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BC-AP Sports Digest

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September 25, 2013 03:41 AM EST | AP


The supervisor is Vin Cherwoo at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630; Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com . Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.

TOP STORY

SAI--AMERICA'S CUP

SAN FRANCISCO — Skipper Jimmy Spithill and his mates aboard Oracle Team USA are on the brink of finishing one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. An America's Cup that had the look of an embarrassing loss for software tycoon Larry Ellison's American syndicate comes down to a winner-take-all race Wednesday. Oracle Team USA, on an almost unfathomable seven-race winning streak, takes on Emirates Team New Zealand, which has been marooned on match point for a week and could suffer one of the most ignominious losses ever. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 1,189 words by 4 a.m. Race 19 scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m.

With:

— WELLINGTON, New Zealand — SAI--America's Cup-New Zealand. By Steve McMorran. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 a.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--NATIONALS-CARDINALS

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha lost his no-hit bid on Ryan Zimmerman's infield single with two outs in the ninth inning, and St. Louis beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 to close in on the NL Central title. Making his ninth career start, Wacha came about as close as possible to finishing off the third no-hitter in the majors this season. Instead, the Busch Stadium crowd let out a loud, collective groan as he became the third pitcher to have a bid broken up with one out to go. By Steve Overbey. SENT: 763 words.

BBA--TIGERS-TWINS

MINNEAPOLIS — There was no celebrating in the Detroit Tigers' clubhouse after their latest victory. No need for goggles or champagne just yet. The Tigers are back in the playoffs for a third straight season, but they have their eyes on a bigger prize. And they won't be partying until that AL Central championship is back in their hands again. Doug Fister struck out seven and the Tigers homered three times in the fourth inning to clinch at least a wild card berth with a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. By Jon Krawczynski. SENT: 753 words.

BBA--RAYS-YANKEES

NEW YORK — Matt Moore was all over the place with his pitches. The result of his effort, though, has the Tampa Bay Rays right where they want to be. Moore had New York flailing for five wild innings, and Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 7-0 to push them to the brink of missing out on the postseason for the second time in 19 years. By Howie Rumberg. SENT: 827 words.

BBA--WHITE SOX-INDIANS

CLEVELAND — In a stunning season of walk-off wins, late-inning comebacks and magical moments, Jason Giambi provided the most stirring one yet with the Cleveland Indians roaring toward October. Giambi belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a shocking 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, keeping the Indians up with the lead pack in the AL wild-card race. By Tom Withers. SENT: 1,014 words.

Also:

— BBO--Extra-Inning Record. SENT: 211 words.

— PITTSBURGH — BBN--Pirates-Playoff Bound. By Will Graves. SENT: 990 words.

— CHICAGO — BBO--Chicago Blues. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 955 words.

— BALTIMORE — BBA--Orioles-Machado. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 464 words.

NEW/DEVELOPING

US--PENN STATE-ABUSE

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The NCAA's decision to dial back one of the penalties against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal has drawn positive reaction from students and others associated with the university, who got some good news after two years of scandal. College sports' governing body announced Tuesday that it would gradually restore 20 football scholarships, saying the school has already made significant improvements to its athletics programs. Five scholarships will be restored next year and 15 more will be phased in until the school reaches the limit of 85 in 2016-17, a season earlier than the school had agreed to. By Mark Scolforo. SENT: 783 words.

BKN--2015 ALL-STAR-NEW YORK

NEW YORK — The 2015 NBA All-Star weekend will be split between two New York arenas, with Madison Square Garden to host the game, two people with knowledge of the plans said Tuesday. Barclays Center in Brooklyn will host the Saturday skills events, the people confirmed to The Associated Press. Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will attend the press conference Wednesday to announce the event, along with officials from Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 254 words.

FBN--POWER RANKINGS

Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears made an impression on voters for the AP Pro32 power rankings. It wasn't quite enough to overtake Denver and Seattle atop the weekly list. After a 40-23 victory that dropped Pittsburgh to 0-3, the Bears climbed five spots to No. 3 in the rankings released Tuesday. Denver remained atop the poll with eight first-place votes after the Broncos beat Oakland 37-21 on Monday night. San Francisco and Green Bay each dropped nine spots after losses, the 49ers to 12th and the Packers to 14th. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 549 words.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--T25-ALABAMA-GROUND GAME

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — One of college football's statistical truisms the past few years has been you're not going to beat Alabama if you can't at least slow down the ground game. That's typically much easier said than done, but two defenses have already achieved the goal against the top-ranked Crimson Tide through three games. The uncharacteristically unproductive running game hasn't cost Alabama yet but No. 21 Mississippi visits Saturday night with the Tide coming off its worst rushing output since the South Carolina game in 2010. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 789 words by 4 a.m.

FBC--T25-MICHIGAN-BYE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan has slipped in The Associated Press college football poll the past two week despite staying undefeated. Clearly, a lot of people think the 18th-ranked Wolverines (4-0) have work to do. They don't play a game this week, giving them time to focus on fundamentals and to get some rest before hosting Minnesota in their Big Ten opener. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 610 words by 4 a.m.

Also:

— IOWA CITY, Iowa — FBC--Iowa-Rested Starters. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 532 words by 4 a.m.

— INDIANAPOLIS — FBC--Purdue-Tough Times. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 722 words by 4 a.m.

— LAWRENCE, Kan. — FBC--Running Kansas. By Geoffrey Calvert. UPCOMING: 679 words by 4 a.m.

— FBC--Bounce-back Beavers. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 646 words by 4 a.m.

— ATHENS, Ga. — FBC--T25-Georgia's Gauntlet. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 748 words.

— FBC--Penn State-O'Brien. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 683 words.

NFL

FBN--FANTASY FOOTBALL

Rest easy if you think you lost your fantasy matchup this week because of a Monday night fourth quarter rock, paper scissors showdown between Broncos running backs Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball. The backs apparently used the game to decide who would get the chance at a 1-yard touchdown late in Denver's game against Oakland. Hillman threw rock, while Moreno and Ball threw scissors, according to the Broncos team website. But Denver coach John Fox told reporters Tuesday the roshambo was just a watercooler moment, no a decision-maker. By Oskar Garcia. UPCOMING: 1,102 words by 4 a.m.

Also:

— ALLEN PARK, Mich. — FBN--Lions-Burleson Car Crash. By Noah Trister. SENT: 708 words.

— ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — FBN--Broncos-Flaws. By Eddie Pells. SENT: 727 words.

— PHILADELPHIA — FBN--NFL Injuries. By Rob Maaddi. SENT: 719 words.

— BRADENTON, Fla. — FBN--Cardinals-Okafor Injury. SENT: 110 words.

— IRVING, Texas — FBN--Cowboys-Spencer. SENT: 400 words.

— ST. LOUIS — FBN--Rams-Nsekhe Tweet. SENT: 160 words.

— LONDON — FBN--NFL in London. By Paul Logothetis. SENT: 601 words.

— PITTSBURGH — FBN--Steelers-Road Trip. By Will Graves. SENT: 761 words.

— ALAMEDA, Calif. — FBN--Raiders-Quarterbacks. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 773 words.

NBA

BKN--BOBCATS-GAME PLAN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rod Higgins believes the Charlotte Bobcats are a team on the rise. The team president of basketball operations wasn't about to predict how many wins the Bobcats will have in their final season before changing their name to the Hornets, but he expects they'll be "much improved" over last season. That won't take much. The Bobcats finished 21-61 last season — the second-worst record in the NBA. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 512 words by 4 a.m.

Also:

— SACRAMENTO, Calif. — BKN--Kings-O'Neal. By Antonio Gonzalez. SENT: 827 words.

— EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — BKN--Nets-Kidd. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 732 words.

— INDIANAPOLIS — BKN--Pacers-George. By Michael Marot. SENT: 655 words.

— MIAMI — BKN--Wade-Durant Twitter. SENT: 133 words.

___

ALSO

— CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CAR--NASCAR-Kahne-Weird Interview. By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 800 words.

— GLENEAGLES, Scotland — GLF--Ryder Cup-Year To Go. By Bernie McGuire. SENT: 483 words.

— BUFFALO, N.Y. — HKN--Sabres-Rolston Fined. By John Wawrow. SENT: 279 words.

— AUSTIN, Texas — CYC--Armstrong-Doping. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 520 words.

— TORONTO — HKN--Maple Leafs-Clarkson Suspension. SENT: 339 words.

— CHICAGO — BKW--Big East Tournament. SENT: 76 words.

___

Wednesday's Time Schedule

BASEBALL

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.

Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Houston at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

Detroit at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Washington at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

Boston at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

Oakland at L.A. Angels, 10:05 p.m.

Kansas City at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.

Arizona at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.

NHL PRESEASON

Ottawa at Toronto, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Nashville, 8 p.m.

Dallas at Colorado, 9 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

Anaheim at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.