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Thursday's Sports In Brief

AP - Sports

BASEBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Justin Verlander pitched another Game 5 gem in Oakland while carrying a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and Miguel Cabrera homered to lead the Detroit Tigers past the Athletics 3-0 Thursday night and back into the AL championship series.

Joaquin Benoit retired Seth Smith on a fly ball with two on in the ninth to close out the deciding game of their division series. The Tigers became the first team to reach the ALCS in three straight years since the New York Yankees from 1998-2001.

Game 1 is Saturday in Boston. The Tigers went 4-3 against the Red Sox this year.

BALTIMORE (AP) - Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will have surgery to repair a ligament in his left knee.

Machado tore his medial patellofemoral ligament on Sept. 23. He decided to have surgery after consulting with several doctors.

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PRO FOOTBALL

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Calvin Johnson was back on the practice field for the Detroit Lions. That doesn't mean his status for this weekend is even close to determined.

''I don't have any updates on him,'' coach Jim Schwartz said. ''You guys saw what you saw.''

Johnson was inactive in a loss at Green Bay last weekend because of an injured right knee. He didn't practice Wednesday, but he was on the field Thursday during the portion of practice open to reporters.

NEW YORK (AP) - Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie injured a knee during practice, and his status for New York's game against Pittsburgh on Sunday is uncertain.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - After considering retirement the last few months, quarterback David Garrard has returned to the New York Jets to serve as a veteran backup and mentor to rookie Geno Smith.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks is being treated for a recurrence of the MRSA infection in his left foot.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said the team received confirmation Thursday that Nicks has MRSA again in the ''same place, same location.''

Nicks had already missed most of training camp while recovering from surgery on his left big toe when he was initially diagnosed with MRSA in late August. MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics.

A second player, kicker Lawrence Tynes, also was diagnosed with MRSA in August.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Even as his seizures have grown in frequency over the last two years, Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has always maintained that his epilepsy would never slow him down.

When he wasn't able to make it to a game for the first time in his coaching career last weekend against Michigan, Kill decided it was time to take a step back, put his health before football for once and try to get a handle on an issue that has taken him from the sideline twice in the last month.

Kill and the university announced Thursday that the coach is taking an open-ended leave of absence from the team to focus on treatment and management of his epilepsy, and it is uncertain when he will be able to return to the Golden Gophers.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided that football games and other sports will go on at the military service academies this weekend, and continue through the end of the month, despite the government shutdown.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren says that Hagel will reassess the issue later this month if Congress has still not passed a budget to fund the federal government.

Warren says that Hagel consulted with Pentagon lawyers and military leaders. He says the academies could have faced fines if the games were canceled.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - All-American Jadeveon Clowney's time on South Carolina's sidelines is apparently over.

Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said Thursday that the injured Clowney will start if healthy Saturday when No. 14 South Caorlina (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) takes on the Razorbacks (3-3, 0-2).

Clowney took himself out of last week's 35-28 victory over Kentucky a short time before kickoff, saying he was in too much pain from a strained muscle near his ribcage.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Cincinnati football coach Tommy Tuberville has settled a lawsuit filed by investors seeking to recover money lost in a hedge fund Tuberville helped manage.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson approved the settlement on Tuesday, online court filings showed. Details weren't released.

The lawsuit alleged clients were defrauded of more than $1.7 million.

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GOLF

SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) - Coming off his worst year, Jeff Overton opened the new PGA Tour season on a good note.

Once he finally made a putt in the Frys.com Open, Overton felt as if he couldn't miss. Over the last 11 holes at CordeValle, he made three birdie putts over 25 feet and a 20-foot eagle putt when his gamble paid off on the par-5 ninth.

He finished with a tap-in birdie on the 18th for a 7-under 64 and a two-shot lead over the early starters.

Kyle Stanley had a 66. Michael Putnam, who won the Web.com Tour money title last season to earn full status, was among those at 67. John Peterson was challenging for the lead until finishing with two bogeys for a 68.

The PGA Tour season is starting in October instead of January for the first time in history.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Amateur sensation Lydia Ko is turning pro and has asked the LPGA Tour to waive its age limit.

The 16-year-old from New Zealand already is a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour - both wins at the Canadian Women's Open - and last year became the youngest winner in LPGA history. She also contended at the Evian Championship last month in the year's fifth and final major championship.

The LPGA Tour confirmed that it received a petition from Ko asking that it waive its minimum age requirement of 18.

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AUTO RACING

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was released from a Houston hospital Thursday, four days after fracturing his spine and breaking his right ankle in an IndyCar Series crash.

''I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I'm thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans. Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston,'' Franchitti said in a statement.

Franchitti was headed back to Indianapolis for further evaluation and will eventually have a second surgery on his ankle. He underwent surgery Sunday night to stabilize his ankle following the accident on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing released a photo of the four-time series champion before he left the hospital. Franchitti was smiling, surrounded by his two dogs, and aided by a walker. His right leg was in a cast and he was wearing a heavy brace around his torso.

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RUNNING

CHICAGO (AP) - Fences are going up, streets are closing down and trim athletes are flying in from around the world ahead of Sunday's Chicago Marathon. But behind the scenes, police are preparing for what will be the most closely monitored race - the largest marathon in the U.S. since the Boston bombings - in the city's history.

Police have promised stepped-up security as 45,000 runners get cheered on by more than a million spectators along a 26.2-mile route through the city's neighborhoods. Officials are mum on details, but more than a thousand uniformed and undercover officers, along with far more bomb-sniffing dogs than in years past, are expected to mix with the crowd.

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SWIMMING

NEW YORK (AP) - Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad ended her 48-hour swim in pool set up at a busy Manhattan intersection to benefit the victims of Superstorm Sandy, an event that raised more than $105,000 in donations.

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