Giants even World Series
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- David Bell ripped a single to center that scored J.T. Snow from second base with one out in the eighth inning Wednesday night, climaxing a San Francisco rally that gave the Giants a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Angels and evened the World Series at two games each.
Anaheim built a 3-0 advantage in a bid to move within one victory of the first World Series championship in franchise history. But the Giants finally cooled off the Angels' hot bats, fought back to tie the game and then San Francisco scored the go-ahead run against the previously untouchable Francisco Rodriguez.
The pivotal fifth game of the best-of-seven series will be played Thursday night in San Francisco with Game 1 starters Jarrod Washburn for Anaheim and Jason Schmidt for the Giants appearing again. The teams will take Friday off and resume on Saturday night, when the winner of Thursday night's game will have a chance to become champions of Major League Baseball.
Having produced a .353 batting average in the first three games of the World Series and a .335 average for 12 playoff contests, the Angels banged out seven hits in the first three innings Wednesday night and appeared ready for their third straight victory.
Benji Gil, Bengie Molina and pitcher John Lackey, making the first plate appearance of his professional career, singled to load the bases in the second inning and David Eckstein drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly.
The Giants eventually turned the tide in the fifth against Lackey with the inning being set up by two base hits that did not leave the infield.
San Francisco starter Kirk Rueter led off the fifth instead of being lifted for a pinch hitter and he came through with a dribbler down the first base line that he beat out for a single. Kenny Lofton then laid down a bunt that hugged the third base line. Third baseman Glaus, thinking the ball had rolled foul, picked the ball up. But it was ruled fair and the Giants had runners on first and second.
Rich Aurilio followed with a single that scored Rueter and sent Lofton to third. Aurilio moved to second on a poor throw home by right fielder Salmon. Jeff Kent followed with a sacrifice fly to deliver Lofton and, after Bonds was intentionally walked for the third straight time, Santiago singled to center to bring home Aurilio and tie the game.
Extra innings seemed a distinct possibility with Rodriguez on the mound for the Angels since he was previously unbeaten in five playoff decisions and had run his streak of consecutive retired batters to 12 with a perfect seventh.
But Snow led off the eighth with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a solid single up the middle by Bell.
Tampa Bay stays unbeaten
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Dave Andreychuk tied the contest 12 seconds into the third period and Nikolai Khabibulin made several clutch saves down the stretch Wednesday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning remained the only undefeated team in the NHL with a 2-2 tie against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Lightning (4
2-0) trailed, 2-1, before Andreychuk scored on a power-play wrist shot that popped out of the glove of Marc Denis. Tampa Bay, which leads the league with 10 third-period goals, has scored on a man advantage in each of its first six games.
The Blue Jackets had numerous chances to score late in regulation and in the extra session, but Khabibulin stymied each attempt, including a chest save of a one-timer by Geoff Sanderson with less than 70 seconds to play in overtime.
Other NHL results: Washington 2, New York Rangers 1; Ottawa 4, Carolina 1; New Jersey 2, Atlanta 1; Los Angeles 3; Detroit 3; Florida 4, Toronto 1.
Browns owner dies
CLEVELAND, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Al Lerner, the billionaire credit magnate and philanthropist who brought the Cleveland Browns back to the National Football League, died Wednesday. He was 69.
A statement from the Browns did not give a cause of death, but Lerner underwent a medical procedure on his brain in May 2001.
On Sept. 8, 1998, Lerner was awarded the Browns franchise. He submitted a sealed bid of $530 million for the NFL's 31st team, filling the gaping void in a football-crazed city vacated by Art Modell.
Following the 1996 season, Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, renaming them the Ravens. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue immediately began the search for a buyer for a new team that would assume the Browns' name, history and tradition.
That man was Lerner, the chairman and CEO of MBNA Corporation, the largest independent bank lender through credit cards in the United States. MBNA employs more than 20,000 people worldwide, including 2,000 in the Cleveland area.
Ripken's streak voted No. 1
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The breaking of Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak by Cal Ripken was voted by baseball fans as being the most memorable moment in the history of the sport, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday night.
The announcement was made prior to the playing of Game 4 of the World Series during an emotional ceremony attended by some of baseball's most celebrated figures.
Fan voting at ball parks around the country during the regular season resulted in Ripken's achievement being named No. 1. In 1995, Ripken surpassed Gehrig's record by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game.
In the minds of those doing the selecting, Ripken's achievement surpassed that of Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home-run record in 1974, and Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first African-American to play in the majors.
Aaron's feat was voted No. 2 and Robinson's No. 3.
Mark McGwire's breaking of Roger Maris' single-season home run record in 1998 was voted No. 4 and the farewell speech of Gehrig in 1939 was selected No. 5.
Voted No. 6 through No. 10 were Pete Rose becoming the all-time hits record holder in 1985, Ted Williams becoming the most recent player to hit .400 in 1941, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941, Kirk Gibson's, pinch-hit, game-winning World Series homer in 1988 and Nolan Ryan's record seventh no-hitter in 1991.
Sean Burke out a month
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Sean Burke will be out for four weeks with a sprained ankle, the team announced Wednesday.
Burke suffered a high ankle sprain midway through the first period of Tuesday night's 2-1 victory at Nashville when he twisted awkardly to recover a puck that hit the post.
Burke, 35, who recorded career highs with 33 wins and five shutouts last season, is 1-3 with a 3.13 goals-against average in five games this season.
Burke made four saves before the injury and was replaced by Brian Boucher, who stopped 26 shots and recorded the win.
Yao Ming makes debut
SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Yao Ming made his highly anticipated debut and watched Tim Duncan collect 27 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday night as the San Antonio Spurs edged the Houston Rockets, 80-79, in preseason action.
The 7-5 Yao entered the game with 10 minutes remaining in the second period, made a pair of free throws on his first possession and hit a fadeaway jumper over Spurs center David Robinson for his first NBA basket with 5:08 left.
But Yao, who signed with the Rockets on Oct. 10 after getting approval from the China Basketball Association, struggled thereafter and finished with six points while hitting one of five shots in 13 minutes.
Report: O'Neal to miss start of season
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are expected to begin the season without superstar center Shaquille O'Neal.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, O'Neal will be placed on the injured list next Monday, causing him to sit out at least five games.
O'Neal underwent surgery on his right big toe on Sept. 12 and has not played in any exhibition games for Los Angeles, which fell to 2-4 in the preseason following Tuesday's 102-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scheckter to join Chip Ganassi
MOORESVILLE, N.C., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- After a successful test last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tomas Scheckter has been hired as a driver for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing in the Indy Racing League next season.
Scheckter, who showed flashes of brilliance in a stormy season with Red Bull Cheever Indy Racing, will join fellow driver Scott Dixon, who moves over from CART to the two-car team that will participate exclusively in the IRL.
Team owner Chip Ganassi announced the moves Wednesday. It increases the IRL presence of the team, which fielded one car in the IRL in 2002 for driver Jeff Ward, who won in June at Texas Motor Speedway.
Scheckter, the 22-year-old son of 1979 Formula One champion Jody Scheckter, is entering his second season in the IRL. Last season, he won three poles, was third in laps led and captured his first career victory at the Michigan Indy 400.
War Emblem favored in Breeders' Cup Classic
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem is the early favorite for Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, the keystone of an eight-race program at Arlington Park that will decide Horse of the Year and many other annual awards.
Surprisingly, only two of the eight races drew full fields of 14 as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships visits the Chicago area for the first time. The Distaff and the John Deere Turf -- each sporting a purse of $2 million -- drew only eight starters each.
However, each of the races is competitive, including the Classic. Although he made War Emblem the morning-line favorite, Arlington oddsmaker Mike Battaglia acknowledged, "any one of the top three or four horses could go off favorite in this one."
That bunch would include Medaglia d'Oro (7-2 on the morning line), who won the Jim Dandy and the Travers at Saratoga this summer but has been idle since; Came Home (4-1), winner of three straight in California including the Pacific Classic since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby; and Hawk Wing (5-1), a Kentucky-bred who has been no worse than second in any of his nine lifetime starts, all in England and Ireland.
Twelve horses were entered in the Classic, a 1 1/4-mile event on the main track for 3-year-olds and up. All of Battaglia's top four picks are 3-year-olds.
Agassi wins in Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Seeking his sixth title of the year, top-seeded American Andre Agasssi got off to a good start Wednesday, capturing his first-round match at the St. Petersburg Open.
Agassi, playing in Russia for the first time, breezed to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in this indoor event.
The 32-year-old Agassi won his fifth title of the season Sunday, when Jiri Novak withdrew from the final of the Tennis Masters Series - Madrid with a groin injury. The victory moved Agassi within 43 points of Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the ATP Champions Race.
The top eight players in the points race qualify for the Tennis Masters Series Cup in Shanghai in November. Hewitt was upset in the second round of the Stockholm Open Wednesday.