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Publicado porRodrigo Silva
Sporting News Today
Revista americana de desporto
Sporting News Today
Revista americana de desporto

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Published by: Rodrigo Silva on Sep 24, 2009
Direitos Autorais:Attribution Non-commercial


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NFL > 6


MLB > 30

NHL > 41


NBA > 43



Doubleheader day: Red Sox sweep Rays; Rangers split with M’s as Ichiro sets record, Page 37

Showdown in the West: Giants gain ground on Rockies before big series, Page 33

No. 71 for Tiger Woods wins BMW Championship by 8 shots, Page 46


Atlanta 19, Miami 7 Baltimore 38, Kansas City 24 Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10 Denver 12, Cincinnati 7 Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20 N.Y. Jets 24, Houston 7 Indianapolis 14, Jacksonville 12 New Orleans 45, Detroit 27 Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21 San Francisco 20, Arizona 16 N.Y. Giants 23, Washington 17 Seattle 28, St. Louis 0 Green Bay 21, Chicaco 15



Case Keenum and the Cougars clock in five spots below the team they beat.

Arms race
BY VINNIE IYER viyer@sportingnews.com

At the opening bell, QBs go in opposite directions

PAGES 6-24


Houston below Oklahoma State?
This is the utter absurdity of polls. Or, better yet, those voting. Houston beat Oklahoma State 45-35 in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday, yet the Cougars (21) find themselves five places behind the Cowboys (16) in The Associated Press poll. What, the 10-point road win wasn’t enough to convince voters that Houston is better than Oklahoma State and, therefore, should be ranked higher? Other notables in the Week 2 AP poll: Underrated: No. 25 Michigan. The quarterback (Tate Forcier) finally fits the system. Overrated: No. 20 Miami. Now how good does that FSU win look (hello, Jacksonville State)?

American League Boston 3, Tampa Bay 1, Game 1 Boston 4, Tampa Bay 0, Game 2 N.Y. Yankees 13, Baltimore 3 Detroit 7, Toronto 2 Minnesota 8, Oakland 0 L.A. Angels 3, Chicago White Sox 2 Kansas City 7, Cleveland 0 Texas 7, Seattle 2, Game 1 Seattle 5, Texas 0, Game 2 National League Philadelphia 5, N.Y. Mets 4, Game 1 Philadelphia 1, N.Y. Mets 0, Game 2 Washington 7, Florida 2 Pittsburgh 2, Houston 1 Atlanta 9, St. Louis 2 Chicago Cubs 5, Cincinnati 2 San Diego 7, Colorado 3 San Francisco 7, L.A. Dodgers 2 Milwaukee 5, Arizona 3

Quarterbacks ride the roller coaster on the opening Sunday of the ’09 season:

Drew Brees, Saints. Picking up his Dan Marino-like pace from ’08, Brees says he can do even better than his six-TD day vs. Detroit: “There was probably one or two more that we left out there. That’s what keeps you coming back.” Brett Favre, Vikings. Favre’s most important number at Cleveland: Zero turnovers. He did what he was he was supposed to do, facilitating the running of Adrian Peterson. “As long as we win, that’s what it’s all about,” Favre said. Aaron Rodgers, Packers. He had a breakout ’08 season, but the team finished 6-10. His last-minute, gamewinning TD pass vs. Chicago was a crucial start to Green Bay’s division title quest. Tony Romo, Cowboys. So much for

struggling without Terrell Owens. Romo found each of his top three wide receivers—Roy Williams, Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton—for long TD passes. Mark Sanchez, Jets. While fellow rookie Matt Stafford struggled (three interceptions), Sanchez delivered a poised, veteran-like performance in a win at Houston.

Jay Cutler, Bears. He couldn’t ask for a more disastrous debut, pressing and throwing four interceptions against the rival Packers. Jake Delhomme, Panthers. In his first game since his six-turnover playoff meltdown, Delhomme gave up the ball five times to the Eagles before being benched. Coach John Fox will give Delhomme the start next week at Atlanta, saying, “I don’t think it was all Jake’s fault.” Donovan McNabb, Eagles. He sustained a broken rib at Carolina, which might cause the team to turn to Kevin Kolb at least for a week. Running back Brian Westbrook, however, is



Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is looking to add team success to his impressive stats from 2008. optimistic: “Donovan is very resilient. He heals fast.” Matt Schaub, Texans. Houston’s potentially prolific offense didn’t produce a touchdown against the Jets’ 3-4 defense.

Kurt Warner opened Arizona’s NFC title defense with a sloppy performance in San Francisco.

Underrated: Unranked Notre Dame. So voters watched that game, that Irish offense, and think that loss to Michigan means there are 25 better teams? Overrated: No. 14 Georgia Tech. Jackets defense has a long way to go.

Kurt Warner, Cardinals. The 49ers’
pass rush rattled Warner, resulting in several inaccurate throws and two costly interceptions.
Breer: Favre maintains ‘aura’, Page 9

— Matt Hayes
Top 25 Polls, Page 28



See a Different Game



Tune In Today
A quick look at the best sports on TV
— all times Eastern NFL


Bills at Patriots
7 p.m., ESPN
With Tom Brady coming back from his major knee injury, you can bet Patriots fans won’t relax until their superstar looks healthy and fires off his first TD pass of 2009. There’s a good chance he throws it to Randy Moss, who will need to share the superstar wide receiver spotlight with new Bill Terrell Owens.

CHAIRMAN & CEO . . . . . . . Ray Shaw (1989 to 2009) PRESIDENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whitney Shaw PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ed Baker EDITOR-IN-CHIEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeff D’Alessio MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Kasko CREATIVE DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Wood DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MEDIA. . . . . . . . . . . . Geoff Shaw VP, MARKETING & SALES DEVELOPMENT . .Eric Karp

— Vinnie Iyer

Chargers at Raiders
10:15 p.m., ESPN
It should be fun to watch the Chargers’ offense at work all season. The opener should be all about LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles in the rushing attack against the Silver and Black. Oakland will try to counter on the ground with second-year sparkplug Darren McFadden.

Astronaut Bob Thirsk will have a hockey legend to help keep him company via video link.

120 West Morehead Street, Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 28202 704-973-1550 1-800-443-1886 Letters to the editor: yourturn@sportingnews.com General feedback: editors@sportingnews.com National Digital Sales Managers Joey Glowacki, 704-973-1546 jglowacki@sportingnews.com Gary Strauss, 212-500-0672 gstrauss@sportingnews.com

LeBron celebrates book release in NYC
Cavaliers F LeBron James partied at New York’s Monkey Bar with Revlon chair Ron Perelman, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, director Ron Howard and author Fran Lebowitz in an event thrown by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter for James’ new book, Shooting Stars, co-written with Buzz Bissinger, the New York Post reported. multiple reports. Thousands of people will run a portion of the route over 106 days, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron at B.C. Place in Vancouver. The Winter Olympics are Feb. 12-28. Hockey legend Jean Beliveau has a fan in outer space. The former Canadiens star will be hooked today through a video link to chat with Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk aboard the International Space Station. The astronaut brought a photo of Beliveau in uniform for his space voyage. The record-breaking astronaut, Canada’s longest-serving spaceman, is into the fourth month of his six-month stay on the orbiting space lab. Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was throwing strikes of another sort Thursday as he hosted the Beckett Bowl, his annual bowling tournament that raises money for his foundation and Children’s Hospital Boston, The Boston Globe reported.

— Vinnie Iyer CINEMA

The Longest Yard
9 p.m., CMT
In case the Bills-Patriots game gets out of hand, here’s the perfect filler before you invest in the nightcap game. Instead of the Adam Sandler remake of this movie in 2005, you’ll be seeing the 1974 original that stars Burt Reynolds. Prison inmate Paul Crewe (Reynolds) is asked put together a team of fellow prisoners and then lose against an assembled team of guards in exchange for an early release. Old school footballers Ray Nitschke and Joe Kapp are among the guest stars.

— Roger Kuznia



7 p.m. ESPN—Buffalo at New England 10:15 p.m. ESPN—San Diego at Oakland

1 p.m. ESPN2—U.S. Open, women’s doubles championship, at New York 4 p.m. CBS—U.S. Open, men’s singles championship, at New York

President Obama, in a move to bolster Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics, will host Olympians and Paralympians on Wednesday at the White House, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Meanwhile, Chicago 2016 Chair Pat Ryan told the Chicago Tribune that he “does not expect” Michael Jordan to be part of the city’s Olympic bid delegation in Copenhagen next month.
Suns PG Steve Nash, a Victoria native, will carry the 2010 Winter Olympics torch during a portion of its 45,000-kilometre, cross-country journey to Vancouver, according to


After years as an understudy at both the college and pro levels, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel will make his first start as an undisputed No. 1 today. Follow his road from USC to New England to K.C. in SN Magazine.



My Profile

Blake Griffin
Clippers rookie forward, No. 1 draft pick
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)
Born: March 16, 1989, in Oklahoma City Status: Single Alma mater: Oklahoma What’s on TV: The Office, Family Guy, Entourage What’s in my iPod: Drake, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z What I drive: White Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Favorite flicks: Wedding Crashers, The Hangover, Old School, Training Day What I’m reading: Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership From the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Winner, by Bill Russell and David Falkner Magazine subscription: GQ Bookmarks: Google, Twitter, ESPN.com On my office walls: Pictures and posters Love to trade places for a day with … Rob Dyrdek from Rob and Big on MTV because he seems like he has a lot of fun. First job: Worked at a trophy company my parents owned when I was 6 years old. I assembled trophies, plaques and medals. Talent I’d most like to have: I’d like to sing well. Favorite meal: Salmon Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Adrian Peterson Favorite city to visit: Miami Favorite team as a kid: Chicago Bulls Favorite value in others: Good sense of humor Dream date: Megan Fox My greatest love: God My heroes: My parents and brother My bucket list: 1. Learn another language, 2. Travel around the world My motto: Work hard, respect others, fear God — Jeff D’Alessio




See a Different Game

Ken Griffey Sr.
3-time All-Star, 2-time World Series champion
In August of 1990, Ken Griffey Sr. was released by Cincinnati and signed by Seattle, where he joined his son, Ken Griffey Jr., and became the first father-son duo to play on the same team. But that wasn’t enough, on September 14, they did something never done before in the majors—they hit back-to-back home runs. Griffey recalled that day for Sporting News.
We never talked about doing it. Wait, let me put it this way—I never talked about it, but he did. He thought about it more than I did because at my time, I’m 40, 41 years old. He was only 19. Harold Reynolds is on base. I hit a home run and I’m rounding third base, heading for home and Harold is the first one to greet me and Junior’s the second one because he was on deck after me. I had never seen that many fastballs in an American League game before and now I got this kid hitting behind me that I guess everybody respected and was afraid of his power, so I was getting more fastballs than I could shake a stick at. As I’m looking him in the eye, I’m saying, “Oh, he’s going to hit a home run.” Now I’m saying this to myself because he was that serious. His mindset was that no matter what it’s going to take, he was going to hit a home run. He’d been talking about this because I had hit a home run the week before in Boston and I watched him hit and he popped up and I thought, he’s trying to hit a home run. But this time, I saw him and knew he was planning on hitting a home run. The count was 3-and-0, which is one of the toughest pitches you can hit out and he hit the 3-0 pitch to





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Cover: Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin, PIT Inset: Jeff Carter, PHI



7.99 EACH
Cover: Tim Thomas, BOS

Cover: Chris Drury, NYR & Zach Parise, NJD Inset: Derek Roy, BUF

Cover: Alex Ovechkin, WSH

Cover: Cam Ward, CAR Inset: J.P. Dumont, NSH

Cover: Ilya Kovalchuk, ATL Inset: Martin St. Louis, TBL & David Booth, FLA


Ken Griffey Sr. joined his son with the Mariners in 1990 and managed to make history. left field. It was a fastball down and away and he drove it out in left field and I said, “You got to be kidding.” All the pressure was on him, but at his age, there wasn’t any pressure. It was all fun to him. I was just amazed that he hit that pitch down and away and hit it out of the ballpark. Once it happened, we were elated about the whole thing. He was more amazed at it himself because he didn’t think he was going to get a pitch to hit. — As told to Ken Bradley

Cover: Patrick Kane, CHI & Pavel Datsyuk, DET Inset: Niklas Backstrom, MIN

Cover: Mike Ribeiro, DAL Inset: Brad Boyes, STL & Milan Hejduk, COL

Cover: Ryan Getzlaf, ANA Inset: Shane Doan, PHX & Joe Thornton, SJS

Cover: Alex Burrows, VAN Inset: Sheldon Souray, EDM & Jarome Iginla, CGY

Cover: Andrei Markov, MTL

Cover: Jason Blake, TOR Inset: Jason Spezza, OTT



Next Gen: Recruiting




Four-star RB from Miami in no hurry to make his college choice
The list of elite college football programs pursuing Miami Central RB Brandon Gainer is a lengthy one. But the powerful four-star rated runner has a message right now for all of those schools and coaches— they’re just going to have to be patient. He means no disrespect, he just has other priorities this fall, he told Sporting News Today. “I’m really undecided right now. Since we’re in the middle of the season already, I need to be focused on that,” Gainer told SN Today. ”If I don’t focus on that, I won’t have a very good season and then none of these coaches will want to be around me anyway. “… By the end of the season I do want to have a better idea of where I’m going.” Gainer (6-0, 195) says Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, UCF and South Florida are probably his top schools at this point—with the Seminoles having a slight edge. Rutgers, Tennessee, Michigan, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kansas State are some of the other schools that have offered scholarships. He listed a scholarship offer from Miami in the past but confirmed that the Hurricanes aren’t in contention right now. Rivals.com lists Gainer as a fourstar prospect and one of the top 250 players in the nation. He rushed for 1,644 yards and 17 touchdowns on 185 carries as a junior, leading the rugged Miami-Dade area in rushing on his way to all-state honors. “I think I have good size and

Marcus Lattimore, RB
6-0/207, Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
Considering: North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Penn State, Auburn

8. 9.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DL

6-4/233, Plano West Senior (Plano, Texas)
Considering: USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Houston

14. 15.

Xavier Grimble, TE

6-5/245, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Committed to: USC

Jake Heaps, QB

2. 3.

Lache Seastrunk, RB

Demarco Cobbs, WR

6-2/195, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
Committed to: BYU

5-10/183, Temple (Texas)
Considering: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, USC

6-2/200 Tulsa Central (Tulsa, Okla.)

Eduardo Clements 5-11/185, Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Considering: Miami, Georgia, Michigan

Considering: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Oklahoma

16. 17.

Christian Jones, LB

6-4/215, Lake Howell (Winter Park, Fla.)
Considering: Florida State, Alabama, Florida, USC


Eduardo Clements, RB

Seantrel Henderson, OL

6-8/301, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.)

10. 11.

Trey Hopkins, OL

Miami Central RB Brandon Gainer has ruled out the Hurricanes, and FSU seems to have a slight lead. vision and some newfound speed,” Gainer said. “I got the speed from running track before my senior season. I just need to work some on how I handle things in the open field, and probably on my agility some, too.” Gainer is teammates with two fellow four-star level recruits—QB Jeffrey Godfrey and WR Joshua Reese. He is also a teammate of OL Jose Jose, a Tennessee commitment. Here’s a look at how three members of the Sporting News Top 100 fared over the weekend: Temple (Texas) RB Lache Seastrunk returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in his team’s 41-21 win over Leander (Texas). He rushed for 81 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown run, on 11 carries. Seastrunk is uncommitted but has said repeatedly that Auburn is his leader. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) DB Lamarcus Joyner scored two touchdowns in his team’s 46-6 win over Boyd Anderson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). He returned a kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown and also caught a touchdown pass. He finished with 155 total yards and then promptly left to take a visit to Ohio State for the USC game. Joyner has said he favors Ohio State, Florida State and Florida. Proviso West (Hillside, Ill.) WR Kyle Prater caught five passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s win over the weekend. Prater recently committed to USC. — Brian McLaughlin

Considering: Florida, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Minnesota

6-4/260, North Shore (Galena Park, Texas)
Committed to: Texas

Chris Martin, DL

6-4/222, The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.)
Committed to: Notre Dame


Lamarcus Joyner, DB

5-9/162, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Considering: Florida State, Ohio State, Florida

Malcolm Jones, RB/LB

6-1/205, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
Committed to: Florida

4. 5.

Matt Elam, DB

6-0/210, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Considering: Stanford, UCLA

18. 19.

Brennan Clay, RB

6-0/190, Scripps Ranch (San Diego)
Committed to: Oklahoma


Devin Gardner, QB

6-4/196, Inkster (Mich.)
Committed to: Michigan

Justin McCay, WR

6-4/200, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)
Committed to: Oklahoma

12. 13.

Michael Dyer, RB

Phillip Sims, QB

5-10/195, Little Rock Christian Academy (Little Rock, Ark.)
Considering: Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Notre Dame

6-2/215, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)
Committed to: Alabama

24. 25.

Jamel Turner, DE

6-2/205, Ursuline (Youngstown, Ohio)
Committed to: Ohio State

6. 7.

Corey Nelson, LB Zack McCray, DL
6-4/235, Brookville (Lynchburg, Va.)
Committed to: Virginia Tech

6-1/200, Skyline (Dallas)
Committed to: Texas A&M


Erik Kohler, OL

Blake Bell, QB

6-5/265, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Committed to: Washington

6-6/215, Bishop Carroll (Wichita, Kan.)
Committed to: Oklahoma

Gabe King, DL/LB

— Brian McLaughlin

6-5/260, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.)
Considering: Alabama, California, Oregon, Tennessee

MORE COVERAGE from sportingnews.com
Top 100 recruits: sportingnews.com/blog/TheRecruitnik/tag/160168/sn100







Jake Delhomme. The Panthers QB has turned over the ball 11 times in the past seven quarters, but coach John Fox said after the 38-10 loss to Philadelphia that Delhomme will Vinnie Iyer get the start PRO FOOTBALL next week at Atlanta. “We’ve got to evaluate what happened back there, but personally I don’t think it was all Jake’s fault,” Fox said. Fox’s options are limited after backup Josh McCown hurt his knee and third-stringer Matt Moore was ineffective Sunday. Perhaps the team should add a veteran such as Jeff Garcia.
committee,” starting with the two-tight end base and expanding with Williams, Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin in three-wide sets. The Cowboys’ running game and Tony Romo’s ability to extend plays open up downfield opportunities.


The Eagles (Sean McDermott) and Giants (Bill Sheridan) broke in new defensive coordinators, and nothing changed. Each unit stayed on the attack swarming Carolina and Washington to rack up sacks, takeaways and big scoring plays. Defying the 3-4 trend, Philadelphia and New York continue to have effective pressure-oriented 4-3 schemes.


Though his rookie QB stole the show, Jets coach Rex Ryan unveiled a potentially dominant defense.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Mark Sanchez. The rookie QB was poised on the road in the Jets’ drubbing of Houston. He played well off the run, avoided the rush and executed high-percentage passes. The performance will raise his expectations as New York’s savior, starting at home next week against the Patriots. Rex Ryan. Chalk one up for the new Jets defense. It did its best Baltimore impression by picking up two sacks, causing two big turnovers and allowing only 38 yards rushing against a talented Houston offense. The Pats will provide another good test. Brett Favre. He hates being called a “game manager,” but that’s his best bet while he works to get in sync with the Vikings’ receivers. Giving the ball to Adrian Peterson and getting out of the way worked at Cleveland, and with Detroit and San Francisco up next, Favre will have time to warm up for a Week 4 grudge-match shootout against the Packers. Josh McDaniels. His offense did little against a mediocre Bengals’ defense for nearly
60 minutes, until his coaching debut got saved by the divine intervention of Brandon Stokley’s 87-yard TD reception. The outage doesn’t bode well in a division with the electric Chargers.

Roy Williams may not be the Cowboys’ new ace receiver, but he has some help. Gonzalez out with a knee sprain, look for Peyton Manning to lean more heavily on WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark while he gets used to throwing to young wideouts Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. Expect rookie RB Donald Brown to be a busy receiver, too. Washington. Even though the results were mixed and it didn’t produce any big plays, the Wildcat is here to stay.

At least the Lions and Chiefs showed life in some tough road games. The Rams, meanwhile, slept through a 28-0 loss at Seattle. The team had a coaching overhaul in the offseason, but it’s on the players to compete more like professionals.

Donovan McNabb. It wasn’t good news on the other sideline in Carolina, as McNabb sustained a broken rib on a TD run. McNabb might miss next week’s game vs. New Orleans, and Michael Vick won’t be available until Week 3. That would mean Kevin Kolb going head-to-head with Drew Brees in Philadelphia’s home opener. “He’s our leader and he’s our big-time quarterback,” wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. “Hopefully he’ll be alright, but these things happen in football.” Anthony Gonzalez. With Marvin Harrison gone and

The Panthers aren’t the only team slumping after a playoff loss. Miami gave up four sacks and four turnovers in losing at Atlanta. Arizona was sacked three times, intercepted twice and committed 12 penalties in being upset by San Francisco.

Buffalo at New England. While Terrell Owens needs to prove he is fine without the Cowboys, Tom Brady will prove he’s back in ’07 form. San Diego at Oakland. Reports of the decline of LaDainian Tomlinson are exaggerated, and the Raiders’ run defense will find out.

Maybe Carolina can use Steve Smith at quarterback. He was one of several players who got snaps in a Wildcat formation, joining Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs, Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew, Miami’s Pat White and New York’s Leon

Matthew Stafford. With a lesser supporting cast than Sanchez and forced to try to keep up with Drew Brees, Stafford threw three interceptions. He’s in for a tough pre-bye stretch with Minnesota, Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Green Bay upcoming. Todd Haley. His Chiefs were without QB Matt Cassel and struggled to run the ball, but they stayed with host Baltimore until the final 1:30 because of big plays by backup QB Brodie Croyle, defense and special teams. It’s a good sign that K.C.’s new coach is getting inspired play from all three phases. Jay Cutler. The excitement that came with Cutler’s arrival in Chicago has been replaced
with worry and doubt after his shaky, four-interception outing in the last-minute loss at Green Bay. It won’t get any easier against another attacking 3-4 team, the Steelers, in Week 2.

It was unfair to think Dallas WR Roy Williams would be the proxy Terrell Owens, Instead, Dallas needs a “T.O. by






Green Bay 21, Chicago 15

Q&A with … Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers

Cutler doesn’t cut it in Bears debut
GREEN BAY—It was only one game. There’s a lot of football still to be played. It’s way too early to panic, Bears fans. But, geesh, that was a stinkeroo Jay Cutler turned in Sunday night in his first game as the Bears’ quarterback. He completed only 17-of-36 passes, was intercepted four times and finished with an abysmal 43.2 passer rating. I know what you’re thinking. Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton could have put up those kinds of numbers. But let’s look at it from a different perspective. In Chicago’s 21-15 Dennis Dillon loss to the NFC North rival PRO FOOTBALL Packers, we saw the worst of Jay Cutler. Surely, the best is yet to come. “I still think we’re a good football team,” Cutler said, trying to put a confident spin on the game. “This was Game 1. There are 15 more. There’s a lot of football left. We just need to get back together, watch some film and get ready for Pittsburgh. “One loss isn’t the end of the season.” No, it isn’t. But Bears fans, who had been waiting for this moment since the Bears acquired Cutler from Denver in the biggest trade of the offseason, had to be a big dismayed. They were expecting big things from Cutler, a Pro Bowl player last year who was supposed to be the greatest Bears quarterback since Jim McMahon—if not Sid Luckman. Instead, they witnessed the first four-interception game of his career. They watched him botch a potential victory—the outcome was in doubt until Packers QB Aaron Rodgers heaved a 50-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter—by throwing a quartet of passes into the hands of guys in green. Three of Cutler’s interceptions came in the first half, including an absolutely awful toss that landed in the hands of Johnny Jolly—a line-

Defense has ‘numerous things that we can clean up’
GREEN BAY—The Packers unveiled their
new 3-4 defensive scheme in a game that counted Sunday night, a 21-15 victory over the Bears. Although Green Bay allowed 352 yards, it gave up only one touchdown and intercepted Jay Cutler four times. Afterward, Dom Capers Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers spoke with Sporting News Today’s Dennis Dillon.


DT Johnny Jolly had an interception that was crucial for the Packers’ defense. Who else impressed you individually? I thought both of our ends, Johnny Jolly and Cullen Jenkins, did a good job. Johnny Jolly made that interception inside the 10-yard line, which was a big play. And (outside linebacker) Brandon Chillar had a really nice sack on the one where he jumped over the guy (Bears running back Garrett Wolfe).

Q: A:

What was your evaluation of the defense’s performance? The No. 1 thing is we did a pretty good job against the run. To me, that’s where everything starts—being able to play the run. Then the takeaways were the difference. Chicago QB Jay Cutler (6) had a night he’d rather forget, thanks in part to four interceptions and a 43.2 passer rating. man, no less—at the Green Bay 12. Asked if he just didn’t see Jolly, Cutler laughed sarcastically and said, “Yeah, I didn’t see him.” Tramon Williams, who wouldn’t have been on the field as much if the Packers hadn’t been playing so much nickel defense, accounted for the other first-half interceptions. Cutler’s final pass was picked off by cornerback Al Harris and allowed the Packers to run out the clock. Let’s not overlook Cutler’s good moments, though. In the first half, he completed a 68-yard bomb down the sideline to rookie wide receiver Johnny Knox, who got behind cornerback Charles Woodson. And early in the third quarter, Cutler’s 36-yard scoring pass to Devin Hester cut Green Bay’s lead to 10-9. Despite Cutler’s travails and injuries to starting linebackers Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) and Brian Urlacher (wrist), the Bears could have (should have?) won the game. They muffled the Packers’ high-throttled offense all night, holding Green Bay to just 226 net yards, including only 76 yards rushing. Chicago took a 15-13 lead on Robbie Gould’s 21-yard field goal with 2:35 left. But give Rodgers two minutes in a tight game, and he’s liable to find a way to lead the Packers to the end zone. Green Bay caught the Bears in a short-yardage situation—third-and-1—when Jennings beat cornerback Nathan Vasher, who lost his footing. “It was a huge play, a huge play,” Jennings said. “We kept our poise, we stayed confident in one another and when it came down to it, we made the play.”

Q: A:

Q: A: Q: A:

Why did you play so much nickel coverage? It was to try to negate the matchups. A big part of their package is working to get (tight end Greg) Olsen matched up on linebackers. So, we just felt our matchups were better. Can you talk about the play of nickel back Tramon Williams, who made two interceptions? They were big, big plays. Tramon has been our leading interceptor through training camp, so we know that he has good ball skills. And he normally gets his hands on a lot of balls.

Q: A: Q: A:

Did you teach him to do that? I wish I could take credit for that, but I think he got that from the good Lord.

You said you were tempering your enthusiasm about what your guys did during preseason. Do you allow yourself to have a little bit of enthusiasm now? I always feel good after a win, especially an opener. But I know we’ve got numerous things that we can clean up and do better.



Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20



Green Bay 21, Chicago 15

Rodgers comes through in clutch Peterson helps Favre, Vikings have ‘blast’
GREEN BAY—Brett who? Aaron Rodgers finally has his signature game-winning drive, throwing a 50-yard rainbow to Greg Jennings with 1:11 remaining to give the Green Bay Packers a come-from-behind 21-15 victory over the division rival Chicago Bears in Sunday night’s opener. Rodgers began 2009 with a bang, proving he can pull off the kind of late-game fireworks his predecessor, Brett Favre, once was known for. Rodgers had a productive first season as a starter, but earned some criticism for coming up short at the end of several games last season. “I was thinking, ‘We’re due. We’re due for one good drive,’ ” Rodgers said. “I told the guys, just give me one drive.” Rodgers’ big throw ruined the debut of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who had a career-worst four interceptions and finished the game 17 of 36 for 277 yards with a touchdown for his new team. “There were a lot of failures,” Cutler said. “We’ve got to go back and look at it. I think we’re still going to be a good football team, there’s no need to panic.” The Bears lost a big game to their division rivals and lost several key players to injury. Brian Urlacher left with a wrist injury in the third quarter after fellow linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa left in the first half with an injured knee. Backup cornerback Trumaine McBride also injured a knee, and tight end Desmond Clark left with a back injury. Bears coach Lovie Smith said Urlacher dislocated his wrist, and no timetable has been set for his


Green Bay’s Greg Jennings, left, breaks away for the game-winning TD with 1:11 left. return. The Chicago Tribune reported on its website that Urlacher will have surgery on his wrist today. “It’s pretty simple what happened tonight,” Smith said. “Any time that you have four turnovers, you’re normally not going to win the football game, especially against a good Packers team.” With the Packers trailing 15-13 and facing third-and-1 at the 50-yard line, Rodgers faked a handoff and heaved a rainbow of a throw deep to Jennings, who ran in for the go-ahead score. Rodgers found Jennings again for a 2-point conversion. “This was our chance to show that we can finish ballgames, we can win the close games, and we got it done,” Jennings said. “We didn’t get it done all game, but when it came down to it, when it counts and when it counted, we got it done.” — The Associated Press
Chicago Green Bay 0 0 2 10 10 0 3 11 — — 15 21

Second Quarter GB: FG Crosby 52, 8:18. Chi: Manning safety, 5:52. GB: Grant 1 run (Crosby kick), 4:36. Third Quarter Chi: Hester 36 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), 10:14. Chi: FG Gould 47, 3:51. Fourth Quarter GB: FG Crosby 39, 10:10. Chi: FG Gould 21, 2:35. GB: Jennings 50 pass from Rodgers (Jennings pass from Rodgers), 1:11. A: 70,920. Chi GB First downs ...............................................18....................................12 Total Net Yards ........................................352................................. 226 Rushes-yards ......................................31-86..............................22-76 Passing ....................................................266................................. 150 Punt Returns......................................... 2-15................................2-14 Kickoff Returns....................................5-124..............................4-124 Interceptions Ret. ....................................0-0..............................4-129 Comp-Att-Int ...................................17-36-4..........................17-28-0 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 2-11................................4-34 Punts ..................................................4-49.5.............................6-44.7 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................0-0..................................0-0 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 3-25................................6-45 Time of Possession...............................33:03.............................. 26:57 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Chicago, Forte 25-55, Cutler 3-16, Wolfe 3-15. Green Bay, Grant 16-61, D.Wynn 3-8, Rodgers 3-7. PASSING: Chicago, Cutler 17-36-4-277. Green Bay, Rodgers 17-280-184. RECEIVING: Chicago, Bennett 7-66, Hester 4-90, Knox 2-82, Clark 1-23, McKie 1-8, Olsen 1-8, Wolfe 1-0. Green Bay, Jennings 6-106, Driver 4-39, D.Lee 3-8, Hall 1-11, D.Wynn 1-8, Finley 1-6, Grant 1-6. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Green Bay, Crosby 49 (WL).

CLEVELAND—After rolling into the end zone with his first NFL touchdown, Vikings rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin had to absorb an unexpeted hit. Brett Favre flattened him. “I thought we were going to bump chests or something,” Harvin said. “He wasn’t slowing down. I took it, and we fell to the ground. It was a great feeling.” For Favre, the ageless quarterback with a boundless love for football, career touchdown pass No. 464 was as enjoyable as his first. Favre looked pleasing in purple, throwing a 6-yard TD pass to Harvin in his debut with Minnesota, and Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns and ran for 180 yards as the Vikings overcame a sluggish start to beat the Cleveland Browns 34-20 on Sunday. “I had a blast,” Favre said. “It wasn’t a 400-yard passing game, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as we win, that’s what it’s all about.” Peterson, the league’s leading rusher last season, scored on a pair of 1-yard plunges and capped his day with an electrifying 64-yarder in the fourth quarter, breaking five tackles along the way, to make it 34-13. Peterson was held to just 25 yards in the first half, when he needed treatment for a badly cut left arm. He felt light headed and received intravenous fluids at halftime. “I gagged myself a couple times trying to get everything in my stomach out,” he said. “Normally it makes me feel better and it did. I came in and got an IV and felt

Anderson, had a rocky opener. He went 21-of-35 for 205 yards, but most of his completions came on dumpoffs and short routes. He had one interception and the game’s most comical moment when he had the ball pop out of his hand and fall behind him following a scramble. “I didn’t take care of the ball like I needed to,” Quinn said. Joshua Cribbs scored on a 67-yard punt return for Cleveland’s first TD. — The Associated Press
Minnesota Cleveland 3 3 7 10 14 0 10 7 — — 34 20


Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns and rushed for 180 yards. recharged and rejuvenated and was ready to go to work.” On his long TD run, Peterson used a devastating stiff arm to get away from would-be tacklers before finally busting free and scoring. “It was pretty good,” Peterson said. “The only thing I did wrong was that I didn’t go untouched. I was just determined to get into the end zone, and try to stick that dagger in.” Little has changed with the Browns. They fell to 1-10 in season openers since 1999 but did score their first offensive touchdown in seven games when Brady Quinn hit tight end Robert Royal with 28 seconds left. Quinn, picked by new coach Eric Mangini to start after a drawn-out battle with Derek

First Quarter Cle: FG Dawson 37, 11:28. Min: FG Longwell 21, :03. Second Quarter Min: Peterson 1 run (Longwell kick), 11:09. Cle: FG Dawson 20, 5:57. Cle: Cribbs 67 punt return (Dawson kick), 1:30. Third Quarter Min: Peterson 1 run (Longwell kick), 10:07. Min: Harvin 6 pass from Favre (Longwell kick), 1:06. Fourth Quarter Min: FG Longwell 37, 6:55. Min: Peterson 64 run (Longwell kick), 5:58. Cle: Royal 26 pass from Quinn (Dawson kick), :28. A: 70,560. Min Cle First downs ...............................................19.............................. 17 Total Net Yards ........................................310............................268 Rushes-yards ....................................37-225.........................20-89 Passing ......................................................85............................179 Punt Returns......................................... 2-54...........................3-67 Kickoff Returns...................................... 3-99.........................6-140 Interceptions Ret. ....................................1-0.............................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................14-22-0.....................21-35-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 4-25...........................5-26 Punts ..................................................6-38.7........................5-42.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................0-0.............................3-1 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 3-38...........................8-66 Time of Possession...............................33:22.........................26:38 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Minnesota, Peterson 25-180, Harvin 2-22, Taylor 7-17, Dugan 1-5, Tahi 1-2, Jackson 1-(minus 1). Cleveland, Lewis 11-57, Quinn 2-21, Cribbs 3-6, Davis 4-5. PASSING: Minnesota, Favre 14-21-0-110, Jackson 0-1-0-0. Cleveland, Quinn 21-35-1-205. RECEIVING: Minnesota, Taylor 5-13, Harvin 3-36, Shiancoe 3-26, Rice 2-17, Peterson 1-18. Cleveland, Royal 4-60, Furrey 4-28, Lewis 3-47, Davis 3-4, Heiden 2-14, Cribbs 2-10, Massaquoi 1-18, Edwards 1-12, Vickers 1-12. MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.






Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20

Q&A with ... Vikings DT Kevin Williams

Flawed Favre still provides champion’s ‘aura’
CLEVELAND—Brett Favre threw for just 110 yards in his Vikings debut. He took four sacks, struggling to slide in the pocket and sidestep pass rushers. He threw on eight third downs, completing five of those passes for 25 yards and converting in just two of those instances. And he’ll be the first to admit that, even with a 34-20 beatdown of the Browns in the books, he has a Albert Breer PRO FOOTBALL ways to go. But just as quickly, his teammates will make sure something else is clear—Favre already has changed the team’s culture on offense, and in the right way. “In the past, people went out there and were more uptight,” Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie said. “He brought that aspect to us, saying it’s OK to have fun while you’re playing. And when you’re playing good, you’ll have fun.” At game’s end, the Browns looked bludgeoned by a physical, grinding approach from Minnesota. The Vikings—behind more outsized production from the league’s best back, Adrian Peterson, who had 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns—gashed the Browns for 225 yards on the ground, possessed the ball for 33:22, and held the Cleveland offense out of the end zone until garbage time. So it was easy to forget that this game actually was competitive at one point. For those with foggy memory—the Browns led 13-10 at
end Visanthe Shiancoe said. “When they got up on us, they got a couple three-and-outs. He kept the composure.” Favre also was plenty flawed on this day, by his own admission. Never was that more clear than on a third-and-goal from the Browns’ 3-yard line in the first quarter. Rice was running an option route, which Favre threw before the receiver broke. Rice ran an out-cut about 3 yards deep in the end zone. Favre threw a fade to the back corner. And what could’ve been seven points became three. This, of course, is the price you pay for reporting to camp Aug. 19. “(Chemistry’s) the most important thing,” Favre said. “You have to go out and practice, and you have to do it in games. The best way to build chemistry is games. We’re playing for real now, and we’re kind of learning on the fly.” It’s not ideal. There was some resentment in Minnesota, directed in several directions, over Favre’s late arrival. But for now, the Vikings proved they can win the way they always have—with their defense and running game wearing out the opponent—and figure out the rest as they go. “I haven’t played with an offense like this,” Favre said. “It’s a special running game: And it starts with 28, and I’ll tell you that offensive line is pretty impressive.” The idea is Favre will help fill in the rest. And even if the numbers didn’t exactly bear it out Sunday, he already is starting to do that.

Peterson wows Pro Bowler: ‘He can hit the big one in a flash’
CLEVELAND—After having a potential four-game suspension overturned, Kevin Williams came up big for the Vikings on Sunday—posting a sack, a quarterback pressure and a fumble recovery in Minnesota’s 34-20 win. And then, he spoke with Sporting News Today’s Albert Breer.

Q: A: Q: A:

Does anything surprise you anymore with Adrian Peterson? No, the guy’s an animal out there. It’s like, “Wow,” every time with the stuff he does. But it’s only Week 1. Hopefully, we got a lot more of that to come. Where were you on Peterson’s 64-yard run? Jared (Allen) and I were talking about losing contain, and how I could’ve had another sack. And I turned around, and (Peterson) was breaking a tackle, stiff-arming a guy, and then he was off to the races. It can happen in an instant with him. It happened in the Houston game—I went inside to use the restroom, and when I came back he’d score already. He can hit the big one in a flash.


Kevin Williams (one sack, one pressure, one fumble recovery) hassled the Browns’ offense.

Q: A:


His stats weren’t pretty, but Brett Favre’s teammates were raving about his intangibles. the half. The Vikings went ahead on the first drive of the second half, with a nine-play, 55-yard touchdown march, and after the defense forced Cleveland three-and-out Favre went for the kill. “I saw a whole different Brett,” said Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice, who caught two balls for 17 yards and drew a big pass interference penalty to set up the go-ahead touchdown. “I was exhausted in the huddle; it was a long drive. But I saw a whole different Brett—a great motivator. “Getting us going on first down, hustling people to the line, he was just getting the job done.” The other side of Favre kept the Vikings from tucking their tails early on in a hostile environment. Minnesota went three-and-out on four of their six first-half possessions, including the final three. “He kept the composure with his leadership, his aura,” Vikings tight

What does Brett Favre bring to the team? He’s a guy who’s done it all. You ask for a leader on your offense, and you have this guy that steps in and he’s led in every capacity you could possibly ask for. It’s a big boost for our offense to have him there, getting them together and leading the troops.

Q: A:

How good is it to have the legal issue behind you and Pat Williams? We were at the point where, whatever was going to happen was going to happen. But it’s a tremendous weight off our shoulders. We want to conclude with it by playing 16 games and help our team push toward a championship.

Q: A:

Was this a Vikings’ type of beat-em-up game? I think in the third quarter, we had only six plays on defense. And the offense really wore on them in third quarter. That’s tremendous when you’re on the sideline, watching, with a lead, and they’re moving the ball up and down as much as they did.






N.Y. Giants 23, Washington 17

Q&A with ... Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth

Giants in good hands with young receivers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The Giants have Plaxico Burress no longer, but they still have playmakers. Welcome to the ’09 Giants, where a star system at wide receiver is no longer in vogue. Four different Giant receivers caught at least one pass Sunday during their 23-17 victory over the Redskins. Steve Smith (six catches, 80 yards) led the way, but Mario Manningham (three Clifton Brown catches, 58 yards) PRO FOOTBALL had the offensive play of the day, eluding defenders, tiptoeing down the sideline and scoring his first NFL touchdown. “I was just trying to get to the end zone,” Manningham said. “It felt good. There’ll be many to come, hopefully.” If Manningham is correct, the Giants will be tough to deal with. We know they can play defense. We know they can run the ball. But we do not know if their young receiving corps can carry the load, now that Burress and Amani Toomer are ex-Giants. Instead of a go-to guy, the Giants now have a go-to group. Utilizing receivers, backs and tight end Kevin Boss, quarterback Eli Manning completed passes to seven teammates, distributing the ball like a point guard. Granted, none of the Giants’ current receivers have Burress’ total gifts. But they are hungry, they are developing chemistry with Manning and the competition for playing time is helping all of them improve. “All summer, everybody was
out blitz,” Manning said. “It was really a check that wasn’t in the game plan. We went into the check and just kind of improvised. These young receivers are really in tune with what is going on.” Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache said the Giants still caused headaches with their passing game. “Their receiving corps is good,” Blache said. “In the NFL when guys leave, guys move in. Just because you don’t know the name doesn’t mean it’s not a good name. Even when I was in college at Notre Dame, when USC lost Mike Garrett, we thought we were going to kick the heck out of USC because they didn’t have a running back. All of a sudden, O.J. Simpson popped up. “I thought Smith did a good job, I thought all their receivers did a good job, I thought Eli did a good job. These are NFL-quality receivers. People will eventually see that and appreciate it.” This was only Week 1, and there were blemishes. The Giants did not score a touchdown on three trips to the red zone. Burress’ 6-6 height was a huge advantage, and the Giants must find a reliable way to reach the end zone when they get close. “We are still talking about it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of the red-zone efficiency. “The consistency certainly wasn’t what we were looking for.” But the victory was acceptable. You had to wonder if Burress was watching, and if so, what he was thinking. The Giants might no longer have a go-to guy, but their go-to group had a successful start to the season.

‘I don’t think we have jelled’


DT Albert Haynesworth (92) had four tackles in his first game with the Redskins.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—In his first game with the Redskins since signing a sevenyear, $100 million contract as a free agent, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had four tackles, including a couple of stops on two successful goal-line stands. But the outcome, a 23-17 loss to the NFC East rival Giants, left Haynesworth clearly unhappy and a man of few words when he talked briefly with Sporting News Today’s Bill Eichenberger after Sunday’s game.

and go back out. That’s what I did.

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

How would you assess your play Sunday? It doesn’t really matter how I played. We didn’t win, so I don’t care how I played.


Mario Manningham (82) had a TD catch to contribute to a big day for the Giants’ receivers. asking, ‘Who’s going to be the No. 1, who’s going to be the No. 1,’ ” said Domenik Hixon, who had one catch for 10 yards. “We’ve got seven guys who can play. Hopefully, they’ll utilize all of us. You can’t just focus on one guy, because then somebody else will step up.” First-round pick Hakeem Nicks paid immediate dividends, catching two passes for 18 yards before spraining his foot in the second half. X-rays were negative, and Nicks hopes to play in Week 2 at Dallas, despite sitting at his locker with a pair of crutches close by. “It’s just a sprain,” Nicks said. “We’ll see how it comes along this week.” Time after time Sunday, Manning completed key third-down passes, keeping the chains moving and keeping the Redskins guessing. On the touchdown to Manningham, Manning audibled out of a running play and trusted his second-year receiver to make the adjustment. “They came with the blitz, an all-

Q: A: Q: A:

You seemed to have been injured after tackling Brandon Jacobs short of the goal line on fourth down late in the first quarter. Trainers had to help you off the field. Were you limited in any way after that hit? No, I thought I moved just like I normally do. You did come up out of the game at regular intervals after that, though, didn’t you? What the coaches here want me to do is go as hard as I can for as long as I can. If I get tired, they want me to come out, catch my breath

How about the play of the defense in general? You look at the scoreboard. They scored a lot of points. We did some good things, but we are still not there by far. I don’t think we have jelled as a defense. Until we get that straight, this probably will continue. Are you encouraged or discouraged by the progress the defense? I’ve been saying the whole camp that we needed to jell. Our first regular-season game, it didn’t happen and we got a loss. So, hopefully it can happen by next week (vs. St. Louis) because I’m not really fond of going 0-2.



Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10



N.Y. Giants 23, Washington 17

Umenyiora back to wreaking havoc
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The New York Giants added valuable weapon in opening defense of their NFC East title; a healthy Osi Umenyiora, and he’s as good ever. Returning from a major knee injury that wiped out his 2008 season, Umenyiora scored on a 37-yard fumble return after knocking a ball loose on a sack in leading the Giants to a 23-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. “It was unbelievable and now all that is in the past,” Umenyiora said after his first meaningful game since the Super Bowl in February 2008. “I can’t even explain it to you, when something like that is taken away from you. Last year I missed it. I was happy I was able to come back in there.” So were the Giants, who once again had no problem handling the Redskins, even with their addition of $100 million defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. They swept both games last season and again dominated. The Giants jumped out to a 17-0 first-half lead and were never threatened by the NFL’s so-called best lastplace team. Eli Manning threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham and Lawrence Tynes added three field goals, including a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter that was set up by an offside penalty by Haynesworth, who stuffed the middle of the line but did little else in his Washington debut. The game-breaking play was Umenyiora’s second-quarter return. The two-time Pro Bowler beat tackle Chris Samuels with an outside speed

Delhomme, McNabb both worse for wear
CHARLOTTE—Donovan McNabb was walking gingerly to the locker room with a cracked rib about the same time Jake Delhomme was yanked after his fifth turnover. It was the third quarter of the Eagles’ rout of the Panthers, and both franchises suddenly had big worries about their veteran quarterbacks. One was injured two weeks before Michael Vick is eligible to return, the other can’t seem to throw it to the right team. With Delhomme increasing his two-game turnover total to 11, the Eagles’ dominating defensive performance in their second consecutive season-opening rout was tempered by concerns about McNabb, who was crunched by several tacklers on a 3-yard touchdown run. “He’s sore right now. He’s got a broken rib,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “We’ll just see how he does over the next little bit.” With the suspended Vick watching from a luxury suite, Kevin Kolb finished at quarterback as the Eagles ran out the clock on a miserable day for the Panthers. Reid wouldn’t rule out McNabb from playing next week against New Orleans. “Don is very resilient,” said running back Brian Westbrook, who caught one of McNabb’s two touchdown passes. “He heals fast.” While Panthers coach John Fox hinted Delhomme will remain the starter, his teammates were peppered with questions about their


New York’s defense held Redskins RB Clinton Portis (26) to 62 yards on 16 carries. rush, knocked the ball out of Jason Campbell’s hands and then picked it up and pranced his way to the end zone. “To be honest, I don’t know what happened,” Umenyiora said. “That’s the way most plays are made. You just go out there and sometimes good things happen. They always get on me about knocking the ball out and not picking it up. When I saw it, I just picked it up.” “Osi made a great play on the ball,” said Campbell, who was 19 of 26 for 211 yards and an interception. “It’s something you have to understand as a quarterback you have to feel it more or slide up in the pocket.” Campbell held it too long, and Umenyiora made him and the Redskins pay. Washington, which trailed all game, drew within 23-17 with 1:30 to play on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Campbell to Chris Cooley. Steve Smith recovered the onside kick and New York ran out the clock. — The Associated Press
Washington N.Y. Giants 0 3 7 14 3 0 7 6 — — 17 23


Panthers QB Jake Delhomme accounted for five turnovers and compiled a 14.7 passer rating. confidence in the 34-year-old quarterback two years removed from reconstructive elbow surgery. Playing his first meaningful game since throwing five interceptions and losing a fumble against Arizona in the playoffs, Delhomme was constantly under pressure and nearly as bad in a miserable start for the NFC South champions. With the boos increasing before he was finally replaced by Josh McCown, Delhomme was 7 of 17 for 73 yards with four interceptions and a lost fumble. His passer rating was 14.7. “I hope so,” Delhomme said, when asked if he deserves to start next week against Atlanta. “I’m not looking for the easy way out.” He may have to start since McCown left with knee and foot injuries. Third-stringer Matt Moore threw his own pick, one of Carolina’s team record-tying seven turnovers. “Offensively, we just sucked. Let’s be honest,” receiver Steve Smith said. — The Associated Press
Philadelphia Carolina 3 7 28 3 7 0 0 0 — — 38 10

First Quarter NYG: FG Tynes 28, 7:41. Second Quarter NYG: Manningham 30 pass from Manning (Tynes kick), 10:10. NYG: Umenyiora 37 fumble return (Tynes kick), 2:11. Was: Smith 8 run (Suisham kick), :21. Third Quarter Was: FG Suisham 27, :50. Fourth Quarter NYG: FG Tynes 45, 11:03. NYG: FG Tynes 28, 3:12. Was: Cooley 17 pass from Campbell (Suisham kick), 1:30. A: 78,206. Was NYG First downs ...............................................15....................................18 Total Net Yards ........................................272................................. 351 Rushes-yards ......................................21-85............................31-103 Passing ....................................................187................................. 248 Punt Returns............................................1-1..................................1-0 Kickoff Returns....................................5-115................................3-41 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 1-18..................................1-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................19-26-1..........................20-29-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 3-24..................................1-8 Punts ..................................................5-38.6.............................1-48.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................3-1..................................2-1 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 4-32................................4-30 Time of Possession...............................23:52.............................. 36:08 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Washington, Portis 16-62, Campbell 1-16, Smith 1-8, D.Thomas 1-0, Betts 2-(minus 1). N.Y. Giants, Bradshaw 12-60, Jacobs 16-46, Manning 3-(minus 3). PASSING: Washington, Campbell 19-26-1-211. N.Y. Giants, Manning 20-29-1-256. RECEIVING: Washington, Randle El 7-98, Cooley 7-68, Moss 2-6, Betts 1-23, Portis 1-10, Kelly 1-6. N.Y. Giants, Smith 6-80, Boss 3-62, Manningham 3-58, Bradshaw 3-11, Nicks 2-18, Jacobs 2-17, Hixon 1-10. MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.

First Quarter Car: D.Williams 11 run (Kasay kick), 6:54. Phi: FG Akers 49, :53. Second Quarter Phi: Abiamiri 2 fumble return (Akers kick), 14:52. Phi: D.Jackson 85 punt return (Akers kick), 10:57. Phi: Celek 9 pass from McNabb (Akers kick), 9:55. Phi: Westbrook 4 pass from McNabb (Akers kick), 3:16. Car: FG Kasay 22, 1:42. Third Quarter Phi: McNabb 3 run (Akers kick), 6:59. A: 73,599. Phi Car First downs ...............................................17.............................. 14 Total Net Yards ........................................267............................169 Rushes-yards ....................................32-185.........................30-86 Passing ......................................................82.............................. 83 Punt Returns.......................................2-106...........................2-33 Kickoff Returns...................................... 2-45.........................5-120 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 5-47...........................1-10 Comp-Att-Int ...................................17-29-1.....................14-34-5 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 2-20...........................5-55 Punts ..................................................4-42.8........................4-55.8 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................2-1.............................2-2 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 9-76...........................5-30 Time of Possession...............................31:37.........................28:23 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Philadelphia,Westbrook 13-64, McCoy 9-46, D.Jackson 2-33, McNabb 4-27, Weaver 1-11, Kolb 3-4. Carolina, D.Williams 14-37, Stewart 11-35, Delhomme 2-9, Smith 1-4, Goodson 2-1. PASSING: Philadelphia, McNabb 10-18-1-79, Kolb 7-11-0-23. Carolina, Delhomme 7-17-4-73, M.Moore 6-11-1-63, McCown 1-6-0-2. RECEIVING: Philadelphia, Celek 6-37, Westbrook 3-8, Curtis 2-26, D.Jackson 2-9, Avant 1-18, Baskett 1-6, McCoy 1-1, Weaver 1-(minus 3). Carolina, D.Williams 4-42, Muhammad 4-41, Smith 3-21, Stewart 2-32, King 1-2. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Philadelphia, Akers 51 (BK).






Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10

Another disaster raises questions at QB
BY RYAN FAGAN rfagan@sportingnews.com

CHARLOTTE—Donovan McNabb left Sunday’s game with a fractured rib, an injury that will certainly cause at least one sleepless night for the Eagles’ star quarterback. Painful, yes, but there’s no way he’d volunteer to trade places with his Panthers’ counterpart. Jake Delhomme, Carolina’s starting quarterback, also failed to finish Sunday’s 38-10 Eagles victory, but his problems can’t be covered up with a flak jacket. And the sleepless nights won’t go away for Delhomme until he can cease doing his best Ryan Leaf impression. How poor was Delhomme’s performance? Panthers coach John Fox might have inadvertently summed it up best, when asked to describe the turnovers on the day. He rattled off a couple—poor throws, one jump ball, a bad screen pass—and then delivered the line of the day: “Those are the ones I remember.” You know, because there were so many. Delhomme threw four picks and fumbled once before he was pulled in the third quarter. Fox made the move to Josh McCown after Delhomme threw back-to-back interceptions. “It’s frustrating,” Delhomme said. “Practices have been good, I’ve been throwing the ball well. I felt good. We came out and had a really nice long opening drive. We made some plays. It’s frustrating, especially to open the season this way. We’ve still got a lot more to


After watching Jake Delhomme commit 11 turnovers in his last seven quarters, dating back to last year’s playoff loss, Panthers coach John Fox tried two other QBs in the opener. go.” The performance, obviously, was very disappointing for the Panthers. And as a sequel to Delhomme’s disaster in the playoffs last season—five interceptions and a fumble against Arizona—there’s definite legitimate concern in Charlotte. Delhomme’s job status as the Panthers’ go-to-guy has never been in this much doubt. However, any question about him starting in Week 2 against Atlanta was erased by McCown’s knee injury Sunday. The third-stringer, Matt Moore, finished 6 of 11 for 63 yards and an interception.

“Obviously we start start back there with Jake,” Fox said about Week 2. “We’ve got to evaluate what happened back there, but personally I don’t think it was all Jake’s fault.” Delhomme finished with almost as many turnovers (five) as completions (seven). The Eagles smelled the blood in the water. “When the momentum goes up, guys start making plays on the football—and it snowballed for us in a good way, and it snowballed for them in a bad way,” said Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri, who recovered Delhomme’s fumble for a second quarter touchdown. “We were talking about going out and making plays, saying, ‘Who’s up next? Who’s next to make a play?’ “ That said, the Eagles didn’t feel as if they were picking on a quarterback who had lost his confidence. “I don’t think it was so much him as it was us,” Abiamiri said. “Once we started getting things going, we fed off each other. Once a defense starts playing with swagger and momentum and confidence, it’s really hard to stop.” Speaking of confidence, that’s something Panthers fans wonder if Delhomme has lost. “They have the right to ask, and the way I played today, it might have looked that way,” he said. “There is not something inside of me saying, ‘Oh gosh, I can’t make a mistake on this play.’ That’s not the case at all.” The problem—and the bottom line—for the Panthers is this: There’s no difference between confident interceptions and tentative interceptions.

Broken rib could sideline McNabb
CHARLOTTE—It’s just one rib. How much time will that one rib, broken after a third quarter touchdown run in the Eagles’ 38-10 win over Carolina, cost Donovan McNabb? Depends on who you ask. And it had to be someone else because McNabb was receiving treatment after the game and skipped the interview period. “Donovan is resilient,” said Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, who knows what McNabb is experiencing after breaking two ribs last season. “He heals pretty fast. I think he’ll be able to play next week; it’s just a question of how much he’ll be able to tolerate the pain. I’m sure he’ll be very sore.” Eagles coach Andy Reid, predictably, was more tight-lipped on McNabb’s chances of suiting up next week. “Yes, there’s a chance,” he said in his postgame press conference. “We’ll see.” McNabb’s history with injuries— he has played all 16 games just once in the past five seasons—is certainly part of the reason the Eagles decided to take a chance on Michael Vick. But Vick is not eligible to return from his league-imposed suspension until Week 3. So if McNabb can’t play, backup Kevin Kolb would get the nod Sunday against New Orleans—“If it comes to that, I’ve got trust in Kevin to do the job,” Reid said—and the Eagles would have to find another backup. A.J. Feeley, who has a long history with the team, was cut by Philadelphia last week and remains a free agent.


Eagles QB Donovan McNabb (5) paid for his touchdown run with a broken rib and is questionable for next week. Regardless of who they bring in, wideout DeSean Jackson will probably take some shotgun snaps in practice. He ran a couple of plays Sunday out of the Wildcat formation, and he was the emergency quarterback. “I just told Kevin, ‘Don’t you get hurt,’ ” Jackson said. “I’ve taken a couple of snaps in practice and thrown the ball a couple of times.” Kolb finished 7-for-11 for 23 yards after McNabb went out. “The biggest thing for a backup quarterback is leadership,” Kolb said. “Not let the offense miss a beat.” —Ryan Fagan






Denver 12, Cincinnati 7

Q&A with ... Broncos QB Kyle Orton

The Inaccurate Deflection gives Broncos win ‘We didn’t beat ourselves’
BY MIKE DECOURCY mdecourcy@sportingnews.com

CINCINNATI—This will not be a play that goes down in NFL history. This was more F-Troop than Hamlet, more “Seasons in the Sun” than “Stairway to Heaven.” No one who saw it in person, though, is likely to forget how Denver quarterback Kyle Orton heaved a pass toward star receiver Brandon Marshall, Cincinnati cornerback Leon Hall made what seemed to be an ideal play in swatting the ball before it reached its target—and then Broncos veteran Brandon Stokley pulled it from the sky and raced down the sideline for a game-changing, game-winning 87-yard touchdown. We shall call it The Inaccurate Deflection and see if that catches on. “I have never seen anything like that,” Bengals QB Carson Palmer said. “I’ve seen a Hail Mary caught in the end zone, but that was little bit different than a Hail Mary.” A successful Hail Mary pass does not occur often, but everyone in a stadium knows there are two possible outcomes when the ball is heaved into the air in that circumstance. After the Broncos blundered through the offseason, with new coach Josh McDaniels chasing star QB Jay Cutler out of town, first-round pick Knowshon Moreno missing eight days of camp as a holdout, Marshall getting himself suspended for unprofessional behavior ... Who could have seen this coming? After the Bengals scored the go-ahead touchdown with 38 seconds left and Denver’s Eddie Royal botched the kickoff return by running out of the end zone, wasting precious seconds and reaching only his 13-yard-line ... Really, who could have seen this coming? Not McDaniels. “We just wanted to give someone a chance,” McDaniels said. “We were planning on using a timeout and taking a shot from there to get in fieldgoal range.” Not Orton. “I didn’t think we were going to score a

CINCINNATI—Kyle Orton’s stats looked decent at the end of the Broncos’ 12-7 comeback victory over the Bengals: 17 of 28 for 243 yards. But they wouldn’t have been much to see without the fluke, 87-yard, game-winning touchdown pass Brandon Stokley caught in the final seconds Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Orton played the game two weeks after a major dislocation in his right finger. Afterward, Orton talked about his performance with Sporting News Today’s Mike DeCourcy and other reporters.
How was your finger throughout the game? It felt all right. Hopefully I’m behind this now, am going to be glove-free next week, I hope. I didn’t have any setbacks today, which was important. It’s been a long two weeks.

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:


Broncos QB Kyle Orton had 243 passing yards with stitches in his gloved throwing hand. right underneath it. I don’t know why he was there. I’m glad he was.


Are the stitches coming out? They’re out now, just after the game. So I’m feeling good.

Q: A:

Teammates realized there was no one left to tackle Broncos WR Brandon Stokley, who turned the deflection into an 87-yard TD. touchdown,” said Orton, in his first start since being traded from Chicago. Certainly not Stokley. “I was going up the inside of the numbers,” he said. “I knew they’d play soft cover 2. It’s tough to complete a long pass against that coverage.” The call was “All-Go,” which, except for the formation, the space-age football equipment and the skill of the players involved, is pure playground. Marshall, Stokley and tight end Tony Scheffler were stacked on the left side, ran straight up the field and looked for Orton to reach one of them with a pass. He almost connected with Marshall, but Hall made a spectacular athletic play to reach and redirect the ball’s flight. It had to be the worst good play he’s ever made. “I should have knocked it down or picked it off,” Hall said. The only truly ingenious part of the play was Stokley’s dance along the 1-yard-line after he was so far into the clear he knew he’d score. That little piece of improv was designed to kill a couple extra seconds of the few that remained. “If he does that and someone tackles him at the 1,” McDaniels said, almost smirking, “we would be talking about a completely different scenario.” What appeared to be a tough break for the Bengals wasn’t purely a product of misfortune. The primary principle in a “prevent” situation is making certain no offensive player wanders beyond the last line of defense. When Hall tipped the ball at the Denver 35 and it flew 8 yards downfield, Stokley was unaccompanied by Bengals. “You’re basically two tackles from winning the football game at that point,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “You don’t get situations like this in practice to prepare for, but we got it today, unfortunately, and didn’t execute it.”

Have you been involved in any bizarre finishes like this, from high school or college? Last year, I was on the other side of a situation like this. We played Atlanta. Scored the game-winning touchdown—we thought—with 12 seconds to go and ended up getting beat in 12 seconds. So I know how that feels, and this feels a whole lot better. From your perspective on the field, when did you know the ball was headed for Brandon? When the ball popped up in the air, I saw him. He was

You win a lot of games it seems that aren’t pretty, but you figure out a way to win them. I think you win a lot of games in the NFL when you win the turnover margin. That’s what we did as an offense. We didn’t beat ourselves.

Q: A:

Q: A:

What did this game say about your defense? We’ve got a great defense. We practiced against these guys for five months now. We need to help them out. We need to keep them off the field a little bit. But this team isn’t going to win games by the offense scoring 50 points every week or the defense shutting teams out every week. We’re going to win by playing team football, playing smart football and winning the kicking game. That’s what we did.



Indianapolis 14, Jacksonville 12



Denver 12, Cincinnati 7

Broncos win on ‘miracle’ catch Colts use late stops to hold off Jaguars
CINCINNATI—Brandon Stokley caught the deflected pass, turned and looked upfield. Nobody stood between him and the end zone. Unbelievable! In the time it takes to sprint the length of the field, Stokley ran Denver out of a crushing loss and into franchise lore. His 87-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left on Sunday provided a 12-7 victory over the Bengals, who are going to need a long time to recover from this one. “You know you need a miracle, and that’s basically what we got,” Stokley said. The Broncos felt sick after Cedric Benson’s 1-yard run put the Bengals up 7-6 with 38 seconds left. No one felt worse than quarterback Kyle Orton, whose poor judgment had given the Bengals their chance to pull ahead. Down to desperation, Orton threw a sideline pass that was nearly intercepted. The next play was a throw to the other sideline for Brandon Marshall, who was blanketed. Cornerback Leon Hall cut in front, went up for the ball and tipped it into the air. The carom went to Stokley, who couldn’t believe his luck as he headed for the end zone, running sideways a few steps to kill time before finally crossing in. Bengals defenders stopped and dropped their heads, unable to fathom the wacky ending. It will go down among the Bengals’ worst, along with the time
out of range for what could have been a third and clinching field goal by Matt Prater. Prater had connected from 48 and 50 yards earlier in the game Still, the odds seemed to be in Denver’s favor. The Bengals had only one first down in the second half against an overhauled defense. Shut down all day, Palmer was perfect in the clutch, completing all six passes on a 91-yard drive to set up Benson’s touchdown run. Turned out to be just a tease. “The funniest, weirdest, craziest ending I’ve ever experienced in football,” Benson said. — The Associated Press
Denver Cincinnati 0 0 3 0 3 0 6 7 — — 12 7


With seconds to play, Broncos WR Brandon Stokley turned a deflection into an 87-yard TD. they failed to run out the clock and let San Francisco’s Joe Montana throw a winning touchdown pass to Jerry Rice on the game’s final play in 1987. That one was the result of a risky coaching decision. This one came off a bad defensive play—Hall didn’t knock the ball down, and none of the safeties was looking for a possible deflection. Orton put the Broncos in line for a kick-to-the-stomach loss in coach Josh McDaniels’ regular season debut. Nursing a dislocated index finger on his right hand, he did just enough to get the Broncos a 6-0 lead heading into the closing minutes. Then, he had a brain-freeze moment on a warm afternoon, taking a sack that pushed Denver

Second Quarter Den: FG Prater 48, :00. Third Quarter Den: FG Prater 50, :14. Fourth Quarter Cin: Benson 1 run (Graham kick), :38. Den: Stokley 87 pass from Orton (pass failed), :11. A: 62,831. Den Cin First downs ...............................................10....................................16 Total Net Yards ........................................302................................. 307 Rushes-yards ......................................20-75..............................27-86 Passing ....................................................227................................. 221 Punt Returns......................................... 3-17................................5-49 Kickoff Returns...................................... 2-17................................2-48 Interceptions Ret. ....................................2-5..................................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................17-28-0..........................21-33-2 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 3-16................................3-26 Punts ..................................................8-42.5.............................7-39.7 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................1-0..................................1-0 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 6-39................................4-27 Time of Possession...............................26:33.............................. 33:27 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Denver, Buckhalter 8-46, Moreno 8-19, Jordan 2-5, Orton 1-3, Hillis 1-2. Cincinnati, Benson 21-76, Ochocinco 1-8, Leonard 2-6, C.Palmer 1-2, Huber 1-0, Scott 1-(minus 6). PASSING: Denver, Orton 17-28-0-243. Cincinnati, C.Palmer 21-332-247. RECEIVING: Denver, Marshall 4-27, Graham 3-40, Gaffney 3-25, Royal 2-18, Buckhalter 2-11, Stokley 1-87, Scheffler 1-29, Hillis 1-6. Cincinnati, Caldwell 6-54, Ochocinco 5-89, Benson 4-32, Leonard 2-24, Henry 1-18, Coats 1-16, Coles 1-11, Foschi 1-3. MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.

INDIANAPOLIS—Indianapolis spent all offseason trying to fix the defense. Mission accomplished—maybe. On a day Peyton Manning tied the franchise record for victories and Jim Caldwell won his NFL debut as a head coach, the game came down to two fourth-quarter defensive stops. The Colts made both of them. “Obviously, the defense played well and came up big at the end,” Caldwell said. “We thought it would be a grind, and it was. I think our team certainly played tough, played hard, played with a lot of energy.” Now the defense must prove it can continue playing this way. Caldwell has instilled a tougher attitude and new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer has implemented a more aggressive scheme to take advantage of the Colts’ speed. The changes paid dividends, especially late when pressure forced David Garrard into poor throws, bad decisions and finally a four-and-out to end it. The bulkier defensive line also held up better against an old nemesis, Maurice Jones-Drew, who rushed 21 times for 97 yards and scored Jacksonville’s only touchdown Sunday. He had averaged 6.3 yards per carry in six previous games against the Colts And it gave Manning win No. 118 as a Colt, tying John Unitas’ franchise record. “I’ve never felt comfortable with comparisons with him. I think he’s kind of in his own category,” Manning said. “But I am proud of those wins.” Manning completed 28-of-38


Colts WR Reggie Wayne (87) shredded the Jaguars with 10 catches for 162 yards and a TD. passes for 301 yards and one TD with an interception in the end zone that cost Indy one scoring chance. Joseph Addai’s fumble deep in Jags territory ended another drive, though he made up for it later in the first half with a 3-yard TD run. Not exactly picture perfect. Worse, receiver Anthony Gonzalez left late in the first quarter with a right knee injury. He ran across the line of scrimmage on a running play, didn’t hit anyone and crumpled to the ground. He did not return, and Caldwell had no update on the injury. Reggie Wayne made up for it by catching 10 passes for 162 yards, including a 35-yard TD in the third quarter. “I asked (Rashean) Mathis what happened and he said, ‘I didn’t even touch him (Gonzalez),’ ” Manning said. “He has worked so hard in the offseason, I just hope it’s not a season-ending injury.” — The Associated Press
Jacksonville Indianapolis 0 0 6 7 0 7 6 0 — — 12 14

Second Quarter Jac: FG Scobee 24, 8:58. Ind: Addai 3 run (Vinatieri kick), 3:39. Jac: FG Scobee 46, :59. Third Quarter Ind: Wayne 35 pass from Manning (Vinatieri kick), 6:56. Fourth Quarter Jac: Jones-Drew 7 run (run failed), 11:07. A: 65,757. Jac Ind First downs ...............................................12.............................. 21 Total Net Yards ........................................228............................365 Rushes-yards ....................................26-114.........................31-71 Passing ....................................................114............................294 Punt Returns............................................0-0.............................2-5 Kickoff Returns...................................... 2-54...........................3-82 Interceptions Ret. ....................................1-0.............................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................14-28-0.....................28-38-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ....................................1-8.............................1-7 Punts ..................................................5-37.8........................2-44.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................0-0.............................1-1 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 3-24...........................3-17 Time of Possession...............................26:04.........................33:56 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Jacksonville, Jones-Drew 21-97, Garrard 4-14, Owens 1-3. Indianapolis, Addai 17-42, Brown 11-33, Manning 3-(minus 4). PASSING: Jacksonville, Garrard 14-28-0-122. Indianapolis, Manning 28-38-1-301. RECEIVING: Jacksonville, Jones-Drew 5-26, Holt 3-47, Lewis 3-23, Williamson 1-10, Jones 1-9, Hughes 1-7. Indianapolis, Wayne 10-162, Addai 5-35, Clark 4-39, Garcon 3-24, Brown 2-16, Collie 2-15, Tamme 1-6, Robinson 1-4. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Jacksonville, Scobee 63 (SH). Indianapolis, Vinatieri 52 (WL).






Atlanta 19, Miami 7

Falcons cage Wildcat, go Gonzo
ATLANTA—For one week at least, the Falcons answered all those questions about their defense. There were never any doubts about Tony Gonzalez. Atlanta’s new tight end hauled in a touchdown pass and became the 21st player in NFL history with 11,000 yards receiving, helping the Falcons beat the mistake-prone Dolphins 19-7 on Sunday. Gonzalez caught five passes for a teamhigh 73 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown that was set up by Mike Peterson’s interception. He made the catch in the flats, cut to the inside while shoving away Yeremiah Bell with his left hand, picked up a nice block from Roddy White and waltzed into the end zone to join the 11,000-yard club. Gonzalez, a former college basketball player, didn’t get a chance to dunk the ball over the goalposts. “I was going for it, but my teammates were jumping all over me so I didn’t have time to get over there,” Gonzalez said. “Plus, I was tired. I was just happy to get in the end zone.” The matchup between the two most surprising teams of 2008 wasn’t much of a game. The Falcons’ defense, highly suspect after letting go five starters and looking shaky during the preseason, came up with four turnovers and thoroughly shut down a team that won the AFC East after going 1-15 two years ago. Peterson—the only prominent player signed by Atlanta on defense during the offseason—forced a fumble with a vicious hit and did a pretty good impression of Gonzalez on the interception, catching it with his fingertips and returning the ball 39 yards to set up Gonzalez’s first TD in Atlanta. “I tell the guys all the time that I’ve got
up Jason Elam’s 36-yard field goal, giving the Falcons a 10-0 halftime lead. The defense came within 3:22 of a shutout, a quick retort to all the critics. “We didn’t get caught up in all the stuff that’s said during the week,” Peterson said. “We just used it as motivation.” Miami activated rookie quarterback Pat White and used him in a new version of the wildcat, without much success. He stopped for no gain the first time he attempted to run and overthrew Ted Ginn Jr. on a deep pass after the receiver beat two defenders. “When the wildcat words, everybody loves it,” Miami quarterback Chad Pennington said. “When it doesn’t, everybody hates it.” — The Associated Press
Miami Atlanta 0 0 0 10 0 6 7 3 — — 7 19

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Second Quarter Atl: Mughelli 1 pass from Ryan (Elam kick), 8:37. Atl: FG Elam 36, :32. Third Quarter Atl: Gonzalez 20 pass from Ryan (kick failed), 1:17. Fourth Quarter Atl: FG Elam 50, 7:35. Mia: Williams 9 pass from Pennington (Carpenter kick), 3:22. A: 67,606. Mia Atl First downs ...................................................... 16 .......................................19 Total Net Yards ............................................... 259 .....................................281 Rushes-yards ..............................................22-96 .................................27-68 Passing ........................................................... 163 .....................................213 Punt Returns.................................................2-11 ...................................3-31 Kickoff Returns..............................................5-92 ...................................2-20 Interceptions Ret. ...........................................0-0 ...................................1-39 Comp-Att-Int ..........................................21-30-1 .............................22-36-0 Sacked-Yards Lost .........................................4-13 ...................................2-16 Punts ..........................................................5-45.0 ................................4-38.8 Fumbles-Lost ..................................................3-3 .....................................1-0 Penalties-Yards .............................................4-27 ...................................4-35 Time of Possession......................................29:07 ................................. 30:53 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Miami, Brown 10-43, Williams 7-39, Ginn Jr. 2-9, Polite 2-5, White 1-0. Atlanta, Turner 22-65, Norwood 2-7, Ryan 3-(minus 4). PASSING: Miami, Pennington 21-29-1-176, White 0-1-0-0. Atlanta, Ryan 22-36-0-229. RECEIVING: Miami, Bess 7-57, Brown 3-10, Ginn Jr. 2-26, Camarillo 2-20, Williams 2-19, Hartline 2-13, Fasano 2-10, Haynos 1-21. Atlanta, Gonzalez 5-73, Norwood 5-49, White 5-42, Jenkins 4-41, Mughelli 2-22, Snelling 1-2. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Atlanta, Elam 42 (WR), 38 (WL).

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QB Matt Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes and Atlanta won the turnover battle 4-0 against Miami. the best hands on the team, but they don’t believe me,” Peterson said. “Maybe they’ll start believing me now.” Matt Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Falcons, who made the playoffs in ’08 after a quick rebuilding job from the Michael Vick debacle. They are off to a good start in their attempt to post consecutive winning seasons for the first time in the club’s 44-year history. Peterson paid immediate dividends, flinging his 33-year-old body into Anthony Fasano after a catch late in the second quarter. Another newcomer, Brian Williams, who started at cornerback after being signed only a week ago, picked up the ball and ran 53 yards to set



N.Y. Jets 24, Houston 7



Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21

No T.O.? No sweat for Romo, ’Boys Inspired by Namath, Sanchez sizzles
TAMPA—Tony Romo and the Cowboys figure they’ll be fine without Terrell Owens. Surrounded by a talented supporting cast that includes receivers Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin and Jason Witten— not to mention running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones—it’s easy to understand why. Romo launched the post-T.O. era Sunday with a career-best 353 yards passing, including three long touchdown strikes that keyed a 34-21 victory and ruined the Buccaneers’ debut under coach Raheem Morris. “Career-high passing yards? Without T.O.?” Williams asked, laughing before turning serious. “No, it’s good. It’s good for him. It’s good for this team. It was a team effort. Everybody contributed.” Austin avoided two tacklers on the sideline to score on a 42-yard reception just before halftime, and Williams streaked through a mistake-prone secondary on a 66-yard TD play early in the third quarter. Romo teamed with Patrick Crayton, who had four catches for 135 yards, on the longest completion of the quarterback’s career—80 yards—for a fourth quarter TD that thwarted any realistic hopes for a Tampa Bay comeback. “They are playmakers, and we knew that going in,” coach Wade Phillips said. “But until you do it, the naysayers are going to say: “Hey. You don’t have this or that.’ But I think we do.” New Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich completed 25-of-41 passes for 276 yards and no interceptions but took a beating from a relentless pass rush once Romo put the Cowseason. Romo completed his first two passes to Williams, but the duo remained relatively quiet until the receiver’s big third-quarter catch put the Cowboys up 20-7. Romo finished 16 of 27 and improved to 8-1 in September starts. “You don’t think about yards. You’re not judged off of yards,” said Romo, who has a franchise-best 17 300-yard games. “You’re judged off of winning and losing at this position.” — The Associated Press
Dallas Tampa Bay 6 0 7 7 7 0 14 14 — — 34 21


In the first game of the post-T.O. era, Dallas QB Tony Romo had a career day—353 yards passing and three long touchdown tosses. boys in control. Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward each scored on 1-yard runs for the Bucs, who rushed for 174 yards but eventually had to abandon the running game. “Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said Morris, who at 33 is the NFL’s youngest head coach. “But there were a lot of good things on offense.” Cadillac Williams, back after having knee surgery twice in 15 months, finished with 97 yards on 13 carries. Ward ran for 62 yards on 12 attempts and was the catalyst on a long second-half drive that briefly put the Bucs back in the game. Both teams are hoping to rebound this year from December collapses that cost them playoffs berths last

First Quarter Dal: FG Folk 51, 9:35. Dal: FG Folk 22, 1:22. Second Quarter TB: Williams 1 run (Nugent kick), 10:19. Dal: Austin 42 pass from Romo (Folk kick), :46. Third Quarter Dal: R.Williams 66 pass from Romo (Folk kick), 11:23. Fourth Quarter TB: Ward 1 run (Nugent kick), 13:45. Dal: Crayton 80 pass from Romo (Folk kick), 12:43. Dal: Barber 6 run (Folk kick), 3:57. TB: Winslow 2 pass from Leftwich (Nugent kick), 1:28. A: 63,806. Dal TB First downs ...............................................18....................................26 Total Net Yards ........................................462................................. 450 Rushes-yards ....................................24-118............................31-174 Passing ....................................................344................................. 276 Punt Returns............................................2-3................................3-27 Kickoff Returns...................................... 4-70..............................4-101 Interceptions Ret. ....................................0-0..................................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................16-27-0..........................25-42-0 Sacked-Yards Lost ....................................1-9..................................0-0 Punts ..................................................4-54.8.............................5-41.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................2-0..................................2-0 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 4-41................................3-15 Time of Possession...............................26:28.............................. 33:32 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Dallas, Barber 14-79, Jones 6-22, Choice 2-10, Crayton 1-5, Romo 1-2. Tampa Bay, Williams 13-97, Ward 12-62, Winslow 1-7, Smith 1-4, Leftwich 3-3, Graham 1-1. PASSING: Dallas, Romo 16-27-0-353. Tampa Bay, Leftwich 25-41-0276, Clayton 0-1-0-0. RECEIVING: Dallas, Witten 5-71, Crayton 4-135, R.Williams 3-86, Choice 2-6, Austin 1-42, Bennett 1-13. Tampa Bay, Clayton 5-93, Winslow 5-30, Stevens 4-41, Stroughter 3-25, Bryant 2-29, Ward 2-21, Clark 1-17, Stovall 1-13, Askew 1-4, Smith 1-3. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Tampa Bay, Nugent 38 (BK), 46 (WR).

HOUSTON—After getting a pregame pep talk from Broadway Joe himself, Mark Sanchez couldn’t help but sparkle in his NFL debut. Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, Thomas Jones scored twice, and the Jets shut down Houston’s high-powered offense in a 24-7 win Sunday. Joe Namath took Sanchez aside just minutes before pregame warmups. The rookie asked him about his first start, and Namath said he didn’t remember it and that Sunday was about Sanchez, not him. “What a pep talk,” a beaming Sanchez said. “That was Joe Namath, just taking all the credit from himself and throwing it back to me and just saying, ‘Good luck.’ To hear that from a legend like that, it just kind of gives you the chills. It was something special to be a part of an emotional start, an emotional little pep talk.” Namath said Sanchez’s performance didn’t surprise him. “No, I was hopeful and I’m satisfied more than I thought I’d be,” Namath said. “His offensive line did a hell of a job, but he did a great job of finding time with his feet, just to move subtly. I don’t doubt even a little bit that he doesn’t have poise at this stage.” It was easy to see Rex Ryan’s stamp on this defense in his first game as Jets head coach after leading the Ravens’ unit for the past several years. Houston’s offense got past midfield once in the first three quarters. The Texans were outgained 462-183, Steve Slaton was held to 17 yards rushing and Andre Johnson had 35 yards receiving.


Mark Sanchez’s sparkling debut (272 yards, one TD) didn’t surprise one particular Jets icon. “It’s just insane,” Slaton said. “You work for six months leading up to this first game. You have all offseason to prepare for this game and then to come out and play like that is upsetting.” Matt Schaub struggled, too, completing 18-of-33 passes for 166 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Coach Gary Kubiak said Schaub hadn’t completely recovered from an ankle sprain he suffered almost two weeks ago but took the blame for Houston’s poor performance. “The offensive football team gave us no chance and that starts with me,” Kubiak said. “There’s nobody that can feel anything good coming out of this football game.” Sanchez was poised and confident from the start, often evading the rush to complete key passes. He completed at least three throws as he was being knocked down. — The Associated Press
N.Y. Jets Houston 3 0 7 0 7 0 7 7 — — 24 7

First Quarter NYJ: FG Feely 24, :08. Second Quarter NYJ: Stuckey 30 pass from Sanchez (Feely kick), 3:21. Third Quarter NYJ: Jones 1 run (Feely kick), 7:35. Fourth Quarter Hou: Barber 48 offensive fumble return (K.Brown kick), 12:18. NYJ: Jones 38 run (Feely kick), 10:10. A: 70,118. NYJ Hou First downs ...............................................22.............................. 11 Total Net Yards ........................................462............................183 Rushes-yards ....................................42-190.........................13-38 Passing ....................................................272............................145 Punt Returns......................................... 3-34.............................0-0 Kickoff Returns...................................... 1-20.........................5-118 Interceptions Ret. ....................................1-0...........................1-14 Comp-Att-Int ...................................18-31-1.....................18-33-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ....................................0-0...........................2-21 Punts ..................................................4-41.0........................6-44.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................2-0.............................2-1 Penalties-Yards ...................................10-80...........................6-37 Time of Possession...............................38:46.........................21:14 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: N.Y. Jets, Jones 20-107, Washington 15-60, B.Smith 1-15, Sanchez 5-6, Richardson 1-2. Houston, Slaton 9-17, C.Brown 3-15, Schaub 1-6. PASSING: N.Y. Jets, Sanchez 18-31-1-272. Houston, Schaub 18-33-1-166. RECEIVING: N.Y. Jets, Cotchery 6-90, Keller 4-94, Stuckey 4-64, Washington 4-24. Houston, Daniels 4-44, A.Johnson 4-35, Slaton 3-35, Davis 3-14, Leach 2-23, Anderson 1-14, C.Brown 1-1. MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.



Baltimore 38, Kansas City 24



New Orleans 45, Detroit 27

Brees shreds Lions with six TDs
NEW ORLEANS—Drew Brees summed up his record-tying performance by harping on “the ones that got away.” If he can do better than this, look out. Brees tied a Saints’ single-game record with six touchdown passes and threw for 358 yards as the Saints beat the Lions 45-27 Sunday to extend the Lions’ regular-season losing streak to 18 games. “I had a lot of opportunities out there,” said Brees, who now shares the franchise mark set by Billy Kilmer in 1969. “A lot of guys made some big plays in this game. Unfortunately, you always think about the ones that got away. There was probably one or two more that we left out there. That’s what keeps you coming back.” Two of Brees’ touchdown passes went to Jeremy Shockey, who hadn’t scored since being traded from the Giants to New Orleans last season. “It’s good to get that asterisk off my name that I haven’t ever scored a touchdown” with the Saints, Shockey said. “Being around a guy like Drew makes it so easy out there because he works so hard. If I get there at 6:10, he’s there at 6:05. He’s that kind of a guy.” Mike Bell led New Orleans’ running game with a career-high 143 yards, carrying the ball with power, speed and elusiveness and getting a standing ovation from the Louisiana Superdome crowd when he trotted off the field late in the fourth quarter. Matthew Stafford’s first start had its ups and downs. The 2009 top overall draft choice was 16 of 37 for 205 yards with three interceptions, two by veteran safety Darren until the fourth quarter, offering hope they may eventually win before reaching Tampa Bay’s record of 26 straight losses. New Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn’t let his defense escape blame, however. “Good gracious. What wouldn’t disappoint me? Points allowed, third-down defense, red zone defense, rushing,” he said. “There’s no silver lining in that performance.” — The Associated Press
Detroit New Orleans 3 14 7 14 17 10 0 7 — — 27 45

NFL, beware: Ravens unveil passing attack
BALTIMORE—The Ravens found a different way to win and did so in record-setting fashion. Long known for their punishing defense and relentless ground game, the Ravens went airborne to beat the Chiefs 38-24 on Sunday. Joe Flacco went 26-for-43 for 307 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs. He was the focal point of an attack that amassed a franchise-record 501 yards and helped ruin the head coaching debut of Todd Haley. Now in his second season, Flacco threw as many as 30 passes in only four games last year—each time in a loss. Given the opportunity to throw the ball instead of handing it off, Flacco couldn’t contain his delight. “It’s awesome. It’s so much fun,” he said. “As a quarterback, that’s what you want to do.” It may not have been an isolated opportunity, either. “We’re going to throw more if it helps us win games,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I think that we will be capable of throwing the ball more ways than we did last year. We have really good players that can make plays.” Such as Mark Clayton, who had five catches for 77 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown grab with 2:06 left that gave Baltimore a 31-24 lead. Willis McGahee scored from the 1 with 31 seconds remaining to clinch it. Another surprising aspect of the game was Kansas City’s ability to keep it close despite playing without


With three grabs for 43 yards, WR Kelley Washington, right, was a key cog in Baltimore’s big day. Matt Cassel, whose sprained left knee did not heal enough to enable him to make his Chiefs debut. That left the quarterbacking responsibilities to Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen, who entered with a collective 1-18 record as NFL starters. The Chiefs didn’t get their initial first down until deep into the second quarter but used a blocked punt and a long interception return to keep it close. Croyle played all but one series and went 16-for-24 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Asked to assess his performance, Croyle said, “Play well, don’t play well—if you don’t win, you still have the same feeling and that’s where I’m at.” Haley added: “I thought Brodie Croyle gave us a chance to win today, and that’s all I’ll ever ask my quarterback to do.” The Chiefs couldn’t contain Clayton or tight end Todd Heap, who had five catches for 74 yards. “It was fun. We haven’t done that too many times around here— ever,” Heap said. — The Associated Press
Kansas City Baltimore 0 10 7 0 7 7 10 21 — — 24 38


Last season, Saints QB Drew Brees became the second player to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. Sunday, he took a step toward repeating the accomplishment. Sharper. “It was tough. Playing from behind is never easy,” Stafford said. “Some of those balls I was throwing, I was just trying to get rid of it and not take a sack. I’m fine. I’ve thrown three picks in a game before. Obviously, I don’t like to lose. I wish I could play better, but I’ve got to learn from it.” Stafford led two touchdown drives, capping one with his first NFL score on a short keeper. Lions safety Louis Delmas also returned a fumble for a 65-yard touchdown, which made it 38-27 late in the third quarter. The Lions had some highlights of their own and stayed in the game

First Quarter NO: Colston 9 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 12:11. NO: Meachem 39 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 9:34. Det: FG Hanson 47, 5:12. Second Quarter Det: K.Smith 4 run (Hanson kick), 14:06. NO: Shockey 1 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 3:45. NO: Shockey 15 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 1:10. Third Quarter Det: Stafford 1 run (Hanson kick), 11:47. NO: FG Carney 39, 6:11. Det: FG Hanson 24, 3:22. NO: Henderson 58 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 3:03. Det: Delmas 65 fumble return (Hanson kick), 1:29. Fourth Quarter NO: H.Evans 13 pass from Brees (Carney kick), 8:29. A: 69,719. Det NO First downs ...............................................14....................................28 Total Net Yards ........................................231................................. 515 Rushes-yards ......................................20-33............................35-157 Passing ....................................................198................................. 358 Punt Returns......................................... 2-55................................3-11 Kickoff Returns....................................5-180..............................6-148 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 1-26................................3-92 Comp-Att-Int ...................................16-37-3..........................26-34-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ....................................1-7..................................0-0 Punts ..................................................5-41.6.............................2-48.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................0-0..................................3-2 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 8-80................................7-36 Time of Possession...............................23:30.............................. 36:30 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Detroit, K.Smith 15-20, Brown 1-9, Felton 2-4, Stafford 2-0. New Orleans, Bell 28-143, Bush 7-14. PASSING: Detroit, Stafford 16-37-3-205. New Orleans, Brees 26-341-358. RECEIVING: Detroit, K.Smith 7-52, B.Johnson 4-45, C.Johnson 3-90, FitzSimmons 1-11, Figurs 1-7. New Orleans, Henderson 5-103, Bush 5-55, H.Evans 4-35, Shockey 4-31, Colston 3-30, Meachem 2-51, Moore 2-38, D.Thomas 1-15. MISSED FIELD GOALS: New Orleans, Carney 34 (BK).

First Quarter Bal: FG Hauschka 44, 10:19. Bal: McGahee 3 pass from Flacco (Hauschka kick), 2:04. Second Quarter KC: McGraw blocked punt recovery in end zone (Succop kick), 9:55. Third Quarter KC: Bowe 2 pass from Croyle (Succop kick), 8:52. Bal: Heap 9 pass from Flacco (Hauschka kick), 3:57. Fourth Quarter KC: FG Succop 53, 11:57. Bal: L.McClain 1 run (Hauschka kick), 8:10. KC: Ryan 10 pass from Croyle (Succop kick), 5:21. Bal: Clayton 31 pass from Flacco (Hauschka kick), 2:06. Bal: McGahee 1 run (Hauschka kick), :31. A: 71,099. KC Bal First downs ...............................................11.............................. 32 Total Net Yards ........................................188............................501 Rushes-yards ......................................17-29.......................41-198 Passing ....................................................159............................303 Punt Returns............................................1-0.............................3-9 Kickoff Returns....................................6-118...........................4-79 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 1-70.............................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................16-24-0.....................26-43-1 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 3-18.............................1-4 Punts ..................................................5-49.2........................3-29.0 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................2-0.............................1-0 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 3-15...........................8-65 Time of Possession...............................20:11.........................39:49 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Kansas City, L.Johnson 11-20, Charles 4-8, Thigpen 1-2, Battle 1-(minus 1). Baltimore, Rice 19-108, McGahee 10-44, L.McClain 6-19, Flacco 5-18, Clayton 1-9. PASSING: Kansas City, Croyle 16-24-0-177. Baltimore, Flacco 26-43-1-307. RECEIVING: Kansas City, Bradley 4-73, Bowe 4-40, Charles 4-29, Engram 2-19, Ryan 1-10, L.Johnson 1-6. Baltimore, Clayton 5-77, Heap 5-74, Mason 4-47, McGahee 4-31, K.Washington 3-43, L.McClain 3-23, Rice 2-12. MISSED FIELD GOALS: Baltimore, Hauschka 41 (WL).



San Francisco 20, Arizona 16



Seattle 28, St. Louis 0

Seahawks revived under Mora
SEATTLE—The feisty, new-look Seahawks of coach Jim Mora attacked on defense during plays—and scrapped after them. On offense, they showed balance between run and pass, and did a good job of protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. It was as if 2008 never happened. St. Louis resembled the same old Rams, who went 2-14 last year and got Steve Spagnuolo his first head coaching job. Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame two interceptions in his first three throws Sunday to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns in Seattle’s 28-0 romp past the Rams. Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season with a bad back, finished 25 of 36 for 279 yards passing, his most for an opener. Seattle’s first shutout in almost two years was its ninth consecutive win over its division rivals. It was also Seattle’s biggest win to begin a season since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia in 1998. “The whole offseason, they said our team was soft,” said rookie outside linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick who scuffled repeatedly with Rams running back Steven Jackson. “We’ve got to change our image.” Mora was smiling after his first game as a head coach since the end of the 2006 season for Atlanta. Nine months ago, the Seahawks were 4-12 for Mike Holmgren. The former visiting locker room attendant for the Seahawks at the old Kingdome returned to his loss against Philadelphia that opened last season. “Yeah, I’m not going there,” said Spagnuolo, who was the Giants’ defensive coordinator at the time. St. Louis managed just 13 first downs against the new, attacking schemes of first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Marc Bulger, playing with tape on his broken right pinkie, was 17 of 36 for 191 yards. He was sacked three times. He said the Rams “aren’t going to panic” after just one game. And Spagnuolo sounded encouraged. “I’m obviously disappointed in the result, but I’m not disappointed in the effort,” he said. “We feel we are better than that. And that’s a good thing.” — The Associated Press
St. Louis Seattle 0 0 0 14 0 14 0 0 — — 0 28

49ers leave Cardinals puzzled again
GLENDALE, ARIZ.—The NFC championship banner was freshly hanging from the stadium rafters. The offense that helped Arizona win it was rarely on display. San Francisco’s, on the other hand, showed up just enough. The 49ers went three-and-out on five of their six second-half possessions on Sunday, but Shaun Hill directed a masterful 15-play, 80-yard drive on the other. His 3-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore with 7:26 to play was the difference in the 20-16 victory over the Cardinals. “It wasn’t anything necessarily that I said,” Hill said. “The whole unit was saying the same thing: ‘Hey, it’s time to go.’ ” The Cardinals looked a lot like the team that went 0-4 in the preseason and not much, at least on offense, like the one that won three playoff games before a near-miss against Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl just a few months ago. “We’re just not meshing,” said Kurt Warner, who threw two interceptions and faced a fierce pass rush. “We never seem to get into a rhythm. There always seems to be something to stop us.” The 49ers, who endured a brutal training camp under coach Mike Singletary, gave the coach a victory in his first opener after taking over for the fired Mike Nolan seven games into last season. It was Arizona’s first loss to an NFC foe in two seasons. “To come in their backyard, after everything they’ve accomplished,


Frank Gore rushed for only 30 yards, but he did score the game winner for the 49ers. we knew it was going to be a tremendous challenge,” Singletary said. For the seventh time in the last eight meetings between the teams, the final margin was seven points or less. Arizona rallied from 10 points down to go up 16-13 on Neil Rackers’ 44-yard field goal with 14:52 to play, but the 49ers regained control with a drive that used up nearly half of the final quarter. “We’re definitely too good to be having these kind of performances,” the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald said. The Cardinals held Gore to 30 yards in 22 carries and sacked Hill four times, but Arizona committed 12 penalties for 82 yards and had its pass protection break down at crucial times. “The one thing I want to say for us is that you can’t have penalties, you can’t have mistakes and expect to win,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. — The Associated Press
San Francisco Arizona 6 0 7 6 0 7 7 3 — — 20 16


Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck threw three TDs and 279 yards in a big offensive outing. hometown for a day he said he’d thought of “for a long, long time.” “It was especially emotional for me, because there is some significance to it. I’d be lying if I told you there wasn’t,” the 47-year-old said. “It was kind of a surreal experience.” His revived Seahawks took advantage of a rare use of instant replay to cruise over the sloppy, undisciplined Rams, who pushed and shoved their way to 10 penalties. Two of them were personal fouls after plays by offensive lineman Richie Incognito. “Would you rather us just get our tail kicked and walk back (to the huddle)?” Jackson said. “You saw some fight in this team.” Yet St. Louis gained just 247 yards in an effort similar to its 38-3

Second Quarter Sea: Carlson 1 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick), 5:45. Sea: Burleson 12 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick), :12. Third Quarter Sea: Carlson 33 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick), 5:02. Sea: J.Jones 62 run (Mare kick), 3:42. A: 67,610. StL Sea First downs ...............................................13.................................... 25 Total Net Yards ........................................247..................................446 Rushes-yards ......................................18-77............................ 34-167 Passing ....................................................170..................................279 Punt Returns......................................... 1-24.................................4-28 Kickoff Returns...................................... 2-42.................................1-20 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 2-12...................................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................17-36-0...........................25-36-2 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 3-21...................................0-0 Punts ..................................................8-50.8..............................5-53.2 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................2-1...................................2-1 Penalties-Yards ...................................10-85.................................4-25 Time of Possession...............................27:33...............................32:27 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: St. Louis, Jackson 16-67, Avery 1-8, Bulger 1-2. Seattle, J.Jones 19-117, James 11-30, Forsett 3-17, Hasselbeck 1-3. PASSING: St. Louis, Bulger 17-36-0-191. Seattle, Hasselbeck 25-362-279. RECEIVING: St. Louis, Avery 6-46, Robinson 5-87, McMichael 4-44, Fells 1-9, Burton 1-5. Seattle, Burleson 7-74, Carlson 6-95, Houshmandzadeh 6-48, J.Jones 2-19, S.Wallace 1-24, Obomanu 1-11, Butler 1-7, Griffith 1-1. MISSED FIELD GOALS: St. Louis, Jo.Brown 37 (WR).

First Quarter SF: FG Nedney 37, 5:34. SF: FG Nedney 50, 1:22. Second Quarter Ari: FG Rackers 44, 14:03. SF: Gore 6 run (Nedney kick), 2:23. Ari: FG Rackers 29, :00. Third Quarter Ari: Fitzgerald 5 pass from Warner (Rackers kick), 4:11. Fourth Quarter Ari: FG Rackers 43, 14:52. SF: Gore 3 pass from S.Hill (Nedney kick), 7:26. A: 61,981. SF Ari First downs ...............................................13.............................. 17 Total Net Yards ........................................203............................299 Rushes-yards ......................................25-21.........................17-40 Passing ....................................................182............................259 Punt Returns......................................... 4-37...........................5-55 Kickoff Returns...................................... 2-40...........................3-62 Interceptions Ret. ................................. 2-12.............................0-0 Comp-Att-Int ...................................18-31-0.....................26-44-2 Sacked-Yards Lost ................................. 4-27...........................3-29 Punts ..................................................8-49.1........................6-54.7 Fumbles-Lost ...........................................1-1.............................1-0 Penalties-Yards ..................................... 4-31.........................12-82 Time of Possession...............................31:37.........................28:23 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: San Francisco, Gore 22-30, Norris 1-2, Coffee 1-(minus 3), Bruce 1-(minus 8). Arizona, B.Wells 7-29, Hightower 8-15, Warner 2-(minus 4). PASSING: San Francisco, S.Hill 18-31-0-209. Arizona, Warner 26-44-2-288. RECEIVING: San Francisco, V.Davis 5-40, Bruce 4-74, Morgan 3-38, Gore 3-18, Battle 2-22, Walker 1-17. Arizona, Hightower 12-121, Fitzgerald 6-71, Urban 5-74, Boldin 2-19, Kreider 1-3. MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.



East N.Y. Jets Buffalo New England Miami South Indianapolis Houston Jacksonville Tennessee North Baltimore Pittsburgh Cincinnati Cleveland West Denver Oakland San Diego Kansas City W 1 0 0 0 W 1 0 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 0 0 0 L 0 0 0 1 L 0 1 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 0 1 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 Pct 1.000 .000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 .000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 .000 .000 .000




Brady back, but championship experience limited
BY ALBERT BREER abreer@sportingnews.com

PF 24 0 0 7 PF 14 7 12 10 PF 38 13 7 20 PF 12 0 0 24

PA Home Away 7 0 0 19 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

AFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 AFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 AFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

FOXBOROUGH, MASS.—Much as they are viewed as the NFL’s model franchise for the 21st century, it has been four years, seven months and eight days since the New England Patriots last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. And the players here haven’t lost sight of that. Going five seasons without a title might not be a big deal other places. It is in New England, for these players and coaches, fewer and fewer of whom were around when this franchise was at the apex from which it has slipped ever so slightly. “Every loss that I’ve had here in my career I can remember because they’re always important losses,” said Tom Brady, whose last finished a game in the most devastating of losses—the 17-14 Super Bowl 42 gutwrencher vs. the Giants. “They’re playoff losses, like that one or the Indy game the year before that, that was tough. That was really tough. “The Denver one, where I threw the interception, that was really tough. But you learn from them.” Brady has lost three playoff games in his career and referenced each one in a matter of seconds. The Patriots are 34-7 in Brady’s last 41 starts (including playoffs). But three of those losses ended seasons—the three he referenced above—and there’s nary a championship in that stretch. And never have things been placed in perspective the way they are now. Brady was 27 when the club last won a title and went into that ’05 season with a roster brimming with championship experience.


The Patriots are 34-7 with Tom Brady at QB in the last 41 starts, but three losses were in the playoffs. Brady is now 32 and coming off reconstructive knee surgery. While Brady is, by all accounts, about fully recovered, such events have a way of displaying how precious the kind of success New England had from 2001-04 really is. Take guys like Logan Mankins and James Sanders, members of the Patriots’ ’05 draft class. Neither has a ring. And each experienced missing the playoffs for the first time last fall. See, no matter what challenges the Patriots faced in the regular season, the playoffs seem a birthright and a chance to right all the wrongs. That chance didn’t come last year. “That really sucked,” Mankins said. “We’re accustomed to going to the playoffs, and that’s what we strive for every year—getting in to

the tournament, and then seeing what we can do once we get there. “It was weird. And it was tough, watching teams play that we knew we could do well against. It was one of those situations: You’re a home watching, and you can’t do anything about it.” That’s where tonight comes in. Brady’s back, and he has a full complement of weapons, headlined by wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The defense is much younger than it has been—five starters from last year have departed— and the roster, as a whole, has fewer proven commodities. But the goals remain the same, and it has been quite some time since those targets have been hit in New England. And last year, in particular, drove that point home. “You think about what you could’ve done, what you should’ve done, couple of games here and there, that’d give you a chance to play in the postseason,” Sanders said. “But we didn’t make those plays, we didn’t do what we had to do. We didn’t handle our business, so we were home watching the playoffs, instead of being in it, but it was a great learning experience for those who take that for granted.” Doesn’t sound like anyone will be doing that again.

PA Home Away 12 24 14 13 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 24 10 12 34 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

PA Home Away 7 0 0 38 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

East N.Y. Giants Dallas Philadelphia Washington South New Orleans Atlanta Carolina Tampa Bay North Green Bay Minnesota Chicago Detroit West San Francisco Seattle Arizona St. Louis W 1 1 1 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 W 1 1 0 0 L 0 0 0 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 L 0 0 1 1 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0 Pct 1.000 1.000 1.000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 Pct 1.000 1.000 .000 .000 PF 23 34 38 17 PF 45 19 10 21 PF 21 34 15 27 PF 20 28 16 0 PA Home Away 17 21 10 23 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 NFC 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 AFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 AFC 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 Div 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 Div 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 27 7 38 34 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0

PA Home Away 15 20 21 45 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0

PA Home Away 16 0 20 28 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0

The line: New England by 11 (O/U 47½)
BUFFALO BILLS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS—BILLS: DNP: TE Derek Fine (hamstring), CB Drayton Florence (knee). LIMITED: DT Spencer Johnson (thigh). PATRIOTS: DNP: DT Myron Pryor (calf), WR Matt Slater (elbow). LIMITED: C Dan Connolly (back), WR Julian Edelman (ankle), RB Sammy Morris (finger), CB Shawn Springs (knee), WR Wes Welker (knee), CB Terrence Wheatley (knee). FULL: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder), S Bret Lockett (chest), TE Benjamin Watson (hamstring).

Sept. 10 Pittsburgh 13, Tennessee 10, OT Sunday’s games Atlanta 19, Miami 7 N.Y. Jets 24, Houston 7 New Orleans 45, Detroit 27 Denver 12, Cincinnati 7 Baltimore 38, Kansas City 24 Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21 Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20 Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10 Indianapolis 14, Jacksonville 12 Seattle 28, St. Louis 0 N.Y. Giants 23, Washington 17 San Francisco 20, Arizona 16 Green Bay 21, Chicago 15 Today’s games Buffalo at New England, 7 p.m. San Diego at Oakland, 10:15 p.m.







Diversified Chargers no longer centered around LT
OAKLAND—Whether the game has been at night or during the day, in San Diego or in Oakland, early in the season or late, the formula has been shockingly similar when the Chargers play the Raiders in recent years. LaDainian Tomlinson runs up and down the field, Raiders quarterbacks spend much of the game on their backs, and the Chargers have won 11 consecutive games in a now one-sided rivalry. Heading into the season opener tonight in Oakland, the offensive side of the formula might be changing a bit for San Diego, even if the results stay the same. “With so many weapons we have, I don’t have to do what I did early in my career where we ran the ball so much,” Tomlinson said. “Everything centered around me, and we relied a lot on me and that running game. Now we can spread the wealth around.” With Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson emerging as one of the elite quarterback-receiver duos, Antonio Gates still a dominant tight end and Darren Sproles becoming a legitimate change-of-pace back, Tomlinson no longer has to carry the entire load in San Diego. Tomlinson, 30, is coming off the worst year of his career, when a toe injury limited him to 1,110 yards, a 3.8yard average per carry and 11 touchdowns. But despite his advancing age and declining production, Tomlinson says his best seasons might be ahead of him. “I’m certainly not thinking I’m going to put up another season like I did last year, especially if I’m healthy,” he said. “Last year, I battled injuries all year. Just having the chance to be healthy again is what I’m most grateful for.”

The line: San Diego by 10 (O/U 43)


Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson has averaged 119.1 rushing yards in 16 career games against the Raiders.

Tomlinson had only 292 carries last season, the first time in his career he didn’t hit the 300-mark. Coach Norv Turner spread the ball out more on offense to capitalize on the strengths of Rivers, who tied for the NFL lead with 34 touchdown passes, and some of the other younger players. But Turner knows he can still rely on Tomlinson if he needs to, especially because it’s tougher for defenses to key on the running game. “I’m not sure you’d want him to do that week in and week out like he’s done in the past, but I think there’s going to be times when he’s going to have to carry the load and times when people load up in there and we do what we can to take advantage of it,” Turner said. Tomlinson couldn’t have picked a better opponent to open the season against as he tries to rebound from last year. L.T. has played the equivalent of a full season, or 16 games, against the Raiders, rushing for 1,906 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has also caught three touchdown passes and even thrown for three. He has been even better during the 11-game winning streak, averaging 127 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns on the ground, two on receptions, and two TD passes. He hasn’t lost to the Raiders since the opening month of his third season in the NFL, back in September 2003. — The Associated Press

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— Mike Preston Starting OLB Tavares Gooden sprained his knee in the third quarter Sunday. Early tests revealed that Gooden had only a sprain, although Gooden said he felt something tear in his knee. He is expected to undergo further tests today. Gooden, in his second season, had a strong camp and preseason. He has an endless amount of energy and is unselfish. The Ravens are loaded at his position, though. Next up would be veteran Brendon Ayanbadejo, who filled in for Gooden in the second half. Ayanbadejo, though, is the Ravens’ special teams ace, and unlikely would be able to fill both spots. Another candidate to replace Gooden, if necessary, would be second-year player Jameel McClain. McClain is an athletic pass rusher who has played both the inside and outside linebacker. — Allen Wilson The secondary could be a little short-handed tonight at New England. Veteran CB Drayton Florence is doubtful because of a sprained knee sustained four weeks ago. His inability to practice all week makes it unlikely he will play. Florence, a key free-agent pickup, is expected to be a key figure in the nickel and dime coverages. He’ll be replaced by Ashton Youboty, the No. 3 corner last season before hurting his foot. … The offensive line shuffle might not be over, now that the team brought in 13-year veteran RT Jon Runyan for a visit Friday. Runyan would bring significant experience, toughness and a nasty disposition. He had started 192 consecutive games since ’97, all at right tackle. The Bills reportedly are among

four teams interested. — Chick Ludwig The offense in general and the line in particular better improve quickly or it’s going to be a long season. The team’s average drive start on 11 series was its 28-yard line, but it rushed for only 86 yards, generated 16 first downs and scored just seven points Sunday. The line allowed three sacks and didn’t block consistently. ... Now, it will have to deal with the loss of LG Nate Livings, who limped off under his own power after sustaining a left knee injury. Livings started the final six games of ’08, helping trigger a resurgent rushing attack. His replacement, Evan Mathis, is a fifth-year veteran who needs time to get in sync with line mates. ... QB Carson Palmer is healthy but rusty after missing 12 games last season with a right elbow injury. His two interceptions and WR Laveranues Coles’ two dropped passes are clear signs the offense has a long way to go to become respectable again. — Steve Doerschuk QB Brady Quinn played poorly in his first opening-day start, but he wasn’t helped by new coordinator Brian Daboll’s play-calling, which was choppy and unconventional. So it was hard to condemn Quinn beyond acknowledging he needs to play much better for the Browns to avoid another 4-12 season. Quinn bristles at suggestions he can’t throw downfield and prides himself on taking what the defense gives, but he and Dabool might need to start taking more chances down field because Sunday’s dink-and-dunk approach didn’t translate to sustained drives. The Browns also must rethink the assumption RB Jamal Lewis should get fewer carries now that he is 30. Lewis was assertive and effective against Minnesota but had only 11 carries. Bottom line: The Browns are looking for a new identity with a young quarterback, but the offense didn’t have one in the opener.

Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore Ravens


Browns QB Brady Quinn, who was 21 of 35 for 205 yards in Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, might need to take more chances down field. — Frank Schwab QB Kyle Orton didn’t play his best game Sunday but got through it healthy and led Denver to a miraculous win. Orton played with a glove on his right hand because his injured index finger made it difficult for him to grip the ball. Orton said he hopes to ditch the glove for next week’s game vs. Cleveland. He also had the stitches removed after Sunday’s game in Cincinnati, after keeping the stitches in as a precaution. Orton said he wasn’t affected by the hand and didn’t throw too poorly, but he should improve as he gets healthier. Orton played a safe game, not taking chances downfield but also didn’t turn the ball over. — John McClain Not that he would have made a big difference Sunday, but when WR Kevin Walter is playing he’s the best blocker at his position. Walter was inactive because of a hamstring injury.

Denver Broncos

Cleveland Browns

Buffalo Bills

Veteran Andre Davis replaced him and sustained a concussion, relegating him to the bench. The Texans will need Walter at Tennessee next week or will fail miserably in the running game. On Sunday, the Texans ran only 13 times for 38 yards. RB Steve Slaton, who had only a 2.9-yard average per carry, ran nine times for 17 yards Sunday. The Titans have one of the NFL’s best run defenses. They shut down Pittsburgh in the overtime loss Thursday. If Walter comes back, the running and passing games should benefit. — Mike Chappell WR Anthony Gonzalez sprained a ligament in his right knee that could force him to miss more than a month. It immediately forces the team to lean heavily on second-year pro Pierre Garcon and rookie Austin Collie. Each played well during camp and preseason, but now must elevate their games. Garcon had three catches for 24 yards Sunday, and

Collie had two catches for 15 yards. Each would have been dependable as a No. 3 complement to Reggie Wayne and Gonzalez. Now, they have to assume a much heavier role. ... The loss of Gonzalez could mean an even heavier workload for TE Dallas Clark. He’s most effective when he moves into the slot and offers QB Peyton Manning a nice medium and deep threat.

Jacksonville Jaguars

— Michael C. Wright

Indianapolis Colts

Houston Texans

Starting DE Reggie Hayward could be out for a significant amount of time, having fractured his leg Sunday. Coach Jack Del Rio said he didn’t yet know if the injury would require surgery. The injury might force the Jaguars to change their base 4-3 front to a predominantly 3-4 look because the club lacks 4-3 defensive ends. The club has plenty of end/linebacker ’tweeners, a better fit in a 3-4 scheme. Shifting to a 3-4 front, though, would hinder the club’s ability to stop the run.






Kansas City Chiefs
— Adam Teicher The defense must make quick improvements or see the season get away in a hurry. In a performance reminiscent of last season, the Chiefs got little pressure on the quarterback Sunday and allowed almost 200 yards rushing. Coordinator Clancy Pendergast must make better use of the blitz. The Chiefs used it sparingly against the Ravens but weren’t effective when they did blitz. A vivid example came on the game’s most important play. The Chiefs sent eight players after Baltimore QB Joe Flacco on a third down but couldn’t rush his throw. The 31-yard TD pass with two minutes left gave the Ravens the lead for good. Part of the problem is the Chiefs, perhaps in an effort to disguise blitzes, sent players from the back of their defense. Quick passes can frustrate that game plan. The poor defensive performance comes after an encouraging preseason. The Chiefs are limited offensively and won’t be able to overcome such defensive weakness.

with White, mainly because the Dolphins couldn’t get their base offense going enough to add new wrinkles.

New England Patriots

— Ian R. Rapoport Mostly a reserve for the better part of the decade, Jarvis Green steps into the big hole at right end that opened when the team shipped Richard Seymour to Oakland. Green has produced before, filling in during the 2004 AFC title game with 2½ sacks. Green (6-3, 285) isn’t an overly strong player, but he is tough enough to tie up two blockers. He just may not provide the big-play ability of Seymour. … QB Tom Brady is listed as probable with a right shoulder injury, but he’s fine. The quarterback practiced at full strength this week and shouldn’t have any limits. WRs Wes Welker and Julian Edelman are both questionable with leg injuries, but they practiced this week and are expected to play. … Mention the name of Fred Jackson and Patriots defenders flash back. In the Patriots’ 13-0 win at Buffalo in the 2008 finale, the Bills’ running back torched the New England run defense for 136 yards, with a long of 32. WR Terrell Owens may be dominating the headlines, but it’s Jackson who could cause the most problems for the Pats .

package. The absence of Polamalu, expected to be sidelined three to six weeks with a sprained MCL, is the biggest loss the defense can absorb because he is allowed to do so many things on his own in Dick LeBeau’s defense—a freedom no other player is given. Polamalu will be replaced by veteran Tyrone Carter, a solid tackler who plays best near the line of scrimmage.

San Diego Chargers


Titans TE Bo Scaife has a sprained knee that could keep him out of their Week 2 game against the Texans. ing chess match. struggles in his new role, Cable will call on PR Johnnie Lee Higgins to handle kickoffs. Cable hopes he won’t have to go that route because Higgins also is the No. 3 receiver, and Cable is concerned about wearing him down.

Oakland Raiders

New York Jets

Miami Dolphins

— Jeff Darlington Hidden within a dismal loss that included an unusual four turnovers—Miami tied an NFL record last season with only 13 turnovers all season—the Dolphins unveiled for the first time their plans for rookie Pat White. White got three snaps Sunday on offense in a package that resembled the spread. White’s debut was lackluster, although it showed some innovative potential despite its lack of execution. On one play, with RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both in the game, they crossed by each other in front of White, who then pulled the trigger on a long pass downfield to WR Ted Ginn was open, but White overthrew him. Coach Tony Sparano said the team didn’t get to do much

— J.P. Pelzman As ILB Bart Scott described it afterward, the Jets were able to shut down Houston’s offense Sunday because they were able to penetrate the backfield on both pass and run plays, thereby preventing the Texans from getting matchups in space. As Scott said, Houston wants to turn the game into a “seven-onseven” drill and give WR Andre Johnson “free access down the field.” But the Jets simply were too physical for the Texans, especially on the defensive side. “That’s how you beat a finesse team,” Scott said. Coach Rex Ryan also moved players into different positions to give Houston as many looks as possible. On one play, for instance, NT Kris Jenkins lined up as an inside linebacker. It won’t be as easy to confuse New England QB Tom Brady next week, making for a very interest-

— Steve Corkran WR Javon Walker says he is as healthy as he has been at any point in his eight-year career. Yet coach Tom Cable isn’t convinced Walker is healthy enough to help out in the team’s first game. Walker underwent surgery on his right knee in April and spent the most of camp rehabilitating his knee. He played in the final two exhibition games but failed to make much of an impact. As a result, Cable is more comfortable starting rookies Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey in the opener tonight against the Chargers and Walker won’t be active. If he doesn’t heal well enough to Cable’s satisfaction soon, the Raiders could place him on I.R. or release him. Rookie WR/KR Nick Miller is doubtful tonight because of shin splints, which means Cable likely will have to use RB Louis Rankin as the kick returner. Rankin has never played in an NFL game and lacks experience as a kick returner. If Rankin

— Kevin Acee The Chargers will begin the season working three players at right end. Which players those will be might remain a mystery until tonight at Oakland. Starter Jacques Cesaire (calf) practiced on a limited basis Friday but should be able to play. If he does, either Travis Johnson or Ogemdi Nwagbuo likely will be inactive. Rookie Vaughn Martin will probably be active, as he progressed in the preseason. Regardless, it should be a healthy rotation at right end against the Raiders. ... The last time QB Philip Rivers played at Oakland (Week 4 last year), he was sacked four times and hit another six times in San Diego’s 28-18 win. The Chargers have won 11 straight against the Raiders, but it’s always a physical game up front. With rookie RG Louis Vasquez making his first start against the mammoth and strong Raiders front, protection is a concern.

Pittsburgh Steelers

— Gerry Dulac It is not known whether ILB Lawrence Timmons, who did not play in the opener because of a high ankle sprain, will be ready for Sunday’s game at Chicago. But with SS Troy Polamalu definitely out, the defense could be missing its two most explosive players. Timmons’ replacement, Keyaron Fox, was solid against the Titans, making five tackles and recovering a fumble in his first start with the Steelers. But after a preseason in which he was aggressive and disruptive, Fox looked a little tentative against the Titans. Timmons has such unique abilities that when Polamalu was sidelined a couple of years ago, coordinator Dick LeBeau had him play in Polamalu’s spot in the nickel

Tennessee Titans

— Jim Wyatt With veteran Bo Scaife battling a knee sprain, the Titans are banged up at the tight end position heading into the Week 2 game against the Texans. An MRI showed no significant damage in the knee, and coach Jeff Fisher called Scaife “day to day,” but his availability is unknown for Sunday. The Titans played against the Steelers without rookie TE Jared Cook, who had an impressive preseason in the passing game but was inactive against Pittsburgh because of an ankle injury. Fisher said he expects Cook to be available against the Texans. The Titans’ other tight ends—Alge Crumpler and Craig Stevens—are best known for their blocking abilities at the line of scrimmage.



the Bears’ cover-2 so they may need to adjust their scheme. Losing Tinoisamoa isn’t as crucial since Nick Roach started nine games at the strongside spot last year. … TE Desmond Clark also went out with a back injury. He returned once, but then left for good.



Arizona Cardinals
— Kent Somers S Matt Ware is a backup, but he plays a key role in the team’s dime defense. He suffered a stinger in the loss to the 49ers—his second in as many weeks—and was hurting after the game. Ware and fellow S Rashad Johnson play in the dime, allowing SS Adrian Wilson to move near the line scrimmage and FS Antrel Rolle to play in the slot. If Ware is out, the Cardinals will use their nickel more. That means Ralph Brown would play in the slot, with Rolle lining up at deep safety. There was no word on Ware’s prognosis. QB Kurt Warner suffered what he termed a stinger near the end of the first half but didn’t miss a play. Warner said after the game that he was fine. Backup DE Kenny Iwebema suffered a sprained ankle, the severity of which was unknown after the game. He is the team’s top reserve end, and the Cardinals are thin at the position.

explosiveness. Opponents will attack that weakness, and the Saints offered up the perfect blueprint.

Green Bay Packers

Dallas Cowboys


All Pro TE Tony Gonzalez came as advertised for the Falcons—he had 73 yards and a 21-yard TD catch-and-run.

Atlanta Falcons

— D. Orlando Ledbetter Rookie DT Peria Jerry suffered a rib injury Sunday when he collided with Falcons LB Mike Peter. Both were dazed for a couple of minutes, son and Jerry was replaced at nose tackle by Thomas Johnson. If Jerry is out for an extended period, Johnson, who made the team after being cut by three clubs, would step in. He’s a high-energy, hard-working guy who lacks Perry’s explosiveness. Trey Lewis, inactive against Miami, would be available for depth purposes. Lewis showed flashes of power and quickness during his rookie season in 2007. He’s rounding back into form after missing last season with a knee injury. … TE Tony Gonzalez put on a show in his first game with the Falcons. He caught five passes for 73 yards, and on his 21-yard TD catch, he became the 21st player in NFL history with 11,000 career receiving yards.

Carolina Panthers

— Darin Gantt The Panthers insist they’re sticking with Jake Delhomme. They may not have a choice. Delhomme had another horrendous performance, including four interceptions and a fumble that was returned for a TD in the 38-10 loss to Philadelphia. It was eerily similar to his six-turnover disaster in last year’s playoff loss to Arizona. “It’s frustrating, but not because of the Arizona thing,” Delhomme said. “It’s frustrating today.” Coach John Fox confirmed Delhomme will start next week at Atlanta. Delhomme completed 7-of-17 passes for 73 yards and four interceptions, with a passer rating of 14.7, but he was also sacked three times and pressured throughout the game. He was relieved by Josh McCown in the third quarter, but McCown later left on a cart after suffering knee and foot injuries. Third QB Matt Moore finished the game.

Fox didn’t specify how long McCown might be out, but he was in considerable pain afterward and unlikely to be ready next week.

— Jean-Jacques Taylor Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett spent the offseason saying he thought the Cowboys had the weapons to replace WR Terrell Owens. Well, the wideouts proved Garrett right—for one week, anyway—as Patrick Crayton, Roy Williams and Miles Austin combined for eight catches, 263 yards and three TDs in the win at Tampa Bay. More important, no receiver had more than seven passes directed his way. The Cowboys want Tony Romo to spread the ball around and let the coverage dictate where he goes with the ball instead of forcing it to one player like he often did with Owens. For some perspective, consider Owens had seven or fewer passes directed toward him just 10 times over three seasons. He had 10 or more passes thrown toward him in 18 games. Though only Austin has above-average speed among the receivers, the Cowboys have good depth and will use the strengths of Crayton, Williams and Austin to exploit coverages and matchups.

— Tom Silverstein The victory over the Bears didn’t come without a price. SS Atari Bigby suffered a knee sprain that knocked him out of the game and could be a problem in the coming weeks. Bigby was just starting to feel 100% from off-season ankle surgery. Aaron Rouse can fill Bigby’s spot, but he lacks speed and played too deep when he replaced Bigby. He’s 6-4, which can beneficial except when he doesn’t get his pads down. The other option to replace Bigby would be newly acquired Derrick Martin. But he wasn’t in camp with the team and would need a lot of work to get ready to play a lot. . . The club expects DE B.J. Raji and KR Will Blackmon to return next week after sitting out Sunday. Raji wasn’t missed because starter Johnny Jolly was superb and backup Mike Montgomery played solidly. Jordy Nelson did a very good job replacing Blackmon, especially on kickoffs.

Minnesota Vikings

Detroit Lions Chicago Bears
— Gene Chamberlain The Bears’ linebacker corps took a hit Sunday night when MLB Brian Urlacher left with an dislocated wrist suffered late in the first half and strongside starter Pisa Tinoisamoa went out with a knee injury on the game’s second play. According to reports, Urlacher was scheduled for surgery on the wrist early today. It’s unknown how much time he’s miss, but an extended absence could be devastating for the Bears. The former NFL defensive player of the year missed seven starts in 2004 and the Bears lost each game. Former strongside starter Hunter Hillenmeyer is Urlacher’s backup and replaced him in 2004. Obviously no linebacker has Urlacher’s ability to drop back in

— Tom Kowalski CB Phillip Buchanon didn’t play because of a neck injury and coach Jim Schwartz said he wasn’t sure about Buchanon’s availability next week (he’s already been out three weeks). Already very thin in cornerback depth, the Lions can’t afford to be without Buchanon, who is their best cover corner. Eric King, who started in place of Buchanon Sunday, does a solid job in short zone coverage but struggles when trying to stick with receivers downfield, which was evident against the Saints. With Buchanon out, S Kalvin Pearson stepped into King’s nickel position and the Lions lost too much speed when the Saints tried to stretch the field. Though rookie FS Louis Delmas has good speed, SS Marquand Manuel lacks

— Rick Alonzo The Browns made it their main objective to stop Adrian Peterson. Not Brett Favre, not Bernard Berrian and not Percy Harvin. The Browns threw plenty of run blitzes at the Vikings. It worked well in the first half, as they held Peterson to 25 yards on nine carries. But the Vikings kept feeding Peterson the ball, and he broke loose for 155 yards in the second half. He finished the game with three touchdowns, including a 64-yard scamper in the fourth quarter in which five Browns missed tackles. That the Browns stacked eight and nine men in the box didn’t surprise Peterson. But it’s an indication that opponents are ready to alter their defensive game plans because of Favre. It’s clear that teams would rather load up against the run and take their chances with Favre until he proves that he can burn them consistently with downfield throws.



San Francisco 49ers
— Matt Barrows The pass-rush tandem of Justin Smith and Parys Haralson began to come on strong at the end of the 2008 season, and they successfully carried that magic into 2009. Both players sacked Cardinals QB Kurt Warner once in Sunday’s 20-16 win—Smith’s came on the final play of the game—and, perhaps more important, they both forced Warner into making a bad pass. Haralson’s hurry led to a first-half interception. Smith’s came on a critical fourth-down play late in the game. That’s good news for a team that showed little pass rush in the exhibition season and will need a strong defensive performance to compensate for its lack of firepower on offense. The 49ers expect to get another pass rusher, Ahmad Brooks, back from a knee injury later this week. team’s best players. He was a big part of the team’s blitz package and was in Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s face a lot, recording three hits. Hayes also had six tackles, including one for a loss. He was late showing up for the game, costing him a chance to start, but he was on time with his hits and tackles. Hayes plays bigger than his size (6-1, 226), plays smart and is always around the ball. … The Bucs still have rookie Josh Freeman listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, but he was the inactive third QB on Sunday. Don’t be surprised if that situation holds for the next few weeks. Freeman still needs plenty of work before he’s ready to attack opposing defenses, and the team believes it has a solid backup in second-year pro Josh Johnson. Johnson has shown the ability to come into a game with little preparation and move the offense. That skill figures to keep him on the team for quite some time and could result in him getting the call sooner than Freeman should starter Byron Leftwich go down.



New Orleans Saints
— Mike Triplett When CB Tracy Porter (knee) left the game temporarily Sunday, he was replaced by firstround pick Malcolm Jenkins, who was immediately targeted by the Lions for a 64-yard pass to dangerous WR Calvin Johnson. Jenkins was beat by a step on a slant route, but the worst part was that he missed the tackle, bouncing right off Johnson and letting him break free. Jenkins has size and speed but needs to play more disciplined as he finds his way in the NFL. … The rest of the Saints’ secondary, however, did a good job against Johnson, who was targeted 13 times cut caught only three passes. Both Porter and Jabari Greer matched up well against him, and FS Darren Sharper did a good job over the top, picking off two passes that rookie Matthew Stafford tried to force to Johnson. The Lions scored one of their touchdowns on defense, and two other scores were set up by long kick returns. — Paul Schwartz Rookie WR Hakeem Nicks suffered a sprained left foot in his NFL debut. X-rays were negative and Nicks did not appear overly concerned about the injury, but he left Giants Stadium on crutches and likely will miss some time. It’s a blow to the young receiving unit because Nicks was part of a fourreceiver rotation. Sinorice Moss and Derek Hagan will have a chance to move up on the depth chart; Moss will probably get the call first. … It took the Giants five seconds into their season to experience a damaging injury, as Danny Ware fielded the opening kickoff against the Redskins and went out with a dislocated elbow. In addition to

returning kicks, Ware was the No. 3 running back. His injury leaves the Giants with two backs on the roster—Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw—and they will have to add one. One option is signing Allen Patrick off the practice squad.

Philadelphia Eagles

— Geoff Mosher New defensive coordinator Sean McDermott put his own stamp on a defense that collected seven takeaways, chewed up three Panthers quarterbacks and set up 24 of the team’s 38 points. The tone-setting turnover came when DE Trent Cole, lined up at middle linebacker, burst through the line and nailed Jake Delhomme, causing a fumble that DE Victor Abiamiri picked up at the 2 and ran in for a touchdown. Moving around linemen was a staple in Jim Johnson’s defense, but Cole rarely strayed from his right end spot Sunday and had never blitzed before from the middle linebacker position. You can expect to see more wrinkles from McDermott, who spent 11 years learning under Johnson before the longtime coordinator died in July. McDermott is making minor tweaks in a defense predicated on harassing the quarterback and blitzing from all angles with multiple defenders. — Jim Thomas The Rams have invested a lot of time, money and draft picks on upgrading their offensive line over the past couple of seasons. But they didn’t see anything resembling a payoff in the 28-0 loss to Seattle. RB Steve Jackson, the centerpiece of the Rams’ offense, had very little running room. His final rushing total (67 yards on 16 carries) was inflated by a 22-yard run during mopup time late in the fourth quarter. Some of the line’s best pushing and shoving came after the whistle, with RG Richie Incognito getting flagged twice for unnecessary roughness, sabotaging two drives. Much of the attention in St. Louis is focused on QB Marc Bulger facing a make-or-break year. But the line is running out of excuses as well.

Seattle Seahawks

St. Louis Rams

New York Giants

— Danny O’Neil The Seahawks shut out the Rams despite losing two of their most important defensive players during the game. OLB Leroy Hill suffered a strained groin in the first quarter, and MLB Lofa Tatupu strained a hamstring in the second half. Neither player returned to the game, but coach Jim Mora said neither injury appeared serious. Hill was replaced by Will Herring while second-year player David Hawthorne filled in for Tatupu. That left Seattle without three of its five highest-paid defensive players because CB Marcus Trufant is on the PUP list and ineligible to play until at least Nov. 1. … The team hasn’t changed the principles of its 4-3 scheme, but the line is bigger with the offseason additions of DE Cory Redding and DT Colin Cole. The extra size helped the defense to control Rams RB Steven Jackson. The addition of Ken Lucas also gives the Seahawks a physical corner who excels at press coverage. Lucas helped keep QB Marc Bulger from completing the quick slants that would have helped ease the pressure he was under from Seattle’s pass rush. — Roy Cummings Second-year pro Geno Hayes started at weakside linebacker Sunday and was easily one of the

Washington Redskins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

— John Keim The Redskins spent a lot of money to upgrade the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense, but the unit did not do its job in the opener against the Giants. The defense allowed the Giants to convert 5 of 7 third-down plays on their first two scoring drives, partly because it did not apply enough pressure. The corners also weren’t good enough in coverage. DeAngelo Hall, in particular, struggled, though he did intercept a tipped pass late in the third quarter. At times, he allowed too much cushion—just like in preseason. On one pivotal third-down pass in the second half, he missed his jam in press coverage, allowing a 26-yard completion. The secondary also missed too many open-field tackles. It’s why the Giants held the ball for 36:08. Another issue was the loss of composure. WR Santana Moss was flagged for an offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and S LaRon Landry was penalized for a late hit out of bounds. If the Redskins expect to win big road games, they must play with more poise.


Giants WR Hakeem Nicks sprained his left foot in Sunday’s game and could miss playing time.



College Football
Sporting News Today’s Dave Curtis analyzes what Sunday’s buzz means to college football.

Identity crisis solved
The curious case of Joe McKnight has taken a long-anticipated positive turn. After two years of inconsistent play nowhere near what he showed as a top recruit in 2006, McKnight, a junior running back, has emerged as a cog of USC’s offense. He credits his improved play to strong summer conditioning. His coaches say it’s more mental and involves the inevitable comparisons to former Trojans back Reggie Bush. “In his mind, it’s, ‘OK, I ain’t Reggie,’ ” USC running backs coach Todd McNair said. “ ‘But I can be Joe if I get it together.’ And he’s getting it together.” McKnight especially got it together Saturday night during USC’s game-winning drive, gaining 54 yards and scoring the twopoint conversion in the Trojans’ 18-15 victory at Ohio State. “He’s a different guy,” USC coach Pete Carroll said.


QB Joe Cox, left, fought through shoulder problems to help Georgia avoid an 0-2 start. miss Saturday’s game against South Carolina. The injury issue has limited Cox in practice—he doesn’t throw during Sunday and Wednesday workouts, Richt said, and he never throws on consecutive days. He threw fine Saturday, though, playing wire-to-wire to help the Bulldogs stave off an 0-2 start and beat the Gamecocks 41-37. “I felt that was an opportunity for the offense to go ahead and put the game away,” Weis said. This might be a rare questionable postgame sequence for Weis, but it isn’t his first brush with this sort of decision. In 2002, the New England Patriots, then Weis’ employer, hosted Miami in the season finale. The Dolphins got the ball at their 4 with 2:46 left and a three-point lead (Sound familiar?). Miami QB Jay Fielder threw incomplete passes on first and second down, then scrambled on third down. The three plays took 28 seconds. The Pats received a punt, drove to kick a tying field goal and won in overtime. Want to bet the New England staff joked about Miami’s coaching ineptitude in the wake of that win? This time, the joke is on Weis and the Irish.

Cox’s crazy start
As mostly a backup the last four seasons, Joe Cox grew to understand the rigors of life for a starting quarterback at Georgia. “He hasn’t experienced a lot,” coach Mark Richt said on a Sunday teleconference. “But he’s seen a lot.” Forty seasons as the No. 2 might not have prepared Cox for the craziness of the past few weeks. He spent the summer answering questions about succeeding the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. He took sick in the days before the opener at Oklahoma State and played with flu symptoms. And he’s dealt with shoulder problems, which led to reports that he would

Weis on the clock
Charlie Weis on Sunday continued to defend the late-game playcalling that, depending on which Notre Dame fan gets asked, cost the Irish a victory at Michigan. To refresh, with a three-point lead and less than three minutes left, ND threw two incomplete passes rather than run the ball against a stacked defense and at least force Michigan to burn timeouts.



College Football






Central Michigan needed two big kicks for upset
In a Saturday of fantastic finishes, no team topped Central Michigan’s dramatic rally at Michigan State. Buoyed by an onside kick recovery, the Chippewas scored nine points in the final 32 seconds to beat the Spartans 29-27. Two CMU seniors—WR Bryan Anderson and QB Dan Lefevour—broke down the comeback for Sporting News Today’s Dave Curtis.

The skinny: The Chippewas closed within 27-26 on Paris Cotton’s touchdown catch, leaving coach Butch Jones to decide whether to play for the tie or the win. Anderson: “We came over to the sidelines, and Coach asked us what we thought about going for the win. He had always said in that spot, we would go for it there, because that was the kind of mentality we wanted to show. But in that situation, he’s like, ‘What do you want to do?’ We all wanted to go for the win.” LeFevour: “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. It’s a big gamble to go for two, but there’s a big payoff. We went five wides, and Antonio Brown was the first option. They gave us a different look (quarters coverage instead of man-to-man), and I hesitated a little.”

Jones was yelling ‘Hands team!’ over and over. That was kind of a wake-up call. I’m the closest guy to the sideline when we line up, and my job is to catch the ball or bat it to keep it inbounds. No one blocked me, and it took a beautiful hop, just like we envisioned it. It works that way about 10 percent of the time, maybe, when we practice.”

The skinny: CMU drove to the Spartans’ 30, and Aguila missed a 47-yard field goal with eight seconds left. But an offside flag bumped him 5 yards closer and gave him a second crack. Anderson: “There were the timeouts to ice him, and it felt like it was taking forever. The first one, it just kind of looked weird. I knew someone jumped, but I didn’t know if it was them or us. The second one, I was standing with Dan and some guys, and we just kind of linked arms. He’s made 50-yarders for us in practice, so I knew he had a chance. The rest is just a blur.”

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The skinny: Kicker Andrew Aguila’s perfect kickoff bounded over the Spartans and straight to Anderson, who recovered at CMU’s 47. LeFevour: “We missed the two, and I was walking off the field feeling like we were so close against a big-time team and blew it again. Our receivers coach, coach (Zach) Azzanni, was clapping his hands, saying ‘We’re going to get the ball back and go score.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, maybe.’ ” Anderson: “After we missed, coach

The skinny: The Chippewas drenched Jones with Gatorade, and a few carried him off the Spartan Stadium turf. The ride home finished with a police escort through Mt. Pleasant, where giddy CMU fans honked car horns to salute the in-state win. LeFevour: “We’ve won championships and been to bowl games, but at some point we had to win a big nonconference game like this. It’s big for the fans because Michigan State is so close.

Central Michigan’s Andrew Aguila missed his first attempt, but a penalty gave him a second chance to win it. We have guys in the Lansing area, and it’s big for them. Maybe it will help us in recruiting. We’re trying to build something big here, and this will be a huge step toward that.”

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College Football



UCLA QB Prince out 3-4 weeks with broken jaw
UCLA freshman QB Kevin Prince will be out 3-4 weeks after his jaw was broken late in the Bruins’ victory at Tennessee on Saturday. Prince was 11-for-23 for 101 yards with one touchdown pass and no interceptions in UCLA’s 19-15 win over the Volunteers. “This is a tough blow for Kevin and our football team,” coach Rick Neuheisel said in a statement. “We hope Kevin recovers quickly, but we have other talented quarterbacks in our program.” Neuheisel didn’t immediately say who would replace Prince, but he has two candidates. Kevin Craft, the Bruins’ starter last season, lost his job to Prince this year, and freshman Richard Brehaut enrolled at UCLA last spring to get a jump on learning the job. Brehaut played in the Bruins’ win over San Diego State, completing both of his passes for 39 yards. Prince was hurt when he was sacked for a safety with 1:41 to play, shortly after UCLA’s defense stopped Tennessee at the 1. The tackle left him with a bloody mouth, but Prince returned to kneel on the ball for the final two snaps to secure the win. X-rays in Los Angeles on Sunday confirmed Prince’s injury. His jaw will be wired shut while it heals. UCLA (2-0) hosts Kansas State (1-1) on Saturday and then is off before beginning its Pac-10 schedule Oct. 3 at Stanford. Tennessee-Florida week is finally here. Only seven months after new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin threw a big log on the rivalry. Now it seems just like yesterday. Back in February, the day after national signing day, Kiffin spoke at a boosters function and said Florida coach Urban Meyer was guilty of recruiting violation, an accusation that turned out to be false according to NCAA rules. Florida called for an apology from Kiffin and got it at SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s request. With the two programs preparing to meet Saturday in Gainesville, Meyer says the focus is winning, not comments that were made seven months ago. “To me, that’s water under the bridge, a long time ago,” Meyer said Sunday during a teleconference. “We’re going to try to move the ball against a very good Tennessee defense and our guys understand that. That has nothing to do with this.” Meyer admitted the comments were surprising because of his relationship with Kiffin’s father, Vols defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Meyer’s relationship with Monte Kiffin dates to 1996 when Meyer was an assistant at Notre Dame and began a series of visits with Kiffin, who was then the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Meyer even asked Monte Kiffin to come to Gainesville after the Gators struggled on defense in 2007. Actually, yes it did,” Meyer said Sunday when asked if he was surprised by what Lane Kiffin said. “That’s one of the only comments I’ll make on it. Just because I was fairly close with his father and I just know the way he is. Like I said, that’s all over with. Coach Monte Kiffin and myself have a very good relationship.” With Colorado reeling after losses to Colorado State and Toledo, fans are running out of patience with Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins. Athletic director Mike Bohn was asked by the Daily Camera of Boulder what he would tell fans who are calling for a coaching change sooner rather than later. “It’s after the second game of the season and right now we’re focused on creating an environment to get this turned around, and it starts with Wyoming (Saturday),” Bohn told the newspaper. “… We understand the importance of creating a competitive team. Don’t underestimate our competitive resolve as a program, a staff and a university to get this turned around.” Bohn said his department might not have done a good enough job over the past three years explaining the challenges it faced to the fans. “We maybe have been guilty of building a façade that maybe didn’t reveal the hole that we were in and the severity of the situation we were in associated with the program,” Bohn told the newspaper. Pitt starting FS Andrew Taglianetti is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He injured the knee Saturday in the


The loss of UCLA QB Kevin Prince, above, for 3-4 weeks ‘is a tough blow for Kevin and our football team,’ coach Rick Neuheisel said. Panthers 54-27 win over Buffalo. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain, but an MRI Sunday morning revealed the ligament was torn and will require surgery. Taglianetti will receive a medical redshirt. “Our entire team is very disappointed for Andrew,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement issued by the athletic department. “He is an important performer on and off the field for us.” Redshirt junior Elijah Fields is expected to replace Taglianetti. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Sunday that Thaddeus Lewis will start at quarterback when the Blue Devils face No. 22 Kansas on Saturday. Cutcliffe insisted Sunday that “we’re not trying to start a quarterback controversy.” Redshirt freshman Sean Renfree replaced Lewis during Saturday’s 35-19 win over Army. Renfree was 7 of 8 for 106 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Lewis, who was 5 of 16 for 60 yards with a score. Connecticut QB Zach Frazer will miss the Huskies’ next two games with an injured right knee, according to a report by The Advocate of Stamford, Conn. Coach Randy Edsall wouldn’t comment on the nature of the injury but said it won’t require surgery. Frazer hurt the knee in Saturday’s loss to North Carolina. Starting TE Ryan Griffin hurt his back against Tar Heels and also will miss two games. “They’re not season-ending injuries,” Edsall said. “I would tell you if they were. Time frame? I can’t tell you. A lot depends on how they heal and how they go.” UConn will go with sophomore Cody Endres at quarterback. He was 3 of 7 for 30 yards Saturday in relief of Frazer.



College Football



Michigan, Houston jump into AP poll; Irish fall out
After a season on the outs, Michigan is back in the AP Top 25. The Wolverines, unranked all last season while finishing 3-9, were No. 25 in The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday. Michigan moved into the media ranking for the first time since the end of the 2007 season after a thrilling 38-34 victory against Notre Dame on Saturday. The loss dropped the Fighting Irish out of the rankings. Florida remained No. 1 after it’s second landslide victory. The Gators received 56 first-place votes. Texas is still No. 2, with one first-place votes. No. 3 Southern California received a first-place vote for the first time this season after Matt Barkley and Trojans used a latefourth quarter touchdown to rally past Ohio State 18-15 on the road. The Buckeyes’ latest slip up on the big stage—they’ve lost six straight against top five teams— cost them three spots in the poll. They dropped to No. 11. No. 4 Alabama received two first-place votes. Mississippi and Penn State tied for No. 5. Oklahoma State took the biggest dive. The Cowboys reached the top five last week for the first time in 24 years, but they were upset 45-35 at home by Case Keenum and Houston. Oklahoma State tumbled 11 places to No. 16. No. 21 Houston joined Michigan as newcomers to this season’s rankings, but unlike the Wolverines it’s been years since the Cougars were a Top 25 team. program have grown accustomed to occupying, and headed for a soft spot on the schedule. The Wolverines play Eastern Michigan and Indiana at home before a trip to East Lansing for rival Michigan State on Oct. 3. The forecast for the Wolverines is looking good. Just ask Forcier, who said this when asked if the Notre Dame victory proved that Michigan is really back as a Big Ten power: “Yeah, I really think it does.” Ohio State starts the second 10, followed by Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and TCU. After Oklahoma State at 16, Cincinnati is No. 17, Utah is 18th and Nebraska and Miami finish off the top 20. Houston, the first team from Conference USA to be ranked this season, Kansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan are the final five. — The Associated Press

The Associated Press poll

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 12, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking: Record Pts Pvs 1. Florida (56) 2-0 1,491 1 2. Texas (1) 2-0 1,404 2 3. USC (1) 2-0 1,396 3 4. Alabama (2) 2-0 1,328 4 5. Mississippi 1-0 1,145 6 5. Penn State 2-0 1,145 7 7. BYU 2-0 1,122 9 8. California 2-0 1,058 10 9. LSU 2-0 951 11 10. Boise State 2-0 945 12 11. Ohio State 1-1 840 8 12. Oklahoma 1-1 835 13 13. Virginia Tech 1-1 749 14 14. Georgia Tech 2-0 683 15 15. TCU 1-0 609 16 16. Oklahoma State 1-1 445 5 17. Cincinnati 2-0 407 23 18. Utah 2-0 405 17 19. Nebraska 2-0 365 22 20. Miami 1-0 364 20 21. Houston 2-0 341 — 22. Kansas 2-0 271 24 23. Georgia 1-1 260 21 24. North Carolina 2-0 250 19 25. Michigan 2-0 169 — Dropped out: Notre Dame (18), Missouri (25) Others receiving votes: Missouri 93, Pitt 87, Oregon State 64, Texas Tech 54, UCLA 44, Notre Dame 40, West Virginia 30, Auburn 26, Iowa 23, Boston College 19, Baylor 15, Clemson 10, Oregon 5, Arizona 4, Arkansas 3, Colorado State 2, Florida State 1, Minnesota 1, South Florida 1.

USA Today coaches poll

Sporting News poll

QB Tate Forcier, left, helped give Michigan and coach Rich Rodriguez the Wolverines’ first national ranking since 2007. Houston’s last time in the AP poll was Sept. 15, 1991. That year quarterback David Klingler and the Cougars were 1-0 and ranked 10th when they went to Miami and were blown out 40-10 by the Hurricanes. The next week Houston was No. 21 when it lost 51-10 at Illinois. The Cougars haven’t been a player on the national scene since. No. 7 BYU moved up two spots and also has its best ranking in more than a decade. The Cougars from Provo, Utah, were last ranked this high when they finished the 1996 season No. 5. California, LSU and Boise State round out the top 10. Michigan’s victory, coming on a touchdown pass by freshman Tate Forcier with 11 seconds left, is the most significant of Rich Rodriguez’s one-plus seasons as coach. And moving into the national rankings capped a tumultuous and exhilarating three weeks in Ann Arbor for the program. The week before Michigan opened the season with a 31-7 victory at the Big House against Western Michigan, Rodriguez was rocked by a newspaper report that anonymously quoted current and former players alleging NCAA violations by the coaching staff. Now Michigan is back in the national rankings, a place fans of college football’s winningest

Record Pvs 1. Florida 2-0 1 2. USC 2-0 4 3. Texas 2-0 2 4. Alabama 2-0 3 5. California 2-0 13 6. Mississippi 1-0 5 7. LSU 2-0 9 8. Georgia Tech 2-0 7 9. BYU 2-0 11 10. Penn State 2-0 8 11. Virginia Tech 1-1 10 12. Ohio State 1-1 14 13. Boise State 2-0 15 14. Oklahoma 1-1 12 15. Cincinnati 2-0 21 16. Georgia 1-1 19 17. Miami 1-0 17 18. Houston 2-0 — 19. Oklahoma State 1-1 6 20. TCU 1-0 — 21. North Carolina 2-0 22 22. Kansas 2-0 — 23. Utah 2-0 23 24. Michigan 2-0 — 25. Oregon State 2-0 24 Dropped out: Notre Dame (16), Michigan State (18), Oregon (20), Missouri (24)

The USA Today Top 25 football coaches poll, with firstplace votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 12, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th and previous ranking: Record Pts Rk 1. Florida (56) 2-0 1,472 1 2. Texas 2-0 1,399 2 3. USC (3) 2-0 1,368 3 4. Alabama 2-0 1,277 4 5. Penn State 2-0 1,216 5 6. Mississippi 1-0 1,060 8 7. LSU 2-0 1,051 9 7. California 2-0 1,051 10 9. BYU 2-0 941 12 10. Boise State 2-0 913 11 11. Ohio State 1-1 855 7 12. Oklahoma 1-1 794 14 13. Georgia Tech 2-0 771 13 14. Virginia Tech 1-1 709 15 15. TCU 1-0 648 16 16. Utah 2-0 533 17 17. Oklahoma State 1-1 485 6 18. Nebraska 2-0 471 18 19. North Carolina 2-0 341 19 20. Georgia 1-1 333 21 21. Cincinnati 2-0 328 23 22. Miami 1-0 291 22 23. Kansas 2-0 195 25 24. Oregon State 2-0 118 24 25. Missouri 2-0 104 — Dropped out: Notre Dame (20) Others receiving votes: Michigan 84, Houston 69, Texas Tech 68, Pitt 40, Notre Dame 32, Auburn 30, Iowa 27, Florida State 19, Oregon 16, West Virginia 16, South Florida 13, UCLA 13, Kentucky 9, Arizona 4, Central Michigan 2, Colorado State 2, Minnesota 2, Northwestern 2, Arkansas 1, South Carolina 1, Tulsa 1.



College Football
All Games W L PF 2 0 117 2 0 92 2 0 68 1 0 30 1 0 40 1 1 33 0 2 27 0 1 15 PA 18 30 40 10 7 28 51 47 Indiana Iowa Michigan Minnesota Northwestern Penn St. Wisconsin Ohio St. Purdue Illinois Michigan St. Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 42 2 0 52 2 0 69 2 0 43 2 0 74 2 0 59 2 0 62 1 0 31 1 0 52 1 1 54 1 1 71 North PA 32 19 41 33 38 14 51 27 31 54 32 Kansas Missouri Nebraska Iowa St. Kansas St. Colorado South Texas Tech Texas Baylor Texas A&M Oklahoma St. Oklahoma Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 93 2 0 100 1 0 24 1 0 41 1 1 59 1 1 77 PA 23 30 21 6 55 14 Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 83 2 0 64 2 0 87 1 1 37 1 1 36 0 2 55 PA 10 29 12 52 34 77



Conference standings
Atlantic Conference W L PF Boston College 0 0 0 N.C. State 0 0 0 Wake Forest 0 0 0 Maryland 0 0 0 Clemson 0 1 27 Florida St. 0 1 34 Coastal Conference W L PF Georgia Tech 1 0 30 Miami 1 0 38 North Carolina 0 0 0 Duke 0 0 0 Virginia Tech 0 0 0 Virginia 0 0 0 Thursday’s game Georgia Tech at Miami, 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s games Duke at Kansas, Noon Boston College at Clemson, Noon East Carolina at North Carolina, Noon Middle Tennessee at Maryland, PA 27 34 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 67 1 0 38 2 0 52 1 1 51 1 1 76 0 2 28 PA 44 34 16 43 44 56 Saturday’s games Louisville at Kentucky, Noon Connecticut at Baylor, 5 p.m. Fla. International at Rutgers, 5 p.m. Navy at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. Cincinnati at Oregon St., 6:45 p.m. Northwestern at Syracuse, 7 p.m. Charleston Southern at South Florida, 7 p.m. West Virginia at Auburn, 7:45 p.m. PA 0 0 0 0 30 38 All Games W L PF 2 0 88 1 1 68 1 1 45 0 1 13 1 1 64 0 1 34 PA 7 14 41 52 44 38 Cincinnati Pittsburgh West Virginia Louisville South Florida Connecticut Syracuse Rutgers

BIG 12

East All Games W L PF 2 0 78 1 1 77 1 1 49 1 1 41 0 2 28 1 1 47 All Games W L PF 2 0 66 2 0 81 2 0 100 0 2 24 0 2 34 0 2 16 PA 19 59 59 80 76 50 Conference W L PF PA Southern Miss. 1 0 26 19 UAB 1 1 77 59 East Carolina 0 0 0 0 Marshall 0 0 0 0 Memphis 0 0 0 0 UCF 0 1 19 26 West SMU Tulsa Houston UTEP Rice Tulane Conference W L PF PA 1 0 35 33 1 0 37 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24 44 0 1 13 37 West PA 56 23 42 57 99 91

Conference W L PF Akron 0 0 0 Bowling Green 0 0 0 Buffalo 0 0 0 Kent St. 0 0 0 Ohio 0 0 0 Temple 0 0 0 Miami (Ohio) 0 0 0 Conference W L PF Cent. Michigan 0 0 0 N. Illinois 0 0 0 Toledo 0 0 0 Ball St. 0 0 0 E. Michigan 0 0 0 W. Michigan 0 0 0 Saturday’s games Temple at Penn St., Noon Ball St. at Army, Noon Ohio St. vs. Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Noon N. Illinois at Purdue, Noon E. Michigan at Michigan, Noon Indiana at Akron, 3:30 p.m. Alcorn St. at Cent. Michigan, 3:30 p.m. PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 1 1 48 1 1 51 1 1 50 1 1 25 1 1 47 0 1 24 0 2 0 All Games W L PF 1 1 35 1 1 61 1 1 85 0 2 26 0 2 38 0 2 26 PA 31 41 71 34 53 27 90

Conference W L PF PA 1 0 47 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15 47

3:30 p.m. Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. Virginia at Southern Miss., 3:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb at N.C. State, 6 p.m. Elon at Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m. Florida St. at BYU, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games Wofford at Wisconsin, Noon Temple at Penn St., Noon Ohio St. vs. Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Noon N. Illinois at Purdue, Noon E. Michigan at Michigan, Noon California at Minnesota, Noon Indiana at Akron, 3:30 p.m. Michigan St. at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. Arizona at Iowa, 3:35 p.m. Northwestern at Syracuse, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games Duke at Kansas, Noon Furman at Missouri, 2 p.m. Wyoming at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. Connecticut at Baylor, 5 p.m. Utah St. at Texas A&M, 7 p.m.

Iowa St. at Kent St., 7 p.m. Rice at Oklahoma St., 7 p.m. Texas Tech at Texas, 8 p.m. Kansas St. at UCLA, 10:15 p.m.

Saturday’s games East Carolina at North Carolina, Noon UAB at Troy, 3:30 p.m. Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. Virginia at Southern Miss., 3:30 p.m. SMU at Washington St., 5 p.m. Rice at Oklahoma St., 7 p.m.

Bowling Green at Marshall, 7 p.m. Buffalo at UCF, 7:30 p.m. Tenn.-Martin at Memphis, 8 p.m. UTEP at New Mexico St., 8 p.m.

PA 0 0 0 0 0 0

PA 46 35 90 43 54 54

Cal Poly at Ohio, 7 p.m. Iowa St. at Kent St., 7 p.m. Miami (Ohio) at W. Michigan, 7 p.m. Bowling Green at Marshall, 7 p.m. Buffalo at UCF, 7:30 p.m.

BYU Colorado St. Utah TCU Air Force San Diego St. UNLV Wyoming New Mexico Conference W L PF PA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 All Games W L PF 2 0 68 2 0 47 2 0 59 1 0 30 1 1 85 1 1 49 1 1 59 1 1 39 0 2 16 PA 16 40 31 14 20 52 26 63 85

Conference W L PF PA Stanford 1 0 39 13 Arizona 0 0 0 0 California 0 0 0 0 Oregon St. 0 0 0 0 Southern Cal 0 0 0 0 UCLA 0 0 0 0 Ariz. St. 0 0 0 0 Oregon 0 0 0 0 Washington 0 0 0 0 Washington St. 0 1 13 39 Saturday’s games California at Minnesota, Noon Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. Southern Cal at Washington, 3:30 p.m. Arizona at Iowa, 3:35 p.m. SMU at Washington St., 5 p.m. Cincinnati at Oregon St., 6:45 p.m. San Jose St. at Stanford, 9 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Arizona St., 10 p.m. Kansas St. at UCLA, 10:15 p.m. All Games W L PF 1 1 56 2 0 53 2 0 111 2 0 57 2 0 74 2 0 52 1 0 50 1 1 46 1 1 65 0 2 33 East PA 37 23 20 28 18 29 3 55 54 77

Conference W L PF PA Georgia 1 0 41 37 Florida 0 0 0 0 Kentucky 0 0 0 0 Tennessee 0 0 0 0 South Carolina 0 1 37 41 Vanderbilt 0 1 9 23 West Auburn LSU Alabama Arkansas Mississippi Mississippi St Conference W L PF PA 1 0 49 24 1 0 23 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24 49 All Games W L PF 2 0 86 2 0 54 2 0 74 1 0 48 1 0 45 1 1 69 PA 37 32 38 10 14 56 All Games W L PF 1 1 51 2 0 118 1 0 42 1 1 78 1 1 44 1 1 54 PA 61 9 0 26 44 23

Conference W L PF PA La.-Lafayette 0 0 0 0 Arkansas St. 0 0 0 0 La.-Monroe 0 0 0 0 Middle Tenn. 0 0 0 0 North Texas 0 0 0 0 Fla. International 0 0 0 0 Fla. Atlantic 0 0 0 0 Troy 0 0 0 0 W. Kentucky 0 0 0 0 Saturday’s games North Texas at Alabama, 12:20 p.m. UAB at Troy, 3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. Fla. International at Rutgers, 5 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU, 7 p.m. Cent. Arkansas at W. Kentucky, 7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at South Carolina, 7 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Arizona St., 10 p.m. All Games W L PF 2 0 59 1 1 70 1 1 78 1 1 45 1 1 50 0 1 14 0 1 3 0 2 20 0 2 20 PA 34 38 59 51 41 40 49 87 98

Conference W L PF PA Idaho 1 0 21 6 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 Boise St. 0 0 0 0 Fresno St. 0 0 0 0 Nevada 0 0 0 0 San Jose St. 0 0 0 0 Utah St. 0 0 0 0 Louisiana Tech 0 0 0 0 New Mexico St. 0 1 6 21 Friday’s game Boise St. at Fresno St., 9 p.m. Saturday’s games San Diego St. at Idaho, 5 p.m. Nevada at Colorado St., 5 p.m. Utah St. at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. Nicholls St. at Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m. UTEP at New Mexico St., 8 p.m. San Jose St. at Stanford, 9 p.m. Hawaii at UNLV, 11 p.m. All Games W L PF 1 0 21 2 0 63 1 0 19 1 1 82 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 1 17 0 2 27 0 1 6 PA 6 40 8 34 35 56 35 69 21 Army Navy Notre Dame

W 1 1 1 L PF PA 1 46 49 1 59 45 1 69 38

Saturday’s games Ball St. at Army, Noon Michigan St. at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. Navy at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s games Utah at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. Wyoming at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. San Diego St. at Idaho, 5 p.m. Nevada at Colorado St., 5 p.m. Texas St. at TCU, 7 p.m. Florida St. at BYU, 7 p.m. Air Force at New Mexico, 7:30 p.m. Hawaii at UNLV, 11 p.m.

Saturday’s games Louisville at Kentucky, Noon North Texas at Alabama, 12:20 p.m. Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU, 7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at South Caro-

lina, 7 p.m. Mississippi St. at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. SE Louisiana at Mississippi, 7:30 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas, 7:45 p.m. West Virginia at Auburn, 7:45 p.m.

Listen on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 127, online at SportingNews.com or check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.






What to expect in the major leagues today

Upbeat Hamilton looks forward to return
A more upbeat Josh Hamilton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sunday that he is pain-free and moving well after receiving two injections for his lower back Friday, and expressed hope he’ll be able to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup for next weekend’s big series against the A.L. West-leading Angels at Rangers Ballpark. The outfielder even joked with reporters about being “out of practice” talking to them about the pinched nerve in his lower back that has forced him to the sideline. “I’m feeling a lot better,” Hamilton told the newspaper. “Waking up today was like night and day from where (the back pain) had been.”

reaching the playoffs. Johnson flew to San Francisco from Arizona, where he threw five bullpen sessions to strengthen his arm. He has not pitched in a game since spraining his left shoulder on July 5. P Trevor Hoffman told MLB.com that he would like to return to the Brewers in 2010 for what would be his 18th major league season. “I don’t want to start over in an another organization, I can tell you that,” Hoffman said, referring to the adjustment he made this year after 16 seasons with the Padres. “Everything has gone very well here. They’ve made me feel more than welcome. If I have the choice, I’d really like to come back here. But that isn’t my decision.” Hoffman, 41, signed a one-year contract with the Brewers this season. Braves 3B Chipper Jones sat out Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a strained groin muscle, an injury he suffered while running the bases in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. Jones was injured when he stopped suddenly at third base after Brian McCann’s game-winning double. “I held up real quick and pulled it pretty good,” Jones told MLB.com. Jones implied there’s a chance he could return to the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Mets.


Bobby Abreu is looking to extend his hot streak against the Yankees.

Hellacious stretch for Angels
If the Angels are going to win their fifth A.L. West title in the past six years, they are going to earn it. Beginning with a makeup game tonight at Yankee Stadium, Los Angeles faces a 10-game stretch against the Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox. The Angels and Yankees, the A.L.’s top two teams in terms of winning percentage, have played six times this season. After dropping the first two, Los Angeles has won the past four by a combined score of 37-22. Five different Angels, including former Yankee Bobby Abreu, have at least five RBIs against New York this season. Abreu is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with six RBIs and four stolen bases against his old team.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have sent IF/OF Mark Teahen back to Kansas City for a more detailed examination of his lower back. Teahen began suffering muscle spasms while fielding ground balls before Saturday night’s game at Cleveland. He was scratched from the starting lineup and sent home for an examination, which is scheduled today. Manager Trey Hillman said he hopes Teahen can rejoin the team in time for Tuesday’s series opener at Detroit. The Orioles, who were hoping to see how P Koji Uehara would

Rangers OF Josh Hamilton said he is pain-free after two injections to his balky lower back. respond to a bullpen role over the final weeks of the regular season, have instead decided to shut him down because of soreness in his right elbow. The decision brings an end to a disappointing year for the first Japanese native to play for the Orioles. “I’m upset because I wasn’t able to contribute to the team,” Uehara told The Baltimore Sun through his interpreter. “It’s a lot of minuses, so I can’t really assess my season.” Uehara (2-4, 4.05 ERA) made the last of his 12 starts on June 23 before being sidelined with a partially torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. The decision to shut him down was made after coaches watched Uehara’s bullpen session Wednesday at Fenway Park. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that veteran P Randy Johnson will throw live batting practice today and, if all goes well, he could be activated in time to work as a reliever in the rest of a series against the Rockies that begins today. Johnson says the Giants have to sweep the Rockies if they entertain any hope of

Now or never
Without a strong showing against the Rockies and Dodgers this week, the Giants can kiss their postseason dreams goodbye. Already facing an uphill battle, San Francisco has to be thinking sweep with Colorado in town for the first of three tonight. And the Giants did sweep the Rockies at AT&T Park in late August.

Average against the A’s
If the Rangers fall a game or two short of the postseason, there will be plenty of “what ifs” to consider. And one of those scenarios likely will involve the A’s—the only A.L. West team the Rangers have been unable to solve this season. Texas is 9-3 against the Angels and 9-4 against the Mariners, but only 6-6 against Oakland. In fact, the A’s have won four of the past five games in the season series. In its three-game series against Oakland that begins tonight, Texas will need more from the infield trio of Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Chris Davis. They have combined to hit .202 (17-for-84) with 22 strikeouts against Oakland pitching this season.

— Chris Bahr






Q&A with ... Cubs SP Ryan Dempster

‘I love the fact that you have a sold-out stadium every game’
The results on the mound haven’t been what Dempster had in mind. Heading into tonight’s start against Milwaukee, the righthander is 9-8 with a 4.03 ERA for an underachieving Cubs team. But Dempster recently told Sporting News Today’s Bill Eichenberger that his struggles haven’t dampened his enthusiasm for the Cubs and his chosen profession.

The Friendly confines?
Ryan Dempster isn’t shy about his love for Wrigley Field. But after dominating there last season, he has struggled at home in 2009. Adding injury to insult, Dempster was forced to the disabled list when he broke his big right toe trying to jump on the field to celebrate a win over the Braves at Wrigley Field in early July. His home/road stats the past two seasons: 2008 home: 14-3, 2.86 ERA in 20 starts 2008 away: 3-3, 3.13 ERA in 13 starts 2009 home: 5-3, 4.59 ERA in 11 starts 2009 away: 4-5, 3.63 ERA in 15 starts

Q: A: Q: A:

Are you still able to have fun despite the way you and this team have struggled this season? I have fun every day I come to the ballpark. We are not curing cancer. We are playing baseball. It is our job and we are expected to perform at a high level. But win or lose the day before, every day is a new day and you just relax, have a good time and try to enjoy the game. Do you think you enjoy being a Cub more than most of your teammates? You live near Wrigley Field and seem to love it more than most. I love it. I love the fact that you have a sold-out stadium every game. The atmosphere around the ballpark is pretty cool, whether I’m driving in, walking in, riding my bike. I do something new every day. I have a skateboard hybrid scooter thing. It’s a fun atmosphere to be around because everyone is excited to go to the game. But it has to feel different being a player, doesn’t it? It’s a weird feeling to know that whether you win or lose is going to directly impact how much fun someone is going to have after the game. But it is a fun place to play. I got a taste of the playoffs last year there, and it seems like the further you get, the more exciting and crazier it gets. I’m looking forward to those days.


My location at times has been bad in a certain inning. But I feel that my command has been a little better this year than it was last year. I’m just not making the big pitches when I need to make them.

Q: A:

Q: A:

Cubs SP Ryan Dempster won’t approach the 17 wins he posted in 2008, but it doesn’t sour how he views his job. ‘We are not curing cancer,’ he said. ‘We’re playing baseball.’

Q: A:

Is it still fun even when the team is struggling the way it has this season? Yeah. We just keep plugging away. We can turn what has been a frustrating season for a lot of people into an exciting one down the stretch here.

Q: A:

What are the reasons for your struggles this season? I don’t know. That’s a good question. It’s been a case of a crooked number here and there. I just need to stay away from those crooked numbers. In most of my starts, I’m going

six or seven innings, but I am giving up a three-spot in one of those innings. I have not managed some innings as well as I could have.

Do you think the new oversized Rawlings helmet that you wore in a game earlier this season has a future in the major leagues? Sure. It’s a little bit heavier, but it’s comfortable. Looks are such an important part of the game to some people. We have to make sure we are wearing our uniform right, or players say, “I’m not going to wear a big helmet because it looks goofy.” But if it protects you from a 100 mile-per-hour fastball, which one would you rather have? I think the old helmets protect pretty well too. I don’t really have a worry of being pitched inside a whole lot.


So there is nothing wrong mechanically or with location?

Q: A:

So you don’t consider yourself a big threat at the plate? No, I just wear one to show that it is not that big of a deal.



Batting Average Home Runs
A.L. N.L.


Away 42-30 34-37 29-45 27-42 24-47 Away 30-42 31-40 31-41 30-40 27-42 Away 42-29 35-35 35-40 30-42

Fantasy Focus
Waiver-wire pickups

A.L. N.L.

American League Standings
Team St. Louis Arizona Milwaukee Philadelphia Washington San Diego Philadelphia East New York Boston Tampa Bay Toronto Baltimore Central Detroit Minnesota Chicago Cleveland Kansas City West Los Angeles Texas Seattle Oakland 54 42 32 28 27 25 W 92 84 72 65 58 W 76 71 71 61 57 W 86 80 74 64 L 52 58 71 78 84 L 66 72 73 81 86 L 56 62 70 78 Pct GB WCGB .639 — — .592 7 — .503 19½ 12½ .455 26½ 19½ .408 33 26 L10 6-4 7-3 0-10 6-4 4-6 Str W-1 W-5 L-11 L-1 L-1 Str W-1 W-1 L-1 L-1 W-1 Str W-1 L-1 W-1 L-1 Home 50-22 50-21 43-26 38-36 34-37 Home 46-24 40-32 40-32 31-41 30-44 Home 44-27 45-27 39-30 34-36

Player Mauer ISuzuki MiCabrera Jeter Bartlett MYoung Cano

Team Minnesota Seattle Detroit New York Tampa Bay Texas New York

.366 .353 .335 .332 .327 .322 .318

Player HaRamirez Pujols Helton Sandoval DWright LCastillo Two tied

Team Florida St. Louis Colorado San Francisco New York New York

.361 .327 .324 .323 .314 .310 .308

Player CPena Teixeira Bay NCruz AHill Branyan Three tied

Team Tampa Bay New York Boston Texas Toronto Seattle

39 35 32 32 32 31 30

Player Pujols Reynolds Fielder Howard ADunn AdGonzalez Werth

47 41 39 38 37 37 33

Pct GB WCGB L10 .535 — — 5-5 .497 5½ 13½ 4-6 .493 6 14 6-4 .430 15 23 3-7 .399 19½ 27½ 6-4 Pct .606 .563 .514 .451 GB WCGB L10 — — 8-2 6 4 6-4 13 11 4-6 22 20 6-4

Texas P Vincente Padilla

A.L. N.L. A.L.

Stolen Bases

Vincente Padilla, SP, Dodgers. Even the Dodgers must be impressed with Padilla’s recent performance. He’s 3-0 in four starts with a 2.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, seven walks and 17 strikeouts since making his first start for L.A. on Aug. 27. Padilla’s next start should fall at home against the Giants, who rank No. 25 in the league in team batting average. Marlon Byrd, OF, Rangers. Byrd seems to be a daily starter now in Texas and is helping his own cause with a .432/2/10 line this month. The Rangers have the Angels and A’s on the schedule this week, but Byrd is hitting above .370 against both teams this season in 23 games. He’s available in more than half of Sporting News leagues. Chris Young, OF, Diamondbacks. Already with five home runs and seven RBIs this month, Young seems to be getting things together. The first five months of the season were abysmal for Young, who hit rock bottom with a .111/1/2 line in August. He can’t get much worse, right? — Kyle Whitfield

Player Figgins Damon Jeter Pedroia BRoberts Scutaro Cano

Team Los Angeles New York New York Boston Baltimore Toronto New York

106 101 101 100 100 98 95

Player Pujols Braun Utley Zimmerman Victorino HaRamirez Three tied

Team St. Louis Milwaukee Philadelphia Washington Philadelphia Florida

117 101 100 98 94 92 89

Player Ellsbury Crawford Figgins BUpton RDavis BRoberts Two tied

Team Boston Tampa Bay Los Angeles Tampa Bay Oakland Baltimore

61 56 40 37 36 29 28

Player Bourn Morgan Kemp Rollins Fowler Two tied

Team Houston Washington Los Angeles Philadelphia Colorado

National League Standings
East Philadelphia Florida Atlanta New York Washington Central St. Louis Chicago Houston Milwaukee Cincinnati Pittsburgh W 82 76 75 63 50 W 84 73 70 69 64 55 L 60 67 68 81 93 L 60 68 73 73 79 86 L 59 62 66 79 82 Pct GB WCGB L10 .577 — — 5-5 .531 6½ 5½ 7-3 .524 7½ 6½ 5-5 .438 20 19 3-7 .350 32½ 31½ 4-6 Pct GB WCGB .583 — — .518 9½ 7½ .490 13½ 11½ .486 14 12 .448 19½ 17½ .390 27½ 25½ Pct .590 .569 .538 .451 .431 L10 5-5 6-4 7-3 5-5 4-6 2-8 Str W-2 L-1 W-4 L-2 W-1 Str L-3 W-1 L-1 W-3 L-1 W-1 Str L-1 L-2 W-1 W-2 L-3 Home 39-32 40-35 35-33 36-36 29-43 Home 43-29 42-28 42-33 34-37 31-37 36-34 Home 43-29 45-27 46-25 38-35 32-40 Away 43-28 36-32 40-35 27-45 21-50 Away 41-31 31-40 28-40 35-36 33-42 19-52 Away 42-30 37-35 31-41 27-44 30-42

A.L. N.L. A.L.


Player Teixeira Longoria Bay Morneau CPena KMorales Two tied

Team New York Tampa Bay Boston Minnesota Tampa Bay Los Angeles

109 103 101 100 100 98 97

Player Fielder Pujols Howard Braun ADunn HaRamirez DLee

Team Milwaukee St. Louis Philadelphia Milwaukee Washington Florida Chicago

126 124 118 99 99 99 97

Player Sabathia Feldman Verlander FHernandez JerWeaver Beckett Halladay

Team New York Texas Detroit Seattle Los Angeles Boston Toronto

17-7 16-4 16-8 15-5 15-5 15-6 14-9

Player Wainwright CCarpenter Marquis JoJohnson De La Rosa DLowe Pineiro

Team St. Louis St. Louis Colorado Florida Colorado Atlanta St. Louis

18-7 16-4 15-11 14-4 14-9 14-9 14-10

West W Los Angeles 85 Colorado 82 San Francisco 77 San Diego 65 Arizona 62 z-first game was a win

GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 3 — 8-2 7½ 4½ 4-6 20 17 7-3 23 20 1-9

A.L. N.L. A.L.


Pitching Matchups Today’s Games (All times Eastern)
Team San Francisco Atlanta Arizona Milwaukee St. Louis Colorado 233 216 197 192 175 170 168 American League L.A. Angels (Jer.Weaver 15-5) at N.Y. Yankees (Chamberlain 8-5), 7:05 p.m. Tampa Bay (Price 7-7) at Baltimore (Da.Hernandez 4-7), 7:05 p.m. Toronto (Purcey 0-2) at Detroit (Verlander 16-8), 7:05 p.m. Oakland (Tomko 4-3) at Texas (Feldman 16-4), 8:05 p.m. Cleveland (Sowers 6-9) at Minnesota (Pavano 12-11), 8:10 p.m. National League Houston (W.Rodriguez 13-9) at Cincinnati (Arroyo 12-12), 7:10 p.m. Milwaukee (Suppan 6-9) at Chicago Cubs (Dempster 9-8), 8:05 p.m. Florida (Nolasco 11-8) at St. Louis (Wellemeyer 7-9), 8:15 p.m. Arizona (Buckner 2-6) at San Diego (Correia 10-10), 10:05 p.m. Pittsburgh (D.McCutchen 0-1) at L.A. Dodgers (Garland 9-11), 10:10 p.m. Colorado (Hammel 8-7) at San Francisco (Lincecum 13-5), 10:15 p.m The Line at NY -115 LA +105 TB -115 at Bal +105 at Det -260 Tor +230 at Tex -190 Oak +180 at Min -165 Cle +155 The Line Hou -110 at Cin +100 at Chi -165 Mil +155 at STL -115 Flo +105 at SD -160 Ari +150 at LA -260 Pit +230 at SF -180 Col +170

Player ISuzuki Jeter Cano MiCabrera Markakis AHill MYoung

Team Seattle New York New York Detroit Baltimore Toronto Texas

200 192 183 177 174 173 168

Player HaRamirez Braun Tejada Victorino FLopez Three tied

Team Florida Milwaukee Houston Philadelphia Milwaukee

185 170 170 167 166 164

Player Verlander Greinke Lester FHernandez Halladay Beckett Sabathia

Team Detroit Kansas City Boston Seattle Toronto Boston New York

230 216 211 193 183 180 178

Player Lincecum JVazquez Haren Gallardo Wainwright De La Rosa Two tied

A.L. N.L. A.L.


Get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league at sportingnews.com/fantasy/baseball

Player BRoberts Butler Lind Longoria Pedroia Markakis Cano

Team Baltimore Kansas City Toronto Tampa Bay Boston Baltimore New York

51 46 46 43 43 42 41

Player Sandoval Tejada Ethier Hawpe HaRamirez Three tied

Team San Francisco Houston Los Angeles Colorado Florida

40 40 39 39 39 37

Player Fuentes MaRivera Nathan Papelbon Aardsma Rodney Jenks

Team Los Angeles New York Minnesota Boston Seattle Detroit Chicago

41 39 38 36 34 32 28

Player Franklin HBell Broxton BrWilson Cordero Street Hoffman

Team St. Louis San Diego Los Angeles San Francisco Cincinnati Colorado Milwaukee

37 37 34 34 34 33 32



Giants 7, Dodgers 2 Los Angeles AB R Furcal ss 3 0 Pierre lf 4 0 Ethier rf 3 0 Kemp cf 4 0 Loney 1b 1 0 Blake 3b 4 1 Belliard 2b 4 0 R.Martin c 4 1 Billingsley p 1 0 a-Mientkiewicz ph 1 0 Jef.Weaver p 0 0 Belisario p 0 0 Elbert p 0 0 b-Loretta ph 1 0 Troncoso p 0 0 Haeger p 0 0 d-O.Hudson ph 1 0 Totals 31 2


BB 0 0 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 BB 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 5 SO 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 13 SO 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 Avg. .265 .311 .324 .284 .226 .333 .000 --.245 .000 ----.232 .276 .242 .333 .186 .250 .281 Avg. .261 .265 .278 .261 .276 .196 .221 .256 .067 .213 .000 .295 ----.210 .000 3 6 0 7 13 0

San Francisco 7, L.A. Dodgers 2

Penny pitches past former teammates
SAN FRANCISCO—Brad Penny swears he’s past any problems he once had with the Los Angeles Dodgers. All he cares about now is pitching his new San Francisco team into the playoffs. Penny kept his emotions in check and worked seven strong innings to beat his former club, Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer and the Giants avoided a sweep by rival Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory over the first-place Dodgers on Sunday. “Honest to God, I swear, I don’t care who we’re playing,” Penny said. “We’re in a playoff race and we can’t lose to anyone.” Los Angeles’ lead in the N.L. West remained at three over Colorado after the Rockies lost again at San Diego. The Giants moved within 4½ games of Colorado in the N.L. wild-card race. “There’s no getting around it, it was a must-win for us,” San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said. The Rockies come to San Francisco for three games starting Monday night and Giants ace Tim Lincecum will return to the mound for the opener after missing his last start with a back injury. Fans cheered when Colorado’s 7-3 loss was shown on the scoreboard before the top of the ninth. “I don’t think you make it big,” outfielder Randy Winn said of the next series. “We need to win ballgames, bottom line— whether it’s the Dodgers, Rockies, Diamondbacks or Padres. We have to handle our business. We can’t look ahead and worry about what other teams are doing.” Uribe had three hits, as did Travis Ishikawa, who added an RBI double for San Francisco, which ended a four-game home losing streak that matched its longest of the year. — The Associated Press

H 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

BB 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

SO 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

Avg. .256 .313 .283 .305 .282 .278 .251 .258 .192 .300 .231 .000 .200 .222 .000 .000 .286 Avg. .250 .295 .265 .323 .275 .284 .260 .213 .000 .500 .000 .223 .000 2 5 1 7 15 1

San Diego 7, Colorado 3

Rough start to Rockies’ week
SAN DIEGO— Despite dropping two of three games to San Diego, the Colorado Rockies like their position in the National League playoff chase. Tony Gwynn drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in a three-run sixth inning and the Padres beat the wild card-leading Rockies 7-3 Sunday. The Rockies open a threegame series in San Francisco on Monday against the Giants, who pulled to 4½ games back in the wild-card race after beating the Dodgers. “I think that where we are going, it’s probably the best thing in the world for us,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “To get into that environment and realize that we’re staring at the people that have a chance to track you down and go get them.” The Rockies remained three games behind the Dodgers in the West with 18 games left to play. “We get an opportunity to do some really good things over the course of the next few days,” Tracy said. — The Associated Press

Padres 7, Rockies 3 Colorado AB Fowler cf 5 S.Smith lf 4 Helton 1b 1 Tulowitzki ss 2 G.Atkins 3b 3 c-Giambi ph 0 1-McCoy pr 0 Chacin p 0 Spilborghs rf 3 Rincon p 0 Beimel p 0 Jo.Peralta p 0 d-Stewart ph-3b 1 Torrealba c 4 Barmes 2b 3 f-E.Young ph 1 Marquis p 2 Murton rf 1 g-C.Gonzalez ph 1 Totals 31 San Diego E.Cabrera ss Eckstein 2b Ad.Gonzalez 1b Headley 3b Venable rf Macias lf Hundley c Gwynn cf Cl.Richard p a-Ed.Gonzalez ph Russell p b-O.Salazar ph Thatcher p R.Webb p e-L.Rodriguez ph Perdomo p Totals Colorado San Diego AB 4 5 5 3 5 3 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 32

R 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 R 0 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 7

H 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 H 0 1 3 1 2 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 13

BI 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 BI 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

San Francisco AB R H BI BB SO A.Torres cf 4 1 1 1 1 2 F.Sanchez 2b 5 0 2 2 0 1 Winn lf 4 0 2 0 0 2 Sandoval 3b 4 1 2 0 0 0 Schierholtz rf 4 1 1 0 0 2 Uribe ss 4 2 3 2 0 1 Ishikawa 1b 4 1 3 1 0 1 Whiteside c 4 1 1 0 0 2 Penny p 3 0 0 0 0 2 Affeldt p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Romo p 0 0 0 0 0 0 c-Aurilia ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Br.Wilson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 37 7 15 6 1 13 Los Angeles 000 000 200 — San Francisco 020 104 00x —

000 300 000 — 010 013 11x —

a-grounded out for Billingsley in the 5th. b-grounded out for Elbert in the 7th. c-fouled out for Romo in the 8th. d-grounded out for Haeger in the 9th. E: Billingsley (4), Whiteside (5). LOB: Los Angeles 7, San Francisco 7. 2B: Schierholtz (19), Ishikawa (9). HR: R.Martin (6), off Penny; Uribe (13), off Billingsley. RBIs: R.Martin 2 (48), A.Torres (17), F.Sanchez 2 (41), Uribe 2 (42), Ishikawa (36). Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 3 (Belliard, Loney, Blake); San Francisco 5 (Penny, Sandoval, A.Torres 2, Schierholtz). DP: Los Angeles 2 (Furcal, Loney), (Loney, Furcal, Furcal, R.Martin); San Francisco 1 (A.Torres, Ishikawa). Los Angeles Billingsley L, 12-10 Jef.Weaver Belisario Elbert Troncoso Haeger San Francisco Penny W, 3-0 Affeldt Romo Br.Wilson IP 4 1 1⁄3 1⁄3 1⁄3 1 1 IP 7 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 H 8 5 2 0 0 0 H 5 0 0 0 R ER BB SO 3 3 0 6 4 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 R ER BB SO 2 2 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 NP ERA 70 3.99 34 3.84 12 1.99 8 5.29 13 2.56 12 3.44 NP ERA 93 1.64 19 1.87 6 4.45 10 2.69

a-singled for Cl.Richard in the 5th. b-walked for Russell in the 6th. c-walked for G.Atkins in the 8th. d-grounded into a double play for Jo.Peralta in the 8th. e-walked for R.Webb in the 8th. f-singled for Barmes in the 9th. g-struck out for Murton in the 9th. 1-ran for Giambi in the 8th. LOB: Colorado 7, San Diego 10. 2B: Ad.Gonzalez (25). 3B: G.Atkins (1), Ad.Gonzalez (2). HR: Venable (11), off Marquis. RBIs: G.Atkins 2 (45), Spilborghs (46), E.Cabrera (27), Headley 2 (55), Venable (33), Hundley (23), Gwynn (15), Ed.Gonzalez (14). SB: Headley (9). CS: S.Smith (1). S: Gwynn, Cl.Richard. SF: Headley, Gwynn. Runners left in scoring position: Colorado 5 (G.Atkins 2, Torrealba, Stewart, Fowler); San Diego 7 (Eckstein 4, Gwynn, Venable 2). DP: Colorado 1 (Barmes, Tulowitzki, Helton); San Diego 1 (Headley, Ad.Gonzalez). Colorado IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Marquis L, 15-11 5 2⁄3 8 5 5 4 3 112 3.78 Rincon 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 4 5.70 Beimel 1⁄3 3 1 1 0 0 15 3.63 Jo.Peralta 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 10 6.26 Chacin 1 2 1 1 1 1 24 5.59 San Diego IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Cl.Richard 5 3 3 3 3 8 84 5.40 Russell W, 2-0 1 1 0 0 1 2 26 1.13 Thatcher H, 6 1 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 14 2.54 R.Webb H, 3 2⁄3 1 0 0 1 0 13 3.86 Perdomo 1 1 0 0 0 3 19 4.53 Inherited runners-scored: Rincon 3-0, Jo.Peralta 2-0, R.Webb 1-0. IBB: off Marquis (Macias). WP: Marquis. PB: Hundley 2. Umpires: Home, Tom Hallion; First, Phil Cuzzi; Second, Jim Wolf; Third, Jerry Crawford. T: 3:01. A: 19,739 (42,691).

Inherited runners-scored: Belisario 3-3, Elbert 2-0, Romo 2-0. HBP: by Affeldt (Ethier). WP: Billingsley, Belisario, Affeldt. PB: Whiteside. Catchers’ interference: Whiteside. Umpires: Home, Larry Vanover; First, Sam Holbrook; Second, Brian Gorman; Third, Dan Iassogna. T: 3:03. A: 40,579 (41,915).

National League wild card standings
Colorado San Francisco Florida Atlanta Chicago W 82 77 76 75 73 L 62 66 67 68 68 Pct. .569 .538 .531 .524 .518 GB — 4½ 5½ 6½ 7½

Brad Penny allowed two earned runs in seven innings against the Dodgers.



Phillies 5, Mets 4, Game 1 New York AB R H BI Pagan cf 5 1 1 0 A.Hernandez 2b 4 1 1 2 D.Wright 3b 4 0 0 0 Dan.Murphy 1b 4 0 0 0 Francoeur rf 4 1 3 0 Sullivan lf 1 0 0 0 Stoner p 0 0 0 0 a-Tatis ph 1 0 0 0 Broadway p 0 0 0 0 d-Beltran ph 1 0 0 0 Thole c 4 1 4 1 W.Valdez ss 3 0 0 0 e-L.Castillo ph 1 0 0 0 Maine p 1 0 0 0 Reed lf 3 0 1 1 Totals 36 4 10 4 Philadelphia Rollins ss Victorino cf Utley 2b Howard 1b Ibanez lf B.Francisco rf P.Feliz 3b Bako c b-Stairs ph 1-Bruntlett pr C.Ruiz c K.Kendrick p T.Walker p c-A.Tracy ph Lidge p Totals AB 5 4 2 3 4 4 4 3 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 34 R 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 H 1 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 10 BI 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 5


BB 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 SO 0 0 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 Avg. .310 .270 .314 .333 .258 .274 .253 .203 .211 .255 .275 .043 .421 .000 --.305 Avg. .244 .300 .296 .272 .278 .266 .270 .255 .083 .202 .246 --0 7 0 1 3 0

Game 1: Philadelphia 5, N.Y. Mets 4; Game 2: Philadelphia 1, N.Y. Mets 0

Pedro’s solid outing completes Phillies’ sweep
PHILADELPHIA—Pedro Martinez was pushing 130 pitches and the tying run stood on second base when manager Charlie Manuel came out to the mound for a chat. Pull Pedro? With the way the Phillies bullpen has been struggling, not a chance. Martinez escaped the eighth-inning threat and looked again like a free-agent bargain, leading Philadelphia to a 1-0 win over the New York Mets and a doubleheader sweep on Sunday night. “If I’m healthy, I feel like I’m able to do anything anybody does,” Martinez said. Healthy and happy, the three-time Cy Young award winner is having fun on the mound just like in his glory years. Martinez (5-0) tossed six-hit ball, struck out seven and threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings. He retired 10 straight at one point and the N.L. Eastleading Phillies are now 7-0 when he starts. Ryan Madson tossed a scoreless ninth for his eighth save after Brad Lidge finished the opener, won 5-4 by the Phillies. Tim Redding (2-6) was just as effective over six innings and retired 14 straight at one point, allowing only Chase Utley’s RBI single in the first inning. Martinez showed he still had something left in the eighth inning as he neared 130 pitches. Martinez hit 90 mph when he fanned David Wright for the first out in the eighth and officially made it his longest outing of the year. The 32nd straight sellout crowd chanted “Let’s Go Pedro!” and wildly cheered every strike from the 37-yearold righthander. Manuel visited with Martinez after he gave up a two-out double to Daniel Murphy. The fans roared when Manuel jogged back to the dugout with Martinez still on the mound. “I was keeping him in anyway,” Manuel said. “I had to see what he was going to say.” Martinez caught a huge break when a changeup in the dirt scooted away from Carlos Ruiz. Murphy dashed toward third, but Ruiz recovered and threw him out to end the inning—Martinez pumping his fist as he ran off the field. “I convinced Charlie to give me one more out,” Martinez said. His 130 pitches are the most for Martinez since Oct. 1, 2003, in the division series for Boston vs. Oakland. Martinez could be 7-0 if he didn’t run into some bad luck with rain and have two starts cut short. He’s pitched at least six innings in each of his last three starts, allowing just four runs. Martinez has a 6-2 career postseason record and would be a good fit in the Phillies rotation if they win their third straight N.L. East title. They won the last two because the Mets collapsed in September each time. New York has been out of playoff contention for months, but this loss mathematically eliminated the Mets. “I have to tell you, I’m sorry for them,” Martinez said. Martinez, who played the last four years with the Mets, signed in July for a prorated share of $2 million plus incentives. “When he is on, he has instincts that

BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 BB 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

SO 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 SO 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 5

Avg. .306 .252 .315 .258 .275 .279 --.275 --.337 .444 .211 .309 .190 .259 Avg. .245 .300 .295 .273 .280 .250 .269 .195 .202 .167 .258 .333 --.333 --4 10 0 5 10 0

Phillies 1, Mets 0, Game 2 New York AB R H BI L.Castillo 2b 2 0 1 0 Sullivan rf 4 0 0 0 D.Wright 3b 4 0 1 0 Beltran cf 3 0 0 0 Dan.Murphy 1b 4 0 1 0 Tatis lf 1 0 0 0 Reed lf 3 0 0 0 Schneider c 4 0 2 0 1-W.Valdez pr 0 0 0 0 A.Hernandez ss 3 0 2 0 d-Francoeur ph 1 0 0 0 Redding p 1 0 0 0 a-Thole ph 1 0 0 0 S.Green p 0 0 0 0 Feliciano p 0 0 0 0 e-Pagan ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 32 0 7 0

Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Rollins ss 3 1 0 0 1 0 Victorino cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 Utley 2b 3 0 1 1 0 1 Howard 1b 2 0 0 0 1 1 Ibanez lf 3 0 0 0 0 0 Werth rf 2 0 0 0 0 1 P.Feliz 3b 3 0 1 0 0 0 C.Ruiz c 3 0 0 0 0 0 P.Martinez p 2 0 0 0 0 0 b-Stairs ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 c-B.Francisco ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 Madson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 26 1 3 1 2 4 New York 000 000 000 — Philadelphia 100 000 00x —

New York 000 000 022 — Philadelphia 100 120 01x —


Philadelphia SS Jimmy Rollins, right, throws to first base after forcing New York’s Wilson Valdez. makes him a tough pitcher any time,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. In the opener, Kyle Kendrick (1-1) pitched into the eighth and Victorino and Ben Francisco each homered. Lidge, temporarily demoted from his Phillies closer role this week, gave up two runs in the ninth but finished for his 29th save in 39 opportunities. New York righthander John Maine (5-5) made his first start since June 6. Out with a sore shoulder, Maine was one of several key players who missed a large chunk of the season, ruining the Mets chances of competing with the Phillies for the N.L. East crown. Maine (5-5) gave up an RBI double to Howard in the first of his three innings. He threw 57 pitches and gave up two hits before giving way to rookie Tobi Stoner. Stoner gave up Victorino’s first home run since Aug. 12, a two-run shot in the fifth, and put the Phillies up 4-0. Francisco had homered in the fourth. — The Associated Press

a-grounded out for Stoner in the 7th. b-doubled for Bako in the 8th. c-singled for T.Walker in the 8th. d-grounded out for Broadway in the 9th. e-struck out for W.Valdez in the 9th. 1-ran for Stairs in the 8th. LOB: New York 6, Philadelphia 8. 2B: Howard (33), Stairs (3). HR: A.Hernandez (2), off K.Kendrick; B.Francisco (4), off Stoner; Victorino (10), off Stoner. RBIs: A.Hernandez 2 (34), Thole (2), Reed (8), Victorino 2 (58), Howard (118), B.Francisco (10), A.Tracy (1). SB: Utley (19), B.Francisco (1). Runners left in scoring position: New York 2 (W.Valdez 2); Philadelphia 5 (Ibanez 3, K.Kendrick, Howard). DP: Philadelphia 1 (Utley, Rollins, Howard). New York IP H Maine L, 5-5 3 2 Stoner 3 4 Broadway 2 4 Philadelphia IP H K.Kendrick W, 1-1 7 1⁄3 7 T.Walker H, 1 2⁄3 0 Lidge S, 29-39 1 3 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 2 57 4.45 3 3 1 3 55 6.75 1 1 1 0 41 7.20 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 1 3 106 3.55 0 0 0 0 7 1.67 2 2 0 2 28 7.18

a-lined out for Redding in the 7th. b-was announced for P.Martinez in the 8th. c-struck out for Stairs in the 8th. d-struck out for A.Hernandez in the 9th. e-lined out for Feliciano in the 9th. 1-ran for Schneider in the 9th. LOB: New York 9, Philadelphia 4. 2B: D.Wright (33), Dan.Murphy (32), P.Feliz (26). RBIs: Utley (89). SB: A.Hernandez (7). S: Redding. Runners left in scoring position: New York 5 (Dan.Murphy, Sullivan 3, Reed); Philadelphia 2 (Werth, Rollins). DP: New York 1 (D.Wright, L.Castillo, Dan.Murphy). New York Redding L, 2-6 S.Green Feliciano Philadelphia P.Martinez W, 5-0 Madson S, 8-14 IP 6 1 1 IP 8 1 H 3 0 0 H 6 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 3 103 5.52 0 0 0 0 5 5.05 0 0 0 1 11 3.09 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 7 130 2.87 0 0 0 1 13 3.36

HBP: by S.Green (Werth), by P.Martinez (L.Castillo). Umpires: Home, Todd Tichenor; First, Gary Darling; Second, Bruce Dreckman; Third, Rob Drake. T: 2:50. A: 44,901 (43,647).

Umpires: Home, Paul Emmel; First, Rob Drake; Second, Gary Darling; Third, Bruce Dreckman. T: 2:49. A: 45,024 (43,647).





SO 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 3 1 0 1 0 10 SO 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 Avg. .230 .615 .296 .000 .282 .000 .258 .258 .204 .326 .255 .151 .313 Avg. .306 .300 .000 .361 .282 .243 .273 .268 .224 .130 .083 .154 .000 .000 --.262

Atlanta 9, St. Louis 2

Washington 7, Florida 2

Vazquez stays hot with 94-pitch complete game
ATLANTA—Javier Vazquez doesn’t think he was ever this efficient. Vazquez needed just 94 pitches to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Atlanta Braves roughed up Chris Carpenter in a 9-2 win on Sunday. “I don’t remember throwing a complete game with less than 100 pitches,” Vazquez said. “Usually I’m at 100 pitches by the seventh inning. I feel really good about that.” Vazquez allowed a leadoff single to Skip Schumaker and then retired the next 17 batters before Schumaker reached on an infield single in the sixth. It was the 25th complete game of Vazquez’s career and his second of the season. Vazquez (13-9) has won his last three decisions. He stuck out eight while walking none and threw just 94 pitches. St. Louis hadn’t been swept since losing three in a row at Houston July 20-22 and hadn’t been swept at home since losing four straight to the Colorado Rockies June 5-8. “We got beat in two one-run games,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Today, we just got pounded.” Carpenter, a Cy Young candidate, had his worst outing of the season. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in six innings. “I made some bad pitches but I also made some good pitches,” said Carpenter, who now has a 16-4 record. “I just wasn’t able to make a pitch to get out of the inning, bottom line.” Carpenter’s league-leading 2.16 ERA jumped to 2.45. He now trails the Giants’ Tim Lincecum (2.34). — The Associated Press
Braves 9, Cardinals 2 Atlanta AB R McLouth cf 5 1 Prado 3b 5 1 G.Anderson lf 3 1 Gorecki lf 1 0 Ad.LaRoche 1b 5 2 Y.Escobar ss 4 1 K.Johnson 2b 5 1 M.Diaz rf 2 2 D.Ross c 4 0 J.Vazquez p 4 0 Totals 38 9 St. Louis Schumaker 2b Br.Ryan ss b-Thurston ph Pujols 1b Holliday lf Ludwick rf Rasmus cf DeRosa 3b Y.Molina c LaRue c C.Carpenter p a-K.Greene ph B.Thompson p Totals Atlanta St. Louis AB 4 3 1 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 33 R 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 H 4 1 0 0 2 1 2 1 1 0 12 H 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 BI 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 2 1 0 9 BI 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SO 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 5 SO 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 8 Avg. .270 .291 .275 .217 .274 .303 .222 .320 .258 .194 Avg. .294 .287 .229 .327 .370 .272 .256 .236 .283 .241 .148 .204 .083 9 12 1 2 7 1

Nats dampen Marlins’ hope
MIAMI—A steady rain and the Washington Nationals combined to dampen Florida’s playoff hopes. John Lannan won for the first time in seven starts and Pete Orr hit his first home run of the season, leading Washington over the Marlins 7-2 in a rainshortened game Sunday. The game was called after a 53-minute delay in the bottom of the ninth. The Marlins had a runner on base with nobody out. Rain also halted play for 2 hours, 10 minutes in the sixth. Lannan (9-11) allowed one run and six hits in five innings. He did not return after the first delay. It was his first win since Aug. 5, also against Florida. “I’m pretty happy with today,” Lannan said. “I wish the rain didn’t come but I’m glad we got the win. I was locating my fastball, my curveball felt good today. The Marlins are a good team. Taking two of three from them is big for us.” The Marlins remained 5½ games behind Colorado for the N.L. wild card. The Rockies lost 7-3 at San Diego. Last-place Washington won for the third time in four games. “We know we are not going anywhere in the standings, but the guys are playing with intensity, they are playing hard and I appreciate that,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. “Just some great individual efforts.” — The Associated Press

Nationals 7, Marlins 2 Washington AB W.Harris lf 2 Desmond 2b-ss 5 C.Guzman ss 5 Bergmann p 0 A.Dunn 1b 3 Clippard p 0 c-Alb.Gonzalez ph-2b 1 Dukes rf 5 Maxwell cf 4 Orr 3b 4 Nieves c 4 Lannan p 3 Morse 1b 1 Totals 37 Florida Coghlan lf N.Johnson 1b Badenhop p Ha.Ramirez ss Cantu 3b Uggla 2b C.Ross rf R.Paulino c Maybin cf Volstad p A.Miller p a-G.Sanchez ph Cr.Martinez p Meyer p Calero p b-Gload ph-1b Totals AB 4 4 0 4 4 3 4 3 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 33

R H 2 1 1 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 7 11 R H 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10

BI BB 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 6 BI BB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2

Washington 302 110 000 — Florida 100 000 010 —

7 11 1 2 10 2

006 001 011 — 000 000 002 —

a-struck out for C.Carpenter in the 6th. b-singled for Br.Ryan in the 9th. E: Gorecki (1), Y.Molina (5). LOB: Atlanta 6, St. Louis 4. 2B: Ad.LaRoche (30), K.Johnson (19), D.Ross (8). HR: Ad.LaRoche (22), off B.Thompson. RBIs: McLouth (62), Ad.LaRoche 3 (67), Y.Escobar 2 (68), M.Diaz 2 (48), D.Ross (18), Holliday 2 (45). Runners left in scoring position: Atlanta 3 (D.Ross, Prado 2); St. Louis 2 (B.Thompson, Rasmus). DP: Atlanta 1 (Y.Escobar, K.Johnson, Ad.LaRoche); St. Louis 1 (Br.Ryan, Schumaker, Pujols). Atlanta J.Vazquez W, 13-9 St. Louis C.Carpenter L, 16-4 B.Thompson IP 9 IP 6 3 H 7 H 9 3 R ER BB SO 2 2 0 8 R ER BB SO 7 7 2 3 2 2 0 2 NP ERA 94 3.01 NP ERA 95 2.45 41 5.02

a-grounded into a fielder’s choice for A.Miller in the 4th. b-lined out for Calero in the 7th. c-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Clippard in the 8th. E: Orr (2), Uggla (12), Ha.Ramirez (9). LOB: Washington 9, Florida 9. 2B: Orr (2). HR: Orr (1), off Volstad. RBIs: C.Guzman (50), Dukes 2 (54), Orr 2 (8), Nieves (26), Cantu (86), C.Ross (84). SB: Ha.Ramirez (25). Runners left in scoring position: Washington 4 (Nieves 2, Maxwell, Alb.Gonzalez); Florida 2 (C.Ross, G.Sanchez). DP: Washington 1 (Desmond, Alb.Gonzalez, Morse); Florida 2 (Ha.Ramirez, Uggla, N.Johnson), (Uggla, Ha.Ramirez, N.Johnson). Washington Lannan W, 9-11 Clippard Bergmann Florida Volstad L, 9-12 A.Miller Cr.Martinez Meyer Calero Badenhop IP 5 2 1 IP 3 1 1 1⁄3 1 2⁄3 2 H 6 1 3 H 5 2 1 1 0 2 R ER BB SO 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 R ER BB SO 5 4 5 2 1 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 NP ERA 81 4.08 33 2.89 24 5.01 NP ERA 59 5.17 25 4.81 19 5.82 9 3.10 20 1.99 29 3.68

HBP: by C.Carpenter (M.Diaz), by B.Thompson (M.Diaz). Umpires: Home, Ted Barrett; First, Tim McClelland; Second, Andy Fletcher; Third, Greg Gibson. T: 2:08. A: 41,179 (43,975).

Bergmann pitched to 1 batter in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored: Calero 1-0. WP: Volstad, A.Miller. PB: Nieves, R.Paulino. Umpires: Home, Chad Fairchild; First, Bill Welke; Second, Tim Welke; Third, Jim Reynolds. T: 2:48 (Rain delay: 3:03). A: 15,065 (38,560).


Braves SP Javier Vazquez won his third straight start to improve his record to 13-9.



NATIONAL LEAGUE Milwaukee 5, Arizona 3
Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 3 Milwaukee AB R H BI F.Lopez 2b 3 0 2 1 M.Cameron cf 4 0 1 1 Braun lf 5 0 0 0 Fielder 1b 4 2 2 1 McGehee 3b 2 0 0 0 1-Counsell pr-3b 0 0 0 0 C.Hart rf 3 1 0 0 Mi.Rivera c 4 1 1 0 A.Escobar ss 4 1 2 2 Narveson p 1 0 0 0 DiFelice p 0 0 0 0 C.Smith p 0 0 0 0 a-Catalanotto ph 1 0 0 0 Villanueva p 0 0 0 0 b-Bourgeois ph 1 0 0 0 Stetter p 0 0 0 0 C.Vargas p 0 0 0 0 d-Gerut ph 1 0 0 0 Hoffman p 0 0 0 0 Totals 33 5 8 5


BB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 BB 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 SO 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 9 Avg. .270 .246 .304 .239 .244 .287 .292 .247 .073 .268 ---

Chicago Cubs 5, Cincinnati 2

‘Typical Ted’ solid for Cubs
CHICAGO—Ted Lilly wouldn’t give in with men on base, kept the runners from scoring and, as usual, gave the Chicago Cubs a chance to win. “Typical Ted,” catcher Koyie Hill said after Lilly pitched six scoreless innings in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. “You know what he’s going to do: locate, change speeds, keep them off-balance. That’s why he wins so often.” More often than most people might think. Not exactly a superstar, Lilly leads all National League pitchers with 44 victories since the start of 2007, when he joined the Cubs. “He’s a great team guy, a great competitor, and we love having him around,” Hill said. “That’s more important than the accolades or all that stuff. Flying under the radar is a good thing.” Lilly (12-8) allowed six hits, walked two and struck out seven in winning his seventh consecutive home decision. He is 8-1 with a 1.60 ERA in 12 starts at Wrigley Field. The Reds had runners in scoring position in five of his six innings, but he worked out of trouble each time. The loss eliminated them from the N.L. Central race. — The Associated Press

Cubs 5, Reds 2 Cincinnati Stubbs cf Janish ss Votto 1b B.Phillips 2b Rolen 3b Gomes lf D.McDonald rf Hanigan c Burton p Fisher p c-A.Rosales ph H.Bailey p Viola p C.Miller c Totals Chicago Fukudome cf Bradley rf D.Lee 1b Ar.Ramirez 3b M.Hoffpauir lf Fuld lf Je.Baker 2b K.Hill c A.Blanco ss Lilly p a-Fontenot ph Caridad p Gregg p b-Scales ph Grabow p Totals Cincinnati Chicago

AB 5 5 3 4 4 4 4 2 0 0 1 2 0 2 36 AB 5 5 4 4 3 0 4 3 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 35

R 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 R 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

H 2 2 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 10 H 0 0 3 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 11

BI 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BI 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 5

BB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BB 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3

SO 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 10 SO 2 3 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10

Avg. .252 .211 .299 .276 .267 .271 .235 .268 .000 .000 .203 .069 --.135 Avg. .262 .260 .302 .322 .235 .271 .286 .241 .257 .094 .230 .000 --.241 .000 2 10 1 5 11 0

Fielder ties RBI mark

BB 2 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

SO 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 9

Avg. .308 .258 .308 .301 .304 .286 .257 .234 .279 .000 .000 .000 .279 .111 .167 ----.214 --Avg. .277 .260 .303 .274 .203 .262 .291 .333 .200 .200 ----.212 ----.305 5 8 1 3 7 0

Pittsburgh 2, Houston 1

Capps, Tejada argue in 9th
HOUSTON—Whether he was stealing signs or not, Miguel Tejada certainly riled Pirates closer Matt Capps. The two players had a brief verbal exchange Sunday after Capps thought Tejada and Houston first base coach Jose Cruz were trying to steal pitch signs in the ninth inning of Pittsburgh’s 2-1 victory over the Astros. “Just compete,” Capps said. “You don’t need to do any of that stuff. Those two have a thing going out there. I’m set and he’s not even looking at me. That tells me all I need to know.” Tejada said he had no idea what Capps was talking about. “I don’t know what is going on,” said Tejada, who popped out tagainst with a runner on first in the ninth. “I have no idea why a pitcher would mock a guy after getting him out. But I am going to find out why. I don’t know what he said and I could not even understand what he said. “I just made an out. That is the first time I have ever seen a guy mad, yelling at a guy for getting out.” Paul Maholm pitched eight shutout innings and Pittsburgh snapped a 13-game road losing streak. Ryan Doumit homered and Garrett Jones had an RBI single for the last-place Pirates, who had dropped five in a row overall. — The Associated Press

Pirates 2, Astros 1 Pittsburgh AB A.McCutchen cf 4 An.LaRoche 3b 4 G.Jones 1b 3 Doumit c 4 Moss rf 4 Milledge lf 4 Cedeno ss 4 R.Vazquez 2b 3 Maholm p 2 d-Delw.Young ph 1 Capps p 0 Totals 33 Houston AB Bourn cf 3 K.Matsui 2b 4 Fulchino p 0 Berkman 1b 4 Ca.Lee lf 4 1-Manzella pr 0 Tejada ss 4 Pence rf 4 C.Johnson 3b 3 Quintero c 2 b-Keppinger ph-2b 1 F.Paulino p 1 W.Wright p 0 a-Michaels ph 0 Brocail p 0 Gervacio p 0 Byrdak p 0 c-Blum ph 1 Coste c 0 Totals 31

R 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 R 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

H 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 9 H 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8

BI 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BI 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

000 000 002 — 000 300 11x —

Arizona AB R H BI BB SO R.Roberts lf-2b 5 0 1 1 0 0 S.Drew ss 5 0 1 0 0 1 J.Upton rf 3 0 0 0 1 1 Reynolds 3b 3 1 1 0 1 0 C.Young cf 4 1 1 2 0 2 Ryal 2b 2 0 1 0 1 0 G.Parra lf 1 0 0 0 0 0 Hester c 3 0 1 0 1 0 Allen 1b 3 0 0 0 1 0 Scherzer p 1 0 0 0 1 0 Schlereth p 0 0 0 0 0 0 E.Vasquez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 c-Byrnes ph 1 1 1 0 0 0 Zavada p 0 0 0 0 0 0 J.Gutierrez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 e-Montero ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 Totals 32 3 7 3 6 5 Milwaukee 000 100 400 — Arizona 000 200 100 —

SO Avg. 2 .293 0 .251 0 .333 0 .275 0 .305 0 1.000 0 .301 0 .287 0 .077 0 .235 0 .258 0 .050 0 .333 0 .242 0 --0 --0 .000 0 .260 0 .226 2 2 9 0 1 8 0

a-doubled for Lilly in the 6th. b-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Gregg in the 8th. c-doubled for Fisher in the 9th. E: B.Phillips (9). LOB: Cincinnati 9, Chicago 9. 2B: Janish 2 (14), Rolen (3), D.McDonald 2 (5), A.Rosales (10), Fontenot (20). HR: D.Lee (32), off Burton. RBIs: Stubbs 2 (10), D.Lee (97), K.Hill (24), A.Blanco 2 (11), Scales (11). CS: Fukudome (10). Runners left in scoring position: Cincinnati 5 (Rolen, B.Phillips 2, H.Bailey, Hanigan); Chicago 5 (Fukudome 2, Je.Baker, Bradley 2). DP: Chicago 1 (Ar.Ramirez, Je.Baker, D.Lee). Cincinnati H.Bailey L, 5-5 Viola Burton Fisher Chicago Lilly W, 12-8 Caridad H, 2 Gregg Grabow IP 5 1⁄3 1⁄3 1 1⁄3 1 IP 6 1 1 1 H 9 0 1 1 H 6 1 0 3 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 2 6 115 5.56 0 0 0 0 3 2.70 1 1 0 3 19 5.19 1 1 1 1 20 4.28 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 7 119 3.05 0 0 0 0 15 2.61 0 0 0 2 13 4.77 2 2 0 1 15 3.14

Pittsburgh 100 000 010 — Houston 000 000 001 —


Prince Fielder tied the Brewers’ franchise single-season record of 126 RBIs. PHOENIX—By the time Prince Fielder sees Cecil Cooper this weekend, he likely will have broken the Astros manager’s record for most RBIs in a single season by a Brewers player. “It’s really an honor to be mentioned with a guy like Cecil, a first baseman, especially,” Fielder said. “This organization has had some great players, so it’s a big deal. It’s really cool.” Fielder hit his 39th home run of the season Sunday to tie Cooper for the franchise record of 126 RBIs in a 5-3 victory over Arizona, completing a three-game sweep. Cooper, whose Astros begin a three-game series in Milwaukee on Friday, set the mark in 1983. “We’re ready for one more (RBI) tomorrow,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. — The Associated Press

a-flied out for C.Smith in the 5th. b-struck out for Villanueva in the 7th. c-doubled for E.Vasquez in the 7th. d-popped out for C.Vargas in the 9th. e-struck out for J.Gutierrez in the 9th. 1-ran for McGehee in the 8th. E: C.Hart (5). LOB: Milwaukee 7, Arizona 8. 2B: Reynolds (28), Ryal (5), Byrnes (12). HR: Fielder (39), off Scherzer; C.Young (13), off Narveson. RBIs: F.Lopez (51), M.Cameron (59), Fielder (126), A.Escobar 2 (8), R.Roberts (22), C.Young 2 (37). SB: Reynolds (23). CS: A.Escobar (1). Runners left in scoring position: Milwaukee 2 (Braun 2); Arizona 6 (Scherzer 2, R.Roberts 2, C.Young 2). GIDP: M.Cameron, R.Roberts, Allen. DP: Milwaukee 2 (A.Escobar, F.Lopez, Fielder), (A.Escobar, Fielder); Arizona 1 (Reynolds, Ryal, Allen). Milwaukee IP Narveson 3 DiFelice 1⁄3 C.Smith 2⁄3 Villanueva W, 3-10 2 Stetter H, 20 1⁄3 C.Vargas H, 7 1 2⁄3 Hoffman S, 32-35 1 Arizona IP Scherzer 6 Schlrth L,0-4 BS,3-3 2⁄3 E.Vasquez 1⁄3 Zavada 1 J.Gutierrez 1 H 3 1 0 0 3 0 0 H 3 5 0 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 3 2 68 4.67 0 0 1 0 10 3.66 0 0 0 0 2 3.60 0 0 0 1 28 5.36 1 1 0 0 15 3.89 0 0 2 1 22 2.18 0 0 0 1 11 1.96 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 5 108 4.05 4 4 1 2 28 8.76 0 0 0 0 1 3.59 0 0 1 2 20 3.07 0 0 2 0 18 4.00

a-walked for W.Wright in the 6th. b-singled for Quintero in the 8th. c-grounded into a double play for Byrdak in the 8th. d-grounded out for Maholm in the 9th. 1-ran for Ca.Lee in the 9th. LOB: Pittsburgh 7, Houston 5. 2B: A.McCutchen (22), Bourn (26). HR: Doumit (9), off Byrdak; Berkman (21), off Capps. RBIs: G.Jones (39), Doumit (29), Berkman (72). SB: Bourn (54). S: Maholm. Runners left in scoring position: Pittsburgh 4 (Milledge, Maholm, An.LaRoche 2); Houston 4 (Ca.Lee 2, Quintero, K.Matsui). DP: Pittsburgh 3 (An.LaRoche, R.Vazquez, G.Jones), (An.LaRoche, R.Vazquez, G.Jones), (Capps, Cedeno, G.Jones). Pittsburgh Maholm W, 8-8 Capps S, 25-29 Houston F.Paulino L, 2-9 W.Wright Brocail Gervacio Byrdak Fulchino IP 8 1 IP 5 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 H 6 2 H 6 0 1 0 1 1 R ER BB SO 0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 R ER BB SO 1 1 1 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 NP ERA 94 4.51 9 5.96 NP ERA 95 6.06 5 5.35 10 3.86 7 0.69 15 2.87 9 3.33

Inherited runners-scored: Viola 2-0, Burton 2-0. IBB: off Lilly (Hanigan). Umpires: Home, Paul Nauert; First, Joe West; Second, Ed Rapuano; Third, Paul Schrieber. T: 3:05. A: 39,805 (41,210).

Narveson pitched to 3 batters in the 4th. Inherited runners-scored: DiFelice 1-0, C.Smith 3-0, C.Vargas 2-0, E.Vasquez 2-0. Umpires: Home, Eric Cooper; First, Mike Reilly; Second, Chuck Meriwether; Third, Laz Diaz. T: 3:17. A: 21,453 (48,652).

Inherited runners-scored: Gervacio 2-0. Umpires: Home, Bill Miller; First, Adrian Johnson; Second, Derryl Cousins; Third, Jim Joyce. T: 2:29. A: 34,405 (40,976).






Game 1: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 1; Game 2: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 0

Lester leads Red Sox to sweep, hands Rays 11th straight loss
BOSTON—Jon Lester made the most of his second chance. Two days after struggling in a game that was rained out, the Red Sox lefthander allowed two hits in eight innings and Boston beat Tampa Bay 4-0 on Sunday for a doubleheader sweep, handing the A.L. champion Rays their 11th consecutive loss. Lester gave up hits to three of the first four batters Friday night but none of that counted when the game was called after he threw only 23 pitches. It was made up as the opener Sunday, a 3-1 Boston win. “I was kind of surprised the way my body responded,” Lester said. “I figured I’d be a little more sore (Saturday) than I was.” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he wasn’t worried after Lester, who is 5-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 10 outings, told him Friday’s work was similar to a regular side session for a pitcher between starts. “They’re creatures of habit and that’s not the way you draw it up,” Francona said. “He didn’t let it affect him.” In the opener, Dustin Pedroia’s tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth sent Boston to a victory behind Clay Buchholz and two relievers. Tampa Bay was eliminated from the A.L. East race one year after winning the division and reaching the World Series. The losing streak is the longest by a major league team this season. “It’s embarrassing,” said James Shields, the second-game loser. “Eleven straight losses. Not fun at all. Whether we’re in the race or not, we’ve got to play better baseball.” The Rays were outscored 16-2 and managed 14 hits in Boston’s three-game sweep. The A.L. wild-card leaders won 9-1 behind Josh Beckett in a game shortened by rain to five innings Saturday night. “This whole week has been pretty much negative offense,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. Boston’s win in the second game of the split doubleheader was its 11th in 15 games and eighth straight at Fenway Park. Lester (13-7) allowed only singles to Gabe Kapler in the second and Dioner Navarro in the eighth. He struck out seven, walked three and threw one wild pitch. Shields (9-11) had a rare solid performance at Fenway, where he is 0-6 with an 8.04 ERA. The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second on a groundout by Mike Lowell that drove in J.D. Drew, who walked and went to third on David Ortiz’s double. MICHAEL DWYER / AP Boston scored twice in the sixth. Drew led off with a single and went to third on Boston’s Dustin Pedroia, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Joey Gathright in the first game. a double by Lowell. Both scored on Jason Varitek’s single, a hard shot that took a before Hideki Okajima (6-0) pitched a play that prevented Tampa Bay from takbad hop past first baseman Willie Aybar. perfect eighth. Jonathan Papelbon got ing the lead. Jason Bay’s 32nd homer just inside the three outs for his 36th save in 39 “Pedroia hitting a home run to right Pesky Pole in right made it 4-0 in the chances. field is the last thing you expected,” Madeighth. The 5-foot-9 Pedroia’s opposite-field don said. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for Bos- power surprised even Francona. Ortiz opened the eighth with a pinchton, allowing two hits before striking out Asked if he thought Pedroia could clear hit double off the base of the right-field the final two batters. the fence in Fenway Park’s deep right wall against Matt Garza (7-10). Jacoby For a change, there was no rain Sun- field, Francona quickly said: “No.” Ellsbury sacrificed and Pedroia drove a day. Friday’s game was postponed after a “You look up and they’re shading right 2-0 pitch into the Rays’ bullpen for his delay of 2 hours, 20 minutes. The start of field way in, so off the bat it looks like 13th homer. Saturday’s game was delayed for 2:05. we’re going to get the run,” the manager “They’ve been pitching me away a lot Play was stopped in the top of the sixth said. “It just kept going. You saw his reac- lately with high fastballs,” Pedroia said. due to heavy rain and the game was tion. I don’t think he knew he could do it, “I just got a pitch out there and drove it. I called 55 minutes later. either.” was kind of joking with (David) that he In Sunday’s opener, Buchholz allowed Victor Martinez added an RBI single hit the wall.” one run and five hits in seven innings for Boston and blocked the plate on a tag — The Associated Press
Red Sox 3, Rays 1, Game 1 Tampa Bay AB R H BI Bartlett ss 4 0 1 1 Crawford lf 4 0 1 0 Longoria 3b 4 0 0 0 Zobrist cf 3 0 1 0 Burrell dh 4 0 0 0 Iwamura 2b 4 0 1 0 Zaun c 3 1 1 0 Gross rf 2 0 1 0 Ch.Richard 1b 3 0 0 0 Totals 31 1 6 1 BB 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 SO 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1 1 8 Avg. .330 .302 .278 .279 .228 .295 .261 .242 .125 Avg. .300 .297 .297 .314 .261 .188 .256 .233 .216 .236 .230 .333 .295 1 6 0 3 9 0 Red Sox 4, Rays 0, Game 2 Tampa Bay AB R H BI Bartlett ss 4 0 0 0 Crawford dh 4 0 0 0 Longoria 3b 3 0 1 0 Zobrist 2b 3 0 1 0 W.Aybar 1b 4 0 0 0 Kapler rf-lf 3 0 1 0 Navarro c 2 0 1 0 B.Upton cf 3 0 0 0 F.Perez lf 2 0 0 0 a-Burrell ph 1 0 0 0 Gross rf 0 0 0 0 Totals 29 0 4 0 BB 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 SO 1 0 0 1 3 1 0 1 1 1 0 9 Avg. .327 .300 .278 .279 .247 .233 .227 .235 .143 .227 .242 Avg. .299 .297 .297 .267 .261 .231 .296 .217 .286 0 4 0 4 7 0

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Ellsbury cf 3 0 1 0 0 1 Pedroia 2b 4 2 2 2 0 0 V.Martinez c 4 0 2 1 0 0 Youkilis 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 Bay dh 3 0 0 0 1 1 Kotchman 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 Baldelli rf 3 0 1 0 0 2 Bri.Anderson rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 Reddick lf 3 0 1 0 0 1 N.Green ss 2 0 0 0 0 0 a-D.Ortiz ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 1-Gathright pr 0 1 0 0 0 0 Ale.Gonzalez ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 31 3 9 3 1 8 Tampa Bay 000 000 100 — Boston 000 001 02x —

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Ellsbury cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 Pedroia 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 V.Martinez 1b 4 0 1 0 0 2 J.Drew rf 1 2 1 0 3 0 Bay lf 4 1 1 1 0 2 D.Ortiz dh 3 0 1 0 1 1 Lowell 3b 4 1 1 1 0 1 Varitek c 4 0 1 2 0 0 Ale.Gonzalez ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 Totals 30 4 7 4 4 7 Tampa Bay 000 000 000 — Boston 010 002 01x —

a-doubled for N.Green in the 8th. 1-ran for D.Ortiz in the 8th. LOB: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 6. 2B: Ellsbury (25), Pedroia (43), V.Martinez (31), D.Ortiz (29). HR: Pedroia (13), off Garza. RBIs: Bartlett (63), Pedroia 2 (63), V.Martinez (97). S: Gross, Ellsbury. Runners left in scoring position: Tampa Bay 3 (Bartlett, Burrell, Gross); Boston 3 (Youkilis, N.Green, Kotchman). DP: Tampa Bay 1 (Bartlett, Iwamura, Ch.Richard). Tampa Bay IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Garza L, 7-10 7 1⁄3 9 3 3 0 8 118 3.84 Choate 2⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 9 3.72 Boston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Buchholz 7 5 1 1 3 5 97 3.66 Okajima W, 6-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 13 3.49 Papelbon S, 36-39 1 1 0 0 0 3 24 1.89 Inherited runners-scored: Choate 1-0. IBB: off Choate (Bay). Umpires: Home, Randy Marsh; First, Kevin Causey; Second, Marvin Hudson; Third, Angel Hernandez. T: 2:45. A: 38,228 (37,373).

a-struck out for F.Perez in the 8th. LOB: Tampa Bay 6, Boston 7. 2B: Longoria (43), D.Ortiz (30), Lowell (29). HR: Bay (32), off Cormier. RBIs: Bay (101), Lowell (70), Varitek 2 (51). SB: Longoria (7). CS: J.Drew (6). S: Navarro. Runners left in scoring position: Tampa Bay 4 (W.Aybar, F.Perez, Bartlett, Kapler); Boston 3 (Varitek 3). DP: Boston 1 (Lowell, Pedroia, V.Martinez). Tampa Bay J.Shields L, 9-11 Cormier Wheeler Boston Lester W, 13-7 Wagner IP 6 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 IP 8 1 H 6 1 0 H 2 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 3 6 100 4.03 1 1 1 0 21 3.39 0 0 0 1 5 3.51 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 3 7 105 3.29 0 0 0 2 18 1.59

HBP: by Cormier (Ellsbury). WP: Lester. Umpires: Home, Lance Barksdale; First, Marvin Hudson; Second, Angel Hernandez; Third, Kevin Causey. T: 2:35. A: 37,271 (37,373).

American League wild-card standings
Boston Texas W 84 80 L Pct. 58 .592 62 .563 GB — 4






Game 1: Texas 7, Seattle 2; Game 2: Seattle 5, Texas 0

Beer bath part of celebration for another 200-hit season for Ichiro
ARLINGTON, TEXAS—Soaked in beer, Ichiro Suzuki smiled after a long day. After he reached 200 hits for the ninth straight season during the second game of a doubleheader, Ken Griffey Jr. picked up his slight teammate, slung him over his shoulder and carried him to the showers, where teammates awaited with a beer bath. “To get to enjoy this with these teammates I have, and especially that guy over there makes me very joyful,” Ichiro said. Ichiro beat out an infield single to become the first player in major league history with at least 200 in nine straight seasons as the Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-0 to split a doubleheader after losing the opener 7-2. In his second at-bat of the nightcap, Suzuki hit a slow roller to shortstop Elvis Andrus, beating the throw for No. 200 and driving in a run for a 2-0 lead. Suzuki, who went 1-for-5 in the second game, received a standing ovation from the sparse crowd, stepping off first base and doffing his batting helmet to thank the fans. He had been tied with Willie Keeler, who had eight consecutive 200-hit seasons from 1894-1901. “It’s always good to see history,” Griffey said. “(The beer shower) was a little cold for him.” In the opener, Suzuki doubled in four at-bats, but the Mariners lost for the sixth time in seven games. The mood in the Mariners’ clubhouse was lighter after the nightcap. “To see a 108-year-old record broken is pretty special,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. Texas rookie Tommy Hunter threw a six-hitter for his first complete game and the Rangers hit three homers. Felix Hernandez (15-5) struck out five and walked one in the nightcap, retiring 10 in a row from the third through the sixth. He’s given up one run or less and lasted at least seven innings in 15 of his 30 starts this season. Rangers manager Ron Washington said his team wasn’t worn down at the end of the long day. Texas simply ran into a dominant pitcher, Washington said. “That had to do with Felix Hernandez,” Washington said. Hernandez struggled with a tight back in the first three innings before it loosened up. “I was wild,” Hernandez said. “I was all over the place. I was a little quick. I had to slow down my delivery.” Adrian Beltre’s two-run homer in the fifth inning of the nightcap extended Seattle’s lead to 5-0. Texas was playing its third doubleheader this month due to rainouts. The Rangers swept the first two. Rain that pelted the area for the past four days caused the opener to begin 4 hours, 31 minutes after the originally scheduled start time of 12:35 p.m. It was a makeup of Friday night’s rainout. The Rangers fell four games behind Boston for the A.L. wild card. The Red Sox swept a doubleheader from slumping Tampa Bay at Fenway Park. “We’ve got 20 games to go,” Washington said. “We’ve got to keep taking care of our business. It was a tough day today. It’s tough to win doubleheaders.” Seattle got an RBI double from Jose Lopez off rookie Derek Holland (7-11) in the first inning of the second game, and
Rangers 7, Mariners 2, Game 1 Seattle AB R H BI BB I.Suzuki rf 4 0 1 1 0 F.Gutierrez cf 4 0 0 0 0 Jo.Lopez 2b 4 1 1 0 0 Griffey Jr. dh 4 0 0 0 0 Beltre 3b 4 0 2 1 0 Hannahan 1b 4 0 1 0 0 Johjima c 4 0 0 0 0 Langerhans lf 2 1 0 0 1 Ja.Wilson ss 3 0 1 0 0 Totals 33 2 6 2 1 SO 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 Avg. .354 .277 .271 .219 .263 .218 .245 .206 .220 Avg. .313 .277 .258 .287 .270 .271 .283 .217 .323 2 6 1 7 12 1 Mariners 5, Rangers 0, Game 2 Seattle AB R H BI BB I.Suzuki rf 5 0 1 1 0 F.Gutierrez cf 4 2 2 0 1 Jo.Lopez 1b 5 0 1 1 0 M.Sweeney dh 4 0 0 0 0 Beltre 3b 3 1 1 2 1 Hall lf 3 1 1 0 1 Ja.Wilson ss 4 0 1 1 0 Jo.Wilson 2b 3 1 1 0 1 Ro.Johnson c 4 0 0 0 0 Totals 35 5 8 5 4 Texas Borbon dh Andrus ss Kinsler 2b M.Byrd cf Dav.Murphy lf N.Cruz rf C.Davis 1b Teagarden c Vizquel 3b Totals Seattle Texas AB 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 32 R 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 H 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 6 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 SO 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 5 SO 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 7 Avg. .353 .278 .270 .271 .264 .257 .221 .271 .217 Avg. .333 .277 .256 .284 .270 .269 .215 .212 .278 5 8 0 0 6 2

Texas AB R H BI BB SO Borbon lf 4 0 1 1 0 1 Andrus ss 3 1 1 1 0 0 Kinsler 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 M.Byrd cf 4 0 0 1 0 0 Dav.Murphy dh 4 1 2 1 0 1 N.Cruz rf 4 1 2 1 0 0 I.Rodriguez c 4 1 2 0 0 0 C.Davis 1b 4 1 1 1 0 1 German 3b 3 2 2 1 1 0 Totals 34 7 12 7 1 3 Seattle Texas 001 000 001 — 110 211 10x —

110 120 000 — 000 000 000 —

E: Beltre (12), Borbon (3). LOB: Seattle 5, Texas 6. 2B: I.Suzuki (29), Kinsler (28), I.Rodriguez (8), German 2 (3). HR: C.Davis (19), off Fister; Dav.Murphy (15), off Fister; N.Cruz (32), off J.Vargas. RBIs: I.Suzuki (39), Beltre (35), Borbon (14), Andrus (33), M.Byrd (77), Dav. Murphy (45), N.Cruz (71), C.Davis (49), German (4). S: Borbon. SF: Andrus. Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 3 (F.Gutierrez, I.Suzuki, Langerhans); Texas 2 (Dav.Murphy, N.Cruz). DP: Seattle 1 (Beltre, Jo.Lopez, Hannahan). Seattle Fister L, 2-2 J.Vargas Texas Tom.Hunter W, 8-3 IP 4 2⁄3 3 1⁄3 IP 9 H 10 2 H 6 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 1 1 101 3.53 2 2 0 2 42 5.01 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 1 1 3 102 3.23

E: Andrus 2 (21). LOB: Seattle 7, Texas 6. 2B: F.Gutierrez (19), Jo.Lopez (36), Jo.Wilson (5), Teagarden (10). 3B: Hall (1). HR: Beltre (6), off Holland. RBIs: I.Suzuki (40), Jo.Lopez (86), Beltre 2 (37), Ja.Wilson (8). SB: Borbon (14). Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 3 (Hall, I.Suzuki, Ro.Johnson); Texas 4 (M.Byrd, Andrus, Kinsler, N.Cruz). DP: Seattle 1 (Beltre, Jo.Wilson, Jo.Lopez); Texas 1 (Vizquel, Kinsler, C.Davis). Seattle F.Hernandez W, 15-5 M.Lowe Aardsma Texas Holland L, 7-11 Guardado O’Day D.Mathis IP 7 1 1 IP 6 1 1 1 H 4 1 1 H 8 0 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 1 5 109 2.52 0 0 0 1 8 2.88 0 0 0 1 15 2.12 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 3 88 6.01 0 0 1 0 18 4.08 0 0 1 1 16 1.84 0 0 0 1 13 2.84


Ichiro Suzuki follows through on an infield single in the second inning of the second game for the record. Jack Wilson’s run-scoring single in the fourth made it 3-0. Holland lost his fourth straight start, giving up five runs and eight hits in six innings. Hunter fared better than his fellow Rangers rookie, getting loose before his start by playing cards, pingpong and video games, including Ken Griffey Jr. Slugfest. Griffey went 0-for-4 in the first game. Hunter (8-3) struck out three and walked one in his 15th big league start, polishing off his first professional complete game with 102 pitches. Chris Davis, David Murphy and Nelson Cruz connected for the Rangers in the opener. Seattle rookie Doug Fister (2-2) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings of the opener. — The Associated Press

Inherited runners-scored: J.Vargas 1-0. Umpires: Home, Gary Cederstrom; First, Brian O’Nora; Second, James Hoye; Third, Dan Bellino. T: 2:18. A: 0 (49,170).

Umpires: Home, Fieldin Culbreth; First, James Hoye; Second, Brian O’Nora; Third, Dan Bellino. T: 2:29. A: 18,522 (49,170).






L.A. Angels 3, Chicago White Sox 2

N.Y. Yankees 13, Baltimore 3

Hunter’s guess helps Angels beat Buerhle
ANAHEIM—Torii Hunter had no idea he was batting .220 against Mark Buehrle when he came to the plate leading off the seventh inning. All that Hunter knew was, he got a juicy pitch. Hunter hit a tiebreaking home run off the four-time All-Star, and the Los Angeles Angels put another crimp in Chicago’s playoff hopes with a 3-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday. “Buehrle is a guy that goes right after you and he can finish you. It doesn’t matter who you are,” Hunter said. “He changes speeds, and he’s been doing that to me my whole career. “He threw a cutter in, and I was able to get my hands in. Actually, I guessed wrong. I was looking changeup because he struck me out on a 2-2 changeup my second at-bat. It was 2-2 again, and I said, ‘He’ll throw another one.’ My mind said something else, but my hands said, ‘No.’” Hunter drove Buehrle’s 89th pitch into the top level of the double-decker bullpen in left field for his 21st homer, matching last year’s total. “My fastball didn’t have much velocity today,” said Buehrle, who has won only one of his last 14 regular-season starts against the Angels. “I was trying to come in with it and I kind of left it up and over the plate. He might have been looking there. But when you make a mistake like that, they’re supposed to take advantage of it.” The A.L. West leaders took two of three from the White Sox, who dropped into third place in the A.L. Central. They are six games behind division-leading Detroit, and a half-game back of Minnesota. — The Associated Press
Angels 3, White Sox 2 Chicago AB R Podsednik dh 5 0 Beckham 3b 5 1 Konerko 1b 3 1 Dye rf 4 0 Al.Ramirez ss 3 0 Quentin lf 4 0 J.Nix 2b 3 0 a-Kotsay ph 1 0 Lillibridge 2b 0 0 Rios cf 3 0 R.Castro c 3 0 b-Pierzynski ph 1 0 1-Wise pr 0 0 Totals 35 2 Los Angeles M.Izturis 3b E.Aybar ss B.Abreu rf Guerrero dh Tor.Hunter cf J.Rivera lf K.Morales 1b H.Kendrick 2b Napoli c Totals AB 4 4 1 3 3 2 3 3 3 26 R 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 H 0 2 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 9 H 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 5 BI 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 BI 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 BB 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 BB 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 SO 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 SO 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 5 Avg. .304 .279 .282 .251 .276 .234 .235 .268 .145 .242 .200 .312 .205 Avg. .302 .302 .300 .295 .309 .291 .307 .293 .269 2 9 1 3 5 1

Matsui homers, Sabathia wins 17th
NEW YORK—Johnny Damon forgot how many outs there were. Mark Teixeira couldn’t come up with a clutch hit. Manager Joe Girardi and Alex Rodriguez were ejected after the New York Yankees had another run-in with umpire Marty Foster. And CC Sabathia just kept rolling along. Sabathia became the A.L.’s first 17-game winner, Hideki Matsui homered and drove in five runs and the Yankees avoided a three-game sweep against last-place Baltimore with a 13-3 victory Sunday. Clearly without his best stuff, Sabathia (17-7) still managed to hold the Orioles to three runs and five hits in seven innings. The big lefthander improved to 9-1 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 12 starts, despite finishing with just one strikeout for the first time since June 21 at Florida. “This was tough. I didn’t really have the command and stuff that I’ve had the past about a month and half,” Sabathia said. “I was just trying to do whatever I could to get outs and get the team back in the dugout.” Melky Cabrera finished with four RBIs for New York, which totaled 20 hits after getting 19 in the first two games of the series combined. Derek Jeter went 3-for 5 and scored three times to give him 101 runs on the season. June 1986. Guthrie — The Associated Press
Yankees 13, Orioles 3 Baltimore AB R B.Roberts 2b 3 0 a-Aubrey ph 0 0 C.Izturis ss 4 0 b-Andino ph 1 0 Markakis rf 4 0 Reimold lf 4 1 Wigginton 1b 3 1 Wieters dh 3 0 Turner 3b 2 1 Moeller c 3 0 Fiorentino cf 3 0 Totals 30 3 H 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 1 0 1 6 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 BB 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 6 SO 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 Avg. .285 .308 .250 .231 .303 .279 .273 .264 .400 .266 .313 Avg. .332 .258 .286 .272 .282 .200 .287 .222 .284 .275 .283 .259 .318 .252 .279

New York AB R H BI BB SO Jeter ss 5 3 3 0 1 0 Hairston Jr. 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 Damon lf 3 1 1 0 2 0 1-Gardner pr-cf 1 2 1 1 0 0 Teixeira 1b 5 1 2 2 0 2 2-S.Duncan pr-rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 A.Rodriguez 3b 2 0 1 1 1 1 Hinske 3b 0 0 0 0 1 0 R.Pena 3b-ss 2 0 1 0 0 0 H.Matsui dh 5 1 3 5 1 0 Posada c 5 1 1 0 1 1 Cervelli c 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cano 2b 5 2 3 0 0 1 Swisher rf-1b 5 1 2 0 0 0 Me.Cabrera cf-lf 5 1 2 4 0 0 Totals 43 13 20 13 7 5 Baltimore New York

Chicago 200 000 000 — Los Angeles 101 000 10x —

020 100 000 — 3 6 0 100 202 08x — 13 20 0

a-lined out for J.Nix in the 8th. b-singled for R.Castro in the 9th. 1-ran for Pierzynski in the 9th. E: Buehrle (1), J.Rivera (2). LOB: Chicago 9, Los Angeles 2. 2B: Beckham 2 (25), Konerko (26), M.Izturis (19), H.Kendrick (17). HR: Tor.Hunter (21), off Buehrle. RBIs: Quentin 2 (41), M.Izturis (59), B.Abreu (94), Tor.Hunter (82). CS: J.Nix (1), K.Morales (7). SF: B.Abreu. Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 6 (J.Nix 2, Konerko 2, Dye, R.Castro); Los Angeles 1 (Guerrero). GIDP: K.Morales. DP: Chicago 1 (Beckham, J.Nix, Konerko). Chicago Buehrle L, 12-8 Dotel Los Angeles Kazmir Oliver W, 5-1 Jepsen H, 14 Fuentes S, 41-47 IP 7 1 IP 6 1 1 1⁄3 2⁄3 H 5 0 H 7 1 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 2 2 3 100 3.73 0 0 0 2 9 3.41 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 3 2 118 5.32 0 0 0 0 24 2.73 0 0 0 0 14 4.30 0 0 0 0 7 4.10

a-walked for B.Roberts in the 9th. b-struck out for C.Izturis in the 9th. 1-ran for Damon in the 8th. 2-ran for Teixeira in the 8th. LOB: Baltimore 8, New York 14. 2B: Reimold (18), Jeter (27), Gardner (5), Teixeira (38), A.Rodriguez (15), Me.Cabrera (27). HR: H.Matsui (24), off Waters. RBIs: Turner (1), Moeller (9), Fiorentino (4), Gardner (21), Teixeira 2 (109), A.Rodriguez (84), H.Matsui 5 (81), Me.Cabrera 4 (63). SF: Moeller, Fiorentino. Runners left in scoring position: Baltimore 3 (B.Roberts, Wieters, Andino); New York 10 (Posada 4, H.Matsui, A.Rodriguez 2, Swisher, Cano 2). DP: Baltimore 1 (Wigginton, C.Izturis, Wigginton); New York 1 (Jeter, Cano, Teixeira). Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Guthrie L, 10-14 5 2⁄3 12 5 5 3 4 103 5.06 Henn 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 1 11 6.75 Waters 1 2⁄3 3 4 4 1 0 2721.60 McCrory 0 4 4 4 1 0 1815.00 Meredith 1⁄3 1 0 0 1 0 10 4.64 New York IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Sabathia W, 17-7 7 5 3 3 4 1 108 3.42 P.Hughes H, 16 1 1 0 0 0 1 13 3.10 Bruney 2⁄3 0 0 0 2 0 18 4.09 E.Ramirez 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 3 5.66 McCrory pitched to 5 batters in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Henn 2-0, McCrory 1-1, Meredith 1-0, E.Ramirez 2-0. HBP: by Guthrie (Teixeira). WP: Guthrie. Umpires: Home, Marty Foster; First, Mark Carlson; Second, Kerwin Danley; Third, Wally Bell. T: 3:22. A: 46,413 (52,325).

WP: Kazmir. Umpires: Home, Angel Campos; First, Hunter Wendelstedt; Second, Dana DeMuth; Third, Doug Eddings. T: 2:27. A: 37,512 (45,257).


White Sox SP Mark Buehrle ‘left it up and over the plate’ for Torii Hunter, right, whose homer was the difference.



AMERICAN LEAGUE Detroit 7, Toronto 2



Minnesota 8, Oakland 0

Kansas City 7, Cleveland 0

Duensing surprised, happy
MINNEAPOLIS—Brian Duensing has exceeded expectations for the Minnesota Twins since he was inserted into the starting rotation on Aug. 22. The rookie lefthander has even surprised himself. Joe Mauer had three hits, including his 27th home run, and Duensing pitched the Minnesota Twins to an 8-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. Duensing (3-1) scattered eight hits and three walks over seven innings to win his third straight decision. He struck out six. Bobby Keppel and Joe Nathan completed a 10-hit shutout for the Twins, who remained 5½ games behind first-place Detroit in the A.L. Central. “I’ve surprised myself at how well I’m doing,” Duensing said. “I always knew I could throw strikes and stuff like that, but the results I’m getting is something I’m not really used to. I’m not a strikeout guy. I usually let the defense play and let the hitters put the ball in play. But lately I’m throwing the ball really well and it’s a good surprise.” Mauer drove in two runs and raised his batting average to a major league-best .366. Michael Cuddyer added three hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who avoided getting swept. “We needed this pretty desperately and we got it today,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It started with our pitcher.” — The Associated Press
Twins 8, Athletics 0 Oakland AB R R.Davis cf 4 0 M.Ellis 2b 5 0 K.Suzuki dh 5 0 Hairston lf 3 0 Garciaparra 1b 4 0 Crosby 3b 3 0 R.Sweeney rf 3 0 E.Patterson rf 1 0 Powell c 4 0 Pennington ss 4 0 Totals 36 0 Minnesota Span rf O.Cabrera ss Mauer c Cuddyer 1b Delm.Young lf Crede dh B.Harris 3b Gomez cf Punto 2b Totals AB 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 33 R 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 H 3 0 1 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 10 H 2 1 3 3 0 0 1 1 1 12 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BI 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 BB 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 BB 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 SO 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 8 SO 0 0 0 0 2 4 1 1 2 10 Avg. .310 .279 .270 .239 .268 .225 .284 .220 .244 .277 Avg. .310 .272 .366 .271 .261 .225 .266 .238 .224 0 10 0 8 12 0

Rookie ends Tigers’ slump
Tigers 7, Blue Jays 2 Toronto AB R Scutaro ss 3 0 A.Hill 2b 4 0 Lind dh 4 0 V.Wells cf 3 1 Overbay 1b 4 0 Encarnacion 3b 4 0 Snider lf 3 0 R.Chavez c 2 1 J.Bautista rf 3 0 Totals 30 2 Detroit AB Raburn lf 5 Polanco 2b 4 Ordonez rf 4 Thomas rf 0 Mi.Cabrera 1b 3 Thames dh 4 1-W.Ramirez pr-dh 0 a-A.Huff ph 1 2-Dlugach pr-dh 0 Inge 3b 4 Granderson cf 3 Laird c 4 Everett ss 4 Totals 36 Toronto Detroit R 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 7 H 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 5 H 0 1 3 0 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 1 13 BI 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 BI 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 7 BB 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 BB 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 7 SO 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 4 SO 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 Avg. .283 .287 .299 .259 .260 .191 .222 .272 .228 Avg. .280 .278 .294 .246 .335 .260 .400 .244 --.233 .249 .224 .240 2 5 0 7 13 0

September good for Davies
CLEVELAND—Once the calendar turns to September, Kyle Davies turns into an ace. The righthander carried a nohit bid into the sixth inning and won his fourth straight start, pitching the Kansas City Royals to a 7-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. Davies (8-9) held the Indians hitless until Shin-Soo Choo’s leadoff single to center in the sixth. He walked six and struck out three over six innings in his second straight wild start. He walked six and gave up five hits and one run over five innings in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. “He had a very good changeup,” Choo said. “And he threw enough strikes to get big outs. I hit a curve, but he was pretty good.” Davies is 3-0 in September. A year ago, he went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA after Sept. 1. But he struggled early this season and was sent back to the minors after going 1-6 in seven starts between May 16 and June 19 that dropped his record to 3-7. “I know I can win in September,” he said. “Right now, it’s like I am going to do it—not, are you going to?” Davies said he worked the kinks out of his delivery while going 4-2 with a 2.14 ERA in eight starts at Class AAA Omaha. He moved to 4-3 with a 2.66 ERA on the road. He is 4-6 with an 8.92 ERA in 11 home starts. — The Associated Press
Royals 7, Indians 0 Kansas City AB DeJesus lf 5 Bloomquist 2b 5 Butler 1b 5 Jacobs dh 4 Callaspo 3b 4 Maier rf 4 J.Buck c 4 Lu.Hernandez ss 4 J.Anderson cf 3 Totals 38 Cleveland Brantley cf A.Cabrera ss Choo rf Jh.Peralta 3b Hafner dh Valbuena 2b LaPorta lf A.Marte 1b Toregas c Totals AB 2 3 4 1 4 4 4 4 2 28 R 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 2 7 R 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 H 3 2 1 1 0 2 2 0 1 12 H 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 BI 0 1 2 1 0 1 2 0 0 7 BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BB 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 3 BB 2 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 7 SO 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 0 5 SO 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 Avg. .280 .260 .303 .235 .296 .251 .217 .186 .245 Avg. .364 .311 .299 .275 .275 .240 .238 .229 .205 7 12 0 0 2 2

Oakland 000 000 000 — Minnesota 301 400 00x —

Kansas City 001 211 101 — Cleveland 000 000 000 —


LOB: Oakland 12, Minnesota 5. 2B: Crosby (9), O.Cabrera (31), Gomez (14). HR: Mauer (27), off G.Gonzalez. RBIs: Span (58), O.Cabrera 2 (60), Mauer 2 (84), Cuddyer 2 (72). CS: R.Davis (10). Runners left in scoring position: Oakland 8 (Pennington 4, Powell, Hairston 2, K.Suzuki); Minnesota 3 (O.Cabrera, Crede, Span). DP: Oakland 3 (M.Ellis, Garciaparra), (M.Ellis, Pennington, Garciaparra), (Garciaparra). Oakland G.Gonzalez L, 5-6 Blevins Kilby Eveland S.Casilla Minnesota Duensing W, 3-1 Keppel Nathan IP 3 1 1 2 1 IP 7 1 1 H 8 2 0 1 1 H 8 1 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 7 7 3 5 77 6.31 1 1 0 2 20 5.73 0 0 0 2 13 0.00 0 0 1 1 29 7.26 0 0 0 0 13 6.22 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 3 6 109 3.53 0 0 0 1 22 5.08 0 0 0 1 16 2.20

Rick Porcello picked up his 13th win of the season and ended Detroit’s slide. DETROIT—The Detroit Tigers turned to a 20-yearold rookie to snap their worst slump of the season. Thanks to Rick Porcello, they are back in control of the A.L. Central. Porcello gave up two runs on four hits in six innings and the Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. “It was big for us to come out and put an end to that,” said Porcello, who won’t turn 21 until Dec. 27. Porcello is 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA in nine starts since Aug. 1 as the Tigers have pulled away from Minnesota and Chicago in the division race. “I didn’t know how I would feel in this situation—I didn’t even know that I would be here,” he said. “But I feel great. I just want to keep improving, because I don’t think I’m a finished product.” Porcello spent last season in Class A, but Tigers catcher Gerald Laird has no concerns about the Tigers relying on him in a pennant race. “He’s got that swagger, because he knows he belongs here,” said Laird, who had two RBIs to help Detroit’s cause. “He’s just getting stronger—he’s throwing 96 or 97 now.” — The Associated Press

000 110 000 — 013 000 03x —

1-ran for Thames in the 7th. 2-ran for A.Huff in the 8th. LOB: Toronto 4, Detroit 13. 2B: Encarnacion (3), Ordonez (19), Thames (10), A.Huff (29). RBIs: A.Hill (97), Encarnacion (8), Mi.Cabrera (89), Thames (35), A.Huff (80), Inge 2 (76), Laird 2 (31). SB: V.Wells (17), Mi.Cabrera (5). Runners left in scoring position: Toronto 2 (A.Hill, Snider); Detroit 6 (Raburn 2, Everett 2, Thames, Laird). DP: Toronto 1 (Scutaro, A.Hill, Overbay); Detroit 2 (Inge, Polanco, Mi.Cabrera), (Everett, Polanco, Mi.Cabrera). Toronto R.Romero L, 12-8 Janssen Roenicke Detroit Porcello W, 13-8 Miner H, 6 Lyon H, 12 Rodney IP 6 1 1 IP 6 1 1 1 H 10 1 2 H 4 1 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 3 4 105 4.22 0 0 1 0 14 6.17 3 3 3 1 25 6.75 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 2 2 103 4.21 0 0 0 1 13 4.69 0 0 0 0 13 2.91 0 0 1 1 15 3.94

E: A.Marte (3), C.Carrasco (1). LOB: Kansas City 7, Cleveland 8. 2B: DeJesus (28), Bloomquist (9), Butler (46), J.Buck (9). HR: J.Buck (7), off C.Carrasco. RBIs: Bloomquist (29), Butler 2 (80), Jacobs (55), Maier (25), J.Buck 2 (33). Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 5 (J.Buck, Butler, Lu.Hernandez, Callaspo 2); Cleveland 4 (LaPorta, Choo 2, Jh.Peralta). DP: Kansas City 1 (Lu.Hernandez). Kansas City Davies W, 8-9 R.Colon Rosa Cleveland C.Carrasco L, 0-2 Gosling R.Perez K.Wood IP 6 2 1 IP 6 1 1 1 H 1 0 1 H 8 2 0 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 6 3 108 5.27 0 0 1 2 30 5.06 0 0 0 0 11 0.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 4 1 3 79 9.64 1 1 1 1 34 5.00 0 0 0 0 8 7.68 1 1 1 1 26 4.32

G.Gonzalez pitched to 3 batters in the 4th. Inherited runners-scored: Blevins 2-2. WP: Nathan. Umpires: Home, Jeff Nelson; First, Tim Tschida; Second, Bob Davidson; Third, Scott Barry. T: 2:48. A: 21,850 (46,632).

Balk: R.Colon, C.Carrasco. Umpires: Home, Ron Kulpa; First, Dale Scott; Second, Mike Estabrook; Third, Jerry Meals. T: 2:48. A: 21,153 (45,199).

IBB: off Janssen (Granderson), off Roenicke (Mi. Cabrera). HBP: by R.Romero (Inge). WP: Roenicke, Porcello. Umpires: Home, Jeff Kellogg; First, Tim Timmons; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Rick Reed. T: 2:40. A: 32,468 (41,255).






Report: Maple Leafs closing in on trade for Kessel
With Dany Heatley safely dispatched to San Jose, the NHL’s trade rumor focus shifted Sunday to the young shoulders of Boston F Phil Kessel. According to a report in ESPN citing two sources, Toronto might be on the verge of ending that soap opera quickly, as well. Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke reportedly is offering a compelling package of draft picks—two first-rounders and a second-rounder for the rights to the Bruins’ 21-year-old restricted free agent. If Toronto extended an offer sheet to Kessel, the Bruins could match and receive first-, secondand third-round 2010 picks as compensation The report also said that if a deal is not reached soon, the Leafs were seriously considering the offer sheet route. The Nashville Predators also have confirmed talking to Boston about the talented forward, who scored 36 goals for the Bruins last season. offer to Dubinsky from $522,500— the qualifying offer—to $700,000, a raise of only $65,000. Overhardt is seeking about twice that much. Also sidelined on opening day was free-agent signee Marian Gaborik, who watched workouts because of a tender groin. “We just want to be careful,” Tortorella told the paper. “We don’t want to do anything stupid. We want to get him ready for the regular season.” The Detroit News reports that, as predicted by G.M. Ken Holland, team doctors did not clear D Andreas Lilja for physical contact, a decision that will limit the 34-year-old Swede until he is symptom-free from a concussion he suffered in February. “He’s cleared for physical activity, but he’s not cleared for physical contact,” Holland told the newspaper. “He still has symptoms. He will practice, but once the contact starts, he will have to sit out.” Lilja’s MRI is clean, but he still gets headaches. He will have to be symptom-free for at least a week to get clearance. It’s likely Lilja will have to start the regular season on the injured list. Buffalo F Drew Stafford, a restricted free agent who participated in training camp testing Saturday without a contract, signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the Sabres Sunday, justifying his goodfaith decision to report. Stafford emerged as a legitimate scoring threat last season when he scored a career-high 20 goals in 79

Upcoming preseason games
Today NY Islanders vs. Vancouver, at Terrace, B.C. (Terrace Sportsplex), 10 p.m. Tuesday Florida vs. Ottawa, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m. Boston at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. Minnesota at St. Louis, 8 p.m. Edmonton at Calgary, 9 p.m. Los Angeles (split squad) at Phoenix (split squad), 10 p.m. Phoenix (split squad) at Los Angeles (split squad), 10:30 p.m. Wednesday Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m. NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m. Florida at Ottawa, 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. NY Islanders at Edmonton, 9 p.m. Phoenix at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

games. In 184 career NHL games, Stafford has 49 goals and 110 points.

Jonas Gustavsson, the star goalie from Sweden who was signed by Toronto in the offseason, had a tough first day in the Maple Leafs’ training camp Saturday. Gustavsson, apparently suffering from dehydration during physical testing, became dizzy and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in the early afternoon. The 24-yearold former star of the Swedish Elite League seemed taken aback after he was released from the hospital. “He’s fine, this kind of thing happens to one or two players every year,” Burke told the Toronto Star.


Phil Kessel’s status in Boston is the lone remaining offseason soap opera, and it could be coming to a conclusion in the near future. The Leafs said Gustavsson had not eaten earlier in the day, contributing to his problem during testing. Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky was conspicuously absent from the Coyotes’ second day of training camp Sunday, leaving associate coach Ulf Samuelsson to get the team prepared for its first preseason game Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky has elected to stay away from camp because of uncertainty in his contractual status brought on by the team’s pending bankruptcy case. Coyotes G.M. Don Maloney still insists Gretzky is the coach, but he admits he’s not sure when the Great One might rejoin the team. Rangers coach John Tortorella opened his training camp Saturday with a little of the fire and brimstone players and fans can expect to see throughout the season. His first topic of interest was the reluctant holdout of young C Brandon Dubinsky, which Tortorella blamed on agent Kurt Overhardt. “It’s stupid,” Tortorella told the New York Post. “He’s a young man who needs to be in camp with his teammates and understand the process of becoming a pro. I’m hoping he realizes that. I think his agent is stupid, too.” According to the Post, the Rangers have increased their one-year

Jonathan Cheechoo, a 56-goal scorer in 2005-06 for San Jose, has dipped to 37 and 23 goals the last two seasons, explaining the Sharks’ willingness to send him packing to Ottawa in the Dany Heatley trade. Now Cheechoo, at age 29, will try to revive his sinking career with the Senators. “It was a little bit of a shock, but you look at it as a great opportunity to go out and prove I can still do what I can do,” Cheechoo told the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s a nobrainer for them (the Sharks). That’s somebody they targeted and you’re going to have to give up things to get things. To be part of that deal, I’ve got to go to Ottawa and show them they didn’t make a wrong choice.”






NHL countdown


Every day in September leading into the Oct. 1 season openers, Sporting News Today will preview each of the NHL teams, counting backward from its July 24 Power Poll.


2008-09 record: 34-37-11, 79 points Last playoff: 2002 (lost in conference quarterfinal) Coach: Terry Murray
“I just wanted the opportunity to go play with some good young players,” he said. “I wanted the chance to make a run.” The Kings also added grit to their defensive core, signing Rob Scuderi to a long-term deal shortly after he helped the Penguins win the Cup last season. Aside from rugged stay-at-home play from Scuderi and Greene, the Kings will count on Doughty, 19, to improve his offensive numbers in his second season. He may have been the team’s best all-around defenseman in his NHL debut, and he will be asked to replace the 38 points lost when Kyle Quincey was dealt to Colorado in the Smyth deal. Los Angeles also would like to see improvement and more contributions from third-year pro Jack Johnson, who missed the bulk of last season with a shoulder injury. O’Donnell and Peter Harrold will also help anchor the team’s defense. Aside from the addition of Smyth, the Kings’ offense should benefit from having Justin Williams in the lineup for a full year. He arrived at the trade deadline but was only able to play in the final 12 games. Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov each have demonstrated the ability to score 30 goals, although consistency is an issue for both forwards. Center Jarret Stoll also needs to be a steady contributor. The biggest benefactor of the young guns’ offseason training may be 22-year-old center Anze Kopitar, who has shown stretches of top offensive skill but still needs to demonstrate his legitimacy as a top-line player. “Does he have the ability? Yes, I’ll say he has the ability,” Lombardi said. “But last year (we) had to keep his ice time down because he got too tired. He already is looking better than he was last September.” Young forwards Oscar Moller, Wayne

BY GRAIG WOODBURN Sporting News Yearbooks

After a seven-year absence from postseason play, there will be no talk of moral victories, or heading in the right direction, or developing young players. Not this year. Not this time. The Kings have their sights set on one thing—the playoffs. “It’s not just our hope that maybe we have a good year and can sneak in,” said defenseman Matt Greene. “The goal right away is to make the playoffs. We want to be in the top eight the entire year, not having to come from behind or make a magical run to do it.” As part of that effort, Greene and a half dozen other players stayed in Los Angeles this summer to train. The Kings still are a young team, but many of their key players have been around long enough to know significant improvement is expected. “The biggest thing I’m excited about is that our young players made a commitment this summer to conduct themselves like pros and to start training like pros,” general manager Dean Lombardi said. “It’s good to see them pushing each other. Now it’s starting to mean something to be here.” The Kings developed a solid defense last season, based on a commitment to in-zone play stressed by coach Terry Murray in his first season with the team. With rookie defenseman Drew Doughty joining Greene and veteran Sean O’Donnell, the Kings’ defense made significant improvement. The team finished the season with a 2.76 goals-against average, just outside the top 10 in the league. A big part of that improvement stemmed from the steady work of rookie goalie Jonathan Quick (2.48 goals-against, .910 save percentage), who responded well when given

CATEGORY TEAM STATS RANKS Goals per game 2.46 27 Penalty kill percentage 82.87 7 Power play goals 69 12t Power Play Percentage 19.17 14 Saves 2075 26 Save percentage .902 20 Shorthanded goals 4 26t Shots against per game 28.06 4 Shots per game 29.06 17 Shutouts 6 11t Total points 538 29 Faceoff percentage .520 4 Goals against per game 2.76 11 Power Play 360 4t Opportunities Shorthanded Goals 8 12t Against Times Shut Out 12 1t

Offseason moves
Rob Scuderi, D (Penguins); Brandon Segal, RW (Lightning); Ryan Smyth, LW (trade, Avalanche).

Brian Boyle, C (trade, Rangers); Matt Moulson, LW (Islanders); Tom Preissing, D (trade, Avalanche); Kyle Quincey, D (trade, Avalanche).


Jonathan Quick (2.48 GAA, .910 save percentage) had a chance to lock down the Kings’ goaltending job as a rookie. the chance to carry the workload. Getting a solid defensive game and goaltending in place has been the long-term goal of the Kings. Now, if the team can make similar adjustments on offense, playoff hopes will become a reality. The Kings ranked 27th in total offense last year, and finished last in five-on-five scoring. To address this deficiency, they considered pursuing big-ticket free agents before getting Ryan Smyth to waive his no-trade clause and agree to a deal that moved him from Colorado to L.A. “We didn’t score a lot of goals—part of the problem was skill level—but a large part of it was going to the net,” Lombardi said. “He’s exactly what had to be added to set an example as to how you go to the (net) and score tough goals. In the end, those are playoff-type goals.” Smyth welcomed the chance to join a team on the rise.

Simmonds and Teddy Purcell also will look to build on impressive rookie seasons. While goaltending has been an issue, the Kings should enter training camp knowing Quick is capable of providing quality play every night. “It’s fair to say with what he did last year, he comes in with the job to lose,” Lombardi said. Erik Ersberg also has demonstrated that he can handle day-to-day NHL duties, while 2006 first-round pick Jonathan Bernier has made steady progress in the AHL. So, there are goaltending options. — For much more on the Kings, purchase a copy of Sporting News Hockey ’09-10 yearbook by calling 1-800-380-7404. Or order it online at sportingnews.com or streetandsmiths.com



NBA / College Basketball




Rookie Teague already impressing Hawks
Hawks rookie PG Jeff Teague, the 19th overall pick in June’s draft, has wasted little time making a good impression. Teague’s teammates—as well as others around the league who have played against him this summer—have been impressed with his work ethic, as well as his ability to create and make shots. “He’s going to make things really interesting,” Hawks F Marvin Williams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I just love that he’s been here all this time. It’s a clear indicator of where his mind is in terms of what he has to do this season. That’s the kind of attitude you want to see in a rookie or anybody else when they are coming into a new team.” SG Ben Gordon was instant offense off the bench for the Bulls, and he’ll likely remain in a similar role with the Pistons, with Richard Hamilton as the starter. But new Pistons coach John Kuester told The Detroit News that he’d also like to expand Gordon’s responsibilities, such as being a creator for other teammates. “You don’t want to pigeon-hole a player of Ben Gordon’s ability,” Kuester said. “Starting or not starting, he has a lot that he brings to the table. He wants to prove he’s not one dimensional. He’s still young.” PF LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers have been continuing to talk about a new contract, but G.M. Kevin Pritchard told The Oregonian it’s a complicated process. The reason? Neither side knows what figure maximum deals will be—the league doesn’t release that information until the summer of 2010, when it sets the salary cap. As The Oregonian noted, the league lets max contracts be signed without designating the exact amount. But it can be tough to work out the numbers if the two sides decide on less than a maximum deal. Although the Heat will trying to upgrade their roster via free agency next summer, team president Pat Riley said that doesn’t mean it will involve one max-contract player. “If you go back to the last time that we had significant (cap) room,” Riley told The Palm Beach Post, “we were able to sign Alonzo Mourning, Juwan Howard, P.J. Brown, Dan Majerle and Tim Hardaway, all in one year. Why do I want to take a big chunk of money and give it to one guy? Why wouldn’t I want to spread it around to get two or three starters that fit better?”

Highly-rated PG commits to Missouri
Texas high school PG prospect Phil Pressey has committed to Missouri after visiting the school on Saturday, according to a report by The Kansas City Star. Pressey (5-8) is rated the No. 54 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com for the 2010 recruiting class and No. 13 in the nation among point guards. He has been the No. 1 target on Missouri’s recruiting board, according to the newspaper. He averaged 19 points, 10 assists and 5 steals last season at Episcopal School of Dallas and was being recruited by Arizona, Baylor, Florida, Connecticut, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Ohio State as well as Missouri. His father, former NBA player and current New Orleans Hornets assistant Paul Pressey, was a roommate and teammate of Missouri coach Mike Anderson in college at Tulsa. Iowa State junior G Lucca Staiger led Germany in its 86-75 loss to F.Y.R. of Macedonia in the qualifying round of the 2009 European Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Sunday. Staiger, a native of Blaustein, Germany, was the top scorer for the German squad, recording 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including four 3-pointers in six attempts. He also had three rebounds. Germany must defeat Croatia on Tuesday to make the final eight and remain alive in the “We’re looking forward to getting Tony on board with our program and the addition of the four new players will help our returning core from last season every day on the floor, in the weight room and in the classroom,” coach Jerry Wainwright said. “Each of these players, along with our sixth newcomer, Mike Stovall , will help us improve together as a team this season.” Joining the roster as walk-on players are Joe Belcaster, Jimmy Drew, Nate Rogers and Ryan Siggins. Drew, a transfer from Southeast Missouri State, will sit out the 2009-10 season under NCAA guidelines. He played at Southeast Missouri State from 200608 before a foot injury forced him to miss the 2008-09 season. Houston coach Tom Penders was pleased to finalize a fouryear, home-and-home matchup with TCU beginning with this season’s game that will bring the Horned Frogs to Houston. One factor that helped close the deal, according to the Houston Chronicle: TCU coach Jim Christian played for Penders at Rhode Island. “Scheduling has become harder than recruiting for us,” Penders told the newspaper. “It goes on and on and on. Melvin Haralson (associate head coach) works 12 months a year on the thing. It’s too frustrating for me on a dayby-day basis.”


Lucca Staiger, who made 74 threes for ISU last year, scored 14 for Germany on Sunday. tournament. Staiger averaged 8.2 points and led the Cyclones in 3-point makes last season with 74. DePaul freshman F Tony Freeland will enroll for the winter quarter while he waits for academic clearance from the NCAA, according to a report by The Daily Herald. Freeland, a Los Angeles native, averaged 21.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots during his senior season at Fremont High School. The program also has added four walk-ons to the 2009-10 roster.


Ben Gordon will be expected to score in Detroit, but also create for others. Defending champion Russia slipped past Greece 68-65 on Sunday and France beat Croatia 87-79 to stay unbeaten at the European basketball championship, being played in Bydgoszcz, Poland. France remained perfect at the tournament behind a strong performance from its NBA trio of Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw. Parker, who plays for the Spurs, scored 12 of his 24 points in the third quarter. Batum, who plays for the Blazers, had 18 points, and Bobcats F Diaw scored 15. Earlier Sunday in Group E, Macedonia defeated Germany 86-75. Macedonia plays Russia in its final second-round group game on Tuesday, Germany takes on Croatia and group-leader France faces Greece. The top four teams in Group E and Group F advance to the quarterfinals.






Martin: ‘I feel like a whole new person’

Kurt ‘devastated’ Kyle misses Chase
Kurt Busch pondered the fate of himself, his brother Kyle Busch and of eight points after Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Kurt won NASCAR’s first Chase in 2004 by … eight points. And Kyle failed to reach this year’s Chase by … eight points. “When I did hear that he didn’t make it, I slid down and sat next to my car and thought for a moment what eight points means in this sport,” Busch said. “And I was on the fortunate side of winning the championship by eight points back in 2004. And to see my little brother not make it, it’s devastating.” Kurt Busch finished second at Richmond to secure his spot in the Chase. He’s seeded seventh for the first Chase race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 30 points behind leader Mark Martin. Kyle also finished in the top 10, but it wasn’t enough to get in the Chase. “Eight points for him is tough,” Kurt said of Kyle. “His sun will rise again, though. He will have a shot at coming back, and their season is not lost. They are still going to be one of the toughest guys to beat for wins week in and week out, now that he’s not even running for points, that fits his mentality. “So this could be a good lesson learned that you don’t have to win them all, but you have to run consistent. I’m sure he’s been told that a hundred times. But it’s just tough to see the kid not make the Chase.”
Even though Greg Biffle hasn’t won this season, he still considers himself a championship contender. “It’s pretty tight,” Biffle said. “Forty points, that’s reachable in a couple of races. We’re just gonna have to run better, and I think we’re capable of that. We’ve got good race tracks coming up, so that’s what I’m excited about.” Biffle also entered last year’s Chase winless and promptly won the first two races. He turned that quick start into a third-place

RICHMOND, VA.—Sprint Cup Series points leader Mark Martin said he felt like a “whole new person,” and with good reason. Not only did he lock himself into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but also took over the series points lead. Martin finished fourth in Saturday’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway to secure a spot in the Chase. But because the points of the top 12 drivers are reset based on victories, Martin’s four wins put him atop the Chase leaderboard. “Well, that’s certainly cool,” Martin said. “I’m certainly going to enjoy that for a week here. I feel like a whole new person, huge weight off my shoulders. It’s just like I said before, to make this thing is the icing and now we get to go race for the cake.” Martin has never won the Cup championship, despite coming agonizingly close twice. He has finished second in the standings four times and third another four times. Martin has finished in the top five in the standings 12 times—but he still doesn’t have a title. That could change this year, his first with Hendrick Motorsports. “I’m not really thinking about it,” Martin said. “It’s not something that defines my career. I didn’t take this job to win the championship. I took this job to drive a fast racecar and hopefully win a race. And you know, I don’t think you can will your way to scoring points. I tried that, for 19 years. I tried to will my way, will more points than we were scoring on the racetrack, and it never worked. And it was very frustrating. “So what we will do and what I will do is do my very best. I’m a really intense person, I’m really competitive, and I will give every ounce that I have at it just like I do every time. And we’ll see how it turns out.” Martin, 50, has been fast all year. He has won six poles to go along with his four wins, and only some bad breaks have kept him


Kurt Busch, right, made the Chase while his brother, Kyle, missed qualifying by eight points. finish. Biffle is seeded as the final driver in the Chase, 40 points behind Martin. He is not alone 40 points back; Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards also haven’t won this season.


As the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins, Mark Martin is sitting pretty solid in first place. from clinching a Chase spot earlier than Richmond. He suffered through blown engines in the second and third races of the season and was 34th in the points standings. But he and crew chief Alan Gustafson rebounded, with Martin winning for the first time at Phoenix in April. Saturday’s result was his ninth top-five of the season and continues a run of solid performances of late. “Of course, I’m living in it now, but to me, this is certainly the best year of my career, the most fun, and since Chicago, some of that fun has been sort of smothered out by all of the pressure,” Martin said. “We are in, we are out, we are in, all that. But the thing that I’m excited about is our race team has been so strong since Chicago. The cars have gotten better and better on the racetrack, and I don’t think we ever ran outside the top five, and those are the kind of racecars and the kind of effort that you have to give to be a championship contender. So we’ll see how things fare here.”

Tony Stewart had the most points during the regular season but limped into the Chase with finishes of 17th, 11th, 30th, 18th and 13th in his last five races. Is he concerned? “No, because they are not going to give a championship trophy off the last (five) weeks,” Stewart said matter-of-factly after finishing 17th Saturday night. Nor is Stewart upset that his point lead was wiped out because of the Chase seeding system. “The system is a good system,” Stewart said. “You know, it’s not devastating to leave here and be second in the points after leading for so long. I mean, we all knew what the system is going in. It’s a fair system. It’s an exciting system. “So we are not leaving here with our heads down because we are now second in the points by any means. We are right there in striking distance, and if we can put together 10 great weeks, then we will be the champion. If we don’t, then we didn’t deserve it.” — Lee Montgomery, SceneDaily.com







Federer’s ‘greatest shot’ sets up final with del Potro
NEW YORK—Roger Federer punctuated his latest U.S. Open victory Sunday with a shot he called, quite simply, the greatest of his life: a between-the-legs, back-tothe-net, cross-court winner from the baseline. A point later, with the crowd in hysterics and opponent Novak Djokovic still in shock, the world’s top-ranked player closed out the victory, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5, to move one win from his sixth straight U.S. Open title. Juan Martin del Potro is the lucky guy whose first career Grand Slam final will come today against Federer, who made his 17th in the last 18. Earlier in the day, No. 6 Del Potro beat No. 3 Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Fourth-seeded Djokovic fought for more than 2½ hours with Federer and even grabbed two break points late in the third set to briefly see a glimmer of hope. Some things, though, there are no answers for, and the winner Federer hit to set up match point was Exhibit A. It’s the kind of shot every tennis player has tried—oh, a thousand times or so. The best player in the world practices it, too. “A lot, actually,” he said. “But they never work. That’s why, I guess, it was the greatest shot I ever hit in my life.” Earlier, del Potro put on a show that was every bit as efficient as Federer’s was spectacular, taking apart Nadal with a flurry of big serves and precise forehands. “I think this is the best moment of my life,” del Potro said. Nadal finally acknowledged his strained abdominals were bothering him throughout this tournament, but didn’t want that to take away from del Potro’s fine effort. “I’m going to repeat: He played much better than me, and for that reason he beat me,” Nadal said. The Argentine kept Nadal behind the baseline with a deep, forehand and a serve he mixed between speeds from the 90s to the 130s. — The Associated Press

Clijster adds to joy with unexpected title
NEW YORK—Kim Clijsters cradled the baby in one arm, the trophy in the other. The joy of motherhood. The joy of winning the U.S. Open. Clijsters made history Sunday night, capping a comeback from two years out of tennis to become the first unseeded woman to win the Open— and the first mom to win a major since 1980—with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki. When it was over, Clijsters collapsed to the ground and started crying—tears of joy, probably mixed in with a little bit of shock, too. Her 18-month-old daughter, Jada, watched from a suite with a pacifier in her mouth, but later came down to the court to take part in the celebration. Guess what mommy got for you, sweetie! A Grand Slam title. “It still seems so surreal,” Clijsters said. “Because it wasn’t in the plan. I wanted to come back here, get a feel for it, play a Grand Slam so I wouldn’t have to come back next year and learn the new experiences all over.” Talk about your quick transitions. It was all quite a different scene from the night before, when Clijsters’ semifinal win over Serena Williams was closed out on a foot fault, an outburst and a point penalty, and the 26-year-old Belgian stood behind the baseline, looking bewildered as Williams ran over to shake her hand. Williams’ tirade may have been the talk of the U.S. Open. But Clijsters was the winner. This was her second U.S. Open title, the other coming in 2005—her last appearance at Flushing Meadows and

At The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center New York Purse: $21.6 million (Grand Slam) Surface: Hard-Outdoor Singles Men Semifinals Juan Martin del Potro (6), Argentina, def. Rafael Nadal (3), Spain, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Roger Federer (1), Switzerland, def. Novak Djokovic (4), Serbia, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. Women Championship Kim Clijsters, Belgium, def. Caroline Wozniacki (9), Denmark, 7-5, 6-3. Doubles Men Championship Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic, and Leander Paes (4), India, def. Mahesh Bhupathi, India, and Mark Knowles (3), Bahamas, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Women Semifinals Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and Liezel Huber (1), United States, def. Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs (3), Australia, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.


Kim Clijsters, with daughter Jada and husband Brian Lynch, is the first Slam-winning mom since 1980. before a spate of nagging injuries eventually drove her out of the sport and led her to start a family. These days, she has her baby’s name tattooed on her left wrist, near the scar from an operation she needed back in her first career. When she came back, she was “starting from zero,” she said. The work to get back in shape was not pretty. “No swear words like Serena yesterday, but a lot of swearing at home,” Clijsters said. Some might have called this the mother of all upsets, but by the time she reached the final, against the resilient-but-still-learning 19-yearold from Denmark, it was hard to view it that way. Clijsters beat both Williams sisters and two players seeded in the teens. She matched Venus and Serena power shot for power shot and showed she could play Wozniacki’s patient game—and play it better. “She’s playing because she thinks it’s fun and because she likes it,” said Wozniacki, who is too young to have played Clijsters during her first career. “I really think she might be a better player now than she was before.” — The Associated Press

A look at Sunday’s play at the $21.6 million U.S. Open tennis championships: TODAY ON TV (All Times EDT): CBS, 4-7 p.m. (men’s singles final); ESPN2, 1-3 p.m. (women’s doubles final) WEATHER: Early clouds followed by clearing. High of 80. Mild and breezy during the night match with temperatures in the low 70s. ATTENDANCE: Day: 24,127. Night: 23,351. Total: 47,478. MEN’S RESULTS: Semifinals: No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the finals. Federer reached his 21st Grand Slam final by defeating No. 4 Novak Djokovic 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. Del Potro will be playing his first Grand Slam final after routing No. 3 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. WOMEN’S RESULTS: Championship: Unseeded Kim Clijsters won her second U.S. Open women’s singles title, beating No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3. ON COURT TODAY: Men’s Championship: No. 1 Roger Federer vs. No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro. STAT OF THE DAY: Kim Clijsters is the first mother to win a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980. QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It was not really our plan. I just wanted to start these three tournaments and get back into the rhythm of playing tennis and get used to the surroundings again.” — Kim Clijsters, on her surprising run to the women’s singles title. ON THIS DATE: Sept. 13, 1987: Ivan Lendl defeats Mats Wilander 6-7 (9), 6-0, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in a Monday final that lasts 4 hours, 47 minutes.

— The Associated Press







Sunday At Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, Dubsdread Course, Lemont, Ill. Purse: $7.5 million Yardage: 7,616; Par: 71 Final FedExCup points in parentheses Tiger Woods (2500), $1,350,000 68-67-62-68 — 265 -19 Jim Furyk (1250), $660,000 70-70-67-66 — 273 -11 Marc Leishman (1250), $660,000 67-69-68-69 — 273 -11 Sean O’Hair (750), $360,000 70-68-70-66 — 274 -10 Zach Johnson (550), $300,000 73-65-70-68 — 276 -8 Sergio Garcia (475), $260,625 71-68-68-71 — 278 -6 Padraig Harrington (475), $260,625 68-68-69-73 — 278 -6 Camilo Villegas (413), $225,000 68-74-71-66 — 279 -5 Kevin Na (413), $225,000 72-72-65-70 — 279 -5 Bill Haas (327), $172,500 71-68-71-70 — 280 -4 Mark Wilson (327), $172,500 69-66-71-74 — 280 -4 Luke Donald (327), $172,500 70-69-68-73 — 280 -4 Matt Kuchar (327), $172,500 71-68-66-75 — 280 -4 Brandt Snedeker (327), $172,500 69-69-66-76 — 280 -4 Stephen Ames (275), $127,500 76-67-69-69 — 281 -3 Bo Van Pelt (275), $127,500 67-69-72-73 — 281 -3 Bubba Watson (275), $127,500 69-68-70-74 — 281 -3 Steve Marino (263), $108,750 66-77-68-71 — 282 -2 Rory Sabbatini (263), $108,750 66-70-72-74 — 282 -2 Mike Weir (250), $90,500 72-69-71-71 — 283 -1 Ian Poulter (250), $90,500 69-71-68-75 — 283 -1 John Senden (250), $90,500 70-70-66-77 — 283 -1 Retief Goosen (228), $64,875 72-72-71-69 — 284 E Chad Campbell (228), $64,875 70-70-72-72 — 284 E Stewart Cink (228), $64,875 72-74-70-68 — 284 E Anthony Kim (228), $64,875 69-69-72-74 — 284 E Kevin Sutherland (228), $64,875 75-67-67-75 — 284 E David Toms (228), $64,875 68-71-69-76 — 284 E Robert Allenby (210), $53,250 75-74-67-69 — 285 +1 Dustin Johnson (188), $43,594 69-73-71-73 — 286 +2 Nick Watney (188), $43,594 70-71-73-72 — 286 +2 Jason Dufner (188), $43,594 74-70-69-73 — 286 +2 Fredrik Jacobson (188), $43,594 72-71-70-73 — 286 +2 Charles Howell III (188), $43,594 69-72-70-75 — 286 +2 Phil Mickelson (188), $43,594 71-69-70-76 — 286 +2 Ryan Moore (188), $43,594 71-72-75-68 — 286 +2 Tim Clark (188), $43,594 78-69-73-66 — 286 +2 Hunter Mahan (150), $30,750 73-73-69-72 — 287 +3 John Mallinger (150), $30,750 68-76-69-74 — 287 +3 John Rollins (150), $30,750 73-65-74-75 — 287 +3 Heath Slocum (150), $30,750 70-69-72-76 — 287 +3 Charlie Wi (150), $30,750 71-73-72-71 — 287 +3 Scott Verplank (150), $30,750 70-75-72-70 — 287 +3 Ernie Els (150), $30,750 75-67-77-68 — 287 +3 Brian Davis (123), $22,575 71-70-72-75 — 288 +4 Kenny Perry (123), $22,575 77-69-70-72 — 288 +4 Angel Cabrera (123), $22,575 73-75-69-71 — 288 +4 Ben Crane (123), $22,575 75-69-76-68 — 288 +4 Pat Perez (103), $18,713 72-71-73-73 — 289 +5 Justin Leonard (103), $18,713 73-69-75-72 — 289 +5 Davis Love III (103), $18,713 74-77-67-71 — 289 +5 Jerry Kelly (103), $18,713 76-73-69-71 — 289 +5 Steve Stricker (88), $17,550 72-73-68-77 — 290 +6 Nathan Green (88), $17,550 73-74-73-70 — 290 +6 Bryce Molder (73), $17,025 70-73-71-77 — 291 +7 Geoff Ogilvy (73), $17,025 68-73-75-75 — 291 +7 Brian Gay (73), $17,025 73-71-75-72 — 291 +7 Woody Austin (73), $17,025 76-72-72-71 — 291 +7 Jason Bohn (58), $16,575 71-74-74-73 — 292 +8 Jason Day (58), $16,575 71-73-75-73 — 292 +8 Jeff Overton (43), $16,125 72-68-75-78 — 293 +9 Charley Hoffman (43), $16,125 73-71-72-77 — 293 +9 Webb Simpson (43), $16,125 70-74-73-76 — 293 +9 Jonathan Byrd (43), $16,125 69-79-73-72 — 293 +9 Y.E. Yang (30), $15,750 71-78-73-75 — 297 +13 Lucas Glover (25), $15,600 74-75-71-79 — 299 +15 Paul Goydos (20), $15,450 74-72-73-81 — 300 +16 J.B. Holmes (15), $15,300 78-73-72-81 — 304 +20

Woods runs away with another title
LEMONT, ILL.—Tiger Woods’ only way out was a 3-iron through a 20-foot wide corridor of fans and 30-foot high canopy of trees. For his next shot, he had to hook a 9-iron around another big tree and try to bounce it up a ramp onto the green. After all that, he wound up with another birdie. Walking off the ninth green with his lead still at seven shots, Woods shrugged his shoulders and smiled as if nothing could go wrong. Hardly anything did at the BMW Championship. All it took was one big week to end a month of frustration for the world’s No. 1 player. One day after his course-record 62 gave him a seven-shot lead, Woods made sure no one else had a chance Sunday at Cog Hill, where he closed with a 3-under 68 for an eight-shot victory over Jim Furyk and Marc Leishman. The victory was his sixth of the year and assured Woods of the No. 1 seed for the final tournament of the FedEx Cup. It was his first victory since he blew a two-shot lead last month in the final round of the PGA Championship. His most recent chance at winning came at Liberty National two weeks ago, where he missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the last hole to get into a playoff. “To play as well as I have of late and not get the Ws has been a little bit frustrating, no doubt, because I’ve been so close,” he said. “It’s just been a matter of making a couple of putts here and there, and I would have won the tournaments. And lo and behold, boom! I hit the ball just as well, just as consistent this week, and I made a few putts. And that’s eagle putt on his final hole last week at the TPC Boston. Now he’s headed to the Tour Championship for an outside shot at $10 million, and is assured of making his first trip to the Masters. “It was an awesome day for me,” he said. Most compelling, however, was the battle for the 30th and final spot. The heartbreaker belonged to Brandt Snedeker, who needed only a bogey on the 18th hole to get into the Tour Championship. After missing a 12-footer for par, he watched in shock as his 3-foot bogey putt caught the left lip of the cup. Snedeker was so stunned that he missed the next two putts from tap-in range and took triple bogey. “I can’t believe I did this,” Snedeker said. “I just made a mess of it.” That allowed John Senden to capture the 30th spot by less than a half-point over Ian Poulter, and both tried to throw it away. Senden had 90 yards to the par-5 15th and chunked his wedge so badly that it traveled only 50 yards. Two holes later, he hit a bunker shot over the green and into the water to make double bogey. Because of Snedeker’s blunder, however, Senden is going to East Lake. He finished 0.46 points ahead of Poulter, who hit his approach into the water on the 18th hole. Far easier to compute was Woods winning. He finished at 19-under 265 for his 71st career victory, leaving two short of Jack Nicklaus for second on the PGA Tour’s career list. Woods also tied Sam Snead with his sixth season of at least six victories. — The Associated Press

Senden secures final spot for Fed Ex Cup, Tour title
LEMONT, ILL.—John Senden secured the 30th and final spot for the Tour Championship, giving him at least a mathematical chance of the $10 million prize and a spot in three of the majors next year. How he made it required a bizarre sequence of bad golf. Senden failed to do his part by closing with a 77 in the BMW Championship, which included a wedge he chunked so badly that it came up 40 yards short of the green, and a bunker shot he practically shanked into a water hazard. He was saved a shocking finish from Brandt Snedeker. Needing only two putts from 12 feet on the final hole at Cog Hill to make bogey earn an unlikely spot at East Lake, Snedeker four-putted for triple bogey. The crucial miss was a 3-foot bogey putt that he tried to jam in the cup, only for it to catch the lip. Stunned by the miss, Snedeker missed the next two from tap-in range. “I can’t believe I did this,” Snedeker said. “I just made a mess of it.” Tiger Woods turned the third playoff event for the FedEx Cup into a snoozer, going 62-68 on the weekend for an eightshot victory that put him atop the standings going into the final tournament of the year. — The Associated Press


Tiger Woods finished with an eight-stroke win. how it happens.” Woods finished at 19-under 265 to win for the fifth time at Cog Hill. It was his 10th career PGA Tour victory by at least eight shots. Not that Cog Hill was devoid of drama. “It felt like we had a tournament within a tournament,” Furyk said. “Tiger was seven ahead. He was kind of running away. It was kind of a tournament for second place.” It turned out to be much more. As Woods cruised around Cog Hill in his familiar red shirt, a dozen players behind him were scrambling to move high enough in the FedEx Cup standings for a shot at the $10 million prize at the Tour Championship, or simply to be part of the 30-man finale at East Lake. Furyk’s runner-up finish moved him up 15 spots to No. 3, meaning he can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at the Tour Championship. Leishman, a rookie from Australia who closed with a 69, only advanced to the third round of playoffs at Cog Hill by making an

FedEx Cup standings Rank Last Player Events
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2 1 18 4 3 7 16 5 6 9 10 11 8 12 17 67 13 23 19 14 15 20 21 22 26 25 27 32 24 29 Tiger Woods Steve Stricker Jim Furyk Zach Johnson Heath Slocum Padraig Harrington Sean O’Hair Scott Verplank Kenny Perry Jason Dufner Dustin Johnson Nick Watney Geoff Ogilvy Phil Mickelson Retief Goosen Marc Leishman Brian Gay Kevin Na David Toms Lucas Glover Y.E. Yang Ernie Els Hunter Mahan Angel Cabrera Steve Marino Stewart Cink Mike Weir Luke Donald Jerry Kelly John Senden 16 21 21 24 26 19 22 23 23 25 23 22 19 17 19 25 24 25 24 25 22 18 23 16 27 21 22 20 24 27

Points 7,196 5,692 3,108 3,031 3,005 2,633 2,624 2,416 2,318 2,224 2,212 2,170 2,126 2,110 2,091 2,070 1,989 1,976 1,951 1,919 1,919 1,833 1,832 1,690 1,681 1,663 1,631 1,570 1,568 1,532

Top 10s 13 10 9 8 3 5 8 6 7 6 5 4 5 6 5 3 4 9 7 5 4 6 6 3 4 4 5 6 5 5

Reset Points 2,500 2,250 2,000 1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 480 460 440 420 400 380 360 340 320 310 300 290 280 270 260 250 240 230 220 210 — PGATour.com



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Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE W Columbus 11 Chicago 10 D.C. 8 Toronto FC 9 New England 9 Kansas City 7 New York 4 WESTERN CONFERENCE W Houston 11 Los Angeles 9 Seattle 9 Colorado 10 Chivas USA 11 Real Salt Lake 9 FC Dallas 7 San Jose 5 NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie. Sept. 12 Toronto FC 3, Colorado 2 Seattle FC 2, D.C. United 1 Kansas City 1, New York 0 Real Salt Lake 1, Chicago 1, tie FC Dallas 6, Los Angeles 3 Sunday’s games Chivas USA 2, New England 0 L 4 6 6 9 8 11 17 L 8 5 6 8 9 9 11 12 T 9 9 12 7 6 6 4 T 7 11 10 6 3 7 6 5 Pts 42 39 36 34 33 27 16 Pts 40 38 37 36 36 34 27 20 GF 36 34 39 33 28 25 20 GF 32 31 31 38 25 36 39 27 GA 26 29 38 36 32 32 42 GA 24 29 24 30 24 28 40 40

Fowler, Uihlein lead U.S. to third straight Walker Cup
ARDMORE, PA.—The United States has won its third straight Walker Cup, taking five singles matches and halving another for a 16½-9½ victory over Great Britain and Ireland at Merion Golf Club. Americans Ricky Fowler and Peter Uihlein went 4-0 in their weekend matches, and teammate Cameron Tringale won in an 8-and-6 romp Sunday in the third-largest winning margin by a U.S. player in singles. Bud Cauley went 3-0-1. The U.S. team’s margin of victory was the largest since its 18-6 win in 1997 at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. The Americans lead the series 34-7-1. The U.S. team needed two points in the Sunday singles to retain the cup and 2½ to win the championship after going 3-1 in the morning’s alternate-shot matches that provided an 11-5 advantage. ROGERS, ARK.—Jiyai Shin shot a 7-under 64, then beat Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo on the second hole of a suddendeath playoff to win the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship. Shin trailed by seven strokes at the beginning of the day but rallied to win her third LPGA Tour event of the year. She made a 12-foot putt for birdie on No. 15, the second playoff hole, to win the tournament. Stanford had just missed a longer putt for birdie. The three players finished at 9-under 204 for the 54-hole event at 6,244-yard Pinnacle Country Club. COLOGNE, GERMANY—James Kingston of South Africa captured his second European Tour title, beating Anders Hansen of Denmark on the first playoff hole at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. Kingston was two shots ahead with two holes to play, but had a bogey on the 17th after Hansen had a birdie. Kingston (69) and Hansen (67) both finished regulation at 13-under 275 at the Gut Laerchenhof course.

BASEBALL American League SEATTLE MARINERS: Purchased the contract of C Adam Moore from Tacoma (PCL). Recalled INF Matt Tuiasosopo and LHP Garrett Olson from Tacoma. Released RHP Stephen Kahn. TENNIS U.S. OPEN: Fined Serena Williams $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct in her semifinal match and $500 for smashing her racket after the first set of the match.

Columbus 2, Houston 1 Friday’s games New England at New York, 7:30 p.m. Colorado at San Jose, 11 p.m. Saturday’s games Chivas USA at Seattle FC, 3 p.m. Real Salt Lake at Houston, 8:30 p.m. FC Dallas at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Toronto FC at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 Columbus at Chicago, 3 p.m.

WNBA All Times ET
x-Indiana y-Atlanta y-Detroit Chicago Connecticut y-Washington New York WESTERN CONFERENCE x-Phoenix y-Seattle y-Los Angeles y-San Antonio Minnesota Sacramento Sept. 12 Washington 82, Atlanta 64 Detroit 80, Chicago 69 Seattle 64, San Antonio 55

W 22 18 18 16 16 16 13

L 12 16 16 18 18 18 21

Pct .647 .529 .529 .471 .471 .471 .382

GB — 4 4 6 6 6 9

W L Pct GB 23 11 .676 — 20 14 .588 3 18 16 .529 5 15 19 .441 8 14 20 .412 9 12 22 .353 11 Sunday’s games Connecticut 95, Indiana 85 Los Angeles 81, Phoenix 78 New York 86, Washington 65 Sacramento 88, Minnesota 66 End of regular season WESTERN CONFERENCE Phoenix vs. San Antonio Thursday: Phoenix at San Antonio, 9 p.m. Saturday: San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m. x-Monday, Sept. 21: San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m. Seattle vs. Los Angeles Wednesday: Seattle at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. Friday: Los Angeles at Seattle, 10 p.m. x-Sunday, Sept. 20: Los Angeles at Seattle, 5 p.m. (x-if necessary)


American Carmelita Jeter, right, edged Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser with the third-fastest women’s 100-meter time ever.

JOHANNESBURG—South Africa’s top track official is returning to the board of international athletics governing body to fight for Caster Semenya, the runner whose gender has been questioned. Athletics South Africa announced that its president, Leonard Chuene, was rejoining the board of the International Association of Athletics Federations. Chuene has accused the IAAF of humiliating the women’s 800meter world champion and violating its privacy rules in its handling of her case. The decision indicates an easing in strained relations between ASA and the IAAF. The IAAF would have to work through Chuene’s

sprinter Carmelita Jeter became the third fastest woman ever by clocking 10.67 seconds in the 100. Bolt finished in 19.68 in his last race of the season, coming fast out of the bend as usual but relaxing toward the end. Wallace Spearmon of the United States was second in 20.21 and Brendan Christian of Antigua was third in 20.65. Jeter had the best performance of the day, running into a slight headwind of 0.1 meters per second to beat the Jamaican duo of ShellyAnn Fraser (10.89) and Kerron Stewart (10.90). It was a small measure of revenge for Jeter, after losing to Fraser at worlds. Only world record-holder Florence Griffith-Joyner and Marion Jones have run faster. Griffith-Joyner’s world record from 1988 is 10.49, while Jones ran 10.65 in 1998.

Playoff Schedule
FIRST ROUND (Best-of-3) EASTERN CONFERENCE Indiana vs. Washington Thursday: Indiana at Washington, 7 p.m. Saturday: Washington at Indiana, 7 p.m. x-Monday, Sept. 21: Washington at Indiana, 8 p.m. Atlanta vs. Detroit Wednesday: Atlanta at Detroit, 8 p.m. Friday: Detroit at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. x-Sunday, Sept. 20: Detroit at Atlanta, 3 p.m.

group to contact the 18-year-old about the results of her tests. The IAAF ordered sex tests on the runner, saying questions had been raised about her muscular physique, running style and recent stunning improvement in times. It has refused to confirm or deny Australian media reports last week that Semenya has both male and female characteristics, saying it is reviewing test results and will issue a decision in November on whether Semenya will be allowed to continue to compete in women’s events. THESSALONIKI, GREECE—Usain Bolt cruised to another victory in the 200 meters at the World Athletics final, and American

Auto racing
MONZA, ITALY—Rubens Barrichello picked up his second win in three races to lead Brawn GP to a 1-2 finish at the Italian Grand Prix that put the British team in the driver’s seat for the Formula One title. Barrichello and teammate Jenson Button both used one-stop strategies to get the sweep at the Monza circuit and severely hamper Red Bull’s championship aspirations. The former Ferrari driver, coming off his first win in five years at Valencia last month, shaved two points off Button’s overall lead by getting within 14 points with four races left. — The Associated Press

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