Weekend Sports in Brief


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series.

Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.

Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.

Rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross as Houston won its third straight at Nationals Park. Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, but was scratched just 3½ hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck that could finish him for the Series.

With the road team winning every time so far, Houston heads home with a chance to claim its second title in three years. Justin Verlander gets the first try when he starts against Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 Tuesday night at Minute Maid Mark.


INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) — Tiger Woods won the Zozo Championship to tie Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 victories.

The 43-year-old American completed the rain-hit tournament on Monday, beating local favorite Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two months ago — his fifth on the same problem joint.

He was making his first start in his 23rd season on the PGA Tour.

Woods bogeyed his first hole Monday, the par-4 12th, but was solid the rest of the way with birdies on Nos. 14 and 18 to finish at 19-under 261. Matsuyama also closed with a 67

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Ha Na Jang birdied the third playoff hole Sunday to beat American Danielle Kang for the LPGA’s BMW Ladies Championship.

Both players parred the par-4 18th twice in the playoff before moving to the 10th hole at the LPGA Busan International course, where Jang’s three clinched it.

Kang, who birdied eight of her first 13 holes for a 64, and Jang, 65, finished with 19-under 269 totals. Kang won last week’s Shanghai tournament, the first of four LPGA events in Asia.

Jang had an eagle and three birdies on the back nine, including on the par-4 17th which moved her into a tie for the lead.

Amy Yang had a 67 and was three strokes behind in third.


ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s 10-year streak of consecutive starts is over.

Ryan sprained his right ankle last week in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He had limited participation in Friday’s practice and was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

The team announced Saturday that veteran Matt Schaub would start against Seattle on Sunday and Ryan won’t play against the Seahawks.

Ryan ran in Friday’s practice, raising hopes that he would be able to play. However, coach Dan Quinn said a key would be how Ryan responded on Saturday after “we pushed it really hard” on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Quinn said Ryan would not play if he was still limited by the injury.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets released guard Kelechi Osemele a day after he had shoulder surgery without the team’s approval.

The move Saturday is the latest chapter in what has become a contentious standoff between Osemele and the team.

Osemele had surgery Friday in Boston to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The Jets were made aware of Osemele’s plan to have surgery, but because he was not with the team and the surgery wasn’t approved, it was considered an “unexcused absence.”

Osemele was listed on the team’s injury report Friday as doubtful to play at Jacksonville and then downgraded Saturday to out. The Jets later announced they cut ties with him.

Osemele’s agent, Andrew Kessler, says in a statement the Jets owe him the balance of his contract. Osemele also will be looking to recoup all money lost through fines.


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have completed their four-year, $30.8 million contract extension for starting forward Cedi Osman.

The sides reached an agreement Thursday and the team made it official Saturday, hours before Cleveland hosts the Indiana Pacers in its home opener and first game in remodeled Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse under first-year coach John Beilein.

The Cavs view Osman as a future core player and wanted to lock him in financially. He was in the final year of his rookie contract and could have been a restricted free agent next summer.

The 6-foot-7 Osman averaged 13 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 75 starts last season. With more playing time, his scoring average jumped 9.1 points from the previous season.


MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Martin Truex earned a spot in NASCAR’s championship race for the third consecutive year with a dominating Sunday victory at Martinsville Speedway.

Truex led 464 of the 500 laps in becoming the first driver to claim a spot in the Nov. 17 title-race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It marked the most laps led by a winner since Kyle Petty led 484 laps in 1992 at Rockingham.

There were just three lead changes, and Truex controlled the event from the first round of pit stops, when he beat Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin back onto the track for the lead. He was hardly challenged at all and his Toyota coasted to his first career victory at NASCAR’s shortest track.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Lewis Hamilton overcame Ferrari’s front-row start to win the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, moving the Mercedes driver closer to a sixth career Formula One championship.

Only Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas’ third-place finish denied Hamilton the championship by the slimmest of margins. Hamilton needed only to beat Bottas by 14 points, but picked up 10 instead. That sends the championship to next week’s U.S. Grand Prix, where Hamilton has won five times since 2012.

Mercedes gambled on an early tire change and Hamilton rode it all the way to the finish to get his 10th win of the season and first in Mexico City since 2016, the last time he was even on the podium in the high altitude of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Shakur Stevenson proved too quick and skilled for Joet Gonzalez, claiming the vacant WBO featherweight title in a unanimous decision Saturday night.

Stevenson’s fast strikes and elusiveness were on display throughout, but especially in the first six rounds.

Gonzalez (12-1, 7 KOs) finally edged Stevenson (24-0, 14 KOs) in the seventh with his ability to get inside, landing body blows with Stevenson backed in the corner. But those moments were rare for Gonzalez, 26, of Glendora, California, as Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, cruised to victory.

Judges turned in identical scorecards of 119-109.


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A 2-year-old filly injured her right front leg less than a half-mile from the finish line in a race at Santa Anita and was euthanized, the 36th horse to die at the Southern California track since December.

The incident occurred in Sunday’s third race. It was the second fatality in three days and the fourth since the fall meet began Sept. 27.

Santa Anita is hosting the Breeders’ Cup world championships this week for a record 10th time.

Bye Bye Beautiful was pulled up past the half-mile pole by jockey Tiago Pereira. Track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead saw that the filly had sustained a right front leg lateral condylar fracture that involved the medial sesamoid bone. Because of the severity of the injury, Stead made the decision to euthanize the horse, according to a statement from The Stronach Group, which owns the track.

Pereira wasn’t injured.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Former major league umpire Chuck Meriwether, who was behind the plate when the Boston Red Sox ended their championship drought in 2004, died Saturday. He was 63.

Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement hours before Game 4 of the World Series. Meriwether had been ill with cancer and died at home in Nashville, Tennessee.

Meriwether called his first big league game in 1987, was promoted to the full-time American League staff in 1993 and worked for 18 years. He then became a major league umpire supervisor for nine years.

Meriwether had the plate in Game 4 when the Red Sox ended their 86-year title absence by beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium. He also did the 2007 World Series when Boston swept Colorado.

In addition, Meriwether got eight assignments in the Division Series, two in the League Championship Series and two All-Star Games.