CLEVELAND (AP) — The Detroit Tigers were unable to take over sole possession of first place in the American League Central on Thursday. The Cleveland Indians put together a four-run seventh against Justin Verlander to beat the Tigers 5-3, putting Detroit a half-game behind the Chicago White Sox. Verlander gave up homers to Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner on his first two pitches of the seventh before Asdrubal (as-DROO'-bul) Cabrera singled home the tiebreaking run.
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Nationals stretched their lead in the National League East to five games over Atlanta while the wild-card leading Pittsburgh Pirates pulled within two games of the Central-leading Reds. Edwin Jackson threw seven shutout innings and Steve Lombardozzi hit a three-run triple in the Nationals' 8-2 romp at Milwaukee. Starling Marte (mahr-TAY') homered on his first major league pitch and A.J. Burnett carried a shutout into the eighth before the Pirates completed a 5-3 win at Houston.
LONDON (AP) — Thursday's Olympic men's soccer games included a surprising loss by the reigning World Cup champs and a disappointing tie for the host country. Japan scored in the first half and held on for a 1-0 win over Spain, which played much of the game a man down after their center back received a red card. Senegal's men's squad scored late in the second half to tie host Britain, 1-1.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has released its upcoming schedule, which will open with an October 30 tripleheader involving the Miami Heat. The Heat will raise their championship banner before hosting the Boston Celtics, pitting newly-signed Miami guard Ray Allen against his old team. Opening night will include the Los Angeles Lakers entertaining Dallas, Steve Nash's debut as Kobe Bryant's teammate.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NASCAR officials are mulling the elimination of the top-35 rule to put the focus back on speed in qualifying. Since 2005, the top 35 in points have been guaranteed provisional starting spots at the next race, which has sometimes eliminated faster cars from starting the race. The rule was designed to make sure full-time teams with big-name drivers and big sponsors did not miss the race, but that could change next season.