Weekend Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley was banned for two playoff games by Major League Baseball following his late takeout slide that broke New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s right leg.
Utley’s agent called the penalty ”outrageous and completely unacceptable” and said there would be an appeal.
The Mets and Dodgers are tied at 1-all in the best-of-five NL Division Series. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night at Citi Field.
An appeal would allow Utley to play until the hearing process is complete. MLB would likely try to resolve the matter Monday, before the series resumes.
In handing down the penalty, MLB executive Joe Torre called it an illegal slide. Umpires ruled it a legal play Saturday night, and Utley was even awarded second base after a replay review showed Tejada never touched the bag with his toe.
Torre said after a complete examination, he concluded Utley’s slide merited punishment.
Utley’s agent, Joel Wolfe, saw it differently.
”A two-game suspension for a legal baseball play is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation – break up the double play,” Wolfe said in a statement.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Troy Tulowitzki drove in four runs, including a three-run homer for his first hit this postseason, and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided elimination in the AL Division Series with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 3.
The Blue Jays cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-five matchup.
Texas has another chance Monday to clinch the series at home. If not, a deciding Game 5 will be played Wednesday in Toronto, where the Rangers won the first two games.
Marco Estrada limited the Rangers to one run and five hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Tulowitzki’s two-out homer in the sixth put the Blue Jays up 5-0. That was two innings after he drew a bases-loaded walk.
Texas left-hander Martin Perez, somewhat a surprise pick as the Game 3 starter over veterans Derek Holland and Colby Lewis, gave up four runs and six hits.
Holland (4-3) starts Game 4 against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (11-11).
HOUSTON (AP) – Dallas Keuchel remained perfect at home with seven gutsy innings and Chris Carter homered, leading the Houston Astros to a 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals to take a 2-1 lead in the American League Division Series.
The Astros could wrap up the best-of-five series with a win over the defending AL champions in Game 4 on Monday.
Keuchel (2-0) worked out of jam after jam, allowing five hits and one run with seven strikeouts after going 15-0 at home this season, a modern major league record.
Luke Gregerson gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Alex Gordon before finishing off the Astros first playoff game in Houston in 10 years with a four-out save. It was save of more than three outs in three years.
Jason Castro drove in two runs with a single in the fifth that made it 2-1. Carlos Gomez, who has a rib muscle strain, started for the first time in the series and had an RBI single in the sixth.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell had successful squeeze bunts and Jorge Soler capped a five-run second with a two-run homer, and the Chicago Cubs held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Saturday night to even their NL Division series at a game apiece.
Manager Joe Maddon made all the right moves a night after the Cubs lost the opener 4-0. Now the series shifts to Wrigley Field for Game 3 Monday, where Chicago’s 22-game winner Jake Arrieta faces St. Louis’ Michael Wacha in the best-of-five series.
The usually steady NL Central champion Cardinals made two errors as the Cubs didn’t hit the ball out of the infield in scoring their first three runs in the second.
Playing in his first postseason game, Soler connected off Jaime Garcia (0-1), who was lifted because of a stomach ailment after the second inning.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian is taking an indefinite leave of absence after athletic director Pat Haden determined that the troubled coach is ”not healthy.”
Haden announced the decision in a hastily called news conference after Sarkisian didn’t show up for practice.
”I think it’s the right thing for our team, and I’ve always got to do what’s right for our team and for our school,” Haden said.
Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will take charge of the Trojans (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12), who have lost two of their last three games. USC visits No. 14 Notre Dame (5-1) on Saturday.
Haden wasn’t specific about the reasons for Sarkisian’s absence, only saying that ”it was very clear to me” that the second-year USC coach was unwell. Haden asked Sarkisian to take a leave during a phone conversation.
UNDATED – Baylor is No. 2 and Utah is up to fourth behind No. 1 Ohio State in The Associated Press college football poll.
The Bears have their best ranking ever. They reached No. 3 three times previously, including once last season.
Voters spread first-place votes around to six teams in the Top 25 released Sunday. The Buckeyes received 27, down 11 (38) from last week. Baylor has 13 and Utah has 16. No. 3 TCU received three first-place votes and No. 5 Clemson and No. 9 Texas A&M each received one.
Ohio State started the season a unanimous No. 1, but as the Buckeyes have sputtered support has slipped. Ohio State pulled away from Maryland in the second half Saturday for a 49-28 victory.
Now, there isn’t much separation in the top four. The Buckeyes have 1,411 poll points, 21 more than Baylor. TCU is four points ahead of Utah.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Georgia running back Nick Chubb is expected to miss the rest of the season after injuring his left knee Saturday in the Bulldogs’ loss at Tennessee.
”I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s out,” coach Mark Richt said Sunday on his weekly teleconference.
The star back was injured on the first play from scrimmage in the 38-31 loss.
Georgia’s director of sports medicine said in a release Sunday that Chubb damaged several ligaments and cartilage, but did not have an ACL tear. Director Ron Courson added the damage is repairable, full recovery is expected and surgery will take place within two weeks.
Chubb came into the game with 13 consecutive 100-yard rushing games. After a 2-yard run, he was hit by cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and later by linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Chubb was taken from the field and returned to watch the second half from the sideline.
Richt declined to speculate on a schedule for Chubb’s return.
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) – The United States held off an inspired rally to win the Presidents Cup for the sixth straight time, this one decided by the final match.
The Americans got the winning point from Bill Haas, the son of U.S. captain Jay Haas, who won 2-up over an emotionally distraught Bae Sang-moon. Bae needed to win the final hole for the International team to share the cup, but he stubbed a chip.
The Americans won 15 1/2-14 1/2, the closest competition in 10 years.
The tense final session was just what this competition needed, though it didn’t feel that way to the International team. It looked like the International team had control until Chris Kirk holed a 15-foot putt on the 18th, and Anirban Lahiri lost the hole by missing a 4-foot putt.
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Paul Aguilar scored Mexico’s second goal of extra time on a stunning volley in the 118th minute, and Mexico earned a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup with a 3-2 victory over the United States on Saturday night
Aguilar rocketed his shot past Brad Guzan after Raul Jimenez passed the ball over his head and into the penalty area, putting a thrilling finish on the latest chapter of this rivalry at the sold-out Rose Bowl.
Oribe Peralta scored a tiebreaking goal in the sixth minute of extra time for Mexico. Bobby Wood evened it in the 18th minute of extra time for the Americans, who lost to Mexico for the first time in seven games under coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Javier Hernandez scored an early goal as Mexico beat the U.S. for the first time since the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
Saturday was a double downer for the United States: A few hours earlier, the under-23 team lost 2-0 to Honduras, putting the American men in danger of failing to qualify for its second straight Olympics.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Joey Logano won at Charlotte Motor Speedway to automatically advance to the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
The race was rained out Saturday night and run instead in the middle of the day Sunday, and it ended with Logano beating reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick to the finish line by 0.704 seconds.
The top six finishers were Chase for the Sprint Cup championship drivers, but it was a sloppy day for some of the biggest title contenders.
Joe Gibbs Racing, the overwhelming favorites in the Chase, watched Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch suffer through problems that led both of them to fall to the back of the championship standings. Same with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was one of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to have a rough day.