Update on the latest sportsAP
Altuve lets Astros avoid sweep
UNDATED (AP) — Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) gave himself quite a 31st birthday present.
The Houston Astros second baseman slammed a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning of a 7-4 win over the Yankees.
Chad Green inherited a 3-2 lead starting the eighth inning before putting the first two runners on base. Altuve’s blast helped the Astros avoid a three-game sweep.
Yordan (yohr-DAHN’) Álvarez hit a pair of solo homers off Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, and Martin Madonado (mahr-TEEN mal-doh-NAH’-doh) added a two-run blast in the ninth.
Yanks shortstop Gleyber (GLAY-bur) Torres scored from first base on an infield single, but New York’s five-game winning streak ended.
Also in the majors on Thursday:
— Franchy (FRAN’-chee) Cordero came off the bench with three hits to snap an 0-for-25 slump and send the Red Sox past the Tigers, 12-9. Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz) drove in three runs on a pair of singles, but his second error of the game allowed Detroit to tie the game, 9-9 in the seventh.
— Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) homered, doubled and drove in five to lead the Blue Jays to a 10-4 rout of the Athletics. Toronto second baseman Marcus Semien was 4-for-6 with a solo homer and three runs scored against his former team.
— Triston McKenzie bounced back from a rugged start to pitch one-hit ball into the sixth inning of the Indians’ 4-0 shutout of the Royals. Franmil (FRAHN’-meel) Reyes launched his eighth home run, and Cesar Hernandez and Rene Rivera each had three hits to help Cleveland complete a four-game sweep.
— The Rangers pulled out a 4-3 win over the Twins on Willie Calhoun’s RBI single in the 10th inning. Joey Gallo and Jonah Heim homered to help Texas earn its third straight win.
— Zack Wheeler struck out eight while tossing a three-hitter as the Phillies blanked the Brewers, 2-0 to complete a four-game sweep. The game was scoreless until Alec Bohm (bohm) homered in the seventh, one inning before Rhys Hoskins doubled home a run for the NL East leaders.
— Ehire Adrianza (AY’-ray ah-dree-AHN’-zah) made the most of a rare start on a day off for slumping NL MVP Freddie Freeman, providing a nice defensive play and a two-run single in the Braves’ 4-2 decision over the Nationals. Drew Smyly was reached for just four hits while pitching into the seventh as Atlanta completed its first sweep of Washington since 2014.
— Taijuan (TY’-wahn) Walker struck out eight while holding the Cardinals to one hit over seven innings of the Mets’ 4-1 victory in St. Louis. The Mets walked three times with the bases loaded and earned a split of the four-game series despite stranding 17 runners on Thursday.
Pujols cut by Angels
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels are dropping a Hall of Fame candidate.
Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) has been designated for assignment, abruptly ending the 41-year-old superstar slugger’s decade with his second major league team.
Pujols is fifth in major league history with 667 career homers, and 13th with 3,253 hits. The oldest active player in the majors is batting just .198 this season with five homers and 12 RBIs.
Pujols joined the Angels in late 2011 after 11 successful seasons with the Cardinals.
In other player developments:
— Blue Jays outfielder George Springer is not expected to be ready to return to Toronto’s lineup when his stint on the 10-day injured list ends May 13. Springer landed on the injured list Wednesday after aggravating his strained right quadriceps. Springer didn’t make his season debut until April 28 because of a strained oblique muscle and, later, the quadriceps injury.
— Carlos Carrasco has been shifted to the 60-day injured list by the Mets, a surprise move that pushes back his season debut until May 28 at the earliest. The 34-year-old right-hander has been sidelined by an injured right hamstring since spring training and had been making progress. He threw a simulated game Tuesday, and the team said Wednesday that Carrasco was starting a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
Del Crandall dies at 91
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (AP) — Former Milwaukee Brewers catcher and Milwaukee Brewers manager Del Crandell has died at 91.
Crandall was one of the best defensive catchers of the 1950s and early 1960s, earning four Gold Gloves and appearing in 11 All-Star games over eight seasons.
Crandall was a member of the Braves’ 1957 World Series championship team and the 1958 squad that lost the World Series.
Bill Crandall says his father had Parkinson’s disease and died Wednesday in Mission Viejo, California.
NHL fines Rangers $250K for criticizing player safety call
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers have been fined $250,000 by the NHL for criticizing head of player safety George Parros.
The team commented after the league fined but did not suspend Washington’s Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum that injured Rangers star Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAR’-ihn) on Monday. Commissioner Gary Bettman says the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was “unacceptable.”
Also, the league has handed Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich (booch NEH’-vihch) a one-game suspension for for cross-checking Capitals forward Anthony Mantha in the second period of Wednesday’s rematch. Buchnevich was one of two Rangers who were sucker-punched by Wilson on Monday.
Pacers suspend assistant coach, fine Bitadze after dust-up
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have suspended assistant coach Greg Foster for one game and fined center Goga Bitadze (GOH’-gah bih-TAH’-zee) an undisclosed amount following an argument during Wednesday’s loss to Sacramento.
The incident occurred in the third quarter after Bitadze gave up a dunk off a rebound that prompted a scolding from Foster. Bitadze then appeared to curse at Foster after making a 3-pointer. At the next stoppage, Foster and Bitadze had a heated exchange that prompted another player to intervene.
Dolphins release safety McCain
UNDATED (AP) — Safety Bobby McCain has been released by the Miami Dolphins, who took Jevon Holland of Oregon as a potential replacement in the second round of the draft.
McCain had spent his entire six-year NFL career with Miami, starting 15 games last season and making 55 career starts. His release clears $5.6 million in salary cap space for the Dolphins.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— The Pro Football Hall of Fame is forming a behavioral health program seeking solutions to mental and behavioral issues for current and former athletes and their families. The program is supported by such hall members as Ronnie Lott, Brian Dawkins, Steve Atwater, Andre Reed and Tim Brown.
Lefty breaks out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Phil Mickelson blistered the Quail Hollow course for eight birdies in a 7-under 64 that gives him the first-round lead at the PGA’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Mickelson ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn. He closed with two birdies and a superb par save on the par-4 ninth for his best score since a 63 in the second round of the Travelers Championship last June.
K.H. Lee had a 66 in the morning, while Innisbrook runner-up Keegan Bradley had a 66 in the afternoon.
The group at 67 included former U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, Tommy Fleetwood and Keith Mitchell.
Clarke shoots 66 to take Tradition lead
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Darren Clarke is the first-round leader at the Regions Tradition, opening with a 6-under 66 in the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.
The 2011 British Open champion had a one-stroke lead over Stephen Ames and Jerry Kelly at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Steve Stricker, the 2019 winner, was among three players two shots back at 68.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-PRACTICE CHANGES
NCAA proposal will reduce contact in preseason football camp
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College football teams will be required to hold at least seven padless practices during the preseason and the number of contact practices will be reduced from 21 to 18. Those are proposals suggested by the NCAA’s oversight committee and will go to the Division I Council for approval this month. It is expected to pass and go into effect next season. The changes to preseason practice come after a five-year study of six major college football teams showed players suffered more concussions during preseason practices than during games.