CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs are set to interview Joe Girardi and David Ross for their manager job this week.

Girardi, 54, who has 11 years of managerial experience with the Marlins and Yankees, was scheduled to meet today with team officials, two sources said.

Girardi, who spent seven of his 14 seasons as a catcher with the Cubs (1989-92, 2000-02), also has been linked to the Mets, according to multiple reports. Girardi is serving as a Fox analyst for the American League Division Series between the Astros and Rays.

Ross, 42, will interview later this week. He serves as a special assistant in the Cubs baseball operations department and as analyst for ESPN after a 14-year career that concluded with a 2016 World Series title with the Cubs.

The Cubs interviewed bench coach Mark Loretta on Thursday and first-base coach Will Venable on Monday, sources said.

The Cubs haven’t announced a timetable for hiring a replacement for Joe Maddon. Maddon reportedly is the favorite to be hired as Angels manager after interviewing for the job Monday.

FOOTBALL

49ers thump Mayfield, Browns

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Matt Breida ran 83 yards for a touchdown on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage, Baker Mayfield was harassed into his worst game as a pro, and the 49ers beat the Cleveland Browns, 31-3, to remain unbeaten for their best start in nearly 30 years.

Tevin Coleman added a 19-yard score as part of a dominant ground game on a day when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 181 yards and kicker Robbie Gould missed a pair of field goal attempts and had a third try blocked.

Barkley’s status still up in air

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants injured running back Saquon Barkley does not know whether he will play against the New England Patriots.

Barkley practiced on a limited basis Tuesday as the injury-depleted Giants (2-3) got ready for Thursday night’s game against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (5-0).

The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Barkley has missed the past two games with high sprain to his right ankle. He was hurt on Sept. 15 against the Buccaneers in Tampa.

Darnold cleared to play vs. Cowboys

NEW YORK — Sam Darnold’s spleen is fully healthy and he’ll be back under center as the struggling Jets’ starting quarterback.

Darnold was cleared by doctors Tuesday to play this week after he missed three games while recovering from mononucleosis. He had medical tests to determine if the swelling in his spleen — a common symptom of the illness — had dissipated enough for him to play again. The Jets announced in a Twitter post that Darnold would start Sunday at home against Dallas.

Steelers’ Rudolph still in concussion protocol

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says quarterback Mason Rudolph “appears to be doing fine” but remains in the concussion protocol following an illegal hit by Baltimore safety Earl Thomas.

Rudolph left last weekend’s overtime loss to Baltimore in the third quarter after Thomas hit Rudolph in the chin with his helmet. Rudolph was knocked unconscious on the play but was able to slowly make his way off the field. Tomlin made it a point to say Rudolph was cleared by medical personnel to walk off under his own power and the fact the medical cart malfunctioned didn’t play a factor in the decision.

Fox Sports hires Gronkowski as analyst

NEW YORK — Fox Sports has hired Rob Gronkowski as an NFL analyst. The network announced on Tuesday that the former New England Patriots tight end will make his debut during Thursday night’s pregame show before the Patriots-New York Giants game.

Gronkowski retired at the end of last season after winning his third Super Bowl with the Patriots. He is expected to appear on Fox’s NFL studio show as well as be an analyst for some games.

GYMNASTICS

Biles sets record as U.S. wins team gold

STUTTGART, Germany — Simone Biles won a record 21st medal at the world gymnastics championships on Tuesday as the United States retained its women’s team all-around title.

It was Biles’ 15th career gold and broke a tie with Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina for the most medals overall by a woman at the world championships. She’s now two short of Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record of 23 among men or women.

The U.S. team scored 172.330 points to beat second-place Russia by 5.801 points and win its seventh consecutive team title at an Olympics or world championships.

GOLF

PGA Tour Champions returning to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — The PGA Tour Champions is returning to the St. Louis area next year for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The tour announced a four-year deal Tuesday with St. Louis-based Ascension. The Ascension Charity Classic will be held Oct. 2-4 at Norwood Hills Country Club, which hosted the 1948 PGA Championship won by Ben Hogan and the Greater St. Louis Classic on the PGA Tour in 1972 and 1973. The PGA Tour Champions was last in the area from 1996 to 2001 at Boone Valley, west of St. Louis.

This gives the PGA Tour Champions 27 tournaments next year in four countries and 19 states.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

More men allege misconduct at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio — More men are stepping forward with allegations about sexual misconduct by a former Ohio State sports doctor now accused of abusing students from 1979 to 1997.

The addition of two lawsuits filed late last week means a total of about 200 men are suing the university over its failure to stop the late Dr. Richard Strauss, despite employees knowing about concerns.

Lawyers say they represent even more men who aren’t listed plaintiffs, taking the number of accusers above 300. The school says about 1,500 instances of decades-old sexual misconduct by Strauss have been reported since last year.

TH wire services

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