Hunter's clutch hits drive Angels past Mariners
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Torii Hunter's RBI singles tied it in the seventh inning and ended it in the ninth, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied to keep pace in the AL wild-card race with their fifth consecutive victory, 4-3 over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
Erick Aybar had an early two-run double before Hunter ended it for the Angels (86-69), who remained two games behind Oakland (88-67) after the other three teams in the AL wild-card race all won earlier in the day.
Pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis (may-SEER' ihz-TOOR'-is) opened the ninth with a single off Stephen Pryor (3-1) and advanced to third on a wild pitch and Peter Bourjos' bunt.
Seattle walked rookie Mike Trout to face Hunter, who coolly stroked a single to center.
Seattle's Golden Tate again the center of debate
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Golden Tate says if he repeated many of the things that showed up on his Twitter timeline after his disputed catch that lifted Seattle past Green Bay it would be a series of bleeps.
Tate spoke Wednesday for the first time since his 24-yard touchdown reception that gave Seattle a 14-12 win over the Packers on Monday night. Tate's reception set off a storm of criticism and debate about the replacement officials that awarded him the touchdown and not giving an interception to Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings.
Tate said Wednesday he fully admits to fouling Sam Shields when he shoved the defender to the ground before leaping to try and make the catch.
But the outcry from angry fans startled Tate, who said he's been called, "a cheater, I don't have any dignity, I'm not a Christian, a lot of hurtful things."
Rodgers, Packers try to move past referee debacle
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — One day after venting on his radio show about the refereeing debacle that cost the Green Bay Packers a game in Seattle, Aaron Rodgers was saving one last barb for the NFL.
Asked Wednesday about how the Packers were handling the aftermath of a Monday night loss that touched off a national firestorm about the league's use of replacement officials, Rodgers dismissed an NFL-issued statement generally supporting the officials' handling of the situation a "bogus report."
Beyond that, though, the MVP says it's time to move on.
Rodgers says that while the officials were lacking, "there's a lot of blame to fall on the shoulders of guys like myself who didn't play their best game that night."
Vegas casino offers refunds to bettors on NFL game
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas casino is offering refunds to gamblers who lost money when Seattle beat Green Bay on a controversial touchdown at the end of Monday night's game.
The D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens said Wednesday he just can't accept the outcome of the game.
The Seahawks won 14-12 after a Packers defender and Seahawks receiver fought for the ball on the final play. Replacement officials missed an offensive pass interference call and then decided there was a simultaneous catch, giving Seattle a touchdown.
Stevens calls refunds the right thing to do. He says the casino will refund straight and money-line bets made on the Packers through Sunday, but only on wagers made at his downtown Las Vegas sports book.
Several offshore online betting outlets have also issued refunds.
Rams 1st-round pick back on field
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams' first-round draft pick, defensive tackle Michael Brockers, could make his debut this week coming off a high right ankle sprain.
Brockers was limited in practice Wednesday, but both the player and coach Jeff Fisher are optimistic about playing Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Brockers would be ahead of schedule after getting hurt in the preseason finale with an injury that typically sidelines players for a month.
The 322-pound Brockers thought there was a "pretty good chance" he'd play after his ankle held up during individual drills.
The 21-year-old Brockers was the 14th overall pick after two seasons at LSU and is the youngest player on the roster.
RAMS-GREG THE LEG
So far, rookie kicker Zuerlein has been perfect
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Looking for a sure thing on offense three games into the Jeff Fisher era with the St. Louis Rams? It might be rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, who is 8 for 8 and made a 56-yarder last week, just 1 yard shy of the franchise record.
Sam Bradford passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Week 2, but didn't get the Rams into the end zone last week. Steven Jackson is nursing a groin injury. The offensive line that had been keeping Bradford fairly clean surrendered six sacks on Sunday.
Zuerlein, a sixth-round pick out of Division II Missouri Western, has been on the money all three games.
He's been effective on kickoffs, too, with special teams limiting opponents to a 17.4-yard average.
Are the Beavers good? Ask their opponents.
UNDATED (AP) — Those wondering if Oregon State is the real thing need look no further than to the coaches who have lost to the No. 18 Beavers this season, Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and UCLA's Jim Mora.
Oh, and Arizona's Rich Rodriguez — who'll face the Beavers next — has a few things to say, too.
They all have praise for Oregon State, which won just three games all of last year but has opened this season with two attention-grabbing wins over the then-No. 13 Badgers and the then-No. 19 Bruins.
The victories propelled the Beavers themselves into the AP rankings this week at No. 18.
No. 8 Stanford 1st road test comes at Washington
SEATTLE (AP) — Preparing to face Washington a season ago, Stanford thought they would need the arm of Andrew Luck to dispatch of the Huskies.
Then Stepfan Taylor and his teammates started running — and never were stopped.
The eighth-ranked Cardinal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) head out on the road for the first time in 2012 on Thursday night when they travel to Washington (2-1, 0-0) looking to keep on running over the Huskies the way they did a year ago when Stanford set a school record with 446 yards rushing in the 65-21 victory.
It's been a dramatic few weeks for Stanford, which has gone from being peppered with questions about how it would survive without Luck, to now cracking the AP top 10 following its 21-14 upset of USC less than two weeks ago.
That escape from San Jose State's upset bid in a 20-17 win to open the season is now long in the memory banks.