William Contreras hits 2-run homer and Brewers beat Red Sox 7-2

BOSTON (AP) — William Contreras hit a two-run home run, Christian Yelich had three hits and Bryse Wilson tossed 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Friday night.

Blake Perkins had two hits and two stolen bases for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Wilson (3-1) came in with two down in the first inning and matched his career high with seven strikeouts. Willy Adames and Yelich also drove in runs for Milwaukee, which played the seventh game of a nine-game road trip.

Boston had runners on first and second in the first when Wilson was summoned. He struck out Tyler O’Neill for the final out of the first inning and was rarely tested during his outing.

“There’s still room for better execution. Overall, it was a good outing from start to finish,” Wilson said.

Jarren Duran and David Hamilton each had three hits for Boston, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Dominic Smith homered for the second time since signing with the Red Sox on May 1.

Contreras jumped on a 1-0 pitch from Red Sox starter Kutter Crawford (2-3) and sent it into the second row of Green Monster seats for his eighth homer of the season in the third inning. The two-run shot came one batter after Brice Turang lifted a sacrifice fly that delivered the game’s first run.

The home run by Contreras took out a fan’s popcorn bucket after bouncing off the area behind where the fan was sitting.

“It seemed that it got out of the park in a hurry,” Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy said.

The Brewers chased Crawford in the fifth inning, as Yelich doubled in a run that made it 4-1 and Adames connected for a two-run double.

“Everyone has to respect William, but he has (Yelich) hitting behind him. When he’s hitting, that’s helping everyone,” Murphy said. “There was some good hard contact tonight and we stayed relentless by getting on base.”

Crawford’s ERA jumped from 2.17 to 2.89 after he allowed six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“He had a tough time putting people away. They extended at-bats and credit to them. They’re a good ballclub,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

Boston’s first run came in the fourth when Hamilton squeaked one inside the third base bag for an RBI double. Smith’s home run came in the fourth.

Duran led off the bottom of the first with a single that extended his hitting streak to nine games.


NCAA, leagues back $2.8 billion settlement, setting stage for dramatic change across college sports

The NCAA and the nation’s five biggest conferences announced Thursday night that they have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims, a monumental decision that sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester.

NCAA President Charlie Baker along with the commissioners of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference released a joint statement saying they had agreed to settlement terms. They called the move “an important step in the continuing reform of college sports that will provide benefits to student-athletes and provide clarity in college athletics across all divisions for years to come.”

The deal still must be approved by the federal judge overseeing the case and challenges could arise, but if the agreement stands it will mark the beginning of a new era in college sports where athletes are compensated more like professionals and schools can compete for talent using direct payments.

“There’s no question about it. It’s a huge quantum leap,” said Tom McMillen, the former Maryland basketball player and congressman who has led an association of collegiate athletic directors the past eight years.

Terms were not disclosed, though some details have emerged in the past few weeks. They signal the end of the NCAA’s bedrock amateurism model that dates to its founding in 1906. Indeed, the days of NCAA punishment for athletes driving booster-provided cars started vanishing three years ago when the organization lifted restrictions on endorsement deals backed by so-called name, image and likeness money.

Now it is not far-fetched to look ahead to seasons where a star quarterback or top prospect on a college basketball team are not only cashing in big-money NIL deals but have a $100,000 school payment in the bank to play.

“This landmark settlement will bring college sports into the 21st century, with college athletes finally able to receive a fair share of the billions of dollars of revenue that they generate for their schools,” said Steve Berman, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs. “Our clients are the bedrock of the NCAA’s multibillion-dollar business and finally can be compensated in an equitable and just manner for their extraordinary athletic talents.”

There are a host of details still to be determined, but the agreement calls for the NCAA and the conferences to pay $2.77 billion over 10 years to more than 14,000 former and current college athletes who say now-defunct rules prevented them from earning money from endorsement and sponsorship deals dating to 2016.

“Even though it was only because of the overwhelming legal pressure, the NCAA, conferences and schools are agreeing that college athletes should be paid,” said Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA football player and longtime advocate for college athletes. “And there’s no going back from there. That’s truly groundbreaking.”

Some of the money will come from NCAA reserve funds and insurance but even though the lawsuit specifically targeted five conferences that are comprised of 69 schools (including Notre Dame), dozens of other NCAA member schools will see smaller distributions from the NCAA to cover the mammoth payout.

Schools in the Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences will end up bearing the brunt of the settlement at a cost of about $300 million each over 10 years, the majority of which will be paid to athletes going forward.

The Pac-12 is also part of the settlement, with all 12 current schools sharing responsibility even though Washington State and Oregon State will be the only league members left by this fall after the other 10 schools leave.

PAYING ATHLETES
In the new compensation model, each school will be permitted but not required to set aside up to $21 million in revenue to share with athletes per year, though as revenues rise so could the cap.

Athletes in all sports would be eligible for payments and schools would be given the freedom to decide how that money is divvied up among sports programs. Scholarship limits by sport will be replaced by roster restrictions.

Whether the new compensation model is subject to the Title IX gender equity law is unknown along with whether schools will be able to bring NIL activities in-house as they hope and squeeze out the booster-run collectives that have sprouted up in the last few years to pay athletes. Both topics could lead to more lawsuits.

THE CASE
The class-action federal lawsuit at the center of the settlement, House v. the NCAA, was set to go to trial in January. The complaint, brought by former Arizona State swimmer Grant House and Sedona Prince, a former Oregon and current TCU basketball player, said the NCAA, along with the five wealthiest conferences, improperly barred athletes from earning endorsement money.

The suit also argued that athletes were entitled to a piece of the billions of dollars the NCAA and those conferences earn from media rights agreements with television networks.

Amid political and public pressure, and facing the prospect of another court loss that some in college sports claimed could reach $20 billion in damages, NCAA and conference officials conceded on what has long been a core principal of the enterprise: That schools don’t directly pay the athletes to play beyond a scholarship.

That principle has been dented numerous times over the last decade. Notably, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA in 2021 in a case related to education-related benefits.

The narrow focus of the Alston case didn’t collapse the collegiate sports system, but the strong rebuke of the NCAA’s model of amateurism flung the door open to more lawsuits. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a former Yale athlete, put it bluntly: “The bottom line is that the NCAA and its member colleges are suppressing the pay of student athletes who collectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year.”

THE OTHER CASES
The settlement is expected to cover two other antitrust cases facing the NCAA and major conferences that challenge athlete compensation rules. Hubbard vs. the NCAA and Carter vs. the NCAA are also currently in front of judges in the Northern District of California.

A fourth case, Fontenot vs, NCAA, creates a potential complication as it remains in a Colorado court after a judge denied a request to combine it with Carter. Whether Fontenot becomes part of the settlement is unknown and it matters because the NCAA and its conferences don’t want to be on the hook for more damages should they lose in court.

“We’re going to continue to litigate our case in Colorado and look forward to hearing about the terms of a settlement proposal once they’re actually released and put in front of a court,” said George Zelcs, a plaintiffs’ attorney in Fontenot.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS OVERHAUL
The solution agreed to in the settlement is landmark, but not surprising. College sports has been trending in this direction for years, with athletes receiving more and more monetary benefits and rights they say were long overdue.

In December, Baker, the former Massachusetts governor who has been on the job for 14 months, proposed creating a new tier of Division I athletics where the schools with the most resources would be required to pay at least half their athletes $30,000 per year. That suggestion, along with many other possibilities, remain under discussion.

The settlement does not make every issue facing college sports go away. There is still a question of whether athletes should be deemed employees of their schools, something Baker and other college sports leaders are fighting against.

Some type of federal legislation or antitrust exemption is likely still needed to codify the terms of the settlement, protect the NCAA from future litigation and pre-empt state laws that attempt to neuter the organization’s authority. As it is, the NCAA is still facing lawsuits that challenge its ability to govern itself, including setting rules limiting multiple-time transfers.

“This settlement is also a road map for college sports leaders and Congress to ensure this uniquely American institution can continue to provide unmatched opportunity for millions of students,” the joint statement said. “All of Division I made today’s progress possible, and we all have work to do to implement the terms of the agreement as the legal process continues. We look forward to working with our various student-athlete leadership groups to write the next chapter of college sports.”

Federal lawmakers have indicated they would like to get something done, but while several bills have been introduced none have gone anywhere.

Despite the unanswered questions, one thing is clear: Major college athletics is about to become more like professional sports than ever before.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football


Brewers held scoreless in loss at Miami

MIAMI (AP) — Jesús Luzardo threw eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball in his longest career start and the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. homered for the only run of the game as the Marlins won their third consecutive series.

The game was completed in 1 hour and 54 minutes.

Luzardo (2-3) struck out four and retired 17 straight until Gary Sanchez’s one out single in the eighth. Jackson Chourio reached on a fielder’s choice then stole second before Luzardo finished his outing by retiring Owen Miller on a fly-out to short right.

“The strikeouts for me — blowing people away — it’s not that important,” Luzardo said. “It’s more of getting deeper in the game, giving our team a chance to compete and saving the bullpen.”

In three starts since returning from the injured list May 11, Luzardo has allowed two runs over 19 2/3 innings. Luzardo also is not making fastball speed the top priority.

“I have spoken to veteran pitchers and they suggest that it’s not about throwing hard but locating pitches,” Luzardo said. “That is what helps you get the outs quicker.”

Tanner Scott got the first two outs in the ninth before William Contreras reached on an infield single. Scott retired Christian Yelich on a force out for his sixth save.

“Just a well played game but Jesús is the story,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “He was pitching tonight, not just rip it and rip it.”

The Marlins (17-34) improved to 10-10 in May.

“We’re not surprised right now that we’re winning,” Chisholm said. “We’re a good team and we have to go out and play good baseball and winning baseball. That’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.”

The NL Central-leading Brewers (28-21) had one threat against Luzardo in the second, when Willy Adames and Sánchez singled. But Luzardo retired Joey Ortiz on a pop out, struck out Jackson Chourio then caught Adames on an unsuccessful steal attempt at third to end the inning.

Brewers starter Freddy Peralta also had a dominant outing as he limited Miami to one run and four hits over seven innings. Peralta (3-3) walked one and struck out seven.

“Freddy was magnificent,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “Their kid deserves a lot of credit. He was great. He was all over us all night — ahead in the count. We couldn’t get anything going.”

Chisholm gave the Marlins a quick lead with his leadoff shot in the first. He drove Peralta’s fastball over the wall in right-field for his seventh homer of the season.

“I thought we were going to have a good game but the pitchers went out there and did their thing,” Chisholm said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RHP DL Hall (left knee sprain) will have his innings workload increased with each additional minor league rehab outing.

Marlins: RHP Bryan Hoeing (left hamstring strain) allowed one run over two innings in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Jacksonville on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Bryse Wilson (2-1, 2.79 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Boston on Friday. RHP Kutter Crawford (2-2, 2.17) will start for the Red Sox.

Marlins: LHP Braxton Garrett (0-0, 10.24) will start Friday, when Miami opens a three-game series at Arizona. The Diamondbacks have not announced a starter.


Packers’ Jordan Love stays mum on contract talks while focusing on how he can build off his success

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love isn’t letting the unsettled nature of his contract negotiations prevent him from joining his teammates for organized team activities this week.

Love is preparing to enter the final year of his contract after improving his stock exponentially by leading the NFL’s youngest team to the playoffs in his first season as a starter.

“That’s just something that I’ve always done, trying to be here, get the reps in, get the work in with the guys and just start building that chemistry and getting ready for the season,” Love said.

Love, 25, signed a one-year extension last May that included $13.5 million in guaranteed money with another $9 million in incentives. Love’s late-season surge last season figures to earn him an astronomical raise whenever he signs his new deal.

For comparison’s sake, Detroit’s Jared Goff agreed to terms on a four-year, $212 million extension last week after helping the Lions reach the NFC championship game last season.

“I don’t really know what’s going on, but we’ll see,” Love said of his contract talks. “But I’m not going to get into too much contract stuff.”

Love was more interested in discussing how he could help the Packers build on what they accomplished last season. Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur credited Love’s presence for helping assure the Packers had just about everyone participating for this week’s voluntary workouts.

“We’ve had almost 100% the entire offseason, which has been the best that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” LaFleur said. “And I always think when you look around the league, when your quarterback’s there, it just naturally has a way of attracting everybody to come.”

Aaron Rodgers, the four-time MVP quarterback who preceded Love, didn’t participate in OTAs his last two seasons at Green Bay, though he has done them with the New York Jets since getting traded last year. Many other notable Packers veterans also were missing from those voluntary sessions in 2021 and 2022.

Now the Packers have just about everyone around as they try taking the next step after their 2023 season ended with a 24-21 loss at San Francisco in the NFC divisional playoffs.

Love threw 21 touchdown passes with only one interception during a nine-game stretch that culminated with a 48-32 upset of the Dallas Cowboys in a wild-card playoff game, though he did throw two second-half interceptions in the loss to the 49ers. The last one came in the final minute as the Packers attempted to drive for a tying or winning score.

“It’s something that’s always with you,” Love said. “But at the end of the day, that’s what you’ve got to do, is you’ve got to learn from it, be able to watch it, break it down, see what went wrong, learn from it and grow and move on.”

He ended up completing 64.2% of his passes for 4,159 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. The only other quarterbacks ever to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in their first season making multiple starts were Kurt Warner in 1999 and Patrick Mahomes in 2018.

“You’ve got to be able to go out there and do it again,” Love said. “And obviously there’s a lot of goals we didn’t reach last year and things that we’re striving to do this year, so there’s a lot of goals and expectations and things that we’re focusing on this year. There’s no room to get complacent.”

Love said his offseason focuses included improving his footwork and pocket awareness and doing a better job of throwing on the run. His teammates can’t wait to see the results.

“I think his confidence is even greater,” wide receiver Christian Watson said. “His poise is even greater. He’s leading this football team exactly the way that he should. I’m excited to see how he keeps on growing.”

NOTES: OT Zach Tom and TE Tucker Kraft both have torn pectoral muscles that likely will keep them out until at least the start of training camp. Both said they got hurt while lifting weights. “It happened mid-April, so by end of July, maybe end of August, I should be good,” Tom said. … DE Kingsley Enagbare practiced fully Tuesday after the Packers had feared he tore his anterior cruciate ligament late last season. “He never had surgery, didn’t tear it,” LaFleur said. “We dodged a bullet there.” … LaFleur said the Packers will have one-day joint practice sessions at Denver and at home against the Baltimore Ravens in August.


Brewers blow late lead in Miami, lose 3-2 in 10 innings

MIAMI (AP) — Josh Bell singled with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to give the Miami Marlins a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Christian Bethancourt’s sacrifice bunt against reliever Mitch White (1-1) advanced automatic runner Vidal Brujan to third. Jazz Chisholm Jr. was intentionally walked and stole second. Bryan De La Cruz drew an intentional walk before Bell hit a grounder to right field that scored Brujan.

Tanner Scott (4-4) allowed a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich in the top of the 10th. Joey Ortiz’s sacrifice bunt advanced courtesy runner Brice Turang and Yelich before Scott struck out Willy Adames and retired Gary Sánchez on a flyout to medium center.

The NL Central-leading Brewers used seven relievers after starter Joe Ross left after the first inning because of a low back strain.

Yelich stole two bases, including his first career theft of home.

Miami tied it at 2-all on Otto López’s RBI single off Trevor Megill in the ninth. Nick Gordon hit a two-out single, then stole second before López hit a bloop single to right.

Marlins starter Ryan Weathers kept Milwaukee hitless until Andruw Monasterio’s solo shot with two outs in the fifth that broke a scoreless tie. The drive by Monasterio sailed above Miami center fielder Chisholm’s leap at the wall.

Yelich drew a one-out walk against Weathers in the sixth, then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Nick Fortes’ throwing error. During Adames’ at-bat, Yelich gradually extended his lead before sprinting for the plate and beating Fortes’ tag.

Gordon’s RBI single in the seventh narrowed the deficit.

Weathers was lifted after seven innings of two-run ball. The left-hander gave up two hits, walked three and and struck out eight.

The Brewers recalled right-handed pitcher Bradley Blalock from Double-A Biloxi and designated right-hander reliever Thyago Vieira for assignment.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Reinstated OF Joey Wiemer (right knee discomfort) from the 10-day injured list and optioned OF Chris Roller to Triple-A Nashville. … 1B Rhys Hoskins (right hamstring strain) is with the team and participated in running drills before the game.

Marlins: RHP JT Chargois (neck spasms) is schedule to appear in a rehab game with Triple-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. … INF Xavier Edwards (left foot infection) went 3-for-7 over two rehab games with Jacksonville Saturday and Sunday.

UP NEXT

LHP Robert Gasser (2-0, 0.00) will start the middle game of the series for the Brewers on Tuesday while LHP Trevor Rogers (1-6, 5.79) will go for the Marlins.


Tucker homers twice, ties for lead with 15 as Astros beat Brewers 9-4 for 9th win in 11 games

HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Tucker homered twice to tie for the major league lead with 15 and drove in four runs, leading the Houston Astros over the Milwaukee Brewers 9-4 on Sunday for their ninth win in 11 games.

After striking out in his first three at-bats, Tucker decided to change his cleats from a pair of lime green Astros mascot Orbit-themed ones to his normal orange pair.

“I just didn’t really have great first three at-bats with them,” Tucker said. “I just decided to come in and swap them back out for my other cleats and it ended up pretty well for me.”

Jose Altuve hit his 37th leadoff homer in a four-run first inning and Jake Meyers had three hits for Houston, which took two of three from the Brewers and improved to 21-26 with its third straight series win.

“You’ve just got to pile up wins, especially series wins, throughout the year,” Tucker said. “At the end of the year it will be what it is.”

Tucker hit a solo homer to right in the sixth off Thyago Vieira and a three-run, opposite-field drive to left in the seventh against Mitch White.

“He’s playing on a different level right now,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “He’s a really, really good player.”

Tucker tied Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson at 15 home runs after his third multi-homer game this season and the sixth of his big league career.

“I just try to get pitches over the plate and try and barrel them up and they just happen to fall for homers,” Tucker said. “It’s not like I’m trying to lift the ball and start hitting them. It just kind of comes with pitch selections and trying to barrel balls to the outfield.”

Rookie Spencer Arrighetti (2-4) won his second straight start after going 0-4 in his first five. He allowed four runs and six hit with six strikeouts and two walks over 6 1/3 innings, his big league high.

“I think my general presence is getting a little better,” Arrighetti said. “Obviously, that team runs really well and I gave up a couple stolen bases, but as soon as that happened I feel like I was able to make a good adjustment with controlling the running game a little bit and still being able to execute pitches while doing that.”

Colin Rea (3-2) gave up five runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.

“He didn’t have command of his stuff and Colin’s a command pitcher,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said.

After Christian Yelich’s RBI single in the first, Houston went ahead for good on Altuve’s homer, Jon Singleton’s run-scoring groundout and Meyers’ two-out, two-run double.

Brice Turang had a two-run single in the seventh and scored on Yelich’s single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: LHP DL Hall (knee) pitched one inning and struck out one for Class A Wisconsin on Sunday in a rehab start.

Astros: OF Chas McCormick (hamstring) went 2 for 4 with a single, double and a stolen base as the designated hitter for Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday. Ryan Pressly (sore finger) threw a bullpen on Sunday. He has not pitched since Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Joe Ross (2-4, 4.61) starts for Milwaukee against LHP Ryan Weathers (2-4, 3.81) on Monday to open a three-game series at Miami.

Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (3-1, 2.95) starts for Houston at home on Monday in a series opener against LHP Reid Detmers (3-4, 5.19) and the Los Angeles Angels.