Update on the latest in sports:
Aug. 31, 2017
Bosox stretch division lead
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Red Sox added 1 ½ games to their lead in the American League East, thanks to a doubleheader sweep by the AL Central leaders.
Trevor Bauer won his seventh consecutive decision and the Indians took Game 1 of their doubleheader by downing the Yankees, 2-1 in New York. Bauer allowed a run and four hits over six innings to stay unbeaten since a July 16 loss at Oakland. Jose Ramirez had four hits for the Indians, who scored on a passed ball and an RBI single by Yandy Diaz.
Diaz also provided a two-run single while Cleveland scored four times in the first inning of a 9-4 win over the Yanks. Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN'), Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) and Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR') added home runs as the Indians completed a three-game sweep and stretched their winning streak to seven games. Winning pitcher Ryan Merritt limited the Yankees to a run and five hits over 5 1/3 innings as Cleveland moved seven games ahead of second-place Minnesota in the AL Central.
New York now trails the division-leading Red Sox by 5 ½ games following Boston's 7-1 win at Toronto. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland supplied a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh and singled home a pair in the Bosox's four-run eighth.
Rick Porcello helped the Red Sox complete a three-game sweep by limiting the Blue Jays to a run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Checking out the other major league finals:
— Eddie Rosario homered twice and Ehire Adrianza (AY'-ray ah-dree-AHN'-zah) went 3-for-5 with a pair of triples and four ribbies to lead the Twins' 11-1 assault on the White Sox. Brian Dozier had four hits as Minnesota finished the month 19-10. Juan Berrios (beh-REE'-ohs) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and pitched seven scoreless innings to win his seventh straight start at Target Field.
— The Angels' 10-8 win over Oakland keeps Los Angeles one game behind the Twins for the second AL wild-card berth. Cliff Pennington's go-ahead grand slam in the seventh was upheld upon video review, putting the Halos ahead in the seventh. The Athletics erupted for eight runs in the fourth to take an 8-3 lead before Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) slammed his second two-run homer of the night.
— The Orioles have a seven-game winning streak after Jonathan Schoop (skohp) supplied a go-ahead, RBI single in the eighth inning of an 8-7 triumph over the Mariners. Schoop, Trey Mancini and Craig Gentry homered for Baltimore, which fell behind 6-2 in the third inning before staying 1 ½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild-card berth. Welington Castillo went 4 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs to help the Birds complete their first three-game sweep of Seattle since 2012.
— The Rangers roughed up the Astros for the second straight night as Mike Napoli belted a three-run homer to back Andrew Cashner in an 8-1 rout at St. Petersburg. Cashner was reached for just one run and three hits over eight innings to outpitch Houston ace Dallas Keuchel (KY'-kul). Carlos Gomez lined a two-run single while Texas tagged Keuchel for six runs in the fourth inning.
— Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ drove in four runs apiece as the Cubs bashed the Pirates, 17-3. Schwarber slammed a pair of two-run homers, Happ added a two-run blast and Anthony Rizzo furnished a solo shot. Jose Quintana gave up three runs over six innings for the Cubs, who won their third in a row to maintain their 3 ½-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central.
— Sixth-inning homers by Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar (vee-ahr) helped the Brewers knock off the Cardinals, 6-5. Corey Knebel (kah-NAY'-bul) pitched the ninth for his 30th save, but he needed a leaping catch by Keon Broxton at the wall to record the final out and avoid a potential 7-6 loss. Tommy Pham homered twice for the Redbirds.
— Stephen Strasburg went the distance on a four-hitter and belted his second home run of the season as the Nationals blanked the Marlins, 4-0 to take a 15-game lead in the NL East. The game was scoreless until Strasburg and Wilmer Difo hit solo shots in the fifth inning. Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-4, giving him one more game to break a tie for the major league record of 18 home runs for the month of August.
— Arizona has given the Dodgers their first four-game skid of the season after Paul Goldschmidt homered for the third straight contest to help the Diamondbacks beat Los Angeles, 6-4. Adam Rosales and Chris Herrmann also homered for the DBacks, who have won six straight and eight of nine to take a three-game lead over the Rockies for the first NL wild-card berth. Robbie Ray fanned 10 in 6 2/3 innings and blanked the Dodgers until Curtis Granderson homered in the seventh to make it a 6-1 game.
— Justin Verlander worked six strong innings and collected his first career RBI in the Tigers' 6-2 win at Colorado. Verlander was reached for just one run and three hits, including a solo shot by Charlie Blackmon in the sixth inning. James McCann smacked a three-run homer and Nicholas Castellanos (kas-tee-AH'-nohs) hit a solo shot after Verlander's RBI single put the Tigers ahead to stay.
— Homers by Logan Morrison, Steven Souza Jr. and Adeiny Hechavarria (ah-DAY'-nee eh-cheh-vah-REE'-uh) powered the Rays to a 5-3 win at Kansas City in the rubber match of the three-game set. Morrison has four home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored through the first six games of Tampa Bay's current road trip. Morrison's 33rd home run came in the fifth, the same inning in which Souza banged out his 29th.
— The Braves swept a pair from the Phillies, 9-1 and 5-2. Ender Inciarte (ihn-see-AHR'-tay) went 5-for-5 with five RBIs in the opener to support R.A. Dickey, who fanned nine over eight innings of Atlanta's first win in nine games at Philadelphia this season. Julio Teheran was sharp in Game 2, limiting the Phils to a run and five hits with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3s.
— Rafael Montero and AJ Ramos combined on a three-hitter as the Mets shut out the Reds, 2-0. Montero had eight strikeouts and held Cincinnati to three hits over 8 1/3 innings.
— The Padres were 5-0 winners over the Giants as five pitchers combined on the six-hit shutout. Craig Stamman got the win in relief of Travis Wood, who was lifted with one out in the fifth after yielding six hits and four walks.
Astros to return home Saturday to face the Mets
HOUSTON (AP) — The Astros plan to host the Mets in a three-game series that will begin on Saturday.
The Astros had to relocate their current series against the Rangers to St. Petersburg, Florida, following the catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The team will be back in Houston following its finale with Texas on Thursday.
A doubleheader with the Mets is planned for Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday before the Astros hit the road for a 10-game trip.
In other MLB news:
— The Mariners are attempting to bolster their beleaguered starting rotation in the midst of the AL wild-card race by acquiring right-hander Mike Leake from the Cardinals. Leake has spent his entire career in the National League and was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA in 26 starts for St. Louis this season.
Done deal after Cavs get another pick
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers and Celtics have finally signed off on a blockbuster trade that sends Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland for fellow All-Star guard Kyrie (KY'-ree) Irving.
A person familiar with the negotiations has told the Associated Press that the Celtics will send another draft pick to the Cavs. That comes after Cleveland grew concerned with medical findings after looking at Thomas' injured right hip.
Thomas tore a labrum last season in the playoffs against Cleveland, and it's possible he might not be ready for the start of the season.
The additional pick is a second-rounder in 2020.
ESPN first reported the deal was done.
Sharapova wins second-round match
NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova has advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open by grinding out another three-set win.
The unseeded Sharapova dropped a first-set tiebreak before earning a 6-7, 6-4. 6-1 victory over Timea Babos (tih-MAY'-uh BAH'-bohsh) at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Sharapova finished with 12 aces and managed to overcome a whopping 19 unforced errors in the first set alone.
This is Sharapova's first Grand Slam event since last year's Australian Open, having served a 15-month doping suspension that was lifted in April.
Joining Sharapova in the third round are ninth seed Venus Williams and No. 13 Petra Kvitova (kuh-VIH'-toh-vah), each of whom won in straight sets. Sloane Stephens knocked off 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova (see-bul-KOH'-vah) in three sets to reach the third round.
Sofia Kenin won an all-U.S. matchup to get into Round 3.
First-round winners on the women's side include eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova (kooz-NEHT'-soh-vah) and No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska (ag-nee-EHSH'-kah rad-VAHN'-skah), along with unseeded Americans Christina McHale and Shelby Rogers.
Croatia's Borna Coric pulled off the biggest upset in the men's draw, beating fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.
Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey have moved into the third round with straight-set victories, but countryman Jared Donaldson was knocked out in five sets by No. 16 Lucas Pouille (pwee) of France. Wednesday's first-round winners include seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov, ninth seed David Goffin and No. 11 Roberto Bautista-Agut (ah-GOO').
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (KEER'-ee-ohs) was dispatched in the opening round by John Millman in four sets.
Burfict gets partial win on appeal
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL's suspension of Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been reduced from five to three games following appeal.
Burfict was punished for his egregious hit on Chiefs running back Anthony Sherman during a preseason game. He leveled Sherman on a pass play in which he wasn't the intended target.
Burfict will miss the first three games of the regular season and will be eligible for Cincinnati's game in Cleveland on Oct. 1.
Also in the NFL:
— A person familiar with the talks say the Steelers and former Browns cornerback Joe Haden are nearing the completion of a three-year deal. The source says Haden's deal is pending a physical but would be worth $27 million. The Browns cut Haden earlier Wednesday, breaking ties with the two-time Pro Bowler who quickly found a new home with Cleveland's biggest rival.
— A person with knowledge of the deal says free-agent linebacker Ahmad Brooks has accepted a one-year package with the Packers. The 33-year-old Brooks was released by the 49ers last week and joins a team in need of outside linebacker depth behind starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
— The Texans are planning to head home to flood-ravaged Houston after their final preseason game against the Cowboys was canceled. The game had been moved from Houston to Arlington, Texas, because of widespread flooding of Harris County in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The decision to cancel Thursday night's game altogether was announced when the Texans said local authorities had found a safe route for the team to drive the 250 miles home.
— Jaguars owner Shad Khan would be willing to swap home dates with the Texans while Houston recovers from Hurricane Harvey. The Jaguars are scheduled to open the season in Houston on Sept. 10. The Texans play in Jacksonville on Dec. 17.
— The Raiders have signed wide receiver Seth Roberts to a two-year contract extension through 2019. Roberts has 70 career catches for 877 yards and 10 touchdowns since signing with Oakland as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
— The Browns have traded offensive lineman and former first-round pick Cam Erving to the Chiefs for a 2018 fifth-round draft pick. It ends a disappointing stay in Cleveland for the No. 19 overall pick in 2015.
Gators pick a starting QB
UNDATED (AP) — Feleipe Franks has won the starting quarterback job at Florida ahead of the 17th-ranked Gators' season opener Saturday against No. 11 Michigan near Dallas.
The redshirt freshman beat out incumbent starter Luke Del Rio and Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire. Franks ended spring practice as the clear-cut starter, but coach Jim McElwain opened the competition once Del Rio and Zaire joined the mix.
Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova to '85 NCAA title, dies
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former Villanova basketball coach Rollie Massimino has died at 82 following a long battle with cancer.
Massimino led Villanova's improbable run to the 1985 national championship and won more than 800 games in a career also spent with Stony Brook, UNLV and Cleveland State before an 11-year run at NAIA powerhouse Keiser. He was a finalist for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame this year.
Massimino's death was announced by Keiser University, where he was still the men's basketball coach. He spent the final days of his life in Hospice care.
IOC warns 2018 Olympic organizers of white elephant venues
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has warned organizers in Pyeongchang, South Korea that they risk creating white elephants from 2018 Winter Games venues.
In a final full inspection visit before the Feb. 9 opening ceremony, an IOC panel predicted a successful Olympics but says "definitive legacy use for several venues is still outstanding."
The IOC says it "has once again requested that final plans be presented as a priority."
An IOC statement after a three-day visit by its coordination panel did not mention political tensions fueled by North Korea's missile testing program.
On a weekend visit to China, North Korea's closest ally, IOC President Thomas Bach said there was no immediate concern because the Pyeongchang Games were "appreciated by all the national Olympic committees and by the governments."