Top-seeded John Isner wins third Hall of Fame title

NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.

The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.

“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”

Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.

“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.

“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”

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Luis Valbuena’s solo homer lifts Angels to win over Red Sox

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Luis Valbuena hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh inning, Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons also homered and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Sunday.

Valbuena hit his ninth shot of the season into short right field to leadoff the inning, rounding out a trio of solo homers for the Angels.

Parker Bridwell (4-1) gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings. Bud Norris earned his 15th save while only giving up a single to Hanley Ramirez to start the ninth. Xander Bogaerts hit into a double play to end the game.

Rick Porcello (4-13) allowed three runs in eight innings, his 18th consecutive start where he threw at least 6 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Ramirez homered to left field with two outs in the top of the sixth that gave Boston a 2-1 lead. Trout promptly answered with a massive shot to centre. It was Trout’s third home run in five games and his fifth RBI of the eight-game homestand.

Bridwell retired the first 10 batters he faced and 14 of 15 Red Sox before Sandy Leon singled with two outs in the fifth. Simmons made a sliding backhand grab on Brock Holt’s ground ball to short but couldn’t get the throw off, putting two runners on. Deven Marrero’s line-drive single then fell in front of a diving Ben Revere in left and scored Leon to tie the game at 1.

After hitting the game-winner homer Saturday night, Simmons sent his 11th home run to left-centre in the fourth to give the Angels a brief 1-0 lead.


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Person of Interest: New Blue Jay Rob Refsnyder

The Toronto Blue Jays completed a trade on Sunday with the New York Yankees.

Out went Ryan McBroom, and in came Rob Refsnyder – a 26-year-old utility player who has appeared in 20 MLB games this season, with little to show for it (more on that later).

On the surface, the deal appears low-risk enough, given McBroom’s advanced age (he’s 25 years old), and less-than-great production in double-A New Hampshire this season: a .243/.321/.402 slash line in 96 games.

Here’s a closer look at Refsnyder, who will report to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

Name: Rob Refsnyder
Position: Utility
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Age: 26
Place of birth: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 6-0
Weight: 200 pounds
Drafted: Fifth round, 187th overall by New York in 2012
Former school: University of Arizona

Was considered the Yankees’ second baseman of the future

Refsnyder was named the most outstanding player of the 2012 College World Series, and there was a time when he was considered one of the better prospects in baseball.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Refsnyder was “rising like a meteor” in 2014, as New York was in its first season of the post-Robinson Cano era.

He was named the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees system after the 2015 season by Baseball America, though his path to become New York’s starting second baseman was effectively blocked by the team’s acquisition of Starlin Castro.

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Has had success in the minors

Refsnyder has acquitted himself well at every level of the minor leagues thus far in his …read more