Digest for 08-21-13


LOCAL

Hunter triples in loss to Twins

DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter tripled and walked but failed to come through twice with men on base in the Detroit Tigers’ 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.

Hunter tripled to lead off the sixth inning and came into score on Prince Fielder’s groundout. With a runner on second, he worked a two-out walk in the ninth to bring Miguel Cabrera to the plate with a chance to tie the score, but Cabrera struck out swinging to end the game.

Hunter himself struggled with runners on base. He came up twice in the game with runners on first and second but failed to produce any runs. In the third inning he grounded into a double play, and in the seventh he popped out to first.

REGIONAL

Texans’ Smith suspended for helmet-tossing incident

NEW YORK — The NFL has suspended Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith for the 2013 regular-season opener for throwing the helmet of Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito at his opponent in last week’s preseason game, NFL.com reported Tuesday.

Smith will also be barred from participating in Houston’s final two preseason contests as a result of the incident, which occurred during the second quarter of the Texans’ 24-17 win over the Dolphins on Saturday. Smith ripped the helmet off Incognito as the two were engaged in a play, then fired it back at the Miami lineman nearly hitting him.

The eight-year veteran will be able to appeal the penalty. If his plea is denied, Smith will miss Houston’s Week 1 matchup against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 8.

NATIONAL

Dempster suspended five games for throwing at A-Rod

NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster has been suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Dempster hit Rodriguez with a pitch in the top of the second inning of Sunday’s game at Fenway Park. The right-hander’s first offering went behind Rodriguez and the next two pitches were inside before the fourth hit Rodriguez.

The benches and dugouts briefly cleared while Yankees manager Joe Girardi vehemently argued with umpire Brian O’Nora, who did not eject Dempster and instead issued warnings to both teams. Girardi, who was visibly upset and ejected, was also fined on Tuesday.

Broncos LB Miller hit with 6-game suspension

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The National Football League made it official on Tuesday, suspending Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller for the first six games of the 2013 season for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

The 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year will be allowed to return to game action for the Broncos’ contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 20.

“The Substances of Abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules. Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules,” Miller said in a statement issued shortly after the ruling.

Miller was the second overall pick in the 2011 draft. He recorded 64 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in his first season to earn the league’s top rookie award on defense. The 24-year-old Texas A&M product built on his impressive debut campaign by posting 68 tackles and 18 1/2 sacks in 2012.

Denver opens the season against the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5, then faces the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars over the following five weeks.

Vick named Eagles’ starting QB

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly has ended the quarterback competition and named Michael Vick the starter for the 2013 season.

Vick and Nick Foles had been vying for the starter’s role in training camp, but Kelly on Tuesday decided to go with the established veteran in Vick over the second-year player in Foles.

“We’ve evaluated the situation and Michael Vick is going to start for us against the Washington Redskins,” said Kelly on Tuesday. “I met with the quarterbacks this morning and they’re all on board.”

Kelly said the decision is not just for the Week 1 game against the Redskins.

“He’s our starter for the season. It’s not a one-game trial basis,” he added.