In Sports from United Press International

By United Press International  |  Nov. 3, 2001 at 1:22 AM
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Diamondbacks take day to recoup

PHOENIX, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees, having put together an almost mystical comeback, can clinch their fourth straight World Series title tonight.

On the strength of two game-tying, two-out, two-run homers in the bottom of the ninth inning which led to a pair of extra-inning wins, the Yankees have a 3-2 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Series resumes tolnight in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks will send three-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson to the mound against New York's Andy Pettitte.

Johnson allowed just three hits in a 4-0 victory over Pettitte in Game 2. The "Big Unit" is 3-0 lifetime against the Yankees in the playoffs.

Pettitte pitched well, yielding four runs and five hits over seven innings. But he surrendered a three-run homer to Matt Williams in the seventh to give Arizona a four-run cushion.

Pac-10 features showdown battles

SEATTLE, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Often maligned for its underachieving teams, the Pac-10 likely will not produce the national champion this year, but it may be the most competitive conference in the country as five teams are separated by a half game in the standings.

A clearer picture may emerge after today as four of the contenders go head-to-head.

No. 11 Washington (6-1, 4-1 Pac-10) hosts No. 13 Stanford (5-1, 4-1), while No. 19 Washington State (7-1, 4-1) entertains No. 11 UCLA (6-1, 3-1) in a battle of teams coming off their first losses.

Oregon (7-1, 4-1), the other conference co-leader, hosts Arizona State in its first appearance at Auzten Stadium since having a school-record 23-game home winning streak snapped.

Washington has had a knack for pulling out victories late and the magic continued last week as John Anderson kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired to give the Huskies a 33-31 victory over Arizona State.

It was Washington's fifth fourth-quarter comeback of the season. Three of the Huskies' last four Pac-10 victories have come on Washington's final offensive play.

Stanford again will be without starting quarterback Randy Fasani, who is expected to miss at least another three weeks with a sprained knee. But the Cardinal hardly missed him in last week's 38-28 win over UCLA.

Elsewhere today, No. 1 Miami will host Temple, second-ranked Nebraska will be at Kansas and No. 3 Florida will host Vanderbilt.

Wings hand Isles first regulation loss

DETROIT, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Kris Draper scored twice and Dominik Hasek made 25 saves in his first start in a week Friday night as the Detroit Red Wings handed Chris Osgood and the surprising New York Islanders their first regulation loss of the season, 2-1.

Osgood spent his first eight seasons with Detroit and backstopped the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1998. After Hasek was acquired from Buffalo, Osgood was claimed in the waiver draft and helped the Islanders to the best start in franchise history at 9

1-1. But he has been unable to beat his former team, suffering a 5-4 overtime loss at home on Oct. 13.

In his first trip back to Joe Louis Arena, Osgood stopped 26 shots but was beaten twice by Draper as the Islanders had a six-game unbeaten streak stopped.

Hasek sat out two games and part of a third while battling the flu. He did not miss a beat, however, stopping everything he saw after Shawn Bates opened the scoring 65 seconds into the game.

Other NHL results: Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 1; Carolina 3, New York Rangers 2; Phoenix 2, Washington 2; Minnesota 4, Colorado 2; Dallas 3, Nashville 0; Anaheim 5, Chicago 2.

Raptors cruise, Nowitzki injured

TORONTO, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Vince Carter scored 11 of his 25 points in the first quarter Friday night as the Toronto Raptors jumped out to a big lead and cruised to their first victory, 109-92 over the Mavericks, who lost Dirk Nowitzki to a sprained ankle midway through the opening period.

After dropping its first two games of the season on the road, Toronto seemed rejuvenated at Air Canada Center and scored 16 of the game's first 18 points.

The Raptors had a 20-9 lead when Nowitzki sprained his left ankle after stepping on the foot of Toronto forward Antonio Davis while driving to the basket on a fast break.

Morris Peterson scored 12 of his 23 points in the first quarter and Toronto built a 15-point cushion after the opening 12 minutes. The Raptors led by as many as 23 in the second period before settling for a 67-47 halftime lead. Dallas got no closer than 11 thereafter.

Other NBA results: Indiana 117, Orlando 107; Boston 96, Chicago 82; Charlotte 97, New York 93; Cleveland 90, Miami 83; Detroit 102, New Jersey 88; Minnesota 111, Memphis 102; Los Angeles Lakers 117, Phoenix 94.

Verplank leads Tour Championship

HOUSTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Scott Verplank, who has won almost $1 million in five starts since being made a wild-card pick for the United States Ryder Cup team, shot a 6-under 65 Friday that boosted him into the lead by one shot after two rounds of the Tour Championship.

Verplank finished 36 holes over the Champions Golf Club course at 10-under 132 as the lack of wind allowed the elite 29-man field to produce a second consecutive day of low scoring. Only four players had an over-par round Friday.

First-round leader Bernhard Langer shot a 68 and was alone in second at 133 while Mike Weir was third at 134 following a 66. Mark Calcavecchia had two eagles in the day's low round, a 64, as he moved into a tie for fourth with Justin Leonard at 135. Sergio Garcia was next at 136 while Tiger Woods was in a group tied for seventh at 137.

The tournament is open only to the top 30 money winners on this year's PGA Tour, but the field was reduced by one when Phil Mickelson decided to stay home in Arizona to be with his wife and newborn daughter.

There were 11 scores of 67 or better Friday with 14 eagles being recorded by the 29 players.

Pierre Turgeon out 2-4 weeks

DALLAS, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The Dallas Stars will be without center Pierre Turgeon for two to four weeks because of a sprained ankle.

The Stars officially placed Turgeon on injured reserve Friday, retroactive to Oct. 30, making him eligible to return for for a game against San Jose Nov. 7.

But Stars general manager Bob Gainey confirmed on Friday that Turgeon will miss two to four weeks.

Turgeon suffered the injury in a game against the New York Rangers on Oct. 29.

Turgeon, who signed with Dallas as a free agent in July after spending the previous five seasons in St. Louis, has four goals and four assists in 12 games this season.

The 14-year veteran has 457 goals and 696 assists for 1,153 points with Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Montreal, St. Louis and Dallas.

Red Sox decline options on three players

BOSTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The Boston Red Sox Friday declined to pick up 2002 contract options on outfielder Troy O'Leary, infielder John Valentin and pitcher Bret Saberhagen.

However, Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette had indicated that the team is still interested in bringing back O'Leary and Valentin next season. The 37-year-old Saberhagen has hinted that he does not plan on pitching in 2002.

O'Leary, in his seventh year with the Red Sox this past season, appeared in a career-low 104 games and batted a career-worst .240 with 13 homers and 50 RBI.

The 32-year-old O'Leary had his best all-around season in 1999, hitting .280 with 28 homers and 103 RBI. He has 113 homers and 526 RBI in 1,008 careeer games with the Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers (1993-94).

Valentin, 34, appeared in only 20 games this season before landing on the disabled list on June 7 with season-ending plantar fascitis in his right heel. He went 12 for 60 with a homer and five RBI.

Kenny Wallace wins NASCAR pole

ROCKINGHAM, N.C., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- When the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet last appeared at North Carolina Motor Speedway, Steve Park drove it to victory in February. Kenny Wallace drove that same car to the pole Friday for Sunday's Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race.

Wallace is filling in for Park, who continues to recover from a head injury suffered in a NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington, S.C. on Labor Day weekend.

"It's really great to come here and sit on the pole after Steve won the race," Wallace said. "They wonder if it is the driver or the team and I'll tell you it is mostly the team in this case. They set that car up great. Steve did a good job setting it up for me."

It was Wallace's first pole since Bristol in 1997 - 129 races ago.

Ironically, second-fastest qualifier Ricky Craven also suffered a head injury at Texas Motor Speedway in 1998 that ultimately led to post-concussion syndrome and cost him his ride a year later. Craven qualified a Ford Taurus at 154.351 miles per hour.

Capriati loses in quarterfinals

MUNICH, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Top seed Jennifer Capriati lost her quarterfinal match Friday at the season-ending Sanex Championships and also may have squandered her opportunity to finish 2001 as the world No. 1.

Capriati suffered a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Sandrine Testud of France.

Capriati entered the tournament just 61 points ahead of compatriot Lindsay Davenport in the WTA rankings. Having won three straight tournaments as well as advancing to the semifinals here, Davenport appears to have an excellent opportunity to grab No. 1 ranking at year's end.

Testud will face another American in Saturday's semifinals. No. 7 Serena Williams outdueled No. 4 Justine Henin of Belgium, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), to reach the final four.

Davenport, the second seed, and Kim Clijsters of Belgium, the third seed, will square off in Saturday's other semifinal.

Russians 1-2 at world gymnastics meet

GHENT, Belgium, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Svetlana Khorkina of Russia won the second all-around title of her career at the World Gymnastics Championships Friday night, holding off teammate Natalia Ziganchina.

Khorkina scored the best marks of any of the competitors on both the balance beam and uneven bars to record a decisive victory.

She compiled 37.617 points under the scoring system being used at the championships for the first time. Ziganchina recorded 37.305 points.

Romania's Andreea Raducan was third with 36.949. Raducan, Sara Moro from Spain and Verona Van de Leur of the Netherlands were touted as possible winners of the gold medal, but only Raducan challenged.

Moro had a poor vault with a score of 8.675 and finished eighth. Van de Leur fell from the beam, eventually finishing ninth.

The biggest surprise of the competition was Danielle Hypolito of Brazil, who came to the event with no international reputation but who finished fourth. She is coached by Ukranian Oleg Ostapenko, who came to Brazil to run the national team following the Sydney Olympics.

Americans Tasha Schwikert and Tabitha Yim finished fifth and seventh. They were part of the group that won the bronze medal in the team portion of the championships on Wednesday night.

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