Another series-ending Game 5
HOUSTON (AP) – A day after two National League Division Series ended with Game 5s, another will close out the American League Division Series between Houston and Tampa Bay.
Astros ace Gerrit Cole takes a franchise-record 17 straight decisions into his start Thursday night in Houston.
Cole is 17-0 in 23 starts since a May 22 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He has allowed 92 hits over 154 1/3 innings during that span, striking out 241 and walking 32. That includes an outstanding outing in a 3-1 Game 2 win over the Rays, when he struck out 15, didn't walk a batter until his final one, and allowed four hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Tyler Glasnow starts for the Rays after taking a 6-2 loss in the opener, when he gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, including José Altuve's go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth.
Both starters came up with the Pirates organization and were teammates in Pittsburgh from 2016-17.
Yanks' Hicks could start in ALCS; Sabathia may be on roster
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Hicks is an option to start for the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series opener, and CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-uh) also remains in contention for a roster spot.
Hicks hasn’t played since Aug. 3 because of a right elbow flexor strain. Sabathia missed the Division Series sweep of Minnesota because of a sore pitching shoulder.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday these are "tough decisions" and the team will have to see "what kind of makes the most sense."
New York used the same starting lineup in all three games against Minnesota, only the second time this year Boone has done that in three straight games. The Yankees open the ALCS on Saturday against Houston or Tampa Bay.
Phillies fire manager Gabe Kapler in hyped season gone wrong
UNDATED (AP) — The Phillies have fired Gabe Kapler, nearly two weeks after disappointing finish to a season of big expectations.
Kapler was dismissed Thursday after going 161-163 in two seasons. Philadelphia failed to live up to the hype following an offseason spending spree highlighted by Bryce Harper's arrival. The team went 81-81, its first nonlosing season since 2012.
The Phillies were only two games behind in the NL wild-card standings after beating Atlanta on Sept. 18 but lost eight of the next nine, including a five-game sweep at Washington. They finished eight games behind Milwaukee for the second wild card and 16 behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.
Last year, the Phillies had a one-game lead in the division on Aug. 11 before going 15-31 the rest of the way.
In other baseball news:
— Mel Stottlemyre Jr. has been retained as the Miami Marlins' pitching coach for 2020 after guiding a young staff that ranked 20th in the majors in ERA this year. The Marlins also retained first base coach Trey Hillman. He and Stottlemyre both joined manager Don Mattingly's staff this year. Third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, a former manager for the Atlanta Braves, was not retained.
Jaguars owner expects Jalen Ramsey to play against Saints
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan expects cornerback Jalen Ramsey to play this week.
Khan told a financial news site, The Street, he had a “heart to heart” with the disgruntled defender earlier this week and said Ramsey is scheduled to play against New Orleans.
Ramsey was slated to practice for a second consecutive day Thursday after missing seven straight because of illness, back tightness and the birth of his second daughter. His back caused him to miss the past two games. He saw a specialist Monday in Houston.
In other NFL news:
— Saints linebacker Demario Davis says being fined for wearing his "Man of God" headband helped his cause in the long run. Davis says he'd worn the headband expressing his faith for several games before the NFL took note of the uniform violation and fined him about $7,000. The New Orleans defensive captain was able to successfully appeal the fine by arguing that he was not aware that expressing his faith in that way violated NFL policies. Davis said he intended to sell the headbands to raise money for a hospital in his home state of Mississippi. He agreed not to wear it again during games.
Irving aggravates injury, Nets hold off Lakers in Shanghai
SHANGHAI (AP) — Kyrie Irving flew halfway around the world to play for 66 seconds.
Irving aggravated his facial fracture shortly after tip-off in his preseason debut for the Brooklyn Nets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 in the debut of this year's two-game NBA China Games series on Thursday in Shanghai.
Irving tried to play through his left-side facial fracture, an injury that occurred in a pickup game last month. He was wearing a clear mask in an effort to protect his face, but bumped into Rondo while playing defense just 1:06 into the contest.
Irving's face made contact with Rondo's upper arm. The Nets guard immediately winced in pain, took the mask off and motioned to the bench that he needed a substitute.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who replaced Irving, led the Nets with 20 points and Taurean Prince finished with 18 for Brooklyn. LeBron James scored 20 points for the Lakers, who got 18 from Rajon Rondo and 16 from Anthony Davis.
The game was played after several events to promote the NBA's annual appearance in China were called off amid a rift between China's government and the league.
Martinook expected to miss 6-8 weeks with core injury
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a core muscle injury.
General manager Don Waddell said Thursday that Martinook will have surgery Friday to repair the injury.
Martinook has an assist in four games this season, his second with the team and first as an alternate captain. He had a career-best 15 goals plus 10 assists while playing all 82 regular-season games with Carolina a year ago, then added four assists in 10 playoff games.
Simone Biles wins 5th all-around title at gymnastics worlds
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Simone Biles won her fifth all-around title at the gymnastics world championships Thursday, underlining her status as the clear favorite for next year's Olympic gold medal.
The U.S. gymnast scored 58.999 points to finish 2.1 points ahead of China's Tang Xijing, who was entered as a late replacement for a teammate.
Angelina Melnikova of Russia was third on 56.399.
No other woman has won more than three all-around titles. Biles' victory makes it seven wins in a row for the United States in the women's all-around, matching the Soviet Union's record streak at world championships in the 1970s and 1980s.
Biles' U.S. teammate Sunisa Lee placed second in qualifying, but her hopes of a medal were dashed when she came off the uneven bars. She finished eighth.
Boxer Errol Spence seriously injured in Dallas Ferrari crash
DALLAS (AP) — Authorities say welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence crashed a speeding Ferrari in Dallas and is badly injured but expected to survive.
Police say the crash happened just before 3 a.m. Thursday when Spence's Ferrari crossed the median into oncoming traffic and flipped over several times.
Spence was taken to a hospital where he was in the intensive care unit Thursday morning. Police say they're still investigating the cause of the crash but note the Ferrari was speeding at the time.
Last month, the former U.S. Olympian added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR-NCAA SANCTIONS
Mary Hardin-Baylor to vacate 2016 Division III championship
BELTON, Texas (AP) — The NCAA has ordered Mary Hardin-Baylor to vacate its 2016 Division III national championship because the head football coach let a player use his car for more than 18 months, which was determined to be an improper benefit for a student-athlete.
The NCAA announced its findings Thursday and said it would vacate any victories in which ineligible athletes played. The school said that would include 29 victories over the 2016-2017 seasons and the 2016 championship, a 10-7 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
School officials said they will appeal that punishment.
The NCAA said coach Pete Fredenburg loaned a player his 2006 Subaru for the 2016-2017 seasons and later loaned it to another player.
Fredenburg was previously suspended by the school for three months without pay and sat out the first three games of the 2018 season.
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