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Sports Report: Pirates Clinch Playoff Spot



In Major League Baseball, in the National League, pencil the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball's postseason dance. The surging Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the free-falling Atlanta Braves. The Pirates' 11th win in 13 games, combined with Milwaukee's 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, assured Pittsburgh of no worse than an NL wild card. Meanwhile Washington doubled up the Mets 4-2, Miami blanked Philadelphia 2-0, Cincinnati defeated Milwaukee 3-1, the Cubs edged St. Louis 4-3 in 10, and the Dodgers beat San Francisco 4-2, dropping their magic number to one for clinching the NL West.

In the American League, Baltimore edged the Yankees 5-4. Nelson Cruz hit his major league-leading 40th home run for the O's. The Yankees fell five games behind for the second AL wild card with only five games left. Elsewhere Tamp Bay tripled up Boston 6-2, Toronto blew out Seattle 10-2, Texas slid past Houston 2-1, Kansas City bested Cleveland 10-2, Detroit won against the White Sox 4-3, and it was the Angels over Oakland 2-0.

In interleague play, Minnesota doubled up Arizona 6-3.

Retiring Commissioner Bud Selig hopes Derek Jeter will join baseball's ownership ranks after retiring as a player. The New York Yankees captain says owning a team is the only job in the sport that interests him. Selig presented Jeter with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award yesterday.

Philadelphia Little League sensation Mo'ne Davis is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Davis, the first girl to win a game at the Little League Baseball World Series, will donate the jersey she wore during the game to the museum on Thursday. She'll be accompanied by teammates from both her Little League World Series team and the travel team she's played on since she was 7.

General manager Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets have completed a contract extension that runs through 2017.Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon says the team has exercised Alderson's option for next season and added two years to his deal. Alderson confirmed that manager Terry Collins will return next year. Collins is under contract through next season, with an option for 2016.

Baseball officials have started meeting with groups as the sport starts a process that could lead to revising its domestic violence policy. Commissioner Bud Selig didn't specify which groups when he spoke at a news conference but did say "we're doing a lot of work ourself now" and "it's a subject very much under scrutiny." Esta Soler, president of Futures Without Violence, said last week that MLB reached out to her group, which works to prevent domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.


So much for James Harrison's retirement. The Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing back the volatile five-time Pro Bowler to add a veteran presence to a depleted linebacker group.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the 36-year-old Harrison about the "climate change" around domestic violence before re-signing him.

Harrison was arrested in 2008 on assault and criminal mischief charges following an altercation with his then-girlfriend. The charges were dropped after Harrison completed anger management classes. He was not suspended by the team.

The Steelers need pass rushing help after losing linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones to injury in Sunday night's win

Police say Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer broke his wife's nose with a head-butt during an argument that began after she learned about his recent phone contact with another woman.

That's according to search-warrant records made public Tuesday. The police say the July 21 argument came after Dwyer's wife came to believe her husband was cheating. Dwyer was arrested last week after his wife told police her husband assaulted her on July 21 and 22 at their Phoenix apartment.


NCAA President Mark Emmert believes it is the responsibility of individual schools to handle issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and that a spate of recent cases reflects greater societal problems. Just this week, Tennessee dismissed a freshman running back who reportedly struck an ex-girlfriend at a party over the weekend.

John Toner, the retired athletic director credited with helping build the University of Connecticut into a college athletics power and hiring its best-known coaches, has died. He was 91. Toner's death was announced by the university, where he was athletics director emeritus. UConn says he died yesterday in Savannah, Georgia, where he lived in retirement.


Sue Bird became the first American player to make four world championship teams when USA Basketball announced its roster. Bird won gold medals in 2002 and 2010 and a bronze medal in 2006.

Joining her on the final roster were veterans Diana Taurasi (tohr-AH'-see), Candice Dupree, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus. All seven of them have world championship experience, with Augustus playing on the 2006 team and the other six on the 2010 team that won a gold medal in the Czech Republic.

Brittney Griner, Nneka Ogwumike, Odyssey Sims and Breanna Stewart will make their first appearance at the world championship, which begins Saturday in Istanbul.

©2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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