KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee offensive lineman Venzell Boulware has been ruled academically ineligible for the Music City Bowl against No. 24 Nebraska.Volunteers coach Butch Jones announced Tuesday that academic issues would prevent Boulware from playing in the Dec. 30 game at Nashville, Tennessee. Jones said that hell be better for it and I know hell bounce back.Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said Boulware would be available for spring practice.Boulware, a redshirt freshman from Union City, Georgia, played in six regular-season games. He made one start at left guard and started Tennessees final two regular-season games at right guard.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 John Wensink Jersey . -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL on Wednesday for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday. Conor Timmins Jersey . 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Hickson led Denver with 22, and Kenneth Faried added 10 points and 10 rebounds. OAKLAND, Calif. -- Doug Fister and catcher Jason Castro came up with a game plan before beating the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, and it wasnt complicated.Were going to attack these guys, the right-hander said.The strategy worked to perfection, as Fister pitched seven strong innings and Jose Altuve continued his torrid hitting as the Houston Astros defeated the As 7-0.Fister (10-6) struck out five and allowed four hits and two walks as he continued his mastery of Oakland. Hes 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA in four starts against the As this season.Seeing them a lot, they know what we do and we know what they do, Fister said. It just comes down to execution, and I was going to fill the zone up.The As, who had won four of five since the All-Star break and took their second straight series, failed to advance a runner past second base against Fister.They moved just three runners into scoring position (one on a two-base error).Obviously his repertoire matches up OK with these guys but its still about executing pitches, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.When he executes it really doesnt matter what the other lineup is.Altuve was 2 for 3 with two walks. Baseballs leading hitter is 12 for his last 17 in his last four games.Hes really the centerpiece of our lineup now that hes batting third, in the sort of famous position that baseball loves, Hinch said, noting that Altuves improving in every area, including his leadership.Hes a truly a superstar in this game that I think more people are getting to know the more we play well.The Astros, who had lost three of four, scored two runs in the second with two outs and nobody on base when five batters reached safely against As starter Daniel Mengden (1-5).Mengden struck out five and allowed three runs, five hits and five walks in five innings. He recovered from a shaky start, blanking the Astros over the last three innings.Hes still trying to find his rhythm again, As manager Bob Melvin said of Mengden. It was better the last couple of innings, but command has been his issue. Basically with all (four of) his pitches we saw him really fine.I think hes getting behind and still trying to jam all four pitches in there as opposed to trying to establish one or two early. Certainly when everything is going well its easy to do. When its not maybe you have to simplify a little bit.ddddddddddddFister is 9-3 over his last 15 starts going back to May 1. The Astros are 12-3 over that stretch.Carlos Correa, whos settling into his role as the Astros cleanup hitter, was 1 for 2 with three walks and three RBI.Jake Marisnick and George Springer both had two hits including a double and Castro added a run-scoring triple as the Astros combined for 10 hits.Josh Reddick had two of Oaklands four hits and Daniel Coulombe allowed no hits in two shutout innings in relief of Mengden.BAD STARTS:The Astros and As rank at or near the bottom in virtually every meaningful offensive category out of the designated hitters spot. The Astros .186 and the As .205 batting averages going into Wednesday were the leagues two worst. The As DHs were tied with the Chicago White Sox with the fewest home runs (8) and alone at the bottom with 33 RBI. Houstons DHs ranked third- and fourth-worst in the league with 38 RBI and 11 home runs.ROSTER MOVE:The As recalled utilityman Arismendy Alcantara from Triple-A Nashville before Wednesdays game and in a corresponding move optioned LHP Dillon Overton to Nashville.TRAINERS ROOMAstros: DH Evan Gattis was pulled after getting hit by a pitch in the right hand in the fifth. X-rays were negative and Gattis said hes day to day but no fracture.Athletics: LHP Rich Hill, removed five pitches into his last start on Sunday after a blister on his left middle finger burst, is doubtful for Sundays game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the next open spot in the As rotation with Overtons demotion, Melvin said.UP NEXTAstros: RHP Lance McCullers pitches a series opener against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. McCullers has lost three of his last four decisions. Hes 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five career starts against the Angels, allowing one run in a 5 2/3 innings in his only start against the Angels this season.Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (4-8, 5.12) snapped a career-worst seven-game losing streak in his most recent start and will hope to build on that momentum on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Gray is 2-1 with a 3.11 ERA in six career starts against the Rays and 2-2 with a 7.01 ERA in five starts against the Eastern Division this year. 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