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  • Mike Montgomery hit his first career home run and allowed two hits and one run in six innings to lead streaking Chicago to an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
     
    Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Chicago, which hasn't lost since the All-Star break. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Braves.
     
    The mood might have been spoiled if not for an encouraging report on Kris Bryant, the Cubs' 2016 NL MVP who left the game with a sprained left little finger in the first inning.
     
    Tommy La Stella, who replaced Bryant, also homered and Addison Russell drove in two runs with four hits, including two doubles.
     
    The Cubs came to Atlanta only one-half game ahead of the Braves in the NL wild-card standings. Now they're bearing down on NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
     
    The Braves loaded the bases with three singles off Koji Uehara in the eighth. After Pedro Strop replaced Uehara, Matt Kemp grounded into a double play to end the inning.
     
    Montgomery (2-6) earned his first win since June 20. The only run he allowed came on a sixth-inning leadoff homer by Ender Inciarte . It was Montgomery's best start since throwing six scoreless innings in a 4-0 win over San Diego on June 20.
     
    Tyler Flowers led off the seventh with a homer off Justin Grimm.
     
    Montgomery reached the second level of the right-field seats with his homer off R.A. Dickey (6-6) in the fifth inning.
     
    Following an off day on Thursday, Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17) will face St. Louis on Friday in only his seventh home start of 20 overall this season.
     
    >>Mets Down Cardinals
     
    Staked to an early lead on Wednesday, deGrom (11-3) pitched into the seventh inning and won his career-best seventh straight start as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3.
     
    A night after being shut out by St. Louis' Michael Wacha, New York jumped on Mike Leake (6-8) for seven runs in the first two innings and cruised from there behind deGrom to snap a three-game losing streak.
     
    DeGrom settled down after a 25-pitch first inning, allowing seven hits and striking out three. He was pulled with two outs in the seventh after Luke Voit's double scored Greg Garcia for the Cardinals' first run.
     
    The Mets sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning and strung together three straight run-scoring hits with two outs, capped by Wilmer Flores' RBI single.
     
    The Mets added four more runs off of Leake in the second, only one of them earned. Third baseman Jedd Gyorko's throw sailed into right field when second baseman Kolten Wong and shortstop Paul DeJong convened at the bag on what could have been a double-play grounder by Asdrubal Cabrera. Jay Bruce followed with an RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes doubled to right to make it 5-0.
    Jose Reyes drove in two more runs with a single to center, and Leake, who came in with the sixth-best ERA in the National League, was pulled after two innings.
    In the eighth, St. Louis loaded the bases with two outs and Magneuris Sierra drove in two runs with a single off Jerry Blevins. 
     
    Addison Reed struck out Voit to end the threat and retired the Cardinals in the ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances.
     
    Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.40) starts Thursday afternoon in the season series finale against Mets RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 4.50). Lynn, who has won his last two starts, is 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in six career starts (eight appearances) against New York, but holds a 0-3 record with a 3.55 ERA in two starts (three appearances) at Citi Field.
     
    >>Dodgers Roll White Sox
     
    The MLB-best Dodgers slugged their way to a 9-1 victory Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game, winning their 11th straight and spoiling the White Sox debut of Yoan Moncada.
     
    Kike Hernandez homered in his first two at-bats, breaking out of a 1-for-23 slump and helping the Dodgers to their 31st victory in 35 games. The game was called in the top of the eighth inning after a 37-minute delay.
     
    Chicago starter Carlos Rodon (1-3) allowed home runs to his first batter, as Chris Taylor led the game off with one, and his last, as Corey Seager's two-run homer in the fourth chased him.
     
    After Taylor's home run, Melky Cabrera answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the first to tie the score.
     
    Moncada, a second baseman acquired in December as the main piece in a trade with Boston for ace Chris Sale, batted sixth and was hitless in two at-bats. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance for the White Sox, then grounded out in the fourth inning and flied out in the sixth.
     
    Rodon allowed three walks and struck out four.
     
    Kenta Maeda (8-4) allowed one run and five hits in five innings, striking out three. Reliever Ross Stribling threw two scoreless innings, retiring the final six batters he faced.
     
    Chicago will head to Kansas City for three games starting Friday as RHP James Shields (2-2, 5.10 ERA) faces his former team against RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.32 ERA).

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  • >>Packers WR Alison Suspended
     
    The NFL has suspended Green Bay Packers receiver Geronimo Allison without pay for the season opener on Sept. 10 against Seattle for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
     
    The league said in a statement on Wednesday that Allison would be eligible for all preseason practices and games. He would be eligible to return from his Week 1 suspension on Sept. 11.
     
    The Packers declined comment, citing confidentiality.
     
    Allison was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession last September stemming from a traffic stop in Manitowoc County. He reached a plea deal with prosecutors in April, paying $330 to settle the charge after it was amended to a local violation.
     
    Allison had 12 catches for 202 yards and two scores last season, with eight catches over the final two regular-season games.
     
    >>Bears Ink QB Trubisky
     
    The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, their first-round draft pick and the No. 2 overall selection in April.
     
    Trubisky started all 13 games for North Carolina last season, setting single-season school records for passing yards (3,748), passing touchdowns (30) and total offense (4,056) while completing 68 percent of his passes.
     
    He is not expected to start this season. Veteran Mike Glennon was signed in the offseason to take over for the departed Jay Cutler, and he gives the Bears time to develop Trubisky.

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  • On Tuesday, the Maui Invitational announced the top half of the bracket will feature matchups between Marquette and VCU, and Wichita State facing California. 
     
    The bottom half of the bracket will showcase Notre Dame against local Chaminade, and Michigan squaring off against LSU and its new-look program under head coach Will Wade, who left VCU this offseason and could wind up playing his former team if the chips fall right.
     
    The tournament will take place Nov. 20-22 at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui.

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  • The third major championship of 2017 is here, and the pairings for Thursday and Friday's rounds have been released. There are some gems, and if history is any indication, the eventual winner will come from one of these great groups. Birkdale has almost exclusively produced winners who eventually ended up in the Golf Hall of Fame.
     
    Tee No. 1, Thursday:
     
    2:52 a.m. -- Jason Dufner, Branden Grace, Bryson DeChambeau
    4:47 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Si Woo Kim, Jordan Spieth
    4:58 a.m. -- Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas
    5:09 a.m. -- Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood
    8:04 a.m. -- Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia
    8:26 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Paul Casey
    9:48 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel
    10:10 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari, Marc Leishman

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  • Michael Wacha threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 5-0 on Tuesday night.
     
    Despite a slow start that has them one game under .500, the Cardinals were able to move within 3 1/2 games behind the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers thanks to Wacha, who won his fourth consecutive start, and Matt Carpenter, who had four hits.
     
    Wacha struck out eight and walked one in his 99th start, allowing only three runners to reach second base.
     
    Wacha and the Cardinals capitalized on a shoddy Mets defense that let down starter Rafael Montero (1-6) with three errors. Montero allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings. New York has lost three straight and eight of 11.
     
    Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom (10-3, 3.48) starts Wednesday night against Cardinals RHP Mike Leake (7-6, 3.14 ERA). DeGrom has won a career-best six straight starts with a 1.53 ERA dating to June 12. He's struck out 47 and walked nine during that stretch.

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  • Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer, John Lackey earned his first win in a month and the Cubs won their fifth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
     
    Rain delayed the start of the game for 2 hours, 30 minutes.
     
    The defending World Series champion Cubs moved three games over .500 for the first time since winning at Miami on June 6. Chicago is 2 1/2 games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
     
    The Cubs went up 4-1 in the third on Javier Baez's 11th homer and Contreras' 13th homer, a three-run shot . Chicago led 5-1 in the sixth on Ben Zobrist's groundout.
     
    Lackey (6-9) came off the disabled list to allow one run, five hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out one. 
     
    Sean Newcomb (1-5) lost his third straight start, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five.
     
    Contreras has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games and has a .380 average with four homers over that stretch. 
     
    Jason Heyward went 2 for 4 and is hitting .409 over his last seven games. 
     
    Mike Montgomery (1-6) will make his eighth start and face Atlanta for the first time in his career. He is 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA as a starter.
     
    R.A. Dickey (6-5) will make his 19th start and face the Cubs for the third time. He is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in two career starts against Chicago.

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  • Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings for his major league-leading 15th victory and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight victory.
     
    Kershaw (15-2) made his first start since the All-Star break, allowing seven hits and a walk to post his 11th win in a row.
     
    Relievers Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen closed it out. Jansen survived a deep fly by Matt Davidson to record his 24th save in 24 chances.
     
    Chris Taylor had four hits and scored on rookie Cody Bellinger's single in the first inning off Miguel Gonzalez (4-9), who lasted six innings and induced three of the Dodgers' four double plays.
     
    Both teams struggled with runners in scoring position, with the Dodgers going 1 for 10 and the White Sox 1 for 8.
     
    With runners on first and third and one out, Tyler Saladino bunted a safety squeeze attempt into the air for an easy play by catcher Yasmani Grandal, then Kershaw ended the rally by getting Yolmer Sanchez to ground out.
     
    Kenta Maeda (7-4, 4.38 ERA) and White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA) are set to start the series finale on Wednesday. 

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