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Updated: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 01:15:57 EST


McIlroy finishes strong to widen lead

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — If history is any indication, Rory McIlroy is a shoo-in to raise the claret jug in a few hours.

McIlroy has followed consecutive 66's with a 4-under 68 to get to 16-under through 54 holes of the British Open at Royal Liverpool, six strokes ahead of Rickie Fowler. No one has ever lost a six-shot lead in the 121 years that The Open has been contested over 72 holes.

Fowler grabbed a share of the lead when McIlroy bogeyed the 12th hole. McIlroy went on a closing blitz that featured a 35-foot birdie putt on 14 and eagles on 16 and 18. He's trying to add the British Open title to his wins at the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship.

Fowler bogeyed 14 and 16 on the way to a 68 to hold down second place.

Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are tied for third, seven shots off the lead.

Defending champ Phil Mickelson turned in a 1-under 71 and is 1-under. Tiger Woods shot 73 and is 3-over for the tournament.

McIlroy is scheduled to tee off at 9:40 EDT.


Pace ties Diaz

SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace shot a 3-under 68 to grab a share of the lead with Laura Diaz in the Marathon Classic. Diaz carded a 71 to join Pace at 11-under.

Rookie Jaye Marie Green shot a 63 and is one stroke back, along with 2012 Marathon winner So Yeon Ryu.


Redbirds double up Dodgers...McCarthy shines for Yankees

UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals have moved back into first-place ties in their respective division races, while the San Francisco Giants have regained sole possession of the NL West lead.

Matt Holliday and Matt Adams had the big hits during a four-run first that led the Redbirds past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2. Holliday opened the scoring with a two-run single before scoring on Adams' two-run homer. That was enough offense for Joe Kelly, who limited the Dodgers to a run and four hits in seven innings.

St. Louis now shares the NL Central lead with Milwaukee.

The Nationals did the Cards a favor and grabbed a piece of the NL East lead by hammering Milwaukee 8-3. Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos each had three RBIs and combined for five of the Nationals' 12 hits, with Ramos going 3-for-4.

Philadelphia's 2-1 victory in Atlanta drops the Braves into a first-place tie with the Nats. Jimmy Rollins snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the seventh. Cole Hamels picked up the victory by holding the Braves to a run and four hits while fanning nine in seven innings.

Hunter Pence had two RBIs and Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in San Francisco's 5-3 triumph at Miami. Tim Hudson surrendered a run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings to help the NL West leaders move one game ahead of the Dodgers.

The American League Central race got a bit more interesting when Cleveland swept a day-night doubleheader from the Tigers in Detroit.

Corey Kluber came within one out of a complete game in the opener, giving up two runs and seven hits while striking out 10 to lift the Indians over the Tigers 6-2. Jason Kipnis and David Murphy backed Kluber's effort with a pair of RBIs each to help Kluber improve to 10-6.

The Indians pulled out a 5-2 triumph in the nightcap to climb within 4 ½ games of the Central-leading Tigers. Chris Dickerson hit a pair of solo homers in Game 2, but the game was tied 2-2 until Carlos Santana hit a three-run double with two out in the ninth.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Adam Jones hit a three-run shot and J.J. Hardy added a solo blast to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead in the first inning of an 8-4 win at Oakland. Jones finished with five RBIs and Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY'-kihs) went 4-for-5 to help the AL East leaders stay four games ahead of the Blue Jays and Yankees.

— David Price was outstanding in Tampa Bay's 5-1 win at Minnesota, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out nine in eight shutout innings. Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and an RBI single off Phil Hughes, who was seeking his 11th win.

— Rubby (ROO'-bee) De La Rosa gave up a run and five hits in seven innings of Boston's 2-1 win against Kansas City. Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking, solo homer in the sixth inning after scoring the tying run on an error in the fourth.

— Marcus Stroman pitched seven shutout innings to snap a three-start winless streak as Toronto topped Texas 4-1. Dan Johnson had two RBIs in the Blue Jays' third victory in 12 games.

— The Chicago White Sox downed Houston 4-3 as Tyler Flowers went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including the tiebreaking double in the fifth. The White Sox's bullpen worked three scoreless innings after Hector Noesi (noh-EH'-see) gave up three runs and six hits over six frames.

— Brandon McCarthy picked up his first win as a Yankee by holding Cincinnati to a run and six hits in six innings of a 7-1 pounding of the Reds. Brett Gardner had three RBIs for the Yankees, who prevented Alfredo Simon from becoming the season's first 13-game winner.

— Pittsburgh beat Colorado 3-2 on Jordy Mercer's RBI double in the bottom of the 11th, putting the Pirates 2 ½ games off the NL Central lead. Neil Walker scored the winning run after supplying the game-tying single in the eighth.

— Paul Goldschmidt was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, three RBIs and three runs scored in Arizona's 9-3 rout of the Chicago Cubs. Miguel Montero also collected three RBIs to back Wade Miley, who gave up three runs in seven innings.

— Tyler Ross was sharp in San Diego's 6-0 shutout of the New York Mets, surrendering just four hits in seven innings. Yasmani Grandal, Will Venable and Seth Smith homered as the Padres ended the Mets' four-game winning streak.


Victorino activated

BOSTON (AP) — Shane Victorino was in the Boston Red Sox's lineup after being activated from the disabled list on Saturday.

Victorino appeared in just 21 games before going on the DL May 24 with a right hamstring injury. During his time on rehab assignments, he had a few setbacks with his leg and back.

The Bosox made roster room by demoting outfielder Mookie Betts to Triple-A Pawtucket.


Bills Dareus out for start of camp

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — The Bills have announced that starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been put on the active/non-football injury list, leaving him unavailable for the opening of training camp in his latest offseason setback. The Bills didn't say why he was placed on the list.

The 2011 first-round draft pick has been dealing with two off-field legal matters.


Wizards trade for Humphries

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards have acquired forward Kris Humphries from Boston for a protected 2015 second-round draft pick. Humphries appeared in 69 games for the Celtics last season, averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.

In 10 seasons with the Jazz, Raptors, Mavericks, Nets and Celtics, he is averaging 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.


Rangers ink free-agent forward

NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran forward Lee Stempniak (STEHMP'-nee-ak) has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Rangers.

Stempniak split last season with Calgary and Pittsburgh, recording 12 goals and 22 assists in 73 regular-season games. He's registered 150 goals and 341 points in 637 career games with five different clubs.


Leslie heads Hall of Fame class

UNDATED (AP) — Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women's basketball Hall of Fame induction class. Leslie also won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and was the league's MVP three times. She helped the U.S. win gold medals at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Among the others joining Leslie for induction next June are former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors (GEHS'-tehn-kohrz) and Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, who was killed in a plane crash in 2011.


IndyCar race delayed by rain

TORONTO (AP) — The opening run of two IndyCar races in Toronto has been rained out, forcing drivers to compete in a pair of 75-lap events on Sunday. The first race will have a rolling start at 10:30 a.m. and the second one is set for a standing start at 4:15 p.m.


Rosberg claims pole

HOCKENHEIM, Germany (AP) — Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg claimed the pole position for Sunday's running of the German Grand Prix. Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were second and third, respectively.


Nibali builds lead

GRENOBLE, France (AP) — Italy's Vincenzo Nibali finished second in the 14th stage of the Tour de France to widen his overall lead. He's added a full minute to his advantage and now is 4 minutes, 37 seconds in front. Poland's Rafal Majka won the 110-mile stage.

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