Update on the latest sports
Braves seek to close out NLCS
UNDATED (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have a three-games-to-one lead in the NL Championship Series and can close it out by winning Game 5 tonight in Los Angeles.
The Braves are off to a good start, taking a 2-0 lead on Freddie Freeman’s two-run homer in the first inning.
Joe Kelly started for LA against Max Fried (freed).
Braves slugger Jorge Soler (soh-LEHR’) is available after being cleared for COVID-19, but Dodgers infielder Justin Turner is done for the season following a hamstring injury suffered in last night’s loss.
It will be Luis Garcia starting for the Astros against Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series on Friday.
Astros manager Dusty Baker announced his pitching selection Thursday afternoon as his team holds a three-games-to-two lead in the series. García started Game 2 and gave up a grand slam in the first inning before leaving with no outs in the second because of discomfort in his right knee.
Packers sign Mercilus
UNDATED (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have signed veteran outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus in hopes of boosting not only their pass rush but their championship hopes.
A first-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2012, Mercilus had 57 sacks in nine-plus seasons. He has three sacks this season, but only one season of eight-plus sacks.
The Texans released the 31-year-old this week.
Elsewhere around the NFL:
— Wide receiver/return specialist Andre Roberts signed with the Chargers after being released earlier this week by the Texans. Roberts is in his 11th season and is one of the league’s top kick and punt returns.
— Former Cowboys offensive lineman Brandon Knight says he’s taking a break from football to address his mental health. Knight went from the Cowboys to Baltimore via waivers this week, but he did not report to the Ravens.
— A Congressional committee is seeking documents and information from the NFL regarding the investigation into the Washington Football Team and how the league handled it. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform said today it sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting by Nov. 4 all documents and communication about the probe into the workplace culture within the team. Lawyers representing 40 former employees of the Washington Football Team have urged the league to immediately release the full findings of the investigation.
Devils’ Hughes has shoulder dislocation
UNDATED (AP) — New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes is sidelined indefinitely with a dislocated left shoulder suffered in Tuesday’s game against Seattle.
The Devils say the top pick in the 2019 NHL draft has begun physical therapy and will not need surgery at this time.
The team says Hughes will be re-evaluated next week.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
— Jets forward Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) missed Thursday’s game against Anaheim after testing positive for COVID-19. He had a negative test and would have been cleared to play Thursday if he had another negative test before the game started. Scheifele is the second Winnipeg player to test positive for COVID-19 this week after captain Blake Wheeler was put in league protocol Monday.
After Kanter’s Tibet comments, Celtics blacked out in China
UNDATED (AP) — Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent is not showing current or archived Boston Celtics games on its platforms, in apparent response to comments that Celtics center Enes Kanter made to advocate Tibetan independence.
Kanter, as part of a series of social media posts, also called Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) a “dictator.”
Kanter was wearing shoes emblazoned with the words “Free Tibet” during Wednesday night’s game.
It’s not immediately clear how long Tencent’s plans to not air the Celtics would last.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT
American Athletic Conference rebuilding with 6 C-USA schools
UNDATED (AP) — The American Athletic Conference will add UAB, Texas-San Antonio, Rice, North Texas, Charlotte and Florida Atlantic to the league.
The AAC is replacing three schools that are scheduled to depart for the Big 12 Conference and is growing to 14 teams.
The additions all come from Conference USA, leaving that league both searching for new members and trying to fend off other poachers. The Sun Belt has said it is interested in expanding beyond its current 10 football members and some of C-USA’s remaining eight schools would be geographic fits.
Iwata carries lead into Round 2
CHIBA, Japan (AP) — Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata topped the leaderboard heading into the second round of the PGA’s Zozo Championship.
Iwata fired a 7-unduer 63 that gives him a one-stroke lead over Joaquin Niemann and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama on the Narashino Country Club course.
Matt Wallace is two strokes back and one ahead of Brendan Steele.
Ko’s LPGA streak ends as SKoreans pack Busan leaderboard
BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Jin Young Ko missed extending an LPGA Tour scoring record in the rain while her South Korean compatriots packed the first-round leaderboard of the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea.
Ko had 14 straight rounds in the 60s. That tied her with Annika Sorenstam and So Yeon Ryu for the most in tour history. But Ko finished with a 1-under 71 after a birdie on the 18th hole at LPGA International Busan. Ko was seven strokes behind leader Na Rin An’s 64.