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Last Update on September 17, 2014 06:32 GMT


UNDATED (AP) -- Major League Baseball's first two division champions were crowned on Tuesday, and they reside about 40 miles apart. The Washington Nationals clinched the National League East for the second time in three seasons, a few minutes before the Baltimore Orioles claimed their first American League East title in 17 years.

Tanner Roark (ROH'-ahrk) pitched five-hit ball over seven innings as the Nats shut out the Braves 3-0 in Atlanta. The game was scoreless until Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to help Roark pick up his 14th win. Desmond also scored an insurance run on a wild pitch in the ninth.

Steve Pearce hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and Baltimore's bullpen tossed four scoreless innings in an 8-2 rout of Toronto. Jimmy Paredes (pah-REH'-dees) added a solo shot before Alejandro De Aza (day AH'-zah) put the game out of reach with a three-run triple in the seventh.

The Blue Jays collected just four hits in moving a step closer to elimination in the AL wild-card race.

Baseball's tightest division race remains in the AL Central, where Detroit still leads by 1 1/2 games over Kansas City after both teams blew late leads.

Minnesota rallied to beat Detroit 4-3 after J.D. Martinez launched a two-out, three-run homer to put the Tigers ahead 3-2 in the top of the ninth. Kurt Suzuki tied the score for the Twins with an RBI double before Aaron Hicks poked a walkoff single to end the Tigers' four-game winning streak.

The Royals were enjoying a 5-4 lead until Conor Gillaspie laced a bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning to lift the Chicago White Sox over Kansas City 7-5. Alex Gordon had two RBIs for the Royals, who lost despite Nori Aoki's (NOHR'-ee ah-OH'-keez) second straight four-hit game.

Elsewhere in the majors:

-- Colorado halted a seven-game skid and slowed the Dodgers' run to a division crown by crushing Los Angeles 10-4. Corey Dickerson hit a two-run homer and a two-run triple to help the Rockies withstand Yasiel Puig's (YAH'-see-ul pweegz) first homer since July 31.

-- San Francisco pulled within three games of the NL West-leading Dodgers as Jake Peavy allowed a run and five hits over 7 2/3 innings to pitch the Giants past Arizona 2-1. Buster Posey homered for the Giants, who didn't take the lead for good until Brandon Crawford lifted a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

-- The Cardinals' lead in the NL Central is down to 2 1/2 games over Pittsburgh after Hector Gomez lined an RBI single in the 12th inning to lift Milwaukee past St. Louis 3-2. Gerardo Parra homered to help the Brewers stay within two games of the Pirates for the final NL wild-card berth.

-- Charlie Morton combined with five relievers on a seven-hitter as Pittsburgh blanked Boston 4-0. Russell Martin put the Pirates ahead with a two-run homer in the second, four innings before Starling Marte (MAHR'-tay) added a solo blast.

-- Wil Myers drove in two runs with one sacrifice fly and Jake Odorizzi (oh-doh-REE'-zee) allowed one run in six innings of Tampa Bay's 6-1 win over the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter extended his hitless streak to 26 at-bats before he was plunked on the arm, the fifth time a Yankees batter has been hit by a Rays pitcher in the past week.

-- Jake Arrieta took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning and eventually settled for a one-hitter as the Chicago Cubs dumped Cincinnati 7-0. Chris Coghlan capped a five-run sixth inning with a three-run double, and Jorge Soler (HOHR'-hay soh-LEHR') homered in the seventh.

-- Jose Altuve (al-TOO'-vay) set an Astros for hits in a season, but Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) hit a two-run homer and Corey Kluber struck out a career-high 14 over seven innings of Cleveland's 4-2 triumph at Houston. Altuve went 2-for-5 to give him 211 hits this year, topping the previous team mark of 210 set by Craig Biggio (BIH'-zhee-oh) in 1998.

-- Wilmer Flores was 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-high six RBIs as the New York Mets ripped Miami 9-1. Ruben Tejada (the-HAH'-dah) drove in two runs to back Bartolo Colon, who surrendered 12 hits but only one run in 7 2/3 innings.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- New York Yankees infielder-outfielder Martin Prado (mar-TEEN' PRAH'-doh) has had an appendectomy and will miss the rest of the season. The team says Prado had the surgery Tuesday and has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.

Prado has been a solid performer for the Yankees, posting a .316 batting average with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 37 games since being obtained from Arizona on July 31.

Masahiro Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE'-roh tah-NAH'-kah) is likely to rejoin the Yankees' rotation Sunday against Toronto and will have a pitch limit of 70 to 75. He has been sidelined since July 9 because of a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

If Tanaka doesn't have any setbacks, he would get a second outing during the Yankees' season-ending series at Boston.


UNDATED (AP) -- The NFL is beginning to hear from its major sponsors amid the league's recent instances of domestic abuse.

Anheuser (AN'-hy-zur)-Busch says it has spoken with the NFL about former Raven Ray Rice's domestic abuse situation and the child abuse charges against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. say they have also voiced similar concerns to the league.

In response, the league issued a statement saying: "We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come."

Yearly sponsorship money is worth about $1.07 billion for the league and its teams, according to sponsorship consultancy IEG.

Radisson Hotels have pulled their sponsorship of the Vikings, and Nike (NY'-kee) stores in the Twin Cities area have pulled Peterson merchandise from their shelves.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says Peterson should have remained suspended until an accusation of child abuse was resolved in the Texas legal system. Peterson is accused of causing injury to his 4-year old son by using a wooden switch to spank him.

The governor said in a statement to The Associated Press that Peterson is innocent until proven guilty. But Dayton also called Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment" to the Vikings and the state of Minnesota.

And the union has appealed Rice's indefinite suspension. He was originally handed a two-game suspension in July under the NFL's personal conduct policy after he was charged with assault following a Feb. 15 altercation with his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

The former Ravens running back had already served the first game of that suspension when a video surfaced last week showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now his wife, in that elevator.

Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the suspension to indefinite based on the "new evidence."

Goodell and the Ravens say they never saw the video before Sept. 8.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. senator says she will introduce a bill to eliminate the NFL's tax-exempt status because the league has not taken action over the Washington Redskins name. The announcement by Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington state was one of several initiatives presented during a Capitol Hill news conference today aimed at increasing pressure on Redskins owner Dan Snyder.


UNDATED (AP) -- Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner and linebacker Junior Seau (SAY'-ow) are among 15 first-year eligible modern-era candidates nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also nominated for the class of 2015 in their first year of eligibility are receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, tackle Orlando Pace, and placekicker Jason Elam.

A total of 99 players and 14 coaches comprise the 113 nominees. A modern-era player or coach must be retired at least five consecutive seasons to be eligible.


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) -- A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo made the announcement after reviewing evidence collected by sheriff's investigators.

Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt-track race in Canandaigua (kan-un-DAY'-gwuh) on Aug. 9.

Stewart issued a statement saying he looks forward to the process being completed and will continue to cooperate.


ATLANTA (AP) -- Mayor Kasim (kah-SEEM') Reed says he has talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks. He expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

Reed says whoever buys the team would have majority ownership.

He says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is lining up an investment bank to look into the finances of any potential buyer.

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