AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Rangers pad lead, go for sweep tonight...Dodgers magic number is 10
UNDATED (AP) — The Texas Rangers stretched their lead in the AL West to a game and a half by beating Houston for the third straight night, 14-3. Prince Fielder hit two of the Rangers' five home runs.
Mike Napoli, Rougned Odor and Bobby Wilson also homered for Texas, which goes for the sweep tonight.
In other baseball:
— The L.A. Dodgers reduced their magic number for clinching the NL West to 10 by blanking Colorado 2-0. That's the Dodgers' 17th win in 22 games. Alex Wood pitched one-hit ball for eight innings on just 78 pitches and retired his last 19 batters. A.J. Ellis homered and rookie Corey Seager had an RBI single for the Dodgers.
— The St. Louis Cardinals increased their NL Central lead to four games by beating Milwaukee 5-4. Tommy Pham homered twice and tripled. Matt Carpenter added a solo shot. Jaime Garcia won for the third time in his last four starts to improve to 9-5. Garcia is 6-1 in nine starts since Aug. 1.
— Meanwhile, the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates were losing 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs in 12 innings. Pinch-runner Quintin Berry raced home on Anthony Rizzo's sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th inning for the go-ahead run. Chicago starter Jake Arrieta's bid to become the majors' first 20-game winner went along smoothly before he wavered in the eighth as Pittsburgh rallied to tie it.
— Adam Conley slowed the Mets pursuit of a National League East title with a career-high seven innings, and the Miami Marlins blanked New York 6-0. Miami beat New York for a second straight night to secure its fifth straight series win. The loss cut the Mets' lead to seven and a-half games in the NL East over Washington with 16 games left.
— Ex-Phillie Jayson Werth hit two homers, Bryce Harper also went deep and Gio Gonzalez tied his career-high with 12 strikeouts to lead the Washington Nationals to a 12-2 victory over Philadelphia. Werth and Harper each had four home runs in the three-game sweep of Philadelphia.
— AL East-leading Toronto protected its three-game lead over the Yankees by whacking Atlanta 9-1. David Price allowed one run in seven innings in raising his record to 16-5.
— The Yankees beat Tampa Bay 3-1. Greg Bird homered and drove in two runs to help rookie Luis Severino improve to 4-3.
— The Minnesota Twins stayed a game and a half out of the last AL wild card by falling to Detroit 7-4 in 12 innings. Ian Kinsler's two-out RBI single preceded a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the 12th.
— Jesus Montero hit a three-run homer of Jered Weaver and the Seattle Mariners handed the Los Angeles Angels their third loss in four games, 3-1.
— San Francisco beat Cincinnati 5-3. Jake Peavy homered for the first time in nine years and also got the win. He's 7-6. Giants pitchers have nine home runs this season, most since hitting 10 in 1934.
— Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer and the San Diego Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3.
— Francisco Lindor, making a late run for AL Rookie of the Year, was 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.
— The Chicago White Sox worked over Oakland 9-4. Mike Olt homered and Melky Cabrera had a two-run double as part of a six-run fourth inning.
— Dustin Pedroia homered twice and had a season-high five RBIs to power Boston past Baltimore 10-1.
Astros closer away for birth of first child
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)_Houston Astros closer Luke Gregerson has left the team for the birth of his first child.
Gregerson left the team before last night's game in Texas after his wife went into labor in Orlando, Florida. She gave birth to a baby boy.
Manager A.J. Hinch was unsure how long Gregerson would be out. But he said the team supports Gregerson and will figure out the bullpen by committee.
News from around the league
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown can't practice until Friday because of a concussion he suffered in the opening game loss to the Jets. That means backup Johnny Manziel will be with Cleveland's first-team offense the next two days. However, the team will carefully monitor him because of lingering elbow tendinitis.
— A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Ryan Mallett will start at quarterback for the Houston Texans on Sunday at Carolina. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team is not expected to disclose its starting quarterback until game day.
Brian Hoyer started the season-opener, but had two turnovers early and was benched in the fourth quarter. Mallett took over and led the Texans on two scoring drives in the last six minutes of the 27-20 loss to Kansas City.
— Starting safety Morgan Burnett has returned to practice for the Green Bay Packers after missing the season opener against Chicago with a calf injury. The six-year veteran wore a stocking around his lower left leg during practice.
— Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has been fined $35,000 by the NFL for his personal foul against Raiders receiver Amari Cooper during their opener on Sunday. Jones got on top of Cooper, knocked off his helmet and slammed his head against it at the end of a play during the second quarter, drawing a penalty for unnecessary roughness. Jones says that he's going to appeal the fine.
— Miami safety Reshad Jones is sidelined with a hamstring injury that forced him to miss practice, and his status for Sunday's game at Jacksonville is uncertain. Reserve defensive end Derrick Shelby also missed practice because of an eye injury. Tight end Dion Sims was sidelined after suffering a concussion on Sunday's win at Washington.
Rutgers' coach suspended 3 games...Oregon QB Adams has broken finger
UNDATED (AP) — Rutgers has suspended football coach Kyle Flood for three games after he contacted a faculty member over a player's status. Flood was also fined $50,000. A report found that Flood emailed and met in person with a faculty member even though he knew or should have known of the university's policies prohibiting coach-initiated contact with faculty members regarding students' academic standing.
The report also found that Flood provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions for a player's paper to complete a course.
In other college football news:
— Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. confirmed that he has a broken finger and says it's a game-time decision whether he'll start Saturday against Georgia State. Vernon says he broke his right index finger in the season opener. It was bothering him in the Ducks' 31-28 loss at now-No. 4 Michigan State last weekend. Jeff Lockie, Marcus Mariota's backup last season for the Ducks, will start against the Panthers if Adams can't go.
—The University of Texas reached outside of the athletic department to name an interim athletic director. Mike Perrin, who played linebacker for the Longhorns in the 1960's and is now a trial attorney in Houston, says he was first approached about the job on Labor Day. He says he will be reaching out to the "entire Longhorn nation" of fans and donors who had been angered by the policies of his predecessor, Steve Patterson.
Fifth-ranked player in the world hospitalized
PRAGUE (AP) — Lucie Safarova, who lost to Serena Williams in the French Open final this year, has been hospitalized in the Czech Republic with an unspecified infectious disease. She posted a photo of herself from the hospital saying she has a bacterial infection. It's not clear when she may recover.
Safarova has already qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore in doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, for winning the Australian and French Opens, and stands a good chance to qualify in singles having reached her highest ranking at No. 5.
Kane to attend camp amid investigation
CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane is expected to join his Chicago Blackhawks teammates at training camp this week as he awaits the results of a sexual-assault investigation.
Kane's agent, Pat Brisson, wrote in a text message to The Associated Press indicating his client's intention of attending.
Camp begins Friday on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana.
Kane is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s last month at his offseason residence near his hometown of Buffalo, New York, a person familiar with the investigation has told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because police have not revealed details of the case.
Kane has not been charged, but the case has overshadowed the Blackhawks over the past month.
In other NHL news:
— Defenseman Slava Voynov says he will return home to Russia, leaving the Los Angeles Kings in the wake of his legal troubles on domestic violence charges.
— The New York Islanders re-signed center Brock Nelson to a three-contract. The 23-year-old Nelson had 20 goals and 22 assists in 82 regular-season games last season and added two goals in seven playoff games.
__ The NHL says every team will play at least three sessions of the new three-on-three overtime format during the preseason, before it's implemented in the regular season.
Malone funeral set
HOUSTON (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone will be remembered at a funeral service on Saturday in Houston. The three-time NBA MVP died Sunday at age 60.