Update on the latest sports


Arenado buzzed, frustrated Mets brawl with Cardinals in loss

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets’ hit-by-pitch frustrations boiled over when reliever Yoan López threw a pitch near Nolan Arenado’s head, sparking a benches-clearing brawl that led to Arenado’s ejection in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 10-5 victory.

Arenado reached four times and drove in three runs before the incident in the eighth inning.

Mets hitter J.D. Davis left in the top of the eighth after being hit in the left foot by a pitch from Génesis Cabrera, the major league-leading 19th hit-by-pitch for the Mets this season.

Lopez zipped a 94 mph fastball near Arenado’s head, and Arenado began yelling for Lopez to “do it again,” sparking the melee.

The New York Mets are upset after several of their hitters have been hit by pitches over the first few weeks of the season. Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt says bad baseballs are to blame. The actual problem is probably multifaceted, ranging from cold weather to bad luck.

The Mets have been hit 20 times this season in 19 games, which leads the league by a wide margin.

MLB-wide hit-by-pitch rates were actually down slightly heading into Wednesday’s games.

Elsewhere around the majors:

— Zac Gallen pitched six scoreless innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks scored two runs after Max Muncy’s throwing error in the eighth inning to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1. Gallen allowed two hits and left with a 1-0 lead, but Ian Kennedy gave up Trea Turner’s run-scoring single in the eighth inning to allow the Dodgers to tie it. Arizona went back ahead in the bottom half, when Daulton Varsho scored from first base after Muncy threw the ball into right field on Sergio Alcantara’s sacrifice bunt. Matt Davidson put the Diamondbacks up 3-1 on a groundout off Daniel Hudson.

— Andrew Vaughn hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Chicago White Sox stopped an eight-game slide with a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. The winning rally for the White Sox started when Danny Mendick and Tim Anderson hit consecutive two-out singles off Collin Snider. Scott Barlow then came in, and Vaughn drove his first pitch into the home bullpen in left. The White Sox added another run in the eighth when Leury García scampered home on Reese McGuire’s double-play grounder.


Red Sox manager Cora recovered from COVID, rejoins team

TORONTO (AP) — Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora rejoined the team in Toronto after missing the past six games because of COVID-19. The Red Sox have gone 1-5 under bench coach Will Venable since Cora tested positive before last Thursday’s home loss to Toronto. Boston is 7-11 overall.


Bucks, Warriors return home looking to close out series

UNDATED (AP) — The Warriors and Bucks each need one more win to wrap up their respective first-round playoff series.

Golden State’s Game 4 loss at Denver on Sunday denied it a sweep over a Nuggets team that dropped each of the first three games. Milwaukee has posted back-to-back dominant wins over Chicago and holds a 3-1 lead despite continuing to play without Khris Middleton. He suffered a knee injury in Game 2. Both front-running teams remain confident as they prepare to play in their home arenas.

The Bulls won’t have guards Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso available when they try to keep their season alive in Game 5. LaVine is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols while Caruso is in concussion protocols. Both had started each of the first four games in this series.


Ex-NBA Players Association VP and Jazz assistant arrested

NEW YORK (AP) — A former vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and current assistant coach for the Utah Jazz has been arrested in a fraud case. Keyon Dooling was among three individuals added to a case first brought in New York in October, when 18 former NBA players were charged.

Dooling, like the others, is charged with illegally pocketing thousands of dollars by defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan. Authorities say Dooling pocketed $350,000 himself.

Dooling was a union officer for eight years and eventually became its first vice president. Now an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz, he spent parts of 13 seasons in the NBA. The Jazz placed Dooling on paid administrative leave after learning of the indictment.


AP source: Jags, LT Robinson agree to 3-year, $54M extension

UNDATED (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars essentially have ruled out taking a left tackle with the top pick in the NFL draft by agreeing to terms with veteran Cam Robinson on a three-year extension. That’s according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who tells The Associated Press that Robinson’s new deal totals just shy of $54 million, roughly $18 million a year.

Robinson signed his franchise tender two weeks ago, guaranteeing him $16.7 million next season. But he ended up getting more from the extension. The move also means Jacksonville will likely chose between a pair of pass rushers at No. 1. It’s expected to be either Georgia’s Travon Walker or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.

In other NFL news:

— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have picked up the fifth-year contract option on Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White, who has 15 sacks, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries over three NFL seasons. The Bucs announced the expected move on Wednesday. White signed a four-year, $29.315 million deal as the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft. He was a key contributor during Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl championship run two years ago and a first-time Pro Bowl selection last season.

— The Tennessee Titans have picked up the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons. The Titans announced they picked up the option worth $10.7 million on the 19th pick overall of the 2019 draft. Simmons is coming off his best season yet after posting a career-high 8 1/2 sacks, including three in a win in Los Angeles over the Rams in November. He also led the Titans with 58 quarterback pressures. He ranked second with 12 tackles for loss.

— The Washington Commanders have picked up edge rusher Montez Sweat’s fifth-year option as expected. Sweat was Washington’s second pick in the first round in 2019. Sweat has become a key part of Washington’s defensive line along with fellow pass rusher Chase Young and defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. All of them were first-round picks. Sweat has 21 sacks in 42 NFL games with Washington. He had five in 10 games last season around missing time with a broken jaw. The Commanders have the 11th pick in the draft that begins Thursday night. They’ve picked a defensive player in the first round each of the past five years.

— Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper threw his support behind struggling head coach Matt Rhule (rool) on Wednesday, saying it takes patience and time to build a winning foundation in the NFL. Rhule is 10-23 in his two seasons with the Panthers. Only the Lions, Texans, Jets and Jaguars have won fewer games than Carolina since Rhule’s arrival in 2020. Tepper said Wednesday that Rhule “has my full support.” Rhule is entering the third year of a seven-year, $62 million contract.


Akron extends coach John Groce’s contract thru 2030 season

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Following a trip to the NCAA Tournament, Akron has extended coach John Groce’s contract through the 2029-30 season. Groce led the Zips to Mid-American Conference tournament title last season and the league’s automatic NCAA bid. Groce’s previous deal was to expire after the 2026 season.

Financial terms were not made available.

Groce previously coached at Ohio and Illinois. He’s posted a 94-59 record since taking over Akron’s program in 2017. The Zips are 63-25 overall and 40-16 in MAC play over the past three seasons under the 50-year-old Groce.


Puck and player tracking taking big strides forward in NHL

UNDATED (AP) — Puck and player tracking in the NHL has taken major leaps since it was first tested in January 2019. Coaches already have access to player and shot speed and all the other data being tracked by microchips attached to equipment and implanted inside the puck.

Broadcasters will be integrating it more during the upcoming playoffs with some data expected to be publicly available as soon as next season. That’s just the start of the array of new technologies coming in the near future. Instand video and replays for fans in their seats and augmented and virtual reality developments are not far away.


Hearing officer recommends 2-year NYRA ban for Bob Baffert

UNDATED (AP) — A retired New York State Supreme Court Justice has recommended a two-year suspension for trainer Bob Baffert for repeated medication violations after a New York Racing Association hearing.

Hearing officer O. Peter Sherwood revealed his recommendation in a 50-page report released Wednesday. Baffert’s camp and NYRA have two weeks to offer rebuttals before a three-person panel makes a final decision on the Triple Crown-winning trainer’s status. A suspension in New York until July 2024 would be the result if the panel takes up Sherwood’s full recommendation.

Churchill Downs has banned Baffert from entering horses in the Kentucky Derby this year and next.


Holger Rune stuns Alexander Zverev at BMW Open

MUNICH (AP) — Eighteen-year-old Danish player Holger Rune has stunned top-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the BMW Open on Wednesday. Rune broke in Zverev’s first service game in each set to take control of the match on his way to his first career win over a player ranked in the the top 10. Zverev had lost his opening match in Munich since 2014 and is a two-time winner of the tournament.