Update on the latest sports
Braves win, stay 6 up on Nats
UNDATED (AP) – The Atlanta Braves will carry a six-game division lead into their weekend series against the New York Mets.
The NL East leaders picked up their fifth straight win by rallying for a 3-2 decision over the Marlins. Ronald Acuna (ah-KOON’-yah) Jr. won it with a walk-off, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, one inning after Freddie Freeman tied it with a solo blast.
Braves starter Mike Soroka (sah-ROH’-kah) allowed two runs over seven innings to put his ERA at 2.41, but he’s winless in his last seven starts. Mark Melancon (me-LAN’-suhn) worked a scoreless ninth to get the victory.
The Nationals stayed six games behind Atlanta by whipping the Pirates for the third time in four days, 7-1. Max Scherzer gave up a run and four hits over four innings in his first start since landing on the injured list with a back issue four weeks ago.
Howie Kendrick was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs. Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) added a solo shot in the Nats’ ninth win in 11 games.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
– Kyle Hendricks worked seven strong innings and the Cubs made the most out of two hits in their fifth consecutive win, 1-0 over the Giants. Hendricks struck out seven and gave up only three hits to help the Cubs keep their half-game lead over St. Louis atop the NL Central. Chicago’s hits came in the fourth inning as Jason Heyward delivered a leadoff single and scored on Anthony Rizzo’s single.
– The Cardinals kept pace with the Cubs by erasing deficits of 2-0 and 5-2 in a 6-5 victory against the Rockies. Dexter Fowler supplied the go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh after Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nah) Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG’) hit two-run shots. The Redbirds stormed back following Nolan Arenado’s tiebreaking, three-run blast in the fifth.
– The Mets completed a three-game sweep as Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) fired two-hit ball over six innings of a 2-0 shutout of the Indians, a game that was called because of rain in the bottom of the eighth. Syndergaard struck out five and retired his first 16 hitters before Tyler Naquin (NAY’-kwihn) blooped a single to center. Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a two-run double in the fourth to help the Mets stay within 1 1/2 games of the second NL wild card. The Indians are 3 1/2 games behind the AL Central-leading Twins.
– The Dodgers have a magic number of 14 for winning the NL West after they scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to come away with a 3-2 triumph over the Blue Jays. Cory Seager tied it with a two-run double and scored the walk-off run on a single by Kike (KEE’-kay) Hernandez. The Dodgers have a five-game home winning streak and a whopping 20 1/2-game division lead going into this weekend’s big series against the Yankees.
– Gerrit Cole tossed two-hit ball while striking out 12 over seven shutout innings to lead the Astros’ 6-3 win against the Tigers. Cole is 11-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his past 15 starts and has 238 strikeouts this season, one shy of teammate and league leader Justin Verlander. Alex Bregman belted a two-run homer and Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 with a two-run single to stretch his hitting streak to 15 games.
– Tanner Roark (ROH’-ahrk) pitched into the seventh and the Athletics reached Masahira Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE’-roh tah-NAH’-kah) for five runs over six innings of a 5-3 victory over the Yankees. Roark struck out seven and allowed two runs over 6 1/3 frames to help Oakland complete a three-game sweep. Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres homered twice for the Yanks, who have dropped four in a row.
– The Yankees’ lead in the AL East is down to eight games after Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to help the Rays top the Orioles, 5-2. Baltimore set a single-season major league record for home runs allowed when Austin Meadows went deep for the 259th surrendered by the Birds. The game was knotted at 2 until Adames delivered a two-run single in the sixth following a 2-hour, 16-minute rain delay.
– Yoan Moncada (yoh-AHN’ mohn-KAH’-dah) lined a two-run homer his return from the injured list to help the White Sox down the Rangers, 6-1. Moncada batted cleanup in his first game since straining a hamstring on July 31. James McCann hit a solo shot and Ross Detwiler struck out eight while yielding an Elvis Andrus (AN’-droos) homer and two other hits over six innings.
– The Red Sox completed a 5-4 win over the Royals on Brock Holt’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. The original contest was halted after a rain delay early on Aug. 8 with the score tied 4-4 and nobody out in the top of the 10th inning. J.D. Martinez slammed a two-run homer and Xander Bogaerts (BOH’-gahrts) had two RBIs before the game was suspended.
Setback for Rays 2B
UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Rays have received a jolt as they try to nail down an American League wild-card berth.
Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe has suffered a quadriceps injury that will likely sideline him the rest of the season. Manager Kevin Cash said Lowe got hurt on Wednesday while playing on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Durham.
The All-Star selection is batting .276 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs. The second-year Ray hasn’t played since suffering a shin injury on July 2.
Elsewhere in MLB news:
– The Pirates are requesting unconditional release waivers on 33-year-old catcher Francisco Cervelli. He’s played 34 games this season, hitting .193 with one home run and five RBIs. Cervelli has suffered several concussions in his career and hasn’t played in the majors since his most recent one on May 25.
– Angels rookie right-hander Griffin Canning will miss the rest of the season with mild elbow inflammation. Canning has emerged as the Angels’ most promising pitching prospect in several years following his recall in April, going 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA in 18 appearances. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in a victory over the White Sox last Sunday but emerged with elbow discomfort.
– MLB says the Astros violated media guidelines by initially barring Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the Houston clubhouse immediately after Wednesday’s game. Losing pitcher Justin Verlander has a poor relationship with Fenech and accused him on Twitter Thursday of unspecified “unethical behavior in the past.” Fenech eventually was allowed into the clubhouse following a nine-minute delay, but Verlander had already concluded his media scrum and refused to speak with the Detroit scribe.
– A judge has confirmed an arbitration decision from baseball executives ordering the Nationals to be paid $296.8 million by the cable network they jointly own with the Orioles for their television rights from 2012-16. The Orioles and Nationals jointly own the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and have been fighting in court for years about how much money Washington is owed under their unusual TV rights arrangement.
NBA-COUSY-MEDAL OF FREEDOM
Cousy gets Medal of Freedom
WASHINGTON (AP) – Bob Cousy (KOO’-zee) has been presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The medal celebrates individuals with a wide range of achievements and is the nation’s highest civilian honor. The 91-year-old Cousy played for the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963 and won six league championships along with the 1957 MVP title.
Golfer Tiger Woods received the honor back in May.
Lock could start season on IR
UNDATED (AP) – Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio won’t rule out placing rookie quarterback Drew Lock on injured reserve to start the season.
Lock sprained his right thumb against the 49ers and won’t venture a guess as to how long he’ll be sidelined. The Broncos say a timetable for his return remains up in the air.
Joe Flacco is Denver’s starting quarterback. The Broncos will start quarterback Kevin Hogan against the Rams this weekend and use undrafted rookie Brett Rypien (RIHP-ehn) as the backup.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
– Panthers quarterback Cam Newton left Thursday night’s exhibition game against New England in the first quarter with a foot injury. Newton was wearing a boot as he headed toward the team bus after the game.
– The Cardinals have acquired defensive lineman Bruce Hector in a trade that sent safety Rudy Ford to the Eagles. The move is pending physicals for both players. Hector played in eight games for the Eagles last season. Ford has played the past two seasons for the Cardinals, mostly on special teams.
– Patriots safety Patrick Chung has been indicted in New Hampshire on a charge of cocaine possession. A Belknap County grand jury indicted the 32-year-old Chung on Aug. 8. Authorities say Chung knowingly possessed cocaine on June 25 while in Meredith. Chung’s arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.
Capitals star Kuznetsov banned from Russia team for 4 years
ZURICH (AP) – Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (kooz-NET’-sahv) tested positive for cocaine at the world championship and has been banned from the Russian national team for four years.
The International Ice Hockey Federation says Kuznetsov failed a doping test taken May 26 – the day Russia won the bronze medal game against the Czech Republic in Slovakia. The previous day, Russia lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Finland.
The IIHF says the ban expires on June 12, 2023. That excludes Kuznetsov from the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The ban does not affect Kuznetsov playing for the Capitals.
Schaffele moves into 3-way tie for FedEx Cup
ATLANTA (AP) – Xander Schauffele (ZAN’-dur SHAW’-flee) has grabbed a share of the FedEx Cup lead by firing the best score ever for an opening round in the Tour Championship.
Schauffele began the tournament six strokes back under the new scoring system for the FedEx Cup before firing a 6-under 64 that leaves him 10-under with three rounds remaining. He’s now tied with No. 1 seed Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh).
Koepka birdied three of his last four holes for a 67. Thomas carded a double-bogey and missed a pair of 3-foot putts for a 70 after entering the tournament with a two-shot advantage.
The score to par is all that matters in deciding who wins the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to drive Xfinity race at Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. still plans to compete in the Xfinity event at Darlington Raceway on Aug. 31, despite a recent plane crash. It’s his one race this season.
Earnhardt Jr. posted on Twitter Wednesday night, saying his lower back is sore and swollen. He’s receiving daily treatment “solely to get well to race.”
Earnhardt, his family and two pilots escaped a burning plane that veered off the runway at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee last week.
First-round fireworks: Serena, Sharapova to meet at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) – Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will finally meet in the U.S. Open, and they’ll do it in their very first match. The past U.S. Open champions are scheduled for an opening-round matchup when the draws were conducted for the final major of the year.
Williams and Sharapova have met in the finals of the other three majors and the 2012 Olympics but have never played each other in the U.S. Open. Williams owns a 19-2 record in their WTA Tour matchups, but that lopsided number shouldn’t do much to dampen the hype around what will be the marquee match of the opening round at Flushing Meadows, which begins Monday.
Wake Forest coach charged in college admissions scam resigns
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – The Wake Forest women’s volleyball coach named in a scheme to help get wealthy children into elite schools has resigned. The school has announced the resignation of William Ferguson. Prosecutors allege a college counseling business directed money to the program and a camp controlled by Ferguson in exchange for help getting a student admitted. Ferguson has pleaded not guilty.