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Update on the latest sports


US takes 3-1 lead in early Ryder Cup action
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) – The U.S. has raced out to a 3-1 lead after the opening matches in the Ryder Cup.
The Americans dropped their first match of the day, then took the next three to open an early lead after the foursome matches. Another four best-ball matches lie just ahead on the first day of competition.
Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kah) and Daniel Berger finished the morning off for the U.S. team by taking a 2-and-1 win over Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.
The strong showing by the U.S. team came before massive crowds at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, almost all of them cheering wildly for the home team.
The U.S. is trying to regain the cup after losing in Paris three years ago.


Key showdown at Fenway
UNDATED (AP) – Yankees ace Gerrit Cole starts the opener of a crucial three-game series Friday night at Fenway Park with the Red Sox two games ahead of New York for the top AL wild card. Boston has won seven straight to build a small cushion over the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Cole will face fellow right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) in a showdown of pitchers likely to receive AL Cy Young Award consideration.
With New York closing the season against AL East foes Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, Cole said Wednesday he is drawing inspiration down the stretch from a story he had been told recently about ancient warriors honing their warfare skills against elite fighters from neighboring cities to stay sharp.


In other highlights of Friday’s schedule:
– The Cardinals take a 12-game winning streak into a doubleheader at Wrigley Field hoping to extend their best stretch in 39 years. St. Louis has solidified itself as the front-runner for the second NL wild card with this spurt, the longest in club history since a 12-game run in 1982. The franchise record is 14, set in 1935. St. Louis left-hander J.A. Happ will face Cubs lefty Justin Steele in the opener. Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty is slated to oppose righty Zach Davies in the nightcap.


– Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber is set to pitch for Cleveland for the first time since June 13 after dealing with a strained right shoulder. Bieber was 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings prior to the injury.


Name drop: Cleveland set to say goodbye to Indians for good
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Cleveland Indians are about to become history.
One of the American League’s charter members will play its final home game of 2021 on Monday. That will be its last game at Progressive Field as the Indians, the team’s name since 1915, when “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was the starting right fielder on opening day.
Much more than the makeup of a rainout against the Kansas City Royals, the home finale will signify the end of one era and beginning of a new chapter for the team, which will be called the Cleveland Guardians next season.
The home finale will signify the end of one era and the beginning of a new chapter for the team, which will be called the Cleveland Guardians next season. The team dropped the name Indians in the wake of a national racial reckoning to remove offensive symbols.


Blackhawks G Lankinen held out because of COVID-19 protocol
CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen and forward Mike Hardman were held out of practice Friday because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The announcement on the team’s second day of training camp doesn’t necessarily mean that either player tested positive. General manager Stan Bowman said Thursday that the team was 100% vaccinated.
The 26-year-old Lankinen is coming off a solid rookie season, going 17-14-5 with 3.01 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. He is expected to back up Marc-Andre Fleury this year.
Hardman, 22, made his NHL debut last season, finishing with a goal and two assists in eight games.


No. 22 Fresno State hosts UNLV
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – No. 22 Fresno State hosts UNLV Friday night after moving into the AP poll for the first time since 2018 following a 40-37 win at No. 13 UCLA last week.
Fresno State last hosted a game as a ranked team in 2013 when Derek Carr led the Bulldogs to a 24-17 win over Utah State in the 2013 Mountain West championship game. The Rebels look for their first win since 2019.
It’s the only game on Friday’s college football schedule featuring a ranked team.


NFL adds Monday night to Wild Card Weekend
NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL is adding Monday night to its Wild Card Weekend.
The league announced Friday that it will play one of its first six playoff games on Monday night, beginning with this season.
The NFL added a third wild-card team in each conference last season, and then played three wild-card games on Saturday and three on Sunday during its first weekend of the playoffs. The new schedule means the league will play two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday night.
The team with the best record in each conference is the only one to receive a bye for the first weekend of the playoffs.
The NFL said the broadcaster for the Monday night game “is yet to be determined.” For the 2021 season, CBS and NBC each will broadcast two wild-card games, while Fox and ESPN/ABC each get one.
Wild Card Weekend for this postseason runs from Jan. 15-17.


Raducanu splits from coach who helped her to US Open win
LONDON (AP) – Emma Raducanu (ra-doo-KA’-noo) has split from her coach less than two weeks after winning the U.S. Open as a qualifier.
The 18-year-old Briton says she wants a more experienced coach now she will be playing in bigger events on the WTA Tour. Andrew Richardson coached Raducanu for two years at youth level and linked back up with the teenager in July on a short-term deal for the duration of her time in the United States ahead of and during the U.S. Open. He is a former Davis Cup player for Britain.