Kershaw pitches Dodgers past Braves 6-1 in Game 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the bumbling Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the NL division series Thursday night.
The Dodgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the fourth against Kris Medlen, taking advantage of some shoddy Atlanta defense even though the Braves were generously not charged with an error.
Kershaw limited Atlanta to Chris Johnson's run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth. The Dodgers' ace allowed three hits and finished in style, striking out the side in the seventh to match his season high for Ks. Medlen gave up nine hits and five runs in four-plus innings.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Friday night in Atlanta.
Uggla 'upset' to be left off Braves roster
ATLANTA (AP) — Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, a three-time All-Star, says he is "disappointed and upset" to be left off the NL division series roster.
Uggla hit only .179 with 22 homers and ranked third in the NL with 171 strikeouts. His struggles continued following laser eye surgery in August. He hit .083 in August and .112 in September.
Uggla didn't speak to reporters on Wednesday, when the roster was announced.
He said before Thursday night's game "it hurts" to not be part of the effort to advance to the NLCS.
Uggla was embraced by Dodgers players during batting practice.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says he hopes Uggla travels with the team to Los Angeles after Game 2 of the series on Friday night.
Vols' Jancek, Martinez downplay matchup with Richt
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After spending several years working alongside Mark Richt at Georgia, Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek and secondary coach Willie Martinez now are trying to beat their former boss.
Jancek and Martinez downplay the notion that their personal connections to Georgia give them added incentive to beat the sixth-ranked Bulldogs. Jancek spent five seasons at Georgia and Martinez was there for nine years before both were fired in December 2009.
This isn't a new situation for Martinez, who faced Georgia last year as Auburn's secondary coach. But it is something different for Jancek, who hasn't coached against the Bulldogs since leaving Georgia's staff.
Both coaches say they have good memories of their Georgia tenures, but that they're preparing for Saturday's matchup the same way they would any other game.
Bama's Mosley thriving as vocal leader, full-timer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Soft-spoken Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley's performance in the past two weeks has been notable for more than his play.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide's All-American has shown a fiery side on the field and a vocal one off it.
Fellow linebacker Trey DePriest says Mosley "turned into a different guy" after getting pushed onto his back at the end of a play near the goal line against Mississippi. Two plays later, Mosley batted down a fourth-down pass.
Mosley also spoke up when he was unhappy about the Tide's performance against Colorado State. Mosley has left little doubt he's the leader and top player on Alabama's defense.
The Tide's Nick Saban says he's one of the most competitive players he's coached and has "got a lot of true grit in him."
Earnhardt encouraged and feeling no Chase pressure
ROANOKE, Texas (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he isn't feeling a lot of pressure in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Earnhardt has rebounded from an engine failure and 35th-place finish in the first week of the Chase with a pair of top-10 finishes. He says the last two weeks have been "really encouraging" and that he had probably the best two cars he's had all season. He started on the pole and finished second last week at Dover.
During a charity appearance Thursday night at a barbecue joint about five miles from Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt said his team is "swinging for the fences every weekend" with seven races left.
Earnhardt is 10th in the standings, 57 points behind leader Matt Kenseth going into Sunday's race at Kansas.
Opinions differ on new Goodyear tire for Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Chase leader Matt Kenseth would have been perfectly happy if Goodyear brought its old tires to Kansas Speedway this weekend.
Instead, the two-time and defending winner at Kansas was among 38 cars on the track Thursday who were testing the new "multi-zone" tires that Goodyear has developed.
It's rare that NASCAR changes tires between spring and fall races on the same track, but vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said it made sense at repaved Kansas Speedway.
The tires, which made their debut in the Sept. 1 race at Atlanta, are made of two distinct compounds. One compound features a more tractive tread for better grip and handling, and the other is a firmer compound that helps manage wear on the tire's inside shoulder for better durability.
Created: Fri, 04 Oct 2013 04:17:04 EST
Updated: Fri, 04 Oct 2013 04:17:04 EST