Arizona takes lead over Braves
ATLANTA, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Curt Schilling turned in his third complete-game performance of the playoffs Friday night, surrendering four hits and striking out 12 to push the Arizona Diamondbacks in front in the National League Championship Series with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
"In the postseason, you want to think about nine innings," Schilling said. "I don't know how many pitches I threw, but I felt just as good in the ninth inning as I did in the first."
Schilling threw 127 pitches, 83 of them for strikes, and fanned five of the last seven batters he faced. Dating back to a 1993 playoff appearance, Schilling has thrown four straight complete postseason games.
Arizona, hoping to reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history, opened a 2-1 lead in the series. Greg Maddux will try to even things again Saturday when he throws for the Braves against Arizona's Albie Lopez in Game 4.
John Burkett, making his first start in a league championship series, struggled throughout his 4 2/3-inning stint and was done in by a pair of defensive lapses.
The Braves could afford no such lapses as Schilling did not allow a hit until the fourth and had Atlanta batters swinging at air all night.
Arizona put two runners on in the first inning and one on in the second, but Burkett was unable to wiggle off the hook in the third.
After Tony Womack struck out to start the third, Craig Counsell reached on an infield single and moved to second on Luis Gonzalez's ground out. Matt Williams walked, after which Steve Finley ripped a double to left -- scoring both runners. Finley was out trying to reach third, ending the inning.
Atlanta got a run back in the fourth when Marcus Giles doubled to lead off and scored on a one out single by Chipper Jones.
But an error by Jones in the fifth inning figured prominently in a three-run outburst that gave Schilling and the Diamondbacks more than enough cushion.
Schilling helped his own cause with a single to right that started the fifth and he went to second when Womack's sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit because no one covered first base. Both runners were moved along with a sacrifice from Counsell and Gonzalez was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Steve Reed came in to replace Burkett and Williams hit a sharp grounder on which Jones made a fine play to stop. But his throw home sailed past catcher Javy Lopez, allowing two runs to score. Gonzalez went to third on the play, from where he scored on a single by Finley off the third pitcher of the inning, Mike Remlinger.
The five runs equaled the most Arizona has scored in the playoffs this year and marked only the second time in eight outings they have produced more than two.
The third game of the ALCS will be played today with the New York Yankees trying to take a 3-0 advantage against the Seattle Mariners.
Blues win in overtime
ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Keith Tkachuk scored his fourth goal 46 seconds into overtime Friday night as the St. Louis Blues handed the surprising Minnesota Wild their first loss of the season, 3-2.
Tkachuk gave the puck to Doug Weight in the neutral zone and skated over the left point. After taking a return pass in the faceoff circle, he cut through the slot and flipped a backhander that trickled off the pads of goaltender Manny Fernandez and just inside the right goalpost.
St. Louis outshot Minnesota, 34-16, and had several good scoring opportunities throughout the game.
With 66 seconds left in regulation, Tkachuk sent a wrist shot just wide from the top of the crease. Just 10 seconds later, Fernandez made a pad save on defenseman Chris Pronger's wrister from the right circle before gloving a backhanded rebound by Tkachuk.
Other NHL results: Columbus 3, Buffalo 1; Washington 4, Montreal 1; New York Rangers 4, Atlanta 3.
Longhorns host Colorado in highlight game
AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Oklahoma began to restore its reputation as a national power last season with three impressive October wins. A year later, another Big 12 Conference school is in position to do the same.
After disposing of Kansas State and Texas A&M the last two weeks, No. 17 Colorado goes for the trifecta when it visits No. 8 Texas today.
It is the only college football game between ranked teams on a weekend when four of the top 10 teams are idle. Among those in action are No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Nebraska, who stage their final tuneups before next week's Big 12 showdown in Lincoln.
Colorado (5-1), which won a national title 11 years ago, has five straight wins after a season-opening loss to Fresno State.
The Buffaloes finally have responded to third-year coach Gary Barnett, who took Northwestern to two Big Ten Conference titles but was just 7-5 and 3-8 in his first two seasons with the Buffaloes.
Sophomore Craig Ochs seems to have improved with every game and has completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,105 yards and six touchdowns.
This week, Ochs shares the stage with Chris Simms, who bounced back from a poor game against Oklahoma two weeks ago to throw five touchdown passes in a 38-10 victory over Oklahoma State.
Texas (5-1) is seeking its 12th straight home victory. The Longhorns snapped a six-game losing streak to Colorado with a 28-14 victory in Boulder last season.
Fresno State loses unbeaten status
FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The 10th-ranked Fresno State Bulldogs saw their remote chance for a national championship come to an end Friday night when they let a 14-point lead get away and eventually fell to Boise State, 35-30.
Early-season upsets of Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin vaulted Fresno State into the national rankings. The Bulldogs kept winning -- including last week's 25-22 escape in overtime at Colorado State -- while national powers kept losing.
According to published reports, Fresno State would have been seventh in the first BCS standings to be released Monday. But that was before Friday night's tumble on national television.
Looking for all the exposure it could get, Fresno State agreed to a 5 p.m. local starting time to accommodate ESPN. Instead, the Bulldogs (6-1, 2-1 WAC) were exposed.
Boise State (4-3, 3-1) took a 35-28 lead with 7:12 remaining on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Dinwiddie to Jay Swillie, who kept his feet following a collision after the catch at the 25 and sped in untouched.
Dinwiddie, who came into the game leading the Western Athletic Conference and ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, completed 20 of 32 for 297 yards and four touchdowns.
Carr collected his fifth 300-yard game, going 30 of 49 for 345 yards.
Magic loses Mike Miller with broken foot
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Grant Hill had 17 points and nine rebounds and Mike Miller added 16 before leaving with an injury Friday night as the Orlando Magic posted a 112-93 exhibition victory over the Houston Rockets.
Hill, acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Detroit Pistons before last season, also handed out seven assists in 30 minutes. The All-Star forward played just four games last season before undergoing season-ending surgery on a broken ankle.
McGrady, acquired from the Toronto Raptors before last season, became Orlando's No. 1 option in Hill's absence and averaged 26.8 points and 7.5 rebounds last season. But the 22-year-old All-Star swingman sat out his second straight game with a strained lower back.
Miller, one of the better pure shooters in the league who was named Rookie of the Year last season, left the game in the third period with a chip fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He is expected to be out at least four weeks.
Other NBA exhibition results: Detroit 94, Miami 76; Los Angeles Clippers 101, Dallas 99; Milwaukee 107, Boston 106 in overtime; San Antonio 107, New York 90; Minnesota 108, Indiana 90.
Compton wins NASCAR pole
TALLADEGA, Ala., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Stacy Compton won his second straight pole at Talladega Superspeedway Friday and will start in front at Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup EA Sports 500.
Compton put his Dodge Intrepid on the pole late in the qualification session with a lap at 185.240 miles per hour. Compton also won the pole for April's Talladega 500, but finished last in the 43-car field after suffering an engine problem early in the race.
Compton's run knocked Bobby Hamilton off the pole. The Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver will start second after running a lap at 184.438 mph.
Yokoo leads by two at Car Rental Classic
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Kaname Yokoo continued an outstanding year for Japanese players on the PGA Tour Friday, putting together a 7-under 65 that put him one shot in front of Jerry Smith after two rounds of the National Car Rental Classic.
A crowd of big-name stars, including Tiger Woods, was close behind, but Yokoo put himself in position to become the second player from his country to win on the tour this year.
Yokoo, who has won more than $400,000 this year and has clinched his spot on the 2002 tour, finished 36 holes at 13-under 131 with Smith reaching 132 thanks to a second straight 66.
Stewart Cink, who narrowly missed capturing the U.S. Open this year, was among those at 135 and Woods was at 136 following a 67. Woods has returned to the tour after a five-week absence.
Earlier this year, Shigeki Maruyama won the Greater Milwaukee Open to become the second Japanese winner ever on the American tour. In addition, Shingo Katayama challenged for the title at the PGA Championship and Toshi Izawa finished fourth at the Masters.
Smith went into this tournament standing at No. 120 on the money list. Only the top 125 at the end of the season earn a card for next year's circuit.
McCord fires course record
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Gary McCord fired a course-record 9-under-par 63 Friday, the lowest score he has shot on the Senior Tour, to open a two-shot lead after the first round of the SBC Championship.
This is the final event before the Senior PGA Tour's exclusive season-ending Tour Championship, which is open only to the top 31 players on the money list. McCord is winless this year, but has done enough to hold 26th place. He has a $60,000 lead on Graham Marsh, who is in 32nd place.
With $1.4 million in prize money available, every player from McCord through No. 43 Joe Inman is entered, hoping for a strong showing that will vault them into the Senior Tour Championship.
McCord had the strongest showing of all. He birdied the par-5 18th with a four-foot putt to break the Dominion Country Club mark of 64 set by J.C. Goosie in 1987 and matched by George Archer five years later.
Senior Tour rookie Bobby Wadkins shot a 65 to finish second after one round. Wadkins is 37th on the money list, amassing nearly $500,000 in just nine events, but needs the $210,000 first prize here to crash the year-end party.
Pineda Chacon wins MLS MVP honor
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Miami Fusion forward Alex Pineda Chacon, the league scoring champion in goals and points, Friday was named the MLS' Most Valuable Player.
The 31-year-old Pineda Chacon tallied 19 goals and 47 points while also breaking a host of Fusion records. He finished the regular season with a five-game goal-scoring streak, also a new franchise mark.
Pineda Chacon's seven-game winning goals led the MLS and he was named league Player of the Week four times this season, the most of any player. He is the first member of the Fusion to win the award.
Davenport, Capriati reach semifinals
ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati overcame a pair of youngsters Friday to reach the semifinals of the Swisscom Challenge.
Daniela Hantuchova, a native of Slovakia, actually surprised Davenport by winning the first set. But the third seed quickly regroupedand completed a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory to improve to 32-5 this year.
Marie-Giane Mikaelian, a resident of Switzerland, was defeated by Capriati, 6-4, 6-2. Mikaelian had been 4-0 in quarterfinals this year.
Capriati and Davenport will meet in one semifinal Saturday and seeds Jelena Dokic of Yugoslvia and Nathalie Tauziat of France will square off in the other.
But the were no surprises Friday. With the late withdrawal of top seed and defending champion Martina Hingis, the top four remaining seeds advanced to the semifinals.