Rays, Indians, Rangers win
UNDATED (AP) — There's no change in the American League wild-card race after Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas won Thursday night. The Rays still lead it by one game over the Indians, who are a game ahead of Rangers for the final wild-card berth.
Alex Cobb gave up just three hits over seven innings as the Rays picked up their seventh straight win, blanking the Yankees 4-0. Evan Longoria opened the scoring in the fourth inning with an RBI single and added a two-run single in the top of the eighth. Delmon Young smacked a solo homer and Troy Loney went 3-for-3 as the Rays reduced their magic number for a playoff berth to two.
The Indians carried a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth before escaping with a 6-5 triumph at Minnesota. Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) hit a two-run homer and Michael Brantley had two RBIs to help Cleveland earn its seventh consecutive win.
Chris Perez surrendered four runs in the ninth, including Josmil Pinto's two-run homer. Joe Smith replaced Perez and promptly put the winning run on first before striking out pinch-hitter Oswaldo Arcia to end it.
The Rangers won their fourth in a row by beating the Angels 6-5 on Jurickson Profar's (PROH'-fahrz) walkoff, solo homer in the bottom of the ninth. Leonys Martin (lee-OH'-nihs mahr-TEEN') had two hits and two RBIs for the Rangers, who blew leads of 3-1 and 5-4 before keeping pace with the other wild-card hopefuls.
The Rangers managed to win despite committing a Texas-record four errors during the Angels' three-run second.
Also in the majors, Justin Heyward hit a leadoff homer to spark a five-run first in Atlanta's 7-1 win over Philadelphia. Heyward went 5-for-5 and Evan Gattis had three RBIs as the Braves pulled into a tie with St. Louis for the National League's best record at 94-65.
San Francisco beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Angel Pagan's solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Tim Lincecum (LIHN'-seh-kuhm) struck out Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) three times and allowed two runs and just three hits over seven innings in what may have been his final game as a Giant.
Miguel Gonzalez allowed no earned runs and just two hits in seven innings of Baltimore's 3-2 win against Toronto. Matt Wieters (WEE'-turz) hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly for the Orioles.
Jeremy Guthrie gave up a pair of solo homers but just two other hits over seven innings of Kansas City's 3-2 triumph over the Chicago White Sox. David Lough hit a two-run homer for the Royals, who scored the tiebreaking run on a throwing error by catcher Bryan Anderson in the seventh inning.
San Diego pulled out a 3-2 win over Arizona on Alexi Amarista's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. Robbie Erlin worked seven innings and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter.
Scott Gennett supplied a two-run single while Milwaukee scored four times in the second inning to beat the New York Mets 4-2. The Mets finished the game without third baseman David Wright, who was beaned by a Johnny Hellweg pitch and left under his own power in the third inning.
NEW YORK (AP) — Closer Mariano Rivera made an emotional exit in his final appearance in the Yankees' home pinstripes.
Rivera entered to a standing ovation in the eighth inning and got two outs in the ninth before captain Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came to the mound to remove him.
During four minutes of thunderous chanting from the sellout crowd, an overcome Rivera sobbed as he buried his head on the right shoulder of Pettitte. Pettitte gave Rivera a 30-second bear hug, and Jeter followed with a 15-second embrace.
Selig to step down in 16 months
NEW YORK (AP) — Bud Selig (SEE'-lihg) reluctantly took over as acting commissioner of Major League Baseball in September 1992 and was formally elected to the post six years later. Selig has announced on Thursday that he will retire in January 2015, ending the second-longest run for any baseball commissioner.
Selig's tenure has been marked by great financial success and a few failures. He split each league in three divisions and added two wild cards to create more fan interest for the stretch run. The sport has enjoyed robust growth in attendance and revenue under Selig, who served as chairman of the executive council before that council overthrew Fay Vincent as commissioner. He also oversaw expansion into Arizona and Tampa Bay and the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington, although the Rays have yet to enjoy consistent success at the gate.
There was a players' strike early in Selig's tenure, a dispute that led to the cancellation of the 1994 postseason. There hasn't been a work stoppage since.
Selig also was in charge during the steroid era and the sport's subsequent attempts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs.
Selig will have been on the job more than 22 years at the time of his scheduled retirement. Only original commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis had a longer run, serving for 24 years until his death in 1944.
Selig worked himself into the majors by purchasing the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moving the team to his native Milwaukee.
Penalties handed out for Wednesday confrontation
NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and Atlanta Braves utility man Reed Johnson have each received one-game suspensions from Major League Baseball for their roles in a bench-clearing incident last night.
Gomez touched off the incident by admiring his first-inning homer from home plate and got into shouting matches with several Braves before he was met by Atlanta catcher Brian McCann about 20 feet from home plate. Johnson was punished for charging out of the Braves' dugout and shoving Gomez.
McCann and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman were fined for their participation in the incident.
Rivera could play outfield
NEW YORK (AP) — Mariano Rivera may make a debut as a centerfielder on his final weekend before retirement.
The 43-year-old closer has said he'd like to play the outfield, so manager Yankees manager Joe Girardi is giving it some consideration for this weekend series against Houston.
Girardi says he might bring Rivera in to play the outfield in the eighth inning then let the reliever close the game in the ninth if the situation presents itself.
Niners outscore passive Rams
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers rediscovered their offense and improved to 2-2 after totaling just 10 points in back-to-back losses.
Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nik) threw for two touchdowns and Frank Gore rushed for 153 yards as the Niners thumped the Rams 35-11 in St. Louis. San Francisco trailed 3-0 late in the second quarter until Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin for a 20-yard touchdown and Gore ran for a 34-yard score just before halftime. Vernon Davis caught a second-half TD pass in his return after missing Sunday's loss to Indianapolis because of a hamstring injury.
Quarterback Sam Bradford never got the Rams into the end zone until the fourth quarter and was 19 of 41 for 202 yards and one interception. The 1-3 Rams also rushed for just 18 yards on 19 carries while surrendering 219 yards on the ground.
Pryor practices, but game status is uncertain
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday, although his status for Sunday's game remains uncertain. Pryor was knocked out of Monday's 37-21 loss at Denver due to a concussion. He passed a concussion test Wednesday that allowed him to return to practice, but he still must be cleared for contact before the Raiders decide whether to play him Sunday against Washington.
Butler, Te'o could play Sunday
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chargers inside linebackers Donald Butler and Manti Te'o both practiced Thursday and appear to be on track to start against the Cowboys this weekend.
Butler missed last Sunday's loss to the Titans with a groin injury. Te'o hasn't played since injuring his right foot in the preseason opener on Aug. 8.
Knicks shake things up
NEW YORK (AP) — Last season, the Knicks won 54 games and the Atlantic Division championship. That apparently wasn't enough for general manager Glen Grunwald to keep his job. The team has announced that Steve Mills is returning to the club as president and general manager. The move comes just days before the start of training camp.
Mills spent a decade as an executive at Madison Square Garden and has worked for the NBA.
Two-year deal for Stepan
UNDATED — Derek Stepan (STEH'-pahn) has agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Rangers. The agreement comes just a week before the start of the regular season at Phoenix. The 23-year-old led the team with 44 points last season and was second to Rick Nash with 18 goals while playing all 48 games of the lockout-shortened campaign.
Also in the NHL, Sharks forward Raffi Torres (RAH'-fee TOHR'-ehz) has undergone surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He was injured in a collision with a player from Anaheim last Friday. The Sharks signed Torres to a three-year, $6 million contract in June.
Conn Smythe (smyth) Trophy-winning goaltender Tim Thomas is officially back in the league after signing a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The 39-year-old Thomas took last season off, then decided he was ready to return to hockey. Thomas owns a career 2.48 goals-against average in a 378-game career that had been spent entirely with the Boston Bruins.
More violence involving Dodgers and Giants fans
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police have taken into custody two men in the fatal stabbing of a Dodgers fan during a fight following the Giants' 6-4 Wednesday night win over Los Angeles.
One of the men in custody is suspected of carrying out the stabbing near AT&T Park and made incriminating statements. He will face charges, according to San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr.
Police say they are also looking for two other suspects.
The victim was 24-year old Jonathan Denver, who the Dodgers say is the son of a team security guard. Denver was in a group with his father when the attack occurred.
Suhr says the victim was wearing Dodgers gear when he and the group he was with got into an argument with another group, which included a person wearing a Giants hat. Suhr said the two groups exchanged insults about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry before the argument escalated, and the young man was fatally stabbed.
IOC supports Russia
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has dismissed concerns over Russia's law banning gay propaganda. The chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, Jean-Claude Killy (zhawn klawd KEE'-lee), said the IOC doesn't have the right to discuss the laws that are in place in the country hosting the games, "so unless the (Olympic) charter is violated we are fully satisfied."
Russia has come under scrutiny as the next host of the Olympics because of the law passed this summer outlawing "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors," which many worry may apply to gay athletes and visitors to the games.