Wednesday Sports in Brief

Sports

MLB

LOS ANGELES (AP)Chris Taylor hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Wednesday night in the NL wild-card game.

The 106-win Dodgers advanced to a best-of-five NL Division Series against the rival Giants. Game 1 is Friday night in San Francisco.

Cody Bellinger drew a two-out walk from T.J. McFarland and stole second in the ninth, when nearly every fan was on their feet, waiting to see if the defending World Series champions could pull off a win. Alex Reyes came in to face Taylor, who sent a 2-1 pitch into the left-field pavilion, triggering an explosion of cheers from the sellout crowd of 53,193.

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The San Diego Padres have fired Jayce Tingler, who presided over the biggest collapse in franchise history just a season after finishing second in voting for NL Manager of the Year.

General manager A.J. Preller announced the move Wednesday, three days after the Padres finished 79-83 and in third place in the NL West, 28 games behind San Francisco. Preller said Tingler will be given the opportunity to remain in the organization.

Tingler’s fate was sealed during a brutal freefall that saw the Padres go from a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot on Sept. 9 to being eliminated from playoff contention with seven games left. The Padres clinched their 10th losing record in 11 seasons.

Tingler was 116-106 overall in two seasons.

NFL

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy has changed his mind and made Justin Fields the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback going forward.

On Monday, Nagy had said Fields was still the backup and playing only because of Andy Dalton’s knee injury. But on Tuesday he told both quarterbacks of the change and announced it Wednesday. Dalton will return to practice this week after suffering a bone bruise to his left knee and will be the backup.

The Bears signed the veteran Dalton in free agency and traded up to No. 11 from No. 20 in the first round of the draft to pick Fields, and Nagy had said all along the job was Dalton’s until coaches felt Fields was ready.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Panthers have acquired veteran cornerback and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore from the New England Patriots for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick.

The moves comes after Gilmore and the Patriots couldn’t come to terms on a new contract.

Carolina has been looking to upgrade its cornerback position after losing first-round pick Jaycee Horn to a broken foot, which could keep him out for the remainder of the season. Last week Carolina traded for cornerback C.J. Henderson, the No. 9 pick in last year’s NFL draft, from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NBA

The NBA has agreed to not randomly test players for marijuana this season, a continuation of the policy that was put in place last year for the COVID-19 ”restart bubble” and has remained since.

Drug testing will continue for things such as human growth hormone and performance-enhancers, along with what the league calls ”drugs of abuse” – such as methamphetamine, cocaine and opiates. But the league’s agreement with the National Basketball Players Association over random marijuana tests will continue for at least another season.

NHL

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane is being investigated on allegations that he used a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

A person familiar with the investigation says the league is looking into whether Kane submitted a fake card. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation have not been announced by the NHL.

The latest investigation was first reported by Front Office Sports.

Using a fake vaccination card is illegal in both the United States and Canada, as well as against NHL rules.

– By AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow.

MONTREAL (AP) – Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme said Wednesday he does not expect Carey Price to practice before the start of the regular season, making it unlikely the star goaltender will be ready for next week’s opener at Toronto.

Ducharme said Price is ”not doing well right now” as he recovers from a non-COVID-19 illness. Price also had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Ducharme said the Canadiens will ease the 34-year-old Price back into action once he recovers.

HORSE RACING

NEW YORK (AP) – Embattled thoroughbred horse trainer Bob Baffert Bob Baffert will have to face an administrative hearing scheduled for Monday by the New York Racing Association to address his suspension.

Brooklyn Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the Eastern District of New York ruled Tuesday that a hearing was required for Baffert to challenge NYRA’s suspension, which was issued in mid-May without a hearing three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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