Weekend Sports in Brief

October 5

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the NFL’s premier matchups of the early schedule has been postponed due to players testing positive for the coronavirus.

New England Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton and Kansas City Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu were both placed on the COVID-19 reserve list Saturday.

The game will be played Monday or Tuesday, the league said.

It was the second game postponed this weekend: Pittsburgh at Tennessee was moved to Week 7 after an outbreak of the coronavirus with the Titans.

MLB

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Klentak’s inability to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the postseason or even a single winning season cost him his job as general manager.

Klentak stepped down after a third straight September collapse left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season. The 40-year-old will be reassigned to another position in the organization and Ned Rice will serve as interim general manager until the Phillies hire someone to run baseball operations.

Klentak was hired in October 2015 by team President Andy MacPhail after serving as assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels for four seasons. The Phillies were 326-382 in five seasons under Klentak.

NEW YORK (AP) — The name of the former baseball commissioner who never had a Black player in the majors during his long reign is being pulled off all future MVP plaques after more than 75 years.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis won’t be depicted on the annual awards presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of the America, the group said Friday. The decision came after 89% of its membership voted this week for removal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart will not be brought back next season after working in the organization for 15 years.

A team spokesman confirmed Sunday that the team would let Menhart go. His contract is up after this season.

Menhart was the Nationals’ minor league pitching coordinator when he was brought up to work with the major league club in May 2019, replacing fired pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.

NHL

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed Robin Lehner on Saturday to a $25 million, five-year contract that makes him their goaltender of the present and future.

Lehner’s deal carries a $5 million annual salary cap hit and runs through the 2024-25 season. Committing to Lehner makes it likely Vegas will at some point move on from face of the franchise Marc-Andre Fleury, who took the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018 in its inaugural season.

Coach Peter DeBoer made clear his preference for Lehner when the NHL returned for an expanded playoffs. While he said he’d use both goalies, he started Lehner in 16 of the Golden Knights’ 20 postseason games.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Several Clemson players wore social justice messages on their jerseys in playing Virginia on Saturday night — a few days after Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said he was not in favor of messages of any kind on uniforms.

During warmups, receiver Amari Rodgers and running back Lyn-J Dixon had the word “Equality” where their names would be. Tailback Travis Etienne had the the word “Peace” in place of his name.

Other players had “Love,” “Together,” “Unity,” and “Enough,” on their jerseys during warmups.

AUTO RACING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Denny Hamlin finally got a playoff win in a messy wreck-fest that took three overtimes Sunday, the longest race in Talladega Superspeedway history.

Hamlin made the winning pass on the 200th lap — 12 more or nearly 32 miles longer than scheduled — with a three-wide sweep coming out of the fourth turn. The Daytona 500 winner had the throttle open on the No. 11 Toyota to nip Matt DiBenedetto and Erik Jones at the finish line.

Hamlin, a title favorite who has had a rough start through the first half of the playoffs, dipped below the out-of-bounds line to take the lead and NASCAR needed several minutes to determine if the move was illegal.

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Justin Haley stormed into the second round of the Xfinity Series playoffs with a win Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, his third superspeedway victory of the season.

Haley has three career Xfinity Series victories, all this season, all on superspeedways. He won at Talladega in June, Daytona in August and then again Saturday at Talladega.

Haley joined Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the only drivers in NASCAR to win three consecutive superspeedway races. The Earnhardt’s did it in the Cup Series.

Haley, in a Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing, joined Chase Briscoe as the only two drivers locked into the second round of the playoffs. Four drivers will be eliminated after next week’s race on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Will Power won the pole, then led every lap of Saturday’s Harvest GP on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and held off hard-charging Colton Herta by 0.839 seconds.

The Australian driver earned his fourth win for Team Penske on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course. He’s won two of the last four IndyCar races and now has 39 in his career, tying Al Unser for fifth on IndyCar’s all-time list.

GOLF

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Sergio Garcia delivered two key shots on the back nine, the last one an 8-iron to 30 inches on the final hole for birdie and a one-shot victory Sunday in the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Garcia closed with a 5-under 67 and won for the 10th consecutive year worldwide, and the first time on the PGA Tour since the 2017 Masters.

Peter Malnati, whose lone PGA Tour victory came at this tournament five years ago, closed with a career-best 63 and finished second.

GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — Mel Reid of England seized control with a run of birdies around the turn and finished strong Sunday for a 4-under 67 and a two-shot victory in the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her first LPGA Tour title.

Reid’s only mistake on the back nine was a bogey on the par-3 17th, which cut her four-shot lead in half.

Jennifer Kupcho finished second and Jennifer Song was third.

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland (AP) — Aaron Rai of England closed with a 7-under 64 and then won the Scottish Open on the first playoff hole when Tommy Fleetwood missed a 3-foot par putt.

Rai won for the second time on the European Tour, and it comes one week after he lost a 54-hole lead and was runner-up in the Irish Open.

HORSE RACING

BALTIMORE (AP) — Swiss Skydiver beat favored Authentic in a stretch duel in the Preakness Stakes run without fans Saturday, making her the sixth filly and first since Rachel Alexandra in 2009 to win the race, which this year served as the third leg of the Triple Crown for the first time.

Swiss Skydiver upset favored Authentic, going off at odds of 11-1 and and finishing just ahead of 3-2 favorite Authentic and third-place Jesus’ Team, who was 40-1. The 145th running of the Preakness at a mostly empty Pimlico Race Course came four weeks after the Kentucky Derby and 3 1/2 months since the Belmont as they were held out of order for the first time since the 1930s.

Trainer Kenny McPeek won the Preakness for the first time for his second Triple Crown victory after capturing the 2002 Belmont with Sarava. Swiss Skydiver was the first filly to run the race since 2014, when Ria Antonia finished last.

OBITUARY

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, the dominating St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who won a record seven consecutive World Series starts and set a modern standard for excellence when he finished the 1968 season with a 1.12 ERA, died Friday. He was 84.

The Cardinals confirmed Gibson’s death shortly after losing to San Diego 4-0 in the NL playoffs. Gibson had long been ill with pancreatic cancer in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

Gibson’s death came on the 52nd anniversary of perhaps his most overpowering performance, when he struck out a World Series record 17 batters in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against Detroit.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner spent his entire 17-year career with St. Louis and was named the World Series MVP in their 1964 and ’67 championship seasons. The Cards came up just short in 1968, but Gibson was voted the National League’s MVP and shut down opponents so well that baseball changed the rules for fear it would happen again.

Averaging 19 wins a year from 1963-72, he finished 251-174 with a 2.91 ERA, and was only the second pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ron Perranoski, the left-handed ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen who helped them win a pair of World Series championships in the 1960s, has died. He was 84.

He died Friday night at his home in Vero Beach, Florida, of complications from a long illness, his sister Pat Zailo told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Perranoski played in the major leagues from 1961-73 for the Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and California Angels. He had a career record of 79-74 with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA.

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