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October 23, 2019
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October 23, 2019
AP Sports




Update on the latest in sports:




Nationals get series-opening win over Astros


HOUSTON (AP) – The Washington Nationals have opened the World Series by stealing home-field advantage from the Houston Astros.


Juan Soto drove in three runs and Max Scherzer provided a gritty effort on the mound as the Nationals held off the Astros, 5-4. Soto delivered a solo homer and a two-run double while the Nats were turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead against Gerrit Cole.


Scherzer quickly fell behind when Yuli Gurriel (YOO’-lee gur-ee-EHL’) lined a two-run double with two out in the bottom of the first. The three-time Cy Young Award winner needed 112 pitches to get through five innings, striking out seven and allowing five hits and three walks.


Ryan Zimmerman sparked Washington’s comeback with a second-inning homer. Adam Eaton put the Nationals ahead to stay with a run-scoring single in the fifth, two batters before Soto widened their lead.

George Springer made it a one-run game with a seventh-inning homer and an RBI double in the eighth. Sean Doolittle protected the lead by getting the final out in the eighth, stranding Spring at second before picking up the save.


Cole suffered his first loss in 26 starts since May 22 against the Chicago White Sox. He entered the game 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in the postseason before surrendering eight hits over seven innings.


Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. The Astros look to Justin Verlander to help them tie up the series. Stephen Strasburg will pitch for the Nats.


In other Series news:


– The Nationals have altered their pitching staff by adding right-handers Joe Ross and Wander Suero (SWEHR’-oh) to the active roster for the series in place of Roenis Elias (roh-EH’-nihs EE’-lee-ahs) and Austin Voth (vohth). Ross and Suero pitched ineffectively against the Dodgers in the NL Division Series. Elias and Voth were on the roster for the NLCS but did not pitch in the Nats’ sweep of St. Louis.


– The Astros have no left-handers on their pitching staff for the series. It’s the first time a club has gone into a Fall Classic without a southpaw since the 1903 Red Sox and Pirates in the first World Series.


– Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman has issued a statement apologizing for using “inappropriate language.” This, after a report in Sports Illustrated said he repeatedly yelled toward a group of female reporters during the team’s celebration after clinching the AL pennant. His remarks reportedly referenced Houston closer Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games last season for violating the league’s domestic violence policy before joining the Astros in a trade from Toronto.




Raptors’ win as a ring to it


TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Raptors raised their first NBA championship banner and received their rings before clawing their way to an overtime win over New Orleans.


Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 34 points and the Raptors closed on an 8-0 run to earn a 130-122 victory in the league’s first game of the season. Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, including a pair of free throws that put Toronto in the lead for good.


Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) fouled out with 34 points and 18 rebounds before the Raptors completed their seventh consecutive season-opening victory.


Brandon Ingram scored 22 points and Josh Hart had 15 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans.
Meanwhile, the Raptors’ MVP of this year’s NBA Finals had a big night for his new team.


Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard scored a game-high 30 points on 10 of 19 shooting in his Clippers debut to lead a 112-102 win over the Lakers. Leonard helped the Clippers outscored their co-tenants 27-17 in the final period.


Lou Williams added 21 points and Montrezl (MAHN’-trehz) Harrell had 17 off the bench for the winners.
Danny Green led the Lakers with 28 points, Anthony Davis added 25 and LeBron James contributed 18 with nine rebounds and eight assists.




Pistons to open without Griffin


UNDATED (AP) – The Detroit Pistons are opening the season without forward Blake Griffin as he continues a treatment and conditioning regimen for left hamstring and posterior knee soreness.


Griffin was mostly healthy last season until a left knee injury limited him in the playoffs and required offseason surgery. He will be re-evaluated for a return the first week of November.


In other NBA news:


– Warriors coach Steve Kerr insists he isn’t ruling All-Star guard Klay Thompson out for the entire season. However, Kerr cautions that Thompson’s recovery from surgery July 2 for a torn ACL in his left knee is still expected to take nine to 12 months.


– Jenna Schroeder has been added to the NBA’s full-time refereeing staff. She becomes the fourth female official on the league’s roster. Schroeder has three years of experience in the G League, two in the WNBA and seven seasons as a college official in the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Atlantic 10 and American Athletic conferences.




Pats get Sanu


UNDATED (AP) – Tom Brady will have another target Sunday against Cleveland after the New England Patriots acquired wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (sah-NOO’) from Atlanta for a second-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL draft.


The 30-year-old Sanu has 33 receptions for 313 yards, but only one touchdown so far this season.


The eight-year NFL veteran tweeted his excitement at joining the Patriots and thanked the Falcons organization.


In other NFL news:


– The 49ers have bolstered their receiving corps by getting Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos for third- and fourth-round draft picks in 2020 and and a fifth-rounder in 2021. Sanders has caught 30 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns this year as he made a successful return from surgery on both ankles.


– Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown has died at the age of 78. There was no cause of death released when the Hall of Fame made the announcement, but Brown had been dealing with cancer. Al Davis acquired Brown for the Raiders in a 1967 trade with Denver in one of the best moves he made during his Hall of Fame career running the franchise.




Sabres win again


UNDATED (AP) – The Buffalo Sabres continue their turnaround after finishing with the NHL’s fifth-worst record last season.


The Sabres are a league-best 8-1-1 after Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) scored 3:13 into overtime to give them a 4-3 win over the Sharks. Eichel also talled in the second period and set up Jeff Skinner’s go-ahead goal 45 seconds into the third.


Erik Karlsson scored with 8:33 left in regulation to give San Jose a point.


Edmonton shared the league’s best record with Buffalo until Eric Staal broke out of an early slump with two goals and an assist in the Wild’s 3-0 win over the Oilers.


Brad Hunt also scored for the Wild, who may be without goaltender Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) for a while. Dubnyk was upended early in the second period while trying to avoid contact with teammate Ryan Donato and the Oilers’ Brandon Manning.


Edmonton has been shut out in back-to-back games and is 2-2-1 since opening the season with five straight wins.


Elsewhere on NHL ice:


– David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) scored his league-leading 10th goal of the season and had an assist in the Bruins’ 4-2 victory over Toronto. The game was tied 2-2 until Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm scored in the third period. Brad Marchand also tallied and Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask stopped 28 shots as Boston improved to 6-1-2 by getting a home-and-home sweep of the Maple Leafs.


– Defenseman John Carlson leads the NHL with 20 points after scoring twice in the Capitals’ 5-2 verdict over the Flames. Alex Ovechkin’s (oh-VEHCH’-kihnz) seventh goal of the campaign broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period. Tom Wilson and Chandler Stephenson also scored as Washington improved to 7-2-2.


– Bo Horvat registered a hat trick while the Canucks erupted for five goals in the third period to beat the Red Wings, 5-2. Horvat supplied a pair of power-play goals in the first 3:13 of the final period and put the game out of reach with an empty-netter to complete his first career hat trick. Vancouver has won six of its last seven, and the Red Wings have scored just seven times during their five-game losing streak.


– The Predators rolled to a 6-1 rout of the Ducks as Roman Josi (YOH’-see) and Viktor Arvidsson each had a goal and an assist. Colton Sissons (SIH’-zhuhnz), Rocco Grimaldi, Mattias (mah-TEE’-uhs) Ekholm and Calle Jarnkrok (YAHRN’-krahk) also scored in Nashville’s first win in three games. John Gibson started and gave up four goals on 19 shots through two periods before being replaced by Ryan Miller.


– Jonathan Huberdeau (HOO’-bur-doh) and Denis Malgin each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers doubled up the Penguins, 4-2. Noel Acciari (ah-CHAHR’-ee) and Frank Vatrano also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) stopped 22 shots in Florida’s second win in three games. Pittsburgh has dropped two straight since a five-game winning streak.


– Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves through overtime and two more stops in the shootout to help the Golden Knights knock off the Blackhawks, 2-1. Jonathan Marchessault and Shea Theodore beat Robin Lehner on the other end. Third overall pick Kirby Dach scored his first NHL goal in his second game, putting Chicago ahead until Nick Holden tied it 1:33 left in regulation.


– The Coyotes pulled out a 3-2 win over the Rangers on Christian Dvorak’s (dah-VOHR’-aks) goal 64 seconds into overtime. Lawson Crouse and Alex Goligoski (goh-lih-GAHS’-kee) also scored for Arizona, which outshot New York 21-4 in the opening period of its fourth consecutive victory. Tony DeAngelo tied the game twice in the second period before the Blueshirts dropped their fifth in a row since a 2-0 start.


– Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) scored a power-play goal at 5:52 of the third period to put the Kings ahead in a 3-2 victory at Winnipeg. Austin Wagner and Kurtis MacDermid also scored as Los Angeles opened a four-game road trip with its second consecutive win. Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets, who finished 1-4-0 on a five-game homestand.




NCAA gives Gamecocks light punishment


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s football program has been placed on probation for the next 12 months by the NCAA following recruiting violations involving a former assistant coach in the spring of 2018.


The NCAA says the probation does not include any restriction on postseason competition. The school and the NCAA handled it through the governing body’s negotiated resolution process after the Gamecocks self-reported the infraction.




Paralympian Marieke Vervoort fulfills wish to take own life


UNDATED (AP) – Paralympian Marieke (mah’-REE-kuh) Vervoort has ended her life by euthanasia.


Vervoort won gold and silver medals in wheelchair racing at the 2012 London Paralympics, and two more medals three years ago in Rio de Janeiro.


She had said that when the day arrived, she had signed the euthanasia papers and was prepared to end her life.


That day came Tuesday in the 40-year-old’s native Belgium. Her death was confirmed in a statement from the city of Diest.



AP-WF-10-23-19 1053GMT