Professional Sports

Bell’s presence couldn’t hurt team

PITTSBURGH — Aw, who needs Le’Veon Bell, right? That’s been the prevailing sentiment lately as Bell’s contract holdout continues with no end or logic in sight. His absence has coincided with some record-setting work by replacement James Conner. In last Sunday’s game against ...

Andersen shuts down Penguins

PITTSBURGH — Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall and the Toronto Maple Leafs routed the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 on Saturday night. Morgan Rielly scored twice and John Tavares had a goal and an assist to help Toronto improve to ...

Steelers’ offense seeks better production in Baltimore

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have an opportunity to create some mid-season separation in the AFC North. To do that, they will have to beat the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday, a venue where the Steelers have found it difficult to win and generate ...

Rivers to join ‘200 club’

The Associated Press COSTA MESA, Calif. — Philip Rivers has many accomplishments, but there is one trait that he has taken pride in over his 15-year career — durability. The Chargers’ veteran signal caller will become the fourth quarterback in NFL history to make at least 200 ...

Bucs hire hitting instructor

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Rick Eckstein has been hired as the club’s new hitting coach on Friday. “Rick Eckstein brings experience, knowledge and a relentless drive to combine old-school thought and new-school concepts to help our Major League team,” general ...

Pens battle back, fall in shootout

NEW YORK — After setting a career high for points last season, Josh Bailey has picked up right where he left off. Bailey scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then the only goal in a shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Thursday ...

Steelers, Ravens face similar pressures

BALTIMORE — In each of the last two years, the Baltimore Ravens have been eliminated from playoff contention with late-season losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the first time since 2014, these AFC North rivals will wrap up the season series before December. That doesn’t mean ...

Boston celebrates latest title

BOSTON — Confetti cannons boomed and huge crowds of fans cheered wildly on Wednesday as the Boston Red Sox rumbled through downtown aboard duck boats to mark the team’s fourth World Series championship in the past 15 years. One of the team’s championship trophies and team manager Alex ...

Mayfield ready to lead through adversity

BEREA, Ohio — Baker Mayfield’s baptism with the Browns is complete. Some coaching chaos made it official. Cleveland’s rookie quarterback admitted Wednesday he was stunned by the firings of coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who were dismissed within an hour of ...

Offense wants to re-establish agressiveness at Baltimore

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers were bullied the last time they faced the Baltimore Ravens. In a rivalry mostly defined by physicality, that might be the worst that could be said about either side following a game. When the Steelers travel to Baltimore for their second matchup on ...

Bay-Area battle becomes skirmish for a draft pick

The Battle of the Bay Area in prime time is more like a skirmish for a high pick in next April’s draft, perhaps even the first overall selection. Yep, that’s how bad the Raiders and 49ers have been so far. When they meet in Santa Clara, California tonight, how much of the nation will show ...

Big Ben has hand injury

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a broken index finger on his left hand. Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger sustained the injury on his non-throwing hand at some point in Pittsburgh’s 33-18 victory over Cleveland on Sunday. ...

Islanders double up Pittsburgh

By Dan Scifo The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Following an emotional pregame ceremony for their mourning city, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins channeled their emotions into a flurry of a first period. The Islanders spoiled their efforts for an uplifting finish, though, with ...

Always the underdog

Editor’s note: Steve Pearce is one of the best players in Curve history. In 2007, he hit .334 with 14 homers, 72 RBIs, 27 doubles and a .986 OPS in just 81 games for Altoona. But Pearce was overshadowed on that 2007 Curve team by former first-round draft picks Andrew McCutchen and ...

Boston’s rookie manager savors championship

LOS ANGELES — Hard to believe now, all these wins later, but the Alex Cora Era in Boston began with a loss. A brutal one, in fact. Opening day at Tropicana Field in late March, none of his late moves worked out as the bullpen blew a big lead in a 6-4 setback. No fan in New England would ...

Conner making most of time with Bell gone

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t surprised by the success of second-year running back James Conner. Conner continues to shine in the spotlight while two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell remains away from the team. Conner enjoyed a history-making day, accounting for more ...

McCourty’s pick-6 seals Pats win

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Devin McCourty returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown, and the New England Patriots’ defense smothered the Buffalo Bills’ anemic offense in a 25-6 win on Monday night. James White scored on a 1-yard run, and the Patriots relied more on Stephen ...

Steelers top Browns with more than football on minds

PITTSBURGH — Shaken by an unspeakable tragedy, this city needed something to ease its pain. The Steelers brought some joy to their grieving community. Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to Antonio Brown, James Conner ran for two scores, and Pittsburgh beat the Cleveland Browns ...

Conner making Bell absence hurt less

PITTSBURGH — The NFL trading deadline arrives Tuesday at 4 p.m. Does Le’Veon Bell report to the Steelers after that? Bell’s lingering absence is less of an issue because of the work being turned in by his replacement, James Conner. Conner ran for 146 yards in Sunday’s 33-18 ...

Steelers play with tragedy on minds

PITTSBURGH — Sunday dawned gray and gloomy in Pittsburgh with a persistent drizzle. It was one of those days when the elements matched the mood. The Steelers played the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field, just a few miles from the spot where a hideous tragedy was making international ...