Friday Sports in Brief

October 9, 2021 GMT


HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa hit a two-run double during Houston’s five-run seventh inning, and the Astros beat the Chicago White Sox 9-4 on Friday for a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series.

Kyle Tucker homered and drove in three runs as the Astros moved within one win of their fifth straight appearance in the AL Championship Series. Alex Bregman had two hits and scored twice, and Jose Altuve made a couple of big plays.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Sunday night in Chicago.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — J.D. Martinez hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in his return to the lineup and the Boston Red Sox backed Tanner Houck’s clutch relief effort with a franchise postseason record five home runs, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 14-6 Friday night to even their AL Division Series at a game each.

Kiké Hernandez had five of Boston’s 20 hits, including a homer and three doubles, becoming Boston’s first player with four extra-base hits in a postseason game.


Xander Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers also connected for the Red Sox, who rallied for a blowout win after ace Chris Sale allowed a first-inning grand slam to Jordan Luplow and was pulled following just three outs.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Sunday.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez spoiled Charlie Morton’s gem with a two-run homer in the seventh inning and threw out a runner at home plate, leading the Milwaukee Brewers over the Atlanta Braves 2-1 Friday in the opener of their NL Division Series.

Corbin Burnes, Adrian Houser and Josh Hader combined on a four-hitter that gave Milwaukee the early lead in this best-of-five series. Game 2 is Saturday in Milwaukee.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Logan Webb struck out 10 pitching masterfully in his postseason debut, Buster Posey hit a two-run homer that held up, and the 107-win San Francisco Giants blanked the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 Friday night in the opener of their NL Division Series.

Kris Bryant and Brandon Crawford also homered to back a combined five-hitter by Webb and a pair of relievers.

The Dodgers will try to even the series when they send 20-game winner Julio Urías to the mound for Game 2 on Saturday night opposite Giants All-Star right-hander Kevin Gausman.


NEW YORK (AP) — A report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith in an email 10 years ago drew a strong and quick rebuke Friday from the NFL.

A Wall Street Journal story noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features.

“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”


The league is looking into the matter and a person familiar with that probe told The Associated Press that disciplinary action is possible for Gruden. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of any league probe are not made public.

— By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is expected to be out several weeks after he had surgery Friday on his injured right middle finger.

Wilson posted a photo Friday night following his surgery in Southern California. Wilson flew to Los Angeles to see a hand specialist and determine the best course of action to repair the injury.

NFL Network reported that Wilson had screws inserted to stabilize the finger.

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith is planning to move on after he serves one more term with the union.

The NFLPA’s board of player representatives voted Friday to retain Smith as executive director, and union president JC Tretter said in a statement that the upcoming term would be Smith’s last one.

“He was transparent with us about his interest in moving on after this term and for the stability and security of our union, he will work with our player leadership to ensure we have a succession plan in place for the next leader,” Tretter, an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns, said in a statement.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The NFL is accusing Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La’el Collins of trying to bribe a drug-testing official before the player was suspended five games for a violation of the substance-abuse policy.

The allegation has surfaced in a federal court case after Collins sued the league, its management council and Commissioner Roger Goodell while seeking an injunction to stop the suspension with two games remaining.

The NFL says Collins has a long history of violations. The lineman’s representatives deny the allegation of bribery and say the league wrongfully imposed suspensions in violation of the labor agreement.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin left the Washington Capitals’ preseason finale against Philadelphia on Friday night with what the team called a lower-body injury.

Ovechkin bumped into Flyers forward Travis Konecny midway through the first period and then went down to the ice. Washington’s captain was slow to get up and skated off on his own while not putting much weight on his left leg

The 36-year-old went down the tunnel instead of remaining on the bench and missed the remainder of the period. The team announced at the first intermission that Ovechkin would not return.

TORONTO (AP) — Ontario’s major indoor professional sports teams have been given the green light to host capacity crowds.

The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors will be able to play in front of full arenas when their seasons start this month, Ontario Sports Minister Lisa MacLeod announced Friday.

The move leaves the Vancouver Canucks as the only NHL team without full-capacity crowds.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov and the Florida Panthers have agreed on an $80 million, eight-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of $10 million.

That’s according to two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the financial terms were not immediately released by the team.

The contract is the largest in total value in Panthers history. Barkov and the Panthers had been working for several days to complete the deal.

— By AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds.


NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving could join the Brooklyn Nets at practice this weekend after a ruling that their practice facility doesn’t fall under a New York coronavirus vaccination mandate.

The Nets were told Friday that the training center is considered a private facility. The city’s vaccine mandate requires pro athletes practicing or playing in public venues to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving still wouldn’t be able to play in home games if he doesn’t meet the vaccination requirement, but at least he can be with the Nets when they are practicing at home.


KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Major League Soccer suspended Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez without pay for the rest of the season Friday for violating the league’s gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct.

MLS said Hernandez engaged in extensive and unlawful sports gambling, including placing wagers on two MLS matches, in direct contravention of league rules.


CALGARY. Alberta (AP) — The Canadian women’s hockey team will play four male Alberta Junior Hockey League teams as part of its preparation for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

Canada will play at the Drumheller Dragons on Oct. 18, the Olds Grizzlies on Oct. 29, and Camrose Kodiaks on Oct. 29 before facing the Calgary Canucks in Calgary on Jan. 10.


NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — John Edward “Budge” Patty, a former No. 1-ranked tennis player who won back-to-back major titles at the French Championships and Wimbledon in 1950, has died. He was 97.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame, which inducted Patty in 1977, said he died on Sunday at a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, citing information it received from his wife, Marcina.

Patty lost in the final at Roland Garros in 1949 before beating future Hall of Famer Jaroslav Drobny in five sets for the title the following year. He then defeated another Hall of Famer, Frank Sedgman, in the Wimbledon final.


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