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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chris Bassitt is on quite a roll for the Oakland Athletics since being their opening day starter and then losing his first two games. He hasn’t lost since.

Bassitt limited Texas to five singles while pitching seven innings to win his eighth consecutive decision, the longest winning streak by an American League pitcher this season, as the A’s beat the Rangers 5-1 on Thursday for a series split.

“Seven innings nowadays feels like nine for a starter,” manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s what he sets out to do. He wants to go out there and take some pressure off the bullpen. He wants to pitch deep in games.”

Since losing to Houston on April 1, and then against the Los Angels Dodgers five days later, Bassitt (8-2) had gone 8-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 14 starts. It is the longest winning streak in his seven big league seasons, the last six with Oakland.

Jed Lowrie drove in runs with a single and a no-doubt home run for the A’s (46-31), whose four-game split dropped then behind Houston in the AL West. The A’s arrived in Texas having led the division for all but one day since April 19.

Bassitt was facing what was to be his last batter regardless in the seventh when Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the new Rangers shortstop after they traded 12-year starter Elvis Andrus to Oakland just before spring training, grounded into an inning-ending double play. Andrus made a sliding grab up the middle and flipped to the ball with his glove to second baseman Lowrie for the relay to first.

“Pretty vintage Elvis,” Lowrie said.

“An amazing play by Elvis, so he saved me there,” Bassitt said.

Lowrie’s RBI single in the first was already the fourth hit for the A’s, and put them up 3-0 against left-hander Kolby Allard (2-3). Ramón Laureano had an RBI double and another run scored on a groundout.

Allard managed to make it through six innings. The only other run he allowed was Lowrie’s 433-foot homer to straightaway center leading off the fourth.

“It was kind of frustrating a little bit,” said Allard, who hadn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his four previous starts since moving into the rotation. “ Obviously settled down fairly good and kind of pitched well the rest of the game, but just frustrating going out there and having the first inning go as it did.”


Texas got its only run after Eli White was hit by a pitch leading off the second, moved up two bases on the same wild pitch and scored on a groundout. White also had two singles and is 8 for 15 his last four games.


The Rangers (27-48) have gone 9-30 since they reached .500 with a win over Seattle on May 9. … Andrus played the entire series, and had five hits over the last three games. “Not the youngest guy on our team, but he wanted no part of a off day here,” Melvin said of the 32-year-old shortstop. … Joe Barlow, a 25-year-old right-hander selected by Texas in the 11th round of the 2016 amateur draft, made his major league debut and struck out his first two batters in a perfect eighth. “The maturity level, you could see he was calm out there,” manager Chris Woodward said.


Athletics: LF Mark Canha left in the third inning because of a left hip strain and will have an MRI on Friday. … RHP Mike Fiers likely won’t throw again for at least four more weeks because of an injection for his sprained right elbow. He visited Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday after he felt discomfort when trying to resume throwing this week. Fiers has made only two starts this season, the last May 6. … Laureano, the usual center fielder, was the DH for the second time in the series, and only his eighth game since missing 17 because of a straight right hip. “With the injury that he had, if we can get him off the turf here where he feels it a little bit more, I know he does, it’s a way to get his bat in the lineup,” Melvin said.


Athletics: End the first of their three 10-game trips this season close to home. Left-hander Sean Manaea (6-3, 3.01), who has a 1.19 ERA over his last six starts, pitches Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco

Rangers: Remain home for a three-game series against Kansas City, with former Rangers starter Mike Minor (6-4, 4.18) set to face them Friday night. Rookie right-hander Dane Dunning (2-6 4.71) starts for Texas.


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CHICAGO (AP) — An unidentified former Chicago Blackhawks player says in a lawsuit against the team that a then-assistant coach sexually assaulted him in 2010 during a playoff run to a Stanley Cup title and that the team did nothing after he informed a now-retired employee.

After leaving the Blackhawks, former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich was convicted in 2013 in Michigan of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a student and is now on that state’s registry of sex offenders, Chicago public radio station WBEZ reported in a series of stories based on legal filings, police records and interviews.

Inaction by the Blackhawks helped enable Aldrich to go on and assault the Michigan student, and possibly others, said Susan Loggans, the former player’s attorney.

“This entire man’s life has been destroyed,” Loggans told WBEZ. “These professional athletes have to function at the top of their game at all times in order to be competitive, and these things are really debilitating.”

The lawsuit, filed on May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as “John Doe.”

An attorney for Aldrich told WBEZ that his client denies the allegations in the lawsuit. In a May statement to the radio station, the Blackhawks said the allegations directed at it were groundless.

The eight-page suit says Aldrich, then a video coach for the Blackhawks, “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. It says Aldrich also threatened to “physically, financially and emotionally” hurt the player if he “did not engage in sexual activity” with him.

WBEZ obtained police records for its latest report this week that indicated Aldrich faced other allegations of unwanted sexual contact, including when he worked at Miami University after leaving the Blackhawks.

The Associated Press left messages with the Blackhawks and the NHL on Thursday seeking comment. In the May statement to WBEZ, team spokesman Adam Rogowin said the team was confident it would “be absolved of any wrongdoing.”

According to the lawsuit, the former player reported the allegation at the time to the team’s then-mental skills coach, James F. Gary. It says Gary “convinced plaintiff that the sexual assault was his fault.”

Gary, who has since retired, told WBEZ he didn’t know “anything about this.”

The online Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry as of Thursday said Aldrich was 38 and gave an address for him in Hancock, Michigan, some 400 miles (644 kilometers) north of Chicago.

The former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting filed a separate lawsuit against the Blackhawks on May 26, saying the Blackhawks provided positive references to future employers of Aldrich despite allegations from at least one player and took no action to report the matter.

That suit says the student was a hockey player at Houghton High School near Hancock in 2013 when Aldrich sexually assaulted him at an end-of-season gathering.

Loggans also represents the student, referred to a “John Doe 2” in the lawsuit. She confirmed to WBEZ that he was the student Aldrich was convicted of assaulting.

“Had the Blackhawks accurately reported what had occurred with John Doe 1, then Aldrich would never have been allowed to be in a position where he could molest other people,” Loggans said.

Houghton police records obtained by WBEZ said Aldrich resigned as director of hockey operations at Miami University of Ohio in 2012 “under suspicion of unwanted touching of a male adult.” The school said it has launched an internal investigation.

The records cited repeated allegations from Aldrich’s time as an assistant high school hockey coach in Houghton. The precise timing of his departure from the Blackhawks is unclear.

The police records say investigators reached out to the Blackhawks about Aldrich but its front office would confirm only that he was once an employee.

A lawyer for Aldrich responded to the WBEZ report by noting that his conviction was a matter of public record and added that “any publication of untrue material by WBEZ will be treated as libelous.”

“Everything that I have read in the WBEZ report is 100% accurate,” Loggans told The Associated Press Thursday.

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Thursday allowing the state’s college athletes — including players on the nationally renowned Kentucky and Louisville men’s basketball teams — to make money through the use of their name, image or likeness.

The Democratic governor said he took the action as a matter of fairness for college athletes. It will spare Kentucky’s colleges from being at a competitive disadvantage with rivals in other states that will have laws enabling athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness, he said.

“This is important to our student-athletes, who for decades, others — whether it’s companies or institutions — have profited on,” Beshear told reporters. “These athletes deserve to be a part of that.”

Beshear said his executive order takes effect July 1, when similar legislation passed in several other states will become law. His office said he was the first governor to make the change by executive order.

The governor’s action won praise from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. UK plays in the Southeastern Conference and UofL competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Bringing the state of Kentucky into competitive balance with other states across the country and, more specifically, the Atlantic Coast Conference is critical,” Vince Tyra, U of L’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, said in a release issued by the governor’s office.

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the governor’s action “provides us the flexibility we need at this time to further develop policies around name, image and likeness.”

“We are appreciative of that support, as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted,” Barnhart said in the same release from Beshear’s office. “The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change — perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago.”

In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, laws go into effect July 1 that make it impermissible for the NCAA and members schools to prevent athletes from being paid by third parties for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

The NCAA had hoped for a national law from Congress that has not come, and its own rule-making has been bogged down for months. College sports leaders are instead moving toward the type of patchwork regulation they have been warning against for months.


Ralph Russo contributed from New York.

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