Dodgers make it 7 straight division crowns
UNDATED (AP) _ The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first major league team to wrap up a postseason berth this season.
The Dodgers have captured their seventh consecutive NL West title with a 7-3 victory at Baltimore. Corey Seager drove in five runs with a pair of homers for Los Angeles, which took sole possession of first place on April 17 and led by 21 games on August 24. Seager hit a three-run shot in the first inning and added a two-run drive in the third.
Walker Buehler was outstanding in the clincher, striking out 11 and holding the Orioles to four hits over seven scoreless innings.
This is the earliest that the Dodgers have ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
_ The Rockies rode Nolan Arenado’s (ar-eh-NAH’-dohz) two-run, 482-foot blast in the first inning to a 2-1 verdict over the Cardinals. Chi Chi González allowed one run and four hits in six innings for his first big league victory in four years. The NL Central leaders lost for only the eighth time in their last 31 games.
– The Cards still top their division by four games over Chicago after Steve Cishek (SEE’-shehk) walked three straight hitters in the bottom of the 10th to allow the Padres to come away with a 9-8 victory over the Cubs. Manuel Margot (mahr-GOH’) walked with the bases loaded for his second RBI of the night as San Diego trimmed Chicago’s lead for the second NL wild card to one game over Milwaukee. The Padres led 8-5 in the eighth until Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward each hit their second homers of the game to tie it up.
_ Corey Dickerson homered twice and had three RBIs in the Phillies’ 6-5 victory against the Braves. Philadelphia blew a 4-0 lead before Scott Kingery hit an inside-the-park solo homer in the third inning. J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh), Bryce Harper and Dickerson belted first-inning homers for the Phils, who kept Atlanta’s lead in the NL East at 9 ½ games over Washington.
The Nationals lost in Minnesota as Jose Berrios (beh-REE’-ohs) combined with two relievers on a two-hitter in the Twins’ 5-0 shutout. Nats starter Anibal (AH’-nih-bahl) Sanchez blanked the AL Central leaders until Mitch Garver slammed a two-run homer in the seventh. Berrios gave up two hits over seven innings to move to 12-8.
_ Tyler Austin’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth broke a tie in the Brewers’ 4-3 triumph at Miami. Hernan Perez belted a two-run homer and Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’) was 2-for-4 with an RBI in Milwaukee’s fifth consecutive win. The Brewers will get within one game of Chicago for the second NL wild card if the Cubs lose at San Diego tonight, but they will be playing out the season without Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) because of a broken kneecap.
_ A pair of Texas errors helped the Rays score twice in the 11th inning to beat the Rangers, 5-3. Nate Lowe scored the tiebreaking run from third on an error by second baseman Rougned Odor (ROOG’-nehd) oh-DOHR’) with two out before Guillermo Heredia (gee-HER’-moh heh-REH’-dee-uh) followed with an RBI single. Austin Meadows tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth before Tampa Bay won for the 11th time in 12 games to stay 1 ½ games ahead of Oakland for the first AL wild card.
_ Matt Olson and Sean Murphy both homered twice and the Athletics set a season high for runs in a 21-7 thrashing of the Astros. Khris Davis and Marcus Semien also went deep as part of Oakland’s season-best 25-hit attack. The A’s tagged Wade Miley for seven runs in the first inning and ripped a team that had outscored its opponents 36-1 in its previous two games.
_ Rookie Zach Plesac (PLEE’-sahk) allowed four hits in his first complete game as the Indians thumped the Angels, 8-0 to stay a half-game behind Oakland for the second AL wild card. The rookie right-hander had allowed 10 earned runs in his last two starts before shutting down Los Angeles. Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) hit a solo shot to join Alex Rodriguez as the only major league shortstops to have three or more seasons of at least 30 home runs before turning 26.
_ The Tigers avoided their major league-leading 101st loss by beating the AL East-leading Yankees, 12-11 on Jordy Mercer’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Christin Stewart hit a solo homer and had two RBIs, while Jeimer (JAY’-mur) Candelario went 3-for-5 with three ribbies. Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) homered twice for the Yanks, who also got round-trippers from Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres and Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’).
_ Todd Frazier drove in three runs and Zack Wheeler scattered seven hits over seven innings as the Mets downed the Diamondbacks for the second straight night, 3-2. Wheeler struck out seven and blanked Arizona after Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI single in the top of the first. Justin Wilson picked up a four-out save to help New York bolster its slim playoff hopes.
_ Johnny Cueto (KWAY’-toh) was terrific in his return from Tommy John surgery, tossing one-hit ball over five shutout innings to help the Giants nip the Pirates, 5-4. Stephen Vogt (voht) smacked a two-run homer and drove in four runs. His two-run single in the first off rookie Mitch Keller staked Cueto to a quick lead.
_ Toronto stopped a seven-game slide by homering three times in a 4-3 win against the Red Sox. Rowdy Tellez (the’-LEHZ) hit a two-run home run and Cavan Biggio (KA’-van BEE’0-zhee-oh) and Reese McGuire added solo shots as the Blue Jays handed Boston its fourth straight loss. Mookie Betts went deep for the Bosox.
_ The White Sox knocked off the Royals, 7-3 as rookie Eloy (EE’-loy) Jiménez hit his first career grand slam and Yoán Moncada (yoh-AHN’ mohn-KAH’-dah) launched a mammoth two-run homer. Adam Engel added a solo shot as Chicago won for just the fourth time in 14 games. Adalberto Mondesi (ad-ul-BEHR’-toh MAHN’-deh-see), Alex Gordon and Ryan O’Hearn went deep for the Royals.
_ The Mariners pulled out a 4-3 win over the Reds on Kyle Seager’s two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Kyle Lewis ripped his first major league homer and Dylan Moore added a solo shot for Seattle. M’s starter Justus Sheffield allowed one run over six innings to get a no-decision.
Yelich breaks kneecap
UNDATED (AP) _ The Brewers’ playoff hopes were dealt a very big blow on Tuesday.
Reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) broke his right kneecap on a foul ball during Milwaukee’s win over the Marlins. Yelich did it while batting in the first inning and spent several minutes on the ground before limping off the field.
The Brewers didn’t say whether the reigning NL MVP might be able to return for the playoffs that begin Oct. 1 if they make it that far. Yelich will return to Milwaukee on Wednesday for further evaluation.
Yelich hit .329 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs along with 30 stolen bases this season. The outfielder was leading the majors in slugging percentage and OPS when he was hurt.
In other MLB news:
_ Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has been placed on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder injury that required surgery on Tuesday. Buxton sustained a partial dislocation after crashing into the outfield wall while making a catch on Aug. 1. The Twins also reinstated starting pitcher Kyle Gibson from the 10-day injured list and promoted infielder Ronald Torreyes (toh-RAY’-ehs) from Triple-A Rochester.
_ Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) says it is “unfortunate” that his complaints to New York’s front office and coaching staff about catcher Wilson Ramos were made public and denied any role in leaking the conversations. Syndergaard says it is “completely false” that he was livid in conversations with club officials.
_ Outfielder Mike Tauchman (TAWK’-man) has become the Yankees’ 30th player on the injured list this year, the most in the major leagues in at least 15 years. The 28-year-old strained his left calf Sunday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could be nearing a return after homering in a simulated game.
Patriots’ Brown accused of rape
UNDATED (AP) _ Newly-acquired Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.
Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
Brown has denied the allegations.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
_Texans center Nick Martin has signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension that runs through the 2022 season. Martin has appeared in 31 games for the Texans since being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft. He is set to make just more than $1.1 million this season while playing alongside new left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who was acquired from Miami on Aug. 31.
_ Houston also released cornerback Aaron Colvin, who gave up two touchdowns in the second half of Monday’s 30-28 loss at New Orleans. Colvin was in the second year of a four-year, $34 million contract that had $18 million guaranteed.
_ The Seahawks have re-signed veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor, who was one of the team’s final cuts at the end of training camp after signing a contract in May. Seattle released cornerback Parry Nickerson to clear a roster spot for Taylor.
_ The Jets have picked up wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. Thomas has 688 career receptions for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns.
_ Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd has received a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers. Shepherd told NFL.com he failed two tests this summer while recovering from shoulder and groin injuries.
_ Sam Ficken is the fourth kicker to be signed by the Jets since July. The Jets cut Kaare Vedvik (KAH’-ree VEHD’-vihk) after he missed an extra point and a 45-yard field-goal attempt in the Jets’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Bills on Sunday.
_ The Steelers will likely be without fullback and special teams captain Rosie Nix for Sunday’s clash with Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin says Nix is dealing with a knee injury sustained in Sunday night’s 33-3 loss to New England.
Devils re-sign Zacha
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha has signed a three-year, $6.75 million contract just days before he’s scheduled to report to training camp.
The 22-year-old Czech scored a career-high 13 goals in 61 games last season before becoming a free agent in July. The former first-round pick had considered signing with the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League.
Zacha has 29 goals and 47 assists for 76 points in 201 career NHL games.
Adidas fixer gets probation
NEW YORK (AP) _ A former Adidas consultant who became a key government witness in a college basketball corruption case has been sentenced to one year of probation. Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola received the term on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.
Gassnola had pleaded guilty in a scheme to funnel secret payments to the families of top recruits and agreed to testify against a former Adidas executive and two other defendants at a 2018 trial.
Former linebacker Ball dies
UNDATED (AP) _ Former Oakland Raiders and Florida Gators linebacker Neiron Ball has died at age 27.
His death came nearly a year after he suffered a brain aneurysm and was placed in a medically induced coma. His family announced in late July that the Georgia native was out of the coma but was a quadriplegic.
Ball missed his sophomore season at Florida in 2011 because of a congenital condition that causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture.