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ALCS: Astros win third straight game vs. Rays to force Game 7

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Oct. 16 (UPI) — The Houston Astros earned a 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday for their third consecutive victory, forcing a decisive Game 7 in the AL Championship Series.

The Astros are now one win away from their third World Series in four seasons, and the club can join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only teams to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series. The Red Sox stunned the New York Yankees to win the ALCS before going on to win their first World Series in 86 seasons that year.

Otherwise, MLB teams leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series are 37-1.

Houston also is attempting to become the first team to win a pennant with a losing record in the regular season. The Astros — who have been criticized for their sign-stealing scheme used in 2017 — posted a 29-31 record in the pandemic-shortened regular season.

The Rays grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Willy Adames doubled to center field to score Brandon Lowe. Behind starting pitcher Blake Snell, the Rays entered the fifth with a one-run lead and appeared ready to end the series in shutout fashion.

But Astros stars George Springer and Jose Altuve keyed a four-run rally in the fifth to chase Snell, who gave up only two hits through four innings. Springer plated two runs with a single to push the Astros in front 2-1, and Altuve’s RBI double made it 3-1.

Carlos Correa, who had the walk-off home run in Game 5 of the series, singled to left to score Altuve, giving the Astros a 4-1 lead. Kyle Tucker’s solo homer in the sixth extended that lead to 5-1, and Houston added two more runs in the seventh to jump ahead 7-1.

Manuel Margot then homered twice and drove in three runs over the next two innings for the Rays, who again fell short of closing out the series.

Snell (0-1) allowed two runs on three hits across four innings. He struck out four and walked four. Rays starter Framber Valdez (1-0) threw six strong innings and gave up only one run on three hits. He recorded nine strikeouts and walked three.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday night. Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. is expected to start for the Astros, while Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Rays.



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Parkour organizers ask Olympic committee to reject sport for 2024 Summer Games

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — Parkour Earth, a governing body for the sport, on Tuesday asked the International Olympic Committee to reject International Gymnastics Federation proposals to include the discipline in the 2024 Summer Games.

“Unfortunately, [the International Gymnastics Federation’s] encroachment and misappropriation of our sport continues,” Parkour Earth, the international federation for the obstacle-course-style training discipline, said in a letter to the committee.

Parkour is not currently part of the Olympic program for Paris 2024. The International Gymnastics Federation is expected to request Parkour’s inclusion on Monday when the International Olympic Committee’s executive board meets to finalize programs for the 2024 Summer Games.

Parkour was developed in Paris in the 1990s. The sport features a free-running competitor, who climbs, swings, rolls and jumps from one point to another within a complex environment, without the assistance of equipment.

The International Gymnastics Federation in 2018 recognized parkour as gymnastics’ newest discipline. Parkour Earth has often fought with the International Gymnastics Federation for control of the sport.

Sport climbing is one of the new sports included in the 2021 Tokyo program. Break dancing will be an Olympic sport in Paris.



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Fantasy football: Booker, Fitzpatrick among best Week 13 add-drops

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — We’ve finally reached the last week of the fantasy football regular season. That also means it’s the last week to improve your team on the waiver wire and through free agency.

This week’s waiver wire features several players who can help you win your final matchup of the regular season and help put your team in position for a playoff run.

You also could need to fill in empty spots on your roster, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have Week 13 byes. Even if you don’t have any players on a bye week, you can play defense by adding players that your opponent might need.

It’s also a good idea to add backup running backs to your bench to capitalize on future injuries or illnesses for starters at the position. If a star running back gets hurt or goes on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the next few weeks, you could find yourself with an RB1 or RB2, if you use that strategy.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are among my favorite waiver wire targets for Week 13.

I have added more of my favorite players to target on this week’s waiver wire and separated them by priority and position. The players I have listed ahead of this week’s waiver period have low ownership percentages in standard size leagues.

Here are my top players to add and top players to drop for Week 13:

ALL-ADD TEAM

QB | Ryan Fitzpatrick; RB | Devontae Booker, Cam Akers; WR | Denzel Mims, Hunter Renfrow, Gabriel Davis; TE | Kyle Rudolph; D/ST | Seahawks; K | Tyler Bass

HONORABLE MENTIONS

QB | Mike Glennon, Jalen Hurts; RB | Frank Gore, Alexander Mattison, D’Onta Foreman; WR | T.Y. Hilton, Michael Gallup; TE | Dalton Schultz; D/ST | Packers

TOP DROPS

QB | Tua Tagovailoa; RB | Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed; WR | Marquise Brown, John Brown; TE | Jared Cook, Noah Fant

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been forced into action for the Miami Dolphins after rookie Tua Tagovailoa sustained a thumb injury. The veteran quarterback has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five of his seven starts this season and should produce again in Week 13 when the Dolphins host the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fitzpatrick is worth a streaming start on Sunday if your normal starter has a bye week or you are desperate at the position. Make sure to monitor Tagovailoa’s practice activity throughout the week before you put Fitzpatrick in as your starter, as the Dolphins could make a last-minute swap atop their depth chart.

RUNNING BACK

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is my top waiver wire addition for Week 13. Raiders starter Josh Jacobs sustained an ankle sprain in Week 12. Booker would be first in line to get carries if Jacobs misses time.

The Raiders face the New York Jets on Sunday, which is a great matchup, Booker will land in RB2/flex territory in my weekly rankings if Jacobs is ruled out.

The Los Angeles Rams finally gave some work to rookie running back Cam Akers on Sunday and he did not disappoint. Akers had 84 yards and a score on nine carries in the Rams’ Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He should continue to receive a healthy workload moving forward.

Akers is a risky weekly start, but could prove to be a great streamer down the stretch, especially if you have a wide-receiver-heavy team and are in a league with at least 14 teams.

WIDE RECEIVER

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims is another rookie who has gotten more opportunities as of late. Mims has received eight targets in each of his last three games. He also has at least 42 receiving yards in every game he has played in 2020.

I believe Mims’ best games are ahead. He should provide great bench value at wide receiver, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact player availability around the league.

TIGHT END

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph hasn’t been much of a touchdown threat this season, but is on pace to have one of his best seasons in terms of receiving yards. Rudolph had his best game of the season in Week 12, with seven catches for 68 yards in a win over the Carolina Panthers.

I expect Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to spread the ball out a lot down the stretch as he eyes playmakers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson at wide receiver and Rudolph on shorter routes. Rudolph should provide TE1 value in leagues with at least 14 teams that require starting tight ends.

This week in the National Football League

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Ravens record no new positives, remove four players from COVID-19 list

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Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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