Update on the latest sports
Kimbrel to join Cubs
UNDATED (AP) – Craig Kimbrel will be added to the Chicago Cubs’ roster Thursday before their series finale against Atlanta at Wrigley Field. The team made the announcement following Wednesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Braves.
Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star closer, completed his minor league assignment Tuesday and traveled to Chicago on Wednesday. He pitched in four games for Triple-A Iowa, allowing one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander worked a clean ninth with two strikeouts Tuesday in Iowa’s 5-1 win over Omaha, throwing 16 pitches.
Kimbrel and the Cubs finalized a $43 million, three-year contract on June 7. The 31-year-old reliever has 333 career saves, including 42 last season for World Series champion Boston.
To make room on the 25-man roster, right-hander Tony Barnette was optioned to Iowa.
In other MLB news:
– The Twins are optimistic that they dodged a bullet after outfielder Eddie Rosario left Wednesday night’s game against the Rays with a sprained left ankle. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said after the game that Rosario likely would not need to be placed on the injured list. He was on crutches as a precaution, but an MRI revealed no serious damage. Rosario leads the team and ranks sixth in the American League with 20 home runs.
– Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is back on the 10-day injured list with a strained right knee, barely a week after returning from a series of setbacks that kept him out of action for almost three months. And New York manager Aaron Boone says it’s likely Stanton will be sidelined for longer than 10 days. Outfielder Mike Tauchman was called up from Triple-A to replace Stanton on the 25-man roster and traveled with the Yankees to London for their two-game series against the Red Sox that begins Saturday.
– Starters for the July 9 All-Star Game in Cleveland will be announced Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern time, a few hours after polls close online. In a new election process this year, candidates were narrowed down in fan balloting to three finalists per position. Then those vote totals were wiped out and fans had 28 hours, starting at noon EDT Wednesday, to choose from among the finalists. Pitchers and reserves selected by the players and commissioner’s office will be revealed Sunday.
Dodgers visit Denver
UNDATED (AP) – The major league-leading Dodgers open a four-game series in Colorado Thursday night with Walker Buehler (BYOO’-lur) on the mound. Rockies right-hander Peter Lambert faces Los Angeles for the second consecutive start.
The Dodgers won three straight home games against Colorado last weekend in walk-off fashion.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Ace Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies Thursday afternoon as they continue their series against the Mets in Philadelphia. Right-hander Zack Wheeler starts for New York, a day after lefty Jason Vargas tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in a 5-4 loss to the Phillies.
— Rays right-hander Ryne Stanek will serve as the opener for the series finale against Minnesota, his 23rd such assignment this season. He has a 2.47 ERA in 43 2/3 innings. Lefty Martin Perez will take the mound for the Twins. He’s 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in 24 innings over his last five turns.
FED CUP-NEW FORMAT
Fed Cup follows Davis Cup with new tournament format
LONDON (AP) – The Fed Cup is following the Davis Cup with a new tournament format.
Starting next year, the women’s tennis event will be a six-day final tournament in April with 12 teams playing for an $18 million prize on clay courts in Budapest, Hungary.
The International Tennis Federation has already switched the Davis Cup to a similar pattern, with the first 18-team final event to be played in November in Madrid.
The changes to the Fed Cup ease the strain on the tennis calendar by going from three weeks to two, with qualifying matches in February. The current system has a final series in November, seven months after the semifinals.
However, a new round robin stage at the final tournament means players will play more matches.
CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING-SAFETY
New California law allows suspension of horse racing
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s governor has signed a law clearing the way for regulators to suspend the horse racing license for beleaguered Santa Anita Park after the deaths of 30 horses at the famous track.
The bill authored by Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa would give the California Horse Racing Board authority to immediately suspend licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders.
The bill is aimed at Santa Anita Park, which wrapped up its racing season on Sunday.
California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Martin says the board chairman will decide when and if to call an emergency meeting of the board to suspend Santa Anita Park’s license.
STEPHEN CURRY-MEDIA MOVES
Steph Curry makes faithful moves through production company
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is using a foundation of faith to build a career away from the basketball court through his burgeoning production company.
Curry co-founded Unanimous Media to produce content focusing on sports, family and faith. The newly-formed company already has several projects under its belt including a major studio film, network television show and a couple documentaries.
Curry says he wants to “uplift people who need to be uplifted.”
His latest project features himself in an original docuseries “Stephen vs. The Game” on Facebook Watch, a video-on-demand service. It explores the point guard’s on and off-the-court journey through this past season.
Unanimous Media is also behind the new documentary “Emanuel” and the faith-based film “Breakthrough,” which opened third at the box office.