Another flag for the Busch men
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals are National League champions for the fourth time in 10 seasons, thanks to a pair of big rallies and another strong outing by rookie hurler Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah).
The Redbirds put together a four-run third and a five-run fifth in a 9-0 rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS. Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 and provided RBI singles in both rallies. Shane Robinson contributed to the Cardinals' 13-hit attack by delivering a two-run double after replacing slumping outfielder Jon Jay in the starting lineup. And Yadier Molina was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored while the Cardinals battered Cy Young Award candidate Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers' bullpen.
Wacha hardly needed the offensive barrage since he had no trouble silencing the Dodgers, allowing just two hits and a walk in seven innings. The MVP of the NLCS didn't allow a run over his 13 2/3 innings during the series.
Matt Adams' RBI double chased Kershaw from the mound in the fifth, sending the Dodgers' ace to his second loss of the series. Kershaw was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings.
The Cardinals will face either Detroit or Boston in the World Series. St. Louis was swept by the Red Sox in 2004, the last time the two teams met in the Fall Classic. The last Cardinals-Tigers World Series was in 2006 as the Redbirds took the title in five games.
Travel day in ALCS
BOSTON (AP) — The American League Championship Series resumes Saturday in Boston with the Red Sox leading the Tigers 3-2. The pitching assignments are Max Scherzer for the Tigers against Clay Buchholz for Boston.
Surgery for A's pitcher
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland rookie right-hander Sonny Gray has undergone surgery on his fractured left thumb. Gray sustained in injury on a comebacker in the ALDS Oct. 10. The A's say Gray now has full stability in his thumb and he is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training in February.
Report: Sox land Cuban slugger
CHICAGO (AP) — Cuban slugger Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) has reportedly agreed to join the Chicago White Sox. A person familiar with the situation says Abreu has agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with the Sox. The person spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Abreu could play first base or serve as the designated hitter. He batted .360 (9-for-25) with three home runs and nine RBIs at the World Baseball Classic last spring. He defected over the summer.
Former Oilers, Saints coach dies
HOUSTON (AP) — Former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints head coach Bum Phillips died on Friday at age 90. His son, Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, broke the news of his father's death via Twitter.
Wearing his familiar white Stetson, blue jeans and cowboy boots, Phillips became the Oilers' defensive coordinator in 1973 and took over as head coach two years later. Armed with running back Earl Campbell and a successful defense, Phillips led the Oilers to the first of three straight playoff appearances in 1978 but was fired after failing to get the team to the Super Bowl. He took over the Saints in 1981 and stepped down midway through the 1985 season.
Phillips was 55-35 with the Oilers and 82-77 overall as an NFL head coach. He also posted a 4-3 playoff record, leading the Oilers to the AFC title game in 1978 and '79.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski's agent says the New England Patriots' tight end has been cleared to make his season debut Sunday against the Jets.
The two-time Pro Bowler missed the first six games after offseason surgery on his back and broken left forearm. He has been participating in every practice since the season began.
White out for Falcons
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta receiver Roddy White will miss Sunday's game against winless Tampa Bay with a right ankle injury. It will be the first time in his nine-year career the four-time Pro Bowl selection will miss a game.
Injured quarterback has surgery
CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has had successful surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. A team spokesman said the surgery went well and that the 28-year-old Hoyer is expected to make a full recovery.
Smith heads to IR
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have placed safety Harrison Smith on injured reserve with designation to return. Smith has a turf toe injury on his left foot. By NFL rule he can resume practicing in six weeks and playing in eight weeks. In that case, he could be back for Minnesota's final three games.
Suh docked again for hit
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has confirmed the $31,500 fine handed down to Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAH'-muh-kahng soo) for his hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden last Sunday.
Suh has been fined seven times for more than $200,000 since being taken by the Lions with the second overall pick in the 2010 draft.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-CENTRAL FLORIDA/LOUISVILLE
Central Florida pins Louisville with first loss
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Central Florida has put an end to Louisville's bid for a perfect college football season.
Blake Bortles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds left to give the Knights a 38-35 win over the eighth-ranked Cardinals. Central Florida trailed 28-7 midway through the third quarter before scoring three touchdowns in a 7:22 span to tie the game. Storm Johnson sparked the rally with a one-yard touchdown run and a 20-yard scoring reception.
Louisville reclaimed the lead on Dominique Brown's 15-yard run with three minutes to go, but the Knights drove 75 yards in 11 plays to take the lead for good on Bortles' TD.
The Knights improved to 5-1 and dropped the Cardinals to 6-1.
Grambling boycott postpones game
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Disgruntled Grambling football players have refused to travel to Mississippi, forcing the cancellation of Saturday's game against Jackson State. A Jackson State spokesman announced that the game was off, and the Southwestern Athletic Conference says the game will be forfeited.
The apparent boycott was the latest in three days of upheaval for Grambling's proud program. Several media outlets have reported that players did not attend practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of issues with program and school leadership.
The 0-7 Tigers have changed coaches twice in about two months. Doug Williams was fired two games into the season and replaced by George Ragsdale, who was reassigned Thursday and replaced by Dennis "Dirt" Winston.
Blues fall in shootout
UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Blues are winless in their last two games since their team-record 4-0 start.
Alex Steen scored twice, but the Blues squandered a 3-1 lead in the third period of a 4-3 shootout loss at Winnipeg. Tobias Enstrom knotted the score with 1:54 left in regulation, less than five minutes after Evander Kane's goal sparked the Jets' comeback. Olli Jokinen (OH'-lee YOH'-kih-nehn) provided the deciding shootout goal on the Jets' seventh attempt.
Jets rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba (TROO'-buh) had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher after slamming face-first into the boards while attempting to check Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold. Trouba was taken to a hospital, and the Jets reported he was "alert, communicating and moving all limbs."
In the NHL's only other Friday game, Jakub Silfverberg (YAH'-kuhb SIHL'-vur-burg) scored the last of Anaheim's four shootout goals to lead a 3-2 win over Phoenix. Nick Bonino tallied on the Ducks' first shootout attempt after netting the game-tying goal with 2:02 left in regulation.
The Ducks have won six in a row since a season-opening loss at Colorado.
Blues Lapierre suspended
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has suspended St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre (lah-pee-EHR') five games without pay for boarding San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle on Tuesday night.
Lapierre was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct in the first period of the Blues' 6-2 home loss.
Boyle was knocked out on the play, taken off the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in a hospital.
Noah to sit about a week
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will be held out of all basketball-related activities for about a week in hopes that the rest will clear up his lingering groin strain.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Noah still has a little soreness and that the team wants him to be completely healthy before he returns. Noah was injured early in training camp and missed the Bulls' first three preseason games before playing 19 minutes Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.
Good qualifying for Penske
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Penske Racing has swept the first three spots in qualifying for Saturday's season finale at Auto Club Speedway, where Helio Castroneves (EH'-lee oh kas-troh-NEH'-vehs) is chasing Scott Dixon in the race for the IndyCar championship.
Will Power won the pole for the race, just ahead of Castroneves. AJ Allmendinger, brought in by team owner Roger Penske to aid Castroneves' title bid, qualified third.
Castroneves trails Dixon by 25 points heading into the final race. Dixon qualified seventh.
Simpson grabs lead
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Webb Simpson has a four-stroke lead over five others at the midway point of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Simpson had nine birdies in an 8-under-par 63 that leaves him 15-under for the tournament.
J.J. Henry followed his course-record 60 with a 71 to join John Senden, Jeff Overton, Chesson Hadley and Jason Bohn at minus-11.
A South Korean leads in South Korea
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — There's a four-way tie for the lead at 5-under-par 67 after the opening round of the KEB HanaBank Championship in South Korea. The group includes Amy Yang of South Korea, Katherine Hull-Kirk of Australia, Ju Young Pak of South Korea and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.
Michelle Wie (wee) eagled the par-5 18th to finish two strokes back at 3-under 69, tied with six others, including defending champion Suzann Pettersen (PEHT'-ur-suhn) of Norway and Brittany Lang.
Langer in tie for lead
CONOVER, N.C. (AP) — Bernhard Langer birdied the final hole for a 6-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead with Anders Forsbrand and Dick Mast in the Greater Hickory Classic.
Langerand Forsbrand each had seven birdies and a bogey, and Mast had six birdies in a bogey-free round.
Olin Browne and John Riegger were a stroke back.