MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

Oakland 9 Houston 7

Tampa Bay 8 NY Yankees 4

Atlanta 2 Miami 0

LA Dodgers 6 San Diego 5

 

INDIANA BOYS SOCCER SECTIONALS

East Central 3 Mt. Vernon 1

Shelbyville 5 Richmond 0

 

Batesville 7 Franklin County 0

Lawrenceburg 7 Rushville 0

 

Centerville 7 Seton Catholic 0

Knightstown 4 Union County 1

 

INDIANA GIRLS SOCCER SECTIONALS-TONIGHT

Mt. Vernon vs. East Central 5:00

Richmond vs. New Palestine 7:30

 

Connersville vs. Rushville 5:00

Franklin County vs. Lawrenceburg 7:00

 

BOYS TENNIS REGIONAL

Knightstown 3 Connersville 2

 

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Harrison 3 Lebanon 0

McCutcheon 3 Lafayette Central Catholic 0

Union County 3 Seton Catholic 1

 

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

NCC/AREA

Friday, Oct. 9

Anderson at Richmond  7 pm

Harrison at Goshen 7 pm

Tech at Marion 7 pm

Lafayette Jeff at Logansport  7 pm

Muncie Central at McCutcheon  7 pm

Centerville at Union City 7 pm

Hagerstown at Tri 7 pm

Knightstown at Northeastern 7 pm

Monroe Central at Union County, 7 pm

Winchester at Lincoln 7 pm

Shenandoah at Eastern Hancock  7 pm

Wes-Del at Purdue Poly 7 pm

Batesville at Franklin County, 7 pm

Connersville at Lawrenceburg, 7 pm

East Central at Greensburg, 7 pm

South Dearborn at Rushville, 7 pm

 

NFL WEEK 5

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (Thu) 7:20p (CT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 3:25p (CT) 4:25p CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints (Mon) 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Thursday, October 8

Tulane at Houston, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Friday, October 9

Louisville at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, October 10

Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas, Noon, FOX

Virginia Tech at North Carolina, Noon, ABC

Florida at Texas A&M, Noon, ESPN

South Carolina at Vanderbilt, Noon, SEC

Louisiana Monroe at Liberty, Noon, ESPNU

NC State at Virginia, Noon, ACC

Duke at Syracuse, 12:30 p.m.

The Citadel at Army, 1:30 p.m., CBSSN

Tennessee at Georgia, 3:30 p.m., CBS

Texas Tech at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Texas State at Troy, 3:30 p.m.

UTSA at BYU, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

Arkansas at Auburn, 4 p.m., SEC

Kansas State at TCU, 4 p.m., FOX

Pitt at Boston College, 4 p.m., ACC

Middle Tennessee at Florida International, 4 p.m., ESPNU

Florida Atlantic at Southern Miss, 4 p.m., Stadium

Alabama at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., ESPN

Temple at Navy, 6 p.m., CBSSN

East Carolina at South Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Central Arkansas at Arkansas State, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Miami at Clemson, 7:30 p.m., ABC

Mississippi State at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m., SEC

Florida State at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m., NBC

UTEP at Louisiana Tech, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Marshall at Western Kentucky, 7:30 p.m., Stadium

Charlotte at North Texas, 8 p.m., ESPNU

Missouri at LSU, 9 p.m., ESPN

 

TOP AP HEADLINES

DODGERS BEAT PADRES LEAD 2-0

Cody Bellinger would take the homer-robbing catch over the home run he hit if he had to pick from the two. The Los Angeles Dodgers needed both from their MVP center fielder.

Bellinger nearly went to a knee to hit his long home run, and later made a spectacular, leaping catch at the center-field wall to take away a go-ahead shot from Fernando Tatis Jr. as the Dodgers barely held off the San Diego Padres 6-5 Wednesday night.

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series when Joe Kelly finally got the last out with the bases loaded in a tension-filled ninth inning.

“It’s going to take a while to wind down from that one,” said Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP. “That’s postseason baseball right there.”

Kelly retired Eric Hosmer on a routine grounder to earn the save after Dodgers All-Star closer Kenley Jansen wobbled in the ninth. Los Angeles can sweep the best-of-five set from its NL West rival Thursday night.

The Padres were down one with a runner on and two outs in the seventh when Tatis, the 21-year-old budding superstar, hit a towering drive to center. Bellinger ran nearly 100 feet while watching the ball, then jumped and extended his gloved right hand above the 8-foot wall to make the grab.

“I just kind of turned around as fast as I could, got to the fence and saw that it was probable, so I decided to try to time up the jump, and it’s how it worked out,” Bellinger said. “I didn’t know if it was a homer or not, but I knew I caught it.”

Brusdar Graterol, the second Dodgers reliever after starter Clayton Kershaw, slung his glove and cap away and thrust both arms into the air to celebrate what Bellinger said was only the second homer he has robbed in his career – the first in the playoffs.

“Certainly turned out being the difference in the game,” Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler said. “Tatis squared it up pretty good. For him to go up and rob one there, there’s not much to say.”

Game 3 is Thursday night, and the Dodgers can advance to the NL Championship Series for the fourth time in five seasons. They went to the World Series in 2017 and 2018 before losing in a five-game Division Series to the Washington Nationals last October.

Corey Seager put the NL West champions ahead to stay with his two-run double in the third and scored on the first of Max Muncy’s two RBI singles in the game. Leading off the next inning, Bellinger went after a low pitch and drove it 433 feet to center to make it 4-1.

Kershaw followed up his gem in the clinching game of the first round against Milwaukee with six strikeouts and no walks over six solid innings to get the win. The lefty allowed three runs, including back-to-back solo homers by Manny Machado and Hosmer in the sixth, in his first start near his Texas home in a 13-season career.

After issuing full-count walks with two outs to Tatis and Machado that loaded the bases, Kelly retired Hosmer on a groundout for his first save this postseason. Jansen had allowed two runs in the ninth, on a pinch-hit RBI double by Mitch Moreland before he scored on Trent Grisham’s single.

“Never a doubt – we had it in our hands. That’s how Joe Kelly rolls. Joe likes to make it interesting for us,” Kershaw said.

Zach Davies allowed four runs over five innings, the longest outing by a Padres pitcher in their five games this postseason. The right-hander struck out three without a walk but took the loss.

That came after Mike Clevinger was removed from the Padres’ active roster, meaning he is out until at least the World Series – if San Diego can recover to make it that far, and his elbow feels better.

Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Kershaw grew up, went to high school and still lives about 25 miles from the Texas Rangers’ new stadium. The Dodgers have played four regular-season series in Arlington since his big league debut in 2008, but none of those matched up with his turn in the rotation.

Kershaw could pitch there more this October, since the NL Championship and World Series will also be played in the $1.2 billion ballpark with a retractable roof that has been open for the NLDS.

In Game 2 of the best-of-three series against Milwaukee last Thursday, Kershaw struck out 13 over eight scoreless innings. Kershaw has a 2.43 career ERA in the regular season, but entered these playoffs after the abbreviated 60-game regular season with a 4.43 ERA in the postseason.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the second when Tommy Pham blooped a single just over the infield, and scored when Wil Myers lined a double into the right-center gap.

Seager’s go-ahead double landed just fair down the right-field line, then ricocheted off the screen fronting the field-level club where Dodgers family members sat. The ball shot sideways away from right fielder Myers, allowing catcher Austin Barnes to score from first.

When the Dodgers went to bat after Bellinger’s catch, Justin Turner had a sacrifice fly and Muncy his second RBI single to make it 6-3.

NOT AS HARD

Jansen was averaging 93-94 mph earlier this season, but rarely got above 90 mph on his 30 pitches (seven fastballs and 23 cutters) in this one. There were 11 pitches of at least 90 mph, only three of them above 92 mph.

Asked about Jansen’s role in the ninth inning going forward, manager Dave Roberts said he’s going to keep thinking about it.

“I thought there were some good throws in there. There was a dropped third strike with Grisham and he ended up getting a base hit,” Roberts said. “I’m going to think through it. It was just a lot for (Jansen), 30 pitches to get two outs. I know that he’s disappointed as well. I’ll keep thinking through it.”

HOMER NOTES

The Padres became the first team in 20 games this postseason to lose when outhomering their opponent. … Kershaw became the first pitcher to allow back-to-back home runs three times in a postseason career, according to Elias Sports.

UP NEXT

The Padres plan to start lefty Adrian Morejon in Game 3. Roberts said he wouldn’t announce a starter until Thursday.

 

RAYS GO UP 2-1

The Tampa Bay Rays are unanimous in their praise of Randy Arozarena, who is living up to his nickname, “The Cuban Rocket.”

Arozarena homered for the third straight game and Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez also went deep for the Rays, who beat the New York Yankees 8-4 Wednesday night to move within one victory of reaching the AL Championship Series for the first time in 12 years.

“He’s the best player on the planet,” Kiermaier said. “He’s incredible. He’s very unique in so many ways. Everyone loves him. He’s the man. What he’s doing is incredible.”

New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer off Shane McClanahan to center field in the eighth inning to become the first player with a home run in each of his team’s first five games of a single postseason. Stanton has six homers and 13 RBIs in those five games. McClanahan made his major league debut in Game 1 on Monday night.

Arozarena, a 25-year-old rookie from Havana, is having a breakout postseason. He homered off Gerrit Cole in the first inning of Game 1, a 9-3 Yankees win, and off rookie Deivi Garcia in the first inning of Game 2, a 7-5 Rays win.

Arozarena hit a shot deep to left leading off the fifth Wednesday night to chase Masahiro Tanaka and give Tampa Bay a 5-1 lead.

The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Division Series. Game 4 is Thursday night at Petco Park, which has yielded 16 home runs in three games – nine by Tampa Bay.

The Rays are looking to advance out of the ALDS for just the second time. They reached the 2008 World Series before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Arozarena went 3 for 4 with a walk. He leads all players in the postseason with 12 hits in five games. He went hitless in five postseason plate appearances in 2019 for St. Louis, which traded him to Tampa Bay in January.

On Tuesday night, Rays starter Tyler Glasnow called Arozarena “the best baseball player on earth right now. What he’s doing is phenomenal.”

Added Kiermaier: “We should all take a page out of his book in what his routine is and how he comes to the field each and every day. He just doesn’t think up there. He goes up there and he’s so raw in every facet of his game, and he goes out there and just does it night in and night out. It’s incredible.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash called it “pretty spectacular. He’s wowing all of us in the dugout. I’m sure there are guys who have done some special things, but when you’re sitting there and watching it firsthand, it’s pretty remarkable what’s taking place.”

Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said Arozarena has an unwavering approach at the plate.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen before where a guy punishes every single mistake,” Higashioka said. “We can’t get away with anything against him right now. It’s been pretty frustrating.”

With the Yankees facing elimination, “We’ve got to find a way to obviously keep him in check,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ll continue to dive in and just try to execute pitches. We’ve made some mistakes, and he hasn’t missed them.”

Kiermaier hit a three-run shot into the home run deck in right off Tanaka with no outs in the fourth to make it 4-1. Joey Wendle was aboard on a leadoff single and Willy Adames on a walk.

“To be quite honest, I think my homer really got us going, and then it was a snowball effect after that,” Kiermaier said.

Perez hit a two-run shot to left off Chad Green in the sixth. Kiermaier was aboard on a leadoff double. It was the 11th home run by a No. 9 hitter this postseason, the most all-time.

Charlie Morton got the win after holding the Yankees to two runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two in winning his fifth straight postseason decision.

Tanaka took the loss after allowing five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The Yankees loaded the bases twice in the third inning and got only a sacrifice fly by Aaron Judge. Aaron Hicks hit an RBI double in the fifth.

PINSTRIPES IN SAN DIEGO

With the series at a neutral site, Tampa Bay, the AL’s top seed, was the home team in Games 1 and 2 and the Yankees batted last in Game 3 and will do so again in Game 4. That meant the Bronx Bombers wore pinstripes, one of the rare times they’ve done so away from Yankee Stadium in recent decades. The last time they wore pinstripes in an NL park was on April 15, 1998, against the Angels in a game played at Shea Stadium after an expansion joint fell into the seats at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees played home games at Shea from 1974-75 when Yankee Stadium was being remodeled. Most recently, they wore pinstripes during a series in London against the Boston Red Sox in 2019 and in Tokyo on March 30-31, 2004, for a season-opening series against the Rays.

UP NEXT

Rays: Ryan Thompson will be the Game 4 opener.

Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery makes his postseason debut. Montgomery was on the Yankees’ 2017 ALDS and ALCS rosters but did not pitch. He went 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 10 regular-season starts this year. He lasted two-thirds of an inning against the Rays on Sept. 2, allowing two-run homers to Arozarena and Mike Brosseau.

 

A’S RALLY PAST ASTROS

Ramon Laureano sensed his teammates’ energy dragging. They were down three runs with time running out to save their season.

So the Oakland outfielder lit into them in the dugout during the sixth inning, getting so loud he was heard easily in mostly empty Dodger Stadium.

And just in case Laureano’s words did not get the message across, he ripped a double as the A’s got a pair of sacrifice flies in the eighth to rally past the Houston Astros 9-7 on Wednesday and avoid elimination in their AL Division Series.

“We live another day,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Suitably inspired by Laureano’s outburst, Chad Pinder tied the score with a three-run homer in the seventh before Sean Murphy hit the go-ahead sac fly in the eighth.

“Ramon got everything fired up, saying this wasn’t it, we’re not going to let it be our last game, we’re gone through too much this season,” Pinder said. “It was awesome.”

Houston leads the best-of-five series 2-1 and can advance to its fourth straight AL Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Thursday.

“There’s never a doubt in this team,” Oakland starter Jesus Luzardo said. “We can go ahead and win three in a row.”

The Astros wasted leads of 2-1 and 7-4, and the Athletics bounced back after giving up advantages of 1-0 and 4-2.

Houston’s bullpen had stifled Oakland in the first two games with seven shutout innings of one-hit relief, but Pinder ended that dominance.

Houston led 7-4 when Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella had back-to-back singles off Josh James starting the seventh. Pinder hit a first-pitch slider to the opposite field for Oakland’s fifth homer, a drive chased by right fielder Kyle Tucker until he ran out of room at the short wall.

La Stella, Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Semien also homered for the A’s, whose entire infield went deep. Teams outhomering opponents are 19-1 in the postseason.

“They beat us with the home run ball,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “Tough to take but we have to come back tomorrow.”

The teams have combined for 18 homers – including seven in Game 3 – in the neutral-site series at Dodger Stadium featuring all day games. After two straight days in the 90s, the temperature cooled to 81 degrees.

Loser Brooks Raley walked Robbie Grossman leading off the eighth, and Laureano doubled. Murphy’s sacrifice fly put Oakland ahead, Semien walked,

La Stella was hit on his right forearm, loading the bases and forcing him from the game. Pinder, who went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, followed with another sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Winner Liam Hendriks pitched three innings of one-hit, scoreless relief.

“Once our backs are against the wall, suddenly everything changes,” Hendriks said. “Everybody has that bit of extra drive.”

Carlos Correa singled leading off the bottom of the eighth and Tucker reached on catcher’s interference by Murphy, a call the A’s challenged unsuccessfully.

Yuli Gurriel popped out, Aedmys Diaz advanced the runners with a groundout, and pinch-hitter Josh Reddick struck out, smashing his bat on the ground and breaking it over a knee.

“I’m an emotional guy and I like to see it out of hitters too,” Hendriks said.

Houston took a 7-4 lead with five runs in the fifth, when the Astros sent 10 batters to the plate. Diaz hit a tying, two-run homer off rookie Luzardo, and Brantley, Bregman and Tucker drove in runs. Houston was slowed when Jose Altuve was thrown out on a relay by Olson at first when he tried to go from first to third on Brantley’s single.

Starters Luzardo and Houston’s Jose Urquidy both allowed four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Hendriks threw 37 pitches. He vowed to be ready to pitch again Thursday.

“I wasn’t coming out of the game,” he said. “They were going to have to wrench the ball out of my hand.”

GREINKE’S ARM

Zack Greinke’s right arm is structurally sound and the Astros say they are hopeful he can pitch at some point in the postseason. The right-hander started Game 1 of the AL wild card series on Sept. 29, but was lifted after allowing one run and two hits and three walks in four innings. Greinke tailed off late in the season, posting a 5.73 ERA over his final seven starts; in that span, dating to Aug. 23, he gave up at least three runs in each outing. He threw off flat ground after the Astros’ win in Game 2 and Baker said he was told the session went “pretty good.”

PINDER, AGAIN

Pinder’s go-ahead, two-run single in a 6-4 win against the Chicago White Sox sent the West champion A’s into the Division Series. He missed time with a hamstring injury down the stretch.

“So far it hasn’t gotten worse on me,” he said.

UP NEXT

The A’s will start RHP Frankie Montas in Game 4. Baker said Greinke “might” be a possibility for the Astros.

 

BRAVES GO UP ON MIAMI 2-0

Rookie Ian Anderson pitched like an October veteran. Old pro Nick Markakis threw the best strike of the game. And just like that, the Atlanta Braves are on the verge of something they haven’t done since the days of Chipper, the Big Three and Bobby Cox.

Anderson blanked Miami into the sixth inning, Markakis made a nifty play in right field to help preserve the lead late, and the Braves threw another playoff shutout in a 2-0 victory Wednesday for a 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series.

The Braves have pitched three shutouts in four games during this year’s playoffs. They’re just the third team in MLB history to toss three shutouts in the first four games of a postseason, joining the 1966 Baltimore Orioles and the 1905 New York Giants.

Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson each homered for the second straight day, putting the Braves one win away from a sweep in the best-of-five matchup. Game 3 is Thursday in Houston.

“It’s hard to bunch hits together, pitching is too good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Power, I think is something that plays in the postseason and was witnessed today.”

Atlanta hasn’t reached the NL Championship Series since 2001 when Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz played under Cox.

The Braves have lost in the division series eight times since then, including in the last two seasons – a fact star slugger Freddie Freeman said put a chip on their shoulders entering this round.

Anderson scattered three hits and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings. The lanky right-hander who made his major league debut in late August added to his impressive outing last week in the wild-card series when he fanned nine in six scoreless frames against Cincinnati.

“It doesn’t seem like the moment ever matters to him,” Snitker said. “He just keeps pitching and trusting his stuff.”

Added d’Arnaud, his catcher: “He’s just always been like that. It’s something that should be noticed and put out there.”

Despite his calm demeanor, the 22-year-old Anderson admitted to some early-game jitters.

“I definitely had more nerves today,” he said. “I don’t know if was the different site and seeing all the playoff stuff around the stadium or what … but I was able to calm down and get in the groove of the game.”

The 36-year-old Markakis contributed after Anderson departed.

Corey Dickerson reached on an error by Swanson at shortstop to start the eighth, setting up Markakis’ heads-up play.

Jon Berti followed by slicing a high fly down the line that Markakis alertly plucked on one hop and, with Dickerson holding up to see if the ball would be caught, threw to Swanson for a forceout at second base in a close play.

“He’s a veteran outfielder and he’s one of the best in the business at what he does,” Swanson said. “And he really made a perfect play.”

Miami manager Don Mattingly didn’t fault Dickerson for being thrown out because he said Markakis could’ve dived to catch it.

“Corey’s in a tough spot there, and that ball just kind of bounced right up to (Markakis),” he said. “That’s just a tough read in a tough situation.”

Will Smith retired the next two batters and Mark Melancon, Atlanta’s fifth pitcher of the game, closed the combined three-hitter for a save.

On a day when Atlanta got only four hits, Swanson and d’Arnaud provided the offense. Both players hit solo shots a day after the two hit multi-run homers in a huge seventh inning for the Braves in their Game 1 win.

Players from both teams behaved themselves a day after tempers flared in the opener when Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. was nailed by a 98 mph fastball. Acuna had a quiet afternoon, going 0 for 4 and striking out all four times.

Swanson’s homer off Pablo Lopez put the Braves up 1-0 with two outs in the second inning.

There was one out in the fourth when d’Arnaud launched his soaring home run to left field, where it bounced off a metal sign high on the wall making a loud bang. Cameras panned to Anderson in the dugout, and the pitcher smiled broadly as he watched the ball sail away.

D’Arnaud’s homer made him the first catcher for the Braves to hit multiple home runs in one postseason since Brian McCann also had two in 2005. He’s made quite a comeback this season after bouncing around between three teams in a tough 2019.

The Marlins, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2003, bounded their way into this round with high energy and plenty of smiles. They had little reason to grin on Wednesday when they couldn’t scratch a single run across, going 0-4 with runners in scoring position.

It’s put them cusp of losing the first playoff series in franchise history after entering this round 7-0 all-time in the postseason.

They had a chance to cut into the lead in the sixth inning when Berti singled with one out before Darren O’Day took over for Anderson with two outs and plunked Brian Anderson. The veteran reliever than walked Garrett Cooper to load the bases, but the Marlins came away empty when Matt Joyce grounded out to end the inning.

Lopez didn’t pitch badly, allowing just three hits in and striking out seven in five innings. But he was done in by the home runs in his postseason debut after not pitching since Sept. 24.

“Pablo was really good,” Mattingly said. “With a lot of guys, and these guys have a lot of good hitters, you miss your spots and sometimes you can get away with it, and sometimes you don’t.”

UP NEXT

Atlanta’s Kyle Wright will make his postseason debut when he starts in Game 3 against rookie Sixto Sanchez. Wright hasn’t pitched since Sept. 25 when he allowed two runs in a career-high 6 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. Sanchez started Game 2 of the wild-card round, striking out six in five scoreless innings.

 

CLEVENGER OUT FOR PADRES

Mike Clevinger was replaced on San Diego’s playoff roster Wednesday because of his elbow injury, a move that would keep him from pitching again this postseason unless the Padres make it to the World Series.

That would also depend on if his ailing right elbow is healthy enough to get back on the mound in October. The right-hander went only two pitches into the second inning of the NL Division Series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

San Diego made the switch before Game 2 of the NLDS, adding Dan Altavilla to its 28-player roster. The right-hander was immediately available.

Clevinger, who joined San Diego in a nine-player trade with Cleveland on Aug. 31, left his final regular-season start Sept. 23 after one inning because of an elbow impingement. He was left off the roster for the first round against St. Louis.

The Padres didn’t announce until Tuesday, hours before the start of the NLDS, that Clevinger was going to be on the 28-man roster and start Game 1.

Rookie manager Jayce Tingler, speaking to reporters earlier Wednesday before Clevinger was taken off the active roster, said the pitcher had “a warrior-type attitude and spirit” and wanted to be back on the mound for Game 1 after being cleared by doctors.

“We’re trying to win a championship, he wants to win a championship for the city of San Diego,” Tingler said. “So when you get clearance, there’s going to be some discomfort, there’s going to be some pain. This thing is not going to be easy, and he knew that.”

Because he was replaced during the NLDS, Clevinger wouldn’t be eligible for the NL Championship Series roster if the Padres advance. He would be able to be on their World Series roster if they make it that far.

The herky-jerky right-hander walked two and threw a wild pitch in a scoreless first inning against the Dodgers. His velocity was noticeably down when he threw two balls to start the second, and he left the game after a visit from Tingler and a trainer.

After the game, Clevinger said he started feeling discomfort facing his second batter of the game. When the first inning ended, he went into the tunnel to try several ways to loosen up the elbow in what became an extended time as the Padres loaded the bases without scoring.

San Diego is also without Dinelson Lamet, its other top starter. The right-hander left his final start of the regular season Sept. 25 because of biceps tightness and has been left off the active roster for both postseason series so far.

In the wild-card round against St. Louis, the Padres became the first team to use at least eight pitchers in three consecutive playoff games. They used eight relievers after Clevinger excited the NLDS opener, making it the third time in four games to match the postseason record of using nine pitchers in a nine-inning game.

 

TITANS MAY HAVE BROKEN PROTOCAL

The NFL’s investigation into how Tennessee turned into the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak found “several specific incidents” of the Titans possibly breaking protocols dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, according to a person with knowledge of the probe.

Also, the headmaster of a private school in Nashville confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that several Titans, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, practiced on its field Sept. 30. That was a day before the NFL first postponed Tennessee’s game with Pittsburgh before rescheduling to Oct. 25.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned all 32 teams Monday that following league protocols is mandatory and that violations forcing changes in the schedule could lead to forfeiting games.

Tennessee had two more players test positive Wednesday, a person familiar with the the situation said. The Titans placed starting wide receiver Corey Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 list hours later, bringing their total to 22 cases with 20 returned since Sept. 29.

The Titans cannot return to their facility before Saturday at the earliest, needing back-to-back days without a positive test result. They haven’t been on a field since beating the Vikings 31-30 on Sept. 27. The NFL has to decide if they play Buffalo (4-0) as scheduled Sunday, postpone and reschedule or forfeit.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Tuesday any discipline would be something for the NFL to discuss.

“I don’t expect anything either way,” Vrabel said.

The Titans were featured with “several specific incidents” during a call Monday with the league’s general managers and coaches, a person with knowledge of the NFL’s investigation said. Another person familiar with the call said photos from the Titans’ cafeteria were shown.

Both spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The league is attempting to play a full schedule amid the pandemic without teams isolated in a bubble as other sports have done to protect players and staff from the virus. No games were affected through the first three weeks of the season.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told Judy Battista of the NFL Network the league has looked into everything from video inside the Titans’ facility, interviewing everyone involved and even studied seating charts on buses and planes.

Sills also made clear the league expected positive cases all along.

“The exercises are not just about did someone follow the protocols or not but, are there vulnerabilities we can tighten up, what can we learn and where can we get better and how can we improve going forward,” Sills said. “And we’ve already made a number of those changes.”

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said his Vikings went over the new protocols Wednesday for clubs having been been exposed to a team dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. Having played Tennessee helps his Vikings understand the significance of following the league’s guidelines to stay safe.

“You look at the Pentagon, they’ve got it. The White House has got it. The NFL has got it,” Zimmer said. “It’s a crazy time.”

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said they’re trying to win games – both football and COVID – which means winning the travel game. He thinks the NFL’s reminders on following the protocol are good for everyone, but being this strict six months ago would’ve been better.

“Had we been this disciplined at the start, across the country, we would never see what we have seen,” Carroll said. “But it’s demanding. It’s difficult. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of it, but you got to do it anyway because it’s the right way to handle it.”

The Patriots are dealing with their own COVID-19 cases. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, announced on social media he had tested positive and is asymptomatic. Quarterback Cam Newton was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Oct. 3, with a defensive tackle from the practice squad added Tuesday.

New England canceled practices Wednesday and Thursday. The Patriots are scheduled to host Denver on Sunday.

The NFL already postponed the Patriots’ last game a day before New England lost in Kansas City 26-10 on Monday night. The Chiefs host the Raiders on Sunday; Las Vegas placed defensive tackle Maurice Hurst on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.

Newton and the Titans make up the 11 confirmed positive tests among players from testing last week. The NFL also said there were 15 new confirmed positives among personnel in results announced Wednesday out of 37,002 tests given to 7,981 players and team personnel last week.

Both Sills and Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFL Players Association’s medical director, said the key is everyone following the protocols.

“The virus is still very much a threat not only to our season, but to the safety of everyone in our community,” Mayer said in a statement.

Buffalo coach Sean McDermott is busy preparing his Bills until told differently. He said no one’s perfect and they’re all fighting an uphill battle with how easily COVID-19 spreads. His Bills have had no positives after beating the Raiders 30-23 in Las Vegas last week.

“We have a lot of trust and faith in the league,” McDermott said of playing a game in Tennessee.

Pushing Bills-Titans to Monday night is challenging because Buffalo is scheduled to host Kansas City on Thursday, Oct. 15. That would force the NFL into further rearranging of the schedule.

The Bills aren’t thinking of a forfeit right now.

“We’ll handle that when the time comes,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said. “Right now, we’re acting like we’re playing. And when that moment comes, where they tell us this, that or the other, I think that’s when we’ll worry about it.”

Bills quarterback Josh Allen said this virus can be as simple as one person going to a grocery store, and Baltimore wide receiver Marquise Brown said the test results show how cautious players must be away from the team facility.

“It’s not just about you,” Brown said. “It’s about the whole NFL.”

Asked about the chances of the NFL completing this season, Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said he thinks everyone is very interested in what happens the next few days.

“Everybody’s confidence level is probably a little less than a few weeks ago,” Fitzpatrick said. “Two weeks ago everybody was riding high. It’s amazing to see what happened in Tennessee so quickly.”

Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield had a simple suggestion to keep all of the NFL playing.

“Just wear your masks,” Mayfield said. “We all want to play football. Everybody has to do it. Just do it.”

 

ALLEN IN AT WASHINGTON QB

Dwayne Haskins didn’t show enough progress in Ron Rivera’s eyes, so he’s going from starting quarterback to out of uniform.

Rivera benched Haskins for Washington’s next game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams and turned to Kyle Allen as the new starter. The team is 1-3 and at what the coach believes is a crucial moment of the season in a wide-open NFC East within reach, so he pulled the plug on Haskins despite no pressure to win now.

“I think our best chance to win is putting the ball in somebody else’s hands,” Rivera said Wednesday. “I think the best chance to have things done in our offense is in somebody else’s hands. That’s what I’m doing.”

Alex Smith will back up Allen with Haskins inactive after not having enough time to learn a new system in his second year in the NFL. Smith will be active for the first time since breaking his right tibia and fibula Nov. 18, 2018.

Rivera ended the Haskins experiment after a third consecutive loss in just his 11th pro start. Washington’s first-year coach defended the 2019 first-round pick for having “an NFL arm” but lamented Haskins not getting enough snaps in offseason workouts, training camp and practice to make him ready for this.

“We gave him every opportunity,” Rivera said. “We gave him a chance to start four games and truly evaluate. But with the division where it is right now, I’d be stupid to not give it a shot and see what happens in the next four games. But I wanted to put it in the hands of someone that knows the situation a little better, backed up by a guy that’s been there.”

Rivera passed on the opportunity to bring in former Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, whom he’d coached for nine seasons dating to his rookie year, preferring to give Haskins an opportunity to keep his starting job. Washington acquired Allen from Carolina instead, and Smith was cleared for full contact 22 months since the broken leg and subsequent medical troubles he had to overcome.

Haskins was made the Week 1 starter, and Rivera saw some of Newton’s qualities in the 2019 first-round pick out of Ohio State. Leading a comeback against Philadelphia after no preseason work in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s system was a good start.

It was downhill from there. Haskins completed 72 of 115 passing attempts, threw three touchdowns and three interceptions and was sacked 10 times during Washington’s three game skid.

Overall, Haskins has thrown for 939 yards and has completed 61% of his passes, with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

“We’ve been trying to do things to play toward his strengths,” Turner said. “We just feel like at this point he’s got a little ways to go. There’s been some mistakes that showed up that were kind of repeat-type mistakes.”

As a rookie, Haskins had 1,365 yards passing, seven TDs and seven interceptions and completed 58.6% of his throws. Washington went 2-5 in his starts last year.

Agent David Mulugheta tweeted Sunday pointing out Haskins’ limited opportunity as a starter, the new system, lack of weapons and young offensive line contributing to the current situation.

Rivera was looking for growth from Haskins and didn’t see enough in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to Baltimore. A key play came on fourth-and-goal from the 13-yard line, with Haskins managing only a 5-yard pass to the 8, turning the ball over on downs.

“The one thing a lot of people don’t see is the frustration on the sidelines of the other players, as well,” Rivera said. “I see that. I feel that. The guys want to win. Right now, where his development is, I think our best shot to win now is with guys that have been in the system.”

That’s Allen, who is familiar with Turner from their time together in Carolina. The 24-year-old took over for Rivera’s Panthers last season when Newton was injured and feels ready to jump in with Washington.

Allen only has slightly more experience than Haskins: 13 pro starts and 15 appearances in which he has thrown for 19 TDs and 16 INTs. But the familiarity is his benefit, along with watching the first four games from the sideline.

“I just need to go out there and be myself,” Allen said. “I don’t think there’s anything extra that needs to be done or anything over the top. I think we just need to go out there and execute and do our thing. We’re a good enough team.”

After undergoing 17 surgeries to repair the broken bones and surviving a life-threatening infection, Smith is now one injury to Allen away from completing a remarkable comeback. Rivera is confident putting the 36-year-old into a game because doctors have said it’s safe.

“We feel good about Alex’s progression physically,” said Turner, who confirmed Smith has not been hit in practice despite his unique circumstances. “This is the next step with him.”

 

GAROPPOLO BACK AT PRACTICE

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo returned to practice on a limited basis for the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday after missing two games with a sprained ankle.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said the fact Garoppolo is able to practice for the first time since injuring his ankle in a Week 2 win against the New York Jets is an encouraging sign that he will be able to play Sunday against Miami.

“The fact he’s coming out today and going a little more reps, it has,” Shanahan said when asked whether his outlook on Garoppolo’s status has improved. “I haven’t seen him yet. He did a good job at walkthrough. We’ll see how he goes.”

If Garoppolo isn’t ready to play for the 49ers (2-2) against the Dolphins (1-3), Shanahan isn’t ready to reveal which backup will start in his place.

Nick Mullens played well during the first game Garoppolo missed, throwing for 343 yards and a touchdown in a 36-9 win over the Giants. But Mullens struggled last week in a loss to Philadelphia, committing three turnovers in the game.

C.J. Beathard replaced him late in the 25-20 loss and went 14 for 19 for 138 yards, leading a TD drive and getting San Francisco in position for a desperation pass into the end zone on the final play.

Shanahan said he doesn’t want to give the Dolphins any hints, but the Niners are hoping it’s Garoppolo. San Francisco has a 20-6 record when Garoppolo starts, compared to a 5-21 mark with any other quarterback since Shanahan arrived in 2017.

Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards and 27 TD passes last season to lead the Niners to 13 wins and was 33 for 49 for 390 yards, four TDs and no interceptions in six quarters this season.

In other injury news, running back Raheem Mostert was also back at practice on a limited basis after missing two games with a knee injury. His return would spark a running game that has gotten only 61 yards per game and 2.71 yards per carry from running backs the past two weeks.

The Niners are dealing with a new injury on defense with safety Jimmie Ward nursing a sore wrist that forced him to miss practice Wednesday. Shanahan remains hopeful he will play Sunday.

Cornerbacks Dontae Johnson (groin) and Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) also missed practice again.

Top cornerback Richard Sherman remains on injured reserve with a calf injury. He was eligible to be activated this week but now the Niners are hoping he will be back for next week’s game against the Rams.

NOTES: LB Dre Greenlaw (quadriceps), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), WR Dante Pettis (knee) and WR Trent Taylor were all limited. … The Niners promoted DL Alex Barrett to the active roster from the practice squad. … San Francisco opened a 21-day practice window for WR Richie James Jr., who was placed on IR last month with a hamstring injury. … CB Tim Harris Jr. was added back to the practice squad from the practice squad IR list. DL Josiah Coatney and DL Adam Shuler were signed to the practice squad.

 

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Buffalo Bills 4 0 0 1.000 0.0 123 100 2-0-0 2-0-0 3-0-0 2-0-0 4 W
New England Patriots 2 2 0 .500 2.0 97 92 2-0-0 0-2-0 2-1-0 1-0-0 1 L
Miami Dolphins 1 3 0 .250 3.0 93 96 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-2-0 1 L
New York Jets 0 4 0 .000 4.0 65 131 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-3-0 0-1-0 4 L
 
West Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Kansas City Chiefs 4 0 0 1.000 0.0 117 70 2-0-0 2-0-0 4-0-0 1-0-0 4 W
Las Vegas Raiders 2 2 0 .500 2.0 111 120 1-1-0 1-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 2 L
Denver Broncos 1 3 0 .250 3.0 82 98 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-0-0 1 W
Los Angeles Chargers 1 3 0 .250 3.0 83 95 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 3 L
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 80 58 2-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 3 W
Baltimore Ravens 3 1 0 .750 0.5 122 73 1-1-0 2-0-0 2-1-0 1-0-0 1 W
Cleveland Browns 3 1 0 .750 0.5 124 126 2-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 3 W
Cincinnati Bengals 1 2 1 .375 2.0 99 99 1-1-0 0-1-1 1-2-0 0-1-0 1 W
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Tennessee Titans 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 80 74 1-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 3 W
Indianapolis Colts 3 1 0 .750 0.5 103 56 2-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 3 W
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 3 0 .250 2.5 95 117 1-1-0 0-2-0 1-3-0 1-1-0 3 L
Houston Texans 0 4 0 .000 3.5 80 126 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-3-0 0-0-0 4 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Philadelphia Eagles 1 2 1 .375 0.0 84 107 0-1-1 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-1-0 1 W
Washington Football Team 1 3 0 .250 0.5 79 112 1-1-0 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-0-0 3 L
Dallas Cowboys 1 3 0 .250 0.5 126 146 1-1-0 0-2-0 1-2-0 0-0-0 2 L
New York Giants 0 4 0 .000 1.5 47 96 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-3-0 0-0-0 4 L
 
West Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Seattle Seahawks 4 0 0 1.000 0.0 142 109 2-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 4 W
Los Angeles Rams 3 1 0 .750 1.0 106 80 2-0-0 1-1-0 3-0-0 0-0-0 1 W
Arizona Cardinals 2 2 0 .500 2.0 98 92 1-1-0 1-1-0 2-2-0 1-0-0 2 L
San Francisco 49ers 2 2 0 .500 2.0 107 71 0-2-0 2-0-0 1-2-0 0-1-0 1 L
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Green Bay Packers 4 0 0 1.000 0.0 152 101 2-0-0 2-0-0 4-0-0 2-0-0 4 W
Chicago Bears 3 1 0 .750 1.0 85 81 1-1-0 2-0-0 3-0-0 1-0-0 1 L
Minnesota Vikings 1 3 0 .250 3.0 106 125 0-2-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 1 W
Detroit Lions 1 3 0 .250 3.0 99 127 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-3-0 0-2-0 1 L
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 1 0 .750 0.0 120 92 2-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 3 W
New Orleans Saints 2 2 0 .500 1.0 123 123 1-1-0 1-1-0 2-1-0 1-0-0 1 W
Carolina Panthers 2 2 0 .500 1.0 99 102 1-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 2 W
Atlanta Falcons 0 4 0 .000 3.0 106 138 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-4-0 0-0-0 4 L