WAMC Sports News: Yankees Slugger Stanton Eyes Return, Earnhardt, Jr. In Plane Crash
(AP) Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana each hit two of the Indians’ seven home runs in a 19-5 thrashing of the Yankees. Ramirez belted his first career grand slam in a seven-run first, and Greg Allen and Santana went back-to-back in a five-run eighth against rookie designated hitter Mike Ford. Every Cleveland starter had at least two of the team's 24 hits as the Indians stayed a half-game behind the AL Central-leading Twins.
NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton wants to return from his knee injury in time to fine-tune that powerful swing for October. Sidelined nearly all season, the New York Yankees slugger is hitting indoors and throwing as he rehabs from a sprained right knee that's been slow to heal since he got hurt June 25.
The Chicago Cubs blew a great opportunity to regain sole possession of the NL Central lead.
Bryce Harper blasted a grand slam with one out in the ninth inning to cap a six-run rally that sent the Phillies over the Chicago Cubs, 7-5. Pinch-hitter Brad Miller chased reliever Rowan Wick with an RBI single in the ninth that cut it to 5-2. Roman Quinn greeted Pedro Strop (strohp) with an RBI single to make it a two-run game.
The Phils rallied after Yu Darvish struck out 10 over seven strong innings.
Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber homered for the Cubs, who remain tied with St. Louis for the division lead.
The Cardinals were 2-1 losers to the Reds as Sonny Gray and three Cincinnati relievers combined on a two-hitter. Gray struck out a season-high 10, allowing just one hit and three walks in five innings.
Nick Senzel and Eugenio (ay-oo-HEH’-nee-oh) Suárez drove in Cincinnati’s runs as the Reds snapped a four-game skid and the Cardinals’ five-game winning streak.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
_ The Mets avoided a three-game sweep as rookie Pete Alonso had career highs of five hits and six RBIs, including a three-run homer in a 10-8 victory in Atlanta. Amed Rosario’s career-high five hits included two doubles, two singles and a triple as the Mets cut the Braves’ lead in the NL East to 5 ½ games over Washington. Wilson Ramos had four of New York’s season-high 23 hits.
_ Brian Anderson, Starlin Castro, Jorge Alfaro and Lewis Brinson drove in three runs apiece as the Marlins thumped the Dodgers, 13-7. Jon Berti scored three times to help Miami bounce back from Wednesday’s 15-1 pounding by Los Angeles. The Dodgers still managed to belt four home runs, including Cody Bellinger’s NL-leading 40th.
_ Evan Longoria was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and a two-run single as the Giants dumped the Diamondbacks, 7-0. Dereck Rodriguez scattered three hits over seven innings in his first start since returning from the minors. Austin Slater reached base five times with three hits and two walks to help San Francisco get within 3 ½ games of an NL wild-card slot.
_ Matt Chapman hit two home runs for the second straight day and Matt Olson added a pair of round-trippers as the Athletics powered past the Astros, 7-6. Chapman broke a 6-6 deadlock with an eighth inning blast, one of 10 homers hit by the two teams. Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa connected for the Astros, who lead the AL West by 8 ½ games over Oakland.
_ Luis Arraez hit the first of three more homers by Minnesota in a 13-6 rout of the Rangers. Miguel Sanó and Eddie Rosario also went deep for the Twins, whose 236 home runs and 31 off the record set by the Yankees last season. Marwin Gonzalez had a pair of RBI singles among his four hits.
_ Mike Trout crushed his AL-leading 40th home run while going 4-for-4 with four runs scored in the Angels’ 8-7 win against the White Sox. The two-time AL MVP became the fastest player to 40 homers in Angels history and the fifth-fastest in the majors in this century by reaching the mark in 123 games. Andrew Heaney limited Chicago to four hits while yielding three runs over seven innings.
_ Dylan Moore smacked a solo homer and Kyle Seager drove in three runs as the Marlins whipped the Tigers, 7-2. Mallex Smith leads the majors with 34 stolen bases after swiping two more on Thursday. Winning pitcher Tommy Milone worked four innings of two-run relief after Seattle opener Matt Wisler tossed a scoreless first.
Also around the majors:
_ The Giants could accelerate their timeline for Johnny Cueto (KWAY’-toh) as they seek an NL wild card. Cueto had season-ending Tommy John surgery a year ago. Manager Bruce Bochy (BOH’-chee) says the right-hander will make at least one more rehab start after Thursday’s scheduled outing before the team re-evaluates Cueto’s condition.
_ Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray has landed on the 10-day injured list because of lower back spasms. Ray was removed from Wednesday's start at Colorado while warming up before the third inning. The 27-year-old Ray ranks among the NL leaders with 187 strikeouts in 142 innings.
ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan and Sam Darnold both appear ready for the regular season. Ryan looked sharp in his preseason debut for the Atlanta Falcons, completing nine straight passes, and Darnold led the New York Jets on another scoring drive. The Jets won the game 22-10, dropping the Falcons to 0-3 in the preseason.
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
NORWICH, Conn. (AP) — The owner of two minor league baseball teams is refusing to meet with a Muslim civil rights group, accusing it of supporting terrorists. E. Miles Prentice is the owner of the Single-A Connecticut Tigers and Double-A Midland (Texas) RockHounds. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is concerned that Prentice is chairman of an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as an anti-Muslim hate group.
Earnhardt Jr. OK following plane crash in Tennessee
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) _ Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was hospitalized and released after his plane crashed in east Tennessee Thursday afternoon.
Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, a dog and two pilots. NBC Sports says the family and pilots were discharged from the hospital.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said a Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted that it's sending two representatives to Elizabethton to begin investigating the crash.
Earnhardt was scheduled to be part of the NBC broadcast team for Saturday night’s race at Bristol. The network says he will skip the race to be with his family before returning to the broadcast booth at Darlington next month.
Cousins injured again
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) _ The Los Angeles Lakers could be without newly-acquired DeMarcus Cousins for the upcoming NBA season.
The six-time All-Star has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee suffered during a workout in Las Vegas. It’s the latest injury for Cousins, who missed most of last season while rehabbing a torn Achilles and sat out much of the Warriors' playoff run after tearing a quad muscle.
The center appeared in 30 games for Golden State last season, averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds. He averaged 25.2 points and 11.9 boards during the previous five years, but he’s missed at least 10 games each season since 2012-13.
Thomas, Kokrak tie tournament record
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) _ Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak (KOH’-krak) tied the course record while grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the PGA’s BMW Championship in Medinah, Illinois.
Thomas and Kokrak opened with 7-under 65s for a one-shot advantage over Jim Furyk (FYOOR’-ihk), Brandt Snedeker, Lucas Glover, Patrick Cantlay and Joel Dahmen. Thomas made his first birdie after hitting a tree and recorded his final one with a 60-foot putt.
Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau (FEE’-now) and Adam Scott are among a group at minus-5.
TENNIS-WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
Federer ousted, Kyrgios fined
MASON, Ohio (AP) _ Roger Federer suffered his quickest loss on the ATP Tour since 2003. Federer made numerous mistakes during the 62-minute match, a 6-3, 6-4 loss to 21-year-old qualifier Andre Rublev at the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati. Federer has won the tournament a record seven times, but he fell to an opponent who has just one other victory against a top-five opponent.
Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios (KEER'-ee-ohs) has been fined $113,000 by the ATP after his second-round match at the Western & Southern Open. The tour announced the penalties a day after Kyrgios insulted chair umpire Fergus Murphy and left the court to smash two rackets during a three-set loss to Karen Khachanov.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-GEORGIA TECH-JOHNSON
Ga Tech QB Johnson granted 6th year of eligibility by NCAA
ATLANTA (AP) _ Georgia Tech quarterback Lucas Johnson has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
Johnson can play three more college seasons after seeing action in just one of his first three seasons. He was redshirted in 2016 and missed all of last season with a foot injury.
He appears likely to be the starter when Georgia Tech opens the season Aug. 29 at defending national champion Clemson.