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J.D. Martinez hits 3-run homer, Tigers win 4-2

CLEVELAND (AP) - J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer off closer Cody Allen in the ninth inning, helping the Detroit Tigers rally for a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Martinez's one-out shot over the center-field wall bailed out the Tigers, who had been unable to get a clutch hit for eight innings. But in the ninth, Torii Hunter drew a leadoff walk from Allen, Miguel Cabrera singled, and after Victor Martinez flied out, J.D. Martinez connected for his 19th homer, a crushing blow to the Indians.

Phil Coke pitched 1 1-3 innings and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 29th save.

Detroit's comeback kept the Tigers on the heels of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.


Confident Cook leads Michigan State into showdown

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Connor Cook's emergence has quieted many of the concerns about Michigan State's offense.

The seventh-ranked Spartans are coming off a Rose Bowl victory last season, but even then it was the defense that led the way for the most part. However, Cook threw for over 300 yards in both the Big Ten title game and the bowl, and he was exceptional again in this season's opener against Jacksonville State.

Now the junior faces a stern test this weekend, when Michigan State plays at No. 3 Oregon.

Coach Mark Dantonio says Cook has picked up where he left off last season and the confident quarterback still has some untapped potential.


The secret's out about RB Royce Freeman

(AP) - Freshman running back Royce Freeman made his anticipated debut for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks and showed a glimpse of the talent that was kept behind closed doors all summer.

Poised and confident, the 6-foot, 229-pound back is so far handling all the expectations heaped on him as a five-star recruit.

Freeman ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries for the Ducks in Saturday's 62-13 victory over South Dakota. He also caught a pass for 11 yards.

There was a lot of buzz about Freeman during camp but the praise came from coaches and teammates since the Ducks practice in private.

Out of high school in Southern California, he had drawn early comparisons to former Oregon backs LeGarrette Blount and Jonathan Stewart.


Irish look to improve secondary play vs. Michigan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame coaches are working to make sure the Fighting Irish do a better job of communicating in the secondary this week.

Fighting Irish safeties Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate failed to make sure the secondary was lined up correctly against Rice, leading to several big plays by the Owls. Communication problems could mean even more trouble this week when the 16th-ranked Irish face Michigan on Saturday in the last scheduled meeting between the two teams.

Coach Brian Kelly on Tuesday didn't want to talk too much about how the Irish would correct the communication problems, but said the Irish would "have to be more demonstrative."

Kelly says Redfield and Shumate need to take control against the Wolverines.


Kelly: 5 Notre Dame players remain out for now

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says there is no change in the status of five players who were investigated by the university for possible cheating.

Kelly said Tuesday the status of those five players could change quickly if he receives word they are eligible to play. Kelly said last week that the investigation is complete and the cases were in the hands of the school's code of honor committee.

The university announced on Aug. 15 that it would bench starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore while it investigated whether they turned in academic work that wasn't their own. The school added reserve safety Eilar Hardy to the list last week.

The Irish play Michigan on Saturday.


Big week for the Big Ten

(AP) - It's a marquee week for the Big Ten.

Michigan State visits Oregon, Michigan goes to Notre Dame and Ohio State hosts Virginia Tech. The three high-profile matchups give the conference a good chance to make a statement early in the season, which may be more important than ever with the new playoff format.

A 13-person committee will select the final four teams who get a chance to play for the national championship at the end of this season. So getting quality wins before a conference season that is perceived to be not as competitive as those in the SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12 will be crucial.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he is rooting for all the Big Ten teams this weekend.


Justin Verlander addresses online photo hacking

CLEVELAND (AP) - Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander says he wants to keep his personal life private after nude photos of him and model girlfriend Kate Upton allegedly were hacked from an online account.

Verlander spoke to reporters Tuesday before Detroit played the Indians. Verlander initially refused to comment Monday after the FBI acknowledged that photos of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities were stolen and posted online.

Verlander knew there was interest in his side of the story and wanted to address the situation. He doesn't want any focus taken from the Tigers, who are in the thick of the playoff race.

Verlander says he's always had to block out distractions during his career. The former AL MVP is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.

The 31-year-old did not comment specifically on the photos.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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