Cards catch Bucs...A's inch closer to Rangers...Bosox stretch lead
UNDATED (AP) — The race for the National League Central title has come down to a 26-game scramble. The Cardinals and Pirates are tied for the division lead after St. Louis avoided a three-game sweep in Pittsburgh, 7-2.
Matt Holliday and David Freese (freez) each had two RBIs to back Joe Kelly, who allowed one run and four hits in six innings. Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Yadier (YAH'-dee-her) Molina and Shane Robinson had two hits apiece to help Kelly win his fourth straight start and end the Cardinals' three-game skid.
Cincinnati remains third in the NL Central, 3 ½ games off the pace.
Just one game separates first-place Texas from Oakland in the AL West following the Rangers' 4-2 loss to Minnesota. Kevin Correia (kohr-AY'-uh) gave up a run and five hits in seven innings as the Twins won a series in Texas for the first time in four years. The Rangers led 1-0 in the fourth until Josmil Pinto and Doug Bernier hit consecutive RBI doubles before Alex Presley singled home the eventual game-winner.
Coco Crisp and Stephen Vogt (voyt) homered and the A's completed a three-game sweep by downing Tampa Bay 5-1. A.J. Griffin gave up his major league-leading 33rd homer but also struck out seven while yielding just five hits in seven innings.
The Rays' fourth straight loss drops them 5 ½ games behind AL East-leading Boston.
The Red Sox also finished a three-game sweep as David Ortiz delivered two hits and three RBIs in a 7-6 triumph against the Chicago White Sox. Ortiz is 5 for 9 with six RBIs since an 0-for-23 skid.
Detroit's lead in the AL Central is 7 ½ games over Cleveland after the Indians downed the Tigers 4-0 to avoid a three-game sweep. Mike Aviles hit a grand slam in the ninth inning after newly-acquired Jason Kubel (KOO'-bul) was walked intentionally. Danny Salazar scattered six hits over six innings as the Indians beat the Tigers for only the second time in their last 16 meetings.
Also in the majors, Todd Helton collected his 2,500th career hit and Colorado built a 6-2 lead against Mike Leake before completing a 7-4 win over the Reds. Michael Cuddyer (kuh-DY'-ur) went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as the Rockies prevented the Reds from padding their six-game lead over Arizona for the final NL wild-card berth.
Nathan Eovaldi worked eight innings and Jeff Mathis had three RBIs as Florida blanked Atlanta 7-0. Mathis hit a two-run double and Ed Lucas poked a two-run single during a five-run third that capped the scoring.
Ryan Zimmerman singled home the tying run before scoring on Jayson Werth's two-out double, capping a three-run eighth that gave Washington a 6-5 comeback win over the New York Mets. The Nationals avoided a three-game sweep and pulled within 6 ½ games of the Reds for the final NL wild-card berth.
Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) is 14-3 after limiting San Diego to one run and two hits over seven innings of the Dodgers' 2-1 win over San Diego. Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) snapped a 1-1 deadlock with a sixth-inning blast that allowed Greinke to win his sixth straight decision and push the Dodgers' lead in the NL West to 11 ½ games over Arizona.
Yusmeiro Petit struck out a career-high 10 and Hector Sanchez drove in three runs in San Francisco's 8-2 rout of the Diamondbacks. Hunter Pence homered, scored three times and drove in a pair as the Giants improved to 10-5 versus Arizona this season.
Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy hit three-run homers while Baltimore was erupting for seven runs in the seventh inning to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 7-3 win over the New York Yankees. The Orioles managed just three hits off Andy Pettitte in the first six innings before climbing within three games of Tampa Bay for the final AL wild-card berth. The Yankees are a half-game behind the Birds and tied with Cleveland in the wild-card race.
James Shields held the Blue Jays to three hits in seven innings of Kansas City's 5-0 shutout at Toronto. Eric Hosmer had two RBIs as the Royals climbed within 5 ½ games of the Rays in the wild-card race.
The Cubs have their first home winning streak since early July after Jake Arrieta allowed three hits over 6 2/3 innings to pitch Chicago to a 7-1 win over the Phillies. Wellington Castro laced a two-run double while the Cubs scored three times in the fourth to go ahead 5-1.
J.B. Shuck hit a three-run double in the seventh inning as the Angels beat Milwaukee 5-3 for a three-game sweep of their interleague series. Mike Trout tripled and doubled among his three hits to help Los Angeles finish an 8-1 road trip.
Rookie Brett Oberholtzer pitched a four-hitter as Houston blanked Seattle 2-0. Jason Castro broke up a scoreless game with an RBI double in the eighth before coming home on a bunt single.
Cardinals clobber Bobcats
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Teddy Bridgewater had a tremendous season debut in leading ninth-ranked Louisville to a lopsided 49-7 pounding of Ohio.
Bridgewater was 23 of 28 for 355 yards and five touchdowns while helping the Cardinals outgain the Bobcats 615 yards to 273. Damian Copeland and Kai De La Cruz each caught two touchdown passes, and former Auburn star Michael Dyer ripped off a 46-yard scoring run in his Louisville debut.
Kyle Busch wins in Atlanta, clinches Chase berth
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kyle Busch will be part of NASCAR's Chase for the championship.
Busch locked up a berth with his fourth victory of the year, taking the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He emerged with the lead after a rapid-fire series of caution flags near the end, and he held off hard-charging Joey Logano to win by 0.740 seconds.
Martin Truex Jr took third despite a broken right wrist. Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman round out the top five.
Top seeds reach quarters...Hewitt keeps winning...Murray, Berdych advance
NEW YORK (AP) — Top seed Serena Williams has moved into the U.S. Open quarterfinals by avenging her loss to Sloane Stephens in the Australian Open quarters last January.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner won eight of the last nine games in her 6-4, 6-1 win over the 15th-seeded Stephens. Williams will face 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro, who needed 2 hours, 41 minutes to edge eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Fifth seed Li Na (lee nah) whipped No. 9 Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-love to set up a quarterfinal matchup against Ekaterina Makarova, who ousted third seed Agnieszka Radwanska (ag-NAYS'-kah rahd-WAHN'-skah), 6-4, 6-4.
Lleyton Hewitt continues his unexpected run at Flushing Meadows, reaching the men's fourth round with a 6-3, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 win over Evgeny Donskoy. The 33-year-old Hewitt hasn't advanced this far at the Open in seven years and is just one match victory away from reaching a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time since Wimbledon in 2009.
Top seed Novak Djokovic (JOH'-koh-vihch) dropped just four games in breezing into the fourth round. Third seed Andy Murray and No. 5 Tomas Berdych also reached round of 16 with straight-sets wins, and No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka needed four sets to win his third-round match.
Bob and Mike Bryan's pursuit of a calendar-year Grand Slam is still alive after a scare in the third round, beating unseeded Canadians Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-7, 7-5, 6-2. The Bryan brothers are trying to become the first men's double team of the Open era - and the first since 1951 - to win all four major tournaments in the same year.
Tight end at practice
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski is practicing again with the New England Patriots.
The star tight end took part in his first full-pads practice since undergoing back surgery in June. He also had three operations this year on the left forearm he broke last season.
Coach Bill Belichick hasn't said when he expects Gronkowski to be ready to play in a game.
Jags search the waiver wire
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up seven players on waivers, a clear indication the rebuilding team lacks depth.
Jacksonville grabbed receiver Stephen Burton from Minnesota, defensive back Winston Guy from Seattle, tight end Clay Harbor and linebacker Chris McCoy from Philadelphia, guard Jacques McClendon from Atlanta, linebacker J.T. Thomas from Chicago and tight end D.J. Williams from Green Bay.
Other teams made some roster changes. The Indianapolis Colts claimed tight end Jack Doyle off waivers from Tennessee and waiving running back Kerwynn Williams. And the Denver Broncos claimed linebacker Adrian Robinson off waivers from Philadelphia and released fullback Jacob Hester.
Quarterback at practice
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel returned to practice after missing two weeks because of a left knee injury.
Manuel took part in warm-ups and individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media. He moved well and did not appear to show any effects from the injury. Manuel has what the team calls a "minor procedure" on his knee Aug. 18 after being injured in an exhibition game two days earlier. The Bills have remained hopeful that the first-round pick would return in time to start the team's season opener against New England.
Garcia still on top
NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Sergio Garcia will carry a two-shot lead into the final round of the PGA's Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston on Monday.
Garcia is 19-under following a 65 that allowed him to stay atop the leaderboard. He was pushed by Henrik Stenson until the Swede three-putted for bogey on 17 and settled for a 66 that leaves him alone in second.
Graham DeLaet and Steve Stricker are three strokes back and one ahead of PGA champion Jason Dufner and Robert Castro.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are out of contention. Mickelson is 12 strokes off the pace and one ahead of Woods.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Suzann Pettersen has won the LPGA Safeway Classic in Portland for the second time in three years.
Pettersen closed with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over second-ranked Stacy Lewis. Pettersen finished at 20-under 268 for her 12th LPGA Tour victory.
CHAMPIONS TOUR-SHAW CHARITY
Mediate coasts to win
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Rocco Mediate completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary by closing with his second straight 7-under 64 for a 22-under total. Mediate tied the Champions Tour record for lowest total score in a 54-hole event and finished a whopping seven strokes ahead of Tom Byrum.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Simon Pagenaud (SY'-muhn PAH'-jihn-noh) emerged as the winner of a collision-marred Grand Prix of Baltimore, charging to the lead after a series of mishaps involving several other contenders — including one involving rivals Scott Dixon and Will Power.
It was the second career win for Pagenaud, both this year. The 29-year-old Frenchman became the third driver to win in three years on the bumpy, challenging street course that runs through the middle of the city.
Josef Newgarden was a career-best second, followed by Sebastien Bourdais (bohr-DAY').