Pirates and Dodgers on verge of NLCS
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates are one victory away from winning a postseason series for the first time since the 1979 World Series.
Pedro Alvarez hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in best-of-five NL division series.
Alvarez pulled a grounder into right field that scored pinch-runner Josh Harrison from second base. Russell Martin followed with a sharp RBI single for an insurance run against reliever Kevin Siegrist, who took over after Carlos Martinez faltered. Martinez took the loss.
Mark Melancon (meh-LAN'-sehn) picked up the win despite allowing Carlos Beltran's tying home run in the top of the eighth.
Charlie Morton is set to start for the Pirates in Game 4 Monday afternoon (3:07 p.m. Eastern time first pitch) against rookie Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah).
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers hammered Atlanta 13-6 in the other NL division series game. Juan Uribe (yoo-REE'-bay) and Carl Crawford homered for the Dodgers, who now own a 2-1 series lead. Uribe hit a two-run homer while Crawford's was a three-run shot.
The teams combined for 19 runs and 24 hits in the four-hour, one-minute tussle.
Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig (yah-SEEL' pweeg) each had three hits and scored three times on a big night at the plate for the Dodgers, who matched a franchise record for runs in a postseason game. Brooklyn beat the New York Yankees 13-8 in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series.
The Dodgers send out 13-game winner Ricky Nolasco Monday night when they go for the clincher. The Braves go with veteran Freddy Garcia in what is a must-win game for them.
Broncos, Saints and Chiefs still unbeaten...Texans' Schaub throws pick-six for fourth straight game
UNDATED (AP) — Denver won a 51-48 shootout over Dallas as Peyton Manning tossed four TD passes for the 5-0 Broncos. Manning finished with 414 yards. Manning has thrown 20 TD passes, an NFL record for the first five games of a season. And he scored a rushing TD, running 1-yard on a bootleg.
Tony Romo threw for a Cowboys-record 506 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort for Dallas, which fell to 2-3. He threw a costly interception to Danny Trevanthan inside the Dallas 30 to set up Matt Prater's winning 28-yard field goal at the final gun. The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense in the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Manning passed Dan Marino for second place on the career passing yardage list. Manning has 61,371 yards to 61,361 for Marino. Brett Favre (farv) is the leader at 71,838 yards with Green Bay, the New York Jets and Minnesota.
In other Week 5 action:
— The New Orleans Saints remain unbeaten after five games with a 26-18 win over the Bears in Chicago. The loss dropped the Bears, who have lost two straight, to 3-2. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (breez) threw two touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas, and Jimmy Graham tied an NFL record with another 100-yard game. Brees was 29 of 35 for 288 yards in his first victory in four career games at Soldier Field. Garrett Hartley matched a career high with four field goals for the visitors. Graham had 10 catches in the game for 135 yards in his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, matching an NFL record for a tight end.
— Surprising Kansas City is off to its best start since the Chiefs went 9-0 to start the 2003 season. They stand 5-0 after beating the Titans 26-17. Jamaal Charles scored a 1-yard touchdown with 6:23 left to give KC the victory. The win came despite blowing a 13-0 halftime lead. Charles put the Chiefs ahead to stay, and they intercepted fill-in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick twice in the final 6:14. Fitzpatrick was playing for the injured Jake Locker. Ryan Succop kicked four field goals for the Chiefs, including a 48-yarder.
— The Patriots are no longer unbeaten. They were knocked off by the Bengals in Cincinnati, 13-6, as BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 1 yard in the fourth quarter for the game's only touchdown. The loss also brought to an end Tom Brady's long streak of touchdown passes. The 3-2 Bengals sacked Brady four times and kept New England, now 4-1, out of the end zone on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Brady had thrown a touchdown pass in 52 straight games, second-longest in NFL history behind Drew Brees. The Patriots were held out of the end zone for the first time since a 16-9 loss to the Jets on Sept. 20, 2009.
— Playing in Indianapolis the Seahawks saw their perfect season hopes go down the drain in a 34-28 loss. Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and Donald Brown scored the go-ahead TD with 8:55 to go to lead the Colts to the win. The 4-1 Seahawks lost their first regular-season game since Nov. 25. Luck led his ninth career fourth-quarter comeback by going 16 of 29 for 229 yards, beating Russell Wilson in the first matchup between last season's NFL rookie of the year runner-ups. Wilson finished 15 of 31 for 210 yards with two TDs and one interception and ran 13 times for 102 yards.
— In an NFC North matchup, the Packers pinned the Lions 22-9. James Jones caught a long touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers defense contained the Lions, who have lost 23 straight to the Packers in Wisconsin. Mason Crosby kicked five field goals for Green Bay as the Packers' offense struggled to get into the end zone until Rodgers found Jones on an 83-yard completion down the left sideline for a 16-3 lead late in the third quarter.
— Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes and Matt Giordano's 82-yard interception return was one of several big plays from the St. Louis Rams' defense in a 34-20 victory over winless Jacksonville. St. Louis, which had trailed by double digits in every game, established control with a 17-point second quarter after Jacksonville had a pair of early leads. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered an injury to his left hamstring in the third quarter.
— Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal to put the Ravens ahead with 1:42 left, and they withstood a frantic comeback bid by the Miami Dolphins to win 26-23. After Ryan Tannehill completed a 46-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on fourth down to keep Miami's hopes alive, Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yard field goal attempt wide left with 33 seconds to go. The loss is Miami's second straight after a 3-0 start. The Ravens, who are also 3-2, won their first road game of the season.
— The New York Giants are winless in five games. They were beaten by the Michael Vick-less Eagles 35-31. Vick left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Nick Foles who threw for two touchdowns and led four scoring drives. Foles threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes of 25 yards to Brent Celek and 5 yards to DeSean Jackson as the 2-3 Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak by forcing three interceptions by Eli Manning in the fourth quarter.
— Arizona sacked Cam Newton seven times, once for a safety, and intercepted him on three occasions to overcome a sluggish offensive performance, and the Cardinals beat the Carolina Panthers 22-6. Daryl Washington, back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, had two sacks and an interception
— In a night game, San Francisco routed Houston 34-3. Texans QB Matt Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown for the fourth straight game. Schaub threw three picks in all, one returned by Tremaine Brock for 18 yards and a touchdown on his first pass of the night. Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nihk) threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards and a TD for the 3-2 Niners, who trail NFC West-leading Seattle by one game.
— In the second night game, Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and Charles Woodson tied an NFL record with his 13th defensive touchdown as the Oakland Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers 27-17. Pryor got the Raiders (2-3) off to a fast start in the latest starting West Coast game in NFL history with a 44-yard touchdown pass on Oakland's first play from scrimmage. The Raiders then used four forced turnovers, a goal-line stand, Woodson's 25-yard return of Danny Woodhead's fumble and two long field goals by Sebastian Janikowski to beat the Chargers (2-3). Philip Rivers had his third 400-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 411 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.
Freeman's agent says QB going to Vikes
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Freeman is heading to Minnesota.
Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, revealed the move in a one-word tweet Sunday night, saying: "Vikings!!!"
Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, a week after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. Freeman was a 4,000-yard passer a year ago and the Bucs' career leader with 1,144 completions and 80 touchdowns.
No change at the top
UNDATED (AP) — The top five teams stay the same in the new Associated Press top-25 poll. Alabama remains first with 55 of the 60 first-place votes while second-ranked Oregon received the remaining five first-place nods.
Number three is still Clemson, with Ohio State fourth and Stanford fifth.
This week's second five features Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Texas A&M and LSU.
'Canes keep Flyers winless
UNDATED (AP) — For the second straight season, the Philadelphia Flyers have opened by losing their first three games. The Carolina Hurricanes kept the Flyers winless with their first victory, 2-1.
Radek Dvorak (duh-VOHR'-ak) scored the winner in the second period. Jay Harrison also scored, Jeff Skinner added two assists and Anton Khudobin made 17 saves in his Hurricanes' debut.
In other NHL action:
— Corey Perry scored the winner in the Anaheim Ducks' 3-2 victory over the Jets. Teemu Selanne (TAY'-moo suh-LAH'-nay) got a standing ovation in what could be his last visit to Winnipeg. Selanne, who is retiring after this season, began his NHL career with Winnipeg in 1992-93.
— Vancouver edged Calgary 5-4 in overtime. Mike Santorelli scored his second goal at 3:17 of the extra period for the game-winner.
Lynx take opener
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Maya Moore had 23 points, including three 3-pointers in the first quarter to propel Minnesota from the start, and the Lynx delivered a dominant 84-59 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Minnesota.
RedHawks going in new direction
OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — Miami of Ohio fired coach Don Treadwell, a day after the RedHawks fell to 0-5 with a 21-9 loss at home to Central Michigan. Treadwell went 8-21 at his alma mater. The RedHawks have lost to Marshall 52-14, to Kentucky 41-7, to Cincinnati 14-0 and to Illinois 50-14.
Harvick wins fourth Chase race
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kevin Harvick won a wreck-filled Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Harvick pulled away from Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon on a restart with 19 laps to go for his third win of the year. It came after Harvick sat on the pole for the first time in 254 races.
The last time he qualified first, at New Hampshire in 2006, he also won the race.
He was chased across the line by Busch and Gordon. Joey Logano finished fourth, Carl Edwards was fifth and Jimmie Johnson finished sixth.
Matt Kenseth held onto his lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with an 11th-place finish. Johnson narrowed the gap to just three points.
FORMULA ONE-KOREAN GRAND PRIX
Vettel wins again
YEONGAM, South Korea (AP) — Three-time defending series champion Sebastian Vettel finished first in the Korean Grand Prix (pree). The win was his fourth straight and gives him a 77 point lead with five races remaining. Vettel finished in front of Kimi Raikkonen (KEE'-mee RAY'-koh-nehn) by 4.2 seconds.
The race was marred by two safety-car periods, including a crash involving Mark Webber that led to his car bursting into flames.
If Vettel wins in Japan, and Fernando Alonso finishes worse than eighth, the German will join his compatriot Michael Schumacher (SHOO'-mah-kur) and Juan-Manuel Fangio (FAHN'-gee-oh) as the only men to win four successive titles.
HOUSTON (AP) — Will Power held off new IndyCar championship leader Scott Dixon to win the second race of the Grand Prix of Houston. The race ended when Dario Franchitti's (DAH'-ree-oh fran-KEE'-tees) car went airborne into the fence on the final lap. Franchitti was taken to a hospital, but team owner Chip Ganassi said he was alert and complaining only of a sore ankle and back.
Dixon took over the IndyCar points lead 11 laps into the race when Helio Castroneves's (EHL'-ee-oh cas-troh-NEHV'-us's) car stopped on the course because of a broken gearbox.
The first half of the two-day doubleheader of racing was won by Dixon.
US wins fifth straight Presidents Cup
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — The Americans have won the Presidents Cup 18 ½ to 15 ½. The win is the fifth straight the U.S.
Once again Tiger Woods delivered the winning point. Despite playing with a bad back, he managed to beat Richard Sterne, 1 up, to give the Americans the 18 points they needed to win the Presidents Cup. It was the third straight Presidents Cup that Woods won the cup-clinching match, all three with Fred Couples as the captain.
Woods went 4-1 for the best record of any player.
Feng wins with late eagle
BEIJING (AP) — China's Shanshan Feng eagled the par-5 18th hole to edge American Stacy Lewis for the LPGA Reignwood Classic. This was the LPGA's first event in Beijing.
Lewis birdied four of her first six holes to quickly catch overnight leader Feng and led for most of the final round by one stroke before the Chinese golfer finished with her strong ending.
Djokovic beats Nadal
BEIJING (AP) — In a matchup of rivals, Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) defeated Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL') 6-3, 6-4 to win the China Open for the fourth time. The victory was something of a consolation for Djokovic after Nadal was assured of replacing him atop the rankings by reaching the final in Beijing.
Nadal, the reigning French Open and U.S. Open champion, has had a dominant year since returning from injury in February. He has won 10 titles and reached 12 finals overall.
In the women's final, top-ranked American Serena Williams maintained her dominant form, beating Jelena Jankovic (yeh-LAY'-nuh YANK'-oh-vihch) of Serbia 6-2, 6-2.