Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Sunday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– NEW ORLEANS – The desperate New Orleans Saints hope the anticipated return of quarterback Drew Brees can keep them from dropping to 0-4 when they host Dallas in prime time. The Cowboys are trying to avoid a two-game skid. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
– ARLINGTON, Texas – Cole Hamels starts for the Texas Rangers, who can clinch the AL West title with a win in Game 162. The Los Angeles Angels are still in wild-card contention, but need a win and a loss by the Astros, which would also give Texas the division. Game starts 3:05 p.m.
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– PHOENIX – The Houston Astros attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since playing in the 2005 World Series when they meet the Arizona Diamondbacks on the final day of the regular season. Game starts 3:10 p.m.
– SEATTLE – The last time the Seattle Seahawks were set to face the Detroit Lions three years ago, Richard Sherman was more than happy to offer up his interest in playing the role of ”Optimus Prime” to Calvin Johnson’s ”Megatron.” Now, as the Seahawks get set to host the Lions on Monday night, Sherman isn’t so willing to play along.
– Washington’s Bryce Harper leads Miami’s Dee Gordon .330754 to .330606 going into the final day for the NL batting title. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, at .338, is headed to his fourth AL batting championship in five years.
– CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson outlasted Notre Dame in a marquee Top 25 showdown and took a big step toward the College Football Playoffs. Now, the Tigers see if they can avoid the pitfalls and trap games that come with their higher profile.
– Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have combined to win five of the last nine NHL MVP awards. The superstars are hoping moves made by their teams put them in a better position to win the Stanley Cup.
– MINNEAPOLIS – Maya Moore and the favored Minnesota Lynx host Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, a rematch of the 2012 series won by Indiana. Game starts 3 p.m.