Update on the latest sports
Morales homers for 4th straight games, Jays beat Orioles 6-0
UNDATED (AP) — Kendrys Morales homered for the fourth consecutive game, Thomas Pannone and two relievers combined on a two-hitter and the Blue Jays beat Baltimore 6-0 on Wednesday, completing a 10-game season sweep of the Orioles in Toronto.
Devon Travis had a three-run shot in the eighth as the Blue Jays blew open the game with a five-run outburst against Miguel Castro, who uncorked three wild pitches and didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced.
Making his first major league start after four relief appearances, the left-handed Pannone pitched six no-hit innings before Baltimore’s Trey Mancini reached on a ground-ball single to begin the seventh.
Baltimore has lost four straight and 11 of 13. The Orioles are 1-12 against the Blue Jays this season with six games remaining, all in Baltimore.
Blue Jays RHP Sanchez comes clean on suitcase injury
TORONTO (AP) — Add Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez to the list of big leaguers to suffer suitcase-related injuries this season.
Sanchez acknowledged Wednesday that the bruised right index finger that has sidelined him for the past two months occurred when his finger got caught in a falling suitcase. The incident happened June 21, hours before Sanchez took the mound in Los Angeles against the Angels with about 180 friends and family from his hometown of Barstow, California, in the crowd.
He allowed two runs and two hits in a 25-pitch first inning before being replaced.
Sanchez says part of the reason he stayed quiet about his injury was the attention Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez received for spraining a ligament in his knee while carrying a suitcase up the stairs just before opening day. Perez didn’t return until April 24.
MLB’s opening day on March 28 will be earliest ever
NEW YORK (AP) — Major league baseball says all 30 teams will play on March 28, the earliest opening day in history, excluding international openers.
The previous earliest opening day was March 29 of this year.
MLB released the 2019 schedule Wednesday. It will begin with the Japan opening series between the Seattle Mariners and host Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21.
The 2019 season will be the second under the scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 basic agreement. That format adds an additional weekend at the beginning of the season and gives each team three to four additional off days throughout the season to provide added rest and opportunities for rescheduling.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play the first-ever MLB games in Europe, June 29-30 in London.
Major league baseball will return to Monterrey, Mexico, for six games in 2019, starting with spring training games between Colorado and Arizona on March 9-10.
In the regular season, Cincinnati will host St. Louis on April 13-14, and the Los Angeles Angels will play the Houston Astros on May 4-5.
Former Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson retiring
UNDATED (AP) — Former Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson has announced he’s retiring from the NFL.
Johnson played in more games (143) than any Carolina defensive lineman. He spent all 11 seasons with the Panthers, recording 67 ½ sacks, 20 forced fumbles and 12 multi-sack games before being released by the team in February.
A third-round draft pick in 2007 out of Georgia, Johnson became a full-time starter in his fourth season posting 11 ½ sacks in 2010. He went on to record 52 ½ sacks from 2010-14, the fifth-most in the NFL during that span.
Johnson had a franchise playoff record three sacks in the team’s run to Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 season.
He started 11 games last season but his production fell off. Johnson failed to record a sack and had just 16 tackles.
In other NFL news:
— Tom Brady is breaking in a new helmet this exhibition season, another sign the 41-year-old quarterback is planning to play in 2019. Brady’s old helmet is among the models being phased out by the NFL because tests showed it’s not as effective at protecting against concussions. The new rules take effect next season, but Brady used a compliant helmet in last week’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He says he’s still tweaking the new model to make sure it offers the same comfort and peripheral vision as the one he’s used to.
Oklahoma names Kyler Murray starting quarterback
UNDATED (AP) — Kyler Murray has been picked as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback.
The seventh-ranked Sooners said Wednesday that Murray will start the season-opener Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic.
The Oakland A’s took Murray with the ninth pick in the Major League Baseball draft this summer, but he chose to return to school for a year. He was the backup to Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield last season and completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He also ran 14 times for 142 yards, including a 66-yard dash on the first play of the game against West Virginia.
Murray and Austin Kendall battled throughout the spring for the position, and no clear-cut leader was established. Kendall was the backup two years ago. He connected on 16 of 22 passes for 143 yards as a freshman before redshirting last year.
In other college football news:
— Wisconsin wide receiver Danny Davis has been suspended for the first two games of the season. Coach Paul Chryst announced the suspension Wednesday, two days after Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus was charged with felony sexual assault. Davis is Cephus’ roommate and was identified in the criminal complaint filed by authorities against Cephus and interviewed by police. Davis was not charged. Athletic director Barry Alvarez announced the indefinite suspension of Cephus, who was accused of misconduct involving two women at his apartment last April. Chryst said the length of Davis’ suspension could change.
— The Ohio State board of trustees has been meeting behind closed doors as they consider the fate of Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer. The trustees are meeting with university President Michael V. Drake to consider whether Meyer should be punished for his handling of domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach, and if so, how? Meyer has been on paid leave since Aug. 8. The Buckeyes open their season Sept. 1.
Flyers’ Couturier out 4 weeks with another knee injury
UNDATED (AP) — Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier is out four weeks after suffering a knee injury for the second time in five months.
General manager Ron Hextall provided the update Wednesday, saying Couturier was injured Aug. 10 in an exhibition game.
Hextall expects Couturier to be a limited participant in training camp when the Flyers get on the ice Sept. 14 and for him to be full-go halfway in. Hextall says it’s not the same injury the 25-year-old suffered when he damaged the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the playoffs when he collided with teammate Radko Gudas in practice.
Couturier is coming off a breakout season in which he was promoted to Philadelphia’s No. 1 center and set career highs with 31 goals, 45 assists and 76 points. He finished third on the team in scoring.
Appeals court upholds Nassar’s 60-year child porn sentence
A federal appeals court has upheld disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s 60-year prison sentence for possessing child pornography and destroying evidence.
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied Nassar’s appeal Wednesday.
The former Michigan State University employee and USA Gymnastics team physician had argued that a district judge erred in increasing his sentence due to his multiple sexual assault convictions in state courts. Nassar also disputed the order that his federal term run consecutively — instead of at the same time — as his state sentences.
The 55-year-old Nassar also is appealing his 40-year minimum state sentences, which he will serve if he is still alive after the federal term.
He pleaded guilty to molesting young athletes and a daughter of family friends.