Friday, October 4, 2013
Sharks beat Canucks 4-1 in season opener
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Justin Braun scored his first goal in more than 19 months to break a tie late in the second period and the San Jose Sharks went on to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau and Tommy Wingels also scored for the Sharks, who have won eight straight against the Canucks including a sweep in the first round of the playoffs last season. Antti Niemi made 21 saves.
Jason Garrison scored a power-play goal and Roberto Luongo made 31 saves for the Canucks, who lost in the debut of new coach John Tortorella.
The Canucks opened this season on the same ice they ended the last one on after the disappointing early playoff exit led to the firing of coach Alain Vigneault.
Kopitar, Carter lift Kings over Wild 3-2 in SO
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter scored shootout goals for the Los Angeles Kings, who rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Carter and Drew Doughty scored regulation goals for Los Angeles, which had just 18 shots. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the Kings, including stops against Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in the shootout.
Matt Cooke and Jonas Brodin scored in regulation for Minnesota, which had never lost a home opener in its first 12 seasons (11-0-1).
Trailing 2-1, Carter scored on a rebound of a shot by Matt Frattin at 13:14 of the third period to tie it for Los Angeles.
Cooke scored early in the first period for Minnesota. After a power-play goal by Doughty, Brodin scored with the extra man to give the Wild a 2-1 lead late in the first.
Kershaw pitches Dodgers past Braves 6-1 in Game 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the bumbling Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the NL division series Thursday night.
The Dodgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fourth against Kris Medlen, taking advantage of some shoddy Atlanta defense even though the Braves were generously not charged with an error.
Kershaw limited Atlanta to Chris Johnson's run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth. The Dodgers' ace allowed three hits and finished in style, striking out the side in the seventh to match his season high for Ks. Medlen gave up nine hits and five runs in four-plus innings.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Friday night in Atlanta.
A's, Tigers prepare for playoff rematch year later
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Josh Donaldson mimics Miguel Cabrera whenever he can, and he has no problem copping to it.
Donaldson spent a couple of days each week over the offseason studying film of Detroit's star in the batter's box, trying to pick up on something he could apply to his own hitting for Oakland.
Indeed, he learned a thing or two on the way to a breakout season.
These two third basemen will face off in the playoffs for the second straight October starting with Game 1 of the AL division series Friday night.
One is a household name, 2012 Triple Crown winner and widely considered the best hitter in baseball. The other is more anonymous up-and-comer whose spectacular September in his first full major league season earned him AL player of the month honors.
Peralta makes Tigers' roster for division series
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jhonny Peralta is on the Detroit Tigers' roster for the AL division series against the Oakland Athletics.
Just over a week ago, the All-Star shortstop completed his 50-game suspension for ties to the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
Peralta isn't in the starting lineup for Game 1 on Friday night in Oakland. The Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston before Peralta's suspension took effect.
Peralta played left field after returning from his suspension. He batted .303 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs this season. Andy Dirks will start in left in the opener of the best-of-five series.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Thursday that he'll make out his lineups using "some statistical analysis, some gut feeling, a combination of those things."
Padres RHP Ross has surgery on left shoulder
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Padres pitcher Tyson Ross has had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder and is expected to be OK for spring training.
The Padres made the announcement Thursday, a day after the right-hander had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder.
The 26-year-old Ross went 3-8 with a 3.17 ERA this season. He pitched in 35 games, including 16 starts.
San Diego got Ross from Oakland in a trade last offseason.
Kobe Bryant goes overseas for medical procedure
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant is heading overseas to have a medical procedure unrelated to the torn Achilles tendon he sustained in April.
The Los Angeles Lakers said Thursday that Bryant is expected to return early next week.
He went to Germany twice in 2011 for a procedure on his sore right knee and a sore left ankle that bothered him at the time.
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday cited people with knowledge of the situation as saying that Bryant was going to Germany this time. He was having a knee procedure that involves removing blood from the affected area and spinning it in a centrifuge. Molecules that cause inflammatory responses are then removed to create a serum that is injected back into the affected area.
49ers, Gore trying to build running game back up
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Wearing a gray San Francisco 49ers hoodie, soft-spoken running back Frank Gore walked around team headquarters with a familiar smile and strut Thursday.
Gore is in good spirits again, and so are the 49ers (2-2) entering Sunday night's game against the Houston Texans (2-2) at Candlestick Park. Gore gashed St. Louis for 153 yards on 20 carries in San Francisco's 35-11 rout of the Rams last week to snap a two-game losing skid and a rare running funk.
Gore says the 49ers "got back to being us."
Perhaps no player has contributed to San Francisco's success more than Gore the past three seasons. Since 2011, San Francisco is 9-0 when Gore runs for at least 100 yards.
Del Rio declines to address USC rumors
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Jack Del Rio only wanted to talk about the Cowboys, not the Trojans.
In his first for-the-record comments since his name's been bandied about as a possible replacement for Lane Kiffin at USC, Del Rio declined Thursday to address speculation he might return to his alma mater.
Asked if he'd been contacted by USC, the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator said, "No. No. No, there's nothing to speak on that subject. I'm really here to talk about the Cowboys and our preparation in getting ready for them."
The Broncos (4-0) visit Dallas (2-2) on Sunday.
Del Rio joined John Fox's staff in Denver last year after serving as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-11.
Kiffin was fired Sunday and replaced by interim coach Ed Orgeron.
Rivers prospering in no-huddle, no-hurry offense
SAN DIEGO (AP) — It turns out that Philip Rivers didn't need to be fixed after two tough seasons.
He just needed to be plopped into the no-huddle, no-hurry offense that rookie coach Mike McCoy and his top assistants drew up.
Rivers has thrown for 400 yards twice in four games after doing it three times in his previous nine seasons combined.
He's completed 73.9 percent of his passes and thrown for 11 touchdowns against only two interceptions.
Rivers has flexibility in the new offense, which was drawn up by McCoy, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and quarterbacks coach Frank Reich.
Star tight end Antonio Gates says Rivers is "off the charts right now. He's playing phenomenal."
Raiders may be without starting center
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Stefen Wisniewski walked slowly through the Raiders locker room, a thick black brace around his right knee. He paused at his stall briefly, donned a black hoodie then shuffled back out the way he came.
For only the second time in three seasons, Oakland's starting center is facing a Sunday with no football. Wisniewski suffered a knee sprain in last week's loss to the Washington Redskins and hasn't practiced since.
It's another blow to the Raiders offensive line, which could go into Sunday's game against San Diego with only one of its projected starters still in place.
Since losing left tackle Jared Veldheer to a triceps injury in training camp, Oakland has scrambled to keep the same unit on the field for longer than a week.
Daniels says Seattle signing not a rivalry move
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — New Seattle backup quarterback B.J. Daniels says his signing after being waived by San Francisco is not a gamesmanship maneuver by the Seahawks.
Daniels pointed out on Thursday that Seattle held a private workout with him before April's draft and he thought the Seahawks could be a team he ended up playing for.
Daniels was signed by the Seahawks on Wednesday after he was placed on waivers by San Francisco. Daniels said he was surprised but thankful to be picked up by Seattle and still on a 53-man roster.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers were hopeful they would be able to get Daniels back on their practice squad. What his role in Seattle will be remains unknown.
Houston's Schaub looks to bounce back
HOUSTON (AP) — Matt Schaub has had a tough week.
It has nothing to do with fans calling for the benching of the Houston quarterback and burning his jerseys. He has learned to tune out that kind of negativity.
But he's unhappy with his performance last week and can't wait to get back on the field against the 49ers on Sunday to help erase memories of that game and get the Texans back on track.
He says the most difficult part of having a bad game in the NFL is waiting an entire week to have a chance for redemption.
Coach Gary Kubiak says that Schaub is doing a lot of good things, but that it's imperative that he find a way to limit his mistakes.
Hundley, UCLA defense pull out 34-27 win over Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Quarterback Brett Hundley threw for a touchdown, caught one and ran for another Thursday night to lead No. 12 UCLA to a 34-27 victory over Utah that lifted the Bruins to 4-0 for the first time since 2005.
Hundley, who finished with 211 yards passing, threw an ill-advised pass into the flat that Keith McGill picked off and returned 19 yards for a touchdown to tie things at 24 with 13:23 left. But the sophomore quarterback followed with a 48-yard drive for the go-ahead field goal, then ran 36 yards for a score with 3:33 left to give UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) a 10-point advantage.
Utah (3-2, 0-2) pulled within seven and had the ball at the UCLA 23, but Travis Wilson threw his sixth interception of the night to end the game.
Stanford unveils new football facility
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — David Shaw and his staff have been working out of cubicles erected on a basketball court inside Stanford's athletic department this season while workers prepared to move the football offices into a new facility.
Safe to say Shaw and his coaches are about to get a major upgrade.
Stanford unveiled the football team's sparkling new digs Thursday night. The Arrillaga Family Sports Center, which will also provide services for other teams, received a renovation and new addition as part of an estimated $21 million project that began in 2011.
The fifth-ranked football program will move into the building next week after hosting No. 15 Washington on Saturday night. The project is the latest example of the program's rise to an unlikely national powerhouse the last six years.
PLAYOFF SELECTION COMMITTEE
AP Source: Haden expected to be on playoff panel
A person with knowledge of the process tells The Associated Press that Southern California athletic director Pat Haden, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich are expected to be members of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
The committee will pick the four teams that will play for the 2014 national championship.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the committee members were still being finalized by conference commissioners.
CBS.com has reported that Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez and West Virginia AD Oliver Luck were expected to be on the committee.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock has said the commissioners likely will have the 12-to-18 member panel completed by the end of this season.
Haden is a former USC quarterback.
Rousing Sermon wins Santa Anita feature
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Rousing Sermon beat favorite Blue Tone by 2¼ lengths to win the $54,000 Covered Bridge Purse at Santa Anita.
Ridden for the first time by Julien Leparoux, Rousing Sermon ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.03 and paid $8, $3 and $2.20. The colt finished eighth in last year's Kentucky Derby.
Blue Tone returned $2.40 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite.
American Act was another 8¼ lengths back in third and paid $2.40 to show.
The victory, worth $42,120, increased California-bred Rousing Sermon's career earnings to $609,222, with four wins in 21 starts.
Youth martial art of pankration to be regulated
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation authorizing the state athletic commission to regulate youth competitions in the martial art of pankration.
Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord introduced AB1186 after watching an Internet video featuring elementary school-age children sparring and wrestling. The sport combines skills from karate and jiu-jitsu.
The bill Brown announced signing Thursday places youth competitions under the authority of the athletic commission, which already oversees full-contact boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts for adults.
State officials could set a minimum age for competitors or require having a doctor on site during tournaments.
Some coaches and parents say the sport has been misrepresented as more dangerous than it actually is.
Light-contact karate, tae kwon-do and judo would not be subject to additional state oversight.