Tuesday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has set its season strikeout record for the 12th straight season.
Batters struck out 41,098 times through Monday, closing in on the 41,207 of last season. Philadelphia and Washington combined for 19 strikeouts in the first game of their day-night doubleheader, and there were more than 100 strikeouts in the night games by around 9 p.m. EDT.
Strikeouts broke 40,000 for the first time in 2017, when there were 40,104.
Before the record run started in 2008, the mark had been 32,404 in 2001. Strikeouts totaled 29,937 in 1996 before reaching the 30,000 for the first time the following year.
MLB also set a record for home runs this season. The league entered Tuesday with 6,550, surpassing the mark of 6,105 set in 2017.
PHOENIX (AP) — Ildemaro Vargas had a game-tying pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning and then singled with the bases loaded in the 19th at 1:34 a.m. local time to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed started the final rally with back-to-back singles off John Brebbia (3-4), who was the Cardinals’ 11th pitcher of the night. Jarrod Dyson and Robbie Ray — a pitcher who had to pinch hit — struck out before Christian Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Then it was Vargas’ turn to be the hero again, smacking a single — his fourth hit of the game — through the left side of the infield. He raised his hands as players rushed the field to celebrate.
The game last 6 hours and 53 minutes and featured 24 pitchers and 48 strikeouts, with both teams plowing through bullpen arms thanks to September’s expanded rosters. The Diamondbacks used a franchise-record 30 players. It was the longest game by innings and time in Chase Field history.
St. Louis had its lead in the NL Central cut to 2 1/2 games over Milwaukee. The Cardinals have four games remaining, while the Brewers have five.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Trea Turner’s go-ahead grand slam lifted Washington to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies for a doubleheader sweep that helped the Nationals clinch an NL wild card, capping quite a turnaround for a team that was 19-31 in late May.
Turner had three hits in the day’s first game, a 4-1 win for the Nationals. Washington assured itself of returning to the playoffs for the fifth time in eight years after sitting out October in 2018.
Anthony Rendon delivered two sacrifice flies to raise his majors-leading RBIs total to 124 in the opening victory, a result that also eliminated Philadelphia and $330 million outfielder Bryce Harper, the ex-Nationals star, from postseason contention.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ryan Braun added to his record total of homers at Great American Ball Park, and the Milwaukee Brewers moved a step closer to a wild-card berth, beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 for their fifth win in a row.
Just like last season, when Milwaukee put on a late rush to take the NL Central title, the Brewers have closed in on a playoff spot with a September flourish. They’ve won 16 of 18, positioning themselves for one of the NL wild cards along with Washington. They can clinch Wednesday with a win or losses by the Cubs and Mets.
Braun connected for his 21st homer off Sonny Gray, making the final start of his All-Star season. Braun’s 27 homers at Great American are the most by a visiting player.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Colorado and San Francisco combined to use a major league-record 25 pitchers, and Charlie Blackmon hit a three-run homer in the 16th inning to end it and give the Giants an 8-5 win over the Rockies.
The game lasted 5 hours, 31 minutes, with Giants manager Bruce Bochy making 12 pitching changes — hardly taking it easy in his final week on the job.
Blackmon’s first hit of the night came in his eighth plate appearance and off Dereck Rodriguez for his 31st home run. Both clubs left the bases loaded in the 11th, and Colorado stranded 15 baserunners.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA fined the Milwaukee Bucks $50,000 over a comment general manager Jon Horst made about the team’s plans to offer league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo a “supermax” extension.
The league says Horst violated league rules “governing the timing of discussions regarding future player contracts and permissible commitments to players.” The Bucks cannot publicly commit to offering anyone a supermax until the summer following that player’s seventh season.
Antetokounmpo is entering his seventh season. He would be eligible to sign a record five-year extension worth nearly $250 million in July 2020, with that new deal beginning in the 2021-22 season.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets expect to wait a year before Kevin Durant plays for them.
General manager Sean Marks said the Nets are planning this season without the injured All-Star. He added Durant will have a say in determining when he’s ready.
Durant is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was injured while playing for Golden State in the NBA Finals, then left the Warriors to sign with the Nets in July. At the time, the Nets left open the possibility that Durant could play this season. That’s still possible, but Marks isn’t banking on it.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues acquired All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Joel Edmundson and a prospect.
The Blues also announced Faulk had signed a seven-year contract extension worth $45.5 million that goes into effect following this season with the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Faulk gives the Blues another offensively gifted right-handed shooting defenseman who could play on the second or third pair. He could also run the second power-play unit. The 27-year-old had 85 goals and 258 points — club records in both stat categories among defensemen — and had spent his entire eight-year NHL career with Carolina, which drafted him in the first round in 2010. He was entering the final year of his six-year, $29 million contract that gave him the right to reject a trade to several teams.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Washington Mystics are heading back to the WNBA Finals, and this time they believe they have the depth and versatility to win it all.
Elena Delle Donne scored 25 points, and the Mystics earned a return trip to the championship round, outlasting the Las Vegas Aces 94-90 to close out their semifinal series in Game 4.
The Mystics will host the Connecticut Sun in Game 1 of the Finals on Sunday. Last season, Washington was swept in three games by the Seattle Storm.
Emma Meesseman bounced back from her dismal performance in Game 3, when she was held to just six points, by scoring 22 for Washington, and Kristi Toliver added 20.