AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
AL beats NL again
SAN DIEGO (AP) — There was a time when the National League thoroughly dominated the major league All-Star game, but those days are long gone.
The American League has won the midsummer classic for the fourth straight year by banging out a pair of second-inning homers and working out of an eighth-inning jam to beat the NL 4-2.
The AL took the lead for good when a pair of Royals went deep against a former teammate. Salvador Perez belted a two-run shot off Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) of San Francisco to break a 1-1 deadlock in the bottom of the second, two batters after Eric Hosmer hit a solo shot. Hosmer was named the MVP of the game after collecting two RBIs, including a run-scoring single in the fourth to make it a 4-1 game.
The senior circuit had a great opportunity to tie the game in the eighth, loading the bases with two out before Astros reliever Will Harris fanned rookie Aledmys (ah-LEHD'-mees) Diaz of the Cardinals to end the threat.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant hit a solo blast in the first inning for the National League, which got its second run on a fourth-inning single by Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO'-nuh) of the Marlins.
David Ortiz was embraced by his AL teammates near first base after exiting his final All-Star Game. The popular Big Papi plans to retire at 40 after this season with Boston.
The AL is 29-7-1 in the last 37 All-Star games since the NL took 19 of 20 from 1963-62. The National League holds a 43-42-2 edge overall since the first All-Star game at Chicago's Comiskey Park.
Cleveland's Corey Kluber was credited with the victory. Cueto was the loser, and Zach Britton picked up the save.
Baseball games going longer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Major League Baseball is losing in its efforts to speed up the game.
Commissioner Rob Manfred says the average time of games before the All-Star break is 3 hours, 13 minutes. That's up more than seven minutes over the same time last season.
Manfred also intimated that players would have to accept a pay cut if they want to see a reduction of games in the regular-season schedule. He said there are ways to produce more off days, but they have very specific ramifications that would have to be shared by all relevant parties. Union head Tony Clark disagrees that salaries would have to be rolled back, but he says the 162-game schedule doesn't give players an opportunity to play every day at a high level.
Manfred also says he's committed to seeing a new stadium in Oakland for the Athletics. Any talk of expansion has been put off until Oakland and Tampa Bay get new stadiums.
Manfred added that the Athletics' new ballpark would be built within Oakland.
MLB has announced that the players who post the highest batting averages in each league will now be known as the "Tony Gwynn National League Batting Champion" and the "Rod Carew American League Batting Champion."
NBA-ALL-STAR GAME-NORTH CAROLINA
No decision on All-Star game
LAS VEGAS (AP) — NBA owners have yet to reach a decision on whether to move next year's All-Star Game from Charlotte because of North Carolina's law limiting protections for LGBT people.
However, Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league realizes a decision has to come fairly quickly. He said once again that the law is inconsistent with the values of the league, and he was disappointed North Carolina legislators didn't modify it enough to make the discussion moot.
Speights to the Clippers
UNDATED (AP) — The L.A. Clippers have signed free agent Marreese Speights (muh-REES' spaytz), who played on Golden State's NBA championship team a year ago. The 28-year-old center-forward averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 72 games for the Warriors last season, while hitting a career-high 24 3-pointers.
In other NBA news:
— The Memphis Grizzlies have signed center Deyonta Davis and guard Andrew Harrison to multiyear contracts. The Grizzlies acquired the 19-year-old Davis on the night of the draft after the Boston Celtics selected him in the second round with the 31st selection. Harrison averaged 18.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the Grizzlies' NBA Development League affiliate.
Popovich on Duncan retirement: "Irreplaceable"
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich bade an emotional farewell to Tim Duncan's playing career, calling the now-retired Spurs star the best teammate anyone could have known.
Sounding as if he were choking up at times and wearing a T-shirt with Duncan's face printed on the front, Popovich spoke at the Spurs' practice facility in San Antonio. Duncan announced his retirement after 19 seasons on Monday.
Popovich called the five-time NBA champion "irreplaceable."
Pop and Duncan teamed for five NBA championships during Duncan's run.
Harrison denies PED use
UNDATED (AP) — Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison denies that he met or communicated with the source of a media report that linked him and other players to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He added he has never violated the league's PED policy.
Harrison has insisted that league officials have to provide "credible evidence" before he agrees to an interview.
Harrison sent an affidavit to the league denying contact with Charles Sly, who implicated Harrison and others in an Al-Jezeera report in December.
Spieth says no to Olympics
TROON, Scotland (AP) — Jordan Spieth (speeth) calls his withdrawal from the Olympics "probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life."
Spieth says he's a huge supporter of Olympic golf and playing for the United States. But he says health concerns over the Zika (ZEE'-kuh) virus led him to sit out the sport's return to the games for the first time since 1904.
He made it comment at Royal Troon, the site of this week's British Open, a day after announcing he's skipping Rio.
The four top players in the world rankings are all skipping the Summer Games. Spieth was the last of the Big Four to make his decision, after Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy withdrew from Olympic consideration.
McIlroy disses golf at Olympics
TROON, Scotland (AP) — Rory McIlroy is not only not going to golf at the Olympics, he probably won't even watch it.
McIlroy is one of the top four golfers in the world to skip the game's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1902.
McIlroy says he'll likely watch athletics, swimming and diving. He called those sports "the stuff that matters."
McIlroy goes on to say he didn't become a golfer "to grow the game." That's one of the reasons often cited by boosters of Olympic golf as a reason to support their efforts. He says his main goal is to win major championships.
Doan re-ups with Coyotes...'Canes Rask gets new deal
UNDATED (AP) — Shane Doan still isn't ready to retire.
The 39-year-old Coyotes captain has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract that can be worth around $5 million with deferred incentives and signing bonus.
Doan scored a team-leading 28 goals for the Coyotes last season, his best total since 2008-09. He also delivered 12 power-play goals and 47 total points in 72 games.
Doan is four goals shy of 400 for his career.
Also in the NHL:
— Hurricanes center Victor Rask has accepted a six-year contract worth $24 million. The 23-year-old Rask was second on the club last season with a career-high 48 points on 21 goals and 27 assists in 80 games.
Pacquiao eyes November bout
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao (PAK'-ee-ow) plans to return to the ring in November against an opponent who has yet to be selected.
Promoter Bob Arum says Pacquiao has received permission to take a break from his new duties as a senator in the Philippines to take another fight, to be held Nov. 5.
Pacquiao said before his last fight in April that he would retire.
CYCLING-TOUR DE FRANCE
Aussie wins 10th stage
REVEL, France (AP) — Michael Matthews won the 10th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish after a long breakaway.
The Australian rider edged world champion Peter Sagan and Edvald Boasson Hagen to claim his first stage win at cycling's biggest race.
Defending champion Chris Froome has the yellow jersey retained a 16-second lead over Adam Yates.
Document: Boy told Paterno of Sandusky abuse in 1976
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Unsealed court documents say Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was told by a teen boy in 1976 that Jerry Sandusky had molested him in the shower, but that Paterno showed no interest in dealing with the issue.
The man identified as "John Doe 150" testified Paterno responded that he didn't want to hear what the boy had to say and that he had a football season to worry about.
The documents are part of Penn State's suit against an insurance company over payments of claims for abuse by Sandusky, who is serving decades in prison for child abuse.
A lawyer for Paterno's family issued a statement claiming there is evidence that "stands in stark contrast" to John Doe 150's story.
Sandusky's lawyer has also denied the allegation.
WNBA-POLICE SHOOTING-OFFICER WALKOUTS
Lynx players ditch BLM t-shirts
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Minnesota Lynx players did not wear T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of Tuesday's game in San Antonio. That came after four off-duty police officers walked away from security jobs at a Lynx game over the weekend because of the garb.
The shirts worn before Saturday's game in Minneapolis listed the names of two black men fatally shot by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. The shirts also showed the Dallas police shield above the phrase "Black Lives Matter." Five officers in Dallas were fatally shot last Thursday by a sniper during a protest over the two slayings.
In a statement, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau was critical of the officers that walked off the job.
Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he commends the officers.