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BASE­BALL – Car­los Cor­rea’s walk-off home run lifted the Hous­ton Astros to a 4-3 vic­tory over the Tampa Bay Rays Thurs­day to force a game six in base­ball’s Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

With a World Se­ries berth on the line, the 2017 Ma­jor League Base­ball cham­pion Astros showed again they won’t go qui­etly, fend­ing off elim­i­na­tion as they trimmed the deficit in the best-of-seven se­ries to 3-2.

“I don’t want to go home yet,” Cor­rea said. “We were down 0-3, we had a play­ers’ meet­ing in the club­house and we said we don’t want to go home yet, so we bet­ter do some­thing about it.

“We’re down 2-3 and still have a lot of work to do, but it’s a good start.”

The win­ner of the se­ries will take on ei­ther

the At­lanta Braves or Los An­ge­les Dodgers in the World Se­ries.

Mar­cell Ozuna home­red twice and the Braves piled up six runs in the sixth in­ning on the way to a 10-2 vic­tory in Ar­ling­ton, Texas, that stretched their se­ries lead to 3-1.

Cor­rea belted a 1-1 fast­ball from Rays re­lief pitcher Nick An­der­son into the cen­ter­field seats to de­liver a vic­tory that keeps the Astros in the hunt to com­plete a rare come­back.

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NBA – Hous­ton Rock­ets gen­eral man­ager Daryl Morey, whose tweet last year sup­port­ing Hong Kong free­dom led to a China rift with the NBA, stepped down Thurs­day.

Morey de­parted of his own choice af­ter guid­ing the Rock­ets bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions since the 2007-2008 sea­son, mak­ing the de­ci­sion af­ter the Rock­ets were beaten in the sec­ond round of the NBA play­offs in the COVID-19 quar­an­tine bub­ble in Orlando.

‘’Af­ter re­turn­ing from Orlando and reflecting on what has been an amaz­ing 14 years with the Hous­ton Rock­ets, and af­ter dis­cussing my thoughts with fam­ily and close friends, I’ve de­cided I’ll be step­ping away from the Rock­ets or­ga­ni­za­tion ef­fec­tive Novem­ber 1,’’ Morey said in a state­ment.

His fi­nal cam­paign brought se­vere scru­tiny af­ter a tweet one year ago re­gard­ing Hong Kong protests that led to China sus­pend­ing spon­sor­ship deals with the NBA and pulling NBA game tele­casts off Chi­nese tele­vi­sion for a year, re­sum­ing only with last Fri­day’s fifth game of the

NBA Fi­nals. (AFP)

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RUGBY – World Cup-hold­ers South Africa pulled out of the Rugby Cham­pi­onship Fri­day ow­ing to com­pli­ca­tions caused by the coron­avirus, throw­ing the south­ern hemi­sphere tour­na­ment into dis­ar­ray.

The Spring­boks, who haven’t played since win­ning the World Cup for the third time in Ja­pan last year, cited gov­ern­ment travel re­stric­tions, player wel­fare and safety con­cerns for their with­drawal.

It means the com­pe­ti­tion in Aus­tralia from Oc­to­ber 31 will be re­duced from 12 games to six, in­volv­ing only Aus­tralia, New Zealand and

Ar­gentina. (AFP)

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GOLF – Bri­tain’s Tyrrell Hat­ton, com­ing off a Euro­pean Tour vic­tory last week­end at Went­worth, fired a seven-un­der par 65 Thurs­day to grab a one-stroke club­house lead at the US PGA CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

A day af­ter his 29th birth­day, the English­man had three birdies and an ea­gle in his first five holes, fin­ish­ing one ahead of Amer­i­can Rus­sell Hen­ley and two atop Spain’s Jon Rahm and Amer­i­can Tyler Dun­can de­spite the trip over from Eng­land. (AFP)

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BOX­ING – Ukraine’s Va­syl Lo­machenko and un­beaten Amer­i­can Te­ofimo Lopez fight Satur­day in Las Ve­gas to unify ma­jor world light­weight box­ing ti­tles and de­cide which mer­its con­sid­er­a­tion as a world pound-for-pound best.

Lo­machenko, 14-1 with 10 knock­outs, comes off a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion vic­tory over English south­paw Luke Camp­bell last Au­gust in Lon­don to keep the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion crowns. Lopez, nine years younger than his ri­val at age 23, is a New York-born son of Hon­duran im­mi­grants who cap­tured the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion ti­tle by stop­ping Ghana’s Richard Com­mey in the sec­ond round last De­cem­ber at Madi­son Square Gar­den, im­prov­ing to 15-0 with 12 wins in­side the dis­tance.

The win­ner es­tab­lishes him­self as the top fighter in the 135-pound divi­sion and makes a case for a spot among the world’s finest box­ers.

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