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Tanaka Will Start Sunday Vs. Blue Jays


Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to start Sunday in the team's game versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 25-year-old rookie from Japan has been out for more than two months after partially tearing his ulnar collateral ligament.

Tanaka threw 65 pitches during a simulated game on Monday and had no setbacks.

Tanaka is coming back because the team wants to make sure he will not need Tommy John surgery.

"More than anything, I want to see if my body is able to go fully on a major-league mound," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "That's by far most important to me. Also, to be able to contribute in the team's win would be something important to me, too."

Yankees skipper Joe Girardi says Tanaka will throw 70-75 pitches against the Blue Jays.

Before getting injured, Tanaka made 18 starts this season, pitching 129 1/3 innings while recording a 2.51 ERA, 135 strikeouts, 19 walks and a 1.01 WHIP.

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Ducks Re-Sign Winger Smith-Pelly


Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Winger Devante Smith-Pelly signed a new two-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday that will keep him with the team through the 2015-16 NHL season.

ESPN.com reports the deal is worth $800,000 per season.

"I’m pretty relieved to get it done," Smith-Pelly said to the team's website. "This is my first process going through something like this, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take. There’s a long process to it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to come this close to camp, but at the same time, I knew something would get done before."

The 22-year-old Smith-Pelly played in 19 regular-season games for the Ducks last season, recording two goals and eight assists.

Smith-Pelly also played in 12 games in the 2014 NHL postseason, leading the Ducks with five goals.

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Josh Gordon Pleads Guilty to DWI Charge


Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday.

The charge for the DWI had been pending since July.

According to ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder, Gordon's guilty plea was made with the hope that he can avoid a mandatory two-game suspension, which is one of the new rules that would come into effect when the league and the NFLPA finalize their new drug policy.

After failing a marijuana test, Gordon received a season-long suspension, but under the new drug policy, it's expected the suspension will be reduced to 10 games.

If Gordon can't avoid the two-game suspension for the DWI, he would miss 12 games this season.

In 14 games last season, Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.

 

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Vikings Place Peterson on Exempt List


Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Minnesota Vikings have announced that Adrian Peterson has been placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list and will not play this Sunday.

The decision comes after the team announced earlier this week that it was reinstating him while the legal process involving charges of child abuse against the running back proceeded.

The Vikings now say Peterson will not be allowed to participate in any team activities until his legal matters are behind him.

The Vikings issued the following statement:

“This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson.  In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.”

The statement continues: "We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. We embrace our role - and the responsibilities that go with it – as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.
 
While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian. We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.
 
We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision. We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision."

The statement is signed by team owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf.

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Orioles Clinch AL East for First Time Since 1997


Baltimore Orioles/MLB(BALTIMORE) -- For the first time since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles are the American League East champions.

"It's everything I hoped for, man. It's an awesome experience," Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, who has played with Baltimore since 2006, said. "We worked hard all season long to get where we are now. We got one step out of the way. Now we have a couple more steps to go."

First baseman Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer to help the Orioles top the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2, giving the O's their ninth win in 10 games.

"We're AL East champs," Pearce said while celebrating in the clubhouse. "Awesome."

It's the ninth time the Orioles have won the division, but only the second time since 1983, when they won the World Series.

Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9) earned the win, pitching five innings and allowing two hits, two runs, and four walks while striking out six.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 9/16/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (80-70) – Boston Red Sox 0 (66-85)

Baltimore Orioles 8 (91-60) – Toronto Blue Jays 2 (77-73)

New York Mets 9 (73-79) – Miami Marlins 1 (73-77)

Tampa Bay Rays 6 (74-78) – New York Yankees 1 (76-74)

Washington Nationals 3 (87-63) – Atlanta Braves 0 (75-76)

Chicago Cubs 7 (67-84) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (71-81)

Minnesota Twins 4 (64-87) – Detroit Tigers 3 (84-67) 

San Francisco Giants 2 (83-68) - Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (62-89)

Colorado Rockies 10 (60-91) - Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (86-65)

Cleveland Indians 4 (77-73) - Houston Astros 2 (67-84)

Milwaukee Brewers 3 (79-72) - St. Louis Cardinals 2 (83-68) -12 Innings

San Diego Padres 5 (70-80) - Philadelphia Phillies 4 (69-82)

Texas Rangers 6 (58-92) - Oakland Athletics 3 (83-67)

Seattle Mariners 13 (81-69) - Los Angeles Angels 2 (94-57)

Chicago White Sox 7 (69-82) - Kansas City Royals 5 (82-68)

 

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Grand Jury to Hear Tony Stewart's Case


BananaStock(CANANDAIGUA, N.Y.) -- NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart will have his sprint car case in New York presented in front of a grand jury, Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said on Tuesday.

“Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter,” Tantillo said.

Stewart’s car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on August 9. After Stewart spun him out, Ward climbed out of his car to confront Stewart while the race was still taking place.

“I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office in investigating this tragic accident,” Stewart said in a statement. “I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.”

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N.Y. Yankees INF/OF Martin Prado Placed on 60-Day DL


iStockphoto(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- New York Yankees infielder/outfielder Martin Prado will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an emergency appendectomy early Tuesday morning. The team placed him on the 60-day disabled list.

The Yankees acquired Prado in a trade on July 31 from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league catcher Pete O’Brien and a player to be named.  In 37 games with New York, the former All-Star batted .317 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs. He also scored 18 runs and swiped a base.

To take Prado’s spot on the roster, the Yankees added infielder/outfielder Jose Pirela.

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ESPN: Clippers Sign Australian Guard Joe Ingles


Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After showing his skills for all to see at the FIBA World Cup, ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Clippers have signed Australian guard Joe Ingles to a one-year deal.

Ingles received plenty of interest around NBA circles, even being heavily pursued by the Philadelphia 76ers as well as the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 26-year-old, who has the ability to play small forward and shooting guard, spent last season at Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel while playing for new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt.

Ingles is known a true shooter with great size as he checks in at 6-foot-8. During the FIBA World Cup, Ingles showed his potential as he went 23-for-33, including 6-for-9 on 3-pointers, in the tournament.

He nearly came to the NBA last season but decided to spend one more season playing international basketball.

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Linebacker John Abraham Returns to the Cardinals


David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- Even though he recently contemplated retirement, linebacker John Abraham is rejoining the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday.

Abraham suffered a concussion in the team's season opener against the San Diego Chargers. He was suffering from apparent memory loss, and at age 36, his playing career was in doubt. He was even doubting his desire to play football anymore, but now Abraham is feeling much better and is ready to resume his football career.

"A lot of it was to do with the headaches," Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said. "First real big one he's ever had. There's other things that we're dealing with, and he's fine with those."

"He's ready to play," Arians added.

Abraham is in his 14th NFL sesaon and is the NFL's active leader in sacks at 133.5. He ranks ninth on the all-time sack list as well.

It is currently unknown if Abraham will be activated for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

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