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Wednesday’s Sports Minute

Wednesday’s Sports Minute

STREAK SNAPPED: Oakland Athletics' Josh Donaldson celebrates as he crosses the plate after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Associated Press/Charlie Riedel

Aside from the continuing investigation into the fatal crash involving NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, and the $2 billion sale of the L.A. Clippers, here are the other big sports stories making headlines today, Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Bucs double up reeling Tigers…Brewers fall…Dodgers dump Braves

The Oakland Athletics have maintained their 3 ½-game lead over the second-place Angels in the American League West while putting an end to the Kansas City Royals’ eight-game winning streak.

Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with a pair of solo homers, four RBIs and three runs scored in Oakland’s 11-3 romp at Kansas City. Brandon Moss added four hits and two RBIs as the A’s kept the AL Central-leading Royals just a half-game ahead of Detroit. Jon Lester won for the third time in as many starts since joining the A’s, striking out nine and allowing three runs in six innings.

Los Angeles kept pace with Oakland by exploding for seven runs in the sixth inning of a 7-2 triumph against Philadelphia. Kole Calhoun ignited the big rally with a solo homer before adding an RBI single. C.J. Wilson held the Phillies to two runs over 6 2/3 innings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did the Royals a favor by downing the slumping Detroit Tigers 4-2 as Edinson Volquez gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. Gaby Sanchez, Travis Snider and Ike Davis laced RBI doubles in the Pirates’ fifth victory in seven games.

The outcome puts the Pirates 1 ½ games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

The Tigers lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The Brewers were 3-0 losers to the Cubs as Anthony Rizzo hit his 26th homer of the season, and first time in 19 games. Arismendy Alcantara and Justin Ruggiano each had two hits and an RBI to back Kyle Hendricks, who limited the Brewers to six hits in 7 1/3 innings.

The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers won for the fifth time in seven games while helping Washington stretch its lead in the NL East.

Dan Haren allowed two runs and six hits while striking out seven over six innings of the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory in Atlanta. Darwin Barney singled home the game’s first run and scored on a wild pitch to give Los Angeles an insurance run in the ninth.

The Braves have dropped 11 of their last 13 games to fall five games behind the Nationals.

The Nats won for the 23rd time in their last 27 games at Citi Field as Michael Taylor hit a two-run homer in his major league debut to spark a 7-1 rout of the New York Mets. Every Washington run came on homers as Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond also hit two-run blasts and Anthony Rendon added a solo shot. That was more than enough offense for Doug Fister, who is 12-3 with a 2.34 ERA after scattering seven hits in seven scoreless innings.

The Dodgers’ division lead has grown to six games following the Giants’ fifth straight loss. The Chicago White blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth before Gordon Beckham’s RBI single gave the Pale Hose a 3-2, 10-inning win at San Francisco. Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer and Chris Sale had to settle for a no-decision despite striking out 12 and allowing just four hits in eight shutout innings.

Elsewhere in the majors:

  • Seattle was a 6-3 winner against Toronto behind Chris Young, who surrendered only one run and two hits in six innings. Kyle Seager socked a tiebreaking, solo homer and Dustin Ackley added a two-run single as the Mariners moved into a tie with Detroit for the second AL wild-card lead, two games ahead of Blue Jays. The Orioles also stretched their lead in the AL East to 6 1/2 games over the Jays.
  • Jarred Cosart was brilliant in Miami’s 3-0 shutout of the Cardinals, allowing three hits in seven innings. Donovan Solano hit a two-run homer off Adam Wainwright, who was bidding to become the majors’ first 15-game winner of the season. The outcome keeps the Redbirds three games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central race.
  • Yoenis Cespedes belted a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Boston past Cincinnati 3-2. The Reds managed just four hits after Devin Mesoraco’s RBI single put them ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first.
  • Chris Carter launched a three-run homer and a two-run blast in Houston’s 10-4 pounding of Minnesota. Jose Altuve had three this and two RBIs to back Colin McHugh’s first victory since June 3.
  • Odrisamer Despaigne had eight strikeouts while giving up five hits in seven scoreless innings of San Diego’s 4-1 verdict over Colorado.
  • Verlander, Machado better than originally feared

    A couple of American League playoff hopefuls have received encouraging medical news.

    Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will likely miss at least one start after leaving Monday night’s game in Pittsburgh in the second inning due to a sore right shoulder. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus says an MRI on Verlander’s shoulder reveals inflammation in several areas but no major structural damage.

    Verlander gave up five runs in the first inning against the Pirates and came out of the game following a plate appearance the next inning.

    The Baltimore Orioles say third baseman Manny Machado was been diagnosed with a strained right knee, one day after suffering the injury during an at-bat in Monday’s 11-3 rout of the Yankees. The Orioles originally diagnosed Machado’s injury as a sprained knee.

    Shortstop J.J. Hardy may have to go on the DL because of a sprained thumb suffered in Saturday’s victory over the Cardinals, but manager Buck Showalter wasn’t sure either player would have to be shelved.

    New commissioner could be named Thursday

    Major League Baseball could have a new commissioner as soon as Thursday. Outgoing Commissioner Bud Selig says the succession process has worked just the way he thought it would.

    Baseball’s 30 owners will meet in Baltimore this week to vote on Selig’s replacement. A seven-man committee whittled down an expansive list to three candidates: MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Tim Brosnan, MLB Vice President of Business.

    To win Thursday’s vote, a candidate must receive approval from 23 of 30 owners.

    Cowboys’ DB suspended

    Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has received a four-game suspension from the NFL for failing a drug test. Scandrick said in a statement released by his agent that he unknowingly took a substance while on vacation in Mexico that led to the positive test.

    In other NFL news:

  • Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says safety Tyrann Mathieu is close to coming off the physically unable to perform list and could be practicing within a week. Mathieu was having a standout rookie season when he tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee against St. Louis last Dec. 8.
  • Former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn has signed with the Dolphins, seven years after being drafted in the first round by Cleveland. Quinn is slated to compete with Matt Moore for the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill after joining his seventh NFL team.
  • Veteran quarterback Rex Grossman is back in the NFL after landing a job with the Browns. The unrestricted free-agent replaces quarterback Tyler Thigpen, who has been waived.
  • Weak side linebacker Danny Trevathan injured his left knee during practice and was taken for an MRI. Trevathan had a team-high 124 tackles for the Broncos last season, one year after being selected by Denver in the sixth round of the draft.
  • The Seattle Seahawks say accusations that star running back Marshawn Lynch was involved in an assault and damage of personal property are “bogus.” In a statement the team says it has respect for the investigative process, but that after speaking with Lynch the team has concluded that the allegations are without merit.
  • A member of the FCC says the time has come to repeal NFL television blackout rules. Ajit Pai says the FCC needs to “be on the side of sports fans” regarding league rules that prevent games that are not sold out from being broadcast in the home team’s market. Pai is one of five FCC commissioners.
  • Pacers think George will play again

    The Indiana Pacers expect Paul George to make a full recovery from his recent leg injury, but they don’t expect him to play next season.

    George sustained a compound fracture in his right leg during a USA Basketball scrimmage on Aug. 1. The Pacers say team doctors believe George will eventually be able to resume basketball activities.

    George underwent surgery and is recovering at his suburban Indianapolis home. Pacers coach Frank Vogel says George is wearing a splint and using crutches and that he cannot drive.

    Suns’ forward suspended

    The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker for the first three games of the upcoming season following his guilty plea to “super extreme” driving while intoxicated. Tucker was sentenced to three days in jail and 11 days’ home detention following his plea last week. “Super extreme” DUI under Arizona law is for persons whose blood alcohol level exceeds .20 percent.

    Davis Cup matches pulled from trouble spots

    The International Tennis Federation has upheld the decision to move a Davis Cup match out of Israel for security reasons and accepted a separate appeal to take another match out of Ukraine. The ITF board of directors rejected an appeal by the Israel Tennis Association against last week’s ruling to move the Sept. 12-14 World Group playoff against Argentina to a neutral venue because of the conflict in Gaza. The match had been scheduled to be played in Tel Aviv.

    The board also upheld an appeal by Belgium against the decision to play its World Group playoff against Ukraine in Kiev. The ITF cites the “fluid” security situation in Ukraine.

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