Update on the latest sports
Late TD, goal-line stand lift Eagles past Falcons
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jay Ajayi (ah-JY’-ee) and a goal-line stand allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to begin their Super Bowl title defense with a victory.
Ajayi scored the winning touchdown with 2:19 remaining and accounted for 14 points as the Eagles pulled out an 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of last year’s NFC divisional round. The Falcons led 12-10 until Ajayi ran 11 yards for a TD and cracked the end zone for the two-point conversion. He also rushed for a one-yard score and finished with 62 yards on 15 carries.
The Eagles’ winning drive came about 7 1/2 minutes after Tevin Coleman furnished a nine-yard rushing TD to put the Falcons ahead, 12-10.
Atlanta had first-and-goal at the Philadelphia 10 with 1:55 remaining but couldn’t reach the end zone, even after an illegal contact penalty gave them one more play.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles completed 19 of 34 passes for just 117 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Foles also picked up 15 yards on a pass from Nelson Agholor (AG’-oh-lohr) off a reverse.
Matt Ryan was 21 of 43 for 251 yards, most of that going to Julio Jones. The Falcons’ top receiver finished with 10 catches for 169 yards, but Julio Jones couldn’t come down with Ryan’s high pass on the final play from the 5.
Fans were asked to seek cover before kickoff as a severe thunderstorm rolled through Philadelphia. Rain began falling at the stadium around 8 p.m., accompanied soon after by lightning. Earlier, temperatures had reached the high 90s.
Falcons long snapper Josh Harris was inactive, ending a streak of 103 consecutive games played. Harris has a hip injury and missed a couple days of practice.
Appeals court revives NFL drug lawsuit
UNDATED (AP) – A U.S. appeals court has revived a lawsuit against the NFL by former players who claim the league illegally plied them with powerful prescription painkillers to keep them on the field. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the lawsuit is not pre-empted or superseded by labor agreements between players and teams.
The NFL had argued that the players failed to exhaust the grievance procedures in those agreements.
The players say the NFL did not warn them about the long-term consequences of the drugs, which they say have left them with chronic health problems.
In other NFL news:
– Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa did not practice Thursday, leaving his status for the opener against Kansas City in doubt. Bosa was not in pads during the early portion of practice that is open to reporters after being listed as limited on Wednesday’s practice report. The third-year player did not play in the preseason after he injured his left foot on Aug. 7.
– Former Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty today to insider trading charges. Kendricks signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Eagles, but he was released after the charges were filed. Federal prosecutors said he used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.
Serena Williams reaches 9th US Open final
NEW YORK (AP) – Serena Williams has reached the U.S. Open final for the ninth time by overcoming a slow start in a convincing victory over No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova (an-ah-STAY’-zhah she-vah-STOH’-vah). The 23-time Grand Slam champion will take on surprising Noami Osaka in Saturday’s final.
Williams was broken in the first game and trailed 2-0 in the opening set before rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 victory. The 36-year-old Williams won five straight games following her bumpy start and took the last seven.
Williams is bidding for a seventh U.S. Open championship and 24th Grand Slam singles trophy overall, which would tie Margaret Court for the most in tennis history. Sevastova was participating in her first semifinal at any major tournament and has never faced Williams before.
The 20-year-old Osaka is the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final. She saved all 13 break points she faced in defeating 2017 runner-up Madison Keys, 6-2, 6-4.
Osaka is the youngest woman to reach a U.S. Open final since 2009 and only has one tour-level title so far, which came on a hard court this season.
Cubs pad lead with comeback win
UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Cubs rallied to move another half-game ahead of the Brewers and Cardinals in the NL Central.
David Bote (BOH’-tee) doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning of the Cubs’ 6-4 comeback over the Nationals in Washington. The go-ahead hit came less than four weeks after he launched a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Nats, 4-3.
Chicago trailed 4-3 in the eighth until Kris Bryant scored on a fielder’s choice.
Albert Almora Jr. and Bote hit back-to-back doubles to break a 4-4 tie. Bote came around to score on a two-out single by Taylor Davis.
The outcome puts the Cubbies 4 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee and five in front of St. Louis.
Checking out the rest of Thursday’s major league slate:
– The Braves coughed up a 6-4 lead in the ninth before Dansby Swanson scored on a wild pitch by Yishihisa Hirano (yoh-shee-HEE’-sah hih-RAH’-noh) to give Atlanta a 7-6 victory against the Diamondbacks. Kurt Suzuki was 4-for-5 with two RBIs for the Braves, who also got home runs from Kurt Suzuki and Johan Camargo to stretch their lead in the NL East to five games over Philadelphia. Paul Goldschmidt tied the game with a two-out, solo homer in the ninth before Arizona slipped two games behind the NL West-leading Rockies.
– Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) was 4-for-5 with a pair of solo homers and four RBIs as the Indians whipped the Blue Jays, 9-4 in Toronto. He homered in his first two at-bats and added a two-run single in the Indians’ third straight win. Jason Kipnis added a three-run blast for the Indians, whose magic number to win the AL Central is down to seven.
– Francisco Mejia (meh-HEE’-uh) homered twice in his first major league start to lead the Padres’ 6-2 win at Cincinnati. The team’s highly-touted catching prospect hit a solo homer and a three-run shot on his first two swings against Luis Castillo. Hunter Renfroe also went deep for San Diego.
Woods, McIlroy share lead
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (AP) – Tiger Woods shares the lead at the BMW Championship following his lowest round in more than five years.
He fired an 8-under 62 that leaves him even with Rory McIlroy through one round, one stroke ahead of Xander Schauffele. (SHOW’-flee). Woods didn’t hit anything longer than a 9-iron into the par 4s and didn’t miss a green until his 14th hole.
It was Woods’ lowest score in an opening round in nearly 20 years
McIlroy bogeyed 16 and 17 to fall one shot behind Woods, but the Irishman closed with a birdie to pull even.
MIAMI (AP) – Police say Florida International running back Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller were shot Thursday afternoon.
Jones was shot in the face and back, and Miller was shot in the arm. Opa-locka police chief James Dobson says police believe Jones and Miller were victims of a drive-by shooting.
Haslem, Heat agree on 1-year deal
UNDATED (AP) – A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Miami Heat and Udonis (yoo-DAH’-nihs) Haslem have agreed on a one-year, $2.4 million contract.
Haslem is one of the team’s captains, and he and Dwyane Wade are the only two players to appear on all three of Miami’s NBA champion teams.
This will be Haslem’s 16th season with the Heat. He appeared in 14 games last season, all of the bench.
NHL not changing marijuana policy as Canada legalizes
UNDATED (AP) – Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the NHL does not expect to change its rules on marijuana with the legalization of cannabis in Canada coming on Oct. 17.
Daly told The Associated Press that the move won’t affect the NHL/NHLPA drug-testing policy. Daly said the league tests for marijuana but a positive test by itself does not lead to a suspension.
Rather than altering that stance, Daly said the league and Players’ Association are ramping up efforts to educate players about the details. The NHL has seven teams based in Canada, while Colorado, home to the Avalanche, allows some legal use of marijuana.
Larry Nassar loses another bid for new sentence in Michigan
UNDATED (AP) – Texas authorities have arrested a former sports medicine trainer charged in connection with Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor who admitted to molesting gymnasts for years.
The Walker County district attorney’s office says Debra Van Horn was detained Thursday morning by Homeland Security officials at a Houston airport as she exited a flight from China. Van Horn has been indicted by a grand jury of a single count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.
Meanwhile, another Michigan judge has rejected Nassar’s request for a new sentence in one of his three criminal cases. Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham found no grounds to give the convicted sports doctor a new hearing Thursday. He was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for sexually molesting girls at a Lansing-area gymnastics club, one of three decades-long sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.