Knicks’ Smith suspended one game

The NBA suspended New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith one game without pay Wednesday for striking Washington Wizards guard Glen Rice Jr. in the groin.

The incident occurred with 5:45 remaining in the fourth quarter of Washington’s 98-83 win over the Knicks on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Smith struck Rice on a drive to the basket and was whistled for a foul on the play.

Smith will serve his suspension Wednesday night when the Knicks visit the Detroit Pistons.

Smith was suspended the first five games without pay for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy in the 2013 offseason. He was fined several other times and suspended for Game 4 of the Knicks-Celtics series in last season’s playoffs after elbowing Jason Terry in the head.

Conger goes to Astros in trade

The Houston Astros obtained catcher Hank Conger in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday for right-hander Nick Tropeano and minor league catcher Carlos Perez.

The 26-year-old Conger batted .221 with four home runs and a career-best 25 RBIs in 80 games for the Angels last season. In the past two seasons, he has a .235 average with 11 home runs.

Conger is expected to back up Astros starting catcher Jason Castro.

Tropeano posted a 1-3 record with a 4.57 ERA in four games for Houston last season. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, he went 9-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 23 games.

Perez batted .259 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in Triple-A last season.

Former major leaguer Halsey dies at 33

Former major league pitcher Brad Halsey died Friday in Texas at age 33.

USA Today reported that Halsey, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2006, was killed in a recreational climbing accident near his home in New Braunfels, Texas.

The Comal (Texas) County Sheriff’s Office will not release any information on Halsey’s death until its investigation is finished.

Halsey made his major league debut in 2004 for the New York Yankees and won his first start with a 5 2/3-inning stint against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had just one win with the Yankees before he was traded in January 2005 to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with catcher Dioner Navarro and pitcher Javier Vasquez in a deal that brought left-hander Randy Johnson to New York.

Halsey was pitching for the Oakland Athletics in 2006 when he gave up the 714th career home run by San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

He went on to pitch in independent leagues and for the Yankees’ Triple-A Trenton (N.J.) team in 2011.

Halsey was drafted in the eighth round in 2002 by the Yankees from the University of Texas.

Yankees’ Gardner had abdominal surgery

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner recently underwent abdominal muscle surgery.

The team announced Wednesday that Gardner had surgery Oct. 16 to repair a core muscle injury to his right rectus abdominis muscle near his ribs. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Philadelphia Vincera Institute.

Gardner told Sirius XM/MLB Network Radio on Tuesday that he underwent minor surgery for a sports hernia/core muscle injury. The surgery has a recovery period of four weeks,

Gardner, 31, signed a four-year, $52 million extension before last season. In 148 games, he battled .256 with 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 87 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.

Patton draws 80-game suspension

Relief pitcher Troy Patton was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday after he tested positive for amphetamines.

Patton, a free agent after pitching for the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres during the 2014 season, tested positive for the third time. He served a 25-game suspension at the start of the 2014 season.

The suspension takes effect at the beginning of the 2015 season.

In three years with the Orioles from 2011 to 2013, Patton posted a 5-2 record with a 3.05 ERA, 33 walks and 113 strikeouts. He was traded to the Padres in May for Nick Hundley and was dropped from San Diego’s 40-man roster in September.