Headlines from around the world in sports
Knicks’ Chandler, Martin out today at Chicago
NEW YORK – The New York Knicks will be without big men Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin today when they bring their 13-game winning streak to Chicago.
Chandler missed the Knicks’ 120-99 victory over Washington Tuesday because of a bulging disk. The All-Star center had played in the previous four games after missing 10 in a row, then told Coach Mike Woodson he felt soreness after a victory at Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Martin returned Tuesday from a two-game absence with a sore left knee, then went down with a severely sprained left ankle.
The Knicks are also listing backup center Marcus Camby, who his missed most of the season with foot problems, as doubtful. They are already without big men Rasheed Wallace, Amare Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas.
Bengals release CB Allen
CINCINNATI – The Bengals released cornerback Jason Allen, who was injured and played in only four games during his one season with Cincinnati.
Allen signed with the Bengals as a free agent after playing six years with Miami and Houston. He missed the preseason and the first two games of the season because of an injured thigh. He played in a 38-31 win over Washington, getting a pair of tackles, then was inactive for the next nine games due in part to the thigh injury.
He also missed the final game of the regular season and a first-round playoff loss to Houston.
Braves acquire RHP Ayala from Orioles
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen depth by acquiring right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles for a minor-leaguer.
The Braves sent left-handed pitcher Chris Jones to the Orioles in yesterday’s deal. The 24-year-old was pitching at Double-A Mississippi.
The 35-year-old Ayala is expected to join the Braves when they open a series tomorrow in Washington. He is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in two appearances this season, after going 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA and one save in 66 games for the Orioles in 2012.
The Braves were seeking more depth in their bullpen because of an injury to Jonny Venters. He was shut down for a month after receiving an injection in his sprained left shoulder.
Reds place Marshall on DL with tendinitis
ST. LOUIS – Cincinnati Reds left-hander Sean Marshall, who’s been bothered for several weeks by left shoulder tendinitis, was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The move was made retroactive to Monday, and right-hander Logan Ondrusek was recalled from Double-A Pensacola and was expected to arrive in time for yesterday’s game against the Cardinals.
Marshall has appeared in one game, working a scoreless inning.
Ondrusek had a 7.59 ERA in 10 spring training appearances and was optioned to Pensacola the day before the opener. In three appearances in the minors, he allowed one hit in 21∕3 scoreless innings.
Rangers trade minor league catcher to Rays
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers traded minor league catcher Juan Apodaca to Tampa Bay for cash considerations.
The deal was announced yesterday while the two teams were playing the finale of a three-game series.
Apodaca, who was a non-roster invitee to spring training with the Rangers, was on the disabled list at Triple-A Round Rock.
Tampa Bay will be the Venezuelan’s sixth organization since the Los Angeles Dodgers signed him as a 16-year-old non-drafted free agent in 2003. Apodaca has not yet played in the majors.
Two days earlier in a separate deal, the Rangers got catcher Robinson Chirinos from Tampa Bay for a player to be named or cash. The trade for Apodaca is not related to that deal.
Blue Jays claim OF Wells off waivers
TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays claimed outfielder Casper Wells on waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners designated Wells for assignment on March 31 and the Blue Jays added him yesterday.
Wells batted .228 for the Mariners in 2012 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. He has played parts of three seasons with Detroit and Seattle.
The Blue Jays also have designated right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett for assignment.
Indiana’s Zeller heading to NBA
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller is heading to the NBA. The announcement was made on a family business website yesterday, shortly before a scheduled news conference.
Zeller is the second Hoosiers star to leave school early. On Tuesday, junior swingman Victor Oladipo announced he, too, was entering the NBA draft.
Neither decision was a surprise because both are projected to be lottery picks in June.
Zeller, a 7-footer, could have left school last year but decided to return for one more shot at a national championship. He led the Hoosiers in scoring (16.5 points) and rebounding (8.1), was a second-team All-American and is projected to be a top 10 pick in June’s draft.
Zeller’s older two brothers, Luke and Tyler, also played in the NBA this season.
Missouri point guard Pressey enters NBA draft
ST. LOUIS – Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, coming off a productive but erratic junior season, will enter the NBA draft.
Pressey is the Tigers’ career leader with 580 assists and broke his own single-season mark with 240 assists last season. He tied the school record with 196 steals. He had career highs with an 11.9-point average and seven assists per game, tying an SEC record with 19 assists in an overtime loss at UCLA. He was also was hampered by questionable decision-making in several close losses.
The 5-foot-11 Pressey was a first-team all-SEC pick after being named the conference’s preseason player of the year. He’s the son of former NBA player Paul Pressey and was recruited to Missouri by former coach Mike Anderson, who was the elder Pressey’s former college roommate.
WOMEN’s COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Missouri State hires Harper as coach
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Kellie Harper, fired two weeks ago at North Carolina State, is the new women’s basketball coach at Missouri State.
The university yesterday said Harper has agreed to a five-year contract paying $145,000 in annual base salary, plus $60,000 for radio and television shows. The contract also includes performance incentives.
Harper has a career record of 167-128 in nine seasons combined at North Carolina State and Western Carolina, including three NCAA tournament appearances and four in the Women’s NIT. As a player she was part of three national championship teams at Tennessee and was an honorable mention All-American as a senior in 1999.
She inherits a team that returns nine players next season. Nyla Milleson’s contract was not renewed after the Lady Bears were 14-17 in 2012-13.
Williams sisters to lead Fed Cup team vs. Sweden
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Serena and Venus Williams will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team against Sweden on hardcourts at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 20-21.
The team announced yesterday will also include No. 16-ranked Sloane Stephens and No. 27 Varvara Lepchenko.
The winner will advance to the 2014 world group and have a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title next year. The losing team will be relegated to world group II in 2014.
Sweden’s team will consist of No. 54 Sofia Arvidsson, No. 65 Johanna Larsson, No. 425 Hilda Melander and No. 489 Sandra Roma.
Serena Williams, who is ranked No. 1, is 8-0 in Fed Cup singles play and 3-0 in doubles. Venus is 14-2 in singles and 4-2 in doubles.