AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Bosox take division lead...Yanks sweep Jays
UNDATED (AP) — There's a new leader in the American League East.
David Price worked seven strong innings and the Boston Red Sox moved a game ahead of Toronto by whipping San Diego 7-2. Price is 15-8 after striking out eight while limiting the Padres to two runs and six hits.
Travis Shaw, Hanley Ramirez and Brock Holt homered as the Bosox took the rubber match of the three-game series. Holt finished with three RBIs and Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY'-uh) was 2-for-4 with two ribbies.
The Blue Jays lost again in New York as Bryan Mitchell combined with two relievers on a five-hitter and Starlin Castro hit a solo homer as the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of Toronto, 2-0. Mitchell scattered four hits over five innings to earn his first major league victory. He was supported by a two-run third inning as Castro went deep off Marcus Stroman before Brian McCann lined an RBI single.
Stroman struck out eight but surrendered both runs and seven hits over five frames.
The Yankees' fourth straight win leaves them 4 ½ games from the top of the AL East and within 2 ½ games of Baltimore for the second AL wild-card berth.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The White Sox put together a four-run eighth to pull out a 7-4 triumph against the Tigers. Melky Cabrera drove in two runs and Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) was 3-for-3 with an RBI to help Chicago take the rubber match of the three-game series. Justin Upton belted a three-run homer for the Tigers, who fell 5 ½ games behind the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.
— Mike Napoli (NAP'-oh-lee) crushed a two-run homer and pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer (GY'-ur) added a two-run double, both coming in the fifth inning of the Indians' 6-5 triumph over Houston. Carlos Carrasco gave up four runs and nine hits over 7 1/3 innings while also dealing with a swarm of bugs that left players swatting more than baseballs. A trainer made a brief visit to the mound to assist Carrasco, who gave up a single on the next pitch before Colby Rasmus poked a two-run homer to give the Astros a brief 3-2 lead.
— The Orioles were unable to complete a three-game sweep at Tampa as Corey Dickerson provided the game-tying single in the fifth and a go-ahead double in the seventh to lift the Rays past the birds 7-6. Kevin Kiermaier (KEER'-my-ur) belted a solo homer and added a two-run single for the Rays. Michael Bourn smacked a solo homer and J.J. Hardy laced a two-run double for the Orioles, who are two games out of first place in the AL East.
— Seattle's 8-3 thrashing of Texas leaves the Rangers with a magic number of 15 for clinching the AL West. Adam Lind homered twice, including a grand slam that put the Mariners ahead 5-0 in the first. Seth Smith also homered against the Rangers, who didn't score until Carlos Beltran's three-run blast in the sixth.
— The Mets beat the Reds for the 14th time since 2014 as Jose Reyes homered on the first pitch before Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores went deep in a 6-3 win at Cincinnati. Noah Syndergaard (SIHN'-dur-gahrd) tip-toed through five shutout innings to improve to 13-8, yielding six hits and four walks while striking out seven. New York has won five straight and eight of 10 to pull into a tie with St. Louis for the final NL wild-card berth.
— The Pirates did the Mets a favor by beating the Cardinals 4-3 on Jung Ho Kang's (gahngz) tiebreaking solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Kang supplied three of Pittsburgh's 11 hits and drove in a pair to help the Pirates end their eight-game losing streak. Randal Grichuk (GRIH'-chuhk) and Jhonny Peralta (JAH'-nee peh-RAHL'-tah) each had two hits and an RBI for the Redbirds, who had won three in a row.
— The Cubs' magic number to clinch the NL Central is nine following their 2-1 loss at Milwaukee. Matt Garza held baseball's best team to a run and three hits over six innings before the Brewers' bullpen retired all nine batters faced. Jonathan Villar (vee-LAHR') homered twice in the Brew Crew's second straight win.
— Wilson Ramos laced an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to complete Washington's 5-4 win and a three-game sweep of Atlanta. Anthony Rendon (rehn) prolonged the game with an RBI single in the 10th after Daniel Murphy's two-run single forced extra innings. But the NL East leaders finished the game without pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who left in the third inning just hours after coming off the disabled list.
— San Francisco's playoff hopes continue to fade after the Rockies scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants 6-5. Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH'-doh) ignited the rally with Colorado's third homer of the night before Cristhian Adames (KRIHS'-chehn ah-DAH'-mehs) won it with a two-run double. David Dahl and Tom Murphy also went deep to help the Rockies put the Giants just a half-game ahead of the Mets and Cards in the battle for the two NL wild-card slots.
— The Dodgers' 3-1 win over Arizona gives Los Angeles a five-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West. Brock Stewart gave the Dodgers five innings of one-run pitching after entering the game with a 7.94 ERA in 17 innings this season. Yasiel Puig (pweeg) hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly as L.A. won despite just four hits.
— Byron Buxton and Robbie Grossman hit solo homers as Minnesota beat Kansas City 6-5, keeping the Royals four games out of an AL playoff spot. The Royals led 4-3 in the seventh until Miguel Sano (sah-NOH') hit an RBI double and scored on Eduardo Escobar's single. Kendrys (KEHN'-drees) Morales was 3-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Royals.
— Miami had dropped 10 of 11 before Andrew Cashner struck out nine while pitching into the sixth inning of the Marlins' 6-0 shutout of Philadelphia. Martin Prado (mahr-TEEN' PRAH'-doh) drove in three runs and the Marlins' bullpen worked 3 2/3 hitless innings to secure the victory.
— Jharel Cotton was terrific in his major league debut, holding the Angels to one run and two hits over 6 1/3 innings of Oakland's 4-1 win over Los Angeles. Ryon Healy ripped a solo homer and Yonder Alonso was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored as the A's won their second in a row.
Correa leaves team to have shoulder examined
CLEVELAND (AP) — Astros shortstop Carlos Correa will undergo medical tests in Houston because of inflammation in his left shoulder.
Manager A.J. Hinch said he was optimistic that the reigning AL Rookie of Year would be able to play against the Cubs this weekend. Correa is batting .274 with 19 home runs, 90 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 134 games.
Serena advances, Murray out at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams is now two match victories away from winning another the U.S. Open title.
Williams has reached the U.S. Open women's semifinals with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over fifth seed Simona Halep (HA'-lehp). Williams totaled 18 aces and surged to victory after going 0 for 12 on break points in the second set.
Halep was the first player to break Williams' serve in the tournament and the first to take a set off the No. 1 seed
Williams is bidding for her seventh title at Flushing Meadows and 23rd overall at a major tournament, which both would be records for the Open era, which dates to 1968.
Next up for Williams is a match against Karolina Pliskova on Thursday. The 10th-seeded Pliskova advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ana Kohnjuh (KAHN'-yuh) in just 57 minutes. Pliskova lost just one point on serve in the first set and never faced a break point in reaching a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time.
Pliskova entered the tournament as the only woman currently ranked in the top 20 never to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam event.
Tonight's Williams-Pliskova match will be followed by second seed Angelique Kerber against Caroline Wozniacki (wohz-nee-AK'-ee).
Andy Murray's quarterfinal match against Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR'-ee) turned on an errant sound from the stadium.
The U.S. Tennis Association says a digital audio sound processor at court level malfunctioned during the match, creating a let call by the chair umpire. Upset by the decision to replay the point, the second-seeded Murray immediately lost 12 of 14 points seven games in a row to drop that set 6-1 and trail 2-0 in the fifth. The meltdown helped the sixth-seeded Nishikori rally for a 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory.
The noise occurred with Murray already up two sets to one and holding a second break point at 1-all in the fourth.
Murray broke back and led 5-4 in the fifth set before Nishikori took the final three games.
The action concluded with third seed Stan Wawrinka's (vah-VRIHN'-kahz) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro (wahn mahr-TEEN' dehl POH'-troh). That sets up a Friday semifinal pitting Wawrinka against Nishikori.
Brees has new pact
UNDATED (AP) — Drew Brees (breez) will remain with the New Orleans Saints for at least two more seasons.
Brees and the team have worked out a five-year package that includes three voidable years. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press it guarantees the record-setting QB $44.3 million the next two years.
The contract includes a $30 million bonus that can be prorated over that two-year period, significantly reducing Brees' cap hit on the team from $30 million to around $17 for this season.
Brees owns Saints franchise records in virtually every passing category, having thrown for 48,555 yards and 348 touchdowns in 10 seasons with the club. He was named Super Bowl MVP after leading the 2009 Saints to their only NFL championship.
In other NFL news:
— Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders has accepted a three-year, $33 million contract extension on the eve of the season opener. Sanders has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Denver, amassing 2,529 yards and 15 touchdowns on 177 catches and earning consecutive Pro Bowl honors.
— The Bears are rewarding right guard Kyle Long with a four-year contract extension that theoretically runs through 2021. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was the 20th pick in the 2013 draft.
— Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is reportedly appealing the NFL's ruling to suspend him for four games for testing positive for marijuana. A person familiar with the matter tells The Associated Press that Henderson's appeal is based on him using marijuana for medicinal purposes to allegedly relieve the effects of Crohn's disease. Henderson was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease late last year, and has since had two operations on his intestines.
— NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') has told The Associated Press that he disagrees with Colin Kaepernick's (KAP'-ur-nihks) choice to kneel during the national anthem. At the same time Goodell says he recognizes the 49ers quarterback's right to protest. Goodell says he supports players who want to see change in society but that, "we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL."
Alvarez gets extension
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has signed a contract extension that runs through Jan. 31, 2021.
The 69-year-old Alvarez has been athletic director since 2004, following 16 seasons as Wisconsin football coach. He built the Badgers program into a consistent Big Ten winner.
Off the field, the school said Wisconsin athletes have achieved a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average consistently since 2009-10.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NOTRE DAME-QUARTERBACKS
Kizer to start vs. Nevada
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — DeShone Kizer will start at quarterback for No. 18 Notre Dame against Nevada on Saturday.
Kizer outplayed Malik Zaire in a 50-47 double-overtime loss at Texas, throwing for five touchdowns and ran for another.
Florida continues to spend
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers have announced that Jonathan Huberdeau (hoo-BEHR'-doh) has agreed to a $35.4 million, six-year contract extension. Wrapping up the services of the forward continues the team's practice of signing young players.
So far in 2016 alone, the Panthers have committed more than $184 million in contracts to five players who are all age 25 or younger.
Woods ready to return
UNDATED (AP) — Tiger Woods has posted on his web site that he hopes to play next month in the PGA's Safeway Open in Napa, California. It would be his first competitive golf since August 2015.
The winner of 14 major tournaments has been recovering from back surgery and missed all four majors this year for the first time.
NASCAR-NEWMAN DOCKED POINTS
Newman loses points in playoff chase
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Newman's championship hopes have taken a hit after NASCAR docked him 15 points before the final qualifying race for the playoffs.
Newman was penalized for failing post-race inspection at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night.
That drops him 22 points back of Jamie McMurray for the 16th and final spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff heading into Saturday night's race at Richmond.
Formula One bought by Liberty Media
LONDON (AP) — Formula One could be under new ownership within a few months.
Liberty Media says it is buying the open-wheel racing circuit in a takeover for $4.4 billion. The sale would end years of uncertainty about the ownership of the sport with Wednesday's deal .
The transition is due to be overseen by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who told The Associated Press that he will retain his role as the sport enters a new era.
Liberty Media will be renamed Formula One Group after the deal is complete, which is expected by March 2017.
Heavyweight rematch set to go
LONDON (AP) — The heavyweight rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko (VLAD'-uh-meer KLICH'-koh) will take place Oct. 29 in Manchester, England. Fury beat Klitschko last November to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
Boxing champ Chacon dies
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon has died under hospice care for dementia. He was 64.
The former WBC featherweight and super featherweight champion was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. He had a career record of 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts.
Brand preps for 18th season
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The 76ers have re-signed free agent forward Elton Brand, who will embark on his 18th NBA season.
The former first overall pick averaged 4.1 points in 17 games for the 76ers last season. He hasn't averaged more than 20 minutes a game since 2012-13.