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TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — In the sixth-closest finish in the history of Talladega, Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a photo finish Monday at Talladega Superspeedway, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend, to earn a spot in the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.

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WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg took his turn silencing the Cardinals’ struggling bats, Nationals postseason star Howie Kendrick doubled three times and drove in three more runs, and Washington moved one win from the city’s first World Series appearance in 86 years by beating St. Louis 8-1 Mo…

TEHRAN, Iran — They had to sit well apart from the men, and the place was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered inside a Tehran stadium Thursday at the first FIFA soccer match they have been allowed to freely attend in decades.

HOUSTON — Gerrit Cole pitched another playoff masterpiece and the Houston Astros jumped to a quick lead, turning back the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Thursday night in Game 5 to set up a titanic showdown with the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Mystics won their first WNBA championship, getting 22 points from Emma Meesseman and 21 from banged-up league MVP Elena Delle Donne to beat the Connecticut Sun 89-78 in Game 5 of the Finals on Thursday night.

LOS ANGELES — Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit with a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gleyber Torres got New York going with a second-inning home run, scored on each of his two doubles and made a pair of sparkling defensive plays, spurring the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota Monday night to finish yet another sweep of the Twins and advance to the AL…

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Breida ran 83 yards for a touchdown on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage, Baker Mayfield was harassed into his worst game as a pro and the 49ers stayed unbeaten for their best start in nearly 30 years, beating the Cleveland Browns, 31-3, Monday night.

WASHINGTON (AP)— For a guy whose teams kept losing in the postseason, Max Scherzer sure is delivering now. Every time he’s pitched this October, the Washington Nationals have won.