AP-TX--Texas Sports Digest 12 am, TX
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HOUSTON — After the Houston Astros wrapped up their season series with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, manager A.J. Hinch likened the last three games to a heavyweight title fight. His Astros won two of three to take the belt for now, but he knows that they’ll have to play well down the stretch to fend off the Athletics for the AL West title. “We have a lot of games to play, a lot of games to win,” Hinch said. “This one feels like a big one obviously to send them out of town a little beat up from the losses. But, also their bullpen is a little beat up, ours is, too. It felt like kind of a heavyweight battle.” The Astros gave the Athletics just their second series defeat in their last 21 series when Tyler White homered with one out in the ninth inning to give Houston a 5-4 victory. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 770 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Alex Wood pitched seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers hit three solo homers while stretching their winning streak to five games with a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 750 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott had uncertainty at running back last year with Ezekiel Elliott’s looming suspension as the Cowboys missed the playoffs. Now the unknown is in the passing game with the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 770 words, photos.
— FBN--COWBOYS PREVIEW CAPSULE
HOUSTON — Deshaun Watson’s performance in just a few games as a rookie last year has everyone looking forward to what the Houston Texans quarterback can do in a full season. Perhaps no one is more excited about Watson’s potential than DeAndre Hopkins, Houston’s top receiver who has suffered through a revolving door at the position since he was drafted in 2013. “The possibilities, what we can do is limitless,” Hopkins said. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 870 words, photos.
— FBN--TEXANS PREVIEW CAPSULE
FBN--AFC SOUTH PREVIEW
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For so very long, the AFC South easily ranked among the NFL’s worst divisions. Not anymore. Both Jacksonville and Tennessee are coming off playoff berths, with the Jaguars a blown lead in the AFC championship game from playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. The Jaguars and Titans also have their rosters from those trips back largely intact. Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt are healthy again in Houston. Even Andrew Luck is throwing passes and ready for the season in Indianapolis. If the Texans stay healthy, they are chasing their third division title in four years. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 950 words, photos.
MONTREAL — Johnny Manziel is out of the Canadian Football League’s concussion protocol and is expected to back up Antonio Pipkin in the Montreal Alouettes’ game Friday night at Ottawa. Manziel was cleared to come off concussion protocol Tuesday. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback has missed two games after taking a hard hit at the goal line in his second game with Montreal following a trade with Hamilton. SENT: 200 words.
FBC--STICKING WITH BAYLOR
Baylor was coming off its first Big 12 football championship when Chris Platt signed his letter of intent in the spring of 2014, and the speedy receiver didn’t play as a true freshman that fall when the Bears shared the title again. Now he is among 10 fifth-year seniors who arrived on the Waco campus with the program at the peak of its on-field success and stayed through tumultuous times. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 750 words, photos.
FBC--NORTHWESTERN ST-TEXAS A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Coach Jimbo Fisher is preparing to make his debut at Texas A&M when the Aggies host Northwestern State in their opener on Thursday in the only tuneup before hosting second-ranked Clemson next Saturday. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— BKN--SPURS-PONDEXTER — The San Antonio Spurs have signed Quincy Pondexter, adding a forward in the same week veteran star Manu Ginobili announced his retirement. The 6-foot-7 Pondexter spent last season with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.5 minutes in 23 games. The seven-year NBA veteran out of Washington has averaged 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.3 minutes over 302 total games with Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago. SENT: 120 words.
— SOC--MLS-DYNAMO-RED BULLS — Brian White scored his first MLS goal in his first start and the New York Red Bulls beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on Wednesday night to move atop the Eastern Conference. SENT: 130 words.
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