Update on the latest in sports:
Sep. 22, 2017
Cubs pad lead with comeback win
UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers were one pitch away from slashing the Chicago Cubs' lead in the National League Central. Instead, the Cubs rallied to pull 4 ½ games in front of the second-place Brewers.
Kris Bryant launched a two-run homer in the 10th inning to complete Chicago's comeback in a 5-3 triumph at Milwaukee. The Brewers were one strike from a 3-2 victory until Javier Baez hit an RBI single. Ian Happ scored the tying run after leading off the ninth with an infield single.
Wade Davis worked in and out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to get the win.
The Brewers came back from a 2-0 deficit and took the lead on an RBI single by Eric Thames (thaymz) in the bottom of the eighth.
Domingo Santana homered for Milwaukee, which began the night one game behind Colorado for the second NL wild card.
The outcome also kept St. Louis five games off the division lead. Dexter Fowler was 3-for-5 with a two-run double and two runs scored as the Cardinals earned an 8-5 victory over the Reds to bolster their NL playoff hopes. Yadier Molina (YAH'-dee-ehr moh-LEE'-nuh) also had two RBIs to back a shaky Carlos Martinez, who was reached for four runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Checking out other major league finals:
— Colorado's 3-0 loss to the Padres leaves the Rockies one game ahead of Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card slot, with the Cardinals just 1 ½ games off the pace. Clayton Richard silenced the Rockies over 7 1/3 innings, scattering seven hits while fanning eight. Christian Villanueva opened the scoring with a solo homer in the fifth and added an RBI single during the Padres' two-run sixth.
— The Dodgers ended a four-game skid by scoring twice in the seventh inning of a 5-4 victory over the Phillies. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier (EE'-thee-ur) tied the game with a solo homer just before Chris Taylor tripled and scored the eventual winning run on a grounder. Curtis Granderson also went deep for the Dodgers, who clinched a tie for the division crown by winning for only the sixth time in their last 26 games.
— Joe Mauer, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Jason Castro drove in two runs apiece as the Twins clobbered the Tigers, 12-1 to strengthen their playoff position. Mauer and Jorge Polanco each had three of Minnesota's 14 hits, while Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-5 with three runs scored. Adalberto Mejia didn't pitch long enough to get the win, giving up a run and four hits over 4 2/3s.
— The Angels are 2 ½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild-card berth following the Halos' 4-1 loss to the sizzling Indians. Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR') snapped a 1-1 deadlock with a three-run blast in the fifth inning to lead the Indians to their 27th victory in 28 games. Cleveland received 6 1/3 scoreless innings from its bullpen after Danny Salazar made his first start since Sept. 5.
— Solo homers by Adrian Beltre (BEHL'-tray) and Shin-Soo Choo sparked the Rangers' offense in a 4-2 win at Seattle. Carlos Gomez put Texas ahead to stay with a two-run double in the first inning. Cole Hamels surrendered just one run and three hits over eight frames as the Rangers stayed 2 ½ games behind Minnesota in the wild-card race.
— The White Sox were 3-1 winners over the Astros behind Chris Volstad, who worked 4 1/3 innings of one-run relief to pick up his first victory since 2012. Volstad entered the game after Carson Fulmer had to leave with a blister just three batters into his start. Tim Anderson stretched his hitting streak to 12 games with a homer as Chicago dropped Houston 2 ½ games behind the Indians in the battle for home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.
— The Braves were 3-2 winners over the Nationals as R.A. Dickey held the NL East champs to a pair of runs and four hits over eight innings. Ozzie Albies was 3-for-4 with an RBI single to help Atlanta end a four-game losing streak and avoid a three-game sweep. Ryan Zimmerman homered for the Nationals, who are 5 ½ games behind the Dodgers in the race for home-field advantage in the National League playoffs.
— Jason Vargas combined with four relievers on a two-hitter in the Royals' 1-0 shutout of the Blue Jays. Vargas gave up the two hits over 6 1/3 innings and improved to 17-10, tying Cleveland's Corey Kluber and Boston's Chris Sale for the AL lead in victories. Melky Cabrera singled home the lone run in the third inning.
Gabriel Ynoa (ee-NOH'-uh) scattered five hits over a career-high eight innings as the Orioles topped the Rays, 3-1. Baltimore did its scoring in the first inning on Manny Machado's two-run blast and Trey Mancini's RBI single.
Turner injures thumb
UNDATED (AP) — The Dodgers say Justin Turner bruised his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch during Thursday's game at Philadelphia.
Turner was plunked by a 91-mph fastball from Mark Leiter. He stayed in the game and played the bottom of the first before coming out of the game.
Turner is batting .321 with 21 homers and 70 RBIs.
In other major league news:
— Former All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi (MAHN'-deh-see) has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of embezzlement. The Attorney General's office charged Mondesi of embezzling $6.3 million while he was mayor of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic from 2010-16, according to the court. Mondesi was also ordered to pay a $1.3 million fine.
Rams hold off Niners
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams were the NFL's lowest-scoring team last season, but they've been an offensive juggernaut through three games this year.
Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams held off the San Francisco 49ers, 41-39. Goff's final TD toss was a 13-yarder to Sammy Watkins that put L.A. ahead by 15 points early in the fourth quarter.
Todd Gurley caught one of Goff's scoring passes and carried 28 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Woods had six receptions for 108 yards, while Watkins also caught six passes for 106 yards.
The 2-1 Rams have scored 117 points, the second-most in franchise history after three games.
The Niners scored two touchdowns in the final 5:08, but they had to go for a two-point conversion with 2:13 remaining after Robbie Gould (gohld) missed an extra point earlier in the final period. Brian Hoyer's conversion pass was stopped by the Rams, leaving the 49ers 0-3.
Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another score.
Report: NFL players ask league to support campaign
UNDATED (AP) —A group of current and former NFL players has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for the league's support for their campaign for racial equality and criminal justice reform.
Yahoo Sports is reporting the players sent a 10-page memo to Goodell and NFL executive Troy Vincent in August asking for money, political involvement and other commitments from the league. It also asked the NFL to recognize the month of November as activism awareness month.
The website reports Wednesday night that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and receiver Torrey Smith, and former NFL receiver Anquan Boldin co-authored the letter.
The NFL declined comment when asked about the memo by Yahoo Sports. The players behind the letter didn't return requests for comment or declined to speak about it, according to the website.
More NFL news:
— The Packers have lost another key player to injury with outside linebacker Nick Perry scheduled to have hand surgery. Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn't know how much time Perry will miss. Perry was off to a good start as the bookend to fellow edge rusher Clay Matthews with 1½ sacks.
— Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles has returned to practice, four days after hurting his left leg in their blowout win over the Cowboys. He initially feared it was a season-ending Achilles tendon tear.
— Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is expected to start Sunday against the Saints despite being limited to mostly light throwing during Thursday's practice. Head coach Ron Rivera called Newton's limited practice schedule during the week the "new normal" until the quarterback completely recovers from offseason rotator cuff surgery.
— A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez says the brain of the former Patriots tight end showed severe signs of the degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties. Hernandez killed himself in April in the jail cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for a 2013 murder.
T25 FOOTBALL-SOUTH FLORIDA/TEMPLE
Bulls hammer Owls
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The 21st-ranked South Florida Bulls have run their winning streak to a school-record nine by dominating last season's American Athletic Conference champions.
Darius Tice rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns while the Bulls dominated both ends of the ball in a 43-7 rout of Temple. Quinton Flowers also ran for a pair of TDs for South Florida, which forced six turnovers and held the Owls to minus-4 yards net rushing.
The Owls' offense managed just 85 yards and never reached the end zone. Jacob Martin scored Temple's only touchdown, sacking Flowers and forcing a fumble that the defensive end returned 44 yards in the second quarter.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MICHIGAN ST-ASSAULT
Former Michigan St players waive key hearing in assault case
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Three former Michigan State football players charged with sexual assault have waived a key hearing and will advance to trial.
Michigan judges typically decide whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial. But Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr. and Demetric Vance waived that hearing Thursday in East Lansing.
A woman says she was assaulted in an apartment bathroom in January.
In other college football news:
— Nebraska has fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst, citing his failure to improve "on-field performance" by the Cornhuskers. Eichorst joined Nebraska in October 2012, and has about $1.7 million remaining on a contract that runs through June 2019. Eichorst and football coach Mike Riley have been under increased scrutiny with the continued mediocrity of the program. Eichorst hired Riley in 2014, replacing Bo Pelini.
— Second-ranked Clemson says kicker Greg Huegel will miss the rest of the season after he was injured on the last play of Wednesday's practice. Coach Dabo Swinney explained that a defensive lineman rolled into Huegel's leg after he kicked during a two-minute drill. Swinney says junior Alex Spence will be the kicker Saturday against Boston College.
NBA refs can rule reckless closeouts as flagrants or techs
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has announced that it is clamping down on defenders who give jump shooters no space to land, allowing referees to call flagrant or technical fouls.
Golden State's Zaza Pachulia (ZAH'-zah pah-CHOOL'-yuh) made a similar play that injured Spurs star Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard in last season's playoffs. Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals.
Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws.
NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia says the league has made the play a point of emphasis for referees in the spirit of player safety.
In other NBA news;
— The Miami Heat have signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Ultimate Software, which will have its logo on the team's jerseys starting this season. The Heat are the 15th NBA team to strike a jersey sponsorship deal.
Stanley opens strong at East Lake, and so does Spieth
ATLANTA (AP) — Kyle Stanley is the leader after the opening round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Stanley ran off four straight birdies on the front nine and finished with a 6-under 64 that leaves him two strokes in front of Brooks Koepka (KEHP'-kuh), Paul Casey, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger.
Jordan Spieth (speeth) is three shots back as he tries to wrap up the FedEx Cup. No one among the top five seeds had a lower score, keeping Spieth on track in his bid to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winner of the $10 million bonus.