#SportsReport: Rays Beat Mets; Raiders Down Saints | WAMC

#SportsReport: Rays Beat Mets; Raiders Down Saints

Sep 22, 2020

The Rays' magic number is one for clinching the AL East after Nate Lowe hit a solo homer to put Tampa Bay ahead 2-0 in a 2-1 win against the Mets. New York wasted a stellar performance by Jacob deGrom, who struck out 14 over seven innings.

Elsewhere around the majors: 

Rookie Alejandro Kirk fell a triple shy of the cycle while collecting four hits in the Blue Jays' 11-5 rout of the Yankees. Randal Grichuk hit is first homer since Aug. 28 and drove in two runs as Toronto dropped New York 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota for home field in the wild-card round.

Zack Wheeler absorbed his first loss in five decisions this season by allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings of the Phillies' 5-1 setback against the Nationals. Philadelphia fell back to .500 with its first loss in seven games against the defending champs.

The Cleveland Indians have moved closer to an American League playoff berth while stalling the Chicago White Sox's charge to an AL Central title. Carlos Santana's two-run blast snapped a tie and José Ramírez homered again as the Indians downed the White Sox, 7-4. Ramirez has homered five times in his last five games, giving him 16 for the season. Cleveland wasted a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning before reducing their magic number to one for a postseason berth.

Marco Gonzales fired eight shutout innings and Evan White broke the game open with a three-run homer in the seventh inning to guide the Mariners to a 6-1 win over the Astros. Seattle's victory clinched the AL West title for Oakland, ending Houston's three-year run atop the division.

The Cubs were 5-0 winners over the Pirates as Jon Lester scattered four hits over six innings of his first victory since Aug. 11. Kyle Schwarber doubled twice and drove in a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning for Chicago, which finished the game without Kris Bryant because of right lower oblique tightness.

The Reds are above .500 for the first time since opening day following their eighth victory in nine games, 6-3 over the Brewers. Eugenio Suárez hit a two-run homer to back Luis Castillo, who won his fourth straight start by allowing four hits while fanning nine over 6 2/3 innings.

Maikel Franco furnished the go-ahead, two-run single with two out in the sixth inning of the Royals' 4-1 victory against the Cardinals. The Kansas City bullpen pitched shutout ball from the fourth inning on and ended the Redbirds' four-game winning streak.

The Braves fell behind 3-0 before scoring four times in the bottom of the first to beat the Marlins, 5-4. Austin Riley's two-run double capped the early rally and helped Atlanta creep closer to their third straight NL East title, which the Braves can wrap up by Tuesday.

The Rockies damaged the Giants' playoff hopes as Elias Diaz laced a two-run single and Kevin Pillar smacked a solo homer in Colorado's 7-2 victory. German Marquez held San Francisco to a run and five hits over six innings.

Jared Walsh homered for the seventh time in 12 games, a grand slam that highlighted a seven-run fourth in the Angels' 8-5 win over the Rangers. Max Stassi had a two-run single to help Los Angeles win for the 12th time in its last 18 games.

In MLB news: 

The higher seeded team reaching the World Series will have last at-bats in Games 1 and 2 and if needed Games 6 and 7, not necessarily the team with the best record. This year's change means a No. 1 seed from one league with fewer regular-season wins than a lower seed from the other league would have the "homefield advantage" for the World Series should they both win pennants. In the event both pennant winners have the same seed, regular-season winning percentage would decide which team is "home" for the first two games.

Braves pitcher Cole Hamels is done for the season after telling the team that he didn't feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Rockies have shut down third baseman Nolan Arenado for the rest of the regular season because of a sore left shoulder. The loss of the five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner is a big blow for a Rockies team trying to hang in the postseason chase after starting 11-3.

Blue Jays closer Ken Giles will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season and sending him into free agency on an uncertain note. Giles has no record, a 9.82 ERA, and one save in four appearances this season.

NHL

The Stanley Cup final is knotted at a game apiece after the Tampa Bay Lightning rediscovered their power-play touch. The Lightning scored three goals in a 3:53 span of the first period to beat the Dallas Stars, 3-2. Tampa Bay netted back-to-back power-play goals to go ahead for good and break a 1-for-18 skid with the man advantage. Brayden Point opened the scoring 11:23 into the contest, three minutes before Ondrej Palat made it 2-0. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman set up both power-play goals. Kevin Shattenkirk provided the game-winner at the 15:16 mark of the opening period. Goals by Joe Pavelski and Mattias Janmark got Dallas within 3-2, but Andrei Vasilevskiy shut the door over the final 14 1/2 minutes to secure the victory for the Lightning. Game 3 is Wednesday.

The NHL Awards were announced Monday. Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award after recording his second consecutive 100-point season. He netted 43 goals and had a career-high 67 assists for 110 points to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer, edging teammate Connor McDavid. The Hart Trophy is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the Lindsay Award is voted on by members of the NHL Players' Association. Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon finished second in the Hart balloting, just ahead of New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin.

Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck won the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender. Hellebuyck was second in the league with 31 wins while posting a .922 save percentage.

Nashville's Roman Josi got the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman. Josi had a 12-game point streak and broke a team record for blueliners with 65 points.

Colorado defenseman Cale Makar came away with the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Makar produced 12 goals and 50 points with a +12 in 57 games.

In other NHL news: 

The former NHL player and fan favorite Bob Nevin has died. The NHL says he died early Monday but did not give a cause. Nevin won two Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs before a successful run as captain of the New York Rangers. He also played for Minnesota and Los Angeles during a 19-year career. Bob Nevin was 82 years old. 

The Montreal Canadiens announced the death of Albert Langlois, who won three straight Stanley Cups with the team from 1958-60. Langlois also played for the Rangers, Bruins and Red Wings, finishing with 21 goals and 112 points in 497 games from 1957-66. Langlois was 85.

NFL

The Las Vegas Raiders have won their first game in a new hometown. Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes and the Raiders rallied from an early 10-point deficit to beat the Saints, 34-24. Carr was in complete control for most of the night, completing 28 of 38 passes for 282 yards. Darren Waller caught 12 of the passes for 103 yards as Carr's most trusted option. Carr engineered four straight scoring drives in the second and third quarters to turn a 10-0 deficit into a 24-17 lead. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was 26 of 38 for 312 yards with one TD and one interception.

In NFL news:

Giants running back Saquon Barkley will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Barkley was injured during Sunday's loss to the Bears. The team said that the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will undergo surgery in the near future.

The 49ers have contacted the NFL about the conditions of the new artificial playing surface at MetLife Stadium after several players went down with injuries in a victory over the Jets. The 49ers players complained before the game that the turf was "sticky." Those complaints only grew louder after Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman all had knee injuries, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sprained his ankle.

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock could be out until midseason due to a shoulder injury suffered in yesterday's loss to Pittsburgh. The Broncos also lost Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton for the season after he tore an ACL in his left knee against the Steelers. Sutton made the Pro Bowl last season after catching 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns.

Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss "multiple weeks" with a high right ankle sprain he sustained in Carolina's 31-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Vikings four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn pectoral muscle. Barr was hurt before halftime of Minnesota's 28-11 loss Sunday at Indianapolis.

A person with knowledge of the punishment tells The Associated Press that at least three NFL head coaches have been heavily fined for violating the league's rules that they wear face coverings on the sideline. The person says Denver's Vic Fangio, San Francisco's Kyle Shanahan and Seattle's Pete Carroll were each docked $100,000. Their teams were fined $250,000 each.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft likely won't face trial in Florida for allegedly soliciting a prostitute. Florida prosecutors say they will not appeal a court ruling throwing out video recordings allegedly showing Kraft paying for massage parlor sex acts last year. The recordings are the only known evidence against them.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

UMass says it will play football this fall, reversing an August decision to postpone the season until the spring. One of few independents in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the school says it will start in mid-October. Games still need to be scheduled, which could be a challenge since most leagues are playing a limited number of nonconference games, if any.

In other college football news, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders has been hired as Jackson State's football coach. This will be Sanders' first head coaching job. He replaces John Hendrick and will take over the Tigers this spring. The Southwestern Athletic Conference school postponed fall sports because of the pandemic.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men's basketball program. The school is requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified. The university is also challenging the charge that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program. The university filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. It states that college sports' governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme by suggesting they were representing Louisville's athletic interests.

NASCAR

Denny Hamlin is starting his own race car team in partnership with Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and Bubba Wallace as the driver. The three-time Daytona 500 winner and top contender for this year's Cup title made the announcement on social media. The team will be a single-car Toyota entry aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin said additional details would be forthcoming. Wallace is the only Black driver at NASCAR's top level. Meanwhile, Ross Chastain has snagged one of the coveted open Cup seats in a promotion at Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 next season. The car has been filled by Matt Kenseth, who came out of retirement to drive after Kyle Larson was fired in April.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic beat Diego Schwartzman in straight sets to win his fifth Italian Open title. He also passed childhood idol Pete Sampras for the second-most weeks at No. 1 with 287. Top-seeded Simona Halep won her first Rome title after Karolína Plíšková retired midway through the women's final with a left thigh injury.

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