BASEBALL

The Chicago Cubs picked up their $16.5 million option for Anthony Rizzo on Saturday, bringing back the popular first baseman after he struggled during the pandemic-shortened season.

The 31-year-old Rizzo hit just .222 this year for his lowest batting average since his first year in the majors in 2011. But he has been one of the majors’ most productive sluggers since he was acquired in a 2012 trade with San Diego. He’s also a key clubhouse leader for the NL Central champions.

Rizzo would have been owed a $2 million buyout had the Cubs declined his option. The team could try to extend his deal to create some salary relief for next season after losing money this year because of the pandemic.

• The New York Yankees let Tommy Kahnle become a free agent rather than allow him to become eligible for salary arbitration ahead of a season he is likely to largely miss while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

New York said Saturday that the hard-throwing 31-year-old right-hander had refused an outright assignment to the minor leagues and elected to become a free agent, Kahnle’s right as a player with at least three years of major league service.

Kahnle has 5 years, 131 days of major league service and despite the injury would have been likely to get a raise after making $2.65 million last season.

• Chris Archer’s $11 million option for 2021 has been declined by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 32-year-old right-hander became a free agent.

Archer will receive a $250,000 buyout, completing a contract he agreed to with Tampa Bay in April 2014. The deal originally guaranteed $25.5 million over six seasons and included a $9 million club option for 2020 that the Pirates exercised.

GOLF

PGA TOUR: Doc Redman found the wind far more manageable, and he took advantage with a 4-under 67 for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Bermuda Championship in Southampton, Bermuda.

The wind came out of the opposite direction as the previous day and it wasn’t quite as strong. It showed in the scores and in the number of opportunities for players who never won or have gone without winning in years.

Redman was at 10-under 203, one shot ahead of Ryan Armour (70), Wyndham Clark (70) and Kramer Hickok (69), who took three putts from a tough spot on the fringe on the 18th at Port Royal.

Another shot behind were Matt Jones (66), Brian Gay (67) and Ollie Schniederjans (69). Jones was bogey-free in the third round, which to him was as impressive as any of his five birdies.

CHAMPIONS: Darren Clarke eagled the par-5 18th hole Saturday for a 10-under 62 and a share of the second-round lead in the TimberTech Champions in Boca Raton, Florida.

Winless on the 50-and-over tour, the 52-year-old star major champion from Northern Ireland had eight birdies in the bogey-round at The Old Course at Broken Sound.

Robert Karlsson of Sweden birdied the 18th for a 66 to match Clarke at 13-under 131.

Jim Furyk was a stroke back after a 68. The 50-year-old Furyk won this year in his first two starts on the senior tour.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Jamie Donaldson will look to seal his first European Tour title in more than six years after taking a one-stroke lead at the end of the third round of the Cyprus Open in Paphos, Cyprus.

Donaldson, who is most famous for securing the winning point for the European team at the 2014 Ryder Cup, birdied the 18th hole for the third time this week to shoot 2-under 69 and reach 14 under par. He won the last of his three titles at the Czech Masters in 2014 and is playing on an invitation this week.

SOCCER

SPANISH LEAGUE: A goalkeeping gaffe by Neto condemned Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Alavés in Vitoria, Spain as Ronald Koeman’s team dropped points for a fourth straight round in the Spanish league.

Neto gifted Alavés its goal in the 31st minute when he let Luis Rioja poke the ball from his feet and roll it home.

Antoine Griezmann got his first goal of the season as Barcelona equalized in the 63rd after the hosts lost Jota Peleteiro to a second booking.

MLS: Fabrice-Jean Picault scored twice in FC Dallas’ 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo in Frisco, Texas.

Franco Jara tapped in a sliding goal off a headed centering pass from Michael Barrios in the 19th minute to give Dallas (8-5-7) the lead.

In the 27th minute, Fabrice-Jean Picault headed in a book pass from Andrés Ricaurte. Piicault added one more in the 93rd for the final margin.

Houston (4-9-9), which beat Dallas 2-0 on Oct. 7, is winless in six matches.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Diogo Jota scored an 85th-minute winner as Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 and climb above Merseyside rival Everton to the top of the Premier League in Liverpool, England.

Jota had just had a goal disallowed following an intervention by VAR when he ran onto a perfectly weighted pass from fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri and slotted home his finish in front of an empty Kop stand at Anfield.

Portugal winger Jota, who joined from Wolverhampton in the summer transfer window, has now scored in three straight matches.

• Two of the Chelsea’s six summer signings – Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner – scored in a 3-0 win over Burnley in Burnley, England, which came three days after a 4-0 victory in the Champions League at Krasnodar.

• Kyle Walker consigned boyhood club Sheffield United to another loss by driving home a long-range shot to earn Manchester City a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.

The right back, who has been one of the few City players to be consistently impressive this season, collected a pass from Kevin De Bruyne in a central position, surged forward, and fired in an effort from 30 yards (meters) that found the bottom corner in the 28th minute.

CYCLING

SPANISH VUELTA: David Gaudu of France won the grueling 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta in Alto De La Farrapona, Spain, while title rivals Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz remained locked atop the overall classification.

Gaudu sped away from Marc Soler and screamed with joy as he crossed the finish line at the top of Alto de la Farrapona. The Groupama-FDJ rider won the 105-mile ride up four category-one climbs in Spain’s northern mountains in just under 5 hours.

Gaudu and Soler were the last remnants of a breakaway that successfully stayed ahead of the group of overall contenders on the final climb.

Defending champion Roglic maintained the red leader’s jersey that he reclaimed from Carapaz on Friday. Roglic and Carapaz crossed together to remain on the same overall time.

 


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