Sports Digest 10/12

Nationals blank Cubs to force fifth game

UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Strasburg and Michael A. Taylor have allowed the Washington Nationals to force a fifth and deciding game in their NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Strasburg worked seven outstanding innings and Taylor launched a grand slam as the Nats blanked the Cubs, 5-0 at Wrigley Field. The outcome gives the Nationals hope that they can finally win a playoff series for the first time in four tries since the franchise moved from Montreal after the 2004 season.

Strasburg struck out 12 while holding the Cubs to three hits over seven scoreless innings of his first career postseason win. Ben Zobrist was the only Cub to get an extra-base hit off Strasburg, who didn’t allow an earned run over his 14 innings of work during the series.

Taylor put the game out of reach with his bases-loaded blast in the eighth off reliever Wade Davis. The game’s only other run scored on Addison Russell’s error in the third inning.

Game 5 is Thursday in Washington. Kyle Hendricks is slated to start for the Cubs. Gio Gonzalez is the likely starter for Washington, but Max Scherzer will be available after working 6 1/3 innings in Game 3.

 

Yankees take the fifth

CLEVELAND (AP) — The New York Yankees are back in the American League Championship Series for the first time in five years after taking the final three games of their LDS against the Indians.

Didi Gregorius was 3-for-4 with a pair of homers to lead the Yankees to a 5-2 triumph in Game 5 at Cleveland. Gregorius put New York ahead to stay with a solo shot in the first inning and added a two-run blast that put the Bombers ahead 3-0 in the third.

The Indians pulled within 3-2 before the Yanks tacked on two runs in the ninth with the help of two outfield errors. Brett Gardner’s third hit of the night drove in Aaron Hicks and created the fifth run as Todd Frazier came home on Jay Bruce’s throwing error.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia was working on a one-hit shutout until the Indians chased him during their two-run fifth. Roberto Perez singled home Cleveland’s first run and Giovanny Urshela followed with an RBI single that ended Sabathia’s evening.

David Robertson worked 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief to pick up the win. Aroldis Chapman notched the save as he struck out four during his two innings of scoreless relief.

Losing pitcher Corey Kluber lasted just 3 2/3 innings, surrendering both homers by Gregorius. The AL Cy Young candidate posted a 12.79 ERA in his two starts during the series.

The Yankees are the 10th team to win a best-of-five playoff series after dropping the first two games.

Game 1 of the ALCS will be in Houston on Friday.

 

NCAA to form commission in response to bribery scheme

UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA says former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will head a newly-formed commission to study the inner workings of college basketball. The commission is in response a federal investigation into bribery and fraud that rocked the sport and implicated several assistant coaches.

Federal complaints revealed in New York accused coaches, financial managers and an Adidas executive of trying to influence players on choosing schools and financial advisers.

In other college basketball news:

— Louisville interim coach David Padgett has hired Trent Johnson as an assistant. The move to add the former head coach to the staff fills the vacancy created when the school named Padgett to replace Rick Pitino last month in the wake of a national federal investigation of bribery in college basketball.

 

Scores

 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Final Boston 108 Charlotte 100
Final Philadelphia 133 Brooklyn 114
Final Miami 117 Washington 115
Final Houston 101 Memphis 89
Final Portland 113 Phoenix 104
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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Final New Jersey 6 Toronto 3
Final Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2
Final Colorado 6 Boston 3
Final Anaheim 3 N-Y Islanders 2
Final OT Calgary 4 L.A. Kings 3