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Sports briefs for Oct. 2, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

A-Rod claims he was duped

Alex Rodriguez and his representatives argued in the appeal of a 211-game suspension that the New York Yankees third baseman thought he was taking legal supplements supplied by the Biogenesis of America clinic, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The Daily News cited sources from this week’s hearings with Major League Baseball that Rodriguez says he was duped by Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-shuttered Florida clinic. Bosch told investigators that Rodriguez knew what he was taking.

Rodriguez was suspended Aug. 5 for alleged violations of MLB’s drug agreement and labor contract and for interfering with the investigation. He appealed and finished the season with the Yankees.

Parros suffers concussion in fight

Montreal Canadiens enforcer George Parros suffered a concussion during a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr on Tuesday night in a season-opening game.

Parros was taken off the ice on a stretcher and to a local hospital. Tests indicated that Parros had no additional injuries, TVA Sports reported.

The winger was released from the hospital Wednesday and the team announced on Twitter later in the day that he is out indefinitely.

The 33-year-old Parros is in his first season with the Canadiens after one season with the Florida Panthers and the previous six years with the Anaheim Ducks.

Keselowski, sponsor to stay with Penske

Brad Keselowski, who failed to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup this season, will have four more seasons.

Penske Racing announced Wednesday that Keselowski and primary sponsor Miller Lite beer have both signed contract extensions to remain together through the 2017 season.

Keselowski, 29, drives the No. 2 Ford Fusion for Penske Racing and has been sponsored by Miller Lite since 2011, when sponsorship switched from the car of former teammate Kurt Busch to that of Keselowski.

Report: Cubs eye Girardi

The Chicago Cubs have an opening for a manager and an interest in Joe Girardi, according to an ESPN report on Wednesday.

The Cubs see Girardi as an attractive candidate to replaced Dale Sveum, who was fired after a second consecutive dismal season as manager of the rebuilding team.

Girardi’s contract with the Yankees expires Oct. 31 and he can’t negotiate with another team unless his current employer grants him permission. Girardi is making $3 million and will command a significant raise commensurate with the $5 million that Mike Scioscia makes as manager of the Angels.

An Illinois native, Girardi played for the Cubs during his major league career and also managed the Florida Marlins in 2006 before he went to the Yankees in 2008.

Vokoun to miss 3-6 months

The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t expect goaltender Tomas Vokoun to be back for three to six months, general manager Ray Shero said Wednesday.

Vokoun is recovering from a blood clot that was removed from his pelvis last month at the start of training camp.

Shero has no immediate plans to bring in another goalie. He will give Jeff Zatkoff the opportunity to back up starter Marc-Andre Fleury this season.

The 37-year-old Vokoun feared he would die when the blood clot was discovered after a September practice. He was rushed to a hospital and underwent a procedure to dissolve the clot.

Uggla left off Braves’ NLDS roster

Second baseman Dan Uggla is not included on the Atlanta Braves’ 25-man roster for the National League Division Series that the team released Wednesday.

Uggla, the Braves’ highest paid player at $13 million, struggled this season, batting .179 with 22 home runs and 55 RBIs. Since returning from August eye surgery, Uggla was hitting .133 and had struck out 25 times.

Elliot Johnson is expected to take the 33-year-old Uggla’s place at second base in the opening playoff series.

Astros shake up coaching staff

After finishing the 2013 season with 111 losses and a 15-game losing streak, the Houston Astros made several changes on their coaching staff.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail will become a special assistant to general mangager Jeff Luhnow and a senior pitching adviser, and first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez were dismissed, the team announced.

First-year manager Bo Porter will be back next season.

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