Update on the latest sports


Astros try to clinch trip to World Series

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros are hoping to advance. The Boston Red Sox are looking to survive.

The Astros had a three-game-to-two lead in the AL Championship Series as they began their game with the visiting Red Sox. Luis Garcia took the mound for the Astros. Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) is throwing for the Red Sox.

Boston led the series before Houston took the last two games by a combined 18-3.


Dodgers force Game 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are still alive in the NL Championship Series after snapping out of their hitting funk while getting an outstanding performance from six relievers.

Just like last year’s NL Championship Series, the Braves have led this year’s series 2-0 and 3-1. LA forced a Game 6 by hitting five home runs and tossing five-hit ball in an 11-2 rout of Atlanta.

Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is expected to start Game 6 on Saturday against Braves right-hander Ian Anderson.


Cardinals still dealing with COVID issues

UNDATED (AP) — Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury remains away from the team after missing last week’s game due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach Cam Turner, Jones and defensive linemen Zach Allen and Corey Peters all missed last week’s 37-14 win over the Browns after testing positive.

The Cardinals face the Texans as they try to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1974.

In other NFL news:

— Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan will not play against the Chiefs on Sunday as he recovers from a concussion. The Titans also declared out linebacker Monty Rice and wide receiver and punt returner Chester Rogers. Wide receiver Julio Jones is questionable with a hamstring along with outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who did not practice Friday due to a knee issue.

— Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler has been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and will miss at least three games. It’s not clear when Fowler was injured.

— Dolphins coach Brian Flores has reiterated that Tua Tagovailoa (TOO’-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH’-ah) is “our quarterback.” There are reports that the Dolphins might be looking to acquire Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is seeking a trade.

— While the Giants will again be without star running back Saquon (SAY’-kwahn) Barkley and playmaking receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, the offense is expected to get back wideout Darius Slayton. Slayton has led the team in yards receiving in his first two NFL seasons, but he has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.

— The Bears have placed veteran tight end Jimmy Graham on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has just one catch for 11 yards in his second season with Chicago. He joins running back Damien Williams and linebacker Robert Quinn on the COVID list.


Oklahoma St. coach Gundy agrees to perpetual 5-year deal

UNDATED (AP) — Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has agreed to a new contract that will keep him on a perpetual five-year deal at his alma mater.

Gundy has a career record of 143-67 in 17 years and has led the program to 15 consecutive bowl games and 15 straight winning seasons. The 54-year-old has coached the Cowboys to four New Year’s Six bowl games since 2010.


Still no timetable for Crosby’s return from injury

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins star center Sidney Crosby still isn’t sure when he’ll return from left wrist surgery.

Crosby skated with his teammates for more than an hour Friday in the latest step in his recovery from surgery in early September. The team announced at the time of the procedure that Crosby would miss a minimum of six weeks.


Wizards star Bradley Beal out against Pacers with hip issues

UNDATED (AP) — Wizards guard Bradley Beal sat out the Washington Wizards’ home opener Friday night against Indiana because of hip problems. Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said he expects Beal to be available Monday night at Brooklyn.

Beal scored 23 points in 34 minutes of Washington’s season-opening win at Toronto on Wednesday.

Also in the NBA:

— Ben Simmons is sitting out the 76ers’ home opener tonight against Brooklyn for personal reasons. Simmons was suspended for the first game of the season for conduct detrimental to the team after coach Doc Rivers threw him out of practice for refusing to participate in a drill. The Sixers do not know when the three-time All-Star guard will return.

— The Suns have released a statement denying that the organization or owner Robert Sarver have a history of racism or sexism. The Suns issued the statement after becoming aware that ESPN is working on a story accusing the organization of misconduct on a “variety of topics.” The Suns responded by saying they were “completely baseless claims” and “documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations.


Southern Miss heading to Sun Belt

UNDATED (AP) — Southern Mississippi reportedly is leaving Conference USA, a league it helped found in 1995.

Two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press Southern Miss has accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference at a date to be determined.

Conference USA already had six members announce their departures from the league earlier this week.


Barty taking time off

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Ash Barty won’t defend her season-ending WTA Finals title and is done for the year due to continuing COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions.

Barty hasn’t played since the U.S. Open in September and says her focus now is on preparing for another attempt at winning her home Australian Open in Melbourne in January.

The 25-year-old Barty won five titles this season, including a second major at Wimbledon in July. She is assured of ending the year atop the WTA rankings.


FBI looking for players victimized by Connecticut AAU coach

UNDATED (AP) — The FBI says it has identified “quite a few” victims of a former girls basketball coach who helped run a Connecticut AAU program. Authorities on Friday said they are seeking the public’s help in finding others.

Danny Lawhorn of Hartford faces both state sexual assault and federal child enticement charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of three girls who played for the Bria Holmes Elite program between 2017 and this year. His attorney says Lawhorn was not coaching the 17-year-old at the center of the case at the time of the alleged abuse.


Alker leads through 18

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Steven Alker shot a 9-under 63 to take the first-round lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three PGA Tour Champions playoff events.

Alker had a bogey-free round that included nine birdies in a 12-hole stretch. Steve Flesch was a stroke back. He closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th.


Masters champion Matsuyama takes 2nd-round lead

CHIBA, Japan (AP) — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama fired a 2-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship in Japan.

Matsuyama has a two-round total of 8-under 132. Cameron Tringale (trihn-GAH’-lee) birdied his final hole for a 66 and was in second place.


Two South Koreans tied for lead at home tournament

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Hee Jeong Lim shot a 6-under 66 and first-round leader Na Rin An a 69 to leave the South Korean players tied for the lead after two rounds of the LPGA Tour’s BMW Ladies Championship.

Lim and An had 11-under totals of 133 on the par-72 LPGA International Busan course. American Danielle Kang and In Gee Chun were tied for third, one stroke behind.