Joe Musgrove had quite the homecoming at Petco Park.

Pitching in front of at least 75 friends and family members, the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings against his hometown team and Jody Mercer homered to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the sloppy San Diego Padres on Friday night.

Out of the gate when I’m out warming up, there’s people screaming right and left and every time I took a step I’m getting called from different directions, he said. I was trying to block it out for the most part but I was also trying to acknowledge the people who were here. Throwing my bullpen there’s 50 of my friends standing right above the catcher hollering and stuff. I’ve always done well in front of my family and friends and that’s something that takes me to that next level.

He had dinner at his parents’ house on Thursday night and planned to go out with them after the game, as well as have a local beer that’s named after the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

First, it was, ‘Well I was misdiagnosed,’ Bowen said (via ESPN). Look here: You got $18 million this year, and you think that they’re trying to rush you? You didn’t play for the most part a full season this year. And you’re the go-to guy, you’re the franchise and you want to say that they didn’t have your best interest at heart? Are you kidding me?

Bowen criticized Leonard for not being more open about his future status in San Antonio, especially in the wake of reports he wants to be traded.

I think he’s getting bad advice, Bowen said. I think what you’re starting to see now is an individual given a certain amount of advice, and it’s not the right advice. Here it is: You were protected in San Antonio. You were able to come up during a time where you still could lean on Tim [Duncan] Tony [Parker] and Manu [Ginobili].

Not one time has Kawhi come out and said anything to the effect of, ‘You know what, hey, I really enjoy being in San Antonio.’ Or, ‘I can’t stand what’s going on here in San Antonio.’ Not one time has he said anything.

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Detroit slugger Nick Catsellanos said Stroman kept the Tigers off balance both with good stuff, and a funky delivery full of pauses and hesitations.

He’s a very unorthodox pitcher with the way he delivers, Castellanos said. He kind of dances on the mound a little bit. That can be difficult to get in synch with.

Seunghwan Oh pitched the eighth and Tyler Clippard gave up an infield single to begin the ninth but retired the next three batters in order for his fifth save in nine chances.

Roberto is our closer, Atkins said. We’re running a baseball team and our goal is to win championships. Roberto could potentially be very much a part of that.

Osuna has no record and a 2.93 ERA with nine saves in 10 chances this season.

Seattle also signed Los Angeles Rams starting strong safety Maurice Alexander to a one-year deal, though he didn’t participate much during the offseason program while recovering from a shoulder injury. McDougald would be an option to start at free safety should Thomas’ holdout last into the season. Third-year safeties Delano Hill (strong) and Tedric Thompson (free) also worked with the first-team defense in the offseason, depending on where McDougald was playing.

A fifth-round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2010, Chancellor was one of several mid- to late-round gems that helped form the core of Seahawks teams that experienced new heights. The Seahawks made the playoffs five straight seasons from 2012 to ’16, reached back-to-back Super Bowls and won the first championship in their history following the 2013 season. Chancellor made his share of memorable plays in the postseason, including a massive hit on Demaryius Thomas that set the tone for the Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVII. He also had a pick-six of Cam Newton that sealed a divisional-round victory over the Carolina Panthers the following season.

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Former Spurs player rips Kawhi Leonard: ‘There’s nothing but excuses going on’

Former Spurs player Bruce Bowen called out Kawhi Leonard in a national radio appearance this week, saying the forward is getting bad advice.

He had plenty of support as he got into and out of trouble in the seventh. The Padres had runners on first and third after hitting consecutive singles to open the inning but Musgrove retired the side, including inducing Manuel Margot to hit into an inning-ending double play.

It was incredible, Musgrove said. They were the ones who really pushed me through that last inning. I got first and third and no one out and all I could think about was all the people that are here watching me and how I’d love to get out of this and put on a little bit of a show for them. It was really cool. It was special.

Musgrove did his best to not get distracted.

He talked about dealing with the likelihood that, wherever he goes, he probably won’t be an immediate starter.

I would just come in and try to outwork whoever is in front of me, Carter said. That’s the beauty of the beast. There are undoubtedly going to be players in front of you, people who have been there before, for four or five years and know exactly what it takes. I would learn those things, and let the best man win.

Earlier this year, Carter’s mother raised some eyebrows when she was invited to be a panelist at a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and excoriated the NCAA in her opening remarks, comparing the organization to slavery and the prison system, and adding that, there is a problem that is sickening.

Those comments were largely taken out of context — while Kylia Carter was particularly harsh on the NCAA, taken in full, she laid out a case for better academic options for basketball players and wondered, Why can’t they go to college and get a two-year certificate in this professional sport that they are pursuing if they are that talented, so that they are aware and educated on the business of the sport?

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NBA trade rumors: Hornets sending Dwight Howard to Nets for Timofey Mozgov

The frenzy of trades ahead of the NBA Draft has begun.

The Hornets are sending decorated big man Dwight Howard to the Nets for Timofey Mozgov, ESPN.com reported Wednesday, saving the Nets $17 million and creating two spots on the roster for maximum-salary deals. Brooklyn also will send two future second-round picks and cash to Charlotte.

Howard, who started 81 games for Charlotte last season and averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, will play for his fourth team in four seasons.

NBA Draft 2018 rumors: Hawks leaning toward Luka Doncic at No. 3 overall

Mozgov’s agent, Stanislav Ryzhov, told the New York Post: Yes, Mozgov is not satisfied, and Nets know about it. He is motivated to play and hates sitting on the bench. We are 100 percent sure that he is still a contributor.

Mozgov, 31, slated to make $16 million next season as part of a four-year, $64 million deal he signed with the Lakers in 2016 when Mitch Kupchak, now the Hornets general manager, held the same title in Los Angeles.

Anderson retired five straight batters before allowing a single to Cody Bellinger in the seventh. Anderson improved to 4-0 on the road with a 3.48 ERA while holding hitters to a .216 average. The Rockies have won seven of his last nine starts away from home.

He kept us off-balance, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. He has a three, four-pitch mix that we couldn’t get any swings off of.

Iannetta homered leading off the ninth, extending Colorado’s lead to 3-0.

Arenado hit his team-high 20th homer in the eighth and Valaika homered over the center-field fence for Colorado’s first run in the fifth.

Valaika homered for the first time since last Sept. 24 at San Diego. It was just his second homer ever at Dodger Stadium. His first long ball in the majors came on Sept. 24, 2016, in the same stadium.

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Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the 600-homer club is the new 500-homer club.

It looks like an upward trend. And maybe it is. But there’s a chance that no one will do it again for the next 30 years. Or 40. Because after this one, if Cabrera doesn’t get there, there are no guarantees the 2020s will have a representative.

If it does happen, it doesn’t have to be Trout, Stanton, or Harper. It could be someone we don’t know a lot about just yet. Joey Gallo. Cody Bellinger. Jake Burger, y’all.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the 600-homer club is the new 500-homer club. It’s absurdly difficult to hit that many home runs, and those extra 100 homers have to come from somewhere. Only 852 of the 15,000 players to have recorded a plate appearance have hit 100 homers in their career. Which means the next 600-homer hitter will need to claw their way to 500 something that’s been done only 27 times before and then have a better post-500-dinger career than the about 14,000 players ever had.

It’ll happen again. Cabrera might do it in the next few years. But it doesn’t have to happen a lot just because of the last couple decades, and it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the heck out of Pujols and what he’s accomplished. His mid-30s slide and the Angels’ descent into irrelevance have conspired to help the world forget just how good he used to be. Note that he was incredible, though. And while it doesn’t take 600 homers to make us appreciate that, it certainly helps.

If you like baseball for the deft strategy and the subtle notes and the white noise between the action, these trends are alarming.

Except, Stage 3 was born, in which Colon became a fluffy, jovial projection of baseball hopes and dreams. He reinvented himself as a control maven who used 34 different words for the word fastball.

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College World Series 2017: Schedule, game times & TV info for Saturday

The 2017 College World Series starts on Saturday, with a pair of games from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

Both games will be televised by ESPN, with online streaming available through WatchESPN.

No. 1 Oregon State starts things off on Saturday, battling Cal State Fullerton in the first game. The Beavers send to the mound Jake Thompson, who brings a 14-0 record and 1.52 ERA into the game. He was drafted in the fourth round on Tuesday by the Boston Red Sox.

Then, the worst possible outcome on a routine infield popup happened.

By rights, Davidson shortstop Max Bazin should probably have caught this ball. Third baseman Eric Jones has no business charging in like this, and second baseman Alex Acosta has second claiming rights to it. Pitcher Barry should just get out of the way.

But none of that happened. Jones and Acosta collide hard, with Acosta taking Jones’ left elbow directly in the face. It’s impossible to know whether Acosta thought he had actually caught the thing before dropping it, or whether he was so stunned that he just went and dropped the ball. Either way, this is the low point of what was already an atrocious eighth inning of defense for the Wildcats.

The play ended with two more Aggies crossing, and they took a 9-6 lead into the bottom of the eighth. A&M leads the best of three series, 1-0, so this is a win or go home scenario for Davidson.

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Baseball defense still lives.

Earlier in the afternoon, Cal State Fullerton and Oregon State met for a battle that ended 6-5 in the Beavers’ favor, thanks in large part to Oregon State’s defense pulling through on a pair of spectacular defensive plays that prevented certain Titans base-running shenanigans. Baseball defense still lives.

Anyway, the evening tilt between No. 4 overall national seed LSU and Florida State promised the most compelling action of the CWS’ opening weekend, as the Tigers and Seminoles matched well at the plate and their pitching staffs are deep enough to throw themselves into panzer strikes for innings on end. This thing could have been a marathon.

In the top of the first, FSU’s Dylan Busby got things started with a two-run slam into left center where Fullerton’s Timmy Richards had previously bashed a three-run homer of his own in the afternoon game. That stretch of the outfield wall runs notoriously deep, especially so since the wind traditionally blows in from direct center at TD Ameritrade. No bother, though, when you’ve got bats as big as FSU’s. That could have demoralized the Tigers into submission.

Maddon’s main concern Wednesday was that his young players would internalize exactly what they heard come out of Montero’s mouth the night before, when the catcher publicly criticized starter Jake Arrieta for his slow delivery leading to Washington’s seven stolen bases. The decision to cut Montero Wednesday afternoon wasn’t aimed at preventing friction between the catcher teammates like Arrieta or Anthony Rizzo; it was meant to send a clear message to the young core of Cubs who witnessed the fallout.

The Cubs in their current state have plenty of key Stage 2 players, from Willson Contreras to Albert Almora and Javier Baez to Addison Russell. Rookies Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario, Mike Zagunis and Montero’s replacement, Victor Caratini, will be there soon.

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