OILMEN'S HUISMAN TO RETURN NEXT SEASON: The Northwest Indiana Olimen announced late Tuesday night that manager Justin Huisman will return next season.
Huisman, the club's lone manager in franchise history, is 61-33 in two seasons. Also, Adam Enright (Munster) will return for his third season as an assistant.
PIRATES FALL TO CUBS, BLUNTING NL CENTRAL HOPES: The Pittsburgh Pirates' hopes of catching up in the NL Central took a big hit Wednesday when Darnell McDonald launched a three-run homer, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 win.
With three games remaining in the regular season for each team, the Pirates trail division-leading St. Louis by three games.
The Pirates, who already have clinched a playoff spot, hold a one-game lead over Cincinnati for the first wild-card slot. Pittsburgh and the Reds finish up with a three-game set in Cincinnati this weekend.
McDonald had three hits, including his homer in the sixth inning that put the Cubs ahead 4-1.
Jake Arrieta (4-2) allowed one run and four hits for the Cubs. Kevin Gregg allowed an unearned run in the ninth for his 33rd save.
INDIANS BEST WHITE SOX FOR 14TH STRAIGHT TIME: Rookie Danny Salazar gave Cleveland a much-needed quality start and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer as the Indians tightened their grip one of the AL wild-card spots with their 14th straight win over the White Sox, 7-2 on Wednesday night in their home finale.
Salazar (2-3) struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings for the Indians, who won their final six home games to stay with the wild-card leaders. They entered the night with a one-game lead over Texas in the wild-card chase. Cleveland is also one game behind Tampa Bay for the top spot with just four games left.
Swisher homered in the fifth inning off Dylan Axlerod (4-11) as the Indians finished the season 16-2 against Chicago.
Cleveland hasn't made the playoffs since 2007, but the Indians are closing in on a berth under first-year manager Terry Francona, who guided Boston to two World Series titles.
PACERS, GEORGE MAKE NEW CONTRACT OFFICIAL: The Pacers and Paul George made it official Wednesday morning, announcing a contract extension to keep the All-Star forward in Indiana for the next six years.
The 6-foot-7 George signed a deal valued between $80 million and $90 million, joining team President Larry Bird and coach Frank Vogel at a news conference. The contract could ultimately be worth more than $100 million if George hits an escalator clause.
Last season, the 23-year-old averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists — all career-highs — and led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals. He was a third team All-NBA selection, a second team all-defensive selection and was named the NBA's Most Improved Player.
KNICKS, NETS SHARE NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND in 2015: The Knicks and Nets are working together to split the NBA All-Star weekend in New York City in 2015.
The game will be played at Madison Square Garden and the slam dunk contest and other skills events held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Wednesday's announcement completes about two years of planning, an idea brought to the teams by the league to share the three-day weekend.
CRAWFORD AMONG PLAYERS ON OLYMPIC BUBBLE: When the NHL season begins, a lot of players will begin tryouts of sorts for their Olympic teams.
Sidney Crosby, of course, is a lock to play for the defending gold medal-winning Canadians. Likewise, Patrick Kane has a spot secured after helping the U.S. win silver in 2010.
But for players such as Corey Crawford, he's not just playing for the Blackhawks.
The goaltender is also vying for the honor of being between the pipes at the Sochi Games in less than five months.
Crawford insists he's not thinking about earning a spot on Canada's team right now.
ORACLE BEATS NEW ZEALAND TO KEEP AMERICA'S CUP: Skipper Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA won the America's Cup with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
Spithill steered Oracle's space-age, 72-foot catamaran to its eighth straight victory, speeding past Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in the winner-take-all Race 19 on San Francisco Bay to keep the oldest trophy in international sports in the United States.
All but defeated a week ago, the 34-year-old Australian and his international crew twice rallied from seven-point deficits to win 9-8 Wednesday. Owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas and had to win 11 races to keep the Auld Mug.
BIG EAST TOURNEY TO BE PLAYED IN CHICAGO: The Big East has moved its postseason women's basketball tournament to Chicago, the conference announced Tuesday.
The first-round games will be at DePaul's campus on March 8 with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals at the Allstate Arena over the next three days.
The conference, which underwent a major membership change in the offseason, had played its tournament in Hartford for the past 10 years.
OPEN RACE SATURDAY AT HIGHLAND: An open race will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, an hour before the start of the 46th annual Highland Invitational. Registration for the free event starts at 7.