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Blue Jackets’ Dubois won’t be disciplined for Muzzin cross-check

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Columbus Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t see any supplementary discipline for his cross-check against Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin on Tuesday.

With less than two minutes remaining in Tuesday’s matchup, Dubois shoved Muzzin behind the net, causing Muzzin to fall awkwardly and collide with Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand, appearing to hit his head on Bjorkstrand’s leg.

Muzzin remained down on the ice for several minutes before being stretchered off and taken to a Toronto hospital. The team announced Wednesday that the rearguard was discharged overnight and is back at the team’s hotel inside the NHL bubble as he recovers and quarantines, and has been ruled out for the remainder of the qualifying series.

Dubois was not penalized on the ice at the time of the incident, with league officials later ruling it as “a freak play that had a terrible outcome.”

The five-game series is now tied 1-1, with Game 3 set for Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET.

Source: – Sportsnet.ca

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Jays beat Orioles to keep momentum going – TSN

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Cavan Biggio broke up a no-hit bid with a solo home run in the sixth inning, Randal Grichuk added a three-run shot and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Saturday night.

The Blue Jays need another victory in Sunday’s regular-season finale, and a Miami win over the Yankees in New York, to move up to second place in the AL East and the fifth seed in the league. If not, Toronto will remain in eighth place and get a first-round playoff meeting with the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays.

“Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we’re ready to go,” Biggio said.

Toronto has won four straight and six of seven following a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Baltimore’s John Means (2-4) held the Blue Jays hitless until Biggio broke a scoreless tie with his eighth homer.

Means walked infielder Jonathan Villar, the second batter of the game, and didn’t allow another baserunner until Biggio connected on a 1-0 pitch.

Biggio credited Jonathan Davis, who lined out to end a 10-pitch at bat immediately beforehand, for wearing Means down.

“He really made him work for that out, something that we weren’t doing the whole game,” Biggio said. “I can probably say confidently that (Means) doesn’t hang me a slider there if he isn’t worn out from facing JD.

“Hats off to him, he pitched a great game,” Biggio added. “He made one mistake and that’s what the run was.”

Biggio’s drive to right ended a streak of 16 consecutive outs by Means, including five straight strikeouts at one stretch. The left-hander struck out nine and walked one in six innings.

Means has a 1.52 ERA over his past four starts, giving up just a single run each time. Given how well he’s been pitching, Means isn’t quite ready for end of the season.

“I wish there was 100 games left,” he said.

Grichuk connected on the first pitch he saw from Hunter Harvey in the seventh. It was his 12th homer of the season and the 19th of his career against the Orioles, more than he’s hit against any other opponent. His seven homers against Baltimore this season are the most by one player against a single opponent. Grichuk also homered in Toronto’s 10-5 win Friday.

The Blue Jays scratched right-hander Matt Shoemaker, the scheduled starter, and turned to right-hander T.J. Zeuch. Shoemaker threw a side session before the game, meaning he could be used in the opening round of the playoffs.

Zeuch allowed five hits in five scoreless innings.

Chase Anderson (1-2) got the win, striking out the first four batters he faced in a two-inning relief stint. Anthony Bass got the final four outs for his seventh save in nine chances.

Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. yelped in pain after he fouled a pitch off his left foot in the second inning. Gurriel batted again in the fifth, but was replaced by Grichuk in the top of the sixth. The Blue Jays said Gurriel had a contusion on his foot.

He wasn’t the only Blue Jays player to leave injured. Right-hander Ross Stripling was replaced by Bass after being hit on the right shin by DJ Stewart’s comebacker in the eighth.

“They’re both fine, which is great,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Austin Hays had three hits and José Iglesias had two doubles and drove in a run, but the Orioles lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Baltimore has lost 14 of 18 overall following a 20-21 start.

“There’s been some ups and downs this year,” Hays said, “but I think we showed early on what this team is capable of doing.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: Montoyo said LHP Hyun Jin Ryu is not hurt, but would not commit to starting Ryu in Game 1 of the playoffs. Montoyo said Friday that Ryu was “a little sore” after throwing a season-high 100 pitches over seven innings against the Yankees on Thursday. … INF Rowdy Tellez (right knee) ran the bases and hit on the field before the game.

Orioles: GM Mike Elias confirmed that RHP Michael Baumann was shut down after straining a flexor muscle in his elbow at the team’s alternate training site. One of Baltimore’s top prospects, Baumann is expected to be healthy by spring training. … Elias also said he is optimistic OF Trey Mancini will be able to play next season. Mancini missed this season while undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Mancini completed chemotherapy treatment last Tuesday.

CHEEKY CRIME

Villar stole third base on catcher Pedro Severino’s throw back to the pitcher in the eighth.

ARMED AND DANGEROUS

Hernandez made a strong throw to catch Ryan Mountcastle trying to stretch out a double in the eighth. It was his seventh outfield assist of the season, matching Boston’s Alex Verdugo for most in the majors.

UP NEXT

Baltimore LHP Keegan Akin (1-2, 3.57) starts Sunday’s season finale against Blue Jays RHP Tanner Roark (2-3, 7.01). Akin has struck out 24 batters over 15 innings in September.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Paulo Costa open to competing in two divisions, would move up for Jon Jones – MMA Fighting

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Paulo Costa has no issues making the middleweight limit, but if the right opportunity comes along, he’ll gladly jump up a division.

While it’s obvious Costa is one of the larger fighters competing at 185 pounds, his first concern is conquering his current weight class as he challenges champ Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 253 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

At media day on Wednesday, Costa told reporters his weight cut is on point for the official weigh-ins, which take place Friday. His weight has been a topic of conversation in the past; he was one of several fighters advised by the California State Athletic Commission to potentially move up a division. The recommendation was made following Costa’s unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 241 in August 2019.

Because Costa’s fight night weight (213.8 pounds) was 15 percent higher than his weigh-in day weight (186 pounds), he just came in at the threshold where the CSAC asked a fighter to consider a change in divisions.

Costa, 29, doesn’t expect this to be an issue going forward, and if he ever moves up to light heavyweight, it will be by choice, not necessity.

“Every time that I come here to fight at 185 pounds, it’s been more easy to me,” Costa said. “I don’t know what happened, maybe my body’s getting mature. But as I told before, I could fight at light heavyweight anytime.

“So it depends if I have a very good opponent, a big challenge at light heavyweight or at middleweight, it depends. I have both possibilities to move in both divisions.”

A reporter asked if Costa would be interested in fighting a returning Anthony Johnson, to which he answered, “I think so.” But were he given the option to fight an even bigger fish, one that currently has plans to change divisions himself, that’s a target that Costa couldn’t pass up on.

“If Jon Jones was still there, then I’d definitely want to move up to fight him, but we’ll have to wait for this weekend to see how that fight plays out,” Costa said via a Portugues translator. “But maybe stay at middleweight if it’s interesting.”

Though Costa is 13-0 as a professional with wins in all five of his UFC fights, Adesanya has questioned the resume of his unbeaten challenger. The two have on shared opponent, Romero, with Romero also having notable victories against middleweight veteran Uriah Hall and former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

Costa likes how his conquests stack up against those of the champion.

“Israel said that I don’t have a good enough resume, I haven’t fought high-caliber fighters,” Costa said via a Portuguese translator. “I fought Johny Hendricks. Johny Hendricks might have been at the end of his career, but back then people said, ‘Hey, he’s not gonna get through him.’ And I did, and I fought Romero, almost knocked him out, so it doesn’t make too much sense.

“Adesanya was afraid of fighting Romero.”

Costa shied away from anointing his matchup with Adesanya as the greatest middleweight fight in UFC history, saying that he’d leave it to the media to work that angle. He did concede that it is a “rare moment” in MMA to have two undefeated fighters fighting for a world title.

In terms of legacy, though, Costa knows what the middleweight championship means to Brazil given its most well-known titleholder is Anderson Silva, arguably the country’s most beloved fighter. Before making any light heavyweight overtures, Costa is determined to do right by the standard set by Silva.

“It’s continuing the legacy for Brazil,” Costa said via a translator when asked what it means to fight for a title so strongly associated with Silva. “Holding that belt.”

“I’m proud to be a Brazilian,” he continued. “I’m a patriot and I hope that people can value me and realize that I’m the new champion.”

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Pavelski ties record for NHL postseason goals scored by US-born player – NHL.com

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Joe Pavelski tied Joe Mullen for most goals scored in the NHL postseason by a United States-born player with two for the Dallas Stars in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday.

Pavelski, a Wisconsin native, has scored 12 goals this postseason to give him 60 in his NHL career. Mullen, a New York native, scored 60, and Mike Modano, from Michigan, scored 58.

“It’s cool to be up there with those names,” Pavelski said this week. “We are focused right now on the Finals, so all that stuff is just extra. Just look at it another day. … But I’ve played in a lot of playoff games, scored some goals along the way, and we’re here today. So I’ll keep trying to add to it.”

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]

He scored with 1:32 remaining in the first period, and with 8:25 left in the third period to tie the game 4-4. Kevin Shattenkirk scored 6:34 into overtime to move Tampa Bay one win from winning the Stanley Cup. Game 5 of the best-of-7 series is Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Pavelski declined to comment on the record after the game.

Pavelski scored 14 goals in 67 games this season after scoring 38 for the San Jose Sharks the season before. The 36-year-old has played 159 NHL postseason games and scored two goals in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers this postseason.

Video: TBL@DAL, Gm4: Pavelski scores on odd-man rush

Modano played 176 Stanley Cup Playoff games and won the Stanley Cup in 1999 when the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres.

Mullen played 143 playoff games and who won the Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.

Pavelski is the fourth NHL player to score at least 10 goals in a postseason at age 36 or older, joining Maurice Richard (11 with the Montreal Canadiens in 1958), Wayne Gretzky (10 with the New York Rangers in 1997), and Brett Hull (10 with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002).

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