Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 7:06 AM


Rangers hammer Astros...Dodgers stumble again...Reds stay hot...A huge National deficit

UNDATED (AP) — The Texas Rangers maintained their lead in the American League West by putting together the biggest inning in the majors this season.

Every Ranger in the starting lineup scored at least once during an 11-run explosion in the third inning of a 16-5 pounding of Houston. Texas collected just seven hits in the inning but took advantage of two Astros errors to score six unearned runs.

A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, Ian Kinsler drove in three runs and Leonys Martin delivered two three hits, two RBIs and three runs scored.

The outcome keeps the Rangers a half-game ahead of second-place Oakland.

Brandon Moss and Jarrod Parker allowed the Athletics to keep pace with Texas. Moss hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the A's a 2-1 triumph over Seattle. Parker allowed eight hits and struck out eight in his first career complete game.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have followed a 10-game winning streak with their first two-game skid since June 21.

Rookie Jose Fernandez allowed just one earned run and four hits while striking out eight over six innings of Miami's 6-2 win over the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) went 0-for-3 against Fernandez in the first matchup between the Cubans.

Donovan Solano, Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton each had two hits and an RBI, with Stanton providing a solo homer after Morrison doubled home the tiebreaking run.

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu dropped to 12-4, allowing three runs in 7.1 innings.

The Dodgers have scored just four times in their last two contests after averaging six runs during their 10-game winning streak.

Los Angeles still tops the National League West by 7 ½ games after second-place Arizona fell to Cincinnati 5-3, which gives the Reds a six-game lead over Arizona for the final NL wild-card berth. Bronson Arroyo won his third straight start and helped the Reds claim their seventh victory in nine games. Arroyo allowed three runs in six innings. Aaron Hill hit a solo homer, Ryan Ludwick collected his first RBI of the season and J.J. Hoover worked a perfect eighth in his 23rd consecutive scoreless appearance.

The result keeps the Reds 2 ½ games behind Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead.

The Pirates beat San Diego 3-1 to keep a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central. Francisco Liriano improved to 14-5 with a 2.53 ERA by allowing four hits and fanning 13 over seven innings. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer in the sixth, two innings after he singled and scored on Chris Denorfia's two-run error.

The Cardinals picked up their ninth victory in 11 games by scoring four times in the eighth to beat Milwaukee 8-5. Matt Carpenter singled home the tiebreaking run before David Freese (freez) added a two-run double. Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered for the Cardinals, while teammate Yadier Molina had four hits.

Boston is still atop the American League East following a strong pitching performance from Jon Lester in a 7-0 triumph at San Francisco. Lester came within two outs of a complete-game shutout, holding the Giants to six hits and two walks.

Daniel Nava (NAH'-vah) and Shane Victorino each had three hits and an RBI as the Red Sox stayed one game ahead of second-place Tampa Bay.

Matt Joyce hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Evan Longoria belted a solo shot in the Rays' 4-3 win at Baltimore. David Price labored through five innings to win his fourth consecutive decision, surrendering 10 hits but only two runs.

Also in the majors, Zach McAllister held the Angels to a run and five hits while working 6 1/3 innings of Cleveland's 5-2 triumph at Anaheim. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run fourth that allowed the Indians to get within 6 ½ games of first-place Detroit in the AL East.

Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAHR'-juh) tossed a six-hitter as the Chicago Cubs pounded Washington 11-1, dropping the Nationals 16 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. Nate Schierholtz (SHEER'-hohlts) led the Cubs' attack with a pair of homers and six RBIs. Donnie Murphy also homered twice for the Cubbies.

Philadelphia beat Colorado 5-4 behind home runs by John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. Mayberry smacked a three-run shot to support Ethan Martin, who tossed two-hit ball and struck out six over 6 1/3 innings.

Dillon Gee (jee) allowed an unearned run and six hits while striking out nine over 7 2/3 innings of the Mets' 6-1 win over the Twins. Gee improved to 9-8 on the season and lowered his ERA since May 30 to 2.27, third-best in the National League behind Miami's Jose Fernandez and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.


A-Rod lawyer on publicity tour calls MLB move a publicity stunt

NEW YORK (AP) — There's yet another chapter in the Alex Rodriguez saga.

A lawyer for Rodriguez has declined MLB's challenge to make public evidence that led to the 211-game suspension of the New York Yankees star. MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred wrote to lawyer Joseph Tacopina (tah-kah-PEE'-nah) on Monday, urging him to waive his client's confidentiality so the documents could be released. The letter was revealed on NBC's "Today Show," where Tacopina said evidence against Rodriguez would "never stand up" in court or before an arbitrator.

Tacopina was annoyed the letter was sent to NBC instead of his office, calling it "a cheap publicity stunt" and "a trap." He also said a waiver would need the union's approval.

Manfred says the league would disclose "all drug tests" and "all prior violations" tied to Rodriguez, plus any documents linked to whether Rodriguez obstructed MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis clinic. According to the letter, which was released by MLB, Rodriguez's side also would be able to disclose documents.

Rodriguez is playing pending his appeal, which likely won't be decided by an arbitrator until at least November.


Suspended Braun sued

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former college classmate sued Ryan Braun, saying the Brewers slugger sought his help in fighting a failed drug test, balked on paying him and then disparaged him when asked why their friendship soured.

Milwaukee law student Ralph Sasson said Braun's agent hired him in November 2011 to do legal research aimed at clearing Braun after the left fielder tested positive for steroid use. The agent later asked him to investigate the man who collected Braun's urine. Braun personally asked Sasson to prank call two journalists working on a story about the failed test, according to the lawsuit filed last month in Milwaukee County court.

Braun was the first baseball player to successfully challenge a drug-related penalty in a grievance. He accepted a longer, 65-game suspension last month in the Biogenesis investigation.


Pujols done for season...Jennings, Wilson activated

UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels say slugger Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) is done for the season because of an injured left foot.

Pujols hasn't played since July 26 and was hoping to return when his partially torn plantar fascia healed.

The 33-year-old Pujols hit .258 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs this year. This is the first time the three-time NL MVP finished with fewer than 30 homers in his 13-season major league career.

Also in the majors, the Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Desmond Jennings from the 15-day disabled list. Jennings fractured his left middle finger while sliding in a game Aug. 3. He's batting .258 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs, along with a team-high 17 stolen bases.

The Boston Red Sox have promoted 20-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts (ZAN'-dur BOH'-gahrts) from Triple-A Pawtucket in time to open a three-game series in San Francisco. Manager John Farrell said he might give Bogaerts a start as soon as Tuesday night.

Reliever Brian Wilson has been activated from the disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers after being sidelined since April 2012 because of an elbow injury. The former All-Star closer is mounting a comeback from Tommy John surgery. He'll be available for the start of the Dodgers' series in Miami tonight.

Washington has acquired outfielder David DeJesus in a trade with the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. The deal bolsters Washington's bench as it tries to make an improbable late run for a playoff spot. Coming into the day, the Nationals trailed Cincinnati by 9½ games for the NL's second wild-card slot.


Busy day of NFL transactions

UNDATED (AP) — Blaine Gabbert has been tabbed as the Jaguars starting quarterback for the season. That despite the fact he will miss the rest of the exhibition season with a broken thumb, suffered in Saturday's game with the Jets.

Also in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills have released longtime kicker Rian Lindell (RY'-an lihn-DEL'). The 36-year-old Lindell spent the last 10 years in Buffalo and is the most accurate kicker in Bills history with a field goal percentage of 83.3 percent. The release means that rookie Dustin Hopkins has won Buffalo's kicking competition.

The Chiefs and 49ers have pulled off a trade involving wide receivers. Jon Baldwin now belongs to the Niners while the Chiefs got A.J. Jenkins in a swap of disappointing first-round picks.

Giants receiver Victor Cruz bruised his left heel during last night's exhibition game against Indianapolis, but it's unknown when he'll return. Center David Bass sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and his status will be gauged on a weekly basis,

Titans tight end Delanie Walker has passed his physical and been removed from the physically unable to perform list. Walker, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee at the end of the offseason program, was signed as a free agent this offseason from San Francisco to replace Jared Cook, who left for St. Louis.

Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar has a sprained left foot, putting his availability for the season opener in jeopardy. Coach Jason Garrett says Dunbar is certainly out his week and will be day to day after that.

The New Orleans Saints have terminated the contracts of reserve quarterback Seneca Wallace and receivers Steve Breaston and Patrick Crayton, and placed defensive end Kenyon Coleman on injured reserve.


Trial for Pacman delayed

CINCINNATI (AP) — A trial has been delayed for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was charged with assault after police said he hit a woman at a nightclub. The trial had been scheduled to start Monday, but a judge delayed it until Oct. 7 at a defense attorney's request.

Jones, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of hitting a 34-year-old woman at a downtown Cincinnati nightclub.


Nuggets guard arrested in alleged domestic violence

DENVER (AP) — Court records show Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson has been arrested on suspicion of charges including harassment.

KUSA-TV in Denver reports that according to Arapahoe County sheriff's officials, Lawson and his girlfriend each face charges after a fight Saturday night.

The Denver Post reports Lawson was arraigned Monday. He is free on bond.


Ex-Marine gets OK to play

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The NCAA has ruled that a Middle Tennessee football player who spent five years in the Marines will be allowed to compete this fall and that he will have four years of eligibility remaining.

It's a reversal from the NCAA's earlier decision to rule Steven Rhodes was ineligible because he played in a recreational league during his military service. School officials had said earlier Monday that they were working with NCAA officials to come up with a solution.


Stewart to miss rest of the season

UNDATED (AP) — The 2013 Sprint Cup season is over for Tony Stewart. The three-time Cup champion will miss the rest of the season because of broken bones in his right leg.

He will be replaced in the Stewart-Hass No. 14 car by Austin Dillon and Mark Martin. Stewart is expected to return in time for preseason testing in January 2014.

Stewart broke his right leg in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 in Iowa.