Sports in Brief: Diamondbacks exercise $2 million option on Descalso

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso (3) against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix. (Rick Scuteri/AP, File)

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso (3) against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix. (Rick Scuteri/AP, File)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have exercised a $2 million club option on infielder Daniel Descalso.

Descalso signed a one-year contract with the Diamondbacks in February that included a $1.35 million salary this year and the option.

The 31-year-old was a valuable piece during the Diamondbacks’ run to the NL Wild card, providing lineup versatility and gritty play.

Descalso played six positions for Arizona last season, including pitcher in mop-up duties. He hit .233 with a career-high 10 homers and 51 RBIs in his eighth big league season.

Descalso has hit .240 with 33 homers and 222 RBIs in an eight-year career that included stops in St. Louis and Colorado.

Another hearing set over Cowboys RB Elliott’s 6-game ban

NEW YORK — A federal appeals court has set a Thursday hearing as attorneys for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott seek a longer-lasting injunction to stop his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday issued an emergency stay of the NFL’s punishment, the third legal reprieve for Elliott. It cleared last year’s league rushing leader to play in Sunday’s game against Kansas City. Elliott scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Cowboy’s 28-17 win over the Chiefs.

It is possible, if not likely, that the three-judge panel in New York will rule as early as Thursday, after oral arguments, on whether Elliott can play Sunday at Atlanta.

None of the judges assigned to Elliott’s case presided over the NFL’s winning appeal in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension in the Deflategate case.

Elliott’s suspension has been weaving through the courts since he was ordered in August to serve the ban for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Cora says opportunity to manage Red Sox is a return home

BOSTON — Alex Cora didn’t expect his first chance to manage in the major leagues to come this soon, but the new Boston Red Sox manager he says he’s ready to take on the challenge of leading one of its most storied franchises.

Cora was introduced Monday at Fenway Park as the 47th manager of the Red Sox. A native of Puerto Rico, the 42-year-old becomes the first minority manager of a club that was the last in the majors to field a black player.

“I’ve always said the last two years, that I’m a capable manager. It was going to come down to somebody to give me that opportunity,” he said. “I never thought that I was getting interviewed because I was a minority. I happen to be.”

Alex’s father, Jose Cora, was the founder of the Little League in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. He died in 1988, but his son still is propped up by the messages he learned from both his parents.

“That’s what he preached — school and baseball,” Cora said. “My mom, she’ll be around during the season ... She’ll talk baseball with you guys.”

A middle infielder on Boston’s 2007 World Series championship team, Cora says he sees the job as a return home to “a perfect situation,” inheriting a young team coming off back-to-back AL East titles under manager John Farrell.

Cora played four seasons for the Red Sox, and this year was the bench coach for the World Series champion Houston Astros. The Astros beat the Red Sox this year in the AL Division Series in a matchup of first-place teams.