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Sunday, Sep 21, 2014
Sports

Tuesday's Sports In Brief

Published:   |   Updated: September 3, 2014 at 07:45 AM

NEW YORK (AP) Keegan Bradley hasn't stopped thinking about playing in another Ryder Cup. U.S. captain Tom Watson gave him that chance Tuesday night.

Watson filled out his U.S. team that will try to win back the cup by selecting Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson. Among those he left off the team was Chris Kirk, who finished ahead of Simpson in the Ryder Cup standings and won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.

Bradley hasn't won a tournament in two years. But he went 3-0 in a partnership with Phil Mickelson two years ago at Medinah before losing to Rory McIlroy in singles.

Mahan was left off the 2012 team that lost to Europe.

The matches are Sept. 26-28 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Europe has won seven of the last nine.

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) One thing that Gael Monfils hasn't done in his impressive tennis career is reach a Grand Slam final. He took a step closer Tuesday at the U.S. Open during a surprisingly matter-of-fact 7-5, 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory in the fourth round over No. 7-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, a man considered one of the sport's up-and-comers.

The 20th-seeded Frenchman will face Roger Federer for a spot in the semifinals. Monfils' lone Grand Slam semifinal appearance came at the 2008 French Open, when he lost to Federer, part of a 2-7 career mark against the 17-time major champion.

Federer advanced to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the 10th time in 11 years by eliminating 17th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

The other quarterfinal matchup on that half of the draw will be No. 6 Tomas Berdych against No. 14 Marin Cilic. Berdych beat 20-year-old Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; Cilic was a 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner against No. 26 Gilles Simon.

In women's quarterfinals, 39th-ranked Peng Shuai of China topped 17-year-old Belinda Belic of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1. Peng's next opponent will be No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, the 2009 U.S. Open runner-up, who overwhelmed No. 13 Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 in a wind-whipped match Tuesday night.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos will be without Wes Welker for the first four games of the season after the NFL said the receiver violated the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

News of Welker's ban didn't come down until late Tuesday, after the league offices had closed and the Broncos had already finished drawing up blueprints for their opener against Indianapolis, undoubtedly with Welker playing a prominent role.

ESPN first reported Welker's suspension, saying the violation had to do with amphetamines.

Welker told the Denver Post in an email that he was "as shocked as everyone at today's news." He noted he's meticulous about what he puts in his body and would "never knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way."

While it takes multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policies to trigger a suspension, a four-game ban is issued for a single violation of the NFL's ban on performance-enhancing substances.

Welker's suspension will cost him roughly $706,000 in base salary.

Welker was excused from practices for two days last month, apparently to meet with league officials about his pending suspension. He then played in a preseason game against Houston on Aug. 23, when he sustained his third concussion since Nov. 17.

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) The NFL suspended Jim Irsay for the first six games of the season and fined him $500,000 for violating its personal conduct policy, coming down hard on the Indianapolis Colts owner Tuesday just hours after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from an embarrassing March traffic stop.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Irsay is barred from team facilities, practices and games and cannot represent the Colts at NFL meetings or events. The fine is the maximum allowed under league rules.

The 55-year-old Irsay pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and acknowledged during his appearance before a Hamilton County judge that he was under the influence of the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone when he was arrested March 16 near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.

Irsay didn't comment outside the courtroom, but he apologized to Colts fans in a prepared statement.

WNBA

PHOENIX (AP) Diana Taurasi had 31 points, including a 50-footer at the end of the third quarter, to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 96-78 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday night, putting the Mercury into the WNBA Finals.

Taurasi scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to give Phoenix an 80-67 lead with 7:19 left. Minnesota had eliminated Phoenix in the 2011 and 2013 en route to winning the title.

The Mercury, which had the best record in the league, will face the winner of Wednesday's Chicago-Indiana game.

Seimone Augustus had 13 of her 21 points in the third quarter as the Lynx erased a 10-point deficit. The Lynx tied the game at 67 with 1:25 left in the third on Maya Moore's layup. Taurasi then hit a jumper to restore the advantage and then nailed the shot from 50-feet away to give Phoenix a five-point lead after three quarters and seize all the momentum from the Lynx.

Lindsay Whalen had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists but missed four straight shots to start the fourth quarter. Moore had 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

Brittney Griner had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists for Phoenix. DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree each added 14 for the Mercury. Phoenix, 29-5 during the regular season, hasn't been in the finals since winning the title in 2009. The Mercury have won 18 straight home games, last losing to San Antonio on May 23.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw pitched eight strong innings for his major league leading 17th win, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Tuesday night.

Kershaw (17-3) gave up three hits and one run, walked two and struck out eight to win his third straight start and lower his ML-leading ERA to 1.70. He also went 1 for 2 with a run scored.

Doug Fister (12-6) lost his third consecutive start. He gave up 10 hits, four runs, walked two and struck out two in five-plus innings.

Bryce Harper homered in the seventh for the Nationals' only run. It was the first homer by a lefty against Kershaw this season.

The Dodgers (78-61) moved one game behind the Nationals (78-59) for the National League's best record.

NEW YORK (AP) Masahiro Tanaka plans to throw a bullpen this week, the next step for the injured New York Yankees ace as he tries to overcome a recent setback.

New York manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka threw well Tuesday, and team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad diagnosed the right-hander with arm fatigue. Tanaka, hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, was sent back to New York last weekend to work out and play catch at Yankee Stadium after feeling general soreness in his arm Friday, one day after he threw 49 pitches in a simulated game in Detroit.

Tanaka has been sidelined since July 9 with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but the Yankees have been holding out hope that he can get back in time to contribute to a playoff push.

The Japanese sensation is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in his first major league season.

Tanaka was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday in a procedural move as the Yankees made a flurry of additions before their first game since active rosters expanded. He is eligible to come off the DL next week.

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