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DETROIT (AP) - Justin Verlander held Texas hitless until the seventh inning, and the Detroit Tigers backed their ace with three home runs in a 5-0 victory over the Rangers on Sunday. Mitch Moreland's two-out double to right-center broke up Verlander's bid for his third career no-hitter. Verlander's final start before the All-Star break was an encouraging one for the former American League MVP. He wasn't overpowering, striking out only three. Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta hit solo homers off Texas starter Martin Perez. 
 
Justin Verlander left Sunday's game against the Texas Rangers with a tight right quad muscle, shortly after having his no-hit bid broken up in the seventh inning. Verlander had already been replaced on the American League All-Star team by Baltimore's Chris Tillman. Under baseball's labor contract, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt not to participate. Verlander held the Rangers without a hit until Mitch Moreland's double to right-center with two outs in the seventh. He retired Elvis Andrus for the third out of that inning and then came out of the game. He fell seven outs short of his third career no-hitter. 

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who pitched for the team from 2003-2010. The Tigers announced the move Sunday. The 30-year-old Bonderman is expected to join Triple-A Toledo on Thursday at Buffalo. Bonderman went 67-77 during his stint with the Tigers. He made it back to the majors this year with Seattle, going 1-3 with a 4.93 ERA. He had four straight strong starts between June 7 and June 23, but was battered for 10 earned runs and 13 hits in just 8 1-3 innings over his last two outings for the Mariners. Seattle designated Bonderman for assignment, and he chose to become a free agent.

Monday, 15 July 2013 11:36

MLB: All-Star break Midway leaders

UNDATED (AP) - In fact the season is more than half over but at this midway point of the 2013 season a check of the standings shows the following:
 
     In the American League East the top team is Boston. The Red Sox have surprised a lot of people by winning 58 and losing just 39. They top the Rays by 2  1/2 games. In the AL Central the Tigers have not been able to shake Cleveland. Detroit is 52-42, 1  1/2 games in front of the Indians who are 51-44. The Athletics are the top team in the American West with 56 wins and 39 defeats, good for a two game lead over the Rangers.
 
     In the National League the Braves enter the second half of the season with a six game lead over the Nationals. Atlanta is 54-41 while the Nats are just 48-47. One of the big surprises in the first-half was Pittsburgh as the Pirates are 56-37. They will start the second-half just a game back of first-place St. Louis while in the NL West the Diamondbacks lead the Dodgers by 2  1/2 games. It was a strange first-half for the Dodgers as they had a hard time winning games in the early going but came alive as the All-Star break approached.
 
     And is there no bigger surprise team than defending-World-Series-winner San Francisco? The Giants are only 43-51 but in the mediocre NL West they are just 6  1/2 games out of first place.

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball has reached its All-Star break. The annual midseason classic will be played tomorrow night in New York's Citi Field, the home of the Mets.
 
     The Home Run Derby is taking place tonight with the American League contingent featuring Robinson Cano of the Yankees, Yoenis Cespedes of the A's, Baltimore's Chris Davis and Detroit's Prince Fielder. The National League roster includes Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates, Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, Washington's Bryce Harper and David Wright of the Mets. 
 
     By the way, not that they need the money, reaching the All-Star game means more cash for many players. For example, three members of the Tigers, Justin Verlander, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera, each earned an additional $100,000 by being named to the All-Star team. David Wright of the Mets also picks up $100,000 bucks for being named to the National League team.
 
     The big winners however are Kansas City's Alex Gordon and Baltimore's J.J. Hardy as the All-Star berth means an increase of $500,000 to their 2014 salaries. Gordon by the way has also had his seasonal salary for 2015 and 2016 increase by $500,000 each year.

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) - The Windquest is the first to finish in the 105th Race to Mackinac's racing division as participants say light winds kept sailboats from making quicker time. Organizers of the 333-mile Chicago-to-Mackinac Island, Mich., race say the boat owned by Dick and Doug DeVos crossed the finish late Sunday. Infinite Diversion owned by Joseph Haas was the first to finish in the cruising division, crossing on Sunday afternoon. The cruising division started Friday; other boats set sail Saturday. Most participants still were on Lake Michigan on Monday morning. The Coast Guard says it evacuated a 57-year-old race participant from a boat on Sunday evening south of Manistee. The man was reported to be suffering from cardiac arrest and heat exhaustion, and was taken by boat to land.

Friday, 12 July 2013 11:39

Sprint Cup circuit hits New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) - Qualifying for the pole of the Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup race is on tap today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race is slated to take place Sunday afternoon. The winner of the race last year was Kasey Kahne. In the standings five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson remains on top, 49 points in front of Clint Bowyer.

DETROIT (AP) - Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello had his suspension for throwing at Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist reduced to five games. He'll begin serving it Thursday. Porcello was initially suspended six games after hitting Zobrist on June 30. He pitched Wednesday night and said before Thursday's game against the Chicago White Sox he was ready to start serving the ban. The suspension should have minimal effect. Porcello wasn't slated to pitch any of the last four games before the All-Star break, and he'll have to miss only the first game after the break, when Detroit can adjust its rotation anyway. Porcello is 6-6 with a 4.80 ERA. He says he disagreed with baseball's initial decision to suspend him and was surprised by it.

DETROIT (AP) - Joshua Phegley's sixth-inning grand slam gave Chris Sale some long-awaited run support, and Chicago went on to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Thursday in a game that included a bench-clearing altercation shortly after the White Sox took the lead. Chicago trailed 3-1 when Phegley cleared the bases with a homer off Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez. Sale allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings. Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera hit his 30th homer of the year. Detroit reliever Luke Putkonen threw a pitch behind Chicago's Alexei Ramirez, and both benches and bullpens emptied in the top of the sixth inning of Thursday's game between the Tigers and White Sox. An inning after Chris Sale threw high and inside to Tigers star Prince Fielder, the trouble occurred. Ramirez started toward the mound after nearly being hit, pointing at Putkonen while being restrained by Detroit catcher Brayan Pena. The situation didn't really escalate, even as players from both teams gathered near home plate. Tigers manager Jim Leyland looked upset and twice came back out to argue with umpires. Putkonen was replaced by Al Alburquerque.

MEARS, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say a 19-year-old suburban Detroit man is dead and another is injured following an off-road vehicle accident at Silver Lake State Park in West Michigan. The Muskegon Chronicle reports Cody J. Mong, of Oakland County's Oakland Township, died after two people in a group of four riding quads on the park's dunes collided Thursday evening in Oceana County. The two uninjured riders called 911 afterward. Investigators say Mong crashed, was thrown from his vehicle and was hit by a quad driven by another rider. The other rider was taken to a hospital for treatment. The crash is under investigation. Sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast says it was the first time the four riders had been to Silver Lake State Park, located along Lake Michigan.

CHICAGO (AP) - Thousands of sailors are getting ready for this weekend's Race to Mackinac, a 333-mile sailboat race across Lake Michigan. The Chicago-to-Mackinac Island, Mich. race begins Saturday, although some boats in a "cruising division" set sail Friday. In its 105th year, the competition is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. This year, 350 boats are set to participate in the around-the-clock challenge. Most boats finish in 40 to 60 hours, but the record was set in 2002 when a team finished in 23 hours and 30 minutes. In 2011, the race was marred by the deaths of two crew members when their Kiwi 35-foot sport boat capsized during a storm.