Weekend sports in brief | The Kansas City Star

MLB

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw became the Dodgers’ point guard in the fourth inning of Saturday night’s game against Detroit.

The 33-year-old southpaw started the game needing four to pass Don Sutton. He had Dustin Garneau chase a curveball in the third inning to tie the Hall of Fame.

Kershaw made Spencer Torkelson feel a low, inside slider for his 2,697th strikeout and passed Sutton.

MINOR LEAGUE BASE-BALL

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Kelsie Whitmore played left field and hit ninth for the Staten Island FerryHawks on Sunday, becoming the first woman to start an Atlantic League game and one of the first to do so in a league related to Major League Baseball.

Whitmore, 23, broke through manager Edgardo Alfonzo’s lineup for the FerryHawks game at the Gastonia Honey Hunters.

Whitmore, a right-handed hitter, batted in her first at bat. She was hit by a pitch at second – she rushed to first base after being hit in the arm by a broken pitch – and flew to the right on her third time.

NHL

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings fired Jeff Blashill on Saturday, leaving the coach to guide the famed NHL franchise through a lengthy rebuilding process.

General manager Steve Yzerman said the team is not renewing the contracts of Blashill, assistant Doug Houda and goalkeeper coach Jeff Salajko.

Blashill has spent the past seven seasons behind the bench for the Red Wings, who missed the playoffs the past six seasons on the transition to a youth move.

The Red Wings went 204-261-72 with Blashill at the helm. That .447 point percentage is the second-worst in the league since then, not counting expansion Seattle Kraken which debuted this season.

GOLF

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) — Jon Rahm pulled back from a tie at four with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole, then held on with pars for a 2-under 69 and a win over hit Sunday in the Mexican Open.

Rahm won for the first time since the US Open last summer at Torrey Pines.

Tony Finau and Brandon Wu each closed with a 63, while Kurt Kitayama birdied the last hole from a back bunker for a 68. They tied for second.

Equipped with a lead of two shots before the final round, he never trailed.

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — Marina Alex won the Palos Verdes Championship for her second LPGA Tour title, breaking a tie with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and parrying the final two holes to one-shot win over Jin Young Ko.

Three strokes behind Hannah Green entering the round, Alex closed with a 5-under 66 to finish 10-under 274 at the hilly and windy Palos Verdes Golf Club.

The top-ranked KO also shot a 66.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Steven Alker came back from a two-hour rain delay playing a six-hole streak in a par 6-under back nine to pass Steve Stricker, close with a 6-under 66 and win the Insperity Invitational for his second victory this year on the PGA Tour Champions.

Stricker and Brandt Jobe each shot 70 and tied for second, four shots behind. Alker finished at 18-under 198.

GIRONA, Spain (AP) — Spaniard Adri Arnaus claimed his first European Tour title when he overcame a seven-under deficit with a 7-under 65 and won the Catalyunya championship in the playoffs with a par on the sixth extra hole.

Arnaus, who hails from Barcelona in northeastern Spain near Girona, caught overnight leader Oliver Bekker, who closed with a 72.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Harrison Endycott of Australia closed at par 70 and captured his first Korn Ferry Tour title with a five-stroke win over Ben Taylor in the Huntsville Championship.

Endycott took control of the tournament with a 64 in the third round and was never seriously challenged on Sunday.

CAR RACE

LEEDS, Ala. (AP) — Pato O’Ward has made a conscious decision to stop worrying about his IndyCar contract and Formula One aspirations and focus on his current job.

That effort initially earned him a pending contract extension, and on Sunday O’Ward earned his first win of the IndyCar season.

The popular Mexican used a strong outside pass from poleman Rinus VeeKay after the two battled for fresh tires to take the lead and then pulled away for the win at Barber Motorsports Park. It was O’Ward’s third career win and broke a stranglehold Team Penske had on IndyCar results.

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Josh Berry led a dominant outing for JR Motorsports and won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season on Saturday at Dover Motor Speedway.

Berry had tears in his eyes and hoisted his daughter into the air after taking the checkered flag in the No. 8 Chevrolet for his third career Xfinity win in 39 starts. Berry finished second in the Dover race last year.

JR Motorsports placed four drivers in the top five on the one-mile concrete track. Justin Allgaier was second, Noah Gragson fourth and 18-year-old Sam Mayer fifth. Ty Gibbs halted the JR Motorsports race with a third-place finish. Allgaier has nine consecutive top-10 finishes at Dover, including two wins. He led 67 laps, a race high.

TENNIS

MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have criticized Wimbledon’s decision to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from participating in this year’s tournament after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The tennis greats said on Sunday that Wimbledon had acted unfairly.

“I think it’s very unfair to (on) my fellow Russian tennis players, my colleagues… it’s not their fault what’s happening right now with the war,” said 21-time winner Nadal. Grand Slam, in Spain where he and Djokovic are preparing to play at the Madrid Open.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer announced her retirement Saturday after 50 years in college basketball.

She finished with 1,055 wins – fourth all-time among Division I women’s basketball coaches. Stringer made four Final Four appearances and reached the NCAA Tournament 28 times while leading Cheyney State, Iowa and Rutgers. Stringer was emotional when she spoke to her team Friday night on a Zoom call.

The 74-year-old had been on leave last season due to COVID-19 issues. She signed a five-year extension before going on leave last April. Her retirement will take effect on September 1 and she has agreed to a pension buyout of $872,988. Rutgers will name its basketball court in his honor next season.

BOXING

NEW YORK (AP) — Katie Taylor remained the undisputed lightweight champion in a thrilling first headline women’s boxing match at Madison Square Garden, edging out Amanda Serrano in a split decision on Saturday night.

Both fighters were cut as they got into plenty of power exchanges in the two-minute rounds – one shorter than the men’s.

After the fighters traded punches in a 10th and final round slugfest, Taylor (21-0) emerged with scores of 96-93 and 97-93 on two of the judges’ cards , while Serrano (42-2-1) won 96-94 on the other hand.

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