Bosox belt Redbirds
BOSTON (AP) — David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jon Lester were quite a combination for the Boston Red Sox in Game1 of the World Series on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Napoli drove in three runs apiece and Lester tossed shutout ball as the Bosox clobbered the St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 at Fenway Park. Ortiz hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly after Napoli put the Red Sox ahead with a three-run double in the first inning.
Ortiz's sac-fly in the second inning was almost a grand slam until right fielder Carlos Beltran robbed him. Beltran had to leave the game with bruised ribs after banging into the bullpen fence to make the catch.
Ortiz got his home run five innings later, launching a Kevin Siegrist (SEE'-grist) pitch over the bullpen in right-center. The two-run blast drove in Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY'-uh), who was 2-for-4 with an RBI single and two runs scored.
Napoli's heroics came after umpires reversed a call on a force play at second base, ruling shortstop Pete Kozma (KAHZ'-mah) dropped the throw instead of losing it on the transfer.
Lester was masterful in limiting the Redbirds to five hits while striking out eight over 7 2/3 innings. He worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth by getting David Freese (freez) to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Cards did not score until Matt Holliday homered off Ryan Dempster leading off the ninth.
Losing pitcher Adam Wainwright was lifted after five innings, charged with three earned runs and six hits.
Game 2 is Thursday night at Fenway. John Lackey is slated to start for Boston against Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah).
Manning misses practice
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning wasn't in pads today because of a sore ankle as the Denver Broncos began preparations for the Washington Redskins. After stretching with his teammates, Manning donned his helmet but was strictly an observer as his backups took snaps during the first part of practice that was open to reporters.
Manning chatted with coaches while his teammates practiced. He says he will be back at practice on Thursday.
Manning took some hard hits from former teammate Robert Mathis in the Broncos' 39-33 loss at Indianapolis on Sunday night but never came out of the game.
News from the Browns, Jags, Rams and Vikings
UNDATED (AP) — Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has had his two-game suspension cut in half following an appeal. Meriweather's suspension came for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, including two in Sunday's Washington-Chicago game. He was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Alshon Jeffery in the fourth quarter and for a helmet-first hit to the head and neck area of receiver Brandon Marshall.
Also in the NFL:
— Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has benched ineffective quarterback Brandon Weeden and will go with Jason Campbell on Sunday against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. Campbell is the third QB to start for Cleveland already this season and the 20th — the most in the NFL — since 1999.
— It looks like Josh Freeman won't quarterback the Vikings Sunday night against Green Bay because of a concussion. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says he will likely turn the offense back over to Christian Ponder after Freeman showed up to the facility after his first start on Monday night with concussion-like symptoms.
— The Jacksonville Jaguars are sticking with quarterback Chad Henne (HEN'-ee) for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers in London. Henne threw for 318 yards in a 24-6 loss to San Diego, a second straight 300-yard performance.
— The St. Louis Rams have signed quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Austin Davis after losing starter Sam Bradford to a season-ending left knee injury. Backup Kellen Clemens will make his first start since 2011 on Monday night against the Seahawks.
— The New England Patriots have re-signed veteran defensive lineman Andre Carter, who played for the team in 2011 and had 10 sacks in a Pro Bowl. He played for the Oakland Raiders in 2012, his 12th NFL season, but has been a free agent since being released Aug. 31.
— The New York Giants placed starting center David Baas on injured reserve after he sustained his third injury this season. Baas hurt his left knee for the second time this season on the final play of the opening series Monday night in the Giants' 23-7 win over the Vikings.
Back to the future for the NBA
NEW YORK (AP) — NBA owners have unanimously voted to change the NBA Finals format back to 2-2-1-1-1 from 2-3-2. In short, instead of the series opening with two games in one city before switching to the other city for three and then back for two, the Finals will open with two games in one city before switching to the other city for the next two games followed by single games.
The change was approved during the preseason board of governors meetings and will take effect with this season's finals.
The current format of 2-3-2 was instituted in 1985 in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Celtics and Lakers frequently meeting for the championship.
Monahan earns NHL stay
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sean Monahan will remain with the Calgary Flames this season instead of being returned to his junior club.
A junior-eligible player is allowed to play up to nine games in the NHL without costing the team a year of his entry-level contract. Monahan made it impossible for the Flames to send him back to Ottawa, collecting six goals and nine points in his first nine games.
Sens, B's win easily
UNDATED (AP) — The Ottawa Senators were winners in their first game against their former captain.
Jason Spezza (SPET'-suh) and Bobby Ryan each scored twice as the Senators hammered Daniel Alfredsson and the Red Wings 6-1 in Detroit. Spezza and Ryan scored consecutive power-play goals 3:26 apart to put the Sens ahead 3-0 just 14:14 into the game. The goals chased Jimmy Howard, who finished with five saves.
Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson each had two assists to back Craig Anderson, who stopped 31 shots and blanked Detroit after the first period.
Todd Bertuzzi had the lone goal for the Wings, who could have vaulted into the Eastern Conference lead with a victory.
The Boston Bruins posted an easy win as Milan Lucic (LOO'-cheech) and Torey Krug scored two goals apiece in a 5-2 decision over Buffalo. Lucic also had one assist for the Bruins, who outshot the Sabres 34-16.
Buffalo is 1-9-1 overall and winless in seven home games. It's the worst 11-game start in team history.
Hoyas say Smith can play
WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown says the NCAA has cleared center Josh Smith to play basketball immediately, starting with the Hoyas' opener against Oregon in Seoul, South Korea.
Georgetown adds that Smith was granted a waiver for last season, when he played in six games before transferring from UCLA, meaning he has two years of eligibility remaining. Smith is 6-foot-10 and 350 pounds.
Division II school eliminating past wins
CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Eastern New Mexico University says it is erasing several seasons' worth of victories by nearly all of its sports programs because of eligibility problems involving athletes. The Division II school says eight teams' wins are being vacated over four seasons as well as all wins by four of those teams in a fifth season.
The Lone Star Conference school says it's doing that in hopes of avoiding even more severe punishment from the NCAA for more than 100 self-reported violations.
American star delays return
UNDATED (AP) — Still recovering from right knee surgery, Lindsey Vonn has decided to skip Saturday's season-opening race in Austria, preferring to return next month. She'll return at the races in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
The four-time overall World Cup champion says she feels good physically and that the extra month of training will put her in the best position to succeed.
Vonn shredded her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a crash at the world championships last February. She has an eye on competing in the Sochi (SOH'-chee) Olympics next February.
Former U.S. champ retires
NEW YORK (AP) — Three-time U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir has retired and will join NBC for its coverage of the Sochi (SOH'-chee) Winter Olympic Games. Weir spent 16 years in the sport, going to two Olympics. He finished fifth at the 2006 Olympics and sixth in 2010. The Winter Olympics begin Feb. 6.