In Sports from United Press International

Oct. 15, 2001 at 3:07 PM
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Playoff showdown

By United Press International

While Atlanta and Arizona prepared to face each other for the National League championship, the four American League contenders wound up their first round action Monday.

The New York Yankees came back from an 0-2 hole to tie the series with Oakland and force Monday's fifth game in New York. The Yankees beat the A's Sunday 9-2.

The winner goes against either Cleveland or Seattle who met Monday to settle their first round competiton. Seattle tied the series at two games apiece with a 6-2 win over the Indians Sunday.

Arizona edged St. Louis 2-1 Sunday to move into the title series and will host Atlanta Tuesday.

Battle of the winless

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- One of the NFL's greatest rivalries saw both teams on hard times as the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, both saddled with 0-4 records, met in a Monday night game.

The Cowboys have won five Super Bowls in their history, but the 2001 edition under coach Dave Campo looks as though it will have a challenge to even win a few games.

But Dallas has had success on Monday night with 34 wins, one behind Miami and San Francisco.

Washington has captured three Super Bowls in its history, but like the Cowboys, the 2001 team has been a disaster. Hands-on owner Daniel Snyder opted for Marty Schottenheimer as the club's new coach but so far, that move has backfired.

Rams lose MVP Faulk

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Marshall Faulk, the St. Louis Rams' injured star running back and reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, will be out of action for at least one week, the team announced Monday.

Faulk suffered a bruised right knee late in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the New York Giants and will miss this weekend's contest against the New York Jets.

The Rams originally diagnosed the injury as a sprained right medial collateral ligament, but an MRI revealed no severe ligament or cartilage damage. Rams coach Mike Martz feared that Faulk may be sidelined for at least three weeks.

"They (the doctors) think he will be out somewhere between three to four weeks," Martz said.

Faulk will be re-evaluated next week and believes it is possible he could return for a key NFC West game against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 28.

Penguins fire coach

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The winless Pittsburgh Penguins fired Coach Ivan Hlinka Monday and replaced him with Rick Kehoe. Hlinka coached the Penguins to the Eastern Conference finals last spring but lost his first four games this season.

Kehoe had spent 27 seasons in the Pittsburgh organization, including 14 as an assistant.

A native of Czechoslovakia, Hlinka's days in Pittsburgh appeared to be numbered after countryman and five-time NHL scoring champion Jaromir Jagr was traded to the Washington Capitals over the summer.

Hlinka was not a favorite of owner/superstar Mario Lemieux, and the slow start this season apparently sealed his fate.

Capriati is the new No. 1

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Jennifer Capriati officially became No. 1 in women's tennis Monday.

With 4,867 points, Capriati moved 25 ahead of Martina Hingis of Switzerland in the WTA rankings. Hingis had occupied the top spot for 73 consecutive weeks. The American became the ninth woman to be ranked No. 1 in the history of the computer rankings.

Capriati lost in the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Filderstadt, Germany on Friday. But the 25-year-old knew she had ascended to No. 1 for the first time after Hingis was forced to retire from her semifinal with American Lindsay Davenport due to an ankle injury.

The Florida resident has reached tremendous expectations and battled through various personal problems in her career to reach the top of the WTA list.

At age 14, Capriati became the youngest player to be ranked in the top 10, reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the 1990 French Open and be seeded in a Grand Slam event at the 1990 Wimbledon Championships

Two Chiefs sidelined

KANSAS CITY, MO. Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs, off to a 1-4 start, had more woes Monday with the announcement that starting cornerback Ray Crockett and right tackle Victor Riley would be sidelined indefinitely.

The Chiefs said both suffered serious injuries in the 20-17 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Crockett, who was signed as a free agent to a six-year, $21.5

million contract, broke his right hand and Riley, a starter at right tackle for 51 straight games, suffered a broken right leg.

Second-year player William Bartee, who had been used as a nickel ack, will likely replace Crockett. But the injury to Riley will create more problems for the

Chiefs, who may be forced to slide Pro Bowl guard Will Shields to tackle.

Bengals lose pair to injuries

CINCINNATI, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Bengals won the "Battle of Ohio" on Sunday, but it came at a heavy price.

Starting left cornerback Rodney Heath suffered a torn left hamstring and rookie receiver Chad Johnson broke his left collarbone in Sunday's 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns., the team said Monday.

Heath, who had started nine games each of the last two years and three in 2001, is expected to miss the rest of the season. Johnson will be sidelined four to six weeks.

Heath twisted his knee as he attempted to tackle running back James Jackson in Sunday's game. Johnson landed on his shoulder while making a diving catch of an 18-yard pass in the third quarter.

Blues extend MacInnis contract

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Al MacInnis, long regarded as one of the National Hockey League's premier efenseman, signed a two-year contraction extension Monday with the St. Louis Blues that will keep him with the club through the 2003-04 season.

Financial terms were not disclosed but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the deal to be worth $14 million.

In his eighth season with the Blues, MacInnis, 38, captured the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 1998-99 and owns the league's hardest slapshot.

MacInnis has played in 463 games for the Blues, tied with Gary Sabourin for ninth on the team's all-time list. He is St. Louis' all-time leading scorer among defensemen, registering 339 points on 100 goals and 239 assists.

Ferreira opens defense with win

STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- South Africa's Wayne Ferreira opened defense of his Stuttgart title on Monday with a three-set victory over Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia in the first round of this $2.95 million Tennis Masters Series event.

Ferreira defeated Hrbaty, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, for only his second win in his last nine matches. His only other match win since reaching the quarterfinals at Nottingham in June was a second-round victory two weeks ago at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Ferreira improved to 3-0 against Hrbaty, with whom he had been praticing with the last few days. He will next take on No. 11 Roger Federer.

Hrbaty had been playing well entering this tournament, reaching the semifinals in two of his previous three ATP events.

With the top 16 seeds gaining first-round byes, all 10 matches Monday involved only unseeded players.

Schett wins at Zurich

ZURICH, Switzerland (Ticker) -- Barbara Schett of Austria avoided a three-match losing streak Monday with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Magui Serna of Spain in the first round of the $1.19 million Swisscom Challenge.

Schett lost in the first round to American Chanda Rubin last week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Filderstadt, Germany after reaching the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup the week before.

The 25-year-old Austrian is making her sixth straight appearance in Zurich, with her best result coming last year when she upset the third and fifth seeds to advance to the semifinals. She fell to eventual winner Lindsay Davenport.

Rubin, a second-round loser last week in German, dispatched Spain's Angeles Montolio, 6-1, 6-3, to advance to a meeting with fourth-seeded Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia. Dokic has won two of her last three events.

CART hits Tracy with big fine

DETROIT, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Paul Tracy of Canada was fined $50,000, placed on probation and stripped of three championship points by CART on Monday for his actions during and after Sunday's Shell 300 Grand Prix of Monterey.

CART chief steward Chris Kneifel cited Tracy for violations relating to four separate incidents of unjustifiable risk, an unsafe act, unsportsmanlike conduct and criticism of officials.

The fine is the largest assessed to a driver in the series since Alex Zanardi was fined the same amount for an on-track infraction at Mid-Ohio in 1998. Tracy is on probation for the remaining two races in Australia and at California Speedway.

"Paul's lack of consideration for the safety of fellow competitors and their crew members on Sunday is a matter of great concern and is not expected of a driver of his caliber at this level of competition," Kneifel said.

"In view of his behavior, his language and criticism of officials does nothing but demean himself and his profession, and we will not tolerate it."

The loss of three points drops Tracy from 11th to 12th in the standings with 73 points, one behind Roberto Moreno of Patrick Racing.

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