YANKEES-NATIONALS OPENER

AP source: Yankees vs champ Nationals in DC on opening day

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park.

The Yankees and Nationals are set meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month, a person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there hasn’t been an official announcement.

The New York Post first reported the matchup.

MLB will start a 60-game season on July 23 or 24. The schedule is still being worked out — there could be a game or two on the first day of play, or a full slate.

Cole started the previous game played at Nationals Park. He pitched the Houston Astros past the Nationals 7-1 last October for a 3-2 edge in the World Series. Cole signed a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees as a free agent. Rendon got a $245 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

PGA-TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Todd matches Johnson’s 61 to take the lead; Mickelson drops to 7th

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson each shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 U.S. Open champion.

The 34-year-old Georgian, playing a couple holes behind Johnson, had a chance at the tournament’s second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole. He finished with a 54-hole score of 192 after shooting 66-65 the first two rounds. Johnson, who is looking for his 21st win on tour, also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64.

Both golfers shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back.

Kevin Streelman fired a 63 after two straight rounds of 66 and was just three shots back. Mackenzie Hughes, who led after a 60 on Thursday, shot his second straight 68 for sole possession of fourth place.

Phil Mickelson, who celebrated his 50th birthday last week, began the day with a one-stroke lead, but struggled to a 71, finishing tied for seventh in a group six shots back.

SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAK

Texas Rangers: Several positive tests

UNDATED (AP) — The Texas Rangers say several of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. The team said anyone who had direct contact with those affected was sent home from Globe Life Field. The Rangers said no one will be allowed back inside without receiving a negative test for the coronavirus. The club is set to begin another round of training at the ballpark next week.

The team said pandemic protocols are in place for front office employees at the new ballpark that’s set to open when the season begins.

WOMEN’S SOCCER-THORNS COURAGE

Williams’ stoppage time goal lifts Courage over Thorns 2-1

HERRIMAN, Utah (AP) — Lynn Williams scored in stoppage time and the North Carolina Courage defeated the Portland Thorns 2-1 in the opening game of the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup tournament.

The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had opened preseason training camps when the league shut down on March 12.

Players from both teams collectively took a knee during the national anthem and wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in pre-game warmups to protest racial inequity Players for both teams took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality.

NHL-DRAFT LOTTERY

Play-in round team wins draft lottery, shot at Lafreniere

UNDATED (AP) — Presumptive top selection Alexis Lafreniere will have to wait a little bit longer to find out his NHL destination. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing.

The eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs have an equal chance of drafting first. The Kings got the second pick, the Senators the third thanks to 2018 trade with San Jose and the league-worst Red Wings dropped to fourth. Ottawa has the third and fifth picks and is the first team since 2000 with two selections in the top five.

As part of the NHL’s 24-team playoff format if it resumes, 16 teams will play each other in best-of-five series to move on — and the losers of those matchups now have a major consolation prize looming: equal 12.5% odds of landing Lafreniere.

NASCAR-POCONO

Late scratch: Harvick knocks off Pocono from winless list

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kevin Harvick snapped an 0-for-38 drought at Pocono Raceway, taking the checkered flag Saturday at one of two tracks where victory had eluded him.

Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and will start 20th on Sunday with the field set by inverting the lead-lap finishers.The 44-year-old California driver has won at every active track except Kentucky Speedway (nine tries) and the 2014 series champion has three wins overall for Stewart-Haas Racing this season.

Harvick held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin for his 52nd career Cup victory. He had 12 top-five finishes in his other 38 starts at Pocono.

He held off on the celebratory burnout — Harvick needs the same car for Sunday’s race. The race was scheduled as the second Saturday, but rain washed out the Truck Series race. .”

NASCAR-TRIPLEHEADER

NASCAR set for Truck, Xfinity, Cup tripleheader Sunday

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — NASCAR is set for a tripleheader of racing at Pocono Raceway from three national series on Sunday.

Rain has washed out the Truck Series race on Saturday in what was already a packed schedule. Pocono is the site of a Cup Series twin bill, with one race on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The Truck Series was scheduled for Saturday and the second-tier Xfinity Series was scheduled for Sunday. The rainout forced the Truck Series to run at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by 225 miles of Xfinity racing and a 350-mile Cup race.

NASCAR says it’s the first time three NASCAR National Series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. It will be the fifth time three NASCAR National Series races will be run on the same day but those were at different tracks.

Sunday’s Cup race comes with a twist. The field will be set by inverting the lead-lap finishers from race No. 1.

SPEEDWAY OWNER-ROPE AD

Speedway loses partnerships after ‘Bubba rope’ post

PINE HALL, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale. The online ad was posted days after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series.

The racetrack owner’s post on Facebook Marketplace sparked a backlash on social media and condemnation from the North Carolina governor’s office. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a concrete company and a driver series have ended their partnerships with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County.

F1-HAMILTON-ECCLESTONE

Hamilton saddened and hurt by Ecclestone’s racism comments

PARIS (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized what he called “ignorant and uneducated” comments by former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the only Black driver in F1, was dismayed by Ecclestone’s claim during an interview with broadcaster CNN on Friday that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist” than white people.

On Instagram, Hamilton called the comments “sad and disappointing” and said they “show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.”

Ecclestone made his assertion when he was asked his opinion on Hamilton setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.

OLYMPIC PROTESTS-CARLOS LETTER

Carlos, US athletes take stand to end Olympic protest rule

DENVER (AP) — John Carlos wants to abolish the rule that bans protests at the Olympics. The renowned Olympic protester has written a letter with an influential group of American athletes, calling on the IOC to put in place a new policy done in collaboration with athletes from across the globe.

Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medals stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest racial inequality in the United States. They were sent home for violating rules that ban such protests. Those rules remain in place today, though in the wake of global demonstrations against racial injustice, the IOC has recently expressed willingness to rethink them.

Referring to the actions of Carlos and Smith, the letter says “It is time for the Olympic and Paralympic movement to honor their bravery rather than denounce their actions.”

Carlos joined the leadership of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s athlete advisory council in sending the open letter to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees on Saturday. The letter said the AAC had discussed the issue with the IOC’s athlete commission.

SOCCER-NWSL-ANTHEM PROTEST

NWSL players kneel during the national anthem

Players for the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem Saturday when the National Women’s Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah.

The players wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in warmups before the game, which was nationally televised on CBS. In addition to the anthem, the players knelt for a moment of silence before kickoff.

The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus outbreak. The monthlong Challenge Cup opened Saturday with a pair of games at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.

Megan Rapinoe, who plays for OL Reign but opted out of the Challenge Cup, was criticized when she knelt at a NWSL game and a pair of national team games in 2016. She said she wanted to express solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the anthem to bring attention to racial inequality.

NFL-OBIT-KRUEGER

Former NFL, college coach Krueger dies at 90; Bucs’ 1st GM

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL and college coach Phil Krueger has died. Krueger helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history.

Krueger coached offense, defense and special teams during more than three decades in the NFL and college. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State and an assistant at Illinois. Krueger was an assistant coach with the expansion Buccaneers in 1976 and later became their general manager.

His family says Krueger died Monday at his home in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He was 90.

MLB-TOLES ARRESTED

Dodgers’ Andrew Toles jailed in Florida on trespass charge

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was in jail Saturday, charged with trespassing.

The 28-year-old player was detained this week at the airport in Key West, Florida, by a Monroe County sheriff deputy. The Miami Herald reported he was found sleeping behind a Federal Express building at the airport and refused to move.

Jail records show Toles appeared to be homeless when arrested Monday on the misdemeanor charge. His bond was set at $500 but he remained jailed and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday.

Toles rose from the low minors to the majors in just months and became a postseason star for the Dodgers in 2016. He was the starting left fielder in the second half of 2016 and early in 2017. In May of that year, he tore a knee ligament and spent most of 2018 at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The team said Toles never reported to spring training camp in 2019 because of a personal matter. He did not play that year.

Toles struggled with anxiety issues even before the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract. He was Tampa Bay’s minor league player of the year in 2013 but was released in 2015. He was working the early-morning shift in the frozen-food section of a grocery store before the Dodgers recruited him.

HORSE RACING-BELMONT-BARN QUARANTINE

Belmont Park barn under precautionary quarantine

NEW YORK (AP) — A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1.

New York Racing Association officials say a 4-year-old colt trained by Chris Englehart exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 on Saturday and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The colt named Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019.

EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. If a number of horses are housed together, they can become sick and then recover uneventfully. However, equine herpesvirus-1 can also cause a severe neurological disease that affects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may result in paralysis and death.

NYRA says all 37 horses stabled in Barn 37 will be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. They won’t be allowed to enter races or train among the general horse population. The length of the quarantine will depend on the results of tests.

Belmont’s current meet ends July 12. It is racing without spectators because of the coronavirus

pandemic.

Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes at the track a week ago.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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