Weekend Sports in Brief

MLB

HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit a game-ending homer off Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the ninth inning and the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees 6-4 Saturday night to advance to the World Series for the second time in three years.

In a bullpen game with a back-and-forth finish, DJ LeMahieu hit a tying, two-run shot off Astros closer Roberto Osuna in the top of the ninth. Altuve answered with a two-run drive to left-center, setting off a wild celebration at Minute Maid Park.

Astros ace Gerrit Cole was waiting to pitch a potential Game 7 in this AL Championship Series on Sunday. Instead, the postseason star — undefeated since May 22 — could be lined up for Game 1 at home against the NL champion Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a procedure for a high ankle sprain and will miss Saturday’s game against Arkansas.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says Tagovailoa had what’s known as a “tightrope” procedure on his right ankle Sunday. He says it’s the same injury the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up suffered in the Southeastern Conference championship game last season, just to the other ankle.

Saban predicted “a full and speedy recovery” for Tagovailoa. He was hurt in the second quarter of Alabama’s 35-13 win over Tennessee.

No. 1 Alabama has an open date before facing No. 2 LSU on Nov. 9. Tagovailoa promised teammates he’d be back for that game.

He played in the playoff semifinal game against Oklahoma 28 days after the injury last season.

NEW YORK (AP) — Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin was fined $5,000 and reprimanded by Conference USA for criticizing the officiating in the Owls’ Friday game by positing on Twitter a photo of blind officials, using canes and being led around by seeing eye dogs.

Kiffin tweeted out the photo-shopped image Saturday night and included @ConferenceUSA about 24 hours after FAU lost 36-31 to Marshall at home.

Conference USA on Sunday announced Kiffin had been disciplined.

Commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a statement the conference was obligated to enforce the “rules and standards regarding sportsmanship which have been adopted by our membership.”

AUTO RACING

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Daniel Hemric is on the pole alongside David Ragan on Sunday, but all the action figures to happen behind them when the elimination race for NASCAR’s playoffs begins at Kansas Speedway.

Ryan Blaney starts third and Kyle Larson is fifth, though both of them already have secured a spot in the round of eight by virtue of their wins at Talladega and Dover.

Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch appear to be in good shape on points, and Kevin Harvick has a nice buffer even though he’ll start last. Harvick had trouble going through inspection on Saturday and never made it onto the track for a qualifying run.

Brad Keselowski, who will start fourth, and Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano are the last two drivers on the good side of the cut line. Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer and William Byron are on the outside and could need a victory to advance in the playoffs.

GOLF

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea (AP) — Justin Thomas won his 11th PGA Tour event and his second in South Korea in three years with a final-round 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory over South Korean-born New Zealander Danny Lee.

Thomas and Lee made it mostly a two-man show Sunday. They entered the final round tied and stayed that way through the front nine.

Thomas finished with a 72-hole total of 20-under 268 at Nine Bridges.

Hideki Matsuyama (65), last year’s runner-up Gary Woodland (66) and Australian Cameron Smith (69) finished tied for third, five behind Thomas. Jordan Spieth closed with a 71 and was tied with four others at 12-under.

Phil Mickelson finished with a 68 and Jason Day with a 71, both at 7-under.

SHANGHAI (AP) — Danielle Kang shot a bogey-free 2 under 70 to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai for the second consecutive year on Sunday with a tournament record 16-under par 272.

The 27-year-old American began the day one stroke behind compatriot Jessica Korda, who shot a final-round 72 to finish second at 15 under.

Kang birdied the 15th to pull two strokes ahead, but Korda responded with a birdie of her own on 17. Kang then holed a 3-foot par putt on the 18th to win her third career title.

SKATEBOARDING

VISTA, Calif. (AP) — Three-time world champion Nyjah Huston of Laguna Beach tops the 2020 USA Skateboarding National Team heading into the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo next summer.

The 24-year-old Huston is considered the gold medal favorite in men’s street.

Skaters named to the national team Sunday will receive support from USA Skateboarding but still have to earn an Olympic berth through various qualifying contests.

Huston is coming off a victory in the world championships last month in Sao Paulo.

The 2020 team was announced after the 2019 national championships concluded Sunday. Huston didn’t need to compete because he’s amassed enough points.

Winners of Sunday’s finals were Dashawn Jordan of Chandler, Arizona, in men’s street; Tristan Rennie of Rialto in men’s park; Mariah Duran of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in women’s street; and Bryce Wettstein of Encinitas in women’s park. The contest was the first chance for American skaters to earn points for the second qualifying season.

FIGURE SKATING

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two-time world champion Nathan Chen of the United States won Skate America for the third straight time, scoring 196.38 in the free skate Saturday night for a total of 299.09 in the first of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

Chen outdistanced U.S. teammate Jason Brown, who took the silver medal at 255.09, and Russian skater Dmitri Aliev, who finished with a score of 253.55.

In pairs, China’s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin won the gold at 200.89. Russia’s Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin took second at 196.98, and Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier earned the bronze at 192.70.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A 3-year-old gelding was fatally injured in the fifth race at Santa Anita on Saturday, becoming the 34th horse to die at the track since December.

According to a statement from track owner The Stronach Group, jockey Ruben Fuentes pulled up Satchel Paige at the three-eighths pole of the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. Track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead saw that the gelding had sustained an open fracture of his left front ankle and decided to euthanize him.

Fuentes wasn’t injured in the $50,000 race featuring horses that had yet to win.

OBITUARY

Eric Cooper, the Major League Baseball umpire who worked the AL Division Series two weeks ago, has died. He was 52.

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Cooper’s death Sunday.

Cooper died after having a blood clot. He had knee surgery earlier in the week and was recuperating at his father’s home in Iowa. Popular with his fellow umps, he was talking to them Saturday about his recovery.

Cooper made his debut in the majors in 1996 as a minor league fill-in and joined the big league staff in 1999.

His most recent assignment came in the playoffs this month when he worked the New York Yankees’ sweep of Minnesota in the ALDS. He was at second base on Oct. 7 for the clinching Game 3 at Target Field.

Cooper worked the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. He drew that post helped by his success rate on replay challenges — MLB took those numbers into account in picking the crew, and Cooper had only three calls reversed all season.

Cooper umpired in 10 division series, four League Championship Series and the 2005 All-Star Game, along with two World Baseball Classics.

He also was behind the plate for three no-hitters — two by Mark Buehrle, including a perfect game, and another by Hideo Nomo. Cooper worked the plate in the final game in the career of Cal Ripken Jr.

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