BC-TX--Texas Sports Digest 12 am, TX

August 13, 2019 - 12:01 am

Good morning! Here's a look at AP's Texas sports coverage. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Dallas bureau at 972-991-2100, or at 1-800-442-7189. Email Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

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TORONTO _ Brandon Drury hit his first career grand slam, Justin Smoak had a two-run homer among his three extra-base hits, and the Toronto Blue Jays routed the Texas Rangers 19-4. Bo Bichette had the first four-hit game of his career and Randal Grichuk had three hits, including a solo homer as the Blue Jays won for the 10th time in 15 games. SENT: 750 words, photos.


CHICAGO _ Zack Greinke's second start with the Houston Astros has been postponed by rain. The Astros were scheduled to begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, but the rain started to pick up in the afternoon and the game was quickly called. The teams will play a traditional doubleheader Tuesday. Greinke and Gerrit Cole will pitch for Houston, and rookie Dylan Cease and Iván Nova are the scheduled starters for Chicago. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 490 words.


NEW YORK _ Major League Baseball will open its 2020 season March 26, its earliest start other than international games. The schedule also features a late April series in Puerto Rico between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins. Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers, opens March 31. This is the first new ballpark since the Atlanta Braves' SunTrust Park opened in 2017. Globe Life will be the seventh big league stadium with a retractable roof after those in Toronto, Phoenix, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee and Miami. Tampa Bay has a fixed roof. SENT: 320 words, photos.




Red River rivals Oklahoma and Texas met twice last season for the first time in 115 years, when the Sooners won their fourth consecutive Big 12 championship by avenging their only regular-season loss. Oklahoma now has another transfer quarterback _ former national championship winner Jalen Hurts _ after their transfer QBs the past two seasons both were Heisman Trophy winners and No. 1 overall NFL draft picks, all since Lincoln Riley became head coach. The Longhorns and hometown quarterback Sam Ehlinger are coming off their first 10-win season since 2009, a quick turnaround under third-year coach Tom Herman. So it really wouldn't be that much of a surprise if they again get to play a second game in the same season outside their traditional October game at the State Fair of Texas. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 870 words, photos.


AUSTIN, Texas _ Texas had just demolished Georgia in the Sugar Bowl when quarterback Sam Ehlinger shouted to the Superdome rooftop the two words Longhorns fans until then had only been willing to whisper. "We're ba-aack!" Ehlinger said as coach Tom Herman stood nearby with a half grin, half grimace look on his face. Texas was back, all right. Back to 10 wins, back to Big 12 title contender, back into the top 10. But can Texas stay there or will 2019 bring more frustration to a storied program that has spent many recent seasons squarely in the camp of mediocrity? Only Ehlinger and a defense that loses eight starters can answer that. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 640 words, photos.


STILLWATER, Okla. _ Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has two quarterbacks he considers capable of starting in redshirt senior Dru Brown and redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders. He said he is open to playing both, and he’s in no hurry to commit to one. Brown started every game for Hawaii two years ago and passed for 2,785 yards and 18 touchdowns before transferring to Oklahoma State. Sanders was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017 before redshirting last season. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, with photos.


WACO, Texas _ Charlie Brewer went into last season as the returning starting quarterback for Baylor, then early on shared snaps with a graduate transfer. A returning starter again, Brewer is now the clear No. 1 quarterback. The Bears go into Brewer’s junior season coming off a 7-6 record with a bowl victory, a year after they won only one game. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 670 words, photos.


For all the changes that have been made on and off the field at Texas Tech since Matt Wells took over as head coach, what will look the most familiar to everyone is the offense. "There's some philosophies and there's some schemes that are absolutely carry-over from the previous staff, from Kliff (Kingsbury), and even going back to coach (Mike) Leach," said Wells, who had his own high-scoring offenses at Utah State. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 690 words, photos.


FORT WORTH, Texas _ When TCU won its final two games to get bowl eligible last year, Jalen Reagor extended his record touchdown receiving streak while also running for a score in each game. Reagor, who also took some snaps while lining up in different spots, wasn't even at full strength because of a nagging ankle injury. "He was hurt. The last four games, he played about 70 or 80 percent," coach Gary Patterson said. "I don't think people even know how fast Jalen Reagor is." By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 670 words, photos.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ Alabama is still king in the Southeastern Conference, if not nationally. Nothing that happened in the national championship game changed that, though Georgia and others are in hot pursuit. Teams like Florida, LSU and Texas A&M are ready to pounce if either favorite falters. All three, like Georgia and Alabama, have high hopes and veteran quarterbacks. In fact, eight SEC quarterback starters return and four other teams could start graduate transfers. By John Zenor. SENT: 840 words, photos.


COLLEGE STATION, Texas _As Jimbo Fisher prepares for his second season at Texas A&M he believes his the Aggies are closer to being an elite team than they were a year ago. But the former Florida State coach knows they still have a way to go if they expect to contend for a title in the rugged Southeastern Conference."We're much much closer from the psychological disposition of understanding ... what it takes to play at the highest level," he said. "Once you understand that everything else falls in place. It's about what do you know you've got to do and how you've got to do it to the highest level and I think we're getting to that level and that's the biggest difference in our football team." By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 780 words, photos.


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