Bryant expected to come of DL
UNDATED (AP) — Cubs star Kris Bryant could come off the disabled list and join the NL Central leaders for a weekend series in Philadelphia. He’s been out because of shoulder inflammation. The 2016 NL MVP struck out twice Thursday while batting leadoff during a rehab stint at Triple-A Iowa.
Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Heyward left Thursday’s game with tightness in his right hamstring after diving for a line drive. Heyward was able to walk slowly off the field. He’ll be evaluated further but is expected to miss at least a couple of games.
Left-hander Jose Quintana starts Friday’s series opener for the Cubs against Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta.
Elsewhere in the majors Friday:
— Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (GREHN’-kee) pitches the second leg of a pivotal four-game series against the NL West rival Dodgers. Greinke is 2-0 in two starts against Los Angeles this season despite a 4.38 ERA. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts for the Dodgers. He gave up 11 hits in his previous start against San Diego but still pitched two-run ball over 5 2/3 innings in a victory.
— White Sox rookie Michael Kopech faces Boston for the first time since the Red Sox traded the hard-throwing prospect to Chicago in the Chris Sale deal after the 2016 season. Kopech was selected by Boston in the first round of the 2014 draft. Kopech made his major league debut on Aug. 21 and threw six effective innings at Detroit on Sunday for his first win. Nathan Eovaldi pitches for major league-leading Boston. Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in six starts since Tampa Bay traded him to the Red Sox on July 25.
— Clean-shaven Corey Kluber gets the ball for Cleveland against Tyler Glasnow and the Rays. Kluber gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings to Kansas City last time out, but perhaps he’ll get a different result after shaving his beard for the first time since Christmas. His wife had wagered he couldn’t go a full season without shaving, but she called off the bet this week when she tired of all that face fuzz.
AP Source: Deal close on 4-player trade with Suns, Rockets
PHOENIX (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says Phoenix and Houston are close to finalizing a trade that would send forward Ryan Anderson to the Suns and point guard Brandon Knight to the Rockets.
Phoenix also would send former first-round pick forward Marquese Chriss to Houston and the Suns would get guard De’Anthony Melton from the Rockets.
The person asked for anonymity Thursday night because the deal had not been completed.
If the trade goes through as expected, Anderson could be the starting power forward for Phoenix. He averaged 9.3 points last season and has two years left on a four-year, $80 million contract he signed with the Rockets in 2016.
Knight, who appeared to be in line to start at point guard for the Suns after missing last season with a knee injury, figures to see time as a backup to Chris Paul in Houston.
Friday schedule features 2017 champs Nadal and Stephens, plus Williams sisters
NEW YORK (AP) — Defending U.S. Open champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens are on the schedule for the third round at Flushing Meadows.
The No. 3-seeded Stephens begins the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday by facing former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and two-time finalist in New York.
That will be followed by the top-ranked Nadal’s match against No. 27 Karen Khachanov of Russia.
The highlight of the night session in the main arena is the 30th tour-level matchup between Serena and Venus Williams. This is the earliest the sisters have played each other at a Grand Slam tournament since Venus beat Serena in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, their first matchup as pros. They have twice met in the U.S. Open final, trading victories in 2001 and 2002.
Venus is the No. 16 seed, one spot above her younger sister.
TENNIS-US OPEN-CHAIR UMPIRE RULING
US Open to AP: Umpire at Kyrgios match will keep working
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Tennis Association tells The Associated Press that the chair umpire who climbed out of his seat to talk with Nick Kyrgios (KEER’-ee-ohs) during a second-round match will continue to officiate during the U.S. Open.
USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier says Friday a “comprehensive review” determined that chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani’s mid-match chat with the player went “beyond our protocol,” but he would not be sanctioned because of his “exemplary track record.”
Widmaier says Lahyani was told to “stick to those protocols for the rest of the tournament” and the official’s matches will be monitored.
Kyrgios, a 23-year-old Australian, had dropped the first set and was trailing 3-0 in the second when Lahyani left his chair to go speak to him during a changeover. Kyrgios wound up beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-0 and plays Roger Federer in the third round Saturday.
T25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
More openers on tap
UNDATED (AP) — There are three college football openers tonight featuring Top 25 schools.
No. 4 Wisconsin plays Western Kentucky, No. 11 Michigan State vs. Utah State and No. 13 Stanford vs. San Diego State.
American long jumper Lawson tests positive for steroid
MONACO (AP) — American long jumper Jarrion Lawson, who won silver at last year’s world championships, has been suspended after failing a doping test.
The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping issues in track and field, says Lawson tested positive for a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid trenbolone.
It didn’t say when the positive sample was taken. Lawson has been suspended until a full disciplinary hearing.
Lawson was fourth in the long jump at the 2016 Olympics and second at last year’s world championships, finishing four centimeters behind gold medalist Luvo Manyonga of South Africa. Lawson also won the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump for the University of Arkansas at the 2016 NCAA track nationals.
Trenbolone helps build muscle mass and formed part of a steroid cocktail allegedly used by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
BOLT’S SOCCER DEBUT
Usain Bolt makes soccer debut for Central Coast Mariners
GOSFORD, Australia (AP) — Usain Bolt’s soccer debut for the Central Coast Mariners lasted about 20 minutes against an amateur local team and with almost 10,000 people in the crowd.
The eight-time Olympic gold medalist is trying to become a professional soccer player and has been given a tryout with the Australian A-League club based in Gosford, north of Sydney.
The crowd for Friday’s exhibition game was about four times bigger than the average home attendance the Mariners attracted last season. The Australian Associated Press reported that the exhibition game was broadcast in 60 countries.
Bolt started on the left wing and had a clumsy first touch, but settled in and found himself in scoring positions a couple of times before having a stoppage-time shot blocked.