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National Sports

Rivals Dodgers, Giants prepare for instant playoff classic

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mookie Betts is ready to throw out all the wins his Dodgers and the rival Giants piled up on the way to a frenetic regular-season finish. San Francisco edged the defending World Series champions by a single game for first place in the NL West, 107 victories to 106 — a ...

McCullers shines as Astros beat White Sox 6-1 in Game 1

HOUSTON (AP) — Lance McCullers Jr. was terrific. Yordan Alvarez delivered, and Jose Altuve scored on a nifty slide. The Houston Astros sure love October. McCullers pitched scoreless ball into the seventh inning, and the Astros beat Lance Lynn and the Chicago White Sox 6-1 in Game 1 of their ...

No. 15 Coastal Carolina beats Arkansas State 52-20

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Grayson McCall threw a 99-yard touchdown pass on his first attempt and No. 15 Coastal Carolina beat Arkansas State 52-20 on Thursday night for its 11th straight victory. McCall completed 18 of 23 passes for a career-high 365 yards and four touchdowns without an ...

Arozarena shines, Rays blank Red Sox 5-0 in ALDS opener

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Randy Arozarena is off and running in October again. The do-it-all rookie became the first player to hit a home run and steal home in a postseason game, propelling the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in their AL Division Series opener ...

Boston Marathon returns with fewer runners, more masks

BOSTON (AP) — In addition to a medal, some water and maybe a banana, volunteers will be handing out masks to the Boston Marathon finishers as they leave the socially distanced course and disperse into the city's bustling Back Bay. With an indoor mask mandate in Boston, race organizers have ...

Ratings surge: NFL is up 17%, averaging 17.3 million viewers

NFL and network executives expected ratings to increase this season. But the rate through the first four weeks has still taken many by surprise. Games are averaging 17.3 million viewers on television and digital, a whopping 17% increase over last season and 3% compared to two years ...

Matt Nagy makes Justin Fields No. 1 Bears quarterback

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy had a plan to develop Justin Fields and resisted making the rookie his team's starting quarterback from the start of offseason practices. Nagy has changed his mind and on Wednesday made Fields the team's starting quarterback going ...

Jags’ Meyer, players ready to move on after latest apology

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Urban Meyer is ready to move on. So are his players and his family. The Jacksonville Jaguars coach publicly apologized for the third consecutive day Wednesday and said he never considered resigning after his "inexcusable" behavior at an Ohio bar was caught on camera ...

Logan Webb to start NLDS Game 1 for division champion Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Logan Webb will start for the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Friday night against the Cardinals or Dodgers. Fellow right-hander and 14-game winner Kevin Gausman will go Saturday night in Game 2 for the NL West champions, having thrived ...

Stephens outlasts Watson in 3 sets in Indian Wells opener

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Sloane Stephens outlasted Heather Watson 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday in her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open. Stephens won 7 of 18 break points She raced to a 5-0 lead in the third set before Watson held, then served out the win. Watson had seven aces and ...

Defending AL champ Rays poised to open ALDS against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have won more games than any other team in the American League over the past two seasons, going about their business with a quiet confidence that has the full attention of the Boston Red Sox. The AL East rivals meet in a best-of-five Division ...

Padres fire manger Jayce Tingler after second-half collapse

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres still believe they have a World Series-caliber team despite a brutal late-season collapse that left them with yet another losing record. If the Padres do make it to the Fall Classic in the near future, it won't be manager Jayce Tingler who leads them ...

Flush with COVID-19 aid, schools steer funding to sports

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One Wisconsin school district built a new football field. In Iowa, a high school weight room is getting a renovation. Another in Kentucky is replacing two outdoor tracks — all of this funded by the billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief Congress sent to ...

Beijing Olympics open in 4 months; human rights talk absent

When the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised the Games could improve human rights and civil liberties in China. There is no such lofty talk this time with Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics — the first city to host both the Summer and Winter ...

Lapierre, Jarvis among the biggest surprises of NHL camps

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The hole in the middle of the Washington Capitals lineup with Niklas Backstrom out injured looked looked tailor made for 2019 first-round pick Connor McMichael, who impressed last season as a rookie in the American Hockey League. The spot still might be his. But 2020 ...

Police: Ex-driver killed in dispute involving estranged wife

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was shot to death over the weekend during a dispute that involved a hatchet after showing up at a house occupied by his estranged wife and another man, police said Monday. The 31-year-old Townley, who raced eight seasons, had the ...

MLB .244 batting average worst since ’68, up after crackdown

NEW YORK (AP) — The major league batting average dropped to .244 this season, its lowest since the year of the pitcher in 1968, though offense picked up markedly following baseball's midseason crackdown on grip-enhancing substances for pitchers. MLB's stricter enforcement had the desired ...

Luis Rojas out as Mets manager after 2 losing seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — For a while this summer, Luis Rojas was a potential Manager of the Year contender. Just a few months later, he's out of a job. Rojas was let go as New York Mets manager on Monday after two losing seasons. The team declined its option on his contract for 2022, making the ...

White Sox optimistic Rodon healthy enough for playoffs

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox think pitcher Carlos Rodón will be healthy enough to help them in the playoffs after the All-Star left-hander was limited down the regular-season stretch. "We remain optimistic that he's going to be able to contribute over the course of the next month," ...

Longtime rivals Red Sox, Yankees, back at it in AL wild card

BOSTON (AP) — Oh, it's on. A day before he is scheduled to face the Red Sox in the AL wild-card game, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole dropped the name that dare not be spoken within the confines of Fenway Park — at least not since the last one-game playoff between the longtime rivals was ...