Update on the latest sports
White Sox take division crown
UNDATED (AP) — The American League has its first division title winner of the season.
The White Sox have clinched the AL Central title by taking Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Indians, 7-2.
Tim Anderson homered twice and had four RBIs while Chicago built a 7-0 lead by the second inning. Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez added back-to-back solo homers for the White Sox, who will be making back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time in their 121-season history. The Sox hadn’t won a division crown since 2008.
In the nightcap, Oscar Mercado delivered a two-run, walk-off homer in the seventh as Cleveland earned a split with a 5-3 victory. Owen Miller hit a two-run single to put the Indians ahead in the sixth, but Chicago tied it in the seventh on an error by Yu Chang.
Checking out the rest of Thursday’s major league action:
— The Giants’ lead in the NL West is down to a game over Los Angeles after San Francisco’s 7-6 loss at San Diego. Jurickson Profar (JUR’-ihk-suhn PROH’-fahr) raced home on Victor Caratini’s infield single with one out in the 10th inning. Pinch-hitter Austin Slater hit a three-run homer to give the Giants a 5-4 lead with one out in the sixth.
— Max Muncy (MUHN’-see) led off the 10th inning with a two-run homer to complete the Dodgers’ comeback in a 7-5 victory at Colorado. Muncy’s 35th home run of the season followed Trea Turner’s game-tying, RBI single with two out in the ninth. Max Scherzer struggled in allowing five runs over as many innings, but he remains undefeated since joining the Dodgers.
— The Cardinals’ winning streak is now at 12 games after they stormed back from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Brewers, 8-5. Paul Goldschmidt homered twice and had three RBIs for the Redbirds, who own their longest winning streak since the 1982 World Series team. Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina had two RBIs, including the run-scoring single that ignited the Cards’ comeback.
— The Phillies trailed 6-0 in the third inning before Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs), Ronald Torreyes (toh-RAY’-ehs) and J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh) homered to power them to a 12-6 comeback over the Pirates. Gregorius began the comeback with a solo blast during a five-run third and Torreyes put Philadelphia ahead with a three-run shot in the sixth. Realmuto followed with a two-run homer and a two-run single as the Phils pulled within two games of Atlanta for the NL East lead.
— The Diamondbacks put together a five-run seventh that allowed them to beat the Braves, 6-4. Carson Kelly tied it with a three-run homer and Daulton Varsho added the go-ahead double that ended Atlanta’s four-game winning streak. Austin Riley homered for the third straight game as the Braves took a 3-0 lead off Madison Bumgarner with a three-run third.
— Juan Soto hit solo homers in consecutive innings to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead in a 3-2 win against the Reds. Soto was 3-for-3 with a walk as he raised his batting average to a National League-leading .325. The Reds scored twice in the ninth before falling 5 1/2 games out of a playoff berth with nine remaining.
— The Twins notched a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays as Nick Gordon drove in four runs and Michael Pineda (pih-NAY’-dah) won his third straight start. Toronto fell a full game behind the Yankees for the second AL wild card and finished the game without Lourdes Gurriel (gur-ee-EHL’) Jr., who had his hand stepped on by teammate Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) in the outfield.
— The Mariners picked up their fifth straight win by turning a 4-1 deficit into a 6-5 decision over the Athletics. Cal Raleigh started the comeback with a two-run homer, Mitch Haniger tied it with his 35th and Luis Torrens (toh-REHNZ’) followed with a two-run shot. The outcome puts the Mariners two games behind the idle Yankees for the second AL wild card. The A’s are four back.
— Zac Lowther lowered his ERA to 7.66 by scattering three hits while fanning seven over five innings of the Orioles’ 3-0 shutout of the Rangers. Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays hit solo homers for Baltimore.
Arizona gives Lovullo a one-year extension
UNDATED (AP) — Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has been given a one-year contract extension through 2022 despite a National League-worst 49-104 record this season. The extension includes an option for 2023.
Lovullo became Arizona’s skipper in 2017, leading the team to a 93-69 mark and a wild-card berth. The Diamondbacks compiled winning records in each of their first there years under Lovullo, but they are 65 games under .500 since the start of last season.
In other major league news:
— Blue Jays reliever Ryan Borucki has been suspended for three games for intentionally hitting Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch in the latest salvo in a spat between the two AL East competitors. Manager Charlie Montoyo was also suspended for Thursday’s game and handed an undisclosed fine. Borucki appealed the decision by MLB senior vice president Mike Hill, delaying the discipline until completion of the process.
Panthers lose McCaffrey while beating Texans
HOUSTON (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are hoping their latest victory didn’t come at a heavy price.
The Panthers completed a 24-9 win over the Texans after losing Christian McCaffrey to an injury early in the second quarter. McCaffrey came in leading the league in scrimmage yards.
Everything else went well for the Panthers as they improved to 3-0 for the first time since their 2015 to the NFC championship. Sam Darnold threw for 304 yards and ran for two touchdowns, putting the game away when he bulled in from 1-yard out to make it 24-9 with about four minutes left.
Carolina’s top-ranked defense put the squeeze on Houston rookie Davis Mills in his first career start, sacking him four times and holding him to 168 yards passing. Mills was pressed into action after Tyrod Taylor suffered a hamstring injury last Sunday and was placed on injured reserve.
OBJ non-committal about return
BEREA, Ohio (AP) —Odell Beckham Jr.’s comeback is down to its final days, but the Cleveland Browns 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.
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 league is counting on most of its players to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The league says 10 to 15 players out of 700 will likely not be vaccinated with the season begins Oct. 12. One of them is Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi, who 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 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. Gilbert died in August at age 80.