Diamondbacks Dodgers Baseball

KEVIN REECE/Special to the Valley Press

POPULAR —The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts has the MLB’s best-selling jersey this season, topping the Yankees’ Aaron Judge.

NEW YORK — Dodgers star Mookie Betts supplanted Yankees slugger Aaron Judge on Friday for baseball’s top-selling jersey in his first year on the West Coast.

Judge’s pinstriped No. 99 had been the most popular uniform in the majors for three straight years, but he’s been bumped by his former AL East rival, according to data released by Major League Baseball.

Betts was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers in February, and Los Angeles signed the 2018 AL MVP to a $365 million, 12-year deal that runs through the 2032 season. Betts’ No. 50 is the first Dodgers uniform to top the list since MLB began releasing sales rankings in 2010.

Not hard to see why. Betts is in the running to become the second player, after Frank Robinson, to win MVPs in both leagues. The 27-year-old is hitting .293 with 16 home runs, nine stolen bases and a .930 OPS during this pandemic-shortened season.

Judge slotted second ahead of Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, who is in the second season of a $330 million, 13-year deal.

Fernando Tatis Jr., a breakout star with the San Diego Padres, ranked fourth ahead of fellow youngster Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. It’s the first time two players 21 years old or younger cracked the top five since Harper and Mike Trout in 2012. 

Davis, Lakers beat Nuggets to take 3-1 lead in West finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Los Angeles Lakers are a victory away from returning to the NBA Finals — and only another comeback from 3-1 down by the Denver Nuggets can stop them.

Anthony Davis scored 34 points, LeBron James had 26 and the Lakers beat the Nuggets 114-108 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Davis got the Lakers off to a fast start with his scoring and James helped them finish it with his defense, forcing Jamal Murray into some late misses after the guard had kept the Nuggets in it with an array of high-difficulty baskets.

James added nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds for a whopping 25-6 advantage in second-chance points. 

Buehler looks playoff ready, Dodgers beat A’s

LOS ANGELES — Walker Buehler proved he and his fickle right index finger are playoff ready, Corey Seager homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Thursday night to earn their major league-leading 40th victory of the shortened 60-game season.

Buehler allowed one hit in four innings, struck out six and walked one in his first career appearance against the A’s. The right-hander returned earlier in the day after missing 12 games with a blister on his finger that landed him on the injured list twice in the last 4½ weeks.

Buehler threw 65 pitches, enough to confirm his status as a starter in next week’s NL wild-card playoff that the Dodgers will host. He had not pitched since Sept. 8 at Arizona, where he lasted just 2.2 innings before leaving with finger issues.

Dylan Floro (3-0) got the victory, pitching one inning of relief and striking out one. 

Seager went deep — the Dodgers’ 108th homer of the season — on the first pitch from Mike Fiers leading off the third for a 2-0 lead. Will Smith snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a RBI single in the first.

Fitzpatrick handles Jaguars again, this time with Dolphins

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Different team, familiar result for Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Fitzpatrick accounted for three touchdowns and led Miami to a 31-13 victory Thursday night, becoming the first NFL quarterback to notch six wins over the same opponent with six teams.

The lopsided outcome also gave the Dolphins (1-2) their first double-digit victory in 39 games, ending the longest drought in the league.

Fitzpatrick completed his first 12 passes — a career high — as Miami scored touchdowns on its first three drives for the first time since 2011. He ended the night celebrating another victory over the Jaguars (1-2).

He improved to 6-2 as a starter versus Jacksonville, with wins coming with Cincinnati (2008), Buffalo (2012), Tennessee (2013), Houston (2014), the New York Jets (2015) and now Miami.

Fitzpatrick also ran for 39 yards and a score, his 37-year-old legs looking as fresh as any in Miami’s backfield.

He completed 18 of 20 passes — the last one to himself — for 160 yards and two touchdowns in his latest successful outing against the Jags, who made countless mistakes while failing to consistently move the chains and get off the field on third down.

Virus again slashes French Open crowd sizes; now only 1,000

PARIS — With only one week separating the end of one and the start of the other, the Tour de France and the French Open were shaping up as a double bill of sports entertainment, with masked but nevertheless live crowds, that would bear out President Emmanuel Macron’s arguments that the country can live with the coronavirus.

The virus, however, had different ideas.

Whereas the three-week Tour reached Paris last Sunday having pulled off the coup of getting through the country’s worsening epidemic without any virus positives among its 176 riders, the French Open isn’t proving so lucky with its timing. 

Play is still scheduled to start Sunday, but as infections soar across France, organizers’ plans to have thousands of spectators there each day to cheer for Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and others have been drastically scaled back to allow just 1,000 daily visitors.

Georgia State football game postponed

Georgia State has postponed Saturday’s college football game at Charlotte because of the coronavirus.

The school says it decided not to play out of an abundance of caution because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.

It’s not known if the game will be rescheduled.

This mark’s the second straight postponement for Charlotte. The 49ers (0-1) called off last weekend’s game at North Carolina after a positive test forced nine offensive linemen into quarantine.

Georgia State (0-1) opened tits season last week with a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Raiders will be without speedy receiver Ruggs vs Patriots

The Las Vegas Raiders will be without speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III this week because of injuries to his knee and hamstring.

Ruggs was ruled out Friday for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, along with starting right tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.

Brown has been sidelined by a calf injury since leaving the opener at Carolina after one series. Kwiatkoski injured his pectoral muscle later in that game and will miss his second straight week.

Running back Josh Jacobs (hip), star tight end Darren Waller (knee), tackle Sam Young (groin) and offensive lineman Denzelle Good (thumb, illness) are all listed as questionable this week.

Mullens to replace injured Garoppolo as 49ers starting QB

Nick Mullens will start at quarterback on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo but won’t have All-Pro tight end George Kittle as an option.

Garoppolo didn’t practice all week because of a high ankle sprain suffered last week but wasn’t officially ruled out for this week’s game against the New York Giants until Friday.

Coach Kyle Shanahan also said Friday that Kittle will miss a second straight game after spraining his knee in the season opener. Kittle practiced on a limited basis this week but wasn’t healthy enough to go.

Saints’ Thomas out, Packers’ Adams doubtful for Sunday

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Both the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints will likely be missing their star receivers for their Sunday night matchup.

The Saints have ruled out 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, which means he will miss a second straight game with an ankle injury.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur says it’s “probably doubtful” that Davante Adams will play Sunday night at New Orleans due to a hamstring injury.

Adams hasn’t practiced this week since leaving the Packers’ 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions in the second half. LaFleur has said there’s a possibility Adams could play even without practicing all week if the three-time Pro Bowl selection feels fine on Sunday.

Martinez, Nationals agree to contract extension

WASHINGTON — Manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals have agreed to work out a contract extension that will keep him in charge of the club beyond next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made. 

Martinez led the Nationals to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2019, his second season as the team’s skipper.

When he initially was hired, Martinez signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2021 that had not yet been picked up by the Nationals.

After a title defense slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, Washington is 23-34 and last in the NL East. The Nationals will play a doubleheader against the New York Mets on Saturday after Friday night’s game was postponed by rain.

Hinchcliffe to run final 3 IndyCar races with Andretti

INDIANAPOLIS — James Hinchcliffe will return to Andretti Autosport for the final three races of the season to fill the seat left vacant this week by Zach Veach.

Andretti Autosport on Friday said Hinchcliffe will drive the No. 26 at next week’s doubleheader at Indianapolis and the October season finale at St. Petersburg. Hinchcliffe ran three races earlier this year for Andretti, where he drove three seasons from 2012 through 2014. 

USA Swimming plans return to in-person meet in November

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Swimming is remaking its national events for the rest of the year, including launching a virtual competition to recognize top performances before returning to in-person competition in November.

Meets scheduled in Southern California, Virginia and Georgia over the last three months of the year have been scrubbed. In their place will be a national leaderboard series beginning in October. It will consist of sanctioned and non-sanctioned long-course and short-course meters and short-course yards results.

The U.S. Open will be Nov. 12-14 at up to 10 venues nationwide. The long-course meet will feature about 100 swimmers at each site competing in four timed-final sessions over three days. Sites will be announced later.

Hornet sting, birdies take Swafford to lead at Punta Cana

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — A hornet sting early and a bunch of birdies late carried Hudson Swafford to a 5-under 67 on Friday for a two-shot lead going into the weekend of the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.

Joining him in the final group will be Sean O’Hair, who missed an entire year with a torn oblique and returned just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down golf.

Swafford played in the morning when it was humid along the Caribbean Sea but without much wind. He started on the back nine and it was largely uneventful, except for that hornet that stung him on the joint of his pinky finger while he reached for his putter after playing one hole.

Jockeys riding at Pimlico on Preakness weekend face testing

BALTIMORE — Jockeys riding in the Preakness and other races at Pimlico next weekend must undergo a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their first mount.

The Maryland Jockey Club announced protocols Friday for jockeys competing Oct. 1-3 at the Baltimore track. Riders from out of town will have to leave the track after being tested and self-isolate until notified of their results. Anyone with positive results will be barred from Pimlico.

The three days include 16 stakes worth $3.35 million in purses, highlighted by the Preakness on Oct. 3. It’s the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown series that was reconfigured because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pimlico has a drive-up testing site located outside the stable gate. Besides riders, jockeys’ room employees as well as designated officials and racing personnel must have COVID-19 tests on Saturday or Monday. Test results will be available the next day. Temperature checks will be required daily.

Canadiens sign defenseman Jeff Petry to 4-year extension

MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens on Friday signed defenseman Jeff Petry to a four-year extension at an average of $6.25 million a year.

The 32-year-old Petry had 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 71 games last season. Petry was Montreal’s hits leader and led all Canadiens defensemen in takeaways. He added two game-winning goals and an assist in 10 playoff games.

Petry, who is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and played at Michigan State, has spent 11 seasons with the Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers.

Toronto Maple Leafs hire Paul MacLean as an assistant coach

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired former Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean as an assistant coach.

MacLean led the Senators to a 114-90-35 record and a pair of playoff appearances. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2013 after being a finalist for the honor in 2012.

MacLean spent the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He joins recently hired assistant Manny Malhotra on Sheldon Keefe’s coaching staff.

“Adding someone of Paul’s expertise and character to advise and assist our staff is something that we felt was very important as we seek to make tangible steps next season,” Keefe said Friday in a release.

MacLean, 62, also served two stints as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks and was an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings from 2005-11, helping them win a Stanley Cup title in 2008.

Fernando Verdasco out of French Open for positive COVID test

PARIS — Former Top 10 player Fernando Verdasco said he has been dropped from the French Open because of what he believes is a false positive result on a coronavirus test.

The 36-year-old from Spain had played in 67 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments until missing this year’s U.S. Open. 

Verdasco wrote Friday on Twitter — two days before play begins at Roland Garros — that he had COVID-19 in August and did not have symptoms. He said that was followed by negative results until he tested positive this week.

Verdasco said he asked for another test, but French Open organizers refused. He said he took other, unofficial tests on his own that came up negative.

Bias suit seeks to block Iowa from cutting women’s swim team

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Members of the University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving team filed a legal complaint against the school Friday, arguing that a decision to eliminate their program violates a landmark gender equity law.

The complaint argues that Iowa is not offering equal opportunities for female students to participate in sports as required by Title IX, the 1972 law that bars sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs.

The plaintiffs, including senior captain Sage Ohlensehlen and teammates Christina Kaufman, Alexa Puccini and Kelsey Drake, are asking a federal judge to stop their program’s termination. In addition, their lawsuit requests class-action status on behalf of all female undergraduates who they say are legally entitled to additional sports opportunities.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announced last month that men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and men’s gymnastics would be cut after this school year. 

The university issued a statement Friday rejecting the complaint’s claims, noting that the program cuts will eliminate 20.7 scholarships for men and 14 for women.

Red Stars’ Gorden launches nonprofit to help Black girls

Sarah Gorden tells the story often, about how she was a kid playing on a club soccer team when an opponent called her a racial slur. 

“I was raised around white people in a white community,” said Gorden, who is multiracial. “And I had never really looked at myself in that light until moments like that — then really you take a step back and be like, ‘Wait a second, I’m a what?’”

The defender for the Chicago Red Stars is harnessing that shock and pain by using her voice. But she also wants to go beyond the social media statements and T-shirts to do something to really lift up Black lives.

Gorden, 28, has put her focus on mental health for young women of color in launching her nonprofit organization, HoodSpace. A play on the name of the popular Headspace app, HoodSpace seeks to empower women in Chicago through meditation, yoga and sport. Gorden is currently raising funds for HoodSpace via GoFundMe, with a goal of creating camps and clinics. 

EPL clubs see duty to help struggling lower-level sides

LONDON — Chelsea has spent more than any other English Premier League team in a summer transfer window at well over $300 million. Manchester United and Tottenham are among other sides looking to spend more on reinforcements before the window shuts in a couple of weeks.

All at a time when clubs in divisions below the world’s richest league are in a fight for their survival. 

As the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections, there is no prospect of fans being allowed into stadiums for months, denying the majority of professional clubs in England their main source of revenue.

F1: Bottas and Mercedes fastest in practice for Russian GP

SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas was fastest in both practice sessions for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes once again looked to have untouchable pace. 

Bottas set the fastest time of the day with 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session, .267 ahead of his teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The next fastest was Daniel Ricciardo for Renault, more than a second off the pace.

Hamilton will chase his 91st Formula One win in Sunday’s race, which would equal the record held by Michael Schumacher. Hamilton had a difficult start to his Russian race weekend, though, when damaged tires and interruptions to the session left him only 19th fastest in the first session.

Ganna 1st Italian to win men’s time trial at road worlds

IMOLA, Italy — Filippo Ganna on Friday became the first Italian to win the men’s time trial at the road cycling world championships — and he did it on home turf.

Ganna was the penultimate rider to set off and he was cheered on passionately by Italian fans lining the 32-kilometer (20-mile) route, which started and ended on Imola’s auto racing circuit.

The 24-year-old beat Wout van Aert of Belgium by 26.72 seconds. Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng was third, 29.8 seconds behind the winner.

US cyclist Dygert has surgery following crash at road worlds

BOLOGNA, Italy — American cyclist Chloé Dygert is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery on her left leg following a crash at the road cycling world championships Thursday.

“I’ll be back,” Dygert said in a tweet Friday.

Dygert was the favorite to defend her title in the time trial and led by nearly half a minute at the intermediate checkpoint before losing control on a descent and crashing over a roadside barrier.

The 23-year-old Dygert described her reaction and posted a picture of her injuries, including a severe laceration to her left leg, on Twitter.

Reds say broadcaster Brennaman resigns after anti-gay slur

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds say team broadcaster Thom Brennaman has resigned following his use of an anti-gay slur on air last month.

Brennaman used the slur moments after the feed from the Fox Sports Ohio telecast returned from a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader at Kansas City on Aug. 19.

Brennaman did not seem to realize he was already on air. He later apologized.

The 57-year-old was taken off the air before the fifth inning of the second game.

Tsitsipas to face Garin in Hamburg semis

HAMBURG, Germany — Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first clay-court semifinal in 16 months on Friday after beating Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Hamburg Open, the last tune-up before the French Open.

The sixth-ranked Greek was 5-3 down in the opening-set tiebreak but won four points in a row to take the set and followed up by breaking Lajovic’s serve three times in a row at the start of the second. 

That put Tsitsipas up against a clay specialist in the semis. Chilean player Christian Garin has two clay-court titles already in 2020 from back-to-back tournament wins in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro in February, but he had to recover from a set down in his quarterfinal on Friday.

Garin beat Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 after responding to losing the first set by breaking Bublik in the opening game of the second. 

The other semifinal will pit Andrey Rublev against Casper Ruud. 

Hertha fans’ first game back is loss to Frankfurt

BERLIN — Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia had to wait 5 1/2 months for his first game with supporters cheering on his side.

They didn’t help.

Hertha lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday, the first time fans were allowed to attend a soccer game in Berlin’s Olympiastadion since coronavirus restrictions began in March.

Labbadia was appointed coach in April, when the league was still suspended. He had to wait till May 16 for his debut. His first nine league games were all played without spectators last season, before a limited number of Werder Bremen fans were allowed see visiting Hertha’s 4-1 win in the new season’s first round.

Just 4,000 Hertha fans were allowed for Frankfurt’s visit, and they arrived full of optimism after another summer of rebuilding at the club.

But the visitors dominated from the start and took a deserved lead through André Silva’s penalty in the 30th minute, after the Portuguese forward was fouled by Hertha captain Dedryck Boyata.

Striker Yılmaz gets 1st goal as Lille moves into 1st place

PARIS — Veteran Turkey striker Burak Yılmaz grabbed his first goal of the season as unbeaten Lille beat Nantes 2-0 to move to the top of the French league on Friday.

Lille can relinquish top spot to Saint-Etienne or Rennes if either wins when they meet on Saturday. They are one point behind Lille.

The 35-year-old Yılmaz netted 229 goals during a long career in Turkish soccer in which he starred for Istanbul-based Galatasaray, but had not scored in his first four games for Lille.

He ended that lean spell from a penalty in the 87th minute, earning it himself with a neat turn that drew a foul from defender Dennis Appiah.

Yilmaz’s countryman, Zeki Çelik, played a part in the opening goal when, moments before halftime, the right back’s cross led to an own goal from center half Nicolas Pallois.

Tottenham to play Chelsea in cup after virus-enforced bye

LONDON — Tottenham received a bye Friday to advance to a League Cup meeting with Chelsea after its game against Leyton Orient was called off due to a coronavirus outbreak at the fourth-tier team.

Tottenham will now host Chelsea on Tuesday in the fourth round in a run of three home games in three different competitions across five days. Jose Mourinho’s side plays Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday and Maccabi Haifa in Europa League qualifying on Thursday.

Orient’s League Two game on Saturday against Walsall has also been called off due to members of the squad having to self-isolate.

Ex-Ferrari team boss Domenicali to be new Formula One CEO

SOCHI, Russia — Former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is replacing Chase Carey as president and CEO of Formula One from next year.

Carey will move into a non-executive chairman role after being appointed by F1 Group owner Liberty Media nearly four years ago, F1 also announced on Friday.

Carey replaced Bernie Ecclestone, who ran the series for more than 40 years, and Carey successfully negotiated a transition to a more digital-friendly era while refreshing the race calendar with Vietnam coming in and the Netherlands returning.

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