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Astros Silence Cards, Even NLCS to 1-1 (AP)
Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) reacts after St. Louis Cardinals' Jim Edmonds grounds out to first base to end the seventh inning in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series,  Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)AP - Yes, it is possible to win on the road in the NL championship series. Roy Oswalt showed the way for Houston, silencing the St. Louis Cardinals and all their red-clad fans.


Astros Rookie 'Killer B' Helps Even Series (AP)
Houston Astros' Chris Burke, right, applauds after being called safe on a triple to center field while St. Louis Cardinals' Abraham Nunez argues the call with third base umpire Larry Poncino in the second inning during Game 2 of their National League Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP - Just in time for the playoffs, the Astros found themselves a new "Killer B." Chris Burke had two hits, scored two runs and drove in the back-breaker for Houston in Thursday's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, evening the NL championship series at 1-1.


Confusing Call Still Has Baseball Buzzing (AP)
Chicago White Sox first base coach Tim Raines, left,  keeps keeps A.J. Pierzynski at first base as Los Angeles Angels first baseman Darin Erstad and second baseman Adam Kennedy argue that home plate unpire Doug Eddings called Pierzynski out on strikes in the ninth inning of  Game 2 of the ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. Given a second chance when umpire Doug Eddings called strike three _ but not the third out _ Chicago beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Joe Crede's two-out double in the ninth to even the best-of-seven AL championship series at a game apiece. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP - Ah, an off day in the AL championship series, a chance for the Angels and White Sox to take a little break out West. But everyone else in baseball was still buzzing — not about a long home run or splendid pitching performance. Instead, all the chatter centered on the confusing call Wednesday night that helped decide Game 2 in Chicago.


New Pro Wie Tied for 12th After One Round (AP)
Michelle Wie blasts from a bunker protecting the 18th green in the first round of the LPGA Samsung Championship at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005.  Wie finished at 2-under-par 70, six strokes behind the leader Annika Sorenstam at 8-under-par 64.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)AP - Michelle Wie steadied her 6-foot frame over the ball, unleashed a powerful swing with a 3-wood and sent the ball soaring against the yellow-and-green backdrop of Bighorn Golf Club to embark on her professional career Thursday.


Maltby, Fisher Help Wings Defeat Kings 5-2 (AP)
Los Angeles Kings goalie Mathieu Garon, right, watches the puck as Detroit Red Wings' Kirk Maltby scores a short-handed goal on him during the third period of Detroit's 5-2 win Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)AP - Kirk Maltby and Jiri Fisher scored short-handed goals in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings, with Steve Yzerman playing his first game of the season, beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on Thursday night.


Bill Romanowski Says He Used Steroids (AP)
AP - Bill Romanowski used steroids and human growth hormone supplied by Victor Conte, the former NFL linebacker tells CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

LeBron James in Hospital With Chest Pain (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers' Lebron James holds his strained left pectoral muscle during practice Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005 in Cleveland. James has been hospitalized for tests on a strained chest muscle he doesn't know how he injured. James was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday night as he continued to experience discomfort for what has been diagnosed by team doctors as a strained left pectoral muscle. The team didn't reveal James' hospital stay until Thursday when the 20-year-old did not practice with the Cavaliers. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)AP - Cavaliers All-Star forward LeBron James was expected to spend a second night in the hospital Thursday after undergoing tests for chest pain the team said was from a strained muscle.


Ump Says He Should Have Been More Emphatic (AP)
Home plate umpire Doug Eddings (88) signals the out on Chicago White Sox's Aaron Roward after he was tagged Los Angeles Angels catcher Jose Molina, left, during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. Given a second chance when  Eddings called strike three _ but not the third out _ Chicago beat the Angels 2-1 on Joe Crede's two-out double in the ninth to even the best-of-seven AL championship series at a game apiece.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)AP - Umpire Doug Eddings said he should've been more emphatic in making the call that helped the Chicago White Sox win Game 2 of the American League championship series.


Violence Mars Serbia-Bosnia Match (AP)
AP - Violent clashes broke out among soccer fans at the World Cup qualifying match between Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, injuring several people and underlining the ethnic tensions that remain between the nations.

Predators Edge Past Coyotes With 5-4 Win (AP)
Nashville Predators left winger Paul Kariya, right, congratulates defenseman Kimmo Timonen, left, of Finland, after Kariya assisted on a goal by Timonen against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first period Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Paul Kariya scored the only goal in the shootout to keep the Nashville Predators unbeaten with a 5-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.


Rocky road
The Patriots' brutal early-season schedule takes them to another tough place to play: Denver.

Roethlisberger, Ward miss practice again (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger isn't the Pittsburgh Steelers' only injury worry with Sunday's game against Jacksonville approaching. Wide receiver Hines Ward missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with a nagging hamstring injury. If Roethlisberger and Ward can't practice Friday -- and neither player has been on the field since Monday night's 24-22 victory in San Diego -- it seems unlikely they will...

Rams adjusting to life without Martz (AP)
Whenever Mike Martz comes back, the St. Louis Rams want him to return to a successful team. Players insisted Thursday, the day the team returned to practice in preparation for a Monday night game at Indianapolis, they wouldn't and couldn't allow the absence of their ailing head coach to be a distraction.

Vick says he expects to play vs. Saints (AP)
Michael Vick said he expects to play Sunday against New Orleans after his sprained right knee held up in Wednesday's practice. ``I heal pretty fast,'' said the Falcons' quarterback, who missed last week's game against New England. ``Yes, I think I will be playing on Sunday. I have to continue to treat my knee and make sure that it is nice and sturdy when I get out there.'' Vick was held out of last...

Giants CB Peterson likely out 4-6 weeks (AP)
New York Giants cornerback William Peterson is expected to miss a minimum of four to six weeks with a lower back injury, potentially a more positive diagnosis than many around the team expected. The fifth-year cornerback missed the Giants' 44-24 win over St. Louis on Oct. 2 after experiencing pain in his lower back and has not practiced since then.

Lewd party with Vikings investigated (AP)
Investigators are looking into a party attended by several Minnesota Vikings players that allegedly involved drunkenness, nudity and visible sexual activity on a pair of charter cruises last week. No criminal charges had been filed as of Wednesday, and it could take a couple of weeks before investigators finish interviewing people who were on the boats, said Sgt.

Giants TE Shockey signs $31.2M extension (AP)
Jeremy Shockey, the New York Giants' flamboyant and sometimes spectacular tight end, signed a five-year, $31.2 million contract extension on Wednesday. Shockey's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the deal makes him the NFL's highest-paid player at his position. It includes a $3 million signing bonus for Shockey, who had two years left on his contract.

Saints sell out game in San Antonio (AP)
The New Orleans Saints, forced out of the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina, will play in front of their first ``home'' sellout of the season Sunday against Atlanta. The team announced a sellout Thursday of the second of three games in the 65,000-seat Alamodome. The Saints will play their next four home games at LSU in Baton Rouge, La., before returning to the Alamodome for their final home game on...

Jags' Taylor questionable vs. Steelers (AP)
Jaguars running back Fred Taylor missed part of practice Thursday with a sprained right ankle and was downgraded to questionable for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh. Taylor injured his ankle late in last week's victory over Cincinnati. He ran 24 times for a season-high 132 yards, but sat out the final series after turning his ankle on a 2-yard run with about 4 minutes to play.

Davis back, Foster isn't for Panthers (AP)
Carolina Panthers running back Stephen Davis and fullback Brad Hoover returned to practice Thursday, while backup rusher DeShaun Foster missed his second day because of a sprained knee. Both Davis and Hoover remained questionable on the injury report and coach John Fox was noncommittal about his starting backfield's status for Sunday's game at Detroit.

NBA preview: Atlantic
With Jason Kidd leading Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson on the break, the Nets will run away with the division title.

LeBron in hospital with pain in chest (AP)
Cavaliers All-Star forward LeBron James was expected to spend a second night in the hospital Thursday after undergoing tests for chest pain the team said was from a strained muscle. On the advice of Cavaliers doctors, James was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday after pain on the left side of his chest worsened after practice.

Artest scores 23 points in Pacers' win (AP)
Rookie Sarunas Jasikevicius made Ron Artest's first home appearance a whole lot sweeter. Jasikevicius, a 29-year-old Lithuanian who played college ball at Maryland, had 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night as the Indiana Pacers came from behind and beat the Utah Jazz 99-92. ``I'm beginning to feel comfortable, but I'm still a long ways off,'' said Jasikevicius, who played the...

Amare's surgery is 'best-case scenario' (AP)
Amare Stoudemire's surgery was limited to repairing torn cartilage in his left knee, a ``best-case scenario'' for the Phoenix Suns' All-Star. While other players have struggled to come back at full strength after microfracture surgery, Suns team doctor Thomas Carter said Stoudemire doesn't have the same obstacles to overcome.

Pacers F Jermaine O'Neal sits out again (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal was scratched from the Indiana Pacers lineup before a 99-92 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, the second straight preseason game he has missed because of a bruise to his right thigh. O'Neal, who was celebrating his 27th birthday, played in only 44 games last season becauese of injuries to his shoulder and foot and a 15-game suspension by the NBA for his part in the...

Pistons' Milicic arrested (AP)
Pistons player Darko Milicic was arrested in suburban Detroit and charged with driving with a suspended license. The 7-footer from Serbia-Montenegro posted $100 bond and was released, police said. A court date will be set in the next few weeks. Milicic was pulled over Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of having illegally tinted windows, Sterling Heights Police Lt.

Wizards spoil Duncan's homecoming (AP)
Jarvis Hayes scored 19 points and the Washington Wizards spoiled San Antonio star Tim Duncan's college homecoming with a 95-91 exhibition victory over the Spurs Thursday night. Duncan, a three-time All-American and national player of the year at Wake Forest, was honored by city officials on ``Tim Duncan Day.'' He received a key to the city, and had Deacon Drive, which runs by Lawrence Joel...

Jefferson, Kidd lead Nets over Bobcats (AP)
Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd scored 10 points apiece to lead the New Jersey Nets over the shorthanded Charlotte Bobcats 95-76 in a preseason game Thursday night. The Nets, who held the Bobcats to 31 percent shooting, won despite committing 22 turnovers. Antonio Meeking scored 14 points and fellow rookie Raymond Felton added 10 for Charlotte.

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

Judge tosses out suit against Bertuzzi (AP)
Former Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore's lawsuit over a vicious hit by Todd Bertuzzi was dismissed Thursday, and the judge advised him to take the case to Canada. Moore's claims would be better handled in Canada because that's where the hit happened and all the defendants are based there, Denver District Judge Shelley Gilman said.

Kariya's SO goal keeps Preds unbeaten (AP)
Paul Kariya spent much of the night in the penalty box, and coach Barry Trotz's doghouse, then climbed out just in time to score the winning goal in a shootout. Kariya's' goal was the only one for either team in the shootout and kept the Nashville Predators unbeaten with a 5-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

Red Wings defeat Kings in Yzerman's debut (AP)
It was 529 days since Steve Yzerman played in a meaningful hockey game. It seemed like forever for the Detroit Red Wings' captain. ``I really enjoyed it,'' Yzerman said after Thursday night's 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. ``I played a couple of preseason games, but the atmosphere tonight was totally different.

Lundqvist helps Rangers beat Devils 4-1 (AP)
Henrik Lundqvist's first NHL win came against one of the best. The Swedish rookie made 20 saves Thursday night in the New York Rangers' 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. ``It felt really good,'' Lundqvist said after the Rangers ended a three-game losing streak. ``I felt so happy to get that first win.'' That fact that Martin Brodeur was in the opposite net only added to the experience.

Luongo pulled, Bruins top Panthers 5-2 (AP)
The Boston Bruins finally solved Roberto Luongo. And they did it without All-Star center Joe Thornton. The Bruins, who were held to three goals in four games by Luongo in 2003-04, matched that total in just over a period in knocking out Luongo on the way to a 5-2 victory Thursday night. ``He's one of the best, no question,'' said Bruins forward Glen Murray, who had a goal and two assists.

Boucher scores in OT, Stars beat Flames (AP)
The Dallas Stars ruined the Calgary Flames' big night. Defenseman Philippe Boucher scored with 55 seconds left in overtime to give the Stars a 3-2 victory Thursday night in the Flames' home opener. It was the third straight loss for Calgary, which raised the 2003-04 Western Conference championship banner before the game in front of a sellout crowd.

Sabres edge Lightning in shootout (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres got their road trip off to a good start. Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek scored in the shootout to give Buffalo a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. ``Anytime you get a road win it's exciting ... but if you beat the Stanley Cup champions in their building it's a good boost,'' Vanek said after the Sabres won the opener of a...

Isles score early and often against Caps (AP)
The New York Islanders took advantage of a rusty goalie and a weary team on Thursday night. Jason Blake and Petteri Nokelainen both had a goal and an assist and Oleg Kvasha added three assists to lead the Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Alexei Yashin, Trent Hunter and Mark Parrish also scored for New York, which scored on its first two shots of the game.

Kovalchuk's debut spoiled by Danis, Habs (AP)
Montreal goalie Yann Danis had the NHL debut he envisioned. The 24-year-old stopped 32 shots in the Canadiens 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Wednesday night. ``I imagined it,'' Danis said after shutting down Ilya Kovalchuk and a powerful Atlanta attack. ``It was a good start for me. Our team scored the first goal, so my confidence was there.

Busch battle
The tight Busch Series points race continues at Charlotte this weekend.

Sadler gains pole for UAW-GM Quality 500 (SportsTicker)

Sadler wins pole at Charlotte, six Chase drivers in top 10 (AP)
Elliott Sadler set a track record in winning the pole Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a qualifying session that placed six drivers in the Chase for the championship in the top 10.

Gordon insists motivation hasn't dropped off since being shut out of Chase (AP)
The photo was troubling to even the most ardent Jeff Gordon fan: Just 12 hours after he was eliminated from championship contention, a smiling Gordon was caught enjoying himself at the men's U.S. Open final with a drink in his hand and a model on his arm.

Mayfield looking to pick up ground in Chase (AP)
The second time around has not come any easier for Jeremy Mayfield, who has been toiling along in obscurity through the first four rounds in the Chase for the championship.

Notes: Earnhardt turns 31 quietly (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday without much fanfare. NASCAR's most popular driver has...

Mark Martin proves he is the ultimate team player (AP)
Last February, Mark Martin showed off a wall with trophies and racing memorabilia displayed floor to ceiling in...

Stewart's bad days not bad enough for Chase rivals (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – First the alternator belt failed on Tony Stewart's car, then the battery began to lose...

A glance at drivers in NASCAR's championship chase (AP)
The 10 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, in order of points standings:...

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