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Sports briefs for Wednesday

LOCAL

LU SOCCER STARTS FRIDAY AT HOME

BEAUMONT — Lamar women’s soccer coach Orlando Cervantes will lead his team against his alma mater Friday, so the Cardinals’ season opener will be a little more special to him.

“There are two schools I care about; the one I’m coaching at and the one I attended,” he said in a news release. “This game is special to me.”

Lamar hosts San Jose State at 7 p.m. Friday at the LU Soccer Complex. It marks the start of the ninth season of Lamar’s women’s soccer program.

The Cardinals seek to rebound from a 5-11-2 campaign that included a 3-6-2 mark in the Southland Conference. San Jose State competes in the Mountain West Conference.

Cervantes commended the Cardinals for their work ethic in preseason camp.

“We offered to give them an afternoon session off one day during the two-a-day sessions and they didn’t want to cancel the practice,” Cervantes said. “They wanted to practice. I love that kind of attitude.”

STATE

GONZALEZ POWERS HOUSTON IN 10TH

HOUSTON (AP) — Marwin Gonzalez had three hits and his 10th-inning leadoff homer lifted the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 2-all when Gonzalez connected off All-Star closer Brad Boxberger (4-9), sending a full-count fastball into the seats in right field to give Houston the win.

Luke Gregerson (6-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

The Rays led 2-1 in the eighth before an RBI double by Carlos Correa tied it up.

Curt Casali homered for the Rays, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Gonzalez drove in Houston’s first run with a double in the third inning.

COWBOYS-RAMS FIGHTS CUT PRACTICE SHORT

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Cowboys and St. Louis Rams cut short the second of two joint practices at training camp Tuesday after several fights broke out, including one where Dallas receiver Dez Bryant was punched in the face.

The workout at the Cowboys’ camp facility ended about 30 minutes earlier than expected after the skirmishes on the field where the St. Louis offense and Dallas defense were scrimmaging.

It was the second time in less than two weeks that a joint practice had to be cut short because of fights. On Aug. 8, Houston and Washington ended the mixed portion of a practice after several fights on both fields.

“I hate it. At the end of the day we know why it happens,” said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, who is on the NFL’s competition committee. “I can’t imagine that we can’t continue to have joint practices and get this right just like we do a lot of things. But we’re going to have to continue to emphasize that stuff is not what we want.”

Most of the St. Louis defensive players left a drill on the other field when the first fight broke out. The second fight ended with several players in a pile on a fence where fans could reach out and touch them, although no fans appeared to get involved.

The third fight between the Cowboys and Rams included the punch on Bryant and ended the practice, although the Cowboys ran a few more plays with their own players while the Rams huddled with coach Jeff Fisher before walking to their buses.

It wasn’t clear who threw the punch on Bryant. Dallas cornerback Tyler Patmon, who fought with Bryant earlier in camp, had several red marks on his face.

IWAKUMA, MARINERS STOP RANGERS’ STREAK

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Hisashi Iwakuma followed his no-hitter by limiting Texas to two runs and five hits over seven innings as the Seattle Mariners beat the Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

All of Seattle’s scoring came in the first inning on three extra-base hits, including Seth Smith’s 10th home run of the season.

Iwakuma (5-2) gave up a hit to Texas’ second batter, a single by Shin-Soo Choo. He retired 12 straight at one point and struck out six while walking one.

The Rangers’ winning streak ended at five games.

Iwakuma is 6-0 in his last seven starts against Texas. One of the hits off Iwakuma was Rougned Odor’s ninth homer of the year.

Rangers rookie right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-5) set a career high with seven strikeouts and allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.

Cruz extended his streak of reaching base to 29 consecutive games, the longest in the American League this season.

RANGERS ACQUIRE VENABLE FROM PADRES

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have acquired outfielder Will Venable from the San Diego Padres for minor league catcher-outfielder Marcus Greene and a player to be named.

To make room for Venable on the 40-man roster Tuesday night, Texas designated outfielder Michael Choice for assignment.

The 32-year-old Venable is expected to join the Rangers on Thursday, when they open a four-game series at Detroit. In 68 games with San Diego this season, he was hitting .258 with six home runs and 30 RBIs.

Venable had spent his entire major league career with the Padres beginning late in 2008, batting .252 with 81 homers and 304 RBIs.

Texas general manager Jon Daniels said the team’s injury problems in the outfield, including Josh Hamilton being sidelined since Sunday with a sore left knee, factored into the trade.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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