Update on the latest sports
Rays clinch playoff berth
UNDATED (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays were able to clinch their third straight American League playoff berth this afternoon, but not before sparking a little controversy.
Austin Meadows hit a three-run homer during a six-run third that propelled the Rays to a 7-1 win over the Blue Jays. Meadows’ blast occurred long before teammate Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a pitch, which appeared to be retribution for scooping up a Toronto scouting report two days earlier.
Reliever Ryan Borucki was ejected by umpire Joe West for hitting Kiermaier, and pitching coach Pete Walker was tossed for arguing. Borucki said the pitch slipped out of his hand.
On Monday, Kiermaier picked up a scouting card that fell off the wristband of Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk during a play at the plate and refused to give it back.
Yandy Diaz and Taylor Walls drove in two runs apiece as the Rays improved to an AL-best 94-59. Six Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a four-hitter.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Three games were postponed by rain. The Tigers and visiting White Sox will make up their game on Monday afternoon, as will the Pirates and Reds in Cincinnati, along with the Indians and Royals in Cleveland.
Bucs could be without Brown Sunday
UNDATED (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Antonio Brown has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and could miss this week’s road game against the Rams.
The 33-year-old receiver is the second player from the active roster the defending Super Bowl champions have placed on the COVID-19 list this week, joining reserve linebacker and special teams captain Kevin Minter. They can be reinstated with two negative tests for COVID-19 performed at least 24 hours apart.
In other NFL news:
— Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills will make his first career start Thursday night against a Panthers defense that ranks first in the NFL. Mills made his debut in the second half of a loss to Cleveland last Sunday after Tyrod Taylor was injured.
— Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (TOO’-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH’-ah) has fractured ribs and won’t play Sunday when the Dolphins visit the Raiders. Miami coach Brian Flores did not want to offer a timetable for a potential return but said Tagovailoa is already improving. Jacoby Brissett will start against Las Vegas.
— Justin Fields is set to make his first start for the Bears Sunday against Cleveland as Andy Dalton recovers from a left knee injury. Coach Matt Nagy says Dalton remains the team’s No. 1 quarterback, and the plan is for him to be the starter when he is healthy.
— Browns coach Kevin Stefanski did not rule out Odell Beckham Jr. for Sunday’s game against Chicago. That clears the way for the star wide receiver to make his season debut and play for the first time since undergoing knee surgery last year. Cleveland is thin at the position after playing wideout Jarvis Landry on injured reserve with a sprained knee ligament.
— The Jaguars have signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract. Lawson gives the team an experienced veteran in case CJ Henderson can’t play against Arizona because of a groin injury.
Timberwolves fire Rosas after 2 seasons
UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas less than a week before training camp.
Owner Glen Taylor announced that the Timberwolves “parted ways” with Rosas in a two-sentence statement gave no explanation for the dismissal after just two seasons.
Rosas became the first Latino to run an NBA team when he was hired by the Timberwolves in May 2019. Rosas previously had a long tenure in the front office with the Rockets.
Elsewhere around the NBA:
— The Chicago Bulls have exercised rookie scale contract options for the 2022-23 season on guard Coby White and forward Patrick Williams. White averaged 15.1 points and 4.8 assists in his second NBA season. Williams delivered 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds a game as a rookie after being drafted with the fourth overall pick in 2020.
— The league has fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule with comments he made about 76ers guard Ben Simmons. Lacob said the Warriors had no interest in the disgruntled Sixers guard.
Kane cleared of throwing games, gambling on NHL contests
UNDATED (AP) — The National Hockey League says it has found no evidence supporting allegations that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane gambled on league games or negatively impacted his team’s contests.
Those allegations were made by his wife, who is divorcing Kane and, according to the NHL, refused to participate in the investigation. The league says the investigation found no evidence to corroborate allegations that Kane gambled on NHL games or ‘threw’ hockey games.
In other NHL news:
— The Sabres have agreed to terms with defenseman Rasmus Dahlin on a three-year, $18 million contract. The 6-foot-3 Swede has 18 goals and 107 points in 197 games since Buffalo took him with the first pick in the 2018 draft. Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes is now the only prominent restricted free agent defenseman still unsigned.
— Goalie Cal Petersen has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Kings. Petersen went 9-18-5 last season for the struggling Kings, but established career-bests in goals-against average and save percentage.
— The Blues have promoted Peter Chiarelli (shih-REH’-lee) to vice president of hockey operations. Chiarelli takes over for Dave Taylor, who is now a senior adviser under president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong. They are also bringing back former coach Ken Hitchcock as consultant.
— Florida Panthers top-line defenseman Aaron Ekblad says he’ll be on the ice when the Panthers formally begin practice Thursday. Ekblad broke his left leg in a scary on-ice incident almost six months again. He has been skating for several weeks and does not expect to be limited as camp begins.
— Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman (EYE’-zur-muhn) says forward Tyler Bertuzzi (bur-TOO’-zee) is Detroit’s only unvaccinated player. Bertuzzi won’t be able to play in the team’s nine games in Canada unless federal laws there change. Bertuzzi is in line to forfeit over $450,000 of salary for that time because NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players when they are not available to participate.
CFP expansion stalls as commissioners sort through issues
UNDATED (AP) — A plan to expand the College Football Playoff has stalled.
The CFP management committee was not able to formulate a consensus on whether to grow the postseason format from four to 12 teams. The committee will reconvene next week, with college presidents joining online. No vote is expected.
A plan to increase the playoff was unveiled in June. Concerns have been raised about some of the details, including how many games a team would end up playing in a season.
Osaka to skip Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open, set for October 4-17 at Indian Wells.
The move was expected after Osaka indicated following her U.S. Open loss this month that she planned to take another extended break from tennis.
The four-time Grand Slam champion has dropped from first to eighth in the WTA rankings while sitting out several tournaments since withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health issues.