Ibanez latest hero in the Bronx...Another walkoff win in Oakland...Giants all square with Reds...Cards gain edge
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees are one game away from eliminating the Baltimore Orioles and moving onto the American League Championship Series. Raul Ibanez (rah-OOL'ih-BAHN'-yehz) had a big hand in that.
The 40-year-old veteran connected for a game-tying home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth and then a walkoff homer that ended the Yanks' 3-2 win over the Orioles in 12 innings.
Ibanez entered the game pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, and manager Joe Girardi's strategy paid off. The game-tying homer came off Jim Johnson, the major league leader with 51 saves in the regular season. He then connected for his game-winner off Brian Matusz (MAHT'-his) to send Yankee Stadium into delirium.
Coming in, the Orioles were 76-0 this year when leading after seven innings. They had also won 16 extra-inning games.
Ryan Flaherty and 20-year-old rookie Manny Machedo hit solo homers off Hiroki Kuroda (hih-ROH'-kee kih-ROH'-dah) for the Orioles.
Game four is Thursday in Yankee Stadium. Either Joe Saunders or Chris Tillman will go for the Orioles against Yankee 16-game winner Phil Hughes.
In Oakland, the Athletics produced their 15th walkoff victory of the season by rallying with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to edge the Detroit Tigers 4-3 to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece.
The Tigers entered the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead and their ace closer Jose Valverde (val-VAYR'-day) on the mound. But Seth Smith tied the game with a two-run double. Coco Crisp then delivered the game-winning single to climax the three-run rally.
This AL Division Series will be decided Thursday night when the Tigers send out their ace 17-game winner Justin Verlander to try and halt their two-game losing streak.
In Cincinnati, the San Francisco Giants clubbed three home runs and Tim Lincecum (LINZ'-ih-kuhm) picked up a rare win out of the bullpen as the Giants pounded Cincinnati 8-3 to even that series at two games apiece.
Angel Pagan (puh-GAHN') homered on the second pitch of the game. Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco added two-run homers. Lincecum earned the win with four and a-third innings of one-run ball, striking out six.
The Reds started Mike Leake, who wasn't on the original postseason roster. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and was touched for five runs. Before the game the Reds were given permission by Major League Baseball to drop injured ace Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) from their division series roster and replace him with Leake. Cueto is sidelined for the rest of the playoffs.
Game 5 is Thursday in Cincinnati. The Giants are starting Matt Cain, who had a perfect game this season, against Mat Latos (LAY'-tohs) of the Reds.
The Giants can make baseball history today. According to STATS LLC, no team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, but the Giants have a shot to do exactly that.
In Washington, it may have been only his fourth game this season, but Chris Carpenter showed again he's a big game pitcher.
The right-hander worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings and got offensive support from Pete Kozma's three-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Washington Nationals 8-0 in Game 3 of their NL Division Series. Carpenter missed much of the season after surgery to cure numbness on his right side. Three relievers finished the seven-hit shutout and helped the Redbirds take a 2-1 series lead.
Edwin Jackson took the loss giving up four runs on eight hits over five innings. Nats hitters went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners. Rookie slugger Bryce Harper went 0-5 and is 1-15 in the series.
This was Washington's first postseason home game since 1933. Game 4 is in Washington with 16-game winner Kyle Lohse (lohsh) going for St. Louis against southpaw Ross Detwiler in a must-win game for the Nats.
Anti-doping agency lays out its case
UNDATED (AP) — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says 11 of Lance Armstrong's former teammates served as witnesses against him in its investigation of the cyclist, revealing "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
In more than 150 pages, USADA (YOU'-sah-duh) details cheating by Armstrong's teams. Among the former teammates named are Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.
The report accuses Armstrong of depending on performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his victories and "more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates" do the same.
Armstrong did not fight the USADA charges, but insists he never cheated.
Packers RB Benson goes on IR, could still return...RG3 gets the green light
UNDATED (AP) — In another blow to Green Bay's struggling offense, Packers running back Cedric Benson was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, but designated to return.
Benson sprained his left foot in Sunday's 30-27 loss at Indianapolis. He must sit out eight games before he can return, though he's eligible to practice after six weeks.
In other NFL news:
— Robert Griffin III has been cleared to play and is practicing with his Washington Redskins teammates after suffering a mild concussion. Griffin went through the NFL's concussion protocol after being knocked out of Sunday's game against Atlanta and was cleared to return to practice. The second overall pick in April's draft is set to start Sunday against Minnesota.
— Jets owner Woody Johnson says backup quarterback Tim Tebow will "be with us for three years." Appearing on CNBC, Johnson also said he supports struggling starter Mark Sanchez. Johnson said that despite some speculation that the Jets could try to trade Tebow after this season, his first in New York, the team will "absolutely" keep him for the duration of his contract.
— The Buffalo Bills' already porous defense has suffered another blow as defensive end Mark Anderson needs surgery on his left knee and will be out indefinitely.
Little progress as talks resume
NEW YORK (AP) — Five hours of talks in two sessions between the NHL and the players' association have done little to move the sides closer to a deal in the nearly one-month lockout.
The NHL's top two executives — Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly — met with the NHLPA's main negotiators — executive director Donald Fehr (feer) and special counsel Steve Fehr — for nearly an hour in the morning to assess where the sides were on Day 25 of the NHL lockout, but there was no concrete discussions on the troublesome core economic issues preventing a deal.
A four-hour session that stretched into evening centered on player health and safety issues along with other miscellaneous legal topics.
The sides will meet again today, which would have been Opening Night for the NHL.
The NHL canceled the first two weeks of the regular season Thursday, wiping out 82 games from Oct. 11-24.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOISE STATE
NCAA upholds sanctions
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The NCAA is standing by a decision that Boise State must lower the number of football scholarships it can award in the next two years. The decision comes after Boise State officials appealed the scholarship penalty included in a series of sanctions handed down earlier this year by the NCAA. As part of the penalty package, the NCAA ordered the school to cut football scholarships from 85 to 82 in each of the next two years.
In their appeal, school officials argued the penalty levied against Boise State was inconsistent when compared to past cases.
Two way tie for lead
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Defending champion Na Yeon Choi shot a 6-under 65 today in the LPGA Malaysia for a share of the lead with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb (KAHR'-ee) after the first round.
Choi was 5 under through 12 holes when play was delayed because of lightning, then added a birdie on the 14th and finished the bogey-free round with four pars. The South Korean player won the U.S. Women's Open in July for her first major title and sixth LPGA Tour victory.
Woods beats McIlroy
BELEK, Turkey (AP) — Tiger Woods beat Rory McIlroy by six strokes today to advance to the semifinals of the World Golf Final, turning the first head-to-head match between the world's top two players into a one-sided contest. McIlroy, No. 1 in the world, was eliminated from the $5.2 million exhibition after slumping to a third consecutive group match defeat on a day of low scoring.
Woods shot 7-under 64 for a second straight victory and will face Justin Rose of England in the semifinals later Thursday.
MONTREAL-GARY CARTER TRIBUTE
Montreal to name street, park after Gary Carter
MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal will name a street and a park after Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher who defined the golden era of a once-beloved franchise. Carter died in February of cancer at age 57.
On Wednesday, the city announced the details of its tribute to the player who starred with the now-defunct Expos for more than half of his career.
The street borders Jarry Park, where the Expos played for most of their first decade and where Carter made his big-league debut.
There will also be a park in a north-end district named after him.
Former NFL and TV/movie star dead at 77
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Karras is being remembered as a man of many roles.
The former Detroit Lions defensive tackle, who also had a successful movie and TV career after retiring from the NFL, passed away Wednesday at the age of 77.
Karras played all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Lions and was an All-Pro four times.
Following his football career, Karras had a successful acting career.
Lions president Tom Lewand said of Karras, "Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex."