Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has confirmed.

According to the FDLE, Vazquez is facing one count of "computer pornography – solicitation of a child" and another of "providing obscene material to minors".

The 28-year-old had several electronic devices seized after a search warrant was served at his Pittsburgh apartment on Tuesday and could face additional charges after they are forensically examined.

An FDLE statement read: "FDLE agents, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, today arrested Felipe Vazquez, 28, of Saint Cloud, FL, for one count of computer pornography – solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.

"Vazquez, a baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was taken into custody in Pittsburgh this morning on a felony warrant out of Lee County, Florida.

"FDLE's investigation began in August of this year after agents obtained information that Vazquez had a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year old female victim who resides in Lee County. The victim, now 15 years of age, was continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act.

"Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.

"FDLE agents and Pennsylvania State Police served a search warrant today at Vazquez's apartment in Pittsburgh. Several electronic devices were seized and will be examined as part of this investigation. Additional charges are dependent upon completion of forensic exams.

"Vazquez was taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where he will face extradition to Lee County, Florida."

A statement from Pirates president Frank Coonelly read: "We were [on Tuesday] made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vazquez and his subsequent arrest.

"We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously. We have informed the [MLB] Commissioner's Office of the investigation and arrest. The Commissioner's Office will immediately place Felipe Vazquez on administrative leave (and, as a result, Restricted List) pursuant to the joint MLB/MLBPA Policy.

"We need to be respectful to all involved and the ongoing legal proceeding. As a result, the organisation, our staff and players cannot comment any further at this time."

Representatives for Vazquez did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Elina Svitolina made up for a sluggish start by beating Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets at the Guangzhou Open but second seed Wang Qiang crashed out.

World number three Svitolina, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open, dropped her serve in the opening game of her first-round clash before reeling off five in succession en route to taking the set.

The top seeded Ukrainian fended off four break points to consolidate starting the second with a break, but she was unable to serve out the match at the first attempt.

Svitolina responded immediately, though, breaking to complete the 6-3 6-3 triumph in just 69 minutes and setting up a meeting with Marie Bouzkova.

Wang saved four match points against Shuai Peng but was unable to join Svitolina in the second round.

Although Wang moved ahead of Shuai with four breaks across the match, she got only 43 per cent of her first serves in and won just 54% of points behind it in a 7-5 6-2 loss.

Katarina Zavatska came from behind to defeat Fiona Ferro 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in three hours and 27 minutes – the longest WTA Tour main-draw match of the year.

Sofia Kenin, Zhang Shuai, Katerina Siniakova and Zheng Saisai were the other seeds to advance.

At the Korea Open, Patricia Maria Tig made the most of top seed Maria Sakkari's withdrawal due to a right wrist injury by defeating lucky loser Danka Kovinic 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3).

Jelena Ostapenko, the champion in 2017, fell 6-3 6-3 to Timea Babos, while sixth seed Polona Hercog went down 6-3 3-6 6-1 against Ana Bogdan.

There were also wins for Karolina Muchova and Ajla Tomljanovic, seeded third and fifth respectively.

Rassie Erasmus' tremendous development of the South Africa squad has made Bryan Habana extremely optimistic about their Rugby World Cup hopes.

Former Stormers and Munster boss Erasmus in March 2018 took over from Allister Coetzee, whose dismal spell at the helm included 11 wins in 25 Tests and the Springboks' heaviest loss – a 57-0 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand in the 2017 Rugby Championship.

Coetzee was appointed in 2016 and in his first year suffered eight defeats in 12 Tests.

Although Erasmus lost his first match at the helm, he engineered a series success against England and ended a nine-year wait for an away victory against New Zealand in 2018.

The Springboks head into the World Cup undefeated this year and having won the Rugby Championship for the first time since 2009.

"Given that 2016, 2017 [were] pretty disappointing years, 2018 - Rassie's first year in charge - also only a 50 per cent win ratio, a really poor Super Rugby season for all of the South African sides, so going into this Rugby Championship, [there was] a lot of uncertainty," Habana told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Land Rover, Official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019.

"Fast forward four weeks post the start of that championship and I think the optimism, the positivity and excitement around this Springboks side leading into a World Cup is absolutely incredible, and justifiably so given that they've gone out and won a Rugby Championship for the first time since 2009.

"It's the first time since 98 that they've gone unbeaten in the competition, albeit a shortened competition. They've really come to the fore in a massive way over the last month and a half, and what has been even more brilliant to see is that a year ago you didn't really know who your 31, 23, or even starting 15 were, given that you're not quite sure what the talent was.

"All of a sudden, Rassie's conundrum of having to choose only 31 players going into the this World Cup was a fantastic one to be in, given that development from a squad perspective that he's been able to achieve over the last 18 or so months.

"It all bodes really well in a World Cup that is probably going to be the most unique we've ever, ever seen. Unique by the fact that the top six teams realistically go into this competition with a pretty decent chance of winning it, realistically."

A late draw against the All Blacks was key to the Springboks' Rugby Championship triumph and they begin their campaign in Japan against the two-time defending champions in Yokohama on Saturday.

Habana said: "I don't think it's just the draw that will be fresh in South Africa's mind. I think the win in Wellington in the Rugby Championship last year, the first time a South African side has ever gone to Wellington and scored five tries against a New Zealand outfit, to then win it for the first time since '98 in Wellington was incredibly special.

"I think they'll take a lot of confidence out of that going into what is almost a decider against New Zealand because [over] the last three games everything is all equal - they've both won one, lost one and then drawn one. The points difference is zero at the moment.

"What an epic game to start out a brilliant tournament against the number one side in the world, the current reigning champion of the tournament.

"The South African side will be able to go into that game with an incredible amount of confidence, knowing what they've achieved against New Zealand in the last 12 months."

Wales backs coach Rob Howley has been sent home from the Rugby World Cup over an alleged breach of betting regulations.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) confirmed Howley has returned to Wales six days before the team's opening World Cup match against Georgia in order to "assist with an investigation in relation to a potential breach of World Rugby regulation 6, specifically betting on rugby union".

A WRU statement said: "The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU.

"No further details can be provided at this stage as this would prejudice the investigation. If required an independent panel will be appointed to hear the case.

"Rob has co-operated fully with our initial discussions and we would ask that the media appreciate this is a difficult and personal matter for Rob and that his privacy is respected before an outcome is reached.

"Warren Gatland has consulted with senior players and Stephen Jones will be arriving in Japan imminently to link up with the squad as attack coach."

Howley has been a key member of Gatland's backroom staff and oversaw their 2013 Six Nations success while the New Zealander was on a British and Irish Lions sabbatical.

The former Wasps scrum-half was part of Gatland's coaching team when the Lions triumphed in Australia in 2013 and drew a series against the All Blacks four years later.

The 48-year-old will leave his role with Wales when Gatland departs after the World Cup and had been touted as a potential replacement for Conor O'Shea as Italy boss.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's status for Week 3 is in question after he missed practice due to a foot injury.

The Panthers announced on Tuesday that Newton was not present at practice, and general manager Marty Hurney said it was due to the re-aggravation of a mild-foot sprain he suffered during the preaseason.

There is no timetable for Newton's return.

"We will see how it goes," Hurney said, via The Athletic.

Newton went 25-for-51 passing in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday and had a career-low two carries for zero yards.

The 2011 first overall pick had shoulder surgery in the offseason, and the Panthers' decision not to give him the ball on a quarterback sneak near the goal line in the waning moments of Thursday's game raised questions over his fitness.

Carolina have an 0-2 record after following losses to the Los Angeles Rams and the Buccaneers. The Panthers face the winless Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

After tasting back-to-back victories, Charles Leclerc is preparing for a tougher challenge at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Leclerc claimed his first Formula One success at Spa and followed it up with a gutsy triumph at Ferrari's home circuit in Monza, holding off relentless pressure from Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

The Scuderia consequently have a 100 per cent record since the mid-season break, though the high-speed tracks in Belgium and Italy provided them with favourable conditions.

However, the only night race of the season at Marina Bay offers far fewer straights, with each lap featuring 23 corners.

"Singapore is maybe the toughest track for us drivers physically, just because of the heat and the humidity," said Leclerc.

"After two positive weekends in Belgium and Italy, the race in Singapore doesn't look as good on paper for us, because of the very different circuit layout, featuring lots of slow corners and fewer straights.

"It might be a more difficult weekend for us, but we will give our all to have a good result."

Hamilton and Bottas had to settle for podium finishes at the past two races, but Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff thinks the duo did brilliantly to limit their losses in tough circumstances.

"We came back from the summer break knowing that the first two races would be difficult for us," said Wolff.

"We ended up with two double podiums and 67 points which was a strong form of damage limitation and more than we expected.

"For a long time, Singapore used to be one of our weakest tracks, but we've made some inroads into that and performed well last year.

"However, there are no home runs at a track like Singapore: we need to understand this car and this year's tyres on a very particular track layout and take absolutely nothing for granted in our approach to the weekend. We are looking forward to a tough battle under the lights in Singapore."

 

TALK OF THE PADDOCK

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed the team will bring updates in Singapore in an attempt to improve their competitiveness on a track that does not suit them.

"We are bringing a few new parts there as part of our effort to close the gap to the competition, at a track that features predominantly slow speed corners," said Binotto.

While Ferrari have been the team to beat since the mid-season break, Red Bull went into the hiatus in strong form. Max Verstappen won in Austria and Germany, before coming second in Hungary.

Verstappen said on Singapore: "It's a race where we tend to do better than say, Monza and Spa and hopefully we can have another good weekend. We're aiming for maximum points and I'm really looking forward to it."

Renault had their two drivers in the top 10 for just the third time this season at Monza, but it was the first occasion Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg both placed in the top five.

Ricciardo said: "We deserved the double top-five finish in Italy. We know now there will be eyes on us to repeat that, but I can see no reason why we can’t string together more solid results and really chase down fourth place [in the constructors' championship]. The challenge excites me."

 

RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

Friday
FP1 (16:30-18:00)
FP2 (20:30-22:00)

Saturday
FP3 (18:00-19:00)
Qualifying (21:00-22:00)

Sunday
Race (20:10-22:10)

F1 FACT

Leclerc could become the first Ferrari driver to win three grands prix in a row since Michael Schumacher.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Lewis Hamilton
2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Nico Rosberg

DRIVER STANDINGS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 284
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 221 (-63)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 185 (-99)
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 182 (-102)
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 169 (-115)

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1. Mercedes 505
2. Ferrari 351 (-154)
3. Red Bull 266 (-239)
4. McLaren 83 (-422)
5. Renault 65 (-440)

The Eli Manning era in New York appears to be over after the Giants announced they will start Daniel Jones in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Following a hint from head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday, the move was confirmed in a team statement after two inconsistent starts by Manning that have left the Giants in an 0-2 hole.

Jones, selected sixth overall in April, gave the Giants reason to believe in their backup with his strong performances during the preseason as he completed 29 of his 34 passes for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Meanwhile, Manning has thrown for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the first two games.

Roger Federer has planned his schedule up until next year's Wimbledon and within a month intends to make a decision on playing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic singles gold is the only major title to have evaded Federer during his illustrious career, having gone closest when he lost in the final to Andy Murray at London 2012.

The 20-time major champion triumphed in the men's doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka four years prior in Beijing, but he was forced to sit out Rio 2016 due to a knee injury.

Federer is hopeful of having another shot at Olympic singles success but for now is only looking as far ahead as next year's Wimbledon.

"I'm very excited about the prospect of maybe playing the Olympic Games, but I'm not quite sure yet," said Federer, who is in Geneva ahead of the Laver Cup.

"My planning goes until Wimbledon next year which is a couple of weeks before the Olympics, so I guess I'm going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully the next month or so.

"It's been such a special event for me over the years. Me and my wife in 2000 carrying the flag in Athens and Beijing for the Swiss Olympic delegation which was a huge dream for me come true.

"Winning doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing then getting the silver in London, at Wimbledon.

"So for me, maybe to be part of it again would be great, especially after missing the last edition in Rio because of a knee injury, but I'll just have to see how my family is doing, how my body is doing, and then if everything is green and I really feel it's the right thing to do, I'll play it, otherwise I'll skip it but it would definitely be a nice challenge, I admit."

Federer played the clay-court season for the first time since 2016 this year and reached the semi-finals of the French Open, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

Asked if he will return to the red dirt in 2020, Federer said: "I have decided for myself, but must think about when I announce it."

Manu Tuilagi can help England do some "serious damage" at the Rugby World Cup, according to former England international Andy Goode.

Leicester Tigers star Tuilagi was involved in the 2011 finals as a 20-year-old but missed the tournament in England four years ago after being convicted of assaulting two female police officers and a taxi driver.

Having put disciplinary and injury problems behind him, the Samoa-born centre has re-established himself as a key component of Eddie Jones' side and was named man of the match for a blistering performance in the 57-15 demolition of Ireland at Twickenham last month.

Goode's second spell with Leicester ended shortly before Tuilagi made his debut but, having experienced going up against the 28-year-old, he is expecting big things in Japan.

"I can't wait to see him play in the World Cup and I've been on the other side of it, when he's been charging at me, and it's not what you want to see, believe me," Goode told Omnisport.

"He almost single-handedly beat the All Blacks in 2012 [in a 38-21 win], producing one of the best performances you will see in an England shirt.

"Obviously, he's had some awful luck with injuries, but he looks very fit and his workload has been managed, so I'm expecting big things of him.

"I am so excited to see this England side with the ball-carrying ability of Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi. They can do some serious damage.

"England are riding on the crest of a wave at the moment, I've been very impressed with them heading into the tournament, they look very fit with a real hunger to go there and make a massive impact.

"It's the most open World Cup there has ever been. New Zealand are rightly favourites, but there are several sides capable of winning it. The All Blacks will obviously be tough to beat, but they are not as big a favourites as what they have been in recent years."

England failed to get out of Pool A when hosting the tournament four years ago, and Goode hopes the players have learned how to manage matches better following that disappointment.

"The players who were involved four years ago can use that failure to their advantage and I have no doubt they will," he said. "The likes of Owen Farrell and Ben Youngs, they have much more experience under their belt and will have learned a hell of lot from the way England let that slip away.

"England's game management in the match against Wales, when they let go of a lead and could have drawn it but showed a lack of clear thinking to miss out on a draw, I'd be surprised if you see a repeat of that."

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell are not expected to be fit until after England's opening two matches against Tonga and the United States, but Goode thinks their return could prove a timely boost.

"The injection of a Jack Nowell and Mako can be huge, they will be hungry and ready to fire after missing the start of the tournament," he added.

"You then just have to hope there are no other serious injury setbacks, which is where that bit of luck you need comes into it. Every side needs an element of luck to win a World Cup."

 

Key matches for the Rugby World Cup, including home nation and knockout stage games, will be aired at more than 500 Greene King pubs nationwide.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers after the Miami Dolphins opted to trade the safety.

According to widespread reports, Miami have agreed to move the 22-year-old – who they drafted at number 11 overall only a year ago - to the Steelers in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick.

The Dolphins will also receive a 2020 fifth-round pick and a sixth-rounder in 2021 as part of the deal, while Pittsburgh will get fourth and seventh-round selections, along with the player.

Having already parted ways with left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills this season, the Dolphins now hold five first-round picks in the next two NFL drafts.

They have not been competitive in either of their games this season – heavy losses to the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots – amid reports multiple players have contacted their agents with the hope of being traded away from the team.

Fitzpatrick played against the Patriots on Sunday even after the team granted him permission to seek a trade, as reports claimed they were "certain" they would receive a first-round pick in return.

He has recorded nine pass breakups and two interceptions in 18 career games, not missing a match in his young career.

The Steelers, meanwhile, are looking to revive their season as they sit 0-2 having lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after he suffered an elbow injury against the Seattle Seahawks that will require surgery.  

With Roethlisberger out for the season, they face the unbeaten 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday with back-up QB Mason Rudolph set to start for the remainder of the campaign.

Madison Keys maintained her 100 per cent record against Daria Kasatkina by beating the Russian in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open.

Keys had dropped just one set in five previous meetings and rarely looked troubled in extending that record with a 6-3 6-4 victory in 75 minutes in Osaka.

The fifth-seeded American's aggressive style, which led to her hitting 24 winners, proved decisive as she set up a second-round clash with qualifier Zarina Diyas.

"I feel good, I'm always a little bit nervous ahead of my first matches," Keys said. "It's always hard to get out there and get all the nerves out, I started a little slow but I was really happy to get the win."

Seventh seed Donna Vekic also progressed after easing past Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2. The Croatian will next face Misaki Doi, the runner-up at the Japan Women's Open on Sunday, following her 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Kristina Mladenovic.

Former world number one and two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza is out, however, after squandering a match point on her way to losing to Hsieh Su-wei.

Having won the first set, Muguruza appeared in control but then collapsed in the decider to go down 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

The defeat continues a miserable run for the Spaniard, who has not won a match since beating Elina Svitolina in the third round of the French Open, while Hsieh can now look forward to a second-round encounter with Elise Mertens.

"In the first set, she was hitting the ball very hard, and I was not expecting a game like this," Hsieh said. "I was still trying to find a way to get into the match.

"In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable." 

Nao Hibino, Doi's conqueror at the weekend, followed Muguruza out of the tournament after losing 6-4 7-5 to Varvara Flink of Russia.

The world's best are converging on Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where New Zealand will hope to again defend their title.

But with only 31 players able to be selected by each team, a number of notable names have not made the cut this year.

We take a look at five who might count themselves unfortunate not to be involved in the sport's biggest event.


Devin Toner (Ireland)

Ireland have not quite hit the same heights this year as in 2018 when they won the Six Nations Grand Slam and defeated the All Blacks, yet they have no shortage of options. The inclusion of Jean Kleyn, recently eligible due to the residency rule, has seen Devin Toner miss out.

Remarkably, that law and Joe Schmidt's decision resulted in criticism from World Rugby vice-president Agustin Pichot, who posted on Twitter: "I will be asking WR [World Rugby] for answers. I feel sorry for [Toner]."

Schmidt responded: "I think [Pichot] has a number of big opinions, but they're not ones that are relevant for us. Considering he is involved in World Rugby, he could have a look at what the rules were and not have so many things to say because for us it is tough enough to do our job and tough enough for me to have a conversation as I did with Dev."


Ben Te'o (England)

With some key men fit again and available, experienced centre Ben Te'o paid the price.

Head coach Eddie Jones was understandably questioned on the decision and explained: "I'm not going to go into reasons why he wasn't selected. We've had conversations; he understands it. Whether he agrees with it is another matter. We've had that discussion with him and he's just not in our top 31 players at the moment."

Te'o will instead be plying his trade with Toulon during the tournament, having been called in as cover for their World Cup stars.


Owen Franks (New Zealand)

Not many teams have the luxury of leaving out a 31-year-old with 108 Tests to his name. But not many teams have the depth of New Zealand, unfortunately for Owen Franks.

Franks had started each of the past two World Cup finals, playing the full 80 minutes in the 2011 triumph over France, but will not feature in the All Blacks' latest title defence.

Steve Hansen, who also left out Ngani Laumape, said: "[Franks] is one of the great All Blacks, he's played over 100 Tests. But unfortunately we believe the game requires us to have big, mobile ones and threes and, in this case, we think the other guys are more so. It was a tough decision."


Mathieu Bastareaud (France)

France named their initial World Cup squad in June and, while there were changes before the final selection was confirmed, Mathieu Bastareaud was not given the opportunity to force his way back into the side.

Bastareaud was Les Bleus' vice-captain as recently as the Six Nations, but his role in an underwhelming campaign appeared to count against him when coach Jacques Brunel named a youthful group.

Morgan Parra and Teddy Thomas missed out, too, although Brunel insisted Fabien Galthie, who will take over as coach following the tournament, had no role in the decisions.


Rob Evans (Wales)

Loosehead prop Rob Evans was one of the stars of Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam campaign this year but, along with Samson Lee, did not do enough to make Warren Gatland's 31-man squad.

It appears injury issues counted against Scarlets star Evans, who has played 36 Tests, although he is fit again following a shoulder operation at the end of last season.

Gatland explained Wales were preferring more "durable" options, saying: "Rob hasn't trained a lot in the lead up to the warm-up matches. He came in with a shoulder injury, then he's picked up a neck injury and a couple of back issues. Rob hadn't played a lot."

Talk of two-time defending champions New Zealand being vulnerable as they bid to make Rugby World Cup history will be music to the ears of Steve Hansen.

The All Blacks start their quest to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for an unprecedented third time in a row as favourites, and rightly so.

Yet New Zealand are not the all-conquering force that have taken on all comers for so many years and slipped to second in the rankings behind Ireland ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Chinks in the armour were exposed during a Rugby Championship campaign that New Zealand finished in third spot after they were soundly beaten by Australia and drew with South Africa.

The Springboks were crowned champions, making a strong statement just six weeks before the two heavyweights do battle in their Pool B opener in Yokohama.

Ireland have beaten Hansen's side twice in the last three years and South Africa consigned them to defeat in a Wellington classic 12 months ago.

The juggernaut has been halted, but there is no doubt it can fire up driven on by inspirational captain Kieran Read - hungry to end his international career by lifting the famous trophy yet again in November.

Australia were put in their place a week after rocking the 14-man All Blacks in Perth, going down 36-0 at fortress Eden Park just eight days later.

Hansen must be rubbing his hands together reading or hearing about his side being fallible as they prepare to try and make history and give him the perfect send-off.

The All Blacks supremo declared Ireland are favourites to dethrone New Zealand after his side were beaten in Dublin last year, but sounded a warning upon arrival in Tokyo.

"To try and do things that have never been done before is a hallmark of what New Zealand people are about." he said.

"We came away from the home shores and settled in a country at the bottom of the earth. We had to find ways to live in isolation when life wasn't like it is today.

"They became pioneers. That's important in life and particularly in sport; you've got to strive to be leaders rather than followers. We have an opportunity that no one else at the tournament gets; we can shy away from it or get really excited about it. We are really excited by it."

One look at the list of New Zealanders who failed to make the squad shows the challenge their rivals face in trying to end their dominance.

Test centurion Owen Franks was sensationally omitted along with outstanding centre Ngani Laumape, highlighting the embarrassment of riches at Hansen's disposal.

Liam Squire is also absent, but Hansen has such an abundance of quality to call upon that New Zealand remain the team to beat.

The fear factor may not be what it was, but write the All Blacks off at your peril.

The Chicago Cubs continued to hold onto a wildcard spot, winning a fifth straight game by topping the Cincinnati Reds 8-2 in MLB on Monday.

The Cubs keep finding a way to get it done and remain one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the San Diego Padres 5-1.

Chicago's Kyle Schwarber only went one for four, but hit a home run and tallied three RBIs.

Ben Zobrist and Willson Contreras were the only Cubs to get multiple hits, as each went two for four.

The Reds only managed to get six hits off Chicago pitching, and two came from Jose Peraza.

The Cubs improved to 82-68, while the Brewers sit at 81-69.

Super Spangenberg

Cory Spangenberg went two for three and notched three RBIs in Milwaukee's win.

Luis Arraez went three for four with two RBIs as the Minnesota Twins topped the Chicago White Sox 5-3.

 

Cabrera struggles

Miguel Cabrera was hitless in four at-bats as the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

Trea Turner went 0 for four in the Washington Nationals' 4-2 loss to the St Louis Cardinals.

 

Rendon homers

Anthony Rendon sent a ball a long way.

Monday's results

Detroit Tigers 5-2 Baltimore Orioles
Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 San Diego Padres
Minnesota Twins 5-3 Chicago White Sox
St Louis Cardinals 4-2 Washington Nationals
Chicago Cubs 8-2 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 9-4 New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 6-5 Oakland Athletics

 

Padres at Brewers

The Brewers have to keep winning in order to keep up with the Cubs. They have the opportunity to catch Chicago while they are matched up against a team that have not been very good this year.

The Chicago White Sox's Lucas Giolito will not pitch again in 2019.

The White Sox announced on Monday that an MRI revealed the pitcher has a strained lat and will miss the remainder of the season.

There are no "long-term concerns" with the injury, the team said in a release.

Chicago are far from the playoff picture at 65-85 and sit in third in the American League Central. But Giolito has had a great season.

The 25-year-old made his first All-Star team in 2019 and recorded a 14-9 record with a 3.41 ERA.

Odell Beckham Jr.'s performance was the highlight of the Cleveland Browns' 23-3 win over the New York Jets in the NFL on Monday.

The game itself was not that exciting, but Beckham continued to make impressive catches in something of a homecoming – only this time it was in a Cleveland uniform.

The game started with Beckham making a one-handed grab to set up the Browns' first score, a 23-yard field goal.

And then an 89-yard touchdown reception followed, where the only person to keep pace with Beckham was the sideline official.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver finished with six receptions for 161 yards and the lone touchdown.

His output nearly equalled that of the Jets' passing total.

 

Three takeaways from the Browns' easy win over the Jets

The Browns looked ... good?

It is only Week 2, and it was a matchup with the struggling and depleted Jets, but the Browns did look like a team that might be able to live up to their preseason hype. 

After a forgettable performance in Week 1 that saw Cleveland rack up 18 penalties, the team were far more composed at MetLife Stadium.

The Browns ended the night with nine penalties and had an all-round better performance behind quarterback Baker Mayfield, who finished 19-of-35 passing for 325 yards with one score and one interception.

 

Beckham, Jarvis Landry team up in primetime

The two receivers' relationship dates back to well before they played together at LSU. They are so close that Jarvis Landry cried when he found out Beckham was joining the Browns this offseason. 

After the 2014 draft separated Beckham and Landry, they reunited on a team that were touted as playoff contenders, which puts some pressure on the pair – along with Mayfield.

Cleveland will have a tough schedule ahead against teams that have all started 2-0. The Browns avoided the dreaded 0-2 start themselves and finally got a win on the road in Beckham's old house, which should give the team confidence going forward.

"Honestly, it was a pretty warm reception," Beckham told ESPN of his return. "It was nothing but love and I've felt like I've lost enough games period. I've lost enough games here so to leave with a win is a good feeling."

 

No Sam Darnold, no Trevor Siemian, big problem

New York, who were already without starter Sam Darnold, were forced to bring in third-string quarterback Luke Falk in the first half.

Trevor Siemian exited the game after suffering an ankle injury, the team announced. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI to assess the damage on Tuesday. 

Until then, the Jets will need to make a decision when it comes to their offensive plans because even with Siemian in the game, they struggled mightily. They started the second quarter with just one yard of offense and it did not get much better from there.

Falk, a second-year QB out of Washington State, finished 20 of 25 passing for 198 yards.

Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich said it "kind of sucks" to be missing the rest of the MLB season due to injury.

The Brewers do not have their best player as they chase the second National League (NL) wildcard spot. 

Yelich will miss the rest of 2019 after fracturing his knee cap in a game against the Miami Marlins earlier this month.

Yelich addressed the injury when he met with reporters on Monday. 

"It's life in sports," Yelich said, via MLB.com.

"There's a lot of work that goes into being in a position like we were this season, but, hey, sometimes it just doesn't go in your favour. It's actually the first time I've ever broken anything in my life or had a real injury. It kind of sucks in that aspect, but it's pro sports. Injuries happen. At times, it's just very unfortunate. It seems to be one of those things that's just not fair at the moment."

The 2018 NL MVP did not require surgery and his recovery time is expected to be eight to 10 weeks. 

"I think the hardest part of the whole thing was the unknown for about 24 hours," Yelich said. "Just a broad spectrum of outcomes and recovery times depending on what the MRI showed."

The 27-year-old outfielder will finish the season slashing .329/.429/.671 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs.

"Trust me, I had my pity party that night at the stadium," Yelich said about the injury. "I felt terrible. I was down in the dumps. After leaving the stadium – shower, put your street clothes on, get going – it's all just being positive and trying to get back. I haven't spent any time on 'Why me?' or 'Why this?' It happened. I have no way to change it now, so it's just about getting better, getting back out there.

"Trust me, I wish I could have an impact on this race, or if we make the playoffs, participate in that. It's just not going to happen, so there's no point in dwelling on it or letting it get you down."

The Brewers entered play on Monday one game out of the second NL wildcard spot with an 80-69 record.

New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian exited Monday's game against the Cleveland Browns due to an ankle injury.

New York, who were already without starter Sam Darnold, were forced to bring in third-string signal-caller Luke Falk.

Siemian was tackled awkwardly in the second quarter and went to the locker room after spending time on the bench being evaluated.

He was, however, able to put weight on his leg.

Before exiting the game, Siemian was three-for-six with only three yards.

Darnold missed the game with mono and is expected to be out until at least Week 5.

Novak Djokovic remains unsure when he will return from a shoulder injury, but the world number one is eyeing a comeback in Tokyo.

Djokovic retired during a last-16 clash against Stan Wawrinka at the US Open at the start of the month and reports suggested he may need surgery.

The Serbian star is still uncertain as to when he will return, but said he would ideally play at the Japan Open Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 tournament that starts on September 30, as scheduled.

"I would like to tell you when I will be back, but I really do not know exactly. I monitor the results of rehabilitation every day. I monitor how the shoulder responds to recovery," Djokovic told RTS on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the injury was of a more serious nature. It prevented me from continuing the tournament in New York. I'm very sorry.

"It's one of the four biggest tournaments, especially important in the second part of the season."

Djokovic added: "I hope to be on the court in a week or two. For now, in an ideal scenario, the plan is to play Tokyo."

The 32-year-old said he expected to have greater clarity over his return in the next week.

Djokovic has enjoyed another fine season, winning two grand slam titles to take his tally to 16, trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19).

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