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Cards Shock Astros in Ninth to Win Game 5 (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols (5) belts a three-run home run off Houston Astros closer Brad Lidge in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, in Houston. The Cardinals rallied for the 5-4 win.   (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)AP - Whoa there, Astros. Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals aren't ready to hand over that NL pennant just yet. With Houston only one tantalizing out from its first World Series, Pujols saved St. Louis by hitting a stunning three-run homer off Brad Lidge in the ninth inning, and the Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 victory Monday night in Game 5 of the NL championship series.


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Colts Rally to Beat Rams 45-28 (AP)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is sacked by St. Louis Rams defender Anthony Hargrove in the second quarter in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 17, 2005. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)AP - Once again, the defense bailed out the Indianapolis Colts. Cato June had two interceptions that set up two touchdowns and Nick Harper had an interception and a fumble recovery to set up scores as the Colts overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Rams 45-28 on Monday night and remain the NFL's only unbeaten team.


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Pujols' Shot Keeps 100-Win Team Alive (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols celebrates after his ninth inning, three-run home run gave the Cardinals the lead and the eventual 5-4 win over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, in Houston. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)AP - For a team that fell apart in Game 4, the St. Louis Cardinals sure pulled it all together — just in time.


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Patient White Sox Fans Prepare for Series (AP)
Chicago White Sox fans David Tomaka and Debbie Blazec select World Series merchandise at the Grandstand souvenir store near U.S. Cellular field Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, in Chicago. The White Sox won the the American League Championship Series over the Los Angeles Angels Sunday night in Anaheim, Calif., and will host the winner of the National League Championship Series Saturday, Oct. 22 in Game 1 of the World Series. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)AP - Bill Hannigan braved the rain Monday morning and waited patiently with more than 100 fellow Chicago White Sox fans at Grandstand sports memorabilia shop.


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Knicks Guard Allan Houston Retires (AP)
New York Knicks' Allan Houston stands with his wife Tamara, his daughter Remie and son Allan, III after a a news conference to announce his retirement  in Greenburgh, N.Y.,  Monday, Oct.  17,  2005.   Houston, unable to recover from knee injuries that kept him out much of the last two seasons, was one of the NBA's best outside shooters. (AP Photo/David Karp)AP - New York Knicks guard Allan Houston retired Monday, unable to recover from knee injuries that kept him out much of the last two seasons.


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Saints Fire Vice President Arnold Fielkow (AP)
AP - The New Orleans Saints fired vice president Arnold Fielkow on Monday, dismissing the executive who had been widely credited with orchestrating a string of sellouts spanning several seasons.

NBA Introduces New Dress Code for Players (AP)
AP - There will be no more dress down days in the NBA.

Lidge Blows Save for Astros (AP)
Houston Astros relief pitcher Brad Lidge sits in the dugout after giving up a three run home run to St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols in the ninth inning during Game 5 of their National League Championship Series in Houston, Monday, Oct. 17, 2005.  The Cardinals defeated the Astros 5-4 with the Astros leading the series 3-2 games. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - The Houston Astros were one strike away from their first World Series with the home crowd worked into a frenzy and hard-throwing Brad Lidge — who else? — in control. Turn out the lights and get the party started, right? Not so fast.


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U.S. Women Tie Australia in Exhibition (AP)
The United States' Abby Wambach, right, and Australia's Rhian Davies battle for the ball during first half Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005 in Titan Stadium Fullerton Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)AP - Defender Amy LePeilbet cleared the potential winning goal off the goal line late in the second half to help the United States women's soccer team tie Australia 0-0 in an exhibition game Sunday.


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Coyotes Shut Out Flames 2-0 (AP)
Calgary Flames' Darren McCarty hits Phoenix Coyotes' Tyson Nash during the  third perio in Calgary Monday Oct. 17, 2005. McCarty received a 5-minute penalty and game misconduct for the hit. (AP PHOTO/CP, Mike Sturk)AP - Curtis Joseph recorded his 44th career shutout as the Phoenix Coyotes blanked the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Monday night.


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Wise guy
DENVER – A new Jake Plummer has emerged in Denver: the Jake Plummer who makes smart decisions.

Colts rally past Rams to go 6-0 (AP)
When the Indianapolis Colts score 45 points, it's usually because of Peyton Manning and the offense. Not Monday night. Cato June had two interceptions that set up two touchdowns and Nick Harper had an interception and a fumble recovery to set up scores as the Colts overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat the St.

Bruschi to return to practice Wednesday (AP)
Tedy Bruschi is ready to play football again, just eight months after a mild stroke left him unsure whether his life would ever return to normal. The Patriots linebacker said he'll practice with the team Wednesday after doctors cleared him. Just 10 days before the stroke, Bruschi intercepted a pass in New England's second straight Super Bowl victory last Feb.

Seahawks' Hamlin in ICU after fight (AP)
Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin was in serious but stable condition Monday with a fractured skull and other head injuries following a fight outside a downtown Seattle nightclub. Hamlin's injuries included a small blood clot and bruising of the brain tissue. He was to remain in intensive care for the next day or two, team physician Stan Herring said.

Manning, Harrison set new standard (AP)
Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison shared another NFL record Monday night. Now they plan to share the record-breaking ball. A classic 6-yard touchdown pass with 9:25 left in Monday night's game against St. Louis gave the duo an NFL record 86 touchdown passes, breaking the mark set by San Francisco's Steve Young and Jerry Rice.

Vikes hire ex-FBI agent to head security (AP)
The Minnesota Vikings hired a former FBI agent as their new security director after NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue told the team to tighten its discipline following accounts of a wild boat party attended by some players. Retired agent Dag Sohlberg has been the team's liaison with NFL security for five years but was not a full-time employee.

Gibbs fined $10,000 for criticizing refs (AP)
Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs was fined $10,000 on Monday for comments he made about the officiating in the team's loss at Denver on Oct. 9. ``My emotions got the best of me and I made some comments after the game,'' Gibbs said. ``When you violate league policy, you pay a price. It's my responsibility.'' Gibbs had several complaints about the 21-19 defeat to the Broncos.

San Antonio mayor eyes Saints for 2006 (AP)
Mayor Phil Hardberger reiterated his resolve to bring the Saints to San Antonio permanently, saying he wanted to close the deal before next season begins. Hardberger, part of a sellout crowd at the Saints-Falcons game Sunday in San Antonio, said Sunday that Saints owner Tom Benson agreed to serious talks with him, probably at the end of this season.

Steelers welcome Roethlisberger's return (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger can't get healthy soon enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After one of the worst games in club history by a quarterback, the Steelers (3-2) find themselves in a much more precarious situation in the AFC North then they would have envisioned when the season started. Season-long leaders while going 15-1 a year ago, the Steelers head into Sunday's game at Cincinnati knowing that a...

Randy Moss' status unknown after fall (AP)
With Randy Moss' status uncertain after he was banged up in a hard fall, the Oakland Raiders' other big offseason acquisition wants coach Norv Turner to give him a bigger share of the load. ``You definitely want to have him on the field on Sunday,'' running back LaMont Jordan said Monday. ``And his presence will still be felt.

NBA preview: Pacific
With Amare Stoudemire out for four months, the division title is no longer the Suns' to lose.

Knicks' Allan Houston retires (AP)
New York Knicks guard Allan Houston retired Monday, unable to recover from knee injuries that kept him out much of the last two seasons. A two-time All-Star and member of the 2000 Olympic team, Houston was one of the NBA's best outside shooters before he was slowed by chronic knee soreness. He was limited to only 70 games over the last two seasons.

Collier autopsy results still private (AP)
Jason Collier's family asked that results of his autopsy be kept private until after Wednesday's funeral. Collier, the Atlanta Hawks' 28-year-old center, died early Saturday after he had trouble breathing in his north Georgia home. ``We need to make sure we're very thorough with this,'' Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald III said Monday.

LeBron back at practice for Cavs (AP)
LeBron James was tired but happy to be back at practice Monday, less than one week after the Cleveland Cavaliers star was hospitalized for a virus. The 20-year-old forward is taking antibiotics and still has some chest pain but is feeling better daily. He participated in the entire three-hour practice but was listed as doubtful for Wednesday night's exhibition game against Memphis as a precaution...

Hawks begin healing after Collier death (AP)
The Atlanta Hawks set everything up as if Jason Collier were there, carefully hanging his uniform in an empty locker and setting out a chair for him. They plan to do that at every game this year, home or away. But Collier's absence was painfully obvious Monday when the Hawks lost a preseason game to the Charlotte Bobcats.

NBA introduces new dress code (AP)
There will be no more dress down days in the NBA. The league announced in a memo to teams on Monday that a minimum dress code will go into effect at the start of the regular season on Nov. 1. Players will be expected to wear business casual attire whenever they participate in team or league activities, including arriving at games, leaving games and making promotional or other appearances.

Garnett leads Timberwolves past Bulls (AP)
Kevin Garnett scored 16 points and Eddie Griffin added 15 to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 97-89 exhibition victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. Garnett had 10 rebounds and shot 7-for-12 from the field. Minnesota (1-3) led by as many as 14 points, but Chicago was able to cut it to 86-82 on Andres Nocioni's jumper with 1:54 left in the game.

Heat working through some growing pains (AP)
Winning and losing is practically irrelevant now to the Miami Heat, because the slates get wiped clean when the regular season starts in about two weeks. Still, there's a tangible sense of urgency coming from Heat coach Stan Van Gundy these days -- not based on his team's 1-2 preseason record, but stemming from the high-turnover, offensively troubled brand of basketball the club has displayed in...

Power Rankings
Montreal and Buffalo shot up the rankings, while Calgary and Pittsburgh are falling fast in the latest installment of the Power Rankings.

Coyotes give Gretzky first road win (AP)
Curtis Joseph extended his mastery over the Calgary Flames and helped give coach Wayne Gretzky his first road victory. In the his first start against Calgary as a member of the Coyotes, Joseph made 25 saves for his 44th career shutout and Phoenix beat the Flames 2-0 Monday night. ``We've been on the losing end of a lot of close one-goal games and fortunately tonight, we did a lot of good things,''...

Fischer wins it for Red Wings in OT (AP)
Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer just wanted to get a shot off as quickly as he could. It just happened to be in the right spot. Fischer's goal with 50.9 seconds left in overtime lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. His wrist shot from the top of the left circle beat Sharks' goalie Evgeni Nabokov just under the crossbar after Fischer took a pass from...

Jagr leads Rangers past Panthers (AP)
Florida's Olli Jokinen took his best shot at Henrik Lundqvist a few minutes after the New York Rangers' rookie shut out the Panthers. ``We made him look good,'' Jokinen said. Lundqvist, starting in place of the injured Kevin Weekes, made 23 saves Monday night for his first NHL shutout, and Jaromir Jagr scored twice on two-man power plays in the Rangers' 4-0 victory over the Panthers.

Sens' Havlat suspended five games by NHL (AP)
Ottawa Senators star wing Martin Havlat was suspended five games by the NHL for kicking Boston defenseman Hal Gill. Havlat will lose more than $66,000 for the suspension. Colin Campbell, the NHL director of hockey operations, cited a two-month period during the 2003-04 season when Havlat was disciplined three times in two months, including a two-game suspension for kicking.

Flyers' Stevenson likely out 2-3 months (AP)
Philadelphia Flyers right wing Turner Stevenson will have surgery on his right hip and is expected to be sidelined two to three months. He has torn cartilage and his operation is scheduled for Tuesday at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. This is the second big injury of the season for the Flyers -- right wing Sami Kapanen is recovering from shoulder surgery last month.

Sabres to retire LaFontaine's number (AP)
Eight years after their bitter feud, Pat LaFontaine and the Buffalo Sabres officially put their differences aside. The team announced Monday it is retiring LaFontaine's No. 16 jersey, as well as former right wing Danny Gare's No. 18, and the two will be honored in separate ceremonies later this season.

Goren scores rare goal to lift Canucks (AP)
Lee Goren was struggling with his aim, so he decided to go right to the front of the net. The move paid off immediately. Goren scored the tiebreaking goal on a deflection 3:47 into the third period to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night. The goal was Goren's first since playing with Boston in 2002-03, and came seconds after he shot wide on a partial...

Pens reassign G Fleury to AHL farm club (AP)
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL draft, was reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins to their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton minor league club on Monday. Fleury was called up after starting goalie Jocelyn Thibault injured a knee during a game day practice Oct. 8. Fleury went 0-1-1 with a 4.05 goals-against average in three starts, including a 6-5 overtime loss Friday to Philadelphia...

Caps' Kolzig stars in regulation and SO (AP)
Olie Kolzig was touched for two goals in the first period and then shut down the defending champions all the way through a shootout. Kolzig made 34 stops through regulation, four more in overtime, and two during the shootout as the Washington Capitals topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Sunday night. ``That's what they pay the goalie for,'' Kolzig said.

Best foot forward?
CONCORD, N.C. – As bad as Saturday night's race was, it did make the Chase more exciting.

Charlotte race turns into debacle after tire troubles (AP)
Slumped over and scowling, Tony Stewart made no effort to mask his disgust after finishing a race in which he feared for his safety.

Johnson wins NASCAR UAW-GM Quality 500, ties for points lead (SportsTicker)


Johnson wins fourth straight in racing debacle at Lowe's (AP)
The alternator failed, the battery had to be switched mid-race and the entire electrical system was on the fritz. Add all that to a constant fear of having a tire explode at any second and even the most veteran driver would be rattled.

Roush responds to NASCAR's proposed cap on teams (AP)
Feeling singled out by NASCAR's proposed cap on teams, Roush Racing distributed a 10-point argument Saturday outlining the benefits of multicar ownership.

Honda commits to Indy Racing League through 2009 (AFP)
Honda will remain an engine supplier to the Indy Racing League through the 2009 season, the Japanese manufacturer said.

Newman wins on record-setting night at Lowe's Motor Speedway (SportsTicker)


Newman races to fifth straight Busch Series win (AP)
Ryan Newman set a NASCAR record by winning his fifth consecutive Busch Series race Friday night, avoiding a track-record 14 cautions en route to the victory at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Source: NBC to pull out of NASCAR coverage (AP)
NBC won't extend its contract with NASCAR beyond the 2006 season, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday.

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