AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:26 p.m. EDT

Albert Pujols hits 698th home run, ties game for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 698th home run, a two-run drive that pulled the St Louis Cardinals into a sixth-inning tie with the Cincinnati Reds. Pujols hit a first-pitch slider Raynel Espinal 427 feet into the left-field stands for his 19th home run of the season, tying the score 4-4. Pujols trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth...

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Albert Pujols hits 698th home run, ties game for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 698th home run, a two-run drive that pulled the St Louis Cardinals into a sixth-inning tie with the Cincinnati Reds. Pujols hit a first-pitch slider Raynel Espinal 427 feet into the left-field stands for his 19th home run of the season, tying the score 4-4. Pujols trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). With 2,203 RBIs, Pujols moved within 11 of Babe Ruth for second, behind Hank Aaron’s 2,297.St. Louis has 17 games remaining.Pujols has hit 15 home runs in 47 games since July 10 in his 22nd major league season. He intends to retire at the end of the season.

Alvarez has 3 HRs, Astros down A’s to clinch playoff berth

HOUSTON (AP) — Yordan Alvarez homered in his first three at-bats, Justin Verlander threw five hitless innings in his return from the injured list and the Houston Astros clinched a postseason berth with a 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics. The Astros (won their sixth straight game to join the Dodgers as the first two teams to secure playoff spots, reaching their sixth straight postseason. Alvarez, second in the AL with 36 home runs, had solo shots off Adrián Martínez in the first, third and fifth. He capped his big night with a single to tie his career high with four hits.

PayPal says if Sarver stays, it won’t remain Suns sponsor

PayPal says the company will no longer sponsor the Phoenix Suns if owner Robert Sarver remains part of the franchise when his suspension ends. PayPal says its current partnership deal with the Suns ends after the coming 2022-23 season, meaning it will expire during Sarver’s one-year suspension from the NBA. Later Friday, the executive director of the NBA players union said players want Sarver banned from the league. Sarver was suspended this week, plus fined $10 million, after an investigation showed a pattern of lewd, misogynistic, and racist speech and conduct during his 18 years as owner of the Suns.

Chargers’ Herbert day-to-day with fractured rib cartilage

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has fractured rib cartilage after taking a hit during the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Brandon Staley said a CT scan Friday morning confirmed the injury. Staley said the third-year quarterback is day-to-day and that his status will be evaluated again on Monday. The Chargers don’t return to the practice field until Wednesday, when they will start preparing to host Jacksonville on Sept. 25. Herbert only missed one play and still threw the ball effectively after the injury.

On Football: Can Black QBs pave way for Black coaches?

When 11 Black quarterbacks started in Week 1, it was another indication that those racial stereotypes have finally been overcome. Four of the five largest contracts in the sport have been given to Black QBs, including Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed $230 million deal from the Cleveland Browns. Despite the increase in Black quarterbacks and Black officials, who represent about 40% of the league’s officiating crew, the growth in diversity isn’t reflected on the sideline.

Federer, Serena retire; tennis moves on to Alcaraz, Swiatek

The timing of it all hardly could be more symbolic: All within a span of two weeks, Serena Williams plays what is believed to be her last match at age 40, Roger Federer announces he’ll be retiring at 41, Iga Swiatek wins her third Grand Slam title at 21, and Carlos Alcaraz gets his first at 19. After so much handwringing in recent years about what would become of tennis once transcendent superstars such as Williams and Federer leave the game, the sport does seem to be in good hands as it prepares to move on. Federer said Thursday he will exit after the Laver Cup next week. Williams lost in the third round of the U.S. Open on Sept. 2.

Dustin Johnson stays in groove, opens with 63 at LIV-Chicago

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Dustin Johnson is on a roll in the Saudi-backed LIV series. Johnson is coming off a win at the last LIV Golf event. Along with his team earnings, he already is closing in on $10 million after four events. And then the former No. 1 player made it look easy with a 63 at the LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago. That gives him a three-shot lead over British Open champion Cameron Smith. Matthew Wolf was at 67. The group at 68 includes Charles Howell III. Phil Mickelson had five birdies. He also had a triple bogey and was seven behind Johnson.

Defending champ Max Homa, Danny Willett share lead in Napa

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Max Homa moved into position to defend his title at the Fortinet Championship, shooting a 5-under 67 to share the 36-hole lead with Danny Willett at the PGA Tour’s season opener. Homa won twice last season and will play in next week’s Presidents Cup as a captain’s pick. He says he feels comfortable at Silverado Resort & Spa. Willett shot a bogey-free 64 to match Homa’s two-day total of 12-under 132. The English player kept his PGA Tour card for this season because of players defecting to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series. Justin Lower and Byeong Hun An were two shots back.

Chastain watching his mirrors in playoff elimination race

Ross Chastain heads into the first elimination race of NASCAR’s playoffs in a pretty comfortable position above the cutline. Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick are trying to stave off elimination Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. And yet Chastain can’t relax, even as he sits ninth in the 16-driver field. The bottom four in the standings will be eliminated when the checkered flag falls at the Tennessee short track, and Chastain can’t guarantee he won’t be knocked below that cutline. He’s angered enough fellow drivers this year that any payback headed his way could be delivered at a most inopportune time.

Golovkin, Álvarez vow to settle rivalry in pivotal 3rd fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The third fight between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Álvarez took four years to happen. Yet their showdown on Saturday night in Las Vegas always seemed both inevitable and necessary. That’s because the first two meetings between these talented boxers didn’t truly resolve anything about one of the best rivalries in this era. Their first two bouts ended in a draw and a narrow decision victory for Álvarez, yet many observers without an official scorecard believe Golovkin deserved the win in one or both. That’s the nature of this imprecise sport, but almost everyone can agree neither fighter was clearly superior.

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