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 on Wednesday, 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:
— The Yankees completed a three-game sweep by scoring four runs in the eighth to beat the Rangers, 7-3. Gleyber Torres doubled home the tiebreaking run and Gary Sanchez added a two-run homer as New York slid a half-game ahead of Toronto for the second AL wild card. Kyle Higashioka (hih-gah-shee-OH’-kah) doubled home a pair for the Yankees.
— The Red Sox’s 12-5 pounding of the Mets keeps Boston two games ahead of the Yankees for the first AL wild card. Kyle Schwarber homered twice, drove in four and scored four in support of Chris Sale, who struck out eight in five innings. Alex Verdugo (vur-DOO’-goh) and Jose Iglesias each had two RBIs in the Bosox’s seventh win in a row.
— The Astros moved closer to another AL West crown by scoring four times in the 12th inning of a 9-5 decision over the Angels. Jake Meyers singled home the tiebreaking run and scored on Jose Altuve’s (al-TOO’-vays) two-run double as Houston reduced its magic number to three for its fourth division crown in five years. Yordan (yohr-DAHN’) Alvarez smacked a two-run homer and finished with three hits and three RBIs for the winners.
— Kyle Seager hit his 35th home run and the Mariners moved within 2 1/2 games of the second AL wild card by defeating the Athletics, 4-1. Ty France also went deep and Seattle extended its winning streak to four games with their third straight win over Oakland. Chris Flexen struck out eight and limited the A’s to one run on three hits over seven innings for his 13th win.
— The Giants lead the NL West by two games over Los Angeles after Kris Bryant and Buster Posey led their offense in an 8-6 win at San Diego. Bryant lashed a three-run double and Posey had four hits while scoring three times. Tyler Rogers surrendered two runs in the ninth before retiring Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. with the tying run on base for the final out.
— Sam Hilliard lined a three-run homer and C.J. Cron had four hits for the Rockies in a 10-5 thumping of the Dodgers. German Marquez supplied a two-run double but was reached for five runs and six hits over four innings for Colorado. The Rockies tagged Walker Buehler for five runs and seven hits in just 3 2/3s.
— The Cardinals earned their 11th straight win as Tyler O’Neill and Paul Goldschmidt homered early in their 10-2 dismantling of the Brewers. Winning pitcher Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-lahs) gave up two runs and four hits in a season-high seven innings, helping St. Louis take a 4 1/2-game lead for the second NL wild card. Brett Anderson was torched for six runs over 1 2/3 innings as Milwaukee’s magic number stayed at three for clinching the NL Central.
— Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman homered as the Braves ripped the Diamondbacks, 9-2 to keep their three-game lead over Philadelphia atop the NL East. Adam Duvall also hit one over the wall, but he was called out for passing Riley between first and second. Ian Anderson pitched two-hit ball over six-plus innings of Atlanta’s fourth consecutive win.
— Bryce Harper threw out the tying run at the plate in the eighth inning to keep the Phillies ahead in a 4-3 decision over the Orioles. The game was tied 2-2 in the seventh before Jean Segura hit a sacrifice fly and J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh) added an RBI single. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer for the Phils, who began the day three games behind the NL East-leading Braves.
— The Twins were 5-4 winners over the Cubs as Max Kepler homered twice and rookie Joe Ryan struck out a season-high 11 over five innings. Chicago lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
— Juan Soto provided three hits and three RBIs as the Nationals beat the Marlins, 7-5. Soto also walked twice to tie Bryce Harper’s single-season team record of 130.
— 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.
COLLEGE SPORTS-OHIO STATE-DOCTOR
Judge throws out several suits against OSU
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed some of the biggest unsettled lawsuits over Ohio State’s failure to stop decades-old sexual abuse by now-deceased team doctor Richard Strauss.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson wrote that while it’s indisputable Strauss abused hundreds of young men, he agreed with OSU’s argument that the legal window for such claims had passed.
Strauss-related lawsuits against OSU filed this year by dozens of other plaintiffs appeared to still be pending, with no dismissal or other new rulings appearing on those dockets as of last night.
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 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 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 Wednesday 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.