In Sports from United Press International

By United Press International  |  Oct. 19, 2001 at 1:11 AM
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Yankees take command against Mariners

SEATTLE, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Scott Brosius and Chuck Knoblauch combined to drive in all three of New York's runs in the second inning Thursday night and the Yankees spent the rest of the evening fighting off Seattle threats to down the Mariners, 3-2, and take a two games to none lead in the American League Championship Series.

After spending the better part of a week on the edge of elimination against Oakland in the division round, the Yankees have taken a huge stride toward their fourth straight championship.

They own a five-game winning streak and will resume their quest for the American League title on Saturday at home, having three games at Yankee Stadium in which to achieve the two additional victories needed to dispose of the Mariners.

Mike Mussina retired the last eight batters he faced to make it through six innings and pick up the victory, but he had to make a series of big pitches early in the contest to prevent the powerful Seattle offense from getting untracked.

Seattle's Freddy Garcia had a difficult second inning, but did not allow more than one base runner in an inning during the remainder of his 7 1/3-inning stint.

Tino Martinez led off the New York second with a single and advanced on a walk to Jorge Posada. Paul O'Neill flew to left for the first out of the inning, but Brosius then doubled to left, scoring both runners.

Knoblauch delivered a two-out single to center that drove in Brosius with what proved to be the deciding run. Seattle center fielder Mike Cameron appeared to have had a chance to catch Knoblauch's sinking liner if he had left his feet, but he wound up trapping the ball.

The National League Championship Series, currently tied at 1-1, resumes tonight in Atlanta with John Burkett pitching for the Braves against Arizona's Curt Schilling.

Bills win first of the season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Rookie Jake Arians atoned for two misses in the first half by converting a 46-yard field goal with 63 seconds remaining Thursday night as the Buffalo Bills won for the first time this season, 13-10 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The kick by Arians made it a happy homecoming for Buffalo quarterback Rob Johnson, who faced his former team for the first time.

With Mark Brunell entrenched as the starting quarterback, the Jaguars sent Johnson to the Bills in February 1998 for first- and fourth-round draft picks.

The Bills sealed the win when safety Travares Tillman intercepted Brunell on Jacksonville's final possession.

Buffalo avoided its worst start since 1985, when it opened with six losses.

The defenses dominated throughout as the Bills (1-4) managed a 3-0 halftime lead on Arians' 31-yard field goal with 2:58 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguars drove 76 yards on five plays on their first possession of the second half and took a 7-3 lead on Brunell's 20-yard pass to tight end Kyle Brady.

The Bills answered with a 63-yard, nine-play march and regained the lead on Johnson's 27-yard throw to Eric Mounds eight minutes into the third quarter.

Jacksonville (2-3) tied it on Mike Hollis' 41-yard field goal with 3:54 remaining. But the Jaguars suffered their third straight loss after opening the season with two wins.

Two late goals rally Red Wings

DETROIT, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Brett Hull scored with 18 seconds remaining to cap a furious final minute Thursday night as the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a stunning 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, whose winless streak at Joe Louis Arena reached 13 games.

Philadelphia was less than a minute away from its first win in Detroit since Nov. 4, 1988. But Sergei Fedorov put a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot into the top left corner of the net to lift the Red Wings into a 2-2 tie with 41 seconds left.

Hull got the game-winner from an almost identical spot moments later. Flyers defenseman Eric Desjardins tried to clear the puck in his own zone, but it caromed off Detroit's Brendan Shanahan and right to Hull, who snapped a one-timer from the right dot over the left shoulder of goaltender Brian Boucher.

It was the third goal of the season for Hull, who became the sixth different player on the Red Wings to get a game-winner.

Other NHL results: New York Islanders 2, Carolina 1 in overtime; Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 0; New Jersey 6, San Jose 1; Chicago 5, Nashville 3; Dallas 3, Phoenix 1; Calgary 3, Florida 1; Edmonton 4, Colorado 1; Toronto 6, Vancouver 5; Los Angeles 4, Anaheim 1.

Jagr becomes highest-paid NHL player

WASHINGTON, Oct., 19 (UPI) -- Jaromir Jagr became the richest player in the NHL Thursday.

The Washington Capitals announced Jagr had signed a contract extension that has made the superstar right wing the highest-paid player in hockey.

While terms were not disclosed, but there were reports the contract was for $77 million over seven years. The average salary would surpass the 10-year, $87.5 million deal Alexei Yashin signed with the New York Islanders this year.

"He should be the highest-paid player in the league, which he is right now," said Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

Jagr, the NHL's four-time reigning scoring champion, still has two years remaining on the last deal he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is scheduled to earn more than $10 million over each of the next two seasons.

The extension would increase his salary by about $1 million a season.

Dierker resigns under fire

HOUSTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Under fire since his team's latest playoff failure, Larry Dierker resigned as Houston Astros manager Thursday.

Dierker, 55, led the Astros to a 448-362 record and four National League Central Division titles in his five years as manager, but failed to win a playoff series.

Dierker's 448 managerial wins rank second on Houston's all-time list behind Bill Virdon, who compiled a 544-522 record from 1975-82.

General manager Gerry Hunsicker met Wednesday night with Dierker and owner Drayton McLane to discuss "a number of issues, including the ballclub and the state of the organization."

"We all felt like it was time for a change," Hunsicker said.

Houston tied St. Louis for the best record in the National League at 93-69 and won the Central Division based on a better head-to-head record against the Cardinals.

But the Astros lost 12 of their last 15 games and were swept in the division series by the Atlanta Braves.

Dierker came down from the broadcast booth to take over as Houston's manager in 1997, but won just two of 14 playoff games. He had one year remaining on his contract.

Cink shares lead, Woods trails by four

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Stewart Cink was part of a five-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the National Car Rental Classic Thursday while Tiger Woods scrambled just to finish within four shots of the top spot in his first PGA Tour appearance in five weeks.

Fourteen players were within two shots of the lead, but Woods was not amogn them as he fired a 3-under 69 that left him in a tie for 31st.

Cink, Scott McCarron, Steve Lowery, Len Mattiace and Shaun Micheel shot 7-under 65s. PGA champion David Toms, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir were in a group of seven at 66.

While several players scramble to get their families around in Disney World this week, many also are scrambling to keep tour cards or make the lucrative Tour Championship.

Among them is Micheel, who entered the week 145th on the money list with $277,507 -- nearly $100,000 less than the amount needed to get into the top 125 that retain their playing privileges for 2002.

Cink, McCarron and Lowery all are trying to hold onto one of the final 30 spots for the season-ending Tour Championship in two weeks.

While he is a member of the United States Ryder Cup team, Cink is just 28th on the money list with $1,584,696. Kevin Sutherland is 31st with $1,513,934 and was tied for 31st at this event following a 69.

McCarron is 26th on the money list, one spot behind Lowery.

Jordan scores 24 in Wizards loss

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Jerry Stackhouse scored 36 points Thursday night as the Detroit Pistons pulled away for a 114-88 exhibition victory over the Washington Wizards before a sellout crowd of 11,639 that came to see fellow Tar Heel Michael Jordan.

The Pistons outscored the Wizards, 31-10, in the fourth quarter and moved above the .500 mark at 3-2.

Jordan made seven of 20 shots in 35 minutes, but scored 24 points in the third game of his comeback. He had just seven points after halftime as the Wizards were beaten by Detroit for the second time in the preseason.

Other NBA exhibition results: Memphis 110, Miami 106; Utah 95, Philadelphia 70; Seattle 101, Sacramento 99; Golden State 96, Denver 94.

World Doubles Championship canceled

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The ATP bowed to international security concerns Thursday and canceled the World Doubles Championship in India.

It is the first ATP tournament canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, although an event in Toulouse, France was skipped last month due to an explosion at a nearby petrochemical plant.

The World Doubles Championship -- one of the final two events on the 2001 schedule -- was to have been held Nov. 7-11 in India, which is in close proximity to strife in Afghanistan.

Roddick ousted in Stuttgart

STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Experience edged youth Thursday as Thomas Enqvist saved a match point before ousting No. 14 Andy Roddick, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-5), to reach the quarterfinals of the Tennis Masters Series-Stuttgart.

Enqvist, the 1999 champion, recorded his second upset in as many days after eliminating No. 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain on Wednesday.

The upset trend continued Thursday as No. 8 Sebastien Grosjean of France and No. 13 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia also were eliminated in the third round.

After winning the opening set and taking a 5-3 lead in the second, Enqvist appeared to be a certain victor. But the American teen battled back, forcing a tiebreak before knotting the contest at a set apiece.

Enqvist then fell behind, 1-5, in the third-set tiebreak before winning six straight points to close out the match.

Meanwhile, No. 5 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, No. 7 Tim Henman of Britain and No. 15 Tommy Haas of Germany advanced to the last eight.

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