Cardinals top Ravens

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have retained their 1 ½-game lead in the NFC West while adding another loss to the Baltimore Ravens' worst start in franchise history.

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The Cardinals are 5-2 after Carson Palmer completed 20 of his 29 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-18 win over the Ravens. Chris Johnson led the Cardinals' ground game with 122 yards on 18 carries. Johnson scored on a 26-yard run in the fourth quarter and reeled off a 62-yard scamper that set up a field goal.

Palmer hit Michael Floyd for a three-yard TD late in the second quarter to put Arizona ahead to stay. Palmer's four-yard scoring strike to John Brown made it 26-10 with 8:08 remaining before Baltimore made it interesting.

The Ravens drove to the Arizona four with a chance to tie it before Joe Flacco was intercepted by Tony Jefferson in the end zone with six seconds remaining. Flacco was 26 of 40 for 252 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown as Baltimore dropped to 1-6.


Lions sack offensive coaches

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan. That comes a day after the team dropped to 1-6 with a listless performance against the Minnesota Vikings. During the game, quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times.

Blocking problems have plagued the Lions all season, limiting Stafford's effectiveness and the running game's productivity.

Quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter is taking over as offensive coordinator.


Roethlisberger could return

UNDATED (AP) — Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says he feels good about Ben Roethlisberger's availability against Cincinnati this Sunday, but he cautions that the Steelers' franchise quarterback still has to go through a week of practice. Tomlin said the two-time Super Bowl winner almost started yesterday's 23-13 loss at Kansas City before it was decided that the start should go to someone that had practice reps. Roethlisberger has missed four games with a sprained knee and bruised leg.


— Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan has undergone a second surgery on his back, putting his return to the field this season in doubt. Coach Mike Zimmer says that Sullivan aggravated his injury while weightlifting about 10 days ago. He said the likelihood of getting Sullivan back this season was "minimal."


Big blow for second ranked team

UNDATED (AP) — If the second-ranked Baylor Bears are to make the four-team playoff this winter, they'll do it without their top quarterback.

Seth Russell faces surgery to repair damage to his cervical vertebra. The surgery was recommended after Russell saw a specialist two days after getting hurt late in the second-ranked Bears' victory over Iowa State Saturday. The typical recovery time is six months.

Russell is the top-rated passer in the Bowl Subdivision, throwing for 2,104 yards with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Freshman Jarrett Stidham will take over for Russell.


Hunter retires

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have confirmed that right fielder Torii Hunter has decided to retire.

Hunter was still very productive at age 40, hitting .240 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs in 139 games. He batted .277 with 353 homers and 1,391 RBIs in 2,372 games in 19 seasons with the Twins, Angels and Tigers.

Hunter told the Star Tribune he began the year believing this would be his last in baseball, preferring to focus on his family.


Opening game Tuesday

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City manager Ned Yost has named Edinson Volquez to be his starting pitcher for Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Mets Tuesday.

He'll be opposed by Matt Harvey for the Mets, who are making their first World Series appearance in 15 years.

Yost will go with Johnny Cueto in Game 2, followed by Yordano Ventura and Chris Young.

Kelly Johnson will be the Mets' designated hitter in the World Series opener. He hit .250 with five homers and 13 RBIs for New York after being acquired from Atlanta on July 24. He is 1 for 6 in the postseason.

New York outfielder Curtis Granderson has a jammed thumb, but the Mets said he will play in Game 1. He'll be joined by fellow outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who says he'll be ready to go despite an ailing left shoulder that forced him to leave Game 4 of the NLCS after two innings.


New man in charge of the Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies have hired Matt Klentak as their new general manger. He's been the Angels assistant GM since November 2011 and at 35 is the youngest GM in Phillies team history. He replaces Ruben Amaro Jr., who was fired in September by new team president Andy MacPhail.

Klentak previously worked for MacPhail in Baltimore as the Orioles director of baseball operations from 2008-11.


Isles stay hot

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Islanders and Calgary Flames were two of the NHL's most pleasant surprises last season. The Isles have continued their winning ways, while the Flames own the league's second-largest number of regulation losses.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 29 shots and the Isles improved to 6-2-1 with a 4-0 win over the Flames. Frans Nielsen scored twice in a three-goal third period that supported Halak's 38th career shutout and second in three games.

Mikhail Grabovski and Cal Clutterbuck also scored, while Kyle Okposo collected two assists. Grabovski has notched the game-winner in the Islanders' last two contests.

The Flames held the Islanders scoreless for the first 34 minutes before falling to 2-7-0.

Anaheim was just as desperate for a victory, and the Ducks held Chicago scoreless for 60 minutes before the defending Stanley Cup champs pulled out a 1-0 victory. Jonathan Toews ended it 51 seconds into OT, allowing the Blackhawks to improve to 6-3-0. Corey Crawford made 14 saves in his second shutout of the season and 14th of his career.

The Ducks are 1-5-2 and share the Western Conference cellar with Calgary.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Rookie Max Domi and Shane Doan scored power-play goals while Arizona was building a 4-1 lead in a 4-3 win at Toronto. Kyle Chipchura had a goal and an assist to help the Coyotes win their second straight since an 0-3-1 stretch.


Preds sign Ekholm to new deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Mattias  Ekholm to a six-year, $22.5 million contract. The 25-year old was a restricted free agent who already has a goal and two assists in seven games this season. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman currently has 30 points and 66 penalty minutes in 152 career games.

Also in the NHL:

— Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane will be out approximately four to six weeks because of an injury to his left knee sustained in Saturday's loss to the Devils. Without revealing the exact nature of the injury, coach Dan Bylsma said Kane won't require surgery after hurting his medial collateral ligament.

— Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov has been fined $4,167 by the NHL for elbowing Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon. Burmistrov was called for a minor penalty for elbowing in the second period of the Jets' 5-4 home victory Sunday.

— Flyers forward Michael Raffl says he's fine and ready to play Tuesday after a scary incident on the bench Saturday night. Raffl had to be helped to the locker room in the second period of a 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers after he says he became dizzy and passed out for a couple of seconds on the bench.


Bucks pick up options on four players

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks have lengthened the contracts of four of their top players.

The Bucks have exercised third-year contract options on forward Jabari Parker and guard Tyler Ennis and fourth-year options on guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Carter-Williams, Parker and Antetokounmpo combined to average 40 points and 17 1/2 rebounds last season. Parker was a contender for Rookie of the Year honors last year until he suffered a major left knee injury.


LeBron, Kobe are ready

UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James says he'll be ready for Cleveland's NBA season opener Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls.

The four-time league MVP has been sidelined for nearly two weeks after receiving anti-inflammation injections in his back. But he's practiced for two consecutive days and has pronounced himself ready to go.

In other NBA news:

— Kobe Bryant is still expected to play in the Los Angeles Lakers' season opener Wednesday after being slowed by a bruised leg for two weeks. Bryant participated in most of the Lakers' practice Monday at their training complex. Fifteen-year NBA veteran Metta World Peace survived final cuts to make the Lakers season-opening roster.


Pharoah is early favorite for Breeders' Cup Classic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Triple Crown champion American Pharoah is the early 6-5 favorite in a field of 10 for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, the last race of his career.

The colt will break from the No. 4 post on Saturday at Keeneland as he tries to bounce back from a loss in the Travers two months ago.

Beholder drew the far outside post and is the 3-1 second choice for the 1 1/4-mile race against male horses.