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Update on the latest in sports:

October 4, 2017


Yankees leading Twins

UNDATED (AP) — It took the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins about two hours to play the first four innings of their AL wild-card game. Home run trots and pitching changes had a lot to do with the slow pace as the Yankees carried a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning in the Bronx.

First-inning homers by Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario gave the Twins a quick 3-0 advantage, but the lead soon vanished when Didi Gregorius belted a three-run shot in the bottom of the inning.

Brett Gardner added a second-inning blast and AL home run leader Aaron Judge smacked a two-run shot in the fourth. New York’s other run came on Greg Bird’s RBI single, which put the Yankees ahead 5-4 in the third.

Yankees starter Luis Severino retired just one batter, leaving with a 3-0 deficit and runners on second and third. Twins starter Ervin Santana didn’t fare much better, surrendering four runs on three hits and two walks over just two innings.

The Yanks outscored the Twins 27-10 while going 4-2 against Minnesota during the regular season series.

Tonight’s winner heads to Cleveland to take on the Indians in the division series.


UNDATED (AP) — Astros hurler Justin Verlander will start Game 1 of the AL Division Series Thursday against Boston’s Chris Sale. Houston skipper AJ Hinch said Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) will start the second game. Red Sox manager John Farrell will use Drew Pomeranz against Keuchel and will wait to see how the first two games play out before naming his starter for Game 3.

Indians manager Terry Francona says he’s going with Trevor Bauer instead of Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber for Game 1 of the AL Division Series. Francona said part of his decision to go with the rubber-armed Bauer in the opener is so he can use Kluber in a potential Game 5. Kluber was 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA this season, while Bauer finished 17-9 with a 4.19 earned run average.

In other MLB action:

— Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins says the team will decline its mutual option on outfielder Jose Bautista, making the six-time All-Star a free agent. Bautista signed a one-year, $18 million contract to return to the Blue Jays in 2017 before hitting just .203 with 23 homers and 65 RBIs. “Joey Bats” also set a team single-season record by striking out a career-worst 170 times.

—Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley will not return to manager Mike Matheny’s staff next season. Lilliquist had worked as the pitching coach since August of 2012

— Dan Warthen won’t be back as the Mets’ pitching coach. General manager Sandy Alderson says Warthen has been offered another job in the organization but hasn’t responded yet.

— Royals pitcher Danny Duffy has undergone surgery to remove loose debris in his pitching elbow. The lefty is expected to resume his normal offseason training in about six weeks.

— Marlins head of baseball and business operations Derek Jeter says he will help develop a winning culture with the team that will emphasize hard work, discipline and no excuses. The former Yankees star says the turnaround won’t happen overnight, but he adds the new ownership group believes in the market and the fan base.

— Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had the top-selling jersey in baseball this season, followed by Cubs stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Judge is the second rookie to have the most popular jersey after turning himself into an AL Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate by hitting a league-high 52 home runs.


No more East-West

UNDATED (AP) — The NBA is scrapping the East against West format for its All-Star Game and will have the captains pick teams this season.

The league says the leading vote-getter from each conference will choose squads from the pool of players who were voted as starters and reserves.

The change will begin with this season’s game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

The new format has been used by the NFL and NHL.

In other NBA news:

— A Phoenix jury has acquitted NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris in their aggravated assault trial. The twin brothers were accused of helping three other people beat 36-year-old Erik Hood in January 2015 outside a high school basketball game in Phoenix. The brothers said they were relieved and ready to get back to their teams.

— Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball missed practice Tuesday after mildly spraining his left ankle in Monday’s preseason loss to Denver. Coach Luke Walton said Ball will be re-evaluated Wednesday before the Lakers determine whether the No. 2 overall pick will play against the Nuggets that night. Brandon Ingram also missed Tuesday’s workout and was scheduled to meet with a doctor to determine the extent of his injury.


Skins’ Norman week to week

UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Redskins’ bye week is coming at a great time.

The team says cornerback Josh Norman is week-to-week after fracturing a rib during Monday’s loss at Kansas City. Norman said after the game that he fell awkwardly on the heel of someone’s shoe and that it hurt to breathe.

Washington left tackle Trent Williams was scheduled for an MRI on a kneecap, and receiver Josh Doctson has a strained shoulder.

The Redskins don’t play again until Oct. 15 versus the 49ers.

Checking out other NFL news:

— Several Raiders are voicing confidence in quarterback E.J. Manuel after learning Derek Carr will be sidelined 2 to 6 weeks with a back injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to Denver. Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson called Manuel a star in the NFL who has looked good in practice. Tight end Lee Smith says Manuel will be fine and that the team isn’t worried about him running the offense.

— The Titans are adding Brandon Weeden to the roster as a third quarterback with Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH’-tah) recovering from a strained hamstring. Coach Mike Mularkey says Mariota is day to day after hurting his hamstring in a 57-14 loss to the Texans. Matt Cassel is Mariota’s backup.

— The Falcons have placed backup defensive tackle Jack Crawford on injured reserve with a biceps injury. Crawford was injured in Sunday’s loss to Buffalo.

— The Panthers have signed three-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd to help fill in for veteran Kurt Coleman, who will miss at least a month with a knee injury. Carolina placed wide receiver Damiere Byrd on injured reserve.

— The Saints have placed right tackle Zach Strief on injured reserve with a knee injury, possibly ending his season.


Tyra steps in as Louisville acting AD

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has named Vince Tyra as acting athletic director while Tom Jurich remains on paid administrative leave.

University interim President Greg Postel announced Tyra’s appointment nearly a week after he placed Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino on administrative leave following the school’s acknowledgement of inclusion in the federal corruption probe.

The athletic board voted Monday to proceed with firing Pitino after 16 seasons.


Official sues media outlet over death threats

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A college basketball referee has filed a federal lawsuit against a Kentucky media company.

John Higgins blames Kentucky Sports Radio for helping incite death threats that frightened him and his family. Higgins also cites defamatory messages on social media and in phone messages that disrupted his roofing business in suburban Omaha.

The harassment came after Higgins and other officials were criticized by Wildcats coach John Calipari and media members after working Kentucky’s loss to the eventual champion Tar Heels in a regional final.


Capitals’ tough guy suspended

UNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are making a major investment in third-year forward Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

The Sabres have worked out an eight-year, $80 million extension with the second player taken in the 2015 draft. Eichel had one year left on his three-year, entry-level contract.

The 20-year-old center has scored 48 goals and 113 points in 142 NHL games.

Elsewhere on ice:

— Capitals fourth-line enforcer Tom Wilson has been suspended without pay for the first four regular-season games following his boarding penalty on St. Louis forward Sammy Blais in a preseason game. Wilson forfeits over $97,000 following the punishment doled out by the NHL, which considered him a repeat offender after receiving a two-game ban for a previous hit on a Blues player during preseason. He will be eligible to return Oct. 13 against New Jersey.

— The Avalanche have claimed defenseman Patrik Nemeth on waivers from Dallas. He’s appeared in 108 career NHL games, scoring no goals and 14 assists.


Foreman challenges Seagal to a fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former heavyweight champion George Foreman has challenged big-screen tough guy Steven Seagal to a real-life fight.

The 68-year-old Foreman posted a picture of the 65-year-old Seagal on Twitter on Monday, writing: “I challenge you One on one, I use boxing you can use whatever. 10 rounds in Vegas.”

When fans asked Foreman on Twitter why he wanted to fight Seagal, Foreman replied that the martial artist “really can fight” and is big enough to defend himself. Foreman first won the heavyweight title in 1973 and again in 1994.

A representative for Seagal told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the star didn’t want to comment on Foreman’s offer.

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