AP Tuesday Sports Roundup
Johnson earns second major
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Zach Johnson has ended Jordan Spieth's stranglehold on major golf tournaments in 2013. Johnson captured the 144th British Open for his second major golf championship.
The 2007 Masters champ bested 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff at St Andrews.
Johnson, who describes himself as "a normal guy from Cedar Rapids with a green jacket," rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that got him into a three-man playoff.
Johnson took control with birdies on the first two playoff holes and earned the win when Oosthuizen missed a five-foot birdie putt on the third hole and a 12-footer for birdie on the last.
The threesome finished regulation 15-under-par, a shot in front of Spieth and Jason Day. Spieth, the winner of the Masters and U.S. Open this year, was tied for the lead with two holes to go. But a bogey on No. 17 doomed his chances to become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win golf's first three majors in the same year.
Spieth to defend title in Aussie Open
SYDNEY (AP) — Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth says he will defend his Australian Open title at the end of November.
Spieth won last year by closing with a 63, and that turned out to be the starting point of his big run. Spieth produced a 10-shot victory the next week at the Hero World Challenge in Florida, and his four victories this year include two majors. He is No. 2 in the world.
Spieth says his victory in Australia at the time was one of the proudest moments of his career.
Pujols hits 3 as Angels sweep rare post-rainout twin bill in Anaheim...Pirates close within 4 of Cards
UNDATED (AP) — The Red Sox and Angels played doubleheader because of a very rare rainout Sunday night in Anaheim, California. As a matter of fact it was the first rainout in Anaheim in 20 years. The Angels hadn't even had a rain delay in a stretch of 359 regular-season home games dating back to April 24, 2011.
It sat well with the home team as the Angels swept the twinbill, 11-1 and 7-3. The Angels scored seven runs in the second inning in the first game. Albert Pujols hit three homers, two in the nightcap. He has 29 homers, most in the Al and one more than teammate Mike Trout, who also homered in the nightcap.
In other baseball:
— In an important interleague series in Kansas City, the Pittsburgh Pirates used a 17-hit attack and outscored the AL Central-leading Royals 10-7. The win moves the Pirates within four games of NL Central-leading St. Louis, which was idle. Travis Ishikawa had three extra-base hits and drove in four runs. A.J. Burnett improved to 7-3 for the Pirates.
—The Washington Nationals increased their NL East lead to three games over New York with a 7-2 win over the Mets. Ian Desmond hit his eighth homer to help Gio Gonzalez improve to 7-4.
— Cesar Hernandez doubled, tripled and drove in two runs, and David Buchanan earned his first win in almost a year in the Philadelphia Phillies' 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Buchanan was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the game.
— Atlanta topped the NL West-leading L.A. Dodgers 7-5. Nick Markakis hit his first homer of 2015 and scored the go-ahead run on Juan Uribe's fifth-inning single.
— Ian Kinsler homered twice, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-4.
— Cincinnati edged the Chicago Cubs 5-4. Todd Frazier connected for the first time since he won the All-Star Home Run Derby, and Jay Bruce hit a key two-run shot in the sixth inning.
— San Diego beat San Francisco 4-2. Matt Kemp hit his 10th homer, a two-run shot.
— David Peralta singled in two runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Miami 3-1. That's the Marlins' fourth straight loss.
— Ben Paulsen's single in the bottom of the ninth gave Colorado an 8-7 win over Texas after the Rockies blew a 7-0 lead.
Ellis goes on DL...Pirates lose Mercer for 6 weeks
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed catcher A.J. Ellis on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. The NL West leaders have called up rookie catcher Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City and he was in the starting line-up for Monday night's game at Atlanta.
The Dodgers needed help at catcher. Yasmani Grandal left Sunday's game after taking a ball off his mask. X-rays were negative.
Meanwhile, outfielder Carl Crawford joined the team and is expected to be activated on Tuesday. He has been out since April 28 with a right oblique strain.
In other baseball:
— Pittsburgh shortstop Jordy Mercer is expected to miss six weeks because of a sprained knee, leaving the Pirates without their starters on the left side of the infield possibly until September. Third baseman Josh Harrison went on the disabled list July 7 with a torn left thumb ligament and is expected to miss seven weeks.
— The Chicago Cubs have brought up relief pitcher Rafael Soriano from Triple-A Iowa. The 35-year-old righty agreed to a minor league contract with the Cubs on June 12 and pitched seven games at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Soriano has 207 career saves with Seattle, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, the Yankees and Washington. He had 32 saves last season with the Nationals.
— San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy says right-hander Tim Lincecum has received cortisone shots in both hips to treat a degenerative condition. He's been on the disabled list since June 28 with a bruised right forearm.
— Manager Dan Jennings says Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been cleared to begin swinging a bat. Jennings says Stanton saw a hand specialist and was told he could begin so-called "dry swings," with no ball involved. He's been out since June 27 with a broken wrist.
Lawson traded to Rockets
HOUSTON (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have traded point guard Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets.
The Nuggets receive a lottery protected first-round pick in 2016 and cash considerations along with Nick Johnson, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni and Joey Dorsey in the deal that also sends a 2017 second-round pick to Houston.
Lawson would give the Rockets needed depth at point guard with Patrick Beverley, although Lawson currently is dealing with off-the-court issues. He entered a 30-day residential treatment program for alcohol last week after his second DUI arrest.
Female coach leads Spurs to title
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The NBA's first female summer league head coach has led her team to the title.
Becky Hammon coached the San Antonio Spurs to a 93-90 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the Las Vegas Summer League championship on Monday night.
Jonathon Simmons scored 23 for San Antonio and took home MVP honors. Treveon Graham added 22 points.
Last year Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich made Hammon the first female full-time assistant coach in league history.
Preds lock up Smith
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have avoided arbitration with Craig Smith by signing the forward to a $21.25 million, five-year contract.
The 25-year old restricted free agent has scored at least 20 goals in two straight seasons. He had five points in six games in Nashville's first-round playoff loss to Chicago. Smith has 144 points in 277 career games with Nashville.
NCAA tweaks hoops seeding
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The committee that puts together the field of 68 for the NCAA men's basketball tournament will have more flexibility to set the First Four and give No. 2 seeds more favorable matchups.
The NCAA has announced that the Division I selection committee will now be allowed to slide every team up or down the seed list, including the last four at-large teams selected. Until now, the last four teams voted into the tournament field were locked into the First Four, the eight-team playoff that serves as the tournament's first round.
Going forward, the last four at-large teams on the overall seed list — after the seeds have been tweaked by a process known as scrubbing — will play in the First Four.
Serena Williams pulls out of World TeamTennis
WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Grand Slam in sight, Serena Williams is not going to risk playing World Team Tennis.
Williams originally was slated to play for the Washington Kastles this week. But the Kastles announced that Williams would miss those matches.
The No. 1-ranked Williams withdrew from the Swedish Open last week, citing an injured right elbow.
The 33-year-old American won Wimbledon this month for her fourth consecutive major title, including all three in 2015. If she wins the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31, she will be the first tennis player with a calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Froom remains in front
GAP, France (AP) — Spain's Ruben Plaza Molina was the winner of the 16th stage of the Tour de France. Chris Froome remains the overall leader by 3 minutes, 10 seconds.
Elections set for FIFA
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon says he is leaning toward running for president of football's governing body at the Feb. 26 election to replace Sepp Blatter.
Chung tells The Associated Press that a non-European leader would help breathe "new wind" into FIFA, which faces mounting pressure to reform amid ongoing American and Swiss investigations into alleged corruption.