Yankees win series opener
SEATTLE, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A two-run homer by Paul O'Neill and a dominating effort by Andy Pettitte carried the three-time defending champion New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory today over the Seattle Mariners in the opening game of the American League Championship Series.
Pettitte allowed three hits and struck out seven over eight innings to give the Yankees a solid start against a team that won a record-equaling 116 games during the regular season. Seattle beat New York in six of their nine meetings during the regular campaign.
It was the fourth straight win in the playoffs for the Yankees, who faced elimination three times against the Oakland Athletics in the division round and survived each contest.
Pettitte outpitched Seattle starter Aaron Sele, facing the minimum number of batters in all but one inning.
Sele had to work his way out of trouble in the first inning, but the Yankees touched him for the first run of the series in the second.
Jorge Posada reached on a leadoff walk and was still there two outs later. But Alfonso Soriano singled Posada to second and Chuck Knoblauch hit a sharp grounder down the third base line and the ball glanced off the glove of a diving David Bell.
As Bell scrambled for the ball in foul territory, Posada came around to score.
The Yankees increased their lead in the fourth on the key blow of the contest. Posada led off the inning with a double and O'Neill drove him home with a low liner to right that sailed into the seats.
In Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Atlanta Braves tonight in the second game of the NLCS with Arizona holding a 1-0 advantage.
NASCAR orders use of restraints
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Facing mounting criticism regarding the safety of its drivers, NASCAR today mandated the use of head and neck restraints.
Drivers will be required to wear the HANS or Hutchens device beginning this weekend in its three national touring series -- Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck.
This weekend's events include Sunday's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, where cars regularly surpass 200 miles per hour.
NASCAR has encouraged drivers to wear head and neck restraints following a string of fatal crashes at its races, including one at this year's Daytona 500 that claimed the life of seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt.
A prolonged investigation into Earnhardt's death was conducted by NASCAR and the results announced in August determined the legendary driver died from a basal skull fracture that may have been caused in part by an improperly installed seat belt.
However, Earnhardt was not wearing a HANS device, which also could have contributed to his death.
Capriati, Davenport advance
ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Current world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati and former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport advanced to the quarterfinals today at the million Swisscom Challenge.
Capriati, the second seed, required three sets to get past Russian teenager Nadia Petrova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, in their first career encounter.
Davenport, the third seed, had a much easier time beating South African Amanda Coetzer, for the 10th time in their 13 lifetime meetings, 6-3, 6-4.
Capriati, who on Monday became just the ninth player in the history of the computer rankings to ascend to the top spot, continues to enjoy a career-best season. The American claimed the Australian and French Open titles and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Moore lost for the season
PONTIAC, Mich., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A bad season for the Detroit Lions turned even worse today when Herman Moore was placed on injured reserve with a torn abdomen muscle.
The best receiver in franchise history will miss the rest of the season after tearing a muscle from his right hip in the second quarter of Sunday's 31-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Lions lost their opening four games under rookie coach Marty Mornhinweg and joined Buffalo and Washington as the only winless teams left in the NFL.
Moore holds most of the Lions' all-time receiving records, including career tallies of 670 receptions, 9,174 yards and 62 touchdowns. He also set a club record with 14 receptions in a game against Chicago in 1995 and, in that same year, set the NFL record for most receptions in a season with 123.
But Moore, a first-round pick in 1991, has been slowed by injuries the past two years and became a third option behind Germane Crowell and Johnnie Morton.
Eric Snow suffers broken thumb
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Eric Snow has been added to the Philadelphia 76ers' mounting list of injured players.
In his first game back following offseason ankle surgery, Snow fractured his left thumb in Tuesday's 94-75 exhibition loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
It has not been determined how long Snow will be sidelined, but the point guard will need surgery once the swelling goes down. Snow will be re-evaluated by 76ers physician Dr. Jack McPhilemy in Philadelphia this weekend.
With 40 seconds left in the first half, Snow fell to the floor in a scramble for a loose ball. X-rays taken at halftime revealed the fracture. Snow scored seven points in 18 minutes before the injury occurred.
Center Dikembe Mutombo missed Tuesday's game with lower back soreness and forward George Lynch has a foot injury.
Agassi loses in Stuttgart
STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Second-seeded Andre Agassi was ousted in the second round today at the Tennis Masters Series -- Stuttgart.
Hicham Arazi of Morocco recorded a 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 upset of Agassi, who has captured a record 12 trophies at the nine Tennis Masters Series tournaments.
The Australian Open champion failed to take advantage of the opening created by top seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who went out in the second round Tuesday.
Agassi hoped to collect the 100 ATP Champions Race points that go to the winner of this event. The Las Vegas native currently sits just 72 points behind world No. 1 Kuerten as they battle for the top spot at year's end.
Tiger returns to PGA Tour
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Having already clinched his third straight PGA Player of the Year award, Tiger Woods returns from a five-year week absence Thursday at the National Car Rental Classic.
Woods has not played since the Bell Canadian Classic in early September and has an insurmountable 54-point lead in the Player of the Year standings entering the tournament at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Woods, who calls Orlando home, will use this event in his backyard as a tuneup for the Tour Championship in two weeks. He has claimed five tournaments and earned more than $5.5 million in 2001.
While the presence of the world's No. 1 player adds luster to the tournament, it is crucial for players seeking to get into the 30-man Tour Championship and others hoping to maintain their cards. Only three events remain on the 2001 schedule.