Update on the latest sports
Goff has 465 yards, 5 TDs, propels Rams past Vikings, 38-31
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jared Goff passed for career highs of 465 yards and five touchdowns, winning a scintillating duel with Kirk Cousins and leading the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams to a 38-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Goff hit Cooper Kupp with two of his four TD throws during a 251-yard first half in which the third-year quarterback flawlessly executed coach Sean McVay’s offense.
Todd Gurley then finished with 83 yards rushing and 73 yards receiving while the Rams (4-0) barely held off the Vikings (1-2-1) and Cousins, who passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns.
The Vikings got the ball back with 2:20 left, but rookie John Franklin-Myers stripped Cousins of the ball near midfield. The Rams recovered and ran out the clock.
Sabathia ejected, Yanks rout Rays, near home field vs A’s
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees have moved closer to hosting next week’s AL wild-card game with Thursday’s 12-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
CC Sabathia got his 246th win but was ejected in the sixth inning for hitting Jesus Sucre on a leg in retaliation for Tampa Bay reliever Andrew Kittredge throwing a pitch behind Austin Romine.
New York, which is now 98-61, moved two games ahead of Oakland, now 96-63, for hosting the Oct. 3 wild-card game. The Yankees hold the tiebreaker, which means another Yankees win or Athletics loss ensures the game would be in the Bronx.
The wild-card winner advances to a Division Series against AL East champion Boston.
Elsewhere in MLB:
—David Dahl homered for the fourth straight game, and the Colorado Rockies opened a one-game NL West lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that extended their winning streak to seven. Trevor Story and Gerardo Parra also went deep for the Rockies. Dahl hit a run-scoring triple and finished the series with eight hits and 11 RBIs.
— Julio Teheran looked sharp in his last audition to become part of Atlanta’s playoff rotation, pitching two-hit ball for six innings Thursday night in the Braves’ 4-1 loss to the New York Mets. The NL East champion Braves didn’t start first baseman Freddie Freeman and center fielder Ender Inciarte, and they were minus injured shortstop Dansby Swanson. Jason Vargas tossed seven shutout innings in his best start of the season for the Mets.
— 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 to open a one-game NL Central lead over Milwaukee heading into the final weekend of the season. The Cubs and Brewers already are assured of no worse than a wild-card berth. Chicago hosts St. Louis in the final series starting Friday while Milwaukee, which also has clinched a playoff berth, is at home against Detroit.
— Willians Astudillo had a career-high four RBIs, Tyler Austin added three and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 9-3. Astudillo, playing in his 26th big league game, capped Minnesota’s five-run third inning when his two-out single drove in a pair of runs to give the Twins the lead. He also added a two-run double in the fifth.
— Salvador Perez slashed a two-out RBI single in the 10th inning to give the Kansas City Royals a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Neil Ramirez (0-3) retired the first two hitters in the 10th before he walked Aldaberto Mondesi, who stole second and third to reach 30 steals on the season. Alex Gordon also walked before Perez hit Ramirez’s first pitch into left field to score Mondesi for the walk-off win.
— First baseman Ronald Guzman broke a tie with an RBI single in the seventh inning, and the Texas Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Guzman hammered reliever Zach Duke’s sinking fastball into the right-center gap, scoring Ryan Rua, who reached base on a one-out double.
— The opener of a season-ending, four-game series between the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles has been postponed by rain. The game will be made up Saturday as part of a single-admission doubleheader.
MLB strikeouts set record for 11th straight year
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has set a strikeouts record for the 11th consecutive year — and with four days to spare.
There were 40,196 strikeouts through Wednesday, topping last year’s 40,104 — the first season strikeouts reach 40,000. There were 32,189 in 2007, the last season without a record, and 30,801 in 2003.
This will be the first season in major league history with more strikeouts than hits. There were 40,098 hits through Wednesday.
Other MLB news:
— Cubs slugger Kris Bryant is out of the starting lineup for a second straight day with a bruised left wrist. Bryant was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh’s Chris Archer on Tuesday. Chicago manager Joe Maddon says Bryant could be available as a pinch hitter on Thursday night and as a starter Friday against St. Louis.
— The Pittsburgh Pirates expect infielder Jung Ho Kang to join the club Friday and be active for a season-ending season at Cincinnati in what would be his first major league appearance in two years. The 31-year-old didn’t play in North America between September 2016 and June 2018 because of visa issues connected to three DUI arrests his native South Korea.
Eric Reid back in the NFL after signing with Panthers
UNDATED (AP) — Eric Reid is back in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers have signed the free agent safety to a one-year contract.
Reid filed an official grievance letter with the NFL in October of 2017, alleging that team owners and the league colluded to prevent his employment due to his protest activities. Reid, along with quarterback Colin Kaeprnick, participated in protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to highlight social awareness and racial injustice.
Panthers general manager Mary Hurney told The Associated Press it was a “football decision” that was approved by new owner David Tepper.
In other NFL news:
— Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ injured left knee has apparently improved to the point where he can take part in a midweek practice. Coach Mike McCarthy says Aaron Rodgers would be limited on Thursday as Green Bay prepares to face the Buffalo Bills this weekend.
—The Tennessee Titans have released wide receiver Rishard Matthews, whose production had dipped significantly this season. Titans general manager Jon Robinson said Matthews had asked to be traded or released. Matthews has just three receptions for 11 yards after catching over 50 passes for the Titans each of the previous two seasons.
— Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin says he’s ready to return to the lineup this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Baldwin has missed the past two games for Seattle after injuring the MCL in his right knee in the team’s season opener against the Denver Broncos.
— The NFL and the Players Association say that concussion protocol guidelines were applied appropriately to Patriots safety Patrick Chung during New England’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 16. The league and NFLPA have released a joint statement saying it conducted interviews with all involved parties and reviewed game footage to make their determination
— Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor has returned to practice after sustaining a concussion and losing his starting job. Taylor practiced Thursday after being cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. He got injured during the first half of last week’s game against the New York Jets and rookie Baker Mayfield came off the bench and led the Browns to their first win since 2016.
— The NFL is sticking with its officiating emphasis on quarterback hits, including those in which the tackler uses all or most of his body weight when falling on the quarterback. NFL football operations chief Troy Vincent says the powerful competition committee has clarified to game officials the techniques used in such hits, which have been a source of debate through the first three weeks of the schedule.
T25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL- NORTH CAROLINA-MIAMI
No. 16 Miami gets 3 defensive TDs, rolls by Tar Heels 47-10
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami tied a school record with three defensive touchdowns, N’Kosi Perry threw for a score in his first start and the No. 16 Hurricanes downed North Carolina 47-10 on Thursday night.
Romeo Finley and Joe Jackson ran back interceptions for scores, Jonathan Garvin scooped up a fumble and rumbled in for another touchdown and the Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) wound up forcing six turnovers in all.
Perry didn’t have to do much, completing eight of 12 passes for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his debut as the Miami starter. Deejay Dallas rushed 11 times for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes, whose 12th straight home regular-season win matches the school’s longest in 15 years.
NHL investigating Flyers’ Lehtera after drug bust in Finland
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL is investigating Philadelphia Flyers forward Jori Lehtera after a report he’s being questioned in connection with a drug bust in his native Finland.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the league is investigating the situation. Lehtera’s lawyer, Ari Nieminen, said Thursday he expects police to release a statement clarifying some misunderstandings that came out of the report.
Finnish news agency MTV reported Wednesday that Lehtera is connected with an investigation into a cocaine ring. Nieminen says no charges have been filed against Lehtera. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the team has spoken to Lehtera and the league office, but declined further comment.
Lehtera is entering his fifth NHL season and is in the last year of his contract with Philadelphia. He has played 280 regular-season and 39 playoff games for the St. Louis Blues and Flyers.
In other NHL news:
— Mark Letestu is returning to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team on Thursday signed the 33-year-old forward to a two-way contract for this season after he spent the end of last season on the Blue Jackets’ roster. He was assigned to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters to start the season. Letestu played for Columbus from 2011 to 2015. He was picked up at the trade deadline last season and contributed to the team’s playoff run.
—St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo has been suspended for the final two preseason games and the regular-season opener for an elbow to the head of Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny. Bortuzzo also forfeits $6,183 in salary as part of his second NHL suspension.. The 29-year-old has also been fined twice in his 276-game career.
— The Carolina Hurricanes will look like the old Hartford Whalers for a pair of games against an old New England rival. The Hurricanes unveiled green throwback Whalers uniforms Thursday on Twitter and said they will wear them when they play host to Boston on Dec. 23 and when they visit the Bruins on March 5.
TENNIS-DAVIS CUP-COURIER OUT
Jim Courier out as US Davis Cup team captain after 8 years
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Jim Courier is finished as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team after eight years in the job.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced Thursday that Courier is “stepping down,” less than two weeks after the Americans lost to host Croatia 3-2 in the Davis Cup semifinals.
The United States had a 10-8 record in World Group play since Courier was appointed in October 2010, twice making it as far as the semifinals.
Courier was part of Davis Cup-winning teams as a player in 1992 and 1995. He also won four Grand Slam singles titles and reached No. 1 in the rankings.
Ex-MSU gymnastics coach sent to trial in Nassar scandal
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan State University gymnastics coach accused of lying to investigators has been ordered to stand trial in the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.
A judge heard testimony and said there’s probable cause to send Kathie Klages to trial.
Klages is accused of denying that female gymnasts had ever complained of assaults by Nassar.
Defense attorney Mary Chartier says Klages was truthful when she told police that she didn’t remember complaints back in 1997.