.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

National

  • Red Sox win, take 3-2 edge

    DETROIT (AP) — Mike Napoli provided the power and the Boston bullpen stymied Miguel Cabrera.
    Twice in three games, that formula has worked for the Red Sox, and now they’re one win from reaching the World Series.
    Napoli opened the scoring with another big long ball, Junichi Tazawa again bested Cabrera in a crucial spot and the Red Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 4-3 Thursday night.
    Boston returns to Fenway Park with a 3-2 lead in the AL championship series. The Red Sox can win the American League pennant Saturday, when the Tigers’ Max Scherzer faces Boston’s Clay Buchholz in Game 6.
    Four of the five games in the ALCS so far have been decided by one run.
    “There’s probably a reason I don’t have any hair,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “It’s stressful.”
    Cabrera was thrown out at the plate in the first inning, halting an early Detroit rally, and he hit into a double play against Tazawa with runners at the corners in the seventh. The Tigers scored a run on the grounder, but it was a trade-off the Red Sox were willing to make.

  • Lackey, Red Sox blank Tigers

     DETROIT (AP) — Once again this October, one run was enough.

    The Boston Red Sox scored it — and now they lead an AL championship series that seemed to be slipping away last weekend.

    John Lackey edged Justin Verlander in the latest duel of these pitching-rich playoffs, and Boston's bullpen shut down Detroit's big boppers with the game on the line to lift the Red Sox over the Tigers 1-0 Tuesday for a 2-1 advantage in the ALCS.

    Mike Napoli homered off Verlander in the seventh inning, and Detroit's best chance to rally fell short in the eighth when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder struck out with runners at the corners.

    "This game had the feel it was going to be won or lost on one pitch," Boston reliever Craig Breslow said. "Lackey kept us in the game. Every inning where he was able to throw up a zero gave us a lift."

    Despite three straight gems by their starters, the Tigers suddenly trail in a best-of-seven series they initially appeared to control. Game 4 is Wednesday night at Comerica Park, with Jake Peavy scheduled to start for the Red Sox against Doug Fister.

    Peavy set the tone Tuesday during a pregame news conference, when he sounded miffed that so much of the attention was focused on Verlander before Game 3.

  • Cards within a game of closing out NLCS

     LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Cardinals have been this close to the World Series before, and they don't want to blow it this time.

    St. Louis got home runs from Matt Holliday and pinch-hitter Shane Robinson — the first of the NL championship series — and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Tuesday night for a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven playoff.

    The Cardinals have lost the NLCS both times they owned such a commanding lead, most recently last season when they dropped three in a row to San Francisco, the eventual World Series winner.

    "That's something that we thought last year — up 3-1 and all we have to do is win one more and we're there," closer Trevor Rosenthal said. "But that didn't work out, so we've just got to keep the same approach."

    With a quick turnaround for Game 5 Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will try to forget the loss, and hope the Cardinals remember their recent past failures.

    "We get into a Game 7, those things (losing a 3-1 lead) will creep into their heads over there," Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez said. "Our goal is definitely to push this to a Game 7."

    Joe Kelly will start Game 5 for the Cardinals, looking to clinch their 19th pennant.

  • Dodgers get back into NLCS with win

     LOS ANGELES (AP) — Led by a pair of precocious rookies, the Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves right back into the NL championship series.

    Hyun-Jin Ryu outpitched Adam Wainwright with seven innings of three-hit ball, and Yasiel Puig celebrated twice on his RBI triple that helped Los Angeles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 Monday night in Game 3.

    Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double ended a 1-for-17 drought for the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. An ailing Hanley Ramirez added a run-scoring hit as Los Angeles handed Wainwright his first postseason loss and trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

    "The playoffs are one-day momentum swings," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Right now I feel like we've kind of grabbed it."

    Puig's youthful exuberance, which energized the Dodgers as they surged from last place to first during a torrid midseason stretch, was on full display in the fourth inning.

    The 22-year-old Cuban defector was so excited when he connected that he raised his arms immediately and stood in the batter's box to watch the flight of the ball toward right field, clearly thinking it was going out of the park.

  • Cards are in the NLCS

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright sprinted to the mound for the ninth inning, sending a message that he had plenty left. He pretended not to notice when the bullpen got busy, and he avoided eye contact with manager Mike Matheny.
    Without saying a word, the St. Louis Cardinals ace told them all to stand down, he had this one.
    “To pitch a game like that was one of the highlights of my baseball life, no doubt,” Wainwright said after throwing a complete game to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Wednesday night and put the Cardinals in the NL championship series for the third straight season.
    “These are the moments that starting pitchers live for.”
    David Freese’s two-run homer in the second inning off rookie Gerrit Cole was all Wainwright needed. The right-hander also had won Game 1 and allowed one run in 16 innings in two dominant outings against the Pirates.
    The Cardinals are 8-1 when facing postseason elimination the last three years, and they get to stay at home to open the championship series against the well-rested Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

    “It’s going to be a blast,” Freese said. “It’s going to be fun, St. Louis and L.A. going at it.”

  • Tigers win to force Game 5 vs. A's

    DETROIT (AP) — On a night of desperation, dispute and finally, delirium, Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers kept their season alive by the slimmest of margins.

    A tying home run, helped along by a couple of fans in right field.

    A full-count pitch with the bases loaded that was low and inside but became strike three when the batter swung.

    A line drive down the line with the bases still full — foul by a few feet.

    During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to reel in Victor Martinez's disputed home run, and the Tigers rallied past the Oakland Athletics 8-6 on Tuesday to force a decisive fifth game in their AL division series.

    Scherzer was in line to start Game 5, but the 21-game winner came on Tuesday instead for his first relief appearance since the 2011 postseason. He wriggled out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the eighth inning and got the win.

    "We took our best shot and we had to because we were behind the 8-ball a little bit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We took that shot and, hey, both teams are going to have a good pitcher going two days from now."

  • Late rally puts Red Sox in ALCS

     ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — When the champagne stopped flowing in the visitor's clubhouse, the Boston Red Sox took the celebration back out to the stands at Tropicana Field so that family and friends could share some of the fun.

    A year after finishing in last place, the AL East champion Red Sox won 97 games to match St. Louis for the best record in baseball. Now, they're moving on to the AL championship series for the first time in five years.

    "I think at this point it really doesn't do any good to kind of look at where we were," reliever Craig Breslow said after coming out of the bullpen to give the team a huge boost in a 3-1 victory that ended Tampa Bay's season.

    "We had guys come to spring training, everybody bought in," Breslow added, explaining Boston's quick turnaround after going 69-93 last year. "There's accountability and 25 guys who prioritize winning baseball games beyond any kind of individual achievement or accolade."

    The resilient Rays won four win-or-go-home games over the previous nine, but couldn't win another to send the best-of-five matchup back to Fenway Park for a decisive Game 5.

  • Manning tops Romo, Cowboys in wild 51-48 shootout

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Peyton Manning had to make sure Tony Romo wasn't the last man with the ball in his hands.

    The Denver quarterback did it by keeping the Broncos out of the end zone in the final moments of the second-highest scoring game since the NFL-AFL merger.

    Manning maintained his record pace for touchdown passes, then milked the clock for a game-ending field goal after an interception by Romo spoiled the first 500-yard game in Dallas history, and the Broncos stayed unbeaten with a 51-48 victory Sunday.

    Matt Prater's 28-yard kick for the Broncos' 16th straight regular-season win came after linebacker Danny Trevathan's diving interception at the Dallas 24 with Romo trying to direct a third go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.

    "We had the huge defensive play at the end, which was significant," said Manning, who threw four touchdowns to give him a record-setting 20 in the first five games. "And we did not want to give them the ball back."

    Needing a first down but not a touchdown so the Broncos (5-0) could run out the clock, Manning and Knowshon Moreno shouted at each other in the backfield just before the snap.

  • The AP college football top 25

    The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 5, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

  • Cobb, Rays shut out Indians to advance

    CLEVELAND (AP) — They shut off the lights, cranked up the music and turned their clubhouse into a nightclub.
    As Pitbull’s “Don’t Stop The Party” boomed off walls covered by plastic sheets, the Tampa Bay Rays sprayed each other with Silly String and emptied bottles of champagne as quickly as they could open them.
    This road trip isn’t ending anytime soon.
    “Nobody wants to go home,” pitcher Alex Cobb said.
    Next stop: Boston.
    Dodging trouble for nearly seven innings, Cobb and the Rays pitched their way to another must-have win on the road, beating the Cleveland Indians 4-0 Wednesday night in the AL wild-card game.
    Cobb, who missed a chunk of the regular season after he was hit in the head by a line drive, quieted a thundering Cleveland crowd and ended the Indians’ unexpected season just one game into October.
    Delmon Young homered in the third inning off rookie Danny Salazar as the Rays, playing in their third city over four days, advanced to face the AL East champion Red Sox in the best-of-five division series starting Friday.