Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 4:35 AM


Verlander leads Tigers into ALCS

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Detroit Tigers relied on a couple of their stalwarts to advance to the American League Championship Series for the third consecutive year.

Justin Verlander tossed eight brilliant innings and Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer as the Tigers downed the Athletics 3-0 in Oakland. Verlander had a no-hitter until Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) singled up the middle with two outs in the seventh. Verlander retired his first 16 batters before Josh Reddick worked out a one-out walk in the sixth.

Cabrera's blast put the Tigers ahead 2-0 in the fourth, two innings after Victor Martinez scored on Omar Infante's (ihn-FAHN'-tayz) grounder. Martinez had three of Detroit's eight hits to finish the five-game series with a .450 average.

Joaquin Benoit made it interesting with two outs in the ninth, allowing a base hit before hitting Cespedes. But he closed out the series by getting Seth Smith to fly to right field.

A's starter and loser Sonny Gray left the game in the sixth, charged with three runs on six hits and four walks.

The Tigers now head to Boston to take on the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday.


Surgery for Machado

BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will have surgery on Monday to repair a ligament in his left knee.

Machado tore the ligament on Sept. 23 and decided to have surgery after consulting with several doctors.

The All-Star expects to be ready for the start of spring training.


Sweeney gets two-year pact

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney has agreed to a two-year contract that includes a club option for 2016.

Sweeney batted .266 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 70 games this season, missing two months because of a broken rib after he crashed into a wall in late June.


Bears end skid by beating winless Giants

CHICAGO (AP) — The New York Giants played one of their two best games of the season on Thursday, but it wasn't enough for them to avoid their first 0-6 start in 37 years.

Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall and the Chicago Bears intercepted Eli Manning three times in a 27-21 win over the Giants. Marshall had both of his scoring grabs in the second quarter to help the Bears build a 27-14 lead.

Cutler was 24 of 36 for 262 yards and no interceptions as the 4-2 Bears ended a two-game skid.

Manning was picked off on the Giants' first two possessions. Tim Jennings returned the second interception 48 yards for the game's first TD. His second interception of the night came with 1:54 remaining to clinch the win for Chicago.

Brandon Jacobs became the first Giant to rush for more than 55 yards this season, finishing with 106 and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

It marked the first time New York had allowed fewer than 31 points all year.


Jets ink veteran QB

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Veteran quarterback David Garrard (guh-RARD') has re-signed with the New York Jets. He'll serve as a backup and mentor to rookie Geno Smith. Garrard first signed with the Jets in March but had to leave the team with knee problems.


New team for Robiskie

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta has signed wide receiver Brian Robiskie, son of Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie (roh-BIHS'-kee). The Falcons made the move one day after losing the NFL's leading receiver, Julio Jones, to a season-ending foot fracture. The younger Robiskie has bounced around the NFL since Cleveland drafted him in the second round in 2009.


Cardinals punish Rutgers' offense

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Eighth-ranked Louisville improved to 6-0 despite an off night by Teddy Bridgewater.

The Cardinals intercepted four passes and sacked Gary Nova eight times in a 24-10 win over Rutgers. Safety Calvin Pryor led Louisville's stifling effort with 14 tackles and an interception in holding the Scarlet Knights to 240 yards.

Louisville sealed the win by intercepting passes on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter, the last of which led to Bridgewater's three-year TD toss. Bridgewater was 21 of 31 for 310 yards, two touchdowns, but he also threw an interception and fumbled early in the final period.


Bowl game lineup for AAC

UNDATED (AP) — The American Athletic Conference has extended its agreements with the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., as well as the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., for six years, starting in 2014. The American also agreed to a deal to send teams to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu in alternating years for six years, starting in 2014.

The American is also close to announcing new bowls at Marlins Park in Miami, Boca Raton, Fla., and the Bahamas.


Academy games will be played

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided that football games and other sports will go on at the military service academies this weekend, and continue through the end of the month, despite the government shutdown. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren says that Hagel will reassess the issue later this month if Congress has still not passed a budget to fund the federal government.

Last week the Pentagon allowed the academies to play their weekend games, but officials were not sure future games would go on.

The games are largely paid for with funds that come from outside sources and are not approved through Congress.


Kill takes leave

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gophers football coach Jerry Kill has taken an open-ended leave of absence from the team to focus on treatment and management of his epilepsy. Kill had to miss the last game at Michigan when he suffered a seizure at home that morning and was unable to travel with the team. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will be the acting head coach for Kill, who has had five seizures on game days.


Avs blank B's

UNDATED (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche have extended the team's best start since moving from Quebec in 1995.

J.S. Giguere (zhih-GEHR') made 39 saves and the Avs improved to 4-0 with a 2-0 shutout of the Bruins in Boston. Ryan O'Reilly put the Avalanche ahead in the last minute of the opening period, and it remained 1-0 until Matt Duchene (doo-SHAYN') notched an empty-netter.

Colorado has allowed just three goals during their season-opening winning streak.

The Avs are 6-0-2 in their last eight trips to Boston following Giguere's 37th career shutout.

Checking out the other NHL rinks:

— Michael Stone's goal with 4:47 left broke a 2-2 stalemate and sent Phoenix to a 4-2 victory at Detroit. Mike Smith handled 28 shots and blanked the Red Wings after Joakim Anderssson and Jonathan Ericcson scored 53 seconds apart to put Detroit ahead 2-1 six minutes into the second period.

— Jonathan Bernier handled 36 shots in Toronto's 4-0 shutout of the Predators in Nashville. Phil Kessel chipped in a goal and two assists for the 4-1 Maple Leafs.

— Tampa Bay coasted to a 7-2 win against Florida as Steven Stamkos provided a hat trick and four points. Valtteri Filppula (val-TEHR'-ee FIHL'-poo-lah) scored twice and Teddy Purcell (PUR'-sehl) set up three goals for the 3-1 Lightning.

— Nathan Gerbe (GUHR'-bay) scored the tiebreaking goal seven minutes into the third period of Carolina's 3-2 win at Washington. Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) scored for the fourth straight game to put the Capitals ahead 2-1 in the second period, but former linemate Alexander Semin (SEM'-ihn) knotted the score just over two minutes later.

— Marian Gaborik (GAB'-uh-rihk) had a goal and an assist as Columbus downed Buffalo 4-1, dropping the Sabres to 0-4-1. Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHV'-skee) stopped 26 shots and was perfect over the last 2 ½ periods.

— Minnesota beat Winnipeg 2-1 on Matt Cooke's goal midway through the second period. Cooke also assisted on Jonas Brodin's first-period goal.

__ Montreal evened its early season mark to 2-2 with a 4-1 win at Edmonton. Backup goalie Peter Budaj (BOO'-dy) got the victory between the pipes for the Canadiens.

__ Jakob Silfverberg scored twice, Jonas Hiller made 34 saves for his 17th NHL shutout, and Anaheim routed the New York Rangers 6-0 in the home opener of the Ducks' 20th season.

Antti Niemi made 25 saves and Matt Pelech's first NHL goal stood up as the winner and the San Jose Sharks stayed perfect on the season by topping the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Sharks are 4-0.


Charlotte loses big man

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Bobcats say backup center Brendan Haywood will miss at least 12 weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot. Haywood played in 61 games last year for Charlotte and averaged 3.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.


Gordon wins qualifying for Saturday's race

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon has won the pole for the for the fifth leg of NASCAR's Chase for the championship, Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Gordon turned a lap at 194.308 mph to edge Kevin Harvick for his ninth pole at Charlotte, the second most in track history. Gordon enters the weekend fourth in the Chase standings, 32 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with six races left.

Greg Biffle qualified third, followed by Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne.

For the time being, NASCAR is allowing Travis Kvapil (KWAH'-pul) to compete in Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite his arrest on misdemeanor assault on a female and false imprisonment charges. NASCAR said Thursday it does not condone Kvapil's actions and will monitor the situation as it develops. Kvapil was arrested Tuesday night and is due in court on Nov. 19.

Kvalpil has qualified 41st for Saturday's race.


Franchitti released from hospital

UNDATED (AP) — Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti (fran-KEE'-tee) has been released from a Houston hospital, four days after fracturing his spine and breaking his right ankle in an IndyCar Series crash. Franchitti was headed back to Indianapolis for further evaluation and will eventually have a second surgery on his ankle. He will be replaced by Alex Tagliani in the No. 10 Honda in the Oct. 19 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.


A Masters invite is at stake

SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) — Jeff Overton fired a 7-under-par 64 for a two-shot lead over Kyle Stanley through one round of the Frys.com Open in California. Overton sizzled over his last 11 holes, sinking three birdie putts over 25 feet and a 20-foot eagle putt.

It's the first event of the PGA season, which means a Masters invitation is at stake.


First round complete

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The opening round of the LPGA Malaysia event is over. South Korea's Ilhee Lee shot a 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Brittany Lang of the U.S. with fellow American Paula Creamer (KREE'-mer) two back.


Amateur star turning pro

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Amateur sensation Lydia Ko is turning pro and has asked the LPGA Tour to waive its age limit. The 16-year-old from New Zealand already has won twice on the LPGA Tour. She also contended at the Evian Championship in the fifth and final major of the year.

Lexi Thompson won an LPGA Tour event at 16. She was granted membership and played her first LPGA event in 2012 as a member the day before turning 17.


Lynx win

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — The Minnesota Lynx are WNBA champions for the second time in three years following an 86-77 win over the Atlanta Dream.

Finals MVP Maya Moore scored 23 points, and Rebekkah Brunson added 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Lynx completed a three-game sweep.