Update on the latest sports
MLB-AL WILD CARD
Yanks handle A’s in AL wild-card game
NEW YORK (AP) – The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is about to heat up once again.
The Bronx Bombers were able to advance to the American League Division Series by whipping the Oakland Athletics, 7-2 and setting up a meeting with the Red Sox. Aaron Judge opened the scoring with a homer and Giancarlo Stanton capped the Yankees’ offense with a solo blast as New York won the AL wild-card game for the second straight year.
Judge put New York ahead by belting a two-run homer off A’s starter Liam Hendriks two batters into the bottom of the first.
The Yankees padded their lead in the sixth as Aaron Hicks laced an RBI double and scored on Luke Voit’s two-run triple. Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) followed with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Stanton added an eighth-inning homer, putting an exclamation point on his postseason debut.
Yanks starter Luis Severino carried a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing back-to-back singles to open the inning, ending his night. Winning pitcher Dellin Betances (beh-TAN’-sehs) followed Severino and got three quick outs, fanning Khris Davis to end the threat.
The A’s have dropped their last eight winner-take-all postseason games since winning Game 7 of the 1973 World Series.
The Yankees-Red Sox series begins Friday at Fenway Park.
Russell accepts suspension, Maddon staying
CHICAGO (AP) – Cubs infielder Addison Russell has accepted a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the ban and said MLB had completed its investigation into the accusations made by Melisa Reidy.
The punishment includes the 11 regular-season games he missed after being placed on administrative leave Sept. 21. Barring any postponements, he will be eligible to return on May 3 against St. Louis.
News of the suspension came as Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Joe Maddon will return for a fifth season as manager. Epstein says there are no ongoing discussions about an extension for Maddon.
The Cubs won the 2016 World Series under Maddon to end a 108-year drought. They compiled the NL’s second-best record this season but failed to advance to the division series.
Showalter, Duquette dismissed by Birds
BALTIMORE (AP) – The Baltimore Orioles are changing managers following one of the worst seasons in major league history.
Buck Showalter has been let go after eight-plus seasons and a 669-684 record. Showalter led the club to three playoff appearances after taking over in August 2010. But the front office felt a change in the dugout was necessary after the Birds went 47-115 and finished 61 games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox.
The 115 losses are tied for the fourth-most in modern big league history.
Showalter is second on the Orioles’ all-time list for victories, but he leaves with a losing record despite entering the season 53 games over .500.
The O’s also fired executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. He joined the Orioles in November 2011 and put together a team that ended a franchise-record run of 14 straight losing seasons by reaching the playoffs in 2012.
Qualify offers up again
NEW YORK – The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents will be $17.9 million this year, up $700,000 from last year. The figure is determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.
A qualifying offer can be made through the fifth day after the World Series, and a player has a week after that to accept. This year’s class could include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Daniel Murphy, Michael Brantley, Nelson Cruz and Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul).
The 2016 qualifying offers were $15.8 million.
Caps raise banner, clobber Bruins without suspended Wilson
UNDATED (AP) – It was a perfect opening night for the Washington Capitals as they raised their first Stanley Cup banner before hammering the Boston Bruins.
Six different Caps scored in a 7-0 rout of the B’s. T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee) began the assault by beating Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask just 24 seconds after the opening faceoff. Evgeni Kuznetsov (ehv-GEH’-nee kooz-NEHT’-sahv) scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom set up three goals and Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots.
Oshie and Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) each finished with a goal and an assist.
Rask was pulled 7 1/2 minutes into the second period after allowing five goals on 19 shots.
The Capitals won their first game under new coach Todd Reirden and beat the Bruins for the 13th straight time.
The banner was lifted after Capitals forward Tom Wilson received a 20-game suspension from the NHL for a blindside hit to the head of Blues center Oskar Sundqvist in the second period Sunday’s preseason finale.
Wilson’s fourth ban in less than 13 months will cost him $1.26 million. It’s the longest suspension for on-ice play since Sharks forward Raffi Torres was ordered to sit out 41 games following a preseason hit in 2015.
In other NHL season openers:
– Austen Matthews scored twice, including the game-winner 61 seconds into overtime as the Maple Leafs outlasted the Canadiens, 3-2. John Tavares tallied in his Toronto debut, Nazem Kadri (KA’-dree) had two assists and Frederik Andersen made 15 of his 34 saves in the third period. Max Domi (DOH’-mee) collected two assists in his first game with Montreal, setting up goals by Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Shaw.
– Rickard Rakell (rah-KEHL’) delivered a goal and two assists in the Ducks’ 5-2 win at San Jose. Brandon Montour scored the tiebreaking goal with 11:58 to play and John Gibson made 31 saves as Anaheim spoiled defenseman Erik Karlsson’s San Jose debut. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks but Martin Jones allowed four goals on the first 13 shots he faced to take the loss.
– The Canucks also earned a 5-2 win against the Flames as rookie Elias Pettersson scored on his first NHL shot. Pettersson also assisted on Nikolay Goldbin’s third-period goal to make it 2-0. The 19-year-old led the Swedish hockey league in scoring last season with 56 points in 44 games.
Freeman practicing again
UNDATED (AP) – The banged-up Atlanta Falcons finally have good news on the injury front.
Running back Devonta Freeman has been cleared to play after missing three games with a sore right knee. Freeman has been the Falcons’ leading rushing the last three seasons and should give the team an offensive boost for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense will be without four starters versus Pittsburgh. Coach Dan Quinn says defensive tackle Grady Jarrett will be held out with an ankle sprain suffered late in last week’s 37-36 loss to Cincinnati.
Atlanta is already without starting safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen due to season-ending injuries. Linebacker Deion Jones is out at least eight weeks.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
– The Rams have signed kicker Cairo Santos this week instead of rushing All-Pro Greg Zuerlein (ZWUR’-lyn) back from injury. Zuerlein isn’t quite ready to return from a groin injury, but the Rams weren’t happy with Sam Ficken after he missed two of his three field goal attempts in last Thursday’s win over the Vikings.
– The Raiders have placed right tackle Donald Penn on injured reserve with a groin injury. The three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday’s 45-42 overtime win against the Browns.
– Linebacker Vontaze Burfict has rejoined the Bengals after completing a four-game ban for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers. Burfict practiced on Wednesday and is expected to play on Sunday against the Dolphins.
– Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will not be suspended by the league for two arrests in an eight-month span. The league says it completed its investigation into the incidents and the matter has been addressed, and no suspension is being issued.
– The Jaguars have formally ruled out running back Leonard Fournette, four days before the team’s game at Kansas City. Fournette re-injured his right hamstring in Sunday’s 31-12 victory against the Jets and is now expected to be sidelined until after Jacksonville’s bye week in November.
– LeSean McCoy’s ex-girlfriend says in a new court filing that the Bills running back physically abused her during their nearly two-year relationship. Delicia Cordon has filed an amended lawsuit against McCoy alleging physical abuse and also directly accusing him of arranging a July 10 home invasion that left her bloodied. McCoy continues to proclaim his innocence following the amended suit, which seeks more than $50 million in damages.
Jordan misses China trip
DALLAS (AP) – New Dallas Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan missed the team’s trip to China for two exhibition games for unspecified personal reasons.
Jordan and fellow starter Harrison Barnes stayed behind when the team left for China this week. Barnes injured a hamstring in practice and could miss all the preseason games.
Koepka gutted over wounded fan, denies fight with Johnson
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) says he is heartbroken to hear a woman struck by his tee shot at the Ryder Cup might lose vision in her right eye.
Koepka’s wild tee shot on the sixth hole at Le Golf National hit Corine Remande in the head last Friday. According to French media reports, doctors say she has lost sight and she is considering legal action.
Koepka says his stomach sank when he learned of her condition upon arriving at the Dunhill Links Championship. Koepka says he is trying to reach out to the woman.
Koepka also says he and Dustin Johnson did not have an argument or a fight during a party after the Ryder Cup. He says the two have never raised their voices at each other.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-PLAYER COLLAPSES
Mother says Tennessee State linebacker slowly improving
UNDATED (AP) – The mother of the Tennessee State linebacker who collapsed on the sideline during a game says her son has had some body movement she calls “baby steps” as he remains in critical condition.
Staci Abercrombie said at a news conference Wednesday that the family is asking for prayers as they hope for a full recovery for her son, Christion. She said they’ve been playing different music for her son, including gospel, and seen him respond by raising his hand or rubbing her nails during different songs.
The linebacker went to the sideline during the first half of the Tigers’ loss to Vanderbilt last Saturday. He told trainers he had a headache, then required oxygen on the sideline before being taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a head injury for emergency surgery.
In other college football news:
– Texas Tech freshman quarterback Alan Bowman has been released from a hospital four days after sustaining a partially collapsed lung against West Virginia. Bowman was injured in the second quarter of a 42-34 loss to the Mountaineers when he was sandwiched on hits from Ezekiel Rose and Keith Washington as he threw a pass. Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury hasn’t offered a timetable for Bowman’s return, but has said he didn’t expect an extended absence because Bowman didn’t have any broken ribs.
– Former Clemson running back C.J. Fuller has died at age 22. Fuller was part of the Tigers’ 2016 national championship team and was on three straight ACC title teams that advanced to the College Football Playoffs. There was no immediate cause of death.
Harvard coach accused of sexual misconduct
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – Harvard University’s diving coach has been accused of soliciting female athletes at an Indiana diving camp for nude photos and sending them nude photos of himself.
Chris Heaton is among the instructors described in a class-action suit filed Sunday in Indianapolis federal court against USA Diving, the sport’s governing body.
The lawsuit claims the athletes at Ripfest Diving complained in 2015 that Heaton was soliciting them for the photos and sending them pictures of his penis. The women say program officials dismissed the complaints.
Harvard spokeswoman Rachel Dane said the university wasn’t aware of the allegations when it hired Heaton in August.
School officials say Heaton was placed on leave Tuesday.
Ronaldo left off Portugal squad
LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo has been left off Portugal’s national team squad for a pair of upcoming matches, the decision coming as the soccer great fights rape allegations in the United States.
Ronaldo has been accused of rape by Kathryn Mayorga, who says the player assaulted her in Las Vegas in 2009. He has denied the accusation.
Ronaldo was left off the squad for Portugal’s second game in the UEFA Nations League at Poland on Oct. 11 and a friendly match in Glasgow against Scotland three days later. The Juventus forward also missed Portugal’s first two post-World Cup matches last month, with coach Fernando Santos saying Ronaldo had only just moved to the Italian club and was still settling down there.
Santos used the 33-year-old team captain’s absence last month to try out younger players.