Headlines from around the world in sports
Indians, Kipnis agree to six-yeare contract extension
CLEVELAND – The Indians signed All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis to a six-year, $52.5 million contract extension hours before playing their home opener against Minnesota yesterday.
Kipnis is the latest core player to be locked up by the Indians, who reached deals with outfielder Michael Brantley and catcher Yan Gomes during spring training.
The 27-year-old Kipnis developed into one of the AL’s rising stars last season, batting .284 with 17 homers and 84 RBI in 149 games. He also stole 30 bases and scored 86 runs. He led the Indians in runs, hits, RBIs and steals.
Titans to release RB Johnson
The Tennessee Titans told Chris Johnson yesterday they are releasing him after six seasons to avoid paying $8 million the running back is due in 2014, along with the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011.
The Titans have been busy working to replace Johnson, who turns 29 in September. They agreed with Dexter McCluster on a three-year deal at the start of free agency after signing Shonn Greene in March 2013. The Titans also re-signed Jackie Battle recently, along with reaching a one-year deal for kick returner and running back Leon Washington on March 11.
In his seasons, Johnson has fallen far short of the 2,006-yard season he posted in 2009, the sixth man to rush for at least 2,000 yards. But last season he went until the final game to top 1,000 and finished with 1,077 yards. He also had a career-low 3.9-yard average.
Saints agree to terms with 15-year veteran CB Bailey
METAIRIE, La. – Veteran defensive back Champ Bailey agreed to a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
The 35-year-old Bailey played the last 10 seasons with Denver after spending his first five in the NFL with Washington. A shutdown cornerback for much of his career, Bailey has made three All-Pro teams and been selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Bailey’s 52 interceptions are the most among active players, as are his 204 passes defensed.
But he missed 11 games because of a left foot sprain originally suffered in the 2013 preseason, which wound up being a Lisfranc injury, one of the most painful for an athlete.
Seattle locks up Coach Carroll with three-year extension
SEATTLE – The Seattle Seahawks locked up Coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.
The Seahawks announced the extension yesterday. Carroll’s original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after the 2014 season.
Carroll is 38-26 in four regular seasons with Seattle and 5-2 in the playoffs. At age 62, Carroll is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL.
Bucks’ Sanders suspended five games under drug policy
NEW YORK – Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders will be suspended without pay for five games when he returns from injury for violating the NBA’s drug policy.
Sanders said in a statement released by the team yesterday that he was penalized for using marijuana, his latest setback since signing a four-year extension worth about $44 million in the offseason.
The 6-foot-11 Sanders is out for the season with a fractured right orbital bone.
Maple Leafs goalie Bernier out three weeks with knee sprain
TORONTO – Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier will be sidelined three weeks because of a knee sprain.
Maple Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle made the injury announcement yesterday. Bernier, a Manchester Monarch from 2007-10, left in the third period of Toronto’s 4-3 overtime win over Boston on Thursday night after falling awkwardly on his left leg.
Bernier was making his fifth straight start since returning from a lower body injury that kept him out five games. Goalie James Reimer will be counted on to keep alive the Leafs’ slim playoff chances.
Garcia moves to top of Houston Open leaderboard
HUMBLE, Texas – Sergio Garcia surged to the top of the leaderboard by shooting a 7-under-par 65 in the second round of the Houston Open yesterday.
The Spaniard’s overall score of 12-under 132 matches the 36-hole low at the 7,441-yard Golf Club of Houston, and he’s one shot ahead of Matt Kuchar.
First-round co-leader Bill Haas followed his opening 65 with a 2-over 74 in gusty conditions. The other first-round leader, Charley Hoffman, fell to 3 under overall.
Phil Mickelson shot a 2-under 70 and is 6 under overall, six shots back of Garcia.
Thompson, Pak share Kraft Nabisco lead at 8-under
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Lexi Thompson found a putting touch to match her power game yesterday in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The 19-year-old Thompson, already a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, shot a bogey-free 8-under 64 at Mission Hills for a share of the second-round lead with Se Ri Pak.
Thompson birdied eight of the last 13 holes and had only 25 putts after taking 35 in a first-round 73. Pak had a 70 to match Thompson at 7-under 137 in the first major championship of the year.
Michelle Wie was a stroke back after a 71.
Johnson returns to track mourning brother-in-law
FORT WORTH, Texas – Jimmie Johnson returned to the race track yesterday still mourning the loss of his brother-in-law in a skydiving accident.
Jordan Janway died Sunday in San Diego County after apparently colliding with another parachutist during freefall, and then failing to open his parachute in time.
Janway was the 27-year-old brother of Johnson’s wife, Chandra.
Top seeds Jankovic, Errani upset in Family Circle quarters
CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 3 seed Sara Errani was upset by 17-year-old Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, at the Family Circle Cup and joined second-seeded Jelena Jankovic as top players outsed in yesterday’s quarterfinals.
Jankovic lost to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, to start the round of eight.
Errani, ranked 11th in the world, looked confident and in control in taking the first set before getting overwhelmed by Bencic, who had to win twice this past weekend just to enter the main draw.
Errani had reached the quarterfinals of her past three tournaments and figured to have little trouble with the little-known Bencic.