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May 28, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ Nigel Wilson hit a grand slam in the first inning and Kip Gross gave up just four hits over seven innings as the Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 13-4 at Tokyo Dome Wednesday.

Wilson, formerly with the Cleveland Indians, has 12 homers and Gross, formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is now 5-1.

At Koshien Stadium, Leo Gomez hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hanshin Tigers 6-4.

Gomez, once with the Chicago Cubs, has 10 homers.

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Blair says ``nein″ to Germany

LONDON (AP) _ Tony Blair’s new Labor government reaffirmed its backing for Britain’s World Cup 2006 bid Wednesday, ignoring a suggestion from German soccer manager Berti Vogts that the prime minister withdraw his support.

Vogts, concerned that Europe may miss out altogether if it has bids from both Germany and England, urged Blair to join his European peers and support the German bid.

``If I was the prime minister I would tell the Football Association to withdraw,″ said Vogts. ``If they have any character, they will pull out. All the countries in Europe think that.″

``The English have left us in the lurch,″ Vogts’ predecessor, Franz Beckenbauer, was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s of the Daily Mail. ``We expected them to support us. This has nothing to do with English fair play.″

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Missaglia takes stage; four banned after blood test

LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (AP) _ Gabriele Missaglia beat three other cyclists in a spirited sprint finish to win the 11th stage of the Tour of Italy Wednesday.

Missaglia completed the 98.6 miles, starting and finishing at Lido di Camaiore, in 3 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds.

He edged fellow Italians Andrea Vatteroni, Mirko Celestino and Massimo Podenzana for the victory.

Defending champion Tonkov retained his 41-second overall lead. France’s Luc Leblanc was second.

France’s Thierry Laurent, Ukraine’s Vladimir Poulnikov and Italians Marco Gili and Roberto Moretti were bounced from the race for flunking surprise blood tests. Their red blood cell counts were too high, officials said.

Excessive levels of red blood cells can be a sign of use of EPO (Erythropoietin), a banned substance which can’t be detected in standard urine tests. The higher count can also occur naturally.

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US beats Italy 7-6 in water polo upset

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Chris Oeding scored with 56 seconds remaining Wednesday to give the United States a 7-6 victory over Italy in the Water Polo World Cup.

The second successive upset guaranteed the undefeated Americans at least a share of the lead in Group B with four points.

The United States was down 2-1 after two quarters but stormed back with four goals in the third quarter. The Americans got three goals from Chris Humbert and two from Jeremy Laster.

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CBS and HBO to join Goodwill Games coverage

NEW YORK (AP) _ CBS and HBO will join TBS Superstation as television partners for the 1998 Goodwill Games. The two-week competition next year will be held in New York July 19-Aug. 2.

CBS Sports will be the over-the-air broadcast partner with 10 hours of weekend afternoon coverage. HBO will carry boxing semifinals and finals as part of its ``Boxing After Dark″ series on cable TV.

TBS and CBS also will carry boxing as part of their coverage.

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