Marlins ship Hanley Ramirez to the West Coast

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Marlins ship Hanley Ramirez to the West Coast

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have worked out a multiplayer trade to acquire former NL batting champion Hanley Ramirez from Miami, the second big deal in as many days for the disappointing Marlins. A person familiar with the trade told The Associated Press about the swap on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. The Dodgers will also get reliever Randy Choate while the Marlins will receive pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer. Multiple media outlets reported the deal late Tuesday night. The deadline to make trades without waivers is next Tuesday, and several stars including Ichiro Suzuki, Wandy Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis already have been on the move to contending teams. A day after the Marlins sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospect Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers, Miami traded with another playoff hopeful. The 28-year-old Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs, far from his big season in 2009 when he hit .342 with 24 homers and 106 RBIs. The All-Star shifted from shortstop to third base this season to make room for newly acquired Jose Reyes. Ramirez and the Marlins have fallen short of expectations this year. Miami lost 4-3 to Atlanta on Tuesday night and dropped to 45-52. The Dodgers lost at St. Louis 8-2 and are 2 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco. Los Angeles got off to a terrific start this season, but hit a skid and fell out of first place. Ramirez could play either spot on the left side of the infield for the Dodgers. Dee Gordon is currently on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb that could sideline him until mid-August, and is batting only .229 with 17 RBIs. The Dodgers haven't gotten much production from their third basemen, with Juan Uribe batting just .190 with two homers and 17 RBIs and others doing little at the spot. Choate, a 36-year-old lefty, is 0-0 with one save and a 2.49 ERA in 44 games. He began his big league career with the New York Yankees in 2000 and also has pitched for Arizona and Tampa Bay. Eovaldi, a 22-year-old righty, is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. He made his major league debut last season.

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

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USA TODAY

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

Things are not going too well in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes saw their losing streak stretch to four games Saturday with an upsetting 98-89 home loss to Omaha.

Iowa has been a high-scoring team this season, entering the weekend with the Big Ten's No. 2 scoring offense at 85.6 points a game, but it's also been the league's worst defensive team, allowing an average of 85 points a game. And that's before the Mavericks nearly hit the century mark on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes were out-rebounded, including a big advantage for the Mavericks on the offensive boards, where they turned 19 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. Omaha's bench outscored Iowa's bench, 37-9, and the Mavericks had a 40-26 scoring edge in the paint.

Trailing by six after allowing 53 first-half points, the Hawkeyes led for just 18 seconds over the game's final 21-plus minutes.

Peter Jok, the Big Ten's leading scorer, poured in 33 points in this one, though efficiency was not his strong suit, going 8-for-21 from the field. He added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Iowa's losing streak stands at four, the loss to Omaha linking with losses to Virginia, Memphis and Notre Dame. In the last three games, the Hawkeyes have surrendered an average of 96.7 points. In four of their five losses on the season — the heretofore unmentioned one coming against Seton Hall — opponents have scored at least 91 points.

The Hawkeyes' only wins this season have come against Kennesaw State, Savannah State and Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

Iowa has five more non-conference games — including a date with ranked in-state rival Iowa State — prior to the start of Big Ten play at the end of the month.

Illini defense dominant in capping bounce-back week with win over VCU

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USA TODAY

Illini defense dominant in capping bounce-back week with win over VCU

What a difference a week makes.

Last week was a nightmare for Illinois, with a home loss to Winthrop followed by back-to-back double-digit losses to West Virginia and Florida State in Brooklyn.

But things went much differently this week, with Tuesday's win over North Carolina State paired with a Saturday victory over VCU to make for a bounce-back stretch for a team that looked lost just a handful of days ago.

Saturday's win in Miami came in convincing fashion, Illinois victorious by a 64-46 score over a team that's been to six straight NCAA tournaments.

The Illinois defense held VCU to its lowest scoring output since 2005. The Illini held the Rams to just 30.2-percent shooting and 2-for-18 shooting from 3-point range.

The Illini fell behind early in this one but countered VCU's opening success with a 19-3 run that put them ahead by eight in the closing minutes of the first half. That run featured seven points from Leron Black and five from Maloclm Hill, the start of huge games for both guys. A Hill buzzer-beater at the half gave Illinois its biggest lead of the opening 20 minutes at 10.

VCU scored 11 straight points in the early stages of the second half to chop a 12-point Illinois lead all the way down to one. Things stayed close until a 10-3 run by the Illini — featuring eight points from Jalen Coleman-Lands — stretched the Illinois edge back out to double digits, an 11-point lead with about three minutes to go. After a pair of VCU free throws, Hill knocked down a 3-pointer with two and a half minutes left to seal the game, establishing a 12-point advantage the stretched to nearly 20 by the final horn.

Black finished the game with a career-high 18 points, coming close to a double-double with eight rebounds. Hill had 16 points and filled the stat sheet with five assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block. Coleman-Lands was an unusual oh-fer from 3-point range but still scored in double figures with 12 points. Tracy Abrams was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep, accounting for all nine of his points, and had six rebounds and four assists.

Illinois sits at 6-3 on the season, two games better than it was a week ago after back-to-back wins against name opponents. Four more non-conference games are on the docket — against IUPUI, Central Michigan, BYU and Missouri — before the start of Big Ten play at the end of the month.