Another No No; AP Sports Wrap From Saturday, Oct 3, 2015
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets' offense has completely shut down in the final week of the season.
Max Scherzer tossed his second no-hitter of the season and set a Nationals franchise record with 17 strikeouts in a 2-0 shutout of the slumping Mets. Scherzer struck out nine straight before he got Curtis Granderson to hit a game-ending popup to third base.
The All-Star righty became just the sixth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a year, and the first since Roy Halladay in 2010. Scherzer also no-hit the Pirates on June 20, and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his previous start Monday against Cincinnati. His latest gem allowed the Nats to complete a sweep of their doubleheader.
It's the second time the Mets have been no-hit this year. Chris Heston did it for the Giants at Citi Field on June 9.
New York has scored just one run in its last 35 innings. The dearth of offense will allow the Dodgers to clinch home-field advantage in the NL Division Series against the Mets if Los Angeles beats San Diego on Saturday or Sunday.
Washington opened its day-night doubleheader in New York by beating the Mets' 3-1 on Bryce Harper's tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth. Mets starter Noah Syndergaard struck out 10 and allowed just two hits in seven innings for the Mets.
Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers were within three outs away of winning the American League West this afternoon.
The Rangers enjoyed a 10-6 lead before the Angels scored five times in the ninth to pull out an 11-10 triumph at Texas. Erick Aybar (EYE'-bahr) and Kole Calhoun hit back-to-back homers to start the rally against Shawn Tolleson, who was pitching for the fifth consecutive day.
Ross Ohlendorf followed Tolleson and surrendered consecutive RBI singles by C.J. Cron (krohn), Carlos Perez and Johnny Giavotella with two out to put Los Angeles ahead. The inning was prolonged by the Rangers' inability to catch Albert Pujols' popup to short right. Josh Hamilton homered twice for the Rangers, who can still clinch the division tonight if Houston loses at Seattle. Should that happen, the Angels will move into a tie with the Astros for the second AL wild-card berth.
In other major league play:
— Minnesota was eliminated from the AL wild-card race with a 5-1 loss to Kansas City. Yordano Ventura carried a no-hitter into the fifth and struck out 11 over seven innings for the AL Central champs.
— Tampa Bay pulled out a 3-2 win over Toronto on Tim Beckham's two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. The Blue Jays are one game behind the Royals in the race for the AL's best record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but Toronto holds the tiebreaker.
— Cincinnati ended a 13-game losing streak and prevented the Pirates from clinching home-field advantage in the NL wild-card game. Brandon Finnegan gave up a run and three hits in six innings as the Reds stopped Pittsburgh, 3-1. Adam Duvall hit a solo homer against the Bucs, who will head to Chicago for the wild-card game if Pittsburgh loses to Cincinnati on Sunday and the Cubs beat the Brewers.
— Kyle Hendricks struck out eight while allowing just one hit in six innings of the Cubs' 1-0 shutout of Milwaukee. Addison Russell singled home the game's lone run in the second inning to send the Cubs to their seventh consecutive win.
— Manny Machado slammed his 34th home run and Gerardo Parra went 4-for-5 with three RBIs in Baltimore's 9-2 rout of the Yankees in Game 1 of a day-night twinbill. The Orioles tagged Yankees starter Ivan Nova for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
— The Birds also took the nightcap as Paul Janish scored on a wild pitch by Dellin Betances in the eighth inning of a 4-3 triumph against the Yanks. Machado homered in both ends of the twinbill.
— Jake Peavy won his fifth consecutive start and rookie Kelby Tomlinson hit an inside-the-park home run in San Francisco's 3-2 decision over Colorado. Brandon Crawford and Marlon Byrd also homered to back Peavy, who gave up a run and four hits in five innings.
— The White Sox scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to beat Detroit 4-3. J.B. Shuck tied it with an RBI double and scored the winning run on Leury Garcia's two-out single.
— Miami took the opener of a doubleheader as Christian Yelich had a career-high five hits and Marcell Ozuna singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of the Marlins' 7-6 win at Philadelphia. Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon collected his 200th hit and stole two bases to take over the National League lead.
— The Marlins completed the sweep with a 5-2 at Philadelphia, leaving the Phillies in danger of a 100-loss season. Justin Bour hit a two-run double and Yelich was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
— Corey Kluber and Cody Allen combined on a three-hitter in Cleveland's 2-0 verdict over Boston. Carlos Santana and Ryan Raburn homered to back Kluber's eight-innings of three-hit ball.
— The Cardinals and Braves were postponed in Atlanta, creating a season-ending doubleheader on Sunday.
Pirates name Cole as wild card starter
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gerrit Cole isn't going to miss the NL wild-card game this year. He will start Wednesday's one-game playoff against the Cubs after being unable to pitch last year's playoff due to his start in the regular-season finale.
Cole is third in the National League with 19 wins and went 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts against Chicago during the regular season.
(UNDATED) - Top-ranked Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan State remained unbeaten this afternoon despite struggling for a half. The Buckeyes managed just six points in the first half of their game at Indiana, and the Spartans were held to a field goal during the second half of their home game against Purdue.
Ohio State needed a final goal line stand to secure a 34-27 win over the unranked Hoosiers. The Buckeyes trailed 10-6 before Ezekiel Elliott scored on touchdown runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards in the second half. Elliott had a career best 274 yards on 23 carries to help OSU improve to 5-0.
Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones struggled in the first half before finishing 18 of 27 for 245 yards, a fourth-quarter TD and one interception.
At East Lansing, LJ Scott ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans pulled out a 24-21 triumph over the Boilermakers. Michigan State took advantage of three Purdue turnovers to take a 21-0 halftime lead before the Boilermakers pulled within 24-21 with 6:44 remaining. Michigan State's Connor Cook went 13 of 19 for 139 yards and a touchdown in his 28th win at MSU, breaking the school record of 27 set by Kirk Cousins.
The day's best matchup was supposed to be in Athens, Georgia, but 13th-ranked Alabama took out the suspense by halftime of a 38-10 rout of No. 8 Georgia. Jake Coker completed 11 of 16 for 190 yards, passed for one touchdown, and ran for another. Derrick Henry rushed for 148 yards, including a 30-yard run that put Alabama ahead to stay midway through the second quarter.
The Crimson Tide made it 31-3 on the Bulldogs' first offensive play of the second half as Eddie Jackson intercepted a pass from backup quarterback Brice Ramsey and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
— The day's biggest upset was in Gainesville, where Will Grier tossed four touchdown passes in the first half of No. 25 Florida's 38-10 rout of third-ranked Mississippi. Grier completed 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards in helping Jim McElwain became the first Gators coach to open his rookie season 5-0 since Steve Spurrier in 1990.
— Fourth-ranked TCU rode a 30-point first quarter to a 50-7 win over Texas. Trevone Boykin threw five touchdown passes, including four to freshman KaVontae Turpin for the 5-0 Horned Frogs.
— Fifth-ranked Baylor outscored Texas Tech 63-35 behind Seth Russell, who threw for 286 yards, passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more scores. Shock Linwood rushed for a career-high 221 yards and two TDs to help the 4-0 Bears win their Big 12 opener.
— Leonard Fournette rolled up 200 rushing yards for the third straight game, finishing with 233 and three touchdowns on 26 carries to highlight ninth-ranked LSU's 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan. Fournette had a 75-yard scoring run and became the first player in SEC history with three straight 200-yard rushing games.
— Eleventh-ranked Florida State held off Wake Forest 24-16 as Dalvin Cook had a 94-yard touchdown run before leaving with a left leg injury. Johnathan Vickers added a 9-yard touchdown run and Everett Golson was 20 of 31 for 202 yards and a score.
—In a game that featured 245 yards in penalties, 15th-ranked Oklahoma improved to 4-0 by outscoring No. 23 West Virginia, 44-24. Baker Mayfield passed for 320 yards and three touchdowns for the Sooners in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
— No. 16 Northwestern is 5-0 after freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson ran for two touchdowns and Justin Jackson ran for 120 yards in a 27-0 win over Minnesota. The Wildcats posted their first shutout victory in Big Ten play since their 1995 run to the Rose Bowl.
— Jordan Canzeri ran for 125 yards and Iowa took advantage of four turnovers by Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave to pull off a 10-6 upset of the 19th-ranked Badgers. The win gives the Hawkeyes a 5-0 record and snaps the Badgers' 10-game home winning streak.
— Ben Grogan hit a 37-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to lift No. 20 Oklahoma State past Kansas State, 36-34. Grogan's second game-winning kick in two weeks came after Joe Hubener scored on an 8-yard run to give the Wildcats a 34-33 advantage with 3:01 left.
— Michigan has won its first Big Ten opener under new coach Jim Harbaugh, beating Maryland 28-0. Desmond Morgan had nine tackles and an interception, part of a dominating defensive performance in which the 22nd-ranked Wolverines allowed just 105 total yards for the second straight week.
— Jared Goff threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 24 California to a 34-28 victory over Washington State. The Bears trailed by eight until Goff tossed two TD passes in a span of less than two minutes late in the third quarter.
No. 1 Ohio State (5-0) beat Indiana 34-27. Next: vs. Maryland, Saturday.
No. 2 Michigan State (5-0) beat Purdue 24-21. Next: at Rutgers, Saturday.
No. 3 Mississippi (4-1) lost to No. 25 Florida 38-10. Next: vs. New Mexico State, Saturday.
No. 4 TCU (5-0) beat Texas 50-7. Next: at Kansas State, Saturday.
No. 5 Baylor (4-0) beat Texas Tech 63-35. Next: at Kansas, Saturday.
No. 6 Notre Dame (4-1) lost to No. 12 Clemson 24-22. Next: vs. Navy, Saturday.
No. 7 UCLA (4-1) lost to Arizona State 38-23. Next: at No. 18 Stanford, Oct. 15.
No. 8 Georgia (4-1) lost to No. 13 Alabama 38-10. Next: at Tennessee, Saturday.
No. 9 LSU (4-0) beat Eastern Michigan 44-22. Next: vs. South Carolina, Saturday.
No. 10 Utah (4-0) did not play. Next: vs. No. 24 California, Saturday
No. 11 Florida State (4-0) beat Wake Forest 24-16. Next: vs. Miami, Saturday.
No. 12 Clemson (4-0) beat No. 6 Notre Dame 24-22. Next: vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday.
No. 13 Alabama (4-1) beat No. 8 Georgia 38-10. Next: vs. Arkansas, Saturday.
No. 14 Texas A&M (5-0) beat No. 21 Mississippi State 30-17. Next: vs. No. 13 Alabama, Oct. 17.
No. 15 Oklahoma (4-0) beat No. 23 West Virginia 44-24. Next: vs. Texas at Dallas, Saturday.
No. 16 Northwestern (5-0) beat Minnesota 27-0 Next: at No. 22 Michigan, Saturday.
No. 17 Southern Cal (3-1) did not play. Next: vs. Washington, Thursday.
No. 18 Stanford (4-1) beat Arizona 55-17. Next: vs. No. 7 UCLA, Oct. 15.
No. 19 Wisconsin (3-2) lost to Iowa 10-6. Next: at Nebraska, Saturday.
No. 20 Oklahoma State (5-0) beat Kansas State 36-34. Next: at No. 23 West Virginia, Saturday.
No. 21 Mississippi St. (3-2) lost to No. 14 Texas A&M 30-17. Next: vs. Troy, Saturday.
No. 22 Michigan (4-1) beat Maryland 28-0. Next: vs. No. 16 Northwestern, Saturday.
No. 23 West Virginia (3-1) lost to No. 15 Oklahoma 44-24. Next: vs. No. 20 Oklahoma State, Saturday.
No. 24 California (5-0) beat Washington State 34-28. Next: at No. 10 Utah, Saturday.
No. 25 Florida (5-0) beat No. 3 Mississippi 38-10. Next: at Missouri, Saturday.
News from around the league
UNDATED (AP) — Josh Scobee's miserable fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens has cost him his job with the Steelers. The veteran kicker was cut by Pittsburgh less than 48 hours after a pair of late missed field goals by Scobee helped the Ravens rally for a 23-20 overtime victory.
The Steelers have replaced Scobee on the roster with Chris Boswell, who has spent time with the Houston Texans and New York Giants but has never kicked in a regular season game.
— The Ravens have obtained wide receiver Chris Givens from the St. Louis Rams for a conditional draft pick. The trade comes after Baltimore lost two receivers during Thursday's win over Pittsburgh. Steve Smith hurt his back and was listed as week-to-week on Saturday, and Michael Campanaro was placed on injured reserve with a back issue.
— The Bears have signed punter Spencer Lanning and waived defensive tackle Brandon Dunn. Punter Pat O'Donnell has a right knee injury and is questionable for the Bears' home game Sunday against Oakland.
— Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch and nose tackle Brandon Mebane will be game-time decisions Monday against Detroit. Lynch hurt his hamstring on a fourth-down catch late in the first half of the Seahawks' 26-0 win over Chicago, and Mebane injured his groin in the first quarter.
McLemore remains with the Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore's contract. He was Sacramento's first-round pick in 2013 and averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.
CHICAGO (AP) — Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell has cleared waivers and will remain with the Stanley Cup champions. Bickell could have been sent down to Rockford of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers, but coach Joel Quenneville (KWEHN'-vihl) says he is staying with the team for now.
The Blackhawks are looking for more production from Bickell after he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 80 games last season, and then struggled in the playoffs.
In other NHL news:
— The Devils have signed right wing Lee Stempniak to a one-year, $850,000 contract. He had 15 goals and 13 assists in 71 games last season with the New York Rangers and Winnipeg.
— Veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar has been released by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 41-year old, four-time All-Star was attempting to make a successful return to Pittsburgh, where he played from 2005-10 while helping the franchise to the 2009 Stanley Cup.
— The Carolina Hurricanes and goalie Eddie Lack have agreed to a two-year contract extension.
Former big leaguer recovering
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets say former star Rusty Staub is recovering in a hospital in Ireland after a heart attack on an overseas flight. The Mets say the 71-year-old is "resting comfortably."
The team said Staub was on a flight from Ireland to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York this week when he had a medical emergency.
Former sprint car driver dies
WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say all four people who died in a plane crash in South Carolina were from northern Indiana. The men were flying from Warsaw, Indiana, to Clemson, South Carolina, to attend Saturday's Notre Dame-Clemson game.
Among the dead is 54-year-old Tony L. Elliott, a former sprint car driver who won the U.S. Auto Club national sprint car series championship in 1998 and 2000.