Joe Mauer’s two-run single capped a four-run seventh as the Twins crowned the Royals 8-4.  Trevor Plouffe clubbed a two-run homer during a four-run fifth for Minnesota, which has won 10 of its last 13 games. Royals manager Ned Yost says starter and loser Bruce Chen had a rough outing.
Chen allowed four runs in five innings to fall to 5-and-3. Game two of four in Minnesota tonight: Luke Hochevar against Nick Blackburn.

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The St. Louis Cardinals open a road trip tonight in Cincinnati. Seven-game winner Jake Westbrook gets the call to pitch the series opener against the Reds, who will counter with Johnny Cueto. Cueto is 5-3.
The Cardinals emerge from the All-Star break tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central. The Reds are four games back.

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Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia is guaranteed $27 million over the next four years under the contract he signed with the team last week. Garcia gets a $500,000 signing bonus, and his salary gradually increases to $9.25 million in 2015. It’s a big raise for the starter who is making $437,000 this season.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Cleveland 8, Baltimore 4

Toronto 16, N.Y. Yankees 7

Texas 5, Seattle 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Florida 6, Chicago Cubs 3

Colorado 12, Milwaukee 3 (Cards lead NL Central by half a game)

San Francisco 6, San Diego 2, 12 innings

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Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gregg have each been suspended four games and fined for their parts in a July 8 bench-clearing brawl at Fenway Park.
Orioles pitcher Mike Gonzalez is suspended three games, and manager Buck Showalter is suspended one game as part of the punishment handed out yesterday by Major League Baseball. Showalter sat out last night’s game against the Cleveland Indians; the players can appeal.

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Thomas Bjorn and amateur Tom Lewis share the lead after yesterday’s first round of the 140th British Open.  Both carded a five-under 65 on the first day at Royal St. George.  Bjorn, who lost his father to illness in May, grabbed the next-to-last spot in the field on Monday when Vijay Singh withdrew. Lewis posted the lowest score by an amateur in the history of the British Open. Lewis says it was great to play well in front of legend Tom Watson.
He’s also the first amateur to lead after a round at the Open since 1968.  Miguel Angel Jimenez, Webb Simpson and Lucas Glover are tied for third at minus-four.

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Tom Watson grabbed some glory of his own at the British Open this morning. He made a hole-in-one. He did it on the par-3 178 yard sixth hole. His 4-iron shot bouncing once on the green and dropping into the cup… a nice way to open a second round. The 61-year-old Watson, a five-time British Open winner, threw both arms in the air, high-fived playing partner Tom Lewis and took a bow for the cheering crowd.

As he walked toward the green, Watson said: “Wish I could have seen it go in.”

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The judge has declared a mistrial in Roger Clemens’ perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said the former star pitcher could not be assured a fair trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence against his orders in the second day of testimony.
Walton has scheduled a Sept. 2 hearing to determine whether to hold a new trial. He told the jury of ten women and two men that he was sorry to have wasted their time and spent so much taxpayer money — only to call off the case.

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Significant progress on soaring rookie salaries during marathon talks has raised hopes that a tentative agreement in principle could perhaps come within 24 hours, according to two people familiar with the NFL labor negotiations.
The topic has been a major sticking point in the NFL labor impasse —
They cautioned, however, that other key issues remained for owners and players to resolve, including free agency and new offseason workout rules.

Owners and players met for nearly 15 hours yesterday. They will meet again today.

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Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison has apologized for using an anti-gay slur to refer to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL’) in an interview with “Men’s Journal.” Harrison also says his critical statements about teammates were taken out of context.

Harrison posted a statement on his Twitter account last night.

In the article, the Steelers’ headhunter criticized Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) and running back Rashard Mendenhall for their play in last season’s Super Bowl loss to Green Bay.

But, Harrison’s harshest words in the article were aimed at Goodell, whom he also called a “crook” and a “devil.”