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Sports

#SportsReport: Red Sox Clobber Yanks 15-7

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MLB

The Boston Red Sox didn't let an early 4-0 deficit stop them from opening a 6 ½-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

Steve Pearce launched a go-ahead, three-run homer while the Bosox scored eight times in the fourth inning of a 15-7 assault on the Yanks. Pearce homered three times and had six RBIs to help the Red Sox move a major league-leading 42 games over .500 at 76-34.

Each of Boston's first five batters had at least three hits, with Mookie Betts going 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Andrew Benintendi had three hits and three RBIs for Boston, which has split its 10 meetings with the Yankees this season.

Didi Gregorius homered twice and had four RBIs in the Yankees' second straight loss since a three-game winning streak. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton also homered for New York.

The series continues Friday in Boston at 7:10 p.m.

Checking out yesterday's other major league action:

Kendrys Morales belted a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh and Aledmys Diaz added a two-run blast as the Blue Jays dealt the Mariners their third loss in a row, 7-3. Teoscar Hernandez provided four of Toronto's 12 hits and Randal Grichuk was 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Seattle wasted a pair of Nelson Cruz home runs and dropped 5 ½ games behind the AL West-leading Astros and a half-game behind the Athletics for the second wild-card slot.

The Cubs still top the NL Central by one game over Milwaukee after the Padres earned a 6-1 victory at Wrigley Field. The Cubs led 1-0 until Austin Hedges slammed a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Robbie Erlin held Chicago to one run and two hits in five innings to get the win.

Cody Bellinger was one of four Dodgers with at least four RBIs in a 21-5 dismantling of the Brewers. Bellinger hit a grand slam and had five RBIs, while Brian Dozier homered for the second straight night and drove in four. Joc Pederson homered twice and had four ribbies to help Los Angeles reach a season high for runs.

The Diamondbacks slipped one game behind the NL West-leading Dodgers with an 8-1 loss to the Giants. Madison Bumgarner provided an RBI single and limited Arizona to one run despite allowing seven hits and three walks over five innings. Evan Longoria homered and Austin Slater was 2-for-3 with a two-run single in San Francisco's fourth consecutive win.

Maikel Franco unloaded a three-run, walk-off homer to complete the Phillies' ninth-inning rally off Kyle Barraclough in a 5-2 triumph over the Marlins. Nick Williams tied it with a bases-loaded grounder before Franco kept Philadelphia a half-game ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL East. Rhys Hoskins also homered for the Phils, his eighth in his last 12 games.

Johan Camargo lined a two-run double and Ronald Acuna Jr. was 2-for-3 with two runs scored as the Braves earned their fourth straight win, 4-2 over the Mets. Acuna scored a tiebreaking run on Freddie Freeman's third-inning single that put Atlanta ahead to stay. Winning pitcher Mike Foltynewicz allowed two runs and five hits over six innings, including Brandon Nimmo's solo homer. Game 2 is Friday at 7:10 p.m.

Trea Turner crushed a two-run homer and had four RBIs as the Nationals clobbered the Reds, 10-4. Bryce Harper added a solo shot and two RBIs to back Max Scherzer, who limited Cincinnati to two runs and four hits while fanning 10 over six innings. The Nationals' third straight win keeps them five games behind the NL East-leading Phillies.

Pinch-hitter Jose Martinez delivered a two-run, walk-off single off Wade Davis in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Rockies. Harrison Bader singled and stole second after Greg Garcia sparked the rally with a one-out single. The Cardinals have won five of their last seven following their ninth walk-off victory of the season.

Jalen Beeks picked up his first big league victory and the Rays completed a three-game sweep by downing the Angels, 4-2. Beeks came out of the bullpen and held Los Angeles to a pair of runs and two hits over five innings. C.J. Cron had a two-run single for Tampa Bay.

Jurickson Profar hit a three-run home run and a run-scoring single as Texas scored 10 runs during the first two innings of a 17-8 laugher against the Orioles. Rougned Odor homered and walked a career-high five times in the Rangers' fifth victory in six games. Yovani Gallardo won his third straight start but lasted only 5 1/3 innings despite having a 13-1 lead through four.

The White Sox pulled out a 6-4 win over the Royals on eighth-inning homers by Jose Abreu and pinch-hitter Daniel Palka. Abreu's solo blast tied it before Palka's three-run shot gave Chicago a 6-3 lead. Palka tied the White Sox record of three pinch homers in one season, set by Oscar Gamble in 1977.

World Series News:

The October Classic could actually end in October for the first time since 2014.

The commissioner's office has announced that the World Series will start Oct. 23, and a Game 7 would be played on Oct. 31, barring postponements. The World Series ended on Nov. 2 in 2016 and on Nov. 1 in both 2015 and last year.

The National League wild-card game will open Major League Baseball's postseason for the first time since 2013 and is scheduled for Oct. 2. The AL wild-card game is the following day.

The NL Division Series is scheduled to start Oct. 4 and the AL on Oct. 5. The NL Championship Series opens Oct. 12, followed by the AL the next day.

Also around the majors:

Giants’ infielder Pablo Sandoval will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his right hamstring while sliding into home plate Sunday against San Diego. The 31-year-old Sandoval was hitting .248 with nine homers and 40 RBIs.

The Yankees have removed Sonny Gray from their starting rotation and replaced him with newly acquired Lance Lynn. Lynn was acquired from Minnesota this week and pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Gray on Wednesday. The ballclub also put pitcher J.A. Happ on the 10-day disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease.

Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes has undergone the first of two heel surgeries that will likely sideline him for eight to 10 months. Dr. Robert Anderson removed bone calcification in Cespedes' right heel during the operation. The left heel will be repaired in 8 to 12 weeks.

Mets left-hander Steven Matz has been diagnosed with a mild flexor pronator strain in his left forearm and could be placed on the disabled list. Matz didn't get out of the first inning of his most recent start, surrendering seven runs on eight hits in what became a 25-4 loss at Washington on Tuesday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman says the school's only choice was to put coach Urban Meyer on paid leave during an investigation over the handling of a longtime assistant who has been accused of domestic violence.

Spielman says Meyer needs and deserves to be heard from at the appropriate time, adding that Urban and Shelley Meyer are great people who do a lot for the community.

The former NFL linebacker and TV analyst says Meyer knows Ohio State's program is bigger than any one individual.

Meyer is on leave while Ohio State investigates what he knew about 2015 abuse allegations against fired assistant Zach Smith. Meyer told reporters last week he didn't know anything about the 2015 allegations, but Smith's ex-wife Courtney this week produced text messages she shared with Shelley Meyer about that incident.

In other college football news:

Defending national champion Alabama is a unanimous No. 1 in the preseason coaches' poll, with Clemson No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3. The Crimson Tide received 61 first-place votes from a panel of major-college coaches in the poll. Alabama won its fifth national championship under coach Nick Saban last season, beating Georgia in overtime of the College Football Playoff national title game. The Bulldogs were ranked fourth by the coaches and Oklahoma was fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Washington, Wisconsin, Miami, Penn State and Auburn.

Transfer wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson are now eligible to play after receiving waivers from the NCAA on Thursday. Grimes spent last season at Ohio State, catching three passes for 20 yards. Jefferson spent the past three seasons at Mississippi, hauling in 91 catches for 999 yards and four touchdowns the last two years.

Former Baylor football coach Art Briles is going to Italy to try to revive his career. Briles was fired by Baylor in 2016 amid a sexual assault scandal at the Baptist school and hasn't coached since. He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he has been hired to coach an American football team in Florence, Italy.

NFL

Earl Thomas maintains he's prepared to leave the Seattle Seahawks if his contract demands aren't met.

The holdout safety reiterated Thursday he wants to be traded if the team isn't willing to offer him a contract extension. Thomas said his holdout is entirely based around securing his long-term future with his current contract set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

The three-time first-team All-Pro was the anchor for the Seattle defense that appeared in consecutive Super Bowls. His current contract expires after this season.

Hall Of Fame Game:

The Ravens and Bears honored their great linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher with some defense to make them proud in the Hall of Fame game that opened the NFL's preseason Thursday night.

Oh, there was a little spark of offense, some provided by Baltimore's first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson in the second half of a 17-16 victory. His 7-yard touchdown pass to fellow first-rounder Hayden Hurst came after the Ravens' defense recovered a fumble.

Chicago put together its best drive in the final minutes and journeyman Tyler Bray connected with Tanner Gentry for a 10-yard score to cap a 92-yard march. But the 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.

Otherwise, D was the letter of the day: there were six turnovers in all, and 12 sacks, eight by the Bears.

The teams exchanged tipped interceptions on the first two possessions of the preseason.

Chicago moved swiftly downfield only to have Chase Daniel's pass to Josh Bellamy deflected to safety Chuck Clark at the Baltimore 6. He returned it 15 yards, then the Ravens replicated the turnover.

Robert Griffin III, attempting a comeback after sitting out 2017, had his pinpoint throw go off the hands of receiver Breshad Perriman, then off rookie cornerback Michael Joseph. DeAndre Houston-Carson dived to make the pick at the Ravens 34.

The Bears soon converted when Michael Burton caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Daniel.

Baltimore tied it, sparked by two big gainers by undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards. Griffin found Maxx Williams for a 4-yard score.

Then Lewis' old unit thrilled him. On the next play from scrimmage, linebacker Kamalei Correa sped 19 yards with an interception to the Chicago 9. But Urlacher's former defense made him smile, sacking Griffin on third down to hold Baltimore to a 31-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik.

Generally, it was a sloppy affair marred by a slew of dropped passes, poor protection for the quarterbacks, and misthrows by those QBs.

But something Lewis and Urlacher would approve, the defenses hit hard and tackled well.

In other NFL news:

Tennessee safety Johnathan Cyprien will miss the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Coach Mike Vrabel says veteran Eric Reid is among the safeties the Titans want to look at as a potential replacement.

The Chargers have placed cornerback Jason Verrett on injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon. The 2014 Pro Bowl selection missed all but five games over the past two seasons with knee injuries.

Chargers safety Derwin James has finally made his training camp debut. The team decided to be cautious with their first-round draft pick as he recovered from a minor hamstring strain.

Browns starting right guard Kevin Zeitler did not participate in practice because of a calf injury suffered in practice Wednesday. Zeitler has started all 48 games over the past three seasons.

Washington coach Jay Gruden says wide receiver Josh Doctson is OK after landing hard on his left shoulder.

NBA

The Dallas Mavericks have acquired center Chinanu Onuaku from the Houston Rockets for the rights to forward Maarty Leunen.

The Mavericks also get cash along with the right to send Houston the 2020 second-round pick they obtained from Golden State in 2016.

NHL

The Buffalo Sabres have added another productive forward as they continue their rebuilding effort.

The Sabres have acquired Jeff Skinner from the Hurricanes for forward prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks, including a second-rounder next year.

Skinner is an eight-year NHL veteran and was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2011. He's a three-time 30 goal-scorer and coming off a season in which he had 24 goals and 49 points in 82 games.

In other NHL news:

The Flames have placed assistant captain Troy Brouwer on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out the remaining two years of his contract. The move will save the Flames $3 million in space under the salary cap in each of the next two seasons. Brouwer has struggled in two seasons since signing an $18 million, four-year contract with the Flames in free agency.

The Colorado Avalanche are bringing back defenseman Patrik Nemeth on a one-year deal. Nemeth ranked first on the squad with 185 blocked shots while providing 15 points in a career-high 68 games. His plus-27 rating was the highest by an Avalanche defenseman since Adam Foote was plus-30 in 2002-03.

PGA

Ian Poulter fired an opening-round 8-under 62 to take the lead at the PGA's Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. Poulter carded eight birdies in soft, vulnerable conditions and saved par from the bunker on his final hole to build a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Patrick Cantlay.

Tiger Woods has his best opening round of the year, a 66 that puts him four strokes back.

Speaking of Woods, he is denying an ESPN report that he and Phil Mickelson have firmed up an exhibition match Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Woods said after his opening-round at the Bridgestone Invitational that nothing has been signed and nothing is confirmed.

Golf.com reported last month that Woods and Mickelson were contemplating a winner-take-all $10 million match.

LPGA

Minjee Lee is the leader through one round of the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham.

The No. 8-ranked Australian shot a 7-under 65 and included a right-to-left putt for eagle from 25 feet on the par-5 15th hole.

Lee is one shot ahead of Mamiko Higa and two better than five others.

HORSE RACING

A man charged with stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death as she tended to horses at Belmont Park racetrack on New York's Long Island has been arraigned at a hospital where he's receiving psychiatric treatment.

Jose Franco-Martinez pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge in the June 17 death of horse walker Maria Larin.

A judge ordered the 54-year-old held without bail.

Prosecutors say Franco-Martinez was mad Larin dumped him and repeatedly stabbed the 51-year-old with a kitchen knife.

They say one of Larin's co-workers tried to stop Franco-Martinez by hitting him in the head, but he ran away.

Track security caught him and called police.

Prosecutors say Franco-Martinez, a former Belmont worker, was working in Kansas and had someone drive him to New York, about an 18-hour drive.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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