NFL

CANTON, Ohio (AP)The NFL Players Association has filed a brief replying to the league’s appeal in Deshaun Watson’s discipline case.

Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey now has the necessary paperwork to issue a ruling.

The players’ union announced the reply brief shortly before Friday’s deadline but didn’t release its contents because it’s confidential.

Harvey was selected by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday to hear the league’s appeal of the six-game suspension given to Watson for violating the personal conduct policy.

The NFL said Friday there’s no timeline for Harvey to issue a ruling. The policy says the appeal will be ”processed on an expedited basis.”

Watson was suspended by independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson after being accused of sexual assault and harassment by two dozen women in Texas. The allegations go back to when Watson was playing for the Houston Texans.

Watson, who was traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by the women. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

The NFL is seeking an indefinite suspension of at least one year and a fine around $8 million, a person familiar with the filing told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Watson would also be required to undergo evaluation and treatment as determined by medical experts before he could be reinstated.

BASKETBALL

MOSCOW (AP) – The Kremlin said it’s open to talking about a possible prisoner exchange involving American basketball star Brittney Griner but strongly warned Washington against publicizing the issue.

Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and an eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after police at a Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

A judge convicted the 31-year-old athlete Thursday of drug possession and smuggling, and sentenced her to nine years in prison. The politically charged case comes amid high tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military action in Ukraine.

Asked at the White House about the prospects of securing Griner’s release, President Joe Biden said: ”I’m hopeful … We’re working hard.”

In an extraordinary move, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke last week to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, urging him to accept a deal under which Griner and Paul Whelan, an American jailed in Russia on espionage charges, would go free.

Lavrov and Blinken were both in Cambodia on Friday for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Blinken did not even glance at his Russian counterpart as they took their seats at an East Asia Summit.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – Ronald Acuna Jr. got four hits and robbed Pete Alonso of a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves built a big early lead and beat the New York Mets 9-6 to rebound quickly in their NL East showdown.

Eddie Rosario hit a three-run homer in the first inning and an RBI double in the second to help the Braves open an 8-0 cushion. Rookie center fielder Michael Harris II also went deep and threw out a runner at the plate.

William Contreras added a solo homer in the ninth, and the Braves avoided their first three-game losing streak of the year.

Mets starter Taijuan Walker (9-3) managed only three outs in a rare but untimely flop, and his teammates were unable to recover. Atlanta moved back within 3 1/2 games of first-place New York after dropping the opener of the five-game series Thursday night.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Paul DeJong hit a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting the Cardinals over the New York Yankees 4-3 in Matt Carpenter’s return to St. Louis.

Carpenter drew a standing ovation in his first visit back to the city where he played 11 seasons, then had two hits. Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson also had two hits each for the Yankees, and Donaldson drove in two while New York built a 3-2 lead.

The Cardinals erased the deficit in the eighth. Nolan Arenado hit a one-out single, and Tyler O’Nell worked a two-out walk on a full count. DeJong, playing his sixth game since being recalled from Triple-A, doubled to right against All-Star Clay Holmes (5-3) to score both runners.

Rookie Andre Pallente (5-4) threw four scoreless innings in relief. He gave up three hits with two strikeouts. Ryan Helsley earned his 10th save by pitching the ninth.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Tony Gonsolin pitched five scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers combined for a four-hitter against the San Diego Padres’ supercharged lineup, winning 8-1 after honoring Vin Scully.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts led the stadium in a unison call of Scully’s signature ”It’s time for Dodgers baseball” during a memorial before the game. Scully died Tuesday at age 94.

The NL West rivals met for the first time since San Diego acquired superstar Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Brandon Drury ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline. The Dodgers extended their division lead to a season-best 13 1/2 games over the Padres and showed no signs of slowing down.

Gonsolin (13-1) struck out six and allowed three hits. He overcame a 30-pitch first inning and left two runners on. After that, he settled in.

Soto was showered with ”Future Dodger” chants at Chavez Ravine last month when he played in the All-Star Game with his name on the trade block. Washington sent the 23-year-old to Los Angeles’ rival instead, and Soto was booed in each at-bat Friday.

GOLF

MUIRFIELD, Scotland (AP) – In Gee Chun took the halfway lead at the Women’s British Open after a 5-under 66 in the second round, putting her in position to challenge for a second major title of the year, and fourth overall.

The South Korean had an 8-under total of 134, putting her one shot ahead of South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who both shot 65.

Seven-time major winner Inbee Park, also of South Korea, was a shot further back after a 67.

Chun, who won the Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional in June despite consecutive weekend rounds of 75, carded six birdies and a solitary bogey in her round at Muirfield.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Joohyung ”Tom” Kim began the Wyndham Championship with a quadruple bogey on his first hole and wasn’t the least bit bothered.

Already assured a PGA Tour card for next season, Kim overcame his rough start with a 6-under 64 that gave him a share of the lead with Brandon Wu and Ryan Moore in the final PGA Tour event of the regular season.

Kim, a 20-year-old South Korean, has to win at Sedgefield Country Club to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs because he will not be considered a PGA Tour member until September when the new season starts. Only a victory gives him instant membership.

He took eight shots for his first hole on Thursday. Since then, Kim has made 14 birdies and reached 9-under 131 along with Wu (67) and Moore (67).