Manning in midseason form with 7 TD passes
DENVER (AP) — After a 35-minute delay at the start of the game because of the threat of lightning in Denver, Peyton Manning and the Broncos provided their own version of football lightning in the NFL season opener.
Manning tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes and the Broncos blitzed the Baltimore Ravens with 28 unanswered points to break open a close game and beat the defending Super Bowl champions 49-27. Manning is the first NFL QB since Joe Kapp in 1969 to have a seven-TD game. Manning finished 27-for-42 for 462 yards.
Manning connected with his new target, Wes Welker, and former college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs apiece. He's the sixth NFL QB to have a seven-TD game.
The early season bonehead play award went to Denver linebacker Danny Trevanthan. While returning a sure-fire interception that would have given the Broncos a 31-point lead, Trevanthan began his TD celebration a bit too early, dropping the ball just short of the end zone. Instead of six points for Denver, the Ravens got the ball back. But Manning's performance was too much to let the Ravens back in the game.
The temperature at kickoff was 83 degrees, a drastic change from when Baltimore and Denver met at Mile High in January for a playoff game. Back then, the temperature was 13 degrees as the Ravens ended the Broncos' season 38-35 in double overtime.
Red Sox win a thriller...Astros knock A's out of first
UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Drew hit a tying single off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the ninth inning, then Shane Victorino lined a go-ahead single in the 10th that sent the Boston Red Sox past the New York Yankees 9-8 in a Thursday night thriller.
Down to their last strike against Rivera, the Red Sox rallied in the opener of a four-game series loaded with playoff implications.
The Yanks erased a 7-2 deficit with six runs in the seventh inning. But the 43-year-old Rivera faltered in the ninth, leaving the door open for the Red Sox to win it in 10.
The Yanks trail the Red Sox by nine games in the AL East.
In other AL action:
— The Houston Astros beat Oakland 3-2 to knock the Athletics out of first place in the AL West. Trevor Crowe singled, doubled and scored to help the Astros to their third win in the last four games against their division rivals. The A's fell a half-game back of idle Texas in the AL West.
— The L.A. Angels beat Tampa Bay 6-2. Collin Cowgill hit a three-run double, one of 11 hits the Angels got against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price. Price fell to 8-7 with the loss.
— Baltimore used the long ball -- three times -- to defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 to back Miguel Gonzalez, who went seven innings for his ninth win. Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Brian Roberts homered
— Mike Moustakas homered to lead off the 13th inning, lifting the Kansas City Royals to a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Moustakas homered to right on an 0-2 pitch from Chance Ruffin, who had not pitched in the majors since 2011.
Over in the NL:
— The Cincinnati Reds recovered from their 16-inning loss on Wednesday night to beat St. Louis 6-2 and take three of four in their final series against their NL Central rivals. Todd Frazier homered twice as the third-place Reds moved within a game and a-half of the Cardinals and three back of NL Central-leading Pittsburgh. The Cards have lost six of eight.
— Arizona doubled up San Francisco 4-2. Paul Goldschmidt broke out of a slump with two hits and two RBIs.
Cards get good news on first baseman
CINCINNATI (AP) — St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig has a sprained left foot but no fracture. That's a big relief for a Cardinals team that feared it had lost its cleanup hitter for the rest of the season. Craig hurt his foot while rounding first base in Wednesday night's 16-inning win Cincinnati. He stayed on the ground for a long time and walked off gingerly.
X-rays in Cincinnati were inconclusive. He was sent back to St. Louis for an MRI and more X-rays that indicated nothing was broken.
Djokovic in seventh straight Grand Slam semifinal...Murray knocked out in quarters
NEW YORK (AP) — Top-seeded Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) quickly overcame a one-set lull to reach the U.S. Open semifinals for the seventh consecutive year, beating 21st-seeded Mikhail Youzhny (mih-KAYL' YOOS'-nee) of Russia 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-love.
Djokovic, the 2011 champion, next faces ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka (vah-VRIN'-kah), who upset defending champion Andy Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
While Wawrinka will making his major semifinal debut Saturday, Djokovic will be trying to reach his fifth U.S. Open final. In addition to his title, he was the runner-up in New York in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
Djokovic is 12-2 lifetime against Wawrinka.
The Bryan brothers' quest for the calendar Grand Slam is over. Bob and Mike Bryan lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Leander Paes (lee-AN'-dur payz) and Radek Stepanek in the double semifinals, ending a 28-match winning streak in the Grand Slams. The Bryans were trying to become only the second men's doubles team to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single year.
The Williams sisters have advanced to the women's doubles semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over defending champions Roberta Vinci (VIN'-chee) and Sara Errani (ehr-RAH'-nee). The Williams' are now two wins away from their 14th Grand Slam tournament title.
New man in charge in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Former Toronto president and general manager Brian Burke has been named the new president of hockey operations for Calgary. The Flames are in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Burke will report directly to president Ken King and general manager Jay Feaster will report to Burke.
New job for Mullen
UNDATED (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullen has been hired as an adviser by the Sacramento Kings. Mullen was the general manager of the Warriors from 2004-09. He was a five-time All-Star with Golden State, a member of the USA's gold-medal winning "Dream Team" in 1992 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
In other NBA news:
— The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free-agent guard Xavier Henry. The 6-foot-6 swingman appeared in 50 games, averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds, for New Orleans last season.
— The Los Angeles Clippers have signed rookie Brandon Davies after the forward impressed the club in summer league play. The 6-foot-9 Davies spent the past four seasons at BYU, averaging 17.7 points, 8 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior last year.
New deal for the coach
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga (la-ra-NAY'-gah) has been rewarded for the team's big season last year. The former George Mason coach received a three-year extension from the Hurricanes, who now have him under contract for the next nine seasons. Larranaga led the Hurricanes to 29 wins last season, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a trip to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. He also was The Associated Press' coach of the year.
Larranaga is 49-20 at Miami and 519-354 for his career.
Report: Auriemma set to return
UNDATED (AP) — Geno Auriemma (aw-ree-EH'-muh) is reportedly set to return as coach of the U.S. women's basketball team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that the decision will be discussed Friday at a USA Basketball news conference in Connecticut. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment of the Connecticut coach has not been announced.
Auriemma will be the first repeat coach for the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team, which has won a gold medal at the past five games. Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) decided in May he would return to coach the men a third time.
Auriemma's team cruised through the 2012 London Games, winning by an average of 34 points, including an 86-50 rout of France for the title.
Restaurant ends ties with suspended slugger
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A restaurant group is ending its ties with suspended Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, who is barred for the rest of the season for use of performance enhancing drugs. The owners of the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield are changing its name. "Eight" is Braun's jersey number, while "twelve" refers to the number worn by quarterback Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers.
Major League Baseball suspended Braun for the rest of the season in July for doping. Braun and Rodgers were friends and business associates. But Rodgers said during training camp he felt duped by Braun's previously strong denial of doping accusations.
ROSE BOWL PARADE
Legendary voice of Dodgers to serve as grand marshal
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Vin Scully will serve as grand marshal of the 125th Rose Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena. Scully told The Associated Press that his first reaction to being chosen was, "Wow." The 85-year-old legend says he thinks he was tapped for the honor because he's been around a long time and that the current success of the Dodgers has something to do with it.