AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:45 p.m. EDT

In rare contact, US offers Russia deal for Griner, Whelan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan. That’s according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also revealed Wednesday that he has asked to speak with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time in months. The statement marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly...

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In rare contact, US offers Russia deal for Griner, Whelan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan. That’s according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also revealed Wednesday that he has asked to speak with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time in months. The statement marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly revealed any concrete action it has taken to secure the release of Griner.  He did not offer details on the proposed deal outlined to the Russians, though a person familiar with the matter said the U.S. government has offered to trade convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Whelan and Griner.

WNBA’s Griner tells drug trial: ‘My career is my whole life’

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner testified at her drug possession trial in Russia  that an interpreter translated only a fraction of what was said during questioning when she was detained at Moscow’s airport in February and officials told her to sign documents without giving an explanation. The testimony by Griner came on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home the WNBA star and another jailed American, Paul Whelan. Griner has been detained since mid-February after police said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She has pleaded guilty to the charges.

Waiting game: Watson, Browns open camp as NFL ruling looms

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson practiced on Day 1 of training camp as the Browns began preparing for the upcoming season still not knowing if he will be suspended by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy. Watson has been accused by more than two dozen massage therapists in Texas of sexual misconduct. The three-time Pro Bowler faces possible punishment from league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson. The retired judge who was jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association to handle player penalties has been weighing his case for weeks. There had been an expectation that Robinson would render her decision before camp. That didn’t happen.

Yankees get OF Benintendi from Royals for 3 minor leaguers

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees made the first of what could be a flurry of moves ahead of next week’s trade deadline, acquiring All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals for three minor league pitchers. Right-handers Chandler Champlain and Beck Way went to the Royals with left-hander T.J. Sikkema. Benintendi, a 28-year-old left-handed hitter, was among 10 Royals who missed a four-game series at Toronto from July 14-17 because he was not vaccinated. New York believes he is amenable to getting vaccinated. No Yankees missed earlier trips to Toronto this season, and the Yankees have a three-game series there from Sept. 26-28. Benintendi is hitting .320 this season and a reigning Gold Glover. The Royals play at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.

Burrow to miss part of Bengals’ camp after appendectomy

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor says quarterback Joe Burrow has had a successful appendectomy but there is no timetable for his return to the field. Taylor says he doesn’t expect the star quarterback to fall behind in practice. He expects Burrow to be released from the hospital Wednesday, which happened to be the first official day of workouts for the Bengals. Backups Brandon Allen and Jake Browning will take the snaps until Burrow’s return, likely in a couple of weeks.

Pujols hits 3-run HR, Cards overcome absences, beat Jays 6-1

TORONTO (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and finished with three hits, passing Rogers Hornsby on St. Louis’ career list, and the Cardinals stopped Toronto’s seven-game win streak with a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays. Adam Wainwright pitched seven sparkling innings to help St. Louis earn a split of the two-game set while playing without unvaccinated sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Nolan Gorman homered, and Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar each hit an RBI double.

Mets edge Yankees 3-2 in 9th for 2-game Subway Series sweep

NEW YORK (AP) — Starling Marte singled home the winning run in the ninth inning, and the New York Mets beat the crosstown Yankees 3-2 for a two-game sweep of their Subway Series. Max Scherzer was marvelous on his 38th birthday, striking out Aaron Judge three times to help the Mets take a 2-0 lead into the eighth. Gleyber Torres tied it with a two-run homer off inexperienced reliever David Peterson, normally a starter. Pete Alonso homered early off Domingo Germán, and Francisco Lindor had an RBI single for the Mets before a sellout crowd at Citi Field. Making his Subway Series debut, Scherzer permitted five hits over seven innings.

Rodríguez HR again, 3-run shot in 7th, Mariners sweep Texas

SEATTLE (AP) — Julio Rodríguez connected again, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Seattle Mariners finished off a three-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 4-2. A day earlier, the 21-year-old rookie sensation hit a leadoff home run in the first inning. That was his first swing since the All-Star Game because of a sore left wrist that was initially injured in the final game before the break in Texas. Rodríguez had a breakout performance in the All-Star Home Run Derby, where he smashed 81 shots over the wall. This home run was his 18th of the season and came with one out against starter Jon Gray.

Russell Wilson ushers in new Broncos era, in a hurry to win

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — New Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is in a hurry to turn Denver’s fortunes around. Wilson has made his training camp debut and says it’s a championship-caliber team because of the mix of veterans and rookies and a new coaching staff. Wilson is entering the second chapter of his career after nearly a decade in Seattle, where he led the Seahawks to a win over Denver in Super Bowl 48. The Broncos aren’t tamping down the high expectations as they seek to snap a six-year playoff drought that includes five consecutive losing seasons.

Harden, 76ers make it official on 2-year, $68 million deal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers and James Harden have agreed on a new multi-year contract. Harden signed a deal worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. He will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal. Harden had a $47.4 million option for this coming season that he declined last month. Harden said he wanted to give the 76ers flexibility to improve their roster and compete for a championship.

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