By United Press International
Barry Bonds went after a record 71st home run Friday as the final weekend of the regular baseball season got under way.
The San Francisco slugger finally got his pitch Thursday night against Houston and slammed his 70th homer of the season, tying the three-year-old record set by Mark McGwire. Bonds has three games to go to set a new mark, all with Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves opened a season-closing home series with Florida Friday, needing only one more win to claim outright their 10th straight division title. They tied for the championship Thursday night in a 6-2 win over Philadelphia. The Braves need one win or a Phillies loss to claim the N.L. East and advance to the playoffs.
St. Louis met Houston in a day game with the Cards holding a one-game lead and needing a win to clinch at least a tie for the Central Division title. The loser in this race gets the wild card berth.
In other National League day games, Philadelphia was at Cincinnati, Colorado at San Diego and Pittsburgh at the Chicago Cubs, Night games had Arizona at Milwaukee and Montreal at the New York Mets.
Day games in the American League included Kansas City at Detroit, Oakland at Anaheim and the New York Yankees at Tampa Bay. The four A.L. night games included Boston at Baltimore, the Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, Cleveland at Toronto and Seattle at Texas.
Texas,OU renew rivalry
By United Press International
Texas and Oklahoma renew their Red River rivalry Saturday in one of the grandest college football traditions the sport has ever known. It's the stuff legends are made of.
The two teams take the neutral Cotton Bowl field in Dallas unbeaten and both ranked in the top five. Each is 4-0 and it's the first time since 1984 that both are undefeated.
Oklahoma, the defending national champion, is ranked third this season with a 17-game winning streak. Texas, still smarting from the Sooners' 63-14 rout of the Longhorns last season, is ranked No. 5. Oddsmakers give Texas a three-point edge.
In the only other game between ranked teams, No. 2 Florida (4-0) takes on No. 20 LSU (2-1) at Baton Rouge with Gator quarterback Rex Grossman trying for his fifth straight 300-yard passing game.
Saturday's schedule also will see Joe Paterno of Penn State make another attempt at tying Bear Bryant's all-time record for wins when the Nittany Lions host 15th ranked Michigan (3-1) in a Big Ten match. And, No. 16 Northwestern (3-0) takes on Ohio State, hoping to snap a 21-game drought against the Buckeyes.
Top-ranked Miami (3-0) will prepare for next week's meeting with Florida State by hosting Troy State. No.14 Florida State (3-1) is off this week.
Crash kills race driver
CONCORD, N.C., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Blaise Alexander Jr., a 25-year-old race driver from Montoursville, Pa., was killed Thursday when he slammed into the retaining wall on the last lap of the ARCA Easy Care 100.
Alexander had just taken the lead from Kerry Earnhardt when their cars collided on the front stretch as they raced each other. The car of Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, bounced off Alexander's car, flipped on its roof and skidded down the front stretch. Alexander crashed almost head-on into the outside retaining wall.
He died of a severe head injury.
The race was halted and Earenhardt, who climbed uninjured from his upside-down, burning car, was declared the winner.
Guillen out of playoff opener
SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Seattle shortstop Carlos Guillen, diagnosed last week with pulmonary tuberculosis, will miss the Mariners' first-round playoff series with Cleveland.
Guillen, who had been in quarantine since Saturday, was released from a Seattle hospital Thursday.
Team officials said no decision had been made regarding any further playoffs and possibly the World Series. Manager Lou Piniella said he planned to use Mark McLemore at shortstop against the Indians.
NFL salutes Faulk, Griese
NEW YORK, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Running back Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams and quarterback Brian Griese of Denver were chosen offensive players of the month in the National Football League, the NFL announced Friday.
In the Rams' three games, Faulk totaled an NFL-high 464 yards from scrimmage, including an NFC second-best 265 rushing yards and 199 receiving yards. He also leads the NFC with four touchdowns and 22 receptions
Griese completed 60 of 93 passes for 763 yards with seven touchdowns for an AFC-best 106.2 passer rating in September.
NFC honors also went to defensive end Kabeer Gbaia Biamila of Green Bay as defensive player of the month and punter Rodney Williams of the New York Giants as best special teams player.
AFC honors also went to cornerback Ryan McNeil of the San Diego Chargers as best defensive player of the month and Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski for special teams play.
Lightning re-signs center
TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed budding star center Vincent Lecavalier to a multi-year contract, the team announced Friday.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Tampa Tribune reported that Lecavalier recently turned down a deal similar to the four-year, $9.2 million contract signed last week by Ottawa Senators right wing Marian Hossa.
Since being chosen with the top overall pick in the 1998 draft, Lecavalier gradually has become a team leader. The 21-year-old was named captain last season and finished third on the team in scoring with 23 goals and 28 assists, despite missing 14 games.
Lecavalier already ranks fifth on the Lightning's all-time assists list with 85 and sixth with 61 goals and 146 points.
"I am excited that I have this behind me and I can't wait to get back with the boys," said Lecavalier, who sat out the entire exhibition campaign and was not expected to be in the lineup for Friday night's season opener against the New York Islanders.