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Cubs hit post-season-record 6 homers, beat Cardinals 8-6 to take 2-1 lead in NL Division Series

CHICAGO — The young sluggers of the Chicago Cubs are making themselves at home in the playoffs.

On a rare off night for Jake Arrieta, the Windy City kids bashed their way to the brink of the NL Championship Series — and a spot in the record book.

Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber connected as the Cubs set a post-season mark with six home runs and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-6 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in the NL Division Series. Arrieta struck out nine before departing in the sixth inning, and the bullpen finished the job in the first playoff game at Wrigley Field in seven years.

“To see the ball fly out of the yard as many times as it did was incredible,” Arrieta said.

Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler also went deep for Chicago, which held a share of the previous post-season record with five homers in Game 1 of the 1984 NLCS against San Diego.

“Pretty impressive,” manager Joe Maddon said. “You know, I know the wind was blowing out — we’ll concede that — but most of them were properly struck. We are definitely capable of that.”

A third straight win for the Cubs on Tuesday afternoon, and the once woebegone franchise will advance to the NLCS for the first time in 12 years. The Cardinals, who led the majors with 100 wins this season, have won at least one playoff series in each of the last four years.

Jason Hammel starts at home in Game 4. John Lackey, who won the opener, pitches for the Cardinals.

“I want to win championships. I want to be on good teams,” Lackey said. “Got a chance here, still, and try to keep it moving.”

Jason Heyward and Stephen Piscotty homered for St. Louis, which got to Arrieta for four runs in his worst start in four months. But the Cardinals were unable to keep the Cubs in the ballpark.

St. Louis trailed 8-4 before Piscotty hit a two-run shot with two out in the ninth, a scary moment for a towel-waving crowd of 42,411 used to playoff heartache. But Hector Rondon retired Matt Holliday on a harmless bouncer to second, and the party was on.

“We were grinding against Arrieta all night and we did have opportunities,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “They just kept adding on.”

Arrieta improved to 18-1 with a 1.00 ERA in his last 22 starts dating to June 21, but he was far from his usual dominant self. He hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since a June 16 loss to Cleveland.

And it didn’t matter, not one bit.

“Today we got his back — just like he always got our backs,” Castro said.

Schwarber, Castro and Bryant homered against Michael Wacha in his first playoff appearance since he threw the final pitch of the 2014 post-season for the Cardinals, a game-ending, three-run shot for Travis Ishikawa in the NLCS against the Giants.

Bryant’s two-run drive made it 4-2 with one out in the fifth and chased Wacha in favour of Kevin Siegrist. But Rizzo followed another long ball, a drive to right for his first hit of the playoffs.

Even Adam Wainwright got into the act, serving up Soler’s two-run shot in the sixth. Soler, who struggled with injuries for much of the year, is 4 for 4 with two homers, four RBIs and five walks in the series. He is the first player in major league history to reach safely in his first nine post-season plate appearances.

The final homer for Chicago went to Fowler, practically an elder statesman in Maddon’s youthful lineup. Fowler doesn’t turns 30 until March, but Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Schwarber and Castro are all 26 or younger.

INJURED RUSSELL

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell left in the fourth with tightness in his left hamstring. He said he is day to day.

“It feels fine now so we’re just going to have to wait, see how it goes overnight,” he said.

BANGED-UP CARDINALS

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina winced on a swing-and-miss in the fourth inning, and then was checked on by a trainer and Matheny. Molina missed the last part of the regular season due to a strained ligament in his left thumb. Piscotty and second baseman Kolten Wong were shaken up after a collision in foul territory in the fifth.

UP NEXT

Facing elimination, Matheny decided to go to Lackey on short rest. He pitched 7 1-3 innings of two-hit ball in the Cardinals’ 4-0 victory on Friday. Hammel pitched five shutout innings in his final start of the regular season on Oct. 1 at Cincinnati. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA in four career playoff games.

___

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Jay Cohen, The Associated Press

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Trio charged with killing Quebec backpacker, hiker

SAN FRANCISCO — A California prosecutor said Monday he has filed murder charges that could lead to the death penalty for three young transients accused of gunning down a backpacker from Quebec and a yoga instructor walking his dog.

The three arrived in California on Monday evening and were taken to Marin County jail, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said. They were arrested last week in Oregon.

Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said each suspect is charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances, including lying in wait. The suspects are 24-year-old Sean Michael Angold, 23-year-old Morrison Haze Lampley and 18-year-old Lila Scott Alligood.

An arraignment hearing for the three suspects has been set for Wednesday, authorities said. It’s unclear if they have retained lawyers.

The body of 23-year-old Audrey Carey was discovered in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park the morning of Oct. 3. She was shot once in the head, police said.

Investigators believe Carey was camping in the park, which was hosting a free, three-day bluegrass festival.

Tantric yoga instructor Steve Carter, 67, was found dead two days later along a popular hiking trail in Marin County, 20 miles (32 kilometres) north of San Francisco. He was still clutching the leash of his dog, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said. The dog also was shot but is expected to survive.

San Francisco Police Commander Toney Chaplin said the same gun was used in both killings.

Authorities found the weapon when they arrested the suspects Wednesday outside a Portland, Oregon, soup kitchen, he said. The three also were found in possession of Carter’s car and some of Carey’s camping gear.

Chaplin said the gun was reported stolen from an unlocked car parked in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighbourhood.

The Marin County district attorney added a special circumstance of multiple killings to each of the transient’s murder charges, enabling him to prosecute both shooting deaths in one trial.

“We will be monitoring the prosecution and will be co-operating with the Marin County DA’s office to bring justice to these victims’ families,” San Francisco district attorney spokesman Alex Bastian said.

Carey had just left Quebec to go backpacking in the U.S. and Europe when she was killed.

Carter lived near the hiking trail where he was shot and drove there to walk his dog. He was living with friends while caring for his wife, who has cancer.

— With files from The Associated Press

 

Paul Elias, The Associated Press

Lowry pours in pre-season team-record 40 points in Raptors’ win over T’Wolves

TORONTO — When Kyle Lowry drilled his sixth three-pointer of the night Monday, he shot a grin at his bench.

The Toronto Raptors point guard, who showed up at training camp significantly more trim and fit, poured in 40 points — a franchise record for the pre-season — to lift the Raptors to a 112-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I’ll tell you what, I want him to save some of those, he’s hot as a firecracker,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. 

Cory Joseph added 14, Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points, while Luis Scola had 12 and DeMarre Carroll finished with 11 for Toronto (3-1).

Andrew Wiggins, the reigning NBA rookie of the year from Vaughan, Ont., led the T’Wolves (0-3) with 21 points in 18 minutes

Lowry, who was terrific early on last season but struggled down the stretch, worked hard on his body in the off-season, and the results have been obvious.

“He was unbelievable tonight, he was making everything,” Joseph said. “He could probably have turned backwards and threw it at the rim, it probably would have went in.”

Lowry racked up his points in just 28 minutes, shooting 13-for-18 from the field, 6-for-9 from behind the arc, and hit all eight free throws.

Lowry, wearing a Blue Jays jacket in the post-game locker-room, shrugged off his prolific night, saying the record meant “not a damn thing.”

“I’ve felt pretty comfortable every game. For me it’s about maintaining, start off well, finish well,” he added. “It’s only pre-season.”

Vince Carter held the previous pre-season record of 38 points. 

The game was a homecoming, not just for Wiggins, who purchased 16 courtside seats for the game, but for Raptors Joseph and Anthony Bennett — both were playing their first games in Toronto for their hometown team.

“I was excited to play in front of my family, fans, friends,” Joseph said. “Thanksgiving, so happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there. We had our Thanksgiving the other night, they came out here to support me. A lot of love floating around here.”

Bennett, whose defence has been impressive thus far, had five rebounds to go with three points in 19 minutes.

Wiggins’ older brother Nick, signed by Minnesota last month, also got into the game, scoring four points in the final five minutes.

“It was huge for the city and for the country, four Canadians on the floor,” Joseph said. “Even though it’s pre-season. . . it’s unbelievable, it just goes to show how much talent we have here in Canada and we’re moving up the ranks.”

Andrew Wiggins scored the game’s first five points, on a three-pointer then a dunk and had 10 points in a quarter that saw the T’Wolves lead 26-25. 

Lowry had 22 points and Wiggins had 21 by the time the two teams headed to the locker-room at halftime, with the Raptors up 60-59.

Lowry poured in 19 in the third quarter as the Raptors started to pull away, taking a 96-90 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Raptors rested DeMar DeRozan while Kevin Garnett didn’t play for the T’Wolves, for the same reason.

The Raptors game tipped off just as the Blue Jays were sealing their victory against the Texas Rangers to force a Game 5 of their American League Division Series.

Casey said he would have forgiven a sparse crowd, but 19,277 fans showed up.

“If there’s nobody here tonight, they’ve got a good excuse,” Casey said prior to tipoff.

“I’m a baseball man, grew up playing baseball, coaching it. . . I think all our players, they’re all in (the locker-room) watching it so, don’t let them tell you they don’t like baseball.”

The Raptors and T’Wolves meet again in Ottawa on Wednesday as part of the NBA’s Canada Series, which featured sold-out games in Winnipeg and Vancouver, and then Ottawa and Montreal. The Raptors play the Washington Wizards in Montreal to cap the series on Oct. 23.

 

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Blue Jays pitching strategy works in Texas win but doesn’t seem that popular

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Blue Jays are headed back to Toronto, alive and most certainly kicking after a second straight win in Texas.

Backed by early Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar home runs, R.A. Dickey and David Price combined for 7 2/3 innings as Toronto defeated the Texas Rangers 8-4 to tie their American League Division Series at two games apiece.

The rubber match goes Wednesday at the Rogers Centre, with hope of a happy ending for Toronto’s first foray into the playoffs in 22 years.

“The fact we’re going back is everything,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons. “We’ve been good at home all year … That’s where we’re best.”

The Jays were 53-28 at home this season and 40-41 on the road. Still the home team has yet to win in this series.

Monday’s victory was almost overshadowed by Gibbons’ pitching strategy, which worked but didn’t seem that popular.

The Jays were leading 7-1 when Price relieved Dickey with two outs and one man on in the fifth.

That meant the 40-year-old knuckleballer was denied a win in his first post-season start. And that Price, Toronto’s ace, won’t start in the deciding game. Instead Marcus Stroman will face Cole Hamels in a rematch of Game 2.

With the season on the line Monday, Gibbons was not going to allow anything to go south.

“Probably not a relationship-building move,” he saw wryly of the pitching change. “But a team win, that’s what I was looking for.”

Dickey, who became the oldest starting pitcher in MLB history to make his post-season debut, was diplomatic although he made it clear he wanted to continue.

“Gibby’s the manager and what he says goes. I’m an employee and sometimes you don’t necessarily like what your boss wants you to do. But I respect him.

“So am I disappointed? Sure, I think any competitor should be,” he added. “But at the end of the day, I’ve said this before and I mean it, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit. And we won today and so we’re going back to Toronto with a chance.”

He said it helped that he was yielding to a “bazooka” like Price, a fellow Nashville native who shares the same agent.

“Has there ever been a game where one Cy Young (winner) has handed the ball to another one? That’s kind of cool,” Dickey said. 

But asked if he would have been so understanding earlier in his career, Dickey said: “No.”

Gibbons said he made the move to have Price pitch to Shin-Soo Choo.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is sometimes the best way you win games is don’t let a team get back into it,” he said.

“I know what kind of offence they have,” he added of Texas.

Price dispatched Choo with one pitch to end the inning.

The big left-hander threw 50 pitches over three innings, giving up three runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna finished it off for the Jays.

Gibbons said the outing meant Price was not in consideration to pitch Wednesday. Price saw it differently, saying he would be ready — deflecting praise to Dickey while making a point about his preferred role.

“R.A. threw the ball much better than I did. … He threw the ball fantastic and I wish the scorekeeper would just give him a win because he’s the guy that deserves it, not me.

“That’s not the way I want to win games. I definitely want to help this team win in any way possible, but I want to be out there for 27 outs, not three outs, 4 2/3  (innings). Like R.A. said, we want to win, that’s the main goal. That’s what everybody says every single day. Just win today and worry about tomorrow later. That’s what we did today and we did it well.”

The Rangers said they too will be ready.

“There’s no quit in this ball club. No quit in any one of those players in that locker room,” said Texas manager Jeff Banister.

“Obviously we would have loved to have done it right here in our house,” he added. “Well, that’s not the case. We’re going to have to go do it in another location, and we’re going to play a baseball game.”

It was Price’s first relief outing in five years. He made five playoff relief appearances in 2008 with Tampa Bay.

The six-foot-six left-hander, the losing pitcher in Game 1, is now 2-6 all-time in the post-season. The two wins are both as a reliever and the six losses all as a starter. 

After losing the first two games 5-3 and 6-4 in 14 innings in Toronto, the Jays had taken one step out of the hole they had dug themselves when they defeated Texas 5-1 Sunday on the strength of Troy Tulowitzki’s three-run homer. 

On Monday, they smacked the Rangers about from the get-go. Texas’ ever present NeverEverQuit Twitter hashtag suddenly was the Jays’ domain.

Toronto led 3-0 before Dickey set foot on the mound. It was 4-0 after two innings and 7-1 after three.

The Jays, who managed three home runs in the first three games, matched that total in two innings Monday for a franchise playoff record. It marked the first time the Blue Jays have hit three homers in a post-season game.

Toronto led the majors with 232 homers during the regular season.

Globe Life Park, a steamy sea of Rangers red and blue with white rally towels twirling, rocked as a ZZ Top track teed up the first inning in 32-degree Celsius heat. But the sellout crowd of 47,679 fell quiet very quickly and some left early.

Donaldson made it 2-0 five pitches into the game when he deposited a 1-0 Derek Holland pitch into the right-field seats for a 381-foot homer with Ben Revere on base. Two outs later, Colabello hit a solo shot 373 feet into right-field.

It was Donaldson’s second homer in the series, with both coming in the first inning. The Jays’ MVP candidate led the majors with 13 first-inning homers during the regular season.

Pillar upped the lead with a 412-foot solo shot in the second inning that was caught by Price in the Jays bullpen in left-centre.

The Jays bats were alive.

“Look, when you make mistakes over the middle of the plate, bats have a tendency to come alive,” said Banister.

Toronto added three more runs while sending eight to the plate in the third to chase Holland, who faced 12 batters in all, getting just six outs.

Texas finally got on the board in the third on a pair of singles and a Dickey wild pitch.

The teams traded runs in the seventh for an 8-2 Jays lead with Texas adding another two runs off Price in the eighth.

Adrian Beltre, the Rangers third baseman, returned to the lineup after leaving Game 1 with a lower back strain. He went 2-for-4.

Jays reliever Aaron Loup was unavailable for the game, leaving to attend to a family matter. Gibbons said he would be back for Wednesday’s decider.

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

USC fires Steve Sarkisian 1 day after putting troubled football coach on leave

LOS ANGELES — Southern California fired Steve Sarkisian on Monday, one day after the troubled football coach was put on leave.

Athletic director Pat Haden made the move one day after determining Sarkisian showed up at school in no condition to lead practice, although Haden refused to reveal specifics about the coach’s condition. Offensive co-ordinator Clay Helton was appointed interim coach Sunday.

USC hasn’t elaborated on Sarkisian’s problems, but the second-year coach had an embarrassing public display in August at a pep rally where he appeared to be intoxicated while giving a speech. Sarkisian later apologized and said he had combined alcohol and medication, but promised not to drink again during the season.

Sarkisian’s unsteady appearance Sunday prompted Haden to make the program’s fourth coaching change in just over two years.

“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” Haden said in a statement.

“I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation. Through all of this we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well-being.”

Helton, Sarkisian’s offensive co-ordinator, will officially lead his first practice Tuesday as the Trojans (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12) prepare for their annual rivalry game at No. 14 Notre Dame.

Sarkisian went 12-6 at USC, where he started as an assistant coach under Pete Carroll with the program’s dominant teams of the past decade.

“This is an opportunity for Sark to get right and to get well,” Carroll said Monday. “We’re pulling for him. He’s up against some big challenges and he’s got to go ahead and take care of it. It’s not about coaching now. It’s about his personal life and getting things in order. I know he’s committed to taking the right steps to do that, and it’s hugely important for him.”

Carroll said he had communicated with Sarkisian recently.

“I’ll be there to support him,” Carroll said. “I knew him before, and (he has) a lot to offer the world. It’s been hard on him, and he’s made it hard on people around him, too. He knows that. He’s got to take the steps to take care of business now.”

Sarkisian spent five years as Washington’s head coach until 2013, when he left the Huskies for a reported five-year contract to return to his native Southern California, describing it as “a dream come true to be back in the Trojan family.”

Sarkisian never faced significant public scrutiny for alcohol use in Seattle, although his enthusiasm for nights out became part of his identity among fans and boosters. An AP review of Sarkisian’s expense reports from his years at Washington showed a steady acquisition of alcohol on his trips, ranging from mild indulgences to lavish liquor purchases, sometimes before lunch.

Washington athletic director Scott Woodward issued a brief statement: “It is evident that Steve is dealing with a serious personal matter and we wish him the best in facing whatever challenges lay ahead.”

The 41-year-old Sarkisian is in the midst of a divorce from his wife, Stephanie, and he recently sold a palatial house south of Los Angeles. They have three children.

The hallowed USC football program has five AP national championships and more than a century of proud history, but it has endured turmoil for most of the past six years since Carroll left the school for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in 2009.

The well-liked Haden, a former USC quarterback, is facing increasing public condemnation for his oversight of the entire athletic department, but particularly a football team with a national championship pedigree in upheaval for yet another season.

After the tumultuous 3 1/2-year tenure of fired coach Lane Kiffin, Sarkisian and his players have made several public missteps during his short tenure. Sarkisian’s coaching also received widespread scrutiny after a 17-12 loss to Washington last week dropped the preseason No. 8 team out of the AP Top 25.

Sarkisian’s former colleagues and opponents offered words of compassion and encouragement Monday after he began his leave. The school hasn’t said whether Sarkisian is seeking treatment.

Chris Petersen was a candidate for the USC job won by Sarkisian, and the former Boise State coach replaced Sarkisian at Washington shortly afterward. Petersen’s unranked Huskies then beat USC in the coaches’ first meeting last Thursday.

“This is a tough job,” Petersen said Monday. “You just feel bad for the whole situation for everybody. We could talk a long time about that. It’s hard enough to lose. It’s a hard enough job when you’re doing well, and when something doesn’t go right in your situation and everybody piles on, I think it’s very tough.”

The talent-rich, well-funded USC football program won national titles in 2003 and 2004 before falling one game short in 2005, but the Trojans have been roiling in trouble ever since a lengthy NCAA investigation of extra benefits given to Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush neared a conclusion six years ago.

After Carroll jumped to the NFL, former athletic director Mike Garrett hired Kiffin away from Tennessee shortly before the NCAA hit USC with heavy sanctions that included three years of scholarship reductions.

Kiffin created or endured numerous controversies before getting fired by Haden at the airport shortly after a terrible loss in 2013. Most of Kiffin’s woes were confined to amateurish gamesmanship, such as players switching jersey numbers during a game and a student manager underinflating footballs.

The Trojans then had four head coaches in 2013, with interim coach Ed Orgeron quitting in disappointment after Sarkisian was hired over him. Helton coached the Las Vegas Bowl and then joined Sarkisian’s staff.

Ever since Sarkisian’s arrival, the Trojans seemingly can’t get through a month without some sort of drama — some of it having nothing to do with the coach.

Senior cornerback Josh Shaw bizarrely concocted a heroic story about getting injured while saving a child from drowning, only to be suspended for most of last season after confessing the lie. Haden made headlines early last season by going down to the sideline to yell at officials during a game at Stanford at Sarkisian’s request.

Sarkisian’s behaviour at the Salute to Troy pep rally in August was an embarrassment, but the coach appeared to move past it in September after a contrite public statement.

But then the losing started: Stanford racked up 41 points while beating then-No. 6 USC at the Coliseum last month, and Sarkisian’s offence was terrible against the Huskies.

___

AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle contributed to this report.

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Royals rally on Correa’s error, get 5 in 8th to beat Astros 9-6, force ALDS to decisive Game 5

HOUSTON — Astros shortstop Carlos Correa couldn’t handle a deflected grounder that might have been a double-play ball, helping the Kansas City Royals rally for five runs in the eighth inning to beat Houston 9-6 Monday and force their playoff series to a decisive Game 5.

Correa homered twice, doubled, singled and drove in four runs in Game 4 of the AL Division Series. Houston took a 6-2 lead into the eighth, but a tough error charged to the 21-year-old rookie keyed the Royals’ comeback to even the matchup at two games apiece.

Game 5 will be back in Kansas City on Wednesday night. Johnny Cueto is set to start for the Royals against Collin McHugh.

“Everyone that watched that game, everybody that was a part of that game knows how difficult it is to feel like that game was closing in our favour and then have it not go our way,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

“But it’s big boy sport. We’ll adjust, and we will be ready to play,” he said.

Late in the game, a tweet from the account of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott congratulated the Astros on advancing to the AL Championship Series.

But the defending AL champion Royals had other ideas.

Kansas City opened the eighth with five straight singles off relievers Will Harris and Tony Sipp, with RBI hits by Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer making it 6-4 and leaving the bases with no outs.

Kendrys Morales followed with a hard, one-bouncer off Sipp’s glove. The ball took two more hops and got past the top of Correa’s mitt, rolling into centre field as two runs scored to tie it at 6.

Alex Gordon’s RBI groundout off Luke Gregerson later in the inning put Kansas City ahead.

Hosmer launched a long, two-run homer in the ninth for insurance.

“We always feel that we’re still in games, and we still have a chance,” Hosmer said. “That’s the mentality for this whole entire team. It’s never quit, and the character we showed today. That’s what a championship ballclub does.”

Ryan Madson (1-0) gave up two home runs in the seventh and still got the win. Wade Davis pitched two scoreless innings for his second save.

Sipp took the loss.

Colby Rasmus homered for Houston, his fourth in five playoff games this October. Carlos Gomez also connected for the Astros.

Correa went 4 for 4 and was hit by a pitch.

Plunked by Yordano Ventura his first time up, Correa answered with a solo homer to tie it in the third. He put Houston on top with an RBI double in the fifth and became the youngest player with a multihomer game in AL playoff history with a two-run shot off Ryan Madson in the seventh for a 6-2 lead.

At 21 years and 20 days old, Correa became the youngest player in franchise history to homer in the playoffs, the youngest shortstop to do it in the post-season in Major League history and sixth-youngest player overall.

Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the second to give the Royals an early lead. But Houston starter Lance McCullers retired 15 of the next 18 batters, eaving after hitting Perez with a pitch with one out in the seventh.

Ventura yielded four hits and three runs in five innings. He was pitching on short rest after taking the loss in a start limited to two innings because of a rain delay in Houston’s 5-2 win in the opener.

He’s just the second player in franchise history to hit two homers in a post-season game, joining Carlos Beltran, who did it in 2004.

Rasmus, who homered in the AL wild-card win over the Yankees, hit his third home run of the ALDS when he followed Correa’s second shot with a home run off the foul pole in right field in the seventh.

GLAD HE’S OK: Two pitches before his home run, Perez fouled a ball into the stands down the first base line and it struck a young boy. Perez looked concerned and took a second to get back in the box. Later, a team official said the boy was fine after being treated by first aid at the ballpark.

Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press

Spencer, Gurley with TD catches as Argos win third straight 25-17 over Alouettes

MONTREAL — The Toronto Argonauts have become the road warriors of the Canadian Football League.

Trevor Harris threw touchdown passes to Diontae Spencer and Tori Gurley as the Argonauts stretched their winning run to three games, all away from home, with a 25-17 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Monday afternoon.

Their win in Ottawa last week was supposed to have been a home game, but they were forced out of the Rogers Centre by the Blue Jays playoff run. Their next game, Saturday against the Calgary Stampeders, may be moved to Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton.

“Of course, we’d much rather be in the dome than playing at Tim Horton’s, but that’s what it us.,” said coach Scott Milanovich, whose team is 5-4 away from the Rogers Centre. “That’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we’re going to play to win.”

Brandon Whitaker ran in a touchdown and Justin Palardy kicked a field goal for Toronto (9-5), now tied with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats atop the East Division.

Milanovic feels his team cannot lose more than one of their four remaining regular-season games to take first place in the division and may even have to run the table because the Ticats have the edge in the season series between them.

Tyrell Sutton and B.J. Cunningham scored TDs and Boris Bede had a field goal for Montreal (5-9), which lost a third game in a row before 21,536 at Percival Molson Stadium.

The Alouettes lost yet another quarterback as Rakeem Cato suffered a suspected concussion on a Thomas Miles sack just ahead of halftime and did not return. That brought in Anthony Boone, the sixth QB they have used this season.

When Boone couldn’t move the ball, Tanner Marsh took over in the fourth quarter.

Coach Jim Popp wasn’t sure yet which quarterback will start Sunday at home against Hamilton.

He said Boone and Marsh “will get all the reps in practice, a lot more than they had this week. For them to come in and play was difficult.”

Cato was good on nine of 12 passes for 72 yards and had a 9-7 lead when he left the game. Boone was 6-for-12 with an interception and Marsh was 9-for-14 for 119 yards, a touchdown and a pick.

Harris, who went 16-for-21 for 182 yards, 2 TDs and an interception, led scoring drives when Toronto needed them.

The Argos marched 70 yards on four plays to score on the opening drive of the game, with Spencer hauling in a 20-yard TD pass at 1:49.

Momentum swung on the opening play of the second quarter when Henoc Muamba, playing his first game since signing as a free agent, picked off a Harris pass and brought it to the Toronto 32. Bede kicked a 25-yard field goal.

A shanked Anthony Alix punt gave Montreal the ball on the Argos 21 and, five plays later, Sutton ran in from the three to put the Alouettes ahead 9-7.

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah picked off a Boone pass and ran it 63 yards to the Montreal 41 to set up Palardy’s 36-yard field goal 14:17 into the third quarter.

A 55-yard single on a Bede punt tied it 10-10 5:41 into the fourth, but Harris marched back for a 27-yard TD pass to Gurley.

Marsh fumbled, then was picked off, leading to a Toronto single and Whitaker’s nine-yard TD run with 2:14 left in the game.

Montreal made it interesting as a drive led to a 10-yard TD pass from Marsh to Cunningham at 14:06 and Kyries Hebert recovered the short kickoff to give them a last-minute drive that fell short.

Alix, who muffed three punts, left with an injury and Milanovich said there will be a new punter next game. Palardy went 1-for-3 on field goals on a poor Argos kicking day overall.

 

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

Pacquiao says shoulder 80-90 per cent healed, expects to start training in November or December

NEW YORK — Manny Pacquiao said Monday that his surgically repaired shoulder is 80-90 per cent healed and he expects to resume training in November or December, with a return to the ring in March.

Pacquiao acknowledged that Amir Khan was a possible opponent, but added no determination had been made.

Pacquiao had surgery on his right shoulder four days after he lost by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing’s richest fight ever in May. Mayweather says he’s retiring, though Pacquiao recognizes that in boxing, those vows don’t always hold up.

“If you ask me, of course, I want a rematch,” Pacquiao said. “I heard that he retired already. If he really retired, then there’s no rematch. But if not…”

Pacquiao injured his shoulder three weeks before the fight. He later said he aggravated it in the fourth round, when he landed some of his best punches of the night against Mayweather.

“He kept moving around and didn’t want to fight toe to toe with me, exchanging punches,” Pacquiao said Monday.

Asked if he could change that in a rematch, Pacquiao said, “I think so, especially (after) I fixed my shoulder.”

Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippines, was in Manhattan to be honoured with the Asia Society’s Asia Game Changer of the Year Award. He is running for the Philippines’ 24-seat Senate, a national position that has been used as a springboard for vice-president or president.

The Associated Press

4 schools to change mascots after California governor bans name offensive to Native Americans

LOS ANGELES — Four California high schools will be forced to change mascots after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation barring public schools from using the Redskins name for sports teams.

It was one of three sports-related bills approved by Brown in the last week. He also signed a measure that bans players and coaches from using smokeless tobacco at professional baseball parks and another that recognizes competitive cheerleading as a high school sport.

The mascot legislation signed Sunday will prevent public schools from using a term that American Indians regard as offensive and goes into effect in 2017.

Only four public schools still use the name, including Tulare Union High south of Fresno. Dr. Sarah Koligian, superintendent of Tulare Joint Union High School District, said officials were “disappointed” by Brown’s decision but will change their team name.

“We will adhere to the law as it is written,” Koligian said in a statement Monday. “Together with our Board of Trustees, school community and our Tulare community we will seek their input to determine our new mascot.”

The Chowchilla Union High School District in the Central Valley will begin seeking public comment on a new mascot — but not happily, Superintendent Ronald V. Seals said.

The district’s lone high school, which has about 1,000 students, has used the Redskins mascot and Indian chief logo since 1928 and there never have been complaints, he said.

“I have Choctaw Indian blood in my veins. I’m not offended by it,” Seals said.

“You don’t pick a mascot that you don’t respect, dignify, love, honour, all those things,” he said. “It’s just taking away something that’s so near and dear to their hearts…and by people who don’t even live here.”

American Indian groups have protested the name’s continued use amid their court fight with the NFL’s Washington Redskins. A federal panel ruled last year that the team’s trademark should be cancelled, but the team is challenging that decision in court. Washington owner Dan Snyder is facing unprecedented opposition from those who consider his team’s name a racial slur.

“This landmark legislation eliminating the R-word in California schools clearly demonstrates that this issue is not going away, and that opposition to the Washington team on this issue is only intensifying,” said Evan Nierman, founder of the group Change The Mascot, which supported the bill. “The NFL should act immediately to press the team to change the name.”

California schools Gustine High in Merced County, Calaveras High in Calaveras County and Chowchilla Union High in Madera County also use the name. Messages seeking comment from school officials were not immediately returned Monday, a federal holiday.

The measure Brown approved Sunday that bars players and coaches from using — or even having — smokeless tobacco on the playing field at ballparks expands on local bans passed by San Francisco and Los Angeles. It wasn’t immediately clear how the statewide ban would be enforced.

Public health officials who backed the proposal cited the prevalence of youths using smokeless tobacco, even while cigarette use drops. They say smokeless products contribute to oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancers as well as other diseases.

Major League Baseball said it supported banning smokeless tobacco when the proposal was introduced earlier this year, but the league didn’t immediately comment on the statewide prohibition. Chewing tobacco, known as dipping, is already prohibited in minor leagues.

The Los Angeles Dodgers issued a statement of support after city officials approved a tobacco ban last month.

The push for the ban comes after the death last June of former San Diego Padres All-Star Tony Gwynn, who believed his oral cancer was linked to longtime use of chewing tobacco.

The governor also approved a bill last week that requires the California Interscholastic Federation to oversee competitive cheerleading as it does other high school sports by 2017-18.

The formal recognition will give cheerleading the respect and safety standards that athletes deserve, said Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, who introduced the bill. At least eight other states treat competitive cheerleading as a sport, said Gonzalez, a former high school and college cheerleader.

___

This story has been corrected to show the bills were approved recently, not all on Sunday.

Christopher Weber, The Associated Press

2,000 sightings prompt Sudbury officials to create nuisance bear committee

SUDBURY, Ont. — Residents of Sudbury, Ont., just can’t bear it anymore.

City officials have set up a committee of experts in an effort to find a solution to an influx of unwelcome black bears, known as “nuisance bears.”

Coun. Al Sizer, a member of the committee, said Monday that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has received 2,200 reports of bear-sightings in the city, and police said they’ve received an additional 1,700 bear complaints, four times more than the previous summer.

Sizer said Sudbury accounted for nearly half of the province’s complaints about nuisance bears this summer. In fact, reporting nuisance bears is the first option in the phone directory at the Sudbury office of the Ministry.

He said the committee is made up of 10 people, including representatives from the police force and the ministry, as well as local environmentalists. They even have a member with a PhD in the history of bears.

So far, the committee has met three times since it was formed last month.

And while nobody in Sudbury has been hurt by bears this year, Sizer said it’s always a risk.

“You don’t know what kind of a day the bear’s having,” Sizer said. “I mean, if it’s having a toothache and it encounters somebody, it may not be real friendly.”

Sudbury police only dispatch officers when they determine there’s a risk to the public, said Staff Sgt. Craig Maki. That’s happened 500 times this year, and it’s eaten up 225 hours of police time. They’ve had to kill eight bears.

The committee is chalking the invasion up to a poor blueberry crop, Maki said. Bears are left with no option but to look for alternate food sources, and human food is all too convenient.

“If you can eliminate the human food sources, then you’re solving some of your problems,” he said.

But Maki isn’t part of the city’s bear committee.

“Thank goodness,” he added. “I’ve had my fill of bears this summer, to be honest.”

Maki said he’s had two bears in his backyard this summer, and estimates they weighed about 175 kilograms each.

— By Nicole Thompson in Toronto.

 

The Canadian Press

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