#SportsReport: Astros Clinch Division Title...Rockies, Brewers Close Gap In NL Races

Sep 26, 2018


The Houston Astros claimed their second straight AL West crown with a little help from Chris Herrmann and the Seattle Mariners.

Herrman slammed a two-run, walk-off homer in the 11th inning to complete Seattle's comeback in a 10-8 triumph over the Oakland Athletics. The A's had an 8-5 lead until Denard Span laced a two-run double in the eighth, one inning before Kyle Seager's RBI single extended the game.

Marcus Semien homered for the Athletics, who were eliminated from the division race and fell 2 ½ games behind the Yankees for the first AL wild card.

Houston also had to win in Toronto to have a chance to clinch Tuesday. Alex Bregman hit his 31st home run and Josh James gave the Astros another five strong innings in a 4-1 victory against the Blue Jays.. Bregman put Houston ahead with a two-run blast three batters into the game. James held the Blue Jays to a run and four hits to lower his ERA to 2.57.

The Astros also reached the 100-win mark for the third time in their 57-season history and are two off the club mark set in 1998. It was their fifth straight win.

Checking out the rest of Tuesday's major league finals:

The Pirates made it two straight wins at Wrigley Field as Chris Archer combined with two relievers on a five-hitter in a 6-0 shutout of the Cubs. Archer limited the NL Central leaders to four hits while striking out nine over six innings. Pablo Reyes put Pittsburgh ahead with a three-run blast in the second before Francisco Cervelli collected two RBIs.

The Brewers are within a half-game of the NL Central lead and 3 ½ games ahead of Colorado for the first wild card after Christian Yelich hit a three-run homer and collected six RBIs in Milwaukee's 12-4 romp at St. Louis. Ryan Braun homered twice and went back-to-back with Jesus Aguilar to put the Brewers ahead to stay. The Redbirds have fallen a half-game behind the Rockies for the second wild card.

The Dodgers' lead in the NL West is down to a half-game over the Rockies after Eduardo Escobar homered off Kenta Maeda leading off the bottom of the ninth to lift the Diamondbacks past Los Angeles, 4-3. Escobar's walk-off blast came a half-inning after Chris Taylor tied it with an RBI double. David Peralta had a two-run double and pinch-hitter Ildemaro Vargas lined a run-scoring single in the seventh inning for Arizona.

Colorado clobbered the Phillies for the second straight night behind David Dahl's three-run homer and four RBIs in a 10-3 rout. Dahl and DJ LeMahieu each had three hits and combined for six RBIs to help the Rockies move ahead of St. Louis in the wild-card standings. The Phils have dropped six straight and have been outscored 20-4 in the first two games of this series.

Ozzie Albies belted a two-run homer and Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs as the Braves won their sixth in a row, 7-3 over the Mets. Atlanta rallied from a 3-0 deficit against the New York bullpen after Noah Syndergaard held the Braves to three hits over six scoreless innings. The Braves entered play a half-game ahead of Los Angeles for home-field advantage in the division series. The series continues Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.

Carlos Carrasco was reached for three runs in the bottom of the ninth as the White Sox pulled out a 5-4 win over the Indians. Cleveland led 4-2 until yolmer Sanchez hit an RBI single and scored on Daniel Palka's two-run single. Trevor Bauer worked the first four innings and surrendered Avisail Garcia's two-run blast in the first.

Adeiny Hechavarria and Gary Sanchez homered while the Yankees erupted for seven runs in the third inning of a 9-2 pounding of the Rays. Sanchez capped the rally with a three-run blast and added an RBI single as New York moved closer to securing home field for the AL wild-card game. Miguel Andujar added his 26th home run to cap the scoring. The pair face off again Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.

Max Scherzer became the 17th pitcher since 1900 to strikeout 300 in a season as he fanned 10 over seven innings of the Nationals' 9-4 trouncing of the Marlins. Anthony Rendon was 3-for-3 with a three-run homer and four RBIs to back Scherzer, who improved to 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA by holding Miami to a run and five hits.

Pitcher Madison Bumgarner earned a victory with his bat as he stroked an RBI single in the bottom of the 12th to lift the Giants past the Padres, 5-4. Hunter Pence homered and Gregor Blanco doubled home a pair for San Francisco.

Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Kaleb Cowart drove in runs while the Angels rallied with four runs in the sixth inning to beat the Rangers, 4-1. Texas wasted Joey Gallo's 40th home run.

James McCann's tiebreaking, two-run double capped the Tigers' four-run eighth in a 4-2 win at Minnesota. The Twins wasted a strong performance from Kohl Stewart, who threw two-hit ball over six shutout innings of relief.

Hunter Dozier's tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning pushed the Royals past the Reds, 4-3. Ryan O'Hearn smacked a two-run shot that put Kansas City, 3-0, but Dilson Herrera's two-run blast sparked Cincinnati's comeback.

The Red Sox and Orioles were postponed by rain in Baltimore, creating a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. The Orioles are trying to avoid their team record-setting 112th loss.

Osuna charge Dropped:

Canadian prosecutors have dropped an assault charge in a domestic case against Houston Astros pitcher Roberto Osuna. In exchange, he agreed Tuesday to a one-year "peace bond," requiring him to not contact the complainant and to continue counseling.

Osuna was with the Toronto Blue Jays when he was charged in May with assault. Major League Baseball gave him a 75-game suspension without pay for violating its domestic violence policy.

The prosecutor said Tuesday they no longer had a reasonable prospect of conviction because the woman made clear she would not travel to Toronto from Mexico to testify against the closer.

Osuna was traded to the Astros on July 30 and was met with boos when he took the mound to close out Monday's 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.

In other MLB news:

Angels’ two-way rookie Shohei Ohtani will have Tommy John surgery next Tuesday. Ohtani won't be able to pitch for the Angels in 2019, but he is likely to hit at some point early next season. Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 10 starts for the Angels, but he has pitched just once since early June after developing a strained right elbow.

Aaron Hicks should recover from a tight left hamstring in a few days and return to the New York Yankees lineup this week, according to manager Aaron Boone. Hicks aggravated the leg Monday. Gregorius, who tore cartilage in his right wrist last weekend, took grounders didn't throw. He is to be re-evaluated by team doctors Wednesday. Gleyber Torres was in the original starting lineup but was scratched due to minor hip/groin area discomfort.

David Wright has been reinstated from the disabled list and added to the Mets' active roster for the first time since June 3, 2016. After a long road back from injuries, the 35-year-old team captain will be eligible off the bench against NL East champion Atlanta. Assistant GM John Ricco says it's unlikely Wright will play during the series, but he remains scheduled to start at third base in his farewell game Saturday against Miami.

The Reds' next manager won't be Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin. President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams says Larkin prefers to remain in his current role of helping develop minor leaguers. Bench coach Pat Kelly, third base coach Billy Hatcher and first base coach Freddie Benavides were interviewed last weekend. Interim manager Jim Riggleman and former Boston manager John Farrell also will be interviewed.


The Minnesota Vikings are giving Everson Griffin an indefinite amount of time to get his mental health in order.

The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end has demonstrated a series of erratic behavior since last week, when he was barred from practice until he had a mental health evaluation. Those concerns grew following several incidents on Saturday.

Police in suburban Minnetrista say the 30-year-old Griffen was acting erratically and making comments about people trying to kill him. He was eventually transported by ambulance to an area hospital for evaluation, but he was never arrested or suspected of committing any crimes.

Coach Mike Zimmer says the team's only concern for Griffen is about him getting better, calling him a good model for the Vikings.

In other NFL news:

Rams cornerback Aqib Talib will undergo surgery Thursday to repair an ankle injury suffered in Sunday's win over San Diego. Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday that a timetable for Talib's return will not be known until after the procedure is completed and the full extent of the injury is determined. Talib has six tackles, two passes defended and one forced fumble in three games for a team that has limited opponents to 199 yards passing per game and two touchdown passes.

The Titans have signed veteran quarterback Austin Davis while Marcus Mariota and backup Blaine Gabbert deal with injuries. Mariota has an injured elbow and Gabbert is in concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head in Sunday's win over Jacksonville.

The Panthers have addressed their injury-depleted offensive line by acquiring veteran Marshall Newhouse in a trade with the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo acquired a conditional draft pick from Carolina. The Bills then filled Newhouse's spot by signing offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles to a one-year contract.

Nike caused an uproar earlier this month with its ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick that debuted just as the football season was about to begin. The furor seems to have largely died down as the company reports rising earnings and increased sales on Tuesday. While purpose-driven marketing can be a land mine for some companies, others have found it a useful way to differentiate themselves in an increasingly polarized political landscape.


Nine sports franchises from Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL are teaming up and asking fans to register to vote.

The Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings from the NBA, along with MLB's Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, and the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL are offering fans a platform to register starting Tuesday on the teams' mobile apps, websites and social media as part of a "Rally the Vote" effort.

Vivek Ranadivé, owner and chairman of the Sacramento Kings, says if teams can make ticket buying to sporting events accessible in a few clicks, there's no reason registering to vote shouldn't be the same.

According to the U.S. Census, there are 87.9 million Americans eligible to vote who are not registered.


The state attorney general says an upstate New York basketball recruiting business lured players with college and professional aspirations through false claims of providing "the very best" coaching and training facilities.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday that a lawsuit filed in a state court in Binghamton seeks to stop AAUConnect in nearby Endicott from "engaging in fraudulent and deceptive conduct."

Underwood's lawsuits says the company boasted of having the best post-grad girls' program in the Northeast yet had no such program in place.

It also says enrolled players were promised "upscale" meals, college-like living arrangements and college-quality playing facilities. Instead, the lawsuit says players were fed in a "stripped-down room," housed in a "filthy" building and played in church gyms.

Messages left with AAUConnect weren't returned.

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