Sports

Alabama reclaimed No. 1 from Georgia in The Associated Press college football poll in one of the closest votes in the recent years, and six teams — including Kansas — made their season debut on Sunday.

ATLANTA (AP) — Two months into the season, it looked like the New York Mets were headed for an NL East runaway. Not so fast, said the reigning World Series champions. Sparked by two budding stars, the Atlanta Braves suddenly found their mojo.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech is starting over with its football program and its athletic department overall. The school fired coach Geoff Collins after fewer than four seasons and a 10-28 record. It also got rid of athletic director Todd Stansbury. Georgia Tech plans to hire a new AD first, then let that person oversee the hiring of a new football coach.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a pair of solo home runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 8-2 for their fourth straight win, moving them into a first-place tie in the NL East with the New York Mets. Orlando Arcia also homered and Michael Harris II had a two-run triple for the Braves, who caught the Mets when they lost 6-4 at home to Miami.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Elder threw a six-hit shutout for his first career complete game, and the Atlanta Braves defeated Washington 8-0 to close within one game of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East and hand the Nationals their 100th loss of the season. Matt Olson and Orlando Arcia hit two-run homers and Marcell Ozuna added a solo shot for Atlanta, which like New York has already clinched a playoff berth.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson tells The Associated Press that he is retiring from full-time racing and will turn his focus toward spending time with family. He figures his future schedule will include no more than 10 bucket-list events. The 47-year-old says he has no idea what his racing schedule will look like, or whether he'll run any IndyCar races next season.

The NFL is replacing the Pro Bowl with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game. The new event will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their football and non-football skills in challenges over several days. The 2023 Games will be held in Las Vegas, and the flag football game at Allegiant Stadium is Sunday, Feb. 5.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech's athletic association board has called a meeting for Monday and the future of football coach Geoff Collins appears to be in the balance. Georgia Tech spokesman Mike Flynn says the meeting will be open only to board members. There has been increased speculation about Collins’ status following three consecutive three-win seasons and a 1-3 start this month.

SEATTLE (AP) — Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for a career-high 141 yards and one touchdown, Marcus Mariota threw a 14-yard TD to rookie Drake London in the second half, and the Atlanta Falcons picked up their first win of the season in beating the Seattle Seahawks 27-23. Patterson rumbled for 107 yards in the second half and the Falcons were able to avoid starting 0-3 for the second time in three seasons.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ronald Acuña singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the Atlanta Braves stayed close in the NL East race, outlasting the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 in a game that took over six hours to complete because of a two-hour rain delay. The Braves split the four-game series and remained 1 1/2 games behind the division-leading New York Mets.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Brock Bowers scored two more touchdowns and No. 1 Georgia survived a sloppy performance and surprisingly gritty effort from Kent State, holding off the Golden Flashes 39-22. The 4-0 Bulldogs turned it over three times, struggled in the red zone, were burned on a fake punt, and gave up several big plays to 1-3 Kent State in what was easily their worst performance of the season.

ATLANTA (AP) — Grayson McCall threw two long scoring strikes to freshman Jared Brown and ran for a score — all in the first quarter — and Coastal Carolina breezed to a 41-24 victory over Georgia State. McCall hit Brown for a 50-yard score on the first play from scrimmage and the pair hooked up again for a 53-yarder as Coastal Carolina (4-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 2:53 into the Sun Belt Conference opener.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ranger Suárez pitched six sparkling innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their push toward the club’s first playoff berth in a decade with a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. Matt Vierling knocked in the only run in the game with a second-inning sacrifice fly to center that scored J.T. Realmuto.

ATLANTA (AP) — Joey Meneses hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Jesse Chavez in the seventh inning, and the Washington Nationals stopped the Atlanta Braves’ five-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory. Ronald Acuña Jr. drove in an early run and scored another for playoff-bound Atlanta, which clinched its fifth straight postseason appearance a night earlier.

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run and Giancarlo Stanton followed minutes later with a game-ending grand slam, completing the New York Yankees’ stunning five-run, ninth-inning rally to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8. Judge moved within one of Roger Maris’ American League record when he turned on a sinker from right-hander Wil Crowe and drove it 430 feet into the left-field bleachers, pulling New York within 8-5.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — College football coaches are notorious for hyping up their opponents with preposterous accolades. Still, it was a bit jarring to hear Kent State’s Sean Lewis sizing up the reigning national champion Georgia Bulldogs. He calls them "the greatest collection of talent ever assembled on a football team.”

ATLANTA (AP) — Kyle Wright won his major league-leading 19th game, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario homered and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-2. The defending World Series champions won their ninth straight home game to improve to 92-55. Wright won his sixth consecutive decision, allowing two runs and eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.

ATLANTA (AP) — Marcus Mariota and the Atlanta Falcons have not found a way to win after two games filled with near-equal portions of encouragement and frustration. The Falcons showed admirable resiliency in trying to rally from a 28-3 deficit against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Spencer Strider took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and struck out 10, William Contreras hit a tiebreaking homer and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 for a three-game sweep. Strider didn’t allow a hit until Alec Bohm homered to tie the score 1-1.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 58th and 59th home runs of the season, moving within two of Roger Maris’ American League record with 16 games remaining. Judge’s 11th multihomer game tied the season record set by Detroit’s Hank Greenberg 1938 and matched by the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa in 1998. Seeking a Triple Crown, Judge leads the major leagues in homers and with 125 RBIs.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Matthew Stafford threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Ramsey intercepted a potential go-ahead touchdown pass in the end zone and the Los Angeles Rams held off a second-half rally attempt by the Atlanta Falcons for a 31-27 victory. Cooper Kupp had two TD catches for the defending Super Bowl champions who bounced back from a disappointing defeat against the Buffalo Bills in their season opener.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Stetson Bennett went 16 for 23 for 284 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 1 Georgia to a 48-7 victory over South Carolina. The Bulldogs' defense nearly had its second shutout of the season before South Carolina scored a touchdown against the backups with 53 seconds to go. The Georgia offense scored on eight of its first nine drives, gaining 551 yards and averaging nearly 10 yards a play.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer is focused on the field, not on Georgia’s No. 1 ranking. He might be the only one heading into Saturday’s game. Beamer told his staff no “shock the worlds” or other rah-rah platitudes around the team this week. Then his family sent him several texts saying just that.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Atlanta United forward Thiago Almada has been included in Argentina’s 28-man squad for two World Cup warm-up matches to be played in the United States this month. The team will face Honduras on Sept. 23 in Miami and Jamaica four days later in New Jersey. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni dropped four players from his earlier list: goalkeeper Juan Musso, defender Lucas Martínez, midfielder Exequiel Palacios and striker Nicolás González — the latter two are injured.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons running back Damien Williams was held out of practice for the second consecutive day with a rib injury. Williams' status is uncertain for Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams. Williams had been expected to share carries with Falcons starter Cordarrelle Patterson. Instead, Williams had only two carries for 2 yards before suffering the injury on Atlanta’s second possession of last week’s 27-26 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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