HOUSTON - The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team's 59-79 record than the need for "new direction" and a "united message throughout the entire organization."
Porter was in his second season with the Astros and was succeeded by interim manager Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston's minor league system. Lawless' first game in charge is Tuesday night at home against the first-place Los Angeles Angels.
ATLANTA - With their playoff hopes uncertain, Atlanta's struggling batters picked a bad time to get no-hit by Cole Hamels and three Philadelphia relievers.
"You feel like you've hit a good stride," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "And all of a sudden you go through a stretch where you score one run in 27 innings, and lucky enough to win one of those games."
Hamels and the Phillies bullpen combined on the season's fourth no-hitter, blanking the Atlanta Braves 7-0 Monday.
The coverup can be worse than the crime. And Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw is far from the first sports figure to spin a bogus story to explain an injury.
Some of the most famous lies in pro sports have involved athletes trying to cover themselves for things they know they shouldn't be doing. Tough to explain to your bosses paying millions of dollars that you can't play because you were doing something forbidden under your contract.
PHILADELPHIA - A youth baseball team whose star female pitcher and performance in the Little League World Series drew a wide following received a champion's treatment in a parade Wednesday in downtown Philadelphia.
Hundreds of office workers and city residents lined a major thoroughfare to cheer on the Taney Dragons and their pitcher Mo'ne Davis, who made it onto the cover of Sports Illustrated.
BALTIMORE - Major League Baseball on Tuesday denied a protest filed by the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend in Toronto.
Executive Vice-President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre made the ruling, which stemmed from a play disputed by Rays manager Joe Maddon in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays in 10 innings.
Wil Myers was called safe at first base on a pickoff throw by Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle. After Buehrle returned to the rubber, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to challenge the call.
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig received a two-year contract extension Thursday through the 2014 season.
Selig has held the position since 1992, first as acting commissioner and then as commissioner since 1998. He will turn 80 in July 2014.
If he stays until September 2016, he would surpass Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1920-44) as the longest-serving baseball commissioner.
Selig's contract had been due to expire this Dec. 31.