Wednesday's Sports In Brief

Wednesday's Sports In Brief
August 22, 2013, 3:30 am
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BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) Ichiro Suzuki slashed a single the opposite way with his unique swing for the 4,000th hit of a career split between Japan and the major leagues.

The 39-year-old Suzuki hit a liner off Toronto's R.A. Dickey that bounced just beyond diving third baseman Brett Lawrie in the first inning Wednesday night for the milestone hit.

Pete Rose with 4,256 hits and Ty Cobb with 4,191 are the only two players that have reached the number solely in the major leagues.

Suzuki broke a tie with Lou Gehrig when he got his 2,722nd major league hit in his 13th season. The speedy outfielder amassed 1,278 hits in nine seasons with Orix of Japan's Pacific League.

Suzuki's teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him at first base, Curtis Granderson giving him the first hug. A grinning Suzuki then faced the cheering fans and bowed, doffing his helmet. He bowed several more times, facing the Toronto dugout with the last one.

NEW YORK (AP) - Braves outfielder Jason Heyward sustained two jaw fractures when he was struck by a pitch from the Mets' Jonathon Niese and will have surgery on Thursday.

The Braves said that Heyward's jaw has been stabilized, and he was to return to Atlanta on Wednesday night in advance of the operation. The team will announce how long Heyward will be sidelined after surgery is completed.

Heyward was beaned by a 90 mph fastball from New York Mets left-hander in the sixth inning of the Braves' 4-1, 10-inning win. The impact made a loud noise, and the crowd groaned as Heyward crumpled to the ground.

He stayed down on his back for about three minutes before getting helped to his feet. Heyward walked slowly off the field under his own power, escorted by a trainer, and was replaced by Jordan Schafer.

NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez said he's cutting off all non-baseball talk after a wild weekend of accusations and retaliations on and off the field.

Playing while he appeals a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement and labor contract, the New York Yankees star and his fleet of lawyers and representatives sparred with the Yankees and Major League Baseball over his medical care and evidence in the doping case that stems from MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

``I think that's behind us now. I've shut everything down,'' Rodriguez said. ``I want everything to be 100 percent on baseball and that's what I want my guys to focus on.''

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TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) - Four-time major champion Maria Sharapova pulled out of the U.S. Open because of a right shoulder injury.

Sharapova, the 2006 champion at Flushing Meadows, has played only one match on tour since her second-round loss at Wimbledon in June.

``I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the U.S. Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn't enough time,'' read a message posted on Sharapova's Facebook page. ``I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly.''

The posting added that Sharapova plans ``on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation.''

The draw for the year's last Grand Slam tournament is Thursday, and play begins Monday.

NEW YORK (AP) - Former top-10 player Mardy Fish pulled out of the U.S. Open on Wednesday, the latest setback in his bid to make a comeback on tour after dealing with heart issues.

The U.S. Tennis Association said the 31-year-old American cited ``personal reasons'' for his withdrawal.

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PRO BASKETBALL

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul was elected president of the NBA players' association, replacing Derek Fisher and giving the reeling organization some much-needed star power.

The vote by NBA player representatives came six months after the union fired Billy Hunter as executive director, a position that remains vacant and follows about 18 months of in-fighting and drama that occurred during the negotiations for the latest collective bargaining agreement. Hunter countered with a wrongful-termination lawsuit in May, accusing Fisher of conspiring with NBA officials during the 2011 lockout.

``It's not about me as president or the first vice president, it's about the players as a whole,'' Paul said in a conference call.

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PRO FOOTBALL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ten former NFL players, including five Hall of Famers, want the league to pay if NFL Films uses images of them without their consent.

Attorney Jon King represents the players. He compares this class-action lawsuit to the lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA because they deal with an ``individuals rights to control the use of their image.''

On Tuesday, a group that includes Curley Culp and John Riggins filed a class-action suit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey to reclaim payment for the use of their names, images and likenesses from film footage they say was used on NFL Network and to promote the league without the former players consent.

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee signed a six-year contract extension, a deal that goes through the 2019 season.

A story on the team's website said Lee's deal is worth about $42 million, but could escalate as high as $51 million depending on different incentives. The guaranteed money is around $16 million.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Google has been holding talks with the NFL, raising speculation that the Internet powerhouse is seeking new inroads into television.

Other tech companies like Apple are reportedly in talks with cable providers to boost access to blockbuster television shows through their devices.

With Google sitting on a cash pile of $48 billion, the league's Sunday Ticket package is easily within its reach.

The contract is currently held by DirecTV, which pays about $1 billion annually for the rights. That contract, however, expires at the end of the 2014 season.

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith lost his cool in a preseason game, and it's going to keep him out of the team's season opener.

Smith was suspended by the NFL for Week 1 of the regular season and the last two preseason games for hitting Miami guard Richie Incognito with the Dolphins player's helmet.

Smith ripped the helmet off Incognito's head, then hit Incognito on the shoulder with it Saturday night' in the teams' preseason game.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - A person familiar with the situation says Chicago Bears linebacker Jonathan Bostic has been fined $21,000 for a hit during last week's preseason game against San Diego.

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston running back Arian Foster was removed from the physically unable to perform list and practiced with the Texans for the first time since May.

Foster strained his right calf in an offseason practice in late May and struggled with a sore back after recovering from that injury.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell is getting a second opinion on his sprained right foot and will miss Saturday night's preseason game against Kansas City.

Bell had an MRI on Tuesday after he was hurt in the first quarter of a 24-13 loss to Washington on Monday night. Coach Mike Tomlin says the team is still waiting for a final diagnosis.

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SAILING

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Skipper Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand completed a pair of near-flawless races, overpowering Italy's Luna Rossa to take a 4-1 lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.

In the first races of the series without a mechanical failure, Emirates looked every bit like the boat to beat on sparkling San Francisco Bay. Barker guided the Kiwis ahead by the first mark both times, leaving the Luna Rossa crew and its silver sailing gear glistening from behind the rest of the way.

Emirates won the first race by 2 minutes, 18 seconds and the second race by 1:28. The winner of the best-of-13 series will face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America's Cup starting Sept. 7.

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GYMNASTICS

Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas has left coach Liang Chow's program in Iowa to join her family in California.

Missy Parton, whose family hosted Douglas during her training in West Des Moines, says the 17-year-old left Iowa earlier this week to reunite with her family. Douglas' mom and her older siblings recently relocated from Virginia Beach, Va., to California. Parton stressed Douglas and Chow remain on ``good terms.''

Under Chow's guidance, Douglas won two gold medals in London last summer.