PB Braves drop pair of games

HOOVER, Ala. — The Pine Bluff Braves semi-pro baseball team dropped a pair of games to the Florence Nitro Saturday.

The Alabama based team defeated the Braves 4-1 and 8-3 in the Southern Timber Wood Bat World Championship at Spain Park Sports Complex.

The losses keep the Braves from playing in today’s championship round.

Pine Bluff’s James Mitchell tossed a complete game in the opener. Derrick Houser drove in Christian Kidd, who went 2-for-3 in the game, in the fourth inning to give the Braves a short-lived 1-0 lead.

In the second game, the Braves scored once in the top of the first inning, but baserunning errors kept them from scoring more. Pine Bluff wouldn’t score again until the top of the seventh when it already trailed 8-1. Deonta Howard took the loss for the Braves.

Pine Bluff will play next in the National Semi-Pro Baseball Association World Series at 8 p.m. Friday at Smithwell Stadium in Jackson, Miss.

Hunter homers in Tigers’ win

DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter hit one of three solo home runs by the Detroit Tigers in their 3-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

The Tigers provided plenty of offense for Max Scherzer who threw 7 2/3 shutout innings and picked up his major league-leading 16th win of the season.

The Tigers homered in each of the first two innings. Hunter delivered a solo shot with one out in the first while Jhonny Peralta hammered a 3-1 pitch to center to start the second. Jose Iglesias added another homer for Detroit and his first in a Tigers uniform when he connected on a 2-1 fastball with one out in the fourth.


Ravens’ Jackson receives 8-game ban

NEW YORK — Baltimore Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson has been suspended eight games by the NFL for a second violation of its policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The 2012 fifth-round pick out of Cal Poly was handed a four-game suspension last season. He won’t be eligible to play in this year’s regular season until Nov. 10 against Cincinnati.

Jackson released a statement to the Baltimore Sun, which in part said he was diagnosed with a condition that could be treated with medication that would be allowed under the NFL’s policy. However, the positive test was performed before he got the approval.

The newspaper reports Jackson was suspended last year for the unauthorized use of Adderall, which is also the medication that is at the cause of this suspension.

Jackson will be eligible to play in the preseason. He played in three contests for Baltimore during his rookie year.

Free agent WR Collie signs with 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers inked free agent wideout Austin Collie to a one-year deal among a slew of roster moves.

The deal was struck after the club brought the 27-year-old in for the second of two workouts on Friday. Collie had originally worked out for the Super Bowl runners-up back in June.

Collie was beset by injury problems last year. He suffered a concussion in a preseason contest and then was lost for the season thanks to a torn patellar tendon in Week 3 against Jacksonville.

Over his four-year NFL career, all with Indianapolis, the Colts’ fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft has totaled 173 catches for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns over 42 appearances.


Tour de France turns to women as rescue from scandal

MADRID — The Tour de France, marred by the doping scandal of seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, stands to get a boost from people it once rejected.

Opening the three-week race to women, who haven’t ridden in the Tour for 24 years, would cast the event in a positive light and has the potential to increase interest in the $46 billion cycling industry.

Scarred by the stripping of Armstrong’s titles because of a drug scandal so pervasive that just one winner between 1995 and 2010 hasn’t been linked to doping at some time in their careers, the organizers said they’ll consider a women’s race.

Campaigners including Olympic road-race gold medalist Marianne Vos are pressing organizer Amaury Sport Organisation to hold a parallel race for women for the first time since 1989. More than 83,000 have signed a petition that began July 12.

The petitioners are trying to bring cycling in line with marathon running and triathlon, where both sexes have competed on the same course since the 1980s. They want to trigger more recognition and pay, and must win over a male-dominated sport. Elite women racers earn as little as $15,800 per year, more than 20 times less than the men.