BC-AP Sports Digest,1229

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John Smoltz says baseball must change — and fast. The Hall of Fame pitcher speaks about the need to make the game more appealing to fans young and old on PodcastOne Sports Now with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic joins College Football Writer Ralph Russo on the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast to discuss the suspension of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Also, ESPN's Rece Davis, a voter in the AP college football poll, weighs in on the preseason rankings. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast



STILLWATER, Okla. — It has been 30 years since Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State. Sanders set numerous NCAA records that season. Many of them still stand, including his 2,628 yards rushing, 238.9 yards rushing per game and 37 rushing touchdowns. Sanders went on to become a Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL MVP with the Detroit Lions. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 1260 words, photos by 3 a.m.



GREENVILLE, S.C. — Harris Roberts is a quarterback for Furman. He is also a full-time engineering student at Clemson. His worlds will collide a bit on Saturday when he and his Furman teammates play at Clemson in the season opener for both teams. Roberts admits it is going to be a little weird. He has kept a fairly low profile on campus at Clemson, but has lately been wearing Furman gear to class. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 3 a.m.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Blake Bars is a former offensive lineman at Michigan and a second-year law student at Notre Dame. He says he will be cheering for brother Alex, a starting left guard and one of four captains for the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish when they host the 14th-ranked Wolverines in the season opener for both teams Saturday night. Their father, Joe Bars, played for Notre Dame. He says Blake still has his Michigan helmet and gear, but will be wearing green for the big game. By John Fineran. UPCOMING: 620 words, photos by 3 a.m.


NEW YORK — Simona Halep made a quick-as-can-be exit from the U.S. Open. She became the first No. 1-seeded woman to lose her opening match at the Grand Slam tournament in the half-century of the professional era. Serena Williams won easily in her return to the tournament after missing it last year while giving birth. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 1070 words, photos.



NEW YORK — There was something bittersweet about David Ferrer's last Grand Slam match. Yes, he got to depart by sharing the court with his friend and Spanish Davis Cup teammate Rafael Nadal, under the lights on the big stage of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open. He also was forced to quit because of an injury for the first time in 208 contests at major tournaments. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 510 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Serena Williams easily won her first U.S. Open match in two years. She beat Magda Linette of Poland 6-4, 6-0 with the help of 23 winners. Williams could face her older sister, Venus, in the third round if each sibling wins one more match. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 480 words, photos.


NEW YORK — When their first tour-level matchup ended abruptly at the U.S. Open, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime — a pair of Canadian teens and longtime pals — met at the net for a hug and sweet exchange. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 650 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Sloane Stephens came back to a whole new U.S. Open. From a rebuilt stadium to a revamped schedule, Flushing Meadows had quite a different look. The U.S. Open now includes a rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium and 25-second serve clocks. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 680 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Young American women are having a lot more success in tennis than young American men are at the moment. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 730 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka made winning returns to the U.S. Opens. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 630 words, photos.



A look at what's happening around the majors. UPCOMING: 540 words, photos by 3 a.m.


HOUSTON — Alex Bregman and Tyler White homered and drove in four runs each, and the Houston Astros rallied for an 11-4 win over the Oakland Athletics. It was the sixth straight win for the first-place Astros, who moved to 2 1/2 games ahead of Oakland in the AL West standings. George Springer and Jose Altuve helped in the victory, driving in a run each during a five-run third inning. This was the first game Springer, Altuve and Carlos Correa were in the lineup together since June 25. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 870 words, photos.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani believes he can pitch for the Los Angeles Angels again this season after a simulated game went well. Ohtani threw 50 pitches in three innings at Angel Stadium in the latest step in his gradual comeback from a sprained elbow ligament. SENT: 200 words, photos.



HOUSTON — Houston Texans star J.J. Watt says he's distributed all of the $41.6 million his foundation raised to help rebuild the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 590 words, photos.


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Quarterback play, a porous offensive line and a leaky defense are among the concerns the Buffalo Bills have to address less than two weeks before opening the season at Baltimore. Coach Sean McDermott isn't ready yet to name a starter at quarterback. Center Ryan Groy refers to the Bills giving up five sacks in the first half against Cincinnati on Sunday as being "a wakeup call for all of us." By John Wawrow. SENT: 760 words, photos.



WACO, Texas — Baylor coach Matt Rhule is still watching returning starter Charlie Brewer and graduate transfer Jalan McClendon before naming the starting quarterback. SENT: 410 words.




Tuesday's Time Schedule (EDT)


Chicago White Sox at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.

Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

Miami at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

Oakland at Houston, 8:10 p.m.

Detroit at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.

Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

Colorado at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.

Seattle at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

Arizona at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.

WNBA Playoffs


Washington at Atlanta, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Seattle, 10 p.m.


ATP-WTA, U.S. Open, New York, 11 a.m.