Randy Johnson shuts out Atlanta
PHOENIX, Ariz., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Randy Johnson ended the longest personal losing streak in postseason history Tuesday with an efficient three-hitter and Craig Counsell scored both runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks edged Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves, 2-0, in Game One of the National League Championship Series.
Johnson had dropped seven straight postseason decisions, dating to the 1995 American League Division Series--when he was with Seattle. But the three-time Cy Young Award winner was more masterful than overpowering against Atlanta.
The 38-year-old lefthander allowed a two-out single to Chipper Jones in the first inning and retired 20 consecutive batters before Bernard Gilkey walked in the eighth. He retired pinch hitter Mark DeRosa and rookie Marcus Giles easily to open the ninth but surrendered two-strike singles to Julio Franco and Jones.
With runners at the corners, Johnson completed his gem by striking out Brian Jordan.
Badgered by the media about his inability to win in the postseason, Johnson politely answered questions Monday, saying he appreciated the fact that so much was expected of him. Less than a day later, he went out and throttled Atlanta's offense, walking one and striking out 11.
Johnson was plagued by a lack of support at times during the regular season, but Arizona scratched out runs in the first and fifth innings.
Counsell, who hit a home run for Arizona in Game Three of the Division Series against St. Louis, had a hand in both rallies. He singled with one out in the first and took third when Braves second baseman Giles failed to field a bouncer up the middle by Luis Gonzalez. Reggie Sanders followed with a line drive up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Counsell lined a two-out double just out of the reach of Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones and Gonzalez, who had just one RBI in the NLDS, pulled a single into right field for a two-run cushion.
Maddux again took a hard-luck loss in October. The four-time Cy Young Award winner allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five but remained winless in his last nine starts.
The American League championship starts Wednesday with the New York Yankees at Seattle.
Jets fine Damien Robinson
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The New York Jets announced Tuesday that they have fined starting free safety Damien Robinson, who was charged Sunday with possession of an assault weapon.
Robinson was arrested several hours before New York's game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon for trying to enter the players' parking lot with an assault rifle in the back of his sports utility vehicle.
State police officers took Robinson to the facility inside Giants Stadium where he was processed. After posting $7,500 bail, Robinson played in Sunday's game and had six tackles.
The Jets fined Robinson a game check for conduct detrimental to the club and set up a counseling program for him. Robinson will also be required to perform community service.
Robinson issued the following statement through his agent James Gould.
"I went to the shooting range with a rifle that was legally purchased. I inadvertently left it in the back of my truck when I went to the stadium with my family. It was closed up in a case and not loaded. I sincerely apologize to my family, the New York Jets organization, my teammates and the many fans of the New York Jets. I have and will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities."
Kuerten loses in second round
STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil was ousted in the second round of the $2.95 million Tennis Masters Series event on Tuesday when Russian Max Mirnyi rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 victory over the 2001 U.S. Open semifinalist.
Kuerten, the French Open champion, is followed in the seeding by Australian Open winner Andre Agassi of the United States, Hewitt, Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero, and 1998 finalist Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia.
Of those highly-seeded players, Hewitt was the only one in action and also posted a comeback victory, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 over Slovakian Bohdan Ulihrach.
Seventh-seeded Tim Henman of Britain easily dispatched Germany's Axel Pretzsch, 6-3, 6-0, and Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic, the 13th seed, defeated hard-serving Aussie Mark Philippoussis, 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-3.
No. 11 Roger Federer of Switzerland was beaten by South Africa's Wayne Ferreira, 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-2.
White new Sooner qb
NORMAN, Okla., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Jason White, who spelled Nate Hybl as Oklahoma quarterback during the past two games, will get his chance to start this Saturday when the second-ranked Sooners (6-0) host Baylor in a Big 12 Conference game, Coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday.
Hybl started the first six games, but White came off the bench and played well in wins against Texas and Kansas.
"Jason has earned the opportunity to be the starter," Stoops said. "He'll be the starter in this game and then we'll take it from there. We have proven we can win with both of these quarterbacks and we feel we can be a good team with either of them playing."
White entered the Texas game when Hybl was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He completed 16-of-23 passes for 108 yards and rushed 12 times for 38 yards. Last Saturday at Kansas, White again replaced Hybl in the second period and proceeded to complete 18-of-29 passes for 151 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
White rushed 12 times for 117 yards to mark the first time since 1997 that a Sooner quarterback had broken the century mark in rushing.
Bears re-sign Shane Matthews
LAKE FOREST, Ill., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The Chicago Bears re-signed veteran quarterback Shane Matthews Tuesday.
The Bears released Matthews before Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals to make room for Ryan Benjamin, who filled in for injured long snapper Patrick Mannelly. The move was made with the intention of re-signing Matthews sometime during the week. Jim Miller replaced Matthews as the Bears' starting quarterback two weeks ago. Matthews is the backup with Danny Wuerffel listed as third string.
Matthews completed 28-of-49 passes for just 171 yards with two interceptions in Chicago's first two games of the season. Miller came off the bench and threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 17-10 win over Minnesota in Week Two and was named as the starter by coach Dick Jauron the following week.
The 31-year-old Matthews has started 14 games over the last three seasons with the Bears. He threw for a career-best 1,645 yards in 1999 and 964 yards last season. Matthews served mostly as a third-string quarterback in his first five NFL seasons, with Chicago (1993-96) and Carolina (1997-98), before returning to the Bears in 1999.
Jamal Anderson undergoes surgery
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson, who is out for the season, underwent reconstructive knee surgery Tuesoday to repair the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.
Anderson, who started all 16 of the Falcons' 2000 games after returning from an injury that kept him out all but two games of the 1999 season, suffered his injury on the opening drive at Arizona on September 30.
Anderson rushed for 1,846 yards in 1998 when he led the Falcons to their first Super Bowl. He rushed for 1,024 yards in 2000. He had just 190 yards this season before his latest injury.
Jags lose Pro Bowler Boselli
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Tony Boselli, a five-time Pro Bowl left tackle with Jacksonvile, has undergone shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for the rest of the season, the Jaguars announced Tuesday.
Boselli's rehabilitation period is expected to be four months.
The Jaguars were already without leading rusher Fred Taylor, who has missed the last two games with a groin injury and will not play in Thursday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
The 29-year-old Boselli, the Jaguars' first ever draft pick and second overall in 1995, recovered from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament suffered in the 1999 regular season finale and earned his fifth straight Pro Bowl selection last season. He signed a four-year, $26 million contract in 1999.
Memorial service for Eddie Futch
The Rev. Richard Steele, a former Futch-trained fighter and boxing referee, conducted the service.
Futch died at his Las Vegas home on Oct. 10. He was 90.