On Labor Day, Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia bullpen spread the workload on a no-hitter. Hamels and three Phillies relievers combined on the season's fourth no-hitter, blanking the Atlanta Braves 7-0 Monday and giving a last-place team a rare reason to celebrate. It was all the more unusual in that Hamels left the game with his bid intact after six innings. Relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a perfect inning to close out the 11th combined no-hitter in big league history.
Oakland rookie Derek Carr will start the season opener against the New York Jets, becoming the first Raiders quarterback to start the first game of his rookie season. Coach Dennis Allen announced Monday that Carr would be the starter for the foreseeable future ahead of Matt Schaub, who struggled in the preseason and has been hampered by a sore elbow. ''We've seen signs of Derek Carr's development from the day he stepped on campus here to where he is at right now,'' Allen said. ''It's not an indictment on Matt Schaub at all,'' Allen said.
The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team's 59-79 record than the need for ''new direction'' and a ''united message throughout the entire organization.'' Porter was in his second season with the Astros and was succeeded by interim manager Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston's minor league system. Lawless' first game in charge is Tuesday night at home against the first-place Los Angeles Angels. Bench coach Dave Trembley also was let go. Porter joined the Astros after working as a third-base coach for the Washington Nationals.
Star tight end Rob Gronkowski stood in front of his Gillette Stadium locker Monday and announced he will be playing in the New England Patriots' opener at Miami this Sunday. Meanwhile, the news hardly caught the Dolphins by surprise. ''I'm super excited,'' said Gronkowski, who didn't play in any of the four preseason games as he completed his recovery from December right knee surgery. Super pumped, super excited and just preparing for the game.'' The pronouncement came as a bit of a surprise in a locker room not known for players ''breaking news.'' ''Yeah, yeah, I'm just getting it out of the way there,'' Gronkowski said.
Bothered by the heat and stifling humidity, Eugenie Bouchard felt dizzy and her vision was blurry. Bouchard tried to carry on, but it was hardly an ideal time to try to win a tennis match. The No. 7-seeded Bouchard became the latest top woman to bow out at this surprise-filled U.S. Open, beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the fourth round.
Bobby Petrino watched his offense come together, and also enjoyed a solid performance for his defense. The opening of the Petrino sequel at Louisville doubled as one successful ACC debut for the Cardinals. Dominique Brown had a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Gerald Christian scored on a 10-yard TD catch late in the fourth, leading Louisville to a 31-13 victory over Miami on Monday night. Despite the 18-point margin, Louisville showed little of the offensive efficiency expected to be a staple of Petrino's second coaching stint at the school.
Wes Welker celebrated Labor Day by practicing for the first time since sustaining a concussion on Aug. 23. Key backups Ronnie Hillman and Kayvon Webster were limited in the early portion of practice four days after falling ill during the Broncos' exhibition finale at Dallas.
Matt Holliday is keeping quiet about his recent hitting surge. St. Louis moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time this season with its third straight win. The Cardinals are one game ahead of Milwaukee, which lost to the Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh dropped three games back.
Adam Dunn is in a pennant race at last, and what an impression he made on his new team as the September stretch run began. Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his debut at-bat for Oakland to highlight a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday in a matchup of playoff contenders. ''We're going to take full advantage.'' Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Dunn immediately became an imposing presence in the middle of Oakland's order. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings.
Chris Kirk made three big putts and captured the biggest win of his career Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He went the last 37 holes at the TPC Boston without a bogey.