BASEBALL Report: Evidence bought in clinic case

Major League Baseball’s investigation of an anti-aging clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs has taken a new turn, with the commissioner’s office paying a former employee of the facility for documents related to the case, two people briefed on the matter told the New York Times. At the same time, at least one player linked to the clinic has purchased documents from a former clinic employee in order to destroy them. The unusual battle, according to the two people, also appears to involve efforts by other players tied to the clinic to buy potentially incriminating documents and keep them out of the hands of baseball’s investigators. In addition, the two people said, baseball has now provided payments to former employees of the clinic who have cooperated with the sport’s investigators. The payments were for the time they provided and were not believed to have exceeded several thousand dollars. The now-closed South Florida clinic that operated under the name Biogenesis of America was suspected of providing performance-enhancing drugs to a number of major leaguers including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. Commissioner Bud Selig sent two of his top deputies — Rob Manfred and Pat Courtney — to Florida in February to try to persuade The Miami New Times to share the documents they had obtained from Biogenesis. The newspaper declined.

White Sox’ Beckham out for 6 weeks

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White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham will head to the DL and is expected to miss about six weeks because of a broken bone in his left wrist, which he suffered fouling off a pitch Tuesday . . . The Mariners acquired righthanded pitcher Aaron Harang from the Rockies in exchange for righthander Steven Hensley and cash . . . Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day DL . . . Chicago police are investigating after a severed goat’s head in a box addressed to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was left outside Wrigley Field.

COLLEGES

Hurley spurns Rutgers, staying at URI

Danny Hurley, who turned down the Rutgers job late Wednesday night, agreed to an extension with Rhode Island that will keep him as men’s basketball coach of the Rams through 2019-20, according to media reports. Also, Rutgers hired former state attorney general John J. Farmer to be the school’s top in-house lawyer after John Wolf resigned earlier in the day, and the university also announced an expected independent review of the Mike Rice scandal . . . Louisville coach Rick Pitino said star guard Russ Smith is “50-50” on entering the NBA draft. Smith’s father previously said the junior was going to enter . . . Junior guard Andre Dawkins tweeted that he will be back with Duke’s basketball team next season . . . Junior guard Jesse Morgan is being forced to withdraw from UMass and leave the basketball team for disciplinary reasons, according to sources close to the program . . . Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is returning to USC as the Trojans’ women’s basketball coach . . . The NCAA is likely to impose additional sanctions against Iowa State and current and former coaches involved in major recruiting violations, two experts said.

NFL

Former receiver Hurd pleads guilty

Former Bears and Cowboys receiver Sam Hurd apologized as he pleaded guilty to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network. The 27-year-old faces a minimum 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute . . . Linebacker Josh McNary, a lieutenant in the US Army, was signed by the Colts. He hasn’t played a down in two years since finishing his football career at West Point . . . The Lions signed Norwegian Internet kicking sensation Havard Rugland . . . New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis said the Saints and free agent offensive tackle Jason Smith agreed to a one-year deal. Smith was the second overall pick in 2009 . . . Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in connection with his February gun arrest at LaGuardia Airport.

MISCELLANY

Howard, Detroit ‘really close’ to deal

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said he’s ‘‘really, really close’’ to signing a six-year extension. Detroit general manager Ken Holland added, ‘‘We’re close, but it’s not a done deal.’’ Howard is in the second season of a two-year, $4.5 million deal . . . Ricardas Berankis beat second-seeded Tommy Haas, 6-3, 6-3, in the second round of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. Berankis, ranked 77th in the world, will face fifth-seeded John Isner, a 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-3) winner over Jack Sock. Fourth-seeded Sam Querrey, the top American in the world, withdrew before his match because of a strained right pectoral muscle . . . The New England Revolution re-signed backup goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to a new deal, but terms were not disclosed . . . The Revolution on Wednesday entered into a partnership with the Real Boston Rams that makes the Rams their USL Premier Development League affiliate.