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Update on the latest sports


Royals try again to end skid
UNDATED (AP) – The reeling Royals get two chances to halt their long losing streak when they play a doubleheader in Chicago against the White Sox. Kansas City has dropped 11 straight, its longest skid since a 12-game slide in 2012.
The Royals just got done playing Detroit, which had the worst record in baseball until sweeping Kansas City. Now they face the top team in the majors. Chicago is 22-13 and has won six in a row.
Brad Keller starts the opener for the Royals against Lucas Giolito.


In other highlights of Friday’s schedule:
– Wade Miley starts for the Reds at Coors Field in his first mound appearance since pitching the season’s fourth no-hitter last week. Cincinnati shuffled its rotation this week to get the left-hander an extra day of rest after he threw 114 pitches while no-hitting Cleveland last Friday. Johnny Vander Meer, another Reds lefty, in 1938 is the only big leaguer to throw no-hitters in consecutive outings. Miley is set to face Rockies right-hander German Marquez.


– The virus-stricken Yankees are set to open a series in Baltimore a day after revealing shortstop Gleyber Torres tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated and having previously had COVID-19. Torres is among eight so-called breakthrough positives among the Yankees – people who tested positive despite being fully vaccinated. The Yankees also have three coaches and four traveling staffers who have tested positive. The team says all eight are asymptomatic but continue to test positive.


Japan expands virus emergency ahead of Tokyo Olympics
UNDATED (AP) – Japan on Friday further expanded a coronavirus state of emergency from six areas, including Tokyo, to nine, as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga repeated his determination to hold the Olympics in just over two months.
Japan has been struggling to slow infections ahead of the games. The three additions are Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, where the Olympic marathon will be held, and Hiroshima and Okayama in western Japan.
Despite the worsening infections, Suga stressed his commitment to holding the games safely and securely while protecting Japanese by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants, including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations.
Public sentiment against the Olympics seems to be rising in Japan. Between 60-80% of the Japanese public consistently say they games should not be held with surging cases of COVID-19.
An online petition with more than 350,000 signatures calling for the Tokyo Games to be canceled has been submitted to local organizers, the International Olympic Committee and others.


In other pandemic-related sports news:
– The IndyCar race in Toronto has been canceled for the second consecutive year because of the pandemic. The event was scheduled for July 9-11 but can’t take place because of restrictions in Canada. The race has been on the IndyCar schedule since 1986. Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles calls the cancellation “heartbreaking.” Miles has previously said IndyCar would likely schedule a second race at another venue already on the IndyCar calendar if Toronto had to be canceled.


– The Turkish Grand Prix scheduled for next month was called off Friday because of coronavirus travel restrictions and will be replaced by a second Formula One race in Austria. Travel restrictions in several countries where teams are based forced F1 organizers to take the June 13 race out of Istanbul. Instead, the French GP will move forward by one week to June 20 and Austria will get a second race – just like it did last year. The Styrian GP on June 27 will be followed by the Austrian GP on July 4. Both races will be at the Red Bull Ring track in Spielberg.


– Justin Haley will miss this weekend’s NASCAR races at Dover because of COVID-19 protocols. Josh Berry will make his Cup Series debut for Spire Motorsports driving for Haley in Sunday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Berry has one win this season in the second-tier Xfinity Series. Zane Smith will drive the No. 11 Chevrolet at Dover in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. Haley has six top-10 finishes in nine races this season.