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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 11, 2019

The supervisor is Dennis Waszak Jr., followed by Fred Lief at 8:30 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

Orel Hershiser isn’t worried about how analytics affects pitching. The Los Angeles Dodger great tells PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke that managers will figure out how to play situational baseball with their pitching staffs soon enough, and wholesale changes aren’t needed in the way the game is played. https://www.podcastone.com/podcastone-sports-now

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is not so short and Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat is very fast. While those were the big takeaways from the NFL combine, plenty more was learned in Indianapolis last week. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Dane Brugler, NFL draft analyst for The Athletic, joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to assess which prospects helped themselves and which ones might have hurt their stock. https://podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast



LOS ANGELES _ Linebacker Dante Fowler has re-signed with the Los Angeles Rams, passing up a shot at unrestricted free agency to stay with the NFC champions. The Rams acquired Fowler in a trade with Jacksonville on Oct. 30, and he played a significant role in Los Angeles’ run to the Super Bowl. Fowler would have been one of the top pass rushers on the free-agent market. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 375 words, photo.


Serena Williams and Meghan Duggan are applauding players from the U.S. women’s national soccer team who filed a gender discrimination lawsuit. The suit highlights the struggle for female athletes globally to achieve fair compensation for their efforts. Williams is praising the players who came before her to fight for equal prize money in tennis. Duggan led a similar fight for the women’s national hockey team. She is lauding the soccer players’ “boldness and leadership.” By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.


Outfielder Adam Jones and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that A 33-year-old five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, Jones spent his first 13 big league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He hit .281 with 15 homers and 63 RBIs last year. Jones is likely to start in center field between Steven Souza Jr. in right and David Peralta in left, pushing Ketel Marte into a utility role. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 270 words, photos.



The Kansas City Chiefs have released veteran linebacker Justin Houston after they were unable to work out a trade, freeing up $14 million in much-needed salary cap space. The 30-year-old Houston signed a $101 million, six-year deal with the Chiefs in 2015 that was at the time a record for a defensive player. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 640 words.


NEW YORK _ Two people with direct knowledge of the trade tell The Associated Press that the New York Jets have agreed to acquire left guard Kelechi Osemele from the Oakland Raiders. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade can’t be completed until the new league year starts Wednesday. The deal includes the Jets sending their fifth-round draft pick to the Raiders for Oakland’s sixth-rounder. By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 520 words, photo.


Lombardi Trophy. TV contracts. New stadiums. Huge profits. Those are some two-word phrases that mean the most to NFL owners. Another that should be listed: labor peace. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.


_ FBN--NFL AT 100-2011/21. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.



No. 16 Marquette’s Markus Howard navigating a world of bigger defenders with moves he learned from his brothers. The Golden Eagles’ undersized guard closed the regular season as the nation’s fifth-leading scorer. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 730 words, photos by 3 a.m.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. _ A full regular-season schedule didn’t provide a clear answer as to who is the best team in the majority of the power conferences. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Big 12 all ended up with teams sharing the title. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. SENT: 850 words, photos.



The year was 2005. No one had an iPhone. No one had tweeted. Facebook wasn’t part of the mainstream. And it was the last time the NBA playoffs didn’t have LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t mathematically eliminated yet, but it’s only a matter of time. For the first time in 14 years, the postseason will begin without anyone wondering how far James will carry his team. For the first time in nine years, the NBA Finals will be played without James. His friends say the break may help him. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 1,050 words, photos by 3 a.m.


OAKLAND, Calif. _ Devin Booker scored 13 straight Phoenix points during a decisive fourth-quarter stretch and finished with 37, and the Suns snapped the NBA’s longest active losing streak to one opponent at 18 games by beating the Golden State Warriors 115-111. Kevin Durant had 25 points before leaving with a bruised right ankle midway through the fourth on a night his teammates struggled from near and far. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 750 words, photos.



ORLANDO, Fla. _ British Open champion Francesco Molinari rolls in a 45-foot birdie putt on the final hole at Bay Hill that caps off an 8-under 64, taking him from five shots behind to a two-shot victory Sunday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Molinari watched the putt kiss off the flagstick and into the cup, and the normally reserved Italian raised his fist and dropped it downward, knowing that would make him hard to beat. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 950 words, photos.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. _ Kirk Triplett made a 12-foot eagle putt on the second hole of a playoff with Woody Austin to win the Hoag Classic for his seventh PGA Tour Champions victory. The 56-year-old Triplett forced the playoff with a 12-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th, with both putts from below the hole breaking left to right, then matched Austin with a par on the first extra hole. SENT: 440 words.

_ Also:

_ GLF--QATAR MASTERS. SENT: 290 words.



AVONDALE, Ariz. _ Kyle Busch made it a weekend sweep at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. Busch tracked down Ryan Blaney over a long green-flag run before passing his Team Penske rival for the lead with 16 laps to go, then made his fuel and tires last to the checkered flag to add a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series to his triumph in the Xfinity Series race. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 950 words, photos.


_ ESports-NASCAR HEAT PRO LEAGUE. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 650 words.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. _ Team Penske has won yet another race, this time the IndyCar season opener on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg. Josef Newgarden won the race to give a Penske car a fourth victory in seven days spanning three series. The IndyCar lineup opened the season under pressure to match their Penske counterparts in success at the start of the season. Penske drivers have won two NASCAR races and two Supercars races in Australia. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 650 words, photos.


_ CAR--INDYCAR-WICKENS. SENT: 270 words, photos.


After collapsing under pressure in the past two seasons, this may be Sebastian Vettel’s last chance to show he can deliver a long-awaited Formula One title for Ferrari. Otherwise the Italian manufacturer may throw its backing behind the young and ambitious Charles Leclerc. By Jerome Pugmire. UPCOMING: 930 words, photos by 2 a.m.

_ With:

_ CAR--F1-HAMILTON BEEFING UP _ Beefed-up Hamilton binged on food ahead of 6th F1 title bid. By Joseph Wilson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 2:15 a.m.

_ CAR--F1-VERSTAPPEN’S CHALLENGE _ Verstappen can challenge for F1 title if Red Bull car allows. By Jerome Pugmire. UPCOMING: 670 words, photos by 2:15 a.m.

_ CAR--F1-BOTTAS BID _ Valtteri Bottas: ‘I’m going to beat everyone this year’. By Daniella Matar. UPCOMING: 620 words, photos by 2:15 a.m.



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. _ San Francisco Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell never considered giving up coaching when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Being around the game is good therapy, he said, and all he had to do was find a way to work his radiation treatments into his busy schedule. By Carrie Muskat. SENT: 520 words.


PEORIA, Ariz. _ Longtime Mariners ace Felix Hernandez starts a spring training game against Cleveland a day after Seattle announced Marco Gonzales as its opening day starter, ending Hernandez’s 10-year run in that role. The 32-year-old Hernandez has been injured and ineffective for much of the past three seasons. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 600 words.



_ BBA--RAYS-SNELL. By Fred Goodall. SENT: 290 words.

_ BBN--PIRATES-ARCHER. By Mark Didtler. SENT: 420 words.


_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP. SENT: 750 words, photos.



LONDON _ Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was attacked by a spectator early in his team’s derby game at Birmingham. The incident occurred less than 10 minutes into the match when Grealish was in the Birmingham penalty area and a fan ran onto the field and threw a punch from behind the visiting captain. Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was pushed by a fan attempting to join in celebrations as Arsenal won a Premier League match later in London. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 720 words, photos.


LONDON _ Manchester United has lost for the first time in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 13th game. Arsenal beat United 2-0 to climb above Solskjaer’s side into fourth place. The title challenge is down to two, and Liverpool trimmed Manchester City’s lead back to a point after coming from behind to beat Burnley 4-2. Chelsea remains down in sixth place after behind held 1-1 by Wolverhampton but is only one point behind United. By Rob Harris. SENT: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m. With separates.



INDIAN WELLS, Calif. _ Serena Williams retired from her third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open because of a viral illness. Williams raced to a 3-0 lead over two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza before dropping six straight games and the first set, 6-3. SENT: 600 words, photos.



KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia _ After wrapping up his eighth consecutive men’s World Cup overall title, Marcel Hirscher hints that there might not be a ninth. The Austrian is considering calling it a career after competing in two more races at next week’s World Cup Finals in Andorra. By winning the big crystal globe again, Hirscher matched the World Cup record of 20 overall and discipline titles set by Lindsey Vonn. SENT: 640 words, photos.




_ HKN--OBIT-HOWELL. SENT: 300 words, photos.


_ CYC--OBIT-CATLIN. SENT: 140 words.


Monday Time Schedule (EST)


Sacramento at Washington, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Houston, 8 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Utah, 9 p.m.

Boston at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.


Ottawa at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Columbus vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Arizona at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Carolina at Colorado, 9 p.m.



No. 1. Gonzaga vs. Pepperdine at Las Vegas, 9 p.m.

No. 22. Wofford vs. UNC Greensboro at Asheville, N.C., 7 p.m.


1. Baylor vs. No. 19 Iowa State at Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.

2. UConn UCF at Uncasville, Conn., 7 p.m.

14. Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s at Las Vegas, 3 p.m.

17. Marquette vs. Georgetown at Chicago, 4 p.m.


Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets vs. Houston at West Palm Beach, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Washington vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Texas (ss) at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Francisco vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.

Oakland vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Kansas City (ss) vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.

Kansas City (ss) vs. Texas (ss) at Surprise, Ariz., 10:05 p.m.