Another series-ending Game 5
HOUSTON (AP) – A day after two National League Division Series ended with Game 5s, another will close out the American League Division Series between Houston and Tampa Bay.
Astros ace Gerrit Cole takes a franchise-record 17 straight decisions into his start Thursday night in Houston.
Cole is 17-0 in 23 starts since a May 22 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He has allowed 92 hits over 154 1/3 innings during that span, striking out 241 and walking 32. That includes an outstanding outing in a 3-1 Game 2 win over the Rays, when he struck out 15, didn’t walk a batter until his final one, and allowed four hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Tyler Glasnow starts for the Rays after taking a 6-2 loss in the opener, when he gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, including Jose Altuve’s go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth.
Both starters came up with the Pirates organization and were teammates in Pittsburgh from 2016-17.
Thursday’s winner will meet the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series starting Saturday.
Irving aggravates injury, Nets hold off Lakers in Shanghai
SHANGHAI (AP) – Kyrie Irving flew halfway around the world to play for 66 seconds.
Irving aggravated his facial fracture shortly after tip-off in his preseason debut for the Brooklyn Nets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 in the debut of this year’s two-game NBA China Games series on Thursday in Shanghai.
Irving tried to play through his left-side facial fracture, an injury that occurred in a pickup game last month. He was wearing a clear mask in an effort to protect his face, but bumped into Rondo while playing defense just 1:06 into the contest.
Irving’s face made contact with Rondo’s upper arm. The Nets guard immediately winced in pain, took the mask off and motioned to the bench that he needed a substitute.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who replaced Irving, led the Nets with 20 points and Taurean Prince finished with 18 for Brooklyn.
LeBron James scored 20 points for the Lakers, who got 18 from Rajon Rondo and 16 from Anthony Davis.
The game was played after several events to promote the NBA’s annual appearance in China were called off. It was part of the rift between China’s government and the league – started by a since-deleted tweet from Houston general manager Daryl Morey that supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Boxer Errol Spence seriously injured in Dallas Ferrari crash
DALLAS (AP) – Authorities say welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence crashed a speeding Ferrari in Dallas and is badly injured but expected to survive.
Police say the crash happened just before 3 a.m. Thursday when Spence’s Ferrari crossed the median into oncoming traffic and flipped over several times.
Spence was taken to a hospital where he was in the intensive care unit Thursday morning. Police say they’re still investigating the cause of the crash but note the Ferrari was speeding at the time.
Last month, the former U.S. Olympian added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter.
Putin wants to leave doping issues in past amid data inquiry
MOSCOW (AP) – Vladimir Putin says Russia wants to leave its doping “shortcomings” in the past, even as it faces questions regarding data tampering.
The Russian president tells a televised sports conference that his country is complying with the World Anti-Doping Agency “to the fullest extent.”
WADA has said data handed over by Russia in January shows signs of selective editing and asked the country’s sports ministry to explain.
Putin says “our country, our athletes, are first of all interested in leaving in the past all shortcomings linked to anti-doping issues.”
He also calls for Russian athletes to compete “without any limitations.”
Russians competed as neutral athletes at last year’s Pyeongchang Games when their national Olympic committee was suspended for doping. It has since been reinstated.