Update on the latest sports
No. 8 Auburn pulls away from No. 23 Kentucky, 29-13
UNDATED (AP) — Bo Nix threw for 233 yards and three second-half touchdowns and No. 8 Auburn scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull away from No. 23 Kentucky 29-13 in the season opener.
The Tigers turned a three-quarter scare into a comfortable win by capitalizing on a late turnover and Kentucky’s failed fake punt in the lone Top 25 matchup of the Southeastern Conference’s opening weekend.
Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson returned from a knee injury that cost him most of last season. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 239 yards and ran for 42 yards.
The game was played before a COVID-19-limited crowd of 17,000-plus in Auburn.
In other Top 25 action:
— Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, and Kansas State rallied from 21 points down to beat No. 3 Oklahoma 38-35. Freshman Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Wildcats, who were coming off a season-opening loss to Arkansas State. Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions.
— Kyle Pitts caught four of Kyle Trask’s six touchdown passes and No. 5 Florida spoiled the head coaching debut of Mississippi’s Lane Kiffin with a 51-35 victory. Trask completed 30 of 42 passes for 416 yards including touchdown passes of 1, 16, 71 and 17 yards to Pitts. The star tight end had 170 yards receiving. Trask directed four consecutive touchdown drives that spanned the second and third quarters to build a 41-14 lead for the Gators in their season opener. Kiffin, the former Tennessee and USC head coach who came to Ole Miss from FAU, had the Rebels’ offense humming with quarterback Matt Corral passing for 395 yards.
— Dillon Gabriel threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns to help No. 13 Central Florida beat East Carolina 51-28 to open its American Athletic Conference schedule. Jaylon Robinson and Marlon Williams each had huge games as Gabriel’s top targets for the Knights. Robinson had nine catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Williams had a career-best 13 catches for 136 yards. UCF rolled to 632 yards but committed 19 penalties for 139 yards. Holton Ahlers threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns for the Pirates. ECU was making a delayed start to the season after coronavirus-related scheduling changes.
— Nate Snyder hit a 53-yard field goal on the game’s final play, and No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette survived in a 20-18 Sun Belt Conference win over Georgia Southern. The Ragin’ Cajuns looked on the way to their first loss when Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts hit Khaleb Hood with a 28-yard touchdown pass and Dalton Anderson with a 2-point conversion with 54 seconds left to give the Eagles an 18-17 lead. Quarterback Levi Lewis completed three passes for 47 yards in the final drive to set up the field goal.
— Kenny Pickett threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 21 Pittsburgh sacked Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham seven times in a 23-20 victory. The Panthers moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2014 behind a relentless defense that kept the 24th-ranked Cardinals in check for most of the afternoon. Pitt limited Louisville to 223 total yards, half of its season average coming in. Cunningham left the game on a stretcher late in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury after getting hit on Louisville’s final offensive snap.
NHL-STANLEY CUP FINAL
Quick turnaround for Lightning and Stars
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars return to the ice for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, less than 24 hours after Tampa Bay beat Dallas in overtime of Game 4. This is the first Stanley Cup Final with back-to-back games since 2009 and only the second since the mid-1950s.
Tampa Bay leads the series three games to one and can claim the second Stanley Cup in franchise history with a win Saturday night.
Lakers try to oust pesky Nuggets
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers can reach the NBA Finals by beating the Denver Nuggets Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
Denver will try to prevent that by rallying from a 3-1 series deficit for the third time this postseason. The Nuggets were down 3-1 against both Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, fell far behind in Game 5, and then battled back to not only win the game but eventually the series.
The Lakers have ended both their series in five games. With another win, LeBron James would tie NBA career scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third on the career list with 10 NBA Finals appearances. Only Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Sam Jones have gone to more – 12 for Russell and 11 for Jones.
It would be James’ first with the Lakers after five appearances in Cleveland and four in Miami, and the Lakers’ first trip to the finals since winning the last of their 16 championships in 2010.
LeMahieu batting title, Voit HR crown near as Yanks win
UNDATED (AP) — DJ LaMahieu had his fourth four-hit game and three RBIs to move into position to become the first player to earn undisputed batting titles in both leagues, and the New York Yankees rediscovered their power in a 11-4 win over the Miami Marlins.
LaMahieu raised his average to .359, passing Washington’s Juan Soto for the major league lead and opening a large margin over defending AL batting champion Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox. LeMahieu won the 2016 NL batting title with a .348 average for Colorado.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The New York Mets were eliminated from the playoffs in a mistake-filled 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals in the first game of a doubleheader. The Mets needed to win their three remaining games and receive help from multiple teams to sneak into the final wild-card spot in the expanded playoffs. But New York couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning of a seven-inning game and missed the postseason for the fourth straight year. Andrew Stevenson hit two homers — including one inside the park — for the last-place Nationals, and Max Scherzer worked six solid innings to finish with a winning record for the 11th consecutive season.
Giants release veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants have released veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija (suh-MAHR’-juh), a day after he returned from a lengthy shoulder injury and rehab. Samardzija, an 11-game winner in 2019, was designated for assignment and placed on unconditional release waivers days before his contract was due to expire.
The 35-year-old allowed a two-run homer to Fernando Tatís Jr. among three hits he surrendered in three innings of Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Padres. It was his fourth start of 2020 and first appearance since Aug. 7.
Samardzija signed a $90 million, five-year contract with San Francisco in December 2015, but spent much of his Giants tenure sidelined by injuries.
In other MLB news:
— Major League Baseball has suspended Chicago White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for hitting the Cubs’ Willson Contreras with a pitch. Manager Rick Renteria was suspended for one game, and he and pitching coach Don Cooper were also fined. Renteria expected Cordero to appeal his punishment.
— The Washington Nationals and manager Dave Martinez have agreed to a multiyear contract extension. The team announced the deal Saturday, on his 56th birthday. Martinez led the Nationals to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2019, his second season as the team’s skipper. When he initially was hired, Martinez signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2021 that had not yet been picked up by the Nationals. General manager Mike Rizzo recently was given a three-year extension by the club.
— Four-time All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence announced his retirement following 14 major league seasons. The 37-year-old Pence wrote on his Twitter page: “Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball. Forever thankful and Gr8ful.” Most recently he was a fan favorite for the San Francisco Giants, helping the club to a pair of World Series titles after being acquired in a trade from the Phillies at the 2012 trade deadline.
— The Houston Astros say third base coach Gary Pettis has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and will miss the rest of the 2020 season. The announcement came before Saturday night’s road game against the Texas Rangers. Pettis is 62 and is expected to make a full recovery. He most recently coached third base on Sept. 15 before being sidelined with hip discomfort.
— The San Francisco Giants have released veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija a day after he returned from a lengthy shoulder injury and rehab. Samardzija, an 11-game winner in 2019, was designated for assignment and placed on unconditional release waivers days before his contract was to expire.
Falcons top pick Terrell placed on COVID-19 reserve list
UNDATED (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have placed first-round pick A.J. Terrell on the COVID-19 reserve list.
It’s another blow to the team’s secondary heading into Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. The winless Falcons had already ruled out cornerback Kendall Sheffield because of a foot injury and safety Ricardo Allen with an elbow problem. Now, they’ll face the unbeaten Bears without the No. 16 overall pick out of Clemson. Atlanta promoted linebacker Edmond Robinson and cornerbacks Delrick Abrams Jr. and Tyler Hall from the practice squad.
In other NFL news:
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play before some fans at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team said Saturday that season pass members with continuous membership since 1998 or earlier will have the initial opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets beginning Oct. 1. Starting with the team’s Oct. 18 game against the Green Bay Packers, seating will be approximately 25% of capacity. The decision on limited seating came after Gov. Ron DeSantis moved Florida into the last phase of reopening, and the team took steps to improve stadium safety.
— The San Francisco 49ers have promoted offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu from the practice squad to the active roster and placed running back Tevin Coleman on injured reserve. The 49ers also have activated running back JaMycal Hasty and linebacker Joe Walker from the practice squad to be eligible to play this week against the New York Giants.
Red Wings sign Gagner to 1-year contract extension
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Sam Gagner (GAHN’-yay) to a one-year contract extension. The Red Wings acquired him in a February a trade with Edmonton. In 42 games last season with the Red Wings and Oilers, Gagner had six goals and seven assists.
Gagner turned 31 in August. This was his 13th NHL season. He has 164 goals and 295 assists in 844 games.
Detroit also announced it has signed forward Turner Elson to a one-year extension. The 28-year-old Elson has spent the last three seasons with Grand Rapids of the AHL.
Hamilton takes another pole in dramatic Russian qualifying
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton took a step closer to equaling the Formula One win record on Saturday by clinching the pole position at the Russian Grand Prix, after narrowly avoiding early elimination when Sebastian Vettel crashed.
Hamilton charged to a track-record time of 1 minute, 31.304 seconds, beating the Red Bull of Max Verstappen by .563 for his fifth straight pole position. Hamilton can achieve his 91st career win in the race on Sunday, matching the record held by Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was beaten into third by Verstappen’s fast run at the end of the session and was .652 off Hamilton’s time.