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    The man accused of killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver during a crash in February was sentenced to 16 years in prison, WXIN reported.  >> Read more trending news  Manuel Orrego-Savala -- a 37-year-old Guatemalan man who was living illegally in Indiana, according to police -- was charged with four felony counts in connection with the crash that killed Edwin Jackson, 26, and Jeffrey Monroe, 54, the Indianapolis Star reported. Police said Orrego-Savala crashed his F-150 into a car parked on the shoulder of I-70, WXIN reported. He was driving with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit. >> Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson killed by drunk driver In July, Orrego-Savala pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher.  On Friday, Monroe’s widow lashed out at Orrego-Savala during his sentencing, saying justice had not been served, the Star reported. 'You're a drunk, a liar, a murderer and a coward,' Deborah Monroe said. 'You didn't even have the decency to pull his dead body from the road before you ran.' Mary Ellen Jackson, the mother of Edwin Jackson, spoke while family members sat nearby, the Star reported. >> Suspect charged in crash that killed Edwin Jackson 'Edwin was a lighthouse,' she said. 'His character was unwavering.'  Police said Orrego-Savala, who also goes by the name Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was in the United States illegally, despite being deported in 2007 and again in 2009. 
  • Miles Sanders set career highs by rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, Trace McSorley threw for three TDs and ran for a personal-best 92 yards, and No. 10 Penn State scored 35 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 63-24 victory over Illinois on Friday night. The Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) broke this one open after getting all they could handle from a team showing signs of a turnaround in coach Lovie Smith's third season. They fell behind by three early in the third before Sanders scored on a 48-yard run and put away Illinois (2-2, 0-1) with two touchdowns in the opening minute of the fourth. It was Penn State's third straight game with more than 50 points. 'I don't think we've played a complete game,' coach James Franklin said. 'I don't know if we've played many complete games since we've been here. I think we are getting better. There's certain plays, there's certain series, there's certain quarters that we're not happy. I've watched a little bit of the NFL. It seems it's the same way at that level.' McSorley threw a 16-yard TD to Juwan Johnson on the first play of the quarter. Ian Johnson intercepted Illinois' M.J. Rivers, and McSorley hit KJ Hamler with a 21-yarder on the next play, making it 42-24. Sanders easily surpassed his previous highs of 118 yards and two TDs. He had 113 yards and two scores in the first half alone. McSorley showed why he is a Heisman Trophy hopeful, eclipsing his previous rushing high of 81 yards against Maryland in 2016. The senior also completed 12 of 19 passes for 160 yards with an interception. Ricky Slade added a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and the Nittany Lions racked up 591 yards. Rivers, a true freshman, was 17 of 28 for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second start with AJ Bush nursing a hamstring injury. 'I think we can all see what kind of a team we can be,' Smith said. 'We have a lot of potential. Right now, we're playing with our backup quarterback. Hopefully with the bye week, AJ (Bush) will be ready to go.' Reggie Corbin ran for 87 yards. Mike Epstein finished with 73 after back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. Sanders broke a tackle and plowed through three defenders near the goal line for a 14-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 7-0 lead. Illinois tied it on a 2-yard run by Corbin. Then the Nittany Lions scored back-to-back touchdowns and looked ready to blow it open. Sanders scored from the 2 after the Illini's Sydney Brown got flagged for interference on an overthrown pass intended for Hamler in the end zone. McSorley then threw a 5-yard TD to Pat Freiermuth, who skidded into the end zone as he lost his footing, to make it 21-7. But a 51-yard run by Corbin set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Ricky Smalling, after the Illini's Daniel Barker fumbled a reception near the goal line, to make it a seven-point game midway through the second quarter. Illinois' Delano Ware intercepted a deep pass by McSorley into double coverage with about 30 seconds left in the half when Penn State could have opted to run out the clock. That led to a 42-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin as time expired, making it 21-17. THE TAKEAWAY Penn State: Though they didn't put this one away until the fourth, the Nittany Lions got another lopsided win after outscoring Pittsburgh and Kent State by a combined 114-16. Illinois: Rivers is showing he could be a major contributor for the Illini even though Smith indicated Bush will return to the lineup once he's ready. UP NEXT Penn State: Hosts No. 4 Ohio State next Saturday. Illinois: Visits Rutgers on Oct. 6. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • A long rain delay did not dampen the Milwaukee Brewers' hopes of catching the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas and Erik Kratz homered during a six-run sixth inning, and the Brewers rallied for an 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. Milwaukee trailed 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning when rain stopped play for two hours and 14 minutes. The Brewers drew within 1½ games of the division-leading Cubs, who lost 10-4 to the crosstown White Sox. Milwaukee leads the NL wild-card standings by three games over the St. Louis Cardinals. 'It's challenging when you (restart) a game at 10:30 at night,' Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. 'For us right now, we know these are important games so it's easier to get locked in. There was energy in the dugout. This is the time of year you've got to use what's going for you to your advantage.' Shaw's two-run home run, his 30th, followed Jesus Aguilar's RBI double and put the Brewers ahead 4-3. After Ryan Braun walked, Moustakas and Kratz hit back-to-back homers. Kratz's drive cleared the 410-foot sign in left-center, the deepest part of the park. 'Once that momentum gets rolling, it's contagious,' Shaw said. 'It was a good win for us.' The Brewers insist they are not obsessively watching the scoreboard, though. 'We're just taking care of our business each day,' outfielder Christian Yelich said. 'It's been working for us that way.' Pittsburgh had its five-game winning streak end. The Pirates fell 5½ games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second NL wild card. Keon Broxton added a solo homer in the eighth for the Brewers. 'They have a high-octane offense,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the Brewers. 'They can do it a lot of different ways. They shrunk our ballpark tonight, which doesn't happen very often.' Corbin Burnes (6-0) pitched a scoreless fifth. Edgar Santana (3-4) allowed three runs in the sixth and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. The Pirates' Corey Dickerson hit a two-run homer in the fourth — his 12th of the season but first since July 22, a span of 147 plate appearances — and tripled. Josh Bell's homer gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead in the first and Braun tied it with an RBI single in the fourth. Neither starting pitcher returned after the delay. Jhoulys Chacin allowed three runs in four innings while remaining winless in six starts against Pittsburgh this season, and Ivan Nova gave up one run in 4 1/3 innings. TRAINER'S ROOM Brewers: CF Lorenzo Cain (strained right ribcage) missed his second straight game and there is no timetable for his return. ... Braun returned after sitting out three games with back discomfort. Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (gastrointestinal illness) and Santana (right forearm/elbow discomfort) left in the sixth. ... RF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder surgery) will begin his rehab this weekend at the Pirates' spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida. HADER BREAKS A RECORD Josh Hader struck out three of the four batters he faced to break the major league single-season record for strikeouts by a left-handed reliever. He has 136 in 77 innings. John Hiller had held the record since 1974, when he had 134 strikeouts in 150 innings for Detroit. 'It's quite an accomplishment,' Hader said. 'I've just tried to be consistent with the fastball-slider combination all season.' YELICH'S BIGGEST FAN Yelich's MVP candidacy got a potential boost from Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield on Thursday night. Mayfield was wearing a signed Yelich journey when he arrived at the stadium for the Browns' 21-17 over the New York Jets that ended Cleveland's 19-game winless streak. Mayfield and Yelich worked out together over the winter in the Los Angeles area. After shining in his NFL debut in relief of injured Tyrod Taylor, Mayfield ended his postgame press conference by saying, 'Yelich for MVP.' 'That was really cool,' Yelich said. Yelich did not wear a Mayfield jersey to the ballpark Friday. 'I have one hanging in my locker in Milwaukee,' Yelich said. 'I should have packed it. Bad timing on my part.' THINKING OF BANISTER Hurdle was in contact with Jeff Banister, who was fired as the Texas Rangers' manager Friday. Banister was Hurdle's bench coach from 2011-14. 'Jeff Banister is a good man, a good father and a good husband and that's the most important thing,' Hurdle said. AWARDS SEASON CF Starling Marte was selected as the Roberto Clemente Award winner, given to the Pirates' MVP by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. RHP Trevor Williams won the Steve Blass Award for top pitcher and RHP Jameson Taillon won the Chuck Tanner Award for media cooperation. Meanwhile, the Pirates honored 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes and RHP JT Brubaker as their top minor league player and pitcher before the game. Hayes hit .293 in 117 games for Double-A Altoona with seven home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases, while Brubaker was a combined 10-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 28 starts with Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. UP NEXT Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (2-6, 4.66 ERA) pitches Saturday night. He is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts since being out from May 30-Sept. 2 with rotator cuff inflammation in his right shoulder. Pirates: Williams (13-9, 3.16) has allowed just eight runs over 65 2/3 innings in his last 11 starts for a 1.51 ERA. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Houston Astros toasted a playoff berth in a private moment, and then moved on to their next goal. 'You've got to take it step by step so it's nice to acknowledge and celebrate it because you don't take it for granted,' right-hander Gerrit Cole said. 'But we've got some more work to do.' Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam and a two-run homer on his way to a career-high seven RBIs, and the Astros secured a spot in the postseason with an 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. George Springer added a three-run shot in the eighth for the Astros, who are still looking to secure the AL West title. The defending World Series champions maintained a 3 1/2-game lead over second-place Oakland, which beat Minnesota 7-6 in 10 innings. Cole (15-5) allowed three hits and three runs in seven innings in his fifth straight win. He also struck out 12, giving him 1,006 for his career and moving him in front of teammate Justin Verlander (269) for most in the AL this season with 272. Gurriel hit his third career grand slam in the first inning. He connected for his 12th homer against Andrew Heaney (9-10) in the third and singled in Tyler White in the fifth. It was his first career multihomer game. His brother Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also homered twice for Toronto on Friday night, marking the first time in major league history that brothers had multihomer games on the same day. 'My parents were so happy that they didn't know what to do with themselves, hearing the great news,' Yuli Gurriel said through a translator. 'Sometimes I have a good game and sometimes he has a good game, but for us to have a great game together is very special.' Gurriel's seven RBIs were the most for a Houston player since J.R. Towles set a franchise record with eight 11 years ago on Friday. Mike Trout homered for the second straight game for the Angels, who lost their third in a row. They allowed 42 runs combined in those three losses. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman hit consecutive singles with one out in the first and Heaney walked Marwin Gonzalez to load the bases. Gurriel then belted an opposite-field shot to right field. Gonzalez walked again with one out in the third before Gurriel drove an 81-mph curveball into the Crawford Boxes in left field. Heaney allowed six runs in three innings. 'At the wrong times, he hung some pitches and those guys didn't miss them,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. 'He had eight baserunners in three innings, so he was a little out of sorts and they turned the page on him.' Jose Fernandez doubled with two outs in the sixth before Trout's 37th homer cut Houston's lead to 7-2. Andrelton Simmons tripled with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Francisco Arcia. TRAINER'S ROOM Astros: SS Carlos Correa was out of the lineup and manager A.J. Hinch said he'll sit out until at least Monday as he continues to deal with soreness in his lower back. 'Carlos is still not right,' Hinch said. 'He's played through it and it hasn't worked out.' Correa was on the disabled list from June 26-Aug. 10 and has struggling since his return, hitting just .174 in with one homer and 13 RBIs in 34 games. COLE'S K'S Cole's strikeouts are the fourth-most in franchise history. He said it was special to reach 1,000 career strikeouts. 'The guys took a moment tonight to recognize it and that meant a lot,' he said. 'There are a lot of really professional and special arms in this room so that kind of keeps you in perspective.' THEY SAID IT Hinch on the team teasing Yuli Gurriel in the dugout as they watched what his brother was doing: 'I think he was trying to keep up with his brother. Every time they kept putting the fantasy numbers up on the board he came up with another RBI, another homer, another hit. We had some fun with him.' UP NEXT Verlander (16-9, 2.67 ERA) opposes Jaime Barria (10-9, 3.61 ERA) when the series continues Saturday night. Verlander has won his last three starts and needs just one strikeout to set a career high. Barria is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts against the Astros this season. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Boston Red Sox went 86 years between World Series titles, and are now on the cusp of eclipsing an even older milestone. Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin hit their first major league home runs and the Red Sox tied a team record more than a century old with their 105th win, beating the Indians 7-5 Friday night. The AL East champion Red Sox (105-49), playing without several of their regulars, matched the club mark set in 1912. 'It was great, to have all the guys even the ones that didn't play at the top step, it was like a regular game,' Boston manager Alex Cora said. 'It was a fun game overall, good energy. It was a long night, we got here late and for them to come here and play was fun.' Boston's magic number to have home-field advantage throughout the postseason was also reduced to one. Trevor Bauer took a step toward being in Cleveland's postseason rotation, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his first appearance since breaking his right leg on Aug. 11. He was 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA when was struck on the lower leg by a line drive hit by Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. 'It's been a frustrating five and a half weeks for me not being able to be out there,' Bauer said. 'It's definitely nice to get back in a game situation, especially jumping back in against a team like the Red Sox. They've been the best team in baseball this year.' Boston ace Chris Sale, being eased back into the rotation after recent shoulder trouble, struck out seven in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs in his third start back from the disabled list. 'That's a good offensive team so that's a good test,' Cora said. 'He's feeling fine so we will see how he reacts feeling the next few days.' Cora said Sale will start against Baltimore on Wednesday. Josh Donaldson homered off Sale in the fourth, ending the lefty's 35-inning consecutive scoreless streak. It was the first homer off Sale in 75 innings. Donaldson was acquired from Toronto on Aug. 31 after missing three months with a calf injury. His homer on a 1-2 pitch landed in the left field bleachers and was his second with the Indians and seventh of the season. The Red Sox used nine pitchers against the AL Central champion Indians. Matt Barnes (6-3) pitched a scoreless sixth and Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 42nd save. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. were out of Boston's lineup. Rafael Devers homered and Travis, who had three RBIs, for the Red Sox, who used a four-run seventh to erase a 4-2 deficit. Shane Bieber (10-5) allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Bauer allowed two hits, walked one and struck out J.D. Martinez, the major league RBIs leader. He threw 34 pitches — 17 strikes — and was pulled after allowing one-out singles to Steve Pearce and Brock Holt in the second. Bauer is scheduled to start Tuesday against the White Sox and will pitch in Kansas City next weekend. 'The health, the feeling in the ankle, has been better,' Bauer said. 'So everything's trending in a very positive direction.' BIG MOMENT Left-hander Robby Scott retired Michael Brantley on a foul out to left with the bases loaded to end the eighth. Cora decided to intentionally walk Francisco Lindor to set up the situation. 'We don't walk too many people, but I'm not going to let him (Lindor) beat me there,' Cora said. 'I'd rather walk him and take a chance with Brantley with that matchup.' IMPROVED SWING Donaldson was the DH on Friday and will play third base Saturday and Sunday. He's batting .217 (5 for 23) with Cleveland, but is feeling comfortable at the plate. 'I haven't had much of the results, but I've hit some balls hard,' Donaldson said. 'As long my approach and how I'm seeing the ball, my pitch recognition, is up to par, and I'm hitting the ball solid, there's not much more I can ask for.' Donaldson says Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald put him in touch with a doctor who specializes in soft tissue injuries during his rehab that helped the recovery process. MAKING PROGRESS Devers hit his 18th home run and has had two hits in each of the last two games. 'He's good,' Cora said. 'He's putting in good swings. You can see there's a lot of confidence in him.' TRAINER'S ROOM Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez (left hamstring) is expected to miss the series. He was injured beating out an infield hit Wednesday. UP NEXT RHP Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA), the team leader in wins, starts Saturday for Boston. RHP Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.06 ERA) starts against the Red Sox for the first time this season.
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and his older brother, Yuli, have become the first brothers in major league history to have multihomer games on the same day. Toronto's Lourdes Gurriel homered in the first and fourth innings Friday night in the Blue Jays' 11-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He also became the first rookie in Blue Jays history to homer in three straight at-bats after hitting a game-tying homer in the ninth inning of Toronto's win on Thursday. Lourdes Gurriel, who has 11 homers this season, is the 14th Toronto player to achieve the feat, the first since Josh Donaldson on Sept. 16-17, 2017. Houston's Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam in the first inning and added a two-run shot in the third inning of the Astros' 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. He has 12 homers this season. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Baby Braves are all grown up. It's almost time to celebrate. With another gutty performance that pushed Atlanta to the brink of its first NL East title since 2013, the Braves bounced back from Ronald Acuna Jr.'s defensive blunder with a five-run seventh inning that carried them past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Friday night. Ozzie Albies sparked the comeback with a two-run homer and Johan Camargo finished it off with a two-out, two-run single, giving the youthful Braves a chance to celebrate as soon as Saturday afternoon with one more victory over the second-place Phillies. 'Man, this might be doable,'' manager Brian Snitker deadpanned. Acuna misjudged Wilson Ramos' liner to left in the top half of the seventh, turning what should have been an out into a two-run double. Pinch-hitter Jose Bautista tacked on a run-scoring single, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead. It didn't last long. Tyler Flowers led off the bottom half with a single off Pat Neshek (3-2), and Albies followed with a drive into the right-field seats for his 23rd homer. Dansby Swanson walked and Lucas Duda followed with a pinch-hit single before Neshek finally got an out — on a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag and was backhanded by Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw home to get Swanson trying to score. That was only a brief respite for the Phillies. Luis Avilan surrendered a run-scoring double by Ender Inciarte into the right-field corner. With two outs and the bases loaded, Camargo came through on a 3-2 pitch by lining a single to left to put the Braves ahead for the first time all night . 'There's an 'it' factor with teams,' Snitker said. 'You don't know how they get it. But when they've got it, it's really something special.' Acuna and Inciate celebrated at home plate, while Camargo pumped his fist emphatically at first, knowing he had pushed the Braves another step closer to the postseason. The Phillies dropped 7 1/2 games behind the Braves, while the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the division race. After their last NL East title, the Braves went through a massive rebuild that led to three straight 90-loss seasons. With some of baseball's brightest young stars, including 21-year-old Albies and 20-year-old Acuna, they're pushing for the playoffs far sooner than most people expected. Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman are the only holdovers from Atlanta's last playoff team. 'We were talking about it the other day,' Teheran said. 'It's been a while since the last time we did this. We're excited. We have a new team. I'm excited to see the guys do it for the first time. It's going to be different for me. I was a rookie the last time we did it.' After giving up a leadoff homer to Cesar Hernandez, Teheran turned in one of his best outings of an inconsistent season. He didn't allow another hit until pinch-hitter J.P. Crawford started the sixth with a triple off the right-field wall. Teheran escaped that jam by striking out Roman Quinn, getting Hernandez on a grounder to second and retiring Rhys Hoskins on a fly ball to right. But the Braves defense let Teheran down in the seventh. With one out, Justin Bour walked and Carlos Santana singled before Ramos sent a liner to left field for what should have been the second out. Acuna completely misjudged the ball, however, realizing too late that it was over his head. After a futile leap, the rookie had to go all the way to the wall to retrieve it, as both runners raced home to break a 1-all tie. Jonny Venters (4-0) claimed the win by getting the final two outs in the seventh. A.J. Minter earned his 15th save despite giving up a run in the ninth , striking out Quinn to end the game with a runner aboard. ROUGH OUTING After a very effective season, Neshek had one of his worst outings. The side-arming right-hander was charged with four runs while recording just one out, bouncing his ERA from 1.16 to 2.66. Neshek claimed home-plate umpire Gerry Davis missed several pitches that should have been called strikes. 'When you leave it in thee ump's hands, that can happen,' Neshek said. 'It just didn't go my way.' TRAINER'S ROOM The Braves will likely want former closer Arodys Vizcaino to pitch in back-to-back games before deciding whether he deserves a spot on a postseason roster. Vizcaino has allowed three hits and two runs in three innings since returning from the disabled list a week ago, but he had his most impressive performance with a scoreless inning against the Phillies in the series opener Thursday. The hard-throwing right-hander had 15 saves before he went on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He missed 55 games. UP NEXT The Braves are skipping LH Sean Newcomb's spot in the rotation, moving up RH Mike Foltynewicz (11-10, 2.90 ERA) to make Saturday's start against Phillies RH Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.77 ERA). Newcomb has a 7.44 ERA over his last seven starts, endangering his spot in the possible playoff rotation after he spent much of the season as one of Atlanta's most effective pitchers. Newcomb will be available out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend but could still make another start in the final week of the regular season, according to Snitker. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • A look at what's happening around the majors Saturday: BRAVES BASH? The Atlanta Braves can clinch their first NL East title since 2013 by beating Philadelphia at SunTrust Park. Sparked by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the Baby Braves moved closer to the division crown with a 6-5 win over the Phillies on Friday night. The Braves are skipping Sean Newcomb's spot, moving up Mike Foltynewicz (11-10, 2.90 ERA) to face Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.77 ERA). Newcomb has a 7.44 ERA over his last seven starts, endangering his place in the possible playoff rotation after he spent much of the season as one of Atlanta's most effective pitchers. Newcomb will be available out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend but could still make another start in the final week of the regular season, according to manager Brian Snitker. BIG NUMBER The Red Sox go for their 106th win, which would break a team record that's more than a century old. Boston (105-49) beat Cleveland in a matchup of AL division champions to tie the club mark set in 1912. Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA), the team leader in wins, starts for the Bosox at Progressive Field against Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.06). WELL PLAYED Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez plans to play the final game of his 16-season career when the Tigers host Kansas City. The five-time All-Star announced he will sit out Sunday's series finale, then accompany the team on its final road trip without playing. 'I feel like I owe it to the fans to have my final at-bats here,' said Martinez, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony at Comerica Park. HE'S ALL WRIGHT Adam Wainwright makes his first start for St. Louis since pitching six shutout innings to beat the Dodgers last weekend. The 37-year-old righty has missed most of the season because of elbow trouble. The longtime ace (2-3, 3.72 ERA) is making a bid to re-establish himself in the rotation as the Cardinals push for a playoff spot. Wainwright will be facing the Giants at Busch Stadium. WILDNESS Aaron Judge and the Yankees can clinch their second straight AL wild-card slot if they beat Baltimore and if Tampa Bay loses to Toronto. New York also is trying to stay ahead of the Athletics to host that one-game playoff on Oct. 3. WINDY CITY WEEKEND Jon Lester (16-6, 3.43 ERA) will start for the NL Central-leading Cubs when they travel across Chicago to visit the White Sox. Lester is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last five starts. Lucas Giolito (10-11, 5.77 ERA) is set to pitch for the Chisox.
  • With McKenzie Milton on top of his game, No. 16 UCF keeps rolling along. The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, ran for a career-best three touchdowns while throwing for three more, helping the Knights rally from a second-quarter deficit to remain unbeaten and extend the nation's longest winning streak with a 56-36 rout of Florida Atlantic on Friday night. 'When things got a little shaky,' Milton said, 'we didn't flinch.' The 2017 American Athletic Conference player of the year completed 21 of 32 passes for 306 yards without an interception. And the Knights (3-0), who trailed 17-14 late in the second quarter, won for the 16th straight time to set a record for consecutive victories by an AAC team. 'They're a good football team,' Milton said. 'You're not always going to be able to break (the game) open right away.' Milton scored on runs of 12, 9 and 13 yards, using a nifty jump cut to avoid a defender and get into the end zone on the last one. Touchdown passes of 12 yards to Dredrick Snelson, 21 yards to Marlon Williams and 19 yards to Gabriel Davis hiked Milton's career total to 56 — tied with Blake Bortles for fourth-most in school history. 'Playing good teams, you're going to have to use the QB run as well,' said Milton, who finished with a team-high 81 yards rushing on 13 attempts. FAU (2-2) stayed close for a half, but ultimately couldn't keep pace with the prolific UCF offense. Devin Singletary rushed for 131 yards and three TDs for the Owls, who finished with 320 yards on the ground. UCF led 21-17 at the half, letting a two-touchdown lead slip away and falling behind on a second-quarter field goal. That's when Milton took over, moving the Knights 78 yards in just over a minute and connecting with Williams to put UCF ahead for good. Chris Robison settled down after throwing an interception that led to UCF's first touchdown and fed the UCF defense a steady diet of Singletary. The Owls battled back by putting together a couple of time-consuming scoring drives that kept Milton off the field. Singletary's first touchdown finished an 11-play, 71-yard march. The Owls also held the ball for six minutes, driving 54 yards to position Vladimir Rivas to kick a 32-yard field goal for a short-lived 17-14 lead. Robison was intercepted three times and finished 13 of 26 passing for 124 yards, including a 23-yard TD throw to Kerrith Whyte late in the third quarter. THE TAKEAWAY Florida Atlantic: The Owls entered the season with hopes of working their way into the playoff conversation in December. Those aspirations were dashed by a 63-14 loss at Oklahoma, but Friday was an opportunity to knock UCF off course to be part of the debate UCF: Milton finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting last season, when he helped UCF go 13-0, including a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. He went 4 of 4 for 74 yards on the Knights' go-ahead drive and then ran for a pair of scores in the third quarter to build the lead to 35-17. POLL IMPLICATIONS UCF moved up two spots in the Top 25 despite having an unscheduled bye week because of Hurricane Florence, which forced last week's game at North Carolina to be canceled. Beating FAU won't bolster the Knights' case for a higher ranking, but they could benefit if teams ahead of them stumble. LIGHTING IT UP UCF, which finished with 545 yards total offense, has scored 30-plus points in every game during its winning streak. Meanwhile, Milton has thrown for at least one touchdown in 17 straight games, dating to 2016. Singletary has an impressive streak of his own for FAU, scoring a rushing touchdown in 17 consecutive games. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound junior scored five TDs against Bethune-Cookman and has nine in three games this season after scoring 32 a year ago. UP NEXT Florida Atlantic: Conference USA opener at Middle Tennessee next Saturday. UCF: Hosts Pittsburgh next Saturday in its final nonconference game. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not quite finished with racing. The NASCAR fan favorite got back behind the wheel Friday night, led 96 laps and finished fourth in an Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway. It was his first race since he retired from the Cup Series after last season and became a father earlier this year. 'I'm probably going to run one more next year,' Earnhardt said, primarily because the revenue he brings in from racing allows him to support another car for 8-to-10 races. 'It's worth it for me to get out there, have a little fun, run a race.' It was especially fun, he said, before the green flag ever dropped because his wife, Amy, and infant daughter Isla were with him. 'I was thrilled to have Isla there,' he said. 'She won't remember what happened today, but if I never run another race, I got to have her at one event and we got a picture at the car before the race that she'll be able to have the rest of her life. It doesn't matter to me if she ever thinks that's a big deal, but I want her to have some understanding, I guess, of what I did before she was born.' It was a moment, he said, that was 'weird, but pretty cool.' Now working as an analyst for NBC Sports, Earnhardt said he doesn't want to cheat his new career. 'I love to drive and I just don't want to do a ton. I want to be great in the booth. I know that this helps a little bit, but it also takes away from my ability to ... see the weekend as a whole, understand what's going on across the board. 'That's where I want to be. I want to be in the booth for a long, long time,' he said. Earnhardt had the lead until Matt Tifft beat him off pit road with about 30 laps to go. Christopher Bell then passed Tifft after a restart with 13 laps to go and won the first of seven playoff races in the series. It was Bell's fifth victory this season, and he completed a season sweep at Richmond. 'To be able to come out here and win on a late race restart like that is really special,' said Bell, who won last year's championship in the truck series. Justin Allgaier's 32nd-place run also gave Bell the series points lead. Ross Chastain rallied to finish second, followed by Daniel Hemric. For Chastain, succeeding in a race where one of the sport's biggest stars also contended had an extra cool factor. 'There is, man. I live close to him. I help pay the bills over there at JR Motorsports with my rent check every month — I make a small contribution — and we pass each other on the road now and then,' Chastain said. 'I don't think he knows what I drive, but I wave to him just like I wave at everybody else down that bumpy, bumpy road.' It wasn't Chastain's first on-track encounter with Earnhardt. 'I raced with him at Dover in my first Cup race,' he said. 'One run, we had our car really good, his car was really bad and I was able to clear him and I waved to him. About 10 laps later, I burned my front tires off, he went back by me and he waved back to me and I was like, 'Wow. That's Dale Jr. waving.'' The race was the 31st in the series for Elliott Sadler, a Virginia native who grew up about 70 miles away and regularly attended races at the track. Sadler, who is retiring at the end of the season, was hoping to capture his first career victory on the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval. He ran in the top 10 most of the race and finished sixth. ___ More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Baby Braves are all grown up. It's almost time to celebrate. With another gutty performance that pushed Atlanta to the brink of its first NL East title since 2013, the Braves bounced back from Ronald Acuna Jr.'s defensive blunder with a five-run seventh inning that carried them past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Friday night. Ozzie Albies sparked the comeback with a two-run homer and Johan Camargo finished it off with a two-out, two-run single, giving the youthful Braves a chance to celebrate as soon as Saturday afternoon with one more victory over the second-place Phillies. 'Man, this might be doable,'' manager Brian Snitker deadpanned. Acuna misjudged Wilson Ramos' liner to left in the top half of the seventh, turning what should have been an out into a two-run double. Pinch-hitter Jose Bautista tacked on a run-scoring single, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead. It didn't last long. Tyler Flowers led off the bottom half with a single off Pat Neshek (3-2), and Albies followed with a drive into the right-field seats for his 23rd homer. Dansby Swanson walked and Lucas Duda followed with a pinch-hit single before Neshek finally got an out - on a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag and was backhanded by Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw home to get Swanson trying to score. That was only a brief respite for the Phillies. Luis Avilan surrendered a run-scoring double by Ender Inciarte into the right-field corner. With two outs and the bases loaded, Camargo came through on a 3-2 pitch by lining a single to left to put the Braves ahead for the first time all night . 'There's an 'it' factor with teams,' Snitker said. 'You don't know how they get it. But when they've got it, it's really something special.' Acuna and Inciate celebrated at home plate, while Camargo pumped his fist emphatically at first, knowing he had pushed the Braves another step closer to the postseason. The Phillies dropped 7 1/2 games behind the Braves, while the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the division race. After their last NL East title, the Braves went through a massive rebuild that led to three straight 90-loss seasons. With some of baseball's brightest young stars, including 21-year-old Albies and 20-year-old Acuna, they're pushing for the playoffs far sooner than most people expected. Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman are the only holdovers from Atlanta's last playoff team. 'We were talking about it the other day,' Teheran said. 'It's been a while since the last time we did this. We're excited. We have a new team. I'm excited to see the guys do it for the first time. It's going to be different for me. I was a rookie the last time we did it.' After giving up a leadoff homer to Cesar Hernandez, Teheran turned in one of his best outings of an inconsistent season. He didn't allow another hit until pinch-hitter J.P. Crawford started the sixth with a triple off the right-field wall. Teheran escaped that jam by striking out Roman Quinn, getting Hernandez on a grounder to second and retiring Rhys Hoskins on a fly ball to right. But the Braves defense let Teheran down in the seventh. With one out, Justin Bour walked and Carlos Santana singled before Ramos sent a liner to left field for what should have been the second out. Acuna completely misjudged the ball, however, realizing too late that it was over his head. After a futile leap, the rookie had to go all the way to the wall to retrieve it, as both runners raced home to break a 1-all tie. Jonny Venters (4-0) claimed the win by getting the final two outs in the seventh. A.J. Minter earned his 15th save despite giving up a run in the ninth , striking out Quinn to end the game with a runner aboard. ROUGH OUTING After a very effective season, Neshek had one of his worst outings. The side-arming right-hander was charged with four runs while recording just one out, bouncing his ERA from 1.16 to 2.66. Neshek claimed home-plate umpire Gerry Davis missed several pitches that should have been called strikes. 'When you leave it in thee ump's hands, that can happen,' Neshek said. 'It just didn't go my way.' TRAINER'S ROOM The Braves will likely want former closer Arodys Vizcaino to pitch in back-to-back games before deciding whether he deserves a spot on a postseason roster. Vizcaino has allowed three hits and two runs in three innings since returning from the disabled list a week ago, but he had his most impressive performance with a scoreless inning against the Phillies in the series opener Thursday. The hard-throwing right-hander had 15 saves before he went on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He missed 55 games. UP NEXT The Braves are skipping LH Sean Newcomb's spot in the rotation, moving up RH Mike Foltynewicz (11-10, 2.90 ERA) to make Saturday's start against Phillies RH Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.77 ERA). Newcomb has a 7.44 ERA over his last seven starts, endangering his spot in the possible playoff rotation after he spent much of the season as one of Atlanta's most effective pitchers. Newcomb will be available out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend but could still make another start in the final week of the regular season, according to Snitker. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman will miss his second straight game with a knee injury, and the Falcons also will be without starting defensive end Takk McKinley when they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Coach Dan Quinn declared both players out Friday, extending a rash of injuries that have plagued the Falcons (1-1) already this season. Freeman went down with a bruised knee in a Week 1 loss to Philadelphia, while McKinley sustained a groin injury that kept him off the field in the closing stages of last weekend's 31-24 victory over Carolina. Tevin Coleman took over as the primary running back against the Panthers, rushing for 107 yards, and rookie Ito Smith also was effective. The loss of McKinley means Brooks Reed will likely move into a starting role vs. the Saints. The Falcons also will be missing backup end Derrick Shelby, ruled out with a groin injury, and reserve linebacker Corey Nelson (calf). Atlanta already has lost safety Keanu Neal and offensive guard Andy Levitre to season-ending injuries. Linebacker Deion Jones (foot) will have to miss at least eight games after going on injured reserve. ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Georgia football fans can get their statistical fix each week with By the Numbers — a stats-based look at how UGA coach Kirby Smart is doing in his attempt to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC and continue the program’s pursuit of a national championship. This week’s edition of By the Numbers looks at Georgia’s missing pass rush through three games and how that could improve before season’s end. Georgia’s defense hasn’t had much success getting to the quarterback this season. A fact that hasn’t been a problem yet for the Bulldogs, but could be an issue before season’s end if it doesn’t improve. UGA — as has been widely discussed — is last in the country through three games with just one sack. However, coach Kirby Smart apparently isn’t too concerned. “I’m looking more at total yards per completion and how many points they put on the scoreboard. That’s what matters to me,” Smart said when asked about not getting quarterback pressure on Middle Tennessee State last Saturday. “I know everybody wants sacks. Everybody wants pass rush, but if you put a stop watch on it and you take the whole [MTSU] offensive line off the field and don’t block anybody, I don’t know that we could’ve got there.” Smart probably has a point in that regard. The Blue Raiders did get rid of the ball quickly vs. UGA, and the stats Smart says he’s monitoring closely — yards per completion for opposing offenses and points allowed — are areas in which UGA’s excelled. The Bulldogs are tied for second in scoring defense (allowing 8 points per game) and tied for sixth in passing yards per attempt allowed (4.8). Yet that analysis ignores an obvious point. Simply put, national championship contenders sack quarterbacks. UGA made the Playoff in 2017 with 34 sacks, but dating back to 2014, 11 of the 15 other teams who’ve made the Playoff had more sacks than that. The average number of sacks for a Playoff team over that span: 39. Quarterback pressure is also among most predictive metrics for determining a team’s success in another crucial area: turnover margin. Stats guru Bill Connelly uses “sack rate” in his formula for his S&P+ rankings because as Connelly explains, “sack rates are one of the only reliable, non-random factors that contribute to a team’s turnover margin.” Smart could be forgiven if he ignores that logic. Despite not getting many sacks, collecting turnovers hasn’t been a problem for UGA yet. The Bulldogs have recovered two fumbles and intercepted three passes through three games — good enough for a +1 turnover margin (tied for 18th-best in the country). However, history says that might not be a pace UGA can continue for the rest of the season. Six of the last nine SEC teams to finish in the top three in the conference in turnover margin were also in the top three in sacks. The blunt truth is UGA’s pass rush needs to improve, and the good news is that’s entirely possible to happen. Improving the pass rush is something Smart’s been doing since he arrived in 2016, and he’s done it without having to blitz often — which can put the secondary in a disadvantageous position. “That’s one of the big things we’ve tried to improve,” Smart said of his pass rush last August. “You can improve your pass rush by bringing more guys, or you can rush four better. Obviously, I like to rush four better than bringing more guys. So we’ve tried to find ways to do it. It’s not always been exactly what we wanted — what we want to create — but it’s certainly improving.” Smart’s words proved prophetic. UGA’s 34 sacks last season were five more than the Bulldogs recorded in 2016, and 13 more than UGA had in 2015 — Mark Richt’s final year as UGA coach. One of the factors that could raise UGA’s sack total by season’s end is the emergence of freshmen such as outside linebacker Brenton Cox — a former 5-star recruit from the Bulldogs No. 1 rated 2018 signing class. Cox has played in every game thus far for Georgia without making much of a dent in the stat sheet. That could change soon. “Brenton has grown and progressed,” Smart said this week. “He probably hasn’t shown up in games as much as he has in practice. He hasn’t had many opportunities to get out there and flash and do what I think he can do… He’s getting better with each and every game. He’s a competitor.” As Cox’s competitive fire allows him to become more of a part of the defensive game plan the Bulldogs’ stats could benefit, and it isn’t inconceivable UGA could end up coming close to the sack total it amassed last season. Saturday will be the Bulldogs fourth game. Through that same span in 2017 UGA had just seven sacks. If Georgia creates any sacks vs. Missouri it won’t be too far off the pace it set a year ago. But as Smart has said, it can’t chase sacks at all costs because pressuring Tigers quarterback Drew Lock can be tricky. CFB Film Room tweeted this week that Lock has an adjusted completion percentage (which accounts for drops and throw aways) of 64.3 percent when facing pressure. That means if the Bulldogs come after him, they better get to him. Otherwise, he can make them pay. Ultimately, Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker know UGA needs more pressure on quarterbacks, and regardless of how either might downplay the stat, they’d love to get sacks. However, neither wants to dial up blitzes to accomplish that. It’s probably the correct philosophy — especially against Lock. What many UGA fans are hoping for is a glimpse of improvement — either from Cox, or a veteran presence like D’Andre Walker, the only Bulldogs player with more than one quarterback pressure so far. If that improvement comes against Missouri, UGA could be well on its way to re-establishing the credentials that made it Playoff-worthy in 2017. The post By the Numbers: Still plenty of time for UGA pass rush to improve appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ST. LOUIS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart loves to talk about his big, physical offensive line and how it wears out defenders. Opponents, like Missouri coach Barry Odom, dread the challenge the Bulldogs’ offensive front presents. “I think they’ve got as talented of a run-oriented system when they decide to go run the ball   as we’ve seen,” Odom said. “If you are out of your gap or out of your assignment a little bit, it will get exposed quickly.” The No. 2-ranked Georgia football program will taken on Odom’s Tigers in a noon (Eastern) kick on Saturday in Columbia in a battle of unbeaten SEC teams. As much attention as quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Drew Lock draw, the line of scrimmage could ultimately decide the outcome as both teams look to stay in favorable down-and-distance situations. The key to that is often first down production, and Odom knows the Bulldogs love to dictate the flow with their power run game. “Once we encounter one of their big dudes up front, we have to do a great job using our hands playing through and off the blocks,” Odom said this week, “because there’s times — the way they play and get to the next level of defenders, which would be our linebackers and sometimes drop down safety — that they can overwhelm you a bit with the way they play in the run game.” Georgia is averaging 272 yards per game on the ground, 13th-best in the nation, and fourth in the SEC. The Bulldogs offensive line leads the way, from left to right: • LT Cade Mays (6-foot-6, 318 pounds) • LG Solomon Kindley (6-4, 335) • OC Lamont Gaillard (6-2, 308) • RG Ben Cleveland (6-6, 335) • RT Isaiah Wilson (6-7, 340) “Our offensive line is   physical, they’re big, they lean on you,” Smart said. “It just wears on you.” The Bulldogs are splitting the carries at the tailback position four ways between leading rusher Elijah Holyfield (200 yards, 9.1 yards per carry), D’Andre Swift (119 yards, 5.0 yards per carry), James Cook (105 yards, 4.8 yards per carry) and Brian Herrien (91 yards, 7.0 yards per carry). Holyfield broke a 66-yard run against Middle Tennessee, and his hard-charging, physical style of play has impressed Smart and Odom. “He practices tough, physical; every day for him is physical,” Smart said. “He’s not a guy you have to motivate. He loves the game. He practices hard …. He likes contact, and he’s a bowling ball. He’s hard to bring down. He’s really tough.” Odom has seen plenty of film of No. 13, too. “He’s a strong runner, he’s got really good quickness on making his first initial jump cut, and then getting back vertical,” Odom said. “.Strong, strong power runner, really good in block protection when they throw the ball when he’s in there, he’s an impressive guy.” Odom said the Tigers, who rank 74th in the nation in total defense (379.7 yards per game) have a challenge on their hands. “We need to tackle well, we need to make sure that we play assignment sound,” Odom said. “When they do throw the ball we have to be good in our coverage zones, either n zone or man to man, we have to have really great eye discipline.” Elijah Holyfield is a physical runner. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images The post Georgia football run game ‘can overwhelm you,’ per Missouri coach Barry Odom appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 787 (Sept. 21, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia coach Kirby Smart and the upcoming game vs. Missouri. Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart’s search for ‘one defining moment’ could come vs. Missouri Beginning of the show: Georgia coach Kirby Smart has spoken before about his belief that UGA needs to overcome some adversity at some point this season if the Bulldogs are to be as good as they were in 2017 and have the same quality of leadership displayed along the way to the College Football Playoff. I’ll talk on the show today about whether the Missouri game will provide that opportunity for UGA. 10-minute mark: I’ll share the Kroger Checklist and discuss the emergence of safety Richard LeCounte. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… 4-star defensive lineman Derick “Rambo” Hunter’s recently released top five Reaction to 4-star defensive lineman — and Florida State commit — Quashon Fuller’s recent tweet about UGA Whether turmoil at Auburn hurts the Tigers’ chances of swaying 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood’s UGA commitment And the latest on 5-star offensive lineman Clay Webb 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers decision to transfer from Auburn, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher’s attempt to become the first former Nick Saban assistant to beat his old boss, and a look at the hype building for the Florida-Tennessee game. 35-minute mark: I discuss why freshman outside linebacker Brenton Cox could emerge as a major contributor for UGA by the end of the season. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown and discuss the likelihood of seeing another stadium emptied early by a dominant UGA performance on the road. The post Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart’s search for ‘one defining moment’ could come vs. Missouri appeared first on DawgNation.