AP Sports Wrap from Friday, September 2, 2016
UNDATED (AP) — No major league team was better than the San Francisco Giants at the All-Star break. And no team has been worse since then.
The Giants are 15-29 following the break after they struggled to get a hit off Jon Lester in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs in Chicago. Lester's bid for a second career no-hitter ended when Hunter Pence homered with two out in the eighth. It was the Giants' first in 40 at-bats since the third inning of Thursday's loss at Wrigley Field.
Lester settled for a complete-game three-hitter and improved to 15-4 with a 2.61 ERA. He received support in a two-run third as David Ross hit an RBI double and scored on Dexter Fowler's single.
The Cubs won their fifth in a row, moved a season-high 40 games over .500 and reduced their magic number to 13 for clinching the NL Central.
The Giants remain two games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers, who were 4-2 losers to San Diego. Yangervis Solarte (yahn-HEHR'-vihs soh-LAHR'-tay) snapped a 2-2 deadlock with a solo homer in the eighth inning to help the Padres overcome Joc Pederson's solo shot and two RBIs. Howie Kendrick singled four times for the Dodgers, who out-hit the Padres 13-6.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Cincinnati beat St. Louis 3-2 on a walk-off single by Eugenio (ay-oo-HAY'-nee-oh) Suarez in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals led 2-0 in the sixth until Adam Duvall hit a sacrifice fly and Scott Schebler followed with an RBI single. Yadier Molina (YAH'-dee-her moh-LEE'-nuh) and Randal Grichuk (GRIH'-chuhk) went deep for the Cardinals, who have homered in 21 consecutive games.
— A.J. Cole was sharp in Washington's 4-1 victory against the New York Mets, holding the reigning NL champs to a run and three hits in six innings. Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN') laced a two-run single and Bryce Harper was 2-for-3 with two runs scored to help the Nationals cut their magic number to 18 for winning the NL East. Asdrubal (as-DROO'-bul) Cabrera homered for the sixth time in eight games, but the Mets were unable to reduce their two-game deficit over the Cards for the final NL wild-card berth.
— Abraham Almonte's two-run double gave the Indians a 6-0 lead by the second inning of a 6-2 triumph against Miami. Carlos Carrasco struck out 11 and blanked the Marlins on six hits over 7 1/3 innings. The AL Central leaders picked up their fourth straight victory and dealt the Marlins their sixth loss in seven games, keeping Florida three games out of an NL playoff berth.
— Cleveland still paces the AL Central by 4 ½ games after the second-place Tigers scored twice in the ninth to beat Kansas City 7-6. Miguel Cabrera supplied the go-ahead, two-run single in the ninth after Detroit squandered an early 4-0 lead. Cabrera and Justin Upton each homered as the Tigers stayed tied with the Orioles for the final AL wild-card berth.
— Alex Cobb pitched well in his first major league game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, giving up two runs and four hits while fanning seven over five innings of Tampa Bay's 8-3 rout of Toronto. The Rays led just 4-2 in the seventh until Luke Maile and Brad Miller sandwiched home runs around Kevin Kiermaier's RBI triple. Logan Morrison also went deep for the Rays.
— Toronto's lead in the AL East is down to one game over Boston after Travis Shaw drilled a three-run homer and had five RBIs in the Red Sox's 16-2 dismantling of the A's in Oakland. Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz drove in three RBIs apiece as the Bosox easily won the opener of a nine-game road trip that concludes in Toronto. David Price won his fifth consecutive start by yielding two runs and four hits over seven innings.
— Baltimore's 8-0 pounding of the New York Yankees puts the Orioles within three games of the AL East-leading Blue Jays. Pedro Alvarez, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo homered during the Orioles' six-run second off Chad Green and Nick Goody. Trumbo smacked his major league-leading 41st home run, and Davis and Manny Machado added their 33rd for the Birds.
— Carlos Beltran's two-run homer and three RBIs highlighted the Rangers' 10-8 triumph over Houston. Rougned Odor (ROOG'-nehd oh-DOHR') also hit a two-run shot and Jonathan Lucroy (LOO'-kroy) added a solo blast as Texas improved to 12-2 versus the Astros this season. Texas paces the AL West by 9 ½ games over Houston and owns a magic number of 19 for winning the division.
— Nelson Cruz banged out his 33rd home run and Ketel Marte collected three ribbies as Seattle outscored the Los Angeles Angels, 11-8. Marte's RBIs came during a nine-run second that allowed the Mariners to erase a 4-1 deficit. Dae-Ho Lee had three hits and two RBIs for the Mariners, who continue to sit four games out of an AL wild-card berth.
— Milwaukee damaged Pittsburgh's wild-card hopes with a 1-0 triumph over the Pirates at PNC Park. The Brewers' bullpen came through with 5 2/3 scoreless innings after Junior Guerra (GEHR'-uh) was lifted in the fourth. Scooter Gennett's (jeh-NEHTS') sixth-inning double produced the only run.
— Nick Hundley's grand slam was part of a seven-run eighth that sent Colorado to a 14-7 win against Arizona. Daniel Descalso also homered and Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH'-doh) had two RBIs, including the tiebreaking single in the eighth.
— The White Sox dealt the Twins their 14th loss in 15 games as Todd Frazier smacked a two-run homer and Adam Eaton went 4-for-5 with four runs scored in Chicago's 11-4 romp at Minnesota. Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) drove in three runs to back Carlos Rodon (roh-DAHN') who picked up his fourth straight win and helped the Pale Hose end a four-game skid.
— Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY'-kihs) delivered RBI doubles during a four-run ninth that lifts Atlanta past Philadelphia 8-4. Matt Kemp tied the score with a three-run homer in the fifth.
Kershaw slated for rehab start
UNDATED (AP) — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts says the left-hander will throw three innings or around 50 pitches, with lefty Brett Anderson to follow.
Kershaw has been sidelined for more than two months with a herniated disk in his back. He came out of a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday in good order after tossing two innings. Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA before getting injured in late June.
And Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) is a Dodger once again after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Puig spent a month in the minors and hit .358 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 24 games for Oklahoma City and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
In other major league news:
— Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is likely to miss his next scheduled start because of soreness in his right forearm. The team said deGrom had a precautionary MRI that showed no structural damage. He has surrendered 16 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over his last three starts, raising his ERA from 2.29 to 3.04.
— The Baltimore Orioles have formally added outfielders Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs to the big league roster and recalled right-hander Tyler Wilson, lefty Jayson Aquino and catcher Caleb Joseph from Triple-A Norfolk.
— The St. Louis Cardinals have activated Matt Adams off the 15-day disabled list after the first baseman was sidelined since Aug. 10 with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Baylor wins for Grobe
UNDATED (AP) — Baylor was a winner in its first football game since the sudden dismissal of coach Art Briles.
Seth Russell threw four touchdown passes in less than a half as the 23rd-ranked Bears crushed Northwestern State 55-7. Russell completed 14 of 20 passes for 163 yards and TDs to four receivers. The Bears led 41-0 after he threw his last pass.
Baylor rolled up 498 total yards for acting head coach Jim Grobe (grohb), who replaced Briles following an external investigation into allegations the school mishandled complaints of sexual assault, including some against football players.
In other top-25 action on Friday:
— Eighth-ranked Stanford rode Christian McCaffrey's touchdown runs of 41 and 35 yards to a 26-13 victory against visiting Kansas State. McCaffrey finished with 126 yards on 22 carries and 210 all-purpose yards.
— Tyler O'Connor was 13 of 18 for 190 yards and three touchdowns to help 12th-rated Michigan State hold off Furman 28-13. LJ Scott ran for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans, who led just 21-13 with 11:49 remaining before Andrew Dowell's interception in Michigan State territory.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-SOUTHERN CAL-INVESTIGATION
Two Trojans reportedly under investigation
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California has sent linebacker Don Hill home from Dallas amid reports that he is being investigated by police.
A search warrant and affidavit from Los Angeles County Superior Court obtained by ESPN, TMZ and the Los Angeles Times say Hill is under investigation for sexual assault. He was supposed to play for the 20th-ranked Trojans in their season opener Saturday against No. 1 Alabama. The team said only that Hill had violated team rules.
The court documents show it's the same investigation that is looking into Trojans linebacker Osa Masina, who did not make the trip to Texas due to what the team cited as a violation of team rules. The documents allege that Masina and Hill assaulted the woman at Hill's off-campus apartment on July 14 after giving her marijuana, Xanax and alcohol.
The documents say Masina also shot the assault on video and sent it to the victim's ex-boyfriend.
Masina alone assaulted the same woman in his home state of Utah on July 26, according to the documents.
Nadal in old form...Joker barely breaks a sweat
NEW YORK (AP) — Rafael Nadal has reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time since winning the 2013 title.
Nadal pulled off his third consecutive straight-sets victory by downing Andrey Kuznetsov (koos-NEHT'-sahv), 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. The 14-time Grand Slam champion hasn't advanced this far in a major since the 2015 French Open.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic (JOH'-koh-vihch) became a third-round winner when Mikhail Youzhny (YOOZ'-nee) retired after 31 minutes due to a strained hamstring. Djokovic was up 4-2 when Youzhny stopped playing. The truncated match came two days after Djokovic won in a walk-over.
American John Isner is done following a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 loss to Kyle Edmund, who will be Djokovic's next opponent.
Joining Nadal, Djokovic and Edmund in the Round of 16 are ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (joh-WIHL'-freed SAHN'-gah), 10th seed Gael Monfils (gyl mohn-FEES') and American Jack Sock, who was a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 winner against seventh seed Marin Cilic (CHEE'-lihch).
Eighth seed Madison Keys rallied from down two breaks in the third set to beat Naomi Osaka in women's third-round action. Osaka twice served for the match as she coughed up a 5-1 lead before dropping the tiebreak 7-3.
Second seed Angelique Kerber breezed into the Round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of American CiCi Bellis. Joining Kerber in the fourth round are seventh seed Roberta Vinci, 13th seed Johanna Konta and No. 14 Petra Kvitova (kuh-VIH'-toh-vah). No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova (see-bul-KOH'-vah) dropped a three-setter to Lesia Tsurenko. Caroline Wozniacki (wohz-nee-A'-kee) also advanced after dropping just four games in her third-round match.
Season is over for Little-E
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the rest of the NASCAR season due to lingering concussion-like symptoms. Earnhardt has been under medical care since the symptoms began in July.
Earnhardt will have missed 18 races total but says he plans to be behind the wheel for the season-opening Daytona 500 next February.
Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman will continue to share seat time in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
PGA-DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
Moore, Hahn share lead
NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Ryan Moore and James Hahn are co-leaders after the opening round of the PGA's Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston. Moore and Hahn fired 6-under 65s for a one-stroke advantage over Paul Casey, Jhonattan Vegas, Fabian Gomez and Brian Stuard. J.B. Holmes, Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger were among those at 67 as they try to land captain's picks for the upcoming Ryder Cup.
The field this week consists of the top 100 players in the FedEx standings. The top 70 at the end of play Sunday advance to the third event next week, the BWM Championship.
Alex leads after 64
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario (AP) — Marina Alex closed with an eagle for an 8-under 64 and the second-round lead in the LPGA Manulife Classic.
Alex played the final five holes at minus-5 for the lowest score in her LPGA Tour career. The former Vanderbilt player is 10-under total, good for a one-stroke advantage over Thailand's P.K. Kongkraphan and South Korean Hyo Joo Kim.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Frost leads in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — David Frost eagled two holes in shooting a bogey-free 8-under 62 to open the PGA Tour Champions' Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary.
The 56-year-old South African eagled the par-5 11th and 18th holes at Canyon Meadows in the round interrupted by lightning, thunder, hail and heavy rain. He was a stroke short of the tournament record of 61 shared by Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Defending champion Jeff Maggert and Argentina's Jose Coceres are a stroke back