Update on the latest sports
HORSE RACING-MEDINA SPIRIT-BAFFERT
Churchill Downs suspends Baffert after Derby winner tests positive
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Churchill Downs has suspended trainer Bob Baffert from entering horses at the track and said it would invalidate Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby victory if the results of a failed postrace drug test are upheld.
The track said in a statement Sunday that failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols jeopardizes the safety of horses and jockeys, the sport’s integrity and the Derby’s reputation.
Churchill Downs’ announcement came after Baffert disclosed the failed drug test, which he vowed to fight “tooth and nail.”
In a Sunday morning news conference, Baffert said his barn was told Saturday that Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing, in a postrace sample. It’s the same drug that was found in the system of Gamine, another Baffert-trained horse who finished third in the Kentucky Oaks last September.
Baffert denied any wrongdoing and said he did not know how Medina Spirit could have tested positive. He said Medina Spirit has never been treated with betamethasone and called it “a complete injustice.”
Medina Spirit is Baffert’s fifth horse to fail a drug test in a year.
Heat hold off Celtics 130-124
UNDATED (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 26 points and 11 assists to help the Miami Heat hold off the Boston Celtics 130-124 Sunday as the teams fight for position in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
Duncan Robinson added 22 points and Bam Adebayo finished with 20 for Miami, which increased its lead over Boston to two games for sixth place in the standings. The 37-31 Heat now have the same record as fifth-place Atlanta, but the Hawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
It’s the first of two straight games between Miami and Boston, which meet for the final time during the regular season on Tuesday.
Evan Fournier scored 30 points to lead the Celtics, who have lost three out of four as they try to avoid the play-in round of the playoffs. Jayson Tatum added 29 points and Kemba Walker finished with 18.
NBA fines Pelicans’ Griffin $50,000 for detrimental comments
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has fined New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin $50,000 for publicly criticizing officiating and making comments the league considered detrimental.
The decision came two days after Griffin, the Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations, spoke out strongly about his concerns over the amount of contact NBA referees allow New Orleans forward Zion Williamson to endure.
Williamson is out indefinitely with a broken left index finger. Griffin said Friday that the Pelicans have told league officials many times that they feared Williamson was being exposed to injury because of the way defenders are allowed to play against him. He called it “open season” on the 6-foot-7, 284-pound forward.
Williamson is averaging 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season.
Blue Jackets and Coyotes part with their coaches
UNDATED (AP) — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets after six seasons.
General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement Sunday that parting ways with the winningest coach in franchise history was a mutual decision. It came a day after the Blue Jackets finished last in the Central Division, concluding their season with a 5-4 overtime win against Detroit.
Tortorella led the Blue Jackets to four straight playoff appearances after the team qualified for the postseason just twice in its first 15 seasons. The Blue Jackets also won their first playoff series in team history with a four-game sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in a 2019 first-round series. The Blue Jackets went 227-166-54 under Tortorella, including a team-best 50-24-8 finish in 2016-17.
The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet (TAH’-keht) are also parting ways after four seasons. The announcement comes a day after the Coyotes missed the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Arizona reached the postseason last year when the format was rejiggered due to the coronavirus pandemic and beat Nashville in four games before losing to Colorado in five. Arizona was in playoff position heading into the final month of this season, holding the fourth spot in the West Division before losing 12 of 15 games to get eliminated.
The Coyotes closed a 24-26-6 season with a pair of wins over San Jose to finish 3 points behind St. Louis for the West’s final playoff spot.
Devers, Renfroe HR, lead Pivetta, Red Sox past Orioles 4-3
UNDATED (AP) — Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz) and Hunter Renfroe homered, Nick Pivetta won his third consecutive start and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-3.
Boston has won five of six, and at 22-13 owns the best record in baseball. The Orioles fell to a majors-worst 4-13 at home, including 0-6 against the Red Sox.
Devers, who homered off Baltimore starter Dean Kremer in the second inning, hit a two-run double off reliever Adam Plutko in the sixth to give Boston a 3-2 lead. Renfroe added a solo shot in the eighth. Pivetta improved to 5-0. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings and is 7-0 since his acquisition from Philadelphia last season.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Tyrone Taylor hit a two-out, tiebreaking single in the 10th inning, and seven Milwaukee Brewers pitchers combined on a six-hitter to beat the Miami Marlins 2-1. Marlins reliever Anthony Bass retired the first two batters in the 10th, but after an intentional walk, Taylor’s hit brought home automatic runner Pablo Reyes from second. Josh Hader pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 0.71. Drew Rasmussen pitched the 10th and earned his first career save by working around a two-out walk and stranding automatic runner Lewis Brinson at third.
— Giancarlo Stanton hit a game-ending single off Brad Hand in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees beat Washington 3-2 for their second straight walk-off win over the Nationals. Hand walked Tyler Wade and pinch-hitter Aaron Judge starting the ninth, a day after walking his first batter and blowing ninth- and 10th-inning leads in a game New York won 4-3 in 11 innings. DJ LeMahieu hit into a forceout that left runners at the corners, and Stanton lined a slider for his 24th RBI. New York went 7-2 on its longest homestand of the season, improving to 18-16.
Mets’ deGrom exits early
UNDATED (AP) — New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom pulled himself from Sunday’s game against Arizona with tightness on his right side after throwing two warm-up pitches before the sixth inning.
DeGrom was pitching for the first time since skipping a start due to discomfort in his right lat. New York said the early departure was for precautionary reasons.
He threw 68 pitches over five innings, allowing one run, but called for a trainer when he felt discomfort trying to get loose prior to the sixth. He left with the trainer and went straight to the clubhouse. DeGrom struck out six and allowed one hit. He was perfect through four innings before struggling in the fifth, when he allowed a run.
In other MLB news:
— The Pittsburgh Pirates put infielder Colin Moran on the 10-day injured list with a strained left groin amid several roster moves before playing the Chicago Cubs. Moran exited Saturday’s game against the Cubs in the bottom of the first inning. He is hitting .297 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 32 games. Infielder Ke’Bryan Hayes was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day list. The rookie had a strong spring, homered on opening day at Wrigley Field and then exited early in the second game with a strained left wrist that’s sidelined him. The Pirates claimed outfielder Ben Gamel off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.
— The three-game series finale between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians set for Sunday was postponed because of a forecast of wet weather in Cleveland. It was rescheduled for Aug. 9.
— Rain postponed the Minnesota Twins’ series finale against the Detroit Tigers. The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 16.
Hamilton wins Spanish GP ahead of Verstappen
MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen in a thrilling duel to win the Spanish Grand Prix and increase his championship lead over his top rival.
Hamilton’s 98th career win came a day after taking his 100th career pole. Hamilton increased his lead to 14 points over Verstappen, who grabbed a bonus point for the fastest lap. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas steered his Mercedes to a third-place finish.
Home favorite Jutanugarn shoots 63 to win LPGA Thailand
PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Ariya Jutanugarn (ahr-EE’-uh juh-TAN’-uh-garn) shot a 9-under-par 63 in the final round to win the LPGA Thailand by one stroke on Sunday and become the first home winner of the tournament in 14 years.
Jutanugarn’s overall total of 22 under 266 just edged out her fellow Thai Atthaya Thitikul, who missed a four-foot birdie putt to force a playoff.