iStockphoto(WASHINGTON) – Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper belted three home runs as Washington (14-15) reeled in the Miami Marlins (13-15), 7-5, on Wednesday afternoon.
Harper finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs and five RBIs. Each of his three home runs came off of Marlins starter Tom Koehler (2-3).
Right-hander Max Scherzer (2-3) went seven innings for the Nationals, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits while striking out 10 batters. Closer Drew Storen picked up his eighth save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hit his seventh home run of the season in the eighth inning.
Photos.com/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The Oakland Athletics activated outfielder Coco Crisp from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Craig Gentry to Triple-A Nashville, the team announced on Wednesday.
The A’s placed Crisp on the 15-day disabled list on April 3 after he underwent surgery on his right elbow. On a rehab assignment with Single-A Stockton, he went 2-for-8 with a double, RBI and a walk in two games.
Gentry was hitting .086 with two RBIs in 16 games with Oakland this season. He began the year on an 0-for-22 skid.
Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A report released on Wednesday by the independent attorney hired by the NFL concludes "it's more probable than not" that New England Patriots personnel "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots games balls after the balls were examined by the referee."
The investigation, led by attorney Ted Wells, stated it "is more than probable" that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" involving the release of air from the Patriots' footballs. But the report said there was no deliberate attempt by the Patriots to introduce a non-approved kicking ball during the AFC Championship game against the Indiana Colts on Jan. 18.
The Patriots won 45-7, then went on to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.
The report names Jim McNally, the Patriots' locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, a Patriots equipment assistant, as having "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."
Patriots CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement, "To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game, would be a gross understatement. In addition, given our level of cooperation throughout the process, I was offended by the comments made in the Wells Report in reference to not making an individual available for a follow-up interview. What the report fails to mention is that he had already been interviewed four times and we felt the fifth request for access was excessive for a part-time game day employee who has a full-time job with another employer."
He added: "While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me."
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Kansas City Royals are hoping to have right fielder Alex Rios back in two weeks, manager Ned Yost said Tuesday.
Rios suffered a fractured left hand April 13 after being hit by a pitch.
"It would probably be beneficial to get some at-bats, but we'll see. I don't know yet," said Yost, when asked if Rios would need a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Rios was hitting .321 with a home run and eight RBIs before he was sidelined.
During his 12-year major league career, the two-time All-Star has suited up for the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Royals. He owns a career .279 batting average, 166 homers, 770 RBIs, 849 runs and 246 stolen bases.
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace believes that he is the fastest player in the NFL.
Wallace, who was acquired by the Vikings this offseason, said that his personal best in the 40-yard dash is 4.21 seconds.
"Without a doubt, I'm the fastest player in the NFL," Wallace told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. "If somebody feels foggy about that, we can [race]. I'm never going to back down from competition.''
"I've run a lot of routes and I've got a lot of miles on my legs, but I still feel that there's nobody who can run with me,'' Wallace added. "I might have slowed down a little but I could still run 4.25.''
The best recorded time in the 40-yard dash belongs to Chris Johnson, who ran it in 4.24 in 2008.
Wallace, 28, wore out his welcome in Miami after an inability to consistently connect with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tensions reached a head when the receiver reportedly quit on the team during the Week 17 loss to the New York Jets.
Minnesota opens up the season in Tennessee against the Titans on Sept. 3.
Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If Floyd Mayweather Jr. is up for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao next year, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Tuesday that says Pacquiao is too.
Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the richest fight in boxing history. Mayweather also told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in a text message on Tuesday that he be would open to a rematch with Pacquiao after he recovers from shoulder surgery to repair what his surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, told ESPN.com was a "significant tear" in his right rotator cuff.
"I will fight him in a year after his surgery," Mayweather texted Smith.
Arum said that as difficult as it was for the Pacquiao/Top Rank/HBO and Mayweather/Showtime camps to make the deal for last Saturday's fight -- and as equally difficult as it was to work together during the promotion -- he believes they could make a deal for a rematch.
"I think we now know what the pitfalls were," Arum said. "And, ultimately, with all the aggravation and trouble, look at the pot of gold that we both produced. I think they're will probably be less aggravation in a rematch. We understand each other better now. There's a real possibility it could work even better."
Arum suggests that Mayweather holds off on a September fight and waits for Pacquiao to fight him in April, which is when the MGM plans to open a new 20,000-seat arena in Las Vegas.
Norm Hall/Getty Images(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Tuesday's game against the Miami Marlins after pitching just three innings; the Nats ended up losing 2-1.
"He's got a little issue under his shoulder blade. Had it last start," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "Could be an alignment issue, but as he finishes pitches, it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse. So we'll have to have the chiropractor look at him."
In the second inning, Strasburg winced after throwing a pitch and was visited by the team trainer, pitching coach Steve McCatty, and Williams. The right-hander stayed in the game, but not for long.
Strasburg allowed two baserunners in the third before retiring Adeiny Hechavarria to end the inning.
"It's something that's just been lingering, and I just felt it more and more," Strasburg said. "I felt like it was something that I felt I could have gone through it, but at this point in the season you just want to get it right and not alter your mechanics too much."
Strasburg (2-3) left for a pinch hitter after allowing two runs and throwing 64 pitches in his shortest outing since a two-inning stint against Miami on Aug. 28, 2013.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images(OAKLAND) -- Mike Conley returned just eight days after having facial surgery to score 22 points as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors 97-90 on Tuesday night, tying the Western Conference semifinals at 1.
Wearing a clear mask to protect his swollen face and red left eye, Conley made his first four shots to get the Grizzlies started, and his teammates did the rest on defense.
Zach Randolph had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee scored 15 points each to help Memphis end Golden State's 21-game home-winning streak. The Warriors dropped to 42-3 on the season at Oracle Arena, losing for the first time at home in more than three months.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Right before tipoff, Wizards point guard John Wall was a scratch from Game 2 in Atlanta. The Hawks took advantage, defeating Washington 106-90, tying the series at one game apiece.
DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points, and Al Horford made some huge plays late in the game when the Hawks needed it most.
"We knew this was a game we had to win," Carroll said. "It was kind of a funky game."
Atlanta fell in Game 1, but the Hawks caught a huge break when the Wizards announced just before the game that Wall wouldn't play because of a sprained left wrist.
Ramon Sessions did a great job filling in for Wall, leading the Wizards with 21 points.
The series will shift to Washington for Game 3 on Saturday.