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A.J. Hinch Hired as Astros New Skipper


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros hired A.J. Hinch as their new skipper.

"I am extremely excited to bring in A.J. as our new manager," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said at a news conference Monday. "Throughout our process, we searched for a person with previous Major League experience who could effectively lead our young, growing nucleus of talented players. I have no doubt that A.J. is the right person to do that. He brings experience as a Major League player, Major League manager and player development executive. His skillsets and leadership abilities will be enormous assets in our clubhouse and to our entire organization."

The 40-year-old Hinch was the Arizona Diamondbacks skipper from May 2009 to July 2010. During that time, he recorded an 89-123 record before being fired.

Hinch takes over a team that finished last season 70-92, which was good for fourth in the AL West.

Like many current managers, Hinch is a former major league catcher. He played seven seasons in the big leagues with the Athletics, Tigers, Royals, and Phillies.

Hinch takes over for Bo Porter, who held the job for nearly two seasons.

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Orton Takes Over at QB in Buffalo


Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.) -- After losing two straight, the Buffalo Bills have decided it was time to make a change at quarterback.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone declared Monday that Kyle Orton will start at quarterback Sunday versus the Detroit Lions instead of EJ Manuel.

Manuel has started all four games for the Bills this season, leading them to a 2-2 record.

"It's not all EJ's fault, but we need to get better production, obviously, out of that position," Marrone said. "We have to make adjustments. We've got to make some changes, because we can't keep going in the direction that we're going."

The Bills selected Manuel with the 16th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then he has started 14 games, leading the Bills to a 6-8 record while throwing for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The 31-year-old Orton takes over after playing in three games for the Dallas Cowboys last season. During that time, he completed 64.7% of his passes for 398 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

 

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Bruins Re-Sign Krug and Smith


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Boston Bruins re-signed defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith Monday.

The two players each received one-year contracts worth an annual cap figure of $1.4 million.

The signings mark the end of a long negotiation between the players and the B's.

"It was definitely tough," Smith said of the contract talks. "At times, you think you're fighting a three-way battle. You've got your own ideas, your agent is advising how he probably should and they've been in the business a long time and that's probably the advice you should take. The Bruins also have their ideas and ideologies of how they want the whole situation to go, so you're kind of bouncing ideas with everyone. Me and Torey were bouncing ideas off each other the whole time, because we just wanted to get to camp. It seems like it all worked out."

The re-signing of Krug and Smith is huge for a Boston team that finished last season with the most points in the NHL.

Krug, 23, played in 79 games last season recording 14 goals and 26 assists.

As for the 23-year-old Smith, he played in 82 games last season, scoring 23 goals and handing out 31 assists, mainly playing on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

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Charles Returns To Help Chiefs Destroy Patriots


Jason O. Wastson/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Jamaal Charles' ankle seemed just fine Monday night. Charles, who missed the Kansas City Chiefs game last week against the Miami Dolphins with a high ankle sprain, caught two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Chiefs rout the New England Patriots 41-14.

"Coach said he was going to look for me, and see how it feels during the game," Charles said, "and I guess I started feeling like myself. He didn't want to take me out."

Charles finished the game with 18 rushes for 92 yards, and teammate Knile Davis had 16 carries for 107 yards in the win.

The Chiefs (2-2) never allowed the Patriots (2-2) to get comfortable on offense, constantly pressuring Tom Brady, who had three turnovers -- two interceptions and one fumble -- in the loss.

"It was just a bad performance by everybody," Brady said. "We need to make sure we never have this feeling again. We've got to figure out what we have to do better."

Alex Smith completed 20 of 26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas City, whose fans set the record for loudest outdoor sports venue in the first half, according to the Guinness World Records. The Chiefs' fans hit a noise level of 142.2 decibels, which tops the previous record of 137.6 set by the Seattle Seahawks' fans last season.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 9/29/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs 41 (2-2) - New England Patriots 14 (2-2) 

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Twins Part Ways with Longtime Manager Ron Gardenhire


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- After 13 seasons, Ron Gardenhire is out as manager of the Minnesota Twins. He had one year remaining on his contract.

Gardenhire took the helm in 2002, leading the Twins to six American League Central Division titles. He compiled a record of 1,068-1,049 (.507), trailing only Tom Kelly on the Twins' all-time managerial wins list. In the postseason, Gardenhire went 6-21, advancing out of the first round once during his tenure.

Since 2011, Gardenhire and the Twins have lost at least 92 games each season. He's only the fourth manager in Major League Baseball history to lose 90 games or more for four straight seasons with the same team.

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Michigan's Brady Hoke Says QB Shane Morris Has Ankle Injury


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- Michigan head coach Brady Hoke says, as far as he knows, quarterback Shane Morris did not suffer a head injury during Saturday’s 30-14 loss to Minnesota.

"I would never put a kid in the situation," Hoke said. "Never had, never will."

Hoke revealed that Morris left during the fourth quarter because of a high ankle sprain. The sophomore was assisted to his feet by his teammates following a helmet-to-helmet hit and he waived off the medical staff.

Hoke says he did not see the hit on Morris because he was following the ball, but that Morris stumbled to his feet because of the ankle sprain.

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Suns Reward Marcus and Markieff Morris with Contract Extensions


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After expressing a desire to continue their NBA playing careers together, the Phoenix Suns have announced they've reach contract extensions with twins Marcus and Markieff Morris.

The Arizona Republic reports Markieff has agreed on a four-year deal worth $32 million, while Marcus will receive a four-year deal worth $20 million.

"We are particularly pleased to have reached extension agreements with Marcus and Markieff before the start of training camp," Suns' president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a release. "There is an extraordinary bond between these twin brothers; they make each other better players and better men. We take pride in their growth and look forward to their bright futures."

The Morris twins played together at the University of Kansas, but began their NBA careers on separate teams as Marcus was drafted by the Houston Rockets, but was traded to Phoenix in 2013 where the two were re-united.

Last season, Marcus averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while Markeiff averaged 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

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Marlins Reward Manager Mike Redmond with Two-Year Extension


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Even though the Miami Marlins will once again be watching the postseason, there is reason for optimism as the team has given manager Mike Redmond a two-year extension.

Redmond's new deal now runs through the 2017 season as he had one more year left on his current deal.

"I'm just excited to continue this process of building this team and this organization in the direction that we know we're headed," Redmond said Sunday.

Despite finishing 2014 with a 77-85 record, the team has made significant strides on the field as the organization is filled with young talent.

"We sat down as a group and an organization and tried to figure out how we could get better and improve the ballclub. And we've been able to do that by 15 games in one year, which is not easy to do," Redmond added.

Redmond, who played with the Marlins during his playing career, was hired as the manager back in 2013 and has a 139-184 record during that span.

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Pelicans Guard Tyreke Evans Out 3-5 Weeks with Hamstring Injury


NBA via Sacramento(METAIRIE, La.) -- The injury bug is biting the New Orleans Pelicans once again as guard Tyreke Evans will miss the next three to five weeks after suffering a hamstring injury.

Pelicans general manager Dell Demps confirmed that the injury occurred while Evans was playing in a pickup basketball game, and was not with the team while the incident happened.

''Tyreke injured his hamstring playing pickup basketball out of town last week,'' Demps said in a statement.''He is back in New Orleans rehabbing with our medical staff.''

It is unknown at this time if Evans will be healthy enough to be ready to play in the team's season opener on Oct. 28 against the Orlando Magic.

Last season, injuries ravaged the Pelicans as Evans, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, and Anthony Davis all missed time.

New Orleans lost a total of 262 games due to injury or illness last season, which largely resulted in the team finishing the season with a 34-48 record.

Coming off the bench for a majority of the season for the first time during his career, the 25-year-old Evans averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game in his first season with the Pelicans.

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