Here are the latest Illinois sports news from The Associated Press | National News from the Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – After resisting the move in the past, Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy made Justin Fields his first quarterback and moved Andy Dalton into the replacement role. Fields, the former Ohio State quarterback and first-round draft pick, had played Detroit and Cleveland as a starter, but only because of veteran Dalton’s knee injury. As late as Monday, Nagy said Fields was still the replacement, but changed his mind. Dalton recovered from a bone contusion and returned to training this week.

HOUSTON (AP) – Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa returns to the playoffs with the Chicago White Sox as they prepare to open their AL Division best-of-five series on Thursday against the Houston Astros. This is his first playoff series since winning the 2011 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring. He will face Houston manager Dusty Baker, who at 72 is still chasing his first title.

CHICAGO (AP) – Courtney Vandersloot scored 19 points and Kahleah Copper added 18 to help the Chicago Sky beat the Connecticut Sun 79-69 and advance to the WNBA Finals. Chicago is back in the final for the first time since 2014 despite finishing the regular season with a record .500. Candace Parker, who returned home to Chicago this season, finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Jonquel Jones led the way for the Sun with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago White Sox have a rare opportunity to capture the limelight and expand their fan base in a city where they are often overshadowed by their neighbors a few miles north. They are in the playoffs for the second year in a row, a first for the American Charter League franchise. They aim for the World Series and a chance to make money with young and dynamic stars. Chicago-based director of sports marketing, Marc Ganis, said the White Sox have the ability to increase local sponsorship, ticket sales, suite sales and other stadium income by 25-40% without having to shrink the Cubs fan base due to the size of the population. It depends on their marketing and the progress of the team.

HOUSTON (AP) – Lance Lynn will start for the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Houston Astros on Thursday. Manager Tony La Russa announced the decision on Wednesday and said Lucas Giolito will start Game 2. The White Sox have also said first baseman Jose Abreu is feeling better after dealing with flu-like symptoms and ‘he would fly to Houston on Wednesday night.

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has said strengthening a starting rotation that has ranked among the worst this season is high on his to-do list. the Cubs will have the financial flexibility to be active in free agency. The question is whether they are trying to make a splash by signing a star or filling more gaps with more low-key moves. Either way, he identified rotation as the top priority after the Cubs starters combined for a 5.27 ERA. Only Texas, Pittsburgh and Baltimore were higher. The Cubs must also find a new batting coach after Hoyer confirms the team is parting ways with Anthony Iapoce. A contract extension for manager David Ross could be in the works. The parties having had preliminary talks.

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