Update on the latest in sports:
Brewers inch closer to wild card
UNDATED (AP) – Maybe Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) was dragging down the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers have continued their unexpected hot streak without the reigning National League MVP by knocking off the Reds, 4-2 at Cincinnati. Ryan Braun was 2-for-3 with a solo homer, leaving him 9-for-21 in his last 21 games.
Keston Hiura (HEER’-uh) broke a 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to back winning pitcher Brent Suter, who allowed three hits over three scoreless innings of relief.
The Brewers are 11-2 without Yelich, who is out for the remainder of the season after breaking his right kneecap on Sept. 10.
Milwaukee has won 16 of its last 18 and is a major league-best 18-4 this month. The Brewers’ magic number is down to one for clinching a playoff berth.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
– Ildemaro Vargas had a game-tying pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning on Tuesday and got the game-winning single in the 19th at 1:34 a.m. local time on Wednesday, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The loss wasted a stellar pitching performance by the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty. Vargas finished with four hits.
– The Nationals have claimed a wild-card spot and are a half-game ahead of Milwaukee for the first NL wild card after sweeping a pair from the Phillies, 4-1 and 6-5. Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) leads the majors with 124 RBIs after contributing a pair of sacrifice flies in the opener, helping Washington eliminate Philadelphia from playoff contention. Trea Turner’s go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning carried the Nats to the sweep.
– The Cubs are on the verge of elimination after making two of their five errors while the Pirates scored seven times in the seventh to hand Chicago its season-high seventh consecutive loss, 9-2. Kevin Kramer’s two-run double broke a 1-1 deadline and helped Pittsburgh end a nine-game losing streak. Erik Gonzalez added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Bucs.
– The Mets avoided playoff elimination by rallying from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Marlins 5-4 on Brandon Nimmo’s (NIH’-mohz) bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th. The Mets tied it in the ninth on Michael Conforto’s second two-run homer of the night before Nimmo’s free pass guaranteed the Mets their first winning season in three years.
– Jake Odorizzi threw two-hit ball over six innings before leaving with a tight hamstring in the Twins’ 4-2 win over the Tigers. Detroit led 1-0 in the seventh until Willians Astudillo (as-too-DEE’-oh) hit a two-run single and scored on Eddie Rosario’s two-run double. Taylor Rogers pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save as Minnesota sliced its magic number to two for winning the AL Central.
– The Indians stayed a half-game behind the Rays for the second AL wild card by homering four times in an 11-0 dismantling of the White Sox. Jose Ramirez hit a grand slam and a three-run homer in his first two plate appearances after missing a month with a broken hand. Roberto Perez and Oscar Mercado also went deep to back Mike Clevinger, who is 13-3 after fanning 10 and allowing five hits over seven innings.
– Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi hit a game-ending home run in the 12th inning to end a 2-1 triumph over the Yankees. Kevin Keiermaier tied the score in the fifth with a solo blast after Cameron Maybin belted New York’s 299th home run of the season. Yanks lefty CC Sabathia (sah-BATH’-ee-uh) pitched a perfect inning in his first regular-season relief appearance.
– Oakland’s 3-2 loss to the Angels leaves the Athletics just a half-game ahead of the Rays for the first AL wild-card, and one game in front of Cleveland. David Fletcher had three hits and Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) collected his 2,075th RBI as Los Angeles ended a seven-game skid. Homer Bailey gave up three runs over five innings in losing for the first time in eight starts.
– Gerrit Cole won his 15th consecutive decision and improved to 19-5 with the Astros’ 3-0 shutout of the Mariners. Cole struck out 14 and allowed just two hits over seven innings to run his unbeaten streak to 21 starts since losing to the White Sox on May 22. He also set an Astros season record with 316 strikeouts, three more than J.R. Richard’s total in 1979.
– Max Muncy hit his first career grand slam and the Dodgers clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs even before they beat the staggering Padres, 6-3. The seven-time defending NL West champions locked up home field when Atlanta lost. Joc Pederson hit his 33rd with one out in the ninth.
– Bubba Starling, Nicky Lopez and Ryan O’Hearn drove in two runs apiece as the Royals dumped the Braves, 9-6. Lopez finished with three of Kansas City’s 12 hits and Starling provided a two-run double while the Royals scored five in the third to take a 6-0 lead. Francisco Cervelli and Ozzie Albies homered for the NL East champs.
– Eduardo Rodriguez labored through five innings to get his 19th win in the Red Sox’s 12-10 decision over the Rangers. Rodriguez exited with a 12-7 lead after surrendering more runs than he had in his previous seven starts combined.
– The Orioles were 11-4 winners against the Blue Jays as Trey Mancini had a career-high five hits and DJ Stewart smacked a two-run homer. Dwight Smith Jr. and Austin Wynns each hit solo home runs for Baltimore.
– Charlie Blackmon’s three-run homer in the 16th inning gave the Rockies an 8-5 win over the Giants. Colorado starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman had to be carted off the field after being hit on the right knee by a liner off the back of San Francisco’s Alex Dickerson in the fourth inning.
Yankees getting healthy
UNDATED (AP) – Yankees sluggers Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’) are both expected to be back in the lineup this weekend at Texas. Both were injured in a game against the Tigers on Sept. 12. Second baseman Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres was back in the starting lineup after missing two games due to lower leg weakness.
Also around the majors:
– Athletics reliever Lou Trivino will miss the rest of the regular season and likely the playoffs after cracking a rib falling in the shower. Trivino was 4-6 with a 5.25 ERA in 61 games this season after posting a 2.92 ERA as a rookie.
– The Mets have announced that they will retire Jerry Koosman’s uniform No. 36 sometime next season. Koosman is the winningest left-hander in team history with 140 and ranks second overall on the club with 346 starts, 108 complete games, 26 shutouts, 1,799 strikeouts and a 3.09 ERA. He also won three World Series games for New York in 1969 and 1973, including the Game 5 clincher for the Mets against Baltimore in 1969.
Nets don’t expect Durant to play this season
NEW YORK (AP) – Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks says the expectation is Kevin Durant won’t play this season, although the All-Star forward will have a say in determining when he’s ready.
Durant is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was injured while playing for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. He left the Warriors to sign with the Nets in July. Marks says Durant’s recovery is going well and believes he wants to play this season. But he says the team is taking a long-term approach and planning on Durant not playing.
The Nets also signed All-Star Kyrie Irving in July. He was hurt Tuesday when he was elbowed during a pickup game. Marks doesn’t believe the injury was serious.
In other NBA news:
– The NBA has fined the Bucks $50,000 over a comment general manager Jon Horst made about the team’s plans to offer league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) a “supermax” extension. The league says Horst violated league rules about the “timing of discussions regarding future player contracts and permissible commitments to players.” Antetokounmpo will be eligible next July to sign a record five-year extension worth nearly $250 million.
– Wizards forward Troy Brown Jr. is expected to be out a month with a left calf injury. The Wizards said Brown strained his calf during what the team called a routine workout. John Wall, C.J. Miles and Isaiah Thomas also are sidelined with injuries.
Blues get All-Star Faulk from ‘Canes
UNDATED (AP) – The St. Louis Blues have bolstered their blueline by getting All-Star Justin Faulk from the Carolina Hurricanes for fellow defenseman Joel Edmundson and a prospect.
The defending Stanley Cup champs immediately signed Faulk to a seven-year, $45.5 million extension that begins next year.
The 27-year-old Faulk set team records for defensemen with 85 goals and 258 points during his eight seasons with the Hurricanes, who selected him in the first round of the 2010 NHL draft.
In other NHL news:
– Canucks forward Brock Boeser (BEH’-sur) and defenseman Oscar Fantenberg are in concussion protocol. Neither player was on the ice for practice a day after their injuries during a 6-4 exhibition victory over Ottawa.
– The Maple Leafs have released Michal Neuvirth (NOY’-vurth), making Michael Hutchinson their backup netminder for Frederik Andersen. Hutchinson made 38 saves in Monday’s 3-0 preseason shutout of the Canadiens.
Executive gets 4 months for bribery
BOSTON (AP) – A Los Angeles business executive has been sentenced to four months imprisonment for paying $250,000 to get his son admitted to the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit.
Devin Sloane pleaded guilty in May to a single count of fraud and conspiracy in a deal with prosecutors. He is the second parent to be sentenced in a sweeping college admissions scandal that has ensnared dozens of wealthy parents.
Bell promoted to Cup Series
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Christopher Bell has been promoted to NASCAR’s top series and will drive for Leavine Family Racing in 2020. Leavine is an affiliate of Joe Gibbs Racing, which along with Toyota has Bell under contract. Bell has won seven times this season and leads the Xfinity standings after last week’s playoffs opener.