Headlines from around the world in sports
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez delivers during the first inning of the baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, May 27, 2012, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig).
McClure retires after 14 years with Falcons
ATLANTA – Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Todd McClure is bound for the team’s Ring of Honor.
McClure, the Falcons’ center for 14 years, officially announced his retirement yesterday in a ceremony attended by teammates Matt Ryan, Tyson Clabo, Sam Baker and Justin Blalock.
Blank said McClure deserves to join such former stars as Deion Sanders, Tommy Nobis and Steve Bartkowski in the team’s Ring of Honor.
McClure was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 1999 and went on to become one of the team’s most durable players. He set a franchise record with 148 consecutive starts and missed only four games over the last 12 seasons.
The 36-year-old McClure was emotional at times, including when he looked at his teammates. McClure said he was grateful he played only for the Falcons. “I’ll be a Falcon for life,” he said.
Bengals keep CB Jones, WR Tate
CINCINNATI – The Bengals reached deals with two more of their unrestricted free agents, cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones and receiver Brandon Tate.
That makes five free agents on defense and six on offense or special teams that have decided to stay with Cincinnati. The Bengals’ only notable signing from outside the team has been backup quarterback Josh Johnson, who will compete for the job that opened when Bruce Gradkowski signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent.
Jones played in every game during the Bengals’ playoff season last year, starting five. He also returned punts and had an 81-yard touchdown return.
Tate caught 13 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 32 kickoffs for an average of 24.8 yards, and had 21 punt returns for 8.9 yards.
Browns sign DB Barnes to 1-year deal
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Browns signed defensive back Kevin Barnes to a one-year contract.
Barnes has played in 31 career NFL games for Washington and Detroit. He was drafted by the Redskins in the third round in 2009 and played in 15 games. In 2011, he recorded a career-high 26 tackles and two interceptions in 15 games. He was traded to the Lions last year and played in two games before he was waived on Sept. 18.
Also, the Browns hosted free agent linebacker Victor Butler. The former Dallas pass rusher took a physical and met with Browns officials but left without agreeing to a contract. The 25-year-old will reportedly meet with Philadelphia later this week. He’s already met with New Orleans and Pittsburgh.
Butler had three sacks with Cowboys last season.
Bears, Scott agree to 1-year deal
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears and offensive tackle Jonathan Scott agreed to a one-year contract.
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Scott signed with the Bears last September and appeared in 12 games while making seven starts – six at right tackle. He has started 35 of 70 games played for Detroit (2006-07), Buffalo (2009), Pittsburgh (2010-11) and Chicago (2012) after being drafted in the fifth round by the Lions in 2006. He was let go by Pittsburgh last July and picked up by Detroit, but he got released off injured reserve after suffering a knee injury.
The Bears announced the agreement yesterday.
Volquez to start opener for Padres
PEORIA, Ariz. – Edinson Volquez is set to start on opening day for the San Diego Padres.
Manager Bud Black said yesterday that Volquez will get the assignment. The Padres open next Monday in New York against the Mets.
This will be the third straight year that Volquez has started an opener. He pitched the first game for Cincinnati in 2011 and for the Padres last season.
Volquez started each round of the World Baseball Classic this month for the champion Dominican Republic. He was 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA last year for the Padres.
Black said Volquez has the “experience and the mentality to handle the day and treat it like any other start.”
Clayton Richard will start the second game for the Padres and later start in their home opener.
Kazmir picked as Indians’ No. 5 starter
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Scott Kazmir, who hasn’t pitched in the majors in almost two years, has won a spot in Cleveland’s rotation.
The left-hander was chosen as the Indians’ No. 5 starter yesterday by Manager Terry Francona as the club made several roster moves. Kazmir’s comeback took him to the independent Atlantic League last season. A two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, he outpitched a group that included Daisuke Matsuzaka in camp to make the starting staff.
Kazmir went 9-15 with the Los Angeles Angels in 2010. He made one start in 2011 before he was placed on the disabled list and released two months later.
He will be added to the roster before his first start on April 6 at Tampa Bay.
Slugger Jason Giambi was placed on the DL with a back strain.
Trucks, who threw 2 no-hitters in 1952, dies at 95
DETROIT – Virgil Trucks, who pitched two no-hitters in 1952 for the Detroit Tigers, has died. He was 95.
The two-time All-Star died Saturday near Birmingham, Ala. He pitched in the major leagues from 1941-58, helping the Tigers win the World Series in 1945.
“Fire” Trucks is one of five pitchers to throw two no-hitters in a season, according to STATS. He did it in a year the Tigers lost 104 games. Trucks went 5-19 with a 3.97 ERA in 1952, but he held Washington without a hit on May 15 and did the same to the New York Yankees on Aug. 25.
Trucks pitched 12 seasons for the Tigers and also had stints with the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics and Yankees.
Predators activate Hornqvist, send Ellis to AHL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators activated Patric Hornqvist off injured reserve after the forward missed eight games with an upper body injury.
Hornqvist has played only 14 games for Nashville this season because of injuries. He missed 10 games between Jan. 28 and Feb. 16 with a lower body injury, and he was injured March 9 when boarded by Oilers defenseman Theo Peckman.
To make room for Hornqvist, the Predators reassigned defenseman Ryan Ellis yesterday to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
Williams rallies for three-set win at Sony Open
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Serena Williams’s match was more than an hour old Monday before she began to make some noise.
“Come on!” she shouted at her fist through gritted teeth, adding a soundtrack to her comeback. Her demeanor transformed, Williams rallied past Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round of the Sony Open, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The top-ranked Williams, seeking her sixth Key Biscayne title and her first since 2008, was down a service break trailing 4-1 in the second set before she swept the final five games of the set. She also won the last three games of the match and served it out at love with three aces.
Williams’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be No. 5-seeded Li Na, who beat wild card Garbine Muguruza, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Williams was impassive and flat on her feet in the early going against the No. 13-seeded Cibulkova, and the half-empty stands made for a sleepy atmosphere.
Williams went ahead to stay by breaking serve at love for a 2-1 lead in the final set. After closing out the victory with a 116-mph ace, she swung her fist in satisfaction.
Williams lost serve five times but hit 14 aces. She won despite 52 unforced errors, including 27 on her backhand.