Update on the latest sports


Bregman returns to lead Astros to comeback win

UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Astros have added another half-game to their lead in the American League West by earning a comeback win over the Kansas City Royals.

Alex Bregman had two hits and one RBI before scoring the winning run in the 10th inning of the Astros’ 6-5 victory. Bregman came home on a groundout by Jake Meyers to give Houston the rubber match of the three-game set.

Bregman was activated just before the game after missing two months with a strained left quadriceps.

Pinch-hitter Michael Brantley’s RBI single with two out in the eighth inning tied it at 5. Martín Maldonado and Yordan Alvarez hit solo homers to help Houston withstand Whit Merrifield’s grand slam in the seventh, which gave the Royals a 5-3 lead.

The Astros pace their division by five games over the idle Oakland Athletics.

Checking out Wednesday’s other major league action:

— Robbie Ray matched his career high by striking out 14 over seven innings of the Blue Jays’ 3-1 victory against the White Sox. Alejandro Kirk broke a tie with an RBI single in the eighth inning before Toronto handed the AL Central leaders their fourth loss in five games. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson went 0 for 4 in his return after missing the past four games because of tightness in both hamstrings.

— Francisco Mejia (meh-HEE’-ah) hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning to send the Rays to their eighth win in nine games, 7-4 over the Phillies. Brandon Lowe (low) belted his 30th home run of the season and rookie Wander Franco had two hits to extend his on-base streak to 26 straight games for Tampa Bay. The AL East-leading Rays dealt the Phils their sixth loss in eight games and moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees.

— The Twins blew a two-run lead in the ninth before Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer leading off the 10th inning of their 9-6 verdict over the Red Sox. Donaldson and Jorge Polanco homered for the second straight game, and Miguel Sanó (sah-NOH’) hit a 495-foot homer that is the longest in the majors this year. Kyle Schwarber’s two-run homer off Alex Colomé tied it in the ninth before Boston’s lead for the second AL wild card dropped to 1 1/2 games over the A’s.

— Brandon Crawford hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning of the Giants’ 21st win in their last 28 games, 3-2 over the Mets. San Francisco turned five double plays and won the game when closer Jake McGee got Pete Alonso to pop out with the bases loaded. Kris Bryant homered off Taijuan (TY’-wahn) Walker, who was pulled in the seventh despite allowing only two hits and throwing just 74 pitches.

— AJ Pollock led off the 16th inning with a two-run homer and the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers beat the struggling San Diego Padres 5-3 in by far the longest major league game since pandemic rules were implemented last year. It was the first game to go more than 13 innings since MLB adopted the automatic runner on second in extra frames for the 2020 season.

— Paul Goldschmidt homered twice and scored the game-ending run on Lars Nootbaar’s single in the 10th inning of the Cardinals’ 3-2 decision over the Tigers. St. Louis starter Jon Lester allowed one run on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings. The Redbirds were one out from a 2-1 victory until Miguel Cabrera doubled and scored on pinch-hitter Harold Castro’s soft single.

— The Brewers’ lead in the NL Central is up to 9 1/2 games after Brandon Woodruff fanned 10 over six innings of their 4-1 decision over the second-place Reds. Woodruff permitted only four hits and retired 13 straight batters during one stretch. Avisaíl (a-vih-sah-EEL’) García hit an RBI double and made two big defensive plays in right field to help Milwaukee win for the 12th time in its last 15 games.

— The Orioles’ 19-game losing streak is over after they turned a 6-2 deficit into a 10-6 victory over the Angels. Ramón Urías and Kelvin Gutierrez drew bases-loaded walks to put the Orioles up 7-6, just before pinch-hitter Austin Hays added a two-run double. Angels ace Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) allowed three homers on the mound and struck out three times at the plate before leaving the game in the sixth inning.

— Franmil (FRAHN’-meel) Reyes drove a 451-foot home run into the left field bleachers, one of four solo homers hit by the Indians in a 7-2 thumping of the Rangers. Yu Chang homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs to help Zach Plesac (PLEE’-sak) improve to 8-4. Óscar Mercado and Austin Hedges also homered off left-hander Jake Latz, who gave up three home runs in his major league debut.

— The Marlins ended an eight-game skid by topping the Nationals 4-3 on Jorge Alfaro’s walk-off single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning. Josh Bell and Yadiel Hernández homered in a three-run seventh that erased a 2-0 deficit for Washington in the major league debut of touted prospect Edward Cabrera. The Miami starter limited the Nationals to two hits through the first six innings.

— Patrick Wisdom slammed a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the fifth inning to send the Cubs past the Rockies, 5-2 in Game 1 of a doubleheader. The 29-year-old Wisdom has hit 21 home runs this season after belting just four in 48 games over his first three major league seasons. David Bote (BOH’-tee) and Austin Romine also homered for Chicago, which has won two straight at Wrigley Field since a team-record 13-game home losing streak.

— The Rockies gained a split of the twinbill as Ryan McMahon lofted a two-run homer in the 10th inning of a wild 13-10 victory against the Cubs. Brendan Rodgers followed with a two-run double that gave him five RBIs for the game. Connor Joe hit his first career grand slam in the fourth inning to put Colorado ahead 6-5.

— Arizona’s Carson Kelly and Pavin Smith hit solo home runs against the Pirates’ bullpen for a 5-2 victory. Kelly’s homer came in the seventh off Anthony Banda and put the Diamondbacks ahead for good. DBacks starter Tyler Gilbert worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits.


2022 Season will be Molina’s last

UNDATED (AP) — Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina says he will end his major league playing career when his current contract expires after next season.

Molina announced the decision a day after he accepted a one-year, $10 million contract extension for the 2022 season.

The 10-time All Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner has spent his entire career in the Cardinals organization since the team drafted him in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB draft.

Molina this season joined Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench as the only catchers in major league history to record 2,000 hits and play in 2,000 games with one team.

Also around the majors:

— Mets ace Jacob deGrom played catch at Citi Field on Wednesday after an MRI showed improvement with the right forearm tightness that has sidelined him since July 7. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard will begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Brooklyn on Thursday.

— The Indians have placed right-handed pitcher Triston McKenzie on the 10-day injured list because of shoulder fatigue. McKenzie dominated in winning his last two starts, allowing one run and three hits with 19 strikeouts in 15 innings. He came within four outs of a perfect game against the Tigers on Aug. 15.


Only vaccinated personnel in locker rooms on NFL game days

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is mandating that only fully vaccinated personnel, with a maximum of 50 people, will have access to locker rooms while players are present on game days.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, the policy becomes effective immediately. The personnel covered by the policy includes coaches, athletic trainers, equipment staffers, one general manager, one team security representative, three club communications media workers and one clubhouse support staffer.

Players are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but the NFL has reported that more than 90% of them are.

In other NFL news:

— The Rams have acquired running back Sony Michel from the Patriots for undisclosed 2022 draft picks. Michel brings some help to a Rams offense that was running low on healthy options with the regular season fast approaching.

— Packers wide receiver Devin Funchess has gone on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring in a joint practice with the Jets last week. The move ends the season for Funchess, who hasn’t played a regular-season game since September 2019.

— Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph is finally on the field with the New York Giants after passing his physical. Rudolph was taken off the physically unable to perform/active list and will practice on a limited basis this week after recovering from offseason foot surgery.

— Trevor Lawrence will start Jacksonville’s season opener at Houston on Sept. 12. Coach Urban Meyer gave Lawrence the nod over third-year pro Gardner Minshew after two preseason games and a month of training camp. Lawrence was the first player taken in this year’s draft.

— The Broncos are going with Teddy Bridgewater over Drew Lock as their starting quarterback. Bridgewater was acquired from Carolina for a sixth-round draft pick in April.

— Tight end Luke Willson said he’s stepping away from football one day after re-signing with the Seahawks. In a lengthy statement on social media, Willson said he spent time in the hospital during the offseason due to a pericardial effusion. He said the hospitalization changed his perspective on his life.

— Jets defensive end Vinny Curry says he has a rare blood disorder that required his spleen to be removed. The 33-year-old Curry wrote in posts on Twitter and Instagram that Jets team doctors discovered the disorder last month, but he didn’t specify the condition ailing him.


T-wolves seal deal with Grizzlies for ace defender Beverley

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have finalized their acquisition of ace defender Patrick Beverley by sending 2019 first-round draft pick Jarrett Culver and backup forward Juancho Hernangómez to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The trade was agreed to in principle last week after the Grizzlies got the 33-year-old Beverley from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Beverley is in the final year of his contract, set to make about $14.3 million.

In other NBA news:

— A diversity report found the leagues continues to lead men’s professional sports in racial and gender hiring practices, fueled by more general managers and assistant coaches of color in the league. The report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida assigned an overall B-plus grade, with an A for racial hiring and a B for gender hiring. The report annually examines positions for franchises as well as in league leadership, with this edition using data from early in the 2020-21 season.


Serena Williams pulls out of US Open, citing torn hamstring

UNDATED (AP) — The U.S. Open will be played without two of the top US women.

Serena Williams has pulled out of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament because of a torn hamstring. Fifth-ranked Sofia Kenin will miss the event due to a positive test for COVID-19, even though she said she has received a vaccine.

Williams hasn’t competed since injuring her right leg during her first-round match at Wimbledon in late June. She turns 40 next month.

Hampered by a foot injury, Kenin has not played since a second-round loss at Wimbledon on June 30. She joins a lengthy list of past major champions who have withdrawn from the U.S. Open.

The Americans join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in sitting out the competition in Flushing Meadows.