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Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

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By The Associated Press

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

NFL

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.

Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.

Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, says it was “a consensual personal relationship.”

The New York Times first reported about the lawsuit.

The NFL declined to comment. Messages were left seeking comment from the Patriots.

Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders last week after clashing with the team throughout training camp. He agreed to a contract with New England on Saturday, but has yet to play for the Patriots.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets are getting some roster help from the most unlikely of sources: Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Adam Gase’s squad acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick on Tuesday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams had not yet announced the trade.

The deal is the first trade between the AFC East rivals since Belichick took over as the Patriots’ coach in 2000. The last trade between the teams was actually when Belichick left the Jets for the Patriots, and New York got a first-round pick.

Thomas became expendable for the Patriots when they signed Antonio Brown over the weekend.

The 31-year-old Thomas gives the Jets’ receiving group an immediate boost, joining Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder.

—By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd was suspended six games Tuesday by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers.

Shepherd will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 28, following New York’s game at Jacksonville.

Shepherd was inactive for the Jets’ season opener against Buffalo on Sunday. The second-year defensive lineman from Fort Hays State was a third-round draft pick by New York last year. The native of Ajax, Ontario, had 18 tackles and five quarterback hits while starting five of 16 games as a rookie.

Shepherd told NFL.com he failed two tests this summer — on June 27 and July 25 — while recovering from shoulder and groin injuries. He added that an MRI on his groin revealed a sports hernia, and his hunched posture after having that procedure resulted in two herniated disks in his back.

BASEBALL

MIAMI (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich broke his right kneecap on a foul ball Tuesday night and will miss the rest of the regular season.

The Brewers didn’t say whether the reigning NL MVP might be able to return for the playoffs that begin Oct. 1 if they make it that far. Milwaukee began the day two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.

Yelich fouled a ball off his right leg in the first inning against Miami. He was down on the ground for several minutes before limping off the field.

Yelich hit .329 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs along with 30 stolen bases this season. The outfielder was leading the majors in slugging percentage and OPS when he was hurt.

Trent Grisham continued Yelich’s at-bat with a 1-2 count and struck out — the strikeout was charged to Yelich.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their seventh consecutive NL West title in fitting fashion, using two home runs by Corey Seager and a masterful pitching performance by Walker Buehler to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night.

After the final out, the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season gathered at the mound for a subdued celebration that included a wardrobe change for a pending champagne celebration in the clubhouse.

Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses to Houston and Boston and seeking its first title since 1988, will likely begin the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 against the NL wild-card team.

The Dodgers, with a power-packed lineup and imposing rotation, gained sole possession of first place on April 17 and never looked back. Their final pursuer was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who started the day a whopping 17½ games out of first place.

This is the earliest that Los Angeles (94-52) has ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games. The 1977 team did it in Game 151, and the 2013 club clinched on Sept. 19.

Last year, the Dodgers didn’t wrap up the division until the 163rd game of the season, defeating Colorado in a playoff on Oct. 1.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have placed center fielder Byron Buxton and his ailing left shoulder on the 60-day injured list, ending his season and leaving the American League Central leaders without their best defensive player for the rest of the pennant race and beyond.

Minnesota made the move on Tuesday before a three-game series against Washington, as Buxton was having surgery to repair a damaged labrum. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton likely would need five to six months to recover, putting his readiness for the start of spring training in question.

HOCKEY

The New Jersey Devils have re-signed restricted free agent center Pavel Zacha to a three-year, $6.75 million contract.

The signing on Tuesday happened days before the Devils open training camp.

In a statement released by the team Tuesday, Shero said he was pleased to have the contract completed and called Zacha an “important part of our team.”

The 22-year-old Zacha is from the Czech Republic and had a career-best 13 goals in 61 games last season. Overall, he has 29 goals and 47 assists for 76 points in 201 career NHL games.

GOLF

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) — The United States was forced into a change three days before the start of the Solheim Cup after Stacy Lewis pulled out because of a back injury.

U.S. captain Juli Inkster replaced Lewis with Ally McDonald, who will make her debut in the team event.

Lewis, who was one of Inkster’s two captain’s picks, is a former No. 1 in the world ranking and a two-time major champion. She would have been playing in her fifth Solheim Cup.

Lewis said her back injury flared up last week, and has decided to withdraw “in the best interest of the team.”

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Paul Menard has decided to walk away from NASCAR’s top level after more than 460 races and Wood Brothers Racing is replacing him with Matt DiBenedetto in the iconic No. 21 Ford next season.

After spending 16 years in the Cup Series, Menard said Tuesday he wants to step back from full-time racing to spend more time with his family. The 39-year-old driver, whose only win came at the Brickyard 400 in 2011, has two young children with his wife, Jennifer.

Menard joins David Ragan in becoming the second veteran driver to retire this season.

His decision is a gift to DiBenedetto, who has been solid this season but learned last month he wasn’t being retained at Leavine Family Racing next year. And with few rides expected to be available this offseason, the 28-year-old DiBenedetto was unsure if he would land a competitive ride.

PARIS (AP) — Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has been admitted to a Paris hospital to be treated Tuesday with cutting-edge stem-cell therapy, according to a French newspaper.

The Paris hospitals authority, citing France’s strict medical privacy rules, said it could not comment on the report in Le Parisien that Schumacher was admitted under tight guard Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital for transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells.

The newspaper said the 50-year-old German, who suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps, was expected to be discharged on Wednesday.

His long-time manager, Sabine Kehm, had no comment.

Following the accident, Schumacher’s condition stabilized after he was placed in a drug-induced coma, from which he later emerged. Since September 2014, he has been cared for at home on the shores of Lake Geneva.

SOCCER

PARIS (AP) — Referees have been told by the head of French soccer to ignore a FIFA directive and no longer stop matches when there is homophobic chanting.

In response, anti-discrimination groups urged Noël Le Graët, the French Football Federation president, to resign.

Several league games in the top two French divisions have been halted by referees this season. But Le Graët wants referees to let play continue if there are more homophobic chants, starting from this weekend.

TENNIS

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson says he will take the rest of the 2019 season off as he continues to recover from a right knee injury.

The hard-serving South African hasn’t played in a tournament since losing in the third round of Wimbledon in July, and pulled out of the U.S. Open because of his knee problems.

He said on Twitter on Tuesday that he will not play again until next year. In a statement, Anderson said: “I have spoken with my team, consulted with doctors, and we have decided that the best course of action is to take the rest of the year off and prepare for 2020. This will give me enough time to undergo more rehab processes and get healthy.”

The 33-year-old Anderson was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows in 2017 and to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year.

OBITUARY

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball, who played college football at Florida after recovering from brain surgery, has died at age 27.

Ball’s sister, Natalie Ball Myricks, released a statement announcing her brother’s passing early Tuesday. Ball’s agency, the Sports & Entertainment Group in Washington, D.C., confirmed his death to The Associated Press.

Ball’s death came nearly a year after he suffered a brain aneurysm and was placed in a medically induced coma at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. In late July, the Ball family announced that the Georgia native was out of the coma but was a quadriplegic.

Ball sat out his sophomore season at Florida in 2011 because of a congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation, which causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture. He recovered after a year away and played in 33 games — with 16 starts — during his final three seasons in Gainesville.

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Brian Barnes, the charismatic English golfer who beat Jack Nicklaus twice in one day in Ryder Cup singles matches, has died after a short illness. He was 74.

The European Tour said Barnes, who had cancer, died on Monday with family members by his side.

A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Barnes — known for playing with a pipe in his mouth and a bottle of vodka and orange juice in his bag — was most famous for his two victories over Nicklaus at Laurel Valley, Pennsylvania, in 1975 when the Ryder Cup was a contest between the United States and Britain & Ireland.

Barnes won in the morning singles, 4 and 2, and Nicklaus asked U.S captain Arnold Palmer if he could play Barnes again in the afternoon. Bernard Hunt, Europe’s captain, agreed to a change in the draw and Barnes won again, 2 and 1.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Longtime sportscaster and announcer Fred McLeod has died at 67.

McLeod did TV play-by play coverage of the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs said McLeod died suddenly Monday night but did not elaborate. They called him a “great friend and teammate” and a “heart-felt ambassador.”

LeBron James, who helped end Cleveland’s title drought, said on Twitter: “May you rest in Paradise my friend!”

A Cleveland-area native, McLeod called the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, the first title won by one of the city’s three major sports franchises since 1964.

McLeod spent 22 seasons announcing Pistons games before joining the Cavs in 2006. He recently celebrated his 36th season in broadcasting. McLeod also served as a TV announcer for the Indians and Tigers.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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