Update on the latest in sports:
Mets try for 4-game sweep
UNDATED (AP) – The Mets will try for a four-game sweep over Arizona amid a crowded NL wild-card race.
The Diamondbacks had won 11 of 13 entering the series, but New York has shut them down completely, outscoring them 15-3 through the first three games.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-13, 3.42) will try to keep that domination going, although he hasn’t been sharp since a July trade from Toronto.
Arizona will start lefty Alex Young (7-3, 3.38) in the finale. He gave up two hits and struck out 12 over eight innings in a 2-0 win over Cincinnati in his previous outing.
Also, in MLB action:
– Justin Verlander can enhance his Cy Young Award credentials when he starts for the AL West-leading Astros at Minute Maid Park against Oakland. Verlander tries for his major league-leading 19th win – he tops the AL with a 2.52 ERA and leads the majors with 200 innings. His 264 strikeouts are second to teammate Gerrit Cole’s 281 for most in the big league. Homer Bailey (12-8, 4.87 ERA) has gone 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA over his last five starts. The A’s hold a half-game edge over Cleveland for the second AL wild-card spot.
– Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox hitters will try to bust a miserable slump against an old friend. Toronto’s Clay Buchholz (1-4, 5.31) went 81-61 over 10 seasons with Boston, and he’s slated to face his former teammates for the first time. The Red Sox have dropped five straight and been shut out in two of their past three games since firing president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. The skid includes a meager two-hit effort against four Blue Jays pitchers Wednesday night. Buchholz has a 3.57 ERA in three starts since ending a 3 1/2-month stint on the injured list with a sore shoulder.
– The Twins were missing first baseman C.J. Cron (thumb), third baseman Miguel Sano (back), outfielder Max Kepler (shoulder) and infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez (abdominal area) in their 6-2 loss to Washington on Wednesday night. The AL Central leaders are continuing a cautious approach toward injuries, with outfielder Byron Buxton (shoulder) done for the season and Jake Cave (groin) still working his way back.
– Dodgers lefty Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA) pitches in the majors for the first time since June 19. He’s been out because of a forearm strain.
Hill starts for the NL West champions as they take on Baltimore at Camden Yards.
US clinches worst big-tourney finish, falls 94-89 to Serbia
DONGGUAN, China (AP) – The U.S. will leave the World Cup with its worst finish in a major international tournament, assured of finishing no better than seventh after falling to Serbia 94-89 in a consolation playoff game Thursday night.
The previous worst finish for a U.S. men’s team in 45 tournament appearances was sixth at the 2002 world championships. The Americans – the top-ranked team in the world – will be either seventh or eighth in China, depending on the outcome of their consolation finale Saturday.
Harrison Barnes scored 22 for the U.S., which got 18 from Kemba Walker and 16 from Khris Middleton.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 for Serbia, which ran out to a quick 25-point lead and handed the U.S. its second loss in two days. Vladimir Lucic scored 15 for Serbia, which will play for fifth place Saturday.
Former top-ranked Kim Clijsters planning return to tennis
BRUSSELS (AP) – Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters (KLY’-sturz) is planning another comeback.
A mother of three, the Belgian who retired after the 2012 U.S. Open wants a new challenge, she told the WTA in an interview on its website on Thursday.
The 36-year-old Clijsters, who started her professional career in 1997, took a first break from tennis in 2007.
She returned after a 26-month hiatus and won the 2009 U.S. Open, becoming the first mother to win a Grand Slam title si
nce Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980.
She successfully defended her title at Flushing Meadows in 2010, and her 2011 Australian Open victory returned her to the top of the rankings.
She won her first Grand Slam title at the 2005 U.S. Open.
Semenya to finally get her gold medal from 2011 worlds
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Caster Semenya is finally getting her gold medal from the 2011 world championships after Russian runner Maria Savinova was stripped of the title for doping.
South Africa’s track federation says it will receive the medal from the IAAF on Semenya’s behalf at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, this month. Semenya won’t be present for any ceremony in Doha after she was barred from defending her latest 800-meter world title because she has refused to follow new IAAF rules that require her to medically reduce her natural testosterone level to be allowed to compete.
Her second legal appeal against the rules is still being considered by the Swiss supreme court.
Athletics South Africa says it will decide on an appropriate event to hand the medal to Semenya in South Africa.