Review Category : National Sports

A’s Activate INF Nick Punto From 15-Day Disabled List

Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The Oakland Athletics have activated infielder Nick Punto from the 15-day disabled list, the club announced on Tuesday.

Punto was placed on the disabled list Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring. In 64 games this season, he is batting .207 with two home runs and 13 RBIs. He was hitting just .123 over 25 games before he landed on the disabled list.

Punto has appeared in 34 games at second base, 15 at shortstop, two at third base and one in right field.

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Nick Saban Prepares Team for Southern Miss

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Alabama) — Alabama head coach Nick Saban is preparing his second-ranked team for a showdown with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide are coming off a 41-0 victory over Florida Atlantic and Saban said on Monday that he is sticking with a two-quarterback system of Blake Sims and Jacob Coker.

“We need them both to work to improve, both players did good things in the game and both did things they can improve on,” Saban said of the quarterbacks.

Saban said he was happy with their performance against Florida Atlantic, but he wants to continue to push his team. He also noted what the team needs to improve on as they head into Saturday’s game.

“Finishing drives on offense, tackling a little better on defense,” Saban said. “Do you have focus, stamina to get better? We have a lot more to prove.”

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Sabres Owners Closing In on Buying Bills

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula are close to buying the Buffalo Bills, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports.

The Pegulas have a tentative deal in place and plan on keeping the Bills in Buffalo, but are awaiting an approval from the NFL, Schefter reports.

The Pegulas purchased the Sabres in 2011 and have been the front-runners all along to capture ownership of the Bills.

The approval cannot happen until next month when the 31 owners meet. They’ll need three-quarters to approve their bid.

The Bills last made the playoffs in 1999, which is the longest drought in the NFL.

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Lions Roll Past Giants on Monday Night

Leon Halip/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson twice in the first quarter for touchdowns and never looked back in the Lions 35-14 win over the New York Giants on Monday night.

Stafford passed for 346 yards with two touchdown passes to Johnson in the victory.

“I don’t work on my moves a lot during practice, but I know I have to be better with my feet this year so that we can keep plays alive,” Stafford said. “On both of the touchdown passes to Calvin, the offensive line got me a lot of time, and he was able to uncover himself and find somewhere open.”

Johnson finished with seven receptions, 163 yards, and the two early touchdowns.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who had a career high 27 interceptions last season, added two on opening night and was 18 of 33 for 163 yards with a touchdown.

“No excuses. We played very poorly,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We don’t have a lot to be proud of here. Couldn’t move the ball, couldn’t stop them, turned the ball over, got into that business again. Got a punt blocked, so you name it. It was a nightmare performance.”

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Janay Rice Defends Her Husband, Slams Media

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Janay Rice is not happy about the media showing the TMZ Sports video tape from February, which shows her being punched twice in the face in an elevator by former Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Rice was released by the Ravens on Monday and then suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

In a statement posted to the social network, Instagram, Rice said she doesn’t believe her husband deserved to be released.

Here’s the full statement:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.”

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”

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Ferry Disciplined by Hawks, Apologizes

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry apologized Monday for the comments he made regarding Heat forward Luol Deng last year. He was also disciplined by the team.

Ferry and the Hawks pursued Deng before he signed with Miami last season and apologized for the racial comments he made in a letter that he sent to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.

“In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players,” Ferry said in the statement released by the team.

“I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process. Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning,” he added.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution posted the two-page letter that Gearon Jr. sent to Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson about Ferry’s comments that said, “He has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.”

Ferry was hired by the Hawks in 2012.

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Clayton Kershaw Strikes Out 8, Picks Up 18th Win

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw picked up his 18th win on Monday night after he struck out eight in the Dodgers (82-62) 9-4 win over the Padres (66-77).

Kershaw pitched eight innings and gave up three hits and one run in the victory.

“It was a good night for us. There wasn’t a whole lot of stress because we got some runs early — and we haven’t had too many of those,” said Kershaw, who lowered his ERA to 1.67, which is an MLB-best.

Kershaw got Rymer Liriano to strike out looking in the top of the eighth for the final batter of the night.

“Obviously when you get that big of a lead, you just want to pound the zone,” Kershaw said of the eight runs the team provided him with. “I got some good plays defensively behind me.”

Kershaw is 15-1 with a 1.20 ERA and six complete games in his last 18 starts.

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Marin Cilic Wins US Open Final

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Fourteenth-seeded Marin Cilic won his first major on Monday night after he defeated 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the U.S. Open.

Cilic used 17 aces and earned $3 million for the win.

“Seems completely unreal,” Cilic said, “to be called ‘Grand Slam champion.’ “

Both Cilic and Nishikori were playing in their first major championship and admitted that they let the pressure get to them at first.

“Both of us were pretty nervous in the first set, especially,” Cilic acknowledged.

“This,” Cilic continued, “is [from] all the hard work in these last several years — and especially this last year.”

Cilic knocked out the top-seeded Novak Djokovic for a chance to compete for the title.

Nishikori was the lowest seed to reach the U.S. Open Final since 17th-seeded Pete Sampras did it in 2002.

“Tennis has not been our biggest sport in Japan,” Nishikori said. “Hopefully I can win next time.”

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Cardinals Edge Chargers, 18-17, on Monday Night

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) — Veteran Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer rallied the Cardinals past the Chargers on opening night with a 13-yard touchdown pass to John Brown late in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals defense did the rest and batted down a Philip Rivers pass on fourth down for the 18-17 win.

“It was a sweet little touchdown,” Palmer said of Browns first-career touchdown. “That’s what he does. He’s so shifty. It’s like somebody’s controlling him with a joystick. He is so quick and so hard to find on those little quick screens.”

Arizona was down 17-6 entering the fourth quarter and Palmers’ two touchdown passes in the fourth gave them the lead for good.

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had only one reception in the fourth quarter, but kept his streak alive at 150 games with at least one reception.

“Too many mistakes. Too many mistakes in crucial times,” Rivers said after the game. “We had plenty of opportunities. Offensively, we had too many mistakes in crucial times that turned into points.”

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/8/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL: Detroit Lions 35 (1-0) – New York Giants 14 (0-1)

Arizona Cardinals 18 (1-0) – San Diego Chargers 17 (0-1)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 8 (74-69) – Chicago Cubs 0 (64-80)

Detroit Tigers 8 (79-65) – Kansas City Royals 5 (79-63)

Los Angeles Angels 12 (88-55) – Cleveland Indians 3 (74-68)

Washington Nationals 2 (81-61) – Atlanta Braves 1 (74-70)

New York Mets 3 (69-75) – Colorado Rockies 2 (59-85)

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 (75-68) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (66-77)

St. Louis Cardinals 5 (80-64) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (67-77)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (84-59) – Boston Red Sox 0 (63-81)

Miami Marlins 6 (70-72) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (74-70)

Chicago White Sox 5 (64-79) – Oakland Athletics 4 (80-63)

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