Rays look to sweep Astros
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays will try for a four-game sweep of defending American League champion Houston Wednesday in the AL Championship Series.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow is expected to pitch for the first time since starting on two days’ rest in Tampa Bay’s AL Division Series Game 5 win over the Yankees. The 6-foot-8 Glasnow delivered 2 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory, throwing 37 pitches. He’ll pitch in AL Championship Series Game 4 against Houston on four days’ rest.
Glasnow will face right-hander Zack Greinke (GREHN’-kee), who might be making his last appearance without fans in the stands — something the offbeat veteran has cherished in this pandemic-altered season. The Astros and Rays are playing their ALCS without fans in San Diego, and the winner will travel to Arlington, Texas, for a neutral-site World Series where tickets will be sold.
Dodgers try to climb out of 2-0 hole
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — With their rotation in flux, the Los Angeles Dodgers turn to 24-year-old playoff veteran Julio Urías in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series as they try to climb out of a 2-0 hole against Atlanta.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was scratched from his scheduled Game 2 start Tuesday due to back spasms. The team still expects he’ll be able to pitch later in the series, but it will be Urías in Game 3 against Braves rookie Kyle Wright.
Urías, already pitching in his fourth postseason, was the winner in relief in the Game 3 clincher last Thursday against San Diego during the Division Series. He allowed only one hit and an unearned run over five innings.
Wright threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in his postseason debut in the clinching Game 3 of the NLDS against Miami. The 25-year-old righty was the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Vanderbilt.
All previous 14 teams to win the first two games of a best-of-seven NLCS went on to take the pennant.
Cardinals All-Pro LB Jones out for season with biceps injury
UNDATED (AP) — Arizona Cardinals All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones is out for the season because of a biceps injury that requires surgery.
An MRI earlier this week confirmed the extent of the injury. It happened during the first half of the team’s 30-10 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday that Jones has elected to have the season-ending surgery. The recovery time is expected to be three to four months.
Kingsbury said the team would need a collective effort to replace Jones. Candidates include Hasson Reddick, rookie Isaiah Simmons and backup Dennis Gardeck, who had his first two sacks against the Jets after Jones was hurt.
In other NFL news:
— The Carolina Panthers are taking enhanced precautions against the coronavirus following their exposure to Falcons defensive tackle Marlon Davidson during Sunday’s win at Atlanta. The Falcons placed Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Carolina has entered the NFL’s “intensive protocol.” Under the new protocols established this week, all coaches and staff must wear masks at practice and all players must wear a face shield or mask. Players can remove their helmets for breaks but must be more than 6 feet away from one another. Carolina plays the Bears on Sunday.
— Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield’s ribs are still sore and he is being limited in practice as Cleveland prepares to play unbeaten Pittsburgh. Mayfield says his entire right side remains tender after he took a big hit in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Colts. But he says he’s confident he’ll be ready for this week’s AFC North matchup between the 4-1 Browns and the 4-0 Steelers. Case Keenum is Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback.
— Former starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins remains away from the Washington Football Team because of an illness that’s not considered COVID-19 related. The second-year quarterback was not at the stadium for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams and was sent home from the team’s practice facility Wednesday after being tested for the coronavirus. Haskins was demoted from starter to third on the depth chart last week, so the plan was for him to be inactive against L.A. Kyle Allen is expected to start for Washington at the New York Giants this weekend with Alex Smith backing up.
— Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III wasn’t at practice Wednesday after being cited for driving under the influence and speeding by Denver police the night before. Police records show Gordon was driving between 25 and 39 mph over the posted speed limit when he was pulled over in downtown Denver. Gordon joined the team last offseason when he signed a two-year free agent contract worth $16 million.
— The next Super Bowl in New Orleans has been pushed back from 2024 to 2025 in order to avoid a conflict with the city’s traditional Mardi Gras celebrations. The NFL announced the change Wednesday, saying it was approved by all 32 clubs during a virtual league meeting. New Orleans was initially named the 2024 host city in 2018, but the NFL’s decision to lengthen the regular season schedule from 16 to 17 games in 2023 created a conflict in 2024 with Mardi Gras, which annually draws millions to the city for parades and balls during a several-week Carnival season that ends on “Fat Tuesday.”
T25 FOOTBALL-VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA
SEC postpones LSU-Florida game as Gators deal with outbreak
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has postponed Saturday’s game between No. 10 Florida and defending national champion LSU after the Gators had 19 players test positive for COVID-19. The game was tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12, the league’s built-in bye week before its title game.
It’s the second SEC game bumped this week. Missouri-Vanderbilt already was postponed.
Florida paused team activities Tuesday after learning it had 19 positives and about a dozen more quarantined because of contact tracing results. Gators coach Dan Mullen said two assistant coaches also tested positive for COVID-19. Those numbers could increase with Wednesday’s test results.
Florida hosts Missouri next, on Oct. 24, and that game also could be in jeopardy. LSU’s next scheduled game is also Oct. 24, when the Tigers are slated to host South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said his Rebels are dealing with their first COVID-19 issue of the season but they have enough players available to play. He didn’t give any specifics. The Rebels are scheduled to visit Arkansas on Saturday. They’re coming off a 63-48 loss to No. 2 Alabama.
NCAA TOURNAMENT-FUTURE SITES
Vegas to host NCAA Tournament men’s regional for first time
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Las Vegas will host an NCAA Tournament men’s regional for the first time after the NCAA changed a policy that prevented states with sports wagering from hosting championships.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that a 2023 NCAA Tournament men’s regional will be held in Las Vegas, the first time Nevada will host an NCAA championship since a women’s basketball regional was held at the Thomas & Mack Center in 1991.
The men’s regional in Las Vegas was among 450 host sites announced through 2026 for a variety of sports. Nevada will host 11 events, including the 2026 men’s Frozen Four, after the NCAA changed its stance on cities with sports betting last year.
The NCAA also announced Dayton, Ohio, will continue to host the NCAA First Four through at least 2026. It has served as the site for the start of the NCAA Tournament since 2001.
The NCAA had previously announced future Final Four sites: Indianapolis in 2021; New Orleans, 2022; Houston, 2023; Phoenix 2024; San Antonio, 2025; and Indianapolis again in 2026.
The 2020 Final Four in Atlanta was wiped out by the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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