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News Summaries from The Sports Network - Tuesday, September 30



Raiders fire Allen, name Sparano interim coach



Alameda, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Raiders made it official on Tuesday and announced the firing of head coach Dennis Allen.

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano has been selected as the interim coach.

Numerous reports of Allen's dismissal came Monday night, a day after the Raiders fell to 0-4 for the season. General manager Reggie McKenzie released a statement Tuesday to confirm the decision.

"After thorough evaluation, we have determined to move in another direction," said McKenzie. "We appreciate Dennis Allen's dedication to the organization and wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future."

Allen was in his third season as Raiders' coach. He led the team to a pair of 4-12 records before this year's disastrous start.

The Raiders have lost 10 straight games dating back to last year, and this year's squad has yet to score more than 14 points in any of its four games.

Oakland has a bye this week after its 38-14 loss to Miami on Sunday in London.

Sparano will be an NFL head coach for the second time, previously guiding the Dolphins to a record of 29-32 in nearly four full seasons. He took over in 2008 after the Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007 and led Miami to a mark of 11-5 with a surprising AFC East title.

However, a pair of 7-9 campaigns followed and he was fired in December 2011 after a 4-9 start that included losses in the first seven games.

Sparano served as the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets in 2012 before joining the Raiders as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach last year.

"Tony Sparano has a strong presence in this organization," said McKenzie. "His experience and leadership qualities will serve the team well in helping reach the goal of everyone here, which is to win football games."

Sparano, a head coach for five years at Division II New Haven, was also an assistant with the Cleveland Browns from 1999-2000, the Washington Redskins in 2001 and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002. He then joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 and spent five seasons in various roles before becoming the Dolphins' head coach.

His first game in charge of the Raiders will come Oct. 12 at home against San Diego.

Colts give Mathis 1-year extension



Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts extended the contract of Robert Mathis for an additional season, the team announced Tuesday.

Mathis, 33, is now under contract through 2016.

The star linebacker was suspended for the first four games after violating the league's performance-enhancing substance policy, then suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon while working out on his own.

Mathis led the NFL last season with 19 1/2 sacks.

The Colts also signed cornerback Jalil Brown to the active roster and added wide receiver Chandler Jones and linebacker Rob Ruggiero to the practice squad.

Michigan AD: Morris' injury not handled properly



Ann Arbor, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon issued a statement early Tuesday morning regarding quarterback Shane Morris' injury status and how it was handled on the sideline during Saturday's game against Minnesota.

Brandon said it appeared Morris did suffer a probable mild concussion in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Gophers and returned to the contest.

Morris, who had sustained an ankle injury earlier in the game, took a hit from Minnesota's Theiren Cockran and stumbled. The medical training staff did not see the hit and believed the stumble might have resulted from the ankle injury.

"Shane came off the field after the following play and was reassessed by the head athletic trainer for the ankle injury," said Brandon. "Since the athletic trainer had not seen the hit to the chin and was not aware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, he cleared Shane for one additional play."

Brandon said the team neurologist was further down the sideline and was making his way toward the coaches and players to evaluate Morris.

"The neurologist and other team physicians were not aware that Shane was being asked to return to the field, and Shane left the bench when he heard his name called and went back into the game," Brandon said. "Under these circumstances, a player should not be allowed to re-enter the game before being cleared by the team physician. This clearly identifies the need for improvements in our sideline and communications processes."

Brandon said Morris was eventually diagnosed with a probable mild concussion and a high ankle sprain, but that the concussion was not clearly evident on the field Saturday or immediately after the game. Morris was evaluated twice since Saturday and Brandon said coach Brady Hoke was not made aware of the updated diagnosis before his press conference on Monday.

Hoke, on Monday, said he knew Morris had an ankle injury, but had not been told of a possible concussion.

Brandon said in the statement that the school will now have a medical staff member in the press box or video booth to ensure better communication with trainers and doctors on the sideline.

Harper, Morneau and Altuve added to Japan Tour roster



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and batting champions Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies and Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros were announced as additions to the roster for baseball's tour of Japan this November.

The trio will be part of a squad that already includes Seattle's Robinson Cano, Baltimore's Adam Jones, the Angels' Albert Pujols and the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig.

Boston's John Farrell will be the manager for the team, replacing Ron Washington, who had initially been selected as the skipper in August before resigning as manager of the Texas Rangers in September.

The MLB team will play a five-game series against a squad of Japanese League All-Stars.

It will mark the 11th All-Star series and the 36th time overall that a team of Major League Baseball players will tour Japan for games. The current five-game format was adopted in 2006, the last time a group of MLB stars squared off against a team of Japan All-Stars. The MLB team went 5-0 eight years ago.

The opening game will take place in Osaka on Nov. 12 before heading to Tokyo for three games on the weekend of Nov. 14-16. The final game of the series will be in Sapporo on Nov. 18.

Two exhibition games will bookend the series -- the first on Nov. 11 and the last on Nov. 20.

Tigers 1B Cabrera named AL Player of the Month



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - For the second straight month, a Detroit Tigers player has earned Player of the Month honors in the junior circuit. This time, it's first baseman Miguel Cabrera, named on Tuesday.

Victor Martinez had been rewarded for August.

Cabrera capped his 2014 campaign and helped his team to a fourth straight AL Central crown by exploding for a .379 average along with eight home runs, 10 doubles, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored over 26 contests.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan, nine-time All-Star and two-time reigning AL MVP also finished atop the league in slugging percentage (.709), extra-base hits (12) and total bases (73), ranked second in total hits and ninth with an on- base pct. of .409.

Cabrera was previously honored as the junior circuit's top player for July of 2008, August 2012 and July '13.

Others considered for mention were AL batting champ and Astros infielder Jose Altuve, Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley and Angels infielder Howie Kendrick.

Yanks' Beltran undergoes elbow surgery



Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees announced on Tuesday that outfielder Carlos Beltran underwent surgery to remove loose pieces and a bone spur from his right elbow.

Beltran is expected to begin throwing and hitting in six weeks and should gain clearance to play in 12 weeks.

The 37-year-old played in just three games after Sept. 9 because of the issue. He concluded his first season with the Yankees batting a disappointing .233 with 15 homers and 49 RBI over 109 games.

Indians' Kluber wins AL Pitcher of the Month



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber was named the American League Pitcher of the Month on Tuesday.

Kluber posted a 5-1 mark for the final month of the season, notching a 2.09 earned run average and striking out a Major League-leading 56 batters over 43 innings.

After getting tagged for five runs in just 2 2/3 innings in a loss to Detroit to open the month, Kluber won his next five starts, beginning with a complete game against the White Sox.

He lasted at least seven innings in each of his five final starts, and allowed just five earned runs over that time to earn his first monthly award.

The Cy Young candidate went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 34 games this season.

Wainwright named top NL pitcher for September

Red Sox P Buchholz has knee surgery



Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the meniscus in his right knee.

The team said the 30-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

Buchholz was 8-11 with a 5.34 earned run average in 28 starts this season. The right-hander had 132 strikeouts and walked 54 in 170 1/3 innings.

Dodgers OF Kemp is NL Player of the Month



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was named the National League Player of the Month for September on Tuesday.

Kemp completed the season's final month with seven multi-hit performances, and reached the 20-homer plateau for the fifth time in his career. A two-time All- Star, Kemp led the majors with nine home runs and tied teammate Adrian Gonzalez with 25 RBI, while also hitting .322 and posting a .700 slugging percentage.

His finest stretch occurred at Wrigley Field from Sept. 18-21, when he finished 7-for-17 with two homers and eight RBI over the four-game set.

Kemp had previously taken home monthly honors in April of 2012.

Mets pitcher deGrom named top NL rookie



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom was honored on Tuesday as the National League Rookie of the Month for September.

The 26-year-old right-hander completed his 2014 season by going 2-0 in four starts during which he accumulated 38 strikeouts in just 27 innings. He finished the year by striking out 144 batters in 140 1/3 frames, both tops among NL freshmen.

On Sept. 15 against the Miami Marlins, deGrom posted a season-high 13 strikeouts in a no-decision, but tied a major-league record by fanning the first eight batters he faced.

It's the second time this season the Stetson University product was rewarded for his work, after an initial nod back in July.

Others considered were Phillies reliever Ken Giles, Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, San Diego hurler Kevin Quackenbush and Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud.

Sale of Islanders approved by NHL Board of Governors



New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin are one step closer to a controlling interest in the New York Islanders.

On Tuesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that the league's Board of Governors approved the move to transfer a majority interest from current owner Charles Wang to the duo within two years.

Bettman added that the official agreement between Wang, Ledecky, Malkin and the NHL is expected to be closed before the start of the regular season.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow because there is some work to do, but I think they're probably shooting to get it done before the start of the season next week," Bettman said. "If they miss it, that doesn't mean anything bad."

The Islanders are heading into their final season calling the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum home. Next year, the four-time Stanley Cup champions will take up residence in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

Olympian Michael Phelps arrested for DUI



Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps was arrested on a DUI charge early Tuesday morning.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, Phelps was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines within the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 in Baltimore. He was later released.

The MDTA report said Phelps was driving a 2014 white Land Rover at a speed of 84 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. An officer pulled the vehicle over beyond the tunnel's toll plaza and Phelps failed to perform the standard field sobriety tests. He was cooperative throughout the process.

This is Phelps' second arrest on DUI-related charges, with the first coming in 2004 for which he received 18 months' probation and a $250 fine.

Phelps has won a record 18 Olympic gold medals and 22 overall.

Nadal returns a winner; Djokovic also advances in Beijing



Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Playing his first tennis in months, former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal returned with a victory at the $2.5 million China Open tennis event. Current No. 1 Novak Djokovic also notched a first- round victory on Tuesday.

Showing no signs of rust, the second-seeded Nadal handled Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-0 on the hardcourts at Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center, where the Spanish great captured an Olympic gold medal in 2008.

Nadal is now 13-0 lifetime versus Gasquet.

Last year's Beijing runner-up Nadal played his first tennis since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon, as he had been sidelined with a right wrist injury for three months.

"Three months without a match, winning against a player who is a good player like Richard, is a very positive comeback for me," Nadal said.

Nadal's second-round opponent on Thursday will be German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.

The top-seeded Djokovic, meanwhile, waltzed past Spaniard Guillermo Garcia- Lopez 6-2, 6-1.

Djokovic is now 20-0 in Beijing, where he's a four-time champion. He beat the 2005 titlist Nadal in last year's final for a second straight title here.

Up next for the super Serb will be Canadian Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.

In other action involving seeds, No. 3 Tomas Berdych, the 2011 China Open champ, blitzed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-2; No. 6 Andy Murray overcame 6-foot-8 Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 6-2; No. 7 Ernests Gulbis dismissed Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4; and No. 8 towering American John Isner drilled Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-3. Murray is fresh off his first title in 15 months after running the table in Shenzhen, China, last week.

Additional wins came for Spaniards Tommy Robredo, the 2007 China Open runner- up, and Pablo Andujar, Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan, and the aforementioned Gojowczyk.

Serena, Halep, Sharapova reach third round in Beijing



Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion Serena Williams, second seed Simona Halep and former finalist Maria Sharapova were among Tuesday's second-round winners at the $5.4 million China Open.

The world No. 1 great and two-time China Open champ Williams subdued Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center.

Williams, who won her 18th Grand Slam singles title in New York earlier this month, beat Jelena Jankovic for last year's Beijing title and also captured this Chinese event back in 2004.

Her third-round opponent will be Czech Lucie Safarova.

Meanwhile, the French Open runner-up Halep handled Chinese Lin Zhu 7-5, 6-4 and the fourth-seeded former top-ranked star Sharapova shut down Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center. Sharapova was the Beijing runner-up two years ago.

Top-10 upsets came when Italian Roberta Vinci bounced fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 and last year's Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki doused this year's Wimbledon runner-up, eighth seed Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2, 6-4. Radwanska titled here in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2009. Bouchard was last week's Wuhan, China, runner-up to Petra Kvitova.

Several other stars took to the courts in Beijing on Day 4.

Seventh seed Angelique Kerber eased past Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-1, while ninth-seeded former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic cruised past Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-4, 6-2.

Also, 12th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova beat Slovenian Polona Hercog 7-5, 6-0; a 13th-seeded Safarova leveled German Mona Barthel 6-3, 6-3; Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro upended 14th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; 15th-seeded German and 2011 Beijing runner-up Andrea Petkovic erased American Madison Keys 6-2, 6-3; and 16th-seeded Venus Williams vaulted past Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3. Venus was upset by Garcia in the first round in Wuhan last week.

Another second-round result saw two-time China Open winner and two-time runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova drill Japanese Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-1.

On Wednesday, the hot third-seeded Wimbledon titlist Kvitova, fresh off her title in Wuhan, will take on Chinese Peng Shuai in the second round, Sharapova will encounter Suarez Navarro in the third round, and sixth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki will battle former U.S. Open champ Samantha Stosur in the second round. Wozniacki was the China Open champion in 2010.

Wawrinka ousted in Tokyo



Tokyo, Japan (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka came up a first-round loser Tuesday at the $1.2 million Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Japanese wild card Tatsuma Ito stunned the Swiss slugger Wawrinka in 7-5, 6-2 fashion on the hardcourts at Ariake Colosseum.

Wawrinka said, "It was not a good day at the office. He started well and then I was trying to come back in the match. First round matches are never easy. He played well, particularly at the end of the first set when he was very aggressive."

Third-seeded Canadian star Milos Raonic avoided an upset by tackling Aussie Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. The reigning two-time Tokyo runner-up Raonic lost to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in last year's finale.

More upsets occurred when Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny outlasted fifth- seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (11-9) and France's Gilles Simon grounded sixth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 2-1, retired. Tsonga was the Tokyo champ in 2009.

Also advancing on Day 2 were Austrian Jurgen Melzer, German Benjamin Becker, American Donald Young, and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

The first round will conclude Wednesday when heavy Japanese crowd favorite, fourth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori, takes on Croat Ivan Dodig. Nishikori was the Tokyo titlist in 2012 and is fresh off his title in Kuala Lumpur last week.

This week's winner will collect $296,850.

Ogwumike paces U.S. women in dominant win over Angola



Istanbul, Turkey (SportsNetwork.com) - Nnemkadi Ogwumike tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds as the United States rolled to a 119-44 win over Angola in the final game of the group stage at the women's FIBA World Championship.

The U.S. won Group D with a 3-0 record, winning games over China, Serbia and Angola by an average of 42 points.

Brittney Griner chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds for the United States, which gets to rest for two days before returning to the court in Friday's quarterfinals.

Minnesota Lynx teammates Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. All 12 members of Team USA scored at least two points.

The heavily-favored Americans controlled this one from the opening tip, jumping out to a 12-0 lead four minutes in before Nacissela Mauricio finally put Angola on the board with a 3-pointer.

Rosa Gala beat the first quarter buzzer with a deep 3-pointer, but it only brought the African champs with 22 points, 33-11.

Moore ended the first half with a three-point play that sent the Americans into halftime with a 61-25 lead.

Nadir Manuel had 11 points to pace Angola.

Calgary pair headline CFL's best for Week 14



Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Calgary Stampeders teammates Jon Cornish and Jock Sanders were among the standout players for Week 14 of the CFL season.

Cornish was named the top Canadian for the fourth time this year after rushing for 156 yards in a 14-7 win over British Columbia. Sanders earned the special teams award after averaging 16.8 yards on six punt returns.

Edmonton Eskimos running back John White was named the offensive player of the week after rushing for a career-high 192 yards and a touchdown in a 24-0 win over Saskatchewan. He also caught a touchdown pass.

Montreal Alouettes linebacker Bear Woods recorded a sack among his nine tackles and forced a fumble in a 15-7 win at Ottawa to take home defensive honors.

09/30 21:26:27 ET