GIANTS BEAT REDS, WIN NLDS ON POSEY'S SLAM: Buster Posey hit the third grand slam in Giants' postseason history, and San Francisco completed its startling comeback by holding off the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 Thursday in the decisive Game 5 of the NL division series.
The Giants won the final three games, all in Cincinnati, and advanced to the NL championship series. They will face either St. Louis or Washington.
Ahead 6-0, San Francisco saw the Reds rally throughout the late innings. Cincinnati scored once in the ninth before Sergio Romo struck out Scott Rolen with two runners on base to end it.
WERTH'S HOMER FOR NATS FORCES GAME 5 AGAINST CARDS: The Washington Nationals signed Jayson Werth to show them how to win. His game-ending homer Thursday night extended their surprising season.
Werth led off the bottom of the ninth inning by driving Lance Lynn's 13th pitch into the left-field stands to give the Nationals a 2-1 victory over the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals and force a Game 5 in their NL division series.
ORIOLES FORCE GAME 5: J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the 13th inning and the Baltimore Orioles bounced back from a demoralizing loss to outlast the New York Yankees 2-1 Thursday night, forcing a deciding Game 5 in the AL division series.
After splitting 22 games this year, it all comes down this: a winner-take-all for a spot in the AL championship series.
Game 1 winner CC Sabathia is set to pitch the deciding game today for the Yankees. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had not announced his starter.
FEVER REACHES WNBA FINALS: Tamika Catchings scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Fever into the WNBA Finals for the second time in four seasons with an 87-71 win over the Connecticut Sun in Game 3 on Thursday night.
The Fever, who have won four games while facing elimination during the playoffs, rallied after losing star Katie Douglas to an ankle injury just 5 minutes into the game.
Douglas had been the team's leading scorer in the playoffs, and had 51 points in the first two games of this series.
Erin Philips picked up some of the scoring slack with 15 points. The Fever hit 10 3-pointers, including their first seven.
League MVP Tina Charles led the Sun with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kara Lawson added 16 points.
Indiana will play at defending WNBA champion Minnesota in Game 1 of the best-of-five finals on Sunday.
BIRONAS' FG GIVES TITANS WIN OVER STEELERS: Rob Bironas kicked his fourth field goal, a 40-yarder as time expired, and the Tennessee Titans beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-23 on Thursday night to snap a two-game skid.
Matt Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt with 4:19 left to tie it at 23, and the Titans (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Steelers.
Pittsburgh (2-3) lost its third straight road game this season and for the fifth time in six games dating to last season despite Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 363 yards and becoming the Steelers' career passing leader.
KNEE INJURY TO SIDELINE INDY'S MATHIS 2-3 WEEKS: The Colts will be without four-time Pro Bowl selection Robert Mathis for two to three weeks because of a left knee injury.
Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky says Jerry Hughes and Justin Hickman will take turns replacing Mathis at outside linebacker Sunday against the New York Jets.
BIFFLE LEADS CHASE DRIVERS IN CHARLOTTE QUALIFYING: Greg Biffle won the pole for Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, one that won't include an Earnhardt for the first time in 33 years.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is sitting out the next two races after sustaining his second concussion this year during a 25-car car crash last week at Talladega. Regan Smith, who'll drive Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet, qualified 26th.
Biffle turned a track-record lap of 193.708 mph in his No. 16 Ford and will start alongside Mark Martin on the front row for the fifth race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL GURU BEANO COOK DEAD AT 81: Beano Cook, the college football commentator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport he dearly loved, has died.
The 81-year-old Boston native had worked for ESPN since 1986 and was the sports information director at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, from 1956 to 1966. The school announced Thursday that Cook had died in his sleep.
Cook was a diabetic and his health had been failing recently, as he made mention in his most recent blog post at www.bean-cook.com.
FREE LACROSSE CLINIC ON SUNDAY: A free lacrosse clinic for boys and girls in grades five through eight will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Crown Point Sportsplex, 1313 E. North St.
The clinic is offered by Crown Point Parks and will be run by Mount Carmel head coach David Ho. The clinic will present general lacrosse information and teach basic skills. Equipment will be provided. For registration information and documents, go to www.freeteams.net/cplax. Pre-registration is required by today.
CRAIG HODGES TO GIVE CLINIC SATURDAY: Two-time NBA champion and three-time NBA 3-point champion Craig Hodges, formerly of the Bulls, will be featured in the Velocity Sports Performance basketball training clinic Saturday at the Fieldhouse-Merrillville, 899 E. 99th St., Merrillville.
Times are from 11 a.m. to noon for grades three to six, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for grades seven and eight, and from 2 to 3 p.m. for high school.
Cost is $35 per individual. For details, call (219) 738-2424, or go to www.velocitysp/tinleypark.com.
Around the horn
Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball coach Tom Megyesi previews his Peregrines squad on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230).