AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Orioles are hitless in Seattle
SEATTLE (AP) — There have been just two no-hitters thrown by Japanese-born pitchers against American League teams, and the Baltimore Orioles were the victims each time.
The latest has been authored by Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma, who did it in a 3-0 victory over the Birds yesterday. Iwakuma received help from teammates Robinson Cano (kuh-NOH'), Kyle Seager and Austin Jackson, each of whom made fine defensive plays in the first American League no-hitter in three years.
Franklin Gutierrez and Jesus Sucre sandwiched RBI doubles around Cano's run-scoring single to put the Mariners ahead 3-0 by the fourth inning.
It's the fifth no-no in Mariners history, and the first since Felix Hernandez fired a perfect game against the Rays on Aug. 15, 2012.
Hideo Nomo is the only other Japanese-born pitcher to toss a major league no-hitter, doing it for the Dodgers against the Rockies in 1996 before silencing the Orioles for the Red Sox in 2001.
Meanwhile, there's a new leader in the American League East after the Toronto Blue Jays picked up their 10th consecutive win. Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak each belted three-run homers and Josh Donaldson collected two RBIs as the Jays crushed Oakland 10-3. R.A. Dickey won his fourth straight decision and helped Toronto become the first American League team since the 1977 Royals to post more than one double-digit winning streak in the same season. The Jays won 11 in a row earlier this year.
Toronto now enjoys a half-game lead over the New York Yankees, who own a five-game losing streak after falling 2-1 at Cleveland. Danny Salazar gave up just four hits in 7 1/3 innings and blanked the Yanks following Brian McCann's second-inning homer. Abraham Almonte's RBI single broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth.
The Yankees have scored just nine runs in their last seven games after getting 90 in their previous 10 contests.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— St. Louis tops the NL Central by seven games after Michael Wacha outpitched Gerrit Cole in the Cardinals' 4-2 triumph over the second-place Pirates. Wacha is 14-4 after surrendering nine hits and three walks but just two runs in six innings. The game was tied 2-2 in the sixth until Yadier Molina hit an RBI triple and scored on Stephen Piscotty's single.
— Jacob deGrom lowered his ERA to 2.03 by holding Colorado to two hits while striking out 10 in seven innings of the New York Mets' 10th victory in 12 games, 3-0 over the Rockies. Juan Uribe put the Mets ahead with an RBI double before scoring on Michael Cuddyer's run-scoring single later in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes hit his first homer since joining the Mets, who lead the NL East by 3 1/2 games following Washington's 16th loss in 25 games.
— Clayton Kershaw was brilliant in the Dodgers' 3-0 shutout of the Nationals, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out eight in eight innings. The scoring came on Carl Crawford's RBI single in the third and Andre Ethier's two-run double in the eighth. Los Angeles leads the NL West by 4 1/2 games over the Giants.
— Colby Rasmus and Scott Feldman helped the Astros earn a 2-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco. Rasmus snapped a scoreless tie with a solo homer in the seventh, one inning before Jed Lowrie went deep. Feldman allowed four hits in six innings as the Astros won for just the fourth time in their last 21 road games.
— The White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Angels, dropping Los Angeles two games behind the AL West-leading Astros. Avisail Garcia lined an RBI double in the bottom of the 13th to complete the White Sox's 3-2 victory over the Angels. The Halos left the potential go-ahead run on third in each of the last four innings.
— The Chicago Cubs picked up their sixth consecutive win by beating Milwaukee 3-2 on Miguel Montero's walk-off homer in the 10th inning. Kris Bryant also smacked a solo shot for the Cubs, who led 2-1 in the ninth until Hector Rondon uncorked a wild pitch that scored Ryan Braun. The Cubs are 4 1/2 games ahead of the Giants for the second NL wild-card berth, and just 1 1/2 games behind the Pirates for the first wild card.
— Kansas City had won five straight before blowing a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning of a 7-4 loss to Detroit. J.D. Martinez put the Tigers ahead with an RBI single after Ian Kinsler laced a two-run double. Victor Martinez had two RBIs against the Royals, who lead the AL Central by 12 games over the Twins.
— Miguel Sano homered twice and had six RBIs in Minnesota's 11-1 romp over Texas. Aaron Hicks had four of the Twins' 17 hits and Mike Pelfrey notched his first victory since June. Pelfrey gave up a run and four hits in seven innings after going 0-5 with a 6.22 ERA in his previous 10 starts.
— Curt Casali belted a two-run homer to cap Tampa Bay's six-run seventh in a 9-6 comeback win over Atlanta. The Braves led 6-3 until James Loney lined an RBI double to ignite the rally. Grady Sizemore also homered for the Rays.
— J. T. Realmuto delivered a grand slam and five RBIs while the Marlins scored 10 times in the sixth inning of a 14-6 rout of Boston. The game was tied 4-4 in the sixth until Realmuto hit an RBI single and scored on Ichiro Suzuki's two-run triple. Realmuto finished with six RBIs, Suzuki drove in three and Dee Gordon was 3-for-4 with a leadoff homer and two ribbies for Miami.
— Joey Votto smacked a two-run homer and rookie Raisel Iglesias pitched into the sixth inning of Cincinnati's 7-3 triumph over San Diego. Votto was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored to support Iglesias, who blanked the Padres after the first inning. James Shields surrendered five runs in 6 1/3 innings, leaving him with one victory in his last 13 starts.
— Cameron Rupp belted a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth inning and had four RBIs in Philadelphia's 7-6 decision over the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Andres Blanco also homered to help the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep.
Cruz out with neck spasms
SEATTLE (AP) — Nelson Cruz was out of the lineup for Seattle's no-hitter against Baltimore. It came a day after he left a game with the Orioles with neck spasms.
Cruz is riding a 21-game hitting streak, tied for the longest in baseball this season. He's hitting .411 with six doubles, 13 home runs and 17 RBIs during the streak. It's the longest streak of his career and tied for fifth-longest in franchise history.
In other baseball news:
— Former Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has been hired by the Boston Red Sox in a short-term consulting role. Dipoto will assist general manager Ben Cherington and the baseball operations department in evaluating talent and assisting with offseason plans.
Deflategate goes to court
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge put the NFL on the defensive over its four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during an open court session. Judge Richard Berman demanded to know from the league's attorney what evidence directly links Brady to deflating footballs and belittling the drama of the controversy.
Daniel Nash responded there was "considerable evidence Mr. Brady clearly knew about this," including records of text messages and phone calls in the scandal that is known as "Deflategate". But he also said there was no "smoking gun" showing Brady had direct knowledge that the balls were deflated during the AFC championship game against Indianapolis.
Berman is meeting with the parties in closed door sessions in hopes of reaching a settlement.
The NFL sued two weeks ago asking for Berman to declare that its punishment of Brady was properly carried out. The players' union countersued, asking him to nullify the suspension. The judge has signaled from the start that he wants the parties to reach a swift settlement.
10-year vet likely Bills starter
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — On his third team in four seasons, Bills quarterback Matt Cassel's confidence remains unshaken in the 10-year veteran's bid to finally establish himself as an NFL starter.
Although new Bills coach Rex Ryan has yet to name a starter formally, Cassel has been getting the majority of snaps in practice in his competition with EJ Manuel and career backup Tyrod Taylor.
Speaking of the Bills, they've claimed linebacker I.K. Enemkpali off waivers just a day after he was dropped by the Jets for sucker-punching quarterback Geno Smith in the jaw. Smith is expected to be out 6-10 weeks following the locker-room fight.
Bucks arena money committed
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that commits $250 million in taxpayer money to pay for a new arena for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.
The signing took place at the Wisconsin State Fair Park, with team officials, state lawmakers and others in attendance.
Taxpayers ultimately will pay about $400 million, including interest, over the next two decades. Current and former team owners will spend another $250 million on the arena and keep the Bucks from leaving the state.
PGA sticking with Trump courses
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The PGA of America has no plans to take two golf tournaments away from courses Donald Trump owns over the next seven years.
The PGA of America was the first golf organization to pull an event from a Trump property when it announced the Grand Slam of Golf would not be played in October at Trump National in Los Angeles. Still on the calendar are the 2017 Senior PGA Championship at Trump's course outside Washington and the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
PGA chief executive Pete Bevacqua says both of those tournaments will be played on Trump-controlled courses, as scheduled.