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NEW YORK (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs have taken offensive tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan to begin the NFL draft Thursday night. Fisher became the first player from the Mid-American Conference taken to open the draft. He is the third offensive tackle picked No. 1 overall since the 1970 merger, joining Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jake Long five years ago. Fisher is the first selection by new Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, who entertained trade offers before selecting the 6-foot-7, 306-pound Fisher over Texas A&M All-America tackle Luke Joeckel. After Commissioner Roger Goodell paid tribute to the first responders at the Boston Marathon bombings and the victims of the West, Texas explosion, he announced Fisher's name. It broke a string of four straight quarterbacks taken first: Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. This is considered a QB-weak draft.

Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:06

Valverde returns to Tigers with save

DETROIT (AP) - Jose Valverde returned to Detroit with a save and Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs to help the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 7-5 Wednesday night. Max Scherzer (2-0) got the win, allowing five runs in five innings, with three Tigers relievers finishing the game. Valverde, called up earlier in the day, returned to the Tigers with a perfect ninth inning. Valverde lost the closing role during the postseason and wasn't offered a contract, but signed a minor-league deal earlier this month and returned to Detroit after a short minor-league stint. Wade Davis (2-1) took the loss, giving up seven runs - three earned - in 3 2-3 innings. Davis allowed eight hits and four walks while only getting 11 outs.

DETROIT (AP) - Jordin Tootoo netted the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Johan Franzen scored on a power play with 6:26 left, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win Wednesday night over the Los Angeles Kings and into eighth place in the Western Conference. Detroit is one point ahead of Columbus and one behind seventh-place Minnesota. All three teams have two games remaining. The Red Wings are aiming to extend their postseason streak to 22, the longest in North American professional sports. Detroit's Jimmy Howard made 23 saves and Pavel Datsyuk scored a game-tying goal midway through the second period. The Dallas Stars, who are four points behind Detroit, host Columbus on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday.

DETROIT (AP) - Chris Ilitch says progress is being made on plans to build a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings. The president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings declined to make any predictions about the next steps. The son of Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch spoke to The Associated Press after Thursday's Detroit Economic Club meeting. Michigan lawmakers approved a measure allowing tax dollars collected by Detroit's Downtown Development Authority to be used for a $650 million multi-use development that will include a facility for the Red Wings. Supporters of the bill claimed it will create upward of 8,300 new construction jobs and pump $1 billion into Michigan's economy. Joe Louis Arena, which is among the oldest NHL facilities, opened in 1979.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Alvin Ellis III will be joining Michigan State's recruiting class after he was released from his commitment to Minnesota. The 6-foot-4 guard was in Minnesota's recruiting class, but was released his letter of intent because coach Tubby Smith was fired. Ellis averaged 20 points, six rebounds and four assists last season for Chicago De La Salle High School. He and Gavin Schilling, who signed to play for the Spartans last week, were teammates when they were juniors. Michigan State knows one key player will be back next season and is waiting for another one to make a decision. Big Ten freshman of the year Gary Harris announced last week he is staying in school. Adreian Payne faces an April 28 deadline to enter the NBA draft or return for his senior season.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 14:38

NASCAR penalizes Kenseth after engine fails

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Matt Kenseth was essentially stripped of his win at Kansas on Wednesday because his race-winning car failed inspection. NASCAR found one of the eight connecting rods in the engine of the No. 20 Toyota used Sunday did not meet the minimum weight requirement once it was inspected at its Research & Development Center. As punishment, Kenseth was stripped of 50 driver points in standings, as well as the three bonus points he earned for the win that would have been applied in seeding for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. His pole also was stripped. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended six races. Car owner Joe Gibbs also was suspended six races and will not earn any owner points during his suspension.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:44

Tigers, Royals postponed by rain

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers' game Tuesday night against the Kansas City Royals has been postponed because of rain. No makeup date was announced. The game was delayed at the start and was called off about 15 minutes later. It was supposed to be the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park. Detroit has lost four straight, and this was to be the first chance to see how Kansas City matches up with the Tigers, who have won the AL Central the last two years.

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with reliever Jose Valverde, who is expected back with the team Wednesday. And manager Jim Leyland says Valverde will be Detroit's closer immediately. Valverde was the Tigers' closer the last three years, but the team was prepared to let him leave as a free agent after he faltered during the 2012 postseason. But he never signed elsewhere, and Detroit brought him back on a minor league deal. He pitched three scoreless innings at Class-A Lakeland, and now he's being called all the way back up to the majors. Detroit optioned right-hander Brayan Villarreal to Triple-A Toledo, and the Tigers expect to make another move to clear space for Valverde on the 40-man roster.

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers have put reliever Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, paving the way for Bruce Rondon to be called up from Triple-A Toledo. Rondon was recalled Tuesday. He was in contention to be Detroit's closer during spring training but didn't make the team. Dotel goes on the DL retroactive to Saturday. Rondon has never pitched in the majors, but the right-hander was considered a possibility to replace Jose Valverde as Detroit's closer. But Rondon didn't make the major league team after a spring training audition, and Valverde is attempting a return of his own in the minors. Dotel has allowed seven runs in 4 2-3 shaky innings for the Tigers this season.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Detroit Lions linebacker Ronnell Lewis faces three misdemeanor charges following his arrest during an altercation at an Oklahoma bar. Norman police records show that the 22-year-old Lewis was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with public intoxication, disturbing the peace and interference with a law enforcement officer. Lewis played eight games for the Lions last season after being picked in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Oklahoma. He was credited with two tackles. The Lions issued a statement Tuesday saying the club was aware of Lewis' arrest and is in the process of gathering more information. The team had no further comment.

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