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WASHINGTON (AP) — Essentially throwing in the towel on a disappointing season, the Washington Nationals traded second baseman Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Despite a roster that boasts such stars as Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper, Washington went into a three-game series at home against Philadelphia with a losing record of 62-63, 7½ games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.

General manager Mike Rizzo and ownership gambled at the July trade deadline, standing pat and expressing faith in the roster as constituted. The Nationals trounced the New York Mets 25-4 that night, but are 9-10 since, including a 2-5 road trip through Chicago and St. Louis that featured a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

“We felt that coming off that road trip and into this most recent homestand was a time that was a litmus test for us … and we felt that the timing was right to make the vital decisions that we had to make,” Rizzo said.

The deals came three weeks after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and the Nationals arent getting much in return.

MIAMI (AP) — Marlins right-hander Jose Urena dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension for intentionally hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch.

Urena began serving the suspension Tuesday. The Marlins, fearful the Braves might retaliate, had already decided Urena wouldnt pitch against them during a four-game series later this week.

Urena is expected to return at Boston on Aug. 28.

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Alonso is a wanted man (Picture: AMA/Getty)

Chelsea are facing a battle to keep hold of two of their star players, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid pushing to sign Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso before the Spanish transfer window slams shut, reports claim.

The Blues were forced to conclude their summer business before the English deadline, but clubs around Europe are still able to buy players until August 31.

Chelsea are determined to keep hold of their prized assets but Maurizio Sarri faces a nervous wait regarding the pair, particularly in the knowledge he cant replace them before January.

Will Hazard leave? (Picture: AMA/Getty)

Real are making a final push for Hazard as they look to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, however the Blues are adamant hes not available at any cost.

Chelsea have already sold Thibaut Courtois to the Champions League holders and they are concerned that Hazard will join his international team-mate in refusing to sign a new deal and forcing through a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Reals rivals Atletico are also trying to sign a Chelsea player, with Alonso emerging as a late target.

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Fred joined Manchester United (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva played a key role in helping Manchester United sign Fred this summer and was heavily involved in discussions with Old Trafford chiefs.

The Brazilian World Cup winner spent five years n the Premier League with the Gunners, winning the title and two FA Cups during a successful stint under Arsene Wenger.

Gilberto was involved in plenty of crunch fixtures with Arsenals main rivals Manchester United back in the day, but that didnt stop him helping his former nemeses secure their biggest transfer of the summer.

Gilberto Silva was involved in many tussles with Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

The former Invincibles member acts as a mentor for Fred and advised the 25-year-old to seal a £52million move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester.

Gilberto was a top midfielder who played for Arsenal, Fred told ManUtd.com.

But he has a lot of respect for Manchester United, who are obviously a big club here in England.

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He praised the club a lot and, after he was granted the opportunity to speak to Jose Mourinho and other senior figures at United, we made the decision together for me to come here. We decided it would be a good move for me.

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Unai Emery has included Mesut Ozil as one of his five Arsenal captains (Picture: Getty)

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness claims it is a miracle Mesut Ozil has been deemed a suitable candidate to captain Arsenal this season.

Hoeness has launched several withering attacks on the Arsenal star since the 29-year-old cited racism and a subsequent lack of support from the German Football Federation as key factors in his decision to retire from the national team, following a disappointing World Cup campaign.

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery named the former Real Madrid star as one of his five captains ahead of the new season, but his faith in Ozil has yet to reap any rewards with the gifted playmaker yet to make any impact during the first two games of the Premier League campaign.

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Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery (R) gestures to Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil as he is substituted during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Unai Emery substituted Mesut Ozil midway through the second half of Arsenal defeat at Chelsea last weekend (Picture: Getty)

We would have been spared the whole theatre, Hoeness said.

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Ozil should have been forced to make a statement. But leaving that without explanation was probably the biggest mistake ever.

Ive been watching the player for a long time and hes a well-marketed product whose image is a lot better than he is, which is the only big blame for me.

Had [Germany coach Joachim] Low gone to Arsenal more often in London and looked at him properly, he probably would not have taken him for sporting reasons.

It is a miracle that he is now captain at Arsenal.

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Three local junior surfers have qualified for the elite ISA World Junior Championships in California this year.

Yallingups Emma Cattlin has been chosen to compete in the U16 Girls division along with Cy Cox and Seth Van Haeften from Margaret River.

Their results from last years Australian Junior Titles, where Cattlin placed third overall, earned them a place on the team.

Mike McAuliffe has been named co-coach for Team Australia at the 2018 ISA Would Junior Championships. Photo: Surfing WA/Majeks

There are only 12 competitors on the team so to have three from the South West is a huge achievement and will be a valuable experience.

Our junior athletes and their families and support teams invest so heavily for these competition opportunities, so we cant wait to see them show the world what they can do on the international stage.

Kim Crane – National high performance director

The team has been bolstered by the appointment of Surfing WAs head coach and competition veteran, Mike McAuliffe, as a co-coach for Team Australia.

National high performance director Kim Crane said the championships were a great opportunity for young surfers to improve their skills.

“Our junior athletes and their families invest so heavily for these competition opportunities, so we cant wait to see them show the world what they can do on the international stage.”

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A festival of Rugby Union will be held in Margaret River this Saturday with the Southwest Rugby Championship coming to an end.

Country Rugby Champions Geraldton Tigersharks will make their way down to challenge a combined Collie side.

Whilst their ultimate goal is a game against the Gropers, as yet it hasn't happened due to Margaret River missing the Country Championships.

They will open the day at noon on the Main Oval. Following that there will be an U-7s junior game which will showcase some of the talents of the next generation. This will be a great spectacle for them and great for the development of Rugby with the ultimate goal to attract interest in a Junior Gropers outfit next year. When they finish they'll be forming a tunnel for the teams taking the field with the Southwest Premiership up for grabs.

The Gropers have had their most successful year to date. With twelve wins from twelve games they almost gained the maximum points available. Ending with 48 points plus an 11 bonus points they were 1 point short of a record regular season tally ending with 59. A

lso with an average scoreline of 62-5 they should firm as favourites. They are under no illusions though as the only thing that matters is the silverware after the final whistle on Saturday. Dunsborough have beaten Bunbury to gain the right to defend their title after a heartbreaking Final saw the Gropers lose their chance for a 5th straight premiership by 2 meagre points.

Some star inclusions this week will bolster the side.

Captain Sam Henry rejoins the team as does star fullback Jake Wheels Algate. Dan Lee has been at his best and has finally worked his roster to be available for a final.

Jayde Tiopira has made a successful late season return after injuring his knee in the 10's earlier this year. His size and experience will prove invaluable.

Despite the late omission of vice-captain Tim Fearon, the Gropers will be at near full strength and are amped to regain the Shield this Saturday.

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Buenos Aires – Argentina's interim coach Lionel Scaloni refused to be drawn on Lionel Messi's international future after leaving the five-time World Player of the Year out of his squad for upcoming friendlies next month.

Local media had claimed the Barcelona star asked to be excused from international duty for Argentina's four remaining friendlies in 2018, starting with a trip to the United States in September to play Guatemala and Colombia.

"I've spoken with Messi and from that conversation I picked my squad," said Scaloni, who took over from the sacked Jorge Sampaoli after Argentina's underwhelming World Cup last-16 elimination to eventual champions France.

"We didn't speak about what could happen in the future. We know what Messi represents for us and we'll see for the future."

Messi, 31, has retired from international duty once before after missing a penalty in Argentina's shoot-out defeat by Chile, for the second year running, in the 2016 Copa America final.

That lasted little more than a month, though, before Messi returned to the blue and white shirt for Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

As it turned out, the twice former world champions were on the brink of elimination until a Messi hat-trick in their final qualifier earned a 3-1 come-from-behind victory away to Ecuador and a place at the global showpiece in Russia.

He failed to dazzle there, though, and hasn't spoken publically since the South Americans beat Nigeria in the group stage to earn a spot in the knock-out rounds.

Messi wasn't the only Argentine star to be left off Scaloni's list as Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, new AC Milan signing Gonzalo Higuain and Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria were also missing.

"No player has told me he doesn't want to be picked," said Scaloni.

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TORONTO (AP) — Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales hit back-to-back home runs, Aledmys Diaz and Billy McKinney also connected, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Baltimore 8-2 on Tuesday night, improving to 9-0 at home against the struggling Orioles.

Blue Jays right-hander Sam Gaviglio (3-6) pitched seven innings to snap a 15-start winless streak, earning his first victory since May 25 at Philadelphia. Gaviglio allowed two runs and six hits.

Smoak and Morales chased right-hander Dylan Bundy with solo blasts two pitches apart in the fifth. Smoaks homer was his team-high 19th.

Morales, who homered twice in Mondays 5-3 win, has hit four home runs in his past three games, giving him 17 on the season.

One out later, McKinney took Ryan Meisinger deep for his first career homer, giving the Blue Jays their first three-homer inning since Aug. 23, 2017 against Tampa Bay. In that game, Ryan Goins, Raffy Lopez and Steve Pearce each homered off right-hander Austin Pruitt.

Morales finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs while McKinney went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit except for second baseman Devon Travis, who went 0 for 4 and reached on an error in the first.

Diaz broke a 1-1 tie with a one-out blast off Bundy in the second. Bundy has allowed a major league-worst 33 home runs this season. No Orioles pitcher has allowed more since Jeremy Guthrie matched a club-worst by giving up 35 in 2009.

Bundy (7-12) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings, the third straight start he has surrendered seven earned runs. Bundy is 0-3 with a 9.28 ERA in four August starts.

Cedric Mullins hit a solo home run for the Orioles, who have lost three straight and 10 of 12. Baltimore is 1-11 against Toronto this season.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie Jeff McNeil went 4 for 4 and hit a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning that sent the New York Mets over the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Tuesday night.

McNeil equaled his career high by getting four hits for the second time since making his major league debut last month. Michael Conforto homered and drove in four runs.

Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who fell to 3-5 on an 11-game road trip — theyve scored two runs or fewer five times. Longorias drive was San Franciscos first homer since Andrew McCutchen connected last Wednesday.

With the score tied at 2, Jose Reyes led off the Mets eighth with a triple off the center field fence. Tony Watson (4-5) got pinch-hitter Todd Frazier on a popout and struck out Amed Rosario before McNeil delivered.

Conforto added a three-run homer after the Giants intentionally walked Wilmer Flores.

Corey Oswalt (3-2) pitched three scoreless innings. Seth Lugo worked the ninth, giving up on a run when Austin Slater hit an RBI single off right fielder Jose Bautistas glove.

McNeil singled in his first three at-bats and scored New Yorks first run on a sacrifice fly by Conforto.

Steven Matz allowed two runs on five hits in five innings in his second start for the Mets since returning from a strained left forearm.

Matz also was robbed of a potential extra-base hit in the third by left fielder Hunter Pence. Matz hit a fly ball to the warning track and Pence made a basket catch as his hat fell off.

Giants starter Chris Stratton was called up from Triple-A and allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.