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Update on the latest sports

February 24, 2019

MLB-INDIANS-RAMIREZ

Indians, slugger Ramirez agree to minor league contract

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Free agent first baseman Hanley Ramirez has agreed to sign a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.

Ramirez, a former National League Rookie of the Year, will sign with the three-time defending AL Central champions and join them in camp once he passes a physical.

The Athletic was first to report the deal.

Ramirez, 35, played in just 44 games last season with the Boston Red Sox before he was released in May. He did not sign with another team.

A three-time All-Star, Ramirez is a .290 career hitter with 296 career home runs. He might be able to bring some pop to Cleveland’s lineup, which needs some power following the trades of slugger Edwin Encarnacion and first baseman Yonder Alonso and after outfielder Michael Brantley signing with Houston.

Ramirez was the NL’s top rookie in 2006 with Florida. He signed a four-year, $88 million contract with Boston in 2015, but fell way short of expectations and the Red Sox let him go after he batted just .254 last season.

NASCAR-ATLANTA

Kyle Busch to make 500th Cup start at Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kyle Busch will make his 500th career Cup start when he races Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he’s already notched one milestone this weekend.

Busch became the Truck Series all-time wins leader Saturday with his 52nd career victory. He starts from the back in Sunday’s main event because he crashed his Toyota in final practice.

Aric Almirola starts from the pole in the debut for NASCAR’s new competition package. The rules this season are designed to improve the on-track product by slowing the cars and creating more passing opportunities. NASCAR hopes the package creates parity among the teams and increases entertainment for fans.

Brad Keselowski has battled a stomach ailment at Atlanta but is expected to at least start the race. Austin Cindric is on standby as a Team Penske relief driver.

LPGA THAILAND

Yang holds off Lee to win third LPGA Thailand title

CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Amy Yang won the LPGA Thailand for the third time after holding off Minjee Lee by one stroke on Sunday.

Yang, from South Korea, carded a final-round 65 and a 22-under-par 266 at Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course for her fourth overall LPGA Tour win.

Despite lightning stopping play for 50 minutes and a rain delay later in the round, Yang emerged from a three-way tie with Lee and Carlota Ciganda with a birdie from the fringe of the green on the par-3 16th to regain the lead at 21 under.

WORLD CUP-WOMEN’S COMBINED

Brignone wins World Cup combined at favored Swiss course

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) completed a World Cup hat trick Sunday by winning an Alpine combined event at Crans-Montana in Switzerland for the third straight year.

Brignone protected her lead from the morning downhill with a solid slalom run to beat Roni Remme by 0.38 seconds. Remme was fastest in slalom to get a first career podium finish.

Wendy Holdener was third, trailing 1.04 behind Brignone, two weeks after retaining her world title in the combined.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-RUTGERS-STRINGER

Rutgers women’s coach Stringer sidelined by exhaustion

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, who earlier this season posted her 1,000th victory, is taking off the rest of the regular season because of exhaustion.

The announcement Sunday by the Big Ten Conference school came three days after the 70-year-old Hall of Famer missed a game at Michigan.

Rutgers said Stringer is expected to return for the postseason. The Scarlet Knights were ranked earlier this month and are expected to make the NCAA Tournament.

Assistant coach Tim Eatman will serve as acting coach through the Big Ten Conference Tournament.