Thursday’s Sports in Brief

BASEBALL

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mike Moustaksas scored MVP front-runner Christian Yelich with a two-out single in the 10th inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 to open their NL Division Series on Thursday.

After giving up two runs in the ninth that made it 2-all, the Brewers regrouped and soon celebrated. Making their first postseason appearance since 2011, they won their ninth straight game overall.

Yelich hit a two-run homer in the third inning, then opened the 10th with a walk against Adam Ottavino. Yelich advanced to second on a wild pitch and came home on Moustakas’ line drive to right field.

Game 2 is Thursday in Milwaukee.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven dominant innings, Max Muncy hit an early, three-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 in their NL Division Series opener on Thursday night.

Picked a surprising Game 1 starter over fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw, Ryu delivered in his first postseason start since 2014. The South Korean allowed four singles — all with two outs — struck out eight and walked none.

Game 2 in the best-of-five matchup is Friday at Dodger Stadium, with Kershaw starting for Los Angeles against Anibal Sanchez.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo faced growing heat Thursday from sponsors over a rape allegation in the United States after Nike and video game maker EA Sports expressed concern about the conduct of the soccer superstar, who has denied the accusations.

The five-time world player of the year received public backing from the Italian club, which said it would not judge him on the 2009 assault claim by a Nevada woman.

The show of support came shortly after Nike broke its silence in a statement to The Associated Press that described the company’s unease over its association with Ronaldo, which started in 2003. The latest terms signed in 2016 are worth a reported $1 billion, and Ronaldo has suggested that it was a deal “for life.”

But the Beaverton, Oregon-based company is troubled by details emerging from a lawsuit filed last week in a Nevada state court by the accuser, who alleges she was raped by Ronaldo in Las Vegas. Police have also re-opened an investigation.

Also, Ronaldo was left off Portugal’s national team squad for a pair of upcoming matches.

CARY, N.C. (AP) — Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan scored two goals apiece to lead the United States past Mexico 6-0 on Thursday night in the group stage opener for both teams at the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament.

The U.S. team erupted for five goals in the second half to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 matches. Ranked No. 1 in the world, the United States dominated possession throughout and eventually wore down Mexico.

Mexico, ranked No. 24 in the world, was held without a shot until the 48th minute.

COLLEGES

NEW YORK (AP) — The father of a top college basketball prospect has testified that his son was offered thousands of dollars to play at several major programs.

Brian Bowen Sr. testified Thursday at a federal trial in New York that aspiring agent Christian Dawkins told him he could get $50,000 to play at the University of Arizona, $150,000 to go to Oklahoma State or $80,000 to go to Creighton. He said there was interest from Oregon but he didn’t recall a cash offer.

Bowen was testifying at the New York City trial of Dawkins and two other defendants accused of making secret payments to recruits’ families.

Prosecutors say Bowen’s son ended up signing with Louisville after a deal was struck to pay the family $100,000.

Brian Bowen Jr. now plays professionally in Australia.

NEW YORK (AP) — Long Island University will unify its Brooklyn and Post campuses into one Division I sports program beginning next year.

Effective in the fall of 2019, the university will elevate seven current Post programs to Division I, including expanding its membership in the Northeast Conference with men’s cross country, men’s lacrosse and football, which will make the transition to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

LIU teams will continue competing in their current conferences for the remainder of the 2018-19 academic year.

NBA

BOSTON (AP) — Boston point guard Kyrie Irving says he intends to re-sign with the Celtics next summer.

At a fan event at TD Garden on Thursday , Irving told the crowd, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”

Irving signed a five-year, $94 million deal with Cleveland prior to the 2015-16 season but asked for a trade last summer. He has a player option for next season and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

MIAMI (AP) — The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation announced a $5 million pledge Thursday to support relief efforts in communities affected by three recent disasters, including last month’s Hurricane Florence.

The foundation, led by the Miami Heat managing general partner and his wife, will immediately give the $5 million to Save the Children and Direct Relief. Additional grants are also being pledged by the Carnival Foundation and Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines.

Foundation officials say the donations will be targeted toward communities affected by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and South Carolina, Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Indonesia.

OLYMPICS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The IOC has dropped the Turkish city of Erzurum from a 2026 Winter Olympic bidding contest which had previously seen several other possible bids fail.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says three bids will be proposed as official candidates for approval by the full membership next week.

They are: Calgary (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden) and the combined Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The proposal by the IOC’s executive board followed recommendations by a working group assessing the potential candidates.

IOC vice president Juan-Antonio Samaranch Jr says telecommunications, transport and airports were “a little challenging” for Erzurum.

Erzurum, in eastern Turkey, had also considered using facilities and venues in Russia.

ESPORTS

LONDON (AP) — The English Premier League is launching an esports spinoff competition.

Gamers will represent the competition’s 20 teams in playoffs, feeding into the televised ePL final in London in March 2019.

They will be playing the EA Sports FIFA game.

Unlike the annual FIFA eWorld Cup , which awarded the winner $250,000 in August, the ePL will initially offer no cash prizes, just a trophy.

The ePL kicks off in January with British residents aged 16 and over eligible to enter the online qualification on either PlayStation or Xbox One.

The top 16 players per club on each platform will then take part in the playoffs in February and March, chasing a spot in the March 28-29 final.

OBITUARY

NEW YORK (AP) — Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist Dave Anderson of The New York Times has died at 89.

The newspaper said he died Thursday at an assisted living facility in Cresskill, New Jersey.

Anderson worked at the Times from 1966 to 2007. He wrote elegant, descriptive commentary, displaying a wealth of expertise in baseball, the NFL, boxing and golf.

Anderson wrote 21 books and received the 1994 Red Smith Award for outstanding contributions to sports journalism from the Associated Press Sports Editors. He was inducted into the National Sports Writers and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1990.