Yu Darvish was nearly perfect against the Astros once again, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and striking out a career-high 15 to lead the Texas Rangers over host Houston 2-1 Monday for their eighth straight win.
Darvish dominated the Astros until Carlos Corporan homered with one out in the eighth inning for Houston’s only hit.
Houston’s lone runner had come when rookie Jonathan Villar drew a two-out walk in the sixth on a full-count pitch. Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa.
• Tampa Bay bolstered its bullpen, claiming durable lefty Wesley Wright off waivers from the Astros.
• Former St. Louis Cardinals star Jack Clark is out of his sports talk radio job, and so is his co-host, after Clark’s on-air comments alleging that Albert Pujols took performance-enhancing drugs. Clark said on WGNU Radio in St. Louis that Pujols’ former trainer told him 10 years ago that he injected PEDs into the slugger. Pujols responded with a strong denial on Friday night and said he planned to take legal action against Clark and his employer.
• The Pirates will call up outfielder Andrew Lambo today. The Pirates also signed veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach, a former Indian, to a minor league contract. The 33-year-old Shoppach began the season in Seattle before being released in June.
• A trial is underway in Hastings, Michigan, for ex-major league outfielder Chad Curtis, a former Indian who is charged with inappropriately touching teen girls. The 44-year-old Curtis is accused of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.
McKnight falls to field
Jets running back Joe McKnight appeared to be OK after he was carted to the locker room, wearing an oxygen mask, after dropping to the field during a drill in Cortland, N.Y. McKnight, who has a history of migraine headaches, was recovering from a head injury and dealing with dehydration in training camp.
• Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, an Ohio State grad, said he is “getting better” but not sure when he’ll be able to play as he rehabilitates a foot injury that’s sidelined him since early last season.
• New York Giants leading tackler Antrel Rolle was carted off the field after hurting his right ankle. The nine-year safety was expected to have an MRI and other tests to determine the seriousness of the injury, coach Tom Coughlin said.
• Veteran kicker Ryan Longwell, the Packers’ all-time leading scorer, will be calling it quits.
• Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles left midway through the Chiefs’ practice with what coach Andy Reid called a strained foot. X-rays were negative.
• Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said there’s “no possibility” Robert Griffin III will play in the preseason, rebuffing the quarterback’s public lobbying effort. Shanahan also said he’s made no deal with Griffin about being patient during training camp in exchange for a promise to play in Week 1.
• Panthers coach Ron Rivera said backup offensive tackle Bruce Campbell will need surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Rivera said that the team hasn’t made a decision on if they’ll place Campbell on injured reserve.
• Kevin Kolb returned to practice for the first time since hurting his left knee and says he’s ready to compete with rookie EJ Manuel for Buffalo’s starting quarterback job in Pittsford, N.Y.
• The Eagles acquired wide receiver Jeff Maehl from Houston for offensive lineman Nate Menkin.
• The Southeastern Conference agreed to deals with nine bowl games, adding the Belk Bowl and Texas Bowl to its lineup starting next year. Along with a guaranteed spot in the College Football Playoff, the SEC has 10 postseason slots for 14 teams.
• Louisville and Miami are making efforts to avoid problems with players signing autographs. The Cardinals announced a planned autograph session at their upcoming Fan Day has been canceled, and the Hurricanes will only be permitting players to sign school-issued posters at their annual CanesFest.
76ers tab Brown as coach
The Philadelphia 76ers now have a new coach. A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press the Sixers hired San Antonio assistant Brett Brown to replace Doug Collins, who resigned in April.
• Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas has put his collection of personal memorabilia up for auction. A Middletown newspaper reports the auction is beginning online this week by New York-based Grey Flannel Auctions. Lucas played for championship teams the Knicks, Ohio State and even his Middletown High School. But the most valuable item is Lucas’ 1960 U.S. Olympic team gold medal, according to the auction house. It has a starting price of $250,000.
• Negotiations with restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic have dragged on formore than a month with no apparent end in sight. But that has done little to diminish Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders’ confidence that a deal will be worked out.
IOC upset with Russia
The Olympic leadership is angry with Russia for implementing anti-gay legislation ahead of the Winter Games, a senior IOC official said, insisting that there must be no restrictions on athletes in Sochi, Russia, next year.
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