AP Friday Sports Roundup
Bolt, Eaton win gold...Swimmer's story not holding water
RIO DE JANIERO (AP) — Usain (yoo-SAYN') Bolt's speed, Ashton Eaton's athleticism and Ryan Lochte's (LAHK'-teez) allegation were among the highlights during the Rio Olympics on Thursday.
Bolt cruised in what he says is his final Olympic 200-meter race. However, Bolt initially displayed disappointment when he saw the clock read 19.78 seconds, more than a half-second slower than his own world record of 19.19. The Jamaican had said he wanted to top the mark on Thursday, but he was good enough to earn his eighth Olympic gold medal.
Bolt will go for a ninth gold as part of Jamaica's 4x100-meter relay on Friday,
Silver medalist Andre de Grasse of Canada was .24 seconds behind, followed by Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre.
Eaton successfully defended his Olympic decathlon title. The 28-year-old finished with 8,893 points to match the Olympic mark set in 2004. Eaton closed out the victory with a surge on the final lap of the 1,500 meters. Kevin Mayer of France was 59 points behind to take silver. Canadian Damian Warner earned the bronze.
Meanwhile, Brazilian police say that Lochte and three U.S. teammates were not robbed after a night of partying, as the swimmer alleged. Instead, the intoxicated athletes vandalized a gas station bathroom and were questioned by armed guards before they paid for the damage and left.
The police account raises questions about whether it's possible Lochte and the swimmers believed they were victims of a robbery. Lochte's attorney had earlier maintained that one took place and insisted the swimmer had nothing to gain by making the story up.
Earlier Thursday, a Brazilian police official told The Associated Press that two of the swimmers said Lochte had made the story up and that the gas station manager actually demanded money from them to pay for the door. The swimmers handed over money and left.
Also in Rio:
— Two-time world champion Kerron Clement (kuh-RAHN' KLEH'-ment) of the U.S. finished first in the 400-meter hurdles. The 30-year-old sandwiched world titles in 2007 and '09 around his Olympic silver medal in Beijing.
— Dalilah Muhammad completed a U.S. sweep of the 400-meter hurdles by winning the women's event in 53.13 seconds. Denmark's Sara Slott Peterson was second, followed by Ashley Spencer of the U.S.
— Ryan Crouser threw two personal bests in the shot put before his Olympic record of 22.52 meters beat world champion and fellow American Joe Kovacs. It's the first major title for Crouser.
— Sue Bird wasn't missed by the U.S. women's basketball team as Diana Taurasi scored 18 points to lead the Americans to an 86-67 win against France. Bird was unavailable due to a sprained knee suffered in the quarterfinal game. The five-time defending champions won their 48th straight game and will play Spain for the gold medal Saturday.
— Given a second chance following a protest, the U.S. team qualified for the women's 4x100-meter relay final by recording the fastest time of the day in a solo re-run before the night session began. The Americans dropped the baton during the morning preliminaries and appeared to be out of contention before filing a protest. Track officials upheld the U.S. protest because Allyson Felix was jostled as she tried to hand the baton over to English Gardner.
— The top-ranked U.S. women's volleyball team will leave Rio without a gold medal. The Americans forced a fifth set in their semifinal match against Serbia before losing.
— South Korea's Inbee Park has the lead after 36 holes of the women's Olympic golf tournament. She finished with two straight birdies for a second 5-under 66 and a one shot lead over American Stacy Lewis, who is 9-under. Lewis had a spectacular second round with 11 birdies and a 63.
— The U.S. has reached the century mark in total medals and leads each category with 35 gold, 33 silver and 32 bronze. Britain is second in the gold medal count with 22. China is second in overall medals with 58, 42 behind the Americans.
Bryant powers Cubs express
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Indians were able to maintain their six-game lead in the American League Central, but they needed a late rally to do it.
The Indians stormed back from an early 3-0 deficit to beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-4. Abraham Almonte led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, went to third on a passed ball and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Naquin (NAY'-kwihn). Jose Ramirez laced a two-run single in the Indians' sixth victory in eight games.
The comeback occurred one night after the Indians blew a 7-5 lead in the ninth inning of a 10-7 loss to the White Sox.
The Tigers scored three times in the bottom of the eighth before Ian Kinsler speared a line drive with the potential go-ahead run on second in the ninth to preserve a 4-3 triumph against the Red Sox in Detroit. The Tigers trailed 3-1 in the eighth until Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez laced RBI singles and Andrew Romine worked out a bases-loaded walk. Sandy Leon homered for the Red Sox, who ended a six-game winning streak.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Baltimore's 13-5 pounding of Houston leaves the Orioles tied with Boston for second place in the AL East, 1 ½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Mark Trumbo put the Birds ahead to stay with his major league-leading 35th home run, a three-run blast in the first inning. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy each homered twice and Manny Machado banged out his 27th in the rout.
— Seattle's 6-4 loss to the Angels puts the Mariners seven games behind the AL West-leading Rangers. Los Angeles third baseman Yunel Escobar (YOO'-nehl EHS'-koh-bahr) has eight hits over his last two games after going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. The Mariners wasted homers by Robinson Cano (kuh-NOH'), Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino.
— The Cubs completed a four-game sweep of Milwaukee this afternoon as Kris Bryant went 5-for-5 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored in Chicago's 9-6 triumph over the Brewers. Jake Arrieta (ar-ee-EH'-tuh) struggled over 5 2/3 innings before improving to 15-5, giving up five runs on three hits and a career-high seven walks. The Cubs' 15th victory in 17 games leaves them atop the NL Central by 13 games over the Cardinals.
— The Dodgers' lead in the NL West is down to a ½-game over San Francisco following their 5-4 loss at Philadelphia. Maikel (MY'-kehl) Franco provided the go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning after Ryan Howard went deep in the fourth. The Dodgers wasted Justin Turner's three-run blast and Yasmani Grandal's (yahs-MAH'-nee grahn-DAHLZ') solo shot.
— The Giants torched Jacob deGrom (deh-GRAHM') for eight runs and 13 hits in just five innings of a 10-7 win against the New York Mets. Madison Bumgarner surrendered a grand slam by Justin Ruggiano in the fourth before belting his own three-run blast in the bottom half of the inning. Eduardo Nunez went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run triple that helped the Giants end a four-game losing streak.
— Rookie Reynaldo Lopez pitched well in Washington's 8-2 rout of the Braves, striking out 11 and yielding just one earned run and four hits in seven innings. The Nationals managed just six hits but scored four unearned runs thanks to a pair of Atlanta errors. Nats outfielder Jayson Werth hit an RBI double in the fifth inning to reach base for the 46th consecutive game, tying the franchise record held by Rusty Staub.
— The Nats lead the NL East by 9 ½ games over the Marlins after Ramon Cabrera belted a three-run homer while Cincinnati was building an early 5-0 lead in a 5-4 victory against Miami. The Marlins dropped their third in a row despite Martin Prado (mahr-TEEN' PRAH'-doh), who scored on Marcell Ozuna's (oh-ZOO'-nuhz) two-run homer and lined a two-run single in the seventh. The outcome drops the Fish 2 ½ games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild-card berth.
— Kansas City continues to play itself back into the AL playoff picture, getting within 5 ½ games of a wild-card spot with an 8-1 trouncing of Minnesota. Alex Gordon put the Royals ahead to stay with a grand slam in the fourth. Cheslor Cuthbert had three hits and scored twice in the Royals' fifth consecutive win.
— Alex Dickerson's three-run double in the bottom of the eighth turned the Padres' 7-6 deficit into an eventual 9-8 win against Arizona. Dickerson finished with four RBIs and Travis Jankowski was 4-for-5 with three runs scored to help San Diego halt a five-game skid.
Owners may consider multitude of changes
HOUSTON (AP) — The national pastime may consider a face-lift that could change the face of the game.
Limiting pitching changes, restricting defensive shifts, altering the strike zone and installing pitch clocks are among the ideas Major League Baseball may ponder as it undertakes a multiyear review of the game that could include the sport's most radical changes in decades.
Baseball owners were given a lengthy presentation during their quarterly meeting of how the sport has changed in the past 40 to 50 years.
If implemented, some of the changes could be the most revolutionary since the AL adopted the designated hitter in 1973
MLB OKs sale from Nintendo
HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of a controlling stake in the Seattle Mariners from Nintendo of America to a group of minority owners led by Western Wireless Corp. founder John Stanton and retired Microsoft executive Chris Larson.
The sale was announced in April and approved Thursday. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the deal will close Friday or Monday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Giants right-hander Matt Cain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. The move comes a day after Cain allowed six runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 6-5 loss to Pittsburgh, leaving him 4-8 with a 5.81 ERA in 17 starts this season.
Harbaugh compensation up to $7 million
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is receiving $2 million a year on top of his base salary of $5 million.
The raise is actually the $2 million annual premium the university is paying on a life insurance policy on Harbaugh. Michigan will make the payment each year from 2016 through 2021 if Harbaugh is coaching the Wolverines on Dec. 6 of those years.
Harbaugh is the owner of the policy. That means he can take withdrawals or loans from the policy. He also picks the beneficiary.
NFL investigating Buffalo linebacker
UNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills say the NFL is investigating whether linebacker Manny Lawson has violated the league's personal conduct policy.
The announcement comes after The Buffalo News cited unnamed sources in reporting the league was investigating Lawson. Lawson said yesterday that he was "shocked" by the report and isn't aware of what he might have done wrong.
The 11-year veteran is projected to start in place of injured linebacker Shaq Lawson.
In other football news:
— Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nihk) threw dozens of passes on the side during the 49ers' joint practice with the Denver Broncos. That signals the quarterback's return from a sore passing shoulder.
— The Pro Football Hall of Fame says it will refund fans for tickets and hotel stays after canceling its annual preseason game this month because of poor field conditions. Fans will be reimbursed for the face value of its tickets, associated fees and one-night hotel accommodations.
— Former pro football player Darren Sharper has been sentenced to 18 years in prison in a case where he was accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states. Prosecutors had suggested a 9-year prison term for Sharper, but the judge rejected it as being too lenient. Sharper had pleaded guilty or no-contest to charges arising from the allegations of drugging and raping women in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada.
Opening round in progress
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Na and Rafa Cabrera Bello share the lead through one round of the PGA's Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, Cabrera Bello eagled the par-5 fifth and closed with a birdie for a 7-under 63.
Na had seven birdies in his bogey-free round in the PGA Tour's final regular-season event.
Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Derek Fathauer, New Zealand Olympian Danny Lee and Peter Malnati share third after firing 65s.