A look at the big sports headlines making news today, Tuesday, Aug. 26.
A’s hammer Astros to grab piece of division lead…Birds batter Rays
The Oakland Athletics have regained a share of first place in the American League West.
Josh Donaldson had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double while the A’s scored five times in the ninth to beat Houston 8-2. Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer in helping Oakland pick up its fourth victory in six games since a five-game losing streak.
Jeff Samardzija struck out 10 while limiting the Astros to two runs and six hits in eight innings.
The Los Angeles Angels fell into a first-place tie with Oakland by losing to Miami 7-1. Giancarlo Stanton’s three-run homer put the Marlins ahead 7-0 in the fourth inning. Christian Yelich went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored as the Marlins ended a two-game skid and moved back to .500, three games out of a playoff berth.
Also in the majors:
Baltimore still leads the AL East by six games over the New York Yankees after Delmon Young produced three of the Orioles’ 14 hits, including a three-run homer in a 9-1 romp over Tampa Bay. Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis hit consecutive homers in the fifth inning to back Chris Tillman, who’s 11-5 after holding the Rays to an unearned run and three hits in seven innings.
The Yanks picked up their fifth straight win as Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs in an 8-1 pounding of Kansas City. Stephen Drew and Martin Prado also homered to support Michael Pineda, who gave up a run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. The outcome trims the Royals’ lead in the AL Central to 1 ½ games over Detroit.
Milwaukee kept its 1 ½-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit solo homers in the Brewers’ 10-1 rout of San Diego. Ramirez had three hits and three RBIs to help Kyle Lohse pick up his 12th win.
The Cardinals were 3-2 winners at Pittsburgh as John Lackey held the Pirates to a run and seven hits in seven innings. Matt Holliday hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh for the Cardinals.
Washington had won 12 of 13 before A.J. Burnett allowed a run and three hits while striking out 12 in seven innings of the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Nationals in Philadelphia. Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz hit solo homers to counter solo blasts by Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos.
San Francisco fell five games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by committing four errors in a 3-2 loss to Colorado. The Rockies took advantage of a pair of miscues by shortstop Brandon Crawford and a balk by Jake Peavy to score the tying and go-ahead runs in the fourth inning.
Miles Mikolas scattered three hits in eight shutout innings to pitch Texas past the Mariners 2-0 in Seattle. The Mariners ended a three-game winning streak and allowed Detroit to pull within a half-game of Seattle in the battle for the final AL wild-card berth.
Few surprises as Open begins
Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic and women’s No. 5 Maria Sharapova highlighted the first night session at the U.S. Open. Both came away with easy victories.
Djokovic dropped just seven games in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win against Diego Schwartzman.
Sharapova trailed 4-2 in the first set before winning the last 10 games in a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Maria Kirilenko. Sharapova had 15 winners and took advantage of 23 unforced errors.
Venus Williams also won her first-round match. The 34-year-old Williams dropped the opening set before pulling out a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory against 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm. The WTA says the combined age of 77 was believed to be the oldest for a women’s Grand Slam pairing.
Women’s second-seed Simona Halep also dropped her opening set before advancing to the second round with a 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 triumph over American Daniel Rose Collins.
Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska also won her opening match, as did sixth seed Angelique Kerber, ninth seed Jelena Jankovic and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki.
Back to the men’s side, eighth-seed Andy Murray fought his way through cramps to win his first-round match, 6-3, 7-6, 1-6, 7-5 over Robin Haase. The former Wimbledon champ started cramping in the back of his shoulder early in the third set and then it spread to his forearm.
Third seed Stan Wawrinka won second- and third-set tiebreakers to take his first-round match in straight sets. Fifth seed Milos Raonic and No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced to the second round.
No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny was the highest men’s seed to lose, falling to 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6.
Vikes name starting QB…Redskins safety suspended 2 games
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has confirmed he was going to meet with offensive lineman Richie Incognito, one of the central figures of the bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins last season. Smith also cautioned the “visit” might not necessarily end with the free agent guard resuming his career with the Bucs. An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in the middle of last season.
In other NFL news:
Veteran Matt Cassel has been named starting quarterback by Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. Cassel was chosen over rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Cassel has completed more than 66 percent of his passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in three preseason games. Bridgewater has completed 65 percent of his passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns in the preseason.
Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu is close to making a quicker-than-expected return to the team. Mathieu and inside linebacker Kevin Minter were optimistic about being ready for Arizona’s season opener against San Diego on Sept. 8. Mathieu is coming back from surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL suffered during Week 14 last season.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry have returned to practice after dealing with injuries. Berry has missed most of the past couple weeks with a heel injury. Charles has been out the past two preseason games after hurting his foot while moving out of the dorms at the Chiefs’ training camp headquarters.
Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for a blow to the head to a receiver. The NFL announced the suspension, saying it was the sixth time Meriweather has violated rules aimed at improving player safety.
The New York Jets have “indefinitely” suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson after he left the team for 48 hours without contacting the organization. General manager John Idzik says that Patterson spoke to him and coach Rex Ryan on last night. Idzik would not discuss the reason for the absence.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed his second straight day of practice with a sore throwing elbow, a problem that has lingered throughout the preseason. Rookie Derek Carr took first-team snaps.
Updates from college teams
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher declined to confirm whether or not suspended receiver Jesus “Bobo” Wilson is eligible to play in the season-opener for the top-ranked Seminoles against Oklahoma State. Wilson has been suspended since being arrested and charged in the theft of a motor scooter in July. The sophomore pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors.
Also in college football:
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says quarterback Braxton Miller will have season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Miller tore the labrum in his right shoulder a week ago, and his loss is huge for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes. J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman who has never taken a college snap, will start in Miller’s place.
West Virginia cornerback Ishmael Banks has been suspended three games by the NCAA for an unspecified academic eligibility issue and will not be available to the Mountaineers for the season opener Saturday against No. 2 Alabama. Banks will be eligible to play starting with the Mountaineers’ home opener on Sept. 20 against No. 4 Oklahoma.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has announced that senior wide receiver Devante Parker will miss six to eight weeks with a broken left small toe. Parker injured the foot in Friday night’s practice, and Petrino says Parker is scheduled to undergo surgery.
New deal for goalie
Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson has signed a three-year, $12.6 million extension.
Anderson was acquired from Colorado in 2011 and is now under contract through the 2017-18 season. The 33-year-old had an NHL-best .941 save percentage in the lockout-shortened 2013 season to help Ottawa make the playoffs amid injuries. His percentage dropped to .911 last season.
Woods fires swing coach
Tiger Woods is leaving swing coach Sean Foley after four years and no majors. Woods made the announcement on his website. The former World No. 1 has had back trouble the last year and is taking the next three months to get stronger.
Foley was the third coach Woods hired as a professional. He left Butch Harmon in 2003 and began working with Hank Haney a year later. He parted with Haney in the spring of 2010 when Woods returned from the scandal in his personal life.