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MLB denies plans to play in Australia

BASEBALL

MLB denies plans to play in Australia

Major League Baseball said it isn’t in negotiations with the Dodgers or any other team to open the 2014 season in Australia. Australian promoters earlier said they were working on a deal that could have the Dodgers open with a three-game series against the Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Local officials told the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday the series would attract up to 25,000 overseas tourists and generate $80 million for the New South Wales state economy. The newspaper said officials had been working on a potential series for several years, but the identity of the teams had been kept secret.

Minnesota to decline option on Capps

The Twins declined their $6 million 2013 option on right-handed reliever Matt Capps, instead opting to make him a free agent by paying him a $250,000 buyout. Capps had 45 saves over 2½ seasons in Minnesota . . . The Mariners declined their 2013 option on catcher Miguel Olivo, making him a free agent. Olivo played 87 games and hit .222 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs . . . Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is set to begin rehab from his Oct. 5 left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and damage to the rotator cuff.

TENNIS

Lobsters getting a new home for 2013

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The Boston Lobsters’ home matches will be played at the Manchester Athletic Club starting next season. The name of the facility hosting the Lobsters’ new home court will be the Joan Norton Tennis Center. Team officials say the convenient location, less than one mile from Route 128, will provide the team with a venue that is very desirable for the team, its guests and sponsors . . . Roger Federer edged Thomaz Bellucci, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals of his hometown Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel, Switzerland . . . Serena Williams beat Li Na, 7-6 (1), 6-3, for her second win in round-robin matches to close in on the semifinals at the WTA Championships, a tournament for the top eight players in the world, in Istanbul. Victoria Azarenka saved two match points before rallying past Angelique Kleber, 6-7 (11), 7-6 (2), 6-4, in her first match . . . John Isner fell to David Goffin, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Valencia Open in Spain. Marin Cilic, a 6-1, 6-4 victor over Fernando Verdasco, and Ivan Dodig, who topped Lleyton Hewitt, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, also reached the quarterfinals.

COLLEGES

Reisner and Clancy earn Gold Helmets

Brown junior tailback Jordan Reisner and Merrimack senior quarterback Joe Clancy earned Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Awards from the New England Football Writers. Reisner rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in a 21-14 win over Cornell. In an 81-35 victory over Saint Anselm, Clancy threw seven touchdown passes and finished with a Northeast-10 record 553 yards on 27 of 42 passing . . . MIT senior guard Ethan Peterson is one of 15 National Scholar-Athlete recipients from the National Football Foundation. He is a semifinalist in Division 3 . . . NCAA president Mark Emmert said the sanctions levied on Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal dealt with the behavior of university leaders and whether or not the school handled the allegations appropriately . . . Dayton was picked to finish first in the Atlantic 10 preseason women’s basketball poll. UMass, coming off a 8-21 (3-11 Atlantic 10) season, was picked 15th out of 16 teams.

MISCELLANY

Source: Cavs pick up Scott’s option

The Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised their option on coach Byron Scott’s contract for 2013-14, according to a person familiar with the decision . . . In MLS, C.J. Sapong scored in the 82d minute to give Sporting Kansas City a 2-1 home win over the Philadelphia Union . . . CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American soccer says it will hold a special Copa America tournament in 2016 in the United States to commemorate the 100th year of the body’s founding . . . Padraig Harrington won the exhibition PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Southampton, Bermuda, running off three straight birdies early on the back nine to close with a 4-under 67 for a one-shot win over Webb Simpson . . . Jeff Blatnick, who overcame cancer to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics, died Wednesday in New York at 55. Officials at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady said he died there of heart failure . . . New York’s Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from thoroughbred trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. to overturn his 10-year ban for drug violations.

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