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Sports Report: Blue Jays Advance To ALCS Against Royals


The top two teams in the American League this season will square off in the AL championship series. The Toronto Blue Jays have advanced by becoming the third team in major league history to win a best-of-five playoff round after dropping the first two games at home. And the Kansas City Royals are in following their second straight comeback victory against the Astros.

Jose Bautista smashed a tiebreaking homer and the Blue Jays took advantage of a pair of Texas errors while scoring four runs in the seventh inning of a 6-3 win over the Rangers. Texas led 3-2 until errors by shortstop Elvis Andrus and first baseman Mitch Moreland put runners on first and second with nobody out. Andrus immediately made another error to load the bases before Josh Donaldson hit into a fielder's choice that scored the tying run. Bautista followed with a three-run homer, a 442-foot blast over the center field fence.

The Jays' rally came a half-inning after a bizarre play allowed the Rangers to take the lead. With Rougned Odor at third and two out, Toronto catcher Russell Martin's return throw to the pitcher accidentally hit the batter Shin-Soo Choo's bat and ricocheted away. Odor scored and Martin was charged with an error on the play.

The call set off a virulent response by the pro-Toronto crowd at Rogers Centre. Play was delayed for 18 minutes and fans threw cans and objects onto the field. Toronto manager John Gibbons argued the call before letting umpires know his team would play the game under protest.

Aaron Sanchez picked up the win after Jays starter Marcus Stroman gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. Stroman served up Choo's solo homer in the top of the third.

Roberto Osuna struck out four in picking up a five-out save.

Cole Hamels took the loss, charged with five runs — two earned — and just four hits, fanning eight over 6 1/3 innings.

The Jays haven't played in a championship series since 1993, when they knocked off the White Sox before beating the Phillies to win their second straight World Series.

The Royals are back in the ALCS for the second straight year following a 7-2 win over Houston in Game 5 of their division series. Alex Rios supplied a tiebreaking, two-run double in the fifth, Kendrys (KEHN'-drees) Morales added a three-run homer and Johnny Cueto was outstanding over his seven innings on the mound.

Kansas City trailed 2-1 in the fifth until Rios hit a two-run double off reliever Mike Fiers. Rios came around to score on Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly. Morales capped the scoring with a blast off Dallas Keuchel in the eighth, allowing Royals fans to breathe easier.

Cueto held the Astros to two hits while striking out eight over the first seven innings. Cueto's only mistake was a two-run homer to Luis Valbuena in the top of the second. He retired all 16 hitters he faced following the home run.

Astros starter and loser Collin McHugh left the game with two runners on and a 2-1 lead in the fifth. McHugh was charged with three runs on five hits in four-plus innings.

Game 1 of the ALCS is Friday in Kansas City.

Right-hander Jacob deGrom will get the start for the New York Mets tonight in a deciding Game 5 in the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Righty Zack Greinke will head to the mound for the Dodgers. The Mets are seeking their first playoff series win since 2006, which was also the last time they were in the postseason. The winner will face the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS at home starting Saturday.


In the NHL, Boston tripled up Colorado 6-2, Philadelphia blanked Chicago 3-0, Ottawa bested Columbus 7-3, and it was Arizona over Anaheim 4-0.


Tonight on Thursday Night Football, Atlanta takes on New Orleans at 8:25 p.m.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice for the first time since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a win over the Rams at St. Louis last month. Roethlisberger took part in noncontact seven-on-seven passing drills and appears to be on course to beat the original timetable of missing six weeks. However, he is not expected to play in Sunday's game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

Bills starting safety Aaron Williams will miss at least eight weeks because of a neck injury after being placed on the reserve-injured designated to return list. The move comes after Williams aggravated the injury and missed a few plays in a 14-13 win at Tennessee on Sunday.

A former NFL lineman from Pennsylvania who died of suicide in May at 25 had the brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, researchers have confirmed. Adrian Robinson Jr.'s diagnosis was confirmed through officials at the NFL brain bank at Boston University. A family lawyer says Robinson had several concussions during two seasons in the league.

Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Sam Adams has died in Houston at the age of 67 after an undisclosed illness. Adams joined the Patriots in 1972. He spent most of his NFL career with New England, finishing with New Orleans in 1981.


In NBA preseason play, Boston topped Brooklyn 109-105, Charlotte beat the Clippers 113-71, Minnesota edged Toronto 89-87, Detroit won against Chicago 114-91, and it was Atlanta over San Antonio 100-86.

A Nevada brothel is providing details of Lamar Odom's days-long visit that ended when he was found unconscious there on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof, says it was Odom's first visit to the brothel, adding that the former NBA star scheduled his stay more than a week ago and on Saturday asked for a ride, arriving at about 4:30 p.m. Spokesman Richard Hunter says Odom spent an amount beyond five figures, and authorities say Odom took over-the-counter sexual performance enhancers during his stay.

Hunter says Odom reported doing cocaine before his visit and knew the brothel had a strict anti-drug policy. He says the women who work there are trained to "stop the party" if drugs are seen.

Odom is on life support at a Las Vegas hospital after being found unconscious at the Crystal, Nevada, brothel.


Toronto FC beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 last night to clinch its first playoff appearance. Sebastian Giovinco scored his 22nd goal of the season for Toronto FC. Shaun Wright-Phillips scored for New York in the 86th minute. The Red Bulls are five points ahead of Toronto FC for first place in the East with two games remaining on their schedule.


South Africa's Department of Corrections says a parole board has decided that OscarPistorius can be released from prison and moved to house arrest on Tuesday.

The parole board made the decision Thursday after an initial decision to release the double-amputee runner in August was canceled.

The Olympic runner has served nearly a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He will be moved to correctional supervision, a form of house arrest where he will have to live under certain conditions.

Under South African law, an offender sentenced to five years or less in jail can be released after serving one-sixth — in Pistorius' case 10 months.

©2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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