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DETROIT (AP) - Ryan Hunter-Reay recalls rooting for the Andrettis and Unsers when he was growing up, saying he has always been patriotic. Now, Hunter-Reay hopes he can give kids in the United States someone to cheer for in open-wheel auto racing. He became the first American since 2006 to win the Indianapolis 500 and the sixth in two decades. Soon, he will get two chances to sustain success. The Detroit Grand Prix will feature full-length IndyCar races Saturday and Sunday. Belle Isle's 13-turn street circuit, which did not hold up well two years ago, will be put to a test by a lot of racing and some patching that was needed because a water main broke this week.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth to back Rick Porcello's eighth victory, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Thursday for a split of the four-game series between division leaders. Porcello overcame a career-high six walks, three shy of his season total coming into Thursday's start. Joe Nathan earned his 13th save after allowing Josh Donaldson's leadoff double, an RBI infield single by Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick's run-scoring double. Victor Martinez doubled home two runs in the seventh and Cabrera also had an RBI groundout for the Tigers, who head to Seattle for the weekend before returning home. Nick Punto hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Oakland, which wasted chances all game to lose for only the seventh time in 20 games.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Running back Reggie Bush acknowledges the Detroit Lions ' defense seems to be ahead of the offense right now. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Bush failed to help the first-string offense move the ball much against Detroit's top defenders Wednesday during offseason workouts. Stafford, Johnson and Bush say it will take time to adjust to the many changes new coordinator Joe Lombardi is making this offseason. In the meantime, Ndamukong Suh and his teammates on defense are preventing the Stafford-led offense to have much success during offseason practices.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Josh Donaldson hit a game-ending, three-run homer off Joe Nathan with one out in the ninth inning and Scott Kazmir pitched his first complete game in nearly eight years as the Oakland Athletics rallied past the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Wednesday night. Anibal Sanchez was in command, allowing only two hits as he took a shutout bid into the ninth inning before Oakland rallied to hand the Tigers their eighth loss in 10 games. Coco Crisp got it started with one out when he hit an opposite-field double just inside the third-base line that ended Sanchez's night after 111 pitches. John Jaso greeted Nathan with a single off third baseman Nick Castellanos' glove before Donaldson hit a towering drive into the left-field seats for his second career walk-off homer. He also did it on April 12, 2013, against the Tigers. Nathan blew his fourth save in 16 chances.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan is a partner in a national effort to study concussions that's being discussed by President Barack Obama. At the White House on Thursday, Obama is hosting a summit with representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes and researchers. Among the financial commitments is a $30 million joint effort by the NCAA and the Defense Department to produce research on concussion risks, treatment and management. Steven Broglio is associate professor at University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology and director of the NeuroSport Research Laboratory. The university says he's co-principal investigator of the NCAA-DoD Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium. Broglio's research, in part, plans to help more thoroughly examine the history of concussions among NCAA athletes.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan basketball player Jordan Morgan says on Twitter he was humbled and inspired to receive a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. Morgan posted a picture of a letter dated May 14 congratulating him on his graduation and wishing him the best in his future endeavors. The letter included Obama's signature at the bottom. Morgan offered "a big thank you" to the president on Twitter. Morgan became a fan favorite at Michigan this season. As a senior, he helped replace injured big man Mitch McGary as the Wolverines rolled to a Big Ten championship. Obama gave Morgan and a couple other basketball players shout-outs when he spoke at the university last month. 

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Pinch-runner Rajai Davis scored on Austin Jackson's fielder's choice groundout in the eighth inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak. J.D. Martinez drew a one-out walk off Oakland reliever Fernando Abad. Davis was brought in to run and the speedy outfielder took second on a passed ball. He then stole third when A's catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to Abad. After Luke Gregerson replaced Abad, Jackson hit a sharp grounder to Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie, but the A's were unable to turn the double play and Davis raced home with the go-ahead run. Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter homered for the Al Central-leading Tigers. John Jaso homered for the A's. Al Albuquerque pitched one inning for the win and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 12th save in 15 tries.
 

Friday, 23 May 2014 14:49

Rangers rout Tigers 9-2

DETROIT (AP) - Shin-Soo Choo homered, Chris Gimenez had four hits and the Texas Rangers rolled to a 9-2 victory over the slumping Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Texas was without Prince Fielder, who stayed home when the Rangers left for Detroit to face the big first baseman's former team. Fielder has been out because of a herniated disk in his neck. Yu Darvish allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking three. The Rangers broke through quickly against Detroit rookie Robbie Ray, who lasted only 3 1-3 innings. Ray allowed seven runs, nine hits and four walks, and the AL Central-leading Tigers lost their fourth straight. Ian Kinsler, who was traded to Detroit for Fielder in an offseason blockbuster, went 1 for 3 in his first game against the Rangers.

UNDATED (AP) - Prince Fielder is expected to have neck surgery next week and miss the rest of the season. Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday that the herniated disk in Fielder's neck has gotten worse, and that Dr. Drew Dossett recommended surgery. Daniels said the surgery is tentatively set for Tuesday. The GM says the team will get a second opinion, but expects the diagnosis to be confirmed. Fielder had played in 547 consecutive games, then the longest active streak in the majors, before receiving a nerve root block injection Saturday to treat his neck. Texas acquired Fielder last winter from Detroit in a trade for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder, who turned 30 earlier this month, had played all 162 games in four of the last five seasons.

Friday, 23 May 2014 14:48

Lions sign Swanson to 4-year deal

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions have signed third-round draft pick Travis Swanson to a four-year contract. The team did not release additional terms of the deal Thursday. Swanson, a center who played at Arkansas, was taken with the 76th overall pick. The Lions added Swanson to give themselves depth behind Dominic Raiola, who has been with them since 2001. Eventually, Swanson could be Raiola's replacement. Swanson was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to college football's best center.

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