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Thursday Sports in Brief

October 15, 2021 GMT

MLB

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and prized midseason acquisition Max Scherzer came out of the bullpen for his first career save, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants 2-1 in a thrilling winner-take-all Game 5 of the division series on Thursday night and into the NL Championship Series.

The dramatic finish came with a controversial call: With a runner on, Scherzer struck out Wilmer Flores on a check-swing to end it. First base umpire Gabe Morales rang up Flores on appeal — but on television replays, it certainly didn’t appear he swung.

Mookie Betts had a postseason career-high four hits and will lead the next step in LA’s championship defense at Atlanta for Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals fired former National League manager of the year Mike Shildt over organizational differences Thursday, just one week after St. Louis lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a walk-off homer in the wild-card game.

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Cardinals president John Mozeliak said the firing was “something that popped up recently,” but he refused to expand on what he called “philosophical differences” between Shildt, the coaching staff and the front office.

Shildt’s record of 255-199 gave him a winning percentage better than such luminaries as Branch Rickey and Tony La Russa.

NFL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tom Brady played through an injured thumb and threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette ran for two scores and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 on Thursday night.

The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (5-1) lost another cornerback when three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury but their depleted defense held on after Jalen Hurts rallied the Eagles from a 28-7 deficit.

Brady finished 34 of 42 for 297 yards and an interception.

The Eagles (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni.

NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandon Tanev scored his second goal into an empty net with 1:21 left, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 Thursday night for the first victory in the expansion franchise’s second game.

The Kraken became the latest expansion franchise to win its first game with the Predators, improving that mark to 3-1-1. They joined Columbus (Nov. 16, 2000) and Vegas (Dec. 8, 2017) in that group.

Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist for Seattle.

Tanev’s second goal on Seattle’s lone shot in the third period was the winner. Mikael Granlund, who also had two assists, scored with 39.9 seconds left to pull Nashville within 4-3. The Predators couldn’t beat goalie Philipp Grubauer again, even with goalie Juuse Saros still out for the extra attacker.

Roman Josi and Eeli Tolvanen scored for Nashville.

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OTTAWA (AP) — Brady Tkachuk and the Ottawa Senators have agreed to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract.

The Senators made the announcement on Thursday morning, hours before Ottawa’s home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tkachuk was a restricted free agent and had not played for the Senators during the preseason until a deal was reached.

The contract has an average annual value of $8.214 million.

NEW YORK (AP) — Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL on Thursday for boarding Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach.

Landeskog was assessed a minor penalty for boarding with 3:38 left in Colorado’s 4-2 home victory Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

The suspension will cost Landeskog $70,000.

NBA

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is now expected to miss at least the first week of the regular season because his recovery from surgery to repair a right foot fracture is taking longer than anticipated.

“Nothing has gone wrong and there is no setback,” Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin said after practice Thursday, adding that Williamson will be re-evaluated in about two-and-a-half weeks.

The Pelicans first made public Williamson’s health status on the eve of training camp last month, and Williamson said then that he planned to be ready to play in time for New Orleans’ regular season opener Oct. 20 against Philadelphia.

Griffin said that while doctors are “very encouraged” by the progress of Williamson’s recovery, they want him to delay his return until after they’ve had an opportunity to re-evaluate bone scans of his repaired foot.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NCAA women’s basketball tournament is close to expanding its field to 68 teams — equaling the men’s bracket.

Both the Division I women’s basketball committee and the oversight committee unanimously voted to approve a proposal to add four teams to the NCAA Tournament, starting this season. The proposal, which was announced Thursday, will now advance for consideration by governance committees. A final determination is expected by the middle of next month.

TENNIS

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Grand Slam title winners Ana Ivanovic, Flavia Pennetta, Carlos Moya and Cara Black are the new nominees on the International Tennis Hall of Fame ballot for the Class of 2022, joining holdovers Lisa Raymond and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The Rhode Island-based Hall announced the candidates Thursday.

The half-dozen nominees all are in the player category; there is no one in the contributor or wheelchair categories, which only come every four years.

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Tony Stewart, who fell in love with NHRA while tagging along with fiancée Leah Pruett at her races the past two seasons, will be an official part of the sport in 2022. The NASCAR Hall of Fame driver will add two full-time NHRA entries to Tony Stewart Racing next season — a Top Fuel entry for Pruett and a Funny Car for Matt Hagan.

Pruett and Hagan currently compete for Don Schumacher Racing, which on Wednesday announced that eight-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will return to the team next year in a full-time entry and be paired with Pruett’s current crew chief.

SOCCER

CHICAGO (AP) — The National Women’s Soccer League is moving its championship game from Portland, Oregon, to Louisville, Kentucky, at the request of players.

The Nov. 20 title match was originally scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. local time at Providence Park to fit the CBS broadcast window. But players objected to the early morning start.

The start time at Lynn Family Stadium, home of Racing Louisville, is at noon local time.

CYCLING

PARIS (AP) — Next year’s Tour de France will see the return of the Paris-Roubaix cobblestones and take the peloton to the summit of the famed Alpe d’Huez mountain.

Designed for complete riders such as two-time champion Tadej Pogacar, the route features two individual time trials and six mountain stages with five summit finishes.

Race organizers unveiled the route in Paris on Thursday in the presence of Pogacar and two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe, marking the return of the traditional ceremony that was scrapped last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The women’s race will take place from July 24-31 and feature eight stages.

AWARDS

NEW YORK (AP) — Olympians Allyson Felix and Jordan Larson were honored as Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Felix won two medals at the Tokyo Games — giving her 11 in her career — to surpass Carl Lewis as the most decorated American in Olympic track and field history. Larson led the U.S. women’s volleyball team to victory against Brazil for its first Olympic gold medal.

Naomi Osaka earned the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for bringing awareness to social justice and mental health issues at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports on Wednesday night.

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