Friday Sports in Brief

MLB

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Aníbal Sánchez carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, Howie Kendrick had two more big swings and the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on Friday night in the NL Championship Series opener.

Sánchez had allowed just three runners when he took the mound for the eighth. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman robbed Tommy Edman with an outstanding diving grab at full stretch for the first out, but pinch-hitter José Martínez cleanly singled to center with two down for the Cardinals’ first hit.

Sean Doolittle relieved and got four straight outs to finish the one-hitter for his first postseason save in two years.

Sánchez and Doolittle made life easy on manager Dave Martinez after the Nationals placed closer Daniel Hudson on the paternity list before the franchise’s first appearance in the NLCS since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington ahead of the 2005 season.

Game 2 is back at Busch Stadium on Saturday. Washington ace Max Scherzer starts in his hometown, and Adam Wainwright gets the ball for St. Louis.

St. Louis wasted a solid performance by Miles Mikolas, who pitched six innings of one-run ball in his second career playoff start.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have listed cornerback Jalen Ramsey as questionable to play Sunday against New Orleans.

Coach Doug Marrone made the designation Friday, a day after owner Shad Khan said he expects the disgruntled defender to return following a two-week absence because of an apparent back injury.

Khan told The Street he had a “heart to heart” with Ramsey earlier this week and “I think we’ll be able to come to what makes sense for all.”

It’s unclear if that means trading Ramsey or repairing his fractured relationship with the franchise.

Ramsey was limited in practice for a third consecutive day Friday. He saw a back specialist Monday in Houston.

SOCCER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Weston McKennie scored 32 seconds into the game and had the fastest hat trick from the kickoff in U.S. history, helping the Americans overwhelm Cuba 7-0 on Friday night for a laugher in their first CONCACAF Nations League match.

Jordan Morris scored and tied a U.S. record with three assists and Josh Sargent also had a goal as the 21st-ranked Americans burst to a 6-0 halftime lead against No. 179 Cuba.

Christian Pulisic converted a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, nonchalantly putting his shot in the center of the net for his 14th international goal, then was expressionless. The U.S. women’s team was criticized by some for celebrating late goals during a 13-0 rout of Thailand at the World Cup in June.

TRACK AND FIELD

Nike is closing its elite Oregon Project track and field program overseen by Alberto Salazar following his recent four-year doping ban in a move welcomed by the sport’s governing body.

But the sportswear giant and Salazar’s protégée, Galen Rupp, are backing the disgraced coach’s efforts to overturn the ban.

Salazar was found guilty last week by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of running experiments with supplements and testosterone that were bankrolled and supported by Nike, along with possessing and trafficking testosterone.

The verdict didn’t directly implicate runners from the Nike Oregon Project. But the company is partly blaming the scrutiny on the stars of the training center for its decision to shut the program that began in 2001.

The 61-year-old Salazar has consistently denied being involved in doping schemes. Nike is supporting his plan to appeal the ban. In the meantime, Salazar cannot coach and his credential was revoked during the world track and field championships last week.

SWIMMING

Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer announced his retirement Friday, shortly after receiving a 20-month doping ban for having testosterone pellets inserted into his hip.

The 30-year-old Dwyer, who won relay gold medals in 2012 and 2016 and an individual bronze in 2016, tested positive three times between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20 last year. His ban was made effective on Dec. 21, meaning he wouldn’t have been eligible for next year’s Olympics.

In a news release sent out by his lawyer shortly after his suspension was made public, Dwyer called taking the prohibited substance “an honest but unfortunate mistake.”

“Regardless of the result of the arbitration ruling, I have decided to retire from swimming to pursue other professional interests,” Dwyer said.