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#SportReport: Astros Move Past A's...Ohio State's Meyer Suspended 3 Games

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The Houston Astros have regained sole possession of first place in the American League West following a wild win over the Mariners in Seattle.

Martin Maldonado was 3-for-5 with a solo homer and three RBIs as the Astros outlasted the Mariners, 10-7. Maldonado's solo blast gave Houston a 9-1 lead in the fifth inning.

Astros pitcher Charlie Morton was sailing until the Mariners' five-run sixth. Morton was reached for five runs in five-plus innings, but he improved to 13-3.

Tyler White had three hits and two RBIs, including a solo homer that capped the scoring in the ninth.

Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger went deep for the Mariners, who sit 5 ½ games behind the Astros and 4 ½ in back of Oakland for the second AL wild-card berth.

The A's now find themselves one game off the division lead. Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Gallo homered while the Rangers were building a 4-0 lead in a 4-2 victory at Oakland. Adrian Beltre added a pair of RBI singles and Mike Minor pitched one-hit ball over six scoreless innings.

The Athletics loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth before Jose Leclerc ended the game by striking out Nick Martini.

Elsewhere in the majors:

Xander Bogaerts smacked a pair of solo homers and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run shot as the Red Sox ripped the Indians, 10-4. Andrew Benintendi lined a three-run double while the Red Sox scored five times in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. J.D. Martinez had two hits and collected his major league-leading 107th and 108th RBIs. The series continues Thursday at 1:05 p.m.

Boston's lead in the AL East is back up to nine games following the Yankees' 9-3 loss at Miami. The Yanks were leading 2-1 in the sixth until Miguel Rojas crushed a three-run homer. J.T. Riddle also went deep as Miami ended New York's four-game winning streak. New York has the night off as they head to Baltimore for a four game series against the Orioles, which begins Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his sixth leadoff homer of the season and Freddie Freeman furnished a tiebreaking, sacrifice fly in the eighth to send the Braves to their third straight win at Pittsburgh, 2-1. Julio Teheran was sharp in limiting the Pirates to one run and only two hits over seven innings. Jonny Venters stranded the potential tying run on second to get his second save.

Atlanta's lead in the NL East is up to three games after Philadelphia absorbed an 8-7 loss to the Nationals on Ryan Zimmerman's two-run, walk-off homer in the ninth. Zimmerman had to wait until a replay review before giving Washington its second straight win over Philadelphia. Bryce Harper raised his average to .252 by going 3-for-5 with an RBI.

The Cubs rolled to an 8-2 win at Detroit on homers by David Bote, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs had scored exactly one run in each of their previous five games before Bote belted a two-run drive in the fifth. Daniel Murphy singled home a run in the fifth inning of his first game with the Cubs after being acquired in a trade from Washington on Tuesday.

Freddy Peralta provided an RBI single and combined with two relievers on a five-hitter as the Brewers shut out the Reds, 4-0. Peralta struck out seven and limited Cincinnati to three singles to improve to 6-4. Christian Yelich was the offensive star by going 4-for-4 with a solo homer and an RBI single to help Milwaukee stay 3 ½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs.

The Cardinals scored twice in the ninth to complete a three-game sweep of the Dodgers and stay 2 1/2 games off the NL Central lead. Paul DeJong belted a two-run homer off Kenley Jansen to lead a 3-1 victory at Los Angeles. Jansen has allowed tiebreaking homers in each of his two appearances since coming off the disabled list.

Paul Goldschmidt and David Peralta each hit two-run homers to support Clay Buchholz' gem in the Diamondbacks' third straight win, 5-1 against the Angels. Goldschmidt had two hits and scored twice for the Diamondbacks, who continue to enjoy a 1 1/2-game lead over second-place Colorado in the NL West. Buchholz was reached for just four hits while striking out seven over seven frames.

The Rockies earned a 6-2 win over the Padres behind Jon Gray, who allowed two runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings. Tony Wolters put Colorado ahead to stay with a run-scoring triple in the second. Ian Desmond also tripled home a pair and Wolters finished with two RBIs.

Mallex Smith had a pair of RBI singles as the Rays doubled up the Royals, 6-3. Sergio Romo allowed a pair of ninth-inning hits before picking up his 18th save, pushing Tampa Bay five games over .500. Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier homered in Kansas City's fourth consecutive loss.

Adam Engel slammed a tiebreaking, two-run homer in a five-run fifth that carried the White Sox to a 7-3 win against the Twins. Nicky Delmonico and Tim Anderson also homered in Chicago's sixth victory in eight games. Carlos Rodon pitched three-hit ball over six innings and improved to 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA over his last 10 starts.

Kendrys Morales homered for the fourth straight game and Thomas Pannone combined with two relievers on a two-hitter as the Blue Jays stifled the Orioles, 6-0. Pannone had a no-hitter until Trey Mancini reached on a ground-ball single to begin the seventh. Devon Travis added a three-run blast in a five-run eighth as Toronto completed a season sweep of their 10 home games versus Baltimore.

Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs over six innings and the Mets homered three times in a 5-3 victory over the Giants. Dominic Smith's home run ignited a three-run second, but San Francisco pulled within 3-2 before Jose Bautista and Todd Frazier went deep. Frazier had two hits and two RBIs for New York. The series concludes Thursday at 1:10 p.m.

Also in the majors:

Cleveland Indians outfielder Leonys Martin will sit out the rest of the season because of a bacterial infection. The 30-year-old Cuban player became ill following a game two weeks ago. Doctors determined he had the life-threatening bacterial infection that entered his bloodstream and created toxins that damaged his internal organs, compromising their function. The ballclub also activated Edwin Encarnacion from the disabled list. The slugger had been sidelined since Aug. 12 with a right wrist contusion.

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left knee. He left Tuesday's game at Miami in the 12th inning with pain in his knee. Chapman said his knee has bothered him since May, but this is his first DL stint this season.

The Cubs have placed infielder Addison Russell on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left middle finger. Russell is hitting .259 with five home runs and 37 RBIs this season. The move also provides a roster spot for infielder Daniel Murphy, who was acquired from Washington on Tuesday.

Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez has acknowledged that the bruised right index finger that has sidelined him for the past two months occurred when his finger got caught in a falling suitcase. The incident happened June 21, hours before Sanchez took the mound in Los Angeles against the Angels.

Major league baseball says all 30 teams will be in action on opening day next March 28, one day earlier than this year. It's the earliest opening day in history, excluding international openers. Regular-season games are also slated for Japan in March, London in June and Monterrey, Mexico in April and May. The Yankees and Red Sox will square off in the first series to be played in Europe.


It's a three-game suspension for Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.

The school made the decision following a two-week investigation into how Meyer reacted to accusations that former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. The probe directly centered on the question of what Meyer knew and when.

Ohio State trustees discussed the decision to punish Meyer in a marathon meeting Wednesday.

The Buckeyes' season starts Sept. 1 with a game against Oregon State in Columbus. Meyer will also miss the Big Ten opener Sept. 8 against Rutgers, and a top-25 matchup against TCU the following Saturday.

In other college football news:

Kyler Murray will be Oklahoma's starting quarterback for the season opener Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic. Murray was the backup to Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield last season and completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He returned to school despite being taken by the Oakland Athletics with the ninth overall pick in the major league draft this summer.

Wisconsin wide receiver Danny Davis has been suspended for the first two games of the season. Coach Paul Chryst announced the suspension Wednesday, two days after Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus was charged with felony sexual assault. Davis is Cephus' roommate and was identified in the criminal complaint filed by authorities against Cephus and interviewed by police. Davis was not charged.


Former Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson has announced he's retiring from the NFL.

Johnson spent all 11 seasons with Carolina, recording 67 ½ sacks, 20 forced fumbles and 12 multi-sack games before his release in February. He's the team's all-time leader in games played by a defensive lineman with 143.

In other NFL news:

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has apologized to the organization, the team's fans and "most of all" his family for the DUI arrest that forced a five-week suspension that ended Tuesday. Keim called his decision to drive under the influence a poor choice and said he returns a better man after several weeks of self-examination. Keim was arrested July 4 in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler a short distance from his home.

Titans rookie linebacker and first-round pick Rashaan Evans returned to practice Wednesday, but left after individual drills. The 22nd player taken in this year's draft has been dealing with an undisclosed injury since July 28. Coach Mike Vrabel says Evans wasn't feeling great so the linebacker will get more time and treatment so the Titans can get him back on the field.

The Patriots have released veteran wide receivers Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell despite a lack of depth at the position. Britt hurt his hamstring in June during minicamp and barely was a presence in training camp for New England this summer. The Pats lost Danny Amendola in free agency and will spend the first four games without Julian Edelman because of a suspension.


The NCAA has a new ranking system to replace RPI when evaluating college basketball teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool announced on Wednesday will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and quality of wins and losses.

NET will be used for the 2018-19 season by the committee that selects schools and seeds the tournament.


The winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on.

WarnerMedia says it has secured the rights for a pay-per-view event it is promoting as "The Match" Woods and Mickelson will compete for $9 million in an 18-hole match Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.


Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says center Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR'-ee-ay) will be a limited participant when training camp opens next month.

Couturier will need four weeks to recover from his second knee injury in five months but is expected to be at full strength halfway through camp. Hextall says it's not the same injury the 25-year-old suffered when he damaged the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the playoffs when he collided with teammate Radko Gudas in practice.

Couturier became the Flyers' No. 1 center last season and set career highs with 31 goals, 45 assists and 76 points.


A federal appeals court has upheld disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar's 60-year prison sentence for possessing child pornography and destroying evidence.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied Nassar's appeal Wednesday.

The former Michigan State University employee and USA Gymnastics team physician had argued that a district judge erred in increasing his sentence due to his multiple sexual assault convictions in state courts.

The 55-year-old Nassar also is appealing his 40-year minimum state sentences, which he will serve if he is still alive after the federal term.

He pleaded guilty to molesting young athletes and a daughter of family friends.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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