Update on the latest sports
Boston tries for series split with Cleveland
UNDATED (AP) — Boston tries to slow down Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kar-nah-see-OHN’) and the Indians as the major league-leading Red Sox seek a split of their four-game series between AL division leaders.
Encarnacion has 27 homers and is trying to reach 30 for the seventh straight season, stretching the longest active streak in the majors. He cleared the Green Monster twice last night after being sidelined since Aug. 12 with a bruised right wrist, though Boston still beat Cleveland 10-4 to end a three-game skid.
Elsewhere on the Thursday schedule:
— Top contenders for the NL Cy Young Award square off when Aaron Nola and the Phillies face Max Scherzer and the Nationals in their series finale. Nola is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts this season against Washington. The second-place Phillies are three games behind Atlanta in the NL East, while the Nationals are 7½ games back.
— Jacob deGrom and the Mets host Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in another marquee matchup. DeGrom is coming off his third career complete game and first this season in a 3-1 win at Philadelphia last Saturday. Bumgarner is 5-0 with a 0.47 ERA in five starts at Citi Field. He last faced New York in the 2016 NL wild-card game, pitching a four-hit shutout that sent San Francisco to the NLDS.
— Cole Hamels pitches the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field against last-place Cincinnati. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA in four starts for the NL Central-leading Cubs since they acquired him from Texas in a July 27 trade. Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani starts for the Reds. He is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three starts in August, allowing one run in his last 19 2/3 innings.
Ohio State hands suspensions to coach, athletic director
UNDATED (AP) — Ohio State has suspended head football coach Urban Meyer for the first three games of the season following an investigation into his handling of a former assistant.
Investigators said Meyer protected his protege Zach Smith for years despite what they called “a pattern of troubling behavior” by Smith that included domestic violence allegations, a drug problem and poor job performance. They said Meyer knew about at least some of the issues.
Investigators said Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith mismanaged Zach Smith’s misconduct and kept him even though he was not an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes. The review found neither Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up alleged abuse.
Gene Smith — who is not related to Zach Smith — was suspended without pay from Aug. 31 through Sept. 16.
Both the athletic director and Meyer apologized and said they accepted the punishments.
In other college football news:
— Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus is making his initial court appearance on charges he sexually assaulted two women this spring. Cephus was to appear in Dane County Circuit Court on Thursday. He was expected to enter a plea and have bail set. Prosecutors charged Cephus on Monday with second- and third-degree sexual assault, both felonies. According to a criminal complaint, two women told investigators that Cephus sexually assaulted them in his apartment April 22. The 20-year-old Cephus has denied any wrongdoing. He was suspended by the fourth-ranked team indefinitely Monday.
Canadian women’s hockey star joins Maple Leafs’ front office
UNDATED (AP) — One of the top players in women’s hockey history is joining the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office. Longtime Canadian national team star Hayley Wickenheiser is the NHL club’s new assistant director of player development. She attended the team’s development camp as a guest coach in June.
The 40-year-old Wickenheiser won four Olympic gold medals with Canada. She retired as a player in 2017, finishing as the career leading scorer for the Canadian team.
The Leafs also announced Scott Pellerin has been elevated to senior director of player development, and Stephane Robidas will serve as director of player development.
In other NHL news:
— Chandler Stephenson of the Washington Capitals will take the Stanley Cup to Canada on Friday in hopes of providing a lift to the community of Humboldt. The town in Saskatchewan is home to the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. A bus crash in April killed 16 people, including 11 members of the team. Stephenson is from nearby Saskatoon. He says he knew he wanted to use his time with the Cup to bring the famous trophy to Humboldt. He says the community deserves to have a good day.
Woods-Mickelson set for pay-per-view Thanksgiving weekend
NEW YORK (AP) — The winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on.
WarnerMedia says it has secured the rights for a pay-per-view event it is promoting as “The Match.” It will be 18 holes between Woods and Mickelson held Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner will receive $9 million.
The pay-per-view cost is to be announced later.
WarnerMedia says pay-per-view coverage will be distributed through Turner’s B/R Live, AT&T DirecTV and U-verse, and other on-demand platforms. HBO Sports and Bleacher Report will take part in the promotion.
Woods and Mickelson will make side bets during the match on such things as longest drive or closest to the pin.
PlaySugarHouse.com begins online sports betting
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — PlaySugarHouse.com has launched online sports betting integrated with its online casino, the latest entrant into New Jersey’s surging sports betting market.
New Jersey gambling regulators approved the site to go live Thursday morning; the company says it was up and running at 6 a.m.
It is the first online sports betting associated with the license of the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, which has an online affiliation with Philadelphia’s SugarHouse casino.
It’s operated by Rush Street Interactive.
The company says unified player accounts, wallets and bonus points will allow customers to switch between sports betting and online casino gambling.
So far, six of Atlantic City’s nine casinos offer sports betting, along with two horse racing tracks.
IndyCar 4-year deal to keep racing at Texas through 2022
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas Motor Speedway and IndyCar have agreed on a four-year sanction agreement to keep the open-wheel series racing at the track through at least 2022.
The deal was announced Thursday. Scott Dixon won at Texas in June in the last race under the previous agreement.
IndyCar has been part of the Texas schedule each year since the track’s inaugural season in 1997. The DXC Technology 600 race next June 8 will mark the 23rd consecutive year with an IndyCar race on the 1 1/2-mile oval. The track has hosted 30 series races so far, including the season finales from 1999-2004.