Hunter struggles, but Scherzer dazzles in win
DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter slumped to an 0-for-4 day with a pair of strikeouts, but Max Scherzer continued his run of dominant performances to push the Detroit Tigers past the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon.
J.D. Martinez homered and knocked in two runs to back Scherzer’s scoreless performance, as Detroit claimed a 5-2 victory in the finale of a four-game home-and-home interleague series.
Nick Castellanos added a late two-run hit and Victor Martinez drew three walks and scored a run for the Tigers, who rebounded for a split after winning both contests in Detroit.
Scherzer (14-4) fanned 14 over eight stellar innings, giving up two walks and three hits. The 30-year-old right-hander set a new season best, eclipsing the 13 strikeouts he recorded at Houston on June 28.
“We needed a win, and our bullpen needed a break,” Scherzer noted. “So this was a huge game for us.”
A-State FB adds home-and-home with UNLV
JONESBORO — The Arkansas State football team has added a home-and-home series with UNLV to its future schedules, announcing Thursday it will play the Rebels on the road in 2017 and at Centennial Bank Stadium in 2018.
The 2017 contest in Las Vegas is scheduled for Sept. 2 and gives A-State two announced nonconference games for the season. The Red Wolves will also host Miami on Sept. 9 as part of a home-and-home series that starts this year at Sun Life Stadium.
The home-and-home contract calls for UNLV, a member of the Mountain West Conference, to play the return game in Jonesboro on Sept. 1, 2018. With A-State set to host Utah State this season, the 2018 game versus UNLV will mark A-State’s second ever home contest against a Mountain West Conference member.
“We are excited to add this home-and-home series with UNLV and bring another opponent with a strong national brand to Centennial Bank Stadium,” said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “This will be a great opportunity for our program to capitalize on a home game to start the 2018 season against a well-respected opponent from one of our peer conferences within the Group of Five.”
The Red Wolves and Rebels have met only once before with UNLV claiming a 28-23 victory in Las Vegas on Oct. 9, 1995, when both schools were a member of the Big West Conference.
Alabama State band to star in A&E series
The Alabama State Mighty Marching Hornets Band will be featured in a reality television show, “Bama State Style,” on the A&E Network, the Montgomery Advertiser reported Thursday.
According to the report, band director James Oliver said the show will begin filming Monday on the ASU campus. Oliver said the show will be family-based and will highlight student growth as they navigate through the music program. He added the show is scheduled to begin airing on A&E in January 2015.
“This is a unique and wonderful opportunity to share with the public, through the A&E Network, our incredible University, and to let the world see how we nurture our ASU band members into becoming good musicians and motivate them to become great students academically,” Oliver said.
Stewart won’t race at Michigan
Tony Stewart will not drive this weekend in the Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway, according to a release from Stewart-Haas Racing on Thursday.
Stewart was on the initial entry list for Michigan that was released on Monday.
The decision not to race stems from the sprint car incident Stewart was involved in on Saturday night that resulted in driver Kevin Ward Jr. suffering fatal injuries. The incident occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, a half-mile dirt track on the Ontario County Fairgrounds.
An investigation of the incident is ongoing.
Thursday’s release also stated Jeff Burton will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet at the 2-mile track and that the driver change only pertains to the Michigan race. Stewart’s plans for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series schedule have yet to be determined.
Stewart did not race last Sunday at Watkins Glen. Instead, Regan Smith drove the No. 14 to a 37th-place finish.
Rockies’ Tulowitzki to have season-ending surgery
SAN DIEGO — Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his left hip, according to MLB.com.
Tulowitzki has been on the disabled list since July 20 because of the latest injury. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.
The 29-year-old All-Star was hitting a major-league best .340 while collecting 21 home runs, 18 doubles, 52 RBI and 71 runs scored in 91 games this season.
Since breaking into the big leagues in 2006, Tulowitzki has played 150-plus games just twice.
Cousins injured in Team USA practice
CHICAGO — Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hurt his right knee while colliding with a teammate during a USA Basketball National Team practice.
Cousins became entangled with Anthony Davis while scrambling for a loose ball underneath the basket. The Kings star was able to walk off the court under his own power and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said Cousins will not play in Saturday’s exhibition game against Brazil at the United Center.
“We hope that he’ll be fine,” Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Cousins. “They want to take precautions, like we do with all of our guys.”
Thursday’s practice was the first for the national team since the Aug. 1 scrimmage in which Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg. The injury is expected to sideline George for the entire 2014-15 NBA season.
Red Wings GM Holland signs new four-year contract
DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings have signed executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland to a new four-year contract that will keep him with the organization through the 2017-18 season.
Holland, 58, has been the GM for Detroit since July of 1997. Since that time, Detroit has won more regular season games (746) and postseason games (115) than any other team in the NHL.
Over his tenure, the Red Wings have made the postseason each year and have won Stanley Cups in three of those seasons (1998, 2002, 2008). He was also a member of the 1997 Stanley Cup team as an assistant general manager.
Also, the Red Wings won four Presidents’ Trophies, five regular-season Western Conference titles, 10 Central Division titles and have produced 13 100-point seasons.
Prior to his role in team management, Holland was a Red Wings player and scout. He has been with the organization in various capacities for the past 31 seasons.