AP Sports Wrap From Friday, Oct 2 2015
UNDATED (AP) — The American League West remains the only division title still up for grabs.
The Texas Rangers could have clinched the division with a victory against the visiting Angels or a loss by Houston. Instead, Los Angeles rallied in the ninth inning to beat the Rangers, 2-1 before the Astros crushed Arizona.
The game was tied 1-1 until Mike Trout led off the ninth with a triple and scored on a single by Albert Pujols. Jered Weaver and four relievers combined to three-hit Texas, with Joe Smith working a perfect ninth to get the save.
The Rangers' magic number stayed at one after the Astros destroyed the Diamondbacks, 21-5. Dallas Keuchel had no trouble picking up his 20th victory, giving up two runs in six innings. Carlos Correa hit one of the Astros' four homers and was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and four runs scored. Colby Rasmus also homered and scored four times.
Houston continues to lead the second AL wild-card race by one game over Los Angeles, with the Twins now two games back.
Also in the majors:
— Russell Martin went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two RBIs as the Blue Jays whipped the Rays, 8-4. Edwin Encarnacion also went deep, leaving him two shy of becoming the third member of the Blue Jays with at least 40 home runs this season. Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned from a cracked scapula and went 2-for-5 with a run scored as Toronto remained tied with Kansas City in the battle for the AL's best record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Jays hold the tiebreaker.
— The Royals kept pace with the Blue Jays and damaged the Twins' wild-card hopes with a 3-1 triumph at Minnesota. The game was tied 1-1 in the eighth until Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Mike Moustakas. Chris Young allowed a run and just four hits over 6 1/3 innings for the Royals.
— The Pirates beat Cincinnati 6-4 on Starling Marte's two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th. Andrew McCutchen belted a solo shot in the fourth to spark a rally that allowed the Bucs to stay two games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the battle for home-field advantage in the NL wild-card game. The Reds blew a 4-0 lead and dropped their 13th in a row, they team's worst losing streak since a 13-game slid in 1945.
— Jake Arrieta improved to 22-6 and dropped his ERA to 1.77 by yielding two hits and no walks while striking out seven in six scoreless innings of the Cubs' 6-1 rout of Milwaukee. Anthony Rizzo supplied a solo homer and a two-run single in the Cubs' sixth consecutive win, giving him 99 RBIs this season.
— Alex Wood gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings of the Dodgers' 6-2 win over San Diego. Justin Turner had two RBIs for Los Angeles, which took control with a five-run third. The Dodgers are a half-game ahead of the Mets for home-field advantage in the NLDS.
— Julio Teheran pitched well in Atlanta's 4-0 shutout of St. Louis, limiting the Cardinals to five hits and striking out six in six innings. Daniel Castro hit a solo homer and an RBI double as the Braves won for the third time in four games.
— Nolan Arenado hit his 42nd homer and added a two-run double in Colorado's 9-3 romp over the Giants in San Francisco. Chris Dickerson hit a two-run homer and Kyle Kendrick held the Giants to a run and five hits over six innings.
— Carlos Santana hit a three-run double in the third inning to put the Indians ahead to stay in an 8-2 romp over Boston. Jerry Sands chipped in a solo homer and a run-scoring double for the Indians.
— Chicago beat Detroit 2-1 as White Sox ace Chris Sale set a single-season team record with 274 strikeouts. Adam Eaton hit a two-run double to back Sale, who gave up a run and five hits while fanning seven in seven innings.
— Danny Valencia slammed a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning to push Oakland past Seattle, 4-2. Valencia had three of the Athletics' 11 hits.
— The New York Mets' game against visiting Washington was rained out and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. Likewise, the Yankees and Orioles were rained out in Baltimore, creating a Saturday twinbill. And there was a rainout in Philadelphia, causing the Phillies and Marlins to play a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday. However, more rain is in the forecast for all three cities the rest of the weekend.
GM: Ventura to return
CHICAGO (AP) —Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn says he expects manager Robin Ventura to return next season, but that bench coach Mark Parent will not be back and that assistant hitting coach Harold Baines has requested to move into an ambassador role.
The White Sox have lost at least 85 games each of the last three seasons since Ventura led them to an 85-77 record as a rookie skipper in 2012. The ballclub had big expectations after acquiring Jeff Samardzija, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson and Adam LaRoche in the offseason.
Hernia surgery for Cano
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano will undergo surgery on Oct. 13 to repair a sports hernia.
Cano hit just .254 through June 30, but he's posted a .331 average with 50 runs scored, 15 doubles, 16 homers and 52 RBIs since then.
The six-time All-Star expects to be fully recovered by spring training.
Louisville probes escort service claim
UNDATED (AP) — The Louisville men's basketball program is again the subject of embarrassing allegations.
The school says it has launched an investigation into allegations that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee paid an escort service to provide sex for recruits. The allegations by Katina Powell are in an upcoming book from a publishing arm of the Indianapolis Business Journal. Some details of the book were published Friday on the Journal's web site and said that McGee hired Powell to provide strippers and prostitutes for recruits and some of their fathers during a four-year period.
Louisville said it learned of the allegations in August and immediately notified the NCAA. Athletic director Tom Jurich said the school wants to get to the bottom of the situation.
McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City. UMKC placed McGee on paid leave on Friday and said it was taking the allegations seriously.
The allegations have been revealed six years after a woman tried to extort money from Cardinals coach Rick Pitino following their affair. Pitino admitted to both having the affair and paying for her abortion.
AP Source: Gators QB could be out against Ole Miss
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Florida quarterback Will Grier is ill and might not start against third-ranked Mississippi tomorrow. The 25th-ranked Gators had about a dozen players miss practice this week because of a virus, but coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday night that he thought the bug had ran its course. If Grier doesn't start, sophomore Treon Harris would make his second start of the season.
News of and from the NFL
UNDATED (AP) — Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is out indefinitely after revealing he had a setback with his hamstring injury last week. McCoy said he was making progress in his recovery from the left hamstring injury before Buffalo's Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins, but hurt it again last Sunday.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Packers due to a right knee injury suffered in last Sunday's loss to Arizona. He attempted to practice yesterday and today but left the field at the start of team drills to work on the injury with the training staff.
— Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will likely be a game-time decision to play against Jacksonville on Sunday. If Luck doesn't play, backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is expected to start.
— Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly will miss his third straight game Sunday when the team plays Tampa Bay. The 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year suffered a concussion in Carolina's opening game of the season.
— Saints coach Sean Payton expects Drew Brees to start at quarterback against Dallas Sunday night after he missed last week's game with a bruised rotator cuff.
— Receiver DeSean Jackson, linebacker Perry Riley Jr. and cornerback DeAngelo Hall have all been ruled out of Washington's game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson is still recovering from hurting his left hamstring in Week 1, Riley missed last week's game with a strained left calf, and Hall hurt a toe on his right foot last week.
No deal for Thompson and new pact for Henson
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson is now officially holding out. He failed to show up for practice after refusing to sign a one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer with Cleveland Thursday night. Thompson was a key contributor during Cleveland's run to the NBA Finals last season, filling in when starter Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder. Thompson and his representatives believe he deserves a maximum contract.
Also in Cleveland, LeBron James is calling for tighter gun control laws in the wake of the death of a 5-month-old girl in a drive-by shooting. It was the third fatal shooting of a child in Cleveland in the past month.
The Cavaliers star says, "There is no room for guns." He was at home with his three children when he learned of Aavielle Wakefield's death, which moved James to speak out on social media. He made an immediate plea for calm and change in the wake of more senseless violence.
In other NBA news:
— The Milwaukee Bucks and John Henson have agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract that could reach $48 million if certain incentives are reached. A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press about the move. Henson is entering his fourth year of play in the NBA after being the 14th overall pick out of North Carolina in 2012.
Pole set on points
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Rain wiped out qualifying for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. With the field set on points, Matt Kenseth will start from the pole, with Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards second and third. Hamlin and Kenseth have advanced into the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with wins in the first two races.
The 16-driver field will be sliced to 12 following Sunday's race.
Bowyer lands 2016 ride
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Clint Bowyer will spend next season with HScott Motorsports before he takes over for Tony Stewart in 2017. Bowyer was released from his contract with Michael Waltrip Racing because the team is folding at the end of the season. He was named this week as Stewart's successor in the No. 14 Chevrolet. Stewart is retiring from Sprint Cup racing following the 2016 season.
Bowyer is 16th this season in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings. Barring a victory, Bowyer will not advance to the second round.
Spieth dominates awards
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jordan Spieth has been voted PGA Tour player of the year, giving him a sweep of all the significant awards. He had five wins this year, including the Masters and U.S. Open. Any doubt that the 22-year old would capture the honor was put to rest last week when he won the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup.
Spieth also won the Arnold Palmer Award by topping the money list with a record $12 million, and the Vardon Trophy for having the lowest adjusted scoring average.
Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, Tiger Woods is the only other player to sweep the awards, win a major and capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jim Furyk has decided to remove himself from the U.S. team at the Presidents Cup because of a wrist injury.
Furyk withdrew from the BMW Championship because of a deep bone bruise in his left wrist, and he sat out the Tour Championship last week with hopes it would get better.
U.S. captain Jay Haas replaced Furyk with J.B. Holmes, who was 12th in the standings. The Presidents Cup starts Thursday in South Korea.
Blatter rejects sponsor's call for his resignation
ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter is defying calls from FIFA sponsors Budweiser, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Visa to quit immediately as president of world soccer's governing body rather than clinging on until the emergency election in February.
The position from the long-standing sponsors come a week after the 79-year-old Blatter was placed under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities for alleged financial wrongdoing at FIFA, which he has led since 1998.
The 79-year-old Blatter "respectfully disagrees" with the sponsors' demands, the president's lawyer, Richard Cullen, says in a statement.