BASEBALL—To reach the World Series (page 20), the Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-1 and 5-3 to complete their third straight three-game sweep of the American League playoffs. The Pirates, who had split the first two games, won the National League playoffs by beating the San Francisco Giants 2-1 and 9-5.
BOATING—JOERG BRUDER of Brazil won his second consecutive Finn Class world sailing championship in Toronto by a point over Carl Van Duyne of Annapolis, Md.
FOOTBALL—American Conference: NEW ENGLAND equaled last season's victory total by winning its second game 20-0 over the New York Jets as rookie Jim Plunkett threw two touchdown passes (page 30). Pat Running Back Jim Nance became only the 15th player in NFL history to gain more than 5,000 yards rushing when he picked up 94 on 20 carries. Eastern Division leader BALTIMORE held Buffalo to 49 yards, and Norm Bulaich and rookie Don McCauley scored two touchdowns apiece in a 43-0 shutout of the winless Bills. CLEVELAND broke a tie with Pittsburgh for the Central Division lead by beating the Steelers 27-17 before 83,391 at Cleveland Stadium as Milt Morin caught eight Bill Nelsen passes for 126 yards and one touchdown. MIAMI's Bob Griese threw two TD passes, one a 43-yarder to Paul Warfield, and Garo Yepremian kicked three field goals to hand Cincinnati, the defending Central Division champion, its third straight loss, 23-13. KANSAS CITY, co-leader with the Raiders in the West, won its third straight, defeating slumping San Diego 31-10 on Len Dawson's two touchdown passes. The Chargers had grabbed a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Chief defense got tough. OAKLAND whipped the Monday night TV jinx by coming from behind on a TD pass and run by Kenny Stabler in the third quarter to beat Denver 27-16 after coming from behind in the second half to defeat Cleveland 34-20 earlier in the week.
National Conference: Eastern leader WASHINGTON, the only undefeated team in the NFL, gained its fourth victory, beating Houston 22-13 on five Curt Knight field goals before 53,041 at RFK Stadium, the largest crowd in Washington history. The Redskin defense intercepted three passes (Ron McDole ran one back 18 yards for a TD) and recovered two fumbles. MINNESOTA scored its second straight shutout, defeating winless Philadelphia 13-0 to remain tied for first place in the Central Division with the Lions and Bears. Although the shutout was the first against an Eagle team in nine years, it was a moral victory of sorts for new Coach Ed Khayat; in the three previous Philadelphia losses, opponents scored 37, 42 and 31 points. Kent Nix started his first game in three seasons and tossed two touchdown passes as CHICAGO smothered New Orleans 35-14. Greg Landry completed 18 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns, including a 60-yarder to Larry Walton, to lead DETROIT to its third straight win, 31-28 over Green Bay. LOS ANGELES took over first place in the West from San Francisco, upsetting the 49ers-20-13 when Larry Smith ran 64 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jim Bakken booted four field goals as ST. LOUIS walloped Atlanta 26-9.
GOLF—GARY PLAYER won the Piccadilly World Match Play championship at Wentworth in England for the fourth time, defeating Jack Nicklaus 5 and 4 in the 36-hole final and earning $20,900 (page 81).
HARNESS RACING—SAVOIR ($3.80), driven by Jimmy Arthur, won the $63,415 Kentucky Futurity—the third leg of trotting's Triple Crown—in straight heats (1:58 1/5 and 1:58 2/5) at the Lexington (Ky.) trots.
Good humor man, a Meadow Skipper colt who is a full brother of Most Happy Fella, winner of pacing's Triple Crown in 1970, was sold for an alltime record of $210,000 at the Tattersalls Yearling Sale in Lexington, Ky. The previous record for a standardbred was $125,000, set in 1969 at Harrisburg. The bay colt was purchased by Vernon G. Gochneaur of Aurora, Ohio, who also topped the bidding at the Harrisburg Sales in September when he bought Pennsy Hanover, a Tar Heel colt, for $90,000.
HOCKEY—-Neither Montreal, the defending Stanley Cup champion, nor Detroit could win home openers without their retired stars, Jean Beliveau and Gordie Howe. Beliveau, whose jersey was retired before the game, watched New York's Pete Stemkowski score in the last two minutes to tie the Canadiens 4-4. Howe's absence was more noticeable in Detroit where the Red Wings, last in the East Division last season, were defeated by MINNESOTA 4-2. CHICAGO opened defense of its West Division title with a 4-2 victory over St. Louis as Bobby Hull scored twice. TORONTO beat Vancouver 3-2 on Center Darryl Sittler's third-period goal. LOS ANGELES scored two times in the final three minutes to tie CALIFORNIA 4-4, while PITTSBURGH rookie Darryl Edestrand's first NHL goal beat Philadelphia 3-2.
HORSE RACING—RIVA RIDGE ($4.80), ridden by Ron Turcotte, won the $195,150 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park by seven lengths over Chevron Flight. Governor Max, a winner in four of five starts, finished fourth in the 100th running of the mile event for 2-year-olds—the richest on the New York racing calendar.
MOTOR SPORTS—BOBBY ALLISON, who trailed by nearly three miles at one point, averaged 126.140 mph in his Mercury to win the rain-shortened NASCAR National 500 race in Charlotte, N.C.