Redskins

Weekend Sports in Brief

Weekend Sports in Brief

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ryan Vogelsong struck out a career-best nine in another postseason gem and the San Francisco Giants forced a decisive Game 7 in the NL championship series with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night.

Marco Scutaro hit a two-run double and Buster Posey drove in his first run of the series with a groundout in the first inning as San Francisco struck early to support Vogelsong.

Matt Cain will start for the Giants against Kyle Lohse in Game 7 on Monday night. Lohse won their Game 3 matchup.

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox hired John Farrell to be their new manager on Sunday, obtaining their former pitching coach from the Blue Jays in a trade for infielder Mike Aviles.

Farrell had been the Toronto manager the past two seasons, posting a 154-170 record with two fourth-place finishes. He had one year remaining on his contract with the Blue Jays, allowing them to demand compensation from Boston.

PRO FOOTBALL

SAN DIEGO (AP) - If coming off consecutive tough losses wasn't bad enough, the San Diego Chargers will return to work Monday with another distraction.

NFL said Sunday it is investigating whether the Chargers used a banned sticky substance during Monday night's loss to the Denver Broncos.

If the league determines the Chargers used the substance, they could be fined or lose a draft pick.

Fox Sports first reported the investigation on Sunday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The NFL players' union might challenge former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue replacing Roger Goodell as the appeals officer in the Saints' bounties case.

The players association has concerns about ``ethical and legal issues,'' a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the union has not made any public statements.

The NFL had no comment.

Tagliabue is scheduled to hear the appeals of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on Oct. 30. He was appointed Friday by Goodell, his successor as commissioner.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts coach Chuck Pagano watched Sunday's game from home, hours after being released from an Indianapolis hospital.

Interim coach Bruce Arians provided the update following Indy's 17-13 victory over Cleveland.

Pagano has missed Indy's last three games after being diagnosed with leukemia. He had been in the hospital receiving treatment since Sept. 26, and though he will continue to undergo treatment for several more weeks, Arians says he can at least stay home.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama ran its streak of weeks at No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll to eight, the longest stay atop the rankings by the Crimson Tide.

The Tide has twice previously been No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks - in 1979 when Bear Bryant coached `Bama to a national title and in 1980 when the Tide finished sixth.

Oregon is No. 2 for the fifth consecutive week, though the gap between the Ducks and No. 3 Florida, which received the other first-place vote, narrowed after the Gators beat South Carolina 44-11 on Saturday.

The rest of the top six was also unchanged after No. 4 Kansas State, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 6 LSU all won.

South Carolina dropped from ninth to No. 17.

Alabama also remained at the top of the BCS standings, followed by Florida, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame.

AUTO RACING

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Matt Kenseth won for the second time in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in a caution-marred race at repaved Kansas Speedway.

The fast new surface and a hard tire contributed to Sunday's race-record 14 cautions, a season high for the Sprint Cup Series.

Nobody was immune from the problems, as at least five title contenders had issues.

Jimmie Johnson led 44 laps early, but crashed hard after spinning by himself. He had to stop at least a half-dozen times on pit road for repairs over two caution periods to salvage a ninth-place finish.

It was enough to keep the margin unchanged with Chase leader Brad Keselowski, who finished one spot ahead in eighth and maintained his seven-point lead in the standings with four races remaining.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came back from two laps down Saturday to win the Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The race was extended six laps because of a late caution, which helped Stenhouse grab his series-leading sixth win of the season because the cars in front of him didn't have enough gas to make it to the finish.

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dwight Howard had 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in his Lakers debut, but Los Angeles still dropped to 0-6 in the preseason when DeMarcus Cousins rallied the Sacramento Kings to a 99-92 victory on Sunday night.

The Lakers finally unveiled their new franchise center after Howard sat out the first five preseason games while exercising caution with his surgically repaired back. The six-time All-Star played 33 minutes and made five turnovers, overcoming six months of game rust with energy from the opening tip.

NEW YORK (AP) - Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire is expected to miss the start of the regular season and be out two to three weeks because of an injured left knee.

He returned to New York on Sunday for another evaluation, and an MRI revealed a ruptured benign cyst, the team said.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - While the NHL and the players' association are keeping the lines of communication open, they don't seem to be moving any closer to getting back to the bargaining table.

For the second straight day, representatives on both sides of the lockout had telephone conversations Sunday. None of those talks have yet led to concrete negotiations that could lead to an elusive collective bargaining agreement and get the delayed hockey season going.

``We had a conference call today to answer some of their questions,'' NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email Sunday. ``No bargaining. And no bargaining meetings scheduled.''

Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr also had discussions on Saturday.

GOLF

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) - Tommy Gainey narrowly missed golf's magic number. He happily settled for a course-record 60 at Sea Island, and his first PGA Tour win Sunday in the McGladrey Classic.

Gainey became the fourth player this year to rally from at least seven shots behind in the final round to win on the PGA Tour. He made seven straight 3s on his way to a 29 on the back nine, and then had to wait more than two hours to see if Jim Furyk or anyone else could catch him.

INCHEON, South Korea (AP) - Suzann Pettersen won the HanaBank Championship for her ninth LPGA Tour title, beating Catriona Matthew with a 5-foot birdie putt on the third hole of playoff after blowing a big lead.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Tamika Catchings scored 25 points to help the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA championship with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night.

Catchings, who added the MVP trophy to her first WNBA title, averaged 24.8 points in the series, which the Fever won 3-1 over the defending WNBA champions.

Erin Phillips added 18 points and eight rebounds while Shavonte Zellous and Briann January each had 15 points.

TENNIS

LUXEMBOURG (AP) - Venus Williams won her first WTA tournament in more than two years, beating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-2, 6-3 to take the Luxembourg Open title on Sunday.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - Tomas Berdych won his second ATP title this year by rallying to beat top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the Stockholm Open final on Sunday.

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) - Marin Cilic of Croatia recovered from a shaky start to beat Slovakia's Martin Klizan 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the Valencia Open on Sunday.

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O-line, D-line is the move for the Redskins at No. 13, according to Charles Davis

O-line, D-line is the move for the Redskins at No. 13, according to Charles Davis

We are nearing the start of the NFL Draft, less than three days to be exact, and right now there are a ton of names circling around whom the Washington Redskins should take at No. 13.

You’ve probably read countless mock drafts at this point (if you haven’t or need another here is ours), and there’s one thing that is consistent: nothing.

So let's concern ourselves less of ‘who’ and exactly what each player will bring to the Redskins.

There are very few evaluators of talent better than the NFL Network’s Charles Davis, so he got to talk with J.P. Finlay and Mitch Tischler on the latest edition of the Redskins Talk podcast.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST WITH CHARLES DAVIS HERE

He broke down EVERYONE that Washington could be taking at No. 13 overall. If you don’t have time to listen (which we highly recommend that you do), here are some of the highlights:

“This could be a wild first night,” said Davis. “All of these different trade scenarios are out there right? My experience has been that most of that calms down as we get closer. There’s a lot of discussion and chatter about it, but we don’t usually have it.”

REDSKINS NEEDS:

“At 13, when you’re really down to it, Mitch I think you had said to me even before we began ‘O-line, D-line man, let’s talk O-line, D-line,’ and I think that is the perfect place for this Washington team.”

VITA VEA, DT, WASHINGTON

“If Vita Vea from Washington somehow is sitting there at 13, and the idea that you could go up there and put him a line and get Jonathan Allen back from last year, I think that’d be a great place to go. This is a top-10, top-5 talent in this draft that possibly could still be around at 13.”

“When we’re talking about the people that are in our business, the talking heads that people kind of go to and kind of get held accountable for their mock drafts… you don’t really see Vea in any consistency in the top ten.”

“Eleven is kind of the breakpoint for him.”

MAURICE HURST, DT, MICHIGAN

“I like him. I don’t know that I like him quite that high.”

DA’RON PAYNE, DT, ALABAMA

“I like Payne, better than Hurst, but again I don’t know about quite that high.”

“The medical, you can’t help it when you’re talking about a heart. You can’t help but be a little bit concerned. Now he has gotten clearance, that has come through, but we all know that each team is going to do it’s own research and got to decide how comfortable they are with that.”

QUENTON NELSON, OL, NOTRE DAME

“I doubt he is falling to 13, because if somehow he falls to eight to the Bears and if the Bears don’t run up to the podium and plug him in, I’d be stunned.”

ORLANDO BROWN JR., OT, OKLAHOMA

“Normally when you have a combine and you have some things that you have some questions marks on, normally you have some balancers. Orlando Brown had zero balancers. Everything was historically bad.”

WILL HERNANDEZ, G, UTEP

“Now Will Hernandez has had about as good a postseason as an offensive lineman can have.”

“This kid Hernandez has become a massive road grater, quicker than you would think, better pass protector and he did all of this on an 0-12 team last year. So he is another guy to keep an eye on, especially if as you said they are able to move back.”

DERRIUS GUICE, RB, LSU

“I’d be surprised at 13.”

“Get back to 19 and then I think Guice is in play at 19. If that indeed is the runner that they like. I think the running back renaissance is real.”

JOHN KELLY, RB, TENNESSEE

“I think this John Kelly kid from Tennessee is a really good runner. He had a little trouble off-field last year, missed a game because of all that, but this kid runs hard, plays hard, he’s not Alvin Kamara… but this kid is more of a pure running back than Kamara is, he’s just not a bulky guy.”

TRADING BACK

“They’re in a tough spot because of the number. We’ve got all of this stuff now.”

“That’s a tough one, because if I’m Dallas and I want to come up and get my guy [Calvin Ridley], I don’t need to come up as high as 13 anyway, if you really think about it.”

BILLY PRICE, OL, Ohio State

“He’s a really good player. The kid played guard, he played center. Price is a really good technician. 44 a possibility? Possibility. Before the injury he was going late-first, early second.”

This is only scratching the surface of what the expert talked about. Get the full experience and listen to the full podcast.

MORE DRAFT COVERAGE:

- SEVEN ROUND REDSKINS MOCK DRAFT

- ODDS ON FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS

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Can Gio Gonzalez lift Nats out of losing streak in series opener vs. Giants?

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USA TODAY Sports

Can Gio Gonzalez lift Nats out of losing streak in series opener vs. Giants?

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants right-hander Chris Stratton will seek to duplicate two impressive efforts when he takes the mound for the opener of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals on Monday night at 10:15 p.m. ET.

The series is the first in San Francisco since Giants reliever Hunter Strickland plunked Nationals star Bryce Harper with a pitch last May, triggering a brawl at the mound that resulted in the ejection of both players.

The Giants got the worst of the altercation, with slugging backup Michael Morse suffering a career-ending concussion in a collision with teammate Jeff Samardzija near the mound.

Stratton wasn't with the Giants at the time, but he contributed one of the best-pitched games of his young career when the clubs met again in Washington in August.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER HOME RUN TRACKER

Making just his third career start, the 27-year-old shut out the Nationals on five hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 4-2 win. He struck out 10.

It's the only time he has faced Washington.

Stratton (1-1, 2.22) has won just four times since, and came close to a fifth when he limited Arizona to one run in seven innings in his last start on Wednesday. He did not, however, get a decision in the 4-3 win, during which he recorded eight strikeouts.

The Giants will be opening a 10-game homestand following a 10-game trip on which they went just 4-6. Statton started two of the four wins.

Stratton wasn't the only Giants starter who pitched well on the trip. The club is coming off a series win against the Los Angeles Angels in which both Samardzija and Johnny Cueto took shutouts late into wins.

Strickland saved Sunday's 4-2 win for Cueto, and afterward was asked about his thoughts of seeing Harper again.

"Win a series," is all he would say.

RELATED: LATEST MLB POWER RANKINGS

In the Nationals, the Giants will be seeing a team coming off a high-profile series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, one that included a meeting on Sunday Night Baseball.

Washington lost two of three in the rematch of 2017 division winners, scoring a total of just eight runs on 21 hits in the three games, which ended with the Nationals stranding two in the top of the ninth of a 4-3 loss on Sunday.

Harper went 2-for-10 in the series, which the Nationals played without injured regulars Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton. They remain out.

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 2.49) will oppose Stratton.

The veteran has made 12 career starts against the Giants, going 5-4 with a 3.06 ERA.

He restored order to the Nationals-Giants series in San Francisco last season the day after the brawl, pitching 6 1/3 innings in a 6-3 win. It improved his record at AT&T Park to 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA in seven starts.

Gonzalez threw 97 pitches in beating the New York Mets 5-2 in his last start, allowing two runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings on Tuesday.

That pitch total wasn't even five times the number Giants first baseman Brandon Belt saw in one historic at-bat Sunday against the Angels' Jaime Barria in the first inning.

Belt fouled off 16 pitches and flied out on the 21st pitch of the at-bat, the most pitches in a Major League Baseball at-bat since 1988.

Afterward, Belt apologized.

"When I'm in the field, I hate it when a batter keeps fouling pitches off," he insisted. "I'm like, 'Dude, just put it in play. It's not that hard. Let's go.' So, I basically had to apologize to everybody after that."

RELATED: HOW NATS DROPPED FINAL GAME VS. DODGERS