Update on the latest in sports:
Verlander starts on short rest
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Justin Verlander will start on three days of rest as the Astros try to put away the Rays in Game 4 of their AL Division Series at Tampa Bay.
It will be Verlander’s second career start on short rest – the other came after a one-inning, rain-shortened appearance in the 2011 ALDS.
Houston won the first two games of the series with a pair of dominant pitching performances from Verlander and Gerrit Cole, who combined to limit the Rays to one unearned run and five hits over 14 2/3 innings. Houston’s other pitchers have allowed 12 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings, an ERA of 9.53.
In the other playoff matchups:
– The Nationals and Dodgers get a travel day and go coast to coast again ahead of their win-or-go-home Game 5 in the NL Division Series. Washington will send 18-game winner Stephen Strasburg to the mound against Walker Buehler in a marquee matchup Wednesday at Los Angeles.
– The Cardinals and Braves are off before Wednesday’s decisive Game 5 in Atlanta. Yadier Molina rallied St. Louis in Game 4, poking a tying single in the eighth inning and lifting a sacrifice fly to end it in the 10th.
– After finishing a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 5-1 victory at Minnesota on Monday night, Gleyber Torres and the New York Yankees head home waiting to find out whether they’ll play Houston or Tampa Bay in the AL Championship Series. That best-of-seven playoff begins Saturday, so the AL East champs get four days off to rest up and prepare.
Three stadiums weren’t full for playoff games
UNDATED (AP) – Three of four playoff games failed to sell out Monday, leaving lots of empty seats at Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Washington. Sub-capacity crowds have become an expectation at Tropicana Field – even in October – but they were more striking elsewhere.
The Cardinals, whose fans tout themselves as the best in baseball, hosted the Braves in front of 42,203 supporters, about 2,000 fewer than Busch Stadium’s listed capacity. Meanwhile, entire sections in the upper deck were nearly empty as Max Scherzer pitched for Washington against the Dodgers.
Prior to Monday, the only 2019 postseason games that failed to sell out were NLDS Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.
Attendance during the regular season fell 1.7% this year for its fourth straight decline.
Vegas hosts Bruins
UNDATED (AP) – After sweeping a season-opening home-and-home series with the San Jose Sharks, the Vegas Golden Knights host the Boston Bruins, also winners of their first two games of the season.
The Anaheim Ducks, sporting the youngest roster in franchise history after missing the playoffs last spring, try to improve on a 2-and-0 start as they visit the Detroit Red Wings — also winners of their first two.
The Carolina Hurricanes — off to a 3-and-0 start for the second time in franchise history — skate at Florida.
The Pittsburgh Penguins — without injured star Evgeni Malkin — host Winnipeg.
Other NHL action has Edmonton against the New York Islanders, Dallas at Washington, San Jose at Nashville, and Calgary hosting Los Angeles.
Mystics could wrap up title
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) – The Washington Mystics are hoping to wrap up a WNBA title tonight. They are in Connecticut to face the Sun in Game 4 of a best-of-five series. Washington leads 2-games-to-1.
Like the Mystics, the Sun are looking for the franchise’s first title.
If Connecticut wins tonight, a decisive Game 5 would be in Washington on Thursday night.