UNDATED (AP) — The NFL's regular officials are coming back.
The league and the referees' union have reached a tentative contract agreement following three tumultuous weeks that included several blown calls by replacement officials. Although the contract must still be ratified by the union's 121 members, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') announced the officials will be back on the field beginning with tonight's game between the Ravens and Browns.
The contract ends a three-month lockout that led to replacement officials. Negotiations really began to heat up after a missed call cost the Packers a win on a Hail Mary pass in Seattle on Monday night.
League hands out $75,000 in coaches fines
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $50,000 and Redskins assistant Kyle Shanahan $25,000 for their conduct toward replacement officials.
Belichick grabbed an official's arm at the end of Sunday night's game after the Ravens kicked a winning field goal. Shanahan was cited by the league for "abuse of officials" in Washington's loss to Cincinnati.
On Monday, the league fined Broncos coach John Fox $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for berating officials during a loss to Atlanta on Sept. 17.
And Steelers safety Ryan Mundy was fined $21,000 by the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Oakland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. Mundy knocked Heyward-Bey unconscious after slamming into him during a pass into the end zone during the fourth quarter last weekend. No penalty was called.
Cards lose running back
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have placed running back Beanie Wells on the NFL's new injured reserve/designated for return list, meaning he won't be able to play in a game until Nov. 25. Wells was injured in Sunday's 27-6 win over Philadelphia.
Tigers pass White Sox...Yankees, Orioles win
UNDATED (AP) — There's a new leader in the American League Central. The Tigers put themselves in position to take over first place when they beat Kansas City 5-4. It became a one-game lead once the Chicago White Sox were beaten by Cleveland 6-4.
The Tigers snapped a 4-4 tie when Andy Dirks broke up a potential inning-ending double play in the eighth inning, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Alex Avila had two RBIs for the Tigers, but Triple-Crown threat Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-4 and was robbed of a home run.
The White Sox fell for the seventh time in eight games. Shin-Soo Choo had a go-ahead RBI grounder in the seventh and Vinny Rottino hit his first homer for the Indians to cap the scoring. The Indians also took advantage of 12 walks by Chicago hurlers in knocking off the White Sox for the second straight night,
It marks the first time the Chisox haven't owned at least a share of the division lead since July 24.
Just three games separate first-place Texas and No. 2 Oakland in the AL West. Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nehs SEHS'-peh-dehs) had one of two triples during a five-run first inning that carried the Athletics to a 9-3 win over the Rangers. Stephen Drew had four of Oakland's 16 hits, including a double leading off the game before scoring on Cespedes' triple into the right-center gap.
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles enjoyed lopsided victories, which keeps the Bombers 1 1/2 games ahead of the Birds in the American League East.
The Yankees scored six times in the third inning to break open an 8-2 win at Minnesota. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run triple and Robinson Cano (kuh-NOH') poked a two-run double during the third-inning rally.
Chris Dickerson added a two-run homer to back CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-uh), who's 14-6 after holding the Twins to two runs and six hits while striking out 10 in eight innings.
The Orioles kept pace and ended a two-game skid by slamming a team record-tying seven homers in a 12-2 laugher against Toronto. Chris Davis and Manny Machado each homered twice to support a strong outing by Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.
The Angels stayed within two games of Oakland for the AL's final wild-card berth. Torii Hunter furnished the tying and game-winning singles as Los Angeles downed Seattle 4-3. Hunter tied it with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh before slapping the walk-off hit.
Erick Aybar (EYE'-bahr) hit a two-run double for the Angels, who've won five in a row to stay in the playoff hunt.
Tampa Bay made it seven straight wins as Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning of the Rays' 4-2 win at Boston. Alex Cobb left after holding the Red Sox to a run and three hits in five innings.
Over to the National League, where the St. Louis Cardinals saw their lead for the second wild card shrink to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee and Los Angeles.
Bud Norris gave up just two hits over 7 1/3 innings to pitch Houston past the Redbirds 2-0. Jose Altuve (AL'-too-vay) to help Norris end his career-worst 12-game losing streak which spanned 18 starts.
Ryan Braun socked his league-leading 41st homer and Norichika Aoki also went deep in Milwaukee's 8-1 trouncing of Cincinnati. Shaun Marcum allowed only four hits in six innings for his first victory since returning from an elbow problem.
Matt Kemp's four hits and four RBIs highlighted the Los Angeles Dodgers' 8-2 rout of San Diego. He hit a two-run double and a two-run homer before falling a triple shy of the cycle.
Paul Maholm combined with three relievers on a six-hitter as Atlanta blanked Miami 3-0. Martin Prado hit a solo homer and an RBI single to help the Braves hand the Marlins their sixth straight loss and eighth in nine games.
Washington's magic number to clinch the NL East is four after homers by Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki powered the Nationals past the Phillies 8-4. The Nats are four games ahead of second-place Atlanta with seven to play.
The rest of the NL action was decided by six-love scores.
Matt Cain allowed four hits in seven innings of San Francisco's 6-0 shutout of Arizona. Pablo Sandoval had two RBIs and Brandon Belt had three of the Giants' 12 hits.
Drew Pomeranz tossed five scoreless innings to pitch Colorado past the Chicago Cubs 6-0. Charlie Blackmon homered and Chris Nelson had two hits and two RBIs in the Rockies' third straight win.
David Wright is the Mets' all-time hits leader after going 2-for-4 in a 6-0 shutout of Pittsburgh. Wright entered the game tied with Ed Kranepool on the team's hit list with 1,418.
Helton will be back in '13...O's lose Wolf, bring up Hall
UNDATED (AP) — Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy is thrilled to learn first baseman Todd Helton plans to play at least one more year.
The 39-year-old Helton told The Denver Post that he intends to return in 2013 to play out the final year of his contract. He had season-ending surgery on Aug. 10 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.
The five-time All-Star is a lifetime .320 hitter, but batted a career-low .238 in 69 games this year.
Tracy said it's likely Helton would see his everyday role modified next year to include more days off.
Also around the majors, the Baltimore Orioles placed left-handed pitcher Randy Wolf on the 60-day disabled list with a torn ligament in his left elbow and purchased the contract of utilityman Bill Hall from Triple-A Norfolk. Manager Buck Showalter said that Wolf felt discomfort in his elbow during the fifth inning of Saturday's start in Boston.
Oakland has set an AL batting record for strikeouts. Chris Carter whiffed in the second inning last night for the Athletics' third strikeout of the game and 1,325th this season, one more than the Tampa Bay Rays had in 2007.
Post season plans in the works
UNDATED (AP) — A tentative plan for the new college football postseason calls for a Pac-12 or Big 12 team to face the best team from a group of five conferences. A person with direct knowledge of the plan for the four-team playoff in 2014 tells The Associated Press that either a Pac-12 or a Big 12 team likely will be the opponent for the top-rated champion from the Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference.
The proposal has the Pac-12 sending either its champion or a replacement team to the game in years when the Rose Bowl hosts a national semifinal.
Osborne calling it quits
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Tom Osborne is preparing to end his longtime association with the University of Nebraska. The former head football coach is stepping down as athletic director.
The 75-year-old Osborne put together one of the most successful coaching runs in college football history before serving in Congress and taking the reins as Nebraska's athletic director five years ago.
He says he plans to step aside on Jan. 1 but will stick around for several months as needed.
Edwin Moses voted USADA board chair
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Former track great Edwin Moses has been voted chair of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's board of directors.
Moses succeeds founding board member Dr. Richard Cohen, who is rotating off the board because of terms limits.
PENN STATE-SANDUSKY SCANDAL
Perjury charges upheld by judge
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge in Harrisburg, Pa., has upheld perjury charges against two Penn State administrators accused of lying to a grand jury that investigated allegations ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children. Judge Todd Hoover ruled against the motions by former vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley that would have thrown out the count of perjury against each man.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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