Mookie Betts was the MVP runner-up last season, was selected to his second straight All-Star team Sunday night, and showed exactly why on Sunday afternoon. Betts drove in eight runs from the leadoff spot, and hit two home runs, in the Boston Red Sox' 15-1 blowout of the Toronto Blue Jays. The win completes the sweep of their division rivals and extends their division lead to three games over the New York Yankees, who dropped their rubber game to the Houston Astros. Betts went 4-for-6 for the Red Sox and drove in eight for the second time in his career. It was also his second multihomer game of the season, as he tied the MLB record for RBIs in a game from the leadoff spot. Hanley Ramirez also chipped in for Boston with three hits and a long ball, helping hand Joe Biagini his eighth loss of the year. Biagini gave up seven runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings. The last-place Blue Jays fell to 13-24 against division opponents this season, and finished the homestand at 1-5 with a combined 11 runs scored. Drew Pomeranz recorded his third straight road win after throwing six impressive innings, improving his season record to 8-4. Fernando Abad pitched the final three innings for his first save. Boston stays on the road to visit the Texas Rangers beginning Monday night. The Blue Jays head to the Bronx to battle the Yankees.
Millsap Joins Nuggets, Lowry Stays With Raptors
Two of the bigger names left available in the NBA found a home, or returned home, on Sunday. First, the Denver Nuggets landed Paul Millsap on a three-year, $90 million contract. The third year of the deal is a team option for the 32-year-old who has spent his entire career with the Atlanta Hawks. The Nuggets had been eyeing a top star to join them, and Millsap is not a bad option, as he will be paired up with young big man Nikola Jokic. The big man averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in his final season in Atlanta, and has made four straight All-Star appearances. This move could help the Nuggets snap their three-year playoff drought in the West, and also means free agent Danilo Gallinari will be going elsewhere. Meanwhile, point guard Kyle Lowry decided to stay north of the border, re-signing with the Toronto Raptors on a three-year, $100 million deal. Lowry opted out of the final year of his four-year contract with the team in May. The three-time All-Star was thinking about his championship odds when it came to deciding where to sign, and he claims that an NBA Title is in Toronto's future. The 31-year-old averaged 22.4 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.8 rebounds this past season while being held to just 60 games due to a right wrist injury that required surgery. He will be entering his sixth season with the Raptors, and looks to push them above the major hurdle in the East, which is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Maple Leafs Land Marleau, Capitals Make Big Moves
The NHL Free Agency news wire also heated up on Sunday with the Toronto Maple Leafs bringing in the San Jose Sharks leading scorer Patrick Marleau. The deal is for three years and is worth $18.75 million. The 37-year-old has spent his entire career in San Jose, and his 1,493 games played with them is the seventh-most with one team in NHL history. San Jose hasn't played a game without him since April of 2009. They selected him with the second overall pick in 1997, and got 508 goals and 574 assists from the veteran. That ranks him first in games and goals, and second in assists in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals made a couple moves on Sunday, including giving center Evgeny Kuznetsov an 8-year, $62.4 million contract. That makes Kuznetsov the second-highest paid player on the roster behind captain Alex Ovechkin. The 25-year-old is now signed through 2024-25, and had 19 goals and 40 assists last season. In 261 career games with the Caps, he has recorded 53 goals and 129 assists, and led the team in points in 2015-16. Washington made room for the center by dealing Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils. They received two 2018 draft picks, one in the second round and one in the third. Johansson is coming off a career-high 58-point season, and joins the likes of Justin Williams and Kevin Shattenkirk as Capitals to find new homes this off-season.