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Cards Brush Aside Padres for 3-Game Sweep (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals' David Eckstein hits a two-run home run against the San Diego Padres during the second inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)AP - Reggie Sanders and the St. Louis Cardinals seem to be in a hurry to return to the World Series, and they weren't about to be slowed by the San Diego Padres. The Cardinals, baseball's best team in the regular season, brushed aside the Padres just as almost everybody thought they would, winning 7-4 Saturday night for a three-game sweep of their first-round playoff series.


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Astros Push Braves to Brink of Elimination (AP)
Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones blows a bubble during a pitching change in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Houston Astros Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005 in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)AP - Roy Oswalt stumbled and fell on his rear right in the middle of the field. Then he got up, reached back and put the Houston Astros in control of their first-round playoff series. Not bad for a No. 3 starter. Oswalt pitched into the eighth inning, striking out seven of the next 12 batters after his awkward spill, and the Astros beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five series.


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No. 17 Penn St. Stuns No. 6 Ohio St. 17-10 (AP)
Penn State running back Tony Hunt, left, pushes away from Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter, right, during the first quarter Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005 in State College, Pa.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)AP - Go ahead and say it: Penn State is back. Back on top of the Big Ten and back in the hunt for a national title. Michael Robinson and Derrick Williams ran for touchdowns less than three minutes apart in the second quarter, and Paul Posluszny and the Nittany Lions' defense did the rest in a 17-10 victory over No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday night.


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No. 1 USC Starts Slow but Drubs Arizona (AP)
The University of Southern California's LenDale White loses his helmet as he is tackled during the third quarter against the University of Arizona Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)AP - Another lackluster start for No. 1 Southern California ended up in a victory that took more time than expected. LenDale White scored four touchdowns, rushed for 179 yards and USC beat Arizona 42-21 Saturday for its 27th consecutive victory.


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No. 20 UCLA Outlasts No. 10 Cal, 47-40 (AP)
UCLA's Maurice Drew (21) takes the ball into the end zone past California's Robert Jordan (11) and Ryan Foltz (26) as UCLA's J.J. Hair (81) looks on in the fourth quarter at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on  Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005. Drew's touchdown put UCLA ahead and they later won, 47-40. (AP Photo/Francis Specker)AP - Maurice Drew ran for three touchdowns, scored another on a long punt return, and caught a 28-yard pass for the go-ahead touchdown Saturday night as No. 20 UCLA rallied for a wild 47-40 victory over No. 10 California.


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Batch Likely to Be Steelers' Backup QB (AP)
AP - Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Tommy Maddox strained his right calf in practice and is doubtful for Monday night's game at San Diego.

Devean George an Old Guy With New Lakers (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom perches on a basketball while watching his teammates during a basketball practice in Honolulu, Hawaii, Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. (AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman)AP - Devean George remembers when he and Kobe Bryant were the young bucks on a veteran Los Angeles Lakers team, and that was only a few years ago. Now, they're two of the older guys on a much more youthful club.


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Padres Swept Right Out of the Playoffs (AP)
San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy reacts in the dugout during the fifth inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)AP - Maybe everybody who insisted the San Diego Padres had no place in the playoffs had a valid point after all. Woody Williams' reunion with the Cardinals lasted barely more than an inning, San Diego again fell into a big early hole, and the Padres are headed home for the winter with the realization that the NL West probably was just as bad as it was believed to be.


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Trinidad and Tobago Defeats Panama 1-0 (AP)
Trinidad and Tobago soccer player Russel Latapy (10) run with the ball during their World Cup 2006 qualifying match at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)AP - Stern John scored in the 62nd minute to lead Trinidad and Tobago to a 1-0 victory over Panama in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier Saturday night.


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Gretzky Leads Coyotes to 2-1 Win Over Wild (AP)
AP - Wayne Gretzky earned his first win as a coach, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Read and React: Forever Favre
Packers fans would rather watch Brett Favre take every snap in a lost season than groom Aaron Rodgers.

Chiefs' Sampson improving after seizure (AP)
Kansas City offensive lineman Kevin Sampson was improving a day after being hospitalized in New Jersey following a seizure, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said Friday. ``He's better, he's coherent,'' Vermeil said. ``They're not allowing him to speak to anybody. We have no other information, but that seems to be good news.'' The coach did not disclose the source of his information about Sampson, but said...

Falcons' Vick downgraded to questionable (AP)
The Atlanta Falcons downgraded quarterback Michael Vick to questionable Saturday with an injured right knee. If Vick is too hurt to play Sunday when Atlanta (3-1) hosts New England (2-2), Matt Schaub will start at quarterback. Vick left last week's win over Minnesota after Vikings rookie defensive end Erasmus James fell on him in the second quarter and sprained the two-time Pro Bowl selection's...

Dolphins TE McMichael signs extension (AP)
Randy McMichael signed a four-year extension worth a reported $18 million with the Miami Dolphins, making him one of the highest paid tight ends in the NFL. McMichael is the Dolphins' leading receiver this season with 15 catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns. His current deal was scheduled to run out at the end of next season, but the new deal will keep him with the team through 2009.

Rams' Martz returns to practice field (AP)
Mike Martz returned to the practice field Friday, ready to put the attention back on the St. Louis Rams' next game instead of his heart condition. Martz, 54, missed two days while undergoing tests for a bacterial infection of a heart valve. He said earlier this week that team doctors believe he has endocarditis.

Pack may not have Green, Franks, Clifton (AP)
The Green Bay Packers might be without running back Ahman Green, tight end Bubba Franks and left tackle Chad Clifton against New Orleans on Sunday. The Packers completed a short week of practice Friday with Green, Franks and Clifton nursing injuries. All three are listed as questionable for the game. Coach Mike Sherman didn't rule any of them out.

Holmgren: Jackson and Engram won't play (AP)
Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Friday that injured wide receivers Bobby Engram and Darrell Jackson will not play at St. Louis on Sunday. ``Darrell had to go for a second opinion, so he's in Florida,'' Holmgren said. ``And Bobby, he was getting treatment today and he can't move very well.'' Neither is expected to travel to St.

Pennington undergoes shoulder surgery (AP)
Jets quarterback Chad Pennington underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, and the team is optimistic he will be ready for the 2006 season. The surgery was performed Thursday by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., the team said Friday. Andrews repaired a small rotator cuff tear, the anterior capsule and labrum.

Jaguars acquire LB Winborn from 49ers (AP)
The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired linebacker Jamie Winborn from the San Francisco 49ers on Friday in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. Winborn started two of the 49ers' three games this season and had 13 tackles and a pass deflection. Last week, Winborn cleaned out his locker and left the team after coach Mike Nolan abruptly announced plans to trade him.

Bills WRs: Holcomb will replace Losman (AP)
Coach Mike Mularkey's secret is out -- wide receivers Eric Moulds and Lee Evans acknowledged Thursday that backup Kelly Holcomb is replacing J.P. Losman as the starting quarterback for Buffalo's game against Miami on Sunday. Moulds backed the decision, crediting Mularkey for attempting to provide a spark to a sputtering offense that has managed 29 points -- two touchdowns and five field goals -- in...

Time's up?
The clock is ticking on Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, where his chances to win a title may have already expired.

Trade done, Curry works out with Knicks (AP)
Practicing again for the first time in nearly seven months, new New York Knicks center Eddy Curry insists he will be ready for the season opener. The Knicks acquired the 22-year-old Curry from the Chicago Bulls earlier this week, more than six months after he had an irregular heartbeat that caused him to miss the final 13 games of last season and the playoffs.

Pacers' Johnson gets probation for brawl (AP)
Anthony Johnson of the Indiana Pacers was sentenced to a year of probation Friday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge for his role in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, directed to attend counseling and fined $250.

Allen knew of plot to kill stepdad (AP)
Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen spoke for the first time Friday about an alleged plot to kill his stepfather, saying his family had been aware of the situation for more than a year. Ernest C. Garlington, 37, of Southington, Conn., is being held on a $1.7 million bond on charges he conspired to murder Derek Hopson, Allen's stepfather.

Stoudemire sidelined by knee problem (AP)
Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire saw the team doctor Friday because of pain in his troublesome left knee. Stoudemire has been trying to play through the discomfort at training camp by resting in the morning and practicing in the afternoon after heat treatments. On Friday, he did little at the morning practice and skipped the next session to consult with Dr.

Iverson thinks Cheeks is the answer (AP)
Allen Iverson loves practice so much he wants to arrive early. ``I can't remember the last time I actually wanted to come in real early,'' the former MVP said Friday. ``It's been great, man. Everybody's responding well. Everybody's trying to learn and get better.'' So much for the player who never missed a chance to denounce or skip practice.

Lakers waive C Vlade Divac (AP)
Vlade Divac was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, apparently ending his long career. The Lakers had the option of picking up a one-year, $5.4 million contract option or buying Divac out for $2 million. The 7-foot-1, 260-pound center, one of the first Europeans to make a significant impact in the NBA, will be owed the $2 million if he clears waivers, which seems a sure thing.

Jackson recruits Pippen to help Odom (AP)
Lamar Odom is eager to become Kobe Bryant's sidekick with the new-look Los Angeles Lakers. And a lot more. Scottie Pippen, once an acclaimed sidekick himself, is lending a hand in that direction at the behest of Phil Jackson, his former coach in Chicago. When Jackson returned to the Lakers for a second time in June, he pointed to Odom's disappointing 2004-05 season and how much he expected from the...

Power Rankings
Ottawa and San Jose are in position to reach the Stanley Cup Finals according to our season-opening Power Rankings.

Gretzky earns first victory as a coach (AP)
The Wayne Gretzky coaching era began on the road. Now he's working on getting his name associated with winning again. Shane Doan scored the tiebreaking goal, and Gretzky earned his first win as a coach, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. The Coyotes went 0-2 in two road games before The Great One's long-awaited debut at home.

Crosby gets first goal in loss to Bruins (AP)
On a memorable night Sidney Crosby played like a mature 40-year-old rather than an 18-year-old kid and Mario Lemieux looked like he was 18 rather than 40, the Pittsburgh Penguins forget no lead is safe in this new-look NHL. Glen Murray's second goal, a one-timer as a Pittsburgh penalty was expiring 1:23 into overtime, rallied the Boston Bruins from a two-goal deficit and a 7-6 victory Saturday...

Kovalchuk, Thrashers agree on new deal (AP)
Ilya Kovalchuk agreed to a new contract Saturday with the Atlanta Thrashers, ending his threat to play this season in his native Russia. General manager Don Waddell made significant progress on the deal during negotiations Friday in New York with Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk's agent. Waddell said they signed Kovalchuk to just under $32 million on a five-year contract.

Hasek, Senators blank Sabres (AP)
The Dominator lived up to his nickname, even as a 40-year-old. Dominik Hasek stopped 35 shots for his 64th career shutout, and Wade Redden had a goal and two assists to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. Dany Heatley was credited with a pair of power-play goals, and Jason Spezza and Martin Havlat also scored for the Senators, who improved to 2-0-0...

Coyotes unretire No. 9 for Brett Hull (AP)
Brett Hull trotted out a No. 9 jersey -- a number unused by the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise since his father left the Jets during the 1979-80 season -- and the Coyotes made Bobby Hull the first member of their Glendale Arena Ring of Honor on Saturday night. The festivities before a game against Minnesota drew rousing cheers from a standing-room-only crowd attending the Coyotes' home debut under...

Grahame, Lightning end Panthers' streak (AP)
Roberto Luongo was outstanding again. However, John Grahame was a little bit better. Grahame had 28 saves and Fredrik Modin ended Luongo's season-opening shutout streak Saturday night in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Luongo allowed his first goal of the season on Modin's breakaway 55 seconds into the second period that gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

Rafalski's OT goal lifts Devils (AP)
Brian Rafalski and the New Jersey Devils were disgusted with the way they played the first two periods against the New York Rangers. They channeled that anger into a comeback capped by Rafalski's winner at 3:17 of overtime that gave the Devils a 3-2 win on Saturday night. ``We were really ticked off,'' Rafalski said.

Canadiens edge Leafs, stay unbeaten (AP)
Mike Ribeiro made up for three missed scoring chances. Ribeiro scored with 4:27 left to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night for their third straight road victory of the season and first 3-0-0 start in 27 years. ``I was 1-for-4 on scoring chances,'' Ribeiro said.

Bondra helps Thrashers rout Caps again (AP)
Peter Bondra wishes the best for Washington, just as long as his former team isn't playing the Atlanta Thrashers. ``No disrespect to the Caps,'' Bondra said. ``They played a good game tonight, but we fed off the crowd with the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk.'' Bondra got the best of his former team for the second straight night, scoring two goals and adding an assist to help Atlanta beat the Capitals...

Carl's in charge
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Carl Edwards has extra incentive this weekend as he continues to chase a Cup championship.

No Hollywood moment for Sauter in Busch race (AP)
Headed down the backstretch in the last lap of Saturday's Busch race at Kansas Speedway, Johnny Sauter thought his Hollywood moment had come.

NASCAR's limitation plans irk Roush (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Kahne wins duel with Biffle; Truex widens points lead (AP)
If Kasey Kahne tries something like the move that won him Saturday's Busch race in Sunday's Nextel Cup event, Greg Biffle vowed to make him pay for it.

Kahne edges Biffle in Busch Series United Way 300 (SportsTicker)


Second title would be sweet for Stewart (AP)
Tony Stewart assures anyone who cares to listen that he is a changed man.

Kenseth wins pole for NASCAR Banquet 400 (SportsTicker)


NASCAR plans to limit multicar teams (AP)
NASCAR plans to limit the number of teams a car owner will be able to field in the Nextel Cup series, chairman Brian France said Saturday.

Kenseth sets qualifying record to win pole at Kansas (AP)
Matt Kenseth set a track qualifying record in capturing the pole for the Banquet 400, hoping it will put him in position to win Sunday and get back into the race for the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.

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