Update on the latest sports
Soroka outpitches deGrom, Freeman’s bat powers Braves 2-0
UNDATED (AP) — Mike Soroka did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman homered and drove in both runs, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 2-0 on Wednesday.
Soroka, the youngest pitcher in the major leagues and one of baseball’s top prospects, returned from a right shoulder strain that sidelined him since May 17 to outpitch NL ERA leader Jacob deGrom in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 12 minutes.
Making his fourth career start, Soroka (2-1) gave up one hit, one walk and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings.
Freeman, the NL batting leader, has hit safely in 23 of his past 24 games. He has five homers in his past seven games and 14 overall.
The Mets have lost 10 of their past 11 and 17 of their past 21.
Elsewhere in the major leagues:
— Matt Duffy’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth drove in the game’s only run in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 1-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Duffy drove in Mallex Smith, who doubled with one out and moved to third base on a ground ball. Diego Castillo got his first major league win after pitching two innings of relief.
Tigers lose Cabrera for the rest of the season
UNDATED (AP) — Miguel Cabrera’s season is over, leaving Detroit without its biggest star at a time when there wasn’t much else for Tigers fans to latch onto.
Cabrera ruptured his left biceps tendon on a swing during Tuesday night’s 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twin, just a couple of weeks after the two-time MVP returned from a DL stint due to a right hamstring strain. The 35-year-old will have surgery this week. Manager Ron Gardenhire says the slugger’s status for the 2019 season won’t be known until after the operation. He still has $154 million left on a contract that runs through 2023.
Cabrera batted .301 with three homers and 22 RBIs for a team that wasn’t expected to compete in the AL Central.
In other MLB news:
— Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard has been prescribed more rest after getting a second opinion on a strained ligament in his index finger. Manager Mickey Callaway said Syndergaard’s right finger is “tender to the touch.” Syndergaard, on the disabled list retroactive to May 26, was examined Tuesday in New York. There is no immediate timetable for his return.
— Nationals slugger Bryce Harper says he’s “fine” after being hit by a pair of pitches during Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss to the Yankees. Harper fell to the ground in pain after getting plunked on the right elbow by a 90 mph pitch from CC Sabathia (suh-BATH’-ee-uh). He stayed in the game until he was hit on the left foot by Dellin Betances’ 89 mph slider in the eighth inning.
— The Ohio Supreme Court has heard arguments in a dispute over promotions including bobbleheads and other items offered by the Cincinnati Reds to ticket buyers. At issue is whether the Reds are exempt from paying tax on the purchase of the promotional items. Attorneys for the Reds argue they don’t have to pay tax because they resell the promotional items as part of the ticket package. Ohio law exempts companies from paying tax on items they buy to resell. A decision is not expected for several weeks.
Trotz, Capitals begin discussing contract extension
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals have begun discussing a contract extension that would keep the pending free agent coach around for next season and beyond after winning the Stanley Cup.
Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan met Wednesday to talk about a new deal. MacLellan says he’ll meet with ownership over the next week and that he doesn’t believe either side feels pressure to get a deal done given Trotz’s contract expires June 30.
Redskins acknowledge no waiting list for season tickets
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Redskins say they no longer have a waiting list for fans wanting to buy season tickets.
The team’s new chief operation officer, Brian Lafemina, says Wednesday that the Skins are “taking a fresh look at every area of the business.”
Season tickets are available for purchase as of Wednesday.
The Redskins ranked 28th in the 32-team NFL last season in home attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity, at about 88 percent.
In other NFL news:
— San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise (mahr-KEES’) Goodwin has won the 2018 George Halas Award from the Professional Football Writers of America. The Halas Award is given to a NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. Goodwin had a career year on the field while dealing with two deaths in the family. He had 56 receptions for 962 yards and two touchdowns and was third in the NFL in reception average at 17.2 yards.
— A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has filed a federal lawsuit against the team, alleging she wasn’t paid for all her work and made less money than the team’s male mascot. Erica Wilkins, who worked for the Cowboys from 2014 to 2017, is seeking “unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages, and all other available damages”, citing the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Earlier this month, five former cheerleaders sued the Houston Texans, alleging the team failed to fully compensate them as required by law and subjected them to a hostile work environment.
WORLD CUP-2026 HOST
North American trio beats Morocco to host 2026 World Cup
MOSCOW (AP) — North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.
The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 votes at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
The vote by football federations was public, in contrast to secrecy surrounding the ballot by FIFA’s elected board members for the 2018 and 2022 hosts, Russia and Qatar, in 2010.
North America is optimistically promising to deliver $14 billion in revenue, while the tournament won’t require major construction work required on the 16 planned stadiums, all of which already exist.
Borgata will take sports bets Thursday morning
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s Borgata casino will start taking bets on sporting events Thursday morning. The casino tells The Associated Press it will begin taking sports bets at 11 a.m.
That’s 30 minutes after Gov. Phil Murphy places the state’s first legal sports bet at Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport. The Democratic governor signed the sports betting bill into law Monday.
New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks are waiting for state gambling regulators to issue final regulations, which is expected to happen Wednesday afternoon.
The state won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose. Most of the other Atlantic City casinos have not announced their sports betting plans yet.
Unions seek player safeguards as sports gambling expands
UNDATED (AP) — Unions representing professional athletes are starting to lobby states that are considering legal sports gambling, seeking protection for athletes from threats and harassment and from those who might seek to manipulate their performance on the field for monetary gain.
In a document being circulated to state and federal lawmakers and obtained by The Associated Press, attorneys for five players’ unions are urging states to approve laws and regulations that protect players who report contact with people seeking to influence games. The unions are also asking that athletes, officials and members of their families be protected “from physical attacks, verbal threats, or other forms of harassment occurring in the workplace or elsewhere.”
NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers
UNDATED (AP) — College athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school.
The NCAA Division I Council approved the change Wednesday. It takes effect Oct. 15.
The long-awaited transfer reform ended up being a narrow change, but should provide more freedom for athletes to transfer when and where they want.
Under the new rule, athletes would be permitted to be contacted when they notify their current coaches, who have two days to enter the names into a database created and managed by the NCAA that will alert schools who can be recruited. The change will come with stricter tampering rules to help appease coaches who worry illegal recruiting could rise.
SCHOOL SHOOTING-ESPY AWARDS
Coaches killed in Florida shooting to receive ESPY awards
MIAMI (AP) — The ESPYs are breaking tradition for this year’s Best Coach Award, awarding it posthumously to three Florida high school coaches who died shielding their students from gunfire.
The ESPN network announced Wednesday that family members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heroes Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel, and Chris Hixon will receive the award during the show on July 18.
The award has previously gone to coaches who have shown extraordinary leadership of their teams — not for heroism off the field. Previous recipients include Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
ESPN’s Vice President Alison Overholt said the men are being honored for “their immeasurable bravery in the face of danger and for their ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of countless students.”