A'S TAKE ADVANTAGE IN ALDS: Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered for the Oakland Athletics, who chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning and beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in their AL division series.
Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith's two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez's day. It was an impressive offensive show after the teams split two tense, low-scoring games in Oakland.
Oakland can close out the series today.
Sanchez, the American League's ERA leader, allowed six runs — five earned — and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Jarrod Parker gave up three runs in five innings for Oakland, and the Tigers couldn't rally against the bullpen.
TWO PAST VALPO PLAYERS JOIN CRUSADERS COACHING STAFF: Former Valparaiso softball players Joylyn Ichiyama and Alex Lagesse (Beecher) will serve as assistant coaches for the Crusaders in 2014.
Ichiyama will be primarily responsible for working with the outfielders, while Lagesse will work with the pitching staff. Both players helped VU make its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2012. Ichiyama was also on last season's NCAA tourney squad.
VALPO'S EMHARDT EARNS HORIZON LEAGUE HONOR: Valparaiso freshman Charlie Emhardt was named the Horizon League's Men's Tennis Player of the Week. He won the C Singles title and teamed with classmate Dave Bacalla to pick up the A Doubles title at the Valparaiso Fall Invitational.
LIONS INVESTIGATING COMMENTS TOWARD COLLEGE BAND: The Detroit Lions said Monday they are investigating whether center Dominic Raiola verbally abused members of the University of Wisconsin marching band during Detroit's game at Green Bay over the weekend.
The band was at Lambeau Field to perform during and after Sunday's game, won by the Packers.
"We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band," the Lions said in a statement without disclosing details. "Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization. We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate."
Raiola, a 13-year veteran, is the longest-tenured member on the Lions roster. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said he did not hear or see Raiola talking to band members, but he would be disappointed if the reports are true.
LYNX LOOK STRONG BUT WARY OF BOUNCE BACK: The Minnesota Lynx looked every bit the favorite to win the WNBA title in their commanding victory over the Atlanta Dream in the opener.
They have home-court advantage in the championship round for a third straight year, a proud, confident and determined bunch pursuing their second title in that span. The Lynx used balance, depth and strength at both ends of the floor to overwhelm the Dream 84-59 in Game 1 on Sunday night, the second-largest margin in WNBA finals history.
That doesn't mean this best-of-five series is sewn up, though.
Though lopsided scores like this can serve as evidence of a clear gap between two teams, sometimes a blowout makes it easier for the loser to regroup and respond with a far better performance.
"We're seasoned. We have faced adversity, so we know how to handle things. We know that these 40 minutes that we played have no bearing on Game 2," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "It will be amazing how different Game 2 is versus Game 1."
FRANCHITTI FACING 2ND SURGERY AFTER WRECK: Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will need a second surgery on the broken right ankle he suffered when his car went airborne into the fence during the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston.
Franchitti also fractured two vertebrae in his spine and received a concussion. He had surgery on the ankle Sunday night and remained in the hospital afterward. Franchitti is expected to return to Indianapolis on Wednesday and have a second surgery on his ankle.
"Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes. They mean a lot to me," Franchitti said in a statement from Target Chip Ganassi Racing. " I would also like to send my best to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is all right."
Thirteen fans and an IndyCar official were injured by debris that flew into the grandstand. Two people were taken to the hospital; Tony Kanaan tweeted a picture of himself and fellow driver Scott Dixon visiting one of the fans and wrote: "Glad to see everybody is ok."