Sports, December 18th


HOUSTON (AP) – Matt Schaub will start at quarterback for an injured Case Keenum on Sunday against Denver when the Houston Texans try to end a 12-game skid.  Schaub, who was benched after six games, will start for the first time since Oct. 13. Keenum has an injury to a ligament in his right thumb and was unable to grip the football on Tuesday. Interim coach Wade Phillips says he will wear a splint this week.  Also on Wednesday, Phillips announced that running back Ben Tate will be placed on the injured reserve after another injury to his ribs. Tate has been playing with four broken ribs since October. Already without Arian Foster, the team signed Jonathan Grimes to take Tate’s roster spot and add depth at running back.


CLEVELAND (AP) – The Indians have acquired left-hander Josh Outman from Colorado for outfielder Drew Stubbs.   The 29-year-old Outman spent most of last season with the Rockies, going 3-0 with a 4.33 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Outman limited left-handed hitters to a .198 average and had a 3.41 ERA in hitter-friendly Coors Field.  The Indians had issues getting out left-handers, a reason they acquired Marc Rzepczynski from St. Louis before the trade deadline.  Outman has a 12-11 career record with a 4.61 ERA 146 games for Oakland and Colorado.  Stubbs, who came to Cleveland in last December’s trade with Cincinnati for Shin-Soo Choo, batted .233 with 10 homers and 17 steals as a part-time player for the Indians. Cleveland’s signing of free agent David Murphy made Stubbs expendable.


STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (AP) – Former Olympic skier Johnny Spillane is tapping into another big passion for his second career. The three-time Olympic medalist in Nordic skiing purchased a fly fishing shop in his hometown of Steamboat Springs on Saturday.
Spillane says he used to work as a guide for Steamboat Flyfisher in the offseason and he approached owner Tim Kirkpatrick in the spring as he got ready to retire. Spillane won three silver medals in Vancouver in 2010, including the United States’ first medal for the combined event. Spillane says he hopes to reach out to more destination travelers but says he probably won’t be guiding as much now that he’s the owner.


DENVER (AP) – Next year’s USA Pro Challenge bicycle race will conclude by taking riders from Boulder through Golden and over Lookout Mountain before finishing with three laps around the state’s Capitol in downtown Denver. Fans had a say in the final stage of the Aug. 18-24 race, voting online from among four options. Race owner Rick Schaden said the three cities on the final day “have been such great hosts over the history of the race, so we decided to work them all into the final day of competition.” The 2014 competition starts with an Aspen circuit race and features its first mountaintop finish with Stage 3 ending atop Monarch Mountain. With a base elevation of 10,790 feet, it will be the highest stage in North America.