Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals placed catcher Yadier Molina on the injured list with a strained right thumb and activated infielder Matt Carpenter as part of a series of roster moves Thursday. They also brought left-hander Chasen Shreve back from Triple-A Memphis, optioned left-hander Tyler Webb and outfielder Rangel Ravelo to Memphis, and transferred pitcher Jordan Hicks to the 60-day IL in a roster update ahead of their weekend series against Arizona beginning Friday night.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals are bringing Bubba Starling to the majors, culminating a journey that took eight years in the minors for the hometown hero and former first-round draft pick. Starling will join the Royals for the opener of their series against Detroit on Friday night. The Royals will make a corresponding roster move Friday.

SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — Roberto Diaz shot a 9-under 62 to take the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic. Playing in the final group of the day off the first tee, Diaz birdied four of the first holes, eagled the par-5 10th and birdied three of the last five in the bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. The 32-year-old Mexican player is winless on the PGA Tour.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Valparaiso graduate transfer Bakari Evelyn has signed with Iowa. Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery says Evelyn will be the first grad transfer to play for him in Iowa City. Evelyn spent the past two seasons playing guard with the Crusaders after starting his career at Nebraska. Evelyn’s presence should help bolster Iowa’s perimeter game. Jordan Bohannon’s status is unclear after offseason hip surgery.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The National League Central is providing Major League Baseball a needed dose of pennant fever. All five teams are separated by just 4½ games coming out of the All-Star break. The other five divisions have at least a 5½-game gap between first and second. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says the division is tight because all five teams are trying to win. That includes upstart Cincinnati and resilient Pittsburgh, which are in the thick of the race with the Cubs, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

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