CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians extended their winning streak to 20 games and matched the AL mark held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0. Cleveland's streak, which began on Aug. 24 in Boston, is tied for the majors' second-longest in 82 years.
Corey Kluber (16-4) strengthened his Cy Young Award case with a five-hitter as the Indians joined the 2002 A's, 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams since 1900 to win at least 20 in a row.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Clayton Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to their first win in nearly two weeks, helping them clinch a playoff berth by beating the San Francisco Giants 5-3 to snap an 11-game losing streak, the club's longest slide since moving to the West Coast in 1958.
The Dodgers' drought was their worst in 25 years, topping 10-game skids in Los Angeles during the 1961 and 1992 seasons. The 1944 Brooklyn team lost 16 straight games.
Despite the recent tailspin, Los Angeles still owns the best record in the majors at 93-52. The NL West leaders won for just the second time in 18 games and secured at least the second NL wild card, joining the NL East champion Washington Nationals as the only teams to punch their postseason tickets so far.
NEW YORK (AP) — The 2018 Major League Baseball season will begin on March 29, the earliest start in the sport's history excluding international openers.
All teams will play on opening day for the first time since 1968, the last year before the American and National Leagues split into divisions, the commissioner's office said. As part of the sport's new labor contract, each team's 162 games were scheduled over 186 days, up from 183. The change was made to create more off days.
Pittsburgh at Detroit is the lone interleague opener.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — One retired jersey number just isn't enough for Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers will retire Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 in a ceremony Dec. 18 during their game against Golden State, the franchise announced.
Bryant wore No. 8 from 1996 to 2006, when he switched to No. 24 for the remainder of a 20-year career spent entirely with the Lakers. He will be the 10th player honored by the Lakers with a retired number hung high on the Staples Center wall, but the first in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the same team.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shabazz Muhammad agreed to terms on a one-year deal to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves, an important development for a team in desperate need of depth on the wing.
NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley sued the team's owners, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic after his February arrest at a game.
The lawsuit details how Oakley was treated before and after he was forcefully removed from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of a Feb. 8 Knicks' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. It seeks unspecified damages.
CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Star linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher and game-breaking wide receiver Randy Moss are among 11 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also part of the 108 early nominees who are eligible for the first time, having been retired for five years when the class is chosen next February, are cornerback Ronde Barber, wideouts Donald Driver and Steve Smith (former Giant, Eagle and Ram), offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk and Jeff Saturday, and defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Modern era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.
Returning finalists from 2017 are receivers Isaac Bruce and Terrell Owens; center Kevin Mawae; tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby; guard Alan Faneca; safeties John Lynch and Brian Dawkins; cornerback Ty Law; and coach Don Coryell.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals placed All-Pro David Johnson on injured reserve and re-signed veteran running back Chris Johnson.
The team also signed ex-Arizona State running back D.J. Foster off the New England practice squad. The Cardinals had released Chris Johnson in their final roster cuts this year. ESPN reported that David Johnson would undergo surgery on his dislocated left wrist and be sidelined two to three months.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears placed inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman on injured reserve, another hit for a team coming off a three-win season.
A sixth-year pro, Freeman sustained a pectoral injury and concussion in a season-opening loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles — a team-high 86 solo — last season.
The Bears also placed receiver Kevin White on injured reserve for the third straight season because of a broken shoulder.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Danica Patrick, the only female driver at NASCAR's top level, is likely at the end of her driving career after a sponsorship shake-up left her without a ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Patrick posted a statement on her Facebook page saying her time with Stewart-Haas "had come to an end" due to a new sponsorship arrangement for the team next season. The statement came shortly after Smithfield Foods said it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to become a primary sponsor at Stewart-Haas next year.
The news is a blow to RPM, which is also losing driver Aric Almirola. But it also forced changes at Stewart-Haas, which has struggled with sponsorship for three of its four cars, including the No. 10 Ford driven by Patrick.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been cleared for contact before training camp opens Friday.
Letang, who underwent season-ending neck surgery on April 13 to repair a herniated disk, said he felt healthy but continues to take his recovery one day at a time. He hopes to play when the defending Stanley Cup champions open their regular season against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 4.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — David Boudia is diving right back into another Olympic chase.
The 28-year-old Texan pulled a surprise by announcing he's coming back in hopes of making his fourth U.S. team.
Many thought Boudia called the news conference at Purdue, his alma mater, to say goodbye to the sport that turned him into an Olympic gold medalist and an international star. Instead, the three-time Olympian told reporters he'd been training with synchro partner Steele Johnson and other Boilermakers divers since mid-June and was prepared to go all the way to Tokyo in 2020.
Boudia is one of the most decorated international divers in American history.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska coach Mike Riley has been given a one-year contract extension through the 2020 season.
Riley originally signed a five-year deal when he was hired in December 2014. He signed the extension last month and is now on a four-year contract.
Riley is 16-12 with the Cornhuskers, including 1-1 this season after a 42-35 loss at Oregon last week.
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State freshman linebacker Brendan Vaughn was dismissed from the team after being charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Vaughn was redshirting and had not played this season.
NEW YORK (AP) — Alana Beard of the Los Angeles Sparks was named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her 12-year career.
VINTON, La. (AP) — Delta Downs is canceling the $1 million Jackpot race for 2-year-olds on Nov. 18 that offers qualifying points for next year's Kentucky Derby.
The Louisiana track said it's canceling seven other stakes races during the first half of its meet that starts Oct. 18 because of the region-wide impact of Hurricane Harvey.
The 1 1/16-mile Jackpot is the track's signature race. It offered Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The LPGA Tour has canceled its event next month in China because of permitting problems. The Alisports LPGA was set for Oct. 5-8 in Shanghai. In-Kyung Kim won the event last year.