Thursday’s Sports In Brief

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the season without quarterback Jameis Winston, who has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Winston said in a statement released on Facebook that the NFL informed him of their decision. The discipline stems from the league’s investigation of an accusation that the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner groped a female Uber driver during a ride the quarterback took in Arizona, where Winston was attending a charity event in March 2016.

The driver did not file a criminal or civil complaint, however she reported the incident to Uber. The NFL learned of the allegation, when it was reported publicly last November.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The NFL has fined former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson $2.75 million following its investigation into sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.

The league said the investigation conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White substantiated the allegations against Richardson, that the improper conduct was limited to him and that the team and its ownership failed to report the allegations or any resolution agreements to the league.

The league also said most of the money will go toward organizations that address racial- and gender-based issues in and outside the workplace.

Richardson has an agreement to sell the Panthers for a league-record $2.2 billion to hedge fund president and owner David Tepper. The league owners unanimously approved the sale last month, and NFL officials said the sale is expected to close in the next two weeks.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Arkansas missed a chance to win the College World Series when a foul pop dropped between three infielders. Oregon State made the Razorbacks pay for it behind one of the best pitching performances in a title game.

Freshman Kevin Abel threw a two-hitter for his record fourth victory in the CWS, and Oregon State – a night after escaping on the ninth-inning, two-out foul ball fiasco, beat Arkansas 5-0 for its third title.

Abel was the fourth pitcher in the CWS’ 71-year history to throw a shutout in a title game, and the first to do it allowing so few hits.

He retired the last 20 batters, catching Luke Bonfield looking at strike three on a 3-2 pitch to end it.

Oregon State (55-12-1) capped a two-year run in which it won 111 of 130 games.

BASEBALL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Lance McCullers pitched seven strong innings, Jake Marisnick homered and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 to tie a franchise record with their 11th straight road win.

McCullers (9-3) gave up three hits while striking out seven. The Astros have won his last six starts and have won 18 of 21 overall. Their latest win matched the club record set last May 14-June 5 on the way to winning the franchise’s first World Series title.

The Rays, who had won five straight overall and eight straight at home, had runners on first and third with none out in the eighth against reliever Chris Devenski, but Matt Duffy lined into a double play and Jake Bauers grounded out.

Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.

Marisnick’s homer in the fifth came off Ryan Yarbrough (7-4) and was his seventh of the season. It ended the Rays’ streak of 26 scoreless innings, the second-longest in franchise history.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Aaron Nola pitched into the eighth inning to win his 10th game of the season, Rhys Hoskins homered again and the Philadelphia Phillies started a pivotal division series by beating the Washington Nationals 4-3.

Hoskins hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning for his 13th home run of the year and a 4-1 lead that propelled the Phillies within two games of idle Atlanta for first place the NL East. The Phillies took two of three last weekend in Washington, and both teams entered this four-game set within striking distance of the Braves.

Nola, who beat the Nationals in his last outing, pitched again like an All-Star and hasn’t lost in six turns since May 26. Nola (10-2) struck out eight and walked only two over 114 pitches and 7 2/3 sensational innings. He has won seven straight decisions at home dating to last season.

GOLF

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) – Tiger Woods used a new putter and got the same middling results in the Quicken Loans National.

Woods battled back from a double bogey with five straight birdie chances from 8 feet or closer. He made only two of them and had to settle for an even-par 70, leaving him seven shots out of the lead in the opening round on the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Andrew Landry set the pace on a difficult, but rain-softened course with a 7-under 63. J.J. Spaun matched him in the afternoon, playing in the group behind Woods without hardly anyone noticing that he played bogey-free while running off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch.

Billy Horschel and Andrew Putnam were at 64, and Beau Hossler and Abraham Ancer were another shot behind.

KILDEER, Ill. (AP) – South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

The 2017 U.S. Women’s Open Champion birdied three of the four par-5 holes at Kemper Lakes in the third of the LPGA Tour’s five majors.

Canada’s Brooke Henderson, the 2016 KPMG winner and runner-up last year, was a stroke back with Jessica Korda, Jaye Marie Green and Brittany Altomore.

The long-hitting Park birdied the par-5 15th to reach 5 under and parred the tough final three holes, finishing with a short putt on 18.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Jerry Kelly made his only bogey of the day on No. 18 to close out the first round of the U.S. Senior Open with a two-shot lead at 4-under 66.

Kelly had a tricky 4-footer to save par, but when it slid to the right, he joined every other player in the 155-man field with at least one bogey on the card.

With a handful of players still on the Broadmoor course, only eight had broken par.

Rocco Mediate, Miguel Angel Jimenez Kevin Sutherland and Deane Pappas finished at 68. Mediate is in the mix 10 years after his classic 19-hole playoff loss to Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, who won a playoff in qualifying to make the field, made only five pars and finished at 15-over 85.