Update on the latest sports
Davies, Pederson lead Cubs over Pirates 3-2, 4th win in row
CHICAGO (AP) — Zach Davies allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings, Rex Brothers got his first save in eight years and the Chicago Cubs held on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2, extending their winning streak to four.
Joc Pederson had three hits and an RBI for the Cubs, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Javier Báez and David Bote had two hits each. Chicago got back to .500 at 16-16. Pittsburgh has lost seven of eight. The Pirates have six runs in their last five games.
Indians catcher Roberto Pérez has finger surgery, out months
UNDATED (AP) — The Indians could be without Gold Glove catcher Roberto Pérez for months.
Pérez had surgery to fix a fractured ring finger. He suffered the injury last month and played nearly three weeks with it before the discomfort became too much. Pérez hurt his finger when he got crossed up by reliever James Karinchak and caught a pitch with his bare hand. The loss of Pérez is a significant blow to the AL Central-leading Indians. He’s one of baseball’s best defensive catchers and handles Cleveland’s strong pitching staff. Austin Hedge will be Cleveland’s primary catcher while Pérez is sidelined.
Elsewhere in the league:
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken left thumb that could sideline him for a month. Votto was struck on the thumb with a pitch by Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday. The 37-year-old is batting .226 with five homers and 17 RBIs.
Pelicans’ Williamson out indefinitely with fractured finger
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with a fractured left finger.
The Pelicans made the announcement Friday before they played the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pelicans said a timetable for Williamson’s return would be determined upon further evaluation. He appeared to hurt the finger trying to grab a rebound Tuesday against Golden State.
He’s averaging 27 points and 7.2 rebounds in 61 games.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
—Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook’s next triple-double will be the 181st of his career. That will tie the NBA record set by Oscar Robertson in the 1960s and 1970s. Westbrook has 34 triple-doubles this season alone and is averaging a triple-double for the fourth time. His is putting up 21.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. Westbrook has teamed with Bradley Beal to lead the Wizards to 14 wins in their past 18 games heading into Saturday’s contest at the Indiana Pacers.
Canucks’ Zack MacEwen suspended game for kneeing
NEW YORK (AP) — Vancouver Canucks forward Zack MacEwen was suspended for one game without pay by the NHL on Friday for kneeing Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse. The incident came midway through the second period Thursday night in the Canucks’ 6-3 victory in Edmonton. The suspension will cost MacEwen $7,112.
AP source: No cutting players because they are unvaccinated
UNDATED (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the NFL’s directive tells The Associated Press a team can’t release a player simply because he is not vaccinated for COVID-19. Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane suggested hypothetically this week that he’d do so if it would provide more freedom within the team facilities for meetings and offseason programs. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league did not make the decision public. The NFL currently is formulating further plans and protocols for the offseason programs and training camp.
In other NFL news:
— The New York Jets have cut six players including wide receiver Josh Doctson in a flurry of moves before the team’s first rookie minicamp practice under new coach Robert Saleh. Cornerback Kyron Brown, tight end Connor Davis, offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi, kicker Chase McLaughlin and wide receiver Jaleel Scott were also released Friday. New York also announced the signings of six of its 10 draft picks including linebackers Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nisirildeen, cornerbacks Michael Carter II, Jason Pinnock and Brandin Echols and defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall. The Jets signed 12 undrafted free agents, all of whom were on the field with No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson.
—The Minnesota Vikings have signed tight end Shane Zylstra. He’s from the NCAA Division II program at Minnesota State that produced two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen. Zylstra is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon Zylstra, who spent the 2018 season with the Vikings.
— The Detroit Lions have signed center Frank Ragnow to a $54 million, four-year extension that keeps him under contract through the 2026 season for a total of $70 million. The deal makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player at the position. Ragnow will average $13.5 million per season.
University of Hartford sports drops from Division I to III
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The University of Hartford is dropping its sports teams from Division I to Division III.
The decision comes after the Hartford men’s basketball team this season won its first America East championship this season and played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, losing to eventual national champion Baylor in the first round.
Hartford President Gregory Woodward says the school wants to “transition to this new model for intercollegiate athletics.”
The discussion to downgrade to Division III has sparked marches on campus led by athletes and a petition from alumni to keep the program in Division I.
Saban tapes message encouraging Alabamians to get vaccinated
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama football coach Nick Saban has taped a public service announcement encouraging Alabamians to get vaccinated.
The Alabama Department of Public Health says Saban and others, including former NBA star Charles Barkley, participated in the PSA. Less than 25% of Alabamians have been fully vaccinated, which ranks last nationally, according to the CDC. University of Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne has said the school intended to allow 100% capacity next season for the defending national champions.