Yankees outlast Twins
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins combined for five home runs in the Bronx on Monday night, but the game was decided by a simple grounder.
Eduardo Nunez couldn’t make a clean stop of Chase Headley’s hard smash up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning, allowing the winning run to score in the Yankees’ 8-7 triumph over the Twins.
Brian McCann drove in the Yankees’ first five runs, delivering a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run single in the third. McCann also threw out three runners trying to steal.
Homers by Miguel Sano, Aaron Hicks and Trevor Plouffe (ploof) helped the Twins go ahead 7-5 before Carlos Beltran tied it with a two-run blast in the sixth.
It was a short and painful night for Yankees rookie pitcher Bryan Mitchell. He sustained a nasal fracture when he was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Nunez in the second inning. Mitchell needed help getting down the dugout steps as he pressed a towel against his bloody face.
The outcome gives the AL East-leading Yankees a one-game lead over Toronto and dropped the Twins 12 ½ games behind the AL Central-leading Royals.
In other major league finals:
— Steve Clevenger smacked a three-run homer and Chris Tillman won his seventh consecutive decision as Baltimore downed the A’s 4-2 to complete a four-game sweep. Clevenger’s fourth-inning blast put the Orioles ahead 3-1 and came after second baseman Eric Sogard (SOH’-gahr) committed an error with nobody on and two out. The win keeps the Orioles four games off the AL East lead, and a half-game ahead of the Angels for the league’s second wild-card berth.
— The Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on C.J. Cron’s tiebreaking, solo homer in the seventh. Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) banged out his 32nd home run for Los Angeles, and Cron provided two of the Angels’ four hits. Angels rookie starter Andrew Heaney lowered his ERA to 2.43 but didn’t get the decision after allowing one run and five hits in six innings.
— Tim Beckham launched a three-run homer and Asdrubal (as-DROO’-bul) Cabrera drove in three runs in Tampa Bay’s 9-2 dismantling of the Astros in Houston. Erasmo Ramirez improved to 10-4 by limiting the Astros to a pair of runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. Evan Gattis homered for the Astros, who’s lead in the AL Central is down to 2 ½ games over Los Angeles and three games over the Rangers.
— Fernando Rodney walked Adrian Beltre (BEHL’-tray) in the bottom of the ninth to give Texas a 4-3 win over Seattle. Beltre also hit a pair of RBI doubles in the Rangers’ fifth consecutive win, which leaves them just one game behind Baltimore for the second AL wild-card berth.
— Rookie Stephen Piscotty tripled and scored the tiebreaking run on Mark Reynolds’ groundout in the eighth inning to lift St. Louis past San Francisco 2-1. Yadier Molina (YAH’-dee-ehr moh-LEE’-nah) hit a fourth-inning homer and Piscotty had two of the Cardinals’ six hits. Michael Wacha (WAH’-kah) gave up just one run and six hits in seven innings but was unable to become the majors’ first 15-game winner.
— Pittsburgh ended its four-game winning streak and fell six games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals. Jeremy Hellickson combined with five relievers on a seven-hitter in Arizona’s 4-1 triumph over the Pirates. Hellickson also hit an RBI single and Jake Lamb added a solo homer off Gerrit Cole, who was seeking his major league-leading 15th victory.
— Lonnie Chisenhall collected three RBIs with a solo homer and a two-run double as the Indians ripped the Red Sox 8-2 in Boston. Danny Salazar gave up one run and scattered four hits in seven innings, blanking the Bosox following Travis Shaw’s third-inning homer.
— Rookie left-hander Justin Nicolino looked good in his fourth major league start, allowing two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings as Miami downed Milwaukee 6-2. Derek Dietrich slammed a two-run homer and Dee Gordon poked a two-run single to help the Marlins win for the fifth time in seven games.
— Matt Kemp and Yonder Alonso hit solo homers and Will Venable added a two-run single in San Diego’s 5-3 verdict over Atlanta. Winning pitcher Colin Rea allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Another chilly Fall Classic
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has announced the schedule for post-season play and once again the World Series will be contested in November. The Fall Classic will start on Tuesday, October 27 in the American League city with the seventh game, if needed, on Wednesday, November 4.
The playoffs will begin Thursday, October 8.
Jays demote 12-2 Hutchison…Francona to accompany Farrell to chemo
UNDATED (AP) — Right-hander Drew Hutchison has been sent to Triple-A Buffalo by the Toronto Blue Jays despite his 12-2 record. The Jays are looking to shorten their starting rotation as they prepare for a run at the playoffs. Hutchison has pitched well in his last two starts but owns a 5.06 ERA.
In other baseball:
— Cleveland manager Terry Francona said he plans to accompany his longtime friend — Red Sox manager John Farrell — to his first chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma on Tuesday. Farrell announced last Friday that he has a “highly curable” form of cancer and is taking a medical leave for the rest of the season. Francona, who managed Boston from 2004-11, had Farrell as his pitching coach for the 2007 World Series champions.
— The St. Louis Cardinals placed rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. The 24-year-old Grichuk is batting .284 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs in 85 games. Outfielder Tommy Pham was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to make his second stint with the National League Central leaders.
CHICAGO (AP) — College football players won’t be forming a union anytime soon.
The National Labor Relations Board has unanimously voted to dismiss the controversial ruling from last year by a regional NLRB director that led Northwestern football players to vote on whether they wanted to unionize or not.
The school appealed the decision and the votes were sealed. Those votes will now be destroyed and those that favored unionization cannot appeal the decision by the full NLRB.
The ruling by the five-member board concluded that letting Northwestern football players unionize could lead to different standards at different schools, from amounts of money players receive to the amount of time they can practice. According to the NLRB, that would lead to competitive imbalances.
Advocates have said unionization would help athletes protect their health and financial interests.
The NCAA recently cleared the way for the five biggest conferences, including the Big Ten, to add player stipends to help athletes defray some of their expenses. Southeastern Conference schools, for example, will give some athletes $3,000 to $5,500 each on top of a scholarship that pays for tuition, room, board and books.
Former players reject deal
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former NFL players who object to terms of the potential $1 billion concussion settlement are filing appeals with a federal court in Philadelphia. About a dozen appeals are expected on behalf of about 90 ex-players. They are likely to be argued this fall and delay payments until 2016.
Some appeals challenge the exclusion of future cases of CTE, the brain decay that some link to football concussions.
Negotiators who forged the deal say the science on CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (ehn-sehf-ah-LOP’-ah-thee), is still evolving.
Bills shuffle secondary
UNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills continue shuffling cornerbacks by signing free agent Ellis Lankster and releasing Lavelle Westbrooks. Lankster is back with the Bills after being selected by Buffalo in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. He spent his rookie season in Buffalo before being cut the following year.
Westbrooks was released less than a week after signing with the Bills.
In other news involving the Bills, coach Rex Ryan says backup linebacker Ty Powell sustained a potentially season-ending injury to his right knee during a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns. Ryan said the initial prognosis is that Powell tore a ligament, which would require surgery followed by a lengthy recuperation process.
In other NFL news:
— Phil Loadholt’s season is over after the Minnesota Vikings right tackle tore his left Achilles tendon. Loadholt was injured early in the first quarter of a preseason game against Tampa Bay, a big loss for the Vikings as Loadholt has been a starter for all six of his seasons with the team.
— Cleveland Browns backup center Ryan Seymour has been suspended by the NFL without pay for this season’s first four games for taking a banned substance. Seymour started three games for Cleveland last season and is eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 5, the day after the Browns play in San Diego.
— Former NFL wide receiver James Thrash has been hired jointly by the league and the players’ union as an appeals officer for on-field player discipline. The announcement of the hiring of Thrash, who played with the Redskins and Eagles from 1997-2008, was made by the league and the NFLPA. He joins Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks to handle such appeals.
— Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen says the franchise will not reconsider whether to change the team’s name if it becomes a political barrier to building a new stadium. The team had played at FedEx Field since 1997 and wants a new facility. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has told Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser that the National Park Service, which owns the land where the team’s former stadium sits in the city, won’t grant a new lease if the team’s name remains.
QB out with minor injury
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama quarterback Jake Coker could miss a few days of practice with a foot injury. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in a statement that the injury is minor and doctors believe he will make a full recovery. Saban did not say when or how Coker, a transfer from Florida State, was hurt.
End of the line for a longtime NHL vet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Danny Briere (bree-AIR’) is calling it quits after 17 NHL seasons that included stops with the Coyotes, Sabres, Canadiens, Flyers and Avalanche. Briere spent the bulk of his career with Buffalo and Philadelphia and earned All-Star nods playing for both franchises. He was the MVP of the 2006 All-Star game, the same year he helped lead the Sabres to the Eastern Conference finals.
Briere scored 307 goals and 696 points in 973 games.
Ducks ink Santorelli
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Veteran center Mike Santorelli has agreed to a one-year, $875,000 deal with the Anaheim Ducks. He had 12 goals and 21 assists last season while splitting time between Toronto and Nashville. The Ducks are the sixth NHL team for the 29-year-old Santorelli, who also has played for Vancouver, Winnipeg and Florida.