Update on the latest sports


Cubs try for 3-game sweep of Mets after 16-4 win

UNDATED (AP) — Javier Báez and the Chicago Cubs will try for a three-game sweep of the Mets, which committed a season-high four errors during an ugly 16-4 defeat Wednesday night at chilly Wrigley Field.

Chicago scored its most runs since putting up 16 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, 2019.

David Bote (BOH’-tee) drove in four runs as the Cubs won their second straight after losing six of eight. Báez became the first player to go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in one game and then hit a grand slam in the next since Gorman Thomas did it for Milwaukee in the first two games of the 1978 season, according to STATS.

Trevor Williams looks to win his second consecutive start for the Cubs.

In other highlights of Thursday’s schedule:

— Los Angeles right-hander Walker Buehler starts the opener of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Buehler will be followed by left-hander Clayton Kershaw and right-hander Trevor Bauer, with Dustin May scheduled for Sunday’s series finale. The Dodgers won two of three last weekend in San Diego during the first series of the season between the NL West rivals.

— Alex Cobb makes his third start for his new team when the Los Angeles Angels begin a four-game series at Houston. The slumping Astros have lost nine of 10. Houston also was 7-10 last year before winning eight in a row and eventually reaching Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. Cristian Javier gets the ball for the Astros in a matchup of AL West teams.

— Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán (hehr-MAHN’) will rejoin the club from the alternate training site to make his third start after missing all of 2020 serving a ban for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Germán struggled in outings against Toronto and Tampa Bay before being sent down, allowing seven runs and four homers over seven innings. He’ll face the Indians and righty Aaron Civale (sih-VAH’-lee) in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

UNDATED (AP) — Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges by the World Players Association and Athleten Deutschland came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission is expected to clarify what kind of punishment before this year’s games, which open on July 23.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

In other news related to the Olympics:

— Tokyo Olympics organizers say a policeman tested positive for COVID-19 a day after his assignment last week at the Olympic torch relay. It is the first positive test connected to the relay since it began March 25 from northeastern Fukushima prefecture. Organizers say the policeman was assigned to control traffic on the April 17 leg in southwestern Kagawa prefecture. They said he developed symptoms and tested positive the next day. Local health authorities are investigating. They say the policeman was wearing a mask and taking social distancing measures.

— A competitive virtual sports event has been launched by the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic Virtual Series will include five sports: baseball, cycling, auto racing, rowing and sailing. It will start May 13 and finish on June 23. The Tokyo Olympics open on July 23. Gaming brands involved in the project include Gran Turismo, Zwift and eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020. The IOC says it hopes to “mobilize virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences.”


Barcelona maintains support of Super League despite backlash

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona president Joan Laporta has maintained his support for the Super League despite the quick exit of 10 of the 12 founding clubs in the breakaway competition.

The Super League provoked a backlash by other clubs, fans and authorities around Europe after it was announced by a dozen top clubs in England, Spain and Italy on Sunday. It has since collapsed and is now officially backed only by Barcelona and Real (ray-AL’) Madrid.

The 12 elite clubs wanted to boost their revenues by cutting UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, out of the equation and replacing the Champions League with the new tournament of 20 teams.

Laporta says the Super League “is absolutely necessary” and adds “the biggest clubs create the most financial resources and we must have our say in deciding how the earnings are shared.”