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Cardinals Announce Wacha Will Start Thursday

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- After missing 11 weeks to rehab a stress fracture in his throwing shoulder, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha will return to the mound Thursday.

The Cardinals announced Tuesday that Wacha will start the first game of their series with the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday.

The hurler will be held to a 50-60 pitch count as he continues to build up the endurance in his shoulder.

"He's been working diligently for the last two months," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said when talking about how long it took for the team to allow Wacha to comeback. "From a physical standpoint, we had to make sure that his shoulder was where it needed to be. This guy is as strong as he's ever been."

The 23-year-old Wacha started 15 games before the injury this season. During those starts, he pitched 90 1/3 innings compiling a 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 26 walks while striking out 83.

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Brewers Lose Gomez for at Least a Week

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- The Milwaukee Brewers will be without All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez for at least a week.

The Brewers, who trail the Cardinals by two games for first place in the NL Central, learned the news Tuesday after Gomez had his left wrist examined by the team doctor. It was determined Gomez had no structural damage but that he had a significant sprain that requires the wrist to be in a brace.

Gomez injured the wrist while swinging the bat during the team's loss to San Francisco Sunday. He will be shut down completely for a week before resuming baseball activities.

"It is going to take some time," Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke said. "He's not going to swing a bat for a week from two days ago when he hurt it. After a week of doing nothing, he'll start some light swings and see how it feels. If it's OK, then we'll progress with it. In the meantime, whenever he's comfortable, he'll be OK to be used as a pinch runner or defensive replacement late in games. Then, we'll see how long it takes. The tough thing with Carlos is because of the way he swings -- how long is it actually going to take before he feels like it's full strength?"

The 28-year-old Gomez is hitting .282 with 21 home runs, 85 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases this season.


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ESPN: Welker Suspended 4 Games

Hyoung Chang/Denver Post(NEW YORK) -- The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker four games for using amphetamines, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

According to ESPN, Welker tested positive in a sample given shortly after the Kentucky Derby. ESPN also reports Welker claims the test was tainted and he will appeal the decision.

The 33-year-old returned to the practice field Monday after suffering his third concussion since Nov. 17 during the Broncos' preseason game against Houston.

Welker caught 73 passes and a career high 10 touchdowns for Denver last season.

The five-time Pro Bowler has played in 154 career regular season games catching 841 passes for 9.358 yards and 48 touchdowns.

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Watson Makes Ryder Cup Captain's Picks

Michael Cohen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team is set.

U.S. captain Tom Watson selected Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, and Hunter Mahan Tuesday to round out the team of 12.

Bradley, who hasn't won a tournament in two years, was close to qualifying for the team on his own. He played in the 2012 Ryder Cup and went 3-0 in matches with Phil Mickelson.

"Keegan has the ability to hit the ball a long way," Watson said. "Now, Keegan, he can go real low. He certainly teamed up great with Phil Mickelson. There are a lot of great pluses about Keegan, but the most important thing he brings to it is his unbridled passion to play on the Ryder Cup team."

Simpson went 2-2 during the American's heartbreaking loss in 2012, when the U.S. blew a 10-6 lead on the final day.

Mahan, who won the Barclays a few weeks ago, was on the last American team to win the Ryder Cup in 2008.

Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Zach Johnson will also represent the U.S. against Europe in the tournament, which begins Sept. 26 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 9/2/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Boston Red Sox 9 (61-77) – New York Yankees 4 (70-66)

Detroit Tigers 4 (76-62) – Cleveland Indians 2 (70-66)

New York Mets 8 (65-74) – Miami Marlins 6 (67-70)

Philadelphia Phillies 4 (64-74) – Atlanta Braves 0 (72-67)

Toronto Blue Jays 8 (70-67) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (67-72)

Kansas City Royals 2 (76-61) – Texas Rangers 1 (53-85)

San Francisco Giants 12 (76-63) - Colorado Rockies 7 (55-84)

Houston Astros 8 (60-79) - Los Angeles Angels 3 (83-54)

Chicago White Sox 3 (63-75) - Minnesota Twins 2 (60-78) - 10 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 6 (75-63) - Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (71-67)

Chicago Cubs 7 (63-76) - Milwaukee Brewers 1 (73-65)

Baltimore Orioles 5 (80-57) - Cincinnati Reds 4 (66-72)

San Diego Padres 2 (66-71) - Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (57-81)

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (78-61) - Washington Nationals 1 (78-59)

Seattle Mariners 6 (74-63) - Oakland Athletics 5 (79-59)

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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Bring In Michael Sam

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The Dallas Cowboys are planning to bring in free agent defensive end Michael Sam for a physical on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

If Sam passes the exam, the Cowboys will sign him to the team’s practice squad.

The Rams drafted Sam out of Missouri in the seventh round in this year’s NFL draft. St. Louis cut him on Saturday and he cleared waivers on Sunday. During his pre-season campaign, Sam had 11 tackles and three sacks. He finished with a team-high six tackles in the Rams’ final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

Sam was named the SEC defensive player of the year for 2013.

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NFL Fines and Suspends Colts Owner Jim Irsay

David Lee/Thinkstock(NOBLESVILLE, Ind.) -- The National Football League fined and suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay on Tuesday, for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Irsay received a six-game ban and was fined $500,000 following his guilty plea earlier on Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. The suspension will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday and he will be eligible to return on Oct. 9, following the Colts game against the Houston Texans.

“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,” Goodell said in a letter to Irsay. “We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunterring that owners should be held to the highest standard.”

The fine handed down to Irsay is the maximum allowed under the league rules.

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Reds Shut Down Homer Bailey for the Rest of the Season

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Image(CINCINNATI) -- Following a disappointing season coming off signing a mega-contract extension, the Cincinnati Reds have decided to shut down starting pitcher Homer Bailey for the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

Bailey had been on the shelf since being put on the DL back on August 16 with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow. Despite the injury, the team was hoping to get him back this month as the Reds fight for a playoff spot in the National League.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds are mulling whether or not surgery could be the best option for the 28-year-old Bailey.

Now in his eighth season with the Reds, the team signed Bailey during the offseason to a six-year extension worth $105 million.

In 23 starts this season, Bailey went 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA along with a 1.23 WHIP. Despite the lucrative contract, Bailey has a career record of 58-50 with a 4.17 ERA.

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Mariners Suspend Jesus Montero the Rest of the Season

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Following a bizarre incident involving an ice cream sandwich, the Seattle Mariners have suspended catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero the rest of the season.

This past Thursday, during a minor league game for the Boise Hawks, Mariners scout Butch Baccala sent over an ice cream sandwich to the dugout for Montero as a way to heckle him.

Montero has battled weight issues this season, reportedly showing up nearly 40 pounds overweight to spring training earlier this year.

Angered by Baccala's attempt to embarrass him, Montero reportedly tried to go after him in the stands with a bat.

"I want to apologize on behalf of the Mariners franchise to the Boise Hawks and their fans," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We recognize that fans, including children, were impacted by this incident, and the language that was used. We recognize the severity of this incident, and want to assure the Hawks and their fans that it will be dealt with appropriately. In addition, I want to thank Todd Rahr, president and general manager of the Boise Hawks, for his assistance in helping me ascertain what occurred last night."

Montero was acquired by the Mariners in 2012 for Michale Pineda. He's struggled to stay in the Majors and produce like the top prospect he once was. The 24-year-old Montero is hitting just .251 during his time with Seattle.

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Brewers Activate Starting Pitcher Matt Garza

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the St. Louis Cardinals breathing down their neck in the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers are getting reinforcements as the team has activated starting pitcher Matt Garza off the disabled list.

Garza had been on the shelf since early August as he dealt with an oblique injury.

During the offseason, the Brewers signed 30-year-old Garza to a four-year deal worth $50 million.

Aside from the injury, it's proven to be a wise investment so far. In 23 starts this season, Garza has gone 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA to go along with a 1.13 WHIP.

Garza's return to the Brewers could not have come at a better time. The team has lead their division for the majority of the season, but now find themselves trailing the Cardinals by one game in the division with just 25 games to play.

The team has Garza scheduled to return to the mound on Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs.

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