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News briefs: Braves' Lowe has DUI charges tossed

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- DUI and reckless driving charges have been dismissed against Braves pitcher Derek Lowe.

One of Lowe's attorneys, Cory Yager, said Thursday that solicitor Raines Carter, the chief prosecutor in Atlanta Municipal Court, agreed to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence.

Yager says police video following the April 28 arrest showed Lowe "did remarkably well" in his field sobriety tests after declining a breath test.

Yager told the Associated Press the reckless driving charge, which stemmed from an allegation Lowe was racing, "was absolutely unfounded."

Lowe, 37, did not contest a traffic violation for making an improper lane change.

Lowe apologized following the arrest.

The Braves were off on Thursday and open a home series against Cincinnati on Friday. Full Story

Braves trade R. Lopez to Cubs for prospect

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have traded veteran right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to the Chicago Cubs in a deal for minor-league left-hander Ryan Buchter.

Buchter, 24, will be assigned to the Braves' high Class A team in Lynchburg, Va. He was a combined 4-0 with one save and a 3.38 ERA for the Cubs' Class A Daytona and AA Tennessee teams this season.

The 36-year-old Lopez signed a minor-league deal with Atlanta in the offseason. He was 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA in nine games for Triple-A Gwinnett.

Lopez is 75-82 in nine seasons in the major leagues, including a 7-16 record and 5.00 ERA with Arizona last season.

McCourts talks reopen over ownership

LOS ANGELES -- Settlement talks have resumed in the divorce case of Jamie and Frank McCourt involving ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers after a judge ruled a postnuptial marital agreement they signed was invalid.

Both McCourts were in court Thursday with their attorneys to meet with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who has presided over their divorce proceedings. There are two more dates scheduled to reach a possible settlement before a June 22 hearing in which Gordon will hear arguments on a request by Jamie McCourt to have Gordon order the sale of the Dodgers.

In December, Gordon deemed the agreement, which gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers, invalid and cleared the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team under California's community property law.

Angels sign Branyan, shelve Kendrick

The Angels made a move to bolster their offense by signing Russell Branyan to the team while losing another top hitter to the DL. They placed Howie Kendrick on the shelf with a hamstring strain, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Branyan was designated for assignment by Arizona last week and was officially released Thursday. He'll split time at first base and the DH spot with Mark Trumbo and Bobby Abreu, respectively. He also has quite a few games played in the outfield, and could bolster left-field production while Vernon Wells remains out with injury. Branyan should help carry the load while Kendrick is out. Even when Kendrick and Wells return, Branyan will have no shortage of playing time as the Angels really need help in the middle of the order, help that Kendrys Morales and Wells were supposed to provide.

Branyan, 35, had gotten off to a .210/.290/.339 mark with the Diamondbacks, hitting just one homer in 69 plate appearances. However, Branyan has 190 career blasts, good enough for a .487 slugging percentage. He's an all-or-nothing hitter, given his career .239 batting average, but has a good eye and can get on-base, making him valuable. He's been a part-time player most of his career, mostly due to injuries and his all-or-nothing approach exposing him to brutal slumps.

Kendrick has not played since last Thursday, so his backdated DL stint will only keep him out a minimum of eight days. However, his slow recovery might cause him to stay on the DL for a while.

Twins to recall reliever Hoey

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins will recall right-handed reliever Jim Hoey from Triple-A Rochester, filling the roster spot opened when Kevin Slowey was placed on the disabled list.

The Twins announced that Hoey would join the team for Friday's game.

Hoey is a hard thrower in the middle innings, who reaches the upper 90 mph range with his fastball. In his first stint with the team, he posted a 9.72 ERA in 10 appearances with 15 hits and four walks in 8 1/3 innings.

The Twins wanted him to work on his control with Rochester, where he had a 1.54 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

Slowey went to the DL Wednesday with an abdominal muscle strain. He will report Saturday to the team's extended spring training program in Fort Myers, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation.

Rangers reassign play-by-play announcer

Talk about a quick hook -- the Rangers have replaced John Rhadigan as their television play-by-play man after only 50 games.

Rhadigan replaced the popular Josh Lewin after Lewin wasn't retained following the 2010 season. Rhadigan had hosted the team's pre- and post-game shows on Fox Sports Southwest but had no play-by-play experience entering the season. He will return to that role, with radio play-by-play man Dave Barnett moving over to the TV side.

Bryan Dolgin and Steve Busby will join Eric Nadel on the radio broadcasts, and the Rangers said that team will remain in place the rest of the season.

The Rangers fans I know have joked that this move is long past due, but some reports say Rhadigan was improving, and it can't be easy to start your play-by-play career at the big league level. I have enough friends in radio, having worked briefly in the medium, that it's not as easy as the good ones make it sound. It takes time, but that time shouldn't be at the game's highest level.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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