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Thursday's Sports In Brief

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit Photo:

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit

BASEBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Travis Ishikawa hit the first homer to end an NL Championship Series, a three-run drive that sent San Francisco to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 on Thursday night.

These every-other-year Giants will face the Royals in an all wild-card World Series that begins Tuesday night in Kansas City.

A journeyman who began the season with Pittsburgh, Ishikawa connected for the first game-ending home run that sent the Giants into the World Series since perhaps the most famous drive in baseball history - Bobby Thomson's ''Shot Heard `Round the World'' in a 1951 playoff.

Pablo Sandoval singled to start the ninth inning against Michael Wacha, making his first appearance of the postseason for the Cardinals. After an out, Brandon Belt walked to bring up Ishikawa, who drove a 2-0 pitch into the elevated seats in right field to set off an orange towel-waving frenzied celebration.

Pinch-hitter Michael Morse homered leading off the eighth against Pat Neshek, who replaced Adam Wainwright to start the inning, to tie it 3-all.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers hired Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager.

Banister got the nod over two other finalists, interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash.

General manager Jon Daniels said Banister won over the Rangers during the interview process. Daniels described Banister as the best fit for a team that quickly wants to recreate a winning culture after its most losses since 1985.

Banister will be formally introduced as Ron Washington's replacement during a news conference Friday at the Rangers ballpark.

The 50-year-old Banister has been Pittsburgh's bench coach for manager Clint Hurdle the past four years and in the Pirates organization for 29 seasons. Hurdle was the Rangers' hitting coach when they went to their first World Series in 2010.

MIAMI (AP) - The former owner of a South Florida anti-aging clinic pleaded guilty to charges of illegally providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes including high-profile Major League Baseball players, most notably New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

Anthony Bosch, former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles. Bosch, who was not a medical doctor yet called himself ''Dr. T,'' faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence but is likely to get far less because of cooperation with prosecutors and with MLB's investigation into player drug use.

Defense attorney Guy Lewis said Bosch, 51, provided key information to MLB investigators that led to suspensions of 14 players, including the record season-long suspension handed to Rodriguez for this past year. Bosch also met numerous times with federal prosecutors and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Lewis said.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Georgia star tailback Todd Gurley's alleged rules violations were discussed in a meeting between top school officials and NCAA eligibility staff.

Following the meeting in Indianapolis, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead said in a statement ''There is no new news at this time and no further comment is necessary.''

Coach Mark Richt said earlier in the day on his Twitter feed he expects Gurley's indefinite suspension to continue for No. 10 Georgia's game at Arkansas on Saturday.

The NCAA said it hasn't received Georgia's request for Gurley's eligibility to be restored.

GOLF

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Stewart Cink birdied seven of the final 11 holes for a 7-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead with Martin Laird in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Cink had a bogey-free round at TPC Summerlin in his first start since dropping out of the FedEx Cup playoffs after the second event. He won the last of his six PGA Tour titles in the 2009 British Open.

Laird also had a bogey-free round. He played the front nine in 5-under 30 and added birdies on Nos. 15 and 18, holing a 50-foot putt on the last. The Scot won the 2009 event and lost in a playoff in 2010 when Jonathan Byrd made a hole-in-one on the fourth extra hole.

Scotland's Russell Knox was third at 65. Jarrod Lyle, Bo Van Pelt, Hideki Matsuyama, Sam Saunders, Brian Stuard and Andrew Svoboda shot 66.

FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel had a 71. At No. 13, he's the top-ranked player in the field.

ASH, England (AP) - Defending champion Graeme McDowell's comeback fell short in a 2-and-1 loss to Mikko Ilonen, and Henrik Stenson rallied from three holes down to edge Francesco Molinari 2 and 1 in round-robin play in the World Match Play Championship.

Joost Luiten beat Alexander Levy 4 and 3 to improve to 2-0 in the Larson group. McDowell and Ilonen are 1-1, and Levy - the winner of the rain-shortened Portugal Masters last week - is 0-2. After round-robin play in the four four-man groups, the top two in each group will advance to the quarterfinals at The London Golf Club.

Victor Dubuisson improved to 2-0 in the Gabrielsson with a 3-and-2 victory over Shane Lowry. Lowery and Pablo Larrazabal are 1-1, and Stephen Gallacher is 0-2.

In the McCormack group, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Jamie Donaldson and Jonas Blixt are all 1-1. Reed beat Casey 2 and 1. Stenson and George Coetzee top the Palmer group at 1-0-1, Thongchai Jaidee is 1-1, and Molinari 0-2.

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