#SportsReport: Astros Defeat Yankees; Islanders Top Jets
George Springer and Carlos Correa each hit three-run homers and the Houston Astros got another wild ace off the hook to beat the sloppy New York Yankees 8-3 Thursday night and reach the cusp of a second World Series visit in three years.
The Astros lead the AL Championship Series 3-1, putting the 2017 World Series winners on the brink of a showdown with the NL champion Washington Nationals. Houston still has Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole queued up for this series, and the Yankees will have to beat both to survive. Verlander will start Game 5 on Friday night against James Paxton.
In MLB news, Indians catcher Roberto Pérez had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in his right ankle. The team said Pérez underwent the procedure Thursday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 30-year-old Pérez is expected to be fully recovered by spring training in February. Pérez had a career-best season for the Indians, who made him their full-time starter after trading All-Star Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals in November. Pérez batted .239 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs in 119 games. He entered the season with just 21 homers. He also played at a Gold Glove level behind the plate, not allowing a passed ball. Perez threw out a league-high 41 percent of would-be base stealers while handling one of baseball's best pitching staffs. Only Bill Dicky (1931), Al Todd (1937) and Johnny Bench (1975) caught more games than Pérez without committing a passed ball.
Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes injured his right knee in a pileup near the goal line before his Kansas City teammates rallied around their fallen superstar for a 30-6 thrashing of Denver Thursday night. Backup Matt Moore threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs had nine sacks, gave up a season-low 71 yards rushing and snapped a two-game skid in beating the Broncos for the eighth straight time. His balky left ankle heavily taped, Mahomes completed 10 of 11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown before he got hurt on a successful sneak on fourth-and-inches at the Denver 5 early in the second quarter. The Broncos had won two straight after a winless September and were hoping to turn the AFC West upside down by handling the Chiefs their third straight loss.
In NFL news, New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley says he will play Monday night against the New England Patriots barring any setbacks at practice this week. Mosley has been sidelined since injuring his groin during the third quarter of the Jets' season-opening loss to Buffalo. He participated in individual drills Thursday for the first time in his recovery process. Mosley declared after practice that he will be on the field against the Patriots unless he gets hurt before the game. The team had not previously announced that Mosley will return Monday night. Mosley's return would be a huge boost to the Jets' defense. He made an immediate impact for New York in the opener with an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble recovery against the Bills before being injured.
Mathew Barzal scored two power-play goals in the second period and Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves in the New York Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Josh Bailey scored into an empty net with 27 seconds left in the third period to cap New York's third straight victory and seal Winnipeg's third loss in a row.
Kyle Palmieri and Myles Wood scored in the second period, and the New Jersey Devils held off the New York Rangers 5-2 Thursday night to earn their first win of the season. Blake Coleman, Nikita Gusev and P.K. Subban also scored and Matt Tennyson had two assists for the Devils, who came in 0-4-2. Mackenzie Blackwood finished with 29 saves. Tony DeAngelo and Jesper Fast had goals for the Rangers.
Carter Hutton made 47 saves for his second straight shutout, Casey Mittelstadt scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Conor Sheary also scored for the Sabres. Jack Campbell made 21 saves for the Kings, who were shut out in the second straight game and have lost three straight.
Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 4-3. Brayden Point, Mathieu Joseph and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in regulation for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 33 saves.
Carey Price made 17 saves for his first shutout of the season and Victor Mete and Nick Suzuki scored their first NHL goals in a first-period burst in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Joel Armia and Brendan Gallagher also scored and Nick Cousins had an assist in his Montreal debut.
Josh Leivo scored the lone shootout goal in the sixth round and Thatcher Demko stopped 31 shots in regulation and overtime as the Vancouver Canucks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller and Micheal Ferland scored for the Canucks, who won for the first time on the road in three tries this season. Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo and Robby Fabbri scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have dropped three straight.
In NHL news, Vegas Golden Knights forward Valentin Zykov was suspended Thursday for 20 games without pay for a violation of the NHL's performance-enhancing substances program, the league said. The suspension is accompanied by a referral to the league's program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment. The league said it would have no further comment. The Knights said the franchise respects the league's decision. In a statement, Zykov said he would work during the suspension to ensure he would be ready to contribute when he returns. The 24-year-old is the second Knights player to be suspended due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. Defenseman Nate Schmidt was suspended 20 games prior to the start of last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares will be out at least two weeks with a broken finger. The Leafs center suffered the injury late in Wednesday night's loss against the Washington Capitals. Tavares, 29, has three goals and four assists in eight games this season.
Bradley Beal has agreed on a two-year extension worth nearly $72 million with Washington, a major victory for the Wizards and a move that will keep the All-Star guard out of free agency for at least the next three summers. The agreement was confirmed Thursday by Beal's agent, Mark Bartelstein. ESPN first reported the details of the extension. Beal still had two years left on his existing contract. The extension kicks in for the 2021-22 season, has a player option for the following year and means that Beal won't be part of what has been shaping up to be an NBA free-agent extravaganza in the summer of 2021. The Wizards were willing to give Beal a three-year extension that would have been worth about $111 million over three years. Beal went the two-year route and that protects his future options — he could opt out of the deal in the summer of 2022, coinciding with his 10th year in the league. The 10-year milestone is significant: By having that many years of service, Beal would be eligible to sign a new deal worth in excess of $250 million over the next five seasons.
Zion Williamson is undergoing testing and evaluation on a sore right knee and didn’t make the trip to New York to play the Knicks on Friday. Williamson was to have played against former Duke teammate RJ Barrett, the No. 3 pick, in a nationally televised game.
Two-time All-Star forward Luol Deng has signed with the Chicago Bulls and retired as a member of the team that drafted him. The No. 7 overall pick in 2004, Deng averaged 14.8 points and 6.1 rebounds over 15 seasons with Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota. He was part of seven playoff teams.
The Toronto Raptors have signed former Cornell star Matt Morgan after waiving forward Sagaba Konate. Morgan was a member of the Raptors' team at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He averaged 4.3 points in 13.8 minutes in four appearances.
An emotional Michael Jordan unveiled the first of two medical clinics he and his family funded in Charlotte, North Carolina that will provide care to underprivileged members of the community. The six-time NBA champion and Hornets owner was on hand Thursday for the grand opening of the $7 million Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic.
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