Weekend Sports in Brief

Weekend Sports in Brief
October 29, 2012, 7:27 am
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DETROIT (AP) Smart pitching. Clutch hitting. Sharp fielding. Plus an MVP Panda.

All the right elements for a sweet World Series sweep for the San Francisco Giants.

Nearly knocked out in the playoffs time and time again, and finally pressed by the Detroit Tigers in Game 4, MVP Pablo Sandoval and the Giants clinched their second title in three seasons Sunday night.

Marco Scutaro - who else? - delivered one more key hit this October, a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that lifted the Giants to a 4-3 win.

``Detroit probably didn't know what it was in for,'' Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. ``Our guys had a date with destiny.''

On a night of biting cold, stiff breezes and some rain, the Giants combined the most important elements of championship baseball. After three straight wins that looked relatively easy, they sealed this victory when Sergio Romo got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to look at strike three for the final out.

AUTO RACING

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jimmie Johnson dominated, as expected, at Martinsville Speedway, and Brad Keselowski didn't flinch.

This championship duel might go down to the wire after all.

Johnson, a five-time series champion, raced to his seventh career victory on NASCAR's trickiest oval Sunday, and the triumph helped him erase a seven-point deficit and supplant Keselowski as the points leader with three events remaining.

GREATER NOIDA, India (AP) - Sebastian Vettel's seemingly unstoppable march to a third straight Formula One title took another stride with a victory in the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, though the Red Bull driver's nearest rival, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, kept up the pressure with a second-place finish.

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Ron Capps raced to his fifth Funny Car victory of the season Sunday, winning the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals to cut Jack Beckman's series lead to four points with one event remaining.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Now Notre Dame is an ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings.

The Fighting Irish became the latest team to move past Oregon on Sunday, taking third place behind Alabama and Kansas State. The Ducks remained fourth.

Florida fell out of the top five with a 17-9 loss to Georgia, helping to set the field in the race for the BCS title game with a month to go in the regular season.

Alabama is locked in at No. 1, and if the Crimson Tide keep winning it will play for its third championship in four years. The Wildcats (.9400), Fighting Irish (.9147) and Ducks (.9136) need to remain unbeaten, and keep an eye on each other.

NEW YORK (AP) - No. 3 Kansas State and No. 4 Notre Dame each moved up a spot in The Associated Press college football poll, setting up a final four of sorts for the last month of the regular season.

Alabama is No. 1 for the ninth straight week and it is unanimous. The Crimson Tide received all 60 first-place votes. Oregon is No. 2 for the sixth straight week.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Marcus Lattimore had his right knee dislocated and sustained ligament damage against Tennessee, yet South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes the junior could eventually return to football.

Spurrier visited Lattimore on Sunday and said the running back displayed a good attitude about his condition. Spurrier said team doctor Jeffrey Guy was able to put Lattimore's knee back in place soon after he was taken from the field to the hospital.

PRO FOOTBALL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Fighting back tears and surrounded by some of his former teammates, Dennis Byrd walked to the middle of the MetLife Stadium field as his No. 90 jersey was retired by the New York Jets.

Byrd, briefly paralyzed 20 years ago in a game against Kansas City, became the fifth former Jets player to receive the honor Sunday - joining Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Joe Klecko and Curtis Martin.

PRO BASKETBALL

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden plans to sign a long-term extension with the Houston Rockets before the regular season begins.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year joined his new team Sunday after he was traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City late Saturday. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

TENNIS

ISTANBUL (AP) - Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 Sunday to win the WTA Championships for the third time and finish the year with another title, but not the top ranking.

Williams ended the year with a 59-4 record. Since her first-round loss at the French Open, she is 31-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open.

The 31-year-old Williams will finish the year ranked No. 3, behind No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 Sharapova, because she did not play as well in the first half of the year. Azarenka lost to Sharapova in the semifinals.

GOLF

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Nick Watney missed a chance for a 59 on Sunday in his CIMB Classic victory, closing with a course-record 10-under 61 at The Mines despite a bogey at the 18th.

Needing a birdie on the par-4 18th for a 59, Watney drove into the left rough, failed to reach the green with his approach and left his long birdie pitch just short of the putting surface.

SHANGHAI (AP) - Sweden's Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters for his second European Tour victory of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 to hold off Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy by a stroke.

YANG MEI, Taiwan (AP) - Suzann Pettersen won the Taiwan Championship for her second straight LPGA Tour victory, rallying to beat Inbee Park by three strokes.

Pettersen closed with a 3-under 69 in wind and drizzle on the at Sunrise course. The Norwegian finished with a 19-under 269 and earned $300,000 for her 10th LPGA Tour title.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) - Chelsea accused referee Mark Clattenburg of directing ``inappropriate language'' at two players Sunday in its 3-2 Premier League loss to Manchester United, and lodged an official complaint.

Clattenburg sent off two Chelsea players in the game at Stamford Bridge and allowed a Javier Hernandez's contentious late winning goal that appeared to be offside.

LONDON (AP) - NBC's network will televise the English Premier League under a $250 million, three-year deal that begins next season.

The network will show every match from the world's most popular soccer league, taking coverage away from Fox and ESPN.