It finally happened. The 19-game winless streak is over. The Cleveland Browns have their first victory since December 2016, and their rookie quarterback led them to victory.
The Browns trailed 14-0 near halftime before first overall pick Baker Mayfield entered the game and rallied Cleveland to its first win in 635 days, 21-17 over the New York Jets.
Mayfield took over after Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner finished 17 of 23 for 201 yards, leading four scoring drives and catching a pass for a two-point conversion.
Carlos Hyde had a pair of one-yard touchdown runs, the last giving the Browns the lead with 2:04 remaining. Hyde carried 23 times for 98 yards.
Jarvis Landry caught eight passes for 103 yards and threw the conversion pass to Mayfield that tied the game 14-14 in the third quarter.
Sam Darnold didn’t fare well in a matchup of the first two quarterbacks taken in this year’s draft, completing 15 of 31 passes for 169 yards. The Jets had two chances to regain the lead after the two-minute warning, but the drives ended with interceptions by Darnold as New York fell to 1-2.
The winless skid was the league’s second-longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Browns are 1-1-1.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
The Green Bay Packers might get injured inside linebacker Oren Burks back for their game Sunday at Washington. The rookie appeared to be in line to open the season as the starter inside alongside Blake Martinez when he hurt his shoulder during warmups before a preseason game last month in Oakland. Depth has also been replenished at running back, where Aaron Jones figures to return on Sunday after missing the first two games due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Broncos quarterback Case Keenum returned to practice after missing a day with a sore knee. Keenum didn’t want to miss Wednesday’s workout but said he understood that being cautious in September will give him a better chance of staying in the lineup all season. He has led the Broncos to a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks, pushing his record over the last two seasons to 13-3.
Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones says he’s “good” to play against New Orleans on Sunday despite missing his second day of practice with tightness in his calf. Jones says his absence from practice on Thursday was “just precaution.”
Jaguars’ running back Leonard Fournette practiced in a limited capacity for the second straight day and feels “a lot better, like way better” than he did a week ago. Fournette strained his right hamstring in a season-opening win over the Giants at the Meadowlands and sat out last week’s victory against New England.
Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown says he doesn’t want to be traded. He had earlier responded to criticism on social media by suggesting the team should trade him if it wants to find out how productive he can be when not playing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Brown admits that he’s got to do a better job of limiting distractions going forward.
Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is sick of losing and frustrated with seemingly being asked to take tests every other week by the NFL for performance-enhancers. Beckham tweeted about the tests, saying, “It’s actually funny how I ‘randomly’ get tested every other week. Dear @NFL please stop sending these people, ur takin away from meeting times and film… thanks.” Beckham has never been suspended by the NFL for using a banned substance.
On the third try, the Boston Red Sox got it right.
Mookie Betts was 4-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored as the Red Sox pulled out an 11-6 win over the New York Yankees to capture their third straight AL East title. The Bosox dropped the first two games of the series and trailed 6-4 heading into the fifth inning before improving to a major league-best 104-49.
Jackie Bradley Jr. tied the game with a solo homer in the seventh. Later in the inning, Xander Bogaerts lifted a sacrifice fly that was thrown away by outfielder Aaron Hicks, allowing a second run to score.
Betts capped the scoring with a three-run blast in the eighth off Aroldis Chapman, who was making his first appearance since coming off the disabled list. Brock Holt also went deep for the Bosox.
Boston’s rally came after Giancarlo Stanton launched a grand slam to erase the Yankees’ 4-2 deficit.
It’s the first time the Red Sox have won three straight division titles. They need one more victory to tie the club record set in 1912.
Luke Voit homered for the third time in two games, but the Yankees failed to complete the sweep. Boston heads to Cleveland to take on the Indians Friday at 7:00 p.m.
New York is now 1 ½ games ahead of Oakland for the first AL wild card, as they prepare to host the Orioles Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Checking out Thursday’s other major league action:
The Athletics reduced their magic number to four for clinching an AL playoff berth by blasting the Los Angeles Angels, 21-3. Marcus Semien highlighted Oakland’s season-high 22-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with five RBIs, contributing a three-run double and a two-run single. Stephen Piscotty added four ribbies, including a three-run homer that put the A’s ahead 5-1 in the third inning.
Lucas Duda doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh and Freddie Freeman was 2-for-5 with two runs scored as the Braves beat the Phillies, 8-3. Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson each had two hits and an RBI for the Braves, who dropped their magic number for winning the NL East to four over Philadelphia. Swanson drew a bases-loaded walk to spark Atlanta’s four-run eighth.
Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak is over after the Blue Jays homered three times while erupting for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Rays, 9-8. Justin Smoak won it with a solo shot, one pitch after Lourdes Gurriel’s three-run blast knotted the score. Danny Jansen hit two-run shot after the Rays scored five times in the seventh to take an 8-2 lead.
The White Sox blew a 4-0 lead before Matt Davidson delivered an RBI single in the 11th inning to give Chicago a 5-4 victory at Cleveland. Yoan Moncada hit a two-run double and Omar Narvaez added a solo shot before the Indians began to rally on third-inning homers by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley. The White Sox avoided a season sweep of their nine games in Cleveland after the Indians outscored them 58-19 in the first eight meetings.
Amed Rosario hit a leadoff single and scored on Jose Lobaton’s sacrifice fly to five the Mets a 5-4 win at Washington. Michael Conforto belted a two-run homer and Jay Bruce added a solo shot and two RBIs for New York. Anthony Rondon slammed a two-run blast and rookie Juan Soto tied the game with an RBI double in the eighth. The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Christian Stewart slammed his first two big league homers and collected six RBIs as the Tigers outscored the Royals, 11-8. The Royals led 3-0 in the first until Stewart and Nicholas Castellanos hit back-to-back shots. Jorge Bonifacio, Brian Goodwin, Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi went deep for the Royals.
The Reds were 4-2 winners at Miami as Scooter Gennett supplied a two-run homer and a two-run double. Cody Reed allowed five hits over six innings to win for only the second time in 12 major league decisions. Raisel Iglesias put the tying run on base in the ninth before notching his 29th save.
In other MLB news:
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chad Kuhl will miss the entire 2019 season following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Kuhl went 5-5 with a 4.55 ERA in 16 starts for the Bucs this season. The Pirates initially placed him on the disabled list in June because of right forearm soreness and gave him a month off hoping he’d avoid surgery.
Mets infielder Wilmer Flores will miss the rest of the season because of soreness in both knees. Manager Mickey Callaway said surgery is not recommended at this time but adds that Flores has early-onset arthritis in both knees and will receive injections to alleviate the pain. Flores started 88 games at three infield positions this season and hit .267 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs.
Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter is hinting that manager Don Mattingly is expected to return next year as the ballclub continues its latest rebuilding effort. When asked about Mattingly’s status for 2019, Jeter said, “He’s under contract.” Mattingly took over before the 2016 season and is 215-259 with Miami, including a 59-92 mark this year.
Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss have joined the Dodgers ownership group. The tennis great says team owner and Chairman Mark Walter and the organization have proven to be leaders in sports on and off the field. Walter says he’s proud to welcome “two trailblazing athletes, social advocates and business women.”
Padres’ vice president of scouting Don Welke has died at 75. He joined the Padres in 2014, following general manager A.J. Preller from the Rangers to San Diego. Welke was instrumental in the Rangers reaching consecutive World Series through his direct involvement in the signings and acquisitions of Adrian Beltre, Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus.
Tiger Woods has a share of the lead through one round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Woods made an eagle putt from just over 25 feet on the par-5 18th hole for a 5-under 65 that ties him with Rickie Fowler. It wasn’t as low as the 62 he shot at Aronimink to share the 18-hole lead in the BMW Championship two weeks ago. For Woods, this one felt even better because of the dry, tougher conditions at East Lake.
Justin Rose and Gary Woodland are one stroke back and one ahead of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau. Rose is playing his first tournament since being elevated to the top of the world ranking last Monday.
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly was evasive Thursday when asked to name his starting quarterback for Saturday’s game at Wake Forest.
Kelly would not say that junior Ian Book would start against the Demon Deacons or even if he had drawn even with senior Brandon Wimbush, last year’s primary starter and No. 1 through Notre Dame’s 3-0 start at home. When questioned specifically whether Wimbush would start, Kelly repeated that both of his top signal-callers would play.
Checking out other college football news:
Ohio State All-American defensive end Nick Bosa will be out indefinitely after having surgery for a lower-abdomen injury. Jonathan Cooper is expected to start in Bosa’s place opposite Chase Young in Saturday’s game against Tulane.
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi has been suspended for the remainder of the NHL preseason after punching Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad during a preseason game Wednesday.
Domi was asking Ekblad to fight just as the third period began, but the Panthers star showed no interest in dropping the gloves. Domi punched him twice in the face before dropping his right glove and sucker-punching Ekblad to earn a minor, major and match penalty on the play.
Ekblad was taken off the ice and underwent the NHL’s concussion protocol, which he passed.
In other NHL news:
Sabres forward Sam Reinhart practiced Thursday after signing his two-year, $7.3 million contract. Reinhart missed five days of training camp and two preseason games while holding out. The two-time 20-goal scorer has 65 goals and 140 points in 249 career games.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has declared Russia’s scandal-ridden drug-fighting operation back in business. The decision is designed to bring a close to one of sports’ most notorious doping scandals but one bitterly disputed by hundreds of athletes and described as “treachery” by the lawyer for the man who exposed the corruption.
On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee took the advice of the agency’s compliance review panel and declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency as having satisfied conditions of reinstatement that were gradually softened over the summer.
In most tangible ways, the decision doesn’t change much. RUSADA has been up and running for a while, bringing one of the world’s largest testing programs back on line with the help of officials from Britain and elsewhere. Russia’s Olympic committee was brought back into the fold after the Pyeongchang
Olympics, where athletes who could prove they were clean were able to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”