Update on the latest sportsAP
Yanks win, Sox fall…Astros, Braves cllinch
UNDATED (AP) — It was a pretty good night for the New York Yankees in Toronto. They expanded their lead for the first AL wild card, dropped Boston into a tie for the second wild-card spot and pushed the Blue Jays one game behind the Red Sox and Mariners.
Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge and Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres homered in a four-run sixth that put the Yankees ahead in a 6-2 downing of the Jays. Toronto led 2-1 until Rizzo and Judge hit consecutive home runs.
Judge provided a pair of solo shots, giving him 39 home runs.
The Yankees received 4 1/3 shutout innings for their bullpen after Corey Kluber was reached for two runs and seven hits.
In Baltimore, Ryan Mountcastle smacked a three-run homer as the Orioles took the rubber match of their three-game set with the Red Sox, 6-2. The Birds scored three times in the third inning and three in the sixth to back Alexander Wells, who entered the game with a 7.61 ERA.
Beginning Friday, the Yankees close their season with three games against visiting Tampa Bay, the Red Sox have three in Washington, the Blue Jays host Baltimore for three and the Mariners entertain the Angels through Sunday.
Meanwhile, it’s champagne time for the Astros and Braves. Houston captured the AL West for the fourth time in five years, and the Braves came away with their fourth consecutive NL East title.
Carlos Correa’s 25th home run was a three-run blast in the fourth inning of the Astros’ 3-2 victory over the Rays. Lance McCullers Jr. limited the AL East champs to three hits over six innings, including Brandon Lowe’s (lowz) two-run homer in the sixth.
Ryan Pressly worked the ninth to close out the combined four-hitter.
In Atlanta, Jorge Soler and Austin Riley hit solo homers while the Braves built a 5-0 lead in a 5-3 decision over the Phillies. Ian Anderson carried a shutout into the seventh and held Philadelphia to two runs and three hits over six-plus frames.
Kyle Gibson was lifted in the fifth inning as the Phils absorbed a three-game sweep that eliminates them from playoff consideration.
Checking out the rest of Thursday’s major league action:
— Dylan Carlson homered from both sides of the plate in the Cardinals’ 4-3 win over the Brewers. Carlson’s homers made a winner out of J.A. Happ, who entered the game 0-3 in his last five starts against the Brewers. Happ gave up three runs and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings of the Redbirds’ 18th win in 19 games.
— Pete Alonso homered twice and Francisco Lindor launched a grand slam as the Mets beat the Marlins for the third time in their four-game set, 12-3. James McCann poked a two-run double and Michael Conforto had three hits and two RBIs.
— Adolis (ah-DOH’-lees) Garcia set a Rangers rookie record for home runs and RBIs in a 7-6 win over the Angels. Garcia’s two-run blast gives him 31 homers and 90 ribbies, breaking a tie with Pete Incaviglia (ihn-kah-VEEL’-yah) in both categories.
— Justin Steele tossed four-hit ball over seven innings and Sergio Alcántara (al-KAN’-tah-rah) delivered a two-run homer to finish with three RBIs in the Cubs’ 9-0 shellacking of the Pirates. Pittsburgh became the fourth major league team with 100 losses this season, matching the all-time mark set on 2002 and matched two years ago.
— The Indians picked up a 6-1 win over the Royals as Shane Bieber pitched three effective innings and Bradley Zimmer drove in three runs. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez doubled in his first at-bat after coming out of Wednesday’s game with a sprained ankle.
— Niko Goodrum homered twice and drove in four runs as the Tigers outslugged the Twins, 10-7. Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop (skohp) provided one of the game’s seven home runs.
Yankees put Voit on IL with sore left knee, recall RHP Abreu
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees have placed slugger Luke Voit on the 10-day injured list with a sore left knee.
Voit limped back to the dugout after running to first base during Wednesday’s loss at Toronto. He is batting .239 with 11 homers and 35 RBI in 68 games this season, missing time while recovering from knee surgery performed in March.
New York recalled right-hander Albert Abreu from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Cardinals name Wainwright as NL wild-card game starter
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has named Adam Wainwright as the starter in the NL wild-card game against either the Dodgers or Giants.
The 40-year-old Wainwright is 17-7 with a 3.08 ERA this season and has won 10 of his last 11 decisions.
Bengals win on late kick
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals won a battle of recent No. 1 picks, doing it in comeback fashion.
Evan McPherson kicked a 35-yard field goal as time ran out to give the Bengals a 24-21 triumph over the Jaguars.
Cincinnati trailed 14-0 at halftime before Joe Burrow led a pair of quick TD drives in the third quarter. The first player taken in the 2020 draft was 25 of 32 for 348 yards and a pair of TD passes to C.J. Uzomah (yoo-ZAH’-mah).
Tyler Boyd had nine receptions for 118, while Uzomah grabbed five passes for 95 yards to help the Bengals improve to 3-1.
Trevor Lawrence ran for a touchdown, but the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft failed to throw a scoring pass, completing 17 of 24 for 204 yards and no interceptions for the 0-4 Jaguars.
Giants sign troubled Wilson to practice squad
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Giants have signed troubled tackle Isaiah Wilson to their practice squad. The move gives the former first-round draft pick another chance to overcome off-the-field issues and make it in the NFL.
Wilson was taken 29th overall in last year’s draft by the Titans out of Georgia. He missed time with COVID-19 and legal problems and played only three snaps on offense and one on special teams.
The Titans traded him to Miami in March. Wilson was waived by the Dolphins 11 days later after showing up late for meetings and failing to show for workouts he had scheduled. He has faced numerous drug and alcohol charges in Tennessee and Georgia, including some stemming from a high-speed police chase.
Elsewhere around the NFL:
— Colts running back Marlon Mack has requested a trade as his playing time has been reduced this season. Mack was the starter for two seasons before tearing his Achilles tendon in last season’s opener and losing the job to rookie Jonathan Taylor.
— Titans punter Brett Kern was limited Wednesday with an injured right groin muscle that kept him out of Thursday’s practice. So the Titans signed punter Johnny Townsend to the roster after working out some punters.
— Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform for the first time together on stage at the 2022 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. The 2022 game will be the first time the Super Bowl has been played in the Los Angeles area since 1993.
NBA vaccine rate rising
UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the NBA has seen a rise in vaccination rates in recent days when factoring in those players who have received at least one of the necessary shots.
The person says the leaguewide rate is now around 95% when counting those who are now at least in the vaccination process.
The NBA gave teams tentative health and safety protocols for the season Tuesday, detailing how players who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccination will be tested far more often than their vaccinated colleagues and face a slew of other restrictions.
NCAA-JOINT FINAL FOUR
NCAA to look into holding both Final Fours in same city
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA is exploring the idea of holding a joint Final Four. That would mean both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments would play their semifinals and title games in the same city on the same weekend.
There is no guarantee it will happen and the earliest it could take place is 2027. The Final Fours from 2027-31 for both tournaments will be announced next fall.
Combining the tournaments was one of the recommendations stemming from an external review of gender equity issues at the tournaments. The NCAA earlier this week said the women’s tournament can start using “March Madness” in marketing and branding this season.
Theegala leads thru 18
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — California rookie Sahith Theegala opened with an 8-under 64 for a one-shot lead over Nick Watney and Harold Varner III in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Theegala had a birdie putt on every hole but one and finished his round with a 15-foot birdie on the par-4 ninth.
It also was a big start for Watney, coming off one of his worst seasons. Watney holed a couple of long putts, including a 45-footer for eagle on the par-5 second hole, for his lowest start to a PGA Tour event in 15 months.
Pele discharged from hospital
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has been discharged from the hospital where he received treatment for nearly a month. The 80-year-old Pele spent days in intensive care after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor. A hospital statement says the three-time World Cup champion is stable and will continue with chemotherapy.