Associated Press Washington needs to win three more to dig out of a 3-0 hole, which has only been done four times before in NHL history. Calgary needs back-to-back victories, down three games to two.Washington could get top center Nicklas Backstrom back from injury after he missed the past three games. Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk is also still considered day to day with an undisclosed injury. NBA PLAYOFFSTop seeds try to bounce back from Game 1 lossesLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, the No. 1 seeds in each NBA conference, both bring 1-0 deficits into their games Thursday. So do the fourth-seeded Indiana Pacers, who dropped their opener against Miami. The Western & Southern Open begins with qualifying Thursday.OLYMPICS-TOKYO-SURVEYSurvey: Majority of Japanese firms oppose Olympics next yearTOKYO (AP) — A majority of Japanese companies among almost 13,000 surveyed oppose holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year, according to an online study published Thursday.The survey by a Japanese research company, published by the Kyodo news agency, showed 27.8% want the games to be canceled, and 25.8% said they should be postponed again. The Olympics were originally planned for this year but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNHL PLAYOFFSCapitals, Flames try to avoid eliminationUNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals are hoping to stave off elimination in Game 5 of their first-round series against the New York Islanders Thursday in Toronto, while the Dallas Stars are looking to close out the Calgary Flames in Game 6 in Edmonton. August 20, 2020 Japanese organizers and the International Olympic Committee have said if the Olympics can’t be held next year, they will be canceled.In the survey, 46.2% said they wanted the games to go ahead in some form and open on July 23, 2021.Kyodo said the survey was conducted by Tokyo Shoko Research and covered 12,857 companies.Japan is heavily invested in the Olympics and is spending officially $12.6 billion, though a government audit says the number is twice that large. — The season is already over for Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, the unanimous choice as 2019 AL rookie of the year. Astros manager Dusty Baker says Alvarez has a partially torn right patellar tendon that will require season-ending surgery. After hitting 27 homers last year, Alvarez played just two games this season. Alvarez missed the first three weeks of the season due to the coronavirus. He homered against the Seattle Mariners in his season debut Friday but went on the injured list just three days later.PGA-NORTHERN TRUSTFedEx Cup playoffs begin with The Northern Trust NORTON, Mass. (AP) — The Northern Trust starts Thursday outside Boston. It’s the first of three playoff events that culminate in Atlanta with the Tour Championship and the $15 million prize to the FedEx Cup champion. Justin Thomas is the No. 1 seed — the eighth player in eight years to have the top seed starting the postseason. Korda is No. 18, the fourth-highest American in the world rankings. Katja Pogacar of Slovenia replaced Korda in the field at Royal Troon in Scotland.TENNIS-PLAYERS QUARANTINED2 players out of Western & Southern Open after COVID contactUNDATED (AP) — Two tennis players — Argentina’s Guido Pella and Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien — say their fitness trainer tested positive for COVID-19 and that is why they were dropped from the tournament that will precede the U.S. Open at its Flushing Meadow site. Pella and Dellien posted separate videos on Instagram after the Western & Southern Open announced Wednesday that two unidentified players were placed under quarantine and removed from the tournament field after being exposed to someone who tested for the illness caused by the coronavirus. Only the top 70 after this week advance to the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields south of Chicago, and from there the top 30 go to East Lake in Atlanta for the Tour Championship.Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) has withdrawn from The Northern Trust with what he described as nagging hip and knee injuries.GOLF-WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN-KORDAKorda withdrawsTROON, Scotland (AP) — Jessica Korda, one of the top U.S. hopes at the Women’s British Open, withdrew from the first major of the year because of medical reasons before the first round started Thursday. Organizers said Korda’s issues were “unrelated to COVID-19.” The Cardinals didn’t play any games at all for a stretch of over two weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak within the organization that included star catcher Yadier Molina.They returned to action by going 4-4 in this eight-game trip that included three doubleheaders. They have 10 scheduled doubleheaders this year as they try to make up some of those games they missed.Elsewhere around the majors:— Cleveland’s Shane Bieber owns a 4-0 record and 1.30 ERA, but it’s his strikeout numbers that have put him in select company. Bieber will attempt to continue his hot streak as he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 25-year-old has struck out 54 through his first five starts of the season. That’s the highest strikeout total by any player in his first five starts of the season since Pedro Martinez also had 54 in 2001. In Bieber’s only previous start against the Pirates, he gave up a career-high seven earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings, which matches the shortest start of his MLB career. Of course, that happened way back on July 24, 2018.— Toronto’s Randal Grichuk has homered in four consecutive games and will try to keep that streak going when the Blue Jays play a doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies. Grichuk homered twice in a 5-2 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday. This is the second time in Grichuk’s career that he’s homered in four straight games, as he also did it in July 2017. He has six homers this season, all in his last six games. His 11 RBIs in the series against Baltimore that just concluded represented the second-highest total by a Blue Jay in any three-game series. Josh Phelps knocked home 13 runs in a three-game series with Seattle in 2004. Update on the latest sports Milwaukee and Los Angeles, the No. 1 seeds in each conference, both bring 1-0 deficits into their games Thursday. So do the fourth-seeded Indiana Pacers, another “home” team in name only who dropped their opener against Miami.The teams missed the energy of their crowds in Game 1. In a normal year, the top four seeds in each conference would be playing in their own arenas, with home-court advantage in the first two games of their playoff series. Instead, they’re having to adjust to an extended stay at Walt Disney World without their fans to cheer them on. MLB-SCHEDULECardinals return homeUNDATED (AP) — After finishing an eight-game, five-day trip to Chicago with series against the White Sox and Cubs, the Cardinals are set to play at Busch Stadium for the first time since July 26 as they host the Cincinnati Reds.
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No. 9 Gabriela Knutson stared at the ball knowing everyone was watching her. She scanned the scene before her final serve. Knutson was in charge of clinching the match for Syracuse — a position she had never been in during her tennis career at SU, she said. But this wasn’t any other match. It was against No. 3 Georgia Tech. Knutson raised her arm and threw the ball into the air. Up 40-0, she smashed the serve straight down the middle of the court past the outstretched arms of No. 22 Paige Hourigan. Players from Syracuse jolted onto the court, jumping with their arms in the air. The crowd at Drumlins Country Club erupted. Dina Hegab was the first to embrace Knutson as the team followed and linked arms with elation. As the coaches walked over to the crowd of players celebrating, Knutson threw her hands into the air and started to tear up. At that moment, Knutson had not known what she had done for SU’s tennis program, she said, but she knew it was something special. “It makes everything I do worthwhile,” Knutson said, “Not sleeping, traveling, just waking up at 6 a.m. to go to practice. It makes everything worthwhile when you have that kind of support from your teammates to win the match.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 34 Syracuse (14-3, 6-3 Atlantic Coast), who failed to close two matches earlier this season against Virginia and then-No. 16 Wake Forest in the final moments, did the almost unthinkable on Sunday and beat No. 3 Georgia Tech (14-4, 6-2), 4-3. The Yellow Jackets are the highest-ranked opponent SU has ever beaten. While some players, like Hegab, knew GT was a top-five opponent, Knutson made it a point of emphasis to not know the rankings before Sunday’s match. On Sunday morning, assistant athletics director William Hicks shot Knutson a text. It said, “This is why you work so hard, kick ass.”Despite the tall task, the Orange started the match with strong doubles play in the first and third slot. No. 37 Knutson and Miranda Ramirez dominated No. 1 Hourigan and Kenya Jones from the jump, taking a 5-0 lead at one point, en route to a 6-2 victory. With GT winning second doubles, Hegab and Masha Tritou faced off late crowd pressure to clinch the doubles point, 7-5, for SU. After Sofya Golubovskaya dropped her singles match, Syracuse led 3-2 with Anna Shkudun on the way to a loss. Knutson, who was on the opposite side of the courts, looked over to Golubovskaya’s match in between points. “I kept looking at the scoreboard,” Knutson said, “so when I saw that (Golubovskaya) lost I was like ‘Oh no, please no.’ I knew it was up to me.”Knutson opened her match by taking two of the first three games with three aces but fell behind after that. After a 2-1 lead, Knutson dropped seven consecutive games en route to losing the first set, 2-6, but blamed the early struggles on her mindset.After falling behind 0-2 in the second set, something clicked for Knutson. She stopped taking soft shots and began to hit aggressive forehands, she said.Knutson opened the third game of the set with two aces and never looked back, she said. Up a break, Knutson hit a forehand slice to the endline and past the arms of Hourigan. Hourigan fell to the ground, visibly shaken up, and began to yell at herself. Behind six-straight games won, Knutson forced the match to a third set. Knutson could not capitalize early in the third; she fell behind 0-3, down a break. Going into the fourth game in the third set, Golubovskaya’s match ended and everyone’s attention focused on the first singles match. “Sometimes it’s too much,” Knutson said. “Everyone rushed on (my) court and everyone was cheering. I’m like ‘I can’t think or breath.’”Down 1-3, associate head coach Shelley George began to shout in the direction of Knutson. “You got this, right here, right now,” George yelled. At 40-40, Hourigan’s backhand floated long and Knutson let out a holler and a fist pump. She ran to the bench and met with George.At 2-3, Knutson caught Hourigan off her feet to go up 40-15. After Hourigan shook off the slide, Knutson drilled an ace down the middle to level the set at 3-3. Hegab and the rest of SU’s players moved from their individual spots to cheer on Knutson.“Watching someone makes you even more nervous than actually playing,” Hegab said, “That’s how I felt today.”At 4-4 in the third, Knutson saw three-consecutive forehand winners go up the line as Hourigan went up 40-0. Knutson looked in the direction of George, who motioned her hands up and down to calm her down. After the exchange, Knutson flashed a smile and forced three-straight errors to tie it at 40-40. With the match’s most-important point pending, Knutson looked at George for assurance. Knutson fought off a strong serve from Hourigan and forced a fourth-straight error to take the game. She fist pumped as the crowd cheered her on. After the winner, Knutson had a feeling that she was going to win the match. “I knew this was my court,” Knutson said, “This is where I train every day, I was not about the lose the match (at 5-4 in the third set). It was mine.”Knutson then drilled four-straight winners to defeat Hourigan and clinch the match for SU. Head coach Younes Limam, who stood in his place after Knutson’s game-winning ace, said the end of the match commotion was more “relief” than joy for him. When the celebration ended, Knutson made it a point of emphasis to approach Hicks. He grabbed Knutson by the arm with a big smile on his face. “I knew you could do it,” Hicks said to Knutson a couple of minutes after the match, “I told you that you could do it earlier.”After the match, Knutson put the win into perspective: “It gives us the confidence to continue this season. I don’t think we’re underdogs anymore.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm Contact KJ: firstname.lastname@example.org | @KJEdelman
Kershaw allowed two hits in six innings, throwing 72 pitches before being replaced by a pinch hitter. The left-hander walked one batter and struck out five, and hasn’t allowed an earned run in the postseason since Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.Matt Carpenter hit a triple to right field on Kershaw’s first pitch of the game. But the left-hander retired the next three Cardinals batters in order, and faced the minimum number of batters until David Freese doubled to lead off the fifth inning.Freese went to third base on a passed ball by catcher A.J. Ellis, a fastball down the middle of the plate that inexplicably glanced off his glove to the backstop. “Just a pitch right down the middle,” Ellis said. “I missed it.”“I missed my spot,” Kershaw said. “It was pretty close to a strike but I missed my spot and A.J. had to reach back.”A sacrifice fly to left field by Jon Jay was deep enough to score Freese, who wasn’t challenged when Carl Crawford threw wide of home plate.Relievers Ronald Belisario and J.P. Howell didn’t allow a hit in relief of Kershaw. The pitching was there, as it’s been all season. The hitting was a flashback to the dog days of May and June, leaving the Dodgers to wonder where their bats went against Wacha and three relievers.“It’s one game. We have to remember that,” Howell said. “This is only going to last hopefully for about 30 minutes and we’ve got to move on to Monday.”Wacha threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and walking one while striking out eight. Puig struck out three times against Wacha, four times in total, looking utterly confused by the Cardinals’ mix of speeds and pitches.With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Wacha struck out Puig and Juan Uribe back-to-back to escape his biggest jam of the afternoon.“I was just trying to get locked in with (catcher) Yadier (Molina) back there,” Wacha said. “We took some time in between batters, a lot of mound visits, just to make sure we were on the same page. I was pretty pumped up after I got a couple strikeouts there to end the inning.”Wacha received high-fives all around upon returning to the dugout.There were no high-fives awaiting the Dodgers on Saturday, only the question of how they could allow two hits and still lose. It wasn’t the fault of managerial strategy. The injuries to Ethier and Ramirez played a part. Mostly, it was the recurring nightmare of run support for their best starting pitcher.“It’s like our entire season in a microcosm,” Ellis said. “You’ve got a full 162-game look at the Dodgers.”Is winning all three home games in the series a necessity now?“Absolutely,” Gonzalez said. ST. LOUIS >> Eighteen teams, including the Dodgers, chose not to pick pitcher Michael Wacha in the 2012 draft. The Angels did too, in a sense, when they signed Albert Pujols as a free agent and surrendered the 19th overall draft pick to the St. Louis Cardinals as compensation.That pick, now 22 years old and hurling fastballs anywhere from 89 to 98 mph, matched Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw zero-for-zero in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals won, 1-0, on an unearned run before an announced sellout crowd of 46,872 at Busch Stadium.Wacha and Game 1 starter Joe Kelly entered the weekend with one postseason start each in their careers. They flew to Los Angeles on Saturday night as heroes, having pitched the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.“They beat our aces,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “We’re going to have to beat theirs.” Forget for a moment that Game 3 starter Adam Wainwright has allowed one run in five of his last six playoff starts for the Cardinals. History says the Dodgers’ odds of coming back are longer than their faces in the visitors’ dugout Saturday afternoon.Since the League Championship Series expanded to a best-of-seven format in 1985, teams that won the first two games of the series are 20-2. Only the 1985 Cardinals (against the Dodgers) and 2004 Boston Red Sox have come back from a 2-0 series deficit to win.“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “We don’t deny also what’s happened here the last two days.”With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers are 1 for 16. Their three through five hitters — Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe — went 0 for 11 Saturday. Hanley Ramirez missed the game with a bruised left ribcage, still feeling the effects of Kelly’s fastball that hit him in the first inning Friday. Andre Ethier was limited to pinch-hitting duties in the ninth inning after playing 13 innings in center field the night before; he was one of Trevor Rosenthal’s three strikeout victims in a perfect ninth inning. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error