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Update on the latest in sports:

September 27, 2017


Bosox’s lead down to 3 games

UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Red Sox don’t appear to be in any rush to clinch their second straight AL East title.

Teoscar (tay-AHS’-kahr) Hernandez slammed a three-run homer and a solo shot as the Blue Jays whipped the Bosox, 9-4. Josh Donaldson also homered twice against the Red Sox, who have lost on consecutive nights since a six-game winning streak.

Kendrys (KEHN’-drees) Morales added a homer to back J.A. Happ, who limited Boston to a run and four hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Chris Sale was tagged for the four home runs over five innings as the Red Sox saw their division lead cut to three games over the Yankees.

The Yankees were 6-1 winners over the Rays as Jordan Montgomery held Tampa Bay to a run and six hits over six innings. Starlin Castro homered to spark the Yankees’ four-run second before Tampa hurler Blake Snell gave up a pair of bases-loaded walks and a wild pitch.

Aaron Hicks returned from the disabled list and made a terrific catch to rob Wilson Ramos of a grand slam in the first inning. Hicks was 0-for-1 with three walks and an RBI.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— The Cubs were unable to clinch the NL Central after Jake Arrieta (ar-ee-EH’-tuh) surrendered homers by Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham while lasting just three innings in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win against Chicago. Jedd Gyorko (JUR’-koh) and Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chihk) also went deep as St. Louis stayed 2 ½ games behind Colorado for the second NL wild card. Jason Heyward launched a three-run homer and Ben Zobrist (ZOH’-brihst) hit a solo shot, both coming in the eighth inning after the Redbirds took an 8-3 lead.

— Domingo Santana ripped a three-run homer as the Brewers held off the Reds, 7-6 to stay 1 ½ games behind the Rockies for the second NL wild card. Orlando Arcia and Stephen Vogt (voht) each had three hits and combined to score three times to help Milwaukee overcome homers by Scott Schebler, Zack Cozart and Jesse Winkler. The Brewers have a game in hand on Colorado.

— The Rockies were 6-0 winners over Miami as Tyler Anderson combined with two relievers on a five-hitter. Anderson allowed just four singles over seven innings as Colorado stayed one game ahead of Milwaukee in the loss column. Trevor Story slammed a three-run homer and Nolan Arenado belted a two-run shot in the Rockies’ third victory in nine games.

— The Twins took another big step toward the second AL wild-card berth by rallying from a 6-4 deficit to beat the Indians, 8-6. Brian Dozier put Minnesota ahead with a three-run blast in the eighth inning of the Twins’ fifth consecutive win. Eddie Rosario was 4-for-5 with three RBIs for the Twins, whose magic number is down to one over the Angels.

— Mike Trout hit his 31st homer and the Angels stayed alive in the postseason hunt by thrashing the White Sox, 9-3. Brandon Phillips and Luis Valbuena also went deep, while Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) joined Alex Rodriguez as the only players with 100 RBIs in 14 seasons.

— Carlos Correa, Brian McCann and Cameron Maybin drove in three runs apiece to support Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) in Houston’s 14-3 dismantling of the Rangers. Maybin smacked a three-run homer and McCann added a two-run shot as the Astros climbed within one game of the Indians in the battle for home-field advantage in the AL playoffs. Keuchel is 14-5 after yielding one earned run and five hits while fanning eight over six innings.

— The Dodgers have secured home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with a 9-2 drubbing of the Padres. Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’), Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager homered in the Dodgers’ major league-leading 101st win of the season. Alex Wood is 16-3 after limiting San Diego to a couple of runs and eight hits over six innings.

— Cameron Rupp lined a tiebreaking, two-run double and Jake Thompson threw four-hit ball over five-plus innings to lead the Phillies to a 4-1 win over the Nationals. Washington outfielder Bryce Harper was 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game since missing 42 straight with a knee injury.

— J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam in a six-run second and collected six RBIs in the Diamondbacks’ 11-4 rout of the Giants. Martinez has 28 home runs and 63 RBIs in 58 games since joining Arizona in a deal with Detroit in mid-July. Robbie Ray gave up two unearned runs and only three hits in five innings to move to 15-5.

— Andrew McCutchen went 4-for-4 while providing his first career grand slam, a three-run blast and eight RBIs as the Pirates crushed the Orioles, 10-1. Trevor Williams scattered three hits over six innings and blanked Baltimore until Chris Davis homered with two out in the sixth.

— Jason Vargas picked up his 18th win by holding the Tigers to one run over six innings of the Royals’ 2-1 victory. Kansas City turned five double plays in helping Vargas tie Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead in wins.

— Danny Valencia crushed a three-run homer in the seventh inning to put the Mariners ahead 5-3 in a 6-3 win at Oakland. Yonder Alonso also homered for Seattle, while Khris Davis and Marcus Semien went deep for the Athletics.

— The Mets erased a 3-0 deficit and beat the Braves, 4-3 on Travis Taijeron’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Kevin Plawecki sparked the Mets’ rally with a two-run homer in the seventh.


NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

NEW YORK (AP) — College basketball is facing a major scandal involving several schools and a major manufacturer of sports apparel.

Federal prosecutors have announced charges of fraud and corruption in college hoops, including against four assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Southern Calif and Oklahoma State.

The coaches identified in court papers are Auburn’s Chuck Person, Arizona’s Emanuel Richardson, Southern Cal’s Tony Bland and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. They were among 10 people charged in New York City federal court, along with managers, financial advisers and Adidas director of global sports marketing, James Gatto.

Auburn says it has suspended Person.

Prosecutors also say at least three top high school basketball players were promised payments of as much as $150,000 to attend Louisville and Miami, two colleges that were sponsored by Adidas.

In criminal complaints, authorities said agents and financial advisers paid bribes to assistant coaches to get them to introduce them to star college players and their parents before the students turned professional. Authorities said the coaches received thousands of dollars in bribes, enabling the agents and others to get a slice of the millions of dollars the athletes could eventually make in the NBA.

Acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Joon Kim, says the case has exposed “the dark underbelly of college basketball.” He says the coaches exploited the “trust of the players they coached and recruited.”


NFL punting Trump comments

UNDATED (AP) — President Trump hasn’t stopped criticizing the NFL, but the league has grown tired of responding.

Trump again brought up the subject in tweets on Tuesday, railing against players who decline to stand during the national anthem and pointing out the drop in NFL television ratings. One tweet said: “The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!” Another started: “Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”

Trump has been publically critical of the league every day since Friday, when he said during a speech in Alabama that any player who protests during the national anthem should be fired.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart is tiring of the back-and-forth with the president, saying, “He’s exercising his freedom to speak, and I’m exercising my freedom not to react.”

Meanwhile, Carolina Panthers team captains and other selected players met with owner Jerry Richardson at his home to talk about the problem and potential solutions. Richardson was one of the last NFL owners to release a statement in response to comments made by President Donald Trump on Twitter regarding NFL players.

The meeting was prompted by some players privately expressing frustration over not being able to express their views on social issues while playing for the Panthers for fear of potential repercussions. Backup safety Marcus Bell was released by the Panthers last year after raising his fist in support of Colin Kaepernick (KAP’-ur-nihk), who knelt during the national anthem to protect social injustices.

Elsewhere in the NFL:

— Two people familiar with the decision say the Dolphins have lifted their suspension of linebacker Lawrence Timmons after one week, making him eligible to play Sunday against the Saints. Timmons was suspended indefinitely after he went AWOL the day before the Dolphins’ season-opening win at the Los Angeles Chargers.

— Giants co-owner John Mara says he was unhappy with Odell Beckham Jr.‘s post-touchdown celebration, adding that the team is dealing with it internally. The dynamic wide receiver pretended to urinate like a dog after catching a fourth-quarter touchdown in the Giants’ 27-24 loss to the Eagles, leading to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a possible fine by the league.


AP Source: Cavs front-runners for Dwyane Wade

UNDATED (AP) — Dwyane (dwayn) Wade is about to reunite with LeBron James.

A person familiar with the situation says Wade has decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 12-time All-Star teamed with James to win a pair of NBA titles during their four seasons together with the Miami Heat.

Wade cannot clear waivers until 5 p.m. Wednesday, the time when his buyout by the Chicago Bulls will be completed.

Elsewhere around the NBA:

— Suns forward T.J. Warren has signed a four-year, $50 million contract extension after averaging career highs of 14.4 points and 5.1 rebounds over 66 games last season. Warren was the 17th overall pick in the 2014 draft after earning ACC Player of the Year honors while at N.C. State.

— The Bulls say they have re-signed Nikola Mirotic (NEE’-koh-luh MEER’-uh-tihch). The 6-foot-10 forward has averaged 10.8 points per game over three seasons.

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