BC-AP Sports Digest
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AP golf writer Doug Ferguson speaks with PodcastOne Sports Now, giving some perspective on Tiger Woods’ first victory in five years. Co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke weigh in on other notable comebacks. Also, AP football writer Rob Maaddi discusses the first three weeks of the NFL season. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
NEW YORK —The major league batting average is on track to drop below .250 for the first time since 1972 and strikeouts could top hits for the first time ever. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 4 a.m.
ST. LOUIS — The Milwaukee Brewers clinched their first playoff spot since 2011 by ensuring at least a spot in the NL wild-card game, helped when a rookie St. Louis pinch-runner suddenly fell on his way to the plate in a 2-1 win over the contending Cardinals. Jhoulys Chacin pitched five shutout innings and Travis Shaw hit a pair of RBI singles as the Brewers completed a three-game sweep. SENT: 750 words, photos.
CHICAGO — Shortly after their playoff spot was assured, the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 when Albert Almora Jr. hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 10th inning. The NL Central-leading Cubs clinched their fourth straight postseason appearance earlier in the evening when Milwaukee beat St. Louis. SENT: 700 words, photos.
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays gave outgoing manager John Gibbons a winning home sendoff with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros, who broke out the bubbly anyway. The World Series champion Astros actually clinched another AL West title the night before but held a more traditional clubhouse celebration — complete with rain jackets and goggles — despite this loss. SENT: 750 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom was dominant in what almost certainly was his last pitch for the Cy Young Award, throwing eight stellar innings and leaving with a major league-best 1.70 ERA as the New York Mets blanked the Atlanta Braves 3-0. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BBN--NATIONALS-HARPER’S HOME FINALE
WASHINGTON — More than 3½ hours before the start of what many expect to be his last game at Nationals Park as a member of the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper stood at his locker and let his eyes linger on that familiar white jersey with the curly red “W″ on the front and his last name on the back. Harper, who can become a free agent at season’s end, went 0 for 4 in Washington’s 9-3 victory against the Miami Marlins. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 800 words, photos.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — The American team at the Ryder Cup is one of the strongest ever, with nine major champions and the No. 1 player in the world. Europe? That’s the team that usually wins the Ryder Cup, especially at home. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 750 words, photos.
FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Age isn’t slowing down 39-year-old Drew Brees, who has completed 80.6 percent of his passes so far with eight TDs and no interceptions. A look inside his and more numbers going into Week 3. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 570 words by 4 a.m.
TAMPA, Fla. — Jameis Winston practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first time since returning from a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Coach Dirk Koetter remained mum on who will start Sunday’s game at Chicago. By Fred Goodall. SENT: 620 words.
The NFL is getting roughed up over its broadened enforcement of roughing the passer penalties that has produced game-changing calls and a season-ending injury to a defender who got hurt trying to comply with the league’s mandate not to land on the quarterback. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant feels he didn’t get a fair shot to keep his job and has decided to transfer after highly touted freshman Trevor Lawrence was named the starter for the third-ranked Tigers. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 560 words, photos.
While the Washington Capitals are watching their Stanley Cup banner rise to the rafters, Barry Trotz will be fresh off a plane in North Carolina, preparing for his own season opener. He left to join the New York Islanders shortly after last season. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 870 words, photos by 4 a.m.
BKL--JAPAN ON THE RISE
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain — Though eliminated from the Women’s Basketball World Cup, the future is bright for Japan as it prepares to host the 2020 Olympics. Japan was the second-youngest team at the World Cup, averaging just over 24 years old. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 670 words, photos by 4 a.m.
— Tennis tournaments in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Wuhan, China.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Minnesota at L.A. Rams, 8:20 p.m.
No. 16 Miami vs. North Carolina, 8 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.
Houston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Atlanta at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.
Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
Florida vs. Tampa Bay at Orlando, Fla., 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Ottawa at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Arizona at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Calgary at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.