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Thursday’s Sports Minute

Thursday’s Sports Minute

NATIONALS: Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond rounds toward the dugout after crossing home plate in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning of an interleague baseball game, Wednesday, July 9. Photo: Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

A look at the sports news making headlines today, Thursday, July 10.

Change atop NL East…Simon says 12…Yanks out last Tribe in 14

The Washington Nationals are back in first place in the National League East, thanks to the long ball. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos all homered in the Nationals 6-2 victory over Baltimore in an interleague game. Doug Fister held the Orioles to two runs in his seven to get the victory. He’s 8-2.

Atlanta fell out of first place a game back of Washington thanks to the Mets’ 4-1 victory over the Braves, their third straight loss to the New Yorkers. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud delivered a two-run home run in the Mets three-run seventh. The Mets are on their first four-game win streak of the season.

In other action:

  • Alfredo Simon became the NL’s first 12-game winner and Billy Hamilton hit a tiebreaking triple in the Cincinnati Reds’ 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Reds won their fifth in a row — matching their season high — and moved a season-best seven games over .500.
  • Daniel Nava doubled in the tying run in the ninth inning and scored on Brock Holt’s single as the Boston Red Sox rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4. That ends Boston’s four-game losing streak.
  • Max Scherzer outdueled Zach Greinke in Detroit’s 4-1 win over the Dodgers that completed a two-game sweep. Scherzer got the win by giving up just the one run in seven innings of work. He struck out seven and allowed just four hits in upping his record to 11-3. Greinke went seven as well and struck out eight while giving up three runs and seven hits to fall to 11-5.
  • Salvador Perez clocked a three-run home run in the ninth inning to give Kansas City a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. It’s been a big week for Perez, chosen Sunday to start at catcher for the American League in next week’s All-Star game.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury cracked a solo homer in the 14th inning to give the New York Yankees a 5-4 win over Cleveland. Chase Whitley pitched two scoreless innings for the win in relief. David Robertson recorded his 22nd save.
  • MRI set for Tanaka…Red Sox DFA Pierzynski

    Yankees rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to elbow inflammation and has returned to New York to have an MRI on his right arm.

    The move comes a day after Tanaka allowed five runs and 10 hits — both career highs — in 6 2/3 innings of a loss Cleveland. The All-Star is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts, but has lost three of his last four outings.

    Boston Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara has been added to the AL roster to take Tanaka’s place for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

    In other baseball news, the Red Sox have designated catcher A.J. Pierzynski (peer-ZIN’-skee) for assignment and called up catching prospect Christian Vazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket. The 37-year-old Pierzynski hit .254 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 72 games this season.

    Dodgers found partly responsible in fan beating

    A jury has found the Los Angeles Dodgers partly at fault in the beating of a Giants fan who suffered brain damage in the 2011 assault at Dodger Stadium. However, the jury absolved former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on any responsibility.

    The jury found damages of about $18 million but said the Dodgers were responsible for only a quarter of the sum. The rest of the responsibility was split between the two men who beat fan Bryan Stow.

    Enraged Sterling calls wife “a pig”

    Calling his wife “a pig,” a raging Donald Sterling denounced his wife, her lawyers and the NBA from the witness stand and vowed he would never sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Sterling, his voice rising to a shout in an otherwise quiet courtroom, vowed to spend the rest of his life suing the league.

    Sterling is fighting his wife’s proposed $2 billion sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft exec Steve Ballmer.

    Pop gets Spurs extension…AP source: Riley meets with LeBron

    Gregg Popovich has agreed to a multi-year extension to stay on as coach of the San Antonio Spurs. The team did not announce the terms of the deal in a two-sentence news release.

    Popovich returns to a team that has Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw and the rest of the key elements of a team that won the franchise’s fifth NBA title all set to return next season. It was the Spurs’ fifth title under Popovich, who also won his third coach of the year award after leading the team to an NBA-best 62 wins in the regular season.

    He is one of three coaches to be named coach of the year three times.

    In other NBA news:

  • A person familiar with the situation says Pat Riley has gotten his chance at convincing LeBron James to stay in Miami. The person told The Associated Press that the Miami Heat president met with the four-time NBA MVP in Las Vegas, more than two weeks after James opted out of his contract and elected to become a free agent. According to the source, James, his agent Rich Paul, Riley and Heat executive Andy Elisburg were at the meeting.
  • The Dallas Mavericks have made a move at small forward, agreeing with restricted free agent Chandler Parsons on a three-year offer sheet worth more than $45 million. Houston will now have to decide whether to match the offer.
  • In an apparent move to clear cap space to try and lure either LeBron James or another high profile free agent, the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly pulled off a three-team trade. A person familiar with the deals says the Cavaliers have agreed to trade guard Jarrett Jack, swingman Sergey Karasev and center Tyler Zeller. The Cavs have agreements with the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because teams are not permitted to discuss any trades until the league’s moratorium ends Thursday.
  • A person close to the situation says restricted free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a maximum offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets that would pay the small forward $63 million over the next four years. The Utah Jazz would have three days to match the deal once Hayward officially signs the offer sheet. Hayward, who visited with the Hornets this week, averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game last season for Utah.
  • The Bucks have signed first-round draft pick Jabari Parker to his rookie contract. Parker is guaranteed a minimum of about $8.5 million in the first two years.
  • The NBA has set the 2014-15 salary cap at a record $63.1 million. The cap is a 7.5 percent increase from last season’s $58.7 million. The setting of the cap paves the way for contracts to be signed starting at 12:01 EDT, Thursday. Players and teams could agree to contracts starting July 1, but they couldn’t be signed during the moratorium period.
  • Long term deals for key ‘Hawks

    The Chicago Blackhawks are committed to retaining their key players. The club has announced eight-year contract extensions with captain Jonathan Toews and star forward Patrick Kane.

    The Blackhawks did not release the value of the deals that keep the two stars in Chicago through the 2022-23 season.

    Chicago selected Toews with the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, and grabbed Kane with the No. 1 overall selection the following year. They combined to lead the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup titles in 2010 and 2013.

    Kane had 29 goals and 40 assists and Toews finished with 28 goals and 40 assists this season. The Blackhawks lost to league champion Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals.

    In other NHL news, the New Jersey Devils signed goaltender Cory Schneider to a seven year, $42 million contract extension. He would have been an unrestricted free agent. Schneider is replacing veteran Martin Brodeur as the Devils No. 1 goalie.

    Argentina-Germany World Cup final

    Argentina has advanced to the World Cup final by beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout. Argentina will take on Germany in the title match on Sunday.

    Argentina connected on all four of its shots in the shootout phase after the two sides played 120 minutes of scoreless soccer. Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved two of Netherlands’ four penalty kicks.

    It’s the third time for a Germany-Argentina World Cup final. Argentina beat Germany in the 1986 World Cup final and Germany returned the favor in 1990.

    Race hits Belgium

    Defending champion Chris Froome has withdrawn from the Tour de France after crashing in the fifth stage, a day after hurting his wrist in another crash.

    Dutch rider Lars Boom won the fifth stage. Race leader Vincenzo Nibali recovered from a crash to extend his overall lead.

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