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Sports in brief

NFL

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Browns LB banned for four games

CLEVELAND — The NFL suspended Browns linebacker Armonty Bryant for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating policy on performance enhancing substances. Bryant, 25, won't be paid during his ban, but can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He recently pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession charges.

Also, team president Alec Scheiner is leaving his job March 31 and will be a club consultant through 2016.

Suggs arrest: Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was arrested after his BMW apparently hit a curb in a parking lot in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.

Bills: They released cornerback Leodis McKelvin and signed left tackle Cordy Glenn to a $13.7 million franchise tender.

Tennis

ITF: Surface error in USA-Australia match

The International Tennis Federation said this weekend's first-round Davis Cup match between Australia and the United States should have been on hardcourts, not grass. It said the confusion came from a three-way "oversight" by the ITF, the United States Tennis Association and Tennis Australia. In 1999, when a tie between the nations was moved from Australia to Boston and played on hardcourt instead of clay, which the Americans would have preferred. As part of that agreement, their next meeting was supposed to be in Australia and on a hard surface. This weekend's meeting at Kooyong was 1-1 going into today's doubles. Bernard Tomic defeated American Jack Sock 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 after John Isner gave the U.S. team the lead with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Groth. In other matches, France took a 2-0 lead over Canada in Guadeloupe, host Germany was tied with the Czech Republic 1-1, and host Italy took a 2-0 lead over at Switzerland team missing Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

MMA

Holm, McGregor ready for UFC card tonight

Undefeated Holly Holm, who shocked Ronda Rousey in November in her last fight, takes on veteran Miesha Tate for the women's bantamweight belt and Conor McGregor faces brawler Nate Diaz in a non-title welterweight bout — 25 pounds heavier than the usual limit for featherweight champ McGregor — in tonight's UFC 196 in Las Vegas.

Et cetera

Iditarod: The world's top dog sled race starts today in downtown Anchorage despite a lack of snow — the Alaska Railroad had to bring in seven train car loads of snow down from Fairbanks for today's 3-mile stage.

Swimming: Ryan Murphy beat a packed field that included gold medalists Michael Phelps and Matt Grevers to win the men's 100-meter backstroke in 53.47 seconds at the Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Orlando.

Cycling: The U.S. team won the women's team pursuit for its first gold medal at the world championships in London.

Times wires

Sports in brief 03/04/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2016 9:59pm]
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  1. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre put Texas ahead 4-3 when he scored after two wild pitches.
  2. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

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    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Less proved to be more for RHP Jake Odorizzi during his last start when he pitched exclusively out of the stretch. The result was seven one-hit innings in the Rays' 3-2 win Monday at Oakland.

    Rays starter Jake Odorizzi says that pitching from the stretch “limited the movements prior to throwing the pitch, and that changed a lot of things” in a superb outing last week.
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she felt she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

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    The Heater

    Judging by those who were asking for them before Saturday's giveaways, those who tried to get an extra one or two once inside the Trop and those who quickly slipped theirs on before finding their seats, the DJ Kitty Onesie might be the Rays' most popular giveaway. Ever.