Dodgers make it 7 straight division crowns
UNDATED (AP) _ The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first major league team to wrap up a postseason berth this season.
The Dodgers have captured their seventh consecutive NL West title with a 7-3 victory at Baltimore. Corey Seager drove in five runs with a pair of homers for Los Angeles, which took sole possession of first place on April 17 and led by 21 games on August 24. Seager hit a three-run shot in the first inning and added a two-run drive in the third.
Walker Buehler was outstanding in the clincher, striking out 11 and holding the Orioles to four hits over seven scoreless innings.
This is the earliest that the Dodgers have ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games.
Elsewhere on major league diamonds:
_ Corey Dickerson homered twice and had three RBIs in the Phillies’ 6-5 victory against the Braves. Philadelphia blew a 4-0 lead before Scott Kingery hit an inside-the-park solo homer in the third inning. J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh), Bryce Harper and Dickerson belted first-inning homers for the Phils, who kept Atlanta’s lead in the NL East at 9 ½ games over Washington.
The Nationals lost in Minnesota as Jose Berrios (beh-REE’-ohs) combined with two relievers on a two-hitter in the Twins’ 5-0 shutout. Nats starter Anibal Sanchez blanked the AL Central leaders until Mitch Garver slammed a two-run homer in the seventh. Berrios gave up two hits over seven innings to move to 12-8.
_ Tyler Austin’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth broke a tie in the Brewers’ 4-3 triumph at Miami. Hernan Perez belted a two-run homer and Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’) was 2-for-4 with an RBI in Milwaukee’s fifth consecutive win. The Brewers will get within one game of Chicago for the second NL wild card if the Cubs lose at San Diego tonight.
_ The Tigers avoided their major league-leading 101st loss by beating the AL East-leading Yankees, 12-11 on Jordy Mercer’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Christin Stewart hit a solo homer and had two RBIs, while Jeimer (JAY’-mur) Candelario went 3-for-5 with three ribbies. Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) homered twice for the Yanks, who also got round-trippers from Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres and Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’).
_ Todd Frazier drove in three runs and Zack Wheeler scattered seven hits over seven innings as the Mets downed the Diamondbacks for the second straight night, 3-2. Wheeler struck out seven and blanked Arizona after Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI single in the top of the first. Justin Wilson picked up a four-out save to help New York bolster their slim playoff hopes.
Twins lose Buxton for season
UNDATED (AP) _ The Minnesota Twins will spend the rest of the year without their top defensive outfielder.
Byron Buxton has been placed on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder injury that required surgery on Tuesday. Buxton sustained a partial dislocation after crashing into the outfield wall while making a catch on Aug. 1.
Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton likely would need five to six months to recover, putting his readiness for the start of spring training in question.
Buxton batted .262 with 30 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, 46 RBIs and 48 runs in only 271 at-bats.
The Twins also reinstated starting pitcher Kyle Gibson from the 10-day injured list and promoted infielder Ronald Torreyes (toh-RAY’-ehs) from Triple-A Rochester.
In other MLB news:
_ Brewers outfielder and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) was forced to leave tonight’s game at Miami after fouling a ball off his leg. Yelich remained on the ground for several minutes before he reached his feet. He began the day batting .330 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs for the playoff-contending Brewers, and led the majors in slugging percentage and OPS.
_ Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) says it is “unfortunate” that his complaints to New York’s front office and coaching staff about catcher Wilson Ramos were made public and denied any role in leaking the conversations. Syndergaard says it is “completely false” that he was livid in conversations with club officials.
_ Outfielder Mike Tauchman (TAWK’-man) has become the Yankees’ 30th player on the injured list this year, the most in the major leagues in at least 15 years. The 28-year-old strained his left calf Sunday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could be nearing a return after homering in a simulated game.
Patriots’ Brown accused of rape
UNDATED (AP) _ Newly-acquired Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.
Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
Brown has denied the allegations.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
_Texans center Nick Martin has signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension that runs through the 2022 season. Martin has appeared in 31 games for the Texans since being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft. He is set to make just more than $1.1 million this season while playing alongside new left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who was acquired from Miami on Aug. 31.
_ Houston also released cornerback Aaron Colvin, who gave up two touchdowns in the second half of Monday’s 30-28 loss at New Orleans. Colvin was in the second year of a four-year, $34 million contract that had $18 million guaranteed.
_ The Seahawks have re-signed veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor, who was one of the team’s final cuts at the end of training camp after signing a contract in May. Taylor is likely being brought in as backfield insurance following the shoulder injury suffered by rookie Ugo Amadi in the season opener. Seattle released cornerback Parry Nickerson to clear a roster spot for Taylor.
_ The Jets have picked up wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. Thomas has 688 career receptions for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns.
_ Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd has received a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers. Shepherd told NFL.com he failed two tests this summer while recovering from shoulder and groin injuries.
_ Sam Ficken is the fourth kicker to be signed by the Jets since July. The Jets cut Kaare Vedvik (KAH’-ree VEHD’-vihk) after he missed an extra point and a 45-yard field-goal attempt in the Jets’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Bills on Sunday.
_ The Steelers will likely be without fullback and special teams captain Rosie Nix for Sunday’s clash with Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin says Nix is dealing with a knee injury sustained in Sunday night’s 33-3 loss to New England.
Devils re-sign Zacha
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha has signed a three-year, $6.75 million contract just days before he’s scheduled to report to training camp.
The 22-year-old Czech scored a career-high 13 goals in 61 games last season before becoming a free agent in July. The former first-round pick had considered signing with the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League.
Zacha has 29 goals and 47 assists for 76 points in 201 career NHL games.
Adidas fixer gets probation
NEW YORK (AP) _ A former Adidas consultant who became a key government witness in a college basketball corruption case has been sentenced to one year of probation. Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola received the term on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.
Gassnola had pleaded guilty in a scheme to funnel secret payments to the families of top recruits and agreed to testify against a former Adidas executive and two other defendants at a 2018 trial.
Former linebacker Ball dies
UNDATED (AP) _ Former Oakland Raiders and Florida Gators linebacker Neiron Ball has died at age 27.
His death came nearly a year after he suffered a brain aneurysm and was placed in a medically induced coma. His family announced in late July that the Georgia native was out of the coma but was a quadriplegic.
Ball missed his sophomore season at Florida in 2011 because of a congenital condition that causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture.