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Nats force Game 7…Scherzer set to pitch…Twins pick up Cruz option…NCAA bends on payments

HOUSTON (AP) – The Washington Nationals have forced a Game 7 in the World Series by getting strong performances from Anthony RendonĀ  and Stephen Strasburg in a 7-2 win over the Astros in Houston. Rendon was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and a two-run double to support Strasburg, who is 5-0 this postseason after limiting the Astros to two runs and seven hits while striking out seven over 8 1/3 innings. Strasburg blanked Houston after Alex Bregman hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first.

HOUSTON (AP) – Max Scherzer will be the Washington Nationals’ Game 7 starter tonight against Houston, while the Astros counter with Zack Greinke . The 35-year-old Scherzer missed his scheduled start in Game 5 because of an irritated nerve near his neck. Scherzer had a cortisone shot in his neck Sunday and threw in the outfield before Game 6.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Twins have picked up their $12 million option on Nelson Cruz for next season. The 39-year-old designated hitter agreed in January to a contract with a $14 million salary for 2019 and the club option. Cruz hit .311 with a team-high 41 homers and had 108 RBIs in 120 games. He spent two stints on the injured list for a wrist problem that led to a torn tendon.

UNDATED (AP) – The NCAA has voted to permit college athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness,” but it now must figure out how to allow athletes to profit after fighting such a proposal for years. The NCAA Board of Governors has directed each of the governing body’s three divisions to create the necessary new rules immediately and have them in place no later than January 2021. The about-face comes a month after California passed a law that would make it illegal for NCAA schools to prohibit college athletes from making money on endorsements, autograph signings and social media advertising, among other activities.

CINCINNATI (AP) – Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor has decided to bench Andy Dalton, ending his nine-season run as a starter. The move came two days after a 24-10 loss to the Rams in London left Cincinnati 0-8 for the first time in 11 years. The first-year coach decided to use the bye week to get rookie Ryan Finley ready to face the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium.

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