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Thursday’s Sports Minute

Thursday’s Sports Minute

ANGELS CLINCH: Los Angeles Angels' David Freese, right, celebrates with fans after they clinched the American League West division following their baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday Sept. 17, in Anaheim, Calif. Photo: Associated Press/Mark J. Terrill

In addition to the latest arrest in the NFL, here is a look at the big sports headlines you’ll be talking about today, Thursday, Sept. 18.

Angels clinch…Royals inch closer to Tigers

The Los Angeles Angels are the third major league team to win its division, two nights after becoming the first to wrap up a postseason berth.

C.J. Wilson retired his first 14 batters and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter as the AL West champs blanked the Seattle Mariners 5-0. David Freese snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the Angels’ five-run seventh before C.J. Cron smacked a three-run homer.

The Mariners fell two games off the AL wild-card pace.

Oakland actually eliminated itself from the AL West race and fell into a tie with Kansas City for the two AL wild-card berths. J.P. Arencibia smacked a tiebreaking, three-run homer off John Doolittle in the ninth inning to lead Texas past the Athletics 6-1. The A’s were two outs from a 1-0 win until Rougned Odor hit an RBI double.

Baseball’s closest division race got a little tighter. Just a half-game separates the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers from the Kansas City Royals.

Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer and Nori Aoki went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as the Royals thumped the Chicago White Sox 6-2. Aoki went 11-for-14 with four ribbies in the series as Kansas City took two of three from the Pale Hose.

Winning pitcher Yordano Ventura allowed a run and three hits while seven strikeouts in seven innings.

In Minnesota, Brian Dozier, Danny Santana and Joe Mauer each had two RBIs and combined for seven of the Twins’ 13 hits in an 8-4 triumph over Detroit, the Tigers’ second straight loss. The Twins trailed 4-3 in the sixth until Santana and Mauer sandwiched RBI doubles around Mauer’s run-scoring triple.

Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Tigers, but David Price was tagged for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Elsewhere in the majors:

  • St. Louis still enjoys a 2 ½-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central after Adam Wainwright became the majors’ second 19-game winner in the Cardinals’ 2-0 shutout of Milwaukee. Matt Adam and Jhonny Peralta each hit RBI singles in the seventh to back Wainwright, who surrendered seven hits in his fifth complete game of the season. The outcome drops the Brewers 2 ½ games behind the Pirates for the second NL wild-card berth.
  • Gregory Polanco and Neil Walker hit solo homers before Ike Davis belted a three-run shot in Pittsburgh’s 9-1 romp over Boston. Francisco Liriano helped the Pirates take a step toward their second straight NL wild-card berth, holding the Red Sox to a run and three hits in six innings.
  • Justin Morneau had six RBIs, including a three-run homer and a two-run single while Colorado was scoring eight times in the first inning of a 16-2 laugher against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Charlie Blackmon went 5-for-5 with a solo homer and four runs scored as the last-place Rockies took the rubber match of their three-game set with the first-place Dodgers.
  • The Giants are within two games of the NL West-leading Dodgers after Matt Duffy hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the ninth inning to lift San Francisco over the Diamondbacks 4-2 in Arizona. Brandon Crawford was 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
  • Atlanta beat Washington 3-1 behind Alex Wood, who held the NL East champs to a run and five hits while striking out eight in six innings. The Braves did their scoring on Christian Bethancourt’s two-run single, with a third run scoring on shortstop Danny Espinosa’s throwing error.
  • Baltimore completed a three-game sweep of Toronto as Steve Pearce homered twice and collected four RBIs to lead the Orioles’ 6-1 win over the Blue Jays. Bud Norris allowed two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings for his 14th win.
  • Stanton’s season is over

    Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won’t play again in the majors this season because of last week’s beaning.

    Stanton sustained facial fractures, dental damage, cuts that required stitches and two black eyes when was hit in the face by a fastball from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers last Thursday. He still leads the National League when 37 homers and had a major league-best 105 RBIs when he was injured.

    West suspended

    Umpire Joe West has been suspended for one game without pay for grabbing the jersey of Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.

    Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre said in a statement today that West “admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation.”

    Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday for making a lewd gesture and then bumping West during a loss to Miami on Sunday.

    Jays’ Stroman to appeal suspension

    Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman is appealing his six-game suspension that Major League Baseball imposed for throwing at the head of a Baltimore hitter.

    MLB penalized Stroman and also fined the 23-year-old rookie an undisclosed amount.

    Stroman threw a pitch that sailed past the head of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph in a game Monday night.

    Call for Goodell resignation

    The father of a woman who once dated Bears receiver Brandon Marshall is calling for commissioner Roger Goodell to resign because of the way he handled the women’s abuse case.

    Clarence Watley says his daughter, Rasheedah Watley, was abused by Marshall.

    Marshall was with Denver at the time and now plays for Chicago. He was suspended for three games in 2008, but the suspension was reduced to one game. He has denied the allegations.

    Watley says he and others wrote to Goodell about the case and never heard back from league officials. Watley called the NFL’s investigation one-sided.

    Bills deal almost done

    Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula took a step closer to buying the Buffalo Bills after their NFL-record $1.4 billion purchase agreement was unanimously approved by the league’s finance committee.

    Three-quarters of the owners will be required to approve the deal in a vote next month.

    Niners QB to appeal fine

    Colin Kaepernick says he has been fined more than $11,000 by the NFL and he will appeal the penalty for what was called “inappropriate language”.

    Kaepernick was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following an interception against Chicago Sunday when he was engaged with the Bears Lamarr Houston. The 49ers quarterback maintains he didn’t say anything inappropriate and that Houston’s post-game remarks back him up.

    NBA suspends Hickson

    Denver’s J.J. Hickson has been suspended for five games without pay by the NBA for violating the terms of the anti-drug program. Hickson averaged 11.8 rebounds and 9.2 rebounds in 69 games last season, his first with Denver.

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