Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Nov. 11, 2019. REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN The blueprint, endorsed by IsraeliPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarizedPalestinian state that excludes Jewish settlements built in occupied territoryand is under near-total Israeli security control.(Reuters) CAIRO – The Palestinian Authority hascut all ties with the United States (US) and Israel, including those relatingto security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by US PresidentDonald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday. Abbas was in Cairo to address the ArabLeague, which backed the Palestinians in their opposition to Trump’s plan.
Two 25-lap qualifiers for the Hobby Stocks and a 25-lapper for the Northern SportMods are also on the Labor Day card. ‘We’ve been racing for 11 or 12 years and we’ve wanted to come to Super Nationals for about 10 years,” added Cory, from nearby Lovington and eligible to qualify for the race of champions. “It would mean a lot for us to make the main event.” Brothers Cody and Cory Stone made the 1,100-mile tow from New Mexico to compete at Super Nationals for the first time. Both have a pair of Hobby Stock wins on their resume so far this season. (IMCA Photo) One hundred and twenty-two Hobby Stocks vie in 14 heats, 144 Northern SportMods in 20 heats and 35 Deery Brothers Summer Series Late Models in four heats. “We want to make the show, for sure,” said Cody, from Hobbs. “We’ve talked to a couple guys about racing here. They said you’ve got to be aggressive.” BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 2) – More than 300 cars in three IMCA divisions see action Monday, opening day of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s at Boone Speedway. They also know what they want to accomplish in heir first trip to America’s Racin’ Vacation. The New Mexico brothers and Hobby Stock drivers know Boone Speedway has a racing surface similar to what they race on weekly, and the banking is comparable to home track Cardinal Speedway. Both have two feature wins this season. They’re part of a four-car team at home that also includes their father/crew chief Shawn and friend Kevin Griffin. The 50-lap Late Model main event, the 499th in series history, will see the crowning of the first champion of the 37th annual Super Nationals this evening. BOONE, Iowa – Cory and Cody Stone did their homework before travelling 1,100 miles to compete at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.
RelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Anthony Joshua is prepared to vacate one of his world titles in order to “create entertainment” within the heavyweight division. The WBA, WBO and IBF champion is keen on lining up a unification clash this year against the winner of the WBC clash between defendant Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury . But Joshua understands he may have to give up one of his belts, due to being ordered to face two mandatory challengers. He must fight Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk this year to retain his IBF and WBO titles, but accepts that may not be possible if he also wants a blockbuster showdown with Fury or Wilder. “I always said the belts do not represent me. I will stand as a champion, even if I have to give one up,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “It would give me an opportunity to face another world champion – I’ve beaten four world champions on my record now. “If I give up a belt it creates more history and entertainment. If I have to, I’ll give it away – but I’ll get it back again.” Joshua only regained all his titles last month in the unanimous points decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr – who had won them from the Brit back in June. Promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful Joshua will be able to keep hold of all his belts but that could be difficult with his fighter’s schedule. A clash with Pulev or Usyk is pencilled in for around April-May time, with Joshua expected to fight again towards the end of the year. Given Fury and Wilder meet in their rematch in February, it is likely Joshua would face the winner of that bout, with Tottenham’s stadium mooted as a potential venue. However that would mean there would be little to no time for Joshua to fulfil his other mandatory challenge, and he has not fought three times in one year since 2016. One solution could be to push back a meeting with Fury or Wilder until 2021, but it seems more likely Joshua will vacate one of his titles.Tags: Anthony JoshuaDeontay WilderKubrat Pulevleksandr UsykTyson Fury
RelatedPosts QPR slap N8.1b on Eberechi Eze Fulham join Eberechi Eze race Joe Hart pens two-year deal with Tottenham Nigel Pearson has been sacked as Watford head coach with two games remaining in the season, as the club looks to avoid relegation from the Premier League.Watford are 17th in the table, three points above the relegation zone, following Friday night’s 3-1 defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham. The Hornets brought in former Leicester City boss Pearson to replace Quique Sanchez Flores in December with the club rock bottom of the table.He led a mini-revival to get them out of the drop zone but a tough spell since the Premier League restart has left them still fighting for their lives.Last year’s FA Cup finalists are three points above the relegation zone with two tough games remaining against Manchester City and Arsenal.They were beaten 3-1 by fellow strugglers West Ham on Friday night in a bitter blow to their hopes as Bournemouth and Aston Villa look to climb above the Vicarage Road club and out of the drop zone.Technical director Filippo Giraldi delivering the news, with some suggestions assistant Craig Shakespeare has been asked to take over. Others were left questioning how the club have managed to sack three managers in one season after Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores both left before Christmas.Tags: Nigel PearsonRelegation zoneWatfordWest Ham
Bolt completes 3rd Olympic sprint double(NBCOlympics) – Putting the final touches on his Olympic legacy, Usain Bolt won the Olympic 200m gold medal last night in Rio. It was likely the last individual Olympic race for the eight-time gold medallist.Bolt crossed the line in 19.78 seconds, his slowest time in his three Olympic 200m finals.Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt of Jamaica strikes his iconic pose after winning the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium last night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)With three Olympic gold medals in both the 100m and 200m, Bolt became the third athlete in Olympic history to win two individual events at three Olympics, joining Michael Phelps and Ray Ewry.Andre De Grasse, the Canadian sprinter who unsuccessfully challenged a smiling Bolt in his semi-final heat, finished second in 20.02 seconds.France’s Christophe Lemaitre earned the bronze medal.LaShawn Merritt, the lone American to reach the final, finished sixth.Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates winning the Men’s 200m Final ahead of bronze medallist France’s Christophe Lemaitre during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro last night. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)Bolt remained perfect in Olympic finals. The world’s fastest man won his seventh Olympic gold medal on Sunday, in the 100m.
ACTION in the seventh edition of the Digicel Schools Football tournament now moves to Regions Three, Five and Six today, as teams set their sights on the $1M first place prize.In Region Five, Mahaicony Secondary will do battle with Belladrum Secondary at the Belladrum ground in West Berbice from 15:30hrs.Over at Burnham Park in New Amsterdam, Berbice High School will collide with Berbice Educational Institute at 15:30hrs.Vreed-en-Hoop and Patentia will square off at L’Aventure ground from 15:30hrs.The tournament, which features 150 schools, representing the 10 administrative regions of Guyana, kicked off on Monday at the Leonora Track and Field Facility, where Essequibo Islands Secondary inflicted a 6-1 drubbing over Parika/Salem Secondary.Meanwhile, the tournament will continue tomorrow with West Demerara Secondary versus L’Aventure Secondary at the L’Aventure ground, Novar Secondary versus Berbice School of Excellence at the Belladrum ground and Canje Secondary will take on New Amsterdam Secondary at Burnham Park.All matches start at 15:30hrs.One million dollars will go the winning school for a project of their choice, while second through fourth will pocket $700 000, $400 000 and $350 000 respectively. However, the winners of each zone win $100 000 towards a school project. (Rawle Toney)
GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 EPIC and Whysup ‘continue to make real change’ with partnership renewal August 19, 2020 GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 Share This March, gambling harm prevention agency EPIC Risk Management announced its most ambitious initiative to date by partnering with GVC Holdings to launch gambling harm educations programmes.Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC Risk Management, is leading the directive supported by GVC’s ‘US Foundation’. SBC spoke to him about transferring gambling harm learnings to the US’ fragmented health and civic networks.______________SBC: Hi Paul, great to catch-up. Can you detail to SBC readers your US collaboration with the GVC Foundation US, what are its aims and objectives in terms of problem gambling prevention? Paul Buck (CEO EPIC Risk Management): EPIC Risk Management have built to be the leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy in the UK and Europe working with evidentially and statistically the highest risk sectors for problem gambling. These include elite sport, financial services, the armed forces, the criminal justice sector, education of children aged 15+ and the more recently the gambling industry. We have directly worked with over 125,000 individuals and organisations over the last 3 years.We have partnered up with the GVC Foundation US to replicate and improve the programmes we have delivered in the UK and Europe. Working initially across 14 key states in the US, we will work with the major sports leagues, player associations and NCAA Division1 universities to a) educate these potentially high-risk populations around sports betting integrity & problem gambling and b) use the power of elite sport and high profile education to spread a wider message to the community that for most gambling is entertainment but for a small, yet significant, percentage of players it becomes out of control leading to devastating effects to both individuals and organisations. SBC: Why align EPIC Risk Management with GVC’s US Foundation at what is essentially the nascent stage of US betting? PB: We had offers from different operators to collaborate around responsible gambling in the US. This was a really important decision for us as we wanted to make sure that we found a partner that is as passionate about harm prevention as we are. GVC Foundation US are demonstrating their commitment to the programme by investing an initial $2.5m into the programme so that we can provide our services for no initial charge.We have worked with GVC in the UK for just over a year now as one of the partners of the Changing for the Bettor global initiative which makes responsible gambling one of the key pillars of their business. We have worked together around NextGen training for its employees in both retail and digital, key case reviews, customer journey, identification of problem gambling behaviours, effective customer interactions and working with senior executives to embed a more sustainable culture.It made perfect sense to continue this successful collaboration at what is an important stage of US betting. Right now, there is a scramble for gambling operator partnerships and revenue, and whilst sports betting integrity is recognised as a real issue, there is a worrying lack of awareness around the effects of problematic gambling to the individual, organisations, finances and society. It is important that programmes like this one are there in hard to reach sectors from this stage onwards to allow people to make informed decisions and hence reduce harm.SBC: Your collaboration covers 14 separate states in which to develop problem gambling programmes; is this really an achievable objective? PB: It is ambitious, but both EPIC and GVC Foundation US are committed to making this the largest programme of its kind ever conducted globally. EPIC have already been the facilitators of the largest programmes in the UK and Europe around sport & education and there is a belief that this is just the start.What is clear is that the infrastructure around gambling education, research and treatment isn’t yet ready for what is going to be needed is this country over the next 2-5 years. There is going to need to be significant investment in these areas and whilst EPIC will concentrate on prevention of harms we will also collaborate with legislators, treatment providers, politicians and other key stakeholders such as the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) to help build a support network that is fit for purpose in supporting a sustainable industry.EPIC is committed to the long haul in the US, and the 14 states in this programme will be evaluated and assured by a leading US university research partner before an ambitious countrywide, cross-state, cross-sector roll out.SBC: Can European learnings on Problem Gambling be transferred to US societies and their fragmented health networks? PB: I would go as far to say that it is crucial that the learnings from Europe are transferred to the US. It is an exciting time for the US sports betting market, but Europe has proven that weak regulation, harmful products and lack of education and awareness can lead to serious problems.The goal is to build a sustainable gambling industry that can be profitable and enjoyable but does not create addicts and gambling harms including crime, relationship breakdown, suicide and bankruptcy.Right now, the health networks in the US are not ready for what is about to face them. There needs to be a serious investment, state by state, in training and educating gambling treatment professionals and building or developing facilities that are fit for purpose. That isn’t going to happen overnight and will take finances, commitment and structured planning. In the meantime, this makes education and awareness programmes even more crucial as the more people who are making informed decisions, the fewer people will need treatment at a time when it just isn’t there on enough scaleWe have learned over the last few years that an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a kilogram of a cure for this complex psychological and behavioural disorder.SBC: How will you and the GVC team provide programme learnings, knowledge and findings to wider stakeholders?PB: A programme like this one needs robust evaluation and assurance processes. EPIC and the GVC Foundation are in the process of finalising a leading US university research partner and we will be able to announce who this is in the next 6-8 weeks.As we work with hard to reach sectors, we will collate research responses and provide a transparent and independent set of quantitative and qualitative prevalence findings over the course of the next two years and beyond.In addition, EPIC and GVC Foundation are committed to being present and leading the conversation at the gambling conference circuit throughout the US to leading stakeholders, politicians, industry executives and treatment providers.The GVC Foundation US has an impressive line up of talent on the Board of Trustees including Martin Lycka, Director of Regulatory Affairs at GVC Holdings; Bill Pascrell III, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group and Amani Toomer, former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl XLII winner. All will be working closely with EPIC to maximise the success and exposure of the programme.As we build our presence and evidence bank, we will also move across sector as we have in Europe including financial services, education of our next generation and gambling operator training.SBC: Any final thoughts on EPIC-GVC Partnership initiatives? PB: The US is at an exciting stage of the development of its gambling industry. Make no mistake, these changes are going to fundamentally change the country – particularly around the relationship with sport. There is absolutely no reason why the US cannot learn the lessons of Europe and enjoy a sustainable & profitable gambling industry whilst avoiding the harms that it can create with irresponsible advertising, pernicious products and lack of prevention programmes, quality research and fit-for-purpose treatment pathways.We have been hugely encouraged by the engagement of the leagues and academic institutions and there is a real opportunity to make this industry the most sustainable in the world.EPIC and GVC Foundation may be the leaders in this but we can’t do it alone. We will be seeking meaningful and large-scale collaborations with other operators and stakeholders, and this has already started with the NCPG. Many more will need to be involved if we are to create an industry that is the envy of the rest of the world.________________________________Paul Buck – CEO – EPIC Risk Management Share StumbleUpon Submit Related Articles
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has revealed that he “dreams” of winning the coveted Ballon d’Or.Benzema’s club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi have shared the accolade in the last seven years, but Benzema has claimed that he still harbours hopes of being recognised.”Winning the Ballon d’Or remains one of my objectives,” Benzema told BeIn Sports. “I am not going to lie about it. The Ballon d’Or is always in the back of my mind. Every player dreams of winning it.”What I would need to do to win it? I would have to win a lot of titles and score 80 goals or so in one year!”Since joining Real Madrid from Lyon in 2009, the 27-year-old has netted 130 goals in 273 games in Spain.
Formula 1 is back. A breakneck run of nine races in 14 weeks, dotted all around the globe, starts at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix and takes the season to its conclusion in Abu Dhabi on 1 December.In that time there is a lot to sort out – some scores to settle, recoveries consolidated and under-achievement to be rectified, the line-up of next year’s grid to distil, the future of the sport to be secured and, of course, a championship to be won.So what can people expect starting at Spa this weekend?When will Hamilton become champion?It is a ‘when’, not an ‘if’, that Lewis Hamilton will win a sixth world title this year, assuming no unforeseen circumstances such as injury or illness. The 34-year-old heads to the Belgian Grand Prix with a 62-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with only 234 still available.Mathematically, of course, Bottas has a chance to overhaul Hamilton; realistically, he doesn’t have a hope.The Briton has won eight races this season, the Finn only two. Hamilton won the last race in Hungary with a brilliant comeback drive in which team and superstar driver were in perfect harmony to produce arguably his best win of the year, while Bottas has not won since Azerbaijan in April. Hamilton has extended his lead over Bottas by 31 points in the last three races, and in the last two Bottas has been disappointing, crashing out in Germany when he had a chance to make up a big chunk of points on Hamilton, who had his worst race for years, and destroying his race when he collided with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the first lap in Hungary.As a result, Bottas is in much more danger of losing second place to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – who is only seven points behind after a superb run of two wins, and a second place in the last four races – than Hamilton is under threat from Bottas.When will Hamilton tie it up? If he can make 42 points on Bottas in the next five races in Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Russia and Japan – at 8.4 points on average a race, which seems eminently doable – he will be 104 clear after the Japanese Grand Prix, and that would do it.Failing that, it’s hard to see how Hamilton won’t be 78 points clear after the following race in Mexico.Can Ferrari finally get a win?This season has been a grave disappointment for Ferrari, who expected to challenge for the title but have been steamrollered by Mercedes and have not yet won a race. It would be astonishing in some ways if the team ended the year without a victory, but with only nine chances remaining, an unconvincing performance so far, and Red Bull very much on a roll, it is a serious possibility.Lucky for Ferrari, then, that the next two races present them with arguably their best chances to win for the rest of the season.The Belgian and Italian Grands Prix are a week apart and both are on classic, high-speed circuits where straight-line speed is key to overall performance. They are, in F1 vernacular, power-sensitive – and Ferrari’s engine has the most power and the car the best straight-line speed on the grid.Ferrari start both Spa and Monza weekends as favourites, and the races present a golden opportunity for Sebastian Vettel and Leclerc to finally notch up that long-awaited first win of the year – and in Leclerc’s case, of his career.If Ferrari can finally grasp an opportunity – rather than let it slip through their fingers, as they have done in every single case one has presented itself this year – which driver will it be? Vettel is ahead in the championship, but Leclerc has in many ways been more impressive.The 21-year-old would have won in Bahrain in April had his engine not gone sour in the closing laps. He should have won in Baku had he not crashed in qualifying when looking a certainty for pole. He led all but the last two laps in Austria before being passed by Verstappen. And he has out-qualified Vettel for the last five races.But Leclerc is still raw and inexperienced, and there are weaknesses in his game. He makes too many mistakes and, with a more aggressive driving style than Vettel, he has still not fully got on top of managing the Pirelli tyres.And Vettel has a point to prove. The four-time champion is fighting for his seniority in the team in the face of a very stern challenge from Leclerc. He should have had his own win, which he lost to a driving error and subsequent controversial penalty in Canada in June, and his guile and experience could give him the edge in the end.What if they don’t win this year? Well, traditionally, that has led to blood-letting in Maranello. All bets would be off. How will Albon get on?The third team in the top three, Red Bull, have a new line-up for the final races of the season. Pierre Gasly has been demoted to the junior Toro Rosso team, and Anglo-Thai Alexander Albon promoted to replace him.Albon has been quietly impressive in his rookie season – matching his vastly more experienced team-mate Daniil Kvyat for pace and putting in a couple of outstanding performances, especially in the wet in Germany, which have convinced Red Bull he should be the one to replace Gasly.It is a stunning opportunity for Albon, who described the move as “surreal”, adding: “It’s a big jump into the deep end, but I’ve got my swimming shorts on.”View more on TwitterThe 23-year-old was born in London to a British father and Thai mother, and has spent most of his life in the UK, but races under a Thai licence. He has the chance to cement a seat at Red Bull for next season. But Red Bull are tough taskmasters and they will be expecting a lot, which Gasly was unable to deliver. On top of that, Verstappen is arguably the driver of the season so far, and is a tough yardstick.Albon has a humble and self-effacing manner, but he won’t be short of self-confidence – he and Verstappen go way back. In fact, talk to the Dutchman’s father Jos Verstappen, and he will tell you that Albon was the closest thing Max had to a main rival in their karting days as youngsters.Albon is raw and inexperienced, but clearly very talented. He is exciting to watch and will be out to make a name for himself.Bottas set for Mercedes; Ocon for RenaultRed Bull are far from the only team needing to sort out their 2020 line-up – many other seats are up for grabs. Key among them is the identity of Hamilton’s team-mate next season.Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff went away for the summer saying he would be deciding between Bottas and reserve driver Esteban Ocon for the seat. And while nothing has been completely settled, the strong indications are that Bottas will be retained for another year, and Ocon will join Renault alongside Daniel Ricciardo. Those announcements could come as soon as the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend – in fact, it would be no surprise if they were among the first things to emerge when teams and media arrive there on Thursday.Ocon’s return to the grid after a year out would leave the German Nico Hulkenberg looking for a seat, and in a bit of a pickle.But while McLaren long ago tied up Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, there are openings at Haas, where Kevin Magnussen has a deal for 2020 and Romain Grosjean does not, and Alfa Romeo, where Kimi Raikkonen is secure and Antonio Giovinazzi is not.At Racing Point, Lance Stroll will obviously stay – his dad owns the team – and it would be a surprise if Sergio Perez did not also continue.And at Williams, while George Russell is under contract and has been highly impressive, there have to be question marks over Robert Kubica, whose form since his return after eight years out recovering from horrendous injuries has not been what he would have wanted.The battle for best of the restMcLaren’s revival has been one of the good-news stories of the season. In the doldrums for the past few years, they hit rock bottom last season, which they ended with the second-slowest car.But they have produced a remarkable turnaround.Based on an average of each car’s fastest lap over each weekend, McLaren have the quickest car outside the top three. They are comfortably ensconced in fourth place in the constructors’ championship and only a dramatic turnaround in form will stop them finishing there.They have a well-rounded car that has proved effective at most circuits. They have produced solid race strategy work and operational effectiveness, greatly helped by impressive new team boss Andreas Seidl. And the final part of the equation has been strong driving performances from both Sainz and Norris.Sainz has excelled in races, with a series of superb drives. Norris, in his rookie season, has been a little unlucky on Sundays but highly impressive in qualifying, where he leads his more experienced team-mate 8-4 on the head-to-head, even if on pace there is almost nothing between them.McLaren’s all-round strength has left everyone else in the midfield a little breathless.Haas have struggled mightily with tyre management, often disappearing backwards at a rate of knots after strong qualifying performances. And Renault have been probably the disappointment of the year. After expecting to close on the top three, they currently have the sixth-quickest car on average, and really need to up their game in this second part of the season.At Toro Rosso, Gasly needs to use the rest of the season to rebuild his shattered confidence, while Kvyat, after impressing on his return following a year out, has to put the disappointment of being passed over for promotion behind him – and probably look outside Red Bull for a future in F1.At Alfa Romeo, Raikkonen has done what he has always done in recent years, a solid if unspectacular job bringing the points home.Racing Point, fresh from a big development push, will be hoping to make progress after a weak first part of the season, and Williams were also showing signs of forward movement in the last race or two after a dismal start to the season.Can a political deal be reached?In the background to the on-track action, the next few weeks will be frenetic politically as the sport’s bosses seek to seal a deal with teams over the future of the sport.A budget cap to be introduced from 2021 has been agreed, but the rest of a new financial settlement, including prize money distribution, as well as new technical and sporting regulations, have not – and an agreement still seems to be some way away.The clock is ticking loudly, and there are a lot of competing interests to try to square. It will be an interesting couple of months – on and off the track.
Does that make all the frustrating down time worth it?“Absolutely,” he said. “The silver lining with that time off was making some mechanical adjustments and absolutely I look at as a silver lining. The mechanical changes we made were very miniscule but huge overall. Looking back on it, yeah, absolutely a good thing.“Tonight was a good night obviously. The ball did come out really well and I’m looking forward to continuing that. … There were really good runs last year. There were really good runs in 2016. So I’m in one of those right now, so keep going.”A broad smile has creased Machado’s face throughout his first week with the Dodgers, no sign of any frustration over going 8 for 31 (.258) so far. But Roberts made sure his first Dodgers home run ball was retrieved and presented to Machado as a souvenir.“I think it’s a new chapter in his life,” Roberts said of getting the souvenir. “He might not care about it. He might. But I just thought to get that souvenir was a good thing. And we expect more of those.”Machado said he appreciated the gesture and would add it to his collection of balls and signed jerseys.“I like keeping things like that,” he said. “Everybody likes to get that first one out of the way. So – first hit, first home run. Now it’s just moving forward, trying to win games.”Thursday’s win built slowly.Braves starter Anibal Sanchez matched Hill in a scoreless pitcher’s duel for four innings. The Dodgers had just two baserunners in that time – on an infield single and a walk.The go-ahead two-run burst in the fifth inning was played at low volume.Matt Kemp drew a leadoff walk. Braves shortstop Charlie Culbertson, a former Dodger, threw Cody Bellinger’s chopped grounder into the netting above the Braves dugout, putting runners at second and third with no outs.One run scored on a ground out by Chris Taylor, another on a single flared into left field by Alex Verdugo.Machado’s homer followed in the sixth inning and the Dodgers put the game away with three runs in the seventh inning and two in the eighth, aided by two more Braves errors. Hill drove in one of the runs himself with a single through the middle. Yasmani Grandal drove in two with a bases-loaded single.“I thought we just had good at-bats,” Roberts said. “Anibal is a veteran pitcher. He’s a strike thrower, kind of works you front to back with his secondary pitches. I thought after the first time through we figured him out a bit and put some hits together.”The Braves broke up the Dodgers’ shutout when Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run home run off Daniel Hudson in the eighth inning. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“I felt like it (the ball) came out really well,” Hill said. “The curveball was really good. Felt good dropping down (sidearm). That’s something we’re going to incorporate more moving forward. The more I do it, the more comfortable I feel with it. That could be a big weapon against left-handers.“Everything seemed to be flowing really well.”It was. Hill allowed only three hits and a walk while striking out eight. The Braves didn’t get a runner past first base until a two-out error by Machado extended the sixth inning. Hill walked Nick Markakis before getting Kurt Suzuki on a fly out.When Hill went to the DL for a second time in May with his recurring blister problems, he took a 6.20 ERA with him. He has emerged a different — but familiar — pitcher.Hill has a 2.47 ERA and 1.12 WHIP and has held hitters to a .212 batting average while striking out 50 in 43 2/3 innings over seven starts since returning in mid-June. PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers’ Manny Machado smiles as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez works in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill works in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against Atlanta Braves on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Dodgers’ Manny Machado follows through on a solo home run in the sixth inning against Atlanta Braves in a game Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Atlanta Braves’ Kurt Suzuki catches his bat after a swinging strike during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. Suzuki grounded into a force out to end the inning. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte makes a running catch on a fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Manny Machado smiles as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez works in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)NextShow Caption1 of 6Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez works in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)ExpandATLANTA – This cloud has been followed by persistent clearing – the silvery kind.Rich Hill spent most of May and early June in a frustrated limbo. He also put in a lot of work with Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. What else did he have to do while he waited for the blister on his finger to heal (again)?That worked yielded a very minor adjustment involving the placement of his left foot during his delivery. That change has paid big dividends.Hill pitched seven scoreless innings and Manny Machado hit his first home run with the Dodgers as they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 Thursday night, expanding their lead in the National League West to a game and a half over the Arizona Diamondbacks.