Wheeling Park Grad Michael Grove Excels in Quakes Victory

Wheeling Park graduate Michael Grove turned in one of the best performances of his young professional career on Sunday night.

The right-hander fired three scoreless frames, striking out three and retiring his final eight consecutive hitters to help lift the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to a 10-2 win over the Stockton Ports.

Grove is 0-4 on the season with an ERA of 6.64 and 57 strikeouts, while pitching 40 2/3 innings over 17 starts.

Pirates Suspend Kela 2 Games

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates have suspended reliever Keone Kela two games for an unspecified violation of his contract.

The team made the announcement on Monday shortly before opening a four-game series with St. Louis. The suspension came after the team activated Kela from the 60-day injured list. Kela went on the injured list on May 6 with right shoulder discomfort. He completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis over the weekend, allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings across four appearances with the Indians.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said over the weekend the team anticipated getting Kela — acquired in a deal with the Texas Rangers at last year’s trade deadline — back in the bullpen on Monday. Hurdle, however, demurred on Monday when asked about Kela’s availability, saying only that the team was still in the process of evaluating Kela’s status.

Kela is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA in 14 games with the Pirates this season.

Duncan Returning To Spurs As

Assistant Coach

Tim Duncan is back with the San Antonio Spurs, this time as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.

Duncan, the Spurs’ all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots — and the only player to be on all five of San Antonio’s NBA championship teams — officially returned to the franchise Monday. The Spurs, per their usual style, made the announcement in a very understated way, not even putting Duncan’s name in the headline of the news release.

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” Popovich said in the release.

Duncan didn’t even get top billing in the announcement. That went to Will Hardy, who will be taking on an expanded role as one of the Spurs’ assistant coaches. Hardy has been with the Spurs since 2010, working his way up from the video room at first.

“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” Popovich said.

The entirety of the Spurs’ description of Duncan in the release was this: “Duncan, a 1997 Wake Forest graduate, played 19 seasons with the Spurs before retiring in the summer of 2016.” No mention of his rings, his 15 All-Star nods, his three NBA Finals MVP awards, his two NBA MVP awards or anything else.

Duncan retired from playing three years ago, but has worked at times with San Antonio’s post players. He has long been one of Popovich’s favorites, even going back to 1997 in the days leading up to San Antonio taking Duncan with the No. 1 overall pick in that year’s draft.

Popovich went to the Virgin Islands before that draft to get to know Duncan, and was immediately sold.

“We lived on the beach for a few days and we swam and we talked,” Popovich said at Duncan’s retirement ceremony. “From that moment I knew he was a special individual because he basically talked about everything but basketball. And we’ve been the recipients of that intelligence and that outlook on life since he’s walked in here.”

Duncan’s hiring and Hardy’s expanded role will help the Spurs replace former assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, who left earlier this offseason for new jobs. Becky Hammon and Chip Engelland are also returning as Spurs assistants.

Ryan Zimmerman on IL with plantar fasciitis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman was put on the 10-day injured list by the Washington Nationals because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, the second time this season the injury has sidelined the 34-year-old first baseman.

Zimmerman left Sunday’s loss at Atlanta after an infield single in the second inning. Zimmerman missed 53 games between April 27 and June 28 because of the same injury. He is hitting .246 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 33 games.

“Now it’s just really pain tolerance,” manager Dave Martinez said Monday. “It can go away really fast. It can come back. It can take a while.”

Matt Adams is expected again to play extensively in Zimmerman’s absence. He is hitting .232 with 15 homers and 40 RBIs in 71 games.

Washington also selected the contract of right-hander Michael Blazek from Triple-A Fresno, recalled outfielder Andrew Stevenson from Fresno, optioned right-hander Kyle McGowin to Double-A Harrisburg and transferred right-hander Justin Miller (rotator cuff strain) to the 60-day injured list.

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