Wakeup call: Even Obama and Romney agree on the refs

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Wakeup call: Even Obama and Romney agree on the refs

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, September 26:

AUTO RACING
If the Republican nominee for President can't win the NASCAR vote, let's face it, he probably can't win. (NBC's Off The Bench)

BASEBALL
It turns out Dusty Baker had a mini-stroke last week, and -- though he's expected to make a full recovery -- it'll be a few more days before he can rejoin the Reds. (AP)

The bigger they are, the more eccentric they can be. Right, Ichiro? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Panic? Who's panicking? Not the three-losses-in-four-games-with-the-season-on-the-line Orioles. (CSN Baltimore)

Tie in the Central, as the Tigers win (AP) and the White Sox lose (CSN Chicago).

Yes, that was old friend George Kottaras playing hero for the A's. (CSN Bay Area)

The Braves make the playoffs in dramatic fashion. (AP)

And, you know, the idea of their catching the Nationals for the N.L. East title suddenly doesn't seem quite so crazy. (CSN Washington)

Everyone's talking about how the Angels became the first team to record 20 strikeouts in a game using multiple pitchers. (Hardball Talk) Me, I prefer to note that the Mariners became the first team to strike out 20 times in a game twice.

The Melkman won't be delivering for the Giants in the playoffs. (AP)

And because we just can't get enough of Frank and Jamie McCourt . . . (AP via NBC)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The medical news for Roy Williams is good. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
A casualty of Notre Dame's move to the ACC: The Irish's rivalry against Michigan, at least for a while. (AP)

The 'Ol Ball Coach is talking again. And people in Kentucky probably aren't liking what he's saying. (AP)

File this under "Things they don't teach in Marketing 101": Jimbo Fisher's Heisman campaign for EJ Manuel involves comparing him to a dog. (AP)

You know, some people just have way too much time on their hands. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF
Seve Ballesteros won't be forgotten at this weekend's Ryder Cup matches. (AP)

HOCKEY
All that Oilers-to-Seattle talk couldn't have been just a craven attempt to browbeat Edmonton into building a new arena, could it? (AP)

Wayne Gretzky can't even go to a football game without sparking where-are-the-Coyotes-moving-to? hysteria. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Laverne and Rodman! And, no, not in the way you think. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
You'd think that after the utter disaster that was last weekend, the NFL owners would be looking for the end game in their tong war against the regular referees. Well, in the words of the immortal Griff Tannen: You thought wrong, dude. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Um, owners? Aaron Rodgers speaks for all of us. (AP)

Even President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on this. (AP)

This is nothing, Kyle. Wait until you see how much they take from Bill Belichick. (Pro Football Talk)

And speaking of money: Las Vegas oddsmakers say the ending of Monday night's game caused 300 million to change hands. (AP)

The NFL fines and suspends Broncos' linebacker Joe Mays for the hit on Matt Schaub that took off a piece of the quarterback's ear. (AP)

Brian Moorman's time in Buffalo is over after 12 years (AP)

Reggie Bush sees poetic justice in Darrelle Revis' season-ending knee injury. (Pro Football Talk)

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.