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BC-AP Sports Digest

October 5, 2018

The supervisor is Bob Lentz, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is running a more family-friendly training camp. In the latest episode of “PodcastOne Sports Now,” he speaks with AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds about juggling work with fatherhood. Also, AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker breaks down the playoffs. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

On the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, USA Today’s George Schroeder joins AP’s Ralph Russo to preview the big games of Week 6, including No. 19 Texas vs. No. 7 Oklahoma in Dallas. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

SPORTS SHOWCASE

US--SOULFUL SURFER

The 29-year-old surfer from Hawaii doesn’t participate in a lot of contests. Not really his thing. Matt Meola’s a soulful sort of surfer who likes to fish, hunt, wants to design fishing lures using his hair and is raising a deer. He’s content catching a wave wherever — and whenever — there’s a wave worth catching. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 4 a.m.

TOP STORIES

BBA--ALDS--INDIANS-ASTROS-PREVIEW

HOUSTON —This postseason may be best remembered for its bullpen openers. Just not in the AL Division Series between the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians. The Astros and Indians are ready to roll old school, starting with Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber facing off in Game 1 on Friday. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 990 words, photos. Game starts 2:05 p.m. EDT.

With:

— BBA--ALDS-INDIANS-ASTROS MATCHUP CAPSULE — SENT: 1,500 words, photos.

BBA--ALDS-YANKEES-RED SOX PREVIEW

BOSTON —Chris Sale waited eight years to make his first postseason start and then another 365 days for a chance to put that memory behind him. The Red Sox left-hander will start Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees on Friday night, one year after he was bombarded by the championship-bound Houston Astros in his playoff debut. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 880 words, photos. Game starts 7:32 p.m. EDT.

With:

— BBA--ALDS-YANKEES-RED SOX MATCHUP CAPSULE — SENT: 1,900 words, photos.

FBN--COLTS-PATRIOTS FOLO

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —Tom Brady isn’t worried about the shortcomings that the Patriots’ offense has displayed so far this season — whether it’s turnovers or lack of downfield passing. His measuring stick for progress is much more simplistic. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 830 words, photos by 4 a.m.

CYC--LANDIS-CYCLING TEAM

Floyd Landis is using money he earned by taking down Lance Armstrong to start his own cycling team. The man whose own doping saga cost him the 2006 Tour de France title and eventually helped expose Armstrong’s cheating says he’s building a developmental team for 2019 that will be based out of Canada. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 430 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--NLDS-ROCKIES-BREWERS

MILWAUKEE — Extra innings, two outs and the winning run on third in Game 1 of the playoffs. Short on playoff experience, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt for veteran Mike Moustakas over the summer to produce in just this kind of spot. Good deal. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 860 words, photos. Game 2 starts 4:15 p.m. EDT.

With:

BBN--NLDS-QUIET ROCKIES — The Colorado Rockies have some of baseball’s best hitters — and not much to show for it on the scoreboard lately. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 710 words, photos.

BBN--NLDS-BRAVES-DODGERS

LOS ANGELES —The Dodgers made a surprising and much dissected decision to start Hyun-Jin Ryu over Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NL Division Series. Swell choice. The South Korean left-hander pitched seven dominant innings and Los Angeles launched three home runs to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 on Thursday night. By Beth Harris. SENT: 950 words, photos. Game 2 starts 9:37 p.m. EDT.

With:

BBN--NLDS-BABY BRAVES STRUGGLE — Rather than pop, Ronald Acuna Jr. started the game with a popup. The big-hitting rookie never got into the swing at Dodger Stadium, and neither did the rest of the Atlanta Braves. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 830 words, photos.

MMA

MMA--MCGREGOR-NUMAGOMEDOV

LAS VEGAS — Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t about to wait around for a tardy Conor McGregor, who arrived at what was supposed to be their final prefight press conference together to find the UFC lightweight champion already gone. No worries, they’ll meet soon enough when it really matters for both men. By Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 850 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--NFL THIS WEEK

When last they met, the Eagles and Vikings were vying for a spot in the Super Bowl. Now they are searching for consistency while looking up at other division leaders. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. For Weekend Use.

FBN--JETS-DARNOLD’S LETTER

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sam Darnold wants the same thing New York Jets are hungry for: victories, and starting now. The rookie quarterback wrote an open letter that was posted on the team’s official website Thursday in which he talks about his transition to the NFL, how the first four games of his career have gone and his visions for the future. By Football Writer Dennis Waszak. SENT: 530 words, photos.

— FBN--COWBOYS-DOMINANT D-LAW — By Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 780 words, photos.

—FBN--RAMS-DEFENSIVE LINE PRESSURE — By Dan Greenspan. SENT: 710 words, photos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--TEXAS-OKLAHOMA PREVIEW

DALLAS — It’s a perfect setting: Oklahoma and Texas in the middle of the State Fair of Texas on an early fall Saturday with their passionate fans clad in crimson and burnt orange, split 50-50 in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. It’s nice that the game carries some national prominence, too. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 790 words, photos, by 4 a.m.

Also:

— FBC--T25-MARYLAND-MICHIGAN PREVIEW — By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 4 a.m.

— FBC--T25-NORTHWESTERN-MICHIGAN ST PREVIEW — By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 a.m.

— FBC--T25-ALABAMA-ARKANSAS — By Kurt Voigt. UPCOMING: 680 words, photos by 4 a.m.

— FBC--T25-NOTRE DAME-TILLERY’S TRAVELS — By Todd Burlage. SENT: 750 words, photos.

— FBC--T25-FLORIDA-TEBOW — By Mark Long. SENT: 690 words, photos.

— Conference previews on ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12.

SOCCER

SOC--RONALDO-SPONSORS

LONDON —Cristiano Ronaldo faced growing heat Thursday from sponsors over a rape allegation in the United States after Nike and video game maker EA Sports expressed concern about the conduct of the soccer superstar, who has denied the accusations. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— With:

— SOC--RONALDO-NATIONAL TEAM — Ronaldo left off Portugal team for upcoming matches. By Barry Hatton. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SOC--MEXICO-US

CARY, N.C. —Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan scored two goals apiece to lead the United States past Mexico 6-0 on Thursday night in the group stage opener for both teams at the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament. SENT: 600 words.

With:

— SOC--TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO-PANAMA — SENT: 175 words.

Also:

— SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE ROUNDUP —Former Real Madrid and Juventus striker Alvaro Morata ended a miserable spell of form with the only goal of the game on Thursday as Chelsea recorded its second straight 1-0 victory in the Europa League, against Hungarian side Vidi. By Karel Janicek. SENT: 940 words, photos.

OLYMPICS

OLY--RUSSIAN DOPE-CYBERATTACKS

MOSCOW —When Russia was accused of doping its way to the top, the Russian state hit the sports world with a wave of hacker attacks, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday. By James Ellingworth and Graham Dunbar. SENT: 1,000, photos.

NHL

HKN--FLYERS-GETTING GRITTY

PHILADELPHIA — The Flyers mascot Gritty has been loved and lampooned, swept into politics and become the orange face that launched a thousand memes. Gritty has been plastered on beer cans and schmoozed with TV talk show hosts. The voting ends already: The NHL rookie of the year is Gritty. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 900 words, photos.

HKN--KINGS-KOVALCHUK

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. —Ilya Kovalchuk has an Olympic gold medal but he is back in the NHL to add the one thing missing from his stellar career — a Stanley Cup. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 670 words, photos.

Also:

— HKN--NHL CAPSULES — SENT.

BASKETBALL

BKL--WILSON’S WORLD CUP DIARY

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain — Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson provides a final diary from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup following the U.S. team’s gold medal-winning performance. By A’Ja Wilson. UPCOMING: 360 words, photo by 4 a.m.

COLLEGE CORRUPTION

NEW YORK —The father of a top-rated college basketball prospect testified Thursday that his son was offered thousands of dollars on the sly to play at major programs before a corruption scandal derailed the promising player’s collegiate career. By Tom Hays. SENT: 480 words, photos.

BKW--SOUTH CAROLINA-STALEY

COLUMBIA, S.C. —South Carolina coach Dawn Staley began fall practice Thursday, hoping her experience leading some of the world’s best players to a FIBA World Cup crown can help mold the young Gamecocks into a championship group. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 560 words, photos.

Also:

— BKN--FAREWELL TO THE KEY — Seattle’s KeyArena is getting an appropriate send off with an NBA game being played once again under its roof. By Tim Booth. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— BKN--CELTICS-IRVING — Boston point guard Kyrie Irving says he intends to re-sign with the Celtics next summer. SENT: 130 words.

— BKN--PRESEASON RDP —SENT: 500 words, photos.

GOLF

GLF--SAFEWAY OPEN

NAPA, Calif. —Phil Mickelson had six straight birdies and shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to pull within two strokes of leader Sepp Straka in the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— Also:

— GLF--INTERNATIONAL CROWN —The United States enjoyed a perfect morning on the second day of the UL International Crown team golf tournament, comfortably winning both fourball matches against Thailand to move atop Pool B in the eight-nation tournament. By John Duerden. SENT: 380 words, photos. UPCOMING. 500 words, photos by 7 a.m.

— GLF--DUNHILL LINKS —Tyrrell Hatton bounced back from a poor start to register a 2-under 70 and move within two strokes of the first-round leaders Marcus Fraser of Australia and Matt Wallace of England at the Dunhill Links Championship. SENT: 340 words, photo.

AUTO RACING

CAR--F1-JAPANESE GP

SUZUKA, Japan —Championship leader Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time in the first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix to lead a 1-2 finish for Mercedes. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 180 words, photos.

OTHER

— BOX--BENAVIDEZ-CRAWFORD — World champion welterweight Terence “Bud” Crawford said he’s eager to make unbeaten challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. eat his words when they meet in the ring at CHI Health Center on Oct. 13. By Eric Olson.SENT: 368 words, photos.

— Tennis tournaments in Beijing, Tokyo.

___

Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)

Baseball

AL Division Series

Cleveland at Houston, 2:05 p.m.

New York at Boston, 7:32 p.m.

NL Division Series

Colorado at Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m.

Atlanta at Los Angeles, 9:37 p.m.

NHL

Carolina at Columbus, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

NBA PRESEASON

Philadelphia vs. Dallas at Shanghai, 7:30 a.m.

Flamengo Flamengo at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Melbourne United at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Miami at Washington, 7 p.m.

New Orleans at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Atlanta at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Detroit at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Adelaide 36ers at Utah, 9 p.m.

Perth Wildcats at Denver, 9 p.m.

Portland at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

Sacramento vs. Golden State at Seattle, Wash., 10:30 p.m.

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