Update on the latest sports
Bichette leads resilient Blue Jays past Braves again, 8-4
UNDATED (AP) — Bo Bichette hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied yet again to beat Atlanta 8-4 and sweep six games from the Braves this season.
Toronto trailed 2-0 and 4-3 before its 10th comeback win this season and third of the series completed a three-game series sweep. Danny Jansen, hitting .095, led off the ninth with a single off Will Smith. Marcus Semien singled, and Bichette doubled to the gap in right-center for a 6-4 lead.
Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuña (ah-KOON’-yah) Jr. left in the seventh inning with an apparent left ankle injury. Manager Brian Snitker says X-rays were negative and Acuña’s status is day to day.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber hit two-run homers in the first inning, Patrick Corbin continued his resurgence with seven solid innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 to end a four-game slide. Washington had dropped seven of eight to sink to a season-low six games under .500 before salvaging the finale of the three-game series. Philadelphia missed a chance to move four games over .500 for the first time since it was 5-1. Corbin allowed one run in seven innings, giving up five hits while striking out a season-high nine.
Phillies place Realmuto on COVID-related IL, recall Marchan
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies placed catcher J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh) on the COVID-19-related injured list Thursday and recalled catcher Rafael Marchan from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Realmuto, who left Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals after taking a foul ball off his left knee, missed Wednesday’s game because of bruising and soreness.
Realmuto is hitting .314 with four homers and 16 RBIs. The two-time All-Star is in the first season of a five-year, $115.5 million deal.
In other MLB news:
— The Chicago Cubs have been given the go-ahead to boost attendance to up to 60% of Wrigley Field’s capacity when they begin a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds in late May. That translates to just under 25,000. Single-game tickets will go on sale Tuesday to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis in seating pods of up to six people. There will be a minimum of one open seat between pods within the same row.
— The Milwaukee Brewers will begin allowing fans to fill all the seats at American Family Field for home games on June 25. The Brewers have been filling no more than 25% of their seats for home games so far this season. They announced Tuesday they would start filling up to half the seats at American Family Field beginning with Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
AP source: T-wolves sale to Lore, A-Rod up for NBA approval
UNDATED (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has reached agreement on his $1.5 billion sale of the club. He is selling to e-commerce mogul Marc Lore and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. The news was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the negotiation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because league approval was still pending.
Taylor previously said the deal was contingent on Lore and Rodriguez keeping the team in Minnesota. Lore and Rodriguez are 50-50 partners. They tried to buy the New York Mets last year but were beaten out for the Major League Baseball club by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.
In other NBA news:
— The Brooklyn Nets are keeping Mike James for the rest of the season. The Nets signed the guard to a contract Thursday after the expiration of his second 10-day deal. James has appeared in 11 games, starting in Brooklyn’s victory over San Antonio on Wednesday. He has averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 assists in 17.5 minutes per game. James signed his first 10-day deal on April 23 after spending the previous two seasons with CSKA Moscow. He has played most of his nine-year pro career in Europe.
— The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Elijah Bryant. The 6-foot-5 Bryant has spent the last two seasons playing in Israel. He averaged 10.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 47% for Maccabi Tel Aviv this season. The 26-year-old Bryant was undrafted in 2018 after averaging 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his junior season at BYU. He averaged 14.3 points and 23.3 minutes for a Bucks’ summer league team in 2019. Milwaukee’s addition of Bryant comes a day after the Bucks announced they had requested waivers on forward Rodions Kurucs.
— The NBA has created a new award — the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award — to recognize players who are making strides in the fight for social justice. Each NBA team will nominate one player for consideration. From there, five finalists will be selected and ultimately one winner. The winning player will receive $100,000 for the charity of his choice; the other four finalists will receive $25,000 apiece, also for charity. Abdul-Jabbar has spent most of his life as an activist.
Texas forward Greg Brown turning pro after one season
UNDATED (AP) — Texas forward Greg Brown is turning pro and won’t return to the Longhorns for his sophomore season under new coach Chris Beard.
Brown was a top 10 recruit when he signed with Texas and former coach Shaka Smart. He was projected as a first-round draft pick and few expected him to stay with the Longhorns more than one season. Brown started 24 games last season and averaged 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds, but his minutes diminished late in the season.
In other college basketball news:
— St. John’s has given Big East Conference coach of the year Mike Anderson a six-year contract extension through the 2026-27 season. The university announced the deal after Anderson delivered consecutive winning seasons in his first two years. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The Red Storm posted a 16-11 record this past season, including a 10-9 mark in the conference after being picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll. It marked the first time St. John’s finished with a league record of .500 or better since 2014-15.
Pac-12 picks MGM executive as next commissioner
UNDATED (AP) — The Pac-12 has hired sports entertainment executive George Kliavkoff to be the conference’s next commissioner, replacing Larry Scott.
The conference presidents conducted a secretive nearly four-month search that included speculation about some familiar names in college sports being considered, such as former NCAA executive and former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and Texas AD Chris Del Conte. Instead, the Pac-12′s next commissioner comes to the conference with no experience as an administrator in college sports.
Kliavkoff has been in his current role with MGM since 2018 and has extensive experience with professional sports leagues and digital properties.
NASCAR lifting mask mandate in garage, pits
UNDATED (AP) — NASCAR has lifted its mask mandate for competitors when outdoors in the garage and pit areas starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Masks will still be required when competitors are inside any buildings or team haulers.
NASCAR says its focus is on encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and preventing indoor spread of COVID-19.
NASCAR last weekend had a soft re-opening of the garage area and allowed 350 fully vaccinated sponsors and guests into the competition footprint at Darlington Raceway. It was a trial run to set policy moving forward. The garage is closed at Dover this weekend but will be open to 550 sponsors and guests at Circuit of the Americas in Texas next week.
In other NASCAR news:
— Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage is stepping down after overseeing the track since it opened 24 years ago. Gossage says his final event will be NASCAR’s All-Star race on June 13. He says that will be a full-circle moment for his 32 years working for Speedway Motorsports and Bruton Smith.