Falcons lose Neal for season…Sale returning, Pedroia shelved…Ohtani says he’ll hit

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons’ secondary received a jolt when the team learned Keanu Neal will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. The safety was injured during Thursday’s 18-12 season-opening loss to the Eagles. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after the game the injury wasn’t believed to be serious, but a follow-up exam showed otherwise.

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora says ace lefty Chris Sale will be activated from the disabled list and pitch about two innings with a maximum of 40 pitches Tuesday against Toronto at Fenway Park. It will be his second big league appearance since going on the disabled list July 31 with mild left shoulder inflammation. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY’-uh) has been shut down for the rest of the season while he continues to recover from his third knee surgery since last fall.

CHICAGO (AP) — Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) says he plans to finish this season as the team’s designated hitter while he decides whether to have Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old rookie from Japan says he hopes to return as a DH next season. The Angels announced Wednesday that an MRI showed Ohtani had new damage in his pitching elbow, and that Tommy John surgery was the recommended course of action.

NEW YORK (AP) — Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) and Juan Martin del Potro (wahn mahr-TEEN’ dehl POH’-troh) have advanced to Sunday’s U.S. Open men’s final. Djokovic reached his record-tying eighth U.S. Open final by beating Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR’-ee), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Del Potro was leading two sets to love when Rafael Nadal had to retire due to a knee injury.

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Xander Schauffele (SHOW’-flee) fired a 6-under 66 to take a two-shot lead over Justin Rose at the midway mark of the BMW Championship. Schauffele was at 13-under through two rounds, the lowest 36-hole score of his career. Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley, Alex Noren and Rickie Fowler are three strokes back, while Tiger Woods is five off the pace despite yesterday’s 9-under 62.

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