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Associated Press

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 2:00 AM

MLB-PLAYOFFS

Yanks and Nats take openers...Tigers and Reds gain 2-0 leads

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees waited nearly a two and a-half hours because of a rain delay before starting the opener of their best-of-five American League Division Series in Baltimore. As far as the Yanks were concerned, the wait was well worth it.

The Yanks erupted with five runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the opener, 7-2. Russell Martin greeted Orioles reliever Jim Johnson with a leadoff homer in the ninth for the go-ahead run.

Yankee ace CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-uh) cooled the Orioles battings, allowing just two runs on eight hits over eight and two-thirds innings for the win. He struck out seven.

The Orioles hope to be able to tie the series at 1-1 when they are home for Game 2 on Monday night.

The Tigers overcame three A's leads and beat the Athletics 5-4 to grab a 2-0 advantage in their best-of-five AL Division Series.

The outcome was in doubt until the last swing of the bat. Detroit's Don Kelly snapped a 4-4 tie with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly after the Athletics intentionally walked Prince Fielder to load the bases. Kelly was inserted as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and scored the tying run on a wild pitch.

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball in the seventh inning that resulted in a two-run error by A's outfielder Coco Crisp and singled in the ninth.

The Tigers will go for the sweep on Tuesday in Oakland, where they'll also play games 4 and 5, if necessary.

In St. Louis, the Washington Nationals rallied to take the opener of their NLDS by rallying for a 3-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Cardinals. That's the first postseason victory for a Washington-based team since 1933. The Nats trailed all game until rookie Tyler Moore delivered a two-run pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.

The Nationals overcame a wild start by 21-game winner Gio (JEE'-oh) Gonzalez, then watched their bullpen shut down St. Louis in the late innings. Gonzalez walked seven and hit a batter in his five innings. But the Cardinals managed just three hits all day.

Game 2 of this series is Monday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

In San Francisco, the visiting Cincinnati Reds have taken a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series with the Giants after routing the Giants 9-0 last night. Bronson Arroyo, J.J. Hoover and Jose Arrendondo combined on the two-hitter.

Arroyo was spectacular on the mound, limiting the Giants to one hit over seven dominating innings. Ryan Ludwick homered and Ryan Hanigan drove in three runs for Cincinnati, which now heads home for Game 3 on Tuesday.

MLB-ROCKIES-TRACY RESIGNS

Rockies looking for new bench boss

DENVER (AP) — Rockies manager Jim Tracy has resigned.

Colorado finished last in the NL West this year and set a franchise record for losses while going 64-98.

Tracy was promoted from bench coach to manager in May 2009. He was voted the NL Manager of the Year that season after guiding Colorado into the playoffs.

The Rockies went 294-308 under Tracy.

NFL-WEEK 5

Falcons fly to 5-0...Brees gets TD record and a victory

UNDATED (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. Michael Turner ran for a 13-yard touchdown with 2:46 left to give the Falcons a hard-fought 24-17 win at Washington. The Redskins eighth straight home loss leaves them at 2-3.

Winning quarterback Matt Ryan completed 34 of 52 pass attempts for 345 yards. Tight end Tony Gonzalez caught 13 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Redskins signal caller Robert Griffin III left the game early in the third quarter after being hit in the head. Coach Mike Shanahan said RGIII suffered a mild concussion and he will be re-evaluated Monday.

Besides Atlanta, the only other undefeated team is Houston. The Texans play at the New York Jets on Monday night.

In other Week 5 action:

__ In the Sunday night game, New Orleans QB Drew Brees tossed four TD passes in the Saints' 31-24 win over San Diego, their first win of the season. In the process, Brees set an NFL record with touchdown passes in 48 straight games, breaking the mark set by Johnny Unitas a half-century ago. The record-setting scoring strike was a 40-yard pass to Devery Henderson in the first quarter. Brees finished 29 of 45 for 370 yards.

__ With their coach Chuck Pagano (puh-GAH'-noh) being treated for leukemia, the Indianapolis Colts gutted out a 30-27 win over Green Bay. Rookie QB Andrew Luck hit Reggie Wayne with a 4-yard TD pass with 35 seconds left for the winning score. The Colts are 2-2.

__ The matchup of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning was nearly a statistical standoff, but Brady had a lot more offensive help as New England smacked Manning's Denver Broncos 31-21. The Patriots were able to rush for 251 yards. Brady improved to 9-4 against Manning. Brady completed 23 of 31 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown and ran for another. Manning was 31 of 44 for 345 yards and three touchdowns but lost a fumble on a third-quarter sack.

__The San Francisco 49ers put it all together in their 45-3 rout of Buffalo. The Niners amassed a franchise-record 621 yards total offense, with Alex Smith throwing for 303 and three TDs. Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and a TD.

-- The New York Giants roared back from an early 14-0 hole to wallop Cleveland 41-27. Victor Cruz caught three TDs. Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a season-high 200 yards for the 3-2 Giants. __Minnesota is a surprising 4-1 after routing Tennessee 30-7, dropping the Titans to 1-3. Percy Harvin had one TD rushing and caught a TD pass.

__ Pittsburgh won Pennsylvania bragging rights after beating visiting Philadelphia 16-14 on Shaun Suisham's 34-yard field goal as time expired. The Steelers are 2-2.

__ In a low-scoring tussle, Baltimore used three Justin Tucker field goals to beat Kansas City to improve to 4-1.

__ After suffering back-to-back overtime losses, the visiting Dolphins hung on to beat the Bengals 17-14. Rookie Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 223 yards.

— Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs returned interceptions for touchdowns — their second in six days — and the Chicago Bears used stifling defense to overwhelm the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-3.

__ Seattle improved to 3-2 by rallying for a 16-12 road victory at Carolina. Russell Wilson threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.

T25-AP POLL

Movement, but not at the very top

NEW YORK) — A bye week didn't hurt Alabama's status as the top college football team in the country. The Crimson Tide are a unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll for a second straight week and Oregon continues its ride at No. 2.

South Carolina moves up from six to three after beating Georgia, which drops from fifth to 14th.

Florida vaults up six places to No. 4 following a victory over LSU, which falls from fourth to ninth

West Virginia advances three spots to No. 5 after outscoring a Texas team that falls from 11th to 15th.

Kansas State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are six through eight and Oregon State rounds out at the top 10.

GOLF-PGA TOUR

Ex-UNLV golfer strikes it rich in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former UNLV player Ryan Moore won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his second PGA Tour title. Moore birdied the 16th hole to take the outright lead and finished with a 5-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Brendon de Jonge (deh-YAHNG').

Tied with de Jonge and Jonas Blixt after the third round, Moore finished at 24-under 260 at TPC Summerlin. The Las Vegas resident earned $810,000 in the Fall Series opener.

GOLF-CHAMPIONS TOUR

Langer makes up a lot of ground to win

CARY, N.C. (AP) — Bernard Langer closed out a 9-under-par 63 with back-to-back birdies and won the SAS Championship by two strokes. The German was four strokes off the pace at the beginning of the day.

Jay Don Blake needed a birdie on his final hole to force a playoff. But he bogeyed the hole for a 68 and finished in second place, two shots back.

Mark Wiebe (WEE'-bee) also shot 68 to finish another stroke back in third place.

Langer has two victories this year and 16 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

NASCAR-TALLADEGA

Wild finish at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth grabbed the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway, after a last-lap crash eliminated race leader Tony Stewart. Kenseth avoided a 25-car pileup

Stewart had no drafting partner and was looking for help when he misjudged how much room he had and turned down in front of Michael Waltrip.

Waltrip hooked Stewart's bumper, triggering a massive accident that sent Stewart's car sailing on its side over the field. NASCAR threw the caution flag and Kenseth coasted to the victory.

Jeff Gordon finished second and Kyle Busch was third.

FORMULA ONE-JAPAN GP

Vettel catching up

SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix from the pole. The Red Bull driver closes within four points of Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso, who crashed out of the race at the first turn.

Vettel, who also won the last race in Singapore, is now within sight of becoming only the third driver to claim three straight titles, joining Juan-Manuel Fangio (FAHN'-jee-oh) and Michael Schumacher. There are five races left in the F1 season.

TENNIS-ROUNDUP

Azarenka beats Sharapova again

BEIJING (AP) — Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh) continues her domination of Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah), beating the second seed 6-3, 6-1 for the women's title at the China Open. Azarenka collects her fifth title of the season.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) dusted off No. 3 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (SAHNG'-guh) 7-6, 6-2 in the men's finale. It's the third time in three tries that Djokovic has won the tournament.

TOKYO (AP) — Eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan knocked off No. 6 seed Milos Raonic of Canada, 7-6, 3-6, 6-love to win the title in Tokyo.

It's the 22-year-old's second ATP title and first in four years.

NHL-LABOR

AP source: talks resuming this week

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL and the players' association are expected to resume labor negotiations this week in New York.

The sides are likely to meet Wednesday and Thursday in New York, a union spokesman told The Associated Press in an email. The plans and the agenda are expected to be worked out Monday.

Officials on both sides were in contact over the weekend, leading to the meetings.

The lockout is entering its fourth week. The NHL canceled the first two weeks of the regular season Thursday, wiping out 82 games from Oct. 11-24.

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