Update on the latest sports
Nets’ Aldridge retires at 35 due to irregular heartbeat
NEW YORK (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge has retired from the NBA after 15 seasons, saying he experienced an irregular heartbeat during his final game with the Brooklyn Nets.
The 35-year-old Aldridge called it one of the scariest things he had ever experienced but says he feels better now after getting it checked out.
The seven-time All-Star signed with the Nets on March 28 and became their starting center. He previously played for San Antonio and Portland.
NBA says injury rate this season down slightly from normal
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA says the rate of players needing to miss games because of injuries is down 6% from last season and within the normal range for what the league has seen over the last five seasons.
Several marquee players have dealt with injuries in recent weeks, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’), James Harden and most recently Jamal Murray.
NBA teams are playing 3.6 games per week, up 5% from last year. This year’s schedule compressed 72 games into 146 days, as opposed to the usual 82 games into 170 days.
Machado homers, Padres earn split with Pirates in 8-3 win
UNDATED (AP) — The San Diego Padres have left Pittsburgh after finishing 5-2 on their road trip.
The Padres cruised to an 8-3 win over the Pirates as Manny Machado hit his third home run of the season and drove in three runs. Eric Hosmer added two hits and two RBIs to help the Padres gain a split of their four-game set with the Bucs. Chris Paddock labored over five innings and Craig Stammen worked three frames to pick up just the sixth save of his 12-year big league career and first since 2019.
In other major league finals:
— The Braves ended a four-game losing streak by scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth to beat Miami, 7-6. Ozzie Albies (AL’-beez) walked with the bases loaded before Dansby Swanson swatted a walk-off single. Ronald Acuña (ah-KOON’-yah) Jr. hit a two-run homer for Atlanta’s only runs off Trevor Rogers, but Pablo Sandoval smacked a three-run shot for the Marlins.
— Max Kepler’s bloop RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Minnesota a 4-3 victory over Boston, stopping the Twins’ five-game skid and breaking a nine-game winning string for the Red Sox. Michael Pineda allowed only two singles over seven scoreless innings for the Twins, who had a home run by slump-ridden slugger Miguel Sanó (sah-NOH’) in the sixth. Pineda left with a 3-0 lead but the Red Sox tied it on Alex Verdugo’s (vur-DOO’-gohz) three-run double in the eighth.
— José Ramírez connected for a go-ahead, two-run homer off Lance Lynn in the sixth inning of the Indians’ 4-2 win over the White Sox in Chicago. Lynn was nursing a 1-0 lead when Ramírez launched a full-count pitch with two outs deep to right for his third home run. Anthony Civale (sih-VAH’-lee) allowed only a first-inning run and five hits through six frames in his third straight strong start.
— Mitch Haniger became the first Mariner to homer out of the leadoff spot in both ends of a doubleheader, hitting a tiebreaking drive in the second game that led Seattle over the Orioles, 2-1 for a sweep. J.P. Crawford hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the sixth inning that lifted The M’s to a 4-2 win in the opener. The Orioles managed just seven hits in the twinbill and have lost eight of 10 following an opening three-game sweep at Boston.
— The finale of the four-game series between the Mets and Phillies was postponed because of rain. It was New York’s third washout in five days.
Amendment to Arenado deal
UNDATED (AP) — Nolan Arenado’s contract was amended when the All-Star third baseman was traded to the Cardinals by the Rockies.
The amendment adds a $15 million salary for 2027 to leave him owed $214 million over seven seasons by St. Louis. As part of the amended contract, $50 million of that $214 million will be deferred and payable through 2041, according to details obtained by The Associated Press.
Colorado would pay St. Louis $51 million, if Arenado decides to keep his entire contract and not opt out early.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera was suspended for three games by MLB, which concluded he intentionally threw at Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff this week. Tepera appealed the penalty and will not serve any discipline until after his hearing. Cubs manager David Ross was suspended for one game and fined because of Tepera’s actions.
— A diversity study finds Major League Baseball with slightly lower scores for racial and gender hiring but earning bonuses for social-justice initiatives and hiring milestones. Thursday’s report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport issued an overall grade of C-plus for MLB. That included a B-plus for racial hiring and a C for gender hiring for the 2021 season.
Falcons ink 2 FAs
UNDATED (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have signed safety Duron Harmon and four-time All-Pro return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson to one-year contracts.
Harmon started all 16 games for Detroit in 2020 and set a career high with 73 tackles. Patterson earned first-team All-Pro honors as a kick returner in 2013, 2016 and 2019-20 with Minnesota and Chicago.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— The Steelers have re-signed the veteran inside linebacker Vince Williams to a one-year deal. The signing comes a month after the Steelers released Williams in a cost-cutting measure.
— The Raiders have cut defensive linemen Maurice Hurst and Arden Key before their fourth seasons with the team.
— The Cardinals have re-signed linebackers Dennis Gardeck and Kylie Fitts to one-year contracts.
— The Browns are the latest NFL team to say they’ll skip mandated in-person workouts.
Canucks season still on hold
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks’ return to competition has been delayed by the NHL.
The league has announced the team won’t resume its schedule on Friday against visiting Edmonton as expected. The Canucks haven’t played a game since March 24 due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Vancouver forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” to play Friday night because the pandemic-hit team has not had enough time to recover and get back in shape.
The NHL said the decision was made with input from the NHL Players’ Association and medical staff from teams.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-USC-NCAA VIOLATIONS
NCAA punishes USC hoops program
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NCAA has hit the Southern California men’s basketball program with two years’ probation because of a former assistant who violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company. The Division I Committee on Infractions announced the penalties, which include a $5,000 fine and a 1% loss of the school’s basketball budget.
Tony Bland, the former associate head coach under coach Andy Enfield, was fired in January 2018. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and received two years’ probation.
Cincinnati hires UNC Greensboro basketball coach Wes Miller
CINCINNATI (AP) — The University of Cincinnati has hired UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller to be the new head basketball coach. Miller replaces John Brannen, who was fired after six players decided to transfer following last season.
Miller won 185 games in 10 seasons at UNC Greensboro.
Thomas leaving after 1 season
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU freshman Cameron Thomas says he is declaring for the NBA draft and intends to sign with an agent.
The 6-foot-4 guard led all Division 1 freshmen in scoring last season at 23 points a game while helping LSU advance to the finals of the SEC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA tourney.
NCAA relaxes transfer rule
UNDATED (AP) — An NCAA rule change will allow football players to transfer once as undergraduates without sitting out a season.
The change goes into effect for the 2021 season. It was not unexpected, but now that it is official a bevy of players are assured of being on the field this fall.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-OBIT-LEROY KEYES
Leroy Keyes, gold standard of Purdue football, dies at 74
WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (AP) — Purdue football star Leroy Keyes has died at 74.
Keyes was a two-time All-American and one of the greatest players in school history. He finished his career as the school record-holder for touchdowns, points and all-purpose yards. He was named the Boilermakers’ greatest player in 1987, as the program celebrated its 100th year of football.
Smith’s career-best 62 puts him atop Heritage leaderboard
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Cameron Smith birdied the difficult 17th and 18th holes at Harbour Town to shoot a 9-under 62 and take a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink through one round at the RBC Heritage.
Cink finished his 63 around lunchtime and no one appeared likely to beat that score in overcast, breezier afternoon conditions. Yet Smith played his best down the challenging stretch for his career-low score on the PGA Tour.
TOKYO OLYMPICS-VIRUS WORRIES
Officials say Olympic cancellation or barring fans are still options
TOKYO (AP) — Two officials in Japan’s ruling party have suggested separately that the Tokyo Olympics could be in for some radical changes. Liberal Democratic Party secretary general Toshihiro Nikai says cancellation is still an option with coronavirus cases rising. And the minister in charge of the vaccine rollout in Japan says that even if the games go on it may be without any fans.
The speculation comes a day after Tokyo reached the 100-days-to-go mark.