Yanks-Tigers open ALCS
NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees get very little time to enjoy their series clinching win over the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS.
About 24 hours after eliminating the Orioles, the Yankees will host Detroit in the opening game of the American League Championship Series tonight. It's the 15th time New York has appeared in the series that will decide the American League representative to the World Series.
While the Yankees were battling to stay alive, the Tigers were watching and waiting last night, after they clinched their ALDS over Oakland on Thursday. They jumped on a plane for New York after the Yankees win.
Doug Fister will take the ball for Detroit, after getting a no decision in his only start in the ALDS. The Yankees go with playoff mainstay Andy Pettitte (PEHT'-iht) who's 19 wins and 43 starts are the most in post-season history.
Cards riding a high
WASHINGTON (AP) — St. Louis' improbable 9-7 comeback win over Washington last night vaulted the Cardinals into the National League Championship series starting tomorrow in San Francisco.
The Cardinals rekindled memories of the charmed run to the World Series title last year by overcoming a six-run deficit. The Cardinals were down to their last strikes in the ninth inning before Daniel Descalso's two-run single tied the game, and the Pete Kozma's two-run single put them on top.
Alabama back in action
UNDATED (AP) — Unbeaten and top-ranked, Alabama hits the road refreshed after a bye week to take on SEC newbie Missouri as part of the top 25 college football schedule. The 5-and-0 Crimson Tide are three-touchdown favorites against a Tigers team that has had its offensive problems this season. Missouri is coming off a 19-15 conference loss to lightly regarded Vanderbilt that dropped the Tigers to 3-3 and 0-3 in the SEC.
The task ahead of Mizzou? Alabama's defense is allowing just seven points per game. The Crimson Tide offense is 22 for 22 inside the 20 including 16 touchdowns.
Two of the SEC's other bright lights square off in Baton Rouge when No. 3 South Carolina visits No. 9 LSU, where the Tigers have won 21 straight. The Gamecocks have risen to the highest point in the rankings since reaching No. 2 in 1984 on the strength of a 6-0 mark that includes a 35-7 rout of then-No. 5 Georgia last week.
South Carolina needs the win to keep pace with Alabama.
LSU is coming off a disappointing loss to Florida in which the Tigers didn't score a touchdown. That dropped the Tigers to 5-1. They must pull out the win to have any hopes of resurrecting their national championship hopes.
It's been a solid season for Notre Dame so far. Not only are the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish 5-0, but they are the only team in the country that has yet to trail in a game. That's what's facing No. 17 Stanford when the Cardinal travels to South Bend. Stanford will be facing a team that has not allowed a touchdown in three games. Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes threw for 360 yards and ran for three touchdowns in a win over Arizona last week.
No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 15 Texas renew the Red River Rivalry with their annual showdown at the Cotton Bowl. Most of the time, the game has Big 12 and national championship implications. But both teams have conference losses this season, which makes the game practically a survival contest. No team has won the game with fewer rushing yards since 1997. Texas is averaging 204 yards on the ground. Oklahoma is averaging 190.
In all there are 18 games involving top 25 teams today.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — When the green flag falls at the Charlotte Motor Speedway tonight, it will be the first time in 33 years that a NASCAR Cup race has started without an Earnhardt.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will be missing from the field after sustaining a second concussion this year.
Greg Biffle will start from the pole in the fifth race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Points leader Brad Keselowski will start 20th. He has a 14-point lead over Jimmie Johnson, who will start fifth.
Mallinger in control
SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) — John Mallinger is in good position to challenge for his first win in seven years on the PGA Tour. The 33-year old takes a four-shot lead into the third round of the Frys.com Open. He built the lead with a course-record tying 9-under 62. Mallinger has not posted a bogey in the first two rounds. Billy Horschel and Jhonny Vegas are tied for second.
Forsman has lead
CONOVER, N.C. (AP) — Dan Forsman take a one-shot lead over three others into the second round of the Greater Hickory Classic. Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize are tied for second.
Forsman opened the season with a win at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in January and has recently battled some back problems.
Choi on top
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Defending champion Na-yeon Choi of South Korea maintains a two-shot lead in the LPGA Malaysia. She shot a 3-under 68 Saturday in a rain-interrupted third round.
Fellow South Korean Park Inbee is two shots back after putting up the day's best score of 65, while Karrie Webb of Australia is another two shots back after a 68.
Djokovic reaches Shanghai Masters final
SHANGHAI (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak YOH'-koh-vihch) moved into his 10th final of the season Saturday after beating fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych (TOH'-mahs bur-DEEK') 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters.
Djokovic is looking for his fifth title of the year and second straight after winning in Beijing last week. He will play the winner of the match between top-ranked Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Murray.
Chang outlasts Stosur to reach Osaka final
OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan beat top-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) on Saturday to advance to the final of the Japan Open.
The 21-year-old Chang will face Britain's Heather Watson on Sunday after she defeated local favorite Misaki Doi of Japan 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the other semifinal.