so hopefully his experience is relatively mild throughout and we have him back at some point, very possibly next week. “Certainly he’s not going to play in the Boston series (that started Tuesday) and very likely not going to play against the Cubs this weekend.” Robert is slashing .285/.319/.438 with three doubles, six home runs, 17 RBIs, six stolen bases and 21 runs in 33 games. He leads the Sox in homers and is second in RBIs, runs, stolen bases and total bases (60). “He’s so much fun to watch,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Really hope for us and for our fans that it’s the quick one and we get him back in five or six days.” Adam Engel started in center field Tuesday. AJ Pollock and Leury García are also options. In...
    The Athletics believed they had an identity after their first road trip. Now they’re faced with a reset. On the road. Away from the Coliseum. That may or may not be a bad thing. As the A’s embark on an eight-game road trip to Minnesota and Detroit, they’ll need to put a historic 0-6 homestand in the rear-view mirror after breakdowns in virtually every area. When the A’s charter departed for Minnesota Wednesday, it was their first time leaving the Bay Area since April 17. After an encouraging 5-5 road trip to open the season against playoff contenders Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Toronto, the A’s touched down in California secure in the knowledge they wouldn’t leave home for 17 days (including two games in San Francisco against the Giants). After going 4-3 on the first leg of the homestand against Baltimore and Texas despite some offensive deficiencies, the A’s split two games with the Giants in San Francisco and then returned home for three-game sets against Cleveland and Tampa Bay. They lost all six games — the first time since...
    The Yankees’ first homestand of 2022 has been a test. The Red Sox dominated them last year, finally kicking them to the curb in the American League Wild Card game last October. The young and talented Blue Jays were nipping at their heels until the last day of the regular season after having played in three different “home,” ballparks because of Canada’s COVID travel policies. So far, the Yankees have held serve, going into the final game of a four-game series with the Blue Jays having won the series against the Red Sox 2-1 and down 1-2 to the Blue Jays, but with a chance to come out even. Starting the season against two of the teams they will be battling in the division for a playoff spot was like “two stags,” facing off in the woods, according to Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and diving in “the deep end,” to Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “Anytime you’re going within the division and with certainly a team that you know you’re going to be fighting for potentially a playoff spot in the division,...
    SAN FRANCISCO – Warriors coach Steve Kerr sees a bright side to being without injured superstar Stephen Curry down the stretch. “The silver lining is that Steph will get a break before the playoffs come and assuming everything goes well, he’ll be ready to roll,” Kerr said. Golden State has shown resilience through a season that has seen the team’s biggest stars on the court together for only 11 minutes. Just as Klay Thompson made his highly anticipated return to the Warriors in January after missing more than two years with injuries, Draymond Green was sidelined for more than two months with a back injury. Curry being out for at least two weeks is the latest test of the team’s durability. An MRI revealed Curry suffered a sprained left foot ligament in Wednesday’s loss to the Boston Celtics. Curry will miss at least seven games down the stretch. The soonest he could be back is when the Warriors host the Utah Jazz April 2. Kerr is optimistic that Curry will return in time for the playoffs, which begin April 16....
    With six games left in the regular season, the focus for the Warriors is on maximizing this final playoff push. As the schedule winds down, the range of possibilities shrinks. At the start of the Warriors’ final trip of the season, the sixth seed was in play. Two wins and two losses later, avoiding the play-in tournament is no longer realistic and Golden State is positioned to earn the No. 8 seed as it closes out the season with a six-game homestand. Here are some of the biggest questions facing the Warriors with less than two weeks to go. Will they sign another player? When it’s all said and done, ending the trip with Tuesday night’s loss in New Orleans could prove painful. In each of its last four road games, Golden State faced a team with a sub-.500 record. Going 3-1 or even 4-0 was a possibility. Instead, disappointing losses against the Timberwolves and Pelicans bookended a 2-2 stretch. “All four games were very winnable but winning on the road is hard,” Juan Toscano-Anderson said...
    The Latest on the effects of the novel coronavirus on sports around the world: ___ The Atlanta Braves will expand capacity at Truist Park to 50% for their second homestand beginning April 23 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves are permitting 33% capacity at their initial homestand to allow for ample social distancing, limiting the crowd to about 13,500. Those standards will be in place for the first seven home games, beginning with the April 9 opener against the Phillies. The capacity will increase to 50%, or roughly 20,500, for at least the ensuing seven home games. The Braves have said they will review their seating policies before each homestand. The Braves’ capacity will be among the highest in the big leagues. They will join Houston at 50%, which is only surpassed by the Texas Rangers’ plans to allow full capacity at the start of the season. President Joe Biden has called the Rangers’ plan a mistake, joining health officials in warning of a possible fourth surge in COVID-19 cases while urging states to keep restrictions in place until more...
    The Warriors are back in this thing. There have been plenty of downs for the Warriors in the first three weeks of the NBA season, but over the last seven games — all at Chase Center — Golden State provided some serious ups, too. So as the team heads back out onto the road to take on three formidable opponents (fingers crossed), it seemed as good a time as ever to take stock in where the Warriors stand. Here are the four big things we learned during the Dubs’ winning homestand: This is a second-tier team (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  And that’s a compliment! Given the way this team started the season, such a status was hardly a given. Remember: going into this homestead, the notion of three wins in seven games felt like a win. So four wins and two really close losses is a rousing success for a team that looked lost early in the season. Related Articles Photos: Spying on Klay Thompson at first Warriors game of the season ...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City Ahead of Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta, Yankees designated hitter Mike Ford said he was confident in his abilities to step up to the plate in replacing the injured Giancarlo Stanton.  One can imagine that confidence exponentially increased after the 28-year-old punched in three crucial RBI in that 9-6 victory over the Braves, one that comes after the team’s rough 1-3 skid on the road against the Rays. “Right now I feel like I’m seeing the ball great,” Ford said. “I’m a very confident hitter, I know I can help this team win when given the chance.” Now in a starting role as the Yankees ready for eight straight at home games followed by three in Queens against the Mets, it seems that those chances will consistently arise in the upcoming days. “Once I was getting regular at-bats last year I seemed to kind of settle in, it’s a big opportunity for me,” Ford said. He also said that despite the lack...
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