Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AP-Sports Right Now,696

Update on the latest in sports:

MLB-SCHEDULE

Tight races

UNDATED (AP) -- It's only a game. That's all that separates St. Louis from Pittsburgh at the top of the National League Central.

The Pirates get an early chance to shrink that gap when they close out their series at Texas as one of four games on the afternoon baseball schedule. Pittsburgh has won the first two games of the series to keep the heat on St. Louis, while maintaining the Pirates' edge in the wild-card chase.

The Cardinals take a four-game winning streak into their home game against Milwaukee tonight. They're hoping some of that streak rubs off on scheduled starter Lance Lynn, who had lost four in a row.

Cincinnati entered the week winning six of seven from division leaders St. Louis and Los Angeles. Since then, the Reds have lost two straight to NL Central cellar-dwelling Cubs. That's dropped Cincinnati three back of St. Louis heading into this afternoon's series finale with Chicago.

Cleveland can creep within a game of Tampa Bay for the final American League wild-card spot with a win at home against Kansas City this afternoon. The Royals will be playing their 44th game in as many days and are only three games back of the Rays in the wild-card chase.

Tampa Bay continues its showdown with AL East-leading Boston tonight, hoping to break out of a prolonged slide that has tightened up the wild-card race. The Rays have lost 12 of 16 and only scored 41 runs in that stretch.

Baltimore is also just a game and a-half back of Tampa Bay heading into tonight's home game with the Yankees.

The last time we saw San Francisco's Yusmeiro Petit (yoos-MEHR'-oh peh-TEE'), he was one strike away from a perfect game. The right-hander takes a 3-0 mark and 1.71 ERA into this afternoon's start against Colorado.

NASCAR-MWR-SPONSORS

Sponsors reviewing MWR actions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Two of Michael Waltrip Racing's sponsors are reviewing their relationships with the race team following the organization's attempt to manipulate the finish at the Sprint Cup race in Richmond Saturday.

NAPA Auto Parts posted on its Facebook page Wednesday it is disappointed a partner would make "such a significant error in judgment." NAPA is the sponsor for Martin Truex Jr., who was kicked out of the Chase for the championship when NASCAR sanctioned MWR for its actions in Saturday night's race.

NAPA says it has launched a review of its future partnership with MWR.

Also, Clint Bowyer sponsor 5-Hour Energy tweeted it is reviewing its sponsorship relations internally.

NHL-TRAINING CAMPS

Camps open

UNDATED (AP) -- NHL players start to hit the ice for the start of training camps today.

It's back to a normal schedule after the hurry-up, abbreviated last season, which was caused by the lockout.

That means teams will get a full training camp to evaluate players for a normal 82-game season. But there are some benefits to players under the new collective bargaining agreement. Camps are limited to 20 days for veterans, and each player is required to have two days off.

Some familiar coaching faces take over with new teams. Among them, John Tortorella with Vancouver, Alain Vigneault (VEEN'-yoh) with the Rangers and Lindy Ruff with Dallas. Dallas Eakins is the new coach at Edmonton.

GOLF-BMW CHAMPIONSHIP

Third of four playoffs events on tap

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- The top 70 golfers in the FedEx Cup are assembled for the BWM Championship, the third of the four playoff events. They'll tee it up starting tomorrow with the top 30 at week's end moving on to the Tour Championship next week, with $10 million going to the winner.

Henrik Stenson has the points lead with 4,051 after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks ago. Tiger Woods is just 14 points back.

LPGA-EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Another major

EVIAN-LES-BAIN, France (AP) -- The fifth and final major of the LPGA season is set to start tomorrow. The Evian Championship has been elevated to major status for the first time. Inbee Park is the defending champ and looks to add the title to her three majors already this year. The South Korean is the world top-ranked golfer with six Tour victories.

AP-WF-09-11-13 1505GMT


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