Thursday Sports in Brief
ATLANTA (AP) — Marcell Ozuna and Kolten Wong each hit two-run doubles in the ninth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals overcame shaky defense and a wild finish to extend Atlanta’s postseason misery, holding off the Braves 7-6 in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Thursday night.
The Cardinals, back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, fell behind 3-1 _ hurt by their normally reliable defense.
Dexter Fowler and Tommy Edman singled before Goldschmidt walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out. Melancon got ahead of Ozuna with two quick strikes, only to give up a liner just inside the third-base line that put St. Louis ahead for the first time.
Wong finished off Melancon with another two-run double, this one down the right-field line.
The Braves didn’t go quietly in their half of the ninth.
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a two-run homer off Carlos Martinez, and Freddie Freeman added a solo shot. But Martinez got the final two outs to claim a shaky win and put the Cardinals head in the best-of-five series going into Game 2 Friday. Jack Flaherty starts for the Cardinals against Mike Foltynewicz.
It was a familiar scenario for the Braves, who have lost nine straight postseason series and are just one away from tying the Chicago Cubs’ record for postseason futility _ 10 straight playoff losses. Atlanta has not won a postseason series since 2001, and hasn’t even led a series since going up 2-1 on San Francisco in the 2002 NLDS. The Giants won the next two games to advance.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Walker Buehler allowed one hit over six scoreless innings, Max Muncy drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers capitalized on mistakes to beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Thursday night.
Nationals first baseman Howie Kendrick had two grounders roll under his glove, the second leading to the Dodgers’ second run in the fifth.
Washington’s Patrick Corbin stumbled through a rocky first inning. He issued four walks, joining Art Reinhart of St. Louis as the only pitchers to walk that many in the first inning they ever pitched in the postseason.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mickey Callaway has been fired by the New York Mets after missing the playoffs in both his seasons as manager.
The move Thursday, which was widely expected, comes four days after New York wrapped up an 86-76 season that marked a nine-win improvement over his 2018 debut.
But a strong second half wasn’t enough to save the embattled Callaway, who had one year remaining on his contract. New York went 46-26 following the All-Star break and made an unlikely charge into the National League wild-card race, only to be eliminated during the final week.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Darnold’s swollen spleen has taken center stage for the New York Jets.
The 22-year-old quarterback is scheduled to have blood tests and an ultrasound Friday to determine if the enlarged organ has returned to normal size _ or close to it _ and allow Darnold to play in a game for the first time since the season opener.
Darnold, the Jets and their fans are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping he gets good news from the doctors.
“It’s a tough thing because you want to stay safe,” Darnold said Thursday. “I want to make sure that I’m safe out there, and that, you know, I’m not going to die.”
Darnold managed a smile while saying that, but he fully understands the seriousness of the situation.
He was diagnosed with mononucleosis on Sept. 11 _ three days after the season opener _ and has been gradually working his way back to the field. Darnold was cleared for non-contact activity on Monday, and has been practicing as if he’ll start Sunday at Philadelphia.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The Calgary Flames announced a multiyear contract extension for general manager Brad Treliving on Thursday, hours before their season opener against Colorado.
He is entering his sixth season in the job. While with the team, Calgary has made the playoffs three times and had a record of 212-163-35. The team’s longest playoff run under Treliving was reaching the second round in 2015.
The Flames had their second-highest point total last season with 107 points to top the Western Conference. But Calgary quickly exited the playoffs, falling in five games to Colorado.
Flames President and CEO John Bean says Treliving has done an “excellent job putting a team together on and off the ice.” He adds in a statement that “continuity is important in this role” and Treliving has “earned the trust and respect of our ownership group and our fans.”
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Trainer Bob Baffert is replacing fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith aboard McKinzie, the probable favorite for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next month.
Smith finished second aboard odds-on favorite McKinzie in last weekend’s Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. That prompted Baffert to let Smith know he was off the horse.
Baffert and Smith have enjoyed a long and successful run together, most notably last year when Justify won the Triple Crown and earned Horse of the Year honors.
Smith has ridden McKinzie in all 13 of his career starts. However, they have two wins and four seconds this year.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sports Illustrated’s new manager said Thursday that the 65-year-old sports magazine is cutting more than 40 jobs out of a staff of 150.
Maven, the company now managing the magazine, will add 200 contractors to cover college and professional sports teams, said Maven spokesman Greg Witter. These people are “independent publishers, contractors” but “still professional journalists,” he said.
Maven struck a licensing deal in June to operate Sports Illustrated with the magazine’s new owner, branding company Authentic Brands Group. Magazine publisher Meredith, which earlier this year sold Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands for $110 million, was initially supposed to run the magazine’s print edition and website.
Snowboarder Chloe Kim will take the season off from competitions and training to concentrate on her classes at Princeton.
She will be back in training next May, with plans to make it to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
She made sure to tell her fans on her YouTube channel that this was in no way a retirement. Kim won halfpipe gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018.
“This isn’t like, an ‘Oh-my-gosh, I’m retiring video,” the champion snowboarder said on a YouTube video provided to The Associated Press in advance of its wider release.
MONTREAL (AP) — Roger Taillibert, the architect who designed Montreal’s 1976 Olympic Stadium and relentlessly defended it against critics, has died. He was 93.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante wrote on Twitter Thursday that Taillibert has left the city a great legacy. They mayor says the stadium is “known in the four corners of the world and it gave us certain great moments in our history.”
Tallibert, a renowned French architect, created hundreds of other buildings, including the Parc des Princes stadium and Deauville swimming pool in France and the Khalifa Stadium in Qatar.
But in Canada, he’s best known for the stadium that was the centerpiece of the nation’s first Olympics and later the home of the Montreal Expos. It remains a defining feature of Montreal’s skyline. But it has been lambasted for ongoing maintenance issues and a billion-dollar price tag that took the city 30 years to pay off.