Headlines from around the world in sports
A couple views Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 catamaran before the start of an America's Cup challenger series sailing race on Sunday, July 7, 2013, in San Francisco. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, background, looms in the distance. Emirates Team New Zealand was to have competed against Luna Rossa Challenge but the Italian team announced they would not take part in the race on principle while awaiting a jury's decision on a ruling. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 catamaran awaits the start of an America's Cup challenger series sailing race on Sunday, July 7, 2013, in San Francisco. Emirates Team New Zealand was to have competed against Luna Rossa Challenge but the Italian team announced they would not take part in the race on principle while awaiting a jury's decision on a ruling. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Kiwis sail solo in first race of Cup trials
SAN FRANCISCO – With the Golden Gate Bridge looming to his right, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker hit the starting line and immediately got his 72-foot catamaran speeding across the tops of the waves on hydrofoils.
The America’s Cup challenger trials were under way on San Francisco Bay and the Kiwis were clearly in control.
Of course, it helped that there was no opponent.
Emirates Team New Zealand sailed alone around the course yesterday – at one point hitting 42.8 knots, or 49 mph – to collect the first point of the regatta. Their scheduled opponent, Italy’s Luna Rossa, boycotted, saying it won’t race until an international jury hears protests regarding rules changes made after Andrew “Bart” Simpson of Artemis Racing was killed in a capsize May 9.
While Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena said the Italians were sitting out on principle, there’s also the chance they’re not up to speed enough to face the Kiwis, who clearly are the class of the three challengers. A few weeks ago, Luna Rossa was soundly beaten by the Kiwis in a practice race.
Dixon wins in series’ return to Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. – Scott Dixon led a big day for Chip Ganassi Racing, leading a podium sweep for the team with a victory yesterday at the IndyCar Series event at Pocono Raceway.
Dixon was followed by Ganassi teammates Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti in IndyCar’s first race at Pocono since 1989.
Dixon won for the first time this season and it was his 30th career IndyCar victory. He struggled all season and had led only one lap, at the Indianapolis 500.
He caught a big break when Tony Kanaan clipped Dixon’s car on a pass for the lead and was forced to pit road. Dixon dominated down the stretch of the 400-mile race and became IndyCar’s eighth different winner this season.
Andretti Autosport qualified three drivers on the front row. But James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay were involved in accidents and Marco Andretti faded over the final laps.
Vettel wins first GP at home
NUERBURGRING, Germany – Three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel surged to the lead in his Red Bull at the start of the German Grand Prix yesterday and held off a strong challenge from the two Lotus cars to win his first race on home soil.
There were no tire blowouts but the race had its share of bizarre incidents, with a loose wheel flying through the air in the pit lane and an abandoned car drifting on its own down the track.
Vettel started second behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and powered past the Mercedes driver into the first bend.
The German then held off the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for his fourth win of the season. Raikkonen was second and Grosjean third. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso took fourth.
Sabres acquire Tallinder from Devils for Boychuk
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres continued to revamp their defense by reacquiring Henrik Tallinder from the New Jersey Devils for prospect Riley Boychuk.
Tallinder spent the last three years with the Devils after spending parts of eight seasons with the Sabres. He entered the NHL as a second-round draft pick of the Sabres in 1997.
Tallinder, 34, played in just 25 games last year, posting one goal and three assists. He was a stalwart on the back end during Buffalo’s playoff runs in 2006 and 2007 and became an on-ice mentor to Tyler Myers in 2009. Myers, 23, has struggled without Tallinder as a defensive partner.
Boychuk was a seventh-round pick of Buffalo in 2010.
Nationals place LHP Detwiler on DL
WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals placed left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to July 4, with a lower back strain.
Detwiler, originally projected to start today’s series opener at Philadelphia, is 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 starts. He experienced discomfort in his back when he threw his bullpen session Saturday.
Washington is expected to replace Detwiler in the rotation with right-hander Dan Haren. Currently on the DL with a shoulder injury, Haren is 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA in 15 starts.
Padres place Grandal on DL with sprained knee
WASHINGTON – The San Diego Padres placed catcher Yasmani Grandal on the 60-day disabled list with a sprained right knee, and selected catcher Rene Rivera from Triple-A Tucson.
Grandal was injured Saturday in the third inning of the Padres’ 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals when Anthony Rendon slid into Grandal’s right leg at the plate, twisting the catcher’s knee. Grandal fell to the ground, but held on for the forceout before being assisted off the field.
Grandal was hitting .216 with one homer and nine RBI in 28 games since being reinstated from the restricted list on May 28. He missed 50 games while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test.
Rangers’ Tepesch, Berkman going to DL
ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers right-hander Nick Tepesch and designated hitter Lance Berkman are headed to the disabled list.
Tepesch, who has inflammation in his right elbow, complained of soreness on Saturday, a day after getting the win in a 10-5 victory against the Houston Astros.
Berkman injured a muscle in his hip and back area in Saturday night’s 9-5 loss to Houston. He was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
The Rangers activated right-handed reliever Joakim Soria for yesterday’s game against Houston. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since Sept. 11, 2011, with Kansas City. Right-hander Cory Burns was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock.
Indians send Carrasco back to minors
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians sent inconsistent starter Carlos Carrasco back to Triple-A Columbus.
One day after he was clobbered in a loss to Detroit, Carrasco was designated for assignment for the purpose of rejoining the Clippers. The right-hander was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits on Saturday in a 9-4 loss to the first-place Tigers. Carrasco fell to 0-4 and has not won in the majors since June 29, 2011. He missed last season following Tommy John surgery and was suspended earlier this season for the second time for intentionally throwing at a hitter.
Carrasco has a 9.10 ERA in six starts.
The Indians also purchased the contract of reliever Preston Guilmet. The right-hander went 2-4 with 16 saves in 34 appearances at Columbus.
Blixt wins rain-delayed Greenbrier Classic by 2
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Jonas Blixt shot a 3-under 67 yesterday to win the rain-delayed Greenbrier Classic by two strokes.
The Swede emerged from a five-player chase over the final five holes to pick up the $1.1 million winner’s check. He also gets a spot in the upcoming British Open and next year’s Masters for the victory.
Blixt overcame a four-shot deficit at the start of the final round and finished at 13 under. Third-round leader Johnson Wagner (73), Australians Steven Bowditch (68) and Matt Jones (68), and Jimmy Walker (71) tied for second.
McDowell wins French Open by 4 shots
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the French Open yesterday, shooting a 4-under 67 in the final round to capture his ninth European Tour title by four strokes.
McDowell had five birdies and a bogey to finish 9-under 275. The Northern Irishman won the World Match-Play Championship in May, but missed the cut in his three following tournaments.
Richard Sterne of South Africa (71) was second. He made three birdies on the front nine before faltering on the back nine with three bogeys.
Graeme Storm of England, the 2007 winner, and Eduardo De La Riva of Spain shot 69s to share third place, five strokes off the pace.
McDowell and Sterne entered the final round with a share of the lead.
American Abbott wins prestigious Giro Rosa
CREMONA, Italy – American Mara Abbott won the Giro Rosa yesterday, wrapping up the overall victory in one of the most prestigious races for women after losing minimal time in the final time trial.
Abbott took the overall lead with a victory in Thursday’s fifth stage, and the USA Cycling National Development Program rider added to her advantage by winning the sixth stage Friday.
Abbott finished well behind Dutch winner Ellen van Dijk in the time trial, but the rider from Boulder, Colo., lost minimal time to her overall competitors. Italy’s Tatiana Guderzo finished 1 minute, 33 seconds back in second place and Germany’s Claudia Hausler was 2:18 back in third.
American Evelyn Stevens, who was second in the time trial, finished fifth overall in the women’s version of the Giro d’Italia.