TIGERS SWEEP YANKEES: Max Scherzer capped a stupendous stretch for Detroit's starting rotation, and the Tigers advanced to the World Series for the second time in seven years by beating the New York Yankees 8-1 Thursday for a four-game sweep of the AL championship series.
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against CC Sabathia, who was unable to prevent the Yankees from getting swept in a postseason series for the first time in 32 years.
Detroit won its 11th American League pennant and first since 2006.
After scoring in just three of 39 innings during the series, New York heads home to face unpleasant questions about its future following a postseason of awful hitting, benched stars and veterans showing the wear and tear of age. Rodriguez, the $275 million third baseman, was out of the starting lineup for the third time in the playoffs. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could only watch following season-ending injuries.
CARDS TAKE 3-1 LEAD IN NLCS: One more win and another bunch of wild-card Cardinals get their chance to repeat.
Adam Wainwright threw seven innings of four-hit ball; St. Louis roughed up Tim Lincecum, and the San Francisco Giants in an 8-3 rout Thursday night that gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead in the NL championship series.
The defending World Series champions can wrap up their second straight pennant as a wild card with a victory at home tonight in Game 5. Lance Lynn faces Giants lefty Barry Zito.
IRISH WILL MAKE GAME-TIME DECISION ON STARTING QB: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will wait until shortly before the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish take the field against Brigham Young on Saturday to decide whether to start quarterback Everett Golson, who sustained a concussion, or to replace him with Tommy Rees or Andrew Hendrix.
"I don't think there's a cookie cutter approach to concussions," Kelly said Thursday night. "You want to see how they handle exertion. You want to see how they handle all the things leading up, film study, watching, and then getting back on the field. So I want to take the 48 hours that I have before I make that decision."
Golson was cleared to practice Wednesday after sustaining a helmet-to-helmet hit against Stanford. Kelly said Golson picked up his play from Wednesday to Thursday and described his status as "improving." But he also said he divided the number of plays each quarterback ran at practice because he wanted to make sure they were all prepared to play against the Cougars (4-3).
Golson has started every game this season for the Irish (6-0) except against Miami, where he sat the first three plays because he failed to let coaches know he would be late for a meeting. Rees, who started 16 games the previous two seasons, has finished the games for Golson against Purdue, Michigan and Stanford.
49ERS HOLD OFF SEAHAWKS: Alex Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker late in the third quarter, and San Francisco held off the Seattle Seahawks 13-6 on Thursday night as the 49ers won their long-awaited division opener.
Frank Gore ran for 131 yards and the 49ers (5-2) took over sole possession of first place in the NFC West by making just enough plays to win this defense-first game, featuring two teams allowing fewer than 16 points per game.
NFC rushing leader Marshawn Lynch finished with 103 yards for Seattle (4-3).
NHL'S BETTMAN DISAPPOINTED WITH UNION'S PROPOSALS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received three counterproposals from the players' association on Thursday and left the negotiating table "thoroughly disappointed."
No new talks have been scheduled, and the possibility of a full hockey regular season is quickly shrinking.
"This is not a good day," union executive director Donald Fehr said. "It should have been."
The players' association offered multiple options in response to the NHL's offer on Tuesday that called for an 82-game season and a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues between owners and players.
Bettman said that proposal was the "best that we could do" and added that the two sides are still far apart.
Bettman said he was still hopeful the league can have a full season.
Around the horn
The Bulls waived center Kyrylo Fesenko. Fesenko signed with the Bulls on Oct. 1 and appeared in one preseason game, grabbing one rebound in four minutes against Cleveland last week.