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In Sports from United Press International

  |   Oct. 25, 2002 at 11:45 PM
Giants one game away from title

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The San Francisco Giants will try to win their first World Series title in 48 years Saturday night when baseball's climactic showcase returns to Southern California.

San Francisco owns a 3-2 advantage over the Anaheim Angels in a series that has been relatively short on drama but very long on runs.

The Giants are looking for their first title since the team left New York almost a half century ago. The Angels are seeking the first championship in franchise history.

Anaheim scored 24 runs in the first three games of the series and took a 2-1 lead. But the Giants evened the Fall Classic with a 4-3 victory in Wednesday night's Game 4 and shifted the momentum with a 16-4 rout Thursday night at Pacific Bell Park.

But the rest of the World Series - Game 6 on Saturday night and, if necessary, Game 7 on Sunday night - will be played at Edison Field, home of the red thundersticks and rally monkeys.

"I think we have enough gas in our tank to do what we need to do," said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.

Scioscia is looking for a repeat of last year when the Arizona Diamondbacks won the final two games at home and beat the New York Yankees, 4-3.

However, on Saturday the Angels will need a much better start from Kevin Appier, who yielded three homers and five earned runs in just two innings in Game 2 -- an 11-10 win for the Angels.

The Giants will be counting on Russ Ortiz to rebound from a rough Game 2, in which he allowed seven runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings.


Weather key to Breeders' Cup

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Horsemen looked to the rainy skies and the sloppy Arlington Park track Friday, pondering what the weather will do to their chances in Saturday's 19th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Two of the eight championship races suffered significant losses in final hours of preparation as Ivanavinalot was declared out of the $1 million event for 2-year-old fillies and heavy favorite Sky Mesa was scratched from the $1 million race for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

The weather forecast for the Chicago area called for rain most of the day Friday, with clearing overnight and a mixture of sun and clouds on race day. The Arlington Park track crew is perfectly capable of turning that weather into a fast track by first post but the turf track, which has had some moisture each day this week, is likely to be less than "firm" for the three Breeders' Cup races run on that surface.

A bit of "give" on the grass likely would benefit the talented European contingent, which is more accustomed to that type of racing than American horses.

Whatever the weather and however the track turns up, trainer Bob Baffert said Friday he still believes Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem is the horse everyone else has to beat to win the day's top feature, the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.


Notre Dame meets Seminoles in top matchup

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Eight Division I-A teams still own perfect records heading into the final college football weekend of October and the one facing the toughest test is No. 6 Notre Dame, which visits 13th-ranked Florida State in Saturday's marquee matchup.

The Fighting Irish improved to 7-0, their best start since 1993, by holding Air Force, the nation's top rushing team, to just 104 yards on the ground in a 21-14 victory last week.

Notre Dame is third in the BCS poll due to the strength of its schedule. Still, the Fighting Irish are a 10-point underdog to the Seminoles (5-2), who are in the unlikely position of playing spoiler.

Florida State has had an extra week to prepare for the Fighting Irish and has lost only two games at home since 1991. Two weeks ago, the Seminoles nearly ended No. 1 Miami's winning streak before the Hurricanes escaped with a 28-27 victory when Xavier Beitia's missed a 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game.

Greg Jones should challenge Notre Dame's tough defense, which ranks sixth nationally against the run. Jones has rushed for 354 yards in the last two games, including a career-high 189 yards against Miami.

North Carolina State remained unbeaten and improved to 9-0 for the first time in school history with a 38-6 rout of Atlantic Coast Conference rival Clemson on Thursday night.

All the other unbeatens are in action this weekend, except No. 2 Oklahoma. The Sooners are ranked first in the BCS poll with more than a three-point lead over Miami in the BCS.

The top-ranked Hurricanes (6-0) play at West Virginia while No. 3 Virginia Tech (7-0) tries to keep pace with Miami when its hosts Temple.

Miami and Virginia Tech collide at the Orange Bowl on Dec. 7 in a contest that could decide the Big East title.

No. 4 Ohio State (8-0) hopes to maintain at least a share of the Big Ten Conference lead when its hosts No. 17 Penn State (5-2) while No. 5 Georgia (7-0) can move closer to the Southeastern Conference East Division title with a victory against Kentucky.

The remaining unbeaten, No. 22 Bowling Green (6-0), entertains Ball State in a Mid-American Conference contest.

A pair of once-beaten teams collide in a key Big Ten Conference clash in Ann Arbor as eighth-ranked Michigan (6-1) hosts No. 14 Iowa (7-1). The surprising Hawkeyes are off to their best start since 1990.

Another key contest takes place in Austin as No. 7 Texas (6-1) entertains No. 18 Iowa State (6-2) in the Big 12 Conference.


Red Wings smash Penguins

DETROIT, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Sergei Fedorov scored three goals in just over seven minutes during the second period Friday night to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fedorov completed his natural hat trick on a classic give-and-go with Brendan Shanahan 9:42 into the second. After dropping the puck for Shanahan in the right faceoff circle, Fedorov skated left and went to the net.

The entire Pittsburgh defense followed Shanahan, who passed to Fedorov at the far goalpost for an easy tally after Jean-Sebastien Aubin followed his teammates in abandoning that side of the rink.

The hat trick was Fedorov's first since Nov. 22, 2000 in a 5-4 loss to the Boston Bruins and the fifth of his career. No Detroit player has had a three-goal game at Joe Louis Arena since then, although Brett Hull had a hat trick on Jan. 26 at St. Louis.

Hull assisted on two of Fedorov's goals for his second multi-point game of the year. He had 19 last season.

Other NHL results: Los Angeles 6, New York Rangers 2; New Jersey 2, Buffalo 1; San Jose 5, Columbus 4; Tampa Bay 3, Washington 2.


Parry ties Herron for lead

PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Trying to qualify for the Tour Championship, Craig Parry of Australia matched the lowest round of his PGA Tour career Friday and tied Tim Herron for the lead midway through the Buick Challenge.

Parry began his round on the back nine at Callaway Gardens and played his first 11 holes in 8-under before parring the final seven for a 64. His fifth 64 in 240 PGA Tour events gave him a 36-hole total of 13-under 131.

The 5-6 Parry began the week 40th on the money list with $1.31 million, more than $400,000 behind Brad Faxon for the 30th and final berth in next week's Tour Championship.

Parry needs to win the $666,000 top prize to make it to East Lake Golf Club next week. He has won once in 11-plus seasons on the PGA Tour, claiming the NEC Invitational two months ago.

Herron has no chance of qualifying for the marquee event, but he kept a share of the lead he built Thursday with a 4-under 68 that included five birdies in his first seven holes.

Herron is 71st on the money list, nearly $900,000 behind Faxon. He has never placed worse than 65th in earnings during his six PGA Tour seasons.

World No. 2 Phil Mickelson was third at 12-under 132. He suffered a bogey and double-bogey in a three-hole stretch, but played the last 10 holes in 7-under.

In Oklahoma City, Hale Irwin fired rounds of 70 and 67 in difficult conditions Friday to take a one-shot lead at the midway point of the Senior Tour Championship.

Irwin never got to the first tee for the scheduled first round Thursday because of rains that moved in with a cold front. The moisture went away Friday, but the cold remained as the top 30 money winners on the Senior Tour played two rounds in 40-degree temperatures.

A fourth-place finish or better this week would make Irwin the first player in Senior Tour history to win $3 million in a single season.

His 36-hole total of 5-under 137 over the Gaillardia course put him a shot in front of defending champion Bob Gilder and Gil Morgan, who matched Irwin's 67 in the afternoon. Larry Nelson was alone in fourth at 139.


NASCAR qualifying wiped out

HAMPTON, Ga., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- After a lengthy rain delay at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Friday night's qualification runs for Sunday's NAPA 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race were canceled.

The 43-car starting lineup will be based on the current NASCAR Winston Cup car owner's points, which means Tony Stewart will start on the pole alongside Jimmie Johnson.

Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace and rookie Ryan Newman will round out the top five in the race that is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. EST.

The teams were able to practice for an hour Friday afternoon. But rain that began at 9 a.m. and continued throughout the day made any attempts to dry the track futile. It is the third time in the last four races that Winston Cup qualifications have been canceled because of rain.


Capriati's struggles continue

LINZ, Austria, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Jennifer Capriati's struggles continued Friday with a quarterfinal loss to fellow American Alexandra Stevenson at the Generali Ladies Linz.

Capriati, who received a bye into the second round, was walloped by Stevenson, 6-1, 6-1, in just 50 minutes.

The 26-year-old Capriati started the year with her third career Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open and has reached at least the quarterfinals at the other three majors, but has not won another event. She has lost four of her last five matches.

Stevenson improved to 3-2 lifetime against Capriati. She has won three of their four encounters this season, including earlier this month at Filderstadt.

The 21-year-old American, who reached the 1999 Wimbledon semifinals as a qualifier, advanced to her second semifinal of the season. She played in her first career final in February at Memphis and was runner-up to Lisa Raymond after holding three match points.

Stevenson will take on fifth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia on Saturday.


Oates out with broken hand

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim announced Friday veteran center Adam Oates had suffered a broken left hand in the second period of a 2-2 tie against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

Oates, eighth on the NHL's all-time assists list, became the first free agent to sign with a new team this past summer, inking a two-year deal with Anaheim on July 1.

Oates, 40, who split the 2001-02 season between Washington and Philadelphia, has three assists in seven games with the Mighty Ducks. In 1,217 career contests, Oates has 330 goals and 1,030 assists.


Howard suspended two games

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Denver Nuggets forward Juwan Howard was suspended for the first two regular season games and fined $15,000 Friday for throwing punches at Al Harrington and Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers in a preseason game Wednesday night.

The incident occurred with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Howard threw a punch at Harrington when O'Neal intervened. O'Neal and Howard then began pushing and shoving before Howard started to throw punches.

Howard had missed nine of 10 shots from the field and scored just two points in Denver's 96-89 loss.

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