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Rays advance to ALCS with Game 5 win over Yankees – TSN

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SAN DIEGO — Mike Brosseau homered off Aroldis Chapman with one out in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 2-1 Friday night to reach the AL Championship Series for the first time in 12 seasons.

The first career post-season homer for the 26-year-old utilityman came after a 10-pitch at-bat against the Yankees’ vaunted, hard-throwing closer, who entered the game in the seventh inning. Brosseau drove a 100 mph fastball into the left field seats at Petco Park for just the third hit for the Rays.

Tampa Bay won the AL Division Series 3-2 and will stay in San Diego to face the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series starting Sunday night. The Rays are in the ALCS for the first time since 2008, when they beat the Boston Red Sox in seven games before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

Brosseau and Chapman have a history: Chapman threw a 101 mph fastball near Brosseau’s head Sept. 1 in the ninth inning of the Rays’ 5-3 victory. Chapman likely had nothing against Brosseau personally, but the pitch was an apparent escalation of a feud between the AL East rivals, and it prompted Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash’s infamous declaration that he has “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 miles an hour.”

“No revenge, We put that in the past,” Brosseau said. “We came here to win the series. We came here to move on, to do what we do best, that’s play our game.”

The Rays were eliminated by the Astros in the ALDS last year.

“They’ve been the team to beat the last few years,” Brosseau said. “They knocked us out last year so it will be fun to face them again.”

After Brosseau went undrafted, the Rays signed him in June 2016 for $1,000.

All-Star Austin Meadows also homered for the Rays, connecting off ace Gerrit Cole in the fifth. Aaron Judge tried to make a leaping catch but jammed his head into a padded overhang.

The Rays had 11 homers in the series and the Yankees 10.

Judged homered in the fourth. The Yankees also had only three hits.

Cole, starting on short rest for the first time in his major league career, struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings.

Winner Diego Castillo followed a hitless eighth with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the celebration was on for the Rays, who dominated the regular-season series against the Yankees 8-2. They took a 2-1 lead in the ALDS before the Yankees forced the deciding fifth game.

Cole, pitching about 100 miles south of where he grew up a Yankees fan in Newport Beach, held Tampa Bay to one hit and one run in 5 1/3 innings while striking out nine and walking two. After winning Game 1 on Monday night, he pitched on short rest for the first time in his major league career.

Cole had pitched 4 2/3 hitless, scoreless innings before Meadows homered to right field to tie the game at 1, and Cole reacted like he knew it was gone. Judge tried to make a leaping catch but the 6-foot-7 fielder jammed his head into a padded overhang. Even so, it probably would have taken a perfectly timed leap to make a catch.

It was Meadows’ second homer this series.

Cole left after 37-year-old left fielder Brett Gardner leaped to rob Randy Arozarena of a home run leading off the sixth. Arozarena, who homered in each of the first three games of the series, watched the ball while taking a few steps before Gardner made his sixth career homer-robbing catch. Cole pointed at Gardner in appreciation.

Cole showed emotion throughout his outing.

He struck out Meadows opening the first but then loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Cole, who has never issued a bases-loaded walk in his big league career, punched out Joey Wendle to end the threat and then turned and hollered and stared at the Rays’ dugout.

Cole struck out the side in the second and then ended a 1-2-3 third by punching out Arozarena before hopping off the mound and jogging to the dugout.

After the fourth was extended by shortstop Gleyber Torres’ error, Cole struck out Willy Adames before pumping his right fist and spinning off the mound.

Judge homered into the right-field porch off Nick Anderson leading off the fourth. It was his second of the series and 10th for the Yankees. It was Judge’s third in a winner-take-all game, tying Bill Skowron, Didi Gregorius and Yogi Berra for the most in Yankees post-season history.

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, who grew up just north of Los Angeles, started and went 2 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings, with two strikeouts and two walks. He struck out 10 in Game 2, a 7-4 Rays win.

Moments after he was relieved by Anderson with one out and one on in the third, Glasnow hollered and punched his fist in the air in the dugout after the Rays turned a double play.

MILESTONE

By fanning Meadows opening the first, Cole became the fastest to 100 post-season strikeouts in 79 innings. The previous fastest was Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 80 innings.

REMEMBERING WHITEY

The Yankees wore a patch with 16 on their left sleeve in memory of Whitey Ford, the Hall of Fame pitcher who died Thursday night at 91. Additionally, there was a moment of silence before the national anthem for Ford, whose 236 wins are the most in Yankees history.

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

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Report: Ravens acquire DE Ngakoue – TSN

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Yannick Ngakoue is on the move again.

The Minnesota Vikings have traded the defensive end to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022.

 Through six games this season, Ngakoue has recorded 12 tackles, 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.

In his fifth year out of Maryland, Ngakoue was acquired by the Vikings from the Jacksonville Jaguars – with whom he spent the first four seasons of his career – at the end of August.

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Virtanen signs two-year, $5.1 million contract with Canucks – NHL.com

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Jake Virtanen signed a two-year, $5.1 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $2.55 million.

The 24-year old forward was a restricted free agent and avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Oct. 28. He scored 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 69 games with the Canucks last season and three points (two goals, one assist) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

“Obviously there’s a bright future with the Canucks organization, so many young, talented players coming in and the moves that we’ve made, I think it’s going to be just a brighter future for our team moving forward,” Virtanen said. “I’m excited to see how it all pans out and how our team’s going to do and super excited to get things going.

“[Contract negotiations] felt like a long time but obviously super excited to get this done and be back with the Canucks for two more years. Just happy to get it done and get it over with and just focus on training and skating and the whole thing, being ready to go.”

With forward Tyler Toffoli signing a four-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 12, it opened up a spot on one of the top two lines, and Virtanen is hoping he’ll get a chance to play there.

“Obviously I’d love to play top six and have a bigger opportunity, more responsibilities,” Virtanen said. “That’s what I really hope I get. I want to be able to prove that to the team and my teammates that I can play up there and be consistent every night, making sure that I can play night in and night out. It’s an opening for me to try to jump up there. I’ve got to make sure I’m coming to camp ready to go.”

Selected by Vancouver in the first round (No. 6) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Virtanen has scored 95 points (50 goals, 45 assists) in 279 regular-season games and three points in 16 playoff games.

“Jake has continued to make progress on his two-way game and remains a contributor offensively, using his speed and size to generate chances,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “We look forward to him taking additional steps in his growth this year to help our team be successful.”

NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report

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NHL postpones Winter Classic, All-Star Game – TSN

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The NHL has announced the postponement of the 2021 Winter Classic and the All-Star Game. The annual outdoor game was scheduled for Jan. 1 at Target Field in Minnesota. The All-Star Game was scheduled for Jan. 30 in Sunrise, FL.

The postponements were expected as the dates were scheduled prior to beginning of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The NHL concluded the 2020 playoffs in September — over three months later than originally scheduled — as part of the league’s negotiated Return To Play format. The regular season concluded on Mar. 11, after the league was forced to its season on pause due to the pandemic.

“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended. We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”

Both events will be rescheduled, according to the league.

The NHL also announced that the postponement of the events doesn’t change their target date of Jan. 1 to begin the 2020-21 season. 

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