AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Tigers close gap on Indians
UNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have shaved another game off Cleveland's lead in the American League Central.
The Tigers picked up their eighth straight win by downing the White Sox 2-1 on a solo homer by pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez in the bottom of the eighth. Martinez went deep on the first pitch he saw since fracturing an elbow on June 16. Winning pitcher Shane Green worked 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief after Michael Fullmer held Chicago to a run and four hits over 6 2/3s.
The Indians' division lead is down to 2 ½ games over Detroit after the Twins ripped the Indians for the third straight night, 13-5. Joe Mauer fell a homer shy of the cycle in going 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Brian Dozier belted a three-run homer and Eddie Rosario had three RBIs to help the Twins earn their fourth consecutive win.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Kevin Gausman was 2-8 before holding the Rangers to a pair of runs and seven hits while striking out seven over seven innings to lead the Birds to a 3-2 victory. The Orioles supported Gausman with a three-run first as Matt Wieters (WEE'-turz) delivered a two-run single after Jonathan Schoop (skohp) scored on an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus (AN'-droos). The outcome keeps the AL East-leading Orioles one game ahead of the Blue Jays and keeps Texas 5 ½ games in front of the Astros in the AL West.
— Marco Estrada held Houston to a run and four hits in seven innings to pitch Toronto to a 3-1 victory. Josh Donaldson sandwiched his two solo homers around Jose Bautista's round-tripper. Bautista and Donaldson hit back-to-back homers in the sixth to put the Blue Jays ahead 3-0.
— Boston's 3-1 loss at Seattle leaves the Red Sox three games off the AL East lead. Hisashi Iwakuma (hih-SAH'-shee ee-wah-KOO'-muh) blanked the Bosox on five hits while fanning seven in 7 1/3 innings. Nelson Cruz, Mike Zunino and Adam Lind homered for the Mariners.
— The Cubs scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to beat Miami 5-4 and complete a three-game sweep. Dexter Fowler lifted a sacrifice fly and Ben Zobrist tied the game by working out a bases-loaded walk with two out before Matt Szczur (SEE'-zur) scored the winner on a wild pitch. The Cubs have won seven of eight and lead the NL Central by nine games over St. Louis.
— Brandon Moss lined a two-run double and Greg Garcia added a two-run single while the Cardinals scored four times in the first to beat the Reds 5-4 in Cincinnati. Stephen Piscotty hit a solo homer to back Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah), who gave up two runs over five innings. The Redbirds ended a three-game skid and moved a half-game ahead of the Marlins for the final NL wild-card berth.
— Washington now owns a seven-game lead over second-place Miami in the NL East after the Nationals got homers from Trea Turner and Daniel Murphy in an 8-3 pounding of Arizona. Max Scherzer (SHUR'-zur) hit a two-run single and allowed three runs and just four hits while striking out 11 over eight innings. The Nats outscored the Diamondbacks 32-8 in sweeping the three-game series.
— The Yankees whipped the Mets 9-5 behind Mark Teixeira's (the-SHEHR'-uhz) tiebreaking, three-run homer. Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius (DEE'-dee greh-GOHR'-ee-uhs) drove in two runs apiece for the Yankees, who got 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief from winning pitcher Luis Severino. The Mets wasted homers by Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson and fell two games out of an NL wild-card slot.
— Philadelphia erased a 4-0 deficit and beat San Francisco 5-4 on Maikel (MY'-kehl) Franco's liner to right field. Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp hit consecutive homers off Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) in the seventh, one inning before Franco tied it with a two-run single. Buster Posey had three RBIs for the Giants, who are just 4-13 since the All-Star break and lead the NL West by two games over Los Angeles.
— Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH'-doh) added a three-run blast as Colorado ripped the Dodgers 12-2. Mark Reynolds and D.J. LeMahieu (leh-MAY'-hyoo) also went deep for the Rockies, who had three players with at least three hits or three RBIs. Tyler Anderson limited Los Angeles to two runs in seven innings to help the Rockies win for the 11th time in 13 games and get within three games of an NL wild-card berth.
— Ender Inciarte (EHN'-dur ihn-see-AHR'-tay) and Erick Aybar (EYE'-bahr) each went 3-for-4 with an RBI as Atlanta doubled up Pittsburgh 8-4. The Pirates managed just two hits after Matt Joyce slammed a three-run homer in the top of the first.
— Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier (KEER'-my-ur) each smacked three-run homers and Brad Miller added a solo shot as Tampa Bay destroyed Kansas City 12-0. Jake Odorizzi gave up two hits and two walks in six innings to outpitch Edinson Volquez, who was tagged for seven earned runs and 11 hits in just five-plus frames.
— Yangervis Solarte (yahn-HEHR'-vihs soh-LAHR'-tay) was the hitting star in San Diego's 12-3 pounding of Milwaukee, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, three RBIs and four runs scored. Christian Bethancourt and Wil Myers each delivered two-run singles and Jabari Bush belted his first major league homer. Edwin Jackson allowed three runs in eight innings to help the Padres take the rubber match of the three-game set.
— Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to complete the Angels' 8-6 win over Oakland. Pujols had three hits and three RBIs for the Angels, who also got homers from Jefry Marte (JEHF'-ree mahr-TAY) and Cliff Pennington.
Kershaw on 60-day DL; surgery possible
UNDATED (AP) The Dodgers spent all of July without Clayton Kershaw, and they'll spend at least most of August without the left-hander.
The Dodgers have transferred the three-time Cy Young winner to the 60-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his back. Kershaw has been out since late June and won't be eligible to return until Aug. 27 at the earliest.
Manager Dave Roberts says the team hasn't ruled out the possibility of season-ending surgery for Kershaw, who was 11-2 with a major league-best 1.79 ERA this year before the injury.
In other major league news:
— Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) said he will be put on the 15-day disabled list today with a right quadriceps injury that has bothered him since July 8. Cespedes has been the only consistent hitter on the Mets this season, compiling a .292 average with 22 homers and 59 RBIs.
— The Cubs have placed right-hander Jason Hammel on the bereavement list and will be without him for their upcoming three-game series in Oakland. The 33-year-old Hammel earned his career-high 11th victory Tuesday night and is 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last five starts. He is expected to make his next start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field.
— The Mets likely will spend the rest of the season without first baseman Lucas Duda (DOO'-duh) because of a recurrence of back pain. Duda has been sidelined since May 20 and initially was expected to be sidelined four to six weeks because of a stress fracture in his lower back. He began to feel pain again while working out at the team's spring training complex at Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Phelps to carry flag for opening ceremony
RIO DE JANIERO (AP) — The most decorated athlete in Olympic history will lead the U.S. delegation into the Olympic stadium.
Swimming star Michael Phelps has been selected in a vote by fellow members to carry the American flag Friday for the opening ceremony. Phelps has won 18 golds and 22 medals overall, far more than any other athlete.
He skipped the opening ceremony at the last three Olympics to rest up for the 400-meter individual medley, but he's not taking part in the event this year.
In other news from the Rio Olympics:
— The U.S. women's soccer team has opened its Olympic schedule by getting goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan in a 2-0 win over New Zealand. The three-time defending Olympic champs are trying to become the first team to win the Summer Games after succeeding at the World Cup.
— All of Russia's weightlifters and 17 of its rowers will miss the Rio Games after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected their appeals against doping-related suspensions. The IOC had said it would not allow Russians to compete in Rio if they had previously been banned for doping, were implicated in the alleged cover-up or had not been tested often enough internationally.
— The IOC has announced that baseball and softball will return to the Olympics at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Baseball became a medal sport for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics but was dropped for the 2012 London Games and won't be played this year in Rio de Janeiro. Other sports approved for Tokyo by the IOC include skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing.
— Brazilian soccer great Pele (PAY'-lay) says he was invited to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, but sponsorship deals could prevent it. The 75-year old Pele says he has a commitment to a sponsor that would make him travel on Friday, the day of the Opening Ceremony. A spokesman for the Rio 2016 organizing committee did not confirm the information.
— Serena Williams is the top seed in women's singles and the No. 1 seed along with sister Venus in women's doubles. Serena is the defending champ in singles and in doubles with Venus. Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) is No. 1 on the men's side, followed by defending champ Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal (nah-DAHL').
— IOC President Thomas Bach led a mourning ceremony for the Israeli athletes and coaches slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Bach's voice cracked at times as he read out the names of each of the 11 Israelis and the German policeman who died after a raid by Palestinian gunmen in the athletes' village in Munich.
Malzahn dismisses top running back
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn (mal-ZAHN') has dismissed top running back Jovon Robinson from the team.
Malzahn says the team's top returning rusher didn't meet his standards for an Auburn player but declined to elaborate.
Robinson came on strong late last season and ran for 639 yards and three touchdowns.
Stewart to channel Bobby Allison at Darlington
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tony Stewart says his car's paint scheme for the Sept. 4 Southern 500 will mirror that of Bobby Allison's when he won at Darlington Raceway in 1971 and 1972.
Stewart is a three-time NASCAR premiere series champion who has won 49 races, but none at Darlington. It's one of only two venues where Stewart is winless in NASCAR's top division.
Bowman gets extension
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed linebacker NaVorro Bowman to a four-year contract extension through the 2022 season Wednesday. Bowman led the NFL with 154 total tackles after missing all of 2014 due to a knee injury suffered in the NFC championship game.
Titans sign ALS-stricken Shaw to one-day deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have signed Tim Shaw to a one-day contract as the former NFL linebacker battles Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS. The former Titans special-teams captain was diagnosed with the progressive disease in April 2014.
Although Shaw also played for the Bears, Panthers and Jaguars, the team called him a "Titan for life" in announcing the signing.