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Aug 19, 2014 8:53 AM

Update on the latest in sports:

The Associated Press


Jockeying for position

UNDATED (AP) There were just eight games on Monday's major league schedule, but seven had a direct bearing on the playoff races.

The Los Angeles Angels have sole possession of the AL West lead for the first time since May 10, 2011, moving a half-game ahead of Oakland with a 4-2 victory in Boston. C.J. Wilson was reached for five hits and five walks in just 5 1/3 innings but left the game with a 2-1 lead. Mike Trout put the Angels ahead with an RBI double in the Angels' two-run second. L.A. also scored twice in the eighth on an error by pitcher Junichi Tazawa (joo-NEE'-chee tah-ZAH'-wah).

Kansas City has a two-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central following the Royals' 21st victory in 26 games. Erik Kratz socked a pair of solo homers and Salvador Perez lined a two-run single as the Royals held off Minnesota 6-4. Jason Vargas gave up just one run and four hits in seven innings for his 10th win.

Baltimore still has the largest division lead, moving 7 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East with an 8-2 rout of the White Sox in Chicago. It was a 3-2 game in the eighth inning until Jonathan Schoop (skohp) hit a three-run double and scored on a two-run homer by Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY'-kihs). Nelson Cruz tied Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the major league home run lead by hitting his 32nd in the sixth inning.

Adam LaRoche belted a walkoff homer with two out in the 11th inning to give Washington a 5-4 win against Arizona. Wilson Ramos (RAH'-mohs) hit a two-run blast for the Nationals, who blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth before staying six-games ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL East.

The Braves kept pace with the Nats as Jason Heyward and Andrelton (AN'-drel-tuhn) Simmons hit solo homers to ignite a six-run first in Atlanta's 7-3 victory at Pittsburgh. Ervin Santana allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings as the Braves dropped the Pirates two games behind San Francisco for the final NL wild-card berth.

St. Louis has climbed to within 2 games of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers by downing Cincinnati 6-5 on Jhonny Peralta's (JAH'-nee peh-RAHL'-tahz) walkoff single in the bottom of the 10th. Peralta had three hits and drove in two runs to help the Cardinals overcome Jay Bruce's three-run homer and four RBIs.

Seattle fell into a tie with Detroit for the final AL wild-card berth. The Mariners were beaten 4-1 in Philadelphia as Jerome Williams held them to a run and three hits in seven-plus innings. Andres Blanco smacked a three-run homer to put the Phillies ahead 4-0 in the fifth.

Also on Monday, Anthony Rizzo hit a tiebreaking, solo homer in the eighth inning before Javier Baez added a two-run blast in the ninth as the Chicago Cubs downed the Mets 4-1 to earn a four-game split. Kyle Kendricks gave up just three hits in seven innings against the punchless Mets, who have collected four hits or fewer in five straight games.


Phillips back with Reds...Angels' Hamilton sits again...Bosox demote Bradley

UNDATED (AP) The Cincinnati Reds gave themselves a boost on Monday by activating Brandon Phillips from the 15-day disabled list.

Phillips was placed on the DL on July 11 after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He was batting sixth for last night's opener of a three-game set against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Phillips hit .272 with a .701 OPS, seven homers and 40 RBIs prior to the injury. His return comes at a crucial time for Cincinnati, which was swept in a doubleheader at Colorado yesterday and is barely hanging on in the playoff race.

The Reds also activated reliever Logan Ondrusek from the DL and optioned right-hander Dylan Axelrod and catcher Tucker Barnhart to Triple-A Louisville.

Also in the majors:

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton sat out a second straight game Monday in Boston after asking to take Sunday's game off. Angels manager Mike Scioscia (SOH'-shuh) said that Hamilton needs another day to relax, and he would be coming to the park early Tuesday to work on things. Hamilton is hitting .266 with eight homers and 35 RBIs.

The Red Sox have optioned center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled outfielder/infielder Mookie Betts. The 24-year-old Bradley was hitting just .216 with one homer and 30 RBIs in 112 games. Betts hit .244 with a homer and two RBIs over 13 games in his previous two stints with the Red Sox.

The Washington Nationals agreed to a minor league deal with Nate Schierholtz (SHEER'-hohlts) and assigned the veteran outfielder to Triple-A Syracuse. The lefty-hitting Schierholtz hit .192 with six homers in 99 games with the Chicago Cubs before he was designated for assignment Aug. 6. Schierholtz is a .254 career hitter with 51 home runs and 224 RBIs in 776 games.


Ballmer debuts with high-fives

LOS ANGELES (AP) Steve Ballmer has introduced himself to Los Angeles Clippers fans at a rally celebrating his new ownership of the NBA team.

The former Microsoft CEO made his way through the crowd inside Staples Center, exchanging high-fives and clapping furiously as he took the stage Monday.

Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the team in a sale that was confirmed by a judge last week. The name of disgraced owner Donald Sterling, who controlled the team for 33 years, was never uttered during the rally.

Ballmer assured the crowd that he has no plans to move the team to Seattle, where he lives.


Hoyer, Manziel mediocre vs. Redskins

WASHINGTON (AP) Browns head coach Mike Pettine (PEH'-tihn) had hoped to name his regular-season starting quarterback by Tuesday, but that was before Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel failed to impress during Cleveland's 24-23 loss to Washington Monday night.

Hoyer was just 2 for 6 for 16 yards in five series, and Manziel completed just seven of his 16 throws for 65 yards and a touchdown. Manziel also raised the middle finger of his right hand as he jogged away from the Washington sideline after a play late in the third quarter.


Irsay asks for delay in trial

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay wants to delay his trial on two misdemeanor charges stemming from a March traffic stop.

The trial had been scheduled for Aug. 28, but The Indianapolis Star reports an attorney for Irsay has filed the request for the continuance. Police say Irsay failed field sobriety tests following a March 16 traffic stop, and that various prescription drugs were found in his vehicle.


Simms, Dungy don't plan to use Redskins nickname in broadcasts

NEW YORK (AP) Two influential NFL voices said Monday they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise. CBS broadcaster and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms says, "my very first thought is it will be Washington the whole game." NBC's Tony Dungy said in an email that "I will personally try not to use Redskins and refer to them as Washington. Personal opinion for me, not the network."


Odd accident for the Chiefs' Charles

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The status of Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles remains in question after he missed Sunday night's preseason game in Carolina because of a bruised foot. Charles suffered the injury in a freak way as he rolled his foot over a curb. Coach Andy Reid says that Charles had X-rays and an MRI exam that revealed no significant injury.


Saunders rejoins Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) New York Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders is back with the team after being hospitalized over the weekend following a car accident. The fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma was released from the hospital Sunday morning, two days after his single-car accident on his way to the team's practice facility.


Buffalo is "the right fit"

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The NHL's pre-draft scouting combine will be held in Buffalo for the next two seasons. League Vice President Colin Campbell calls Buffalo "the right fit" in announcing the league's decision during a joint news conference with the Sabres. The combine had previously been held in Toronto.


Injured Nadal withdraws from U.S. Open

UNDATED (AP) Defending champion Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL') has withdrawn from the upcoming U.S. Open because of an injured right wrist. The final Grand Slam event of the year starts next week in New York.

The 27-year-old Spaniard was hurt July 29 while practicing and said he was told by doctors the next day to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks. He hoped to be able to return in time for the Open.

This marks the second time in three years that Nadal has had to skip the tournament. He did not enter the U.S. Open in 2012, part of an extended absence because of a problem with his left knee.

This is only the fourth time in the Open era began in 1968 that the reigning U.S. Open men's champion is not in the field.


Legend has pacemaker implanted

PITTSBURGH (AP) Arnold Palmer has had a pacemaker implanted to correct an abnormal heartbeat.

According to his website, Palmer had successful surgery Monday at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. The 84-year-old Palmer was expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday.


Texas, , Chicago, Mexico, Venezuela win

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) Lynnwood, Washington, has been eliminated in the Little League World Series.

Pearland, Texas, stayed alive in the tournament by rolling to an 11-4 win over Lynnwood.

Chicago rallied to beat Cumberland, Rhode Island, 8-7, eliminating Cumberland.

Mexico eliminated Australia 6-2, Venezuela knocked out Puerto Rico 2-1 and Rapid City, South Dakota earned a 5-3 win over the Czech


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