Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EDT.
- ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals have ace Adam Wainwright set for the deciding Game 5 of the NL division series against the Pirates and rookie Gerrit Cole. A trip to the NLCS and the Dodgers await the winner. Game starts 8:07 p.m.
- OAKLAND, Calif. - Just like last October in Oakland, the Tigers have been pushed to a winner-take-all Game 5 in their AL division series against the Athletics - and Detroit has ace Justin Verlander on the mound again Thursday after he pitched a shutout in the clincher last year.
- LAKE FOREST, Ill. - On the surface, this would seem like an easy one for the Chicago Bears. They're trying to get back to winning against a team that hasn't won a game all season. The problem is the New York Giants (0-5) are no strangers to victories no matter what their record says, so the Bears (3-2) aren't exactly breathing easy heading into Thursday's game at Soldier Field.
- LOS ANGELES - Arizona is unsure what to expect Thursday night when the Wildcats visit Southern California for the Trojans' first game since firing coach Lane Kiffin. Interim coach Ed Orgeron is confident USC will be ready for the next chapter, even if it's without ailing receiver Marqise Lee.
- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tight end Rob Gronkowski may be ready to return after missing the first five games for the New England Patriots while recovering from offseason surgeries. After one of their worst offensive performances in years led to their first loss, the Patriots will face the unbeaten New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
- SAN MARTIN, Calif. - Stewart Cink usually plays a couple of PGA Tour events in the fall, though there were times he felt as though he was just going through the motions. This was different. He showed up at the Frys.com Open with the excitement of a new season - which it is, even though it's the second week of October.