AP Sports Wrap from Monday, September 20, 2016
UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco Giants entered last night's action on a three-game skid in which the bullpen blew ninth-inning leads on Saturday and Monday.
The Giants got it right this time while inching closer to the National League West-leading Dodgers and creating a three-way tie for the two NL wild-card berths.
The Giants' bullpen worked 3 2/3 shutout innings to close out a 2-0 shutout of the Dodgers. San Francisco relievers gave up just one hit and struck out seven after Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) left the game with a strained left groin.
Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt hit solo homers to help Cueto pick up his 17th victory.
In addition to Cueto's injury, the Giants finished without Brandon Crawford because of a dislocated left pinky.
The outcome trims the Dodgers' division lead to five games over the Giants, keeping Los Angeles with a magic number of seven. San Francisco, St. Louis and the New York Mets are dead even in the battle for the league's two wild-card berths.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Jose Fernandez struck out 12 while limiting Washington to three hits over eight innings of Miami's 1-0 shutout of the Nationals. Giancarlo Stanton homered for the second straight night, his first two starts since coming off the disabled list. Tanner Roark (ROH'-ahrk) allowed just three hits over seven innings but took the loss.
— Washington's magic number to capture the NL East is down to four after Adonis Garcia smacked a three-run homer to put the Braves ahead 5-1 in a 5-4 win over the Mets. Julio Teheran held New York to one run and five hits over seven innings, leaving him 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four starts against the Mets this year.
— The Cardinals received a great offensive performance from pitcher Adam Wainwright in a 10-5 pounding of Colorado. Wainwright drove in as many runs as he allowed over 5 1/3 innings, hitting a two-run double and a two-run single. Matt Adams and Jedd Gyorko (JUR'-koh) homered for the Cardinals, who have won four straight to catch the Mets and Giants.
— The Cubs handled Cincinnati 6-1 to slice their magic number to four for clinching home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. Jon Lester laced an RBI double and improved to 18-4 for the NL Central champs by giving up just one run over seven innings. Anthony Rizzo drove in three for the Cubs, who improved to a major league-best 96-55.
— Boston's lead in the AL East is four games over Toronto and five over Baltimore after David Ortiz crushed a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Red Sox a 5-1 lead in their sixth consecutive victory, 5-2 against the Orioles. The 40-year-old Ortiz is hitting .318 with 36 home runs and 121 RBIs in his final big league season. Jackie Bradley Jr. banged out his 26th home run and Eduardo Rodriguez limited the Orioles to a pair of runs and four hits while striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings.
— Toronto's J.A. Happ became the AL's first 20-game winner and the second in the majors by allowing two runs while fanning eight over five innings of a 10-2 laugher against Seattle. Homers by Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN'), Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Michael Saunders helped the Blue Jays move one game ahead of Baltimore for the first AL wild-card berth. The Mariners remain three games out of an AL playoff spot.
— Cleveland's magic number to wrap up the AL Central is down to six. The Indians earned their 11th walk-off win of the season as Brandon Guyer (GY'-ur) doubled home Coco Crisp in the bottom of the ninth to complete Cleveland's 2-1 victory over Kansas City. Carlos Santana homered and reliever Andrew Miller recorded five outs to improve to 9-1.
— The Tigers remain seven games behind the Indians but are within 1 ½ games of the Orioles for the final AL wild-card berth following an 8-1 trouncing of the Twins in Minnesota. Matt Boyd held the Twins to a run and three hits over seven innings to help the Tigers win their second straight. James McCann slammed a three-run homer and Miguel Cabrera added a two-run shot for Detroit.
— Texas knocked off the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 to trim their AL West magic number to one. Nomar Mazara hit a go-ahead, two-run homer and Nick Martinez worked 3 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout relief as the Rangers became the first AL squad with 90 victories. Three Rangers and one Angel were hit by pitches in a testy game with multiple ejections.
— The Yankees' improved their fading playoff hopes with a four-run seventh in a 5-3 triumph at Tampa Bay. Gary Sanchez snapped a 2-2 tie with a three-run blast in the seventh, his 17th homer in 41 games since his recall in early August. Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) also homered for the Yankees, who are 3 ½ games out of an AL wild-card berth after stopping a five-game losing streak.
— George Springer's RBI single in the 10th inning lifted Houston past Oakland 2-1, pushing the Astros within two games of an AL wild-card berth. The A's led until Tony Kemp doubled home the tying run in the seventh. Oakland's bullpen blew it after Sean Manaea (mah-NAY'-ah) scattered three hits over six scoreless frames.
— Andrew McCutchen put the Pirates ahead to stay with a two-run double before Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell poked two-run singles in Pittsburgh's 6-3 win at Milwaukee. The Bucs got five strong innings from their bullpen in climbing back to .500.
— Odubal (oh-DOO'-bul) Herrera was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs as Philadelphia held off the White Sox, 7-6. Roman Quinn's two-run single gave the Phillies a 7-3 lead in the sixth, but the White Sox scored three times in the ninth before Jeanmar Gomez got the final out with the tying run on second.
— San Diego beat Arizona 5-2 as Adam Rosales delivered a two-run homer and a pair of sacrifice flies. Paul Clemens was reached for just a pair of unearned runs and three hits over 5 2/3s.
Strop ready to go
CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop (strohp) is set to be activated off the disabled list Friday, giving Chicago's bullpen another valuable arm for the playoffs.
Strop threw about 20 pitches without difficulty in a simulated game Tuesday and declared himself pain-free following knee and groin injuries. He is 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 43 2/3 innings over 50 appearances this year.
Commish says Padres GM penalty "speaks for itself"
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is confident teams fully disclose medical records, but said his office has demonstrated that it will use discipline as a way to discourage rules violations.
Manfred's comments came less than a week after MLB suspended Padres general manager A.J. Preller for 30 days without pay for failing to disclose medical information to the Red Sox before sending Drew Pomeranz to Boston.
Pats coach mum on starting quarterback
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots coach Bill Belichick hasn't publicly ruled out injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (gah-RAH'-puh-loh) for Thursday night's game against the Texans.
Garoppolo was a limited participant in practice Tuesday as he recovers from a right shoulder injury suffered in the first half of Sunday's win against Miami. The Patriots have yet to add another quarterback to the roster, increasing the possibility that rookie Jacoby Brissett could make his first NFL start versus Houston.
Cutler has sprained thumb
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears head coach John Fox may have to go with a patchwork roster this weekend.
Fox isn't ruling out quarterback Jay Cutler for Sunday's game against Dallas despite a sprained right thumb suffered in last night's 29-14 loss to Philadelphia. Fox says Brian Hoyer will start against the Cowboys if Cutler is unable to play.
Meanwhile, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan (treh-VAY'-than) will undergo thumb surgery Wednesday, and the team will spend the rest of the year without linebacker Lamarr Houston because of a torn ACL in his left knee.
Cowboys' Gregory drops suspension appeal
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has dropped an appeal of his latest suspension for substance abuse and now faces a 10-game ban on top of the four games he will already miss.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show that it was pointless for Gregory to pursue the appeal since the NFL Players Association wouldn't back him.
A 14-game suspension would make Gregory ineligible to play until Week 16 this season.
Bills' McCoy sued over club fight
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has been sued over a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured.
The civil suit claims McCoy beat and kicked one officer while he was on the ground and punched another officer in the eye. The suit filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seeks money damages from McCoy, two other men and the nightclub.
McCoy's attorney has said he was only trying to break up a fight between the officers and his friends over a $350 bottle of Champagne.
District Attorney Seth Williams announced in April that no charges would be filed in connection with the brawl, saying he couldn't prove who started it.
Kaepernick says he's had death threats
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nik) says he has received death threats through social media and other avenues since he began his protest during the national anthem last month.
Kaepernick says he hasn't alerted team security and understood that such threats could occur once he began protesting over racial oppression and police brutality in the United States.
Kaepernick also said he plans to start a website soon showing he is donating the $1 million he has pledged to organizations supporting his cause of racial equality.
Canada eliminates US
TORONTO (AP) — It will be three-and-out for the U.S. hockey team.
The Americans have been eliminated in the round-robin competition following a 4-2 loss to Canada. The United States ended Price's shutout streak at 228:41 when Ryan McDonagh opened the scoring 4:22 into the game, but Matt Duchene (doo-SHAYN') tallied twice later in the first period before Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES' BEHR'-zhur-ahn) made it 4-1 midway through the game.
The outcome leaves Canada 2-0 and drops the U.S. to 0-2 with one game remaining.
Also on Tuesday, Henrik Lundqvist turned back 36 shots as Sweden blanked Finland 2-0 to improve to 2-0. The Finns are 0-2.
Strome gets 2-year deal
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Islanders have worked out a two-year, $5 million deal with restricted free-agent forward Ryan Strome (strohm) before the team-imposed Thursday morning deadline.
The fifth player taken in the 2011 draft appeared to have a breakout season two years ago, scoring 17 goals and 50 points in 81 games. But the 23-year-old Strome slipped to eight goals and 28 points in 71 games last season, earning a brief demotion to the Islanders' AHL affiliate at Bridgeport.
Rose rape accuser's name ordered to become public
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled a woman accusing NBA star Derrick Rose of rape cannot remain anonymous at her upcoming civil trial.
The 30-year-old woman has only been identified in documents as "Jane Doe" and says the former MVP and two of his friends raped her in 2013 while she was incapacitated from drinking. Rose denies her claims and contends he had consensual sex with the woman.
GYMNASTICS-SEXUAL ABUSE-DOCTOR FIRED
Michigan State fires gymnastics doctor over sexual abuse allegations
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A doctor accused of sexual abuse by two American gymnasts has been fired by Michigan State University. The school says its police have received additional allegations of abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar since last week.
The two gymnasts include a member of the 2000 U.S. women's Olympic team. They have said they were sexually abused as teenagers by Nassar, a former longtime doctor for USA Gymnastics.
Nassar was a faculty member at Michigan State. The university said last week Nassar was investigated in 2014 over another allegation of misconduct, but the school found no violation of its policy.