AP Monday Sports Roundup
Six still perfect, but Cardinals aren't
UNDATED (AP) — There are six unbeaten teams remaining as the NFL concludes its fourth week of the season. Green Bay, Denver, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Carolina were able to improve to 4-0 on Sunday, while Arizona absorbed its first loss of the season. The other unbeaten team, New England, had a bye week.
Aaron Rodgers passed for 224 yards and a touchdown as the Packers beat San Francisco 17-3 for their first 4-0 start in four years. Richard Rodgers caught a nine-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive before Aaron Rodgers got his team going in the second half. The Packers quarterback also scrambled 17 yards to set up a second-half score.
Denver barely improved to 4-0 as Brandon McManus kicked a 39-yard field goal with 1:51 left to give the Broncos a 23-20 triumph over Minnesota. The Broncos didn't secure the victory until Von Miller smothered a loose ball after T.J. Ward's sack-strip of Teddy Bridgewater in the closing seconds. Ronnie Hillman had a 72-yard touchdown run in the first half to help Denver withstand Adrian Peterson's 48-yard scoring burst in the final period. Hill finished with 103 rushing yards, and Peterson had 81 on 16 carries for the 2-2 Vikings.
In Cincinnati, the Bengals matched the third-best start in franchise history with a 36-21 win over the Chiefs. Jeremy Hill had three short touchdown runs for the 4-0 Bengals, who are two wins shy of the club record for best start. Andy Dalton had another good game, completing 17 of 24 passes for 321 yards and a 55-yard touchdown pass.
Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and Josh Norman returned one of Carolina's four interceptions of Jameis Winston for his second TD of the season as the Panthers whipped Tampa Bay 37-23. Newton tossed scoring passes of six and 12 yards to Ted Ginn Jr, helping the Panthers improve to 4-0 for the first time since they opened the 2003 season with five straight wins.
The Falcons remain undefeated after a 48-21 win over Houston. Devonta Freeman scored three touchdowns in the win, giving him six in two games since becoming the Falcons' starting running back. Atlanta is 4-0 for only the fourth time in franchise history.
The Cardinals had been 3-0 before Todd Gurley gained 141 of his 146 rushing yards in the second half of the Rams' 24-22 victory at Arizona. Gurley broke off a 52-yard run that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown that put St. Louis ahead 24-15 with 8:16 left. Rams quarterback Nick Foles threw for 171 yards and three scores without an interception.
Carson Palmer was 29 of 46 for 352 yards for the Cardinals, who settled for five Chandler Catanzaro field goals before David Johnson grabbed a 23-yard scoring strike with 4:38 to play.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— New Orleans has its first victory after Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller for an 80-yard touchdown on the second play of overtime to give the Saints a 26-20 triumph over Dallas. The game-winning bomb allowed Brees to join Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks with at least 400 touchdown passes. Brees was 33 of 41 for 359 yards and no interceptions. Brandon Weeden tossed a 17-yard pass to Terrance Williams before Dan Bailey's extra point tied the game with 1:51 left in regulation. Weeden threw for 246 yards and no interceptions for the 2-2 Cowboys, who are 0-2 since Tony Romo broke a collarbone.
— In the first of the games to be played in London's Wembley Stadium this season, the Jets beat the Dolphins 27-14. Chris ivory ran for a career-high 166 yards and Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 218 yards and one touchdown. Fitzpatrick had 172 passing yards in the first half for the 3-1 Jets, who led 20-7 at intermission and allowed just 95 total yards through three quarters.
— Kirk Cousins threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left to give Washington a 23-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Starting at their own 10 with a little more than six minutes remaining, the 2-2 Skins drove 90 yards on 15 plays to take the lead for good in a back-and-forth game. Cousins finished 31 for 46 for 290 yards with the one TD and no turnovers. Sam Bradford threw three second-half touchdown passes for the Eagles, who erased a 13-0 deficit before falling to 1-3.
— The Bears beat the Raiders 22-20 as Robbie Gould hit a 49-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in regulation. Jay Cutler threw for two touchdowns to help Chicago earn its first win of the season following three defeats. The Raiders grabbed the lead on a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with just over two minutes remaining after an interception of Cutler by Charles Woodson deep in Oakland territory.
—Rashad Jennings broke three tackles to score on a 51-yard touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter of the New York Giants' 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Eli Manning went 20 of 35 for 212 yards and three touchdowns as the Giants improved to 2-2. The Giants limited Buffalo to a combined 77 yards and two first downs on its first nine possessions. The Bills were flagged 17 times for 135 yards in dropping to 2-2.
— Adam Vinatieri kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4:36 left in overtime to give the Colts a 16-13 victory over Jacksonville. The victory is the Colts 15th straight over a divisional opponent, equaling the NFL record established by the 1972-73 Dolphins. Matt Hasselbeck made his first start since November 2012 in place of the injured Andrew Luck and led the Colts to their second win in four games.
— San Diego beat Cleveland 30-27 on Josh Lambo's 34-yard field goal as time expired. Lambo was wide right on a 39-yard attempt with two seconds left, but Cleveland's Tramon Williams was whistled for offside. The 1-3 Browns had tied it at 27 on Josh McCown's 1-yard pass to Gary Barnidge with 2:09 to play and a 2-point conversion pass to Taylor Gabriel. Philip Rivers was 23 of 38 for 358 yards and three touchdowns as the 2-2 Chargers end a two-game skid.
Rangers wrap up AL West...Yankees, Pirates to host wild card games
UNDATED (AP) — The AL West was finally won on Sunday, the final day of the major league season.
The Texas Rangers claimed the division for the first time since 2011 by ripping Los Angeles, 9-2. Cole Hamels went the distance on a three-hitter to finish 7-1 with a 3.66 ERA for the Rangers, who acquired him from the Phillies near the July 31 trade deadline. The Rangers won each of his last 10 starts as they roared past the Astros to win the AL West by two games.
Adrian Beltre snapped a 2-2 tie with a solo homer in the fifth before he delivered an RBI single in a six-run seventh that iced the victory. Like Hamels, Beltre was a huge catalyst for Texas down the stretch with 33 RBIs in his final 23 games.
The outcome knocked the Angels out of wild-card contention and put Houston in Tuesday's AL wild card game against the Yankees in New York.
The Astros would have hosted the Yankees if Houston could have beaten Arizona on Sunday. Instead, Paul Goldschmidt belted a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh to lift the Diamondbacks over the Astros, 5-3. Jose Altuve was 3-for-5 with two runs scored for the Astros, who are in the postseason for the first time since winning the 2005 National League pennant.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Pittsburgh wrapped up home-field for Wednesday's NL wild-card game against the Cubs by shutting out Cincinnati 4-0. J.A. Happ worked six innings and combined with three relievers on a six-hitter as the Pirates dealt the Reds their 14th loss in 15 games. Pedro Alvarez smacked a solo homer and Josh Harrison was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Bucs.
— The Cubs' 3-1 victory at Milwaukee means they will head into the wild-card game on an eight-game winning streak. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run single in a three-run first that sent the Cubs to their 97th win, their most since 2008. Dan Haren gave up a run and three hits in six innings for his 11th win.
— The Yankees tuned up for Tuesday's wild-card game by falling 9-4 in Baltimore, giving the Orioles a three-game sweep to finish .500. O's first baseman Chris Davis locked up the AL home run title by belting his 46th and 47th of the season while collecting four RBIs. Gerardo Parra and Matt Wieters each had two RBIs in the Birds' fifth straight win.
— The Royals capped their first 95-win season since 1980 by whipping Minnesota 6-1. Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer, Alex Rios lined a two-run double and Johnny Cueto gave up one run in five innings despite allowing 10 baserunners. The Royals end the schedule on a five-game winning streak to complete the third-best regular season in franchise history.
— Kansas City clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason when Toronto completed a 12-3 loss at Tampa Bay. Joey Butler finished with six RBIs, including a grand slam in the Rays' nine-run first off Mark Buehrle and the Toronto bullpen. Buehrle needed to work two innings to reach 200 for the 15th consecutive season, but he was pulled with two outs in the first and charged with eight unearned runs.
— The Cardinals limp into postseason after getting shut out in a doubleheader sweep in Atlanta. Shelby Miller snapped his 24-start winless streak by holding his former team to three hits over eight innings of the Braves' 6-0 win over the Redbirds. Adonis Garcia hit a pair of solo homers and Andrelton Simmons added a two-run blast to help Miller finish 6-17.
— Rookie Matt Wisler came within one out of his first career complete game, scattering four hits in Atlanta's 2-0 shutout of the Cards. Garcia and Michael Bourn poked RBI singles to help the Braves end a disappointing season on a three-game winning streak.
— The Mets were in danger of ending their season on a six-game skid until Curtis Granderson homered in the eighth inning to give the NL East champs a 1-0 win over Washington. New York scored just two runs over its final 43 innings as it prepared to take on Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in Los Angeles. The Nationals didn't get their first hit until Clint Robinson singled through the box with two out in the seventh.
— Joc Pederson and Chris Heisey sandwiched two-run homers around Corey Seager's solo shot as the Dodgers doubled up San Diego, 6-3. Kershaw got ready for the NLDS by striking out seven and allowing two hits in 3 2/3 innings. Kershaw finished with a major league-leading 301 strikeouts for the Dodgers, who open their division series at home Friday against the Mets. The Padres announced after the game that Pat Murphy was out as interim manager.
— The Indians topped Boston 3-1 behind Danny Salazar, who gave up a run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings to finish 14-10. Giovanny Urshela and Jesus Aguilar each had two hits and an RBI.
— Tyler Collins hit a bases-loaded triple and Daniel Norris pitched one-hit ball for five innings as Detroit posted a 6-0 shutout of the White Sox. The Tigers finish in the AL Central cellar after taking the division last year.
— Seattle beat Oakland 3-2 on Seth Smith's solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. The Mariners rallied after Mark Canha's solo homer put the Athletics ahead 2-0 in the third. Oakland finishes with the AL's worst record at 68-94 after earning a wild-card berth in 2014.
— Miami second baseman Dee Gordon went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double to win the NL batting title, but Aaron Altherr hit a three-run triple to lead the Phillies past the Marlins, 7-2. The Phillies finished a major league-worst 63-99 to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft.
— The Giants ended their World Series title defense by surrendering seven runs in the ninth inning of a 7-3 loss to Colorado. Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Justin Morneau delivered a two-run single during the Rockies' rally. The Giants finish 84-78, one year after winning the World Series for the third time in five years.
Pitching set for the Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — The Mets have set their pitching rotation for the first three games of their best-of-five NL playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jacob deGrom will start the opener Friday in Los Angeles, followed by Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
Ferrell coming back
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Boston Red Sox say manager John Farrell will be back next season after leaving the team to undergo cancer treatment. The 53-year-old has been on medical leave since Aug. 14 after being diagnosed lymphoma. He completed chemotherapy treatments in Boston this past week.
Top team stands pat
UNDATED (AP) — There are several changes atop The Associated Press college football poll.
Top-ranked Ohio State received 38 first-place votes following its win at Indiana, but Michigan State dropped from second to fourth after blowing most of a 21-point lead in a 24-21 win over Purdue.
TCU is the new No. 2, followed by Baylor. Utah is fifth, in front of Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
Five teams received first-place votes.
Harvick advances with win; Johnson eliminated
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Kevin Harvick has advanced to the second round of NASCAR's playoffs with a dominating performance at Dover International Speedway.
Harvick was mired in 15th in the standings and had to win to keep his title defense alive. He led for 354 laps and finished ahead of Kyle Busch.
Carl Edwards also advanced, along with Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.
The shocker was the elimination of six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who entered fifth in the standings and was the owner of 10 wins at Dover. His No. 48 Chevrolet was forced off the track for 36 laps with a torn rear axle seal, causing him to finish 41st.
Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer also were eliminated from the Chase field.
Kidd-Gilchrist has dislocated shoulder
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets say forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dislocated his right shoulder during Saturday's preseason game at Orlando.
Kidd-Gilchrist is a key player for the Hornets, who were 28-29 when he played last season and 5-20 without him.