#SportsReport: Red Sox beat the Astros; Bills top the Titans
The Boston Red Sox appear to have stumbled on a formula for beating the Houston Astros.
The Red Sox grabbed an early 9-0 lead for the second straight game, hit another grand slam and throttled the Astros, 12-3 to take a two-games-to-one lead in the AL Championship Series.
Kyle Schwarber hit Boston’s third slam in two games, highlighting a six-run second. The Sox are the first team with three slams in a postseason series.
J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers homered again after belting grand slams on Saturday. Christian Arroyo added a two-run blast in the rout.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez picked up the win after allowing five hits in as many innings, including Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer.
Losing pitcher Jose Urquidy was chased in the second.
Game 4 is Tuesday at Fenway Park.
The San Francisco Giants are hoping catcher Buster Posey has another season left in his 34-year-old body.
The Giants plan to exercise Buster Posey’s $22 million club option for next season as long as the veteran wants to keep playing after a stellar year.
Posey batted .304 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, showing his surgically repaired right hip had finally regained full strength three years post-op. He mentored an overhauled pitching staff and helped the Giants win a team-record 107 regular-season games this year.
All NFL football fans ready to anoint the Buffalo Bills as the best team in the AFC may want to cool their jets for a while.
Derrick Henry scored his third touchdown with 3:05 left before the Titans stopped quarterback Josh Allen on a fourth-down sneak to end the Bills’ four-game winning streak, 34-31. The AFC East-leading Bills drove to the Titans 3 on their final possession and could have sent the game to overtime with a field goal. Instead, they went for the win and turned the ball over on downs with 12 seconds left.
Henry finished with 143 yards, topping 100 for the fifth consecutive game. He also had a 76-yard TD run and a 3-yarder. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill added another TD run against a Buffalo defense that came in third against the run.
Allen finished with 353 yards passing and three TDs.
Both teams are 4-2, one game behind Baltimore for the conference lead.
Browns running back Kareem Hunt will likely miss more than a month with a significant calf injury sustained in Sunday’s loss to Arizona. Coach Kevin Stefanski said Hunt will likely go on injured reserve, which would mean he would have to miss at least three games. Stefanski is also awaiting more medical test results on quarterback Baker Mayfield’s left shoulder, which was re-injured in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
The Seahawks are not ruling out linebacker Darrell Taylor playing next Monday against the Saints despite a neck injury sustained in Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday that both a CT scan and an MRI have shown that Taylor does not have an injury to his neck and may have suffered more of a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.
Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson has been placed on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury suffered in Sunday’s overtime win against the Panthers. The move will force him to miss at least three games, through the injury isn’t believed to be season-ending.
The Falcons have placed right tackle Kaleb McGary on the COVID-19 reserve list. McGary has started 34 of 35 games over his three-year NFL career, but he likely won’t be available when the 2-3 Falcons travel to Miami on Sunday to face the 1-5 Dolphins. Meanwhile, top receiver Calvin Ridley is back at practice after skipping the team’s last game for a personal matter.
Cam Newton says he has received a COVID-19 vaccine and is ready to return to the NFL. The free-agent quarterback was cut by New England just before the season began. He published a video on his YouTube channel saying it’s time to get back into pro football.
Nick Rolovich is out as head football coach at Washington State.
Rolovich and four of his assistants have been fired for refusing a state mandate that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had set a deadline of Monday for thousands of state employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or risk losing their jobs. Rolovich applied for a religious exemption.
Also fired for refusing vaccination were assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber.
The 42-year-old Rolovich was the highest-paid state employee with an annual salary of more than $3 million.
Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will be elevated to acting coach.
The Southeastern Conference has fined Tennessee $250,000 for fans stopping the Vols’ game with Mississippi by throwing debris onto the field late in the game. The league office also announced Monday that Tennessee must meet other standards.
Tennessee’s fine will be deducted from its share of SEC revenue. Every person identified from video throwing debris will be prohibited from attending a Tennessee athletics event for the rest of the 2021-22 academic and athletic year.
Gonzaga spent all of last season atop The Associated Press men’s basketball poll. That’s also where the Bulldogs will begin this season after receiving 55 of 63 first-place votes in the preseason poll released on Monday.
The Zags lost AP All-Americans Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs to the NBA, but second-team selection Drew Timme and starting guard Andrew Nembhard return.
Second-ranked UCLA picked up the remaining eight first-place votes after being unranked at the end of the season. Third-ranked Kansas is followed by Villanova and Texas.
Michigan, Purdue, Baylor, Duke and Kentucky round out the top 10.
In other college basketball news:
ESPN analyst Dick Vitale has announced that he has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time this year. The Basketball Hall of Fame announcer said he has undergone tests that show he has lymphoma. Vitale announced in August that he underwent multiple surgeries to remove melanoma. He was declared cancer-free at the time.
The Memphis Grizzlies have signed Jaren Jackson Jr. to an extension before the NBA deadline. ESPN reported the extension is four years for $105 million.
Jackson has started 117 of his 126 games in three seasons, averaging 15.4 points. He has made 213 3-pointers and blocked 192 shots, the most by an NBA player over his first 126 games.
Also around the NBA:
The Lakers have claimed veteran guard Avery Bradley Jr. off waivers. Bradley played for the Lakers in 2019-20 but opted out prior to the NBA restart in the bubble in Orlando because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hawks have worked out a four-year, $65 million contract extension with guard Kevin Huerter. Huerter’s role has steadily grown since being taken 19th overall in the 2018 draft. He averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and a team-leading 1.2 steals while starting 49 of 69 games last season.
Bucks guard Grayson Allen has signed a multiyear contract extension. He joined the Bucks in an Aug. 7 trade that set guard Sam Merrill and two future second-round draft picks to Memphis. Allen posted career highs averages with 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 50 games for the Grizzlies last season.
Danielle Scott has been promoted to the full-time NBA staff referee roster. The daughter of college basketball officials becomes the sixth woman on the league staff.
Los Angeles County is seeking to compel psychiatric evaluations for Kobe Bryant’s widow and others. The evaluations would be used to determine if they truly suffered emotional distress after first responders took and shared graphic photos from the site of the helicopter crash that killed the basketball star, his teenage daughter and seven others. Vanessa Bryant has claimed in court papers that she has suffered “severe emotional distress.” Kobe Bryant and the others were killed Jan. 26, 2020.
Head coach Dave Hakstol’s return to Philadelphia was a disaster. Four Flyers had multi-point games, with Derick Brassard leading the way with a goal and two assists in a 6-1 rout of Seattle.
Justin Braun, Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee each added a goal and an assist for Philly, which also received goals from Ryan Ellis and Claude Giroux.
Carter Hart stopped 23 shots and blanked Seattle after Carson Soucy scored in the second period.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
The Rangers spoiled Auston Matthews’ season debut by defeating the Maple Leafs, 2-1 in overtime. Artemi Panarin won it at 3:48 of the extra session on a pass from Mika Zibanejad, who scored New York’s first goal. Igor Shesterkin stopped 40 shots and helped the Blueshirts keep Matthews off the scoresheet.
The Blues erupted for five straight goals in a 5:07 span of the second period to blast the Coyotes, 7-4. Jordan Kyrou had two goals and assist for St. Louis, and teammate Klim Kostin scored twice. Pavel Buchnevich scored his first goal since behind acquired by the Blues from the Rangers.
The Ducks pulled out a 3-2 win over the Flames on Jamie Drysdale’s goal 3:26 into overtime. Cam Fowler provided a power-play goal in the win, and Rickard Rakell tied it with 7:05 left in regulation. Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau had the primary assist on goals by Blake Coleman and Elias Lindholm.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury suffered late in Saturday’s overtime win at Washington.
The 2019 Hart Trophy winner appeared to suffer an abdominal or groin injury chasing a puck during the third period.
Kucherov missed all of the 2020-21 regular season after undergoing hip surgery in the offseason. He returned in the playoffs to have eight goals and 32 points, helping the Lightning win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
In other NHL action:
The league has suspended Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. Kane will forfeit about $1.68 million of his $7 million salary and will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at New Jersey. The league also announced that a concurrent investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife could not be substantiated.
Blue Jackets forward Max Domi will miss two to four weeks with a rib fracture suffered in Saturday’s win against Seattle. Domi was playing well after recovering from shoulder surgery on June 4.
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