National Sports

Cubs gain one game on Brewers

By Matt Carlson The Associated Press CHICAGO — Jon Lester combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, David Bote hit an early two-run triple and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Thursday night to open a one-game NL Central lead over Milwaukee heading into the final ...

Pressure on as Ryder Cup looms

By Doug Ferguson The Associated Press SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Jim Furyk has spent four days watching his team play loose and confident, two key ingredients he hopes will allow the Americans to end 25 years without winning the Ryder Cup away from home. He can only hope ...

Brewers clinch first playoff berth since 2011

The Associated Press ST. LOUIS — The Milwaukee Brewers clinched their first playoff spot since 2011, ensuring at least a spot in the NL wild-card game when Jhoulys Chacin pitched five shutout innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Wednesday night for a three-game sweep. The Brewers ...

Playoff implications already?

The Associated Press Serious playoff implications in late September. It is Saturdays like this that make college football’s decision-makers so protective of the regular season. Week five features two high-stakes, top-10 matchups on Saturday night. No. 4 Ohio State visits No. 9 Penn State, ...

Good for football, bad for picks

By Barry Wilner The Associated Press In what was generally a good week of football, minus those weighty roughing-the-passer calls, it was a bad week for Pro Picks. The quality of play vastly improved compared to the opening two weeks of the schedule. The prognostications were awful. Time ...

Jeffery back with Eagles at practice

The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA— Alshon Jeffery has no regrets about playing an entire season with a torn rotator cuff. He has a Super Bowl ring to show for it. Jeffery was cleared for contact after offseason shoulder surgery and practiced Wednesday with the Philadelphia Eagles, ...

Spieth says win would make ’18 a lot better

The Associated Press SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Jordan Spieth went the entire PGA Tour season without a victory, and he was the only American on the Ryder Cup team who failed to reach the Tour Championship. One week can still make this year feel like a success — by winning the ...

Taillon outpitches Hamels in Pirates’ win over Cubs

By Andrew Seligman The Associated Press CHICAGO — Cole Hamels gave the Chicago Cubs something to celebrate when he hit his second career home run. They’ll have to wait at least another day for a playoff party. Jameson Taillon outpitched Hamels, Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer ...

Yankees win helps A’s clinch West

The Associated Press SEATTLE — The Oakland Athletics have clinched their first playoff berth in four years, earning at least an American League wild card when the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the New York Yankees. Following three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A’s found out ...

O’Brien, Texans in big hole with 0-3 start

HOUSTON — After losing three close games to fall to 0-3 for the first time since 2008, the Houston Texans are pondering all the little things they did wrong that contributed to the defeats. They’ve had a few turnovers but possibly more detrimental to their success than that has been the ...

Browns name Mayfield starting QB

CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield’s heard all about the Browns’ quarterback misery, the horrid history of failures and flops since 1999. From Tim Couch to Jeff Garcia to Derek Anderson to Johnny Manziel and so many others, 29 quarterbacks have started in Cleveland before Mayfield, who isn’t ...

NBA teams set to start training

There were some Larry O’Brien trophies on display at Golden State’s media day on Monday, shiny golden reminders of the three championships that the Warriors have picked up over the past four years. Their quest for another is about to begin. So will the quest by 29 other teams to thwart ...

Charlotte may be race of the year

By Jenna Fyer The Associated Press CONCORD, N.C. — Charlotte Motor Speedway already has a win for the buzz it created by taking a bulldozer to its infield and building something new to NASCAR. Charlotte’s “roval” will debut Sunday in a critical playoff race — a track unlike ...

Tiger captures Tour title

ATLANTA — Tiger Woods, in his Sunday red shirt, both arms raised in victory on the 18th green. For so many years, the scene was familiar. This time, it was surreal. “I can’t believe I pulled this off,” Woods said Sunday during the trophy presentation at the Tour Championship, ...

Busch holds on late to win playoff race

By Hank Kurz Jr. The Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. — Kyle Busch passed Brad Keselowski with 38 laps to go and held off hard-charging Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night. Busch won for the 50th time in his career, the sixth time ...

New QB key to Irish win

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No. 8 Notre Dame threw the Book at Wake Forest. Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more in his first start of the season, leading the Fighting Irish past Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday. Book replaced Brandon Wimbush in the starting lineup and was ...

West Virginia crushes KSU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen isn’t worried about quarterback Will Grier being overwhelmed by the attention and pressure that comes with being a Heisman Trophy candidate. Grier has thrown far too many passes. Played in far too many games. Diagnosed far too many ...

Tar Heels back on track

The Associated Press CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina is finally back on schedule. The Tar Heels open Atlantic Coast Conference play today at home against Pittsburgh after having a game canceled due to Hurricane Florence. It will mark their first chance to climb out of an 0-2 start , ...

Cleveland celebrates first win in two years

By Tom Withers The Associated Press CLEVELAND — For the first time in 635 days, the Cleveland Browns found a way to win. Baker Mayfield showed them how. The No. 1 overall pick replaced injured starter Tyrod Taylor and sparked the Browns, who got two 1-yard touchdown runs from Carlos ...

Archer looks the part as Bucs sweep Royals

By Wes Crosby The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Chris Archer came to Pittsburgh with much fanfare when he was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31. Then he went 1-3 in his first eight starts with the Pirates. It’s almost certainly too late for the Pirates to make a playoff push ...