- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2020

MLB

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Corey Seager had three hits, including one of Los Angeles’ four home runs, as the Dodgers clinched the National League’s top postseason seed and eighth straight West title Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors at 39-16, were the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff berth on Sept. 16. They will open postseason play on Sept. 30 by hosting every game in a best-of-three series against the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles came into the day with a magic number of two and got help with the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

CLEVELAND (AP) - José Ramírez pushed the Cleveland Indians in the playoffs and strengthened his case for the AL MVP award.



Ramírez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox that clinched a postseason berth Tuesday night.

Ramírez’s drive to right off José Ruiz scored César Hernández and Francisco Lindor, setting off a wild celebration at home plate as the Indians reached the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

ATLANTA (AP) - Bryse Wilson pitched five scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna drove in five runs with four hits that included two homers and the Atlanta Braves clinched their third straight NL East title by beating the Miami Marlins 11-1 on Tuesday night.

Atlanta hit five homers, including drive by Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman off Nick Vincent in a five-run seventh. Freeman drove in two runs with three hits.

After Jorge Alfaro lined out to Freeman to end the game, Braves players hugged on the field and exchanged high-fives in the dugout.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Chicago Cubs clinched a playoff spot under rookie manager David Ross, returning to the postseason after a one-year absence despite losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night on a walk-off home run by Jacob Stallings.

The NL Central-leading Cubs were assured a spot in the expanded playoff field when Philadelphia was swept in a doubleheader at Washington.

ANAHEIM, Calif (AP) - Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels.

NFL

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Two more NFL head coaches and their teams have been fined for not wearing masks on the sideline.

A person with knowledge of the punishment said Tuesday that Jon Gruden of the Raiders and Sean Payton of the Saints were each fined $100,000 for not wearing masks on the sideline on Monday night.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league wasn’t announcing specific fines, said the teams were also fined $250,000 for the infractions. The league already handed out similar punishments to Denver’s Vic Fangio, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, the person said.

-By Football Writer Josh Dubow.,

BA

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bulls hired Billy Donovan as their coach Tuesday, landing one of the top candidates on the market to lead a rebuilding team with an overhauled front office.

The 55-year-old Donovan spent the past five seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He replaces Jim Boylen, who was fired after the Bulls finished 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World.

In a statement, Donovan thanked ownership and said he’s looking forward to working with new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas.

NHL

The San Jose Sharks saw enough from Bob Boughner behind their bench last season to be confident he’s the coach to lead them back to the top.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson formally retained Boughner as San Jose’s coach Tuesday, removing the interim tag to make him the ninth full-time head coach in franchise history.

The Sharks announced their full coaching staffs for the NHL and AHL levels along with the widely expected return of Boughner, who rejoined the Sharks as an assistant to Peter DeBoer in the summer of 2019.

GOLF

RIDGEDALE, Mo. (AP) - Justin Thomas won his six-hole singles match and was closest to the pin on the decisive final hole as he and Tiger Woods won an exhibition match Tuesday that served as the grand opening of the Woods-designed Payne’s Valley Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge.

The televised event was called the Payne’s Valley Cup, after the course Woods designed in the Ozarks. It was the first public course in the United States for Tiger Woods Design.

The money raised went to the Payne Stewart Family Foundation. The course at Big Cedar Lodge was named in honor of Stewart, who died in a plane crash in October 1999.

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) - Mike Davis spent the last decade running the USGA, where he set up golf courses to provide an extreme test for elite players and searched for solutions to increasing distance.

Now he wants to build golf courses, a lifelong passion.

Davis announced Tuesday he will retire as CEO at the end of 2021, ending a 32-year career with the USGA that began with him overseeing ticket sales and transportation. He became the seventh executive director in 2011 and the USGA’s first CEO after an organizational shakeup in 2016.

TENNIS

PARIS (AP) - Bianca Andreescu, last year’s U.S. Open champion, will sit out the French Open and the rest of 2020.

The 20-year-old Canadian announced her decision to remain sidelined this season via a post Tuesday on social media.

At New York in 2019, Andreescu became the first tennis player from Canada to win a Grand Slam singles championship. She also reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 last year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Notre Dame’s game at Wake Forest on Saturday has been postponed after positive COVID-19 tests landed 13 Fighting Irish players in isolation and another 10 in quarantine.

The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish said Tuesday the game would be rescheduled. Both teams are off Oct. 3.

Notre Dame said 94 football players were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and of those seven were positive. Those players were in isolation along with others who tested positive last week.

The school is pausing all football-related activities until further testing is complete.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - Texas State coach Danny Kaspar has resigned three months after a former player accused him of making racist remarks.

Athletic director Larry Teis announced Tuesday that he’s accepted Kaspar’s resignation and that assistant coach Terrence Johnson will take over the program for the upcoming season.

In June, former guard Jaylen Shead tweeted that Kaspar disparaged players with racist comments in practices. The tweet was later deleted. Shead transferred to Washington State last year.

Texas State launched an investigation into the allegations.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas Tech softball coach Adrian Gregory resigned Tuesday, saying only that it was “best to part ways” amid a report that the program is the subject of school inquiry into the well-being of its players.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced the move without explanation. Gregory had just completed her sixth season at Texas Tech.

According to USA Today, Texas Tech is conducting an internal review “to assess the overall culture and student-athlete well-being” within the softball program, focusing in part on allegations that Gregory grabbed three players.

HORSE RACING

Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law won’t run in next month’s Preakness, spoiling what would have been a highly anticipated rematch with Kentucky Derby winner Authentic.

The Preakness on Oct. 3 at Pimlico concludes this year’s reconfigured Triple Crown series, which was run out of order because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Tiz the Law, tweeted that it’s “disappointing Tiz the Law will not be able to run in the Preakness.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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