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#SportsReport: Red Sox defeat the Yankees; Pau Gasol retiring

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MLB:

The Boston Red Sox have earned themselves a few days in Florida.

The Bosox have moved into the AL Division Series by thumping the Yankees, 6-2 in the wild-card game. Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber belted early homers and Alex Verdugo drove in three runs to back a sterling performance by Nathan Eovaldi.

Bogaerts set the tone with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, two innings before Schwarber's solo blast. Verdugo padded Boston's lead with an RBI double and a two-run single.

Eovaldi allowed a run and four hits while striking out eight over 5 1/3 innings, blanking New York until Anthony Rizzo homered in the sixth.

Gerrit Cole was pulled with two on and no out in the third, charged with three runs and four hits.

Giancarlo Stanton had three of New York's six hits, including a ninth-inning homer.

The ALDS begins Thursday in St. Petersburg as the Bosox take on the league-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay left-hander Shane McClanahan will start Game 1 of the Rays’ AL Division Series against the Red Sox.

Rookie Shane Baz will take the mound for Game 2 on Friday night. Depending on bullpen use in the opening two games, manager Kevin Cash said Drew Rasmussen is the “highly likely” Game 3 starter.

In other playoff news:

Astros left-hander Framber Valdez will start Game 2 of the ALDS against the White Sox, following Game 1 starter Lance McCullers Jr. Valdez won a career-high 11 games this season with 125 strikeouts and a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts. Chicago manager Tony La Russa hasn’t named his starting pitchers.

Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes will start Game 1 of the NL Division Series with the Braves on Friday. Milwaukee also says that right-hander Brandon Woodruff will start Game 2 on Saturday. The Braves are going with right-hander Charlie Morton for the opener and left-hander Max Fried for Game 2.

Two missing Dodgers pitchers earn nearly as much as the entire Rays’ major league roster heading into the playoffs. The defending champion Dodgers currently have more than three times the payroll of the Rays, the team they beat in last year’s World Series. The Dodgers had a major league-high $260.9 million payroll on Aug. 31.

The Colorado Rockies have agreed to deals with right-hander Antonio Senzatela and first-baseman C.J. Cron.

Senzatela’s five-year, $50.5 million contract includes a club option for 2027. He was 4-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 28 starts last season.

Cron will return on a two-year, $14.5 million deal. He hit .281 with a team-leading 28 homers after signing a free-agent deal last February.

Also in the majors:

Shortstop Alcides Escobar has agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract to stay with the Nationals. Escobar batted .288 with 21 doubles, two triples, four homers and 28 RBIs in 75 games with the Nationals after signing with the club in July. The 2015 All-Star is a lifetime .259 hitter with 245 doubles and 470 RBIs over 12 major league seasons.

Former major league player and general manager Eddie Robinson has died at age 100. Robinson had been the oldest former big leaguer, the last surviving member of the Cleveland Indians’ 1948 World Series championship team. He played 13 years in the majors and was GM of the Rangers from 1976-82.

NBA:

Kyrie Irving didn’t practice with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, again remaining away from the team amid questions about his availability to play in New York because of the city’s vaccine mandate.

Coach Steve Nash had no further update about the status of his All-Star guard but said the team supports him.

Irving hasn’t said if he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, asking for privacy when pressed about his status during the team’s media day on Sept. 27. He wasn’t with his teammates that day at Barclays Center, instead appearing via Zoom.

New York has a mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for athletes who play in or practice in the city.

Also in the NBA:

Pau Gasol has announced his retirement from basketball, ending a career of more than two decades that earned him two NBA titles and a world championship gold with Spain’s national team. The 41-year-old Gasol had already announced his farewell from international basketball in August after Spain lost to the United States in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics. Gasol won his two NBA titles with the Lakers.

Tuesday's exhibition game between the Bucks and Grizzlies in Memphis was suspended after three quarters when a fire alarm went off, leading to evacuation of FedExForum. The Grizzlies were leading 87-77 in the preseason opener for both teams. Officials said the problem was a false alarm caused by a sprinkler in a non-public area.

NFL:

The Kansas City Chiefs are adding Josh Gordon to their 53-man roster and the wide receiver is expected to play in Sunday night’s AFC title game rematch against the Buffalo Bills.

The Chiefs signed Gordon to the practice squad last week with the assumption that he would join the active roster when he learned enough of the playbook. He had just been reinstated by the NFL following his sixth suspension for violations of league policies. The Chiefs hope his size and athleticism provide another option alongside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in their passing offense.

In other NFL news:

The Cowboys are releasing linebacker Jaylon Smith in what could be considered a cost-cutting move because of a guaranteed salary next season in the case of an injury. Smith’s role had been reduced with the presence of rookie Micah Parsons and the move of Keanu Neal to linebacker from safety.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan has publicly reprimanded head coach Urban Meyer for what he called “inexcusable” behavior at an Ohio bar over the weekend. Meyer’s actions were captured on video and released on social media, one showing a young woman dancing close to Meyer’s lap as he sits on a bar stool. A second, more damning video appears to show Meyer touching the woman’s behind.

A person with knowledge of the deal says the Dolphins have traded wide receiver and returner Jakeem Grant to the Bears. Grant for a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft.

NCAA:

The NCAA Division I Council has approved a one-year waiver that will allow football teams to sign up to seven players to replace those that leave the program. The move is intended to address a growing number of transfers.

Current NCAA rules state a team can sign no more than 25 players to a scholarship in any year. But more players are switching teams and a bonus year of eligibility was granted to athletes who competed during the pandemic last year. That has coaches worried they will not be able to replenish their rosters.

GOLF:

The LPGA says Chevron has agreed to a six-year deal as title sponsor of the event currently known as the ANA Inspiration. Chevron takes over in 2023 and plans to move the tournament near company headquarters in Houston.

Next April will be the end of 40 years of the only women’s major played on the same course at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.

INDYCAR:

The IndyCar future of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato is in doubt after Rahal Letterman Lanigan said the Japanese driver won’t return to the team next year.

Sato has raced in IndyCar since 2010 following seven seasons in Formula One. The Tokyo native has driven for Rahal the last four years, capturing the 2020 Indy 500 among his four victories for the team.

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