Update on the latest sports


Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video. He said he felt something in his elbow during a recent simulated game, consulted with doctors and determined that the surgery would be the best option.

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.


Stars and Lightning meet in Game 1

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning face off Saturday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Stars are in the final for the first time since 2000. The Lightning eliminated the Islanders in six games in the Eastern Conference final to join them. They last got to this point in 2015.

It’s a matchup of teams that turn defense into offense. The Stars and Lightning both have defensemen who can provide plenty of points. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen is the Stars’ leading scorer this postseason with five goals and 17 assists. Dallas defensemen have combined for 13 goals and 40 assists, the most points during a postseason in franchise history.

Victor Hedman has six goals in Tampa Bay’s last eight games. His nine goals are the most by a Lightning defenseman in the postseason, and three shy of the NHL record.

Tampa Bay has several key players dealing with injuries, including captain Steven Stamkos, who has been ruled out for Game 1.


FSU coach tests positive for virus

UNDATED (AP) — Florida State coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach the Seminoles in-person this week as they prepare for Miami.

Norvell released a statement Saturday saying he tested positive a day earlier but is feeling fine. He said his wife and daughter tested negative Saturday.

Florida State athletic director David Coburn said Norvell is isolating, which lasts a minimum of 10 days. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen is taking over Norvell’s duties, but the first-year head coach said he still intends to remain involved.

Florida State lost its season opener at home to Georgia Tech last week and was off Saturday. The Seminoles play at the rival Hurricanes next Saturday.

In other college football news:

— No. 11 Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders left Saturday’s game against Tulsa late in the opening quarter with an apparent right ankle injury. Sanders appeared to get hurt on a short rush in which he gained a first down midway through the first quarter. He limped off the field after that drive ended in a 27-yard field goal by Alex Hale, but he came back for one more play, which ended in a fumble that Tulsa recovered. Backup Ethan Bullock, a junior college transfer from the City College of San Francisco, replaced Sanders and was sacked on 3rd-and-9 on the next possession.


Michigan-Ohio State finale highlights Big Ten schedule

UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten has released the schedule for its eight-week football season that will start the weekend of Oct. 24.

Week 1 features Nebraska at Ohio State, two teams that were at the forefront of the grassroots push to play fall ball in the Big Ten. Michigan will play at Minnesota in the Little Brown Jug rivalry to open the season. In Week 2, Ohio State will play at Penn State on Halloween. The regular season concludes as usual with the Buckeyes and Wolverines facing off on Dec. 12. Michigan and Ohio State have played 103 times, but never later than November.

The Big Ten championship game will be played Dec. 19 in Indianapolis, matching the east and West Division champions. The conference has said it will give all its teams the opportunity to play on Dec. 19. The tentative plan is to match teams with similar finishes in the respective division standings.

Last month the Big Ten decided against playing football in the fall because of concerns about COVID-19. It reversed that decision this week.


Rays head for playoffs without Meadows

UNDATED (AP) — The playoff-bound Rays will be missing outfielder Austin Meadows into the postseason because of a strained oblique. He’s been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain suffered while taking a swing this week for the AL East leaders during a game in Baltimore. Meadows is batting just .205 with four homers and 13 RBIs. Last year, he hit .291 with 33 home runs and 89 RBIs.

The Rays send right-hander Charlie Morton to the mound Saturday night in the fourth game of the series. Morton allowed a combined six runs and 10 hits over 9 1/3 innings in his last two starts. Jorge López starts for Baltimore. The right-hander is coming off his best outing of the season, allowing just one run in seven innings against Atlanta.

Elsewhere around the majors:

— Cubs journeyman Alec Mills is set to pitch for the first time since his unexpected no-hitter a week ago against Milwaukee. The 28-year-old will face the Twins in just the 16th start of his big league career. Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 is the only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters. Mills will face Minnesota right-hander Michael Pineda.

— Cardinals left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim starts at Milwaukee, trying to keep up his remarkable run. The 32-year-old Kim, who starred in South Korea before coming to the major leagues this season, is 2-0 with an 0.63 ERA in six games. He hasn’t permitted an earned run in his last four starts, spanning 24 innings. Kim pitched a season-high seven innings against the Brewers in his previous start, allowing three hits.

— Braves rookie right-hander Ian Anderson faces the Mets in his fifth major league start. The 22-year-old Anderson, drafted third overall in 2016, went to high school in Clifton Park, about 170 miles north of Citi Field. But he was a Boston Red Sox fan, like his dad. Anderson said he has two brothers living in New York City, though with no fans permitted at the ballpark because of the coronavirus, his family and friends won’t get the chance to see him pitch in person.


Ryan Blaney hopes to avoid playoff elimination at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Blaney is determined to avoid elimination from the NASCAR playoffs — a daunting task that just might require an outright win Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, where four drivers will be knocked from title contention.

Blaney has plummeted to last in the 16-driver field. William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Blaney are the four drivers below the cutline headed into the knockout race. It marks a collapse for Blaney, who spent 13 weeks ranked fourth or higher in the Cup standings and was seventh at the start of the playoffs.

Officials have sold all 30,000 tickets available to spectators.


Djokovic loses his cool again during win at Italian Open

ROME (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) lost his cool again less than two weeks after getting defaulted from the U.S. Open. This time it came midway through a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer in the Italian Open quarterfinals.

Djokovic slammed his racket to the red clay in anger after getting broken at love to even the second set at 3-3. Djokovic had to get a new racket and received a warning from the chair umpire. The 97th-ranked Koepfer, who screamed at himself in frustration throughout the match, was also warned fr misbehavior early in the third set.

Djokovic’s semifinal opponent will be Casper Ruud, who eliminated local favorite Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 57 minutes.

Top-seeded Simona Halep became the first semifinalist at the Italian Open after Kazakh opponent Yulia Putintseva retired midway through their quarterfinal match due to a lower back injury. Halep was ahead 6-2, 2-0 when Putintseva decided she was in too much pain to continue. Putintseva had already taken an off-court medical timeout between sets.


21-year-old Slovenian set to win Sunday

LA PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, France (AP) — A 21-year-old from Slovenia is all but guaranteed to become the youngest post-World War II winner of the Tour de France.

Tadek Pogacar will roll into Paris Sunday in what is traditionally a ceremonial last stage with a lead of 59 seconds over fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic. Australian Richie Porte will complete the podium.

Not since British riders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished 1-2 at the 2012 Tour has one nation taken the top two spots.


Ky. Derby winner Authentic works out in prep for Preakness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authentic has had his first major workout since winning the Kentucky Derby as he prepares for the Preakness next month.

The 3-year-old completed five furlongs in 59.20 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia on Saturday at Churchill Downs, where he has remained since his Derby victory on Sept. 5. Authentic’s time was the fastest of 38 horses at the distance.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Authentic has been handling things well after the Derby.

Baffert’s other horse, Thousand Words, went five furlongs in 1:02.40 under jockey Florent Geroux. Thousand Words was scratched in the paddock from the Derby after he reared up and fell on his side.

Baffert said both of his horses would complete one more workout before shipping to Baltimore for the Preakness on Oct. 3.

Art Collector, who was knocked out of the Derby because of a minor injury before he could be entered, went five furlongs in 59.40 — the second-fastest behind Authentic — with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. Art Collector is likely to be among the favorites for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

Categories: National Sports