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September 28, 2021
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September 29, 2021
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Update on the latest sports


Phillies at Atlanta, Cards could clinch card, possible ALCS preview
ATLANTA (AP) – Zack Wheeler pitches for Philadelphia in the opener of a pivotal three-game series at Atlanta. Charlie Morton is on the mound for the Braves, who lead the NL East by 2 1/2 games over the Phillies with a few days left in the season. Atlanta has led the division since Aug. 15 and is trying to win it for the fourth straight year.
After leaving Atlanta, the Phillies finish the regular season with three games at Miami, while the Braves close at home with three games against the Mets, with a makeup game versus Colorado possible on Oct. 4 if it’s needed to decide the NL East.


Among the other games on the schedule:
– The soaring Cardinals have won a club-record 16 consecutive games heading into their series opener at home against NL Central champion Milwaukee. A victory over the Brewers, or losses by Philadelphia and Cincinnati, gives St. Louis the second NL wild card for its third straight playoff berth. The winning streak is the longest in the majors since Cleveland took 22 in a row in 2017, and the best in the National League since the New York Giants won 16 straight in 1951 on their way to an improbable pennant. Adam Wainwright has won five consecutive decisions for the Cardinals and nine of his last 10. He pitches against two-time All-Star Brandon Woodruff.


– The top two teams in the American League square off when Tampa Bay visits Houston in a potential preview of the AL Championship Series. With a victory, the AL East champion Rays clinch home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Tampa Bay is a franchise-best 38 games over .500 and has equaled the 2008 AL championship team for most wins in a season. Houston, which has lost four straight, can wrap up the AL West title with a win and a Seattle loss at home to Oakland. Jose Urquidy has won his last four decisions for the Astros. Michael Wacha starts for the Rays, who have won four in a row overall.


– The Yankees, winners of six straight, begin a three-game series in Toronto that could decide who gets the AL wild cards. New York holds the first of two wild-card spots by a game over Boston, with the Blue Jays another game back. Giancarlo Stanton is coming off a huge series at Fenway Park, where the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the rival Red Sox on Sunday night. Just activated from the injured list, Jameson Taillon is set to start for New York against Hyun Jin Ryu.


– Boston plays at last-place Baltimore, with Chris Sale on the mound for the Red Sox.


– The NL West-leading San Francisco Giants begin a home series with the last-place Diamondbacks still seeking to close out their first division title since 2012. The Dodgers are two games back to start the season’s final week. San Francisco first baseman and home run leader Brandon Belt has a broken left thumb and his availability for the final week of the regular season and playoffs is unclear. He’s batting .274 with a career-high 29 homers and 59 RBIs in only 97 games.


– Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to pitch tonight for the New York Mets, returning to a major league mound for the first time in two years and completing his long comeback from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and will start the second game of a single-admission doubleheader against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. The skidding Mets announced the move about 2 1/2 hours before the first game. Syndergaard can become a free agent after the season. His return comes too late to help the 2021 Mets, who were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend.


NFL urges players, team staff to report COVID-19 symptoms
UNDATED (AP) – The NFL is stressing the importance of symptom reporting to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a video featuring coaches Pete Carroll, Andy Reid, John Harbaugh and Ron Rivera.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo sent to teams on Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press that “it is vital for all players, coaches and other personnel to understand and report symptoms immediately.”
Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, opens and closes the 2 1/2-minute video. Seattle’s Carroll, Kansas City’s Reid, Baltimore’s Harbaugh and Washington’s Rivera appear to repeat a simple message: “If you feel something, say something.”


76ers kick off camp without unhappy All-Star Simmons
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) – Ben Simmons did not report when the Philadelphia 76ers opened training camp on Tuesday. Simmons was absent as expected as he tries to persuade the Sixers to trade him, even with $147 million and four years left on his contract.
Coach Doc Rivers still believes that Simmons may show up at training camp or at some point this season to try to lead the Sixers back to the top of the Eastern Conference.


K-State QB Thompson unlikely to play vs No. 6 Oklahoma
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson is unlikely to play against sixth-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday, even though he is making progress from a knee injury that he sustained in an early victory over Southern Illinois.
Wildcats coach Chris Klieman says Thompson remains on target to return against Iowa State on Oct. 16. That means Will Howard and fellow sophomore Jaren Lewis are in line to play against Oklahoma.