SAINT PAUL, Minn.—Jake Virtanen scored his second goal in as many games in the third period as the Vancouver Canucks closed a long road trip on a high note, beating the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Tuesday. Virtanen's initial shot was blocked by Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon, but the Vancouver top-line right winger gathered his own rebound and snapped a wrist shot just inside the far post to end a defensive battle in just the second home game of the season for Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the NBA's more talked-about teams in the offseason. The Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, didn't generate quite as many headlines. Of course, preseason expectations mean very little once the games actually begin, as Minnesota found out the hard way Tuesday. The Pacers came into the newly renovated Target Center and handed the Timberwolves a lopsided 130-107 loss.
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 over seven innings, and Chris Taylor and Justin Turner homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 1 of the World Series 3-1 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Brandon Morrow pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth as the Dodgers came out on top in their first World Series game in 29 years.
GREEN BAY — Drew Brees threw his 500th career touchdown pass but was more excited about another number. Four. Brees continued his mastery of the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints won their fourth straight game with a 26-17 victory Sunday at Lambeau Field. "This goes to recruiting," Brees said. "You bring in the type of guys that are smart, tough, character guys that can see through the trees in the forest sometimes and understand the long-term vision and understand there will be bumps in the road.
MADISON — Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor has received some notice on the fringes of the Heisman Trophy discussion, but Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook said Taylor deserves more. "I think he's as good as anybody there is," Hornibrook said. "He's the best running back I've seen. I guess the extra stuff doesn't really matter. I think everybody is focused on what we're doing, and he is as well."
CHICAGO—Enrique Hernandez homered three times, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs, and Clayton Kershaw pitched six strong innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first National League pennant since 1988 with a 11-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. Los Angeles closed out the NL Championship Series against the defending World Series champions in five games. The Dodgers will face either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
SAN ANTONIO -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 107-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at the AT&T Center in the season opener for both teams. The Spurs trailed 92-91 after a pull-up jumper by Minnesota's Jimmy Butler with 5:02 to play but reassumed the lead on jumpers by Dejounte Murray and Rudy Gay. Danny Green then expanded the lead to 98-92 with a 3-pointer from the corner to help salt way the game.
GREEN BAY — It was the worst of times. Period. End of sentence. That's how the Green Bay Packers felt after learning Monday that quarterback Aaron Rodgers would need surgery for the broken right collarbone he suffered in a 23-10 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. When a displaced collarbone requires surgery, the average recovery time is approximately three months. If Rodgers needs that much time, his 2017 season is likely over.
MADISON — When the offense has failed No. 7 Wisconsin during the 2017 season, the Badgers' defense has picked the team up time and time again. The Badgers' 17-9 Big Ten Conference victory Saturday over Purdue at Camp Randall Stadium offered many examples. Wisconsin's defense allowed only three second-half points and held the Boilermakers to zero touchdowns on four red-zone opportunities. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said the defense is a stout unit.
CLEVELAND -- Didi Gregorius hit two home runs and drove in three runs, and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Wednesday night in the deciding Game 5 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field. After losing the first two games of the series, the Yankees won three in a row, outscoring Cleveland 13-5. The Indians hadn't lost three straight games since July 30-Aug. 1.