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Tuesday's Sports In Brief

AP - Sports

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Thanks to two big swings and some excellent defense, the St. Louis Cardinals are one win from the World Series.

Matt Holliday and pinch-hitter Shane Robinson connected for the first home runs of the NL championship series, sending St. Louis past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 for a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven playoff.

In a series starved for offense, the Cardinals scored as many runs as they did in the first three games combined, when the teams totaled nine.

St. Louis had a 3-1 lead in last year's NLCS before dropping three straight to San Francisco, the eventual World Series champion.

DETROIT (AP) - Once again this October, one run was enough.

The Boston Red Sox scored it - and now they lead an AL championship series that seemed to be slipping away last weekend.

John Lackey edged Justin Verlander in the latest duel of these pitching-rich playoffs, and Boston's bullpen shut down Detroit's big boppers with the game on the line to lift the Red Sox over the Tigers 1-0 for a 2-1 advantage in the ALCS.

Mike Napoli homered off Verlander in the seventh inning, and Detroit's best chance to rally fell short in the eighth when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder struck out with runners at the corners.

DENVER (AP) - Despite another last-place finish, the Colorado Rockies liked what manager Walt Weiss did with a banged-up team in his rookie season as manager and rewarded him with a three-year contract.

Weiss went 74-88, a 10-game improvement over the previous season, after leaving his head coaching job at Regis Jesuit High School last fall.

He managed on a one-year deal with the Rockies in 2013 after Jim Tracy stepped down following a 64-98 season in 2012. Now, there are no more questions about his security.

DETROIT (AP) - The umpiring crew for Game 3 of the AL championship series lined up in missing-man formation during a moment of silence for umpire Wally Bell, who died of an apparent heart attack.

Jake Peavy, who will pitch Game 4 for Boston, began his news conference by offering condolences to Bell's family.

The moment of silence was held before the national anthem at Comerica Park. Five umpires lined up next to each other, with a gap between them and the sixth member of the crew.

At Dodger Stadium, there was a similar moment of silence before Game 4 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals.

Bell, a veteran of 21 big league seasons, died Monday at 48.

PRO FOOTBALL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Denver Broncos coach John Fox is agitated with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for taking what he called a cheap shot at quarterback Peyton Manning.

Fox used his weekly SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance to criticize the Colts' owner for sounding ungrateful for all Manning did for his team and city, including winning a Super Bowl in 2007.

Irsay told USA Today in an interview that the Colts turned to Andrew Luck two years ago and fired Manning rather than pay him a $28 million roster bonus because they were looking for more playoff success.

Fox normally isn't one to criticize anyone in public, but Irsay's comments clearly struck a nerve.

The Broncos visit the Colts on Sunday night in Manning's first return to Indianapolis since his teary-eyed goodbye news conference alongside Irsay in March 2012.

NEW YORK (AP) - It's unanimous for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, even after their shakiest performance of the season.

Denver received all 12 first-place votes for the first time in the AP Pro32 rankings. The Broncos (6-0) struggled with winless Jacksonville until scoring the last two touchdowns in a 35-19 victory Sunday.

Manning matched his season low with two TD passes against the Jaguars but still has a record 22 through six games heading into Sunday night's return to Indianapolis, where Andrew Luck is in charge of the Colts' offense now.

No. 2 Seattle (5-1) and third-ranked Kansas City (6-0) are separated by just two points. Both teams moved up one spot. New England jumped from seventh to fourth after handing New Orleans its first loss. The Saints, who were second a week ago, dropped to fifth.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Levi Brown's tenure at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers is over before it even began.

The Steelers placed Brown on injured reserve, two days after Brown tore a triceps while warming up before a 19-6 victory over the Jets. Brown, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals last week, will need surgery and is done for the year.

The Steelers (1-4) also lost tight end David Johnson for the year with a wrist injury. This is the second straight season Johnson is headed to the injured reserve. Johnson didn't even play in 2012 due to a torn ACL in his right knee.

HOCKEY

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended by the NHL for 10 games for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson last week.

The punishment, which will cost Kaleta $152,439 in lost salary, was handed down by the league's Department of Player Safety. Kaleta is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' association.

Kaleta was suspended for five games last season after he shoved New York Rangers center Brad Richards from behind and into the boards. That ban cost Kaleta $72,000 in salary. Kaleta was suspended two other times earlier in his career.

WNBA

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Tulsa Shock fired head coach Gary Kloppenburg and his assistants after two seasons with the struggling team.

Kloppenburg was hired in January 2012 and inherited a team that had gone 9-59 in its two years in Tulsa. During Kloppenburg's tenure, the team went 20-49.

Shock President Steve Swetoha says the team is searching for a new coach for the 2014 season.

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