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National Sports

Beijing Olympics open in 4 months; human rights talk absent

When the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised the Games could improve human rights and civil liberties in China. There is no such lofty talk this time with Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics — the first city to host both the Summer and Winter ...

Lapierre, Jarvis among the biggest surprises of NHL camps

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The hole in the middle of the Washington Capitals lineup with Niklas Backstrom out injured looked looked tailor made for 2019 first-round pick Connor McMichael, who impressed last season as a rookie in the American Hockey League. The spot still might be his. But 2020 ...

Police: Ex-driver killed in dispute involving estranged wife

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was shot to death over the weekend during a dispute that involved a hatchet after showing up at a house occupied by his estranged wife and another man, police said Monday. The 31-year-old Townley, who raced eight seasons, had the ...

MLB .244 batting average worst since ’68, up after crackdown

NEW YORK (AP) — The major league batting average dropped to .244 this season, its lowest since the year of the pitcher in 1968, though offense picked up markedly following baseball's midseason crackdown on grip-enhancing substances for pitchers. MLB's stricter enforcement had the desired ...

Luis Rojas out as Mets manager after 2 losing seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — For a while this summer, Luis Rojas was a potential Manager of the Year contender. Just a few months later, he's out of a job. Rojas was let go as New York Mets manager on Monday after two losing seasons. The team declined its option on his contract for 2022, making the ...

White Sox optimistic Rodon healthy enough for playoffs

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox think pitcher Carlos Rodón will be healthy enough to help them in the playoffs after the All-Star left-hander was limited down the regular-season stretch. "We remain optimistic that he's going to be able to contribute over the course of the next month," ...

Longtime rivals Red Sox, Yankees, back at it in AL wild card

BOSTON (AP) — Oh, it's on. A day before he is scheduled to face the Red Sox in the AL wild-card game, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole dropped the name that dare not be spoken within the confines of Fenway Park — at least not since the last one-game playoff between the longtime rivals was ...

Raptors finally return to Toronto as Lowry begins in Miami

The Raptors finally returned home to Toronto on the night Kyle Lowry got going in Miami. The longtime star north of the border is now running the point in South Florida. The first full night of NBA preseason action started with the Raptors playing in their own arena for the first time since ...

Robinson the engine behind the Texas offense

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bijan Robinson spent far too much of last season watching others play football. No more. The Longhorns' running back is getting the ball a lot in 2021, early in games and late. That's just what new coach Steve Sarkisian Sarkisian promised when the season ...

John Harbaugh not sorry; Urban Meyer can’t apologize enough

DENVER (AP) — Victory formation is for losers. The Baltimore Ravens wanted the rushing record. So, John Harbaugh isn't one bit sorry for not having Lamar Jackson take a knee to close out their rout at Denver. Harbaugh explained enthusiastically and unapologetically after Baltimore's 23-7 ...

MLB draws 45.3M as fans return, down from 68.5M before COVID

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball drew 45.3 million fans this year as fans gradually were allowed to return, down from 68.5 million over 2019 in the last season before the coronavirus pandemic. The Los Angeles Dodgers led the major leagues in home attendance at 2.8 million. They did not ...

WNBA playoff semifinals all even, shifts to Chicago, Phoenix

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — The WNBA semifinal playoff series are knotted at a game apiece and both could go the full five games based on the historic and gritty performances thus far. Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury put on a shooting clinic as they scored the most points in a regulation ...

No. 5 Iowa forces 7 turnovers in 51-14 rout of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Spencer Petras barely had time to exhale in the second quarter. The Iowa quarterback would come off the field following a scoring drive — then immediately return after the defense forced yet another turnover. "You sit on the bench for two seconds, you're right back ...

Angels deliver blow to Mariners’ playoff hopes with 2-1 win

SEATTLE (AP) — After all the one-run games they've played this season, the Seattle Mariners were waiting for their next late-game hero to emerge. That clutch hit was never delivered for the Mariners. And now Seattle finds itself needing help from others to see its 20-year postseason drought ...

Trea Turner slam, solo HR; Kershaw hurt, Dodgers beat Brews

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers still have something to play for, although they may be doing it without Clayton Kershaw. The three-time Cy Young Award winner got hurt before Trea Turner hit a grand slam and solo home run as Los Angeles extended the NL West race for at least another day, ...

Tyler Allgeier, No. 13 BYU run past Utah State 34-20

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Tyler Allgeier ran for a career-high 218 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 13 BYU beat Utah State 34-20 on Friday night. BYU (5-0) beat Utah State (3-2) for the second straight time in the Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel rivalry series. Baylor Romney threw for 187 ...

Frank Thomas heads group that buys Field of Dreams site

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Frank Thomas has found his Field of Dreams. The Hall of Famer has headed a venture that bought controlling interest in Go the Distance Baseball's stake of All-Star Ballpark Heaven and the Field of Dreams Movie Site. The company said Thursday that This is Heaven LLC, ...

AP source: NBA vaccination rate climbing, now to 95%

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA has seen a rise in vaccination rates in recent days when factoring in those players who have received at least one of the necessary shots, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Thursday. The leaguewide rate is now around 95% when counting those who are now ...

Theegala finds an easy path to 64 and lead in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — California rookie Sahith Theegala carved his tee shots into play and made it look easy from there Thursday for an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Nick Watney and Harold Varner III in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Theegala missed three fairways but was out of ...

Correa, Astros clinch AL West, open playoffs vs White Sox

HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve got straight to the point when asked what Carlos Correa means to the Houston Astros after his mighty swing launched them into the playoffs Thursday night. "We are where we are because of him," the star second baseman said. Correa hit his career-high 25th homer ...