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Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers' 9-game win streak

Monday, 14 April 2014 23:22 Published in Sports
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers' nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory.
 
Lynn allowed three hits over seven innings before Carlos Martinez finished off the surprising Brewers, who still have the majors' best record at 10-3. Lynn (3-0) frustrated hitters by mixing a fastball that topped 95 mph with a slider.
 
Jhonny Peralta hit a solo shot in the second off Brewers starter Matt Garza (0-2) before Jay sent a ball over the wall near the right field corner in the sixth.
 
Garza dueled Lynn until running into trouble in the sixth after Craig reached on a fielder's choice with two outs and Peralta singled to set up Jay's homer.
 
Lynn cooled off a Brewers team that was off to its best start since opening the 1987 season with 13 straight wins.
 
Lynn had Brewers batters missing all night. Jonathan Lucroy, a .357 hitter entering Monday, missed badly on a fastball low in the zone in the second for a strikeout. Two batters later, Scooter Gennett was left frozen at the plate on a called third strike on a heater outside.
 
Milwaukee's best hope to score came in the fifth after No. 8 hitter Logan Schafer doubled to right with two outs to put runners at second and third. But that brought Garza, a career .094 hitter, to the plate and he struck out on three pitches.
 
Otherwise, the Brewers didn't get another runner past second. Lynn boasted a career 2.53 ERA in 10 games against the Brewers coming in, and his mastery of Milwaukee continued.
 
With Lynn in control, about the only other drama provided by the Cardinals was when leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was ejected in the fifth after apparently saying something to umpire Bob Davidson following a called third strike.
 
Garza allowed nine hits and four runs, and struck out six in seven innings for Milwaukee. Rookie reliever Wei-Chung Wang, a Rule 5 pick, pitched a scoreless ninth in making his big league debut.
 
Jean Segura, who was batting 1 for 19 at home entering Monday, had two of the hits against Lynn.
 
NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina got a day off after catching the season's first 12 games. ... Injured 2B Mark Ellis played his first game on a rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A Memphis. Ellis, who is on the 15-day DL for left knee tendinitis, played five innings and went 1 for 3 with a run. He was scheduled to play Monday, though Memphis' game may have been affected by weather. "He didn't have any issues and felt good afterward, which was the main thing," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's on the right track to joining us here soon." ... Wang, 21, of Taiwan, also saw snow for the first time and got his first major league paycheck Monday. Flurries fell before the game outside Miller Park, which has a retractable roof. ... Manager Ron Roenicke said right-handed hitter Rickie Weeks and lefty swigging Gennett remain in a platoon at second base. ... St. Louis' Shelby Miller (0-2) faces Milwaukee's Marco Estrada (1-0) on Tuesday.

49ERS LINEBACKER ALDON SMITH ARRESTED AT AIRPORT

Monday, 14 April 2014 10:51 Published in Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb.

The 24-year-old player was randomly selected for a secondary screening at Terminal 1 and became uncooperative with the process, airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. She said he told a TSA agent that he had a bomb before walking to the gate. When airport police officers caught up with him, Ortiz said Smith became uncooperative and was taken into custody.

A witness video posted on TMZ.com shows Smith exchanging words with an officer as he was being handcuffed and escorted out of the gate area.

Smith was booked for investigation of making a false bomb threat. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said anyone who makes a bomb threat at an airport is potentially subject to federal charges, although no such charges have been filed against Smith.

A message seeking comment from Smith's agent wasn't immediately returned.

With the arrest, Smith is involved in three pending criminal cases.

"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."

A fearsome pass-rushing specialist, Smith took a five-game leave of absence from the 49ers last season to undergo treatment for substance abuse. He rejoined the team Nov. 5.

Smith played in a 27-7 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 22, two days after he was arrested and jailed on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. After the game, he publicly apologized for his behavior and later announced he would leave for treatment.

Leading up to the playoffs in early January, Smith said during an interview with The Associated Press he was encouraged by the strides he had made to better himself off the football field that put life - and his work - in perspective. He said at the time he hadn't had any alcohol since before his Sept. 20 DUI arrest, and that he wasn't craving it. When he rejoined the team Nov. 5, he insisted he was on the path to lifelong sobriety stuck by that statement.

His teammates rallied around him in support of his rehab and, later, his return to the team.

Smith emerged as one of the NFL's most-feared pass rushers in 2012. He had a franchise-record 19.5 sacks that year, but failed to record a sack in his final six games including the team's postseason Super Bowl run.

Smith finished with 8 1/2 sacks and 34 tackles in 11 games last season, making eight starts.

In November, Smith pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his home. Investigators say several shots were fired, two partygoers were injured and Smith was stabbed. In the subsequent investigation, prosecutors say detectives found five unregistered weapons in Smith's house, including two Bushmaster rifles and an Armalite AR-10T. They say those are assault weapons illegal to possess under California law.

Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker were named in a lawsuit last September filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by a Northern California man who said he was shot at a party at Smith's house on June 29, 2012. The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink, the lawsuit said. Smith and now-Tennessee Titans tight end Walker were allegedly intoxicated on Smith's balcony when they fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party, the lawsuit said.

Smith, selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft out of Missouri, had previously been arrested on suspicion of DUI in January 2012 in Miami shortly after the 49ers lost in the NFC championship game.

This is the latest in a long list of legal issues for 49ers players the past two years - and recently, too. The Niners, who lost to the rival and eventual champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC championship game, have made nearly as much news away from the field as they have in free agency this offseason.

On Thursday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was one of three NFL players named in a Miami police report involving a woman who passed out in a hotel and later woke up in a hospital not knowing how she got there, though no one has been charged with a crime. Kaepernick, 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette - a former 49er - were with the woman at a Miami hotel where Lockette lives, according to the Miami Police Department report. The police say it's too early to determine whether a crime was committed.

Late last month in San Jose, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run and reckless driving after he drove a car into a bicyclist and fled. He is the player who underwent sensitivity training after his anti-gay remarks leading up to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season. He has done outreach to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Last summer, another starting linebacker, Ahmad Brooks, was investigated by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office on allegations that Brooks repeatedly hit a teammate on the head with a beer bottle. No assault charges were filed because of insufficient evidence.

According to police, Brooks hit then-teammate Lamar Divens with the bottle three times and then punched him in the face during an early morning argument June 8. Divens sustained a 3-inch cut on his forehead.

Another member of the defense, Demarcus Dobbs, was suspended for Week 1 last season for his own arrest on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession in 2012.

---

AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley and Josh Dubow in San Francisco contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

FEDS REVISIT SAFETY RULES AFTER CALIF. BUS CRASH

Monday, 14 April 2014 10:47 Published in National News

RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) -- Federal transportation authorities are investigating ways to minimize death and injuries in bus crashes following the fiery wreck that left 10 dead when a FedEx truck slammed into a tour bus carrying high school students in Northern California.

The truck driver veered across the Interstate 5 median, sideswiped a sedan and collided with the bus, leaving no tire marks to suggest he had applied his brakes. Dozens of injured students escaped through windows before the vehicles exploded into towering flames and billowing smoke in Orland, 100 miles north of Sacramento.

The sedan driver told investigators the truck was in flames before the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday investigators found no physical evidence of a pre-impact fire or other witnesses to confirm that account.

The bus was carrying 44 students from Southern California for a free tour of Humboldt State University. Many were hoping to be the first in their families to attend college. Five students, the three adult chaperones and both drivers died.

"The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we've issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been lost . and find out (that) if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved," NTSB member Mark Rosekind said.

His agency has long advocated for seatbelt, emergency exits and fire-safety rules to protect bus passengers. But federal agencies are often slow to heed the call. The California case can reinforce the need for regulations or expose the need for new rules, Rosekind said.

The investigation also will consider if bus manufacturers can learn lessons from voluntary measures taken by Silverado Stages, which has a strong safety record and owned the bus that was destroyed Thursday.

Under a rule sought for almost a half-century by investigators, all new motor coaches and other large buses must include three-point lap-shoulder belts beginning November 2016. Although Silverado Stages' bus, a brand new 2014 model, had seatbelts, not all passengers were using them - some were killed when thrown from the bus.

Rosekind said it's difficult to issue guidelines to enforce seatbelt use while they aren't mandated.

"In the absence of a flight attendant, the likelihood of anyone on a bus buckling is slim," said Larry Hanley, president of Amalgamated Transit Union representing bus drivers and advocating for policies reducing driver fatigue.

Regulators did not require that existing buses add seatbelts because it would have been too expensive.

The transportation board has also called for measures to detect and suppress fires and make buses less vulnerable to blazes after 23 nursing-home evacuees escaping Hurricane Rita in Texas in 2005 died in a bus fire.

Bodies recovered from the bus in California were charred beyond recognition, although it's unclear if they died from impact or fire. Rosekind said investigators will examine the materials and design of the bus to help better understand how vehicles withstand fires.

Fire-suppression systems, which the government is considering mandating in 2015, are aimed at stopping fires that start in engines and wheel wells. The systems, akin to a hand-held extinguisher, automatically douses the first embers and sparks, but aren't suited for massive blazes following collisions, said Joey Peoples, a vehicle fire safety expert for SP Fire Research.

"Once you have a fire, it's now simply a matter of how do we buy enough time to evacuate all the passengers," Peoples said.

Almost every window on the bus involved with Thursday's crash was available as an emergency exit, Rosekind said Sunday. Students escaped through them before the fiery explosion that devoured the vehicles. Investigators will examine if the windows were well-labeled and easily opened.

Safety standards to make large buses easier for passengers to escape after a crash have not been adopted 15 years after accident investigators called for new rules. They came after passengers in a tour bus following the trail of the Underground Railroad struggled to escape through windows after the bus tumbled down an embankment and overturned in a river in 1997.

A preliminary NTSB report on the Northern California crash is expected within 30 days. The entire investigation can last more than a year.

State officials led by the California Highway Patrol say they expect to identify the cause in 3 to 6 months. They are cooperating with federal authorities to find out why the truck driver veered into oncoming traffic and never applied the brakes.

The bus' black box-style electronic control module was recovered, and investigators will use other tools to reconstruct the truck's speed and maneuvers. Blood tests can tell if the drivers were impaired. The investigation will also review maintenance records and the drivers' medical histories.

---

Joan Lowy in Washington, D.C., Terry Chea in San Francisco and Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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