Weekday Morning Sports Report – Tuesday 9/17/19

MLB – Major League Baseball
Yesterday
Detroit Tigers 5, Baltimore Orioles 2
Minnesota Twins 5, Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 8, Cincinnati Reds 2

Tigers 5, Orioles 2 – Tigers earn split with O’s, remain on track for top draft pick
Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Detroit split a four-game series between the teams with the worst records in the major leagues. After the first series in American League history between teams in 50 or more games under .500, Detroit (45-104) has a 3 1/2-game “lead” over Baltimore (49-101) for the top pick in June’s amateur draft, which goes to the club with the lowest winning percentage this season. Detroit needs to win one of its final six games at Comerica Park to avoid breaking the major league record of 59 home losses, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. Tyler Alexander (1-3), a 24-year-old left-hander forced into the rotation by a doubleheader last week, got his first big league win.  John Means (10-11) gave up five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Twins 5, White Sox 3 – Twins beat White Sox 5-3, open 5-game AL Central lead
Jose Berrios pitched into the eighth inning to win his second straight start, Mitch Garver hit a go-ahead double and Minnesota increased its lead to five games in the AL Central. Seeking their first division title since 2010, the Twins (92-58) are assured of their best record since finishing 94-68 nine years ago.  Berrios (13-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. He was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was removed. Tyler Duffey finished the eighth, Sergio Romo allowed Eloy Jimenez’s homer leading off the ninth before getting an out, and Taylor Rogers needed just eight pitches to finish a six-hitter for his 27th save in 33 chances. White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez (9-14) gave up five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Cubs 8, Reds 2 – Schwarber homers as Cubs beat Reds 8-2
Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and made a diving catch in left field, helping Chicago win its fifth straight. Nicholas Castellanos added a two-run double in the eighth inning as the Cubs moved a season-high 14 games above .500. Chicago has outscored its opponents 59-18 during its win streak. The Cubs (82-68) pulled within a half-game of Washington for the top spot in the wild-card standings and stayed two games back of NL Central-leading St. Louis, which held off the Nationals for a 4-2 win. Steve Cishek, Alec Mills (1-0), Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan and David Phelps combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of an ineffective Cole Hamels. It was Mills’ first major league win in his 17th big league appearance. Kevin Gausman (3-9) pitched two innings for the Reds in his first start since he was claimed off waivers from the Braves last month.

Tonight
Detroit (Boyd 8-11) at Cleveland (Plesac 8-6), 7:10 p.m.             WSJM Sports/Cosy-FM 3:45
Chicago White Sox (Giolito 14-9) at Minnesota (Perez 10-7), 7:40 p.m.
Cincinnati (Gray 10-7) at Chicago Cubs (Darvish 6-6), 8:05 p.m.

MLB – Cubs 1B Rizzo diagnosed with moderate ankle sprain
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will wear a walking boot for the next five to seven days after an MRI showed he had a moderate lateral right ankle sprain. Rizzo had to be helped off the field after he got hurt while going to field a bunt in the third inning of Sunday’s 16-6 victory over Pittsburgh. Rizzo will be re-evaluated after he gets out of the walking boot. The Cubs say they will know more about when he might be able to return at that point. The loss of Rizzo is another big blow for Chicago, which already was playing without Javier Baez after the All-Star shortstop broke his left thumb. Closer Craig Kimbrel has been sidelined by right elbow inflammation, but he is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday and could return this weekend.

NFL – National Football League – Week 2
Last Night
Cleveland Browns 23, New York Jets 3

Browns 23, Jets 3 – Beckham’s heroics lead Browns
Odell Beckham Jr. made a triumphant return to the Meadowlands by providing a long scoring reception and making a one-handed grab as the Cleveland Browns dumped the battered New York Jets, 23-3. Beckham took a slant pass and outran the Jets’ defenders all the way to the end zone for an 89-yard TD that put Cleveland up 23-3 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. His spectacular 33-yard, one-handed grab got Cleveland down to the Jets 4 and set up a field goal for the game’s first points.

NFL – Big Ben out for season; Brees to undergo surgery
Two of the NFL’s very best quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, with one learning that he’s done for the year. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his aching right elbow, putting the offense in the hands of Mason Rudolph. Roethlisberger shook his arm after a pair of passes with the Steelers driving late in the first half of yesterday’s loss to Seattle and watched the second half from the sideline. Roethlisberger has been Pittsburgh’s starter since taking over for Tommy Maddox in Week 2 of the 2004 season as a rookie. A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Saints quarterback Drew Brees is expected to be out six weeks after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb during Sunday’s loss to the Rams. Saints coach Sean Payton declined today to go into detail about Brees’ condition or even rule him out for this Sunday’s game in Seattle. The injury occurred when the thumb hit the hand of on-rushing defensive lineman Aaron Donald on the follow-through of a throw in the first quarter.

NFL – Hugs and whiskey: Detroit Lions, fans honor ‘Yooperman’
The Detroit Lions honored one of its most devout fans at the first home game since the death of Donnie “Yooperman” Stefanski.  For more than 25 years, Stefanski would drive more than 300 miles from the Upper Peninsula to tailgate and attend Lions games, first at the Silverdome and then at Ford Field. He’s in the NFL Fan Hall of Fame. Stefanski died on Sept. 3 at age 61. The Lions played a video tribute Sunday.  At Eastern Market, Stefanski’s daughter, Megan, displayed her father’s Lions jersey with the name “Yooperman” on the back. Tailgaters observed a moment of silence and drank shots of whiskey. Another Lions fans, Mark Mullins, tells the Detroit Free Press that no words can sum up the “shock” of Stefanski’s absence. He says Megan must carry on the tradition.

NHL – National Hockey League Preseason
Tonight
Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.

NHL – NHL players stay with CBA, labor peace set to at least 2022
The NHL is guaranteed labor peace for the next three seasons after the players association announced it is declining to trigger its opt-out clause. Meetings between owners and players have been going on since February and increased in frequency in recent weeks. The league did not opt out of the CBA, with Commissioner Gary Bettman citing momentum and the importance of labor peace overriding the issues owners might have. Player concerns include escrow payments, health care, Olympic participation and the definition of what qualifies as hockey-related revenue. The last CBA was negotiated in 2013 and runs through the 2021-22 season.

NHL – New Seattle NHL arena remains on schedule for summer of 2021
The arena for Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise remains on track to open sometime in the summer of 2021.  Construction officials said Monday that the entire bowl of the former KeyArena has been demolished and excavation work is ongoing. Officials hope to begin digging down 15 feet from the current floor by year’s end and to spend most of 2020 constructing the new seating bowl from the bottom up.  Ken Johnsen, who is overseeing the construction project for Oak View Group and the NHL franchise, says the most challenge part so far has been putting in supports to take on the weight of the 44 million-pound roof, which is staying in place. The new arena is being built under the roof, which has historical landmark status.  Johnsen says the budget for the project remains around $930 million.

MCCAA – Junior College Sports
Tonight
Women’s Volleyball
Lake Michigan College at Grand Rapids Community College, 6:30 p.m.

MHSAA – High School Sports
Last Night
Boys Soccer
New Buffalo 4, Lake Michigan Catholic 0
Michigan Lutheran 3, Buchanan 0
Covert 5, Lawrence 1
Berrien Springs 4, Watervliet 3
Edwardsburg 3, Dowagiac 2
Plainwell 1, Allegan 0
South Haven 0, Paw Paw 0 – TIE
Otsego 2, Three Rivers 0
Vicksburg 1, Sturgis 0
Bangor 2, Bloomingdale 0
Hartford 8, Eau Claire 0
Cassopolis 8, Marcellus 0
Delton-Kellogg 8, Constantine 0
Fennville 6, Lawton 0
Schoolcraft 8, Saugatuck 0

Girls Volleyball
Lakeshore 3, Buchanan 0
Paw Paw 3, St. Joseph 0

Boys Tennis
Allegan 8, South Haven 0
Paw Paw 5, Otsego 3
Sturgis 7, Edwardsburg 1

Tonight
Boys Soccer
Niles at Lakeshore, 6:30 p.m.
Portage Northern at Portage Central, 6:30 p.m.
Mattawan at Battle Creek Central, 6:30 p.m.
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix at Kalamazoo Central, 6:30 p.m.
Gull Lake at Battle Creek Lakeview, 6:30 p.m.
Covert at Howardsville Christian, 5:00 p.m.

Girls Volleyball
Kalamazoo Hackett at Coloma, 6:30 p.m.
Fennville at Gobles, 6:30 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian at Lawton, 6:30 p.m.
Watervliet at Saugatuck, 6:30 p.m.
Constantine at Schoolcraft, 6:30 p.m.
Delton-Kellogg at Galesburg-Augusta, 6:30 p.m.
White Pigeon at Bloomingdale, 7:00 p.m.
Hartford at Cassopolis, 7:00 p.m.
Eau Claire at Centreville, 7:00 p.m.
Mendon at Decatur, 7:00 p.m.
Bangor at Marcellus, 7:00 p.m.
Benton Harbor at Battle Creek Calhoun Christian, 6:00 p.m.

Boys Tennis
Portage Central at St. Joseph, 4:00 p.m.
Lakeshore at Niles, 4:00 p.m.

Girls Swimming and diving
Mattawan at St. Joseph, 6:00 p.m.
Bridgman/Lakeshore at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 6:00 p.m.

MHSAA – High School Football rankings
Division 1
1. Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (4)           (3-0)  49
2. Belleville (1)                                                  (3-0)  45
3. Rockford                                                         (3-0)  41
4. Dearborn Fordson                                           (3-0)  32
5. Lake Orion                                                       (3-0)  25
6. Grandville                                                       (3-0)  24
7. Davison                                                           (3-0)  22
8. West Bloomfield                                             (2-1)  18
9. Romeo                                                              (3-0)  9 
10. Traverse City West                                        (2-1)  2 
(tie) Brighton                                                      (3-0)  2 
(tie) Brownstown Woodhaven                             (3-0)  2 
(tie) Rochester Adams                                          (2-1)  2 
Others receiving votes: East Kentwood 1. Saline 1.

Division 2
1. Muskegon Mona Shores (4)                          (3-0)  48          
2. Birmingham Groves (1)                                 (3-0)  46          
3. Walled Lake Western                                    (3-0)  36          
4. Midland                                                         (3-0)  31          
5. South Lyon                                                    (3-0)  28          
6. Livonia Franklin                                            (3-0)  27          
7. Oak Park                                                       (2-1)  22          
8. Warren De La Salle                                       (2-1)  18          
9. Portage Northern                                      (3-0)  9           
10. Grosse Pointe South                                   (2-1)  3           
(tie) Detroit King                                              (2-1)  3           
Others receiving votes: Farmington 2. Port Huron Northern 1. Traverse City Central 1.

Division 3
1. Muskegon (5)                                                (3-0)  50          
2. Edwardsburg                                               (3-0)  41          
3. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s                               (3-0)  40          
4. Zeeland West                                                 (3-0)  37          
5. Mount Pleasant                                             (3-0)  31          
6. Birmingham  Brother Rice                             (3-0)  23          
7. Chelsea                                                          (3-0)  19          
8. Byron Center                                                 (3-0)  6           
(tie) Mason                                                          (3-0)  6           
(tie) Riverview                                                     (3-0)  6            
Others receiving votes: St. Joseph 5. DeWitt 4. Flint Kearsley 3. River Rouge 2. Allen Park 1. East Lansing 1.

Division 4
1. Paw Paw (5)                                                 (3-0)  59          
2. Detroit Country Day (1)                               (3-0)  55          
3. Escanaba                                                        (3-0)  45          
4. Flint Powers                                                  (3-0)  41          
5. Muskegon Orchard View                                (3-0)  31          
6. Milan                                                              (3-0)  28          
7. Grand Rapids Catholic Central                    (2-1)  26          
8. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep                               (3-0)  16          
9. Fowlerville                                                    (3-0)  10          
10. Ludington                                                      (3-0)  8           
Others receiving votes: Hamilton 6. Sparta 2. Vicksburg 2. Williamston 1.

Division 5
1. Montague (3)                                                (3-0)  39          
2. Muskegon Oakridge (1)                                (3-0)  35          
3. Portland                                                       (3-0)  32          
4. Lansing Catholic                                          (3-0)  25          
5. Frankenmuth                                                 (3-0)  23          
6. Kingsley                                                        (3-0)  19          
7. Marine City                                                   (3-0)  15          
8. Olivet                                                           (3-0)  8            
9. Saginaw Swan Valley                                   (2-1)  7           
(tie) Hillsdale                                                     (3-0)  7           
Others receiving votes: Hopkins 6. Clare 3. Freeland 1.

Division 6
1. Ithaca (3)                                                       (3-0)  38          
2. Maple City Glen Lake (1)                                (3-0)  37          
3. Montrose                                                        (3-0)  32          
4. Flint Hamady                                                   (3-0)  26          
5. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central               (2-1)  22          
6. Grass Lake                                                      (3-0)  21          
7. Brandywine                                                  (3-0)  19          
8. Warren Michigan Collegiate                          (2-1)  12          
9. Brooklyn Columbia Central                            (3-0)  9           
10. Menominee                                                      (2-1)  2           
Others receiving votes: Ravenna 1. Gladstone 1.

Division 7
1. New Lothrop (3)                                            (3-0)   45          
2. Pewamo-Westphalia (1)                                 (3-0)   44          
3. Jackson Lumen Christi (1)                             (3-0)   41          
4. Clinton                                                          (3-0)   36          
5. Schoolcraft                                                 (3-0)   33          
6. Sand Creek                                                     (3-0)   18          
7. Cassopolis                                                    (3-0)   14          
8. Riverview Gabriel Richard                            (3-0)   12          
9. Elkton-Pigeon Bay Port Laker                       (3-0)   10          
10. Iron Mountain                                               (3-0)   8           
Others receiving votes: Beal City 5. Beaverton 4. Cass City 2. Centreville 2. West Iron County 1.

Division 8
1. Reading (3)                                                      (2-1)   46          
2. Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (1)       (3-0)   43          
3. Harbor Beach (1)                                             (3-0)   41           
4. Ishpeming                                                         (3-0)   40          
5. Ubly                                                                  (3-0)   25          
6. White Pigeon                                                    (3-0)   20          
7. Mount Clemens                                                 (3-0)   14          
(tie) Johannesburg-Lewiston                                (3-0)   14          
9. Saginaw Nouvel                                               (2-1)   11          
10. Clarkston Everest Catholic                           (2-0)   10          
Others receiving votes: Lake Linden-Hubbell 6. Fowler 4. Adrian Lenawee Christian 1.

Division 8 Player
1. Morrice (5)                                                   (3-0)  74          
2. Powers North Central (3)                            (3-0)  71          
3. Pickford                                                        (2-1)  58          
4. Climax-Scotts                                             (3-0)  46          
5. Onekama                                                        (3-0)  37          
Others receiving votes: Colon 9. Deckerville 7. Brimley 6. Crystal Falls Forest Park 6. Newberry 6.