Update on the latest sports
Yanks open MLB season with win over champs…Dodgers whip Giants
UNDATED (AP) – The New York Yankees have opened the Major League Baseball season by defeating the defending World Series champs, thanks in part to first-inning thunder and a sixth-inning storm.
Giancarlo Stanton and newcomer Gerrit Cole led the Yanks to a 4-1, rain-shortened win at Washington. Stanton opened the scoring with a two-run blast in the first inning off Max Scherzer, who struck out 11 over 5 1/3. Cole tossed one-hit ball over five innings and blanked the Nationals after Adam Eaton’s solo shot in the first.
The Yankees had runners on first and third with one out in the sixth when the game was called.
Dr. Anthony Fauci had the honor of throwing out the first pitch, a toss that skipped between home plate and the Nationals’ dugout.
Washington had to begin the season without slugger Juan Soto. The outfielder tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on the injured list hours before gametime.
The Dodgers began their campaign by scoring seven times over their final two at-bats to thump the Giants, 8-1 in Los Angeles.
Kike (KEE’-kay) Hernandez was the hitting star for the Dodgers, going 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and five RBIs. Hernandez delivered a two-run single while Los Angeles scored five times in the seventh.
Mookie Betts was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in his first game since signing the second-richest contract in major league history. Betts scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh on a fielder’s choice.
Dustin May allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings of his first opening-day start. He was given the opportunity when Clayton Kershaw went on the injured list with back spasms.
Like the Nationals and Yankees, the Dodgers and Giants took a knee before the national anthem as a sign of unity for social justice.
In other MLB news:
– Major League Baseball and the players’ union have agreed to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 for the pandemic-delayed season. According to MLB, each of the 16 teams will participate in a best-of-three first round before heading into a best-of-five Division Series. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that MLB agreed to guarantee a postseason pool that would be $50 million if the entire postseason is played.
– Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will be shut down from all baseball activities for at least a week after he experienced a setback in his return from COVID-19. Manager Ron Roenicke (REHN’-ih-kee) says Rodriguez hasn’t had another positive test after testing positive for the coronavirus before the start of summer camp. But he said the left-hander did experience some minor complications that the team’s medical staff felt were serious enough to restrict him from activities for now.
– The White Sox have reinstated Yoan Moncada from the injured list. That clears the way for their star third baseman to open the season in the lineup after missing the start of summer camp because he contracted COVID-19. Moncada, hit .315 in a breakout season last year.
– The Cubs have placed left-hander Jose Quintana on the 10-day injured list because of a thumb injury suffered before the start of summer camp. The 31-year-old Quintana wasn’t expected to be ready for opening day after cutting himself washing dishes at his home in Miami last month. The Cubs also placed infielder Daniel Descalso on the 45-day injured list with a sprained left ankle and announced that outfielder Mark Zagunis opted out for the season.
– The Cardinals have recalled outfielder Austin Dean, right-hander Junior Fernandez, catcher Andrew Knizner and infielder Edmundo Sosa on Thursday as they finalized their roster for opening day against the Pirates at Busch Stadium. St. Louis also announced that right-hander Kodi Whitley made the initial 30-man roster for the start of the season.
– The Twins set their opening day roster on Thursday, with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (oh-duh-REE’-zee) on the 10-day injured list due to mild soreness in his upper back. Rich Hill will take Odorizzi’s place the first time through the rotation, scheduled to start on Saturday in Chicago against the White Sox. Jose Berrios will take the mound for the opener on Friday.
– Nate Pearson was not included on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 30-man roster for Friday’s opener at Tampa Bay, a move that likely will delay free-agent eligibility of the hard-throwing right-hander by a year until after the 2026 season. He was 5-4 with a 2.30 ERA in 25 starts across three minor league levels last season that included three starts at Triple-A Buffalo.
– The Orioles placed left-hander John Means on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder fatigue. Means was originally scheduled to start the opener Friday night in Boston but has been replaced by Tommy Milone (mih-LOHN’), who pitched for Seattle last season. Dwight Smith Jr. is on the Brids’ roster after recovering from COVID-19.
– The Cleveland Indians will consult with Native American leaders as they consider changing the name of their franchise for the first time since 1915. Owner Paul Dolan gave more details on the steps the team is taking toward a potential name change amid a national movement to remove racist symbols and monuments.
– The Indians’ drummer won’t be silenced on opening day. Although John Adams won’t be allowed in Progressive Field on Friday because of COVID-19 protocols, he’ll be there in spirit and sound. The Indians are placing a cardboard cutout of their famed drummer in the ballpark and playing a recording of his familiar beat. Adams hasn’t missed a home opener since 1955, when he was 4.
Redskins become Washington Football Team for 2020 season
UNDATED (AP) – The NFL team formerly known as the Redskins will go by the Washington Football Team for the 2020 season. The temporary name gives the organization time to choose a new moniker.
Washington will keep its burgundy and gold colors and replace the Indian head logo on helmets with a player’s jersey number.
Owner Dan Snyder recently dropped the Redskins name amid pressure from sponsors and after decades of criticism from Native American advocacy groups.
Lamb gets his 1st NFL contract
FRISCO, Texas (AP) – The Dallas Cowboys and rookie receiver CeeDee (SEE’-dee) Lamb have agreed to a four-year, $14 million contract with $7.8 million guaranteed.
Lamb joins a young receiving corps led by 26-year-old Amari Cooper and third-year player Michael Gallup, who is coming off his first 1,000-yard season.
The Oklahoma product was the third receiver taken behind Alabama teammates Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy (JOO’-dee).
Hamlin gets 5th Cup win of season
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Denny Hamlin was the winner of a crash-filled race at Kansas Motor Speedway, giving him five NASCAR Cup victories already this season. Hamlin avoided two major wrecks and later passed Kevin Harvick in the closing laps before holding off Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman were among the drivers to wreck.
Martin Truex Jr. came across third, Harvick wound up sliding to fourth and Erik Jones rounded out the top five to cap a banner night for Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR made all the right calls during a crash-filled final stage to win in front of empty grandstands.
Werenski has 3M lead
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) – Richy Werenski sank a short birdie putt on the par-5 18th for an 8-under 63 and a one-shot lead over Michael Thompson through one round of the PGA’s 3M Open in Minnesota.
The 24-year-old Werenski is winless in on the PGA Tour and ranked 248th in the world. He broke a tie with Michael Thompson with his ninth and last birdie on the warm, windy afternoon at the TPC Twin Cities.
Dustin Johnson withdrew because of a back injury after a 78. Johnson’s departure comes after he posted back-to-back 80s last week at the Memorial for the highest 36-hole score of his pro career.
Hurricanes’ Hamilton doesn’t practice
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Carolina Hurricanes All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton didn’t practice Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s workout early “in some visible discomfort. Hamilton’s status is unclear as the team prepares for the return to play next week. He hasn’t played a game since breaking his left leg in January, but he had returned for the beginning of training camp.
Release the Kraken: Seattle unveils name for NHL franchise
SEATTLE (AP) – The NHL’s newest team finally has a name: the Seattle Kraken.
The expansion franchise unveiled its nickname Thursday, ending 19 months of speculation about whether the team might lean traditional or go eccentric with the name for the league’s 32nd team.
Seattle bypassed options like Sockeyes, Evergreens or Metropolitans, the last of which would have been a nod to Seattle’s hockey history.The primary logo is a tentacle shaped into an “S” in the style of the old Seattle Metropolitans jersey and logo. The Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.
UNDATED (AP) – Former Oklahoma football player and head coach John Blake has died at age 59.
Blake became the Sooners’ first Black head coach in any sport when he was hired in December 1995. He had a 12-22 record in three seasons, but his recruiting success laid the foundation for the program’s resurgence.
Blake’s wife, Freda, said he had a “heart-related emergency” at his home in Dallas on Thursday morning. She said attempts to revive him at home failed and he died at Baylor University Medical Center.