KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Alex Gordon hit a bases-clearing double in the first inning, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas each homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 to finish a sweep of their AL Division Series.
Back in the playoffs for the first time since 1985, the wild-card Royals will face the Orioles in the AL Championship Series beginning Friday night in Baltimore. Kansas City went 4-3 against the O’s this year.
The Royals’ James Shields allowed homers to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols over six otherwise solid innings. C.J. Wilson failed to escape the first for Los Angeles, giving up all three runs on Gordon’s tone-setting double.
The Angels are the second team in the divisional era to have the majors’ best record and get swept from the playoffs. The Yankees were also swept by the Royals in 1980 ALCS.
DETROIT (AP) – Nelson Cruz sliced a two-run homer for his latest big postseason hit, and the Baltimore Orioles swept aside Detroit’s Cy Young Award winners to hold off the Tigers 2-1 and reach the AL Championship Series for the first time since 1997.
Bud Norris outpitched David Price in Game 3 of the AL Division Series. The Tigers scored in the ninth and put the tying run on second with no outs, but Orioles closer Zach Britton escaped the jam and lifted Buck Showalter into his first ALCS in 16 seasons as a big league manager.
Cruz’s homer was the 16th of his postseason career, including eight against the Tigers. He was the MVP of the 2011 ALCS for Texas in a six-game victory over Detroit.
Cruz spent much of this past offseason without a team after serving a 50-game suspension last year for violating baseball’s drug agreement.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Nationals manager Matt Williams has thought long and hard about his decision to remove Jordan Zimmermann with two outs in the ninth and go to closer Drew Storen, and he stands by it a day later.
Williams had extra innings after his ejection to ponder the move Saturday night, then a cross-country flight.
He says he would do it again, even if there’s some agony involved given Storen blew the save chance and Washington lost to San Francisco 2-1 in 18 innings, putting the Nationals in an 0-2 hole in the NL Division Series.
The best-of-five matchup shifts to San Francisco for Game 3 Monday afternoon as Washington tries to save its season.
DENVER (AP) – Peyton Manning joined Brett Favre in the NFL’s most exclusive of clubs with his 500th touchdown pass during Denver’s 41-20 win over previously unbeaten Arizona.
Manning finished with four TD throws, moving him within five of Favre’s record 508.
Manning found tight end Julius Thomas twice in the end zone, including the milestone touchdown, a 7-yard dart in the first quarter.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Cleveland Browns shook off a sluggish start with a finish for the NFL record book.
Brian Hoyer threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin with 1:09 left, and the Browns rallied from a 25-point deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 29-28 in the largest comeback in league history by a road team.
Only two other clubs have come back from bigger deficits in the regular season. San Francisco rallied from 28 down in beating New Orleans on Dec. 7, 1980, and Buffalo trailed 26-0 before beating Indianapolis 37-35 on Sept. 21, 1997.
Cleveland’s win after trailing 28-3 in the first half also was the biggest comeback in Browns history. On Dec. 4, 1966, Cleveland trailed the Giants 34-14 and won 49-40, according to STATS.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s Southeastern Conference teams have never been this good and this close.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State are tied for third in The Associated Press college football poll after a wild day of unexpected results brought major changes to the Top 25.
Just about the only thing that didn’t change this week was No. 1: Florida State is still top-ranked, with 35 first-place votes.
Auburn, the only other team in the top six to win, moved up three spots to No. 2 and received 23 first-place votes. Then came Ole Miss and Mississippi State, in the top five together for the first time after the Rebels beat Alabama and the Bulldogs beat Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Rebels haven’t been ranked this high since 1963, when they also were No. 3 and won their last SEC title. The Bulldogs have their best ranking ever. Their previous best was No. 7 in 1981 and their only SEC championship came in 1941.
Baylor rounds out the top five and Notre Dame is No. 6.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Joey Logano grabbed the first berth into the next round of NASCAR’s championship race with a victory at Kansas Speedway.
Logano’s win advanced him into the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, which begins after stops at Charlotte and Talladega. Four drivers will be cut from the 12-driver field after Talladega.
It was Logano’s career-best fifth win of the season and ties with him Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski for most in the Sprint Cup Series.
Kyle Larson – who is not part of the Chase – finished second and was followed by championship-eligible driver Kyle Busch, who finished a career-best third at a track where he has continuously seen his title hopes fall apart.
Putting his swimming career on hold after his second DUI arrest, Olympic champion Michael Phelps began a six-week program Sunday that he said ”will provide the help I need to better understand myself.”
The winningest athlete in Olympic history made the announcement in a series of posts on his Twitter account.
According to his representatives at Octagon, Phelps entered an in-patient program that will keep him from competing at least through mid-November, though there’s no indication he plans to give up swimming.
The 29-year-old Phelps was arrested early Tuesday and charged with drunken driving in his native Baltimore. Police said he failed a series of field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08.
Phelps retired after the 2012 Olympics in London, having won a record 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall. But he returned to competition this year with the goal of making the 2016 Rio Games.