WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington is heading to the World Series for the first time in 86 years after the wild-card Nationals used a seven-run first inning and Patrick Corbin's 12-strikeout performance to hold on and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 Tuesday night for a sweep of the NL Championship Series.
Quite a stunning turnaround for the Nationals, who went from 19-31 in May - when there was talk of firing manager Dave Martinez and trading away players - to the Fall Classic in October. They have won 16 of their last 18 games.
Corbin, a $140 million lefty, became the first pitcher to strike out 10 in the first four innings of a postseason game and earned the win. Washington put up seven runs in the first, all charged to rookie Dakota Hudson, who lasted all of 15 pitches.
Washington gets plenty of time to rest and set up its rotation before beginning the World Series in a week against the Houston Astros or New York Yankees. Houston leads the best-of-seven AL Championship Series 2-1 after winning Game 3 at New York 4-1 Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) -Gerrit Cole held the New York Yankees scoreless without his sharpest stuff, Jose Altuve sparked Houston at the plate and the Astros locked down a 4-1 victory Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.
Altuve and Josh Reddick homered early off Luis Severino, who labored into the fifth while keeping the Yankees close. But they never broke through against Cole, who went seven innings to win his 19th straight decision despite walking five batters for the second time in his career.
Cole pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and stranded nine runners through five, improving to 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in three outings this postseason.
The 29-year-old right-hander, unbeaten in 25 starts since his last loss on May 22, allowed four hits and struck out seven.
Game 4 in the best-of-seven playoff is scheduled for Wednesday night - but that could change. The gloomy weather forecast calls for a substantial storm with steady-to-heavy rain and wind all night in New York, potentially forcing a postponement that would likely alter pitching plans for both teams.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars on Tuesday night, ending the star cornerback's tumultuous tenure in Jacksonville with a trade to the defending NFC champions.
Jacksonville got first-round picks from the Rams in 2020 and 2021, along with a fourth-round pick in 2021.
Ramsey is one of the NFL's elite defensive backs, earning two Pro Bowl selections and one first-team All-Pro nod in three seasons with Jaguars. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft has nine career interceptions along with innumerable conflicts with his coaches, the front office and the Jags' opponents.
One month after he requested a trade, Ramsey is off to the West Coast to join Aaron Donald on the Rams' defense.
Coach Mike Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss Sunday in Denver, the first time the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft had been pulled from a game for poor play and not because of injury. Vrabel said Monday the Titans (2-4) would decide who would start against the Chargers (2-4) by Tuesday and then tell both quarterbacks and the rest of the team.
The Titans told Tannehill he would start for the first time since Tennessee acquired the quarterback in March in a trade with Miami, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the team has not announced the decision.
-By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The Browns traded disappointing offensive lineman Austin Corbett to the Los Angeles Rams for an undisclosed 2021 draft pick.
Corbett was the No. 33 overall selection in the 2018 draft, when he was viewed as a potential long-term answer at left tackle. But he hasn't developed as quickly as the team hoped and general manager John Dorsey decided it was time to move him.
The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder played in 11 games, making one start as a rookie. He's appeared in three games this season.
Corbett was given a shot to win the starting job at right guard at training camp, but was beaten out by Eric Kush.
The Rams need a starting left guard after Joe Noteboom suffered a season-ending right knee injury during their loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Los Angeles also needed to add some depth up front.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The NFL says the number of concussions in exhibition games this year rose to 49 from 34 in 2018, an increase of 44 percent and a setback in efforts to reduce brain trauma.
Concussions in preseason practices fell to 30 from 45 in 2018, perhaps a reflection of the NFL's decision this year to eliminate drills that involve especially violent one-on-one contact. The total of 79 preseason concussions in practice and games was the same a year ago.
ACL injuries during the preseason declined to 16 from 28 in 2018. But the concussion rate in exhibition games was the highest since 2015.
More study regarding preseason concussions is planned to assess who is being injured and how. It is disproportionately rookie and first-year players, the league said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump honored the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, using the occasion to touch on the situation in Turkey and an agriculture deal with China.
Every returning member of the title-winning team went to the White House several months after a couple of 2018 Cup champion Washington Capitals players opted not to visit Trump. Alternate captain Alex Steen says the Blues do everything as a team on and off the ice and cited that as one reason they captured the first championship in franchise history.
The Blues have a heavy concentration of Canadian players and just one American still on the roster. They followed the lead of recent champions Washington and Pittsburgh that went to the White House rather than declining or not receiving an invitation from Trump like in the NBA.
TORONTO (AP) - The U.S. men's soccer team lost to Canada for the first time in 34 years, allowing second-half goals to Alphonso Davis and Lucas Cavallini in a 2-0 defeat Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Nations League.
A little over two years after the Americans failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup by losing at Trinidad and Tobago, they saw their 17-match unbeaten streak against their northern neighbor come to an end.
Davies turned in a cross from Scott Arfield. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen put a palm up to block Davies' shot but the ball still dropped over the line as Canada's players rushed to join Davies for a raucous celebration.
Cavallini added a 90th-minute for 75th-ranked Canada, taking long pass and beating Steffen to the near post with a low shot.
Christian Pulisic had a point-blank shot saved by goalkeeper Milan Borjan in the 51st minute.
The 21st-ranked U.S., coming off last week's opening 7-0 home rout of Cuba, had nine wins and eight draws against Canada since a 2-0 exhibition defeat at Vancouver, British Columbia, in April 1985.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea held South Korea to a 0-0 draw Tuesday in a World Cup qualifying soccer match played in an empty stadium in Pyongyang.
Specific details of the game weren't immediately available. South Korean soccer officials were unable to watch a telecast of the historic game at Kim Il Sung Stadium and South Korean spectators and media were denied entry.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in Pyongyang and attended the match.
''I was looking forward to seeing a full stadium for such a historic match but was disappointed to see there were no fans in the stands,'' Infantino said in a statement. ''We were surprised by this and by several issues related to its live broadcast and problems with visas and access for foreign journalists.''
The North had been expected to have a unique home advantage in the 50,000-capacity stadium devoid of South Korean fans. But the South Korean soccer association, known as the KFA, was surprised to find out there apparently was no home crowd support, either.
PHOENIX (AP) - Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling says he's decided not to run for Congress.
Schilling told a Phoenix sports radio station Tuesday that he decided not to run because of ''things that have been said and done'' to his wife and children since he announced he was thinking about challenging Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran.
Schilling is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump and drew a supportive tweet from him after he told a conservative radio host in August that he might run in Arizona.
Schilling helped the Arizona Diamondbacks to its only World Series championship in 2001. He won another World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004. He was later fired as an ESPN commentator for controversial online comments.
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