PIRATES EDGE CARDINALS TO TAKE SERIES LEAD: Pedro Alvarez hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in best-of-five NL division series.
Alvarez pulled a grounder into right field that scored pinch-runner Josh Harrison from second base. Russell Martin followed with a sharp RBI single against reliever Kevin Siegrist, who took over after Carlos Martinez (0-1) faltered.
Mark Melancon (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing Carlos Beltran's tying home run in the top of the eighth.
Jason Grilli worked the ninth to move the Pirates within one victory of winning a postseason series for the first time since the 1979 World Series.
MOORE LEADS LYNX PAST DREAM: Maya Moore scored 23 points, including three 3-pointers in the first quarter to propel Minnesota from the start, and the Lynx delivered a dominant 84-59 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday night.
Moore shot 10 for 16 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds, and Monica Wright pitched in 20 points off the bench. Seimone Augustus scored her usual 19 points, and the Lynx overwhelmed the Dream by leading the entire game and shooting 49.4 percent from the field.
Angel McCoughtry finished with 17 points for the Dream, but she needed 24 shots to get there, making just six field goals. Aneika Henry added 14 points for the Dream, who fell to 0-7 in the finals since 2010. They were swept by the Lynx in 2011.
IRISH'S GRACE, SMITH OUT FOR SEASON: Notre Dame middle linebacker Jarrett Grace, who is tied for the most tackles on the team with 40, was lost for the season with a broken right leg against Arizona State.
Coach Brian Kelly says the 6-2, 253-pound junior was doing well after undergoing surgery in Dallas where a rod was placed to help heal the fibula fracture. He says Grace is expected to spend several days in the hospital. Kelly says it could take four to six months for Grace to recover.
Kelly also says senior receiver Daniel Smith, primarily used as a blocker, has a broken left ankle and will undergo surgery when the swelling subsides. He also is out the rest of the season.
CASTRONEVES' TITLE HOPES HURT IN HOUSTON: Helio Castroneves' title hopes took a crushing hit Sunday with a second consecutive mechanical failure at the Grand Prix of Houston.
The Brazilian started the second race of the doubleheader from the pole alongside championship challenger Scott Dixon and got a jump on the standing start to take the lead. But Dixon was screaming on his radio within minutes that Castroneves' car was leaking oil everywhere and splashing onto Dixon's tires and visor.
Castroneves said little to his Penske Racing team, but detected a vibration in his car with every shift of the gears after just a handful of laps. The problem worsened and he came to a complete stop on the course at Reliant Park after just 11 laps.
AMERICANS CAPTURE FIFTH STRAIGHT PRESIDENTS CUP: The Presidents Cup ended Sunday the same way it always goes — an American celebration after Tiger Woods delivered the winning point.
Woods' back flared up on him again in the final hour at Muirfield Village. He still managed to hang on to beat Richard Sterne, 1 up, to give the Americans the 18 points they needed to win the Presidents Cup for the fifth straight time. It was the third straight Presidents Cup that Woods won the cup-clinching match — all three with Fred Couples as the captain.
"It was a team effort this whole week," said Woods, who went 4-1 for the best record of any player. "We really played well to give ourselves a nice lead."
The biggest surprise was not so much the outcome — United States 18½, International 15½ — but that the matches ended without going to Monday.
Rain interrupted the matches all week and made the course Jack Nicklaus built so soft that it was mere target practice for the best players in the world outside Europe. The fourth session of foursomes had to be completed Sunday morning because of the delays. That might have been the end of International hopes.
MAJESTIC HOSTING TOURNAMENT: The Greater Midwest Poolplayers Association will host the South Shore Midwest Pocket Billiard Championships Wednesday through Sunday at Majestic Casino and Hotel in Gary.
Amateurs are welcome to participate in all events, which include open 8-ball and 9-ball and three-player team, for men and women. On-site entries will be taken prior to each event. Eight-time world champion Nick Varner will conduct skill shot exhibitions at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday, and be available for photos and autographs.
For registration and details, call Cecil Messer at (219) 465-8101; email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.gmpaonline.com.