Update on the latest sports
Russell Henley opens US open with 67
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm has put himself in contention at the U.S. Open in his first round since testing positive for COVID-19. Rahm opened with a birdie on his first hole, the par-4 10th, and turned in 1-under 35. The Spaniard added a 7-foot birdie on the short par-4 second hole and is two behind leader Russell Henley darkness creeped over Torrey Pines. Rahm was leading the Memorial by 6 shots two weeks ago when he was informed after the third round he tested positive for COVID-19. He tested twice negative late last week and began preparing for the U.S. Open in full on Saturday.
Play was delayed by 90 minutes because of morning fog. Late starters will have to complete their rounds early Friday before the second round commences.
Morton shuts down Cardinals
UNDATED (AP) __Charlie Morton didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning and took a shutout into the eighth, lifting the Atlanta Braves over the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0.
Morton gave up his first hit when Paul Goldschmidt lined a single to left-center with one out, but the right-hander followed by getting Nolan Arenado to pop up and struck out Tyler O’Neill. He allowed singles to Matt Carpenter and pinch-hitter José Rondón in the eighth and was pulled with two outs.
In other MLB action:
—The Cleveland Indians extended Baltimore’s road losing streak to 19 games with a 10-3 win over the Orioles. José Ramírez hit a two-run homer and Bobby Bradley added a solo shot during a three-run first inning. Yu Chang had four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the eighth. Austin Hays and Maikel Franco homered for the Orioles, who have lost eight straight overall. Indians starter Eli Morgan remained in the game after being struck by a line drive above the right elbow in the first inning.
—The Arizona Diamondbacks made dubious history Thursday, setting an MLB record with their 23rd straight road loss, a 10-3 trouncing at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. The dejected D-backs trudged off the field and quietly made their way back to Oracle Park’s visiting clubhouse following the final out of their record-setting loss, breaking a tie with the 1963 Mets and ’43 Philadelphia Athletics for road futility The D-backs have lost 14 in a row overall and have the worst record in the majors.
—Kyle Hendricks flummoxed the Mets for six innings to win his career-best seventh straight start, Javier Báez hit a two-run homer in the first off Marcus Stroman and the Chicago Cubs beat New York 2-0 to avoid a four-game series sweep. Hendricks struck out seven and walked two, retiring his last eight batters after consecutive walks in the fourth. He improved to 4-0 against the Mets.
Mets DeGrom has good MRI
UNDATED (AP) —All fully vaccinated players and staff can stop wearing masks in dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses under the latest change to Major League Baseball’s coronavirus protocols.
In addition, fully vaccinated players and staff may eat in restaurants without restrictions and attend sporting events at venues with government approved safety protocols. The new rules are contained in a memo from, the commissioner’s office and players’ association.
In other MLB news:
Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s shoulder showed no abnormalities, but New York was not yet ready to commit to him taking his next turn in the rotation Sunday against Washington. DeGrom left his second straight start with an arm injury, coming out after three perfect innings against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night with right shoulder soreness. He had an MRI today. DeGrom is 6-2 with a 0.54 ERA and 111 strikeouts and eight walks in 67 innings.
—The Texas Rangers have acquired right-hander Dennis Santana from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade. The Rangers sent minor league lefty Kevin Bautista to Los Angeles. Santana was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Saturday. He had a 6.00 ERA in a career-high 16 relief appearances this season.
—The St. Louis Cardinals have signed left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year contract. Manager Mike Shildt said LeBlanc will pitch in relief. LeBlanc, 36, is 46-48 in his 13-year career with a 4.59 ERA. He’s 34-41, 4.73 ERA in 121 career starts and 12-7 with a 4.23 ERA in 125 relief appearances with three saves.
—First baseman Mike Ford has been traded by the New York Yankees to the Tampa Bay Rays for $100,000 and a player to be named. Ford was designated for assignment Saturday when reliever Zack Britton was activated from the injured list. Ford, who turns 29 on July 4, batted .133 with three homers and five RBIs in 60 at-bats this season.
Mavericks, Carlisle part ways
UNDATED (AP) — Rick Carlisle has stepped down as coach of the Dallas Mavericks, the second major departure for that franchise in as many days.
Carlisle spent 13 seasons in Dallas, leading the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title. His decision was announced Thursday, one day after general manager Donnie Nelson and the team agreed to part ways, ending a 24-year run for Nelson as part of the organization. Dallas becomes the seventh team with a coaching vacancy, joining New Orleans, Washington, Orlando, Indiana, Portland — and Boston, where Carlisle played for the team that won the 1986 NBA title.
In other NBA news:
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is officially out for Friday night’s Game 6 of the Western Conference second-round series against the Utah Jazz. Leonard sprained his right knee during Monday night’s Game 4 win. He traveled with the Clippers to Salt Lake City, Lue said, then returned to Los Angeles for further testing. Despite missing Leonard, LA took a 3-2 series lead on Wednesday night with a 119-111 victory behind 37 points from Paul George. The Clippers are 12-9 without their All-Star forward this season, including 1-0 in the playoffs.
Hurricanes, Brind’Amour reach extension after 3 playoff bids
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes have reached a three-year contract extension with coach Rod Brind’Amour after three straight playoff appearances. The Hurricanes announced the agreement Thursday. The extension comes a little more than a week after the Hurricanes were eliminated by reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in the second round. Brind’Amour is one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award presented annually to the NHL’s top coach. Brind’Amour helped Carolina end a nine-season playoff drought after taking over in 2018. This season marked the first time the franchise had made three straight playoff trips since relocating to North Carolina in 1997.
NFL suspends 49ers D-lineman Jordan Willis for doping
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has suspended San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Jordan Willis for violating the league’s policy of performance-enhancing substances.
Willis will be able to practice in training camp and play in all preseason games before beginning his suspension without pay. He’ll be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 25 in advance of the 49ers’ game at Chicago on Halloween.
In other NFL news:
The Chicago Bears have submitted a bid to buy a suburban horse racing track in suburban Arlington Heights, suggesting a willingness to move out of downtown Soldier Field for a new stadium. Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL. It opened in 1924. It can set 61,500 fans, making it the smallest venue in the league.
CFP expansion will push conferences to reconsider divisions
ROSEMONT, Ill (AP) — Officials in charge of the College Football Playoff have opened two days of meetings in suburban Chicago.
The main topic is whether to expand the four-team playoff to 12, as proposed by a working group. Six spots would be reserved for league champions and the rest would go to at-large teams. The discussions put league championship games in the spotlight. The winner would be in the mix for a playoff bid, but an upset would hurt the league’s chances overall.
Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal is skipping Wimbledon as well as the Tokyo Olympics.
The 35-year-old Spaniard says he made the decision after “listening” to his body. Nadal reached the French Open semifinals last week but lost to Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich). He says the fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon makes it harder for his body to recover from the “demanding” clay-court season.Nadal has won the title at Wimbledon twice and also won the Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In another major Wimbledon withdrawal:
Naomi Osaka’s agent says the four-time Grand Slam champion will sit out Wimbledon but compete at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old, who was born in Japan, withdrew from the French Open after the first round, saying she needed a mental health break.
DOJ: 2 states’ transgender restrictions unconstitutional
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Justice is challenging bans involving transgender people that target athletes in West Virginia and children in Arkansas. The department on Thursday slammed those bans as violations of federal law.
The department filed statements of interest in lawsuits seeking to overturn new laws in the two states. In West Virginia, a lawsuit filed on behalf of an 11-year-old transgender girl challenges a ban on transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Arkansas became the first state to ban gender confirming treatments or surgery for transgender youth. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors.
UCONN-STRENGTH COACH LAWSUIT
UConn coach says refusal to violate protocols led to ouster
UNDATED (AP) – A former strength coach for UConn’s men’s basketball team has sued the school, claiming his contract wasn’t renewed after he refused demands from coach Dan Hurley that he violate NCAA guidelines and school COVID-19 protocols.
Sal Alosi alleges he was asked by Hurley to hold virtual and later indoor workouts that violate coronavirus guidelines. The school denies the allegations. A hearing was held Thursday on a motion by UConn to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge did not immediately rule on that motion.