Update on the latest sports
White Sox clinch AL Central with 7-2 win over Indians
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have clinched their first AL Central title since 2008 with a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader opener behind two home runs by Tim Anderson.
Chicago, a wild-card team last year, is going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time. The White Sox have not advanced in the postseason since winning the 2005 World Series and last hosted a playoff game 13 years ago.
The White Sox are in their first season under Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, who retired after guiding St. Louis to the 2011 World Series title and was hired to replace Rick Renteria last October.
Elsewhere at ball parks:
—Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games. On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Wainwright joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson as the only St. Louis Cardinals’ pitchers with 2,000 strikeouts.
The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.
Arizona gives Lovullo a one-year extension
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has been given a one-year contract extension through 2022, with a little over a week left in the season and his team tied for the worst record in the major leagues at 48-104.
The deal announced Thursday includes a club option for 2023, according to general manager Mike Hazen. Arizona had lost 14 of 17 entering Thursday and was tied with Baltimore. Lovullo was Boston’s bench coach from 2013-16 and served as interim manager during the last two months of the 2015 season while John Farrell was treated for lymphoma.
Texans’ Mills faces huge test in 1st start against Panthers
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills will make his first career start Thursday night against a Carolina Panthers defense that ranks first in the NFL.
It’s the second time in three games that Carolina will face a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. The Panthers opened the season with a 19-14 victory over the New York Jets in the debut of Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in this year’s draft. Now they’ll meet Mills, a third-round selection filling in for Tyrod Taylor, who injured his hamstring last weekend and was placed on injured reserve. Mills threw for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the second half of 1-1 Houston’s loss to the Browns.
The Panthers are 2-0 for the first time since 2017. The last time they opened a season 3-0 was in 2015 when they won their first 14 games and reached the Super Bowl.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
—Odell Beckham Jr.’s comeback is down to its final days, but the Browns star wide receiver didn’t commit to playing Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Beckham said he’s still taking things day by day in his return from a season-ending knee injury suffered in October. He spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time in nearly a year to explain the challenge of overcoming his latest injury while also giving vague answers about when he’ll be back on the field.
—Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will have his No. 10 jersey retired by the New York Giants at a halftime ceremony at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. His name will also be added to the team’s Ring of Honor. The Giants will be facing the Atlanta Falcons that day. The 40-year-old Manning retired after the 2019 season. Talking the media on a virtual call on Thursday, Manning said he knew it was time to walk away from the game. He added he has no regrets. Manning set almost every Giants passing record during his career.
Sabres captain Eichel fails physical, stripped of captaincy
UNDATED (AP) — Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) has failed his pre-training camp physical and has been placed on injured reserve. That leaves the two sides no closer to a resolution over how to treat a herniated disk he suffered in March.
General manager Kevyn Adams says Eichel was also stripped of his captaincy as the Sabres opened camp.
The developments mean Eichel is out for the foreseeable future, with a growing likelihood that the face of the franchise has already played his final game with the team that selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft. The Sabres failed in their attempts to trade the five-time 20-goal scorer during the offseason.
In other NHL news:
—The NHL regular season is two weeks away. The league is counting on most of its players to get vaccinnated against the coronavirus. The league says 10 to 15 players out of 700 will likely not be vaccinnated with the season begins Oct. 12. One of them is Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi. He calls it a personal decision. He faces a loss of more than $400,000 if he cannot travel to Canada to play in games because of virus protocols.
— The Pittsburgh Penguins have opened training camp without stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby is recovering from wrist surgery that will force him to miss the first few weeks of the season. Malkin likely won’t be back until late November at the earliest after having knee surgery in June. Coach Mike Sullivan says the injuries will provide leadership opportunities for younger players on the team who have spent their careers in Malkin and Crosby’s considerable shadows.
—The New York Rangers say they’ll honor late Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert by wearing a patch featuring his No. 7 on their jerseys this season. Players will also wear white “Gilbert” jerseys for pregame warmups prior to the home opener at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 14 that will be auctioned off for charity. That game takes place on the 42nd anniversary of Gilbert becoming the first Rangers player to have his number retired. New York is also creating the Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” award to recognize the player who best honors his legacy. Gilbert died in August at age 80.