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September 17, 2019
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Update on the latest in sports:




A look around the majors


UNDATED (AP) – Luis Severino makes his season debut for the Yankees when New York opens its final homestand of the regular season against the Los Angeles Angels.


Severino was scratched from what was to be his first spring training start on March 5 when he the 25-year-old right-hander felt discomfort while warming up. A MRI later revealed a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. He didn’t throw off a mound again until a bullpen session on Aug. 9 and made three minor league injury rehabilitation appearances. He struck out 11 and walked none.


A two-time All-Star, Severino was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts last season and signed a $40 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a 2023 team option and could be worth $52.25 million for five seasons.


He has a 41-25 career record with a 3.51 ERA.


New York’s magic number is two over Cleveland to clinch a playoff berth and three over Tampa Bay for the Yankees’ first AL East title since 2012.


Left-hander Jose Suarez is slated to start for the Angel’s in tonight’s series opener at New York. Suarez is 0-5 in 11 starts since beating Tampa Bay on June 15th.


Elsewhere in the majors:


– Reds right-hander Sonny Gray faces Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish at Wrigley Field in a matchup of two of baseball’s best pitchers since the All-Star break. Gray is 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his last eight starts, returning to form in his first year with Cincinnati after he was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees. Darvish has a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts since the break, striking out 93 and walking six during that stretch.


– The Astros return to Houston tonight for the first of two games against Texas. The Rangers will match right-hander Lance Lynn with Justin Verlander. Verlander has held opponents to a .168 average, tied with teammate Gerrit Cole for the majors’ best. They can become the second teammates to strike out 300 in a season after Arizona’s Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2002.


– The Diamondbacks have tumbled to the rear of the NL wild card race because their bats have gone cold. Arizona scored just 14 runs over nine games from September 7th-15th, which led to a 2-7 record during that span. They’ll try to keep their longshot playoff hopes alive tonight when left-hander Alex Young takes the mound. He’s had a good rookie season, with a 7-4 record and 3.38 ERA. The 26-year-old set a club rookie record with 12 strikeouts against the Reds on September 7th. Miami will counter with left-hander Caleb Smith.


– Oakland’s Left-hander Brett Anderson has already set a career high for wins going into tonight’s start against the Royals. Oakland’s lead over Tampa Bay for the top AL wild card is down to one game and Cleveland is 1 1/2 games behind the Rays. Right-hander Jorge (HOHR’-hay) Lopez will throw for the Royals and is riding a three-game road winning streak.


– 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell is expected to be activated from the IL to start for the Rays tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Snell had loose bodies in his left elbow and has not pitched for the Rays since July 21st. The Dodgers will begin their final homestand of the regular season with Ross Stripling.


– New York’s Marcus Stroman will make his ninth start since joining the Mets on July 28th. He’ll face Colorado’s Tim Melville tonight at Coors Field in Denver.


– Mariners’s left-hander Marco Gonzales seeks to extend his career high for victories when Seattle visits Pittsburgh tonight. The Pirates will counter with right-hander Mitch Keller.


– The Braves will open a six-game homestand with left-hander Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul). Philadelphia starts their 11-game trip with right-hander Vince Velasquez (veh-LAHZ’-kehz).


– Baltimore starts a three-game series against visiting Toronto. The Blue Jays will start with Trent Thornton.


– Detroit heads across Lake Erie for three games against the Indians, who are 15-1 against the Tigers this season. With Matthew Boyd away from the team due to a family emergency, Detroit will use its bullpen tonight against Adam Plutko.


– After a off day, Boston hosts San Francisco for three games beginning tonight with Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (ee-VAHL’-dee) on the mound. Giants’ right-hander Logan Webb will make his sixth career start in the series opener.


– Padres’ Chris Paddack makes his 26th start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA and 23 strikeouts in his three previous starts. The Brewers will counter with Brandon Woodruff on the mound. Woodruff has been on the injured list with a left oblique strain and is 11-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 20 starts, but will give way to Gio Gonzalez who is 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA in eight career starts against San Diego.


– White Sox’s Lucas Giolito (jee-oh-LEE’-toh) was scratched from his scheduled start tonight because of a mild lat strain and will miss the rest of the season. Left-hander Ross Detwiler will start against Twins’ left-hander Martin Perez.


– Nationals’ left-hander Patrick Corbin is 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA against the Cardinals. His lone win came in 2016 when he pitched for Arizona. The Cardinals will throw Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-las) who beat the Nationals 5-1 on May 1st when matched against Max Scherzer (SHUR’-zur).




Russia sending 29 athletes to track worlds on neutral team


MOSCOW (AP) – The suspended Russian track federation is sending a team of 29 competitors to the world championships in Qatar (KUH’-tur), where they will compete as neutral athletes.


Their women’s high jumper is the only reigning world champion among the group.


Many Russian athletes with past doping bans were not cleared to compete, including race walker Elena Lashmanova, the world leader in the 20-kilometer event this year.




Gaming heavyweights raise $17M for new esports network


NEW YORK (AP) – A new venture backed by many of video gaming’s biggest publishers is unveiling a network that hopes to be to esports what ESPN has been to traditional sports. VENN is set to launch in 2020 and aims to give the fragmented esports scene a home base for content with higher production value than gamers are used to with online streaming. The network has raised $17 million from investors including co-founders from Twitch, Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment.


Esports revenues are expected to top $1 billion this year, and global viewership numbers are rivaling those of traditional sports – nearly 100 million viewers watched last year’s League of Legends world championship, roughly on par with TV viewership for the Super Bowl.


AP-WF-09-17-19 1421GMT