Pirates, Indians and Rangers win big games
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates used the long ball to wrap up home field for Tuesday's wild-card playoff game against the Reds.
Neil Walker slammed two of the Pirates' six home runs in an 8-3 victory over Cincinnati. Bronson Arroyo served up a career-high five of those home runs as the Reds suffered their fourth consecutive loss to earn themselves a trip to Pittsburgh.
Andrew McCutchen, Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez also went deep before Andrew Lambo smacked his first career homer.
Pittsburgh's bullpen tossed hitless ball for the final 4 2/3 innings to wrap up the Bucs' 93rd win.
While the NL wild card is settled, there's still the possibility of a three-way tie for the two AL wild-card berth. Cleveland has surged into sole possession of the first wild-card berth with one day left in the regular season, one game ahead of Tampa Bay and Texas.
The Indians picked up their ninth straight win as Scott Kazmir allowed a run and six hits in six innings of a 5-1 triumph at Minnesota. Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer and Michael Bourn added a two-run triple for the red-hot Indians.
The Rays suffered their second straight loss since a seven-game winning to lose control of their postseason destiny. Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar banged out two-run homers as Toronto downed Tampa Bay 7-2. Adam Lind had two hits and three RBIs, and Brett Lawrie reached base four times for the Blue Jays.
The Rangers pulled even with the Rays by earning their sixth consecutive win, downing the Angels 7-4. The Rangers took advantage of five Los Angeles errors, scoring three unearned runs while collecting just three RBIs. The Texas bullpen tossed one-hit ball over 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Elsewhere in the majors, Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer and Yadier Molina (YAH'-dee-ehr) had two RBIs as St. Louis notched its fifth straight win, 6-2 against the Chicago Cubs. Adam Wainwright picked up his 19th win by holding the Cubbies to two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings.
Brad Miller's second homer of the day was a grand slam that put Seattle ahead 7-1 in the fifth inning of a 7-5 win against Oakland. Justin Smoak socked a two-run homer for the Mariners, who allowed the Red Sox to clinch home-field advantage throughout their postseason. The Athletics will take on Detroit in the AL division series, beginning Friday in Oakland.
Homers by Jedd Gyorko (JUR'-koh), Jesus Guzman (GOOZ'-mahn) and Chris Denorfia highlighted San Diego's 9-3 rout of San Francisco. Guzman and Tommy Medica each had three of the Padres' 16 hits.
Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky (yoo-NEHS'-kee) Betancourt hit RBI singles in the 10th inning to give Milwaukee a 4-2 win over the New York Mets. Gomez was 4-for-5 with a solo homer and two stolen bases against his former team.
Rivera says he won't play again
HOUSTON (AP) — New York Yankees closer says he won't pitch again or play the outfield before he retires on Sunday.
Rivera last pitched on Thursday night in the season finale at Yankee Stadium, making a tearful exit to a standing ovation. He had expressed interest in playing center field earlier this week but now says he didn't think his knee was up to it.
Pence agrees to deal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants have tentatively agreed to a five-year contract. The package is worth a reported $90 million and is expected to be formally announced on Sunday.
Pence is hitting.282 with a career-high 27 home runs and 96 RBIs this season. The two-time All-Star outfielder came to the Giants in a trade last season and was credited with being instrumental in helping San Francisco win its second World Series title in three years.
Report: Collins working on new deal
NEW YORK (AP) — It looks like Terry Collins will remain manager of the Mets. Three people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that Collins is close to an agreement with the ballclub. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized and no announcement had been made. Collins' current contract expires after this season, his third in charge of the Mets.
The 64-year-old Collins is 224-261 as manager of the Mets.
Cowboys lose on the road...Bulldogs, Sooners win top-25 matchups
UNDATED (AP) — Eleventh-ranked Oklahoma State can expect to fall in Sunday's Associated Press college football poll. The Cowboys were 3-0 until they allowed 13 points off four turnovers and lost 30-21 at West Virginia.
Clint Trickett was 24 of 50 for 309 yards and a touchdown in his first start for the Mountaineers. Ishmael Banks returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown as the Mountaineers bounced back from their first shutout loss in 11 years.
Georgia and Oklahoma won top-25 matchups.
The ninth-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 6 LSU 44-41 on Aaron Murray's 25-yard scoring strike to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining. Murray also ran for a touchdown and finished with 298 passing yards and four TDs in Georgia's second victory over a top-10 team.
The 14th-ranked Sooners turned three interceptions into touchdowns and beat No. 22 Notre Dame 35-21. Corey Nelson returned a pick for a 24-yard TD, Damien Williams added an 11-yard scoring run after an interception by linebacker Frank Shannon, and Blake Bell threw a 26-yard TD pass to Lacoltan Bester following a Julian Wilson interception.
Also in top-25 action, Tajh Boyd threw for three TDs and ran for another as third-ranked Clemson blew out Wake Forest 56-7. Boyd became the second ACC quarterback to account for 100 career touchdowns, joining Philip Rivers of N.C. State.
Mike Davis ran for 167 yards and three touchdowns as 12th-rated South Carolina held off Central Florida 28-25. The Gamecocks won despite trailing 10-0 at halftime, turning the ball over four times and playing the final three quarters without starting quarterback Connor Shaw due to a sprained right shoulder. Coach Steve Spurrier says he hopes Shaw will return in two weeks.
No. 15 Miami rolled to a 49-21 win against South Florida as Stephen Morris threw for 222 yards and a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. The Hurricanes scored on their first three possessions and had 251 yards by the end of the first period.
Jameis Winston threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns as eighth-ranked Florida State outscored Boston College 48-34. Winston also ran 14 times for 67 yards to help the Seminoles improve to 4-0.
Heat promote Elisburg, hire Howard
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat have promoted Andy Elisburg to general manager and hired Juwan Howard as an assistant coach.
Elisburg has been with the Heat since the team's 1988 inception.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (leh-TANG') is out indefinitely with what head coach Dan Bylsma (BYLZ'-mah) calls a lower-body injury. Letang was a Norris Trophy finalist last season before signing an eight-year contract extension over the summer.
Bissonnette's suspension reduced
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has reduced Paul Bissonette's suspension two three regular-season games following an appeal by the Phoenix Coyotes forward.
The league initially slapped him with an automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench and engaging in a fight. However, video evidence supported Bissonette's claim that he took the ice legally to substitute for Max Domi (DOH'-mee).
Cochran takes the lead
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Tom Lehman birdied his final hole to take the clubhouse lead in second-round action at the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Lehman has carded back-to-back 67s for a 10-under total, one shot ahead of Russ Cochran.
First-round leader Bernhard Langer was on the course at minus-8 with five holes to play.