Steelers, Tomlin agree to extension
The Pittsburgh Steelers have ended at least one contract distraction before training camp starts.
The team and coach Mike Tomlin agreed to an extension on Tuesday that will keep him on the sideline through at least 2016. Financial terms were not disclosed. Tomlin's previous deal expired at the end of the 2013 season.
The 40-year-old Tomlin, a surprise choice to replace Bill Cowher following the 2006 season, is 55-25 with the Steelers, winning three AFC North titles, two AFC championships and the 2009 Super Bowl.
''Mike is one of the top head coaches in the National Football League and we are thrilled he will continue to lead our team as we pursue another Super Bowl title,'' team president Art Rooney said in a statement.
Under Tomlin's guidance the Steelers have consistently been among the best teams in the league. Pittsburgh has ranked first in defense three times during his tenure and averaged seven Pro Bowl selections a year.
''I am grateful to the Steelers organization for the opportunity I have been given over the past five years to work and live in this great city,'' Tomlin said. ''I am excited to continue to work to bring another championship to the Steelers and the city of Pittsburgh.''
The Steelers begin camp on Wednesday and will likely do it without wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has yet to sign his one-year tender.
Falcons sign LB Peterson
The Falcons brought back veteran LB Mike Peterson, the team announced Monday.
Last season, Peterson played in 15 games with four starts for Atlanta and made 24 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception. He played in every game in 2009 and 2010, starting 29 games in that span.
Peterson, 36, played for the Colts from 1999-2002 and the Jaguars from 2003-08. He has 21? career sacks and 19 interceptions. Peterson adds depth to the unit, as free-agent acquisitionLofa Tatupu injured his pectoral, the team announced on Saturday.
Bulls sign Hinrich, finalize other moves
The Chicago Bulls officially announced the signing of guard Kirk Hinrich on Monday, one of several moves the Bulls are finalizing.The Bulls signed Hinrich to a two-year deal, bringing him back to the team where he played his first seven NBA seasons. He accepted less money to return to Chicago than was offered byMilwaukee Bucks. With Derrick Rose expected to miss the first few months of the season with a knee injury, Hinrich is scheduled to be the Bulls' starting poinjt guard until Rose returns.Hinrich averaged 6.6 points for the Atlanta Hawks in 48 games last season.The Bulls are close to finalizing a one-year deal for guard Marco Belinelli, who would be paid the biannual exception, which is just under $2 million, according to multiple reports. He averaged 11.8 points with New Orleans last season.The Bulls are also expected to sign center Nazr Mohammed to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, which $1.3 million, according to ESPNChicago.com. Mohammed averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds for Oklahoma City last season.Finally, the Bulls are not expected to match the Houston Rockets' three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet to Omer Asik.
Christian Friedrich will try to give the Rockies
The Colorado Rockies' experiment with a four-man rotation has kept their starters on a pitch count, but with the team coming off its longest game this season, it could pose a challenge for manager Jim Tracy.
Struggling Christian Friedrich will try to give the Rockies an effective start Sunday when they close their series against the San Diego Padres.
Colorado (36-57) moved to a four-man rotation last month and Tracy has been mindful of pitch counts, with no starter throwing more than 89 pitches over the last 23 games.
That decision has placed added pressure on the bullpen, particularly over the last few games. Rockies relievers pitched 6 1-3 innings Wednesday against Pittsburgh, five innings on Friday and seven innings in Saturday's 8-6, 12-inning victory over the Padres.
Jordan Pacheco had three hits and four RBIs, driving in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 12th and Rafael Betancourt earned the save with a perfect inning. Carlos Torres picked up the win with two scoreless frames.
"Our bullpen surrenders one run in seven innings of work," Tracy said. "Not too shabby."
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rockies, who have the second-worst record in the majors ahead of only Houston.
After using five relievers in their first extra-inning game in nearly a month, the Rockies desperately need a good performance from Friedrich (5-7, 5.85 ERA), who is 1-6 with a 7.09 ERA in his last eight starts.
The left-hander gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
"I have to find a way to learn from these outings. Try to take the positives out of it and make it a lesson," Friedrich said.
Making his first start against the Padres, Friedrich looks to snap a three-start road losing streak. Though he's allowed 10 runs in his last two starts away from Coors Field, he has a 3.79 ERA on the road compared to 8.23 at home.
The Padres (40-56) will try to bounce back after their four-game winning streak was snapped Saturday. At least San Diego's offensive resurgence continued as it scored six or more runs for the sixth time in eight games. The Padres still rank 15th in the NL in runs scored.
Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.87) will make his second straight start and fourth of the season. After appearing twice out of the bullpen before the All-Star break, he gave up two runs - one earned - over a season-high six innings in an 8-2 win over Houston on Tuesday.
"I feel good," Ohlendorf told the Padres' official website. "I was really happy with how I pitched, especially as the game went on. I know I can pitch like I did tonight. It's definitely a confidence booster moving forward."
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA in five starts against the Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez, who is batting .343 (12 for 35) with two homers and eight RBIs during an eight-game hit streak, is 4 for 11 with a home run and triple against Ohlendorf.
Thursday's Sports in Brief
A member and former chairman of the Penn State board of trustees has resigned, saying his presence on the board had become ''a distraction and an impediment'' to the university's efforts to move forward following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Steve Garban's resignation Thursday night made him the first board member to leave since the crisis engulfed Penn State.
Garban, who had stepped down as board chairman after Sandusky's November arrest but had remained a board member, was harshly criticized over his handling of the Sandusky case. Fellow board members and alumni had called for him to resign.
Garban didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday night. In his resignation letter, he said he had ''devoted'' his adult life to Penn State.
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) -- Adam Scott equaled the lowest British Open score at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, taking advantage of prime conditions to rip off eight birdies on the way to a 6-under 64 in the opening round Thursday.
He wasn't the only one going low. Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson andNicolas Colsaerts each shot 65. Brandt Snedeker turned in a 66 as the light faded. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were among a logjam at 67.
Scott, a 31-year-old Australian, bounced back from an early bogey with a dazzling display - his drives accurate, his irons precise, his long putter reliable. When he arrived at the 17th hole, his score was at 7 under, putting him in position to tie the record for lowest score in the Open or any other major (63), or even break the hallowed mark with one more birdie.
Scott settled for par at the 17th, then took a bogey on the final hole after an errant tee shot into the thick rough. Still, he went to the clubhouse having tied the 64 that Tom Lehman shot at Royal Lytham in 1996.
Woods spent some time atop the leaderboard, a once-familiar sight at the major championships. He played the first 14 holes at 4 under, finally stumbling after he sprayed his tee shot at the 15th into the thick rough. He needed two whacks to get out and wound up taking bogey.
Still, he finished within three shots of the leader, positioning himself nicely for another run at his 15th major championship.
The morning conditions couldn't have been any better for going low. An early sprinkle gave way to dry weather, the sun even making an appearance through the low-hanging clouds. There was hardly any breeze blowing in off the nearby Irish Sea, the flags atop the 18th grandstand barely rippling.
MADISON, Miss. (AP) - Jason Bohn shot an 8-under 64 to take an early lead at the PGA Tour's True South Classic before heavy rain halted the first round.
Luke Guthrie, a 22-year-old player in his third professional tournament, opened with a 65. He finished last week's John Deere Classic tied for fifth.
After a week of rain, Annandale Golf Club's fairways were soft with areas of standing water. The PGA allowed players to lift, clean and place balls in the fairway, helping scores stay low.
With many of the big names playing in the British Open this week, an unfamiliar collection of players was at the top of the leaderboard. J.J. Killeen, Steve Lowery, Ryuji Imada, Jason Gore and Willie Wood shared a tie for third, two shots behind Bohn.
Rest easy, Indianapolis Colts fans. The Andrew Luck era can now officially begin.
The Colts signed the Stanford quarterback and No. 1 overall pick in the draft to a four-year, $22.1 million deal on Thursday,
''12 is officially signed!!!!!!'' Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted, adding a photo of Luck signing his contract for good measure. Luck's agent and uncle, Will Wilson, confirmed the deal had been completed.
The deal is similar to the one signed by Cam Newton a year ago and the one signed this week by Robert Griffin III. Newton, last year's top pick, has a four-year, $22 million deal with Carolina and Griffin, who went No. 2 behind Luck in April's draft, signed a four-year contract with the Washington Redskins worth $21.1 million guaranteed, with a club option for a fifth year.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins has been suspended without pay by the NFL for the upcoming season opener for violating the league's substance abuse program.
The punishment was announced Thursday. The NFL didn't say what the violation was.
Collins was also fined an additional game check but will be able to return to the active roster on Sept. 10, a day after the opener against theIndianapolis Colts.
He is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
HOUSTON (AP) - Jeremy Lin figured he'd be having this kind of news conference in New York.
Instead, he was talking about his new deal with the Houston Rockets on Thursday on the same practice court where he worked in virtual anonymity seven months ago before he was waived. Lin became a Rocket again when the New York Knicks decided not to match Houston's three-year, $25 million offer.
Lin said he expected to be re-signed by the Knicks after he electrified the Big Apple last season before he was sidelined by a knee injury. Shortly after the Knicks officially declined to match, Lin was quoted on SI.com as saying, ''Honestly, I preferred New York.''
Lin said the question he answered was set in the context of before the start of the free agency period.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The NBA Board of Governors approved a new look for uniforms and a couple of changes in the use of video replay.
Commissioner David Stern met with the media Thursday after the Board of Governors held their annual summer meeting. He said the NBA is looking to add possibly $100 million in revenue by permitting small advertising patches on uniforms starting in the 2013-14 season.
The competition committee altered a few rule changes with respect to the use of video replay, primarily in the final 2 minutes or overtime of games.
At any point in the game, officials can now check video replay on all flagrant fouls.
Zimmermann tosses 6 scoreless as Nats top Mets 4-3
In Jordan Zimmermann's first 14 starts, the Washington Nationals scored four runs for him three times - and the result was three victories.
In the right-hander's last five starts, the Nationals have scored four or more four times and he's won each time.
Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings, Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer and the Nationals hung on to beat the New York Mets 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Steve Lombardozzi added a two-run double as Washington handed a sixth straight loss to the Mets, who held a team meeting before the game.
Zimmermann (7-6) won his fourth straight, allowing just four hits in six innings, striking out four and walking none.
''He's pitched well enough to be 12-2,'' manager Davey Johnson said.
Zimmermann reduced his ERA to 2.35, and he began the game with the National League's fourth-best average.
''It's a well-kept secret,'' Johnson said.
He's pitched at least six innings in all 19 of his starts, and Johnson cut him off after 95 pitches.
''I want to go six, seven, eight innings every time out,'' Zimmermann said. ''The longer you stay in, the better chance you have of winning the games.''
Perhaps later in the season, Johnson will let him go longer.
''He's a man out there,'' Johnson. ''There's no muss, no fuss. Here - hit it.''
In the seventh, Tom Gorzelanny allowed a one-out double to Lucas Duda, who scored on Andres Torres' single.
Sean Burnett worked a scoreless eighth, but Tyler Clippard, who blew his third save Tuesday, allowed two home runs in the ninth to David Wright and Jason Bay. Clippard then struck out Jordany Valdespin for his 15th save in 18 chances.
''I wanted to stay aggressive. I didn't want to walk anybody or allow anybody on base - stay away from the big inning. Got a couple of bad pitches out over the plate to some good hitters - and they got me,'' Clippard said.
LaRoche hit a 1-2 pitch from Chris Young (2-4) into the left-center field stands for his 16th home run in the sixth. It was his third home run in 11 at-bats against Young. Eight of LaRoche's 16 homers have been two-run shots.
''There's no satisfaction tonight. We need to win and we lost the game. There's no feel-good about tonight. I made the mistake that cost us,'' Young said.
Lombardozzi's two-out double in the seventh against Miguel Batista made it 4-1.
Wright led off the ninth with his 12th home run of the year, and after Clippard struck out Ike Davis and Duda, Bay hit his fifth home run - striking the foul pole in left field. Both were on the first pitch.
Mets manager Terry Collins said his team's spirits were good.
''There are no saviors. Just continue to battle and battle, get out of this and go win six in a row. That's the only way you can play. We have a great clubhouse. Watch each other's backs and continue to move forward,'' Collins said.
On Thursday afternoon, R.A. Dickey (12-1) will pitch for the Mets.
''I'm sure R.A.'s going to give us a good game tomorrow because that's what's going to crack this thing. This game, as you can see by what they do, is on the mound. If we continue to pitch, we'll win our games,'' Collins said.
Bryce Harper had an eventful night with two singles and also caught a long fly ball hit by Duda in left-center in the second after an extended run. In the fourth, Harper singled, and when Ryan Zimmerman flied to center, he ran and was about 30 feet past second when he fell down and was easily doubled off first.
Wright had three hits. He's now reached base in 81 of New York's 87 games.
NOTES: Washington RHP Drew Storen will probably be activated Thursday, Johnson said. Storen has yet to pitch this season due to elbow surgery. ... Nationals C Jhonatan Solano is probably headed to the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. He's likely to be replaced by Sandy Leon, who's at Double-A Harrisburg. ... Washington OF Jayson Werth, who's on the DL with a broken wrist, took batting practice on Wednesday and launched seven straight home runs. Johnson said he'll be sent out on a rehab assignment on Thursday. ... Duda returned to the lineup after missing three games with a left hamstring injury. ... New York RHP Jon Rauch had his knees drained on Tuesday, but pitched the eighth. ... Dickey (12-1, 2.66) will pitch against Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 3.93) on Thursday afternoon.
Visitors to Kauffman Stadium seem to enjoy themsel
The Mariners will try to continue their offensive barrage and help Kevin Millwood to his first win in four months Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals, the worst home team in baseball.
Kansas City (38-51) has lost 12 of 15 overall to fall a season-low 13 games below .500, and the club's 15-27 home record is the worst in the majors.
The Mariners (39-53) are at the bottom of the AL West, but even they're capitalizing on the Royals at Kauffman. They pounded out 14 hits including four doubles and two homers to win 9-6 on Tuesday, jumping out to a six-run lead after two innings.
That performance was nearly identical to the opener of this four-game set Monday, when Seattle scored seven times in the first two innings and homered three times en route to a 9-4 victory.
"When you set the tone early like that and give yourself some breathing room, it allows our young players to go out there and relax and play and work to their true abilities a little bit easier," manager Eric Wedge said. "We've had some guys that have been struggling and working to find it. It's been nice to see them put some consistent days together. It's nice to see us swing the bats like that."
Justin Smoak has two-run homers in each of the first two games of this series, matching his home run total from his previous 35 games. Seattle's first baseman is 11 for 28 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last nine meetings with the Royals.
Millwood (3-7, 3.71 ERA) could use some help from the Mariners' lineup in order to get his first win since May 23, a drought that hasn't been entirely his fault.
The 37-year-old right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.70 ERA during that stretch, while being backed by two runs or fewer in six of eight starts. He's been given two total runs of support over his last three outings, and got none in Friday's 3-2 loss to Texas as he yielded three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Millwood is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his last five visits to Kansas City, losing the most recent with Baltimore on Aug. 1, 2010.
The Royals have dropped seven of eight, but Alex Gordon can't be blamed. He's 14 for 30 over his last seven games, and has five hits so far in this series.
Gordon is 10 for 19 with five RBIs in his last five home games against the Mariners.
Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.50) is scheduled to take the mound for Kansas City in an effort to end his recent struggles.
The left-hander has allowed six runs in each of his last three starts, compiling an 11.85 ERA while going 0-2 and surrendering seven homers. He served up three homers in 4 2-3 innings of Friday's 9-8, 14-inning loss to Chicago.
Perhaps a meeting with the Mariners is just what Chen needs. He's 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 11 career games - seven starts - against them, tossing a six-hitter in a 5-1 home victory April 14, 2011.
Cowboys WR Bryant arrested on family violence char
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor family violence charge in DeSoto, Tx. on Monday, multiple media outlets reported.
According to KDFW-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth and CBSDFW.com, Bryant's charge is a Class A misdemeanor. Bryant is free on bond, according to those reports.
NFL.com obtained the police report from the DeSoto Police Department and it alleges Bryant "got upset during a verbal argument and grabbed mother by her shirt and hair and hit her in the face with ball cap." Bryant's mother told police that she told her son to leave during an argument and he became upset.
Bryant's lawyer, Royce West, told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, "Dez does not want this to be a distraction for the Cowboys. ... The fact of the matter is, he has never ever been arrested for anything involving these types of allegations at all. And so, obviously it comes as a shock having to be fingerprinted, but reality is that he's going to work his way through this and be prepared for the season."
Bryant, 24, caught 63 passes for 928 yards and four TDs in 2011. He is entering his third NFL season. Bryant was the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2010.
The way we see it
Bryant’s status with the Cowboys remains very much up in the air. Although some readers might have been surprised to see Nolan Nawrocki’s note about Bryant in last week's report about supplemental-draft prospect Josh Gordon, you certainly have to think that the Cowboys believed that perhaps Bryant has too much growing up still to do and that it might be the chore for his next team to take on. The team is still investigating and is said to have not reached any judgments yet. Bryant’s rookie contract runs out after the 2014 season.