NCAA

Beltran not in Cardinals' lineup for NLCS Game 4

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Beltran not in Cardinals' lineup for NLCS Game 4

ST. LOUIS (AP) Carlos Beltran was not in the St. Louis Cardinals' starting lineup for Game 4 of the NL championship series against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, a day after injuring his left knee while running on a double-play grounder.

Rookie Matt Carpenter batted second in place of Beltran and played first base, with cleanup man Allen Craig moving to right field. Both players are more comfortable at those spots.

Carpenter hit a two-run homer off Matt Cain in his first NLCS at-bat after subbing for Beltran in Game 3, helping the Cardinals take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Manager Mike Matheny says tests showed no significant injury but that Beltran is sore. But Matheny said the 35-year-old Beltran would be available to pinch hit.

``It wasn't one particular spot that seemed to be bothering him,'' Matheny said. ``It just kind of grabbed him yesterday.''

Beltran has had minor knee issues throughout the year but played 151 games. He led the Cardinals with a .400 average in the postseason with three homers and six RBIs and was a career .375 hitter in the postseason, best among players with a minimum of 100 at-bats.

``He's had things pop up through the season that we thought would be something that would put him on the shelf for a while, next thing you know he's out the next day,'' Matheny said. ``And vice versa, something that wasn't going to be a big deal and knocked him out for a little while. I know right now obviously we have an urgency and he knows that as well as anybody.''

Matheny also said Lance Lynn, who gave up four runs in 3 2-3 innings in Game 1, will be his Game 5 starter Friday night against Giants lefty Barry Zito.

Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

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Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

PITTSBURGH -- No. 1 Virginia allowed just seven points in the first half and secured the regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title outright with a 66-37 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Freshman guard De'Andre Hunter came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers (26-2, 14-1 ACC) with 14 points in a game that didn't take big offensive efforts from Virginia's regulars. Of the five starters, only guard Ty Jerome exceeded his season average with 13 points.

The game was never competitive, as Virginia started on an 8-0 run and Pitt didn't make a field goal until Jared Wilson-Frame hit a 3-pointer at the midway point of the first half.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett rested most of his regulars in the second half. Reserve Nigel Johnson added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Parker Stewart led Pitt (8-22, 0-17) with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Pitt had next to no presence inside. The Panthers were outscored 28-8 in the paint and out-rebounded 36-24. Seven of Pitt's 11 made field goals were from beyond the arc.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.

A quick start

Strong starts go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a group in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the opening 20 minutes.

RELATED: SEE THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-SABRES HERE

Andre Burakovsky snapping a second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked for much of the season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play from the office. He would later add a deflection goal to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.