Rodgers, Story go deep, Rockies beat Braves 5-4
UNDATED (AP) — Brendan Rodgers hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the fifth inning, Trevor Story went deep in the second and the Colorado Rockies held on to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4.
Jon Gray pitched five innings as the Rockies, far back in the NL West standings, moved to 22-51 on the road coming off a four-game series win at Philadelphia. NL East-leading Atlanta, going for its fourth straight division title, began the night with a 4 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia. The Braves had won five of seven. Atlanta put two on in the ninth inning before Carlos Estévez got Jorge Soler to pop out for his eighth save in 13 chances.
In other Tuesday action:
— Buster Posey homered in the first inning and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the third, and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 6-1 for their ninth straight victory a day after becoming the first team in the big leagues to clinch a playoff berth. Brandon Belt and Darin Ruf each hit run-scoring doubles and Tommy La Stella added an RBI single to back Anthony DeSclafani, who won for the first time in five starts since defeating Colorado on Aug. 13. The pitcher allowed six earned runs over his previous 14 2/3 innings.
— The Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched a postseason berth by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 for their fifth straight win. The Dodgers got home runs by Max Muncy, Trea Turner and Will Smith. Their victory, combined with losses by Cincinnati and San Diego, secured the Dodgers’ ninth consecutive playoff spot in pursuit of a second straight World Series championship. LA’s home record of 51-23 leads the majors. Arizona got a three-run blast by Ketel Marte, but never led.
— Pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 8-4 to keep pace in the competitive AL wild-card race. Schwarber, out of the lineup in favor of Alex Verdugo, entered against reliever Drew Steckenrider with one out in the eighth and the bases loaded. His double to right ended a tense standoff with the Mariners, who beat the Red Sox 5-4 on Monday with the help of Schwarber’s fielding error. Verdugo added a two-run home run in Boston’s next at-bat against Yohan Ramirez.
— Triston McKenzie turned in another stellar start for Cleveland. He cruised through six innings of the first game of a doubleheader to lead the Indians past Minnesota 3-1. Twins starter Joe Ryan took a comebacker off the wrist in the sixth inning to remove half of the pitching duel. McKenzie had seven strikeouts with just three hits, one run and one walk allowed. This was his fifth straight outing of six innings or more and one run or less. Ryan gave up three hits, one run and one walk with seven strikeouts in five innings.
— Drew Rasmussen combined with four relievers on a three-hitter. Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi homered and the Tampa Bay Rays became the first AL team to reach 90 wins by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0. After losing four of their previous five, the East-leading Rays hit the 90-win mark for the eighth time — all in the past 14 seasons. Tampa Bay stopped a two-game losing streak. The Rays have not lost three in a row since July 25-28.
— Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning, the Kansas City bullpen bailed out starter Jackson Kowar and the Royals rallied from an early six-run hole to beat Oakland 10-7. Kyle Isbel hit his first career homer and Hunter Dozier also went deep for the Royals. Jake Brentz earned the win and Scott Barlow picked up a save for Kansas City. Yusmeiro Petit took the loss after giving up Perez’s 43rd home run of the season. The A’s have lost three straight and seven of 10 to fall farther out of contention in the AL wild-card race.
— Edmundo Sosa hit the go-ahead single in a three-run 11th inning and the hard-charging St. Louis Cardinals climbed all the way back into playoff position with a wild 7-6 victory over the New York Mets. New York scored twice in the bottom of the 11th and had two runners on when Kwang Hyun Kim retired pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. for his second career save, ending a back-and-forth game that took 4 hours, 34 minutes. Tyler O’Neill homered and drove in three runs for the streaking Cardinals, who vaulted into the second NL wild-card slot.
— Rookie Gavin Sheets hit a long three-run homer and had four RBIs in his first three-hit game, and the White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-3 in Joe Maddon’s first game back in Chicago. Sheets hit a go-ahead single in the second inning off Packy Naughton and made it 6-1 with a three-run homer in the third. He narrowly missed a second home run when he doubled to the right-field wall in the fifth. Maddon managed the Cubs for five years, leading them to a World Series title in 2016 that ended the team’s 108-year championship drought.
— Wade Miley surrendered six runs on 10 hits and the Cincinnati Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games, 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Miley gave up three runs in the first and three more in the fifth before being pulled with one out. The six runs allowed were Miley’s most since the Rockies scored eight off him May 14. The Reds entered the day half a game ahead of the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card in the National League.
— All-Star slugger Adolis García tied the Rangers’ single-season rookie record with his 30th home run and last-place Texas beat the AL West-leading Houston Astros 8-1. The homer by García was one of three long balls allowed by Zack Greinke in his return after testing positive for COVID-19 last month. Rangers starter Jordan Lyles allowed only three singles and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings. Nathaniel Lowe and DJ Peters also homered off Greinke.
— Aaron Judge started a five-homer barrage that backed Gerrit Cole, and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 to win consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 1 and 3. Cole returned from left hamstring tightness that cut short his Sept. 7 start against Toronto. He stranded the bases loaded in a 29-pitch first inning when he struck out Ramón Uris and allowed one run and four hits in five innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. He threw 108 pitches. Judge hit a two-run homer in the first off a changeup from Alexander Wells.
— Ryan Zimmerman homered, Erick Fedde pitched five solid innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 8-2. One night after being no-hit for 6 2/3 innings, the Nationals scored early and pounded out 14 hits in winning for the second time in three games. Fedde beat the Marlins for the second time in less than a month, allowing a run on three hits with eight strike outs and no walks. On Aug. 24, he gave up a run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts. Juan Soto had three hits, an RBI and a walk for Washington.
— Patrick Wisdom and Alfonso Rivas hit back-to-back homers for the Chicago Cubs in a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have lost six of seven games. Wilson Contreras led off the fifth inning with a single, Wisdom hit his 26th homer of the year, and Rivas followed with the first of his big league career. It was 3-1 on 12 pitches. Adrian Sampson gave up two runs in five innings for the win. The Phillies have not made the playoffs since 2011.
— Derek Hill hit a leadoff RBI double in the 11th inning, giving the Detroit Tigers a 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers loaded the bases with one out against Bryan Garcia (2-1) in the 11th before Christian Yelich grounded into an inning-ending double play. Hill fell behind 0-2 while trying to bunt Victor Reyes to third, then lined Hunter Strickland’s next pitch into right-center for a game-winning double. The loss ended Milwaukee’s five-game win streak.
Slugger Ryan Braun retires after 14-year career with Brewers
UNDATED (AP) — Ryan Braun has announced his retirement. Braun is the Milwaukee Brewers’ home run leader whose production was slowed by injuries during the second half of his 14-year career.
Braun hasn’t played all season and said during spring training that he was leaning toward retirement. The 2011 NL MVP made it official Tuesday in a video the Brewers posted on Twitter. Braun had 352 homers and last played in 2020. He was one of baseball’s best hitters from 2007-12 but was never the same after he was suspended midway through the 2013 season for using performance-enhancing drugs.
In other MLB news:
— The AL-Central leading Chicago White Sox have reinstated right-hander Lucas Giolito and All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson from the 10-day injured list. Both were in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. Giolito was set to take the mound for the first time since Aug. 31, when he suffered a strained left hamstring against Pittsburgh. He’s 9-9 with a 3.69 ERA this season. Anderson is in the leadoff slot after being out since Aug. 28, also with a left hamstring strain.
— The AL West-leading Houston Astros have put starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi on the 10-day injured list with right foot soreness. Odorizzi got hurt on a play when covering first base Monday night in the series opener at Texas. Manager Dusty Baker said the right-hander was having an MRI exam on Tuesday. Odorizzi’s roster spot was filled by right-hander Zack Greinke. Houston reinstated Greinke from the COVID-19 injury list to make his scheduled start Tuesday night, which was 16 days after he had last pitched.
— A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the Seattle Mariners will host baseball’s 2023 All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park. The team announced a news conference for Thursday at Seattle’s Space Needle with baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the subject was not announced, said the subject was the 2023 All-Star Game. Seattle will host the All-Stars for the third time. The ballpark was the site of the American League’s 4-1 victory in 2001. The 1979 All-Star Game was at the old Kingdome.
— The Kansas City Royals are promoting general manager Dayton Moore to club president. The team is also elevating longtime assistant GM J.J. Picollo to GM. The 54-year-old Moore presided over one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history, leading them to consecutive World Series and the 2015 title. Picollo has long been considered Moore’s heir apparent in Kansas City. The team is showing signs of another rebirth after a long rebuild.
Buffalo Bills to require proof of vaccination from fans
UNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have joined the Las Vegas Raiders as only the NFL teams to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all fans over 12.
The rules will be the same for Buffalo Sabres games when the NHL season gets underway next month. Unvaccinated fans were allowed to attend the Bills’ first home game, Sept. 12, but were supposed to wear masks. Many fans say they saw little enforcement. Erie County officials say the policy shift was a joint decision between the county and teams’ owners. There’s no option to gain entry with a negative virus test instead, as allowed by the Saints and Seahawks.
In other NFL news:
— Two people familiar with the situation say six unidentified members of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff, one player and another employee have tested positive for COVID-19. The people spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team and NFL have not announced the test results. The people say the entire coaching staff had been vaccinated. It is unclear how long those who tested positive will be isolated from the team before returning to the field or meetings.
— San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee after getting injured in the season opener. Coach Kyle Shanahan had said Mostert was expected to miss eight weeks because of chipped cartilage in his knee, but Mostert announced on his Twitter account that he will miss the rest of the season. Mostert said he was “gutted” by the news, but after consulting with multiple doctors felt this was the best decision for his long-term future.
— The Tennessee Titans have another new kicker, signing Randy Bullock off their practice squad. Safety Amani Hooker has become the latest starter on injured reserve. The Titans announced the moves Tuesday, a day after releasing kicker Michael Badgley. Tennessee signed Bullock to the practice squad Saturday when it put kicker Sam Ficken on injured reserve with an injured right groin.
— Raekwon Davis was placed on injured reserve by the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday with a knee injury. That means the defensive tackle will miss at least three games. Davis got hurt in the Dolphins’ season-opening win at New England on Sunday. This weekend’s game against Buffalo will be the first he misses in his career. He appeared in all 16 games for Miami during his rookie season in 2020.
NBA goes ahead with plan to test unvaccinated players often
UNDATED (AP) — For NBA players, the scenario this season is simple: Get vaccinated or get tested, and often.
The league told its teams on Tuesday that it is going ahead with a plan where those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will not need to submit to regular testing. Those who are unvaccinated will undergo rigorous testing. They be tested once practice or travel days, and at least once on game days. The NBA players’ union has not mandated that players be vaccinated. League and team employees who will be in the vicinity of players during games will be required to be vaccinated.
In other NBA news:
— Indiana Pacers point guard Edmond Sumner will be out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. Team officials say he suffered the injury during an offseason workout and that he underwent surgery Monday. Sumner was expected to play a bigger role this season following the trade of Aaron Holiday to Washington. Sumner averaged 7.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game last season, all career highs.
— Former Charlotte Hornets coach and High Point University star Gene Littles has died. Littles was the all-time leading scorer in High Point men’s basketball history. A news release from the North Carolina school says Littles died on Sept. 9 but did not give a cause of death. He was a three-time NAIA All-American between 1965 and 1969. He also leads High Point’s program in field goals and free throws made. Gene Littles was 78.
— Aaron Gordon and the Denver Nuggets have agreed on a four-year, $92 million contract extension. His agent, Calvin Andrews, confirmed the deal to The Associated Press. Gordon was acquired by the Nuggets in a trade last March with Orlando to bolster a lineup that included league MVP Nikola Jokic, point guard Jamal Murray and sharpshooter Michael Porter Jr. The 25-year-old Gordon averaged 10.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 25 games with Denver.
Jimmy Vesey among 3 vets signed by Devils to tryout deals
UNDATED (AP) — Former New York Rangers forward Jim Vesey is among three players the New Jersey Devils have signed to tryout contracts.
The Devils also announced the signing of center Mark Jankowski and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon. They will join the team when all players report to the NHL camp next week. Vesey skated in 50 games last season with Toronto and Vancouver, collecting five goals and five assists. Since his debut with the Rangers five years ago, the 28-year-old has 64 goals and 56 assists in 354 regular-season games.
In other NHL news:
— Former Boston Bruins center Fred Stanfield has died. He was 77. Stanfield died Monday and the Bruins announced his death Tuesday. A cause of death was not given. Stanfield was the mild-mannered sidekick to Bobby Orr on the high-scoring teams of the early 1970s. The Toronto native played six seasons in Boston, helping the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972.
GOLF-PGA TOUR-PLAYER AWARD
Cantlay wins PGA Tour player of the year award over Rahm
UNDATED (AP) — Patrick Cantlay is the players’ choice as PGA Tour player of the year. It’s another big step for the 29-year-old from California.
Cantlay was the No. 1 amateur in the world who once shot 60 on the PGA Tour while in college. Then he was out for three years with a back injury that nearly ended his career. And now he has the Jack Nicklaus Award after a vote of the players.
The PGA Tour does not release vote totals or even say how many players voted. Cantlay presumably won the award in a tight race with Jon Rahm.