Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EDT.
- HAVANA - Could a new wave of Cuban ballplayers be flooding Major League parks soon - without having to defect from the Communist-run island? Cuba on Friday announced that athletes from all sports will soon be able to ply their trade in foreign leagues. But don't throw your Yankees, Dodgers or Rockies cap in the air in celebration just yet: Longstanding U.S. embargo rules barring financial transactions with Cuba mean it may not happen anytime soon.
- MINNEAPOLIS - The Cleveland Indians are trying to keep their one-game lead for the second AL wild card spot. They send Corey Kluber to the mound to take on Minnesota, with Pedro Hernandez pitching for the Twins. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
- ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas Rangers, winners of four straight but still trailing Cleveland by a game for the second AL wild-card spot, send Alexi Ogando against Los Angeles Angels lefty C.J. Wilson, a key starter on back-to-back World Series teams in Texas. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
- ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals are on the verge of their NL Central title since 2009, needing a win or Pittsburgh loss the last three games. Lance Lynn (14-10) gets the call against the Chicago Cubs and Travis Wood (9-11). UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
- DOVER, Del. - Matt Kenseth is the points leader and winner of the first two Chase races. But look who's right behind him. Kyle Busch, his JGR teammate, is in second place and has two straight second place finishes to keep him within striking distance of his first championship. UPCOMING. By 6 p.m. 750 words.
- PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Tiger Woods was voted PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time on the strength of his five big wins and return to No. 1 in the world. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos. Sent. Will stand.
- TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama remains in search of a game where everything comes together. The Crimson Tide is still unbeaten and ranked No. 1 but not feeling especially good about the team's performance going into Saturday's game with No. 21 Mississippi. UPCOMING 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
- SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says revenge won't be a factor when his 14th-ranked Sooners face No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday. Apparently, though, not all his players got the memo. At least a few Sooners (3-0) say revenge for a 30-13 loss last season, when the Irish (3-1) scored the final 17 points in the final 6 minutes to turn a close game into a blowout to help Notre Dame get to the BCS title game, will be on their minds when the teams meet Saturday. UPCOMING: 750 words by 4 p.m.