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BALTIMORE (AP) - Major League Baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred has received a promotion...

BALTIMORE (AP) - Major League Baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred has received a promotion.  Manfred has been elected baseball's 10th commissioner by team owners and will succeed Bud Selig in January.  Manfred is a labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998. He beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years.
     One baseball executive who attended the 4  1/2-hour meeting told The Associated Press that Manfred was elected on approximately the sixth ballot. The initial vote was 20-10 for Manfred, three short of the required three-quarters majority.  The 80-year-old Selig has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced Commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation.


UNDATED (AP) - The Kansas City Royals were able to stay atop the American League Central today, while the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals padded their division leads.
     In Kansas City, the Royals scored five runs in the seventh inning to beat Oakland 7-3.  Detroit kept pace as Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters in eight shutout innings to pitch the Tigers past Pittsburgh 5-2.  Mike Fiers struck out 14 while allowing three hits in six scoreless innings as the Brewers downed the Cubs 6-2 in Chicago.  The Cardinals are two games off the NL Central lead after Jon Jay hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to push the Redbirds past San Diego 4-3.  Drew Butera hit a two-run homer, Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs and Dee Gordon scored four runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Braves 6-4 in Atlanta.  The Nationals increased their division lead by beating the New York Mets 4-1.
     Elsewhere in the majors:
     - Dustin Pedroia's two-run double capped a seven-run sixth as Boston ripped Houston 9-4.
     - Charlie Culberson hit a three-run double and scored twice in Colorado's 7-3 win over Cincinnati.
     - Miami beat Arizona 5-4 on Marcell Ozuna's RBI double in the bottom of the 10th.


 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A judge has struck down - for now - an NFL policy preventing off-duty Minnesota police officers from carrying guns at Vikings games.  Two police organizations challenged the rule, arguing that NFL policy cannot trump state law.  Judge Ivy Bernhardson ruled Thursday in favor of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. However, the NFL's policy will remain in place pending further court guidance. The judge hasn't set future court dates.
     The ruling applies only in Minnesota.  Police groups argued that even off-duty officers need to be armed at Vikings games, to protect themselves and the public.  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says the policy is designed to keep fans safe. He says the NFL will continue enforcing it until the matter is resolved.


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - A day after Mike McCarthy confirmed Aaron Rodgers would make his delayed 2014 debut, the Green Bay coach wasn't ready to say who would follow at quarterback when the Packers play a preseason game at St. Louis.  With the team off the field Thursday, McCarthy says a decision on who gets the first opportunity to run the offense after Rodgers against the Rams won't be made until after practice Friday.
     Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien received significant playing time with Rodgers held out of Green Bay's first game last weekend.  Flynn made the start and played most of the first half in the Packers' 20-16 loss at Tennessee on a rainy Saturday night.  But Tolzien put up better stats when he had his chance in the challenging weather conditions and may have earned an extended look.

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