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Byron Buxton homered three times and set a career high with five RBIs, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2...

     TORONTO (AP) - Byron Buxton homered three times and set a career high with five RBIs, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Sunday. Buxton had four hits, scored four runs and stole a base in his first career multihomer game. Kyle Gibson pitched into the seventh inning as Minnesota earned a rare series victory north of the border. The Twins have won a major league-best 15 games since Aug. 6.


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brian Hoyer had the San Francisco offense humming after sputtering through the first two preseason games, passing for 176 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before the Minnesota Vikings rallied for a 32-31 victory over the 49ers on Sunday night.
     Sam Bradford and the Minnesota starters again failed to reach the end zone, though Bradford was sharp when given time to throw. Jerick McKinnon scored on a 108-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, boosting his bid to take over that role. Backup quarterbacks Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke led a late charge, with Heinicke's hurdle over the pylon for the 2-point conversion on the final play giving the Vikings the win.


     LOS ANGELES (AP) - Candace Parker had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Chelsea Gray added 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 78-67 on Sunday.
     Los Angeles (24-8) clinched at least a top-two seed in the WNBA playoffs - which begin Sept. 6 - and pulled within a half-game of the league-leading Lynx. The Sparks beat Minnesota in the WNBA Finals last year on Nneka Ogwumike's last-second putback.
     Minnesota (24-7) led 6-0, but the Sparks scored 22 of the next 29 points, including 10 by Parker, and led the rest of the way.
     Maya Moore hit a 3-pointer to pull the Lynx within three points midway through the second quarter, but Gray scored six points during a 13-2 run to close the half and take a 46-32 lead into the break. Minnesota trailed by double figures the rest of the way.
     Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Wild fans will have the chance to contribute water from their local hockey ponds, lakes and rinks to the ice sheet at Xcel Energy Center. The team says water from around Minnesota will be brought to the arena, filtered and frozen into the ice as part of a new campaign. Fans are invited to bring water to the arena in portable containers on September 16th to put on a Zamboni located outside Gate 1.


     UNDATED (AP) - The New York Yankees have shaved another game off the Boston Red Sox's lead in the American League East.
     The Yankees spotted the Mariners an early lead before scoring six times on five errors in the first inning of a 10-1 rout of Seattle. Jacoby Ellsbury, Greg Bird and Chase Headley drove in two runs apiece, while Starlin Castro went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
     Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 and gave up six hits in seven innings to even his record at 10-10.
     The Red Sox absorbed their fourth straight loss as Wade Miley combined with four relievers on an eight-hitter in the Orioles' 2-1 triumph at Fenway Park. Adam Jones and Trey Mancini delivered RBI doubles in the first inning to help Baltimore win with only six hits.
     Losing pitcher Doug Fister allowed five hits over seven innings as the Red Sox saw their division lead shrink to 2 1/2 games over the Yankees.
     Checking out other major league finals:
     - The Indians completed a shutout sweep of the Royals, following a pair of 4-0 victories with a 12-0 rout of Kansas City. Cleveland erupted for nine runs in the second inning on Francisco Lindor's two-run shot, Carlos Santana's three-run blast and a grand slam by Yan Gomes. Carlos Carrasco scattered six hits over seven innings for the Indians, who won their fourth in a row to keep their 6 1/2-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central.
     - The Twins were 7-2 winners at Toronto as Byron Buxton homered three times and collected a career-high five RBIs. Buxton had four hits, scored four runs and stole a base in his first career multihomer game. Kyle Gibson pitched into the seventh inning as Minnesota moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Seattle and Los Angeles for the second AL wild-card berth.
     - Brian McCann's bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning allowed the Astros to come away with a 7-5 victory against the Angels. McCann finished with four RBIs and Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer to help Houston increase its lead in the AL West to 13 1/2 games over Los Angeles and the Mariners. Ken Giles picked up the save by getting Albert Pujols to fly out with the bases loaded.
     - The Mets coughed up a 5-0 lead before Ahmed Rosario's eighth-inning blast gave New York a 6-5 win over the Nationals in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer and Wilmer Flores added a two-run shot before Washington came back to tie it. The Nats almost forced extra innings, but outfielder Juan Lagares and Cabrera combined to throw out pinch-runner Edwin Jackson at the plate for the final out.
     - The Nationals gained a split of the twinbill by pulling ahead with a pair of bases-loaded walks in the sixth inning of a 5-4 win over the Mets. Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Stevenson worked out free passes from Hansel Robles with the bags filled after Washington blew a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Adam Lind homered in the eighth inning and had two RBIs for the Nats, who lead the NL East by 12 games over Miami.
     - Giancarlo Stanton's major league-leading 50th home run broke an eighth-inning tie in the Marlins' 6-2 win over the Padres. Stanton became the first National League player to reach 50 homers since Prince Fielder hit 50 for Milwaukee in 2007. Stanton's 17th homer in August tied him for the second-most in MLB history in the month, behind Rudy York's 18 in 1937.
     - Rookie Rhys Hoskins homered for the fifth straight game and made a diving catch that started a triple play in the Phillies' 6-3 downing of the Cubs. Hoskins became the fastest player to hit 11 career home runs, doing it with an eighth-inning blast in his 18th big league game.  Nick Williams also homered against the Cubs, whose lead in the NL Central is down to two games over Milwaukee.
     - The Brewers beat the Dodgers, 3-2 to become the first team to take a series from Los Angeles since the first week of June. Jimmy Nelson took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Milwaukee beat Yu Darvish in his return from the disabled list. Hernan Perez homered and Domingo Santana had two hits and an RBI for the Brew Crew.
     - The Rays beat the Cardinals, 3-2 on Logan Morrison's second homer of the day, a solo shot in the 10th inning. Brad Miller's homer in the seventh made it 2-0, but St. Louis tied it on solo shots by Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter. The Redbirds remain 4 1/2 games off the NL Central Lead.
     - J.D. Martinez homered twice and the Diamondbacks used a nine-run eighth to crush the Giants. 11-0. Paul Goldschmidt cracked a three-run shot in the eighth before Martinez and Daniel Descalso went deep in the next two plate appearances. Patrick Corbin threw five-hit ball while fanning eight over seven innings.
     - Jon Gray pitched five-hit ball into the seventh as the Rockies took the rubber match of their three-game series with the Braves, 3-0. Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer for the Rockies, while teammate Gerardo Parra had two hits and scored two runs. The Rockies are 1 1/2 games behind Arizona for the first NL wild-card spot, and 3 1/2 games in front of the Brewers.
     - A.J. Griffin gave up back-to-back home runs in the second inning and retired only 10 batters as the Rangers dropped an 8-3 decision to the Athletics. Matt Olson belted a go-ahead, two-run shot just before Matt Chapman's solo blast. Jharel Cotton gave up one earned run and four hits in six innings as Oakland completed a three-game sweep that drops the Rangers three games out of an AL wild-card berth.
     - John Jaso and Starling Marte each drove in two runs and Andrew McCutchen added an RBI single as the Pirates earned a 5-2 win against the Reds. McCutchen was hitless in 15 at bats before driving in Starling Marte for a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
     - Lucas Giolito picked up his first big league win by tossing three-hit ball over seven shutout innings to lead the White Sox past the Tigers, 7-1. Matt Davidson socked a three-run homer in Chicago's fourth win in five games.

       SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Japan has won the Little League World Series for the fifth time in eight years. The squad from Tokyo banged out three homers in the fourth inning of a 12-2 rout of Lufkin, Texas. Lufkin appeared on its way to a rout following a pair of first-inning home runs, but Japan cruised the rest of the way for its 11th championship.
    OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) - Dustin Johnson stormed back from a five-shot deficit on the front nine and beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff at The Northern Trust. Johnson capped regulation with an 18-foot par putt that swirled around the cup and fell in the back to match Spieth's two-putt par from 75 feet. Johnson won it with a birdie on the first playoff hole to claim the opening FedEx Cup playoff event. Spieth began the round with a three-stroke lead before shooting a 1-under 69 that left him 13 under for the tournament. Johnson closed with a 66. Jon Rahm and Jhonnattan Vegas tied for third at minus-9.

     SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) - Jerry Kelly fired a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Jerry Smith at the Boeing Classic in Washington. Kelly had a tournament-record 19-under 197 total in earning his first PGA Tour Champions title. He moved ahead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th.

     OTTAWA (AP) - Sung Hyun Park earned her second career LPGA victory by taking the Canadian Pacific Women's Open in Ottawa. Park birdied the final hole for a 7-under 64 and a two-stroke victory over fellow South Korean player Mirim Lee. Park finished at 13-under, one month after claiming her first tour victory at the U.S. Women's Open last month. Michelle Wie withdrew before the final round to have her appendix removed. She was taken to Ottawa Hospital.

     SPA-FRANORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) - Lewis Hamilton has followed his record-tying 68th pole position with victory at the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton finished two seconds ahead of championship points leader Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton is within seven points of Vettel following his fifth win of the year.

     UNDATED (AP) - The Nationals say infielder Adrian Sanchez is doing well one day after being hit in the chest by a pitch. Sanchez was sent to a hospital Saturday night for a CT scan. He was kept overnight to monitor his breathing, then discharged.
     In other baseball news:
     - The Tigers have placed designated hitter Victor Martinez on the 10-day disabled list because of an irregular heartbeat, the second time he has landed on the DL for the condition this season. Manager Brad Ausmus says Martinez experienced a racing heart after his last at-bat during Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
     - The Astros and Rangers won't travel to Houston as planned after their games Sunday in California because of torrential floodwaters that have engulfed the city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Rangers and Astros will instead go to Dallas to await news on the status of the three-game series.
    - The Milwaukee Brewers say Arizona League third baseman Julio Mendez is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after suffering a "cardiac event" following a hit by pitch. The Brewers say Mendez received treatment on the field after getting hit in the ninth inning of a game Saturday in Tempe, Arizona, before being taken to a hospital. The 20-year-old Mendez has been with the Brewers organization since 2014.

     UNDATED (AP) - Chiefs running back Spencer Ware could require season-ending surgery after tearing one ligament in his right knee and damaging another during Friday night's preseason game in Seattle. Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder says the combination of injuries will likely require surgery. Head coach Andy Reid has confirmed that third-round draft pick Kareem Hunt will be the starter for the season opener on Sept. 7 at New England.
     In other NFL news:
     - Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will return to practice on Monday. Freeman has missed two games while in the concussion protocol since agreeing to terms on a five-year, $41.25 million extension that makes him the league's highest-paid running back in terms of the overall package.
     - The Lions have put Jordan Hill on injured reserve with a bicep injury and filled the void at defensive tackle by inking free agent Derrick Lott.
     - The Jets have acquired safety Terrence Brooks from the Eagles for cornerback Dexter McDougle in a trade of 2014 draft picks.

     NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Pelicans forward Solomon Hill could need six to eight months to heal following surgery to repair a left hamstring tear. The Pelicans have announced the injury occurred while Hill was working out in Los Angeles. Hill averaged seven points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and about 30 minutes a game last season, starting 71 of his 80 appearances.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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