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Sports

    A look at what's happening around the majors today: SET FREE Robinson Cano is set to return from his 80-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement when Seattle plays at Oakland. The All-Star second baseman has been out since May 15, though he's been playing in the minor leagues for the past week. Cano is ineligible for the postseason if Seattle makes it, but manager Scott Servais hopes the 35-year-old can help the Mariners get there as a versatile piece around the infield. Servais said the team will work Cano in slowly, getting him reps at first, second and third base. 'We need to be smart in breaking him in,' Servais said. 'He wants to get going, he wants to contribute right away. He's missed playing, he's missed his teammates and being around this whole thing. I know he wants to come in and do a lot. But again small little things.' Seattle entered Monday 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second AL wild card. ROLLING RONALD Ronald Acuna Jr. is the youngest player to homer in four straight games during the live ball era, according to ESPN, and he'll go for five when Atlanta hosts Miami. Acuna homered to lead off both ends of Monday's doubleheader against the Marlins, making him the first to do that since Baltimore's Brady Anderson in 1999 and just the fourth to do it overall, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. MAKING PROGRESS Kenley Jansen is back with the Dodgers and preparing to return to action sooner than expected after being diagnosed last week with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen threw a light bullpen session Monday and will also throw Wednesday and Friday this week. Jansen expects to return much sooner than the initial projection of 4 to 6 weeks, though he says he may still require an ablation procedure on his heart this offseason. He had a similar operation in 2012. CENTRAL SHOWDOWN The Cubs and Brewers begin a pivotal two-game series at Wrigley Field. Milwaukee is three games back of Chicago for the top spot in the NL Central after David Bote's game-ending grand slam pushed the Cubs over the Nationals in the ninth inning Sunday night. Jhoulys Chacin (11-4, 3.91) will pitch for the Brewers against Jose Quintana (10-8, 4.28), who gave up five runs in a 9-0 loss to Kansas City last time out. NOT VERY VERLANDER Justin Verlander tries to bounce back from his worst start of the season when Houston hosts Colorado. Verlander allowed six runs in two innings against the Mariners last time out before getting ejected for arguing a balk call. Verlander allowed three homers in that game and has given up 10 in his past five starts — compared to 12 in his first 20. German Marquez (9-9, 4.69) will start for the Rockies. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. is only 20 years old, so he never gives much thought to his still-fledgling place in baseball history. There'll be plenty of time for that. So, it wasn't until Acuna got back to the Atlanta clubhouse after a long, brilliant day that he finally realized what a unique feat he had pulled off. Rarer, even, than a perfect game. Or an unassisted triple play. The brilliant Braves rookie joined a very exclusive club by hitting leadoff homers in both games of a doubleheader Monday, sparking first-place Atlanta to a sweep of the Miami Marlins. Acuna appears to be only the fourth player to go deep at the start of two games in a single day, joining Brady Anderson, Rickey Henderson and Harry Hooper. By comparison, there have been 23 perfect games and 15 unassisted triple plays. 'I just found out,' Acuna said through a translator when asked if he knew about his unique double. 'I give thanks to God for the opportunity to make history in my own sense.' Acuna worked the count in his favor the first time up. Then he got hold a 3-1 pitch from Pablo Lopez , sending an opposite-field drive an estimated 414 feet into the Braves' bullpen in right-center. There was no waiting around in Game 2. On the very first pitch from Merandy Gonzalez, making his first big league start, Acuna launched a towering, 441-foot shot into the seats in left-center . 'It's pretty special,' said Braves star Freddie Freeman, who also homered in Game 2. 'He's some kind of hot right now. What he's doing at the plate, you just don't see it very often.' Over the course of about nine hours, Acuna went 5 for 8 with two homers, five RBIs, five runs, two walks and a stolen base. He's really flourished since moving into the leadoff spot right after the All-Star break, hitting .344 with 10 homers in 23 games. Acuna has 17 homers on the season, four of them leading off games. The franchise record for that category is held by Marquis Grissom, who had seven leadoff homers in 1996. Don't bet against Acuna taking down that record. 'Freddie and I were just kind of standing there smiling at each other like, 'Again?'' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. 'It's been fun to watch.' If anything, Acuna has exceeded the enormous hype that accompanied his brilliant performance in spring training, even though the Braves started him off at Triple-A to ensure they'll get an extra year before he's eligible for free agency. Since taking his rightful place in the big leagues, Acuna's been making up for lost time. 'We've been waiting for this kid since the start of spring training,' said Mike Foltynewicz, who picked up the Game 2 win with eight strong innings. 'We're happy as happy as hell to have him on our team. Every single night, he's going something. I don't know how you pitch to him leading off a game.' The Elias Sports Bureau said Anderson was the last to hit a pair of leadoff homers in one day, going deep twice for the Baltimore Orioles against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 21, 1999. Before that, it was accomplished by Henderson when the Oakland A's hosted the Cleveland Indians in a twin-bill on July 5, 1993. Then it takes a really deep dive into the record books — more than a century — to find Hooper going deep to start a pair of games for the Boston Red Sox against the Washington Senators on May 20, 1913. Acuna's hot streak couldn't have come at a better time for the Braves, who have won 12 of their last 16 to grab a one-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. With a month and a half left in the season, Atlanta is a serious playoff contender for the first time since 2014. That year, the Braves faded badly down the stretch and embarked on a major rebuilding job that led to three straight 90-loss seasons. Now, stocked with some of the game's best young talent, they're in the thick of things again. No one expects Acuna and the rest of the Baby Braves to be overwhelmed by their first pennant race. 'They play like their hair's on fire,' Snitker said. 'They're infectious kids. They rub off on all of us.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Bruce Bochy seemed uncertain how to respond to the question. The Giants had just rallied for four runs with two outs in the ninth inning Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers' beleaguered bullpen for a 5-2 victory. And then someone asked San Francisco's manager if he felt sorry for the Dodgers, whose bullpen lost its fourth consecutive game with closer Kenley Jansen on the disabled list. 'Excuse me?' Bochy said. Then came the laughter. The Giants could afford to chuckle after pinch-hitter Nick Hundley drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a single. San Francisco tacked on two more runs after that. 'What a great comeback,' Bochy said. 'We had some really great at-bats there in the ninth. Hundley, it doesn't get any more clutch than that. He came through at the right time. 'Great comeback on the road. It's been a while since we have had one like that.' The Giants improved to .500, while the Dodgers fell one game behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the crowded NL West. San Francisco is just five games out of first. The ending was familiar for the Dodgers, who wasted a masterful performance by Clayton Kershaw. The left-hander held the Giants to one run in eight innings, allowing four hits, striking out nine and walking none. And then the bullpen threw it away. 'They're doing the best they can,' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. 'They're trying to make pitches. They're in uncharted territory.' Kershaw turned the ninth over to Scott Alexander (2-1), part of the late-inning committee the Dodgers have used since Jansen went on the disabled list Thursday with an irregular heartbeat. The Giants loaded the bases with two outs before Hundley lined a two-run single to center. 'Bases loaded, tying run at third, you are afforded the luxury of being aggressive in that spot based on his approach,' Hundley said. 'Thankfully I got a good pitch to hit.' Ray Black (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Giants, and Will Smith worked the ninth to earn his ninth save in 11 opportunities. Kershaw blooped a double to score Los Angeles' first run, and Justin Turner's homer gave the Dodgers a brief 2-0 lead. NO RELIEF The Dodgers have now lost four straight because they lack an obvious replacement for Jansen. Los Angeles was struggling to identify an eighth-inning set-up man and now has no closer. 'It'll turn,' Roberts said. 'It's been a tough four games, but we have to keep getting leads and putting teams away.' ANOTHER LEFTY DUEL It was the 11th time Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner have faced each other, the most of any two active pitchers. Bumgarner allowed two runs in six innings. 'The guys did an unbelievable job coming back there,' Bumgarner said. 'It was a good game on both sides. (Kershaw) was better than me tonight for sure, but we were better than they were. I think that is a good way to put it.' TRAINER'S ROOM Giants: SS Brandon Crawford left the game in the bottom of the fourth after colliding with OF Gorkys Herndandez on Kershaw's bloop double. He appeared to take a knee to the head from Hernandez and is on concussion protocol. ... 1B Brandon Belt (hyper extended right knee) made a second rehab start Monday, but it was uncertain whether he would rejoin the Giants in Los Angeles on Tuesday. ... RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) threw a simulated game Monday. Bochy said he threw about 30 pitches. Dodgers: 2B Brian Dozier left the game after the eighth, complaining of dizziness. Roberts said Dozier had an abnormal EKG and was scheduled for additional tests. ... John Axford, one of the few relievers with closing experience, is headed for the disabled list. Roberts said Axford had a slight fracture atop his right fibula. 'He'll be down a couple, two or three weeks,' Roberts said. UP NEXT Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (4-8, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday. The rookie will attempt to overcome a recent downturn that has seen him go 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in his last five starts. Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his first start since leaving his Aug. 3 outing with a sore hip. Wood missed only one start. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Nationals manager Dave Martinez was awake most of the night after Washington lost on a walk-off grand slam Sunday. He likely won't be catching up on that missed sleep Monday. Paul DeJong handed the Nationals their second straight walk-off loss, capping a back-and-forth finish with a game-ending solo homer in the ninth inning of the St. Cardinals' 7-6 victory Monday night. DeJong took Koda Glover (0-1) deep leading off the ninth on a 3-1 pitch. A night earlier, Ryan Madson allowed a game-ending ninth-inning grand slam to the Chicago Cubs' David Bote in a 4-3 defeat. 'I don't sleep most nights, I like to watch replays of the game,' Martinez said. 'And last night was no different.' Washington's bullpen has blown saves in three of its past four games. All-Star closer Sean Doolittle has been on the disabled list since early July, and top setup man Kelvin Herrera went to the DL with right rotator cuff impingement last week. 'I don't know what else to do,' Martinez said of the bullpen. The usually stoic DeJong wasn't quite sure how to celebrate his first career walk-off homer. He started calm, keeping his head down as he rounded the bases. After coming around third, though, he whipped his helmet into the grass, threw his arms down and bellowed out a roar. 'My first walkoff, it felt so good I had to do something a little different,' DeJong said. The Cardinals recorded their 10th walkoff of the season and DeJong became the sixth different player to end a game in grand fashion. 'They're all special, all emotional,' St. Louis interim manager Mike Shildt said. 'These guys have the mentality, 'Do your job, keep the line moving.' They have a lot of trust with each other.' The Cardinals have won six in a row and moved to nine games over .500 for the first time this season. DeJong's 380-foot drive ended a wild final two innings. Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko homered in the eighth inning to put St. Louis up 6-4. Gyorko started the rally with a leadoff drive, and Carpenter followed with a three-run homer off Sammy Solis. The Nationals tied it at 6 in the top of the ninth on RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters off closer Bud Norris. Dakota Hudson (3-0) relieved Norris and stranded two baserunners by retiring Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton. Juan Soto and Bryce Harper homered for the Nationals, who have lost five of seven. Gyorko sparked St. Louis' big eighth inning with his homer off Justin Miller. Kolten Wong and Patrick Wisdom then singled to set up Carpenter's 33rd homer. Carpenter has homered in seven of his past 10 games. He extended his major-league leading on-base streak to 31 games with a first-inning bunt single. He has 17 homers during that string. Harper won a 10-pitch battle with starter Miles Mikolas by drilling his 29th homer leading off the fourth to lead 2-1. Ryan Zimmerman added a run-scoring double in the second for the Nationals. Jose Martinez had four hits for the Cardinals. Mikolas gave up four runs on four hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked one. Tommy Milone started for Washington and gave up two runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. 'PEN BOUND When Carlos Martinez returns to the Cardinals this season, it will be in the bullpen. Martinez has been working back from a shoulder injury, and the team is worried it won't have time to stretch out its ace for a potential postseason push. Martinez threw 30 pitches in a side session Monday. He will throw one more side session in the next few days, and could return to the active roster soon. 'I think he's probably looking like a (bullpen) weapon for the rest of the year,' Shildt said. TRAINER'S ROOM Nationals: Madson is dealing with back issues, but Martinez says Madson plans to pitch through the difficulties. 'He's a big part of our bullpen,' Martinez said. Madson did not pitch Monday. ... INF Anthony Rendon returned to the lineup after missing two games due to a left wrist contusion. Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright tossed a scoreless inning for Class A Palm Beach. The three-time All-Star was placed on the disabled list May 14 with right elbow inflammation and is beginning a 30-day rehab assignment. He struck out two and allowed one hit in the nine-pitch outing. UP NEXT LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-8, 3.39) will face RHP John Gant (4-4, 3.89) in the second of the four-game series Tuesday. Gonzalez has allowed just two earned runs over 14 innings in two starts this season against St. Louis. Gant made his major league debut against Washington on April 6, 2016 as a member of the Atlanta Braves. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The standoff between the Chicago Bears and No. 8 overall draft pick Roquan Smith is over. A person familiar with the situation says the linebacker has agreed to a four-year contract that guarantees $18.5 million and includes an $11.5 million signing bonus. The person spoke Monday night on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The Bears sent out a news release announcing Smith will be available to reporters after Tuesday's practice, though they did not say an agreement is in place. Smith is the final pick from this year's NFL draft class to reach an agreement — because of a hangup over the contract language. The sides disagreed over whether the team would be allowed to take back guaranteed bonus money if he was suspended for disciplinary reasons, including a violation of the league's new rule preventing players from leading with their helmet. Smith participated in offseason activities, but has been absent since Chicago reported to camp on July 19 and has missed two preseason games. The Bears visit Denver on Saturday. Smith is the first Chicago player of note to hold out since running back Cedric Benson missed 36 days in 2005. The Bears are usually among the first teams to sign all their picks. With his speed and athleticism, Chicago views Smith as a potential cornerstone at inside linebacker for a defense that ranked 10th overall last year. Smith helped lead Georgia to the national championship game last season and was the Butkus Award winner as college football's best linebacker. Chicago has four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North and just one playoff appearance since the 2006 team's Super Bowl run. The Bears fired coach John Fox and replaced him with Matt Nagy after last season. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.organd http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • For Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets, there's still one prize left in play. No, not a playoff spot. Those plans were wiped out long ago during a disappointing season. Rather, the NL Cy Young Award for their ace. DeGrom kept pumping up his resume, striking out 12 while the Mets backed him in a big way, hitting five home runs to beat Luis Severino and the New York Yankees 8-5 Monday night. 'I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it,' deGrom said. A victim of poor run support most of the season, deGrom (7-7) threw 6 2/3 innings and left with a major league-best 1.81 ERA. He allowed two earned runs and exited with a 7-3 lead. The importance of wins and losses has been diminished over the years in the Cy Young race, with voters often focusing on more advanced numbers. Even so, it felt good for deGrom to at least reach the .500 mark. 'I really haven't paid that much attention to my record,' he said. 'I obviously know what it is.' DeGrom fanned Austin Romine with his 113th and final pitch, and drew loud cheers from the many Mets fans in attendance. 'It was nice walking off the field and hearing that,' he said. DeGrom has gone 21 consecutive starts allowing no more than three runs — Dwight Gooden's 24-game string in 1985 is the team record. 'That's tremendous. It takes that to get to the level he's at, which I feel is he's the best pitcher in the league,' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. 'He doesn't beat himself. He goes out there and attacks. He's always on the attack. If he's going to get beat, they're going to beat him. And they haven't beat him yet.' DeGrom posted his first win in three career starts in the Bronx, and improved to 2-4 overall against the Yankees. Amed Rosario led off this Subway Series matchup with a drive into the right-field seats and Jose Bautista, Todd Frazier, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later connected. The club's best power show since June 2017 sent chants of 'Let's go, Mets!' bouncing all around Yankee Stadium. The Mets have scored eight runs in each of deGrom's last two starts, a welcomed change. 'The whole year, he's been an angel for what we've put him through,' Frazier said. Severino (15-6) was gone a lot earlier. Rather than break a tie with Washington ace Max Scherzer for the most wins in the majors, he stayed stuck in a rut that began before he pitched in the All-Star Game. 'Even though we saw some good velocity numbers, just getting that crispness back where from the side you really notice that slide, the shape on that slider, where that fastball kind of has that ride, that pop at the end. Didn't seem like it really had that tonight necessarily,' Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. Severino was tagged for seven hits, including homers by Rosario and Bautista, and four runs in four innings. The right-hander often seemed out of sorts, stepping behind the mound, taking off his hat and wiping away sweat on a humid evening. This marked the seventh straight start in which Severino has permitted at least three earned runs — he's allowed a home run in each of them, a total of 11 during that span. 'Things are not going my way right now, but I will work and try to fix it,' he said. 'I think I keep doing the same mistakes over and over,' Severino added. 'I'm missing with my fastball and I need to be more in control.' Miguel Andujar hit a two-run homer in the Yankees eighth off Seth Lugo. Robert Gsellman worked the ninth for his seventh save. The city rivals split their six games this year. This was a makeup from a rainout July 22. Rosario hit his first career leadoff homer and Bautista had a two-run drive in the fourth. Frazier greeted A.J. Cole with a home run in the sixth, and Nimmo and Conforto hit back-to-back drives in the seventh that made it 7-3. BUNT OR PUTT? Teeing off its trophy tour, the Ryder Cup stopped by the ballpark, and U.S. captain Jim Furyk was its guardian. Players took photos with him and the shiny gold prize before the game. Boone gave Furyk a customized Yankees jersey and got an official U.S. golf bag in return. Then, with the trophy just a yard away, Furyk threw out the first pitch — the former high school catcher and longtime Pirates fan fired a firm fastball. 'To me, it's the greatest event in all of golf, so it's an iconic trophy,' Furyk said. 'It debuted in 1927. ... It's also a rare chance for fans to get up and close and near the Ryder Cup.' The 11-city, 9,000-mile trophy tour will wind up Sept. 16 at Heinz Field for the NFL game between Kansas City and Pittsburgh. The 42nd Ryder Cup takes place Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National near Paris. TRAINER'S ROOM Mets: David Wright went 0 for 1, striking out once and walking once, and played five innings at 3B in his second rehab game with Class A St. Lucie. Yankees: C Gary Sanchez (groin) arrived from the team complex in Tampa, Florida, and did catching and hitting drills. Boone said the late August/early September projection for Sanchez's return was 'a fair timeline.' UP NEXT Mets: LHP Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.75 ERA) starts in Baltimore against RHP Andrew Cashner (3-10, 4.83). Vargas' last start was cut short by rain — he gave up three runs and got just one out vs. Cincinnati. Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ, who has won both his starts since being acquired from Toronto, pitches at home vs. Tampa Bay. ___ AP Sports Writer Terrin Waack contributed to this report. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • A look at what's happening around the majors Tuesday: SET FREE Robinson Cano is set to return from his 80-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement when Seattle plays at Oakland. The All-Star second baseman has been out since May 15, though he's been playing in the minor leagues for the past week. Cano is ineligible for the postseason if Seattle makes it, but manager Scott Servais hopes the 35-year-old can help the Mariners get there as a versatile piece around the infield. Servais said the team will work Cano in slowly, getting him reps at first, second and third base. 'We need to be smart in breaking him in,' Servais said. 'He wants to get going, he wants to contribute right away. He's missed playing, he's missed his teammates and being around this whole thing. I know he wants to come in and do a lot. But again small little things.' Seattle entered Monday 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second AL wild card. ROLLING RONALD Ronald Acuna Jr. is the youngest player to homer in four straight games during the live ball era, according to ESPN, and he'll go for five when Atlanta hosts Miami. Acuna homered to lead off both ends of Monday's doubleheader against the Marlins, making him the first to do that since Baltimore's Brady Anderson in 1999 and just the fourth to do it overall, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. MAKING PROGRESS Kenley Jansen is back with the Dodgers and preparing to return to action sooner than expected after being diagnosed last week with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen threw a light bullpen session Monday and will also throw Wednesday and Friday this week. Jansen expects to return much sooner than the initial projection of 4 to 6 weeks, though he says he may still require an ablation procedure on his heart this offseason. He had a similar operation in 2012. CENTRAL SHOWDOWN The Cubs and Brewers begin a pivotal two-game series at Wrigley Field. Milwaukee is three games back of Chicago for the top spot in the NL Central after David Bote's game-ending grand slam pushed the Cubs over the Nationals in the ninth inning Sunday night. Jhoulys Chacin (11-4, 3.91) will pitch for the Brewers against Jose Quintana (10-8, 4.28), who gave up five runs in a 9-0 loss to Kansas City last time out. NOT VERY VERLANDER Justin Verlander tries to bounce back from his worst start of the season when Houston hosts Colorado. Verlander allowed six runs in two innings against the Mariners last time out before getting ejected for arguing a balk call. Verlander allowed three homers in that game and has given up 10 in his past five starts — compared to 12 in his first 20. German Marquez (9-9, 4.69) will start for the Rockies. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Indonesia is deploying 100,000 police and soldiers to provide security for the Asian Games, the biggest event ever held in its terror attack prone capital Jakarta, parts of which have been dramatically spruced up as the city readies to welcome tens of thousands of athletes and visitors. The 18th Asian Games, which run until Sept. 2, are being held in Jakarta, Palembang on the island of Sumatra, and in West Java. About 12,000 athletes, support staff and officials and 5,000 journalists are expected. It's the second time Indonesia has hosted the games. The first in 1962 was under the country's founding president Sukarno, who wanted to showcase Indonesia and himself as a leader of nations who'd thrown off colonial Western rule. This time, Indonesia, projected to be among the world's 10 biggest economies by 2030, wants to shift perceptions that it's in the 'too hard' basket and pave the way for an eventual tilt at even bigger sports hosting baubles. All venues are finished and tested with only beautification work being carried out just days before Saturday's opening ceremony, said organizing committee member and sports ministry secretary Gatot S. Dewa Broto, who pronounced the facilities 'extremely wonderful.' An opening ceremony involving 5,000 performers is planned with a mythological theme, flying people and, indispensably in a country of dozens of active volcanoes, a mountain that erupts, albeit a 'very small eruption,' Dewa Broto said. The official website says the games will be 'inaugurated through a colossal ceremony as a way to show the world that Indonesia is a big nation that is capable of hosting an international event.' The games are being held at what is domestically a trying time for Indonesia. An earthquake on the island of Lombok last week killed more than 430 people and the country is beginning what's expected to be eight months of presidential election campaigning that trades on religious and ethnic divides. Any significant problems or successes at the Asian Games will reflect on the incumbent president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo. And despite a massive counter-terrorism crackdown since the 2002 Bali bombings, the past several years have seen increased activity by militants who've been reinvigorated by the extremism of the Islamic State group. Local militants have carried out unsophisticated but still deadly attacks across Indonesia, including in Jakarta. Their ideological leader was sentenced to death in June and police have arrested more than 280 suspected militants and killed 21 following suicide bombings in the second-largest city Surabaya in May in which radicalized families used their young children as weapons. The dispersion of venues is a particular challenge for security, requiring a huge number of personnel to manage everything from traffic to VIP security and terror threats, said Indonesia's deputy national police chief, Muhammad Syafruddin. Some 100,000 police and soldiers are being deployed another 100,000 are on standby, said Syafruddin, who is also chef de mission of the Indonesian team. 'About three months ago we foiled a plot by a radical group who planned an attack during the games, but we were able to detect it and prevent it. We can say that our success in detecting possible attacks is quite significant,' he said. Indonesia had less than the usual amount of time to prepare after the original host country, Vietnam, withdrew because of financial problems. Known for some of the world's most congested traffic and creaking infrastructure, Jakarta initially seemed unprepared for the challenge of hosting a major sports event. But officials are confident everything is ready. The country of more than 260 million people has spent $2 billion to upgrade its main stadium and connected venues, which were used for the 1962 Asian Games, and build a velodrome and equestrian center in eastern Jakarta. One of central Jakarta's two main thoroughfares has in the past few weeks become an almost unrecognizable boulevard of level footpaths and wide lanes after several years of subway construction — a city improvement being done independently of the games — was cleared away and its obstacle course-like sidewalks repaved. Many athletes and visitors will arrive through the international airport's gleaming new terminal three, another infrastructure improvement that was in the works before the games were awarded to Indonesia. Tests of travel time between the athlete village and the main stadium show it's almost achieving the targeted 30 minutes, possibly helped by expansion of a policy that alternates the days vehicles can use certain roads based on having an odd or even number plate. But not every problem can be solved to perfection. Just a few hundred meters from the revamped thoroughfare that passes the main stadium, long stretches of another significant artery are bounded by open drains and warped footpaths and divided by construction work for an elevated rail line. A black and foul smelling river next to the athlete village eluded a permanent solution so it has been covered in special netting to hide the eyesore and diminish the odor Air quality has noticeably deteriorated in Jakarta this month, a thick haze hanging over the city most days. Organizers promise an improvement. Schools along the routes for athlete convoys will be closed to further reduce traffic and factories have been asked to go slow. Organizers must also work hard to avoid scratching any of the sore diplomatic points between the 45 countries and territories competing. Referring to the controversy over Indonesia's flag being printed upside down in publications for the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia last year, Dewa Broto said Indonesia will be at pains to not be the country causing any offense 'We don't have any intention to make any refunds for that one,' he said. 'We want to be a very good host country. We don't want to get any negative image during the games.' ___ Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini contributed.
  • Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen expects to have a second heart surgery in the offseason but is confident he'll be able to come off the disabled list within the next few weeks. The All-Star reliever, out since Thursday with an irregular heartbeat, rejoined the Dodgers when they returned home Monday and threw a light bullpen. He plans to throw bullpens again on Wednesday and Friday. The 30-year-old Jansen is scheduled to be re-examined by his physicians next Monday. He said it's likely he'll need another ablation procedure on his heart after the season — the right-hander had a similar operation in 2012. When he was placed on the disabled list last week, it was projected Jansen would miss four to six weeks. 'I'm confident that it's not going to be four weeks, and it's not going to be six weeks,' a smiling Jansen said. '(Aug. 20) is going to be the key to listen to what is going to happen. Right now I'm going to keep taking my blood thinners and hopefully there are no side effects from the medication I'm taking, and I am pretty confident I will be back sooner than later.' Jansen has experienced several episodes with his heart condition in the past. He was prescribed blood thinners in 2011 and missed a month, then missed three weeks the following season with a similar issue. He said his latest incident occurred at the team hotel in Denver. After breakfast, he felt his heart begin to quiver and eventually called 911. Jansen was transported to a hospital, where he was shocked back into a normal heart rate. 'I feel much better,' he said. 'Health-wise, everything feels good. The minute they shocked me back in, I felt better. I feel great just working out again.' It was the third time Jansen had an episode in the high altitude of Colorado, but said he still plans to return. 'I'm going back to Denver, man,' he said. 'I'm going back. You can't be scared of life.' Jansen has 32 saves, tied with Colorado's Wade Davis for the National League lead. Los Angeles began the day a game behind first-place Arizona in the NL West. Without their star closer, the Dodgers' bullpen had lost three consecutive games. 'We're encouraged that it won't be the four to six weeks,' manager Dave Roberts said. Jansen said he can start running, and he hopes to be able to do heavy lifting by Wednesday. NOTES: The Dodgers reinstated reliever Erik Goeddel from the 10-day DL and optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Goeddel missed nine games with right lat inflammation. He is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 games with Seattle and Los Angeles this season, holding opponents to a .202 batting average. The 33-year-old Venditte, who pitches with both hands, had an 8.31 ERA in five appearances with the Dodgers. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. has pulled off an exceedingly rare baseball feat, hitting leadoff homers in both games of a doubleheader for the Atlanta Braves. The 20-year-old rookie hit an opposite-field drive into the Braves bullpen off Miami's Pablo Lopez in the first game, powering Atlanta to a 9-1 victory over the Marlins. Acuna sent another one into the seats in left-center to start the nightcap against Merandy Gonzalez, who was making his first major league start. Acuna may be only the fourth player in baseball history to hit a pair of leadoff homers in a doubleheader. Two others, Rickey Henderson and Harry Hooper, went on to the Hall of Fame. The Elias Sports Bureau says Baltimore's Brady Anderson pulled off the rare double during a home doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 21, 1999. Before that, it was accomplished by Oakland's Henderson at home against the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1993, and Hooper while playing for the Boston Red on May 20, 1913, during a pair of games at the Washington Senators. Acuna has 17 homers this season, four of them leading off games. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports