Wednesday’s Sports in Brief


BALTIMORE (AP) The Boston Red Sox are going back to the playoffs.

A few hours after beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were assured their second consecutive trip to the postseason when the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-5 to the Cleveland Indians.

Those two results guaranteed Boston (88-64) at least an AL wild card. Of course, the Red Sox are looking for more than that. They lead the AL East by three games over the rival New York Yankees with 10 to play as Boston pursues its second straight division title and third in five years.

Boston joins AL Central champion Cleveland and AL West champion Houston in the American League playoffs, which begin next month. Two spots are still up for grabs.

After sweeping Baltimore, the Red Sox are off Thursday before opening an interleague series in Cincinnati on Friday night.

NEW YORK (AP) – A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday’s game against Minnesota, leading some New York players to call for protective netting to be extended.

The Yankees said the girl was taken to a hospital for treatment, and New York manager Joe Girardi said he had been told by security that she was OK. The game was delayed for about 4 minutes while she was attended to and then carried from the seats in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Major League Baseball issued recommendations for protecting netting in December 2015, encouraging teams to have it between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate.

The Mets extended netting beyond the outfield ends of the dugouts this summer. The Yankees said in July they ”are seriously exploring extending the netting prior to the 2018 season.”


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee.

Embiid’s career has been riddled with injuries and he missed his first two NBA seasons. Embiid played only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown said Wednesday the team will soon decide how to handle his playing time when training camp opens next week.

Colangelo said he was optimistic the Sixers and Embiid could agree to a contract extension before the Oct. 16 deadline.

Colangelo said there were some unspecified criteria Embiid needed to hit before he was cleared for 5-on-5 drills. He averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.


STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) – The men’s basketball team at Pacific has been punished by the NCAA for academic and recruiting violations under former coach Ron Verlin.

The NCAA said Wednesday that Verlin failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance when he violated academic misconduct and recruiting rules to get prospects eligible. He also failed to monitor his coaches and violated NCAA ethics rules when he encouraged others to give false information during the investigation.

The baseball program was also cited because former coach Ed Sprague impermissibly provided an athletic training student with a $16,000 scholarship to help with the housing costs of two baseball student-athletes, including her brother.

Penalties for the school include two years of probation, recruiting and scholarship reductions, a $5,000 fine and a vacation of all games in which ineligible athletes participated.


NEW YORK (AP) – Undefeated heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Nov. 4.

The fight announced Wednesday will be televised by Showtime as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series. It will be the sixth title defense for the 31-year-old WBC champion Wilder (38-0, 37 knockouts).

The 38-year-old Ortiz is 27-0 with 23 knockouts. If he wins, the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder would become the first Cuban heavyweight champion.

Wilder has long stated his goal of unifying the heavyweight division. The 6-7, 228-pound Alabama native calls it ”one of the best heavyweight fights in a long time.”

Anthony Joshua holds three heavyweight belts. Joseph Parker is the WBO champion.