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News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com

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    The Buckeyes coach will miss the third and final game of his suspension on Saturday, and Ohio State is still fine.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- At some point Monday, listening to Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day at his third straight news conference to kick off a game week, I forgot briefly that he wasn't really Ohio State's head coach.

    That made it feel like something should be written about Urban Meyer.

    It's just not clear what.

    Before the start of this season, I figured Meyer wouldn't be missed on Saturdays, and after two OSU wins by 46 and 49 points, it's clear so far that he's not. Suspended for three game-day Saturdays, Meyer will miss one more game when No. 4 Ohio State plays No. 15 Texas Christian in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday. And while this opponent is exponentially more difficult than the first two, I can't for the life of me think of how Meyer's absence will change anything.

    Ohio State can't be run by just anyone. But in six years Meyer has built a program that can be smoothly steered by an array of capable assistants steeped in his philosophies. Day has been great. But Greg Schiano, Kevin Wilson, Larry Johnson, Tony Alford ... several other OSU assistants could have pulled this off as well.

    As veteran Columbus radio reporter Lori Schmidt suggested to Day on Monday, things are going well without Meyer because of Meyer.

    "The training that's happened over the last year and obviously what Coach has done here for the six years leading up to this, there's been a foundation set here," Day said. "So when you go through something tough, if you have a good, strong foundation, then you can make it through the other side and that's what's happened."

    What Ohio State is making it through is, of course, the mishandling of fired assistant coach Zach Smith by Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith, who continues to serve his suspension as well. Their failures with Zach Smith came to light along with a swirling cloud of domestic violence allegations against Smith, and accusations in some quarters that Meyer and Gene Smith failed to respond to those allegations seriously enough, a school of thought Meyer has strongly disputed.

    Remember all that?

    Haven't had to think about it for a bit, right?

    Well, it was a serious situation. It might be mostly over. Maybe. But not quite.

    Because Meyer is coming back.

    After TCU, Ohio State's game week leading up to game four vs. Tulane won't be all about football, because the first time Meyer speaks to reporters, he'll be asked questions about Ohio State's investigation into his actions, questions he couldn't answer the night his suspension was announced because the report hadn't been revealed yet.

    So you think the Buckeyes are missing Meyer right now? Actually, this is the easy part.

    It's all going to kick up again as soon as he's back, in some form of another.

    Captain Parris Campbell said after Saturday's win that Meyer, who coached all week at practice before Rutgers and will coach at practice again this week, got on the team after a substandard practice last Tuesday.

    "He challenged us Wednesday to come out and have a great practice," Campbell said, "to have an Ohio State practice, and we did that."

    On Saturday, Meyer and his wife, Shelley, visited Nationwide Children's Hospital instead of getting ready for a game.

    That was a typical Wednesday for Meyer last week, and a different Saturday.

    Right now, Meyer is with the players, but hidden from public view, during the week. Day is out front on Saturdays and in front of reporters. That has made these three weeks exceedingly typical.

    "Coach is running the team and doing everything," Day said Monday. "He just wasn't there on Saturday."

    Smooth. Business as usual.

    When Meyer is actually fully back to work next week?

    That's when it's going to feel like everything has changed.  


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    Doug and Bill answer a question about the Ohio State receivers. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State through two games has one of the more efficient passing offenses in the country and four players hovering around 100 receiving yards.

    That will all be put to the test this Saturday against a TCU defense that's giving up just over 100 yards passing per game. (Though that's come against an FCS team in one game, and SMU in heavy rain in the other.)

    The OSU receivers seem better this year, more open, making more plays. Is that a product of the quarterback, the coaching, individual improvements from the players? We're talking about the position group in a quick analysis BuckWhys video, inspired by this question from Twitter:

    Watch the video above for a quick take on the Ohio State receivers from Doug Lesmerises and Bill Landis.


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    Ohio State will see a true dual-threat quarterback when it faces TCU and Shawn Robinson on Saturday night. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick question testing your knowledge of Ohio State's opponents over the last few years: TCU's Shawn Robinson will be the best dual-threat quarterback the Buckeyes have faced since?

    Well, maybe you should know some more about Robinson first.

    "He's a really good player who is multi-dimensional, who can throw, he's a strong arm guy. He's a huge test for our defense," defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said Monday.

    "What I've noticed, and it's really -- I think you had one start last year and obviously these two this year and -- he's a very good runner ... But it's not where he just tucks it to run right away. We're going to have to hold coverage when he does start to move out of the pocket and be ready once he crosses the line of scrimmage to come up and try to come down which is easier said than done. He's a 230-pound man who runs very well."

    Robinson is a different kind of athlete at the position than Ohio State has seen in the first two games, and a different kind of athlete, frankly, than the Buckeyes encounter throughout much of Big Ten play.

    You could throw out Penn State's Trace McSorley as a viable dual-threat, and he is, but like former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, he seems more like a scrambler than a runner in the open field. So maybe go back to former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson for the last time OSU saw an athlete like this at the position.

    That's not to say Robinson is Watson. He's not. Definitely not close as a passer, but Robinson's arm is strong, and dangerous when it's accurate. And he's got a similar build and running ability to Watson, who ran for nearly 2,000 yards in his college career. Robinson has just 10 rushing attempts this year through two games, but they've gone for 112 yards and three touchdowns.

    He's dangerous with his feet and aggressive, even if sometimes to a fault, with his arm. Robinson's career completion percentage is 57 percent, but he's also thrown just one interception.

    It will be a different kind of test for Ohio State's defense, one Bill Landis and Doug Lesmerises talked about more in the video above.


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    The former Cavaliers star, who has become a prolific television producer, is teaming up with fellow NBA star Ben Simmons on "Brotherly Love."

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- If you're keeping track of LeBron James's entertainment ventures, his SpringHill Entertainment has just sold another project.

    The former Cavaliers star, who has become a prolific television producer, is teaming up with fellow NBA star Ben Simmons on "Brotherly Love."

    NBC has ordered a script for the series, described as a single-camera comedy from former "Fresh Off the Boat" co-executive producer Kourtney Kang.

    "Inspired by the life of NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, 'Brotherly Love' centers on a unique sibling relationship within a multi-ethnic family," the show's logline says. "Together, they pursue their dreams while navigating life in the spotlight in Philadelphia, a passionate city where sports is in your blood, and your blood is always boiling."

    Simmons and his brother, Sean Tribe, are on board as consulting producers.

    If it's picked up, "Brotherly Love" would join "The Wall" as James-produced shows on NBC. The Lakers forward currently has "The Shop" on the air at HBO. He's also producing a new game show on CBS, documentaries for HBO and Showtime, and a limited series at Netflix starring Octavia Spencer.


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    The Cleveland Indians traded for Josh Donaldson knowing he could easily re-injure his calf muscle. Why are some teams complaining about the deal?

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- I wonder how many teams will be complaining about the Indians adding Josh Donaldson if the third baseman pulls another calf muscle.

    That can happen.

    If any team knows the danger of a player who has significant problems with his calf muscles, it's the Tribe.

    Think Lonnie Chisenhall.

    Chisenhall has dealt with calf muscle problems for more than two years. He has played only 47 games since the 2017 All-Star break. He last played this season on July 1.

    Set to be the Tribe's starting right fielder, Chisenhall has batted only 84 times this season. He is a free agent at the end of the year, so he has had millions of reasons to return to the field.

    But he can't stay healthy.

    Donaldson hasn't played in a big league game since May 28. He had some shoulder problems in the spring, then came the cranky calf muscles.

    The Indians obtained the 2015 American League MVP from Toronto on a waiver-deadline deal of August 31.

    According to the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Boston and the New York Yankees are unhappy with Donaldson ending up with the Tribe. Those teams believe Donaldson should not have been allowed to go on the disabled list after the Indians traded for him...

    Or something.

    I have read Rosenthal's story and some other accounts of why teams have privately objected to the trade between the Indians and Toronto -- and I don't understand it.

    If they wanted Donaldson, they could have claimed him on waivers -- and paid the $3.7 million remaining on his salary.

    Or they could have worked out a better deal with Toronto for Donaldson.

    The Indians traded minor-league pitcher Julian Merryweather and agreed to pay $1 million in Donaldson's salary to make the deal work. Merryweather opened the 2018 season as the Tribe's No. 17 prospect (Baseball America), but he has since had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

    TRIBE & TORONTO

    When I first heard of the objection, I thought the issue was the close relationship between the Tribe and Blue Jays. Toronto President Mark Shapiro and General Manager Ross Atkins worked with the Tribe until 2016.

    But no one is claiming inside baseball trading.

    Executives who know each other often make deals. Teams know that.

    In 2017, the Indians obtained reliever Joe Smith from the Blue Jays for a prospect.

    Who was that pitcher?

    Thomas Pannone, who beat the Indians Sunday. He allowed only two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA since coming up from the minors.

    That a good return on Smith, who left the Tribe for Houston via free agency after the 2017 season.

    The Blue Jays believe Merryweather is a promising long-term prospect if they are patient as he recovers.

    The point of contention has nothing to do with the Tribe and Toronto.

    It has to do with Major League Baseball approving the trade.

    THE REAL DEAL

    Here's the real deal about the trade -- the Indians know a lot can go wrong.

    And they are correct when saying they did nothing wrong.

    Donaldson is coming off the disabled list Tuesday. They know he can pull a muscle the first time he runs down to first base or chases a pop up in foul territory as he plays third base.

    And they know that could end his season.

    They have seen it with Chisenhall.

    The uncertain status of Donaldson's calf muscles are why a star of his caliber was traded for a prospect recovering from elbow surgery.

    The Tribe is moving Jose Ramirez from third to second base. And Jason Kipnis is going from second to the outfield.

    All to make room for Donaldson.

    I've written a lot about this deal, including an inside look at how it took place. I highlighted how the Indians know it could go wrong, but they also hope Donaldson stays healthy and pays off big in October.

    They are taking the risk.

    Other teams could have done the same, but they decided against it.

    End of story.


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    Serena Williams was penalized for receiving coaching at the U.S. Open and assessed a game penalty for verbal abuse arguing against it.

    Serena Williams was penalized for receiving coaching at the U.S. Open and assessed a game penalty for verbal abuse arguing against it. Some feel tennis should allow in-match coaching in all of its tournaments because getting the best out each athlete is paramount. However, one of the draws of the sport is whatever happens on the court is a product of the competitor's brilliance and fortitude alone, not any coach. What do you think? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    On-court coaching would be great for tennis. Coaches bring the best of out of a player, and if fans get the best of each player, there will be more exciting matches.

    The athletes show emotion on the court, but fans don't really get a true sense of their personality. If coaching were allowed on the court, we could really see how fiery these competitors are on the court. Are they silent? Are they angry? Do they crack jokes in tight spots? All things fans would find out in the heat of battle.

    About that no-coaching rule in Grand Slam tennis: Let's change it

    Huge organizations like the Women's Tennis Association support on-court coaching in the wake of the Serena William dispute:

    We also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport. The WTA supports coaching through its on-court coaching rule, but further review is needed.

    Solitude is one of the best aspects of tennis. Players are all alone on the court. There is no safety net. It is only you and your opponent giving it everything you got for a shot at victory. 

    In-match coaching would add an unnecessary element that would eliminate that solitude, and put some matches in the hands of coaches rather than the players. When there is a result in tennis, there is no doubt the victory or defeat can all be accredited to the player. Add in on-court coaching, and now fans don't know who to credit. On-court coaching would be more trouble than it's worth.

    On-court coaching disrupts the sport's core values

    Roger Federer says 'no' to the idea:

    You can look over to your coach for comfort and support, but other than that, I think tennis should be one of those unique sports where you don't get coaching.

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.


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    Fantasy football is male-dominated, only 19 percent of players are female. Do you think that's a problem?

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Fall means fantasy football pools in offices across the country.

    Coworkers can compete in a lighthearted way, network and build a team mentality.

    But like so many other workplace rituals, women remain in the minority -- sometimes, not because they want to be.

    About 33 million people played fantasy football in 2014, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association numbers, cited by Forbes. About 19 percent of those players were women.

    More women are joining the game. Of the 59.3 million people who played fantasy football in the United States and Canada in 2017, about 29 percent are women, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

    One 20-something woman told me she was excluded from her all-male office fantasy football league because she's a woman. She had already researched teams, and come up with a clever name. She spent the rest of the season listening to fantasy football inside jokes and references, unable to participate in the company team building.

    The next year she was invited to join, but told me because of her gender, she felt like she had to prove that she should be included. 

    That's a problem.

    The NFL players may all be men, but women should be welcomed into a fantasy league.

    What do you think? Do you play fantasy football?


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    The Indians acquired Donaldson from Toronto on Aug. 31, just before the midnight waiver deadline. Watch video

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Indians rolled the Mercedes out of the garage on Tuesday afternoon. They topped off the gas tank, detailed the interior and put it in idle for 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

    Yeah, Josh Donaldson has officially been activated. The three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP will start at third base against the Rays. It will be his first big-league game since May 28 when he was still playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. He been on the disabled list since with a strained left calf muscle.

    Manager Terry Francona hit Donaldson fifth behind Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion. Yonder Alonso, Melky Cabrera, Kipnis and Yan Gomes will hit behind Donaldson.

    "He can hit anywhere. He's a good hitter," said Francona. "He hasn't been in the lineup, since what, May? I just thought displacing those first four [wasn't the way to go]. Let's let him swing the bat a little bit.

    "Plus, it gives Yonder a spot where, you know, if Yonder drives in runs, he's going to drive them in anywhere. It moves some of his lack of speed down a little bit, which is good."

    The Indians acquired Donaldson just before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline. Donaldson's addition has forced the Indians to re-arrange their infield, pushing All-Star third baseman Ramirez to second base and Kipnis to center field.

    Asked if had talked to Ramirez and Kipnis about their moves, Donaldson said, "No. They're still trying to get to know me a little bit and I'm trying to get to know them as well. I feel like a lot of the conversations that we have aren't necessarily about baseball. They're more about trying to get to know everyone.

    "When you're out on the field, that's our job and what we're required to do. I spoke on it earlier: There are sacrfices that guys have made in order for me to be here and I do appreciate that. At the same time, it's not my decision."

    Donaldson, 32, is a free agent at the end of the season. After completing the deal,  the Indians put Donaldson back on the disabled list so he could play four rehab games in the minors.

    The move drew the ire of some other teams, but MLB approved the deal and the move to the DL.

    Donaldson said he was mostly glad just to get a chance to get back on a big league field again.

    "Yeah, I would say there's an energy boost," said Donaldson, when asked if he felt different waking up Tuesday morning. "It's a good thing. The entire time, I've tried to stay positive through this. There have been some down moments throughout this rehab process that have been very difficult for me, but to get here today and feel the way that I do, I'm excited about going out there and playing."

    Francona feels his meandering team may draw their own jolt of adrenaline from Donaldson's addition and the subsequent moves of Ramirez and Kipnis. The Indians, who have posted a winning record every month from April through August, are 4-6 in September.

    "We're up 15 (15 1/2) games," said Francona. "They're not idiots. They know. So, I think we're kind of in competition with ourselves to see how good we can play, despite whatever the standings say.

    "I do think this will give us a little juice, like the guys moving around. And it may not be our best baseball -- I hope it is -- but I think it will be good, because they're working toward something now. Like, I think when we get back off this trip, the weather will be a little cooler, they'll have a day off. I think they'll catch their stride."

    The Indians went into Tuesday night's game with a magic number of four to clinch the AL Central.


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    Josh Donaldson made his debut with the Indians on Tuesday night, starting at third base and hitting fifth.

    ST. PETERSBURG -- Here are the starting lineups for Tuesday night's game between the Indians and Rays at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

    INDIANS

    SS Francisco Lindor.

    LF Michael Brantley.

    2B Jose Ramirez.

    DH Edwin Encarnacion.

    3B Josh Donaldson.

    1B Yonder Alonso.

    RF Melky Cabrera.

    CF Jason Kipnis.

    C Yan Gomes.

    RHP Shane Bieber, 9-3, 4.63.

    RAYS

    CF Mallex Smith.

    LF Tommy Pham

    DH Ji-Man Choi.

    1B C.J. Cron.

    3B Joey Wendle.

    SS Willy Adames.

    2B Brandon Lowe.

    RF Jake Brauers.

    C Nick Ciuffo.

    RHP Tyler Glasnow, 1-5, 4.64.

    UMPIRES

    H Mark Carlson.

    1B Paul Nauert, crew chief.

    2B Scott Barry.

    3B Carlos Torres.


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    At least one of LeBron James' traditions remains on the Cavaliers. The players are working out together on location ahead of the start of training camp.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- At least one of LeBron James' traditions remains on the Cavaliers.

    The players are working out together on location ahead of the start of training camp.

    Kevin Love, the new face of the franchise who signed a four-year, $120 million extension during the offseason, is hosting most of the Cavs for a series of workouts this week at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

    The three Cavs who are playing in World Cup qualifiers this week -- Tristan Thompson, Cedi Osman, and Ante Zizic -- will not be there.

    Otherwise, most or all of the team's players under guaranteed contract (there are 11 of them) are expected to attend. Rodney Hood and David Nwaba signed contracts with Cleveland over the past few days.

    In social media posts, it appears that, at minimum, Love, rookie Collin Sexton, Channing Frye, and JR Smith are at The U. Coach Tyronn Lue told cleveland.com he is in Miami. His staff is likely there, too.

    James, who's now with the Lakers, held players-only workouts before training camp during his four seasons here. Coaches and front office members usually traveled to the vacation-esque locales for the practices, and Cavs' player development staff usually engages, but the coaches themselves sit out.

    The workouts have become common place in the NBA. They're used for team bonding more than anything -- most if not all of the Cavs worked out all summer.

    In Cleveland's case, the four-time-defending Eastern Conference champs are meeting for the first time to figure out who they are in the wake of James' departure.

    Training camp starts with media day on Sept. 24.

    Two league sources previously told cleveland.com there would not be players' only workouts ahead of camp. It was not immediately clear when Love -- who appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Monday, decided to host the event.


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    Here's Ohio State's depth chart for Saturday's game against TCU.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State has released its depth chart for Saturday's game against TCU. The No. 4 Buckeyes and No. 15 Horned Frogs will kick off at 8 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

    * Ohio State's depth chart vs. TCU

    The only change on Ohio State's depth chart this week is sophomore Thayer Munford being listed alone as the starting left tackle. He had been listed as a co-starter with Joshua Alabi in the first two games, though Munford took every snap with the starting offensive line against Oregon State and Rutgers.

    Here's Ohio State's depth chart for this week:

    OFFENSE

    QB: Dwayne Haskins

    Tate Martell

    RB: J.K. Dobbins OR Mike Weber

    Brian Snead OR Master Teague

    WR: Austin Mack

    Binjimen Victor

    WR: Johnnie Dixon OR Terry McLaurin

    Chris Olave

    H-back: Parris Campbell

    K.J. Hill OR C.J. Saunders

    TE: Luke Farrell OR Rashod Berry

    Jeremy Ruckert OR Jake Hausmann

    LT: Thayer Munford

    Joshua Alabi

    LG: Malcolm Pridgeon

    Brady Taylor

    C: Michael Jordan

    Josh Myers OR Brady Taylor

    RG: Demetrius Knox

    Wyatt Davis

    RT: Isaiah Prince

    Nicholas Petit-Frere

    DEFENSE

    DE: Nick Bosa

    Tyreke Smith

    Tyler Friday

    DT: Robert Landers

    Davon Hamilton OR Taron Vincent

    DT: Dre'Mont Jones

    Haskell Garrett OR Tommy Togiai

    DE: Jonathon Cooper OR Chase Young

    Jashon Cornell

    LB: Malik Harrison

    Keandre Jones

    LB: Baron Browning

    Tuf Borland OR Justin Hilliard

    LB: Pete Werner

    Dante Booker

    CB: Kendall Sheffield

    Shaun Wade OR Marcus Williamson

    S: Isaiah Pryor or Jahsen Wint

    Josh Proctor

    Kevin Dever

    S: Jordan Fuller

    Amir Riep OR Brendon White

    Marcus Hooker

    CB: Damon Arnette

    Jeffrey Okudah

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    K: Sean Nuernberger

    Blake Haubeil

    Kickoff: Blake Haubeil

    Sean Nuernberger

    P: Drue Chrisman

    Sean Nuernberger

    Kick return: Demario McCall OR Johnnie Dixon

    Punt return: Demario McCall OR C.J. Saunders


    0 0

    Cleveland's magic number to clinch the A.L. Central Division is now 3 after a win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion homered and Shane Bieber struck out 11 as the Cleveland Indians earned a 2-0 win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. 

    The victory snaps Tampa Bay's 12-game home winning streak and shrinks the Tribe's magic number to clinch the American League Central Division title to 3. 

    Cleveland's lead over second-place Minnesota in the A.L Central is at 16 games with 17 to play. The Twins were hosting New York and leading the Yankees midway through their game at Target Field. 

    Any combination of Indians wins or losses by the second-place Twins that is greater than or equal to 3 will clinch a third consecutive division title and postseason appearance for Cleveland.

    The Indians (82-63) conclude their series against the Rays on Wednesday at 1:10 as Carlos Carrasco faces Blake Snell. Minnesota concludes its series at home against the Yankees at 8:10 p.m.

    You can calculate the first-place Tribe's magic number by starting with 162 (games in a season) and adding one, then subtracting the number of Indians wins and subtracting the number of losses by the second-place team.


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    The Indians reduced their magic number to cinch the AL Central to three with Tuesday night's win over the Rays.

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Power and good pitching will carry a team a long way. Even a team that seems to be stumbling toward a postseason spot that has been guaranteed them almost since opening day.

    Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion hit home runs and rookie Shane Bieber struck out a career-high 11 batters as the Indians beat the Rays, 2-0, Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. The win reduced the Tribe's magic number to clinch its third straight AL Central title to three.

    The Indians have won just five of their last 11 games.

    Gomes gave Bieber a 1-0 lead with a two-out homer in the fifth. It was his 14th homer of the season, matching his total from last season.

    Encarnacion made it 2-0 with one out in the sixth. It was Encarnacion's 30th homer of the season, marking the seventh straight year in which he's hit at least 30 homers. It's the longest current streak by a player in the big leagues.

    "As long as Edwin can stay on the field, and he has, he's going to hit 30 and drive in 100," said manager Terry Francona. "Hopefully, he gets a bunch more. It's important. You have to have a certain amount of runs and you know he's going to drive in 100."

    Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (1-6, 4.48) allowed both homers, but still pitched well in his second start of the season against the Indians.

    The Indians are the first AL team this season to have three players with 30 or more homers. Encarnacion joined Francisco Lindor (34) and Jose Ramirez (37). It's the fifth time it has happened in franchise history and the first since 1999 when Richie Sexson, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome did it.

    Bieber (10-3, 4.32) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and three walks. Bieber is the fifth Indians pitcher to win at least 10 games this season. The others are Corey Kluber (18-7), Carlos Carrasco (16-8), Trevor Bauer (12-6) and Mike Clevinger (11-8).

    "I thought he executed the game plan really well," said Francona. "He tried to get in on the lefties enough to open up the plate. His fastball, through the zone, had a lot of life on it."

    The Indians have 27 games this season where a pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters. It extended their club record and tied them with Houston for the MLB lead.

    Josh Donaldson made his debut with the Indians. He hit two balls to the warning track and struck out in his first big-league game since May 28. Donaldson ended the fifth inning with a nice play at third base to retire C.J. Cron.

    "To me he looks like Donaldson," said Francona. "By that I mean he took some ferocious swings and he's on so many pitches. He's got time. It gets exciting. All of a sudden Andrew (Miller) throws like he did Monday night. Now Donaldson is here."

    The Indians activated Miller on Monday and Donaldson on Tuesday.

    Jose Ramirez, who moved from third to second to make room for Donaldson, went 0-or-4 in is first game at second base. Jason Kipnis, in his first game in center, went 1-for-3 and had no chances before Greg Allen replaced him in the seventh inning.

    Bieber allowed a leadoff double to Joey Wendle in the seventh. He retired the next two batters, but walked Jake Bauers to bring Brad Hand into the game. Hand walked Nick Ciuffo to load the bases, but retired Mallex Smith to end the inning after falling behind 3-0. Hand gave up a walk-off homer to Ji-Man Choi in the ninth inning on Monday night.

    Cody Allen picked up his 27th save of the season, allowing one hit in the ninth.

    The pitches

    Bieber threw 100 pitches, 63 (63 percent) for strikes. Glasnow threw 90 pitches, 66 (73 percent) for strikes.

    He gone

    Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the eighth inning for protesting a balk by lefty Vidal Nuno. Plate umpire Mark Carlson ejected Cash.

    Thanks for coming

    The Indians and Rays drew 10,599 to Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. First pitch was at 7:09 p.m. with a temperature 72 degrees inside and 89 degrees outside.

    Next

    The Indians end their season series against the Rays on Wednesday as Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 4.31) faces Tampa Bay left-hander Blake Snell (18-5, 2.06) at 1:10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio and WTAM will carry the game.

    Carrasco, who already has one loss against the Rays this year, is 4-4 in his career against them. Snell beat the Indians on Sept. 1 at Progressive Field. He allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings.


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    The RubberDucks get a strong performance from starter Jake Paulson.

    jake paulson.jpgJake Paulson 

    AKRON, Ohio -- New Hampshire's Forrest Wall hit a two-run single in the 10th inning, sending the RubberDucks to a 3-1 loss Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Class AA Eastern League Championship Series.

    Akron lost despite a strong effort from right-handed starter Jake Paulson, who held the Fisher Cats to just one run and three hits through seven innings. 

    Unfortunately, Cats starter T.J. Zeuch also was solid, going six innings and giving up just one run and four hits.

    Nellie Rodriguez gave the RubberDucks their only lead in the first inning with an RBI single to left field.

    Joshua Palacios' RBI single in the fourth tied the game for New Hampshire.

    It was quiet until the 10th, when New Hampshire loaded the bases to set up Wall's two-run single.

    New Hampshire closer Travis Bergen retired the RubberDucks in order in the bottom of the 10th to get the save.

    Game 2 of the best-of-five series is at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Canal Park.

    See the box score from the game.


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    Harrison struggled early on in Sunday's tie with the Steelers, but improved enough for Jackson to declare him the left tackle.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio --  Coach Hue Jackson gave rookie Desmond Harrison a huge vote of confidence after his first start at left tackle against the Steelers, even if it looked a ragged at first.

    "He's the left tackle,'' Jackson said Monday. "There's no doubt."

    According to profootballfocus.com, Harrison earned a 40.4 overall grade, which ranked 68 of out 69 tackles in week 1. In pass-blocking, he jumped up to No. 44 at 68.1, three notches below Pittsburgh's Alejandro Villanueava, who was dominated by Myles Garrett.

    Of the 20 times Tyrod Taylor was pressured, six were surrendered by Harrison, who allowed five hurries and a sack, according to profootballfocus.com. He also  committed three penalties, including two false starts in the first quarter.

    "I was ready to go,'' said Harrison. "I was just a little antsy. It was just getting that first hit in and getting comfortable.''

    But the Browns were happy with the way Harrison rebounded in the second half.

    "Desmond got better as the game went on,'' said center J.C. Tretter, profootballfocus.com's top-rate linemen for the weekend. "Especially with a young player, there's going to be growing pains. It was his first NFL start. There are going to be bumps in the road. He did a good job of kind of getting through that first half and then kind of settling in.''

    He cautioned, "That's going to take some time. It is our job as a unit, and as an offensive line unit, to do whatever we can to get him as comfortable as possible early in games and then let him continue to be comfortable throughout the game."

    What happened in Sunday's 21-21 tie with the Steelers

    Jackson, who 'agonized over the decision' to start the undrafted rookie out of Division II West Georgia, was encouraged by the debut especially considering he had to hold off the likes of Bud Dupree and Cam Heyward.

    "He did some good things,'' said Jackson. "For his first game - obviously the illegal procedures we want to clean those up. But he fought, he battled hard. I know a lot of people thought that the protection issues were on him or on that particular side.

    "There was one pressure I know for a fact that he gave up. But he did some really really good things. I was excited about it being his first game and playing against who he was playing."

    Harrison said Jackson complimented him after the game.

    "Coach just told me to keep working and don't worry about those little things,'' he said. "There's things I can work on. I felt good about it. Just wish we would've come out with a win. I'll be able to get rid of my assignment errors, things like that.''

    Harrison (6-6, 305) said he was harder on himself than the coaches were.

     "I was critical because there were a lot of things I did I shouldn't have done,'' he said. "I did some good things too, but I just feel like I could've done more.

    In preparation for the Saints on Sunday, Harrison vowed to "get in my playbook and just know my assignments.''

    He said Taylor and left guard Joel Bitonio "kept me comfortable more than anything.''

    Tretter acknowledged that Bitonio will have to help Harrison come up the learning curve on the job.

    "With a new guy, you have to do what you can to help him settle in,'' he said. "Things move so fast at this level. For older guys who things have slowed down, if you have to give a little bit of your pre-snap time to help another guy have things slow down a little more for him, that's what you have to do. That's just something that we have to work towards and forward with and make sure that he gets comfortable."

    Harrison wasn't the only one who struggled at times. Right tackle Chris Hubbard also had tough time against T.J. Watt, who had four sacks, although not all were his fault. Hubbard was credited with giving up only three of the 20 pressures, according to profootballfocus.com.

    "Chris Hubbard did some good things, but he knows that he has got to continue to anchor better,'' he said. "This was a hard fought game. We're playing against one of the best teams in our division. When you look at it, not everything is going to be perfect.''

    Hubbard explained that the protection team must adjust to Taylor's scrambling style.

    "In some plays, (Watt) might have gotten beat, but the quarterback is scrambling and he finds the play,'' he said. "It was like that. It was not like physically somebody was getting punished. You see things like that. We just have to get better as a whole unit. This upcoming week, we will get better at that."

    Still, Hubbard shouldered some of the blame.

    "I look at it like this; no matter what it is, sacks will happen,'' he said. "We cannot have that many sacks. Period. That's the rule of the game. We don't want to have sacks. We don't want to have our quarterback on the ground all of the time. That is one thing that we want to get better at this week. We will."

    His advice to Harrison?

    "Just go back to the drawing board,'' said Hubbard. "Get better this week. Find things that you made mistakes on. Focus on those things and get better at those things this week. Definitely minimize the mistakes."


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    Bill Landis and Doug Lesmerises preview the No. 4 Buckeyes vs. the No. 15 Horned Frogs, while imagining a new line of Ohio State football-themed romance novels.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- TCU owns a legitimate top 20 defense, ranking sixth in fewest yards allowed this year and 19th in yards allowed last year.

    So what's the best way for the Ohio State Buckeyes to attack the Horned Frogs in their primetime matchup in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night?

    Bill Landis and I break that down in the latest episode of Buckeye Talk, with one of us thinking run and the other thinking pass.

    We also delved into why this game is a one-time neutral site matchup and not a home-and-home as originally scheduled. We talked about Braxton Miller's release by the Houston Texans and catching on with the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.

    And then we took your questions, while also thanking you vociferously for all the reviews in the last week that got us back to an overall five-star rating on iTunes.

    You can always submit questions via Twitter to the @BuckeyeTalkPod account. You can also now submit questions, comments and complaints via email to BuckeyeTalkPod@gmail.com.

    Before listening to the podcast below, make sure to subscribe to Buckeye Talk at any of these places:

    Buckeye Talk on iTunes

    Buckeye Talk on Google Play

    Buckeye Talk on Stitcher

    Buckeye Talk on Spotify

     


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    Tyrod Taylor had one of the worst games of his career. How should Cleveland Browns fans view it? Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- If Tyrod Taylor continues to play as he did Sunday, he won't be the Browns starting quarterback for long.

    But odds are, that won't happen.

    That's because in his previous 42 NFL starts, Taylor never had a game where he completed only 37 percent (15-of-40) of his passes.

    Never even had a regular season game where he completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his three seasons with Buffalo.

    His worst performance was probably 17-of-37 passing (46 percent) in a playoff loss to Jacksonville, a game where he threw for only 134 yards.

    This is not to excuse Taylor from all blame. The veteran quarterback will probably be in pain as he watches video from the 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh.

    Too often, he left the pocket early.

    Too often, he missed some open wide receivers.

    This one of the worst games of Taylor's career. But it also was a miserable soggy Sunday for both quarterbacks.

    Ben Roethlisberger nearly gave the game to the Browns. The future Hall of Famer threw three interceptions. He lost two fumbles.

    That's right, Pittsburgh's quarterback made five turnovers in the game.

    Taylor had one.

    It was a costly interception on a poorly underthrown pass near the end of the game intended for Josh Gordon.

    "Got to throw it further," Coach Hue Jackson said. "Got to give him a chance to get the ball."

    But that was it. Even in the midst of his frustrating, disjointed offensive performance Taylor stayed away from turnovers.

    That did give the Browns a chance to win.

    Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, September 9, 2018Tyrod Taylor under-threw Josh Gordon leading to a costly interception.  

    REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

    If fans are expecting an electric quarterback with a sensational arm who fires the ball all over the stadium, that's not Taylor.

    He was brought to Cleveland to bring stability to an erratic, immature offense that led the NFL in turnovers.

    The Browns are set up to be a power running team with Taylor completing passes here and there to keep the offense moving.

    He has to do better than failing to record even a single first down on four possessions in the overtime.

    And it's disheartening that the Browns scored only six points after the defense forced six Pittsburgh turnovers. Those points came when the Browns were handed the ball on the Steeler 1-yard line.

    The offense wasted a chance to pull a major upset.

    In general, Taylor is a cautious quarterback. I believe he was even more guarded because of the lousy weather and seeing Roethlisberger having a hard time throwing the ball where he intended.

    As Jackson said, the problem was well beyond the Browns quarterback.

    Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, September 9, 2018Tyrod Taylor was under pressure most of the game as the offensive line had problems.  

    NEW FACES AN ISSUE

    Taylor also knew he was being protected by an offensive line that never played a single preseason snap together.

    That's significant, and it led to some of the pressure the Steelers were able to apply when Taylor did try to stay in the pocket.

    The offensive line and Taylor clearly had problems knowing what exactly the protection was going to look like.

    Nor did Taylor play a preseason game with Gordon. He was on the field for 69 snaps, but Taylor threw to him only three times.

    The two men seemed clueless when it came to football chemistry.

    No surprise there, either,

    In so many ways, the offense was set up to sputter Sunday because of the lack of familiarity.

    The Browns seemed to be unsure of what to do with Duke Johnson, who had only one catch.

    Offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Jackson were not in synch on the first play of the game when Gordon started. He was not supposed to start, according to Jackson.

    I'm not going to dwell on Taylor's first game in terms of it being a sign of doom -- or him being a bad fit for the Browns.

    It was one game in lousy weather against an excellent team with an offense not really prepared to open the season.

    Let's see if things improve when the Browns play Sunday in a dome in New Orleans.


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    Cleveland Browns hope to look smarter as season progresses after tying Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 opener

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The good news is the Cleveland Browns didn't lose their opening game against the  Pittsburgh Steelers, but they didn't win the game either, making it 14 years since Cleveland opened a regular season with a win.

    The Browns had plenty to be happy about, winning the turnover battle 6-1, erasing a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and generally playing the favored Steelers even.

    But many of the same problems from last year raised their homely heads, such as ill-timed penalties. The Browns were actually penalized 29 yards less than the Steelers but it seemed like more.

    There was also the familiar problem of inconsistency with the offense, especially in the passing game. Tyrod Taylor was sacked seven times and often had to pull the ball down to scramble.

    As a first game, the 21-21 tie with the Steelers left a lot of room for improvement, but the Browns are a young team with the talent and smarts to learn from their mistakes.  

    Crowquill, by Plain Dealer artist Ted Crow, appears three times a week in The Plain Dealer and on cleveland.com.


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    The sophomore is sharing playing time with fellow sophomore Tuf Borland. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The TCU game should give us information on the Ohio State linebackers. For instance, we'll find out how close Tuf Borland might be to completely healthy, after he played about 10 snaps in week one and 20 snaps in week two.

    If Borland is close to that, we should find out just what the Buckeyes think about the middle linebacker spot, and whether Borland or Baron Browning is really the No. 1 guy there.

    And then, we should find out if middle linebacker is the best place long-term for Browning.

    We do know this about Browning, a sophomore from Texas who was the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2017. He's rare.

    "Baron has an unbelievable ability to cover ground," defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said this week. "If you look at him, for a big man, or for anybody, he runs extremely well." 

    An outside linebacker at Kennedale High School just outside Fort Worth, Browning has played middle linebacker since he arrived at Ohio State. So has Borland, who came a year earlier as the No. 324 overall player in the Class of 2016. After a first-year redshirt season, Borland is now a sophomore, too.

    If Borland is staying at middle linebacker, where he settled the defense last season after joining the starting lineup, then it makes sense to put Browning back outside. Borland and Browning at their best and healthiest might both be too valuable to rotate in one spot.

    That's what they're doing now.

    "Both those guys I think are getting better and better," Schiano said. "I anticipate that to continue, that they will both play."

    At 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds, Browning could play any linebacker spot. But a guy with his skills should play somewhere.

    "For my size," Browning said, "I think I move pretty well."

    Given a choice, Browning would pick the middle because that's where he's worked for two years. He had to adjust to fit that, to change the defensive call if needed and make sure the entire defense is set. At outside linebacker, you just worry about you.

    "There's more things to do and a different personality I have to have while doing it," Browning said.

    Browning thought he played better in week two than week one. If he looks good in week three, and Borland does too, Browning may need to adjust again. A big guy who can move can't sit. He needs to play.

    Buckeye Take is a quick 300- to 400-word column on a single aspect of Ohio State football. We're trying to replicate in written form the feel of our Buckeye Talk Podcast, where we drop a multitude of opinions every week. We know not all of you listen to the pod (though you should), and we don't want you to miss out on what we're thinking about the Buckeyes. 

    The TCU Buckeye Talk Preview

     


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    Check here for tee times for the LPGA Tour's Evian Championship 2018 this week in France.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, Jin Young Ko, Minjee Lee, Anna Nordqvist, Moriya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park are among those in the field for Evian Championship 2018 this week in France.

    LPGA TOUR
    EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
    Site: Evian-les-Bains, France.
    Course: Evian Resort GC. Yardage: 6,523. Par: 71.
    Purse: $3,850,000. Winner's share: $577,500.
    Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 6-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4:30-10 a.m. (Golf Channel).
    Defending champion: Anna Nordqvist.
    Race to CME Globe leader: Ariya Jutanugarn.
    Previous tournament: Marina Alex won the Cambia Portland Classic.
    Notes: This is the fifth and final major on the LPGA Tour schedule. .... The Evian was cut short to 54 holes last year because of weather delays. ... It was the second time it was a 54-hole event since the LPGA Tour gave it major championship status in 2013. ... The tournament began in 1994 as a Ladies European Tour event. ... Inbee Park won the Evian in 2012, the year before it became a major. She has won the other majors on the LPGA Tour schedule. ... Four women have won the four majors this year. If a different player wins Evian, it would be the fourth consecutive year of no multiple major champions in a season. ... The Rolex Annika Major Award will be decided after the Evian, going to the major champion with the best record in the five majors. U.S. Women's Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn has a large lead over Women's PGA champion Sung Hyun Park. If any of the four major champions this year win the Evian, she wins the award. ... The LPGA Tour is off next week before starting its seven-week swing through Asia, which includes the International Crown.
    Next tournament: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Sept. 27-30.
    Online: www.lpga.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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