Valdez sharp as Astros go up 3-2 in ALCS

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

BOSTON (AP) Framber Valdez was perfect through four, took a two-hit shutout into the seventh and became the first pitcher in the 2021 postseason to finish eight innings on Wednesday as the Houston Astros beat Boston 9-1 in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series and moved one win from a second straight trip to the World Series.

Yordan Alvarez had three hits and three RBIs for Houston, which can clinch its third pennant in five years with a victory in Game 6 at home on Friday night. The Red Sox need a win to force a deciding seventh game on Saturday.

One day after the Astros scored seven runs to break a ninth-inning tie, they hung another crooked number on the Fenway Park scoreboard, chasing Chris Sale while scoring five runs in the sixth. Alvarez, who homered in the second and singled in the fourth, had a two-run double to break things open.

Browns QB Mayfield out against Broncos

CLEVELAND (AP) Baker Mayfield had to surrender to the pain.

Cleveland's starting quarterback, who has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, will sit out Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos and backup Case Keenum will start. (MORE)

Rolovich to take legal action vs. Wazzou

Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich's termination for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination was unlawful and an attack on his Catholic faith, his attorney said Wednesday.

Attorney Brian Fahling also said in a statement that Rolovich intends to take legal action and that the litigation will detail what the attorney called athletic director Pat Chun's "animus towards Coach Rolovich's sincerely held religious beliefs" and his dishonesty at the expense of the former coach. (MORE)

Few pleads guilty to DUI, fined $1K

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Gonzaga coach Mark Few has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence in Idaho and must pay a fine of $1,000 in lieu of spending four days in jail, according to court documents.

He must also perform 24 hours of community service and his driver's license was suspended until Nov. 5, after which he will be required to use an ignition interlock device while on unsupervised probation for the next year. Few has completed a required alcohol and drug class. (MORE)

49ers believe Garoppolo will face Colts

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers are optimistic starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can return this week from a right calf injury but don't expect backup Trey Lance back for another week.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo would be limited at practice Wednesday after missing one game with the injury and is on target to play Sunday night against Indianapolis. (MORE)

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