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Seattle takes away interim tag, makes Schmetzer head coach

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Sounders have taken away the interim tag and named Brian Schmetzer head coach.

Seattle made the announcement at its annual meeting with season-ticket holders Wednesday night.

Schmetzer took over as the interim head coach after Sigi Schmid was let go in late July. At the time, Seattle was in ninth place in the MLS Western Conference and in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Schmetzer guided Seattle’s turnaround that resulted in an eighth straight playoff berth. The Sounders went 8-2-4 the rest of the regular season and finished fourth in the Western Conference. The Sounders beat Sporting Kansas City in the knockout round of the playoffs and will take a 3-0 lead into the second-leg of the conference semifinals against FC Dallas on Sunday.


Mariners outright 3 players to Triple-A Tacoma

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners on Wednesday outrighted catcher Steve Clevenger and pitchers Charlie Furbush and Ryan Cook to Triple-A Tacoma, and claimed right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber off waivers from Atlanta.

All three players sent to Tacoma have been on the 60-day disabled list and each has the right to choose free agency because of major league service time. Clevenger was suspended by the team in September for a series of tweets regarding a police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter movement. He was removed from the suspended list and placed on the 60-day disabled list on Oct. 31.

Furbush is expected to be out until the 2018 season due to shoulder issues.

Weber appeared in 16 games with Atlanta this season and was 1-1 with a 5.45 ERA.

Seattle also designated for assignment catcher Steven Baron.


Bledsoe’s 3 sinks Blazers in OT, 118-115

PHOENIX (AP) — Eric Bledsoe dropped in a rainbow 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer, giving the Phoenix Suns a 118-115 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Bledsoe finished with 20 points, his only 3 being the game-winner. The shot gave the Suns their first win of the season.

The Suns, who made 6 of 10 shots and both free throws in overtime, got 27 points from T.J. Warren and 18 from Alex Len while center Tyson Chandler had 18 rebounds.

Phoenix outscored Portland 62-38 in the paint. The Blazers played the second of back-to-back games after a home loss to Golden State on Tuesday.

The Suns went ahead by six points in overtime, but the Blazers tied it at 115 when Lillard scored and was fouled with 6.4 seconds left.

Lillard’s 27 points led the Blazers, with C.J. McCollum adding 24.


Jets officially sign C.J. Spiller, waive Knile Davis

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have signed running back C.J. Spiller and waived running back Knile Davis a day after claiming him off waivers.

Coach Todd Bowles says Wednesday that Spiller provides versatility as the No. 3 running back and can potentially return kicks.

Spiller was released by Seattle last Wednesday after being signed Sept. 28. He has also played for Buffalo and New Orleans. Spiller joins a Jets backfield that includes Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Davis was waived by Green Bay on Monday and claimed by the Jets on Tuesday. New York had been in discussions to sign Spiller, but claimed Davis as insurance after not reaching an immediate agreement with Spiller.

Spiller, a 2010 first-round pick out of Clemson, has rushed for 3,442 yards and 12 touchdowns, and caught 197 passes for 1,477 yards and nine TDs in seven seasons.


Rangers claim RHP Sampson on waiver claim from Mariners

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have received right-hander Adrian Sampson on a waiver claim from the Seattle Mariners.

Sampson made his major league debut last season before surgery to repair of flexor tendon in his right elbow. He is expected to be in an injury rehabilitation program for the start of the 2017 season.

Sampson was on Seattle’s 60-day disabled list, and has been transferred to the Rangers’ 60-day DL.

The 25-year-old Sampson started June 18 for the Mariners at Boston. He didn’t make his next scheduled start five days later because of the injury and then had surgery June 30.

Sampson was a fifth-round pick by Pittsburgh in the June 2012 draft. The Pirates traded him to Seattle in July 2015 in a deal involving J.A. Happ.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.