Update on the latest sports



Yanks, Sox, Jays and Mariners in tight wild-card chase

UNDATED (AP) — Four teams are separated by two games in the American League wild-card chase, with the Yankees clinging to a one-game lead for the top spot with two games remaining.

Boston is a game behind the Yankees with two games left as the Red Sox play last-place Washington. Toronto and Seattle are two games back. The Blue Jays have two games remaining versus lowly Baltimore, and the Mariners are closing things out against the Angels.

New York is facing Tampa Bay rookie Shane Baz in his third big league start. The 22-year-old struck out nine Miami batters over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous outing, sparking speculation he could crack the Rays postseason rotation even though he didn’t debut in the majors until Sept. 20. New York is playing without leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu (leh-MAY’-hyoo), who is dealing with a sports hernia that will require offseason surgery. The team hopes he can play in the Sunday’s regular-season finale and potentially in the postseason.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the Giants can lock up an unexpected NL West title with a win over San Diego or a Dodgers loss to Milwaukee. San Francisco ensured itself at least a tie for the division crown and matched a franchise record with its 106th win Friday against the Padres, but Los Angeles spoiled its hopes to celebrate an outright clinch by rallying to beat the Brewers. Kevin Gausman will start for the Giants against San Diego’s Joe Musgrove in the afternoon, with the Dodgers hosting Milwaukee at night.

Dodgers left-hander Julio Urías (oo-REE’-uhs) has a chance to become the majors’ only 20-game winner this season in a showdown against NL Cy Young Award contender Corbin Burnes of the Brewers. Urías hasn’t lost since June 21, and Los Angeles has won each of his past 10 outings dating to Aug. 1. He’s 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA in that span. Burnes leads the majors in ERA and has been in a tight race for the top pitching prize with Dodgers ace Max Scherzer and Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler.

Meanwhile, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw isn’t sure if he’ll be able to pitch in the postseason after leaving his start Friday with left forearm discomfort. The left-hander didn’t pitch from July 4 to Sept. 12 while on the injured list with left forearm inflammation and acknowledged after Friday’s game that “it’s not looking great for October right now.” Kershaw is 10-8 with a 3.38 ERA, his highest mark since a 4.26 ERA as a rookie in 2008.

Several individual stat races are coming down to the wire, including an NL batting crown that’s likely to go either to Dodgers infielder Trea Turner or his former Washington teammate Juan Soto. Turner is hitting .327, just ahead of Soto’s .317. They were both Nationals until Turner and Max Scherzer were dealt to LA in July.

Kansas City’s Salvador Perez is trying to close out the major league home run title. He leads with 48, two ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and three clear of Shohei Ohtani. Perez also has the most RBIs with 121 and is vying to become the first primary backstop to lead a league in RBIs since Philadelphia’s Darren Daulton took the NL crown with 109 in 1992.


Four games matching ranked teams highlight Week 5 schedule

UNDATED (AP) — No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 12 Mississippi in one of four games Saturday that match ranked teams.

Lane Kiffin returns to Tuscaloosa as Ole Miss head coach for the time. Kiffin spent three seasons as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator, winning a national title with the Crimson Tide in 2015. Saban has never lost to one of his former assistants in 24 tries. Kiffin comes in with one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country in Matt Corral, who has thrown nine touchdown passes and run for five scores.

The Alabama and Mississippi defenses are aiming to show they’ve come a long way from last season, when the Crimson Tide and Ole Miss combined for 111 points, 1,370 yards and 68 first downs in a 63-48 Alabama win.

In other Saturday highlights:

— No. 8 Arkansas is trying to extend its surprising start under second-year coach Sam Pittman against No. 2 Georgia in a showdown of unbeaten Southeastern Conference teams. Arkansas already has two wins over top 15 teams, No. 15 Texas and No. 7 Texas A&M. Georgia opened with an impressive win over No. 3 Clemson. This will be the Bulldogs’ toughest test in the conference so far. Georgia boasts the nation’s top defense, while Arkansas has a high-scoring offense led by dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson.

— No. 7 Cincinnati visits No. 9 Notre Dame hoping for a victory that could force the College Football Playoff selection committee to take notice. The defending American Athletic Conference champions are led by quarterback Desmond Ridder, who will be facing a familiar defense. Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was hired away from Cincinnati in the offseason. Notre Dame hopes to have quarterback Jack Coan starting after he sprained his ankle last week in a victory against Wisconsin.

— No. 21 Baylor visits No. 19 Oklahoma State in a matchup of unbeaten Big 12 teams. Baylor is looking to defeat ranked opponents in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1974. The Bears are coming off a win over Iowa State and have climbed into the rankings after finishing 2-7 last year. Oklahoma State seeks its first 5-0 start since 2015. The winner could be in a prime position to make a run at a spot in the Big 12 title game.


Colts put Nelson on IR

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts have placed three-time All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson on injured reserve, a move that will keep him out at least three weeks.

Nelson had started all 54 games, including playoffs, since Indy drafted him with the sixth-overall selection in 2018. He sprained his right ankle in last Sunday’s loss at Tennessee. Coach Frank Reich (ryk) had already decided not to play Nelson or right tackle Braden Smith on Sunday at Miami.


No timetable for injured Backstrom to play

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom says he’s taking his hip injury rehab slowly and has no timetable on when he’ll be able to play.

The 33-year-old Swede has ruled out having another surgery on his left hip. He had arthroscopic surgery on it in 2015. The Capitals could put Backstrom on long-term injured reserve to get salary-cap relief. That would force him to miss at least the first 10 games of the season.

Backstrom was Washington’s most consistent player and leading scorer last season with 53 points in 55 games.


Maui Invitational to be played in Las Vegas

MAUI, Hawaii (AP) — The Maui Invitational is relocating to Las Vegas this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions in Hawaii.

It will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from Nov. 22-24. The original field of eight schools remains in place for the marquee early season event: Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Butler, Houston, Oregon, Chaminade, St. Mary’s and Notre Dame.

The Maui Invitational was played in North Carolina last year.

Categories: National Sports