Six straight for Mets...Dodgers stay two up

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets coughed up most of an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday before expanding their lead in the NL East to two games over Washington.

The Mets eventually picked up their sixth consecutive win as Matt Harvey gave up just two hits while pitching shutout ball over seven innings of an 8-6 triumph at Miami. Harvey left with a 7-0 lead, and the Mets tacked on another run before the Marlins tagged the Mets' bullpen for six runs in the bottom of the ninth.

The Marlins had the tying run on first with two out before Christian Yelich laced a sharp grounder to first baseman Lucas Duda for the final out.

Juan Uribe's three-run homer put the Mets up 7-0 in the fifth. Duda added a two-run double and three RBIs to help the Mets stay perfect since they blew a 7-1 lead in Thursday's 8-7 loss to San Diego.

The Nationals lost for the fifth time in six games as Welington Castro smacked a three-run homer and the top three hitters in Arizona's lineup combined for nine hits in an 11-4 romp in Washington. Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt each had three of the Diamondbacks' 17 hits. Rubby De La Rosa gave up two runs in five innings to get the win.

In other major league finals:

— Yasiel Puig belted a three-run homer in the first inning before Brett Anderson and the Dodgers' bullpen held off the Phillies in a 4-3 victory in Philadelphia. Anderson limited the Phillies to a run and five hits in six innings to even his record at 6-6. The outcome keeps the NL West-leading Dodgers two games ahead of San Francisco.

— The Giants were 6-1 winners against Atlanta behind Madison Bumgarner, who struck out nine while holding the Braves to a run and seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. Kelby Tomlinson singled twice and had three RBIs before Matt Duffy's two-run double put the Giants ahead 4-0 in the seventh.

— St. Louis used the long ball to maintain its 5 ½-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central. Randal Grichuk crushed a solo homer in the top of the 13th to lift the Cardinals past Cincinnati 4-3. The Reds led 3-0 through four innings, but Matt Carpenter tied it with a solo blast in the eighth.

— Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen each hit solo homers and collected two RBIs in the Pirates' 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates blew a 4-1 lead in the sixth before Polanco hit a tiebreaking single in the bottom half and McCutchen followed with a sacrifice fly. Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo homered in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who ended a six-game winning streak and fell a half-game behind the Giants for the final NL wild-card berth.

— Texas completed a three-game sweep that cuts the Astros' lead to two games over the Los Angeles Angels. Chris Gimenez hit a solo homer and Nick Martinez allowed just one hit in five innings of the Rangers' 4-3 victory against Houston. Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus supplied RBI singles in the Rangers' three-run first.

— The Angels scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 4-3 win over Cleveland. C.J. Cron tied it with a two-out, two-run single off closer Chad Allen with the bases loaded before pinch-runner Taylor Featherston scored on a wild pitch to end it. Kole Calhoun homered for the Angels.

— Luis Severino was a loser in his major league debut despite allowing just two hits over five innings in the New York Yankees' 2-1 setback against Boston. David Ortiz made it 2-0 with a fourth-inning homer after Alejandro De Aza doubled home the first run. Red Sox rookie Steven Wright gave up just four hits in eight innings against a team that had scored 90 runs over its previous 10 games.

— The Yanks' lead in the AL East is down to 4 ½ games over Toronto after Jose Bautista launched a grand slam and Edwin Encarnacion added a three-run homer in the Blue Jays' 9-7 win against Minnesota. Josh Donaldson added a two-run homer to support a shaky Drew Hutchison, who surrendered seven runs and seven hits over five innings. Four of those runs were unearned.

— Baltimore pulled out a 7-3 win at Oakland on a grand slam by Chris Davis in the top of the 10th. Jimmy Paredes and J.J. Hardy hit RBI singles in the sixth to tie the game, two innings after Marcus Semien's two-run double put the A's ahead 3-1.

— Matt Boyd picked up his first major league win and Detroit turned just five hits into a 2-1 triumph against Kansas City. Anthony Gose laced an RBI triple and Victor Martinez poked a tiebreaking grounder to back Boyd, who gave up one run and seven hits in seven innings. Johnny Cueto allowed just two runs in seven innings but took the loss as the Royals stayed 9 ½ games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central.

— Avisail Garcia worked out a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning to give the Chicago White Sox a 6-5 victory over Tampa Bay. Garcia also hit a three-run homer in the White Sox's five-run first inning.

— Colorado scored twice in the ninth before Michael McKenry's two-run homer gave the Rockies a 7-5, 11-inning win against Seattle. Carlos Gonzalez also slammed a two-run homer for the Rockies, who trailed 5-3 until Ben Paulson hit an RBI double in the ninth and scored on Kyle Parker's game-tying single.

— Milwaukee outscored San Diego 8-5 as Jonathan Lucroy cracked a two-run homer, Shane Peterson ripped a two-run triple and Jean Segura added a two-run single. Rookie Taylor Jungmann struck out eight and allowed two runs in seven innings to improve to 6-3 with a 2.26 ERA.


Sanchez drops appeal

UNDATED (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez has dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension for throwing at Kansas City's Alcides Escobar in the eighth inning Sunday. Sanchez began serving the suspension Wednesday against Minnesota. He'll be eligible to return Saturday, the second game of a pivotal weekend series in New York against the AL East-leading Yankees.

In other major league news:

— The Astros have designated pitcher Dan Straily for assignment and recalled right-hander Asher Wojciechowski from Triple-A Fresno. Houston also re-signed left-hander Joe Thatcher, who had been designated for assignment July 21.

— Dave Dombrowski says there had been no talks with Tigers ownership about a new contract, and he began to sense he might not be back with Detroit in 2016. His comments come a day after Dombrowski was let go as president and general manager of the team while in the final year of his contract. Dombrowski guided Detroit to two American League pennants and four Central division titles.


Foster injures groin

UNDATED (AP) — Houston coach Bill O'Brien says running back Arian Foster continues to be evaluated for a groin injury that will cause him to miss practice time.

Foster was second in the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2014 and sixth in rushing yards for the season, averaging 95.8 and finishing with 1,246.


— The Seattle Seahawks have activated All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas from the physically unable to perform list, an indication he could be ready for the regular-season opener. Thomas underwent offseason surgery after injuring his left shoulder in the NFL championship game against Green Bay.

— The Detroit Lions have agreed to a four-year contract extension with linebacker DeAndre Levy, whose contract was up at the end of the season. Levy had a career-high 151 tackles last year and is entering his seventh season with Detroit.

—Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee has sustained a hamstring injury in practice. Lee, who is still recovering from a left knee injury, tweaked his right hamstring midway through practice and didn't return. Coach Gus Bradley didn't initially have an idea how long Lee would be out.


Cavs complete Jefferson deal

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have finalized their contract with free-agent forward Richard Jefferson. He has averaged 13.9 points in his career and appeared in 105 playoff games. He averaged 5.8 points and 16.8 minutes in Dallas last season.


NHL expansion hopefuls still drawing interest

UNDATED (AP) — Las Vegas and Quebec City have advanced to the second of three phases in their bids to land NHL expansion franchises. Both bidding groups made the announcement through social media as they hope to expand the league to 32 teams, although the league isn't expected to add teams for at least two more seasons. The Las Vegas group has already secured more than 13,200 season-ticket deposits for a potential team, and Quebec City is about to open a publicly-funded, 18,259-seat venue next month.

There is a third phase to the process, though it's unclear when that will begin. Bids must also be approved by the NHL Board of Governors.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has proposed an expansion fee of $500 million.


New contract for US women's coach

CHICAGO (AP) — Jill Ellis has been rewarded for leading the U.S. women to the World Cup title with a multi-year contract extension. She guided the American team to its third World Cup crown last month with a 5-2 victory over defending champion Japan in the final.

Ellis will now lead the Americans' preparations for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. women have won the last three Olympic gold medals.


Feds want Armstrong medical records

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The federal government wants to see Lance Armstrong's medical records from his treatments for cancer to determine whether his doctors knew back in 1996 that he was using performance-enhancing drugs.

The demand came in the government's lawsuit to recover millions of dollars in sponsorship money the U.S. Postal Service paid to Armstrong's teams from 1998-2004. Court records show that government lawyers subpoenaed the Indiana University School of Medicine on July 30 to provide the records.

Armstrong's lawyers have asked a Washington, D.C., judge to block the subpoena, calling the release of records a violation of privacy and noting Armstrong confessed in 2013 to doping to win the Tour de France seven times.


Red Sox back Boston's proposed ban on tobacco at ballparks

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox manager John Farrell says his team supports Boston's proposed ban on chewing tobacco because it wants to project a positive image to the city's young people.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Wednesday proposed banning smokeless tobacco products, including snuff and dip, from all city professional and amateur athletic venues. He saying kids shouldn't have to "watch their role models using tobacco."

Former Red Sox pitcher and mouth cancer survivor Curt Schilling attended the mayor's announcement of the proposal.

Farrell says young people "look up to the guys on the field and in uniform" and the team must "put forth a positive image." He made his comments at Yankee Stadium in New York Wednesday night where the Sox beat the Yankees 2-1.


Ex-NBA owner files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has filed for divorce from his estranged wife whom he's been married to for nearly 60 years.

Donald Sterling is suing his wife and the NBA in federal court over the $2 billion sale of the team.

She negotiated the deal with ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after doctors found Donald Sterling incompetent to handle his business affairs.

The couple had testified at a trial earlier this year about their enduring love for each other, displaying cards they gave each other for anniversaries and birthdays.