Update on the latest in sports:
Bregman takes hot bat to Tampa Bay
UNDATED – Alex Bregman is red-hot at the plate as the Astros travel to Tampa Bay for a four-game series, and he’s been especially good late in games. Bregman has homered in three straight, including a game-ending two-run shot Wednesday to cap Houston’s rally from five runs down against Toronto. That was the second walk-off hit this month for Bregman, who also had a game-ending single in Game 5 of last year’s World Series.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw looks to sharpen his stuff against the Cubs in his second start since ending a DL stint for a lower back strain. Kershaw stumbled through three innings against the Mets last Saturday, though Los Angeles beat New York 8-3 that day behind stellar relief work from rookie Caleb Ferguson.
– The Nationals try to solve the Phillies’ Aaron Nola five days after the right-hander won a 5-3 decision in Washington. Nola allowed two runs, four hits and three walks over six innings while striking out five in that game. He is fifth in the NL in ERA, and only Mets ace Jacob deGrom has allowed fewer home runs per nine innings than Nola (among qualified NL starters.
– The Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio on Wednesday, saying he made insensitive comments to another employee of the team. General manager Al Avila said Bosio made the comments recently and they were brought to Avila’s attention Tuesday. Avila decided Wednesday to terminate Bosio’s contract after the team investigated the situation and spoke to all of the people involved. Detroit promoted bullpen coach Rick Anderson to replace Bosio.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Game 3 tonight, after Arkansas flubs chance to wrap up title
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – There will be a third and deciding game in the College World Series tonight between Oregon State and Arkansas.
In Game 2 last night in Omaha, Nebraska, the Razorbacks blew a chance to lock it up with two outs in the ninth when three fielders watched a foul ball drop between them. Oregon State’s Cadyn Grenier singled in the tying run, and Trevor Larnach followed with a two-run homer into the right-field bullpen to give the Beavers the lead in a 5-3 win.
The Beavers have been the hottest hitting team throughout the CWS but struggled to convert chances in the finals until they caught their huge break in the ninth inning.
AP source: Paul George decides to become free agent
UNDATED (AP) – A person with knowledge of the situation says Oklahoma City’s Paul George has decided not to exercise his $20.7 million option for next season with the Thunder and will become an unrestricted free agent.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because neither George nor the team has publicly announced his decision.
It was not an unexpected move for George, who averaged 21.9 points for the Thunder this past season. By not opting in to the final year of his existing deal, George opens up an array of possibilities – such as going elsewhere, or signing as much as a five-year deal with Oklahoma City.
George had until Friday night to make the decision on his option year.
ESPN first reported George’s decision.
Capitals re-sign playoff star Smith-Pelly
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) – The Washington Capitals have re-signed playoff star Devante Smith-Pelly to a $1 million, 1-year contract.
General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Thursday, less than 72 hours after not tendering a qualifying offer to the restricted free agent forward. The Capitals said at the time they were still negotiating with Smith-Pelly, who scored seven goals on their Stanley Cup run.
Smith-Pelly gets a raise from the league-minimum $650,000 he made last season when the Capitals gave him a chance after New Jersey bought him out.
English soccer star signs with DC United
WASHINGTON (AP) – English soccer star Wayne Rooney has signed with Major League Soccer’s D.C. United.
Rooney, 32, is the all-time leading scorer for England’s national team and Manchester United in the Premier League. D.C. United announced the long-reported signing Thursday, hours after Rooney posted to Twitter a photo of himself on a plane with an emoji of the American flag.
Rooney said it was a career ambition to move to the United States and play in MLS. He had most recently been with Everton, where he scored 11 goals in 40 games.