Game 7 in ALCS, Game 6 in NLCS
UNDATED (AP) — The American League Championship Series will be decided Saturday night, after the Houston Astros forced a Game 7 by beating the Tampa Bay Rays for the third straight day.
The Astros are now one win from their third World Series in four seasons. They’re hoping to join the Boston Red Sox as the only teams to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series.
The Tampa Bay Rays are one win away from their second trip to the World Series, just as they have been since Wednesday when they had a 3-0 series lead. That means they’re also one loss away from matching the worst playoff collapse in 116 years of postseason baseball, when the Yankees blew a similar lead against Boston in the 2004 World Series.
Charlie Morton will start Game 7 for the Rays against Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. They’ll share the mound in an elimination game for the first time since doing so as teammates in 2017. McCullers started and Morton closed for the Astros in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers try again to avoid elimination in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers stayed alive Friday night by beating the Braves 7-3 in Game 5.
Chris Taylor was out of the Dodgers’ starting lineup for the Saturday afternoon game. He hurt his right ankle in Game 5, but manager Dave Roberts says he is moving around and could be available to play. Kike (KEE’-kay) Hernandez was starting at second base with AJ Pollock in left field. Taylor started at second base in Game 5, and had moved to left field during the game. He hurt his ankle on a throw in the eighth inning but finished the game.
Atlanta, trying to get to its first World Series since 1999, had its same lineup as Game 5 to face Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler.
Lawrence throws 5 TDs, No. 1 Clemson rolls past Georgia Tech
UNDATED (AP) — Trevor Lawrence brushed off the first interception he has thrown this season and passed for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns as No. 1 Clemson overwhelmed Georgia Tech 73-7.
Lawrence’s previous high was four touchdown passes. He passed that mark in the first half, including two scoring passes to Amari Rodgers.
Lawrence completed 24 of 33 passes. He left the game after Clemson’s first possession of the second half.
Clemson led 52-7 at halftime and kept adding to the lead in the second half, even with backups on the field.
In other Top 25 action:
— D’Eriq King threw four touchdown passes and No. 13 Miami beat Pittsburgh 31-19. Will Mallory caught two of King’s scoring passes as the Hurricanes bounced back from a 42-17 loss at top-ranked Clemson last week. The Panthers lost their third straight and were without senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, who suffered an ankle injury against Boston College last week.
— Kevin Harris ran for two touchdowns and South Carolina turned three interceptions thrown by Bo Nix into points to defeat No. 15 Auburn for the first time in 87 years, 30-22. The Tigers had won eight straight in the series and looked like they had this one under control as they led 9-0 in the opening 10 minutes. But Nix, the sophomore quarterback, threw three picks and the Gamecocks cashed in each time to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year.
— Kelvin Joseph and Jami Davis returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first half and Kentucky shut out No. 18 Tennessee in the second half to bury the Volunteers 34-7. It was Kentucky’s first win in Neyland Stadium since 1984, the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory in Knoxville since 56-0 in 1893 and their most lopsided victory in the series since 1935. After getting six interceptions and allowing only a safety against Mississippi State last week, Kentucky picked off three passes against the Vols.
Alabama’s Saban cleared to coach after 3rd negative test
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban will be back on the sideline against Georgia after all.
The Southeastern Conference cleared Saban on Saturday to coach in the game after he tested negative for COVID-19 the past three days. The move came hours ahead of Saturday night’s game between the second-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3 Bulldogs.
Saban had initially tested positive on Wednesday, along with athletic director Greg Byrne. Team physician Jimmy Robinson said Saban was tested the next three mornings, and the initial result was deemed a false positive. The initial positive came from an outside lab Alabama had used to supplement the testing mandated by the SEC.
Patriots back at work; Denver running backs coach tests positive
UNDATED (AP) — The New England Patriots say they are getting back to work, one day after a fifth player tested positive for COVID-19 and one day before their twice-postponed game against Denver.
The Broncos, meanwhile, had coronavirus news of their own Saturday. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins has tested positive and won’t make the trip to New England.
The Jaguars, Falcons, Colts, Panthers and Ravens also have dealt with COVID issues in recent days..
The Broncos haven’t played since Oct. 1. making it the longest in the league since 2001, when the NFL postponed all games on the weekend following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In other virus-related NFL news:
— The Detroit Lions activated guard Joe Dahl from injured reserve and signed quarterback David Blough from the practice squad to the active roster before Sunday’s game at Jacksonville. The Lions also elevated tight end Isaac Nauta from the practice squad and released cornerback Chris Jones.
— The Baltimore Ravens have placed defensive tackle Brandon Williams on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The 6-foot-1, 336-pound Williams is a key figure in the Baltimore run defense. The eight-year veteran ranks ninth on the team with 15 tackles. The Ravens face Philadelphia Sunday.
— The Jacksonville Jaguars say a player on their practice squad has tested positive for the coronavirus. The player was quarantined, and the team is reviewing contact tracing data to determine what further precautions need to be taken. Jacksonville decided to hold football activities remotely on Saturday in keeping with NFL protocols. The 1-4 Jaguars host 1-3 Detroit on Sunday and plan to play as scheduled.
— Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had a second negative COVID-19 test in 24 hours, clearing him to rejoin his teammates and play in Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
Bassino leads Brignone for Italian 1-2 in season-opening GS
SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — Marta Bassino led Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) for an Italian 1-2 finish in the season-opening women’s World Cup giant slalom.
Bassino held on to her first-run lead to beat her teammate and defending overall World Cup champion by 0.14 seconds. Petra Vlhova posted the fastest second-run time and the Slovakian racer finished third.
Three-time overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race after tweaking her back in training. Shiffrin’s teammate Paula Moltzan started 62nd in her second GS and finished a career-best 10th.
No spectators were allowed as one of the precautionary health and safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.