AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Red Sox gaining...Mets hold off Cubs...Sanchez wins ninth straight decision for Blue Jays
UNDATED (AP) — The race in the American League East is getting tighter. The Red Sox are within a half-game of Baltimore for the top spot in the AL East.
David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, Brock Holt also went deep and Rick Porcello improved to 12-2 as the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling San Francisco Giants 4-0. The NL West leaders are winless since the All-Star break with their fourth straight loss.
Porcello scattered four hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out three and walking two. He is 9-0 at Fenway Park.
In other baseball:
— The New York Yankees topped AL East-leading Baltimore 7-1. Starling Castro hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs. Chase Headley also hit a two run homer. Nathan Eovaldi (ee-VAHL'-dee) improved to 8-6 as he won for the first time since May 29.
— Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kar-nah-see-OHN') hit his 25th home run, Aaron Sanchez won his ninth straight decision and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1. Encarnacion's three-run shot pushed his major league-leading RBI total to 84. Sanchez, who is 10-1, was pitching on nine days' rest thanks to the All-Star break,
— Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) hit a pair of three-run homers and the Los Angeles Angels remained unbeaten since the All-Star break with their season-best fifth straight victory, 8-6 over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.
— AL Central leader Cleveland beat Kansas City 7-3 to grow the Indians lead to eight games over the Royals. Tribe ace Danny Salazar beat the defending World Series champs for the third time this season and improved to 11-3 overall. He allowed three runs over 6 2-3 innings while striking out seven.
— The New York Mets nipped the Chicago Cubs 2-1. Rene Rivera broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the ninth. Mets closer Jeurys Familia escaped a bases-loaded jam with a game-ending double play to earn his 33rd save.
— Chase Utley led off with a home run and the L.A. Dodgers doubled up Washington 8-4. Scott Kazmir went seven innings for his eighth victory, allowing just one run. Yasmani Grandal also went deep for the Dodgers, who have beaten the Nationals six straight times.
— Miami outlasted Philadelphia 2-1 in 10 innings as Christian Yelich drove in both Marlins runs. He homered in the fourth and drove in the winning run with a single in the 10th.
— Tommy Milone held Detroit scoreless until the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins broke through with five runs in the seventh in a 6-2 victory over the Tigers.
— Melky Cabrera hit a tie-breaking homer leading off the seventh inning, Todd Frazier added a two-run shot in the ninth and the Chicago White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over Seattle. — In a game delayed by rain for two hours at Coors Field, Tampa Bay routed Colorado 10-1. Evan Longoria and Steve Pearce homered.
— The Atlanta Braves' bullpen blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning, but Ender Inciarte (ihn-see-AHR'-tay) hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
— Pittsburgh nipped Milwaukee 4-3. Josh Harrison tripled leading off the bottom of the ninth and scored when the throw from the outfield skipped past Milwaukee third baseman Hernan Perez.
— San Diego and St. Louis were rained out. There's a day-night doubleheader set for today at Busch Stadium.
Dodgers place two on DL...L.A. still waiting on Kershaw
UNDATED (AP) — The Dodgers have placed pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu (hee-YUHN'-jihn YOO) and Casey Fien on the 15-day disabled list because of elbow tendinitis. Ryu made one start for the team after being reinstated from the 60-day DL on July 7. Fien was 0-1 with a 4.09 earned run average in 21 relief appearances for the Dodgers after being claimed from Minnesota on May 7.
The Dodgers reinstated outfielder Joc Pederson from the 15-day DL.
Elsewhere around the majors:
—Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won't pitch this week against Washington because of nagging back pain. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says Kershaw will not come off the disabled list until the weekend, at the earliest.
— Toronto slugger Jose Bautista is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday and could rejoin the Blue Jays when they open a three-game interleague series at home against San Diego on Monday. Bautista has been out since June 16 with turf toe.
— The Cardinals have placed Jhonny (JAH'-nee) Peralta on the 15-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his surgically repaired left thumb. He missed the first 57 games of the season before returning June 7. The 34-year-old Peralta is batting .221 with five homers and 13 RBIs.
— Outfielder Hyun Soo Kim has been put on the 15-day disabled list by the Orioles because of a strained right hamstring, and Baltimore selected the contract of outfielder Julio Borbon (bohr-BOHN') from Double-A Bowie. Kim, hitting .329 with 11 RBIs in his rookie season, has not played since before the All-Star break.
— Right-handed starter Jon Moscot had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow, the second Cincinnati Reds player to have major surgery in two days. Catcher Devin Mesoraco (mehz-uh-RAH'-koh) had surgery Monday on the right side of his hip.
Suns sign Barbosa...Nuggets sign top pick
UNDATED (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have announced the signing of veteran guard Leandro Barbosa.
Barbosa played eight of his 13 seasons with the Suns. He spent his first seven NBA seasons with Phoenix and returned for the 2013-14 season. He played the past two seasons for Golden State, helping the Warriors win the NBA title in 2014-15.
In other NBA news:
— The Denver Nuggets have signed first-round pick Jamal Murray and agreed to a deal with veteran Mike Miller. Murray was the seventh overall pick in the NBA draft out of Kentucky. The 36-year-old Miller played only 373 minutes last season but served a valuable role as a mentor on a young squad. His deal reportedly is for two years.
No PGA Championship for Woods
UNDATED (AP) — For the first time in his career Tiger Woods will miss all four majors in one season. The PGA Championship has announced that the winner of 14 majors will not be able to take part in this month's event in New Jersey. He will be replaced in the field by Harold Varner III.
Woods is rehabbing from back surgery and hasn't played since last August.
Raiders extend Amerson
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Raiders have signed cornerback David Amerson to a four-year contract extension. He was acquired in September last year on a waiver claim from Washington.
Amerson set a single-season franchise record with 26 passes defensed to go along with career highs in tackles and interceptions in just 14 games.
COLLEGE ATHLETICS-BIG 12 EXPANSION
Big 12 to consider expansion
UNDATED (AP) — The Big 12 presidents have directed Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to evaluate schools that are interested in joining the conference. The presidents stopped just short of announcing the conference was committed to expansion.
Oklahoma President David Boren says the conference is still considering whether to add two or four teams to its 10 members.
Top-seed can chose playing site
NEW YORK (AP) — The NCAA says the top overall seed in the men's NCAA Tournament will be able to pick its location for the first and second round and regional sites. The NCAA feels that site selection adds an incentive for top teams to push for the No. 1 overall seed.
Teams will be able to choose from eight assigned cities for the first and second round.
Ohio State cuts running back
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The most experienced running back on the Ohio State football team has been kicked off the squad. Coach Urban Meyer said in a statement that fifth-year senior Bri'onte Dunn has been dismissed for violating team rules. The statement didn't specify what Dunn is accused of doing.
The 23-year-old was expected to compete for the starting running back position vacated by Ezekiel Elliott, who was taken as the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
More defections at Rogers Cup
TORONTO (AP) — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have pulled out of the Rogers Cup. That leaves the Toronto tournament without three of the world's top four men's tennis players when it begins next week.
Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Andy Murray earlier said he would not defend his Rogers Cup title this year, citing fatigue.
Russians athletes status up in the air for Rio Games
LONDON (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has decided to ban from the Rio Games all Russian Sports Ministry officials and other administrators implicated in allegations of a state-run doping program.
The IOC is delaying a ruling on whether to take the unprecedented step of barring the entire Russian Olympic team with just over two weeks to go before the Rio Games.
The IOC's legal options may become clearer after Thursday, when the highest court in sports will rule on an appeal by 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn their ban from the games.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Day of rest in annual competition
UNDATED (AP) — The Tour de France resumes today after taking a day off. When the 17th stage begins the overall leader will be Chris Froome of Britain. He has a 1-minute, 47-second lead over Dutch rider Bauke Mollema.