Wednesday's Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Wednesday's Sports In Brief
April 24, 2014, 4:01 am

BASEBALL

BOSTON (AP) Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night.

The right-hander was thrown out in the second inning when plate umpire Gerry Davis found the substance on the right side of Pineda's neck after Red Sox manager John Farrell asked him to check. Pineda walked from the mound without protest.

Both Pineda and Davis said it was pine tar.

"When it's that obvious, something has got to be said," Farrell explained after the game. "Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Pineda and the organization were "embarrassed."

Girardi doesn't expect to be fined for pushing a television camera to keep it from showing Pineda walking in the tunnel from the team's dugout to the clubhouse.

CHICAGO (AP) - Fittingly, the Chicago Cubs marked Wrigley Field's 100th birthday with a loss - a dramatic, error-filled one, at that.

One out from victory, the Cubs allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to rally for five runs in the ninth inning in a 7-5 loss Wednesday.

After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, Martin Prado hit a two-run single off Pedro Strop (0-2), Miguel Montero had a tying single against James Russell and Aaron Hill followed with a two-run triple off Justin Grimm.

SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) - Former NBA star Tracy McGrady signed to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander officially reported to spring camp last week and made his first scrimmage game appearance against Alvin Community College on April 16. In an inning of work, McGrady allowed one run on three hits with no walks and no strikeouts.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson is scheduled to have elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time and will miss the entire season.

The right-hander, signed in November to an $8 million, one-year contract, was placed on the disabled list before the season began. He strained his elbow during spring training and the Padres initially thought he would be out about one month.

CHICAGO (AP) - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo will be sidelined for an extended period of time because of a stress fracture in his left foot.

Manager Kirk Gibson said Trumbo will get a second opinion from Dr. Michael Lee in Arizona before a timetable for his return is determined.

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OBITUARY

HAVANA (AP) - Family members say Conrado Marrero, the oldest living former Major League Baseball player, died in Havana. He was just two days short of his 103rd birthday.

Grandson Rogelio Marrero confirmed the death Wednesday afternoon.

Marrero was a diminutive right-hander from Cuba who went by the nickname "Connie" when he pitched for the Washington Senators in the 1950s.

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SWIMMING

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Michael Phelps is making a comeback after nearly two years out of the pool.

Having shed the 30 pounds he piled on since retiring after the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps will resume his career starting Thursday at the Arena Grand Prix. He will swim the 100-meter butterfly, an event in which he holds the world record. He dropped his plans to compete in the 100 freestyle the same day.

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PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4.

That Thursday game is the first of four prime-time games on opening weekend. Also at night will be a Sunday matchup of AFC champion Denver and Peyton Manning hosting his former team, Indianapolis; and a Monday night doubleheader with the New York Giants at Detroit, followed by San Diego at Arizona.

The NFL will play three games in London: Dolphins-Raiders on Sept. 28; Lions-Falcons on Oct. 26; and Cowboys-Jaguars on Nov. 9.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Jacobs family is involved in helping secure the Bills' future in Buffalo, and hasn't ruled out getting involved in buying the team.

Jeremy Jacobs Jr., the son of Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Sr., told The Buffalo News that the family has been engaged in discussions involving the franchise's future, but said it was too early to say whether it will make an attempt to buy the team.

PHOENIX (AP) - A judge sentenced Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington to a year of supervised probation for assaulting a former girlfriend who is the mother of his daughter.

Now Washington, one of the team's top defensive players, will wait to see what punishment he may face from the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing.

Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks for "prayers and understanding and privacy during this difficult time."

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PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Goran Dragic was honored as the NBA's Most Improved Player after his career year helped lead the Suns to 23 more wins this season.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Slovenia came into the season with a career scoring average of 9.5 points in five years. He had 20.3 points and 5.9 assists per game as Phoenix went 48-34 and just missed the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. Dragic shot 50.5 percent from the field and 40.8 percent on 3-pointers.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Pacers guard Lance Stephenson acknowledged that he and Evan Turner got into a practice "scuffle" last week before Game 1 against Atlanta but denied the two threw any punches.

Coach Frank Vogel and Indiana's players concurred with Stephenson's version of events, though the descriptions were different. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Turner had to be "dragged out of practice" last week after the argument and that fists were flying.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate already has been eliminated.

Phil Jackson won't be hiring himself to coach the Knicks.

Two days after firing Mike Woodson, Jackson reiterated Wednesday that he won't be returning to the bench, despite the fact that even fiancee Jeanie Buss told him he should.

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PRO HOCKEY

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The NHL cracked down hard on Matt Cooke, suspending the Minnesota Wild left wing for seven games Wednesday for his knee-to-knee hit that injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.

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SOCCER

MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid hopes a narrow home win put it in position to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 2002.

In a matchup of teams acclaimed to be the best in Europe this season, Karim Benzema scored in the 19th minute to give the Los Blancos a 1-0 victory over defending champion Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinal.

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MOUNTAINEERING

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - With the Mount Everest climbing season increasingly in doubt, Nepalese tourism officials traveled to base camp Thursday to negotiate with Sherpas who want to walk off the job after an avalanche killed 16 of the mountain guides.

Friday's avalanche - the worst ever recorded on Everest - has exposed an undercurrent of resentment by Sherpas over their pay, treatment and benefits.

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GOLF

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Greg Norman and Joe Buck will call the U.S. Open when it moves to Fox next year.

The network signed a 12-year rights deal with the U.S. Golf Association in August to air the Open and its other championships. Fox said that two-time British Open champion Norman would join Buck on its lead golf announcing team.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - With one Joe Paterno statue in storage, fans of the late Penn State football coach are commissioning a new one to be placed across from the university.

A State College, Pa., restaurant owner says he's interested in having the new statue put in front of his establishment.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn't involved in the plan.

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TENNIS

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Second-seeded David Ferrer was ousted from the Barcelona Open by a Russian opponent for the second straight year and defending champion Rafael Nadal labored to victory.

Ferrer was unable to find his rhythm in losing 6-4, 6-2 to Teymuraz Gabashvili in his opening match while Nadal struggled past fellow Spanish player Albert Ramos 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Nadal eventually overcame his 103rd-ranked opponent to reach the third round, rebounding from a surprise loss to Ferrer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals.

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) - Alisa Kleybanova defeated third-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6 (3) to provide the first major upset at the Porsche Grand Prix.

MARRAKESH, Morocco (AP) - Top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia beat last year's runner-up Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 7-5, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix SAR.

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