Update on the latest sports
Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video. He said he felt something in his elbow during a recent simulated game, consulted with doctors and determined that the surgery would be the best option.
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
No. 11 Oklahoma State survives against Tulsa, 16-7
UNDATED (AP) — Chuba Hubbard was limited to 35 yards in the first half but scored on a 3-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to lift No. 11 Oklahoma State to a 16-7 victory over Tulsa in the season opener for both teams.
Trailing 7-3 late in the third quarter, Oklahoma State received a big offensive spark when the Cowboys’ third quarterback, true freshman Shane Illingworth, entered the game. Freshman Alex Hale made three field goals for Oklahoma State. For Tulsa, Zach Smith completed 18 of 28 passes for 164 yards and one touchdown, a 16-yard toss to Josh Johnson with 1:38 left in the first half.
The Cowboys lost starting quarterback Spencer Sanders with an apparent right ankle injury late in the first half after he completed 2 of 2 passes for 23 yards and gained nine yards on five rushes. Ethan Bullock, a junior college transfer from the City College of San Francisco, stepped in and was 8 of 13 for 41 yards but had trouble moving the ball.
In other Top 25 results:
— Gerrid Doaks scored four touchdowns, including a career-high three rushing TDs, and No. 13 Cincinnati beat Austin Peay (pee) 55-20 in the Bearcats’ season opener. Desmond Ridder passed for 196 yards and two TDs for Cincinnati in a game that originally was scheduled for Sept. 3. It was the latest start for a Bearcats season since 1968 when they played at Texas Tech on Sept. 21. Cincinnati has high hopes for this year after it went 11-3 last season and ranked No. 21 in the final AP poll. It quickly jumped all over the Governors. Austin Peay won’t play again until spring when the Ohio Valley Conference plans to play a seven-game league schedule.
— Elijah Mitchell rushed for 164 yards, including the winning touchdown in overtime, and No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette beat Georgia State 34-31. The Ragin’ Cajuns were ranked for the first time since 1943 following last week’s 20-point win at Iowa State. Louisiana-Lafayette was a 17-point favorite, but couldn’t seal the victory until Mitchell scampered 12 yards around right end for the final score.
— Kenny Pickett threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and No. 25 Pittsburgh’s defense did the rest as the Panthers beat Syracuse 21-10. Pitt limited the Orange to 171 total yards, 69 of them coming on backup quarterback Rex Culpepper’s second-quarter touchdown strike to a streaking Taj Harris. Otherwise, Syracuse mustered very little against the Panthers’ dominant front seven. The Panthers sacked Culpepper and starter Tommy DeVito seven times, rarely letting the quarterbacks get comfortable. Pitt has won 14 of its last 16 meetings with the Orange.
Big Ten releases its football schedule
UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten has released the schedule for its eight-week football season that will start the weekend of Oct. 24.
Week 1 features Nebraska at Ohio State, two teams that were at the forefront of the grassroots push to play fall ball in the Big Ten. Michigan will play at Minnesota in the Little Brown Jug rivalry to open the season. In Week 2, Ohio State will play at Penn State on Halloween. The regular season concludes as usual with the Buckeyes and Wolverines facing off on Dec. 12. Michigan and Ohio State have played 103 times, but never later than November.
The Big Ten championship game will be played Dec. 19 in Indianapolis, matching the east and West Division champions. The conference has said it will give all its teams the opportunity to play on Dec. 19. The tentative plan is to match teams with similar finishes in the respective division standings.
Last month the Big Ten decided against playing football in the fall because of concerns about COVID-19. It reversed that decision this week.
In other college football news:
— Florida State coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach the Seminoles in-person this week as they prepare for Miami. Norvell released a statement Saturday saying he tested positive a day earlier but is feeling fine. He said his wife and daughter tested negative Saturday. Florida State athletic director David Coburn said Norvell is isolating, which lasts a minimum of 10 days. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen is taking over Norvell’s duties, but the first-year head coach said he still intends to remain involved. Florida State lost its season opener at home to Georgia Tech last week and was off Saturday. The Seminoles play at the rival Hurricanes next Saturday.
NHL-STANLEY CUP FINAL
Stars and Lightning meet in Game 1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning face off Saturday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Stars are in the final for the first time since 2000. The Lightning eliminated the Islanders in six games in the Eastern Conference final to join them. They last got to this point in 2015.
It’s a matchup of teams that turn defense into offense. The Stars and Lightning both have defensemen who can provide plenty of points. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen is the Stars’ leading scorer this postseason with five goals and 17 assists. Dallas defensemen have combined for 13 goals and 40 assists, the most points during a postseason in franchise history.
Victor Hedman has six goals in Tampa Bay’s last eight games. His nine goals are the most by a Lightning defenseman in the postseason, and three shy of the NHL record.
Tampa Bay has several key players dealing with injuries, including captain Steven Stamkos, who has been ruled out for Game 1.
Ryan Blaney hopes to avoid playoff elimination at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Blaney is determined to avoid elimination from the NASCAR playoffs — a daunting task that just might require an outright win Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, where four drivers will be knocked from title contention.
Blaney has plummeted to last in the 16-driver field. William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Blaney are the four drivers below the cutline headed into the knockout race. It marks a collapse for Blaney, who spent 13 weeks ranked fourth or higher in the Cup standings and was seventh at the start of the playoffs.
Officials have sold all 30,000 tickets available to spectators.
Djokovic loses his cool again during win at Italian Open
ROME (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) lost his cool again less than two weeks after getting defaulted from the U.S. Open. This time it came midway through a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer in the Italian Open quarterfinals.
Djokovic slammed his racket to the red clay in anger after getting broken at love to even the second set at 3-3. Djokovic had to get a new racket and received a warning from the chair umpire. The 97th-ranked Koepfer, who screamed at himself in frustration throughout the match, was also warned fr misbehavior early in the third set.
Djokovic’s semifinal opponent will be Casper Ruud, who eliminated local favorite Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 57 minutes.
Top-seeded Simona Halep became the first semifinalist at the Italian Open after Kazakh opponent Yulia Putintseva retired midway through their quarterfinal match due to a lower back injury. Halep was ahead 6-2, 2-0 when Putintseva decided she was in too much pain to continue. Putintseva had already taken an off-court medical timeout between sets.
CYCLING-TOUR DE FRANCE
21-year-old Slovenian set to win Sunday
LA PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, France (AP) — A 21-year-old from Slovenia is all but guaranteed to become the youngest post-World War II winner of the Tour de France.
Tadek Pogacar will roll into Paris Sunday in what is traditionally a ceremonial last stage with a lead of 59 seconds over fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic. Australian Richie Porte will complete the podium.
Not since British riders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished 1-2 at the 2012 Tour has one nation taken the top two spots.
Ky. Derby winner Authentic works out in prep for Preakness
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authentic has had his first major workout since winning the Kentucky Derby as he prepares for the Preakness next month.
The 3-year-old completed five furlongs in 59.20 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia on Saturday at Churchill Downs, where he has remained since his Derby victory on Sept. 5. Authentic’s time was the fastest of 38 horses at the distance.
Trainer Bob Baffert said Authentic has been handling things well after the Derby.
Baffert’s other horse, Thousand Words, went five furlongs in 1:02.40 under jockey Florent Geroux. Thousand Words was scratched in the paddock from the Derby after he reared up and fell on his side.
Baffert said both of his horses would complete one more workout before shipping to Baltimore for the Preakness on Oct. 3.
Art Collector, who was knocked out of the Derby because of a minor injury before he could be entered, went five furlongs in 59.40 — the second-fastest behind Authentic — with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. Art Collector is likely to be among the favorites for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.