Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout Win MVP Awards

mlb bigNEW YORK (AP) — Clayton Kershaw has become the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award in nearly a half-century.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace beat out Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen for the honor announced Thursday.

Bob Gibson in 1968 was the previous pitcher to be the NL MVP. Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander won the AL MVP in 2011.

Kershaw unanimously won the NL Cy Young Award on Wednesday. He led the majors in wins and ERA while going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and throwing a no-hitter.

Kershaw got 18 of 30 first-place votes and 355 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Stanton got eight first-place ballots and 298 points. McCutchen got four first and 271 points.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout unanimously won the AL MVP earlier in the day.

Bumgarner’s Series Caps Headed to Hall of Fame

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco GiantsKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner’s World Series performance earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame — well, at least for his caps.

The San Francisco Giants ace donated to the Hall caps he wore during his Game 1 and 5 wins against Kansas City plus his hat from his Game 7 save Wednesday night.

The Hall said it also collected the spikes of Game 7 winner Jeremy Affeldt plus Buster Posey’s bat from the World Series finale and Pablo Sandoval’s jersey.

Hunter Pence’s bat from Game 4, when he had three hits and three RBIs, also is headed to the Hall, located in Cooperstown, New York.

Chiefs Score 34 Unanswered in 34-7 Rout of Rams

Kansas City Chiefs LogoKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jamaal Charles ran for two touchdowns, Knile Davis returned a kick 99 yards for another score and the Kansas City Chiefs trounced the St. Louis Rams 34-7 on Sunday.

Cairo Santos added a pair of field goals for Kansas City (4-3), including a career-best 53-yarder. Alex Smith was 24 of 28 for 226 yards, while Davis capped a run of 34 unanswered points with a short touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Justin Houston had three of the Chiefs’ seven sacks.

The banged-up Rams (2-5) lost their sixth straight to Kansas City dating to Sept. 25, 1994, when they were still in Los Angeles. Austin Davis threw for 160 yards with a touchdown and a pick.

Royals Think Giants Wet Dirt to Slow Speedsters

kc-royalsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When it comes to the Royals’ running game, Kansas City manager Ned Yost thinks the San Francisco Giants are being sticks in the mud.

The area around first base appeared to be a bit mucky for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. The Royals appeared to conclude the dirt was hosed down with extra vigor.

Yost says “Maybe the groundskeeper just was looking at all the Royals’ fans up in the corner there and just forgot. I thought it was a little extra wet around first.”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy claimed not to notice unusual dampening.

Kansas City led the major leagues with 153 stolen bases during the regular season. After swiping 13 bases in their first six postseason games this year, the Royals hadn’t stolen any in five straight games entering Saturday.

Finnegan Passes Big Test, helps Royals Win Game 3

Brandon Finnegan on Draft Day in June

Brandon Finnegan on Draft Day in June

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brandon Finnegan passed his biggest test yet.

Only four months after he pitched in the College World Series, the 21-year-old reliever trotted into a troubling seventh inning, got two key outs and helped the Kansas City Royals hold off San Francisco 3-2 Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series.

Along with making history with his rapid ascent, he did more for the Royals — he gave them a 2-1 lead over the Giants.

Back in June, Finnegan said he “lived the college dream” when he threw for TCU. But no one could have envisioned what would follow.

Yet there he was at a rollicking AT&T Park, warming up when he was summoned into a tense spot to take over for proven reliever Kelvin Herrera: Runner on first, one out, Royals clinging to a one-run lead over the rallying Giants.

All of Kansas City infielders huddled behind the mound as Finnegan got loose, realizing the most important point of their season was being entrusted to the rookie left-hander.

Right before pinch-hitter Juan Perez stepped up, Finnegan walked to the back of the mound, took off his hat, looked toward the stands and tried to steady himself.

Then it was time for business, and Finnegan delivered. He retired Perez on an easy fly and struck out Brandon Crawford to end the inning.

Finnegan started to jog off the mound, stopped short of the dugout and walked the rest of the way to the bench, where he was congratulated by Herrera and several other Royals.

Picked 17th overall in the June draft, Finnegan became the first person to be in the College World Series and major league World Series in the same season.

Santos’ 48-Yard Field Goal lifts Chiefs over Bolts

Kansas City Chiefs LogoSAN DIEGO (AP) — Cairo Santos kicked a 48-yard field goal field goal with 21 seconds left and the Kansas City Chiefs beat San Diego 23-20 Sunday, snapping the Chargers’ five-game winning streak.

The Chiefs moved into field goal range thanks to Alex Smith, who completed three straight passes on the drive for 43 yards, including a 29-yarder to Dwayne Bowe.

Smith was playing on the same field where he led Helix High to consecutive San Diego Section championships.

Coming off their bye, the Chiefs (3-3) made the AFC West a three-team race, pulling within 1 ½ games of San Diego (5-2). The Denver Broncos (4-1) hosted San Francisco on Sunday night.

The Chargers flunked their sternest test in a month and lost for the first time since a defeat at Arizona in the season opener.

Broncos Promote Shaquil Barrett from Scout Squad

DenverBroncosENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have promoted linebacker Shaquil Barrett from their practice squad to take the roster spot of injured linebacker Danny Trevathan.

The Broncos also signed defensive end Gerald Rivers to their practice squad Wednesday.

Barrett is an undrafted rookie from Colorado State who spent the last six weeks on Denver’s practice squad.

Barrett started 35 of 38 games at CSU, collecting 246 tackles, 18 sacks, 32 1-2 tackles for loss, three interceptions, six pass breakups, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks.

Trevathan is on recallable IR with a broken bone near his left kneecap. He’s not eligible to return until mid-December.

Rivers, undrafted out of Ole Miss, played in two games for the Rams and Jaguars last season.

Concussion Research Will be the Focus of UNL Talk

ConcussionLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Understanding how concussions affect the brain is a hot topic in sports and medicine, so an expert from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will explain some of the latest research later this month.

Dennis Molfese is director of UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior. He will give a talk on Oct. 23 about how concussions can sometimes have lifelong effects.

Molfese will also describe what’s being done to understand concussions better in the 12:15 p.m. talk at Memorial Stadium’s West Stadium Club.

Molfese is part of a national committee studying sports-related head injuries. He was also part of a National Academy of Sciences committee that looked at concussions in youth sports.

Former Husker Larson-Burbach Leads USA to Gold Medal Match

Jordan Larson-BurbachMilan, Italy – Behind a match-high 13 kills from former Husker Jordan Larson-Burbach, the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team swept previously unbeaten Brazil 3-0 in the semifinals of the FIVB World Championships on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s final at 1 p.m. (CT).

Larson-Burbach, along with former Huskers Kayla Banwarth and Kelsey Robinson, and Team USA avenged a sweep to Brazil in pool play last week with a resounding 25-18, 29-27, 25-20 win on Saturday. Brazil was 11-0 at the tournament and is the two-time defending Olympic champions, but was no match for the Americans on Saturday.

The U.S. women are seeking their first gold medal in any of the three volleyball majors – the Olympic Games, World Cup and World Championship.

USA will face either host Italy or China on Sunday. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast live online at and will be tape delayed on the Universal Sports channel on TV later in the afternoon.​

Frazier, Wuerffel to be Enshrined in College Hall

Tommie Frazier

Tommie Frazier

ATLANTA (AP) — It’s been nearly 20 years, and Tommie Frazier is still trading jabs with Danny Wuerffel.

The former quarterbacks at Nebraska and Florida have plenty of goodwill for each other, too, as they’re enshrined Tuesday night in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Frazier and Wuerffel joined 10 former players and two coaches who make up last year’s hall of fame class.

Former Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde was not scheduled to attend the event.

Frazier led Nebraska to consecutive unbeaten national title seasons in 1994-95. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior.

Wuerrfel won the 1996 Heisman and led the Gators to a national championship that season. The year before, Nebraska beat Florida in the title game matchup at the Fiesta Bowl.