ATLANTA (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals scored 10 runs for the biggest opening inning in postseason history and dealt the Atlanta Braves another playoff heartbreak with a 13-1 rout in decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series on Wednesday.
Before many fans had reached their seats, the Cardinals were already booking their plans for the NL Championship Series, where they will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Washington Nationals in a best-of-seven set beginning Friday. Those teams were meeting in their own Game 5 at Dodger Stadium. It will be St. Louis’ first NLCS trip since 2014.
For the Braves, it might take a while to get over this debacle.
After pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewicz retired only one hitter before getting yanked. First baseman Freddie Freeman made a crucial error that might have limited the damage. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning on a strikeout - a wild pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.
It was Atlanta’s 10th straight postseason round loss since their last victory 18 long years ago, tying the ignominious mark set by the Chicago Cubs between 1908 and 2003.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit with a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw blew a 3-1 lead by allowing homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches in the eighth.
The wild-card Nationals open the NLCS at St. Louis on Friday night. The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers, who led the NL with 106 wins, remain without a World Series title since 1988.
Adam Eaton walked against Kelly leading off the 10th, Rendon doubled on a drive that lodged in the left field wall and Soto was intentionally walked.
Kendrick hit a 97 mph fastball just over the wall in center for his second career slam. The other one was a game-ending, 11th-inning drive against San Francisco in August 2017.
Daniel Hudson got the win. Sean Doolittle pitched the 10th for the Nationals.
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves did not distribute their traditional red foam tomahawks to fans before Wednesday’s Game 5 of their NL Division Series against the Cardinals following criticism by St. Louis pitcher Ryan Helsley.
The foam cutouts are used when Braves fans perform their Tomahawk Chop chant in games.
The Braves said in a statement the change is “out of respect for the concerns” expressed by Helsley, a member of the Cherokee Nation who said he finds the chant insulting.
Fans still used the chant with the Cardinals’ first batter, Dexter Fowler, at the plate. It didn’t bring the Braves good luck. Starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz recorded only one out as the Cardinals took a 10-0 first-inning lead.
The Braves said they were taking several steps to “reduce the Tomahawk Chop during our in-ballpark presentation today.” The team said it would not play the music that accompanies the chant when Helsley is in the game.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s appeal to overturn his suspension for the rest of the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit was denied Wednesday.
Appeals officer Derrick Brooks ruled he would not reduce the longest suspension ever handed down for an on-field infraction. Brooks is appointed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA and heard Burfict’s appeal of the ban for the final 12 games of the regular season and the playoffs.
Brooks upheld the decision handed down last week by NFL Vice President of football operations Jon Runyan to punish Burfict severely for “repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules” after the latest hit on Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle on Sept. 29. It was the third time Burfict has been suspended for a dangerous hit on the field to go along with several others that led to fines.
JACKSONVILLLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey practiced for the first time in three weeks Wednesday, rejoining teammates two days after seeing a back specialist.
Ramsey participated in a limited capacity, taking part in individual drills before spending the rest of the session working with team trainers on the side.
It remains to be seen whether Ramsey plays Sunday against New Orleans (4-1) and the NFL’s leading receiver, Michael Thomas.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Sabres rookie forward Victor Olofsson has tied an NHL record in becoming the fourth player to score each of his first six career goals on the power play.
Olofsson made it six in a row with a one-timer off Jack Eichel’s pass into the right circle to open the scoring 5:04 into the first period against Montreal on Wednesday night. The Swede’s streak dates to the end of last season, when he scored twice in two games.
Winnipeg’s Craig Norwich in 1979-80, Hartford’s Sylvain Turgeon in 1983-84 and Islanders’ Jeff Norton, from 1987-88 to 1989-90, share the record.
Nicknamed “Goal-ofsson” by Sabres fans, the 24-year-old Olofsson was selected in the seventh-round of the 2014 draft. He spent five seasons playing in the Swedish Elite League before signing with the Sabres in April 2018.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Former Sharks longtime captain Patrick Marleau is returning to San Jose where he is the franchise leader in five major categories, signing a one-year contract Wednesday.
An unrestricted free agent who is a three-time All-Star, Marleau recorded 84 points with 43 goals and 41 assists in 164 games over the past two seasons with the Maple Leafs.
Marleau, who turned 40 last month, spent his initial 19 seasons with the Sharks and they made the playoffs in 17 of those years. Marleau served as captain from 2003-09. He will certainly be a fan favorite once more.
He ranks first in franchise history for points (1,082), goals (508), power-play goals (160), game-winning goals (98) and games played (1,493). His 574 assists are second-most in Sharks franchise history.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A colt was fatally injured at Keeneland in a crash that also left his jockey Adam Breschizza with an injured left clavicle.
The death of Triggerman is the track’s third since the fall meet opened on Friday.
Keeneland says in a statement that Triggerman injured his front left leg in a 1-mile turf race on Wednesday. It did not specify where the 3-year-old bay colt was euthanized, but the race chart said he “went wrong late in the stretch” and was vanned off.
Keeneland medical director Barry Schumer says Breschizza was stable upon being discharged from the track’s first aid station. The rider, who has three Grade 3 victories this year, was transported to the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital for evaluation.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hall of Fame basketball coach Jim Calhoun has been accused of sexual discrimination by a former associate athletic director at the University of Saint Joseph, the Division III school where Calhoun now works.
Jaclyn Piscitelli filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court against the small Catholic school in West Hartford, which began admitting men in 2018.
She alleges she was fired after complaining about the conduct of men in the athletic department, including the 77-year-old Calhoun, after he was hired to form and coach the school’s men’s basketball team.
She alleges, among other things, that the former UConn coach once called her “hot” and on another occasion forced her to clean up coffee grounds he spilled, telling her it was something his wife would do for him.
A spokeswoman says Saint Joseph “takes compliance with all matters relating to Title IX very seriously.”
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Sherwood C. Chillingworth, a longtime executive with the Oak Tree Racing Association who had partnerships in several stakes-winning thoroughbreds, has died. He was 93.
Chillingworth had been in declining health and died Tuesday of undisclosed causes, Frank DeMarco, vice president and general counsel at Santa Anita, said Wednesday. They were friends for over 70 years.
Chillingworth was named an Oak Tree director in 1989 and assumed the title of executive vice president for the not-for-profit organization four years later.
Oak Tree began in 1969 and conducted its last fall meet at Santa Anita in 2009. It operated for one year at Hollywood Park and held fall meets at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton through last year. The organization remains active in funding charitable causes.
A former real estate developer, Chillingworth served as vice chairman and CEO of Santa Anita Realty Enterprises from 1994-96.
He owned and raced thoroughbreds dating to the early 1970s under his operation named Paniolo Ranch.
MADRID (AP) - Andrés Gimeno, the Spanish tennis player who became the oldest man to win the French Open in the professional era, has died. He was 82.
The Spanish tennis federation says Gimeno died Wednesday following a long illness.
Gimeno was 34 years and 301 days old when he won the French Open in 1972, beating Patrick Proisy in the final.
He had made the Australian Open final three years earlier but lost to Rod Laver.
Rafael Nadal, the 12-time French Open champion, said on Twitter that Gimeno “was without a doubt one of the pioneers of tennis in Spain.”
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