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News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com
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    Check here for the live third-round leaderboard for the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship 2018 on Saturday, Aug. 18, in North Carolina.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Brandt Snedeker (14-under) led by two shots entering the third round of the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship 2018 on Saturday, Aug. 18, in North Carolina. Snedeker carded a 59 on Thursday.

    Defending champion Henrik Stenson, Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, Joaquin Niemann, Ryan Armour, Webb Simpson, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Hideki Matsuyama were among other notables in the field at the outset.

    PGA TOUR
    WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP
    Site: Greensboro, N.C.
    Course: Sedgefield CC. Yardage: 7,127. Par: 70.
    Purse: $6 million. Winner's share: $1,080,000.
    Television: Saturday-Sunday -- 1-2:45 p.m., Golf Channel; 3-6 p.m., CBS Sports.
    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson.
    Previous week: Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship.
    Notes: This is the final event for the top 125 to qualify for the FedExCup playoffs. Among those on the bubble are Sergio Garcia, Lucas Glover and Graeme McDowell. ... Chad Campbell's runner-up finish at the Barracuda Championship moved him to No. 126. ... Stenson, who played last year to make sure he met his minimum tournament requirement, is having to skip his home country's Nordea Masters in Sweden to defend his title on the PGA Tour. ... Going into this year, the Wyndham Championship in 2015 had been mentioned frequently as the tournament where Tiger Woods had recorded his most recent top 10. ... Joaquin Niemann, 19, of Chile already has assured PGA Tour membership. He needs to win the Wyndham Championship to be a full member and be eligible for the FedExCup playoffs. ... Davis Love III is playing for the 23rd time. His victory in 2015 at age 51 made him the third-oldest winner on the PGA Tour. ... The field includes Doc Redman and Doug Ghim, the finalists at the U.S. Amateur last year. ... Norman Xiong is playing on a sponsor's exemption. He has yet to make a cut since turning pro. ... Geoff Ogilvy, who made the top 125 last year with his tie for 16th, is not playing. He is outside the top 200.
    Next week: The Northern Trust.
    Online: www.pgatour.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    Check here for the live third-round leaderboard for LPGA Tour's Indy Women in Tech Championship 2018 on Saturday, Aug. 18.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Sung Hyun Park, Lizette Salas, Danielle Kang, Nasa Hataoka, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, defending champion Lexi Thompson, Ariya Jutanugarn, So Yeon Ryu, Moriya Jutanugarn and Paula Creamer were among notables in the field at the outset of the LPGA Tour's Indy Women in Tech Championship 2018 this week in Indianapolis.

    LPGA TOUR
    INDY WOMEN IN TECH CHAMPIONSHIP
    Site: Indianapolis.
    Course: Brickyard Cross GC. Yardage: 6,456. Par: 72.
    Purse: $2 million. Winner's share: $300,000.
    Television: Saturday-Sunday, 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).
    Defending champion: Lexi Thompson.
    Race to CME Globe leader: Ariya Jutanugarn.
    Previous tournament: Georgia Hall won the Women's British Open.
    Notes: Thompson, who won the inaugural tournament, skipped the Women's British Open because she said she needed time to herself after an emotionally draining year. She said she would return to defend at the Indy Women in Tech Championship. ... Thompson, who missed a 2-foot putt at the CME Group Tour Championship last year that would have moved her to No. 1 in the world, has not won this year. She now is No. 5 in the world and No. 16 on the LPGA Tour money list. ... Ariya Jutanugarn, the U.S. Women's Open champion and dominant player on the LPGA Tour this year, is in the field. Also playing is So Yeon Ryu, who is No. 2 in the world. ... The field features five of the top six in the world, missing only Inbee Park.
    Next week: CP Women's Canadian Open.
    Online: www.lpga.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    The Cleveland Indians' top four starters all came in trades from other teams.

    ABOUT THE NEW STARTERS

    Losing Trevor Bauer to a stress fracture of the right fibula is a significant injury. The All-Star pitcher was hit in the leg with a line drive last week. The Indians still aren't sure if he'll be back this season.

    The durable Bauer (12-6, 2.22 ERA) will make a major effort to return.

    Adam Plutko takes Bauer's spot in the rotation, meaning two of the Tribe's five starters are now rookies. And that's not a reason to panic.

    Plutko has filled in a few times this season, and he has a 4-2 record with a 4.75 ERA. While the ERA is a bit high, the 26-year-old right-hander has the makings of a solid starter.

    Plutko is 7-3 with a 1.70 ERA at Class AAA this season.

    The other rookie is Shane Bieber, who is 6-2 with a 4.37 ERA. He has better pure stuff than Plutko. Like Plutko, Bieber's ERA is somewhat high and doesn't reflect how well he has pitched.

    Most teams would be overjoyed to have two young starters like Plutko and Bieber at the bottom of their rotation. The Indians' rotation has a 3.33 ERA. In the American League, only Houston (3.06 ERA) is better.

    The Indians have endured the loss of Danny Salazar, the 2016 All-Star who had shoulder surgery and hasn't pitched at all this season. Josh Tomlin opened as the fifth starter and had a dreadful season (0-5, 6.98 ERA). He pulled a hamstring and is now pitching at Class AAA Columbus on a rehabilitation assignment.

    The rotation remains strong with Corey Kluber (15-6, 2.68 ERA), Carlos Carrasco (14-6, 3.50 ERA) and Mike Clevinger (8-7, 3.38 ERA) still healthy.

    The ascension of Plutko and Bieber is a tribute to scouting and the Tribe's farm system. Both were highly successful college pitchers, but neither was considered an elite prospect.

    In 2013, Plutko led UCLA to the College World Series, where he was named the MVP. He finished that season with a 10-3 record and a 2.25 ERA.

    But Plutko averaged only 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings. His average fastball was about 90 mph. He had a slight stress fracture in his right shoulder. Teams backed away. He dropped into the 11th round, where the Tribe grabbed him with the 321st pick. He signed for $300,000 and worked his way up to the majors.

    Bieber went from being a walk-on at California-Santa Barbara to leading that school to its first-ever College World Series. Bieber had a 12-4 record and 2.74 ERA in his final college season. In 135 innings, he walked only 16 compared to 109 strikeouts. In three post-season starts, Bieber had a 1.48 ERA.

    But the story was the same when the draft came. Just as scouts were underwhelmed with Plutko's 90 mph fastball, Bieber didn't throw much harder. Despite a spectacular college career, Bieber dropped into the fourth round - and the Tribe took him with the 122nd pick in the 2016 draft.


    Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals, May 11, 2018Yonder Alonso is having a better year than Carlos Santana.  

    ABOUT ALONSO vs. SANTANA

    The Indians did try to re-sign Carlos Santana. I heard they offered him a multi-year deal worth about $13 million annually. Santana checked out the free agent market and hit the $60 million jackpot for three years. That contract came from the Philadelphia Phillies, who wildly out-bid everyone else.

    The Indians were not about to give the 32-year-old Santana the same $60 million deal they handed to Edwin Encarnacion before the 2017 season.

    With the Phillies, Santana is batting .215 (.745 OPS) with 17 HR and 67 RBI. The Phillies insist they are pleased with Santana, appreciating his .349 on-base percentage. But they must have expected more for that kind of investment.

    Once Santana was gone, the Indians signed Yonder Alonso to a 2-year, $16 million deal. It was a bit of a gamble. Alonso hit 28 HR in 2017, by far his career-high. The most he'd ever hit in any season before that was nine.

    Alonso had changed his swing to more of an uppercut. He did that at 29 in 2017. So was the new power a fluke, or real? The Indians believed it was real and installed Alonso at first base.

    He entered the weekend batting .249 (.757 OPS) with 20 HR and 70 RBI. He's having a better year than Santana.

    It has turned out to be a wise move.

    ABOUT FREE AGENTS

    Besides Santana, the Indians decided to let some other free agents leave after 2017. Here's how they have performed:

    1. Joe Smith signed a 2-year, $15 million deal with Houston. The right-handed reliever spent a month on the disabled list, but overall has performed well: 4-1, 3.58 ERA.

    2. Bryan Shaw signed a 3-year, $27 million deal with Colorado. He is 4-5 with a 6.31 ERA. He also spent some time on the disabled list. Since the All-Star break, Shaw has an 2.16 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. In general, it has been a very rocky year for the righty reliever.

    3. Jay Bruce signed a 3-year, $39 million deal with the Mets. He is batting .212 with three HR and 17 RBI. He has played only 62 games and been out since June 19 with a hip injury.

    4. Austin Jackson signed a 2-year, $6 million deal with San Francisco. He was traded to Texas on July 11. He was released by the Rangers three days later. He signed with the Mets. Jackson is batting .281 (.718 OPS) with two HR and 22 RBI in 76 games this season.

    5. Boone Logan signed a $2.1 million deal with Milwaukee. He had a 5.91 ERA in 16 games and was released on June 24.

    6. Kyle Crockett signed a minor-league deal with Cincinnati. He had a 5.75 ERA in 9 1/3 innings with the Reds. He has a 3.38 ERA for Cincinnati's Class AAA Louisville team.

    Cleveland Indians, Spring Training, in Goodyear, ArizonaThe Indians have to figure out a way to get more at bats for Yandy Diaz.  

    ABOUT YANDY DIAZ

    1. Some fans have asked about Diaz playing the outfield. Diaz was a second baseman in Cuba. He played mostly third in the minors for the Tribe. This season in Class AAA, Diaz played 73 games at third base, 12 at first. The Indians feel comfortable about his defense at either spot.

    2. In 2017, the Tribe tried to make Diaz into an outfielder. He played only three games there, and it wasn't pretty. He played 30 games in the outfield in Class AAA in 2017, and he had problems.

    3. The Indians could platoon Diaz with Alonso at first base for the rest of this season. A lefty hitter, Alonso is batting .230 (.645 OPS) vs. lefties. A year ago, it was .181 (.679 OPS) vs. lefties. Diaz is a right-handed hitter who hits about everyone well.

    4. Now, it's up to manager Terry Francona to find a spot for Diaz to play at least a few times a week. For now, he can be the DH as Edwin Encarnacion is out with a bicep injury.

    5. Diaz entered the weekend batting .524 (11-for-21) with the Tribe. Since the 2017 All-Star break, he's a .348 hitter (39-for-112) in limited big-league duty. After batting .319 (.848 OPS) in 1,235 Class AAA plate appearances, it makes little sense for the 27-year-old Diaz to spend any more time in Columbus. Francona recently told the media: "At some point, he is going to hit in the middle of the lineup."

    6. Francona shot down the idea of moving second baseman Jason Kipnis to the outfield, opening up third base for Diaz. Jose Ramirez would switch from third to second base under that plan: "We're going to keep (Kipnis) right where he is."

    7. In some ways, Diaz is facing the same roadblock as Jesus Aguilar. The Indians put Aguilar on waivers before the 2017 spring training. He was out of minor-league options. The first baseman/DH had Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion in front of him. He showed far more power in the minors than Diaz. But Diaz is a pure hitter who is big league ready.

    8. At the age of 28, Aguilar has become an All-Star with Milwaukee. He entered the weekend batting .280 (.950 OPS) with 29 HR and 87 RBI. When it comes to Diaz, the Indians know they have to find a way to keep him. That probably will lead to more Kipnis trade rumors in the off-season.

    ABOUT THE INDIANS

    1. If the Indians reach down to Class AAA Columbus for a reliever, it could be Jon Edwards. He is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA, 38 strikeouts and only six walks in 26 innings. The 30-year-old was signed as a minor-league free agent before the season.

    2. In 2015, Edwards pitched 25 innings for Texas and San Diego with a 4.32 ERA out of the bullpen. He missed the next two seasons (2016-17) because of injuries. He is healthy now and on the Tribe's radar.

    3. While there is much talk in the media and among fans about the Tribe adding an outfielder, the performance of Melky Cabrera has taken away some of the urgency. He was with the Tribe early this season, batting only .207.

    4. The Indians brought Cabrera back to Cleveland after the All-Star break. Since then, he's hitting .311 (.822 OPS) with three HR and nine RBI. The 34-year-old Cabrera is a veteran switch-hitter with a .285 (.752 OPS) career average.

    5. The Indians believe if Cabrera continues to hit well while playing right field, they can live with Greg Allen and Rajai Davis splitting the duties in center.

    6. The Indians are excited about the recovery of Leonys Martin from a life-threatening bacterial infection. He is out of intensive care and making real progress. But it's very doubtful the center fielder will be well enough to play this season.

    7. Brandon Guyer has come out of a first-half funk. Since the All-Star break, Guyer is batting .289 (.904 OPS) with three HR and nine RBI in 40 plate appearances. The Indians are desperate for Guyer, Cabrera and another outfielder to be productive.


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    Notes and observations from Ohio State's final practice of fall camp, including a stab at Ohio State's two-deep depth chart. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Thoughts and observations from Ohio State's practice on Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. It was the Buckeyes' final practice of camp, with two weeks until the season opener on Sept. 1 against Oregon State. Here's what we saw:

    We were permitted to watch the first 20-25 minutes of practice, about half of that stretching. So don't take this as gospel when it comes to how the Buckeyes will line up in two weeks. But here's my stab at a two-deep depth chart:

    OFFENSE

    Quarterback: Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell.

    Running back: J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber.

    H-back: Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill.

    X Receiver: Austin Mack, Ben Victor.

    Z Receiver: Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon.

    Tight end: Luke Farrell, Rashod Berry.

    Left tackle: Thayer Munford, Josh Alabi.

    Left guard: Malcolm Pridgeon, Branden Bowen.

    Center: Michael Jordan, Brady Taylor.

    Right guard: Demetrius Knox, Wyatt Davis.

    Right tackle: Isaiah Prince, Nicholas Petit-Frere.

    DEFENSE

    Defensive end: Nick Bosa, Jashon Cornell.

    Defensive tackle: Robert Landers, Davon Hamilton.

    Defensive tackle: Dre'Mont Jones, Tommy Togiai OR Taron Vincent.

    Defensive end: Chase Young, Jonathon Cooper.

    Sam linebacker: Pete Werner, Dante Booker.

    Mike linebacker: Tuf Borland, Baron Browning.

    Will linebacker: Malik Harrison, Keandre Jones.

    Cornerback: Kendall Sheffield, Jeffrey Okudah.

    Safety: Jordan Fuller, Amir Riep.

    Safety: Isaiah Pryor, Jahsen Wint.

    Cornerback: Damon Arnette, Shaun Wade.

    That's a stab based on being able to catch quick glances of things on Saturday. Here are some other thoughts and observations from practice:

    * A couple of players were held out for various reasons and some for unknown injuries. Safety Marcus Hooker -- who had his right arm in sling -- was not dressed, neither were receivers Kamryn Babb (ACL) and Ellijah Gardiner, and offensive lineman Gavin Cupp.

    Offensive tackles Thayer Munford and Max Wray, receiver Parris Campbell and defensive tackle Jerron Cage were dressed, but seemed limited. When the team was running sprints during warmups, neither Munford nor Campbell participated.

    What happened at Ohio State practice: Video from Saturday

    * One name that was noticeably absent from the written practice update from acting head coach Ryan Day on Friday was that of Demario McCall. On Saturday I saw McCall working at H-back behind K.J. Hill and C.J. Saunders. Also keep in mind that Campbell was being held out of what we saw, so that to me says that McCall is No. 4 on the depth chart at the position. He was, however, the first-team punt returner and I expect him to return kicks too. Still not sure how he fits into the picture on offense just yet.

    * Right after the stretching period ended, the team jumped immediately into a live, competitive fourth-and-1 drill with the third-team offense and defense. Guessing that was a way to get the juices flowing early.

    Master Teague was the third-team running back, which is is interesting considering he and Brian Snead are competing to back up J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, and Snead has already lost his black stripe. Teague got the first down, for whatever that's worth.

    * The two young receivers who seem to be in best position to get some time behind all of the returning guys are sophomore Jaylen Harris at X behind Austin Mack and Ben Victor, and freshman Chris Olave at Z behind Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon. I'm really intrigued by Olave, who reminds me a lot of Devin Smith. I don't see much of an opening for either to play significantly this year, but they're next in line.

    * Punt returners on Saturday were, in order: McCall, Saunders and K.J. Hill.

    * I think one of the more interesting positions to watch, and certainly one we don't think about a whole lot, is who gets put out there as a shield on punt team. Those are the guys who block for the punter behind the line, and they're usually guys who have earned a lot of trust. That's why Urban Meyer loved putting Sam Hubbard in one of those spots. Pete Werner and Jonathon Cooper were there on the first-team punt team, but I was more interested in seeing freshman linebacker Terajda Mitchell with the second team, making the calls.

    Mitchell has already lost his black stripe and is getting a reputation for a physical guy in his first camp. It's hard to see how he gets on the field for meaningful defensive snaps with Tuf Borland, Baron Browning and Justin Hilliard ahead at Mike linebacker, but I expect Mitchell to have an important role on special teams.

    * I'm all in on Michael Jordan as starting center. He was taking first-team reps again on Saturday, though the status of Brady Taylor was a little unclear. In the portion of line play I watched, Taylor was off to the side with his helmet off. Perhaps he's dealing with something. Either way, I think the search for the best five linemen is going to end with Jordan at center.

    * Day said in his update on Friday that Thayer Munford is battling Josh Alabi for the left tackle spot. I don't really buy that. I think it's Munford's job, but while he was limited on Saturday, Alabi was getting first-team reps.

    * Still hard to get a feel for how defensive tackle will shake out behind Dre'Mont Jones and Robert Landers, but it seems like freshmen Tommy Togiai and Taron Vincent (in whatever order you choose) are right there. Still think Davon Hamilton is the third tackle, for lack of a better description. But seeing Togiai and Vincent on Saturday, I'm buying what Day said Friday when he said "there are some individuals in that freshman class who are positioning themselves to play this fall."


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    Josh Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday, but vows to put his sobriety first.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Josh Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday with a vow to put his sobriety and mental well-being at the forefront.

    Gordon, who's been in a treatment program at the University of Florida, announced on Twitter Saturday that he's back with the Browns, but that he must continue to work hard on staying clean and sober.

    League spokesman Brian McCarthy told cleveland.com that Gordon's return to the team is 'part of the process. (He continues) to make progress. No timetable for the next steps.''

    He said Gordon's treatment plan, which falls under the NFL's policy on substances of abuse, is a collaborative effort on the part of the league, the Browns and Gordon and his representatives. The NFLPA is also kept apprised of the protocol.

    Gordon, who's been suspended for 56 of a possible 96 games, did not fail a test, and therefore is not facing another indefinite suspension.

    He'll be moved from the "did not report'' list to the active/non-football injury list and will count against the roster. The Browns must clear a spot for him, and he can return to practice as soon as he's medically cleared.

    McCarthy said Gordon can attend all meetings and conditioning sessions, but can't practice yet. He can watch practice, but not participate. If all goes well, he can be on the field for the opener against the Steelers Sept. 9th. It's not yet known if he'll play in the dress rehearsal game Thursday night against the Eagles.

    Haslam alluded to Gordon's addiction struggles when discussing his absence

    Gordon's return does not preclude the Browns from signing three-time Pro Bowler Dez Bryant, who visited the team on Thursday and Friday. Talks with Bryant are ongoing, and coach Hue Jackson said Friday night that it "was a good visit.''

    Shortly after Gordon tweeted his return, the Browns issued a statement from him and general manager John Dorsey.

    "First off, we are pleased for Josh,'' Dorsey said. "His overall health and well-being is what is most important. We commend Josh for his hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself. We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates.

    "As he assimilates back to our team, Josh will initially participate in meetings and conditioning and will gradually resume all football activities as deemed appropriate.''

    Gordon, who's been to inpatient rehab at least five times, agreed in his statement that his sobriety is paramount.

    Dear Cleveland Browns and NFL family,

     "Thank you for your love, support, and most importantly your patience as I took the time needed to ensure my overall mental and physical health.

     "More specifically, I would like to thank the NFL, NFLPA, the entire Cleveland Browns organization, the University of Florida, and my friend and business manager Michael Johnson Jr. for playing such pivotal roles during this process. This has by no means been an easy road and I'm extremely grateful to have all of you in my life.

     "As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being.

    "Let's get to work!

     Much love,

    JG''

    Gordon has struggled since middle school with substance abuse, and told GQ Magazine last season that he played every college and pro game either drunk or high before returning for the final five games of last season.

    He had been suspended for 54 of his previous 59 games before returning last season, and 44 straight.

    Gordon has admitted to using codeine, marijuana, Xanas and other drugs.

    "Initially it started for me, [because of] a lot of childhood and adolescent trauma-based fear,'' he told GQ. "I was using in my childhood. That environment brought me into that a lot sooner than a normal. ...I didn't want to feel anxiety, I didn't want to feel fear.

    "I didn't plan on living to 18. Day-to-day life, what's gonna happen next? So you self-medicate with Xanax, with marijuana, codeine--to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day. That became the norm from middle school to high school. So by the time I got into my 20s, I was on an accelerated pace.''

    Gordon recalled his first experience with Xanax in seventh grade.

    "Truthfully, that's where it started from for me,'' he said. "The anxiety, the fitting in and stuff. Not being comfortable with who I was. Socially, I felt awkward, talking with people, telling them where I was living. Other kids have nicer stuff than you, "you're poor" type of shit. A lot of inadequacy, I think, is the reason why I initially got into it.''

    In addition to his addiction struggles, Gordon is involved in a bitter child support battle with Christina Lockhart, the mother of his three-year-old daughter.

    Court records show that Gordon had a hearing just days before he announced he would miss the start of camp to work on his overall health. 

    Gordon and the Browns know that life must taken in one-day-at-a-time-increments for the former All-Pro wideout.


     


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    Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith lost his black stripe on Saturday.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State freshman and former Cleveland Heights defensive end Tyreke Smith is the latest player to lose his black stripe on Saturday, meaning he has officially become a Buckeye. Smith's mother tweeted out the news in the morning.

    Smith is the seventh member of Ohio State's 2018 recruiting class to lose his black stripe. In his recruiting class, he was the No. 4 weakside defensive end and No. 34 overall player according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings. 

    Follow along with our 2018 black stripe tracker.


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    Doug, Bill and Tim discuss Ohio State's linebackers with two weeks until the season opener against Oregon State. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maybe it's not surprising if you follow the trail of guys Urban Meyer can't stop talking about. Pete Werner certainly fits that bill. Meyer loves him, and gave him an important role on special teams last year as a true freshman.

    It seems Werner's rise is continuing, though, to the point where it looks like he'll be one of the three starting linebackers when Ohio State opens the season in two weeks against Oregon State.

    At Saturday's practice, the first-team linebackers were Werner at Sam linebacker, Tuf Borland in the middle and Malik Harrison at Will linebacker. Borland and Harrison? Not surprising, though Borland is not expected to be ready for the opener as he continues his road back from an Achilles injury in the spring.

    Werner? Mildly surprising when you think about him jumping over the likes of the oft-injured Dante Booker and junior Keandre Jones for one of those outside spots.

    Linebacker is arguably the most intriguing position on the team when you combine the need for improvement from last year, the young guys like Werner and Baron  Browning vying for starting jobs, Borland's injury and older guys like Booker and Justin Hilliard looking to overcome injury histories and finally to a solidified role on the defense.

    How will that all shake out before the Oregon State game on Sept. 1?

    Doug Lesmerises, Bill Landis and Tim Bielik discussed the position more in depth in the video above.


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    Baggett, 6-5, 245 pounds, originally signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in May.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns have placed WR Josh Gordon on the active/non-football illness list and signed TE Stephen Baggett.

    To make room on the roster, the team has waived TE Julian Allen (abdomen) with an injury designation and DB Micah Hannemann.

    Gordon returns to the Browns, vows to put sobriety first

    From the Browns' release, Baggett, 6-5, 245 pounds, originally signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in May. He played collegiately at East Carolina for four years, registering 18 career receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown. He's a native of Beaufort, S.C.

    Allen signed with the Browns after he participated in team's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis in the spring. He totaled 22 catches for 298 yards in two seasons at Southern Mississippi. Hannemann was an undrafted free agent who played 44 career games at BYU and accrued 123 tackles, 12 pass breakups, four interceptions and one sack.


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    Master Teague and Jeremy Ruckert became the latest Ohio State freshmen to lose their black stripes.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two more offensive skill players from Ohio State's 2018 recruiting class lost their black stripes, meaning they have officially become part of the team.

    Running back Master Teague from Tennessee and tight end Jeremy Ruckert from New York both lost their stripes after Saturday's practice.

    Nine members of Ohio State's 2018 class have now lost their black stripe. Get caught up with our black stripe tracker here.


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    Gordon might be ready to play against the Steelers Sept. 9.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns are hoping Josh Gordon will be ready to roll when the Steelers come to town for the opener Sept. 9.

    "There's a chance,'' coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Saturday. "Obviously, we're just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we'll just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game."

    Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday from a treatment program at the University of Florida, and was placed on the active/non-football injury list. It means he can start practicing as soon as his medical team gives him the green light. In the meantime, he can attend meetings and conditioning sessions.

    NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told cleveland.com that "there's no timetable'' for the next steps, but the Browns hope to get Gordon back on the field soon. He probably won't be ready in time for Thursday's third preseason game against the Eagles, but could see action in the preseason finale against Detroit.

    "We're going to take it day by day,'' said Jackson. "We've not been around him in quite a while. He needs to be back with his teammates and we have to see how that all unfolds, back around the coaches and just getting him back integrated into our system and into how we go about doing things here every day and getting him back to playing football.''

    Jackson sat down with Gordon Saturday and believes he's "in a really solid place. He's really excited to be back and ready to get going. He'll continue to make progress. We're very happy to have him back in the building.''

    Jackson noted that Gordon, who vowed to put his sobriety and mental health first, must "earn the right to be back out there. Nothing is going to be given. He doesn't just walk right out and become the starting X on our team. He's going to have to earn that.''

    In Gordon's absence, Antonio Callaway has been the X receiver. Before him, it was Corey Coleman, who was traded Aug. 5 to the Bills.

    "There have been quite a few players that have been here the whole time that have worked extremely hard,'' said Jackson. "We're going to keep going that way. At some point in time when we think it's right, we'll stick him back out there.''

    Jackson, who kept in touch with Gordon during his absence, said he never lost trust in the receiver.

    "Obviously, he was doing something to put himself in a better place, which is very important,'' said Jackson. "What's very important is that he continues to do the things that the organization has set forth and that the football team has set forth. Josh understands that and is willing to do that.''

    Jackson's not worried that welcoming Gordon back sends a mixed message to the players, who have been warned the Browns have a low tolerance for off-the-field issues.

    "I don't think this is behavioral, though,'' he said. "Our players know that there's a line here. Josh wanted to put himself in a better position so that he didn't cross that line. They see a guy who was dealing with something that's been in his life that he wanted to make sure when he was back that it would not reoccur. He put himself in the best position to come in, help his teammates win and be in a better place."

    Jackson believes Gordon has developed chemistry and understanding of the offense in OTAs and minicamp.    

    "There will be some things to build on,'' said Jackson. "How fast can that become in sync as well as we would like it to be? We just have to kind of work through that day by day."

    Jackson said Gordon's return has nothing to do with whether or not the Browns sign Dez Bryant, but a league source said Bryant is not currently on the front burner. The Browns, however, will continue to look at receivers because they know Gordon has to take things one day at a time.

    "As many good football players that we can put on this team, it becomes a better offensive football team,'' said Jackson. "They all will play off of each other. No question about that. The more guys that you have, the more people can't do certain things to Jarvis (Landry), the more people cannot do certain things to (the other receivers).''

    He has allowed himself to envision an offense with Gordon, Landry and Callaway on the field.

    "I'll be even more excited once that really happens and once he's out there playing and he's earned the trust of his teammates and coaches and he's out there contributing to our football team,'' said Jackson.

    He made no guarantees that Gordon is back for good. This was at least his fifth time in treatment, and Gordon admitted that "this has by no means been an easy road'' in a Browns' release announcing his return.

    "I'm confident that he's here," said Jackson. "That's the most important part. How long he stays, only Josh knows that, but he's in a much better place.

    "I think all those things, as you guys know, are always fluid. That's always a concern, but at the same time, we're here to support, help and try to create the right environments for Josh."


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    The Indians activated right-hander Adam Plutko for Saturday's start against the Orioles.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Indians activated right-hander Adam Plutko to start against the Orioles on Saturday at Progressive Field. Left-hander Tyler Olson was optioned to Class AAA Columbus to make room.

    This is Plutko's sixth tour with the Tribe this season. He's gone 4-2 with a save and a 4.75 ERA. The rookie has appeared in nine games, including four starts.

    Plutko, at Class AAA Columbus, is 7-3 with a 1.70 ERA in 14 starts. He's thrown one no-hitter and flirted with another for the Clippers. This will be his first start in the big leagues since June 30.

    The Indians, who honored new Hall of Famer before the game, said the game was a sellout. It's their eighth sellout of the season.

    ORIOLES

    CF Cedric Mullins.

    2B Jonathan Villar.

    LF Trey Mancini.

    DH Mark Trumbo.

    1B Chris Davis.

    3B Renato Nunez.

    SS Tim Beckham.

    RF Craig Gentry.

    C Austin Wynns.

    RHP Alex Cobb, 3-15, 5.31.

    INDIANS

    SS Francisco Lindor.

    LF Michael Brantley.

    3B Jose Ramirez.

    DH Yandy Diaz.

    1B Yonder Alonso.

    RF Melky Cabrera.

    2B Jason Kipnis.

    C Yan Gomes.

    CF Greg Allen.

    RHP Adam Plutko, 4-2, 4.75.

    UMPIRES

    H Nic Lentz.

    1B Jordan Baker.

    2B Jerry Layne, crew chief.

    3B Greg Gibson.


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    Bryant is no longer on the front burner, a league source tells cleveland.com.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Dez Bryant is no longer on the front burner for the Browns, but not because Josh Gordon has returned to the team, a league source told cleveland.com.

    Bryant left town without a contract on Friday, and the two sides did not come close to an agreement. Bryant is seeking a one-year "prove-it'' deal and wants to play for a contender. But the asking price may be too high for the Browns. In April, Bryant turned down a three-year, $21 million offer from the Ravens.

    The three-time Pro Bowler will remain on the Browns' radar, but they're not expected to sign him anytime soon.

    Coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Saturday that Gordon's return wouldn't preclude the Browns from signing Bryant, but it appears that ship has sailed for now.

    "No, I think one has nothing to do with the other in my opinion,'' Jackson said. "Again, things will unfold as they will. The most important thing we know is that Josh is here, and again, we've had a good conversation with Dez and until he's a Cleveland Brown, I can only worry about the guys that are on this football team.''

    Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday from a long stint in treatment at the University of Florida. He's on the active/non-football injury list, meaning he can start practicing as soon as his doctors clear him.

    Gordon returns to the Browns, vows to put sobriety first

    Jackson said 'there's a chance' Gordon can be ready for the opener if he's cleared in time to prepare. Currently, he can attend meetings and workouts, but not  participate in practice.

    Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler cut by the Cowboys in April, visited the Browns on Thursday and Friday but left without a contract. The two sides were impressed with each other and had a good visit, but if they had been close on a deal, he probably would have signed by now.

    The Browns will continue to look at receivers because no one is sure if Gordon will stick around for the whole season.

    "I'm confident that he's here and I think that's the most important part,'' said Jackson. "You know, how long he stays, only Josh knows that, but I think he's in a much better place. I think we feel very good about where he is, but again, all those things, as you guys know, are always fluid. That's always a concern, but at the same time, we're here to support, help and try to create the right environments for Josh."


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    Jim Thome's Hall of Fame ceremony at Progressive Field included one more walk-off trip around the bases and a mobbing at home plate by his former teammates. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Jim Thome hit nine of his MLB-record 13 walk-off home runs at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario for the Cleveland Indians, but Saturday's trip around the bases at Progressive Field was unique.

    It was the first time he did so as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    A recording of Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton calling some of Thome's most notable walk-off homers played over the loudspeaker, and fireworks shot into the sky as Thome donned a jersey and trotted along the base paths accompanied by his son, Landon.

    "A swing and a drive... to deep right field... wayyyy back... Gone!"

    Thome's former teammates from the Indians 1990s championship era mobbed him at home plate, splashing him with water and pounding on his head the way they all celebrated so many times during his 11 seasons with the Tribe.

    When it was over, Thome's name and number 25 hung high beyond the right field wall, immortalized among all of the franchise's legends.

    "That gave me chills, for sure," Thome said during his remarks to the sold-out crowd. "To see my number in the rafters in the company of Feller, Boudreau, Averill, Lemon, Doby and Jackie Robinson -- that's some Field of Dreams stuff right there."

     

    Thome, a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee on July 29, has spent the weeks since his induction visiting cities where he played during his illustrious 22-year career. Last week, he spoke in Chicago, where the White Sox presented him with a giant-sized bat. Philadelphia marked his induction back on June 14, the anniversary of his 400th career home run. Next weekend, the Minnesota Twins will pass out Thome bobbleheads.

    With a dozen of Thome's teammates from the 1990s looking on, the Indians presented their all-time franchise leader in home runs with a pair of original Jacobs Field seats bearing the numbers 6 and 25 (the two numbers he wore for with the club) and a giant mosaic "25" adorned with photos of his career in Cleveland.

    Thome's wife, Andrea, his daughter Lila along with Landon and Jim's father, Chuck, were also on hand for the ceremony.

    Mike Hargrove, Charlie Manuel, Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar Jr, Paul Assenmacher, Chad Ogea, Paul Shuey, Alvaro Espinoza, Wayne Kirby and Einar Diaz attended the ceremony and each wore Thome-style high red socks with their pants hitched up.

    "To this day, these guys are my brothers," Thome said turning to his teammates. "Please know I wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame without your talent."

    During his remarks, Thome noted that in Chicago all of the current Indians players and manager Terry Francona stood at the top step of the dugout to hear him speak.

    "This organization was first class all the way," he said, thanking owner Paul Dolan and his family for throwing a raucous party during hall of fame weekend in Cooperstown.

    Thome thanked a litany of behind-the-scenes folks associated with his time in Cleveland, including director of media relations Bart Swain and former trainers Paul Spicuzza and the late Jim Warfield.

    Then, he turned his attention to the fans.

    "There's no place better than the corner of Ontario and Carnegie," Thome said. "Trust me, it was a privilege to play in front of some of the best fans in sports. Thank you for letting me be a part of this family."

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    The Indians' six-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday at Progressive Field.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Alex Cobb has lost 15 games this season. The Orioles, the team that pays him, has already been eliminated from the AL East race.

    But Cobb still knows how to beat the Indians. He did it back in 2013 when the Terry Francona express was just starting to gain steam in Cleveland. He did it again on Saturday, ruining Jim Thome Day for Indians fans.

    Cobb beat the Tribe in the 2013 wild-card game, 4-0, while pitching for Tampa Bay. On Saturday, he pitched the Orioles past the Indians, 4-2, in front of a sellout crowd that came to see Thome, the Indians' newest Hall of Famer, have his No. 25 retired.

    The loss ended the Indians' six-game winning streak. It was just their third loss in the last 14 games.

    Rookie Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.62) pitched well in his return to the rotation for injured Trevor Bauer. He allowed a three-run homer to Jonathan Villar in the third and that was it over seven innings.

    "Early on he wasn't commanding," said Francona. "He was pitching from behind and paid for it. Then he really reeled it in and pitched like he can pitch. He pitched ahead, commanded his fastball, started using his breaking ball and really pitched well."

    Plukto struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits.

    Cobb (4-15, 5.10) was just better. He held the Indians to one hit through the first five innings. They made it a 3-2 game in the sixth on Francisco Lindor's single and Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly.

    Yan Gomes and Greg Allen made the runs possible with consecutive one-out singles from the bottom of the order. Allen's single extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

    The inning ended when Lindor was caught stealing with Jose Ramirez at the plate. Asked what he thought of Lindor's aggressiveness, Francona said, "I like his aggressiveness, but I also like when he's safe. But again, the ballpark was playing so big today (wind blowing in from center field), that your chances of getting a single were a heck of a lot better than a home run."

    The Indians had a chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth, but couldn't convert. Ramirez drew a leadoff walk and hustled to third on Yonder Alonso's one-out single to right. But the inning ended when Melky Cabrera bounced into a first-pitch 4-6-3 double play.

    Should Francona have told Cabrera to at least take one pitch?

    "We felt like we were in a really good spot with a ton of speed on the bases," said Francona. "You hate to ever tell a hitter to take.

    "It was over so fast. But I wasn't really referring to that at-bat. We felt like we were in a great place, but eventually, we weren't. But, like I said, I don't think you can take the bat out of a guy's hands."

    The Orioles added an important insurance run in the eighth when rookie Cedric Mullins hit two-out homer off Neil Ramirez for a 4-2 lead. It was the first big-league homer for Mullins and the ninth Ramirez has allowed in 31 2/3 innings.

    Ramirez has allowed five of the nine homers in his last 9 2/3, which has left Francona and Ramirez frustrated.

    "It's hard to figure out when he's going to give them up," said Francona. "A lot of pitchers will lead you to it. Like you see them struggling.

    "But, he can strikeout two and then leave one in the middle and it gets whacked. It's frustrating. I know it's frustrating for him, because he's throwing the ball really well."

    The complete-game five-hitter was Cobb's first of the season and the fourth of his career. His last complete game was Aug. 31, 2013 against the A's.

    "He had a really good splitter, a curve ball he can throw at any count," said Alonso. "That's a guy right there who had a lot of rhythm and control of the strike zone. He used our aggressiveness against us."

    Cobb entered Saturday's game 1-8 in his last 12 starts. The win made him 4-2 in his career against the Indians. He's 3-1 at Progressive Field.

    What it means

    The race in the AL West can't get any tighter, which means the Indians aren't sure where they'll be headed in the ALDS should they hang onto first place in the AL Central.

    Oakland beat Houston, 7-1, at the Coliseum on Saturday to move into a first-place tie with the Astros. The A's have won two straight against the Astros, while the Houston has lost eight of its last 11 games.

    The A's and Oakland are not only tied for the AL West lead, but the second wild card spot, three games behind the Yankees. The Indians trail the AL West leaders by 3 1/2 games for the right to host the best-of-five ALDS in October.

    Houston still leads the season series with the A's, 9-6.

    The pitches

    Plutko threw 97 pitches, 60 (62 percent) for strikes. Cobb threw 99 pitches, 68 (69 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Orioles and Indians drew a sellout crowd of 35,007 Saturday afternoon to Progressive Field. First pitch was at 4:07 p.m. with a temperature of 79.

    It was the eighth sellout of the season for the Indians.

    Next

    Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (8-7, 3.38) will face Orioles right-hander Yelfry Ramirez (1-4, 5.40) on Sunday in the final game of the season series between the two times. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. with SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS carrying the game.


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    Check here for the live final-round leaderboard for the European Tour's Nordea Masters 2018 on Sunday, Aug. 19, in Sweden.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Paul Waring and Thomas Aiken were tied for the lead entering the final round of the European Tour's Nordea Masters on Sunday, Aug. 19, in Sweden.

    Waring and Aiken carded 12-under through 54 holes. Thorbjorn Olesen and Marc Warren were tied for third at 9-under.

    EUROPEAN TOUR
    NORDEA MASTERS
    Site: Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Course: Hills GC. Yardage: 7,169. Par: 71.
    Purse: 1.5 million euros. Winner's share: 250,000 euros.
    Television: Sunday, 7-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).
    Defending champion: Renato Paratore.
    Race to Dubai leader: Francesco Molinari.
    Previous week: Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship.
    Notes: Local favorite Henrik Stenson is skipping the tournament to defend his title at the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour. ... The tournament began in 1991 with Colin Montgomerie holding off a charge from Seve Ballesteros to win by one shot. ... The Nordea Masters for the last several years had been held the week before the U.S. Open. ... Three weeks remain for Europeans to try to earn one of eight automatic spots for the Ryder Cup team. The field includes Thorbjorn Olesen, who is one spot out of earning one of the four spots through European Tour earnings. ... Most of the Europeans will be playing in the FedExCup, where the focus will be on the world ranking points instead of points earned through European Tour earnings. ... Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer is in the field. ... Among those playing on sponsor's exemptions are Dru Love, the son of Davis Love III; and Anthony Paolucci, who grew up in junior golf competing with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Rodgers.
    Next week: D+D Real Czech Masters.
    Online: www.europeantour.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    Fake Tweet on Trevor Bauer's recovery timetable from stress fracture of right fibula fools MLB Network, ESPN. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A fake tweet about Trevor Bauer's injury and timetable for recovery was reported as fact by MLB Network and ESPN on Friday and the Indians' right-hander wants a retraction.

    The Indians announced Friday that Bauer will miss four to six weeks with a stress fracture of his right fibula. He was hit just above his right ankle by a line drive off the bat of Jose Abreu on Aug. 11 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    After news of Bauer's timetable was released, Michael Baumann of The Ringer tweeted:

    MLB Network's Quick Pitch shared the tweet as a lead-in to Friday's highlight package of the Indians' game against Baltimore. ESPN also shared the tweet on SportsCenter, reporting Baumann's statements as fact.

    When Bauer saw the tweet he responded this way on social media:

    Then Bauer asked for a retraction:

    Baumann later tweeted:

    Bauer told reporters Friday that he is "furious" about having his career season derailed by injury. When he was asked if there was any way to hasten the healing, he jokingly said, "There's a lot of stuff we're trying. Unfortunately all the good stuff is illegal. We've got to stick with the legal stuff."

    When asked about his recovery timetable -- this was before manager Terry Francona said it was four to six weeks -- Bauer said: "Between tomorrow and never. We'll find out. You're going to get a very different answer if you ask me that question and the medical staff that question. Probably should defer to the doctors on that."

    Bauer said he'll be back before the postseason.

    Baumann's original Tweet referred to CIA nanites. Nanites are microscopic mechanisms. Colloidal silver is a reported cure-all that supposedly will boost the immune system.