Update on the latest sports

SEC EXPANSION

Texas, Oklahoma reportedly reach out to SEC about joining

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference could be adding two marquee football programs in the future.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Big 12 powers Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about potentially joining the league. The report cites a source the paper did not identify, only to say it was a high-ranking official with knowledge of the situation.

The paper said an announcement could come in the next couple of weeks. Adding two members would give the powerhouse SEC 16 teams, the largest in major college football.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey declined to comment on the report.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Royals sweep away Brewers

UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers enjoy a large lead in the National League Central right now, but they were never able to beat the worst team in the AL Central this season.

The Brewers put together a sloppy performance in a 6-3 loss to the Royals, allowing Kansas City to sweep the four-game season series.

Milwaukee made a pair of errors that caused the Royals’ first five runs to be unearned. Nicky Lopez had the key hit, a tiebreaking, two-run double in a three-run sixth.

Brad Keller won for the first time since June 4, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Milwaukee still leads its division by 6 ½ games over the Reds.

In other major league action:

— Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina singled home the game-winning run off Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the 10th to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Cubs. Chicago tied it 2-2 in the ninth when pinch-hitter Eric Sogard (SOH’-gahrd) doubled to right off reliever Giovanny Gallegos. Harrison Bader has five multi-hit performances in his last seven games after going 3-for-4 with an RBI double that put St. Louis ahead in the seventh.

— The Giants have restored their two-game lead in the NL West by scoring three times in the ninth inning of a 4-2 comeback over the second-place Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Dodgers owned a 2-1 lead and were on the verge of pulling into a first-place tie until Wilmer Flores slammed a two-run homer off Kenley Jansen. The Giants received four perfect innings from their bullpen after starter Logan Webb was reached for three hits, including Chris Taylor’s homer leading off the bottom of the first.

— Marcus Stroman was terrific in the Mets’ 7-0 win over the Reds, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out seven over eight innings. Stroman gave the bullpen a break after New York starters had worked just five innings over the last three games. Dominic Smith highlighted the offense with a grand slam for the Mets, who scored their other runs on homers by Luis Guillorme (gee-OHR’-may) and Jonathan Villar (vee-AHR’).

— Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. slammed his NL-leading 29th home run, a two-run blast that gave the Padres a 3-0 lead in a 3-2 win over the Braves in Game 1 of a doubleheader. The All-Star shortstop has eight hits, seven runs scored and six RBIs in his last five games. Chris Paddack reversed his recent struggles by limiting Atlanta to three hits over five scoreless innings.

— Game 2 of the Padres-Braves twinbill was suspended by rain in the middle of the fifth inning with San Diego leading, 5-4. The rest of the game could be played in San Diego when the Braves visit the Padres for a three-game series Sept. 24-26.

— The Marlins picked up a 3-1 win over the Nationals as pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning. Miguel Flores padded Miami’s lead with a sacrifice fly before the Marlins ended a four-game losing streak. Andrew Stevenson had an RBI-double for Washington, which had its three-game winning streak halted.

— Pavin (PAY’-vihn) Smith and Daulton Varsho hit consecutive home runs leading off the seventh inning of the Diamondbacks’ 6-4 downing of the Pirates. Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs over five innings for Arizona in his second start since coming off the injured list. The DBacks completed a three-game sweep and ran their winning streak to four games, tying a season high.

— Dom Nunez laced a three-run double while the Rockies scored five in the first inning of a 6-3 win against the Mariners. Austin Gomber pitched effectively for six innings in his return from the injured list, surrendering homers by Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and Luis Torrens. Gomber didn’t allow any other hits in winning his fourth straight decision.

— The Blue Jays dropped their final home game in Buffalo as the Red Sox banged out five home runs in a 7-4 decision over Toronto. Kiké (KEE’-kay) Hernández, Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz), Michael Chavis, J.D. Martinez, and Hunter Renfroe all homered for Boston, which kept its one-game lead over Tampa Bay atop the AP East. Garrett Richards and three Sox relievers held Toronto to five hits.

— The Rays pulled out a 5-4 win over the Orioles on Austin Meadows’ two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. Randy Arozarena (ah-roh-zah-REH’-nah) homered twice and had a key single in the ninth as Tampa Bay won for the 10th time in 13 games. The Birds’ loss came after they announced that pitcher Keegan Akin and outfielder Anthony Santander (sahn-tahn-DEHR’) were placed on the COVID-19 injured list.

— The Yankees coughed up a 5-2 lead before beating the Phillies, 6-5 on Ryan LaMarre’s (lah-MAHRZ’) game-ending single in the 10th inning. LaMarre’s clutch hit gave the Yankees their fourth straight win and ninth in 12 games heading into a four-game series with Boston. The Phils tied it with a three-run eighth with help from an error, four walks and a wild pitch that knotted the score.

— Max Kepler homered in his second straight game and Jorge Polanco also went deep for the Twins in a 7-2 downing of the White Sox. Polanco made it 6-1 with his sixth-inning blast. The Twins beat the AL Central leaders for just the fourth time in 16 games.

— The Tigers earned their sixth straight win as Matt Manning pitched six strong innings to lead a 4-2 victory over the Rangers. Robbie Grossman, Zack Short and Akil Baddoo hit home runs as the Tigers matched their longest winning streak since an eight-game run in 2016. Texas has lost eight in a row and has been outscored 47-5 in six games since the All-Star break.

— The Indians were 5-4 winners over the Astros as rookie Ernie Clement had a season-high three RBIs and Cesar Hernandez smacked a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning. Rookie starter Eli Morgan permitted three hits and three runs in five-plus innings. Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) and Kyle Tucker both homered for the second straight game, but Houston lost to Cleveland for the first time in seven meetings this year.

MLB-NEWS

Mets trade McKinney to Dodgers for minor leaguer, cash

UNDATED (AP) — The Mets have traded outfielder Billy McKinney to the Dodgers for minor league outfielder Carlos Rincon and cash.

The Mets acquired McKinney from Milwaukee on May 25. In 39 games with New York, the 26-year-old batted .220 with five home runs and 14 RBIs. He was designated for assignment on July 16.

The NL East-leading Mets also claimed right-hander Roel Ramírez off waivers from the Cardinals.

NHL-KRAKEN-EXPANSION DRAFT

Kraken pass on Carey Price in expansion draft

SEATTLE (AP) — Carey Price remains property of the Montreal Canadiens after the Seattle Kraken passed on the netminder in the NHL expansion draft. Instead, the Kraken selected Panthers netminder Chris Driedger and gave him a three-year, $10.5 million package.

Seattle took on some big contracts, selecting Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle.

Other notable players chosen by the Kraken include Lightning center Yanni Gourde and Maple Leafs forward Jared McCann. Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon was the first player taken by Seattle.

NFL-NEWS

Warner gets big extension

UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a five-year contract extension with Fred Warner that makes him the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL.

A person familiar with the deal said the extension that runs through 2026 is worth about $95 million with $40.5 million in guarantees.

The package tops the $18 million a year average for Seattle’s Bobby Wagner, which had been the top at the position.

ESPN first reported the deal.

In other NFL news:

— Steelers linebacker Vince Williams has announced his retirement just months after taking a pay cut to return for a ninth season. The 31-year-old Williams appeared in 121 games for the Steelers after making the team as a sixth-round pick out of Florida State in 2013. He carved out early in his career as a special teams ace and then became one of the more physical inside linebackers in the NFL.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOWDEN-DIAGNOSIS

Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden has terminal medical condition

UNDATED (AP) — Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden says he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. He did not disclose his condition in his statement Wednesday.

The 91-year-old Bowden says he is at peace and is prepared for what is to come.

The College Football Hall of Famer was hospitalized last October after he tested positive for COVID-19. The test came a few days after he returned home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg.

Bowden had 357 wins during his coaching career, most of them at Florida State. The Seminoles won 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national titles in his tenure.

OLYMPICS-NEWS

LaVine cleared, USA Basketball awaits 3 NBA Finals players

UNDATED (AP) — USA Basketball expects to have its full 12-man roster available for Sunday’s matchup against France. It’s the first game for both teams in the Tokyo Olympics.

Zach LaVine (lah-VEEN’) has been cleared to exit the health and safety protocols that stemmed from a coronavirus testing-related issue. He will fly to Japan and rejoin the team Thursday.

Khris Middleton, Jrue (jroo) Holiday and Devin Booker are expected to arrive in Tokyo on Saturday after competing in the NBA Finals. Middleton and Holiday just helped the Bucks beat Booker’s Suns.

In other Olympics news:

— American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is out of the Olympics after four positive COVID-19 tests, and Tri Bourne will take his place as the partner of four-time Olympian Jake Gibb when the competition begins this weekend. Crabb confirmed his withdrawal Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press, noting that he was vaccinated and tested negative before he left the United States but tested positive when he arrived in Japan.

— U.S. gymnast Kara Eaker is doing well physically three days after testing positive for COVID-19. A USA gymnastics official says Eaker is in isolation while teammate Leanne Wong is in quarantine. Both athletes served as alternates for the U.S. team. Wong continues to test negative but was put in quarantine due to contact tracing. The six-women U.S. delegation of Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner worked out on each event during podium training on Thursday. They’re staying in a hotel near the venue rather than the Olympic village, a decision made before they arrived.

— Russian swimmer Ilya Borodin (BOH’-roh-deen), the European champion in the 400-meter individual medley, will miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus.

— A third athlete from the Czech Republic has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Games. The Czech team says beach volleyball player Markéta Sluková has entered a quarantine hotel, where two other athletes and two other coaches in its national delegation are staying. Another Czech beach volleyball player, Ondřej Perušič, tested positive this week. Table tennis player Pavel Sirucek also tested positive.

— A second Dutch athlete and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Games. Team NL says taekwondo athlete Reshmie Oogink and a rowing team staff member have tested positive and will quarantine for 10 days.

— One of the social media sensations of the Rio Olympics won’t be competing in Tokyo. Namibia’s Dan Craven tested positive for COVID-19 in Spain, where the former professional cyclist lives with his family.

— The African country of Guinea has pulled out of this year’s Olympics. The decision will keep five athletes from competing at the Tokyo Games. Minister of Sports Sanoussy Bantama Sow made the announcement in a letter Wednesday addressed to the president of the Guinean Olympic committee. He blamed the virus and its variants. Guinean Olympic committee secretary general Ben Daouda Nassoko told The Associated Press only days before the statement that funds had just been released for the delegation to go to Tokyo. Freestyle wrestler Fatoumata Yarie Camara was one of the five athletes affected by the decision.

— Tokyo has hit another six-month high in new COVID-19 cases, one day before the Olympics begin, as worries grow of a worsening of infections during the Games. Thursday’s 1,979 new cases are the highest since 2,044 were recorded on Jan. 15. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is determined to hold the Olympics, placed Tokyo under a state of emergency on July 12, but daily cases have sharply increased since then.

— Home hope Naomi Osaka will face 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China and Novak Djokovic will play 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia in the opening round of the Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo. Draws were held two days before play opens. Osaka is returning to competition after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break. Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to complete a Golden Slam by winning all four major tennis tournaments and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year.

— Four-time women’s basketball gold medalist Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez have been chosen as USA flag bearers for Friday’s opening ceremony. They are the first duo to share the honor of leading the delegation into the ceremony.

— The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has fired the director of the opening ceremony because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998. His dismissal comes the day before Friday’s opening ceremony of the pandemic-delayed Games. Earlier this week, a composer whose music is expected to be used at the opening ceremony was forced to resign because of past bullying of his classmates.

— The International Olympic Committee says it will now include images of Olympic athletes taking a knee in its official highlights reels and social media channels. Players from five women’s soccer teams kneeled in support of racial justice before their games Wednesday. That was the first day it was allowed at the Olympic Games after a decades-long total ban on athlete protest gestures on the field. But the images were excluded from highlights package provided by the IOC to media that could not broadcast the games live.

OLYMPICS-SCHEDULE

Sweden beats US as Olympic women’s soccer tournament begins

TOKYO (AP) — Sweden stunned the United States women’s soccer team at the Olympics with a 3-0 victory.

The top-ranked Americans were the favorites to win in Tokyo and owned a 44-match unbeaten streak. The Swedes bounced the Americans from the 2016 Brazil Games in the quarterfinals. Then in April, Sweden played the United States to a 1-1 draw in Stockholm, which snapped a winning streak dating back to January 2019.

Sweden now leads Group G heading into Saturday’s game against Australia, while the United States faces New Zealand. The top two teams in the group advance to the knockout round.

There’s still a good chance that the Americans make it to the knockout round. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the United States fell 2-0 to Norway in the first match, then went on to win the gold medal.

In other Olympic action:

— The U.S. is 2-0 in Olympic women’s softball following a 1-0 victory over Canada. Monica Abbott struck out nine in a complete-game one-hitter. Amanda Chidester singled home the game’s only run. Center fielder Haylie McCleney combined with second baseman Ali Aguilar to throw out the potential tying run at the plate following Canada’s only hit of the game.

— Australia evened its record to 1-1 in Olympic softball with a 1-0 victory over Italy in Olympic softball. Jade Wall hit a run-scoring single in the second inning and Kaia Parnaby took a three-hitter into the seventh. Australia is fourth among the six teams after an opening loss to Japan, and Italy fell to 0-2.

— Host Japan beat Mexico 3-2 in softball to improve to 2-0 at the Tokyo Games. Mana Atsumi’s squeeze bunt single with one out in the eighth inning scored automatic runner Eri Yamada.

— Two-time Olympic men’s soccer champion Argentina has been stunned 2-0 by Australia in their opening game at the Tokyo Games. The Argentines won Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008.

Categories: National Sports