Update on the latest sports
Astros force Game 7, Dodgers force Game 6
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Astros have forced a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series, three days after falling behind three-games-to-none.
The Astros put together a four-run fifth and coasted to a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay. Houston trailed 1-0 until George Springer poked a two-run single and scored on Jose Altuve’s (al-TOO’-vayz) double.
Carlos Correa finished with three hits, including an RBI single to complete the fifth-inning rally.
Kyle Tucker padded Houston’s lead with a leadoff homer in the sixth and added a sacrifice fly.
Manuel Margot (mahn-WEHL’ mahr-GOH’) drove in three with a pair of homers for the Rays after the Astros went ahead, 7-1.
Astros starter Framber (FRAHM’-bur) Valdez was outstanding over six innings, limiting the Rays to a run and two hits while striking out nine. Valdez blanked Tampa Bay after Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) hit an RBI double in the second.
Blake Snell took the loss, yielding two runs and three hits in four-plus innings.
The Astros are the second team to force a Game 7 in a best-of-seven series after dropping the first three contests.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers forced a Game 6 in the National League Championship Series with a 7-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta reliever with the same name and Corey Seager homered twice. Blake Treinen, the third of seven Dodgers pitchers and the Game 1 loser, pitched two perfect innings for the win. Kenley Jansen ended it by striking out the side in the ninth.
Game 6 is Saturday afternoon, with a pitching rematch from the series opener: lefty Max Fried (freed) for the Braves and right-hander Walker Buehler for the Dodgers. Both gave up one run in Game 1, which Atlanta won 5-1 after a four-run ninth.
Ex-Angels employee indicted in Tyler Skaggs’ fatal overdose
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a former Los Angeles Angels director of communications in Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ fatal drug overdose. The indictment Thursday in Fort Worth charges Eric Prescott Kay with drug distribution and drug conspiracy.
Skaggs was found dead in his suburban Dallas hotel room on July 1, 2019, before a game against the Texas Rangers.
A coroner says Skaggs choked to death on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the drugs fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.
Jaguars working remotely after positive COVID-19 test
UNDATED (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are the latest NFL team dealing with a positive COVID-19 test.
The Jaguars released a statement Saturday saying a practice squad player was confirmed as testing positive for the coronavirus a day earlier. The player has been quarantined, and the team is reviewing contact tracing data to determine what further precautions need to be taken.
Jacksonville decided to hold football activities remotely Saturday as part of NFL protocols.
The Jaguars host Detroit on Sunday and plan to play as scheduled.
New England canceled practice Friday and later placed center James Ferentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He became the fifth player on the team to test positive for the virus.
In Indianapolis, there were four positive tests that came up negative upon retesting.
Atlanta returned to its facility one day after abandoning it when the Falcons had a second positive.
Falcons’ Jones returns to practice
UNDATED (AP) — Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones returned to practice as a limited participant Friday and hopes to play Sunday when the Falcons visit the Vikings.
Jones has played just one half of the last three games because of a hamstring injury. Friday marked the first day he was able to get on the field in the last two weeks.
NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook will sit out Minnesota’s game against Atlanta because of a groin injury, giving Alexander Mattison the opportunity for his first career start at running back.
In other NFL injury news:
— Packers coach Matt LaFleur says wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Kenny Clark will be “ready to go” Sunday at Tampa Bay. Both players have missed multiple games with injuries.
— The Lions have ruled out cornerback Desmond Trufant for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville and have put tight end Hunter Bryant on injured reserve. Trufant is out with a hamstring injury. Bryant has dealt with hamstring and concussion issues.
Mustangs rally yo stay unbeaten
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — SMU fought off an upset bid before keeping their perfect record intact.
Brandon Crossley ended the first overtime possession with an interception and Chris Naggar (nah-GAHR’) made a 34-yard field goal to give the 17th-ranked Mustangs a 37-34 victory over Tulane.
Crossley intercepted Tulane freshman Michael Pratt’s pass to put the Mustangs in position to win with the field goal.
The Green Wave rallied to force overtime on Merek Glover’s 27-yard field goal with 1:30 left.
After Tulane took a 31-27 lead early in the fourth quarter on Pratt’s 7-yard touchdown, the Mustangs pulled ahead, 34-31 on Shane Buechele’s (boo-SHEHLZ’) 10-yard pass to Danny Gray.
Buechele completed 23 of 37 passes for 384 yards and two touchdowns for the 5-0 Mustangs.
In other top-25 action:
— Zach Wilson threw four touchdowns and finished 25 of 35 for 400 yards as No. 14 BYU rallied for a 43-26 win at Houston. Dax Milne caught nine passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns to help BYU improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2008. Down 12, Wilson found Milne for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 53 seconds remaining in the third.
Another SEC postponement
UNDATED (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has postponed next week’s game between Missouri and No. 10 Florida, the third league contest moved this week because of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive for the coronavirus and dozens more quarantined because of contract tracing. That left them with fewer than the conference-mandated 53 scholarship players available Saturday against defending national champion LSU.
Also in college football:
— Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested negative in a follow-up test for COVID-19, leaving open the possibility of a return to the sideline Saturday for the Georgia game. If he tests negative again Friday and Saturday, Saban would be allowed on the sidelines for the second-ranked Crimson Tide’s game with No. 3 Georgia Saturday night.
Kings sign Byfield
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have signed No. 2 overall draft pick Quinton Byfield to a three-year contract.
The 18-year-old Byfield is likely to play another year of junior hockey before he joins the NHL. But the Kings haven’t ruled out anything with their top prospect before he attends his first training camp.
Byfield became the highest-drafted Black player in NHL history when Los Angeles chose him earlier this month.
In other NHL news:
— The Maple Leafs have signed 41-year-old forward Joe Thornton to a one-year, $700,000 contract. The six-time all star and 2006 Hart Memorial Trophy has played 1,636 regular-season games with the Bruins and San Sharks, collecting 420 goals and 1509 points. Thornton had seven goals and 31 points in 70 games for the Sharks last season.
Schauffele sizzles late to take CJ Cup lead
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Xander Schauffele (SHOW’-flee) dominated the back nine in taking a three-shot lead over Tyrrell Hatton in the second round of the PGA’s CJ Cup.
Schauffele made seven birdies over an eight hole stretch, including six in a row. The birdie run gave him a career-best 29 on the back nine and an 8-under 64 for the day.
Hatton rallied to close with a pair of birdies for a 68 after entering the round with a one-stroke lead.
Russell Henley was another shot back at 10-under following a 68.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
First round of PGA Tour Champions postponed by rain
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The first round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic was postponed Friday because of rain.
The 54-hole tournament at the Country Club of Virginia was to be Phil Mickelson’s second start on the PGA Tour Champions. He won his debut on the over-50 tour at Ozarks National in August.
NCAA penalizes UMass for violations in basketball, tennis
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA is stripping the University of Massachusetts of victories in men’s basketball and women’s tennis for overpaying 12 athletes about $9,100 in financial aid over three years.
The NCAA announced Friday it had imposed a two-year probation on UMass that will end October 2022, It’s also vacating results involving athletes who received what were determined to be inappropriate benefits. UMass plans to appeal the committee’s decision to vacate victories from 2014-17 that include 59 basketball wins and an Atlantic 10 Conference championship in women’s tennis.
UMass plans to appeal the committee’s decision.